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Grand Lodge 5/5

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This one is a pretty straight forward dungeon crawl. I already submitted a review on the product pages. Here some more details including spoilers:

I did run this twice so far - once in each tier.

Fights: The players enjoyed them a lot. Just be careful with preparation. My first game overran by an hour. Was partly my own fault as 6 players and I did this half-spontaneously while not 100% prepped.

Players enjoyed mowing down the kobolds in mass fashion. The flaming skulls are a neat flavour. Not sure if you can attack / hurt a skull - I ruled you can (with same stats as the skeleton).

Individual encounters:

Roleplay to set the scene: Pretty straigh forward info / roleplay

Haunted Wood: I was suprised how much trouble my tier 1-2 group had to take them down due to damage reduction 5 on most what they attempted. This can go very quick with a well prepared group. on the low tier.

The Flaming Skull Guards (tier 1-2) are not trained in intimidation. This looks like an oversight. You would expect at least a score of 2-4 in this skill.

B1 - Entryway: I like the drowning pit in tier 3-4. Unfortunately the placement means that it is unlikely someone actually ventures there. Got someone in the pit trap in low tier as scaling meant a second trap appeared in front of the stairs.

B2 - Summoning Hall - I love the summoning trap. My tier 1-2 group ensured to avoid all coloured tiles - so they hopped from one trigger to the next. The other gorup did a proper search and avoided it. GM tip - be prepared and have summoned monsters ready for the appropriate tier.

B3 - Library - nice roleplat encounter. Is tea now a part of standard equipment? Both groups provided some tea to the ghost ... Call me suprised. One issue I see here is 'Diggen the Liar'. There is no mention here or elsewhere of Zarta - until the chronicle sheet (I did a word search to be sure). Yes - he isn't 100% truthful - but I have trouble to see the motivation to keep him entrapped and deliver him even if caught telling half truths.

B4 - Baracks - in both games I had someone going down to dying after he got caught in the barricade. I decided once triggered that the barricade is very difficult terrain. Would benefit if that is spelled out - or a climb DC given. I alllowed the spellcaster to use his Illusory Retreat in both instances as he was the last man standing. Don't forget that there is a treasure in the barricade.

B5 Thronw room - I had some problems actually to decide where the reaction of Nashaxian works. What does 'Nashaxian can use his Infernal Detonation when any creature enters a square above any of the patches of flame (not just when they step on a grate).' mean.

If you step on a grate, then your are above? Does it just include flying? Does it mean adjacent? Does it mean adjacent but North (facing the throne).
Keep in mind - in addition to the reaction for the crates, you have automatic damage by squares next to the throne. The use of the word adjacent there only means the throne.

Playing Nashaxian: He has no ranged attacks. It makes most sense that he waits in his throne. He likely has a very high initiative. So it makes sense he will wait (delay). Important - you can't react while delaying. So if Nashaxian delays, then whatever character approaches during the delay is safe from the grates. I only learned this in my second game when we discusses delay and reaction. This might lure other characters following into a sense that they are safe as well. He regains his reactions once he has acted / come out of delay.
The persitant bleed is very, very harsh. In tier 3-4 you have hardly a chance at all to prevent this unless you get assisted recovery. Ensure you familiarize yoruself with assistet recovery (CRB 621 - boxed text). Most likely a Medicine check with bandages and 2 actions is needed? Players and GMs will likely become more familiar with stopping persistent damage over time - but right now it is useful to familiarize yourself before the game.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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I dislike to open a second thread – but this is potentially a massive issue for running the game and I don’t want it to be buried in an existing thread.
I GMed this yesterday and ran it in a way that “made sense” mathematically. After some reflection and re-reading the whole scenario it daunts on me that there seems to be a massive !! mistake in the description. The alternative is that the game mechanic is way, way off.
Table 4 describes the Overland Travel Progress Points. I did some Maths and calculated the expected values:

