Barbarian

Penance, Servant of Abadar's page

332 posts. Alias of dien (RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16).



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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

(Any OOC chatter needed that can't happen on the Discord)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

You arrive outside of Venture Captain Ambrus Valsin's office. There are comfortable benches and chairs as you wait. Ambrus Valsin sticks his head out once, regards those of who are present, counting to himself, then says, "I'll wait til you're all here-- no point rehashing the mission more than once..."

During the minutes you wait outside his office, you have a chance to assess your fellow agents, and make introductions, if you're the talkative sort.

The next time Valsin looks out, he counts again, then nods, satisfied, and steps back to gesture you into his office. "Come on in. Tea?"

Couches before the Captain's desk offer a place to sit, and a bright-eyed halfling secretary serves you mugs of hot tea as Valsin sits heavily back behind his desk, looking gloomier than usual. Two objects sit on his desk-- a patchwork hide bag, and a rock that is vaguely egg-shaped, but about ten inches tall, and glowing redly.

"Thank you all for coming to my summons. I hope you got to know each other out in the waiting room. I'll get right to it: the Society has received a summons asking-- nay, demanding-- representation from the Society's agents at a meeting of Shoanti quah leaders." Valsin's thick, callused fingers tap a piece of parchment against his desk.

"We're being invited to a feast, but the dish being served is crow, I'm afraid.

"Let me explain. Some years ago, a solo Pathfinder field agent, a gnome named Lumketel Simset, returned to Absalom crowing about his discovery of a long-lost Thassilonian ruin in a remote section of Varisia. He had all manner of items recovered from the site, and all sorts of stories to tell. It was duly written up and entered into the Pathfinder Chronicles.

"The issue is that what Lumketel found was not a ruin of a long-vanished civilization, but rather, the burial grounds-- still in use-- of Shoanti tribal peoples.

"I don't know if Lumketel ignorantly believed his relics were truly Thassilonian, or whether his pride wouldn't let him admit to his error. I'd ask him, but the Society lost contact with Lumketel over a year ago. Trust me, if I could get my hands on him, I'd be sending him to answer for this embarrassment.

"The Shoanti tribespeople have discovered that one of their sacred sites was trespassed upon, damaged, and looted-- by us. They're demanding we account for what happened, and I'm sending you, as skilled agents with numerous accomplishments each to your names.

"This bag contains four relics-- carved, wooden items that Lumketel brought back. We're returning them to their proper owners. The stone is a handy little item called a scavenger's stone-- it can cast restorative magic upon damaged objects and items. Fixing whatever damage our lone agent caused-- and giving back what he stole-- is the least we can do.

"We do have some allies among the quahs, thankfully, but it'll be an uphill battle. The Shoanti are notoriously distrustful of outsiders... with good reason. Your mission is to try and make things right with these people... keep in mind that this is not just a religious issue for them, but may be deeply personal-- some of the leaders you are going to meet with may have parents or grandparents interred in the tomb that this fool Lumketel traipsed through. Be tactful. Be sincere with our apologies. Ask them for the chance to be allowed to make right the damage and the trespass.

"But I'd also be aware that Shoanti justice can be harsh, so don't assume this will be all chit-chatting. If they decide that the only suitable price is a blood price-- defend yourselves, obviously, I'm not sending you out to be killed as compensation. Try to extricate yourselves with as little bloodshed as possible, though. If we alienate the Shoanti as a whole, they may well decide Pathfinders shouldn't be allowed to travel through their territories at all-- making any further missions we do in Varisia, indeed, the north in general-- that much more complicated.

"Even if they do let you make things right, that may involve its own hazards, as per Lumketel's notes..."

Valsin straightens a stack of papers and sets them next to the bag and items. "I have Lumketel's original notes here, as well as the Chronicles entry he wrote about it. I'd suggest reviewing them before you enter the site-- IF you're granted permission.

"Any questions?"

Handout #1 (An excerpt from Lumketel's Chronicles entry):
My foray into the heart of the Iron Peaks led me to a sealed entry etched with strange runes, hidden on the banks of the Muschkal River. Upon breaking the seal, to my surprise, I discovered what doubtless was an ancient Thassilonian ruin—a rare and worthy find for the Pathfinder Society. I entered without hesitation.
Much to my shock and dismay, I was met with a towering monstrosity entirely made of glowing bone and decaying flesh, lurching from the darkness! From the bones leapt two alien canids, seemingly comprised of pure energy. Retreat was not an option. Quickly thinking, I dashed into the darkness toward a narrower passage, hoping to avoid engaging the fell beasts in the open. Where the skeletal monster couldn’t follow, the lightning creatures could, with fierce jaws snapping as I ran into the darkness. I found myself in a bizarre maze, unable to see and surrounded by twisting passages that boggled the mind. The wolves were on my heels. Darting through passageways and walls, I summoned the intestinal fortitude and magical might vested in me and dispatched the canids back to the unfathomable reality from whence they came. With the wolves gone, it was a duel between me and the bone beast. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be penning this Chronicle if I had lost! With a few choice spells and nimble dodging, I dispatched the monster, its bones and viscera scattering throughout the hall....

Handout #2 (Lumketel's handwritten notes):


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

(Open for dotting)


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Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Alrighty! So now that that we have people, let's get to the fun part we're all here for: creating our characters.

Stats: Based on what was shaping up in the discussion, looks like there's some nostalgia/excitement over the idea of getting to roll stats. I'm not opposed, there's something about rolling dice that's just plain fun. I propose the following: 4d6 6 times, drop 1, arrange your scores where you like. If anyone winds up with something that's a less than 15-point buy, they can either increase a stat freely until it hits a 15-pt buy, or just build fresh using 15 pt buy. Thoughts?

Skills: Unchained skills/background skills seems to have no objections, so let's say that yep, go for it.

Alignments; I'm not gonna outright bar evil, but don't play stupid evil. Your character should be able to at least pretend to play nice with others and have a reason they wouldn't screw the rest of the party over, etc.

Traits: 2, ignore regional requirements if you see a trait that appeals to you. If you feel like taking a drawback to get an extra trait, I'll allow it. I'll also look for ways to make your drawback relevant.

