Stygian Slayer

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If it helps to think about ideas, and trying to give some info without giving away too much of the plot, the first few scenarios are going to involve some snooping around Eridug, a visit to a site in the wilderness between the kyton city of Leviathan and Eridug, and a visit to the ruins of Assybassiya on the Temple Isle of the Oracle Archipelago in the midst of the Porphyric Sea, as well as an excursion to Tyr on Athas.


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I changed my mind about the immortals template. You can have hero deity


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Tenro wrote:
so for a dusk kobold moon mage of the blue moon, what would his position in society be?

The primary mages of the ningishzidda are the various echelons of the shadow spires. These shadow mages include the class of celestial navigators known as the monitors who directed the immense pyramidal sky ships in which the mobiles emigrated from the green age metropolis of tyre to the Black following Sachas invasion.

Other kinds of mages who are not initiates of the shadow spires will be smaller sodalities with a less direct relationship to the government. Those who began to draw power from the Blue Moon known as Ur Sin are among these compacts.


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Tenro wrote:

how about this? the last column after the ". . ." would be the number of full HD with all attendant abilities that the PC/NPC could pull from their third progression (instead of templates) or from HOPF Prestigious/Gestalt feats. anything higher than that number would provide class abilities (special column only).

2 2 1 1 . . . +1
4 4 2 2 . . . +1
6 6 3 3 . . . +2
8 8 4 4 . . . +2
10 10 5 5 . . +3
12 12 6 6 . . +3
14 14 7 7 . . +4
16 16 8 8 . . +4
18 18 9 9 . . +5
20 20 10 10 . +5

this progresses evenly.

this does not provide capstones to PCs of level 16.

this evenly divides by 10 for the tiers the GM wants.

with this, the max HD/BAB/Base CL any one PC would have would be 23 (18+5) and a King or Queen would be capped at 25 (20+5) and then if things progress further than that you can easily extrapolate the pattern.

if you wanted to juice up the power, and make level ups more significant, you could use this progression instead:

2 2 1 1 . . . +1
4 4 2 2 . . . +2
6 6 3 3 . . . +3
8 8 4 4 . . . +4
10 10 5 5 . . +5
12 12 6 6 . . +6
14 14 7 7 . . +7
16 16 8 8 . . +8
18 18 9 9 . . +9
20 20 10 10 . +10

this would have the PC's starting cap at 27 HD and the King/Queen starting cap at 30.

This is exactly what I wanted to see. Let's do the second of those


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Secret Blink Dog Lore:

The other factor will be that the higher-up in the clan will want you to investigate the fact that the murders appear to be linked to blink dog lore about the Unmentionables, which is their name for the xxyth who dwell on the other side of the planet.

The blink dogs, who refer to themselves as Companions, were the aides of a highly technological civilization that crash-landed on Tenebrian (the planet is basically in a version of hyperspace, and the vessel was essentially destroyed by warp demons/Event Horizon-esque badness). They managed to survived the crash and thrive in their new environment. The Prismatic Cupola is a remnant of this civilization. The Companions still worship the artifacts and cryogenically preserved bodies of their former human allies, known as the Makers.

While they have established a role for themselves within the strange ecosystem of Tenebrian, they are still intent on reviving the Makers and leaving the planet at some future juncture.


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Samuquan Kubburummelemana, umunsikgal of the Great Court of the Smoking Mirror in Eridug, teeming city of the Umbral Kobolds, found himself, for the first time in a very great number of cycles, at a complete loss for words.

But it was not just words that failed the regal seer, a gap in audible speech filled by the ethereal susurrations of his highly-ornamented kaunakes, the innumerable pinions of its terror bird feathers seeming to whisper menacingly in the still air of his departed master's bedchambers.

No, it was also action which failed to take shape in his usually acute mind.

He continued to stare at the enigmatic sand pictures which completely filled the expansive surface of the low altar. The rainbow array of colored granules twisted in a multitude of at once erotic and threatening patterns, as if it depicted a nest of vipers prepared to simultaneously consummate their desires and savagely attack some new prey.

"Great Mother of the Deeps!" Samuquan thought remorsefully to himself, "but what is to be done? And what could it all mean?"

Where was his departed master, the umunsikgalgal of the Great Court of the Smoking Mirror, greatest seer of the Master and Mistress of Eridug?

The Grand Conjunction of the Greater and Lesser Eclipses was due in only a paltry handful of cycles, and absent Enlil-Utu's assured guidance, the successful resuscitation of the dragon seeds stood in doubt, leaving the great city of the umbral kobolds in peril of a renewed assault by the formless xxyth and their endless legions.

Samuquan sighed again. Whatever he would intend to do, it must be done quickly.

A sudden noise arrested his attention, darkening the seer's vision before he could even turn his head...

I had a stroke of inspiration for a very distinctive campaign set in a homebrew world I've been developing for a little over a year, and which emerged as a customization of the Dark Sun setting.

This is the basic set up: the players are the inhabitants of a great city of umbral kobolds that exists in the Black, the dark plane and planet which exists as a dark reflection of Athas. This strange world was created during the Cleansing Wars when a creature of primordial chaos known as a xxyth devoured the Feywild. Now, the blighted world of dark skies, known alternatively as Tenebrian, Bane, and Shadowsfell, among other appellations, exists as a shadowy version of Athas, its sphere suspended over an immense black hole.

One side of the planet, facing the void, is consumed in a greater darkness than even the remainder of Tenebrion. The Dark Side, known also as the Void, is the domain of the creatures of chaos known as the xxyth. These entities were created from the nightmares of the long-departed creator god of Athas, whose anger called them forth from the northern seas of the Dawn Age to consume the world along with his rebellious divine children. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of this blighted region is the great maw of the xxyth lord, a dreadful pit of woe that reaches deep into the core of Tenebrion.

The lighter side of Tenebrion is populated by many strange peoples, including the rakshasa city of Alaka, a dark reflection of the city-state of Raam, and more importantly for the present story, the great city of the umbral kobolds, which is known as Eridug.

Eridug stands in the same location in Tenebrion as does the Free City of Tyr in the Tablelands. It is, however, a reflection of the greatness of the material plane city which was lost in previous ages. Eridug was founded by the kobolds who fled the wrath of Sacha, Champion of Rajaat, when he assaulted the Green Age city of Tyre, the last incarnation of the city-state before the rule of Kalak.

As such, it reflects Tyr's ancient majesty, with the four immense spires of the plinths known as the talons rising into the dark sky at the cardinal directions. Suspended above the dark lake at the center of the metropolis is the seemingly limitless expanse of the Great Pyramid of Ta'amtum, a vast black triangle miles in length, breadth, and height. It is only accessed via magic and the high tower which rises from the island in the midst of the deep black lake around which the city sprawls.

During the earliest era of the Green Age, the kobolds were the vice regents of the dragon kings, mysterious reptilian entities that arrived on Athas from a distant world, bearing the enigmatic blessings of the tenebrian seeds, mutagenic artifacts that took the form of obsidian orbs. These strange cold blooded monarchs ruled a large territory to the south of the Tablelands throughout the Green Age, but departed under circumstances in mystery equal to their appearance, leaving their former deputies at the mercy of Rajaat's savage generals.

Since those dark days, the umbral kobolds have adapted to their new lives in the Black, and tried to keep alive the memory of their former masters. Primarily they cherish the safekeeping of the last tenebrian seeds, whose powers shield them from the hordes of the xxyth. During their tenure in the Black, the priests of the umbral kobolds have devised a means of imbuing the seeds with the power of the Two Eclipses, the permanently obscured suns that hang in the sky above the 'light side' of Tenebrion.

However, the city has recently been thrown into chaos by the disappearance of its high priest, along with all the tenebrian seeds. He left only enigmatic hints of his plans, including a vast tome inscribed in an unreadable language and a complex mandala composed of multicolored sand.

Without the power of the tenebrian seeds, Eridug is thrown open to assault by the hordes of the xxyth, as well as their other enemies in the Lands of the Well, the dark inversion of the Tablelands. It falls upon a band of unlikely heroes to discern the fate of the seer and ensure the future of their people...

..................

So... if that all sounds interesting and I can get a decent group together, I'll start throwing up some additional fluff and character build rules. I'd want most of the characters to be umbral kobolds -- this is a variant LN kobold developed by a 3pp. publisher, but I'm open to other interesting shadow creatures that might be staying in the city. Check out my 'Dark Sun' campaign in my profile if you want to get some more setting info and an idea of my highly-customized gestalt build rules.

