Just tried to get started, but the fun ended on the login screen. I prefer to have safe passwords, which means I usually copy and paste them from a password manager.
Now, this does not work at all with the form, in fact the paste operation & hotkey both seem to be disabled. :(
Typing in ~20 characters from all over the printable set is no fun at all. Now, I could change my password to "carrot", but I think none of us would want that. So please, add an option to use c&p for passwords.
Alright, James and all. I've been critical of Mythic Play before. I've been critical of the Worldwound. And I've spoken out against Wrath of the Righteous.
What you delivered was nothing short of stellar, and I draw my hat. You've just published a serious contender to Curse of the Crimson Throne. Really excellent work.
All in all, I am glad I stuck with it, and anxiously await how you manage to make me like He-Man in Golarion. ;)
Starting off as a Player in a new Kingmaker group. Since I am a bit late to the party, I'm looking to complement their already-chosen characters. Currently, there are:
* Elven Staff Magus
I've thought about adding a full arcane caster, but the magus player is rather "competitive", so other ideas are welcome as well.
Due to several factors, my budget's not what it used to be. I'll need to cut back my gaming purchases as a result.
After some due deliberation, I've decided to cut the Player Companions and Modules subscriptions. While I really like the new player companion format, it simply is the line i get least use from.
The Lux Imperator cut through the Empyrean like a blade, swiftly and with no regard as to what it crossed. The destroyer was making good time to its destination, since the warp had turned to a comparative calm in the last few months.
Deep inside the ship, a most illustrious meeting took place. Brother Angrael, of the Flesh Tearers was a veteran brother of the Deathwatch. Hero of the Imperium. Personal friend to two inquisitors. And simply not least the commander sworn to end the troubles of the triplet systems, as they were commonly called. Large even for a space marine, his black armor covered with mementos of engagements won and wounds sustained. His face was almost unrecognizable as human, merely a thin whisp of skin stretched over bone, a mess of burn scards with only the merest hints of a nose, ears and lips. His left eye was an ominous red cybernetic, while his right one was merely an empty socket.
With him, a full twenty brethren of the Deathwatch stood. The accomplished "Saguine Brotherhood", and the enigmatic "Cryptguard" were chosen for this mission alongside your "Sacramentum Vis".
Angrael looked severel. "Welcome my brothers. We have much to discuss. As you know, the systems we are heading to are all valuable. Valuable and under attack. We have now been able to determine two of the threats we will face. With a motion, a primitive hologram filled the air. "Andrais is under assault by Eldar raiders. These pirates have outmaneuvered the PDF and stationed imperial guard forces several times, each time taking slaves and critical supplies. We suspect them to have a base somewhere in the system. One of our teams will deploy to coordinate with Major Cymbial. Another swift motion replaced the system schematic with a picture displaying an aging woman in an imperial guard uniform. There was nothing beautiful about her. Heavily scarred and with the right half of her head replaced by cybernetic augments, she could probably have passed for a servitor, if she put her mind to it. "The purpose of this deployment is twofold. You are to protect a purposefully underdefended target, in the hopes of drawing the pirates out. After breaking their speartip, follow any clues uncovered and neutralize their staging area. This mission requires speed, discretion and no small amount of stealth.
Another motion, and the display changed to the ocean world of Tekor Prime. "The situation on Tekor is dire as well. Tekor is governed by a council of the five major settlements, overseen by governeur Hanz Miser." A portrait of an aging, hawk-like aristocrat intograted into the system display. Then, three of the settlements turned red. "A faction of three settlements decided to abandon the emperors light, and throw in their lot with the abomible Tau. These xenos have been sending "diplomats" for the better part of a century. We thought their advances soundly rejected, but it seems they fell on fertile soil with some of the subaltern structure. Civil war and heresy are rampant in Tekor. The xenos are out to abuse that weakness. A scouting vessel is already in system, and unloading troops to aid the rebels. Our mission is again twofold - behead the uprising by eliminating the renegade councilmen, and capture or destroy the xenos vessel."
A shadow fell across the face of brother Angrael. "We have lost all astropathic contact with the Parsai system two hours ago. No messages were received, no sent messages confirmed since that time. Requests for aid have specified a mutant uprising in one of the dockyards, with significant infrastructure damage. Inquisitor Helzkann of the Ordo Malleus was en-route to the system. We have failed to reach him, or his entourage. Therefore, objectives are unknown, but likely include battle with the great enemy."
Feel free to discuss the relative challenges of each mission, and volunteer your team for one of them. :)
Welcome to the discussion thread. Here is a brief description of the starting scenario:
You are aboard the "Lux Imperator", a deathwatch destroyer. Your ship is currently heading towards Andrais, Tekor and Parsai, three imperial systems which have requested assistance from "any and all imperial forces". The "Lux Imperator" will deploy a team on each world, visiting Andrais, then Tekor, and finally dock and resupply at Parsai
Your team, composed of recent inductees to the Deathwatch, is aboard this ship, together with 12 other brothers. This significant deployment is justified by the strategic value of the systems.
Andrais is home to Andrais III, a forge of the mechanicum that produces significant percentages of the tanks used in the Jericho crusade. Andrais IX furthermore is a world under close supervision after an orbiting Eldar structure was powered up twenty years ago
The Tekor system has only one colonized world (if you disregard some astroid mines): Tekor Prime, a huge oceanic planet with an oversized moon. In the deep sea of the planet, a special kind of crystal is harvested that is often able to significantly augment astropathic communications when powdered and ingested.
Finally, the orbital docks of the "conjoined planets", Parsai II and III are a vital staging area and supply station for traffic into the reach. Furthermore, its hives house close to 20 billion souls.
Feel free to socialize a little, do any last tweeks (or roll up your character ;) ). I'll put up the first IC post tomorrow at the latest.