Races: I'm just gonna nix anything TOO exotic right off the bat. Core races are encouraged; races like the elementals, tieflings/aasimars, etc on a tentative basis. If it was something that was only allowed via a specific boon in PFS (like a dhampir or wayang) I'm gonna just say no; if it was one of those that was allowed open access in specific seasons, then .... maybe. Essentially, is it really important to your concept that the character be an X? Exotic races start to feel a lot LESS exotic when half the party is comprised of things that supposedly are very rare, so I personally prefer them to be used sparingly in parties.

Feat taxes: People made a good point in discussion on how really that means giving monsters more feats too, so I think we'll just leave that off the table and if you want Power Attack or PBS or whatever you'll have to earn it the old-fashioned way.

Starting gold: 150 across the board, I dislike class differentials for starting gold.

Classes: Published Paizo only, no 3pp

HP: Full at level 1, for further levels I'm open to either PFS rules (half rounded up) or roll-for-it if people like to live dangerously. Thoughts?

I'm likely forgetting some other aspects of character creation. Let me know if you notice what I missed.

***

Gallows of Madness starts out in Saringallow. It's too short a module to have a Player's Guide, so I can't suggest people look at that, but we are set in Isger, and you can read more about Isger and Saringallow on the wiki linked if you want. The cliff's notes is that Isger is a vassal state of Cheliax, but Saringallow in particular is a rather anti-diabolist town, inasmuch as it's possible to be one while being in Isger, and also fairly anti-nobility.

Characters being from Saringallow is fine and a nice touch-- it's a town of 2000ish people, so not a tiny hamlet, and not a giant metropolis either-- just enough room where your character could be as known or unknown as you'd like. Of course, if your character is traveling through Saringallow, that works too.

Creating possible backstory bonds between characters is also always welcome, though certainly not required.

Discord is here.

***

Go ahead and pitch your concept(s) and we can get this party started! or... pre-started. Something.


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

(If we need to do any discussion that we can't do on Discord)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

You awaken from the strangest dream. A ... tavern? Of sorts? Where every doorway led somewhere else? That wasn't even the strangest part of it. In the dream you were... somebody else. There was a ship? No, that's not right. There were all these little windows made of glass and light, on which people showed magical paintings, and text from books... no, no, surely not it... there was a city, a city where every building stood taller than any tower you've ever seen, and...

...the odd dream seems laughable, by dawn's light, as the intensity of it ebbs and you remember who you are and get your bearings. You're not on a sailing ship, nor in a city of steel towers, nor surrounded by little magic windows you could hold in your hand.

Where you are is on the last leg of travel to the village called Etran's Folly. The caravan should arrive today. Birds are chirping, the morning's campfire is crackling, and others of the caravan are already awake, packing up items just like they do every morning. There's the scent of frybread and bacon being cooked, and the sound of others yawning, grunting, and stretching themselves awake.

The ground was its usual lumpy self, but just think-- tonight you'll sleep in a bed. In an inn.

The dream is already forgotten by the time you kick out of your bedroll and get to your feet.

Welcome to Fall of Plaguestone! Feel free to describe your character's early morning thoughts, routine, and otherwise introduce them. You're part of a traveling caravan, and you'll meet the other people in that caravan shortly.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

As I think everyone frequenting the boards knows, the GM to player imbalance ratio is HUGE. It makes it pretty hard to get into a game. I'm itching to play, doing plenty of regular GMing as it is, but I'm willing to compromise if I can get a group of a few together who don't mind rotating GM duties.

Essentially it'd work like this: I'll GM the 1e module Gallows of Madness, which takes PCs from level 1 to level 3 by the end of it. At that point, another player steps up to run the next module, something level 3s can do (there's various options that could be discussed as possibilities). After that, another player GMS, etc. The current GM's character would fade to the background between scenarios, but level appropriately to keep up with the party.

Given the attrition and death rate in PBPs, it's also possible that the campaign might die before we ever get that far. It's a risk I'm willing to take, though.

Right now, I'm looking for 4-6 players/potential GMs who are on board with the idea that in exchange for playing now, you'd be GMing down the road. Prior experiencing GMing PBP is a plus, but not required-- I always like to give people a chance.

This is not (yet) a thread to pitch character concepts for the game; this is just to get some players together.

My overall rules/whatnot for this quasi-campaign would be:

1) Paizo published material only

2) One spot is probably reserved for a new player friend of mine, who likely wouldn't be GMing, unless/until they felt comfortable doing so

3) 1st Edition, play-by-post, Discord possibly to be created for communication purposes (but not used as the play platform)

4) Maps probably through Google slides or drawings, if a majority of accepted players want to use Roll20 I'll cope. I have no experience with other platforms for mapping and don't want to learn a new one because I'm a crotchety old goblin.

5) All players grasp the fact that keeping momentum going is a mingled responsibility of everyone in the group, both players and GM. Obviously life happens sometimes, but if people spend too much time waiting on everyone else to post, the game dies. People should be aiming for one post per day during the week. Even if you don't have anything mechanical to post, post! Give people things to respond to! It's an endless game of improv, but it only works if everyone keeps adding fresh things to react to and to keep things moving.

I've been in enough PBPs to fully know that enthusiasm goes in cycles, and that everyone will join with the best of intentions of posting regularly, but things will cycle and peter out. Life is especially chaotic right now, there are circumstances beyond our control stressing us all out.

But to have some pleasant escapism that can help us fight that does require making time for it and posting regularly. This is a long-term commitment. Gallows of Madness alone might run a PBP group a year of RL time. So please, just be aware that we'll need regular momentum and engagement from players to keep things active.

If this sounds like something you'd be down for, toss me your hat! (Not too hard though, my RL Dex is like 8.)

-If you've GMd PBP before, a link to an example is nice.
-Relevant amount of experience with commitment to long term PBPs is good information as well, though just because you don't have that experience yet doesn't mean you won't be considered
-Anything you want to add about your general play and/or GM philosophy that would make me think you were a great fit, please do.

I'll leave this up through October 7 before moving on to selection, unless I get way more interested people than I know what to do with before then, and can pick earlier.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

It says in the Core, under the Formula rules, that reverse-engineering "...uses the Craft activity and takes the same amount of time as creating the item from a formula would."

But how long precisely is that? As an alchemist, I craft over a dozen items from formula when I rest/study/etc. In the craft rules, it says that crafting an item takes 4 hours. Which is the correct time frame to use for reverse-engineering items?