This would be a very story/fluff intense home brew adventure for people that enjoy that kind of thing, like to read long posts, and want to take an active role in contributing to a setting. I'll have a lot of fluff to offer, and make up a lot as we go along, but I'm also very open, and will want, players to help add to and expand the lore.

Let me know!


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dotting for my buffer bard concept. How long is recruitment?


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I might be interested in making some kind of thief/assassin/slayer kind of a character.

A few questions guv'ner:

Would you allow a wererat character?

I'm imagining an Unchained Rogue/Slayer human or an Unchained Rogue/Vivesectionist Alchemist or some variety of Investigator. I would want to confirm you'll let me stack sneak attacks for this build, and would also appreciate clarification whether studied strike and sneak attack could stack.

Can we be evil? I'm thinking lawful evil. If not, neutral.

I'd be interested in being the sneaky melee, skill monkey, and trapfinder if no one else is going to occupy that role.

Thank ye kindly.


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I just wanted to reassure everyone I'm still here, I've just been very busy with life -- I'm finishing up a biostatistics class for nursing school pre-reqs and doing a ton of overtime and my job. I just finished the huge group project that was taking all my time, so I will update soon.


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I just wanted to reassure everyone I'm still here, I've just been very busy with life -- I'm finishing up a biostatistics class for nursing school pre-reqs and doing a ton of overtime and my job. I just finished the huge group project that was taking all my time, so I will update soon.


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Yeah you can retrain as much as you want. Just to clarify -- the point system will just be an add-on to the existing character chassis. My idea is to give you as many character points as if you had another class -- like a tristalt, but the third class would just be modular character points, so you could spend that all on health or ac or whatever depending on your desire.

EDIT: In general, you can retrain as much as you want. I don't really care if you find a better class for a concept halfway through the campaign and want to swap out or want to change your feat selections at any point. As long as you use the same build rules as everyone else, there's really no limit to retraining/changing around stuff in the course of the campaign. No decision has to be permanent (though clearly some will require fluff explanations).


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Amunet-Ra wrote:

I would say it is a good idea to avoid some 3PP and 3.5 stuff, because that changes the balancing as even HOP doesn't do it.

Also limit companions to 1 per PC, that's a generaly used rule of thumb usualy.

I like 3pp. stuff and have an enormous collection of it. One reason I DM is so I can use it.


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I'm happy to consider incorporating some elements from other d20 systems if someone wants to suggest something, like throwing in some easily convertible powers from Mutants and Masterminds, which seems to run on a similar chassis and have an online open source document.

However, I want to hold off on any such experiment till we've sorted out the present issues.

GURPS/Mythras/Heroes/Anima or anything else like that is not a possibility for me -- I'm not sufficiently familiar with any RPG system besides Pathfinder to run it, and I have 1,200 or so pdfs of 3.5/PF, so I don't want to convert or substantially abandon what we're already working with right now.

If anything I'd suggest we incorporate some point buy elements from Eclipse: The Codex Persona, which is a d20 point buy system with pathfinder conversions for everything, and is available for free.

We've also spent an ungodly amount of time making the PCs, so I'd like to find a way to hack what we already have some more into something that will work.

I'm still trying to get my head around the bench-pressing table -- I don't understand the EDV statistic and the explanation isn't very clear.

I'm open to using it if everyone thinks it will help so long as I have the agreement beforehand that someone is going to translate this for me -- like I'll ask what the AC, BAB, save DCs etc. for a given group of monsters should roughly be and someone will produce those numbers for me.


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Hamza Mīnakshi wrote:
Sebecloki wrote:
Amunet-Ra wrote:

Wow the posting rate and speed really gained momentum.

Unfortunately i couldn't keep up this week due to work circumstances.
Will hopefully be better again next week.
Gonna catch up in a few hours.

I'm happy we got things moving back along -- we don't need to go quite this fast all the time.

If everyone would post 1/day during the week, that should be sufficient, I think, to keep the momentum up. I won't have as much time to post over the weekend.

Hahaha, sorry about that! When there's a scene I'm engaged in, and enjoying, I tend to be a prolific poster, *especially* if I there's a really good dialogue going, like what we have with Ito right now.

Oh, no criticism, I will post 30 times a day or whatever when I have the time, I just don't want to scare anyone off if they think they're going to HAVE to post that much to stay involved.


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I need everyone to move their icon to where it should be on the map.

Still need the total knowledge check values from Hamza and Amunet.

Need clarification on divination ability from Case.

I'll explain this in the lore posts -- but just for clarify I'll go ahead and tell you that 'drake nobility' or 'true drakes' are drakes that have been 'awakened' by a druid. Most drakes are of animal intelligence. The awakened drakes have the same intelligence as other humanoids like an awakened animal.


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Also, if anyone wants to throw crazy ideas my way for other regions of Athas, I am open to suggestions.

The key thing is they have to be considerably worse by some measure than the existing Tablelands area.

My basic conception is that the inland sea of silt, which is situated between opposing coasts of Hargalor and Saan-Gabiathan, and encompasses the Tablelands, the Realm of the Merchant Princes, and the Empire Archipelago of the Dragon, is the only real settled area of the planet.

Everywhere else is much, much worse.

The Carboniferous Pole, for example, would have a human population that have to live in hermetically sealed arcologies and wear alchemical suits and gas masks when they venture 'outside'. They're beset by horrendous creatures called cryomantilids that are adapted to the climate, as well as other monstrosities.

The Methane Sea has gigantic predatory and godlike worms that live in its depths, insane cults of which exist among the few pockets of settlement on scattered isles.

The Pole of Salt is partially inhabited by a race of Salt Elves with hardened exoskeletons that give them the appearance of insects. They worship a shaggy diamond-headed, horned creature called the Great Tuunbaaq that is generally considered to be invincible, in that it will reform quickly if its physical body is somehow defeated, and also actively hunts all interlopers. The Salt Elf tribes assist in this Great Hunt with packs of crystalline foxes that can run as fast as a quickling, teleport like a blink hound, can become incorporeal, and are also linked with a psionic hive mind.


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This is my rough map of my Athas world map

Athas World Map

I've decided the Sea of Silt is the least toxic/dangerous of Athas' oceanous bodies. There is also (at least) a large sea of liquid mercury, liquid carbon dioxide, and liquid sulfur.

There are three major land masses

Hargalor -- containing the Tablelands and Kreen Empire, as well as large waste areas with other nomadic kingdoms.

Saan-Gabiathan -- situated across the Sea of Silt from Hargalor, this contains the Realm of the Merchant Princes, from which the former rulers of Balic sailed, as well as other strange realms. The coast beside the Sea of Silt, across from the Tablelands, is by far the most civilized and heavily settled, as well as conducive to life.

The continent of Chasth'nakk'karr is immensely inhospitable to life, surrounded by the poisonous seas of mercury and sulfur, and is more mysterious to the inhabitants of the other 'civilized' lands.

There is, in addition, a 'pole of Salt' at the 'top' of the world -- which resembles an arctic region made of ionized crystals, as well as comparable but infinitely deadlier Carboniferous Pole at the 'bottom' of the planet, the latter made from 'dry-ice'/solid carbon-dioxide.

Neither of these is a true pole, since Athas tilts wildly on its axis, and the real 'poles' are constantly changing.

There are also more than a half-dozen levitating continents that are not pictured, as well as a hollow world that is accessed through large gaps in the poles.


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Cae Leonidas wrote:

Cae listens patiently, humming along with Tyren's playing, giving an appreciative nod to the lute player.

But when the shadow-kreen shows up, his ancestors' spirits begin screaming at him and his eyes glaze over in a silver sheen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[dice=Kn: Arcana: Earth Drake]1d20+23

Sebecloki wrote:
Does anyone have any sort of detect magic abilities?

Aye...

** spoiler omitted **

[dice=Kn: Arcana: Divine Magic]1d20+23

Knowledge (Arcana: Earth Drake):

A drake is a draconic creature from an elemental or quasi-elemental plane. Most drakes are flightless, and while they are sentient, drakes are not much smarter than other animals. Drakes can live for very long periods of time; they approach maturity at about 20 years of age and can live anywhere from 1,000 – 1,500 years.

