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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.

Adjoint is correct in his assessments, but I'll add that this doesn't mean you can't do what you want with it.

In my own game I've tripled the Hinterlands estimated distances/travel time, and doubled the Varisia map, to make the world larger. This got me the following:

Hinterlands: 1mi=3mi
Varisia: 25mi=50mi

Sandpoint to Thistletop - 19.5mi (15mi on road to Thistle River, 4.5mi difficult terrain to Thistletop) = 8 hours walking, 6 hours light horse

Sandpoint to Foxglove Manor - 29.3mi (all road/path) = 9h45min walking, 8h30min light horse

Sandpoint to Magnimar - Assuming 1/3 steep hills/rough path and 8hour travel days = 3.5 days walking, 3 days light horse.

These changes mean that my party needed to spend nights out of town to explore the 'dungeons' of book 1 and 2, but were able to retreat to town or at least friendly locations fairly quickly. It also means Hemlock's trip to Magnimar looking for 'reinforcements' in book 1 also takes at least a week (3 days each way, plus at least one speaking to the right people), giving more time for the events to occur without him available to the PCs.

One thing I did overlook about the setting as described was that there are Roadside Inns along the Lost Coast Road, spread out to be a days journey apart.

These were some really great insight, thanks for sharing.

Unfortunately, the players in my main game aren't quite as diligent in seeking/exploring. It also doesn't help that they relatively frequently do really dumb stuff that leads to bad consequences. I've had to integrate new characters so often I think it's becoming a trained skill for my DM class -.-

To be fair to myself, I've done a lot of work on the Patron/Good Deity side and the machinations going on with the Empyreal Lords to protect the Lost Coast without direct interference - I like to lean into a 'the gods can only do so much because if they invest more, so will the enemy' philosophy. Multiple ELords are having small effects, including an original prophecy that has FINALLY started to hook a player into doing some research about topics. (Now I just need to tease out what he can find out with needing to search for more).

My party most recently got captured by Xanesha's compulsions (they ran in 2 at a time, with 15 minutes in between... ) and so after some discussion out of game they decided to reroll, with only one character returning (he was dead during the compulsions and got rescued by an NPC cleric and raised, providing the seed for the new groups mission). I bring this up because I agree with you - modifying APs and Rise of the Runelords in general is just so easy and satisfying.

Because of the above situation, I'm giving Xanesha two other 'cells' of compulsion-driven murderers - one worships Pazuzu and was his small group of monsters hiding in Magnimar (3 winged evildoers), and the other are Monks and their acolytes, followers of a twisted Therrasic Order spawned by the Black Monk from Book 4 - the AP mentions that he has moments of clarity that led to him training the harpy defenders. What if he had done a similar thing with adventurers decades, or even centuries, ago?

G%* d$#n. I thought the deity-moves in my game were intense considering my players have only brushed the surface so far and they're in a side-quest between Books 2 and 3.

I feel like I need to step up my game on the Villains side now. My poor players...

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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.

This thread contains spoilers for RotRL (obviously), but also some stuff from the Cult of the Ebon Destroyers module and the Sandpoint setting guide. The lead-up to this situation, and some of my ramblings about it prior to my last session, can be found In This Thread

Super-TL;DR: I'm hoping for commentary/suggestions on how I intend to proceed with RotRL following a highly disruptive Shadowclock.

TL;DR version of the context: Party went to Shadowclock, got in a huge 3-way melee against Xanesha's minions and Ironbriar (free of charm) and his Skinsaw cult. By end of the fight 2 PCs went up the clock seeking enemies, 2 PCs remained on the first floor looting and 1 pc was dead. The two first PCs found + fought Xanesha, and were both mind controlled and deep slumbered (leading to a mindcontrol). The second two PCs waited fifteen minutes (session break) and then went up the tower to find their friends, accompanied by Mistress Aymyra of the Dome of the Savoured Sting (Calistria temple, piloted by dead PC as a fresh lvl 7 cleric).

Despite being handed Mistress Aymyra (with some cherry-picked spells prepared to help counter the charms on their allies), the encounter did not go in the PCs favour. The wizard made a good attempt (enlarge person on Xanesha while she was climbing the rafters of her room, which could have led to the roof collapsing and *might* have led to her falling through the two floors and into a freefall inside the tower) but she resisted the spell. The swashbuckler also put out a nasty amount of damage, enough to make Xanesha flee and heal outside on the roof, but she was the only person doing damage.

In the end, one of the mindcontrolled PCs died through self-damage after Mistress Aymyra cast Confusion on all the enemies but only affecting the mc'd PCs (1hp - 10 self-damage to go to -9 hp, bleed out at -10 on next turn). Xanesha retained control throughout the fight of the other mc'd PC, and took both the 'alive' PCs with charm as well. Mistress Aymyra fled, taking the body of the dead PC on the ground floor of the tower with her.


At this point we called the session, and I gave my players some choices - 3/5 were alive, but now served Xanesha and we could continue the campaign like that until they were eventually freed. We could also start a new party put together by Mistress Aymyra to hunt the monster that is loose in Magnimar, and this *could* include a Raised version of the original dead PC.

They blind voted and resoundingly went with a new party, and the player with the dead PC decided to go with their Raised version (details found in that original thread, but in short they are now a Yamah Azata Kineticist 3, while the rest of the party is rolling at level 8).


All of this leads to the main topic of this thread: how I am planning to continue the campaign, and try and eventually bring it back around onto the AP tracks.

- Xanesha is still alive, but does not have her Skinsaw network
- A new party of high level adventurers has no connection to Sandpoint
- A new party do not have the narrative impetus to solve the long term mysteries of the campaign.

One option would certainly be to take the fast way out - Xanesha cuts her losses and goes to find her sister in Turtleback Ferry, and the new PCs are a party hired by the Lord-Mayor to go investigate the goings on up there. I find this option to be lacklustre - it doesn't solve the problem of low connection to Sandpoint, which the ongoing AP requires, and sort of says 'the actions of the previous PCs have no impact on the story'.

Instead, I have decided to break from the AP and move into a heavily modifed version of the Cult of the Ebon Destroyers module (note: the rest of this discussion has spoilers for that module). In CotED, the core plot is a murder mystery in a city while tracing the agents of a cult, followed by a treck to a small town and out to a location where a more powerful set of cult agents are.

Step 1 to integrating this module into the campaign is making a core assumption that Xanesha had managed to put together more than one cell of charmed agents in Magnimar. This isn't a difficult leap to make, and gives her a better reason to stick around in the city and keep Magnimar as the prime location for the early side of the module. So who are the cells?

In the module the first group of cultists are led by three monster-like creatures - a bat raskshasa, a dark naga and an evil garuda (birdperson). Of these three, the bat-shasa and the garuda immediately made me think of the Red Bishop and Pazuzu. All I need to do is replace the naga with another winged creature, and this first new cell can easily have been the Red Bishop's servants in the city, found and coopted by Xanesha just as she had done to the Skinsaw Cult. Beyond providing this cell a backstory, this also lends to building out the Red Bishop and the Empyreal Lords - one of the PCs has already spoken to Soralyon, one of the patrons of Magnimar, and Ylimancha is another who could become relevant as the campaign continues.

The second group of cultists in the module are master monks (monk-wizard, shadow monk, monk-oracle) who are supposed to be in a hidden temple, directing the cult. The three monks can stay as they are stats-wise, I think they make a good trio of thematic enemies. Instead of leading a cult in a hidden temple, however, I think they and their acolytes have lived in the Gecko (piling of the Irespan, the bridge in Magnimar) for some time, and are a Thasilonian cult of some sort - this gives them reason to ally with Xanesha, as the direct representative of a Runelord, and act as one of her cells.

Now that we have our two core enemy groups, I need to set up their placement.

Step 2 is swapping the setting over to Varisia. The early elements of the module are already laid out - the 'recruiter' is Mistress Aymyra, who together with the Justice Court (who got involved with the death of Justice Ironbriar and revelation of his Skinsaw cult) and most of the other Magnimar temples, put together a bounty on Xanesha. The other cells (this time the Pazuzu cell) have continued the seven-pointed star murders. The Clue NPCs in the module can easily be adopted as different folks in Magnimar, which gives me a chance to show off locations in the city the players haven't seen yet. The primary location swap will likely be the Hells instead of a palace when investigating a rumour aobut guards leaking info.

The location of the Pazuzu cell, instead of being a silk shop run by their cult, is instead a Dye and Sail shop near Washer's Row in Beacon's Point. Instead of overhearing the naga (still need to replace that) speaking to Monk acolytes with a message for their collective masters, she is relating a message from Xanesha to them; this, combined with papers from the Garuda, lead the PCs to the knowledge that another cell has gone to Sandpoint to finish the work of the Skinsaw man, but she needs them to hurry and finish as she is recalling them to the city for her strike on the mayor.

So now instead of heading into wild jungles on elephants, the raised PC can instil urgency in the others to reach Sandpoint to stop the next cell. The weretiger and the evil villagers can be cut from the module - instead, the PCs arrive in Sandpoint and can get caught up on events they've missed*. There have been a number of murders (depending on how long they took) but no big 'reaping' as Xanesha seemed to have wanted. The Monks, which the town don't know about, have set up in Thistletop - the last PCs cleaned it out in preperation to make it their stronghold, even going so far as to fix the bridge properly, but didn't have a chance to go back and really start setting it up. This will give the raised PC more impetus to also invest their upcoming downtime on that project so as to deny it to other evils that might move in.

Now we have the location of the two cells (and I can reuse Thistletop maps!), but...

Step 3 is placing Xanesha. She hasn't left the city, so by the end of the new party killing the monks, they need a way to chase down Xanesha's location. I'm thinking this is a two-stage process. 1) The monks lived in the Gecko piling, and still have some acolytes there. Going there and investigating can reveal to interested PCs some lore elements of Thassilon, other remaining megastructures of the time (Kaer Maga, Skull's Crossing, others). They can also discover that Xanesha is close by. 2) Xanesha has, since losing the Shadowclock, been living in the Rat, another of the Irespan pilings, where the last of her Faceless Stalkers have taken over the sczarni gang 'Doolun's Lads'. This is her final cell.

The final fight with Xanesha will feature some Facless Stalkers in the outer hideout, including a Faceless Stalker tribal leader of some sort. In her inner sanctum Xanesha is protected by four bodyguards - one is my Revenant Nualia (detailed in the previous thread linked above), and the other three are the former PCs: a Wizard magic-item creator, a Swashbuckler Swordswoman and an archer Slayers. Xanesha will have a few new magic items, as will the Faceless Stalker tribe leader, created by the Wizard, and she will have gained a level in Rogue (she did defeat a party of PCs after all.) Oh, and she'll have her Will O' Wisp minion buddy for flanking.

To even out these odds, the new party have more than enough time to find a way to break charms on the old PCs. If they do, they free them from Xanesha's influence at which point their players can start piloting them again, giving a 1 body swing in the parties favour.

Step 4, which is admittedly not totally necessary, is adding external pressure and complications. While the Magnimar temples, headed by the Dome, are working solely with the PCs, the Justice Court (who put out 2/3 of the bounty) have also spoken to the Order of the Nail Hellknights. Throughout their investigating the PCs will run into the Order of the Nail party doing the same - they will likely also be followed to Sandpoint by them, providing a reason for the Order to start showing up more there as a foil to the PCs.


