Armistril

Marakash Arkenrae's page

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We have made it to mid way through the inner quarter battle. Man, so many orcs with ferocity kind of turns into a slog.

I've changed up some orc weapons, armor, feats, and equipment just for variety and the group is having fun, but I'm ready to get to the barricades lol.


Don't forget grappling and sundering!


Right on, good to hear. How long did you guys play? We had a 5 hour session, but really only get about 4 hours in after chatting and breaks etc. My group is just about to be attacked by the assassins, then Katrezzera shortly after that. I just finished my plague house terrain / map today. Your group certainly got there pretty quick heh.


For reference, this is a repost from the "what would you change thread"

We had our first session last weekend and it was great! The table ate it up and some of them are really opening up as role players. This AP looks to be a lot of fun, but it does need some plot polish and a bit of duct tape heh.

Early in part 1

Below is a list of things I modified to explain away plot holes and be confident I could understand and explain how the events unfold. I owe a lot to this forum for the ideas and inspiration, as well as to the Glass Cannon Podcast. I hope it encourages prospective GM’s thinking about running this AP!

Halgra’s speech
Edited for brevity and added welcoming words to recent merchants and refugees. I played up the influx of outsiders to help explain the presence of the half-orc infiltrators, and to ramp up racial tensions.

The tug of war
My group were lightweights and they rolled like hot garbage, heh. I added the ability for the highest str PC to be able to roll an aid for a +2. I also emphasized that they could take 10 on the check. Not one player took advantage of this, lol. Roderick and the Trunau defenders would have destroyed them, but they went into “good sports for Ruby” mode, and the party wins.

Ramblehouse
I added a little bit where Cham mentions losing her keys as the PCs check in for the night. Skreed stole her keys and she has to find her spare set. That’s how he got into Roderick’s room. I came up with random half-orc names for the guestbook, and had several of them end in variations of “nail” to hint at the twisted nail tribe presence. When Cham describes Skreed, I decided to keep his facial scars between his human and half-orc appearances.

Post murder Kurst
I had him emphasize a sense of paranoia, to help explain why he is turning to these mostly non-militia outsiders, and to encourage them to stick together and set a watch in prep for the assassination attempt.. One of the group is in the militia too, which lends credibility. I had another caravan of traders / refugees come through right at that moment, playing on the heavy suicide / murder vibe and once again, racial tensions. Plus, then Kurst had to take off to take care of the new arrivals.

Ramblehouse Roderick’s room
They found the note, which I printed out and crumbled up, but not the secret compartment in the desk. I added a hidden flask outside the window of the Ramblehouse, engraved with “RG” it was obviously Roderick’s flask. The night before, at the hopeknife ceremony, Roderick, hereafter referred to as Rod, stated that he didn't drink much in public, but he planned on taking a few nips once he got home. The alchemist carried it upstairs, failed his alchemy check, since he is quite the lush decided to take a shot of it, then failed the fortitude save and was knocked out for two hours. All this while the crew is talking to Cham. It was great, I think the player was more amused than anyone else, even while the fighter dragged him around town.

Skreeds room
They didn’t find anything except for a tiny splash of the white alchemical paint, as if someone had spilled some. Too bad the alchemist was unconscious.

Half-orc graffiti
This was a frustrating part of the book, as it didn't describe what the graffiti was, and you just know players are going to ask. So I made it be tiny versions of the graffiti cross (which I modified to look more like a twisted nail, because that makes more sense, but still kind of like a sword), stuff like “Halag wuz here”, “Trunau sucks”, phallic symbols, and a vague map of the town, but no one got the geography check.

Post wolf fight
Of course the ranger wanted to track where the wolves came from and rolled high, and of course the book makes no provision of this. So I had them follow some tracks to a beat up cart, covered with a tarp and shoved in an alley behind Brinya’s boarding house. Then they followed them further towards the commons, where they found a glass potion vial (of invisibility) on the ground and a large crowd of people that Skreed has slipped into.

I will try to post more as we progress. Next session is in about two weeks. Enjoy!


You got this man! I know you've been doing research on here. I just made a post with my changes from the first session in the "what would you change" thread.

Good luck!


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We had our first session last weekend and it was great! The table ate it up and some of them are really opening up as role players. This AP looks to be a lot of fun, but it does need some plot polish and a bit of duct tape heh.

Early in part 1

Below is a list of things I modified to explain away plot holes and be confident I could understand and explain how the events unfold. I owe a lot to this forum for the ideas and inspiration, as well as to the Glass Cannon Podcast. I hope it encourages prospective GM’s thinking about running this AP!