Andrais, Tekor and Parsai... Three sister worlds suffering under the constant scourging of Eldar pirates, sniveling Tau Emissaries and a constant undercurrent of mutants and their agitation. These three worlds guard vital supply stations that enable fighting deeper inside the Reach.
The governors of these three worlds have, independently of one another, each requested aid. We have decided to aid them by dispatching the Lux Imperator, with five kill-teams of battle brothers aboard. You will assess the situations, resolve them, and report any findings.
Brother Antoine, of the Chamber of Vigilance.
I'm starting a Deathwatch game, as you may have guessed from the post title. I am looking for up to 8 characters, each created using the standard Deathwatch character creation rules.
You may use material from the core game, and the "First Founding" and "Honor the Chapter" sourcebooks. Any other books, you'd have to buy as PDFs for me first ;)
This recruiting thread will stay open for a week and half (until 2013-06-16). It will not be FCFS, but me trying to build a workable group.
After a short, abortive attempt at playing in the 40th Millenium, I felt confident (or is it delusional?) enough to take over the GM hat after our GM washed out. Unfortunately, the game did not survive that transition.
Still feel the game has potential. But I'm not entirely hung up on Rogue Trader, but instead want to run a quick interest check by you:
* Dark Heresy - Rise and Fall of Saint Arutak This would be a very ground-level game, without too much fancy business. Violence will not be the first resort, and lots of things are different than they seem. Observe the rise (and eventual fall) of a folk saint of the imperium, and do your part to either legitimize or bring him down.
* Rogue Trader - The 2017 lost warp-routes of Roderik Wander Not quite D&D in space, but an episodic game with a "planet of the month" structure.
* Deathwatch - The Devourers Perhaps the most grim scenario. Expect a lot of violence, and high body-counts. Can you beat back a tyranid advance before a full hive-fleet arrives to consume the worlds you recently purged
* Only War - The Haunts of Remir VI-3 A "behind enemy lines" scenario. Don't expect to go in guns blazing in this one. On a recently-pacified rebel planet, superstitions run high. The preachers spread the faith, the commissars keep order - but still, something is taking people in the night.
* Black Crusade - Raiders of the Empyrean A cross between Rogue Trader and Black Crusade, really. Your group of cultists (plus maybe a single CSM) got control of an imperial warship. Are you turning into glorified pirates, or is your devotion to the dark gods deeper, and your ambition stronger?
Please note that these are "throw to the wall, see what sticks" ideas. Therefore, please DO NOT make full characters yet. Express an interest in one or two ideas, make suggestions or ask questions. I'll monitor this thread for at least a week before making any decisions.
It always gnawed on me that Erastil is a bachelor, and I came up with a few explanations that don't end up in making him (that) hypocritical. Feel free to steal if you consider them worth stealing, or suggest something of your own ideas.
1) Erastil can't marry
If Erastil is a bachelor after so many millenia, there are 2 possible reasons. Either he can't marry due to a lack of available partners or something is preventing him from marriage. Now, lack of available partners is unlikely. Even if there was no female diety matching him, there are hordes of female celestials, angels and any number of unique outsiders not diametrically opposed to his views and practices. So the reason is probably that something about himself excludes him from it.
It may be a long shot, but what if Erastil is a eunuch? He lost "them" in some battle or self-sacrifice. If Odin puts out an eye for wisdom...
In such a situation, he probably would no longer feel eligible to marry. What's more, it explains his acute interest in making sure other families have children, and live well. Essentially he becomes a kind of spinster aunt. By sponsering and living through nices and nephews, Erastil faces the emptiness in his own house.
Why keep this a secret
Eunuchs do not have a very good reputation in myth and legend. Erastil may have turned his disability to the benefit of mortals, but priests are likely to emulate their deity more than they probably should. Cults of eunuch priests of Erastil are probably the last thing he wants. Such an excess is city folk decadence, with the added danger of making those people least likely to care about their legacy shepards of a community.
What would it change
Very little, probably. In fact, the secret is so much of a minor detail that I consider it almost a waste of the mystery. ;)
2) Erastil was married once upon a time
When looking what Erastils portfolio actually entails, the words fatherhood come to mind. Community, family but also very much traditional fatherhood. He doesn't seem overly interested in issues like childbirth. Actually looking over what diety does cover this came up with... Lamashtu. Now, we already know about how Lamashtu stole the divine portfolio of Curchanus, and thus gained her dominion over wild beasts that way. What if she got her fertility aspects from yet another divine murder-and-robbery? I find it quite plausible that after such a tragedy, Erastil would be slow to consider remarriage. The fact that very few female gods around would register as eligable probably also counts for something ;)
Why keep this a secret
He failed. Hard. He could not protect his own family. How could he admit this failure to his faithful, and expect them to still follow his example? Since this happened before the ascension of Lamashtu, there would be scarce records and few who would remember anyway. So Erastils side looks pretty plausible to me.
But why hasn't Lamashtu brought forth such a coup front and center, and reminded the goodly religions of it at every turn. For one thing, it could well be she's wary of pushing Ol' Deadeye too far. Sure, she's a goddess, and has legions of the Abyss at her back and call. However, Desna has already invaded the Abyss once, and slain a demon lord. What if a man with nothing left to lose showed up on her doorstep? Or alternatively, one divine murder is a black swan. Nothing like that is likely to happen again. Two, by the same person is going to whet a lot of demon lord appetites. Lamashtu is the only demon goddess, and probably wouldn't mind staying that way. I am not sure how this could be spun, truth be told.
What would it change
Probably Erastil would take a turn for the darker. Not necessarily a full batman-esque double life, but he would probably be even more the "grumpy god" than he already is. If I decided to go with this idea, I would probably push his sexist angle somewhat, insisting woman need a man to protect them. I think he'd stop short of actual crusading (soldiers leave broken hearts behind, and bring broken lives with them when they come back), but only just barely. Harsh justice would be more up his alley than the standard view.