4/5 ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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West coast Pathfinder agents! January 12-15 will see the debut of Pacificon Central Valley in Fresno, CA. On Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, there will be four days of gaming, gaming, and more gaming! We have lots of Pathfinder (and Starfinder) planned, with a total of thirty tables over four days. Additionally, for Pathfinder we're going to try and run a multi-table special, the Solstice Scar (version B). As the version B Solstice Scar will have only been available for two weeks at the time of the convention, this is (probably) your first chance in the new year to play it!

Aside from this, we have lots of Season 9 scheduled, an all-day module, and a few season 8s as well. There's also going to be a lot of D&D AL and other systems on offer.

GM attendance is free at four slots GMd (of the ten scheduled). If you intend to qualify for a GM badge, talk to me (PM here is fine, or email at fragilion at gmail dot com). Tickets are $50 otherwise if you get them early. Pre-reg is encouraged.

General website
Pacificon schedule on Warhorn


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Open for discussion! I'll get details closer to start time of who's playing exactly what. My player list is currently:

chadius
Xynen
Pirate Rob
JAF0
Llama_Bill
Werepox47
Aerondor (waitlisted)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Open for dotting


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

*badass guitar solo*

4/5 ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Heya,
I'm the Venture Lieutenant for Fresno and surrounding regions, but I have two people who want to get into PFS and who are in Modesto. 1.5 hours is a biiiitt of a drive unfortunately for me; is anyone locally looking to play so I can connect y'all? Feel free to PM me to get contact details.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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(Invitation only)

Discussion and hammering-out post for a wacky little idea I've had...

I've played through the vast majority of regular PFS scenarios at this point, with just a handful prior to Season 8 I still need to play. I've also known the mild frustration of experiencing them in completely non-chronological order, or playing part of an arc only to never get a chance to pick up the other parts in the series. And of course, there's the slight bummer of the innate lack of continuity in PFS, where you wind up adventuring with, and playing, different characters week to week and the chance to build any sort of contiguous narrative is like a wild and elusive wildebeest. Or something.

It'd be really neat to experience, say, one or two seasons of PFS 'in order', with the same characters, working through the story organically. But that's definitely impossible in Classic, given how many I've played.

Core, on the other hand, is still fairly new territory to me.

So the premise is this: a group of 6-7 dedicated players, each playing the same characters through as much of set arc as we can get through (maybe a focus on season 4? Open to opinions). We'd rotate out GM duties, and we'd have essentially the same party for the entire "campaign," short of whoever was 'absent' that scenario in order to GM it.

Things we'd really need for this to work:
-Commitment, obviously. Both as players and when it's your turn to GM. If someone drops out mid-scenario, it's not as easy to find replacement CORE players as it is for classic, and of course, if someone does drop out permanently, that makes the whole 'PFS campaign' thing somewhat less workable (though if we start with a group of 7, we can at least weather some attrition). I know that life certainly does happen, and someone might need to skip a scenario or two here and there, but ideally everyone would be with this for the long haul.
-Willingness to GM when it's your turn, i.e., once every six or seven scenarios. If you want to run a multipart you could potentially get your "GMing duties" for quite some time taken care of in one fell swoop.
-Coordination - approaching this to some extent as a teamwork exercise. A certain amount of willingness to contribute towards group costs for needed resurrections, etc, and a certain amount of planning out build ideas together, so that we really mesh as a team of badass specialist Pathfinder Field Agents who leave no man behind!
-A badass guitar solo? I dunno?

Thoughts? Concerns? Badass guitar solos?


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

(Open for dotting)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Good afternoon, agents! Welcome to the discussion thread for Tide of Morning. As mentioned in recruitment, this game is intended to help teach the ropes somewhat for those who are beginners to PBP. While there's no hard and fast standard that every PBP GM adheres to, so I can't claim that everyone will do things 'my way,' these are some of the practices I adhere to for GMing PBP:

1) Please make sure your character sheet is up to date and visible on your profile, and that it is formatted something like this. It doesn't have to be exactly identical to that, but that's the format that Paizo more or less publishes their stat blocks in, and it's therefore the format that I and most PBP GMs are most familiar with. If you're using a format like that, it means I instantly know where to find all the information I need, instead of having to hunt through an unconventionally-formatted sheet looking for a save, or your base statistics, or your languages, or to figure out if you're some strange archetype that changes how a class normally operates, or something like that.

2) Similarly, please make sure your tagline is up-to-date for your character. If you don't know what I mean by 'tagline', it's a super-short summary of the basic statistics for your character. On your profile, put the following information into the 'Race' line for your character:

*RACE* *CLASS* *LEVEL* | AC X-T X-FF X | HP X/X | F+X R+X W+X | Init +X Per +X

Example: Gnome Paladin 5 | AC24-T16-FF19 | HP 46/46 | F+11 R+9 W+10 (special modifiers apply) | Init +3 Per +1

3) I ask that you post once a day during the week (I slow down over the weekends and generally expect my players may do the same). I reserve the right to put your character on delay or narrate their actions if we're waiting on you. If you know you're going to be busy for a few days, please just let me know in the OOC!

4) If you have something unusual or complicated about your character that I should keep in mind, please tell me now. This is a low-level game so I don't expect too many shenanigans, but, hey, I've been surprised before.

5) The strength of PBP is the ability to really get into the narrative and explore your character's personality, inner thoughts, dialogue, etc. I don't expect every post to be a novel, but please post more than just (DICE ROLL) (DICE ROLL) in your posts. Posts should be in third person, and general formatting standards for PBP often include bolding spoken dialogue, italicized dialogue for thoughts, and making sure you put anything out of character in OOC script.

Example Post wrote:

Thargaz winced as his fellow agent got brutally attacked. "Hang on, Arista! I can help!" he shouted. As he raced forward with his holy symbol raised high, he said an internal prayer to his god. Abadar, don't let me be too late!

GM, can I reach Arista from my location?

6) Not every GM will ask this of you, but in combat I prefer that you break down your bonuses for me (at least for the first round of combat). This helps both you and me make sure we're keeping in mind any bonuses or penalties you're currently subject to. At low level, there hopefully won't be too many convolutions, but at high level, when five or six different bonuses may be in play, this is a lifesaver.

Bad Example wrote:
Chucky swings his sword! 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13 damage: 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Good example wrote:

Chucky swings his sword!