Halgra’s speech
Edited for brevity and added welcoming words to recent merchants and refugees. I played up the influx of outsiders to help explain the presence of the half-orc infiltrators, and to ramp up racial tensions.

The tug of war
My group were lightweights and they rolled like hot garbage, heh. I added the ability for the highest str PC to be able to roll an aid for a +2. I also emphasized that they could take 10 on the check. Not one player took advantage of this, lol. Roderick and the Trunau defenders would have destroyed them, but they went into “good sports for Ruby” mode, and the party wins.

Ramblehouse
I added a little bit where Cham mentions losing her keys as the PCs check in for the night. Skreed stole her keys and she has to find her spare set. That’s how he got into Roderick’s room. I came up with random half-orc names for the guestbook, and had several of them end in variations of “nail” to hint at the twisted nail tribe presence. When Cham describes Skreed, I decided to keep his facial scars between his human and half-orc appearances.

Post murder Kurst
I had him emphasize a sense of paranoia, to help explain why he is turning to these mostly non-militia outsiders, and to encourage them to stick together and set a watch in prep for the assassination attempt.. One of the group is in the militia too, which lends credibility. I had another caravan of traders / refugees come through right at that moment, playing on the heavy suicide / murder vibe and once again, racial tensions. Plus, then Kurst had to take off to take care of the new arrivals.

Ramblehouse Roderick’s room
They found the note, which I printed out and crumbled up, but not the secret compartment in the desk. I added a hidden flask outside the window of the Ramblehouse, engraved with “RG” it was obviously Roderick’s flask. The night before, at the hopeknife ceremony, Roderick, hereafter referred to as Rod, stated that he didn't drink much in public, but he planned on taking a few nips once he got home. The alchemist carried it upstairs, failed his alchemy check, since he is quite the lush decided to take a shot of it, then failed the fortitude save and was knocked out for two hours. All this while the crew is talking to Cham. It was great, I think the player was more amused than anyone else, even while the fighter dragged him around town.

Skreeds room
They didn’t find anything except for a tiny splash of the white alchemical paint, as if someone had spilled some. Too bad the alchemist was unconscious.

Half-orc graffiti
This was a frustrating part of the book, as it didn't describe what the graffiti was, and you just know players are going to ask. So I made it be tiny versions of the graffiti cross (which I modified to look more like a twisted nail, because that makes more sense, but still kind of like a sword), stuff like “Halag wuz here”, “Trunau sucks”, phallic symbols, and a vague map of the town, but no one got the geography check.

Post wolf fight
Of course the ranger wanted to track where the wolves came from and rolled high, and of course the book makes no provision of this. So I had them follow some tracks to a beat up cart, covered with a tarp and shoved in an alley behind Brinya’s boarding house. Then they followed them further towards the commons, where they found a glass potion vial (of invisibility) on the ground and a large crowd of people that Skreed has slipped into.

I will try to post more as we progress. Next session is in about two weeks. Enjoy!


You are not alone, heh.

I am still early, early in the prep phase but:

The tug of war:
Not a lot of agency or strategy here, so I plan on emphasizing the PCs can either roll, or take 10, as well as allowing 1 char per side per round to roll an aid check. Give it a bit more action perhaps.

The receipt:
It's kind of goofy, but plausible enough to use in a fantasy merchant economy.

Melira:
So much more of the saboteurs actions make sense if there is a spellcaster assisting them, so I'm playing it like melira was with the group but then split right before the murder. I think I will change up the note to reflect this.

I've still got a ton more prep to do but I'm running two Homebrew game sessions in between so it's gonna be tight.

I've got to remember THE most important session is the very next one you are about to run!


Running it in about two weeks. I've been listening to the glass cannon podcast forever (great actual play podcast, they are running giantslayer and are in book four I believe) and I thought "I'm a busy guy, I will just listen to the old podcast episodes as prep."

Well that will no doubt be beneficial, but I have been reading through the GS sticky, and man looks like lots of holes to fill in.

Sunderstone, that is encouraging. My group is pretty laid back, I think it will be great but it's gonna take more work than I originally planned.

Joey, I'm right there with you sir, prepping it as we speak. I'm pumped, we usually do one shots or short runs. This should be fun!


I've listened to dozens of actual play podcasts over the years and the glass cannon network shows are right at the top. Great audio quality (including drops and ambient sounds), a good grasp of the rules (they do make some mistakes of course, like we all do from time to time), a great balance of story, humor, and combat make this one my favorite podcasts of all times.

I was worried as the network expanded that quality might suffer, but I've found that these guys are just putting out more great content. I have listened to every single episode they have ever put out.

They also do a starfinder podcast called Androids and aliens.