Drakes are gargantuan, reptilian beasts that trace their heritage back to the elemental planes. Now dwelling on Athas, they have come to view their adoptive home as their personal hunting grounds. Cunning and ferocious and sporting powerful psionic abilities, the drakes are considered by many on Athas to be second only to the Dragon in power. The first drakes were not natives of Athas and used tremendous psionic powers to travel from their home elemental planes to Athas, where they found a world much to their liking. Many generations of drakes have been born on Athas since that time.

Striking at their foes with claws, a savage bite and a sweeping tail attack, drakes share many combat techniques with draconic creatures of other worlds. Drakes are large enough to swallow some opponents whole and will use this attack option in preference to all others if the target is of a suitable size. All drakes enhance their physical prowess with psionic powers, and those of the four classic elements (air, earth, fire and water) are also capable of launching elemental attacks against their targets.

Despite their power, drakes are nevertheless accorded an almost legendary status by most Athasians. Few people believe they really exist. Even fewer have ever seen one, and very few of those have lived to tell about the experience. This is not least because drakes prey largely on humans and humanoids (although they will eat inix and mekillots when available and erdlu if necessary). Drakes prefer the taste of carnivore flesh over any other type of meat.

Other elementals look down on drakes as deserters or creatures who abandoned the pure elements for this lesser plane and encounters between drakes and other elemental beings are always tense, often unpleasant, and sometimes violent. It is almost unheard of for drakes to return to their native planes and most, in fact, have never been there, being the descendants of drakes who immigrated to the prime material plane centuries ago. Only the oldest of Athas' drakes still recall the days when they forsook the elements for the world of the dark sun.

A drake's hide can fetch an enormous price on the trading market but can also result in a death penalty as the hides, teeth, claws, and blood are of such value thatsome sorcerer-kings forbid their sale. They have instructed their templars to confiscate any such items that appear in the market in the name of their sorcerer-king. Elves, of course, defy these edicts at every turn, and make a fair profit selling drake materials while just one step ahead of their templar pursuers.

Drake hide makes outstanding armor, the teeth and claws make excellent weapons and the blood of the beast is also valuable as it is used in certain alchemical solutions. Beyond these truly useful items, folklore holds that just about any portion of a drake's carcass holds a great deal of magical luck, a belief that is often relied upon by disreputable elven hawkers who push a variety of lucky tokens, allegedly fashioned from drake parts.

Drakes mate when the urge strikes them and swiftly separate after pairing. No more than two eggs are laid, hatching after six months, and the resulting drakelings are almost always hungry and need constant care. Young drakes grow from two to twenty feet in the first year, then five feet each year thereafter until they reach full size for their species.

Drakes are mysterious creatures. Few people believe they really exist. Even fewer have ever seen one, and very few of those have lived to tell about the experience. Hunting drakes is a challenge for the foolhardy or suicidal in Athasian society. However, on rare occasions drakes do succumb to old age or illness and pass on. No one knows how long a drake lives, and few of them have ever been killed.

A drake’s habitat is dictated by his home elemental plane. Earth drakes, for instance, can find a home virtually anywhere on Athas, but prefer rocky areas and mountains to the open sands. Air drakes, as well, know few limitations, and can ride the winds from the Ringing Mountains to the Sea of Silt and beyond ~ their lairs are usually high in the mountains. Fire drakes can live in the arid sands, but are always on the lookout for volcanoes or hot springs — they’ll even set a forest on fire to bask in the comfort of the flames for a time. Water drakes are the most limited on Athas, preferring ponds and other bodies of water to make their homes.

The drake’s actual lair is never actually an open space — there are few open spaces back on their home planes. Drakes are more comfortable when surrounded, literally, with their home element. An earth drake, for instance, does not live in a vast cavern, as one might think, but instead in a very cramped, tight space in which he barely fits — and he’s right at home. Consequently, drake lairs are more difficult to penetrate than the lairs of other large creatures.

Several of those who have seen drakes have mistaken them for the dragon itself. Rumors about multiple dragons are rampant through Athas — that there may be several true dragons — but these are usually dismissed. Several so-called additional dragon sightings have been discovered to be drake sightings instead.

Other natives of the drake’s elemental plane tend to look down on them as deserters or creatures who abandoned the pure elements for this lesser plane. Encounters between drakes and other elemental beings are always tense, often unpleasant, and sometimes violent. Drakes never return to their native planes. Most, in fact, have never been there, being the descendants of drakes who immigrated to the prime material plane centuries ago. Elementals and drakes from the same plane almost always come to blows when they meet on the prime material plane. Oddly, contact between elemental beings from different planes is perfectly normal with none of the aforementioned animosity.

At their highest levels, psionicists can become powerful beast masters, and among their favorite psionic beasts are drakes. Details on this relationship are presented in the Dragon Kings hardbound.

An earth drake is native to the Elemental plane of Earth. Earth drakes seem to be made completely of stone and earth, with occasional bits of gemstones and ore. They are masters of controlling earth and can cause catastrophic tremors.

Earth drakes are the largest, most physically powerful of the drakes. Their massive bodies and extremely rough hide often made them look like large outcroppings of rock. Earth drakes love a good fight. They will often dig in along major trade routes in the hope that they will find someone that can challenge them.

Earth drakes prefer rocky areas and mountains to the open sands. When selecting a lair, an earth drake will usually choose a cavern or cave that is almost too small for the creature. It then spends its time closed in on all sides by rock and earth, something that the creature finds very much to its liking. Whether they dig into the bedrock beneath the sands of the Athasian desert or into a hillside, earth drakes always cover the front of their habitat with loose dirt, creating a collapsible front entrance which the earth drake uses to defend its lair. Earth drakes especially dislike any type of permanent buildings and think nothing of traveling many miles in order to destroy man-made settlements.

Covered with thousands of small, spiny scales, an earth drake has massive limbs designed for digging through solid stone. It has a short tail, which forces it to walk with a swaggering gait, and a wedge-shaped head. Scales protect the drake's ears and a double eyelid prevents the creature from being blinded when burrowing.

The earth drake appears quieter than other types of drakes. They have a large variety of hobbies and are always aware of what is going on around them. They are extremely good leaders and will not have any trouble getting people on their side when they come up with a new idea.

They are very smart in financial situations and will be able to gather considerable wealth. They are very good organizers although they can sometimes be a bit fussy. They will always have a large circle of friends.

The earth drake is a proud and lively person with a never ending supply of self confidence. They are highly intellectual and are always very quick to take advantage of any chance. They are determined and strong-minded to do well in anything they attempt, which usually comes naturally to them. They are somewhat of a perfectionist and will always try to maintain high standards that they set for themselves.

Earth drakes tend to take things very personal. The earth drake will be extremely quick to criticize anybody that tries to make a fool out of them. They can sometimes be seen as blunt and straight to the point and are certainly not diplomatic or sensitive. They can be quite gullible and will often believe what people tell them. The dearth drake does not take insult lightly, if they feel they have been insulted or hurt then it will take a long time for them to learn to trust you again as they do not forget things easily.

The drake is usually extremely outgoing and is great at attracting publicity and attention. Earth drakes enjoy being the center of attention and will cope well with problems should they be faced with them. The earth drake can be portrayed as a bit of a showman that rarely lacks an audience.

Their views are very highly valued as they will usually have something interesting to say. They are very energetic and are often prepared to work long and unsociable hours in order to achieve what they desire. They can sometimes be quite impulsive and do not always consider the consequences that may follow. They have a tendency to live for the moment which again can have consequences that they do not think of. They hate to be kept waiting and become very impatient over the smallest of delays. The earth drake holds much faith in their abilities, this can sometimes make them a bit over confident which can sometimes lead them to make bad judgements, this can be a big problem at times but the earth drake has the ability to bounce back and pick up the pieces again.


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Amunet-Ra (Hayato Ken) is showing me some interesting things in Rolld20. Does anyone else have an account (it's free), and/or have any interest in experimenting with using that for maps?


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Also, I just saw a deal on the John Carter of Mars rpg from Mophidius from rpgdrivethru-- I may pick that up for ideas for an excursion to the red moon Ral, which is described as being essentially like Barsoom in its brief mentions in Dark Sun Lore -- I think it says it has green seas and a red landscape.

I'm also imagining some additional zones for this version of Athas -- I'm increasingly just coming up with my own ideas as opposed to the other fan stuff on Athas.org.