Attack, bless, bardic performance: 1d20 + 3 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 3 + 1 + 1 = 12
Damage, bardic: 1d8 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 3 + 1 = 7

If you find that your attacks look really cluttered and clunky, feel free to stick them behind a spoiler (I do this on some of my high level characters that have five attacks a round or the like), but just show me your math, so to speak. It helps us both out!

I think that's it for my rules and expectations. I will roll initative when combats happen, so please make sure your initiatives are up to date. I will post maps and anything else like handouts via Google Drawings; the responsibility is on you as players to move your tokens in combat situations/etc. If you can't move your token, I am happy to move it for you, but let me know you need that!

At this point, if everyone can post the following information for me here:

Player name
Character name
PFS #
Faction
and a day job roll,
if applicable.

I'm looking forward to the game, and we'll get officially started tomorrow! You can 'dot' the gameplay thread now if you like (if you don't know what dotting means, it just means posting something, anything, to the gameplay thread (often a 'dot'), so that the campaign registers in your active campaigns).

Any questions, go! This table is likely to be a low tier 1-2, as we have multiple level 1 characters signed up and no 4s or 5s.

4/5 ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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For people in the Central California region (or anywhere, but it's unlikely that people will be coming from out of state to our mini-con!) :

Fresno, CA will be hosting a FREE minicon called BookWyrm on April 1-2, in conjunction with our local public library. A number of gaming systems will be offered, including lots of indie games. We also have 12 tables of PFS scheduled, with an emphasis on offering good introductory games for first-time players and being friendly to walk-ins. But we would love more pre-committed interest, so if you're in the Central Valley and have the weekend free, please consider coming down and having a great time supporting both our local library system and gaming in the Valley. Our current PFS schedule is as follows, with full details on our Warhorn.

#0-01: Silent Tide
#1-45: Delirium's Tangle
#6-05: Slave Ships of Absalom
#6-17: Fires of Karamoss
#7-17: Thralls of the Shattered God
#7-24: Dead Man's Debt
#7-25: Orders from the Gate
#8-07: From the Tome of Righteous Repose
As well as:
Pathfinder Quests Phantom Phenomena and Honor's Echo!

Full details can be found on our Warhorn!

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ZappCon returns for a triumphant third year! We're a Central California con with a LOT of awesome cosplayers. Last year we had about 2,000 people turn out and we hope to break that this year!

PFS-wise, we'll be offering 12 slots of PFS over 4 slots.

Specific scenarios we'll be offering:

#0-08: Slave Pits of Absalom (1-5)
#6-05: Slave Ships of Absalom (1-5)
#6-10: The Wounded Wisp (1-2)
#7-03: The Bronze House Reprisal (5-9)
#7-09: The Blakros Connection (5-9)
#7-10: The Consortium Compact (1-2)
#7-19: Labyrinth of Hungry Ghosts (3-7)
#7-21: The Sun Orchid Scheme (1-5)
#8-01: Portent's Peril (1-5)
#8-02: Ward Asunder (3-7)

...as well as tables of the Pathfinder Quests, for new interested players!

General convention information

Full gaming schedule

There is still plenty of room for both players and GMs! Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Many things sleep, beneath the forests and mountains of Varisia... many are the ruins of a lost age which dot its rugged land, voiceless speakers to a bygone time-- a time of giants and of those more powerful than giants. Eroded stones, monuments crumbled to shapeless lumps, the foundations of once-mighty towers...

Many things sleep.

And some things wake....

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Hiya,

I started a campaign last night and put up a placeholder post in the gameplay thread just to get things started, and then deleted said placeholder post, which went fine.

Now I can't seem to post to the gameplay thread at all. I've tried posting with multiple of my aliases. I receive no error messages-- I click submit and it goes through loading the page as normal, but nothing has shown up as a result.

Thanks for your help, web gurus!


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a corpse upon the necromancer's table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of thugs and gangs in one-night cheap taverns
And sawdust feast-halls with painted slatterns:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insiduous intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "Have we leveled?"
Or be by CR 10s bedeviled.

In the room the goblins come and go
Talking of how to stab you so it shows.

OOC discussion, blather, and malarkey HERE.

4/5 ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

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For people in the Central California region (or anywhere, but it's unlikely that people will be coming from out of state to our mini-con!) :

Fresno, CA will be hosting a minicon called BookWyrm on April 16-17, in conjunction with our local public library. A number of gaming systems will be offered, including lots of indie games. We also have 12 tables of PFS scheduled, with an emphasis on offering good introductory games for first-time players and being friendly to walk-ins. But we would love more pre-committed interest, so if you're in the Central Valley and have the weekend free, please consider coming down and having a great time supporting both our local library system and gaming in the Valley. Our current PFS schedule is as follows, with full details on our Warhorn.

- PFS0-27: Our Lady of Silver - Table will fire; still open slots
- PFS1-33: Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible - Table needs a GM and more players!
- PFS5-08: The Confirmation - Table needs a GM and more players!

- PFS4-18: The Veteran's Vault - Table needs a GM and more players!
- PFS7-10: The Consortium Compact - Table needs more players!
- PFS7-15: The Deepmarket Deception - Table needs more players!

- PFS5-19: The Horn of Aroden - Table needs more players!
- PFS6-19: Test of Tar Kuata - Table is FULL! Yay!
- Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins! - Table needs more players!

- PFS1-56: The Jester's Fraud - Table will fire; one slot left
- PFS3-19: The Icebound Outpost - Table needs more players!
- Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins Too! - Table needs more players!

Full details are in the linked Warhorn. Attendance is FREE!


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Heya kids, here be your discussion thread.

I'm Dien! I'll be your captain for this flight. Remember to buckle up and follow the instructions of a flight attendant. In the event of a TPK please see to your own PP first!

A few things:
-Maps will be handled using Google Drawings. If you cannot normally access Google Drawings, PLEASE TELL ME NOW. It seems like there's always someone who halfway into the first combat tells me "I can't use the map." It's one thing if you can't access it at work or something but can check it later and just need someone to move you in the moment, but it's not fun for the whole scenario.

-I will roll initiatives for you, occasionally perception, and usually saves; please make sure you have any unusual bonuses/etc clearly listed on your sheets.

-This is a Season 0, so yeah, y'all prolly gonna curbstomp it.

Given this is a relatively low-level game, I doubt anybody has anything too weird, but, standard disclaimer; If you have any cool, unusual, bizarre, complicated, or strange abilities or senses, lemme know now. This would be things like 'immediate actions to force rerolls' (actually immediate actions in general since they can be complicated in PBP), special senses like tremorsense or other weird stuff, aaaaand anything else you think worth mentioning.