Well, that's what I've got cooking. If anyone has thoughts on lore I'm missing that I could tap into, any of the changes/additions to the AP or Module, or anything else in this post they would be greatly appreciated. At the moment I've flagged for reading the Night Scales from Inner Sea Combat, the Harrowed Society from Inner Sea Magic, and updating my prep for Desna and Calistria (deities I know new PCs will worship) from Inner Sea Gods. I'll also need to delve a bit more into Pazuzu and Lamashtu if I want to bring her back around (since Nualia is still around, but undead and bound to serve the return of Karzoug). I also know one new PC will be a dwarf, so I need to do some more delving into Janderhoff to look for threads top pull in there.

So much to do, so little time to do it before my next session. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. As I said, any and all comments on this whole mess would be delightful.

* - While the last PCs have been away the remaining ghouls in the wilds became a problem and the necromancer Caizarlu came to town claiming to be able to get rid of them but needed protection to do so. Shalelu, Ameiko and Hemlock went with him, Caizarlu ended up trying to take over the ghouls, and they fought. The npcs barely won. Also, Father Zantus and some of his acolytes went out to Misgivings following the warnings of the PCs to try and cleanse the place of 'evil, possibly a lich.' They were quickly rebuffed, and sent to Windsong Abbey to the north for aid. Their messenger will have arrived at the start of the module, and depending on how long the new party takes to get to Sandpoint, Zantus and the representatives from Windsong may have already gone to try again (and failed), or gone back a third time and succeeded, but at the cost of Father Zantus's life.

I'll post about this more in depth in another thread, but...

Character Death #8 for my campaign

Name of PCs: Varus
Class/Level: Hunter 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Lemming into Xanesha, Party casts Confusion
Story: The party had a massive fight in the base of the Shadow Clock, acting as the third faction between the Skinsaw Cult (Ironbriar, raised Tsuto, cultists) and Xanesha's minions (revenant Nualia, Scarecrow, facelss stalkers). When the dust settled every enemy was dead except for Nualia, Varus's animal companion was dead, and one PC was super dead (Bloodrager, posted above.) Varus and the Slayer both ran up the Shadowclock while the wizard and swashbuckler tried to wrap up Nualia.

This is where things went very wrong, because Varus and the Slayer (both archers) walked right into Xanesha's lair, fell for her Major Image/Ventriloquist trick and got ambushed. Both were then Charm Monster or Deep Slumbered, leading to the scene fading to black. This occurred while the other two living party members spent 15 in game minutes getting Nualia restrained and looting all of the bodies/ground floor.

When the wizard, swashbuckler and a newly arrived NPC Cleric of Calistria finally went upstairs, both of their party members were there (charmed) and the ambush was reset. The fight ensued fairly quickly, and the Cleric cast Confusion on both of the charmed allies, the Major Image human Xanesha, and actual Xanesha. She resisted, but both party members did not.

On his next turn poor Varus rolled to injure himself with his own bow, and attempted to fire an arrow but let go of the bow instead of the string, smashing himself in the face for 10 damage. Turns out he was at 1 hp. And he only had a Con of 10. His next turn he rolled to stabilize, failed and bled out from a broken nose.

What makes this death even worse is that Varus was also the one to kill his own animal companion due to being Confused by Ironbriar in the previous fight.



While not deaths, I will note that Xanesha was a TPT - Total Party Takeover. She ended up charming the last two PCs while the Cleric NPC (piloted by the player with the dead Bloodrager) fled. So that's another 3 characters that are no longer PCs. I DID give them the chance to continue playing as Xanesha's pawns, but they voted to roll up a new party to continue the good fight.

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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.

If you want a lore-ish answer to this...

Nualia was defeated, which would certainly not please Lamashtu and convince the demon goddess to offer more powers. Fighter levels is probably the way to go with her for a pure 'level up'.

In my game she was killed rather than captured, but her body was handed over to Ironbriar for a bounty (he came with the reinforcements from Magnimar). Instead of leveling, she was raised as a Revenant (with accompanying template) with a heinous ritual by Xanesha.

Tsuto can easily gain Monk or Rogue levels to gain power. More importantly, if they are working with the Skinsaw and your Tsuto is particularly bloodthirsty, he good begin down the road of the Skinsaw cultists and gain a cleric level.

Orik is simple enough to add fighter levels to. In my game he very much wanted out from Nualia, and escaped in the chaos of Thistletop. He'll reappear as part of the Black Arrows in Book 3 with a couple ranger levels.

Lyrie has just spent several months studying in and around magical archaeological sites tied to Thassilon. Giving her more wizard levels, or even a prestige class, now that she has had time to process her work totally makes sense. (She died in my game and wasn't brought back by anyone).

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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.

That's... like, people use Roll20 for all types of games. It just depends on how much work you want to put into it, for what you get out of it.

On a basic level, once you and your players are used to it the UI is fairly simple to navigate and it gives you base functionality of a simple Initiative tracker, a grid map you can drop any map image you want under and a dice roller. The usefulness goes up from there based on effort to learn uses/functionality.

For the topic of Rise of the Runelords, I have previously run a campaign into the middle of book 2, and just started another one, using Roll20. There are lots of art assets you can pull on with some google-fu and creativity.

The paid level is not necessary to use the service, and in fact I often find the extras (primarily the variable lighting thing) to be a nuisance rather than a good addition to a game, but that is just my opinion.

Brief Update:

The Bloodrager has spoken with the Nosoi, and learned that he is in the Boneyard, that the bird he is speaking with has a name that translates to "Illkept Bookshelf" which is why he deals with the troubled records, and that his 'most likely outcome' is going to be different from most because he is 'marked.'

He asked what that meant, and how he was marked. The Nosoi explains there are many ways to be marked, including pacts with devils and such, but that his in particular is an ancestral mark in his blood - he should be aware of it (referencing his Arcane Bloodline.)

The Bloodrager asks who he is 'indebted to' for his empowered blood, and the Nosoi says it's not his place to say. He ends with "Your records are updated now, Azarbod Wyrd. Dependant upon what happens next, I expect we will never meet again. Or perhaps we will. I'll fly by if you end up in line again, just to say hello. I'm told it's nice to see a familiar face while you're waiting, at least that's what the Catrina's say. I wouldn't really know."

An unknown amount of time later (since the Boneyard is timeless), he sees huge flying golden pyramid with black wings sprouting from each side. This is Imot, the Symbol of Doom, the powerful psychopomp usher in charge of among other things, prophecies and the expunging of 'cultures that have overstayed their welcome.' I felt this a fitting figure for Soralyon to be acquaintances with, and to be aiding this particular prophecy (did I forget to mention he's also interested in portents and prophecies?).

An angelic being descends from near this pyramid, flies over the line and then lands. He speaks to the Bloodrager, calling him by name and naming himself 'Barchiel, Deva of my Empyreal Lord Soralyon.' He offers his hand to the Bloodrager and says 'Come with me.'

And that's where we are at now.

I am really enjoying folding in items like Imot, or even the Catrina psychopomp, even though the player/s will never get the reference or know the full story.

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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.

Minor Spoiler for what Artofregicide's GM did:

There is no major church of Sarenrae in the cannon of Magnimar - the named locations in the city are to Erastil (Deadeye Lordge), Calistria (Dome of the Savored Sting), the Church of Pharasma, the Temple of Iomedai, and the Cathedral of Abadar.

What there IS, at least in the Magnimar sourcebook, is an old 'Shrine of Sarenrae' in the Underbridge district. It has been abandoned for untold decades, as the founder and his accolytes were set upon by local thugs for refusing to pay protection money only a few months after the building was finished.

This is a pretty decent hook for someone heading to Magnimar, but the AP isn't based in the city.

I would instead point this out to your GM for possible development later in the campaign, but for your backstory use the Windsong Abbey. For the most part the Abbey is little more than a point on maps of Varisia, receiving only blurbs in a couple of different books.

This PathfinderWiki about it doesn't have any spoilers for the AP. It might have minor spoilers for Book 4 of Shattered Star, but from what I can tell it would only be that it IS a location.

I've used Windsong Abbey as a pilgrimage destination for PCs in the past, usual during downtime events. In short - it's a diplomatic haven and shrine for all faiths.

If your paladin Baros needs a reason to have travelled to the area, he could likely have been headed to the Abbey but stopped in Sandpoint on the way when he found out the special circumstances of the Swallowtail Festival that year and that the new Cathedral, including a shrine to Sarenrae, was being opened.

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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.

@Roonfizzle: I don't particularly remember the Haunted Heart area from my last skim through, but that was probably close to a year and a half ago now. I'll definitely need to check it out. Black Magga and the various Dragons I DO remember - I'm not sure how to tie BM in yet, but an inkling of connecting her to the Sandpoint Devil is brewing. Funny you mention the dragons though - the Slayer is carrying around Nualia's (first) +1 Bastard Sword, which since I don't like just handing a "here it's +1" weapon, I made a 'Dragonslayer' (+1, but against Dragons is +3) that is pitch black and seems to suck in light. He's carrying it around and has never used it 'Just in case.' That'll pan out.

Avaxial and that template are interesting, but I don't know if I want to give him a connection to a particular character backstory. It's a pretty tropey, iconic moment for the party to suddenly have the opportunity to deal with a powerful devil and I think it should play out how they want. That being said, I agree with Mudfoot that the template is a fat upgrade. I'll probably try to think up something a little more finessed once I hard-prep Avaxial.

@Mudfoot: Right now, from what I understand, the party is planning to get the now-Bloodrager resurrected/reincarnated, and I am (perhaps wrongly) assuming the Hunter will invest for doing the same to his pet, which is when I'll apply the Half-Celestial template from Bestiary 1. If, for some reason, he doesn't do that then I think waiting until the Grauls might be too long for him to go without a pet - the players are going to get some downtime once Xanesha is dealt with/escapes and they explain away how they killed a Justice of the Justice Court.

(Likely, Mayor Whats-his-Face is going to sweep it under the rug once he understands what was going on under his nose, then strongly suggest they remove themselves from the city and back to Sandpoint. They'll get a strong impression of his wealth and power. His secretary will assuage some hurt butts and explain the Mayors need to balance politics, and that the Mayor has infrequent need of people with their skills and pays handsomely, as long as they steer clear of Magnimar until summoned.)

This downtime is going to help push forward the timeline a bit (the night of the Shadow Clock fight is day 55 since the Swallow Tail Festival, with a 2 week downtime between Books 1 and 2), and in that downtime I'm expecting there to be Item Crafting and investments into Stronghold building in/around Sandpoint. All this being said, I doubt the Hunter spends that time not looking for a new pet, so if he doesn't Rez his current I'll need an encounter prepped. I'll have to start looking around for some interesting stuff.

The Orc connection is something I have been thinking of too, that and the fact that he is (I believe) Half Orc and Half Shoanti. There might be some neat Shoanti stuff I can work out if I prompt him to dig a bit deeper into picking a clan and such. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe his clan has an old legend about Magga and her 'spawn'.

Ancient Golems is a good point for the Wizard. I'm also thinking that, since he is fairly combat-light with feat investments into crafting, it would be neat to get him a martial retainer. Right now I'm playing with the concept that some perverted Wizard in the Magnimar wanted to turn his beautiful Angelic Guardian golem into his personal -ahem- using a modified stone-to-flesh spell. She awoke, but wasn't as pliable as expected since she's a bodyguard/combat golem and is pretty much a Red Sonja sort of personality. She ends up trying to find her 'father', the Wizard, based on the very small makers mark rune scarred into her forehead just below her hairline - which happens to be wear the Angelic Guardians fire halo headpiece was, and the Wizard worked for the Golemworks for years just enchanting fire-halo-headpieces one after the other. She'll be a loyal Follower as long as he isn't a jerk - I can't decide if she'll be a Follower as per S+F concepts, or a free Leadership feat as a Fighter.