On the poles, I'm imagining two enormous salt deserts that are like the planet in the Last Jedi finale. There would essentially be 'polar' themed entities, but the landscape would instead be crystals and salt. I am imagining including elements of the Rhune setting https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/180610/The-Rhune-Dawn-of-Twilight-Camp aign-Guide. The 'vikings' of the salt deserts would have weird magitech based on elemental lightning.


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Seriously, what are we thinking here in terms of our next steps -- are we going to have the critters together soon -- I think Hamza has a demon foo dog, Amunet a living serpent tattoo, Jin as the wolf, Cae has Raxus and the lizard, and Tyren has the golem and a couple of undead buddies to clear the way to the surface -- or should we push on with the characters?

I have the sense we're kind of in a holding pattern right now, and I'm trying to help move us along. Just let me know.

If people just need some time to finish their critters, then I can do more fluff posts this week -- Slavathras can finish his story too, I have a lot more of that to detail if everyone's interested. I also have more on the story of how Celik fell and the lore around the Red God I can type up.

Let's try to get moving by Friday at the latest -- would that work for everyone?


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I think it was Amunet-Ra, Jimbli, Hamza, Cae, and Rokan.

Make it about a CR + 3 template with some drawbacks.

The Sorrowful History of the Red God

After the ravening xxyth hordes were sent from the northern oceans by the angered creator god Temulea to drown the world, submerging all lands and annihilating civilization, the world of Athas was covered with a seemingly endless sea. On the scattered islands of this vast world ocean, the kreen who would one day be known as Dargulin or Zak'chul lived on the verdant archipelagos of the Blue Age beside his kin. In those days, the kreen all bore luminescent gossamer wings by which they traveled from one marshy atoll to another, and enjoyed an age of peace and tranquility.

The peace of the Blue Age was shattered by the arrival of the enigmatic Glassmakers, curious, partially incorporeal beings whose servants, the diminutive rhulisti and the 'grey men' known as the fraal quickly subdued the endless oceans of Athas. The Glassmakers brought with them knowledge of lifeshaping, a great power by which beings might be uplifted to greater and higher forms. The rhulisti offered their powers to the kreen of the Blue Age, and the kreen became frequent visitors in the pyramid-filled cities of the Glassmakers' servants.

But the peace was not to last, for the eternal foes of the Glassmakers, the fearsome entities known as the Stoneburners, followed their age-old enemies to Athas, determined to hold it for their own ends. At first secretively, the Stoneburner emissaries taught the children of the Glassmakers the powers of 'nature-bending' a means to even greater, but more unpredictable evolutions. When their infiltration was uncovered, the naturebenders allied with the cults of the Princes and Princesses of Elemental Evil, including Ymeri, Queen of the Infernos, as well as the para- and quasi- elemental planes, and made war against the rhulisti, the fraal, and their allies among the servants of the Elemental Strongholds.

In this great civil war,the kreen that would one day be known as Dargulin served as an ally of the Glassmaker's servants, and helped to stem the tide of the Stoneburners, who were defeated, along with their servants. In the wake of the devastation, the naturemasters made an attempt to restore the world by channeling the sun's power through a ring of gleaming towers set around the mid regions of Athas. This ill-fated project resulted in the Brown Tide that ended the Blue Age.

Grieving for his lost homeland, the winged kreen wandered the far regions of Athas, eventually coming to the marshy home of the pyreen Rajaat, who had heard the whispers of the 'voices from the Outer Worlds', mysterious intelligences that revealed the ways of magic to the crazed hermit. In hindsight, it is easily apparent that these communications resulted from the sleeping minds of the few Glassmakers and Stoneburners to survive the great civil war which ended the Blue Age. Outwardly, Rajaat taught the science of preserving magic, an inheritance of the Glassmakers, while to his elite disciples he conveyed the true powers of Defiling, the arcane expression of the Stoneburners' knowledge. It was this higher knowledge into which Rajaat inducted the angered kreen, now ready to embrace the enemies of his former allies. The kreen also undertook the study of the ancient naturebending arts, and gathered to himself allies from among the heretical elemental cults. He took the named Zak'chul upon himself the Lord of Change, and in his madness resolved to be one, alongside Rajaat and the other Dark Lords of Athas, to return the world to its original watery state. Where Rajaat gathered to himself allies among the humans, Zak'chul inducted a handful of fellow kreen into a secret brotherhood that would lead their mutated armies across the face of Athas.

In the fullness of time, Zak'chul unleashed his genocidal legions alongside those of Rajaat, and enjoyed victory after victory. Among his greatest allies were a cult of Ymeri known as the Fire Eaters, who encouraged the Dark Lord Zak'chul to make common cause with Princess of Evil Creatures of Elemental Fire. However, the insanity of the creature known alternatively as Zak'chul or Dargulin, the Red God became increasingly apparent to many of his allies, who resolved, like the Champions of Rajaat, to rebel against their master. The greatest servants of Zak'chul arrayed themselves at the white monolith, a twin of the Pristine Tower, which stood in the heart of the Crimson Savannah and used its powers to trap and subdue their former master. To this day, the immense form of the Lord of Change slumbers beneath the sky-scraping ivory plinth. The descendants of these heroes founded the Kreen Empire of the Crimson Savannah, as well as the orders of the zik'chil, the priests of change, which continue to rule the teeming cities of the tohr-kreen. Not all of the Champions of the Red God rebelled, and some number of Dargluin's crazed disciples erected a hidden tomb, the location of which is said to be in the vicinity of ancient Kalidnay.


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Here's some more fluff ideas for mages -- I think the mechanical dimension will allow dozens of different 'builds' as long as you can connect it to the relevant lore. Since Cae is a Witch, and Hamza is using shadow magic (am I missing anyone else?), I'd like to see if you can develop some new fluff or mechanical choices to connect your spell casting to these ideas (or help me develop them further):

Sun and Moon Mages:

I love the idea for using the godling classes for the sun and moon mages.

It also gave me another idea -- the fluff I'm using has twin dead gods of the sun and moon. Part of the 'godling' idea is that sun and moon magic draws on the residual powers of the dead divinities of these heavenly bodies. The dead deities of the sun and moon essentially form 'Living Vortexes' of the sort the Templars draw upon to harness power from the sorcerer-kings and queens.

For both solar and lunar magic, the powers of the mage will be increased during the time of day with which their powers are associated, and decline during the opposite period of time.

The powers of moon mages will also wax and wane with the cycles of the moon.

The twin moons of Ral and Guthay each offer slightly different suites of abilities depending on which entity the mage directs its attention. Ral is based on Barsoom, and offers gravitational and teleportation powers, among other abilities. Guthay is a destroyed gas giant whose orientation is more Lovecraftian, and is home to psurlons. The latter can somehow use psurlon-related leaches to channel or increase their powers.

Moon mages also draw power from the Athasian zodiac and other astral phenomena.

There are several significant cabals of moon mages in the city of Draj, where they are a part of the sorcerer-king Tektuktitlay's cult.

Sun mages run the risk of immolating themselves if they overstretch their capacities with meta-magic feats, which allow them to use their own life force to increase the effect of spells. This is a kind of blood sacrifice to the power of the sun. Sun magic requires blood as a material component, either that of the caster or a material component sacrifice. They can achieve exceptional results by channeling their powers through blue age artifacts like the Pristine Tower.

Shadow Magic

Shadow magic derives from the residual powers of the Feywild after it was devoured by a xxyth lord during the Cleansing Wars, resulting in the creation of the Black. The primary orientation of Shadow Magic is illusion and darkness/concealment. Just as the Feywild was a kind of spirit world or first world that represented a primal, enchanted version of Athas, so the Black is a twisted, macabre copy. The powers of shadow magic draw upon an individual's shadow to power their spell weaving. The shadow is a doppleganger that perpetually seeks to control its material plane partner. The excessive use of shadow magic always risks the shadow 'taking over' from its twin on Athas. Over time, shadow magic users can also fade into shadow stuff.

Geomancy

Earth magic is the most closely related to psionics of the other power sources, and would include builds that incorporate the cerebremancer prestige class. It involves drawing on gems and crystals that channel the innate powers of the living world that is Athas. This includes dealing with lesser earth spirits and drawing power from mana nodes. The physical corruption of Athas can afflict those who employ these arts, potentially causing geomancers to go crazy and become 'dire' mutants that wander the wastes until they are 'put down'.