Highly, highly recommended!


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I concur with front loading more ancestry feats. You can still have choices and customization you just do it on the front end.


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I'm not a huge fan of goblins as a core race, but I still get the motivation behind it.

However a bonus to Cha? They have always seemed like weak willed cowards to me. They are always getting bullied into some big bads nefarious plans.

I also get that these numbers are in place for mechanical balance and that's a definite challenge.

The only array that makes sense to me is:
-2 str, -2 Wis, -2 int, +4 dex

But that is most likely mechanically out of bounds.

This ancestry is so problematic you might have to step outside the normal attribute bonuses and balance them another way.

I don't know what this is, but I will think on it.


Azih wrote:

I think a 'point buy system' for ancestry feats is a bit crunchy.

Some ancestry feats feel too powerful for level 1 though...

My proposed solution is

2 ancestry feats at level one

1 ancestry feat at level two

Then the current playtest progression.

Some of the 'too powerful' level 1 ancestry feats get a level 2 pre-requisite.

Basically I like the playtest idea of progressing in ancestry, but I do feel like it should be somewhat more frontloaded.

I concur with this proposal.


Based on what I have read so far (and I still have a ways to go) I strongly support getting more ancestry feats on the front end as well. MOST of them are already situationally specific and aren't particularly powerful. Also, spending a feat to play a half race feels like it will discourage that choice.

I do realize the play test most likely doesn't include all the ancestry feats that will eventually be released.

I think it is a cool idea, and the easiest fix is to just give a little bit more upfront so your race feels like something more special.


Arbolos Algren

First go at forum PBP and it's late at night after a long day... too tired to do much else right now.

Brief personality summary and statblock:

PERSONALITY:

While many Elves spend their lives studying dusty arcane tomes, Arbolos is happiest sitting on a hillside smoking his pipe, digging up exotic herbs, and playing his wood flute for the animals of the woods.

Arbolos see beauty in everything; the play of light on the leaves, the sound of summer rain, and even in the blood of evil foes dripping from his blade. Many years ago, his life was saved by a human druid, and this influenced Arbolos deeply. He now directs his enthusiasm towards helping others, tending plants and herbs in the forest, and his owl companion, Avi.

STATS:

Name: Arbolos Algren
Race: Elf
Classes: Druid1
Hit Points: 9
Experience: 0 / 2000
Alignment: Neutral Good
Vision: Low-Light Vision
Speed: Walk 30 ft.
Languages: Common, Druidic, Elven, Sylvan
Stat Score Mod
STR 13 (+1)
DEX 14 (+2)
CON 10 (+0)
INT 13 (+1)
WIS 16 (+3)
CHA 12 (+1)
-------------------------- Skills --------------------------
Skill Total Rnk Stat Msc
Acrobatics 1 0.0 2 -1
Appraise 1 0.0 1 0
Bluff 1 0.0 1 0
Climb 0 0.0 1 -1
Craft (Alchemy) 5 1.0 1 3
Craft (Untrained) 1 0.0 1 0
Diplomacy 1 0.0 1 0
Disguise 1 0.0 1 0
Escape Artist 1 0.0 2 -1
Fly 1 0.0 2 -1
Heal 5 0.0 3 2
Intimidate 1 0.0 1 0
Knowledge (Nature) 7 1.0 1 5
Perception 9 1.0 3 5
Perform (Untrained) 1 0.0 1 0
Perform (Wind Instruments) 2 1.0 1 0
Ride 1 0.0 2 -1
Sense Motive 3 0.0 3 0
Stealth 1 0.0 2 -1
Survival 11 1.0 3 7
Swim 0 0.0 1 -1

-------------------------- Feats ---------------------------
Self-Sufficient
-------------------- Special Abilities ---------------------

------------------------ Templates -------------------------

-------------------------- Combat --------------------------
Total / Touch / Flat Footed
AC: 15 / 12 / 13
Initiative: +2
BAB: +0
Melee tohit: +1
Ranged tohit: +2
Fortitude: +2
Reflex: +2
Will: +5
Unarmed attack:
to hit: +1
damage: 1d3+1
critical: 20/x2
Longbow:
to hit: +2
damage: 1d8
critical: 20/x3
range: 100 ft.
Longsword:
to hit: +1
damage: 1d8+1
critical: 19-20/x2
--------------------- Special Abilities --------------------

------------------------- Equipment ------------------------
Name QTY LBS
Studded Leather 1 20lbs
Outfit (Explorer's) 1 8lbs
Potion of Cure Light Wounds 1 0lbs Special: Cures 1d8+1 points of damage
Longbow (3 lbs.)
Total weight carried:
Current load: Light
Encumbrance
Light: 50
Medium: 100
Heavy: 150


I'm gonna have to withdraw. I don't think I have the time or creative juices for this at the moment.