@Fair Strides: Thanks! I put a lot of work into this game with maps/minis that the players give occasional comments about, but because I'm the 'outsider' of the group (I'm a relative, they all know each other from college) I don't always have a great read on what they are enjoying/appreciating with the story. This will hopefully change as I'm going to be a player in a 5e game my relative is running on our off-week.

I'll look at making my conversions into something... readable? I've been converting it piecemeal, and started with Towers and Establishments (little change) since they were what people were interested in, and then Bloodrager (now defunct) and Swashbuckler class-specific stuff since they were the two most vocal about wanting to invest in Strongholds. My Demesne Effects were the things I liked the most, so here's a couple samples:

Bloodrager (was going to be a Wizard Tower out of Thistletop): You gain a Demesne Effect in the local region (1mi per Stronghold level),wherein new, strange flora and fauna begin to appear within your demesne. As an Arcane Bloodrager your land begins to attract magical beasts such as a pack of blink dogs, and growth of new arcane-influenced plants such as grabbing vines.

Swashbuckler: You gain a Demesne Effect in the local region (1mi per Stronghold level),wherein you, your allies and the locals find that the environment in the domain always facilitates outrageous activities. There always happens to be a convenient rope to swing on, cart of hay at the bottom of a long drop or tablecloth to whisk out from under the dishes.

I also really enjoyed making the Follower charts for the Hybrid classes, smashing together their pieces from the original 5e charts into something that fit. I then went through and wrote one-paragraph descriptors/characters, basing as heavily as I could on content from the Sandpoint sourcebook and Golarion setting. I started listing some highlights and realized I have... a lot of favs on those lists. I'll just say the Sandpoint book is really good for mining local powers/interests.

I've started outlining stuff here, so I figured I would keep going.

I presented the Bloodrager player a few options, including: if resurrected/reincarnated he can come back as a Bloodrager plus something special (would have been a nerfed Legion Archon and would grow in power as he leveled), or he could return with the same personality/history but have gone through 'something' and return with a partial reroll, or he could just not Res and fully roll a new character.

He went with the Partial Reroll, and I'm excited.

Currently, in-game, he is dead and standing in line in the Boneyard waiting to approach Pharasma's Tower - he's gotten bits and pieces, seeing packs Esoboks roaming the moon-like terrain, and Angel coming a claiming a soul and flying away with them, and a Devil walking down the line claiming souls that marked themselves for Hell in life.

My overall plan is as follows:

A nosoi comes to him while he is in line and needs to clarify some details of records - there's been a confusion because he's supposed to be human and he's not. Once it's clarified he's an Aasimar now, the Nosoi tut-tuts, thanks and flies off. Soon after an Astral Deva comes and pulls him from line, pulling him all the way out of the Boneyard and through the planes to the edge of Nirvana. This Astral Deva is Barchiel (non-cannon), and serves the Empyreal Lord Soralyon, the Mystic Angel. He will cryptically explain that he has been watching the Bloodrager from a distance since his last visit to the Boneyard and reincarnation in Sandpoint. It was Barchiel who facilitated the dream-connections between the Bloodrager and his half-sister Nualia, hoping that the Bloodrager would find a way to redeem her. He was disappointed when he killed Barchiel's daught- the poor girl.

This is a fake slip up, opening for the Bloodrager to pry. If he does, Barchiel will admit that he fathered Nualia directly. Astral Devas carry with them a long scroll that includes glimpses of fate and prophecy, and they never share what is on them. It is not unknown that prophecies broke when the god Aroden died however, and Barchiel admits that he acted upon something in his scroll, believing an Aasimar needed to be born in Magnimar during a specific space of time to combat a coming evil.

Barchiel has been sent to bring the Bloodrager's unjudged, unchanged soul to Soralyon in the moment of his coming resurrection. Any more time spent in the Empyreal Lord's presence would change the Bloodrager's soul too far and he would be stuck in Nirvana, instead of returned and empowered. The Astral Deva trusts Soralyon, and knows his master has knowledge beyond his own. He might get a few more tidbits of information, most likely hinting at things that are to come (Runewell, the ancient Library, maybe even Xin-Shalast).

At some point the conversation ends abruptly as Barchiel grabs him and drags him through the gates of Nirvana, appearing outside the Steward's Stone (a tall leaning obelisk covered in layers of strange, arcane writing), at the top of which is a room. Inside is Soralyon, and the Bloodrager gets one quick look at the Empyreal Lord who looks like pure, black marble (note: the bloodrager's skin became white marble when he became an aasimar). In that instant, the Empyreal Lord speaks directly into his mind, naming him and naming his previously unknown parents, and commanding him to fulfill a prophecy whispered by the dead god Aroden to Soralyon 800 years ago. It'll end with "Do not fail, or your world will surely suffer. The last time the Runelords walked free, their downfall caused an Age of Darkness that lasted a thousand years and all of civilization collapsed into anarchy. Now, my child, go!"

All of this gives me a great way to further empress upon that player, and through them onto the others, the coming dangers and that everything up until now has been tied to a bigger, badder guy up the chain. They've gotten big hints dropped by Revenant Nualia that her Mistress serves a greater Master, and the Bloodrager is going to return with some more 'actionable' (researchable) intelligence.

What Barchiel and the Bloodrager don't know is that Soralyon himself is the cause of the Bloodrager's strange abilities. He sits far back (800 years in fact) in the Bloodrager's ancestry; at first Aasimar were common in the bloodline, then less, then the only manifestations were in strange arcane birthmarks. The Bloodrager's Arcane Bloodline is caused by the manifestation of Soralyon, the Mystic Angel's bloodline and the prophecy, which calls for an 'angel-child.' The Bloodrager's first death and reincarnation was part of the prophecy, as when he touched the Boneyard and returned, his soul and bloodline were distilled, creating purity - he was reborn as the angel-child. Now, with a second death and Barchiel waiting, he is again being distilled and awakened.

When the Bloodrager returns, whether by Resurrection or Reincarnation, he will return reborn once more in a new body - he will be a Yamah Azata, his previously blue arcane Bloodrager markings becoming the white of the Yamah, and his skin turning the blue his marking always were. Further, he will no longer be a bloodrager and will instead be a 3rd level Kineticist (the class he wants to reroll in to), the final manifestation of his arcane bloodline mingled with a truly celestial body.

The Yamah is a CR5 creature, so I've distilled it down into a 'race' to more easily let the player write up a character sheet. He's going to keep his current stats but can flip around his physical ones (str/dex/con) to match his new class as desired. He'll get +2 to all stats, +2 more to two chosen, gets the defenses, the spell-like abilities, the wings and the special 'steal magic' ability (again, nicely fits the former Arcane Bloodline). He is losing everything from 7 levels of Bloodrager, including all of his feats, but is gaining the ranged-focused feats of the Yamah which should help with his ranged kineticist blasting.

I'm excited about making these moves, and am not too worried about power level right now since I can always make enemies harder. If the party resurrects the Hunter's pet at the same time, I've decided the lingering effects of the Empyreal Lord's influence on magic in the area causes the wolf to come back with the Half-Celestial template as well.

The real problem I'm faced with now is properly giving the other characters similar 'cool s+!%' in the coming book. The Catfolk Swashbuckler isn't too hard since she A) has been interested in taking over the Pixie's Kitten in Sandpoint, which would make a good establishment from S+F as mentioned in my above post, and B) tried to sneak into the Calistrian Temple in Magnimar and was caught by the high priestess - she wasn't allowed in to see the temple prostitutes because she isn't a worshipper, but was given some hints. After recent events she'll likely be looking for some vengeance, so a messenger from Calistria could start her down on an interesting path.

More difficult are the other two/three characters.

The Hunter might get his cool pet, but there isn't much more going on with that character. During downtime opportunities he goes deer hunting, and that's about it. I'm thinking he might have a Fey encounter of some sort, try and prod some more interesting things out of him.

The Slayer is sort of a weird duck. He's a halforc with 7 charisma who spends half of his money on fancy clothing (I'm pretty sure he went into this fight wearing a classic purple zuitsuit under his armor). He is a bowman, and a monster hunter. During the last downtime he went hunting the Sandpoint Devil and had a nighttime encounter and chase, so the obvious answer is the next downtime hunt he gets to fight it. This is a single-event thing however, and getting him something more lasting is difficult. He expressed interest in buying the Rusty Dragon but Ameiko was fairly clear she wasn't interested in selling, and suggested he talk to the owner of the White Stag, who might be more interested. That was a complete flop with him and went unfollowed. Other than just throwing more magical beasts at him, I'm not sure what else to do right now.

Finally, the Wizard is new. Soralyon would actually make a decent hook for him too, but there's probably something better. Backstory-wise he's been working at the Golemworks for years enchanting bulk batches of Golem parts and quit the job to pursue making more interesting magic items. I have a bit of time since he's been in the party for only 3 sessions and I can see what he does next downtime (probably crafting). I'd rather have something to plan with thought.

Looks like I'll be digging hard into the next few books looking for good places to hook in stuff. Suggestions, if anyone is actually reading these public musings, are appreciated.

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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....

Hey all,

Posting this mostly because I'm amped for my session in 16 hours and the people I would usually talk about this I also GM for and are starting RotRL soon.

Background: I've been running this group for about a year and a half now (biweekly sessions) and the party is level 7, book 2.

The only remaining original PC is a Bloodrager who was 'raised' as the brother-companion of another original PC, an aasimar from a well to do Magnimarian aasimar family (now retired and unhappily married to Shayliss Vinder). He died in the Catacombs of Wrath and was Reanimated by Madam Mvashti and came back an aasimar himself. Shortly after, he began having strange dreams. Long story short, it turned out that he was Nualia's half-brother and amidst her evil rituals she could communicate with him through dreams, hoping to turn him to her side. Burnt Offerings otherwise played out fairly straight, though with a heavier-than-expected PC turnover for various reasons - I covered this in the Obituary thread a few months ago. The Bloodrager ended up killing Nualia after a running fight that covered all three levels of Thistletop and ended with him knifing her in the neck and collapsing because he was at 0hp while 3/4ths of the other PCs were already unconscious. Shalelu, piloted by a player who was mid-replacing a character, was the only conscious person after the fight.

The party then gave the bodies of Nualia, Tsuto and Lyrie to Justice Ironbriar, who had come to town as part of the Magnimarian reinforcements to defend Sandpoint and had offered the group a bounty on the evildoers. Ironbriar went back to Magnimar with the bodies.

Skinsaw Murders again played out fairly straight until the party came to Magnimar, where two of the newer bounty hunter PCs were handing in the collected heads of the Red Shiv gang (minor encounter on the road). The Justice ruling over their case? Ironbriar, of course. He ruled in their favour, sentenced the one man they kept alive to thirty years in the Hells, and then asked to see the party in his chambers. Once there he grilled them on what had been happening in Sandpoint, following the ruse that he was investigating similar murders in Magnimar. The PCs bought it hook, line and sinker, especially after they noticed he would pause once in a while and stare off into the distance - the newest PC, a wizard, detected an enchantment on him but didn't know dispel magic, and they left Ironbriar with the knowledge he was suffering an enchantment. They followed their few clues to the Foxglove Townhouse where they made 'friends' with the two Faceless Stalkers pretending to be the Foxgloves, and planned to use them to approach the Seven's Sawmill on the day that a payment used to be made by them, as found in the Foxglove ledger.