-Gameplay will start sometime in the next few days, once I'm satisfied I've prepped sufficiently. The table mustered pretty quick, so we'll likely begin before the original date of Friday.

-I try to ask for a post a day, with acceptable slow-downs over the weekend. As the GM, I will try and keep things moving, of course, but I'm no particular rush to get it done, either. If you need to be done with this by [some important date], I'd suggest you either pick a different character or yield your spot to another player or the like, because I don't really enjoy having to rush through a PBP, as I like building atmosphere and exploring RP. If you haven't posted in 24 hours (48 on weekends), I reserve the right to bot you if we're waiting on you.

Go ahead and post your PFS #, faction, player and character name, and, if you like, your day job check. I know lots of people like to use re-rolls on those if not used in the scenario itself, so if you roll it now but don't use the re-roll in the course of the scenario you may still roll it again at the end.

Any questions?

(Oh, we are playing 4-5, but GM V, if you want to bring your Level 3 Wizard that should be fine. The party is all solidly in tier aside from that and.... it's Season 0, so yeah.)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Heya kids, here be your discussion thread.

I'm Dien! I'll be your captain for this flight. Remember to buckle up and follow the instructions of a flight attendant. In the event of a TPK please see to your own PP first!

A few things:
-Maps will be handled using Google Drawings. If you cannot normally access Google Drawings, PLEASE TELL ME NOW. It seems like there's always someone who halfway into the first combat tells me "I can't use the map." It's one thing if you can't access it at work or something but can check it later and just need someone to move you in the moment, but it's not fun for the whole scenario.

-I will roll initiatives for you, occasionally perception, and usually saves; please make sure you have any unusual bonuses/etc clearly listed on your sheets.

-This is a Season 0, so yeah, y'all prolly gonna curbstomp it.

Given this is a relatively low-level game, I doubt anybody has anything too weird, but, standard disclaimer; If you have any cool, unusual, bizarre, complicated, or strange abilities or senses, lemme know now. This would be things like 'immediate actions to force rerolls' (actually immediate actions in general since they can be complicated in PBP), special senses like tremorsense or other weird stuff, aaaaand anything else you think worth mentioning.

-Gameplay will start sometime in the next few days, once I'm satisfied I've prepped sufficiently. The table mustered pretty quick, so we'll likely begin before the original date of Friday.

-I try to ask for a post a day, with acceptable slow-downs over the weekend. As the GM, I will try and keep things moving, of course, but I'm no particular rush to get it done, either. If you need to be done with this by [some important date], I'd suggest you either pick a different character or yield your spot to another player or the like, because I don't really enjoy having to rush through a PBP, as I like building atmosphere and exploring RP. If you haven't posted in 24 hours (48 on weekends), I reserve the right to bot you if we're waiting on you.

Go ahead and post your PFS #, faction, player and character name, and, if you like, your day job check. I know lots of people like to use re-rolls on those if not used in the scenario itself, so if you roll it now but don't use the re-roll in the course of the scenario you may still roll it again at the end.

Any questions?

(Oh, we are playing 4-5, but GM V, if you want to bring your Level 3 Wizard that should be fine. The party is all solidly in tier aside from that and.... it's Season 0, so yeah.)


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Dot for gameplay


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Heya kids, here be your discussion thread.

I'm Dien! I'll be your captain for this flight. Remember to buckle up and follow the instructions of a flight attendant. In the event of a TPK please see to your own PP first!

A few things:
-Maps will be handled using Google Drawings. If you cannot normally access Google Drawings, PLEASE TELL ME NOW. It seems like there's always someone who halfway into the first combat tells me "I can't use the map." It's one thing if you can't access it at work or something but can check it later and just need someone to move you in the moment, but it's not fun for the whole campaign.

-I will roll initiatives for you, occasionally perception, and usually saves; please make sure you have any unusual bonuses/etc clearly listed on your sheets.

-This is a Season 0, with all the occasional swinginess of balance issues that sometimes happened in Season 0.

-We will be playing the 7-8 tier, unless people drastically change their signups or anything.

If you have any cool, unusual, bizarre, complicated, or strange abilities or senses, lemme know now. This would be things like 'immediate actions to force rerolls' (actually immediate actions in general since they can be complicated in PBP), special senses like tremorsense or other weird stuff, aaaaand anything else you think worth mentioning.

-Gameplay will start the 30th or so, maybe a little earlier if everyone's ready to go and I'm satisfied I've prepped sufficiently. I'm running a module this Sunday, so I won't likely devote time to prepping for this until Monday.

-I try to ask for a post a day, with acceptable slow-downs over the weekend. I will try and keep things moving, of course, but I'm no particular rush to get it done, either. If you need to be done with this by [some important date], I'd suggest you either pick a different character or yield your spot to another player or the like, because I don't really enjoy having to rush through a PBP, as I like building atmosphere and exploring RP. If you haven't posted in 24 hours (not including weekends), I reserve the right to bot you.

Okay, I think that's it. Any questions, shoot!


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Gameplay thread for dotting.

4/5 **

Hiya,

We have a brand new player who just started with us at our local PFS. The day he came, we were running Level 2 of Thornkeep, so he wound up playing Iconic Valeros (at level 4).

From the Roleplaying Guild Guide section on playing pregenerated characters in modules (pg. 31):

PFSRGG wrote:
If you play a non-1st-level pregenerated character, you may apply credit from the pregenerated character to one of your 1st-level characters, with the gp gained reduced to 1,398 gp (or 699 gp for slow advancement track characters).

What about XP? Does the new player get the 3 XP the module grants, or just 1 XP?

4/5 ** RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Hey California gamers! (and anyone else who wants to come!)

ZappCon Year 2 is taking place in Fresno, California, on October 17-18. We're a small, friendly con that saw about 1500 people come out last year (our first year), and we want to keep it growing. I'm organizing PFS specifically for the con, but we have plenty of other gaming systems on offer if PFS isn't your speed.

If you'd like to see the schedule of activities, check us out on Sched! The convention's main site is Zappcon.com.

Come on down! We have plenty of open space still at our PFS tables!

4/5 **

So, having previously played through it myself, I'm now running through Thornkeep for my local PFS group, and one of the things that struck me during prep is the fact that the book does a pretty good job of detailing out a nice, contained, mini-campaign setting with a lot of plot hooks, NPCs, and local color within the Thornkeep town and region...