3) Erastil is actually married
Erastil is married offscreen. There is a wife, maybe even a few children. He just tends to believe a family should take care of its own business themselves. His wife stays out of his hair when he meddles with mortal affairs, and he respects her privacy by not dragging her into these affairs.
Why keep this a secret
What would it change
Depends a lot on the concrete wife. Shrewd housewife goddess X probably results her own beliefs just happening to sneak into his admonitions. Firebrand adventure goddess Y could probably not agree about half of his views, but damned if she doesn't love this old codger as much as he loves her.
So, after reading through the entire AP, and mapping out how I'd GM it, I found the end, as written, to be a bit weak. Bonefist is a mechanically sound villain, but the motivation for taking him on boils down to "well, you realistically could, and while its good enough for lowlife like our PCs, I prefer a stronger connection to the rest of the AP.
I'm currently considering to bring back captain Harrigan as the final villain, but unsure how to salvage most of Hell's Heart. I'd like to keep the maps - so I figured I'd break from the official storyline after the chelish fleet battle. The PCs return to their island, and find it overrun with wights, courtesy of Harrigan, who (through some infernal trickery) returned as a grave knight (grave pirate?). They chase him to port peril, and learn he sets out to assassinate Bonefist, and plans to unleash some kind of "failsafe" that would ruin the pirate port. From then on out its a race, with a single misunderstanding enough to set the PCs against the forts defenses.
14 hours ago
As the Jenivere approached the last leg of her journey, an infectious good cheer was spreading through crew and passengers alike. The prospect of a speedy arrival had send spirits soaring, and unlike most meals, this evening was filled with song, good-hearted boasts and the sound of rolling dice. While the fare was meagre, the company made up for it. Even captain Kovak had joined them this night, unlike most recent meals. While quiet stories had wormed their way through the crew, linking this habit with a new acquaintance (the beautiful Varisian enchantress Ieana, the man did not behave out of the ordinary now that he shared the meal with his passengers and crew.
Even Aerys Mavato was sharing a pleasant conversation with Old Horge. The half-elven traveler had spend a significant protion of time voluntarily locked up in her cabin, after ruining Dergo's chances of fatherhood with a well-placed kick. All in all, she had maybe left it for half a day since she boarded in Port Peril. Now she and the old salt were busy burning through his rum allowance, and her supplies of stronger spirits. Their conversation suffered for it not in enjoyment, though slowly it seemed to no longer center quite around the same topic. While she was confessing her burning desire to prove herself on the open sea, and her plans to someday captain her own vessel, the old sailor was growing more nostalic by the minute. Yet the athletic young woman seemed not to mind.
In the meantime, the pompous gnome claiming to be a pathfinder, Gaelik Aberwhinge, had taken to trying to impress Sasha, While the small man from Magnimar was certainly able to spin a good yarn, his antics and energetic gestures only seemed to amuse, though not really impress the hard-eyed woman. Still, he did not take the seeming rejecting in any foul fashion. He, as he claimed, was a gentlemen. While his immaculate appearance and carefully-cultivated Taldane seemed out of place on the Jenivere, his companion for the evening was something else entirely. Sasha Nevah, despite her beautiful face and thick strands of blonde hair, was a woman who just felt... off. To quick to laugh, too quick to take offense. Willing to bet her purse on a single roll, and expect to win. She played her part in one of Gaelik's harmless magic tricks, yet snatched the coin the gnome had hidden in his palm with her four-fingered right hand. Some of the crew whispered they had seen a tattoo of some murder-god named "Mantis" on her shoulder, and her port of origin, the ill-reputed island of Ilizmagorti, seemed to support that idea a little too much for comfort.
Ishirou, the white-haired Tian, on the other hand, seemed as at home as a fish is in water. He almost felt like a part of the crew already, despite his bording in Bloodcove. He had been a constant companion of the crew during the voyage, had lend a helping hand where he could, and generally made himself very useful. After he had shown himself competent and not prone to accidents, the first mate had not only relaxed his watchful eye a little, but was offering him to hire on the Jenivere.
The only one not taking part in the impromptu celebration was the convict, Jask Derindi. He just stared, his black eyes burrowing in the wooden walls opposite his place. Supposedly he was a traitor and a fugitive, and hadn't been allowed out of his irons for longer than half an hour once a day to eat, drink and keep himself clean. The Gallows awaited him once they made landfall, and understandably he was none to keen on them reaching their destination.
Alright, thank you all for staying with me despite the lengthy selection process. Here is what I have planned out:
You generate your characters, using either the heroic method (2d6+6, 6 times), or a High Fantasy purchase method. Feel free to talk to other players about your planned route, and mix and match as you like. Some of you will probably be quite similar in outlook, so these players should take extra care not to be exact copies of each other.
At the same time, I encourage you to expand your description. Since there is not a whole lot of "across the world" travel involved in this AP, most story "back home" will probably be going to waste, but you spend a (potentially very long) time in enclosed spaces. Did you interact at all, and if so, how did you fare.
I've decided to stick with the standard NPCs explained briefly in the Player's guide for starting out. If you want some history with any of them, or need further explanation, feel free to ask.
After quite a few bumps, burns and bruises, I think I finally have both the free time and mental capacity to once again try my hands on a GMing a PbP.
My old favorite CotCT is looking a bit worse for wear. Jade Regent has plenty of games, and Kingmaker is still going so strong that adding another wouldn't make much sense. So I opted for a somewhat more ambitious project: Making Serpent Skull work. For me, this means leaving the very good first book intact, doing a major rewrite of the second, and looking on how to merge 3, 4 and 5 if we ever get that far.
I am ultimately looking for a group of 4 good players, so I will recruit 8 starting characters. These characters will not be "booted", but will serve as "buffer" since some dropouts are probably just unavoidable. Recruitment will remain open until at least sunday, the 8th, or longer if there is still significant interest.