When the PC's returned the night of the plan (having staked out the Seven's Sawmill but seeing little suspicious activity, and also being chased by a Hellknight patrol), they found the house had been broken into, a big hole in the back of the house, and the bodies of the Faceless Stalkers. An awoken neighbour tells them the guards have already been by, and the commotion happened in the early hours of that day. As they were deciding what to do, lightning struck outside and Justice Ironbriar appeared at the front door - he is unconcerned that they are inside a crime scene, he needs their help. He has found out who put the enchantment on him, and who he thinks is behind the murders - a woman he thought was just a social climber might actually be leading a death cult! With shapechangers in the mix, he's taken time to round up his most trusted and tough City Watch for a raid, but he wants the PCs along since he trusts them as well and they are outsiders the shapechangers likely haven't gotten to. The last session ended with them setting out into the cold, rainy Neth night, running through Magnimar towards the Shadow Clock.

What the PCs don't know is as follows...

- When Ironbriar returned to Magnimar with the bodies, he cast Lyrie aside but brought Nualia and Tsuto to Xanesha. Using valuable arcane scrolls and resources, Xanesha raised Tsuto from the dead and gifted him to Ironbriar for the Skinsaw Cult. Fitting, since it was Ironbriar who whelped the bastard on Mrs. Kaijitsu in the first place. Rather than simply raising Nualia, Xanesha did something much more difficult - she turned the demon-tainted aasimar into a Revenant whose sole purpose is to see the Runelord of Greed returned to power. This was costly, drained much power and influence she had gathered, but seemed a cunning plan to gain a powerful, dedicated servant.

- When the PCs alerted Ironbriar to being enchanted, he did go and have it removed by a trusted spellcaster at the Justice Hall, and realized that he was being manipulated by Xanesha. He quickly formulated a plan to cover himself and his Skinsaw Cult, which he would much rather cover up than abandon if at all possible. He set things in motion, gathering his cultists, and kept a watch on the PCs. He had the Foxglove Faceless Stalkers killed.

- The hole in the back of the house was actually caused by the Scarecrow, who was checking on the Faceless Stalkers on Xanesha's orders as she has realized she's lost Ironbriar and needs to close ranks. The PCs did find massive footprints in the gardens/backyard, but couldn't identify them other than belonging to huge boots.

- Ironbriar has gathered all of his cultists, including Tsuto, and dressed them in City Watch winter/rain garb. They are his 'swat' team he's picked up the PCs with. When the time is right, he can order them to cast aside their watch cloaks and don their Skinsaw Masks.

- Tsuto, acting without his father/cult leader's permission, approached the new wizard PC who is a known magic item crafter. He ordered a pair of Aasimar Bane Brass Knuckles, citing that he had an Aasimar named Reginald that he really, really wanted to beat the crap out of. The wizard is now carrying those Aasimar Bane knuckles with him in a bag of holding, but hasn't yet had the time to recognize Tsuto as the man who ordered them.

So the party is heading to the Shadow Clock, on a cold and rainy night, accompanied by a bakers dozen Skinsaw Cultists disguised as City Watch. My plan is that when they arrive Ironbriar (who is just a lawyer, after all), and half of his men will surround the tower, while the other half and the party will storm the front. Inside, the PCs will find themselves looking up at Nualia, standing on the first flight of stairs, who warns her brother away before combat is engaged. The Scarecrow and three Faceless Stalkers will come from the outer rooms/shadows of the main floor of the Shadow Clock. Around turn 3, two Faceless Stalkers still high above will loose the Bell Trap on the combat below, killing off some of the cultists/possibly hurting a PC.

If/when the PCs give a sign they need help, Ironbriar and his outside guards will come in as backup - including Tsuto, who only now discovers his father lied when he said Nualia was dead (but really he didn't lie, cause she's an undead revenant). He'll have an outburst at Ironbriar (probably calling him father as a slip), and then try and get the Wizard to give him the Aasimar Bane Knuckles so he can go take care of "that f~*@ing devil-angel" he's been hunting. Of course, 1) they would no longer work on Nualia now that she is undead, and 2) he's not aiming for her anyways, he's aiming for the Bloodrager who killed him and Nualia.

Depending on how the fight is going, Ironbriar might signal his men to turncoat on them during this fight, or later when they confront Xanesha upstairs (who will be accompanied by a Will o' Wisp companion to provide flanking). When he does, I can physically replace the Town Guard paper minis I made with the Skinsaw Cult ones, and it's quite possible the PCs find themselves fighting alongside Nualia against this new threat.

Once the dust has settled, and if the PCs are totally victorious (with no escaping NPCs), they are in line to pick up about 70k worth of magic items (at half value) and gold/gems from the Shadow Clock encounter. My own gift to me, however, is that with Nualia as a revenant, she'll rise again in a few days and will be driven to find the next closest powerful servant of Xin - Lucrecia. And so is born a recurring villain who, maybe by book 5, the PCs will run into as she is treading the far wilds, inexorably pulled toward Xin-Shalast and who (if they don't just merc her immediately) could get a redemption arc as she struggles against her revenant drive and the feeling that Lamashtu betrayed and abandoned her to her fate as an undead. And who, if they can't find a way to 'fix' her, could inevitably betray them when they get into the room with Xin and he can command her himself.

Many of the above ideas/concepts come from the threads here on these boards, so a big thank-you to those who have been submitting suggested changes/improvements for over a decade. They have made my game so much more juicy behind the scenes, and all of it is about to pay off.


Knock on wood.

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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.

Name of PCs: Chadgar and Azurbod
Class/Level: Vigilante 2 and Bloodrager 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Minor Runewell
Story: "Let's weaponize it," they said. So Chadgar pulls out a bucket and they both carefully scoop out some of the freezing magical orange crush from the scary evil magic fountain. They didn't even make it out of them room before Chadgar decided this was stupid and moved to dump out the contents. The Bloodrager just looked on in shock. Both took major damage and failed their will saves, becoming enraged. Chadgar killed Azurbod, then the party Fighter killed Chadgar - meanwhile, Father Zantus and his wife (cathedral acolyte, also a cleric) were shouting over and over that they were calming the rage the party needed to just not hit each other for a second.

Azurbod ended up getting Reincarnated by Madame Mvashti into an Aasimar.

Name of PC: Orianna
Class/Level: Oracle 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds in Thistletop
Story: The part, after defeating the goblins, barricaded the stairs heading lower into the fort and rested for the night. This gave their enemies time to set up an ambush, which the party proceeded to totally bypass. They moved down into the sub-basement and found themselves pincered by the ambushers from the stairs and Yeth Hounds/Nualia from ahead. Unfortunately Orianna used Colour Spray, knocking out Bruthazmus and Tsuto, but also the party fighter. In the staggered, howl-induced flight Orianna slipped on a grease spell and was left behind, the sounds of her being torn apart by Yeth Hounds echoing up the stairs after her 'friends.'

Name of PC: Richard
Class/Level: Fighter 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Sac-ri-fice, Sac-ri-fice, Sac-ri-fice!
Story: KO'd by Orianna with a colour spray spell and then left behind by the rest of the party by accident, happy-go-lucky Richard was taken captive. Unfortunately this happened while the player was away for a session, and when he came back he decided rather than possibly be rescued he wanted to just reroll. So Richard was sacrificed to Lamashtu on the altar just before the party rolled up for a second go at Nualia.

Name of PC: He died so fast I don't even remember
Class/Level: Rogue 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Shadows
Story: The party Skald, finding out his one-time fling with a local girl in town ended in her getting pregnant, decides to retire since Nualia is now dead. The party is joined by a down on his luck halfling rogue on their way back to scour Thistletop for valuables and any remaining threats. When the party stumbled on the Shadows, he decided to acrobatics his was in to flank the spooky beings - rolling a 1 and triggering opportunity attacks. Got crit. Unfortunately, he had dumped Strength and he died while the party fled only to rise as a Shadow himself shortly thereafter.

Name of PC: Shaamus
Class/Level: Paladin 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Trying to burn down Misgivings
Story: With everything cleared out, explored and looted at Misgivings except for properly dealing with the fungus in the basement, Shaamus went up to the third floor to start a fire while the rest of the party got out of the building. Shaamus could feel the attempts of the house to repel him, even seeing the vision of a corrupted servant of Desna charging him (phantasmal killer), but being immune to fear he didn't a crap. What he did give a crap about was the Dominate Person the house eventually cast on him, and since he was right near the haunt that causes someone to throw themselves out of the upper story window, that's exactly what he had to do. A series of skill checks later and the plate-wearing halfling paladin was hanging by his fingertips from the edge of the cliff, looking down at a 300ft drop. A Natural 2 to climb up (as opposed to waiting for help) was a long fall and a hard stop.

At this point, including two PCs who retired from the party, the only original member left is Azurbod, the Arcane Bloodrager, who has also happened to have died but got reincarnated. He is the Hero of Sandpoint.

Dotting interest. I like the setting and the themes so far, just not sure about a Spheres of Might game since I am utterly unfamiliar. I'll do some reading, but for now: Stats!

4d6 ⇒ (5, 4, 2, 5) = 16

4d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 3, 1) = 12

4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 6, 4) = 19

4d6 ⇒ (2, 3, 5, 6) = 16

4d6 ⇒ (5, 4, 3, 5) = 17

4d6 ⇒ (3, 2, 5, 6) = 16

19, 17, 16, 16, 16, 12

Hey all,

I'll be playing Ruth Geddyhaul, wizard and arcane archaeologist. Once I'm off of my ipad and back at a computer I'll tap back in with the proper Alias.

Looking forward to joining the party!

Dotting, will be submitting an Elf Mercenary Soldier who is going Melee as primary combat.

Ok, my last minute submission is Ruth Gedyhaul, a Dhampir Conjurer. Playstyle she is strong in all of the knowledges and arcane elements, is a curious and slightly distracted scholar, and is interested in ancient ruins that might point to greater arcane secrets about the world. In combat she is a summoner and debuffer, with a little bit of distraction and close blasting as backup.

Female Vetala-born Dhampir Wizard (Cruoromancer) 4
TN Medium Humanoid (Dhampir)
Init +2; Senses Perception -1
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (0armor + 2dex + 0shield) (+1 v Firearms)
hp 21 (4d6 + 1conx4)
Fort +3 (1base + 1con + 1resist) Ref +4 (1base + 2dex + 1resist) Will +4 (4base - 1wis + 1resist)
Speed 30 ft.