....none of which you are likely to get to do anything with in a PFS-setting, given the fact that you only get to give out PFS credit for the actual dungeon delve itself. So, missing farmer's daughters, gang tensions, a werewolf baron, a d20 rumor chart, and spooky noises from the old abandoned house are all things that I can't do anything with because they have almost zero effect on the PFS-legal portions of the module, and I also do not usually have the time, when running this in my local PFS, to let the PCs dally around chasing red-herring rumors in town for a half-hour or more, as we need to get to the credit-legal stuff and finish in a timely fashion.

This depresses me. This is a great setting for a mini-campaign going from levels 1-7, which could easily lead into the PCs taking out the baron and becoming the new town bosses (or various other outcomes). There's many intriguing plothooks to help the PCs level up and loot up in between the actual dungeon delve levels (which is necessary, since if you run a party straight through Thornkeep and don't allow any XP but what each level gives you, you quickly wind up with a party that is on the low-end of power curve for levels 2 and 3, and is not even minimum level for for level 4 and 5). If I run this strictly PFS, I can't take advantage of any of this Other Stuff, and I'm left with just a dungeon delve, that I have to pad with other PFS scenarios to allow the PCs to be the appropriate level for the later Thornkeep levels.

I'd like to run a PBP mini-campaign set in the Thornkeep region, so that I take out the time constraint issue and can let the PCs get attached to and interested in the region itself. I'd like to let them go chase down those sidequest rumors, have some adventures on the side, then come back to their big dungeon.

But how can I do this while preserving the PFS-legal portion and letting people get credit accordingly?

I can't give them PFS-applicable XP for the non-dungeon portions, so they can't actually 'level up' with PFS characters doing these sidequests. I can't give them resources/treasure outside of the dungeon that they could then use in the dungeon. It creates a conundrum.

Of course, the simplest option would just be to run this as a home campaign, no PFS credit, period; but that means writing off potential PFS credit for players, which seems a shame. (I don't care about my own GM credit for this, since I'm going to have already run through it at my local PFS.)

Option 2 would be to do this the way PFS credit and APs mesh-- you don't need to run them with a PFS character, you can run them as an actual campaign, but the PFS-credit gets applied to your PFS character of the appropriate levels. However, I don't know if this is legal to do for the Thornkeep modules. Can anyone weigh in on that?

Option 3 would be sort of a nightmarish dual bookkeeping thing: where the PCs would basically have to keep two sets of records, one to keep track of their PFS-legal resources, treasure, and XP, and the other one to keep track of all the side-adventuring they do in the local region, but which has no bearing on their actual dungeon delving, or any other PFS scenarios they play with the character. In this option, characters would advance as heroes in a purely-narrative sense in the Thornkeep sidequests, but their players would meanwhile get to play other PFS scenarios with the characters, leveling up until they're ready to tackle the next dungeon aspect. Obviously, this would necessitate players on board with this extra level of book-keeping, and I'm not crazy about it, but if Option 2 isn't legal I'm not sure there's a better way to try and combine the for-credit and not-for-credit elements of Thornkeep. :-\

Has anyone tried anything similar to this, whether with Thornkeep or something else? Can anyone suggest solutions I'm not seeing?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Much as I love the snark thread, I remember last season we had a compliments thread too, and I'd like to get it going again.

Two items I've seen so far-- one a bit chilly, one a bit heavenly-- (Really hope I'm not being too specific with that, as I've seen numerous items that I could be describing with those vague terms) do nothing that original with mechanics. In fact, mechanically I'd even say they are treading overworn territory-- but where they brought a smile to my face, and earned my vote, was in their beautiful descriptive text and imagery. Sometimes it's possible to polish up an old concept with a rocking visual. Good work, Mystery Designers.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Bomf!


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Throwing up a post for those who want to dot


What it says on the tin! PFS-legal characters levels 1-2, playing an oldie but goodie in the form of Murder on the Silken Caravan. First come, first served.

As this is part of the Gameday, the game will officially start on 9/19/15.

I will handle maps either through Roll20 or Google Drawings, if Roll20 is a problem for any of my confirmed players.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Not to spam the board overmuch, but I just had a ludicrous series of dice rolls in one of the games I'm GMing.

This post.

That's five consecutive 3s, on 5 consecutive d20s. (Yeah, a 4 on a d8 snuck in there, but the d20s did a solid progression of suck... For the ten d20 rolls I made in that post, we have a: 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 6, 2, 19, 16, and a nat 1. For a net average of slightly less than 6.)

How am I supposed to kill any PCs like that?*

*somewhat tongue-in-cheek, since I'm GMPCing half the party right now, so my bad dice are also their bad dice

I'm sure we all have the stories of the ridiculous string of bad (or good) rolls (usually we remember the bad ones more...).

I had a brief, glorious period where when I looked at my PBPs over the last week, almost 1/3 of my dice rolls had been natural 20s. Alas, it couldn't last.

What are your 'Really, Dice?' moments?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, it's one of those kinda threads...

I mean it as a serious question, though, and I suppose it's worth clarifying by what I mean by 'overpowered' in this context. Many spells are potentially very powerful. But after several years of playing Pathfinder, I've noticed that my spellcasters all tend to hit commonalities of 'must have' spells. As an arcane caster, I can't imagine not picking up, say, glitterdust, and haste, because those spells are so good for their level that it feels like an intentionally sub-par choice if I don't learn them. As a divine caster, burst of radiance feels similarly so good (guaranteed auto-damage against evil foes? a chance to blind anyone? hell yes...). (Noting it's available as a wizard/sorc spell too. Yeesh.)

These three spells hit my personal criteria for: 'spells I really have to talk myself out of, otherwise every caster I play will feel like a carbon copy of my last caster'. That's what I mean by 'overpowered' in this particular sense: the spells that beat out their competition by such a substantial margin, that you feel like you're crippling yourself/your party if you don't take them.

I'm curious to know if anyone else feels this way about these, or other, spells in the game.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This enormous worm’s stony hide boasts glowing green crystals and intricate patterns of precious metals. Noxious vapors blast from its jagged maw.