As PbP games seem to suffer from attrition chiefly in long, protacted tactical combats, I will not use maps a whole lot - expect most combats to be narrated rather than drawn. This reduces my workload, and often allows quicker resolutions as well. Take this into account, and also use the word "leaf" in your initial description.
Experience will be tracked only by me. In effect, you all keep on the same xp score anyway, so its only taking some bookkeeping off your shoulders.
Since I am very much looking for an "Indiana Jones" feeling to the later adventures, I will probably introduce some additional rewards for shockingly bad archeology.
How to apply
Well, that's it. If you're interested after reading this post, you know what to do. Hope to hear from you. :)
I just noticed you pushed back Skull and Shackles 1 to April. While I am no businessmen, and have no idea about the intricacies of the publishing business, isn't that a very bad sign for the AP? After all, it has to be finished by GenCon for the next "blockbuster", unless I am mistaken.
How is this even longer holdup going to affect it? Are you going to cut an installment? Is it going to be more rough-run on the development? Are you foregoing a gencon release for Shattered Star, and catch up over a longer period?
Not trying to spread blame or panic here, I'm just curious on how this is going to all balance out.
I just looked at Inner Sea Magic and noticed a rather extensive gallery of NPCs, most with (very high) concrete levels. What prompted the change from the previous policy of not including that in detail unless the NPC received a full statblock? I am frankly a bit disappointed here, since this furthers the "Forgotten Realms" feeling that anything worth doing should probably be done by an epic NPC.
I for one would much prefer a reversion of that (new?) decision and put classes of NPCs in their description, but no concrete levels.
After the botched and very publicly humiliation of the botched Execution, a leaden silence descended on Korvosa, with the city licking its wounds. A quickly thrown-up veneer of normalcy formed, with none willing to scratch too deeply at it, for fear of the unhealed wounds just underneath.
The men and woman who finally gave Lamm what he so richly deserved where easy enough to find, once he had found out who to ask. Sergeant Grau SOladano had become a chance acquaintance to the group, who credited them with more than just putting Lamm to rest.
Soldano was hesitant at first, but finally caved to Elian's words and revealed where the de-facto leader of the group, one Zalen Candorian, lived. He had taken residence in an old abandoned soothsayers's home close to the fishery.
With hope of his father's survival spurring him into action, Narsel was industrious as rarely before. He collected clues, kept his ear on the ground, and was rewarded. The "Tiger" his father had encountered, that kept him imprisoned, was not a very well-liked fellow. A pair of Shoanti had previously searched for the villain, one Alandra was easy to find. She served as a junior priest in the grand church to the Lady of Graves.
The Korvosan branch of the family was a tough bunch to get to know. Taciturn and quiet, industrious but with little flighty leanings, the Hammerfold family had closed their hatches and decided to plow throught the distressing times on a straight course. His distant cousin Gern, the family's troubleshooter, seemed the most approachable of the bunch.
Alright, get to know you time. :)
Hey there. I'm just about wrapping up Edge of Anarchy for my Curse of the Chrimson Throne group (you can sneak a peak at The IC thread.) Since there have been a couple of losses along the way, I would like to re-recruit more players.
I am aiming for about 8 players to start with. First places will be awarded for my current players, but beyond that it is open season - I'll keep a look on this thread and create a new OOC thread as soon as additional players are accepted. :)
I would like to switch to Pathfinder RPG final rules at this point. Starting level for new players is 4 (just like the rest of the group), and I will have to think about equipment and the like for a while longer.
Description: A graceful figure stepping out of the shadows, a smile as if experiencing the highest bliss and the final thud of an arrow impacting in their chest. These are the last sensations of Gale's numerous victims. Gale is a killer not for gain or a cause, but for the intoxicating game of cat and mouse.
Some of these mice literally courted their demise. Gale is, on casual inspection, anything but intimidating. She carries no visible weapons and appears to be nothing more than a wench or entertainer - an image she fits perfectly with her preference for tight, slightly revealing clothes. Her easy smile, wicked sense of humor and shameless hints have made more than one boy lose his heart; her slim hips, silky chestnut hair and glowing jade eyes purchased several more lives.
Motivations/Goals: Gale considers most people fodder for her amusement. They are just fuel for the joy she only achieves by defeating someone fighting for his life. No lesser stake ensures they really give the struggle their all. She needs these triumphs, is addicted to them to the point of not seeing any value in another way of life.
She has no excuse for being a killer, no tragic event to shatter her soul. She needs none; murder is what makes her life more than an unending morass of boredom. She jokes that her goal in life is to get herself killed and is not too far from the truth. She wagers her own life as easily as she takes others'.
Occasionally a mark manages to evade her traps and ambushes long enough to earn a measure of respect in her eyes. She honestly tries to befriend these "worthy adversaries". Usually she barely evades just punishment, but occasionally her torture produced a twisted kinship in her victim. She treasures these "siblings" and casually experiments with ways to more reliably achieve this mental conditioning, so far without success.
* When a wealthy ally decided to invite the group to his estate, he expected them to be insurance during a risky business deal. Ironically, his caution made him a tempting challenge to Gale. The heroes handily defeat the initial assassins, only to find themselves both stakes and participants in a deadly scavenger hunt.
* Among the cruel Derro below the city Gale’s malice has gained her an unwelcome following. They begin emulating her games with great enthusiasm, but none of her vicious artistry. Considering them an insult, Gale offers the group an alliance. While killing her outright would make the world a better place, she has uncanny insight into the crimes. Can the group turn her away if using her might save lives?
* A young noblewoman recently joined Gale's "family" and now sets out to visit her enlightenment on the world. The heroes are to stop the maiden before she is caught and tried - and find the monster responsible for turning a sweet virgin into a sadistic killer.