Skill CF F S CS Expected PP Race
0 15% 45% 35% 5% 0.30 1.0 4
1 10% 45% 40% 5% 0.40 1.0 4
2 5% 45% 45% 5% 0.50 2.0 8
3 5% 40% 45% 10% 0.60 2.0 8
4 5% 35% 45% 15% 0.70 2.0 8
5 5% 30% 45% 20% 0.80 2.0 8
6 5% 25% 45% 25% 0.90 2.0 8
7 5% 20% 45% 30% 1.00 3.0 12
8 5% 15% 45% 35% 1.10 3.0 12
9 5% 10% 45% 40% 1.20 3.0 12
10 5% 5% 45% 45% 1.30 3.0 12
11 5% 0% 45% 50% 1.40 3.0 12
12 0% 0% 45% 55% 1.55 3.0 12

What does this mean? You need an average skill of 2 for your overland check to gain 2 PP per day for a total of 8 for the race and to win. Keeping in mind that weather adds an average penalty of 1.5 skill points and that we roll the dice this seems reasonable / balanced so far. There also is Sabotage as well as Diplomacy. For simplicity I assume these two cancel out each other.
Now I do the same for checkpoint tests. These are in principle the same numbers with a -3 on skill. I multiply the total with the number of players as nearly all tried in my group each test. There are 3 differences here:
a) You can’t get negative success / PP
b) You gain PP and not success (at least according to the writeup)
c) Caribou is limited to 4 attempts – others might stop on a critical failure
Skill CF F S CS Expected PP (4) PP (5) PP (6)
0 30% 45% 20% 5% 0.30 4.8 5.7 6.6
1 25% 45% 25% 5% 0.35 5.6 6.7 7.7
2 20% 45% 30% 5% 0.40 6.4 7.6 8.8
3 15% 45% 35% 5% 0.45 7.2 8.6 9.9
4 10% 45% 40% 5% 0.50 8.0 9.5 11.0
5 5% 45% 45% 5% 0.55 8.8 10.5 12.1
6 5% 40% 45% 10% 0.65 10.4 12.4 14.3
7 5% 35% 45% 15% 0.75 12.0 14.3 16.5
8 5% 30% 45% 20% 0.85 13.6 16.2 18.7
9 5% 25% 45% 25% 0.95 15.2 18.1 20.9
10 5% 20% 45% 30% 1.05 16.8 20.0 23.1
11 5% 15% 45% 35% 1.15 18.4 21.9 25.3
12 5% 10% 45% 40% 1.25 20.0 23.8 27.5

Now here is the problem: You need an average skill of 1 (6 player), 2 (5 player) or 3 (4 player) to gain 7 or more PP to win – using checkpoints alone !!
Looking through the numbers I can only assume the following:
The checkpoints give you success and not PP. In addition you add success for overland and checkpoint together for a maximum of 3 PP per day or 12 for the whole race.
In PFS we are instructed to ‘run as written’. What I suspect how it should be is very, very different to what is written. But it seems the only way I can make sense of the scoring system. This is especially an issue as this is a repeatable scenario. You don’t want speed-runs of this.
Any official input would be welcome.

The tables will likely come out badly formated - here is a link to google sheets: Tables formatted in google sheets

Grand Lodge 5/5

We had a very enjoyable evening yesterday when I ran this the first time. But I had a few questions how to run certain situations. The most crucial one that would benefit from a clarification is encounter D.

Encounter A: The sea devils target lightly armoured foes first and fight to the death. That one is clear. Also it should be clear where the PCs are - just let them move to wherever they want to be.

But this makes positioning of the sea devils / their tactics crucial. Do you start with them 10/20 feet away - using their spears? How many do they have? Do you start with them climbing up the ship and boarding it / already on board as this is what they just did ahead of initiative?
The ship is 120 feet long. So it makes a huge difference where you start with the sea devils - especially if some players are in front of the ship and some in the back.

Encounter B: The sod hounds go for the closest enemy - preferring enemies with metal weapons / metal armour. Positioning at the start of initiative again makes a difference - but less so as in encounter B. The map looks like difficult terrain - but it isn't mentioned and this is the village - so I assume it isn't difficult terrain. I allowed one of the sod hounds to burrow - more for roleplay / show they can do it.