Melee +2 (2bab + 0str)
Touch Spells +2

Ranged +4 (2bab + 2dex)
Ranged Touch Spell +4

Str 10 (+0) Dex 14 (+2) Con 12 (+1) Int 22 (+6) Wis 9 (-1) Cha 12 (+1)
Base Atk +2; CMB +2 (2bab + 0str) CMD 12 (10 + 0str + 2dex)
1) Half-Forgotten Secrets: +1trait to two Knowledge skills, one of which becomes a class skill (Arcana, History)
2) Scholastic: Choose one knowledge skill, in which you gain a +1 and they become class skills. Your spellcasting stat is also considered one higher for the purposes of calculating extra spells. (Geography)
1) Dimensional Agility: May take actions after casting Dimension Door (applies to Shift arcane scool ability). Gain +4 to COncentration when cast Teleportation spells.
BF) Scribe Scroll: Craft (Scrolls)
3) Craft Wondrous Items
Skills 9 ranks/level (2class + 5int + 2bckgrd)
ACP -0

*ACP applies to these skills
Skill Bonuses
*Acrobatics: +2 (2dex)
Appraise: +12 (6int + 3ranks + 3cs)
Bluff: +2 (1cha + 1ranks)
*Climb: +0 (0str)
Craft: +6 (6int + UCS)
Diplomacy: +2 (1cha + 1ranks)
*Disable Device: +7 (2dex + 2ranks + 3cs)
Disguise: +1 (1cha)
*Escape Artist: +2 (2dex)
*Fly: +2 (2dex + UCS)
Handle Animal: Untrained (1cha)
Heal: -1 (-1wis)
Intimidate: +1 (1cha)
Know(arcana): +14 (6int + 4ranks + 3cs + 1trait)
Know(dungeoneering): +10 (6int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(engineering): +10 (6int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(geography): +12 (6int + 2ranks + 3cs + 1trait)
Know(history): +14 (6int + 4ranks + 3cs + 1trait)
Know(local): +10 (6int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(nature): +10 (6int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(nobility): +10 (6int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(planes): +11 (6int + 2ranks + 3cs)
Know(religion): +11 (6int + 2ranks + 3cs)
Linguistics: +11 (6int + 2ranks + 3cs)
Perception: -1 (-1wis)
Perform: +1 (1cha)
Profession (Archaeology): +6 (-1wis + 4ranks + 3cs) (Ranks from Headband)
*Ride: +2 (2dex)
Sense Motive: -1 (-1wis)
*Sleight of Hand: Untrained (2dex)
Spellcraft: +13 (6int + 4ranks + 3cs)
*Stealth: +2 (2dex)
Survival: +1 (-1wis + 2ranks)
*Swim: +0 (0str)
Use Magic Device: +3 (1cha + 2ranks)

Languages Common, Draconic, Sylvan, Nahuana, Arabic

Special Abilities:

R) Undead Resistance: +2racial on saves v Disease and Mind-Affecting
R) Resist Level Drain: Take no penalties from Energy Drain effect, but die if accrue more -ve levels than HD
R) Manipulative: +2racial Escape Artist and Use Magic Device
R) Darkvision: 60ft
R) Low-light Vision: 2x human standard
R) Negative Energy Affinity: React to Positive and Negative energy as if undead
R) SLA: Comprehend Languages 3/day
R) -1 to Caster Level when in an area affected by COnsecrate, Hallow or similar spells making an area Holy

C) Blood Infusion: When casting a necormancy spell may infuse as a swift action with own blood. Take 1d4+Spell Level damage to add one of the following infusions;
--- Focused Infusion: +1 to DC
--- Sickening Infusion: Any creature damaged becomes Sickened for 1 round
C) Arcane School: Conjuration (Teleportation); Gain 1 spell slot of each level to use only for Conjuration
--- Opposition Scools: Illusion, Abjuration
--- Summoner's Charm: When casting a Conjuration (Summoning) spell, increase duration of rounds by 1/2 wizard level.
--- Shift: Teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using Dimension Door. Does not provoke. Must be able to see space moving into. May not take other creatures with. Move up to 10ft (5 per 2levels) up to 8/day (3+Int)
C) Scribe Scroll: Bonus feat

Proficiencies: Club, Dagger, Light/Heavy Crossbow, Quarterstaff. No Armour/Shield.


0th (at will, 4prep/day) DC16
Acid Splash
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Read Magic
Dancing Lights
Ray of Frost
Disrupt Undead
Touch of Fatigue
Mage Hand
Scrivener's Chant
Arcane Mark

1st (5+1/day) DC17
Prepared: 1x Mage Armour, 1x Mount, 1x Summon Monster, 1x Charm Person, 2x Ray of Enfeeblement
Mage Armour
Summon Monster I
Charm Person
Cause Fear
Chill Touch
Ray of Enfeeblement

2nd (4+1/day) DC18
Prepared: 2x Summon Monster II, 2x Acid Arrow, 1x Stricken Heart
Acid Arrow
Summon Monster II
Stricken Heart


Carrying Capacity
Light 0-33 lb. Medium 34-67 lb. Heavy 68-100 lb.
Current Load Carried 0 lb.

(Worn) Headband: Headband of Vast Intellect +2 (Skills: Profession (Archaeology))
(Worn) Neck: Amulet of Bullet Protection +1 (+1luck to AC v Firearms)
(Worn) Shoulders: Cloak of Resistance +1
(Worn) Gloves: Apprentice's Cheating Gloves (Mage Hand and Prestidigitation at will)
(Worn) Wrists: Sleeves of Many Garments (Choose clothing style/type)
(Worn) Varied Jewelry (50g anklet, 35g Bracelt, 85g waistlet, 2x 25 gold rings, 2x 45g rings)
(Worn) Beltpouch
--- Pearl of Power I
--- Campfire Bead
(Worn) Spell Component Pouch
(Worn) Backpack
--- Spellbook
(Carried) Quarterstaff
(Carried) Dagger

Pony w/ Pack Saddle
--- Chronicler's Kit, Wizard's Kit, Small Tent
--- Small bag of varied gems totaling 200g
--- Animal Feed (10 days)
--- Trail Rations (15 days)

Money 50 GP 20 SP 0 CP


"We will love her all the same," the Vicar told his wife when their child was born. He would not follow through on this promise.

Born in the British countryside, Ruth Gedyhaul was a culmination of her parent's worst fears - at night, early in the pregnancy, her mother Elizabet had been attacked by a strange creature that seemed to steal memories and cackle like a deranged child. She was wracked with pain for weeks before it finally subsided, but both parents feared the worst for their child.

With skin like burnished brass, their baby had it's mother's eyes but otherwise looked nothing like her white parents.

Ruth seemed to age in fits and starts, as did her intellect and maturity, which caused even more problems for the already shamed family. At sixteen she seemed matured into a young woman, but members of the community often thought of her as a young girl still because of her wanton mischieviousness, disrespect for authority and sometimes childlike attitude. Despite these immaturities, Ruth devoured books - the only thing that seemed to keep her still was the presentation of a new publication.

With marriage off the table to any seemly family, the Vicar arranged for his daughter to attend a university in London where, he hoped, she would stay out of his life. At first, attending the University seemed the greatest moment in Ruth's young life and she blossomed away from the looming gaze of her father and the Faith of the Cross, but as the years wore on and she made her way through the libraries collections, her interests turned in circles. Her tutors saw the spark of arcane understanding in her and further lessons commenced, but so did the scrutiny of the academy. Subjected to tests, Ruth was declared a Dhampir of rare origins; an Ajibachana, born from the meddling of a Vetala vampire. The revelation opened up a special means of magic, her own blood, which several professors and local arcane practicioners were delighted to help her investigate. While all of this changed little in her view of the world, nor even the views of her tutors and professors, when word spread that there was a vampire being harboured in London legal issues began to rain down on the university.

Hoping to save her adopted home from more trouble, Ruth and a pair of her professors arranged for her to travel to the British colony in North America where she might settle and continue study by correspondance. With a chest of books, a few of the magical artifacts she had learned to make and the well wishes of her professors, she set off on the next ship out of London.

Sailing, Ruth discovered, was the worst. Seasick for most of the voyage, Ruth began to become obsessed with some of the more obscure studies she had taken up while at the university - about wizards able to travel hundreds of miles in the blink of an eye, and even older pathways through the world. The ancient pyramid ruins in Egypt, the rumoured stepped pyramids of the Jade Elves and the stepped pyramids in the southern americas were points of speculation that at some time in the far past peoples had travelled the world in ways no longer remembered, or perhaps hidden by the gods.

By the time Ruth reached the British colonies she had already decided on her course of studies; of course, in a new colony there weren't likely to be any sources of information about such old and hidden mysteries. Pouring much of her finances into preparring for her solo expedition, the young wizard set for the long journey south. If the ancient Aztec had secrets left undiscovered in ruins, she was going to go find them.

Story Hooks: The simplest means for Ruth to run into and join the party would be that they come across her in town/the wild as she is headed south. Beyond that, mention of any interesting discoveries or destinations would be likely to detour her long trek fairly easily - her Vetala blood makes her a bit scattered and distracted by new, shiny ideas and concepts.

Just noting cause I'm hoping I don't run out of time, I am just finalizing equipment and will be posting shortly.

Happy new year.

I keep looking at my old Med Droid and forgetting how I even built it in the first place, and now I've put it off too long to finish it up in time so I'll just make it 'official' and withdraw my tentative application. Love Star Wars, primarily the original EU, so if someone else opens up a game as has been mentioned I might poke in there.

Just noting I am still interested in this, but I won't be able to get a proper character build together until 1/3 at the earliest - if I miss the deadline, that's too bad but I understand :)

Also dotting, also with a Wizard/Gunslinger that I've been trying to find a home for. Might try Fetchling, but before I build out the general is Gunslinger 1/Wizard 3 with Conjuration (Teleportation) as the school. He's looking for ancient pathways that he believes once connected regions of the world and believes the ancient hidden cultures hide the secrets he needs. Could tie in to some of the Ancient Alien sort of stuff with pyramids/stepped pyramids similarities and other conspiracy theory type stuff.

Kavakhra, Duergar Monk wrote:
I hated to dump CHA from 6 to 4 but the Monk is a really MAD class and something had to give.

You have the charisma of a pig or a pony. Slightly more than a turtle. I feel like this might be an issue.

Alright, I'm submitting Arjaks, an Orc who dreamed of being a pirate on the Great Big Sea but couldn't handle the way the big floating houses made his guts jump up and down. Short-crunch is Vigilante (Brute) and will multiclass into Barbarian, wields a 2handed Butchering Axe but is just as good with his fists and headbutts.

Male Orc Vigilante (Brute) 1
N/CN Medium Humanoid (Orc)
Init +1; Senses Perception-1
AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13 (3armor + 1dex)
hp 10 (1d8+1con+1FC)
Fort +4 (3base + 1con) Ref +1 (0base + 1dex) Will -1 (0base - 1wis)
Speed 30 ft.

Melee (0bab + 5str)
Butchering Axe +5, 3d6+5 S
Unarmed Strike +5, 1d3+5 B
Sap +5, 1d6+5 B Nonlethal

Ranged (0bab + 1dex)
Str 20, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 8
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 10
1) Looking for Work: Although out of work, you aren’t particularly keen on the prospect of gambling away your last remaining coins simply for a chance at riches. That said, if the Gold Goblin’s fortunes reverse after this big gambling tournament, you’re relatively certain its owner, Saul Vancaskerkin, will be needing to hire on some new staff members. You’ve secured payment for the tournament, and intend on attending mostly to check the place out, to decide if it’s a place you’d want to work at (as a bouncer) and hopefully get a chance to catch Saul’s eye and make an impression. You’ve long worked at honing your skills, and are quite accomplished and certain that you have something to offer. Gain a +1trait to Intimidate.
2) Bruising Intellect: Use Intellect instead of Charisma for Intimidate
1) Martial Weapon Proficiency
BCF) Improved Unarmed Strike
Skills (7 points; 6 class + 1int)
ACP -0