Aura moderate conjuration [evil]; CL 9th
These barbed spurs fit on any normal pair of riding boots, although they can be affixed to armor just as easily. Once per day, a horse or similar animal mounted by the wearer experiences a horrible transformation into a beast out of the depths of the abyss. In the transformed state the horse is in all ways equal to a Nightmare, but may be cosmetically different. The steed remains transformed for a full day, or until the rider dismounts. It does not suffer from thirst, fatigue or deprivation while transformed, but its ferocious nature increases the DC for all ride checks by 5.
If the ridden creature is sentient, it may resist the transformation with a successful will save (DC 18). After the transformation ends the creature must make a fortitude save (DC 18) using its own save modifier, or be slain instantly. This is a death effect. Even if it survives, it takes 1d6 points of constitution damage.
I've just come across something a bit disconcerting in my Beta PbP game: The DC for escape artisting from rope bounds is 10 + CBM of the binder - that means anyone with a positive dex bonus can escape by taking ten from 1st level characters, and if you take 20, you can get much much further.
Now, granted, rope is not the best restraint in the world, but i would guess that it holds up for more than 20 minutes if the binder is halfway competent with it. Granted, too, that "Use Rope" was over-specific, but there should be somewhat more challenge to the thing.
These DCs seem too low to me. I'd guess either they should go up by 5 (or even 10), or maybe Escape Artist should become trained only. I would actually favor the later, because dislocating a shoulder or two is a staple of such techniques, and i know i could not do that.
Am i the only one who finds it a little bit strange that the clan of cave-dwelling fishermen is called the Axe clan? While i can see their connection to Linnorm King raiders, I still find that something of a mismatch.
To add to the confusion: Their Totem Spirit feat increases a barbarians rage, instead of being somehow water related. Did their vision change between the Shoanti first being mentioned in the RotR Player's guide and the full article, or is there some (yet unknown) reason for this seeming strange connection?
Please open your respective spoiler tags, then read through the post. It'll make sense then. You arrive in the room in the order you post. Please include "current looks" in your intro post. I've taken a few liberties in the intro scenarios, if you encounter something utterly unacceptable, cry in the ooc thread, and I'll change it.
The human city of Korvosa was larger than the young halfling had anticipated, or even feared. The masses of humans made finding the villain an art in itself, and even worse, it seemed most were unwilling to aid her, even if paid. Yet slowly and methodically, she was able to piece together the puzzle. A whispered hint here, a clue there, and a few traces all over the place allowed the young halfling to narrow down the search by bits and pieces.
Jilian had settled down for the night, back in the small studio she had rented in the better-off parts of Old Korvosa. She had just managed to secure the aid of Melissandre Karen, a young half-elven officer of the Korvosan guard, and felt confident that Lamm was only days from her grasp, when she noticed something. A window was slightly ajar she had been certain she closed when leaving the house in the morning. It had a single Harrow card jammed into it. It was the Paladin, a card of good fortune, of steadfast loyalty and dependability. Whoever had placed it here had at least been generous - her home had not been plundered past that.
It has been the third week since you have found out the man responsible for Einsamm's abduction, yet still the villain remains at large.
For one thing, your study at Theumanexus' Academy takes a irritatingly large share of your time. Not only learning, but also defending yourself against the taunts. Talk of you being an "Academae wannabe" with your strong focus regarding abjuratory magics, is sadly unquenchable, even despite Master Geezlebottle's stern protective stance. If he is to be believed, you can go far. Of course, such an endorsement does not necessarily endear you to every student - and particularly not to a young half-elf called Verun Gallleaf.
Your inquiries going nowhere, you where beginning to contemplated more direct, drastic measures. Then, just today, fate seemed to intervene quite directly. When you opened your books for the morning class, you found a harrow card just where you had left your bookmark the night before. You know this card: The Inquisitor. From what you learned about the Varisian Card game, it supposedly represents a stern, immutable reality that could not be changed by any means.
With the years in the rather dispassionate environment of Pharasma's temple, some would expect your grudge against Lamm to fade away and wither. In fact, time only washed away dross, insecurities and impotent rage. Yet the man remained slippery to your investigations, and inquiries. He probably greased the right palms in the city guard, and changed his headquarters frequently enough for you to always remain one step behind. Yet it might have been fate that intervened on your behalf. In the morning, you were the first to rise, tasked to make sure the biers were prepared for the days funerals. It was there that you found, of all things, a Harrow card. It was a beautiful example of the ancient Varisian oracle. The card itself was the Wanderer, traditionally a symbol of finding value in things considered worthless and tossed aside.
In the early summer days now starting, the Temple of Shelyn found more visitors than normal. It just was the time for beauty, for young couples just discovering each other and for fresh sparks from older embers. As such, Nayr had plenty of duties to do, plenty of tasks to keep his mind off his own loss. Not only that, but even Nargel (his foster father), and Elyra, the aging head Priestess of Shelyn was busy day in and day out with benedictions, counsel and (not to forget) their own art, and in Elyra's case, autumn affairs.
But as he was sweeping the small space on the floor of Shelyn's statue and the back wall, he found something startling. Atop a thin layer of undisturbed dust (Keina, the other Acolyte must have been slacking), there was a Harrow card. While he had heard of the Varisian fortune telling device, he had no real personal experience with it, and thus could not quite interpret the card, which showed to people, one the inverse of the other, and was titled "The Twin".
The funeral, as solemn and sober an occasion as it was, was still not a time for mourning for Ayedah. It was a time for fury, hardly contained to not shock the other mourners. She had to direct it to the right place, and strike at the man who had killed her friend: Gaedren Lamm. But how to strike at the man who had caused such misery if she not even knew where the cowardly poison-seller was hiding? The city guard had turned, though not an sympathetic but ultimately unhelpful ear, telling her in the polite but insincere citytalk that she was better of taking things into her own hands - those at least not flinging subtle insults at her heritage.