Blightbore CR 7XP 3,200
N Large outsider (earth, elemental, extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft., scent minerals 90 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +15

----- Defense -----
AC 19, touch 6, flat-footed 19 (-2 Dex, +12 natural, -2 size)
hp 94 (9d10+45)
Fort +11, Ref +1, Will +9
Defensive Abilities blightburn sickness; DR 5/adamantine; Immune acid, radiation; Resist electricity 10
Weaknesses vulnerability to sonic

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Melee bite +15 (2d6+8 plus grab), slam +15 (1d8+8 plus blightburn sickness)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks blightburn sickness (DC 17), breath weapon (30-foot cone, blightburn vapor, DC 17), grab, swallow whole (3d6 acid damage, blightburn sickness, AC 16, 9 HP)

----- Statistics -----
Str 26, Dex 6, Con 20, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +9; CMB +19 (+23 grapple); CMD 26 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Deepsight, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Climb +16, Intimidate +5, Perception +15, Sense Motive +8, Survival +6, Swim +16
Languages Terran

----- Ecology -----
Environment Plane of Earth, underground
Organization solitary
Treasure standard (gemstones, metals, and ores only; see text)

----- Special Abilities -----
Blightburn Sickness (Ex) Weakened blightburn crystals decorate a blightbore's body. Any creature hit by its slam attack or swallowed whole risks contracting a mild form of blightburn sickness (Into the Darklands, p. 16). (Fort DC 17; onset immediate; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Con/1d6 Cha damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.) This also applies to creatures who hit a blightbore with a natural weapon or unarmed strike.
Creatures who contract blightburn sickness cannot teleport or be teleported until cured.
Blightburn Vapor (Ex) Once every 1d4+1 rounds, the blightbore can spew blightburn vapor in a 30-ft cone, exposing targets to blightburn sickness.
Scent Minerals (Ex) Similar to a rust monster's scent metals, a blightbore can sense ores, metals, and gemstones.

Despite their horrific appearance-- enormous maws and radioactive carapaces-- blightbores aren’t inherently malicious. A blightbore is indifferent to other creatures... unless they’re carrying materials the blightbore desires.

Originally from the Plane of Earth, blightbores burrow through the Material Plane seeking ores, crystals, and especially blightburn. Immune to the crystal's radiation, blightbores 'consume' it along with everything from granite to gold. A blightbore derives no nourishment from these inorganics, but processes them and excretes them into complex patterns on its skin, with blightburn chunks featured prominently. The deliberate designs indicate intelligence, but their purpose is unknown to any but the blightbores. It is also unknown why blightbores prize blightburn, but some scholars theorize the worms may be an engineered species, designed as collectors/disposers of hazardous materials.

Though a mature blightbore is a living treasure trove, these riches come with a risk: lingering radiation. Many have killed blightbores and harvested their riches only to succumb days later to brittle bones and open sores, leading to superstitious rumors of a 'death curse.'

In combat, a blightbore uses its breath weapon, then seeks to swallow the creature it deems most dangerous (or tastiest). While blightbores are not highly intelligent, they understand their lack of ranged offense, and will burrow away from a foe they cannot attack.

Blightbores are solitary creatures who meet only for mating. Once every decade, a female deposits a single, metallic egg, then moves on. The newborn consumes the egg on hatching and starts growing its unique armor.

An adult blightbore is 15 feet long but its dense, mineral-rich body can weigh up to 15 tons.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

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Elven Guardpost on the Tanglebriar Border

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka dien

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ophidian Coil
Aura faint transmutation, moderate necromancy; CL 5th
Slot ring; Price 10,000 gp; Weight --

Description
This small wooden ring resembles a serpent with tiny gemstone eyes coiling around the wearer's finger. The wearer's skin manifests a faint, diamond-shaped pattern of scales, and the pupils of the wearer's eyes become vertical, as a snake's. The wearer grows a pair of fangs, gaining a bite attack as a primary natural attack. This attack deals 1d4 points of piercing damage for a Medium wearer or 1d3 points of damage for a Small wearer.

Three times per day as a free action, the wearer of the ring may cause her fangs to drip with venom, making her bite attack poisonous for 1 round. This poison has a DC of 10 + the wearer's Con modifier, but otherwise acts as black adder venom. If the wearer rolls a natural one on an attack with her poisonous bite, she is exposed to the poison.

Once per day as a standard action, the wearer may command her tongue to lengthen and become forked for one minute, during which she gains the scent special ability. While this ability is active, the wearer has a 20% chance of failure when casting any spell with a verbal component, as the tongue makes it difficult to speak.

The ring makes its wearer more sensitive to cold. She takes a -2 penalty to saves versus cold spells, weather, and effects. Additionally, if the wearer is successfully affected by a spell with the cold descriptor, she is slowed for 1 round.

Construction
Requirements Forge Ring, beast shape I, magic fang, poison; Cost 5,000 gp


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Let's say we have an old green dragon that decides, for purposes of wanting to talk to the PCs in a 'civil' fashion/otherwise not reveal its draconian self, to use its alter self spell to take on the form of a human.

What will its stat block be like while under the effects of the spell?

Per the rules on polymorph spells, the following happens:

Base Stats after size modifications are made:
Str = 19
Dex = 12
Con = 17
Int = 18
Wis = 19
Cha = 18

AC = ?

This one depends on whether or not the dragon's natural armor bonus goes away. "While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form." Is the dragon's +25 NA considered to be an extraordinary or supernatural ability depending on its original form? Because if not, then the dragon's AC actually goes UP while in human form, to a crazy AC 36... and if not, the dragon drops to a painful AC 11.

HP: Remain the same, I believe, as I see nothing about HP or hit dice changing.

Base speed is 30, loses flight, blah blah.

BaB = +19, + STR 4 = +23 to hit, but, what are the attacks? The dragon loses its bite, claw, and tail attacks, and has no weapon proficiencies. So... the humanized dragon could attack with a non-proficient weapon at a +19, I suppose.

The big question, though, is spellcasting. A dragon's spells are not born of taking class levels in sorceror; they are born of being, you know, a freakin' dragon. Does anything change regarding the green dragon's abilities to cast spells, given that it is no longer a dragon at the moment? What about spell resistance-- also something innate to being a dragon?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Hey! If you're looking to get in on some gaming goodness (Pathfinder and many other systems) this month, and you're in California, please check out ZAPP CON, a convention taking place for the first time this year in Fresno, CA.

We want a lot of players filling the gaming tables so we can prove it's viable to have this again next year. But there's more than just gaming-- we have the usual broad spectrum of geek experience on display, from panels and vendors to comic books and SF/F and cosplaying.