Cerulean Mages

These magic users draw upon the Living Vortex which contains the powers of the Dragon's spirit (since the Dragon is still alive right now, I suppose he will be killed in game to facilitate these options), and focuses it through the Dark Lens. Cerulean mages risk being turned into 'storm wraiths' who are trapped with the Dragon and Tithian if they are too zealous. Each Cerulean mage carries a shard or copy of the Dark Lens known as an obsidian spectacle. Their powers increase in close proximity to a Tyr storm.

Grey Mages

These casters draw upon the powers of the grey, binding spirits to enact powerful enchantments. These arts created the Dead Lands, and were developed when the survivors received tutelage from the free willed undead lords of the obsidian plain in the arts of nethermancy. The powers of Grey Mages increase in the vicinity of the Dead Lands. However, they risk possession by these spirits, as well as prematurely fading into the realm of the dead. Grey mages also can draw the life force out of living beings to power their spells, an effect which is comparable to a free willed undead's energy drain ability. Whereas sun mages sacrifice blood, grey mages offer life force to power their enchantments.

Defilers

These mages draw upon an other worldly power taught by the ancient race of extra terrestrials known as the Stoneburners, who are responsible for both the mutagenic tenebrian seeds of the dragons of Serran and the hideous 'evolutions' cased by the naturebenders of Athas' halflings ann their descendants, the zik'chil of the Kreen Empire. Defiling magic saps of the life of the world to power these evolutions, and the excessive employment of its arts inevitably deforms the user in hideous ways. Defilers create a toxic aura that pollutes their vicinity, and adherents of this form of magic gain additional powers in the presence of a powerful locus of defiling magic, such as a sorcerer-king or arch-defiler.

Preservers

The preserving arts were first introduced to Athas by the enigmatic Glassmakers, patrons of the halfings and their fraal masters in the Blue Age. Preserving channels positive energy but is the most unstable form of magic, and will inevitably result in bizarre wild magic effects when used regularly. The latter are responsible, most notably, for the Brown Tide during the Blue Age.


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familiar sounds good


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Sounds interesting. What are the rules about 3rd party material?

EDIT: I'd be interested in maybe playing a sneaky/skill monkey character -- like a assassin, scout, investigator, or similar character. I'm wondering about a few 3rd party classes in that category if you'll consider such material.


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Hamza Mīnakshi wrote:

Just to make sure, will our companions also get access to the Horrifically OP feats?

Also, for animal companions(familiars do *not* get a HD increase), how will the gestalt interact with their hit dice?

A 3rd level companion has 3 HD, while one at 6 has 6, and a 8th level one has 7.

Will they be able to gestalt one class with their animal HD? Or will they still get two classes?

I assume they also get mythic and the option for taking a PrC?

If they receive bonus HD from a template, and they are able to take HOP feats, are they able to take extra HOP feats at the same rate as class levels?

Ie, if I have wolf companion as a 6th level druid, which has 6 hit dice, and it has a template that increases their HD to 12, can they take up to 12 HOP, or are they limited to 6 from actual class levels??

I'm trying to make this easy and consistent: what I explicitly don't want is everyone with one of these entities having it constructed differently so that there are dozens of questions about edge cases, how rules interact, whether or not different combinations of HD and class levels and templates are equal or not to other configurations, and so on and so forth.

I want to use one set of rules that is identical to the PC rules that get applied to all the entities in the category of cohort, animal companion, familiar etc. I want them to be exactly the same as a pc except you're using animal for race.

Just ignore the difference between familiars and companions for HD. We're going to treat each case like you're using a base animal or exotic race as you race. Start with the base creature from the bestiary and build it exactly the same as a PC -- you're just substituting the animal for a race.


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Jin, can you fix Gu soon?

I'm itching to throw some nasty mythic Egyptian creatures from a Legendary Games mythic monsters pdf I got recently at the animal buddies and robots/golems and see what happens.


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Yes -- but it's a conversation only Tyren can hear -- all you see is a half-elf standing around searching the room with his magical lights.

I'm encouraging PvP necessarily, I'm just saying it's an option, whereas in most campaigns it's not.


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Vincent Bloodmoon wrote:
Pai Song wrote:
I'm don't know whether you can make rain with that spell or not. Just wind won't really help I'm afraid.

Strong Wind: Gusts that automatically extinguish unprotected flames (candles, torches, and the like). Such gusts impose a –2 penalty on ranged attack rolls and on Perception checks.

Wind can work, whether(yuk,yuk) or not it works in this case is up to the DM. And I went with wind over rain because it is more subtle.

I'm going to allow it, I have another complication coming that will fit in nicely with that. The ship is still totally singed to ruination basically after the 3 rounds it will take to build up to that.

Another note -- we're not done with this combat yet, but I'm going to do a 'level up' -- you're not going to increase in level, but instead add a bunch of additional feats. I'm going to rebuild the campaign info page info to reflect the rules for this advancement.

I've reworked a couple of the rules we're using by synthesizing the 3.5 and PF versions. I'm going to post files with that info next week, I'm almost done, and it's mostly minor changes:

Armor as Damage Reduction: per the 3.5 version, you're going to get a little boost to AC/Defense from armor and natural armor, whereas the PF doesn't give that.

Wounds/Vitality (Vigor): Per the 3.5 version, constitution bonuses are added to Vitality (contra PF), but per PF, but as per PF crits. go right to wounds, and magical health effects both Wounds and Vitality.

Defense Bonuse: this is from 3.5 -- it's another bonus to add to defense to not make it so bad to play an unarmored character.

Reserve Points and Healing Surges -- These are ways to regain Vitality and Wounds, and are a combination of 3.5, 4e, and PF.


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I also want to invite people to consider outside the box thinking for this combat -- you might be able to retreat into a closed space, or collapse the ceiling or teleport the monster away or something. You may not be able to bash this thing into submission.


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-- ARSINOE --

In the ruins of Kalidnay...

Arsinoe clucked slightly as she observed the persistent but habitually unbalanced beetle struggle to not topple from the back of her pale hand. Its careening gate and apparent lack of any meaningful direction sense brought it, again and again, to the edge of the cutaneous precipice where the shadow which covered her overturned palm dissipated in the intense light of the midday sun.

"And to think," she thought contemplatively to herself, "that so little a thing as this might change the fate of Athas?"

Arsinone tilted her hand slightly to maneuver the beetle back to the summit of her knuckles. For a moment, it seemed to have tired of its ill-fated explorations, and rested, folding its multi-jointed legs beneath its spine-laden carapace.

The dense web of thorny projections reminded Arsinoe of the murals in her family's Balican villa which depicted the ancient Peliadean helots which accompanied her ancestors from the eastern shores of the gulf now known as the Sea of Silt. Over a millennia ago, her righteous forefathers had made the difficult journey over a wide expanse that was then filled with blue water, departing from a land where, as the tales expressed it 'merchants ruled as kings'. Or rather some did, for those that did not, such as her ancestors, sought other lands where they might rise to royal privileges. And that they had -- quickly dispatching the unimpressive forces of the indigenous Tarḫunz, who still venerated the lion spirits they claimed had civilized them in ancient times in obscure and terrible rituals, alongside their Anaean rulers. The heavily armored helots of the Peliadean fleet, the flames of their alchemical fire which was not extinguished by water, and the relentless will of those that commanded them quickly subjected Balic. The old line of Anaean kings was thrown down and the merchant councils of the Peliadeans assumed last authority.

That was, until the horrors of the Cleansing Wars descended upon the Tablelands, a tumultuous period of several centuries which witnessed arrival of the Dictator Adrophinus. The Champion of Rajaat had held one election to introduce his rule and then suspended all further democratic demonstrations. And so Balic had remained his personal demesne for over a millennia, the old families of the Great Council never succeeding in recovering their old privileges within the Toautokratorikopalati -- the Dictator's residence that had once been the purview of his subjects.

This drastic alteration in the life of Balic had not been uneventful, and had been the direct impetus for the formation of the society into which Arsinoe had been born and for whose ends she now labored unceasingly.

Incorrectly, many believed the Oiteleutaioipistoi, the 'Last Faithful Ones', to be a heretical branch of the city's confident Veiled Alliance. But this was not so, for her compatriot's origins lay in the cynical philosophical debates that had dominated the social life of the elite families' whose rule Adrophinus had overturned.