I didn't submit a proper character but I'm trying to be polite.

You guys have fun, it sounds like a blast!


Dotting for interest.
I like low level, sticking with the CRB adventuring.


I am interested in trying this out. I have not played in a pbp game before but I DM a biweekly game and would love to be on the other side of the "screen" so to speak. It is too late for a full PC roll up right now but I would probably play an elvish druid pursuing "the brightening" but not quite sure of his path yet. I would have a pet, be focused on survival skills, and put the interests of "the natural world" very high on my priorities.

Reading back over that it seems fairly generic, but I do find an appeal to many of the classic fantasy tropes.

As time permits at work tomorrow I will look back in on this and think more on a character.


Good point, I forgot about their reach! I will put that on my list to remember. I think I might make this Roc Huge instead of Gargantuan, which might reduce it to 10ft, but it still applies... I need to look that up too.


Are:
It's a homebrew campaign, not a published AP, but I think I know which Roc you are talking about. It's not the grab / snatch that provokes, it's leaving a threatened square if there are other PCs / enemies nearby. I should have elaborated earlier. I will be modding this Roc a bit for flavor and whatnot, maybe I will give it snatch so it can toss PCs instead of just dropping them... hmmm (sadistic DM laugh)

Drakkiel
Yes, that is the ruling I think I am going to go with, though I technically think by RAW that Rikkan is correct. I read through that thread, just wanted to run it through the rules ringer one more time as I have one rules lawyerish player who I want to be prepared for.


Rikkan, that is what I am debating whether the combo of grab and flyby attack essentially nullifies. It seems cooler if the Roc doesn't have to sit there for a whole round... But by RAW I think you might be correct.

I do plan on the free escape attempt at +4.


Ahh, yes, it does provoke AOOs. Flyby attack does nothing to prevent that... Good catch.


My party will be facing a Roc soon, which likes to swoop in, grab foes, lift them into the sky, and drop them. The Roc (which will be scaled down slightly) has flyby attack and grab, I want to make sure I do this right.
Any corrections / suggestions?

1. Roc moves into position, makes attack, if it hits it rolls to grapple. It chooses to use it's claws to make the grapple at a -20, if successful it does not gain the grappled condition and may continue moving the rest of it's move speed with PC in tow.

2. Roc moves into position, makes attack, if it hits it rolls to grapple. It may choose to make the grapple check normally (without the -20) but it gains the grappled condition and may now only move half its remaining speed. (Or does it have to wait until the next round and another successful grapple check [now at +5 if PC hasn't broken free] to be able to move half speed?)

Roc PRD
grab PRD

I have also searched the forum and found this thread which seems to confirm #1, but I am reasking for confirmation if anyone is interested.
another roc thread


I agree with James and Zahir:

-Move to study one creature
-Standard as spell w/ cone, requiring concentration rounds


"Slapping or wounding awakens an affected creature, but normal noise does not."

Per RAW I don't think they would get a perception check, but you could have them topple over or the ranger make noise snagging the macguffin so that everyone else gets a check. Then they come out and find the PC on watch has "fallen" asleep. Hijinx ensue.

sleep spell text


I feel you sir!

Remember you don't have to prepare everything up front, you can always throw in things to slow down the PC's progress and give yourself more time to finish up the dungeon or next adventure etc.

Also, this book has helped me tremendously, though I still spend way too long prepping for each session myself.

Never-Unprepared

I'm sure you can pick up the PDF for cheaper but I can't get to it at work right now.


lol

Jumping 10 feet horizontally is DC 10 if you have a running start.
It's basically 1 DC per foot.


"The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, ...."

I take this to mean they could walk along the bottom and move normally, not necessarily swim or get a swim speed. A whirlpool seems like a much more active challenge then just difficult terrain.

I agree with your logic that it would be like a constant bull rush of water. I think I would have them make the swim check, maybe with a +4 bonus. But by RAW I'm not sure if the ring would have any affect on a whirlpool.


*double ninja'ed!*

Actually it looks like minotaurs are not immune to flanking, but they cannot be caught flat footed.

Thus the rogue can't get sneak attack due to the minotaur being flat footed, but it could get it due to flanking.

Minotaur PRD

If a creature was immune to flanking then I would say the rogue could not get sneak attack from flanking, but it could if they were flat footed or denied their dex bonus for some other reason, like blindness, unless that creature or creature type specifically stated they did not take sneak attack damage.


kudos on all the hard work! it looks lovely and I will probably "borrow" some of these ideas for my next campaign...