*ACP applies to these skills
Skill Bonuses

*Acrobatics: +5 (1dex + 1rank + 3cs)
Appraise: 1 (1int + UCS)
Bluff: -1 (-1cha)
*Climb: +9 (5str + 1rank + 3cs)
Craft: +1 (1int + UCS)
Diplomacy: -1 (-1cha + UCS)
*Disable Device: Untrained (1dex + UCS)
Disguise: -1 (-1cha + UCS)
*Escape Artist: +1 (1dex + UCS)
*Fly: +1 (1dex)
Handle Animal: Untrained (-1cha)
Heal: -1 (-1wis)
Intimidate: +10 (1int + 1rank + 3cs + 4circumstance + 1trait)
Know(arcana): Untrained (1int)
Know(dungeoneering): Untrained (1int + UCS)
Know(engineering): Untrained (1int + UCS)
Know(geography): Untrained (1int)
Know(history): Untrained (1int)
Know(local): +5 (1int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(nature): Untrained (1int)
Know(nobility): Untrained (1int)
Know(planes): Untrained (1int)
Know(religion): Untrained (1int)
Linguistics: Untrained (1int)
Perception: -1 (-1wis + UCS)
Perform: -1 (-1cha + UCS)
Profession: Untrained (-1wis + UCS)
*Ride: +1 (1dex + UCS)
Sense Motive: +3 (-1wis + 1rank + 3cs)
*Sleight of Hand: Untrained (1dex + UCS)
Spellcraft: +1 (1int)
*Stealth: +5 (1dex + 1rank + 3cs)
Survival: -1 (-1wis + UCS)
*Swim: +9 (5str + 1rank + 3cs)
Use Magic Device: Untrained (-1cha + UCS)

Languages Common, Orc, Undercommon

Special Abilities:

R) Ferocity: A creature with ferocity remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The creature is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.
R) Weapon Familiarity
R) Darkvision 60ft
R) Light Sensitivity: Dazzled by Bright Sunlight or within radius of Daylight spell

C) x-
C) Seamless Guise: A vigilante knows how to behave in a way that appears perfectly proper and normal for his current identity. Should anyone suspect him of being anything other than what he appears to be while either in his social or vigilante identity, he can attempt a Disguise check with a +20 circumstance bonus to appear as his current identity, and not as his other identity.
C) Social Talents
--- C) Social Grace: Intimidate +4circumstance
C) Vigilante Specialization: -archetypes-paizo-inc/brute

Proficiencies: Light/Shields, Simple/Martial, Greataxe and Flachions, 'Orc' weapons are martial


Carrying Capacity
Light 0-76 lb. Medium 77-153 lb. Heavy 154-230 lb.
Current Load Carried 48 lbs

(Carried) Butchering Axe (3d6 S, x3, 2hands, Requires Str19+); 25lbs
(Carried) Sap (1d6 B Nonlethal, x2); 2lbs
(Worn) Hide Shirt (+3ac, +4maxdex, -1acp); 18lbs
(Worn) Poncho; 2lbs
(Worn) Belt Pouch; 1/2 lb
(Worn) Belt Pouch; 1/2 lb
(Worn) Bandolier; 0lb
--- Cure Light Wounds potion
(Permanent) Bicep Tattoo (Scantily Clad Elf Woman with Anchor)
(Permanent) Neck Tattoo (Vulture clutching Axe)

Money 17 GP 5 SP 0 CP


To be fair to Arjaks, he didn't really like torturing the prisoners for his clan in Belkezen, but none of the other orcs really had it in them to listen to the pleas and cries of the little hoomans. To be honest, most of the orcs forgot they were even supposed to keep the prisoners alive. Instead of torturing, Arjaks liked to offer a trade when he could - he wouldn't mush their faces in with his fist, and they told him stories.

Arjaks knew lots of things this way, but when he tried to tell the other orcs they always just wanted to know when they could eat the latest prisoner. It had been several years since he had been named 'Supa Priona Interragativer' when he met Led. Now, Led wasn't the man's name probably, but Arjaks decided he looked like a Led so that was his new name. Led knew lots of stories. Stories about the hooman gods, stories about hooman cities from far away. But best of all, Led knew stories about the biggest lake ever and the fierce Pirates who terrorized the shoreses. Arjaks began to dream of the great lake, wind in his hair, riding a wooden house that floated.

Led was also delicious, but once he'd gone into the cookpots Arjaks found himself unsatisfied with his next prisoners stories. And the next one. Soon Arjaks had no prisoners left.

Deciding there was only on thing to do, Arjaks picked up his axe and started to walk. A couple of his brothers started to walk with him, and then a couple more, and they asked where Arjaks was going. He said 'To the great big lake to be a pirate.' His brothers said that sounded interestin' so they started to follow, but got bored around noon and turned back to go home.

Alone on his quest, it took Arjaks several months to travel west, dreams of the great lake in his head as he searched for Rid da Port, home of the pirates. Eventually he crossed over another hill and there before him like a great blue gem with little white scratches all over it was the Great Lake. So focused on his destination, Arjaks ran straight into the shallows without even realizing that just up the coast was a great arch. Eventually, after splashing in the waters and trying to drink some only to realize the whole thing had gone bitter, Arjaks spotted the arch and praised Lanishra for bringing him to his destination.

Rid da Port was bustling and arjaks was confused. No one screamed when they saw him walked the streets. No one ran. A few people put hands on their weapons, but Arjaks just narrowed his eyes and they glared back for a moment then moved on. It was strange.

There was a bit of a learning curve for Arjaks, but he got over it swiftly. Hoomans liked the little sparkly coins and the other races seemed to agree, so he had to learn to get the sparklies and give the right number for food and the delicious alkihaul. The people also didn't like when he took sparklies from people on the street, though they didn't mind so much if he did it in the little streets between buildings.

More importantly, Arjaks discovered how the tribes worked. They were all little tribes instead of one big one, and some of them worked in buildings and some of them worked across a bunch of buildings and streets, and some of them worked on the wooden houses on the water. Sitting in the Tavren after the sun was going down, one of the Pirate tribes was drinking alkihauls and got into a fight with another one of the tribes. Arjaks watched for a bit, then headbutt a non-pirate and threw another one out the window. The pirate tribe liked this and cheered him, so Arjaks threw the rest of the other tribe one by one out the window too.

The pirate tribe, who called themselves the Lady of Glory (Arjaks thought it was weird they called themselves a lady), asked if he wanted to join them and he did, and they offered to give him a tattoo to mark him. The tattoo kind of tickled, not like the one he got back in the tribe on his neck as part of the Carrion Lords, and when it was done he had a little pretty lady on his arm who danced when he flexed. Arjaks named her Drella.

The next morning Arjaks got on the big wooden house, which his new tribe also called the Lady for some reason, and watched the shore as the others pulled on ropes and made big sheets that filled with wind. It hadn't been too long before Arjaks started to feel queesy, and then his stomach got really grumbly. He tried eating something but his gut kept spinning and he got all sweaty (which is very bad for an orc). Arjaks thought he was going to die.

And then he puked. Everywhere.

The pirates of the Lady of Glory turned around two hours after leaving port. They couldn't get the sick orc to listen to them, and they were too afraid to just kill the vomit-machine and be done with it.

When they put back into port and told Arjaks he was out of the tribe, he didn't mind so much. He was hungry and felt empty, but at least his guts had stopped jumping around inside him. He asked where his booty was, and the pirates said there wasn't any, and Arjaks argued that all pirates had booty. They tossed him a bag of shinies and begged him to leave. Shrugging, he did.

Being a Pirate wasn't for Arjaks, which made him a little sad. He spent the next month living in Rid da Port again, and knew some people that he didn't take shinies from. They kept talking about a big game that was going to happen, and played it over and over to practice. They got Arjaks to play too, though he didn't much like it. They all thought it was funny when he licked a card and stuck it to his forehead though.

When the big game was going to happen, Arjaks went with them because he needed something to do. His little pouches of shinies were starting to get low again, so he figured even if he used them in the game he could always steal some from the person who wins after. Or maybe someone would have stuff for him to do like that time the barman gave him shinies and alkihauls to beat up the four loudmouths who talked funny.

Crunch Progression Thoughts:

Class Levels
2 - Barbarian (Titan Mauler)
3 - Vigilante
4+ - Barbarian (Titan Mauler)

2 - Retrain Martial Prof to Power Attack
3 - Intimidating Prowess
5 - Cleave
7 - Surprise Follow-Through
9 - Great Cleave
11 - Improved Surprise Follow-Through

Dotting. I have a Bard (Archivist) that I played in two sessions of a Roll20 based HR game before the DM folded that I would really like to rework and try again. Basic premise is the washed-up historian of a mercenary company that was wiped out, and has been living in the city working as a scribe, forlorn and a drunk with his loss of direction and brother's in arms.

Dotting. I've got a Medical Droid programmed- er... created, I'll just need to redo the the attributes and spin up some neat backstory.

If anyone is looking to tie together with a med droid I'd be down to talk options.

Sorry, I may have missed it, did you want an Alias for submission? I can whip that up if you would like.

I'm submitting Mornar val Ygriss, first-born but 4th in line for the Kaiser seat of the snowy, druidic lands of the Circle of Taalbad. Mechanics-wise he is a Cavalier using both the Beast Rider and Courtly Knight archetypes, and will ride a Megaloceros (Giant Elk) once level 4 comes around so I'm hoping flavouring a young, yet-to-sprout-antlers mount using the Horse rules until then is ok.

The Circle of Taalbad:

Other Names: Because of outsider confusion with the intricacies of the nations past, it is often referred to seperately as 'The Circle' or 'Taalbad,' as well as the Circle of Gnorn, or more colloquially as the Winter Gnorn by unfriendly neighbours.

Government Type: Hereditary Monarchy; passed down to eldest magically talented heir.

Sovereign: Kaiserin Oshalia val Ygriss

Heir Apparent: Oscarlin val Ygriss (2nd born)

Other Successors: Aniya val Ygriss (3rd born); Pellian vol Ygriss (1st cousin); Mornar val Ygriss (1st born*); Eriks vol Ygriss (1st cousin*)
* - Mornar val Ygriss and Eriks vol Ygriss have no magical talent, excluding them from the line of succession except under certain circumstances. See below.

Major Sites:
- the Gnorn (An ancient, massive volcano)
- the Hailfast (A stone keep and small city at the base of the Gnorn; Population: ~22,000, rises to ~65,000 during Court Festivals)
- the Eastking (Both the town of Eastking and the surrounding dense evergreen forest on the eastern edge of the Circle, was the site of a major military victory but also the site of Taalbad's final living relative's death. Population: ~7,000)
- the Westmarch (A town bordering the westernmost tundras of the Circle, it acts as a trading hub on the Frostcap river. Population: ~11,000)
- Woods of Drail (Encompasing hundreds of thousands of miles, the Drail is a massive evergreen forest covering mountainous foothills and tundra. Within the Drail are nearly 800 small hamlets living alongside the land.)

Major Religion: Druidic

The Circle of Taalbad sits on the northern fringe of the Mountains of Gnorn, a series of tall peaks which runs along the deep southern end of the continent. Those areas of foothill and flatlands not lying in the mountain range are primarily covered in evergreen forests and southern tundra, the cold of the region focusing not from it's position in the world but rather from the gigantic, frozen peak of the Gnorn. An ancient and massive volcano, many thousands of years ago the Gnorn shook and quaked, threatening to release the wrath of the world below in smoke and fire that would have clouded the world and dimmed the sun. Only by the dedicated sacrifice of a circle of thirteen powerful druids was the Volcano quietened, the land around chilling with the natural magics drawing heat from miles around.

The Circle, named after the Arch Druid Taalbad who led the initial ritual, is frozen in an eternal ring of ice at the centre of the volcano. The magic generated by this perpetual ritual is adjusted and corrected by a secondary ritual of powerful arcane and divine casters, directed by the current Kaiser or Kaiserin of the Circle, to continue calming the deadly volcano. The effects of this constant magical pulse created a miles and miles-wide circle of changed terrain which has fallen under the control of the druid peoples of Taalbad.