Among the many philosophical schools pursued within the Peliadean educational regime, the gymnasium, were several which traced themselves to the philosopher Cytobarides the Cynic, a nay sayer who had derided his confederates for so easily relinquishing their rules of the city. Cytobarides' students contested among themselves ceaselessly to establish 'the truth', a concept expressed in hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of pithy expressions, no more than a paragraph in length, that filled ponderous volumes.

One such example that she had heard quoted often as a child -- "Between blood and water, red shall never darken the tint of blue." This enigmatic expression encapsulated the truth that economic concerns should always take precedent over ties of blood. Heritage was just a matter of chance, but politics one of logic. Family loyalty meant nothing if it led to ruin. This might seem disloyal or treacherous to an outsider, but to those inducted into the realities revealed by Cytobarides' teachings, it expressed the only correct way to conduct one's life.

It had to be admitted that the development of this unremitting philosophy had taken many unexpected and regretful turns. In the early days of the movement, the more extreme of Cytobarides' students, including the venerated and feared Isocrates, would conduct debate duels where the defeated principle would consume poison at the conclusion of the exercise. For only a right mind had a purpose in the world -- if one's mind was not turned to the right course naturally, and was so proved by debate, then what reason had it to persist among men? This unfortunate chain of logic was eventually disproved by the brilliant rhetorician Ascinides, a distant ancestor of Arsione's House Nicephorus. He had made the seemingly obvious observation that the culling of the society's ranks decreased truth in the world, and so could not possibly comport with a life that aimed to increase its presence.

Yet, the earlier perspective of the disputations continued to dominate the thinking of those who held out hope, last among their Peliadean brethren who had once crossed the seas, that the world might be set right, and the Dictator deposed, and right law and the good life once reign again.

In time, Oiteleutaioipistoi had become something of fellow travelers to the Veiled Alliance of Balic, though never entirely sharing their perspective or methods.

For one, the Preservers of the Alliance, had they been aware, would have reviled and attempted to stymie with bloodshed the rise of the Grey Mages among the Oiteleutaioipistoi. These enlightened sorcerers drew equally from the power of the Defiling and Preserving arts -- was anything else logical? Could any magic that stemmed from a single well be accounted greater than that which drew its power from two? This is the fearless logic which guided her compatriots along the single, best path that would inevitably produce 'the best of all possible worlds'. Not swayed by emotion or other facile considerations -- Arsinoe never had to fear to do what was demonstrably right. This is the great gift with which her mother Persephone and her other teachers had endowed her.

But it would not be easy.

Arsinoe lowered her hand slowly to let the beetle return to the breeding pit on the portico. She looked up at the high walls of the compound to which she and her brethren had been driven. Here, in the ruins of the ancient city of Kalidnay, they had finally summoned the means to make their shared vision that of all humanity.

She gazed down again at the torrent of insects swarming in the breeding pit. They writhed ceaselessly, a seething mass of glistening carapace and bristling limbs.

Arsinoe stepped away several paces, slowly feeling her mental and arcane powers returning to her, for the presence of the 'gloweaters', the 'beetles of Shefqat" silenced the arts of the mind and spirit. How they achieved this was a little understood product of the black fire with which their enigmatic allies in the depths of the ruins bathed the creatures in a mysterious ritual repeated every seven days to increase their brood.

Yes, their mysterious allies -- the 'Harbingers' who had arrived in the ruins a few months after Arsinoe and her brethren among the Oiteleutaioipistoi had fled the Balic and taken refuge here, in the midst of the Great Alluvial Sand Waste, in the former habitation of the sorcerer-queen Kalid-Ma. This compound, it was believed, had been one of her mortuary temples or pleasure palaces. The strange serpentine creatures had activated the network of psionic artifacts that surrounded the ruins, and begun summoning many strange travelers to Athas. But they had also offered an alliance and the aid of the power represented by the adamantine diamond that they appeared to worship. It was the black light emitted by this strange object which transformed the beetles, rendering them capable of deafening the power of even the greatest psion or sorcerer while within their presence. They were the means by which the Oiteleutaioipistoi would punish both their erstwhile allies among the Alliance, who had rejected the gambit which had led to her family's expulsion from the city, as well as the Dictator and his hedge wizards. None would stand in their way, and the city of Balic would return to a life directed by rightful rule.

And not just Balic, she reflected, for the vision of her society had only grown in the last few months. Indeed, they now set about establishing cells in the ruins of ancient Yaramuke, within the shadows of the Forest of Terror, beneath the hot springs of Nibenay, and by the shores of the Sea of Silt, among other locales.

It was not just Balic that would be freed of misrule, but all lands. Truth itself would direct the lives of all who drew breath in the Tablelands.

And it was these minuscule creatures that would bring about so momentous an alteration in the present circumstances.

Arsinoe gathered her dappled gray mantle about herself as she retreated into the interior of what had likely been a chapel of Kalid-Ma in ancient times. The structure was often overwhelmed by the shadow of the immense pyramid in the center of the compound, and so it was today -- the light entering the portico obscured not alone by the shadows of its own pillars.

She reflexively reached out for Raxus' presence, and was quickly reminded of his passage. The eidolon had vanished after witnessing the latest ritual wherein more beetles had been created. He had apparently taken especial umbrage at the use of half-giant slaves to supply the ceremony with the necessary power. Only logical, but for a creature of wills and passions, Raxus' reaction was understandable.

But where had he gone?

And where was Cae? He had vanished during the raid on the House Nicephorus compound in Balic, but his fate remained a mystery.

How had managed to lose both her imaginary and childhood friends?

Arsione shook her head to rid her mind of the unwelcome thoughts. There was too much to do. The profile of her mother appeared in the gloom of the chapel. The older woman casually removed her hood.

"Are you ready daughter? Remember, the hunting party must find at least another dozen souls for the next ceremony. We do not wish to disappoint our allies, lest they decline to provide us with another swarm."

"Indeed, mother, I shall not fail."

Arsinoe again to regard the heavily armored brigade ready for the next expedition.

She gritted her teeth.

She would not fail.


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Hamza Mīnakshi wrote:

Hey Seb, I hate to be a pain, and am sorry to ask this, but since feats can increase the capabilities I have with Hamza,

Exactly how many should we have at 6th level gestalt, 2 levels PrC, total ?

Also, for the purposes of Gestalt/Prestigious/Magic-User and any similar feats that calculate their effects as half our *total* levels,

Are we 6th level or 8th level?

you're 6th if you don't take the 2 prestige levels, 8th otherwise (mythic doesn't count for levels, as far as I know).

]

Gestat progression
1 lv-4
2 lv-2
3 lv-4
4 lv-2
5 lv-4
6 lv-2

18 total

Mythic progression
1-2
2-1

3-2

3 or 5 total

Prestige progression'
1-2
2-1

3 total


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Nothing fancy. A sentence or 2 of basic background -- where they're from, what they're about; in addition, it would be helpful if you could out line their mechanical 'build' (s) -- dex attacker; intimidator; con caster etc.


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OK, I see what you mean, I wasn't tracking the difference between Demon and Daemon/Tana'ri and Yuggoloth. So that's basically the NE outsider language, that's fine.


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Ri'Kli'Klek wrote:

Yes, we did use the feat tax rules, which I still need to take into account for Ri'Kli'Klek because I messed up and used some non-feat-tax feats for him. I've just been a bit... stuck on how I want to build him at this point. He obviously fails as a melee combatant right now, but I don't think there are really feats to help with that even if he gets tons of them. I'm just a rather mediocre optimizer.

Let's see...

1) One feat a level is plenty, in my opinion. Of course that might just be because I have difficulty deciding on feats so letting me take more just means more time agonizing over the list. XD

2) I'm honestly not familiar with those, I'll have to look at them. I've glanced at them all of once and don't recall anything wildly crazy.

3) Ummmm... I honestly can't remember what we're already using, but that's fine if you're worried about killing us.

If you need guidance on feat choices, there are optimization guidebooks for virtually everything that give you lists of stuff to take for different builds -- just throwing that out there, you can build your character how you want. You can probably rebuild your character into an unarmed combat speed demon if you looked up the build guidebooks for that.


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I find KF absolutely fascinating, a real monument of gaming excellence. I'm mulling over what I'm going to do when PF1e officially goes out of print in August; this might become my 3x 'go-to' game.