It was on the way back from the funeral that fate dealt her a winning hand. She felt the softest tug on her purse, and tried to grasp the pickpocket - maybe one of the children Lamm had enslaved, but caught only a thin, flimsy piece of paper. It was a card, painted in the fashion Varisians decorate their fortune telling decks. She had been "harrowed" once before, and recalled the card now in her hand. It was the picture of a crocodile-headed man resting on the back of a poor soul. The Rakshasa, a card of slavery and abuse... All too fitting to make her blood boil hot. When she first encountered it, it presaged the horrible injustice done to her friend. But this time, its message was on the back, and even though Ayedah did not know the glyphs, the meaning came to her as if someone was whispering into her ear.
There has been little rest for Krek, because despite him being physically free of Lamm, how would he ever really break his grasp if not with steel in his hand and his boot in the old man's face? But he knew all too well that simply running over to the Fishery and kicking in the door would send him to an early, and ignoble grave. There were just too many "little lambs" in the way, and his grown enforcers to boot.
Just when the rage started to entice Krek to act foolishly, there was a plea for help. When he rose from a deep sleep after a long, exhausting night of grueling exercise, he found a thin card on the small nightstand next to his bed.The rest of his quarters were undisturbed, nothing taken and nothing else placed. The card depicted a man amids spirits of the slain, and was entitled "The Survivor". Krek had never given much thought about this oracle, but it seemed a fitting enough card for him.
The underside of Korvosa had its pleasant sides. One of these was the fact that in this city, just so many people were guilliable. Take, for instance, the young acolyte of Shelyn still sleeping soundly in the bed his coppers had bought for the night. He had not only conned her out of her purse, but plundered her in other ways as well. Now he was about to make his getaway, a good deal richer and her hopefully a little wiser. Truthfully, building his revenge could have gone much worse than it actually had.
He had just pulled up his britches, and fastened his belt when his eyes ran down her discarded clothes, lying strewn across the polished oaken floorboards. Among them, there was a thing he would have noticed the night before. A single harrow card, The Lost. A mighty warrior, corrupted in undeath. He definitely would have remembered, had it been there before.
Slow and steady did it. Always slow and steady. This had served his uncle for all his life, and now it worked for him. It had dug up the name of Lamm, and now it had dug up the location of the criminal. Cashing in a few favors with Edren Hammerheads, Jailor and Keymaster of the Korvosan Guard, he had been allowed to "talk to" one of the former Lamms actually slated for execution. And the man, hardly more than a lad himself, had spilled the beans. How the Lamms had recently acquired the old fishery. How Gaedren was using the Lamms for his own profit, and how they received nothing but punishment in return. A sad life, to be sure. Now all he needed was some way to free the others still suffering from it. Maybe then, his brother would rest easily.
He was just leaving the dungeon behind, when he noticed something peculiar in one of the light shafts. There lay a single card out of a Harrow deck. He had never given much credence to these human superstitions, but the "Keep", a strange limbed mechanical fortress, looked at least humerous. No way these limbs would bear such a load, even if forged from the finest mithral. Still, it became more than a joke once he turned it around
On the back of the card, in fine, feminine handwriting, several words were written in black ink:
I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I know where he dwells, but i am unable
All the carefully-laid ideas for revenge had just been sidestepped. This very night? How much better could it be, then start the very night to finally avenge his family. Without heeding the fact that the girl might wake up, he left the inn behind, never once looking back. It was not the time to act.
The card almost spoke. Could it be one of the magical tricks of the city-dwellers, or was it more like the words spoken into the wind their own druids and soothsayers used? In any case, she would be at the appointed place, and see what this message was supposed to mean.
Having nothing to lose from hearing these others out, and maybe accepting some allies on his battle, Krek decided to seek out this place at the mentioned time. It might be just the edge he needed.
The card lay there just waiting for you. How could you not think about it? It might be the one chance you had been waiting for, the chance to finally bring judgement to Gaedren Lamm and his gang.
After this startling discovery, the rest of the morning rapidly blurred. Who really cared for the proper ways of greeting an Air Elemental Vizir as opposed to a Seneshal? Maybe tonight, you would have the chance to make good for your mistake - and more importantly, find your long-lost brother again.
Now, the young devotee of the Eternal Rose finally had a lead. More, a chance to see justice done. He begged Elyra to allow him to attend the mysterious summons, and she allowed him. His foster father probably would not have wished him go, "losing one son was enough tragedy, Nayr. Please do not make me bury another" - he could almost hear his father's words.
The early summer night was warm, yet a seaside breeze kept the heat from growing oppressive as you approached the house at 3 Lancet Street. A nice townhouse, by all appearances. It was well-kept, and a wooden shingle proclaimed that it to be the home and workplace of "Zellara, Mystic and Seer." Under the image of an eye, it proclaimed "The future is yours, but i can light your path". The door was kept unlocked, and slightly ajar. Light fell through that narrow opening, deep and pleasant.
From what could be glimpsed through the door, a cozy room was visible. Drapes in vivid colors covered most of the walls, and similar rugs were strewn on the floor seemingly carelessly, but composing a pleasant image nevertheless. A fragrant smell of herbs and flowers wafted through the room, strangely soothing on even the most riled of nerves. Barely visible in the sides, a number of sticks of incense smoldered in small burners shaped like elves with the wings of butterflies. Blue wings, close to Desna's holy animal, and invoking the Goddess of Dreams' blessing. Even the very room took on a dreamlike feeling with the smoke softening the edges and enhancing the softness of the rugs and chairs.
On the either side of the room, two tapestries hung. One depicted a a pair of angels, frolicking on a icy mountaintop in bright sunlight. The power of the image was such that the tapestry seemed to almost radiate. On its opposite side, a fiendish black-skulled beast was depicted, engulfed by shadows. In each of its clawed hands it held a human heart, with a third juggled between the two. Both were dominated, however, by a larger tapestry showing a shrouded skeletal figure, and a large blade bursting in flames held in his hands.