The region is now renowned as being something of a wild land, one of the last places to find certain types of animals such as the Giant Elk, the Sabretooth Tiger, Cave Bears nearly twice the size of those in other lands and even two known herds of shaggy mammoths. The lands, and the animals within, are protected fiercely from outside poaching by the Winter Wood, the military of the Circle of Taalbad made up of stealthy rangers, druids and hunters working in teams to patrol and repulse any wandering parties who are not following the few travelling roads through the towns and villages within the circle.

The ruling family of the Circle of Taalbad passes down power hereditarily, though there is a distinction made between the first-born and the 'highest'-born, or the child who has the most skill with magics. Because the Kaiser or Kaiserin is also the director of the Calming Circle rituals, children without magical talent are frequently passed over for younger siblings who do, the only exception being made when such a child has married and brought into the family a respectably powerful magic user in their own right.

The peoples of the Circle are strong willed and dedicated to their rough lifestyles, living primarily in log cabins in smaller hamlets and travelling great distances to meet kin, attend trade festivals or follow the migrations of the herds. Those who show magical promise of any sort are often sent to Hailfast, the small city and fortress at the foot of the Gnorn where the ruling family and the currently active druids and sorcerers in the secondary Circle live, for testing and training.

Because of it's somewhat isolationist nature, the Circle of Taalbad often has rumours circulating throughout the known lands about how they are barbaric peoples who live naked amongst the wild herds. In reality, the Noble Court of the country is extremely extensive, every small hamlet led by an ancient family that can trace their heritage back centuries in the carefully kept records. Twice-yearly great gatherings are hosted outside the Hailfast, where the nobles gather and partake in politicking over land, law and trade, with more minor gatherings of similar type occurring frequently throughout the country, all forming an intricate web of alliances, feuds and other complexities of a fully developed nation.

Male Human Cavalier (Beast Rider/Courtly Knight) 1
LN Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +1
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (6armor + 2dex + 2shield)
hp 10 (1d10+0con)
Fort +2 (2base + 0con) Ref +3 (0base + 2dex) Will +1 (0base + 1wis)
Speed 30 ft.

Lance +4 (1bab + 3str), 1d8+3 P (3str); x3 (REACH)
PA Charge Lance +5 (1bab + 3str + 2charge - 1power), 2d8+10 P (3strx2 + 2pax2); x3 (REACH)
Longspear +4 (1bab + 3str), 1d8+3 P (3str); x3 (REACH, BRACE)
Scimitar +4 (1bab + 3str), 1d6+3 S (3str); 18-20x2

Composite Longbow +3 (1bab + 2dex), 1d8 P; x3

Str 17, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +1; CMB +4 (1bab + 3str); CMD 16 (10 + 1bab + 3str + 2dex)
1) Beast Bond: +1trait Handle Animal and Ride
2) Influence (Diplomacy): +1trait to Diplomacy
1) Power Attack: -1 Atk for +2 Dam. +50% for 2handed.
RBF) Mounted Combat: Once per round when your mount is hit in combat, you may attempt a Ride check (as an immediate action) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if your Ride check result is greater than the opponent’s attack roll.
Skills 7 points (4class + 1int + 1fc + 1skilled)
ACP -0

*ACP applies to these skills
Skill Bonuses

*Acrobatics: +2 (2dex)
Appraise: +1 (1int)
Bluff: +3 (2cha + UCS + 1untyped)
*Climb: +3 (3str + UCS)
Craft: +1 (1int + UCS)
Diplomacy: +8 (2cha + 1rank + 3cs + 1untyped + 1trait)
*Disable Device: Untrained (2dex)
Disguise: +2 (2cha)
*Escape Artist: +2 (2dex)
*Fly: +2 (2dex)
Handle Animal: +7 (2cha + 1rank + 3cs + 1trait)
Heal: +1 (1wis)
Intimidate: +3 (2cha + UCS + 1untyped)
Know(arcana): Untrained (1int)
Know(dungeoneering): Untrained (1int)
Know(engineering): Untrained (1int)
Know(geography): Untrained (1int)
Know(history): +5 (1int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(local): Untrained (1int)
Know(nature): +2 (1int + 1rank)
Know(nobility): +5 (1int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(planes): Untrained (1int)
Know(religion): Untrained (1int)
Linguistics: Untrained (1int)
Perception: +1 (1wis)
Perform: +2 (2cha)
Profession: Untrained (wis + UCS)
*Ride: +7 (2dex + 1rank + 3cs + 1trait)
Sense Motive: +6 (1wis + 1rank + 3cs + 1untyped)
*Sleight of Hand: Untrained (dex)
Spellcraft: +1 (1int)
*Stealth: +2 (2dex)
Survival: +1 (1wis)
*Swim: +3 (3str + UCS)
Use Magic Device: Untrained (2cha)

Languages Common, Sylvan

Special Abilities:

R) Bonus Feat
R) Skilled: +1 Rank/level

C) Challenge: 1/day, Swft Act, one enemy within sight, extra damage = to level, -2ac except against target
C) Mount: Horse (flavoured as young megaloceros to 'mature' at 4th level). No ACP on Ride checks with the mount. Mount is combat trained and starts with Light Armour Proficiency as bonus feat.
C) Order of the Blue Rose
--- C) Edicts: Must guard against needless violence, protecting both the land and its people from wars they neither started nor wish to fight. He must seek to stop conflict with a minimum of bloodshed, to encourage peaceful resolutions to disagreements between intelligent creatures, and to mend the wounds opened by battle. He must also honor quarter when he gives it, protecting captives who have surrendered from his own allies if need be.
--- C) Challenge: Whenever an order of the blue rose cavalier issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made against the target of his challenge, if the target is an intelligent creature to whom the cavalier offered the chance to surrender (by taking a standard action to offer terms). This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the cavalier possesses (to a maximum of +5 at 17th level).
--- C) Skills: Add Knowledge (history) (Int) and Knowledge (nobility) (Int) to his list of class skills. Whenever an order of the blue rose cavalier uses Diplomacy to try to mediate a dispute between two parties that do not include him, he receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1).
C) Social Presence: +1 bonus on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks. At 4th level and every 4 cavalier levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (to a maximum of +6 at 20th level). A courtly knight starts any verbal duel with an extra edge she can use for only the presence tactic unless she is at a significant or extreme disadvantage in the duel.

C) Proficiency: Light/Medium/Shield, Simple/Martial


Large Animal
Init +0; Senses Perception +5; Lowlight Vision, Scent
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (3armor + 1dex + 4natarm)
hp 19 (2d8+2con + 3toughness)
Fort +5 (3base + 2con) Ref +4 (3base + 1dex) Will +1 (0base + 1wis)
Speed 50 ft.
Primary: Bite +4 (1bab + 3str); 1d4+3 (3str) ((Can PA))
Secondary: 2 Hooves +4/+4 (1bab + 3str); 1d6+3 (3str)
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +4 (1bab + 3str); CMD 15 (10 + 1bab + 3str + 1dex)
1) Toughness: +3 HP (when over 3hd gain +1 per hd)
BF) Combat Trained
B) Combat Riding (attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel)
1) Watch
Skills 2
ACP -1

*ACP applies to these skills
Skill Bonuses
Perception: +5 (1wis + 1rank + 3cs)
Swim: +7 (3str + 1rank + 3cs)
Wooden Barding (+3AC, +3maxdex, -1acp)


Carrying Capacity
Light 0-86 lb. Medium 87-173 lb. Heavy 174-260 lb.
Current Load Carried 66 lb.

(Worn) Breastplate (+6AC, +3maxdex, -4acp, Speed20ft); 30lbs
(Worn) Heavy Wooden Shield (+2AC, -2acp); 10lbs
(Carried) Lance (1d8P, x3); 10lbs
(Carried) Longspear (1d8P, x3, Brace, Reach); 9lbs
(Carried) Scimitar (1d6S, 18-20x2); 4lbs
(Carried) Composite Longbow (1d8P, x2); 3lbs

Money 465 GP 0 SP 0 CP


When Mornar was informed at sixteen that he was no longer the heir apparent, it wasn't a private affair. Raised in a way only the first-born royal of a druidic nation could be, amongst the court and the wild gardens and the warm den of the royal sabertooth pack, when his younger sister showed a spark of arcane talent during the Spring Court Festival she was immediately named the heir.

The reality that this could have happened had always been there, but Mornar had spent so many years being tested and led along to try and spark his own magical talent that it had never truly struck home that he was running out of time. Practically discarded and exiled from the highest tiers of the court, his lessons with druidic and arcane teachers ended without a word, Mornar found himself nigh forgotten by his parents and his siblings. He was, for all intents and purposes, fallen from the royal family.

It took two years of struggling to remain relevant in the court before Mornar decided it was time for him to give up - not his desire to rise again, but rather the method of his struggle. It was clear that without the favour of his family he was something of a floating, powerless body in the court, and so he fell back on the things that he had excelled in as a child. The forests, the training grounds. Hunting, training animals, learning about the people of the land and the land itself. After six months of 'rousting about' according to the rumours of the court, Mornar signed up for a five year commission in the Winter Wood, the roving and nomadic military force protecting the borders of the Circle of Taalbad.

Together with the druids, hunters and warriors of the Winter Wood, Mornar began a new life in the wilderness, protecting the hamlets of the Drail from threats from the depths of the forest and from the lands beyond the edge of the Circle. Raiders and poachers were the usual fare, though more frequently than not the Winter Wood also served to track down maneater Cave Bears or Sabretooth Tigers, and even the occasional witch or necromancer despoiling the druidic sites within the circle.

For the final year of his commission Mornar had been planning to sign up for another half-decade of service. He had come to enjoy his life and the compatriots he had made. Lowborn or high, all were equal in the Winter Wood as all served the land and the people equally. During his final month, however, during the Autumn Court Festival, the royal val Ygriss family made an official appearance, announcing that Mornar's second and youngest sister had shown druidic insight, and that they had also adopted their cousin Pellian vol Ygriss, his mother's nephew, into the family as third in line as he had shown the spark of the Oracle. There was no mention of Mornar in the address, his accomplishments on the border. His service to the realm.

Mornar had been forgotten. Practically stricken from even the memory of the royal family.

There had always been a way for the young royal to reclaim his place in the family, but after being so discarded Mornar didn't want that place any more. He wanted more. Leaving the Winter Wood behind, Mornar returned to the Hailfast and gathered what resources he could before approaching his father, the consort of the Kaiserin and the only part of the family who had shown him some interest after the eclipsing rise of Mornar's sister. Awarded a formal position as an Ambassador of the Circle, Mornar had leave to travel beyond it's borders and represent the desires of it's peoples.

What Mornar didn't tell his father, nor his fairweather friends at court, nor even the few of his old tutors who spoke highly of him, was that Mornar was leaving for more than adventure. He was leaving to find a wife - and a powerful one. Love was no longer an option, it was power he needed and power he would return with or he would die far away without the Gnorn looming on the horizon.

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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.

Dotting for interest. Before I fully build the concept, how do you feel about a full-blooded Orc Vigilante/Bloodrager? General idea is that he is a (relatively) smart Orc who had aspirations to be a pirate and traveled to Riddleport to join a crew. He wasn't counting on being violently seasick as soon as he steps on a boat. Now having lived in Riddleport for a time he has learned to control himself... for the most part... and is looking for work.

Pinging in again, just noting that Earth Druid is really neat conceptually but seems to just plain flop mechanically. I'll be reworking concept.

Woooo Dwarves.