If the esteemed Kirth, and/or any other KF aficionados, had time or inclination to offer some opinions on the following, I'd be grateful:

I'm thinking about KF for specific genre games -- how would it handle, or would you suggest handling:

Desert World stuff -- specifically Dark Sun, or more broadly Egyptian, Arabian, Mesopotamian kind of games. I'm particularly interested in how you'd do the DS races and classes in KF, particularly defiling/preserving magic, elemental clerics, and advanced being progressions for dragons, avangions, and elemental lords.

Eberron, or anything with a technological component like gunslingers.


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Yes -- I'm super tired, but I'm ready to get posting again. I'll try to update everything today.


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Aleister, Lissala's Chosen wrote:
Aleister bows respectfully at the proprietress "I have not tried much from Zyxyl, but I am will gladly partake of your family's sushi recipe. As I was just telling my companion here, I find one of the best experiences is in the sampling of other cultures cuisines."

Aiko assumes a slightly conspiratorial tone as she answers the monk,

"Well, it all came to a head when the old church was burned down. A sorry day that. You see, this shrine we are dedicating today was built over an earlier structure, a western-style basilica with a niche for each of the town's major patron deities. Like the new shrine, the old church was overseen by a devotee of the Immortal Desna, the Father Ezakien Tobyn. In fact, was he was the de facto religious leader in the Varisian town of Sandpoint until his death in 4702 AR. Both Father Ezakien and his foundling child Nualia perished in the fire."

The old lady pauses solemnly in the mist of her preparations, taking a small moment to remember the immolation of the two individuals she has just named.

Then, having seemed to steel her resolve, Aiko continues,

"Of course, that wasn't the whole matter, just the end of it. You see, our humble community was subject to the predations of a vicious killer for many years prior to the fire."

"Oh, Sandpoint was no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once or twice a year, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were drunk, and someone would end up dead. But when the body count suddenly began to mount, the town had no idea how to react."

"Sandpoint's sheriff at the time was a no-nonsense man named Casp Avertin, a retired city watch officer from the city-state of Magnimar, yet even he was ill-prepared for the murderer who came to be known as Chopper."

"Over the course of one long winter month, every few days brought a new victim to light. Each was found in the same terrible state, bodies bearing deep cutting wounds to the neck and torso, with both hands and feet severed and stacked nearby and the eyes and tongue missing entirely, plucked crudely from the head."

"And so, over the course of that terrible month, Chopper claimed 25 victims. His uncanny knack at eluding traps and pursuit quickly wore on the town guard, taking particular toll on Sheriff Avertin, who increasingly took to drinking. Many believe that he even took to beating his wife and daughter, and that, in its own way, may have been the genesis of the Sandpoint Fire."

"In any event, Sheriff Avertin himself became Chopper's last victim, slain when he finally caught the killer mutilating his latest victim in the side street that would come to be known as Chopper's Alley. Yet in the battle that followed, Avertin managed a telling blow against the murderer. When the town guard found the sheriff dead with another victim several minutes later, they were able to follow the bloody trail left by the killer..."

"A trail that led straight to the stairs of Stoot's Rock, the prominent stone outcropping just north of the Old Light."

She stops briefly, realizing the probably unfamiliarity of the reference,

"But where am I wandering with this tale, young one, of course you don't know who old Stoot was!"

Aiko chuckles slightly as she begins again,

"You see, in 4687 AR, when Jervis Stoot made clear his intentions to build a home on the island just north of the Old Light, locals in Sandpoint paid him no mind."

"Jervis had already garnered something of a reputation as an eccentric for his one-man crusade to carve depictions of birds on every deserving building in town. Stoot never made a carving without securing permission, but his incredible skill made it a given that if Stoot picked your building as the site of his latest project, you seized the opportunity. Sporting a Stoot soon grew to be something of a bragging point, and Jervis eventually extended his talent to include ship figureheads and even carriages."

"Those who asked or tried to pay him for his skill were rebuffed, Stoot telling them, "There ain't no birds in that wood for me t'set free," and going on his way. Stoot often wandering the streets for days before noticing a hidden bird in a fencepost, lintel, steeple, or doorframe and securing permission to "release" it with his trusty carving knives."

"Stoot's excuse for wanting to move to the isle seemed innocent enough—the place was a haven for local birdlife, and his claim of "Wantin' ta be with th' birds" seemed to make sense. So much, in fact, that the guild of carpenters (with whom Stoot had maintained a friendly competition for several years) volunteered to build a staircase, free of charge, along the southern cliff face so that Stoot could come and go from his new home with ease."

"For fifteen years, Stoot lived on the island. His trips into town grew less and less frequent, making it something of an event when he chose a building to host a new Stoot."

Aiko takes a deep breath,

"So that catches us up I think, where was I then? Oh yes, the constables were headed up to old Stoot's rock, hot on the trail of Chopper."

"Well, at first, the town guard refused to believe the implications, and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis Stoot as his 26th victim."

"Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found in a horrific altar to a birdlike demon whose name none dared speak aloud."

"Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose for a final offering."

"The guards collapsed the entrance to the chambers, burned Stoot's house, tore down the stairs, and tried to forget."

"Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes then blessed and then scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit from beyond the grave."

"In the months to follow, Sandpoint did its best to forget the terror, although even today, children who remember the dark times only six years ago sometimes wake with nightmare visions of Chopper hiding under their beds."


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I'm only posting this in games I'm running, because I'd hope to have most of the same people I'm already GMing for participate -- would anyone prospectively be interested in an Al-Qadim sort of game with build rules in the same ball park as what I usually propose? I wouldn't start it for another month or so, I just have this hankering itch to use my pile of Al-Qadim stuff, even just for a 1-off.


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Okay, posted build rules in case we need to re-recruit in campaign info. I've also flesh out my ideas for the setting a bit more.

I already indicated I'm going to do a mash-up of Golarion with Mystara, and I've explained that a bit more. Rise of the Runelords was written before the rest of the setting was developed in any coherent form, so this won't really affect most game play, but just introduce new elements that will appear in the Varisian hinterlands, such as the visitors from the Heldannic Freeholds that Ynja and Shi'Vatha have already encountered.

Varisia is essentially a self contained zone that can be dropped without any difficulty, including its Thassilonian history, into the Norwold region of Mystara.

Aroden will be considered an Immortal that perished during the Immortals War detailed in the Wrath of the Immortals box.

Ancient Azlant is equivalent to Blackmoor, and the parent culture of Thassilon, and other ancient empires.

There major change is the frequent appearance of guns, as well as airships, which are common in this world.

I posted a world map in the google slides document.

If there's any particular Golarion element you want to add-in, like a country, that is going to be easy to do and you just need to tell me and I'll explain how it fits into the fluff I have in find.

The tone/inspiration for this setting is something like Final Fantasy.


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Okay, I've had a chance to look at what I want to do, and here are the revised build rules

MOST IMPORTANT: ALL and ONLY Paizo materials, NO third party anything at all.

Otherwise, my goal is to provide a lot of options without introducing anything that entrails unusual or complicated rules exceptions -- basically just adding on numbers, features, not essentially changing anything.

Stats: 102 pt. buy. That should be straight 18s, but there's no min/max. If you want 40 in one score, you can dump others, etc.

Feats: 45 feats at level 1. Thereafter, EACH side of the gestalt advances as if a Fighter for feat allocation. So that's another 2-4 feats per level. The bonus feat can be used for anything you want, not just combat feats.

Race/template: as long as you can justify it storywise, any race/template combination is allowed.

Class: 5th level gestalt (Shattered Star goes up to 15th level, and the first adventure ends at 5th level, so I'm starting you off where you'd end the first adventure, and I'm going to raise the ceiling so that the final adventure starts off at 20th).

Skills: Background skills from Unchained.

Starting Gold: 880,000gp.

Hit Points: Double maximum every level.

These are build rules but I need a good character story -- I reserve the right to veto anything I think you're phoning in without any fluff justification. You need a fluff reason for your wealth. You don't need to be a human aristocrat. For example, you can be an alien merchant from a rich mining company that's living in cognitio in Magnimar.

Animal companions are built using the same rules as for characters where it applies (ask me questions so I can figure out what else I need to clarify)

Finally, for combat, we will use this system: every round you declare whether you're using the ordinary or the unchained action economy (you can switch back and forth). I find unchained easier to deal with from the DM side, but I don't want to complicate the swift action issue by requiring it, so we'll just use both.