Encounter C: Check if the group has anyone who understands Mwangi or Iruxi as a language. If not then Lumki will only be able to gesture / point to the group. My group actually enjoyed it. I described her pointing in direction a, shake her head, make faces, wave etc. So there was never a problem to get lost if they followed her / went into the direction she pointed to - but keep this in mind ahead of the encounter. The boggards do speak common - so the group has no problems to chat with them. This encounter was straight forward - they first gave food but then chased them away (intimidate).

Encounter D: The group never got the clues from Lumki when she pointed towards the log and the other side of the river to use it as a bridge that can be moved. They (and me) also missed the option to use a feather token ladder as alternative to the log.

Jumping the river clearly is not intended. That leads to issues going deep into how jump works. It is autofail if you don't have a 10 foot stride (remember difficult terrain - making distance/speed an issue). But failure on a jump check means you still Leap normally. So even from standing start this is a 10 foot leap? What about landing in this case? An 'auto success through failure' on a jump seems to cheapen the whole encounter and seems to go against the intention of the writer.
Neither the landing square nor the square you start is 100% land - but how to you deal with a 80% land / 20% water square? This really would benefit from a clarification / from a discussion how to handle this fairly across groups. Keep in mind the group also gets penalized jumping as they likely never spot the 2 treasure bundles.

Arriving at the guidepost with Lumki:
Do you allow players who use search or detect magic while with Lumki to discover the satchel with potions (Detect Magic) and the Hidden Door (Search). It feels wrong to penalize the group not allowing these if they are with Lumki. See also Encounter E why this is of importance.
This seems less of an issue now as I realized you don't miss a treasure bundle (just some potions) and that likely just the double doors are locked. In a quick read you find treasure and assume it must be a bundle ...

Encounter Area E:
There is also a door (window?) on the East side that isn't mentioned. Should this be a window? I have to admit I must have misinterpreted the sentence 'The doors remain resolutely shut despite attempts to open them;'. I applied it to ALL doors leading into the observatory as it uses the plural doors not door and appears straight after describing all entrances. Reading it again I feel it seems only to mean the double doors and the plural doesn't cover the small doors in the North and South. This part had me puzzled as I couldn't find any unblocked entrance apart of the tunnel - which you possibly can't find if you are with Lumki.

So running it again I will rule you can come from the South or North through small doors - break down the double doors (difficult / noisy) and the East is a window climb needed - or you get in via the tunnel - you need someone to search while coming from the guide post. Lumki will suggest not to use the tunnel - but will follow part decision.

Everything else in E is pretty standard dungeon crawl / fights.

I still can't judge how difficult it is to take down Paravaax. My group couldn't scratch Paravaax in the first round but then the rogue did two crits while flanking to take off half the HP and the ranger critted in the end with his hunters shot that also added deadly - making all the difference between a hit absorbed by the damage reduction and doing considerable damage to take him down.

Paravaax could be a real problem if a group gets just bumped up to next tier. I played him after round one as gloating - you can't hit me - don't you want to reconsider and hand over the juicy Iruxi before you are dead as well?

I will reread the scenario to see if there is anything I missed. As always - having played it before GMing or GMing it a second time always helps.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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This is just a shout-out from being back from PaizoCon UK and having a grand time with the whole family.

It is always great to meet up with other gamers from the UK and across Europe. And it is one of the places we tend to go with the whole family. I'm not sure if we got very lucky or unlucky - as I donated several items for the raffle in the hope to get a seat at a game of Blood at Dralkard Manor. I don't know what Chris did - but we actually ended up with 4 tickets for the game and I had the priviledge to play under Mike Brock with my whole family.

The game was a lot of fun. And it ended up as a TFK (Total Family Kill). I don't want to give spoilers here. All I can say is - my wife was first. She never saw it coming. My son didn't learn from it and being well ahead of everyone else wasn't a great idea.
My daughter - well - the GM warned her - and several players (me included) on the table didn't realize what she was doing until it was too late. Her death was slow and painful.
Me - well - I was hit by an AoE spell while under the effect of a vanish spell. For five rounds I was slowly bleeding out and just couldn't roll high enough - with every round getting progressivly more difficult.
Even the attempt to use my GM reroll with a massive +5 didn't help.