Rolls and Rerolls:

Stat1: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 4, 2, 6) = 15
Stat2: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 2, 2) = 12
Stat3: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 2, 1) = 8
Stat4: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 1, 3) = 14
Stat5: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 6, 2, 2) = 12
Stat6: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 1, 5, 6) = 15

Stat1 Reroll: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Stat2 Reroll: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 5) = 10
Stat3 Reroll: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 5) = 15
Stat4 Reroll: 1d6 ⇒ 4
Stat5 Reroll: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 5, 2) = 13
Stat6 Reroll: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Stat5 Reroll: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Stat6 Reroll: 1d6 ⇒ 3

Stat 1: 6+6+4=16
Stat 2: 5+5+5=15
Stat 3: 6+5+4=15
Stat 4: 6+4+4=14
Stat 5: 6+6+6=18
Stat 6: 6+5+3=14

Array: 18,16,15,15,14,14

So right now I'm look at a Dwarf Reincarnated Druid. Possible story hook being that they only know themself as 'Foehammer' and stumble down from the mountain into the valley, and no one can figure out who they are, but they feel a pulling back towards the mountain (for 7 days, the amount of time they can sense their last body).

I'd be super interested in LoF, and also in CoT though I am running that as a solo-game for a friend (and not IF only because I'm already in a game of that.)

I've always been interested in LoF and the interesting options it presents.

Ba-jeesus, I just had to say the Empire of Zamorozhenny is super detailed and super cool. The fact that it is similar but notibly different from the nation I'm building up (and is in the North instead of the far South) makes it even more interesting to me if we both get picked.

As a note, I've got nationbuilding done (though now I'm inspired to do more work on it so we'll see) and character concept worked out, just putting together crunch some time this weekend.

D-to the-Dub-to the-U-to the-warf

Also dotting for Dwarf Quest.

Alright, I finally decided and got the last bits together. I'll be submitting Anghar Silverscale, a traveler brought to the region by a Halfling acquaintance who is in Brindol looking to possibly settle in for a time to better understand the magical abilities that he has a difficult time manifesting.

I enjoyed working on the 10-Min Background, but it doesn't feel 'clean' enough so I'll probably end up putting it into timeline if I get picked out. Otherwise, Anghar should be good to go. Playstyle-wise he's a little odd off the top and is melee using natural Claws as a Draconic Bloodrager, but he goes caster after that an acts as a switch-hitter between the two once into mid and high levels.

Male Silver Dragonborn Bloodrager 1
LN Medium Humanoid (Dragon)
Init -1; Senses Perception +7, Darkvision 60ft
AC 14, touch 9, flat-footed 15 (3armor - 1dex + 2natural)
hp 12
Fort +4 (2base + 2con) Ref -1 (0base - 1dex) Will +1 (0base + 1wis)
Speed 40 ft.

Melee +4 (1bab + 3str)
Claw +5; 1d6+3 (3str)
Claw/Claw +5/+5; 1d6+3/1d6+3 (3str)/(3str)

Ranged +0 (1bab - 1dex)
Str 16, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 10
1) Magical Knack (Sorcerer): +2trait to Caster Level
2) Imposing Scion (Dragon): +1trait to Intimidate, +2 v Dragons
1) Weapon Focus (Claws): +1 Atk with Claws
Skills (4 points; 4 class + 0int + 2bkgrd)
ACP -1

*ACP applies to these skills
Skill Bonuses

*Acrobatics: -1 (-1dex + UCS)
Appraise: +1 (0int + 1rank)
Bluff: +4 (4cha)
*Climb: +3 (3str + UCS)
Craft: +0 (0int + UCS)
Diplomacy: +4 (4cha)
*Disable Device: Untrained (-1dex)
Disguise: +4 (4cha)
*Escape Artist: -1 (-1dex)
*Fly: -1 (-1dex)
Handle Animal: Untrained (4cha + UCS)
Heal: +1 (1wis)
Intimidate: +11 (4cha + 1rank + 3cs + 2racial + 1trait)
Know(arcana): +4 (0int + 1rank + 3cs)
Know(dungeoneering): Untrained (0int)
Know(engineering): Untrained (0int)
Know(geography): Untrained (0int)
Know(history): Untrained (0int)
Know(local): Untrained (0int)
Know(nature): Untrained (0int)
Know(nobility): Untrained (0int)
Know(planes): Untrained (0int)
Know(religion): Untrained (0int)
Linguistics: Untrained (0int)
Perception: +7 (1wis + 1rank + 3cs + 2racial)
Perform: +4 (4cha)
Profession: Untrained (1wis)
*Ride: -1 (-1dex + UCS)
Sense Motive: +1 (1wis)
*Sleight of Hand: Untrained (-1dex)
Spellcraft: +4 (0int + 1rank + 3cs)
*Stealth: -1 (-1dex)
Survival: +5 (1wis + 1rank + 3cs)
*Swim: +3 (3str + UCS)
Use Magic Device: Untrained (4cha)

Languages Common, Draconic

Special Abilities:

R) Darkvision 60ft.
R) Draconic Mein: +2racial to Intimidate
R) Dragon Breath: Dragonborn have retained the dragon breath of their draconic heritage. Once per day as a standard action, dragonborn can breathe 20-foot line of dragon breath that deals 1d6 points of Cold damage (Reflex save for half damage). The dragon breath ability is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.
R) Dragonskin: +2natural armor bonus due to their scaly hide.
R) Energy Resistance: Resist5 Cold to the same energy as their dragon breath.
R) Fearless: +2racial bonus on all saves v fear effects.
R) Keen Senses: +2racial on Perception
R) Weapon Familiarity: Proficient with longswords and bastard swords.

BRC) Bloodline: Draconic (Silver)
BRC) Bloodline Power: Claws - Grow 2 sets of claws as Natural Weapons, deal 1d6+Str
BRC) Bloodrage: Enter Rage as Free Action for (4+Con) 6 rounds/day. +4 Str/Con, +2morale on Will saves, -2 AC, +2HP/HD, Fatigued 2x rounds spent in rage afterwards.
BRC) Fast Movement: +10ft land movement

Proficiencies: All Simple/Martial, Light/Medium/Shields


Carrying Capacity
Light 0-76 lb. Medium 77-153 lb. Heavy 154-230 lb.
Current Load Carried 48.5 lbs.

(Worn) Hide Shirt (Wolf); 18lbs
(Worn) Traveler's Clothing; 5lbs
--- Pendant with Emerald shaped as an eye (20g)
--- Onyx Ring (12g)
--- Gold Ring (5g)
--- Silver Ring (3g)
--- Gold Hoop Earing with fine Jade carving of encircled dragon (10g)
(Worn) Backpack; 2lbs
--- Hammock; 3lbs
--- Wandermeal Rations (7days, 21 meals); 10.5lbs
--- Fishing Kit; 3lbs
--- Courtier's Outfit; 6lbs

Money 2 GP 1 SP 9 CP

Crunch Progression Thoughts:

2-5: Sorcerer
6-15: Dragon Disciple
16-20: Sorcerer

3 - Improved Unarmed Strike
5 - Feral Combat Training
7 - Dragon Style; Bonus: Power Attack
9 - Dimensional Agility
10 - Bonus: Improved Initiative
13 - Stunning Fist (req Dex 13, Wis13, Acro5); Bonus: Quicken Spell
15 - Dragon Ferocity
17 - Dimensional Assault
18 - Bonus: Toughness
19 - Dimensional Dervish

10 Min Background:

5 Concept Elements
1) Born of the Dragon: Anghar is the direct descendant of a Silver Dragon and a Dragonborn mother (see Secrets). His powers derive from this bloodline.

2) Due to the chaotic upheaval of his life several times, Anghar doesn't trust any religious groups whether good or bad. Instead he trusts in people, sometimes to a fault, and will stand up for them even to his own detriment.

3) A silver dragonborn, Anghar has telltale signs of his more 'pureblood' ancestry with a small, spiny frill from the top of his brow and back down to the nape of his neck - silver at the base and fading into purple at the tips. He also has two small silver horns on either side of his head which fade to black at the tips. Otherwise, Anghar is a dragonborn just on the edge of adulthood but bears the marks of a hard life on the road, including several stripes of discoloured scales from wounds on his arms and back and the last two inches of his tail were once cut off and is now capped with a silver shotglass fused to the scales there.

4) Sometimes even despite his own needs, Anghar is something of a miser and would rather go well out of his way to provide for himself then give up his coin. He will often offer services rendered rather than pay for a room and a meal, and would rather hunt and sleep in the rain than pay for the privilege of a roadside inn. The one thing he is willing to splurge on is fine clothing, often of exotic fabrics.

5) While he has yet to meet one, Anghar will become somewhat obsessed with trying to interact with any full blooded dragon once he comes into contact with them. Despite person danger or mission, he will want to talk and reason with the dragon unless it is clearly and absolutely an enemy that must be destroyed. He will feel any harvesting of a dragon's corpse, or it's use as an undead creature, will be the most heinous of acts. While he understands this reverence for dragon-kind might not be healthy, he will still be pulled toward it.

In Character - Short Term: Find somewhere to settle down to begin properly exploring the powers he harbours.
In Character - Long Term: Discover why his clan, devout worshipers of Bahamut, abandoned his mother.
Out of Character: Anghar, once he gains the ability to 'ascend' into a dragon form (approx level 12) will want to A) figure out how to ascend permanently, and B) be accepted into a proper clan of silver dragons

Known: His mother was driven out of their nomadic clan because his birth triggered recurring dreams/nightmares for all of them.

Unknown: His father was an ancient Silver Dragon who had decided to live out the rest of his life as a polymorphed Dragonborn with a nomadic tribe of silver dragonborn, the descendants of a larger clan he had led into a failed battle generations before. He unexpectedly fell in love in his twilight years, but felt his death was imminent before his child's birth and left in the night to die alone rather than reveal himself.

1) Astra the Emerald: A green dragonborn woman who took in a teenage Anghar, seemingly out of the the kindness of her heart. He left several years later when he found out she had sensed magical gifts in him and had been attempting to use him in various ways - first, drawing out his gifts, then planning on sacrificing him to Tiamat when she couldn't figure out how to use him another way.

2) Craia: A halfling struck blind when she had a vision of the future, she was once a warrior but is now an Oracle of Battle. Anghar came upon her in the wilds as she was fighting a pair of orcs with nothing about her but a woodsman's axe, a shield and the rags of her pilgrimage, yet between her magics and skill she defeated them both and called him over to her campfire. They shared a meal and Caia said she had a prophecy for him, but it wasn't yet time to tell him what it was. They traveled together for nearly a year before entering the Vale, but she never told him prophecy and they split ways when she found an extended branch of her family.

3) Lucious the Halfhelm: A wandering dwarf peddler, Lucious was the man who found Anghar when he had escaped from Astra. Seeing the young dragonborn in need, Lucious hired Anghar on as his bodyguard as the peddler traveled through some difficult lands, teaching Anghar more of the world than his mother or Astra ever had. Lucious eventually settled down with his clan, releasing Anghar from service and sending him out into the world alone with a friendly pat and a promise if he ever came by the hold that there was a pint waiting for him.

1) Anghar doesn't like hot food and tends to chill the things he eats with his frosty breath. He does, however, love spicy food.

2) While he usually tries to stay out of other people's business, Anghar gets frustrated when he sees injustices happening in front of him and becomes sarcastic with authority.

3) He mistrusts chromatic dragonborn after his time with Astra, but he also mistrusts those who worship the Platinum Dragon almost as much because of the way his clan treated his mother.

Any rules on Alignment? aka. while we shouldn't play chaotic stupid, are Evil alignments OK as long as we play well with others?

Ah, thanks. I must have missed that response.

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