Please help make our local con a success! Come out for the Pathfinder Society-- perhaps you haven't yet gotten a chance to play Legacy of the Stonelords? Or perhaps you're a gamer wanting to meet some more people playing Savage Worlds, or Fate, or any of a dozen other systems? Or perhaps you just want some Doctor Who socks? Either way, we want you, so c'mon down!


First question:

Does Ricochet Shot (the spell) apply to bows? I see no reason that it wouldn't, because to me bows count as 'projectile weapons', but I just want to be sure there's not some textual reading where they do not count as such.

If so, then question two:

Let's say we have a +1, shock composite longbow STR + 2, and the bowman has cast gravity bow and is using vital strike when firing arrows. Leaving aside the idea of it being less-than-optimal to not be firing multiple arrows, I just want to see if I'm understanding the rules right for how the damage would play out:

Damage of ordinary shot, gravity bow, vital strike: 2d6 base + 2d6 vital strike + 1d6 shock + 1 magic weapon + 2 str = 5d6 + 3.

Damage of the arrow from Ricochet Shot, which "does not gain the benefit from any enhancement bonuses or magic qualities on the projectile":

1d8 base + 1d8 vital strike + 2 = 2d8 + 2

Is that correct? You lose all of those when using ricochet shot-- the bow's enhancement, the benefit of gravity bow, and shock?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

Dawn breaks cold but bright, the heavy storms and gray skies of midwinter cleared for one day... as has happened each year, in Hofn, for as long as anyone can recall. No matter the weather for weeks before Jól, the day of the solstice itself is always free from clouds, and the sun shows her face one last time before the starving months begin.

Children wake their parents, if their parents have not been up already for hours with preparations. The weeks before the Jólboð, the solstice feast, are busy ones: hunters dare the deep snows for game worthy of being served at the feast; craftsmen hurry to put finishing touches on the best examples of their work; mothers threaten their children with staying home if they do not behave; and cooks cook.

The footpaths through the village of Hofn have been swept of snow. Tables are dragged out into the sun so that crafted wares may be displayed. Throughout the village, the dogs bark, sensing the excitement and activity of the day. One's best clothes, if one is fortunate enough to own feast-day clothes, are hurriedly donned, and everywhere people prepare to make merry.

Even the thralls perk up-- their lot has been harder than usual, as making ready for the feast demands more work from them, as well-- but on Jól-day, they too will eat rich food, play at games of sport, and hear tales of heroes. Tomorrow, the work will begin again, but today is for pleasure and awe, novelty and delights. Today, a thrall can walk as a free-man.

The air is thick with the smells of cooking food. Vast bonfires are lit that will burn all through the day, and into the long night. Children, as well as those who are old enough to know better but are young today, run through the streets from house to house, hammering on the doors of their friends. Houses are full: those who live on outlying homesteads came to the village the night before, to crowd into the homes of siblings and cousins, and a dozen other human visitors have arrived over the last week, so that nearly every home has a guest or several sharing their hearth.

An hour after dawn, one of the unlucky souls who has drawn watch-duty for the day lights the signal torch in his tower: the elves are coming.

The village enters a last spurt of frantic activity. Those in the village with no task that needs doing right that second rush to line the street by the north-gate. Children beg to be lifted onto shoulders. Pointed elbows are used in the negotiations for prime real estate, and excited whispers pass between young and old alike.

Hrolf Half-Hand, the goði of Hofn, comes to the gate with his lady wife Dagmar at his side. Hrolf is a large man, six-and-a-half-feet tall, and while age is beginning to frost his yellow beard, he still wears the sword with which he slew the ice monster Fjǫrlag, which bit the two fingers from his left hand. Rich gold shines at Hrolf's ears and his fingers; his cloak is white sable and his tunic is red silk trimmed with gold braid. Around his strong right arm is the silver of the stalla-hringr, the oath-ring, and Hrolf Half-Hand stands tall, a jarl to whom many have sworn oaths, and to whom he has given gold in turn, generous and great.

Behind Hrolf and Dagmar stand their two eldest sons, Leif and Harald; and Yngvi Wyrmtongue, the skald of Hofn, and Astrid Eikbrunr, the húskarl to the goði, his most trusted warrior and second of the war-band.

A hush descends over the crowd of those watching as the voice of the gate-guard can be heard, ringing out the old question, with the weight of a hundred years behind it:

"Who comes to the gate seeking entrance, on Jól-day?"

And the answer comes, in a lilting voice that makes music out of the strong-sounding Skald tongue: "We come; the ljósálfar, the children of the sun and the stars, the fair people. We come bearing gifts. We come to honor the old agreements and renew them again. We come as guests. Will we find welcome, manling?"

"Enter and be welcome! Hofn receives you!"

The gate is opened, and people crane their eyes for the spectacle of the elves. A score of them enter, and though the day is yet cold, they are dressed as if for the warmest of summers, in bright colors and thin, light fabric that floats with the barest of breezes. The elves are tall and slim, like birch trees, and they are passing strange to see: they move over the ground as if their feet barely touch it. They are beautiful-- but it is a strange beauty, a distant beauty. The eyes of the elves shine like jewels, but every child knows not to meet their gaze for too long.

Here is one clad in a cloak of raven-feathers, shining blue-black beneath the sun; here is one with skin that gleams like gold, and black hair that falls free all the way to his knees; here is one whose skin is white as bone, and hair dark as a starless night.

Behind them come their horses, long of limb and with delicate heads, laden with baskets and bags.

One of the elves-- dressed all in gray, with gray hair, and skin like ashes-- moves to Hrolf Half-Hand, and the two leaders murmur words and greetings unheard by the crowd. A child breaks the silence with a plaintive, "But where are the presents, Mama?", and his mother claps a horrified hand over his mouth.

The elves answer the child's rudeness with soft laughter, like tiny silver bells. One of them, a woman with skin the color of blue ice, sweeps a bow to the child, and tosses him a small pouch. The little boy quickly wrenches it open: a cloud of butterflies erupt, scarlet and indigo and amethyst wings flashing in the sunlight as they fly into the blue sky.

It's Jól-day in Hofn. The elves are here. Anything can happen.


Plaguestone Map | Gallows of Madness Combat Map

For OOC communication, shenanigans, snark, and malarkey. Skål!

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