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I just saw the awesome humble bundle deal with the entire Shattered Star AP in it -- I had this idea for a PF1e celebration where we only use Paizo stuff but turn all the dials up to 111.

I'm trying to propose crazy build rules that can also be made in Herolab -- I don't use it but a lot of people do, so let me know what does or doesn't work people if there's any interest.

Biggest caveat: Paizo sources only. All Paizo, but only Paizo.

Stats: 102pt. buy (that's straight 18s), but no min or max.
Class: start at 1st level in 2 different classes (so second level). You also start with 1 level of an NPC class that reflects your pre-adventuring background.
Feats: you start with 45 feats. 4. 5. Have at it.
Equipment: 100,000 gold.
Hit Points: double maximum.
Skills: Background skills.

You can have any race or template, but this has to be a character that can function in Magnimar, where the campaign starts. If you're some crazy race/template combo that would frighten 99 percent of the population, you'll have to be under constant disguise or something.

And I want a good back story for really crazy stuff. I'll veto it if it's just a conglomeration of stats without any explanation.


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Obviously, the site has been terrible this weekend.

Let's try to refocus monday--we were about to/going to open the next door. Can I have some confirmation on that, and then I'll also introduce the new players, which are an elf shamen (from a different tribe than Amunet), and her magical weapon (also a PC, kind of fun!)


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Hamza Mīnakshi wrote:

The benefit of being unseen is that nobody knows where or when you're going to appear next. Nor do they know what you're going to do, until it's too late to stop you.

Thus it was with Hamza. Power drove him. It's part of what brought him down here in the first place. The potential to gain more power, through alliances, death or seizing on the right opportunities.

Opportunities such as this font of power before them. Power that could threaten Athas the Kreen said. That is power he would have, if he could.

He steps into the shadows, only to suddenly appear in the middle of the vortex. Using my Shadow Step SLA.

Elemental Vortex:

Hamza feels the ancient power of the Red God surge through him.

Hamza gains the horrifically overpowered feat that gives 18s on all physical abilities as a free feat. He also gains the feat progression of a fighter of his level on top of any other feats. These feat slots may only be utilized for combat feats. Finally, he can now utilize any stat he selects to calculate his Wounds, and can add that stats modifier to each level when calculating his Vigor points.


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Everyone who finished a character gets to play, please dot in if you're done -- I'm not kicking anyone off.


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Monkeygod wrote:
Sebecloki wrote:

Okay, looks like we have more than enough. I went ahead and started building out the campaign page. You can dot into game play and open discussion if you want.

I decided I don't really like the Inner Sea maps, so I'm going to stick Sandpoint in a corner of the Known World Map from Mystara. I uploaded a few maps.

That won't affect any relevant lore -- all the gods will just be Immortals, and ancient Thassilon and the Varisian area still exist. I'll probably make some more adjustments as time goes on, but besides the common gunpowder I mentioned in my recruitment post, nothing will concern us for the moment.

Will ancient Azlant still be a country?(in the past, obviously) A big part of my character is him being an actual Azlanti pureblood, hailing from that empire, and joining First King Xin when he founded Thassilon.

yes that all still exists


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At this point there's no way I'd use what it looks like the rule set will be. I'm either just sticking with PF1e, which I think there's some chance 3rd party will continue publishing for, or looking into Porphypra when they finish and potentially have supplements.

I have 1,000 pdfs of Pathfinder stuff and a really big 3.5 hard copy collection (I was buying 3.0 in high school before pdfs were a big thing). One of the reasons I have crazy build rules is because there's no reason to have hundreds of options if you can't try a good handful of them out with any given build (at least in my mind).

I can't imagine totally giving up on all that to move to another platform. I've barely scratched what I can do with my collection, and there's still stuff I want to try like the NeoExodus and Obsidian Apocalypse campaign setting from Louis Porter, Pact Magic. There's even additional stuff I'd like to try with Athas with all the options in Pathfinder.


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Also... just out of curiosity, but has anyone looked at PF2 at this point?

I'm not sure what the thought process is -- I'm pretty disappointed with the direction of things after some initial interest, and I'm definitely not switching.

Purple Duck is doing a PF retroclone called the Porphyra RPG which I might use in the future, but I'm kind of bumbed they decided to make a version which is unusable with my 1,000 pdfs of PF and 3.5 material.

I guess that's also to emphasize I'm most definitely not interested in converting this or any other game I'm running when the new rule set comes out.


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Scarlet Sentinels (x2):

SCARLET SENTINEL

Among the most insidious of Kla'Tra'Yhe's guardians, the scarlet sentinels are unique golems created by the Trapmaster of Dargulin in which a powerful daemon has been trapped. The furious outsider unleashes its rage against all who disturb its sanctuary...

NE Large construct
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 27, touch 9, flat-footed 27 (+18 natural, –1 size)
Wounds 20; Vigor 170; fast healing 5
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +5
Defensive Abilities jagged body; DR 10/adamantine and good; Immune construct traits, fire, magic

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slam +23 (2d10+9 plus hellfire touch); 2 claws +25 (2d12+9 plus bleed)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks berserk liberation, hellfire touch, slow, bleed (2d6), obsidian spray

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 10, Con —, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +17; CMB +27; CMD 37
SQ death throes
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Intimidate +29
Languages Abyssal, Infernal (can’t speak)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Berserk Liberation (Ex)

When a scarlet sentinel enters combat, there is a cumulative 2% chance each round that the animating fiend breaks free and the scarlet sentinel goes berserk. This chance resets to 0% after 1 minute of inactivity. When a scarlet sentinel goes berserk, the animating fiend explodes in a conflagration of hellfire, dealing 13d6 points of damage to all creatures within 60 feet (Reflex DC 17 half). Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. The save DC is Constitution-based. The berserk scarlet sentinel then loses the fiend-infused template permanently and thereafter attacks the nearest living creature, or smashes some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach. Once it goes berserk, no known method can reestablish control.

Hellfire Touch (Su)

A scarlet sentinel’s body radiates the soul-scorching heat of the evil Outer Planes, dealing 2d6 points of damage with its touch. Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. Creatures attacking a scarlet sentinel with unarmed strikes or natural weapons take this same hellfire damage each time one of their attacks hits. A scarlet sentinel’s natural attacks are treated as evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

A scarlet sentinel is immune to any spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A transmute rock to mud spell slows a scarlet sentinel (as per the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock restores all of its lost hit points.
A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the scarlet sentinel’s structure but negates its damage reduction and immunity to magic for 1 full round.
A banishment or dismissal spell quells the animating fiend temporarily, negating the scarlet sentinel’s hellfire touch ability for 1 round with no saving throw. The spell also increases the chance of the scarlet sentinel’s berserk liberation by 20% in subsequent rounds of combat.
A magical attack that deals fire damage sharpens the scarlet sentinel’s claws, increasing their critical threat range to 18–20 and increasing bleed damage to 3d6 for 1d4+1 rounds.
A magical attack that deals cold damage cakes ice over the scarlet sentinel’s form, suppressing the bleed damage from its claw attacks and negating its jagged body ability for 1 round.
A stone to flesh spell negates the scarlet sentinel’s damage reduction, jagged body, and immunity to magic for 1 full round.

Slow (Su)

A scarlet sentinel can use a slow effect, as per the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the scarlet sentinel and a duration of 7 rounds. A successful DC 17 Will save negates the effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Death Throes (Ex)

When a scarlet sentinel is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, it explodes. All creatures within a 20-foot burst take 12d6 points of piercing and slashing damage and 2d6 points of bleed damage. A successful DC 18 Reflex save results in half damage and negates the bleed effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Jagged Body (Ex)

A creature that grapples a scarlet sentinel or that hits it with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 2d6 points of bleed damage.

Obsidian Spray (Ex)

As a swift action every 1d4+1 rounds, a scarlet sentinel can unleash a torrent of obsidian shards, filling a 30-foot cone. Creatures caught in this attack take 8d6 points of piercing and slashing damage and 2d6 points of bleed damage. A DC 18 Reflex save reduces this damage by half and negates the bleed effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Treasure none


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And here is my first pass at the dark counterpart of Raam -- Shadowed Alaka, the City of Yaksas located in the Black.

Rakshasa City of Alaka

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