On the table, there was a small note written in the same handwriting as your Harrow card:
Dear friends, thank you for coming. I sadly had to step out for a moment, but will return shortly. Please do get comfortable and help yourself to some bread and wine in my absence. You will find both below this table.
I've decided, as already mentioned in another thread, that it is high time i gave something back to the community, and decided to do that in the way i arguably know best: By DMing a PbP here. :)
I've been around the block a few times when it comes to these games, and therefore am going to change a few rules as regards posting etc in order to avoid both the "3 months conversation" and the "2 years fight" syndrome.
Here's what i had in mind:
* Curse of the Crimson Throne AP, you need not take a background trait, but i heartily recommend you do so.
* Pathfinder Alpha 3 Rules (probably will upgrade to Beta once it is out). I'm just itching to get my feet a bit wetter with the system.
* Character building as per PF-Alpha, 20 point buy, Starting gold as per 3.5
* No online rolls. I'll trust you on this.
* No XP. I'll tell you when to level up.
* (relatively) complete public combat stats. Keep knowledge of these OOC, please. Allows you to handle your actions yourself.
* Group initiative: In combat, initiative is averaged for each party in the battle (simplest case: Group and Monsters), groups with higher initiative go first. Makes sure turns can be handled in bulk, instead of having multiple message cycles.
* 1 day timeout. If the group is in combat, and i don't hear from you for a day, i may NPC you for the round. Don't worry, i understand "bad days" and have them occasionally, as well. :) No, you may not DM the turn unless i ask you to, if i fail to post.
I am still taking suggestions how to best handle long NPC interactions (the other "massive timesink"), but keep drawing short straws. Any suggestions?
Other than that, i will be taking up to 8 players, up to and including August 8th. This is not First Come First Serve, but i might close up earlier if i have 8 players who really blow me away.
After my recent TPK in Spire of Long Shadows, my group is gearing up again for another stab at that dungeon - but i want to make a somewhat different intro adventure, both to give them a little time to forget the details of the Spire, and to give the new group some motivation to go there at all.
My preferred adventure would be Skeletons of Scarwall, but since this is rather strongly tied to CotCT, i would appreciate some comments.
What i have come up so far:
* Scarwall was a fortress for a member of the Order of the Storm when they battled Kyuss
* The magic sword is a permanent Kyussbane weapon
* The curse came to be when the castellain of Scarwall betrayed his liege and sided with the forces of Kyuss during the last attempt to free the Wormgod
Most of the references to Zon-Kuthon work relatively well with Kyuss dropped in, but there are some hitches i have yet to work out:
* I rather like the Harrowing up front, but find it hard to justify without the overarching CotCT storyline.
* The "ally" and "enemy" setup is rather specific to CotCT, and i am considering to either just drop them, or maybe replace them by Ebon Triad cultists out to learn more about their own order's history. That might even play into Prince of Redhand later, when they help the party uncover the Triad being a Charade.
Of course, there are a lot of other rough spots i probably will only hit when actually DMing the adventure. ;) Anyone has ideas on how to work this out, so that i am not quite as caught on the seat of my pants?
I've just taken a better look at both the Gazeteer, and The Demon Within, and i must admit i am a little worried and (frankly) pissed off. While i like the premise of D3, with its under-siege fortress and demonic infiltration, i must say the larger picture of a "Chaos Waste" that will almost certainly engulf all of Golarion while most of the world could not care less feels... off to me.
Maybe it is because of its northern location, or the described "Only the ancient whatchamacallits hold it in check, but for how long?" situation, but please leave these credibility-straining, overused "apocalypse any day now" elements subdued and local. Mendev may be in real danger, but the "continent and eventually world-spanning hell on earth" just... well, frankly i find it tired and abused so badly by GWs fiction and game books that even a fresh look doesn't quite thrill me. With "not quite thrill" being very diplomatic.
That said, a few high-level modules addressing this issue at its core , not necessarily stopping it dead, but allowing some real victories over the forces of the Abyss, not just "retake our land by the skin of our teeth" would be very welcome to me. :)
Due to some strangeness in my campaign, the group will receive their "immoral offer" from our favorite archmage <i>after</i> returning from the Spire of Long shadows. To make it up to them, i decided to "up" the value of these treasures somewhat, and make each a unique item.
I would like to know your opinion about these gifts, if they are appropriate, and if not, what you would change.
--- The Black Blade of Korath'Kor ---
+3 Shocking Obsidian Greatsword
Additional Game effect: Bypasses any material or damage-type dependent damage reduction (such as adamantine, cold iron, bludgeoning, ...), but not alignment-based damage reduction, or DR x/-
--- The Living Shadow ---
Additional game effekt:
--- Ring of La'heira ---
--- Tusk of the Elephant King ---
Game effect: Same as Figurine of wondrous power (marble elephant), yet can be used up to ten times per month, and has intelligence score 14.
--- Red Iron Mountain Avenger Armor ---
Game effect: +5 Full Plate armor, with Armor Spikes. Causes 1d4 fire damage on any enemy in immediate contact (grappling, Kyuss worms prior to burrowing in, oozes, swarms, ...)
--- Demon-devouring Fetish ---
Game effect: Whenever the bearer of this grotesque bone and hair figurine slays an evil outsider, he may as a free action recover a spend sorcerer spell slot of any level lower or equal to the creatures CR / 3.
I have concluded our first playtest game yesterday. We had three players, and used the Alpha 3 rules. Here is the points i jotted down:
* Character creation: Point Buy was not quite as liked, most players would have liked some roll system. However, giving them 20 points gave a rather rounded set of characters with relatively nice strengths and weeknesses.