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hmmm, never thought about that. Here's what the PRD says:

"When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver."

PRD LINK
(near the bottom)

So it seems to me like weapon focus and enhancement bonuses would apply to things like disarm and sunder, but not bull rush or grapple.

I guess that makes sense.


That is a bit confusing, however it says:

"Learn a Language: Whenever you put a rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language."

So I take that to mean you do NOT get 3 bonus languages, only a language for each time you put a rank into the skill.

PRD Linguistics


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I'm fairly new to this, (I'm running my very first campaign right now) but I can't imagine pitching a fit and cancelling an entire campaign because someone asked to join. I also can't imagine excluding a friend from playing a game, unless there is some subtext.

Honestly ask yourself: Why don't these guys, including the DM want me around? Are you obnoxious? Are you annoying? You don't seem that way from your post, but this is the internet after all...

If I were in your shoes I would approach the "friend" I am closest with and ask for point blank honesty if these guys really dislike me and why.

Think about addressing those answers, improve your social skills, then move on, learn the game on your own, and find a new group.

Either way, even if you are lacking social skills, this DM is a jerk. Adding a 4th player is nothing, indeed all the CRs are built around a 4 player party. And telling someone they can't have two arcane casters in a group? WTF? Also, you aren't jumping in mid-game, he is still "designing" the campaign. He sounds super railroady and controlling.

Look elsewhere and / or start DMing your own game.


btw (I didn't see anyone mention above - edit, see where Nawtyit mentioned), the "favored class point" can be spent on a single skill rank OR on a single hit point, player's choice, as long as they level up in their favored class. I generally advise 1st level PC's to take the hit point. I'd rather them fail a skill check then go unconscious or die!


I am a fairly new GM, so here is how I simplify while I (and my newbie players) learn. After this campaign we will re-evaluate and may make changes. I realize this is just a tad different than the original question, but I think it applies as well, though some are not really suggestions for actual rule changes. I feel like many of these house rules help the game to move faster and be simpler.

-stick to the Core Rulebook (mostly)

-no evil characters

-we don't use AOO's. just no. may incorporate them at a later time, but combat is plenty fun and complex without them. I realize they are a large part of the game, but I never used them back in the day of 2nd ed games and still had a great time.

-during combat the most you can run is a double move. that way I'm not worrying about heavy armor for X3 or X4, plus the dimensions of the table make this more useful.

-we don't use a grid, we do it tape measure wargame style. no worrying about 2nd diagonals etc. also I have pre-made templates that actually represent a 15 foot cone or a 20 foot radius instead of those weird squared template shapes. this also helps me when I make terrain as I don't have to score in hundreds of one inch squares.

-we don't use normal XP, since XP would most always be divided evenly between all party members. everyone who survives an adventure gets 1XP point, similar to PFS. for levels 1-3, every 2 XP is a level up, for 4-6, every 3 and so on. any additional "bonus XP" comes in the form of gold or expendable magic items. less math and book keeping.

-we don't confirm crits. a 20 is max damage, period. a 1 is a fumble, subject to DM interpretation. combat moves faster.


The free, non-material things that would make my life as a DM easier is for the players to:
-know their character powers better (including spells!)
-stay on topic and listen during key points (I welcome some banter, but not while I am giving an important description or during a complex battle)
-be prepared when their turn is coming up by knowing what they are going to do and having relevant dice handy
-keep the dice on the table! (I am tinkering with the idea of implementing a -2 or higher penalty if the dice rolls off the table)

as far as "stuff":

+1 on cards. I use something similar to index cards to track initiative, arranged in order on the table so everyone can see ahead of time when their turn comes up. I try to have these pre-made for the bad guys, with basic stats (AC mostly) written on the back.

I will have a player write down and order the initiative rolls, then I just line the cards up in order. If anyone delays or readies an action then I turn the cards or re arrange them as needed.

We also use colored rings (like from soda bottles and milk jugs) to put on the minis to give a visual indication of status effects. I use red for on fire or bleed, blue for armor buffs (mage armor etc), yellow for negative effects (stunned etc), and green for attack buffs.

I wish all players were as willing to help out the DM!


Hi guys, I am brand new here and just saw this post.

I have this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Treasures-Middle-Earth-Middle-Earth-Playing/dp/155806 0480

It is a very interesting read and it breaks down the powers of all the rings (as well as hundreds of other Middle Earth "magic items", races, and materials) in a "game mechanic" friendly kind of way.

I do not have access to it right now (I am at work) but I bet it could be located in some form or other on ye olde internets if you guys were interested.