* Changes to the skill system were generally well-received
* We focussed on Melee characters for this game. We had a fighter, a barbarian and a monk. The monk was behind in overall damage to the other melee characters, but used its stunning fist attack for good effect.
* Character creation went relatively smooth, with little confusion about the new rules
* First combats showed extremely high damages, in excess of what i would usually expect from first level characters.
* Some concerns were voiced if more variety is introduced in Beta or release (more monk styles, ...)
* New XP table and level progression were very nice. The "quick XP" chart in particular made awarding XP less painful (its simple math, but try it with several people talking about other matters at the same time
Our next game will be set at level 15, to see how the game breaks at higher levels
I've not read the adventure in full detail, but i have searched for "Body Count", and the total of citizens that could be saved seems to fall quite short... i came up with 1900 (200 from the Vampire, 700 from the false cures, and 1000 for finding a real cure). The "additional plague events" sidebar suggests some more event, but i doubt these bring them up to 2801
So, short of changing the numbers, have i missed something, or do the numbers really not add up?
... and in case any of my players comes across this posting, know you (yes, you, not your characters) will be spit-roasted over an open fire in case you are stupid enough to derive any kind of demands from this post.
What happened was that when the Apostole of Kyuss burst from the arena floor, i made a fatal mistake: I applied the bonuses for being full-grown twice. That was, his AC was increased yet again by another Shield of Faith, he gained another attack, and so on.
Still, the battle rested on the edge of being won by the group (6 players...), but in the end auric was dissolved just 30 HP shy of bringing the apostole down. Now, this marked a (albeit dark) high point in the campaign, but i am a little concerned in unjustly depriving the group of the money they bet on themselves (the bookies probably will not be paying in the wight-infested ruins), since they came into the adventure already slightly under RWL.
Any suggestions on how to "make it up to them?"
I was just signing up for my Pathfinder Chronicles subscription, but after providing my credit card data, the system redirected me to an error page. Now, i seem to be signed up, but the "sidecart" for the combined shipping looks strange to me:
Here is what it says:
You have 1 item waiting to be shipped when Pathfinder #5�Rise of the Runelords Chapter 5: "Sins of the Saviors" (OGL) arrives at our warehouse:
*Shipping and handling will be calculated when this order is finalized.
9.99 + 0.00 does not equal 16.85 to me ;)
I hope i am not contributing to the problem any more with this post, but something has been bugging me for the last few days: The forums are coming down with a nasty case of Troll lately. And not the kind you get rid off with a few well-placed fireballs.
I have seen quite a few off-topic discussions going off previously productive threads, and a general degradation of the usefulness of the forums. Seems to me that all too many posters trumpet their particular horn (be it the abomination gays in Sandpoint, the horrible presumption to print in china, or the *gasp* decision to make a certain NPC good) very loudly.
Now, i know some people are not as jaded as i am, and actually care deeply about these issues... but i guess these boards are not the best place to try and resolve issues that have so far resisted solving on a much grander scale.
What all this is getting to? Moderators, fire at will. ;) No, seriously. A good community needs policemen, and if some discussion gets out of hand, some intervention can often bring it back to more productive routes. Few (if any) unmoderated communities of any size do not sooner or later degenerate into permanent flamewars.
You may now slow-roast me over an open fire for being such a narrow-minded prick.
Hi there, i just bought my copy of D1 from my FLGS, and started digging into it. From what i see, its very well-written and i really enjoy the "designers notes" sidebars, they clear up a lot.
You forgot one, however ;) Jeva is a nice, and very athmospheric early villain/enemy. However, i am a bit at a loss at how to handle her without turning it into a very frustrating TPK. While the matrons silver daggers are a clue to her true nature, its far from obvious.
Any thoughts on how to prevent her from just ripping out the throats of silver-bearing PCs at night, then merrily slaughtering the rest?
After the unexpected, and infuriating end of Dungeon (i could rant now, but won't... though I'll probably send a letter to the editor about that), i wanted to check out Pathfinder, but am unsure if i can even subscribe to it. Its not listing any subscription types but month-to-month, which used to be US only. Has this changed, and if so, does the 5$ S&H charge mentioned on the subscription page still apply?
I'm currently running Three Faces of Evil (Yeah, we only started last November...), and the group is now ready to tackle the final temple in 3FoE, the Temple of Vecna. We have the following Group.
Human Fighter 4
Now, as you can see, the group is pretty big and should be able to get through the Temple with little trouble. I'm considering one thing, though:
The Tiefling Rogue is an aspiring Assassin is a Vecna worshipped, and thus, the Labyrinth should be wide open and devoid of anything but a protracted chase and kill for her. This somehow seems like a waste of good playing time, and makes the whole maze a lot less interesting.
On the one hand, this makes me think that maybe, i should just remove the "Auto Reveal" from the Secret Doors. She can still open them as a free action, but Vecna, being the nasty god of secrets, just does not give away the position of these doors. On the other, it seems as if this is one chance for the character to reap a tangible benefit from the interesting backstory, as well as invite some interesting intra-party roleplay (just why does she know that...)
Your take on this?
How do you handle it if an NPC uses these magic words? Wish is a horribly complicated thing to judge if you above the standard effects, and any NPC with wish is an open invitation to DM fiat.
More specifically, since its usually flawed when used above its default abilities, you as the DM can usually come up with an interesting way to twist the wish... but it becomes progressively harder if both improve and hose your own challange.
For example: A BBEG the (high-level) group faces is surprised by the group storming into his throne room. He is alone, and unbuffed - the party is all suited up with tons of buffs and equipment. He uses his ring of three wishes, stating "I wish your magic to fail you". This would usually translate to a Mage's Disjunction... but that's a 9th level spell. So some kind of flaw must be worked into the wish. But how do you work out just what is reasonable without seeming (or even being) arbitrary?
Alternatively, do your villains ever use wish at all?