So in round 6 of bleeding out - being visible again - I announce - only a 20 can now save me. With lots of theatrics I roll the dice and

Spoiler:

roll a 19

close but no cigar

I'm just glad that the two other members of the party survived.

A big Thank-You to Mike for being a fantastic GM. We all enjoyed it. There might be only one part I disagree. I just don't think my daughter learnt anything. She described the game as 'the best game ever' and 'yes I knew what I was doing - I just wanted to know what is behind the door'.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Lisa

Thanks for the nice lead in. You never know when you write something how it will end up. So I'm very pleased.
I hope the example of the Emerald Lodge will give some players ideas of their own and might motivate them. We will never be the mainstream - this is why EBA and Xeilias are better organized and bigger.
But a group and place like ours has it's own charm.

Oh - for anyone interested - here is our Guildpage pages

There is more activity inside for members.

Grand Lodge 5/5

My local game shop was getting the package and so I was there to GM. I had my son as well as three new players on my table. We all had a great time.

The group decided to 'sabotage' the competition as they got some idea that the other goblins were preparing something. Too bad they didn't realize until too late that they partly sabotaged themselves. But hey - we did play goblins didn't we.

Charging the vine also didn't seem that sensible - but hey - they survived.

The highlight was the live capture of the harpy (after a grapple/pin and a failed !! coup de grace). There will be a new game for the bird crunchers - killgull with a harpy. The grappler claimed the (still living) harpy as prize and now plans to use her for future killgull games.

What could possibly go wrong with such a plan??

So yes - everyone - GM included - had lots of fun.

Grand Lodge 5/5

I know my last post when I tried to explain PFO from the perspective of a PFS player got moved from here to another board. I haven't posted anything PFO related here since.
I hope this doesn't happen for this post. It is meant for PFS VOs and not for existing PFO players. I therefore feel it actually belongs here.

Ryan Dancey wrote:


Greetings! We are pleased to announce that the Pathfinder Society, Paizo's organized play program for Pathfinder tabletop roleplaying and the Adventure Card Game is coming to Pathfinder Online!

Wow - this means it wasn't a joke when Rob Silk and his ranger owed me some time at Emerald Lodge to do pennance after the Tomb of the Iron Medusa.

If you are a PFS VO - let me know if you need any help. 80% of early members of the Emerald Lodge have been European PFS members and we build a Pathfinder Society (in this case I mean Pathfinder Society as the Absalon one - not the organized play) into our background story and our name.

The leader Theodum - actually earned his title as VC during the Eye of the 10 and decided to open a lodge next to the Spire to claim it for the society.

There was a second PFS settlement - Open Road - maybe Nanni Pratt or someone else is able to get this settlement back on the road.

Anyhow - welcome and I'm happy to help any PFS VOs joining the game.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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You hear a lot of doom and gloom discussions here. So maybe some time to celebrate a growing settlement. Yes you read right - a growing settlement - despite it being now second of May.

We had a few new members in the last week - coming via various routes.

One member contacted me after doing some searches and liked our profile - thanks for joining.
One was send my way from Atheory - thanks sending him our way. He seemed very happy when I talked to him in chat and realized we know some of the same people and that I speak German.
Grips silver tongue convinced a third one - well done
A PFU member decided we are the right place to build up his company - he wants to build a PvE mercenary company and felt our independance is a great fit. Double welcome - as for this to work he will have to convince others to join him. Wait - that one hasn't joined us yet :)
And one member joined after I send my very first buddy key to a friend with whom I played in the past. I was reluctant to send it out as the game is still very rough - but at least he is now close to fighter 4 and hasn't given up yet despite some 'short-comings' he sees in the game.

There are also some anonymous new members. One might have been thanks to some French chat that I couldn't follow. At least one is an 1000 XP alt - but hey - we take what we get.

It is at times like this that you feel upbeat and feel it is right to carry on as settlement leader and to try the best to make a place that people enjoy to come and join - or to collaborate with.

And it is times like that when you can endure the doom and gloom discussion for a while longer. Yes we have setbacks as well - 2 members are temporarily gone as they are Mac Users. But I hope I will get them back - once the game works properly on Macs again.

And off course - there is always hope that some of the new members bring their friends.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum looked up from his map. The endless march of the Bonedancers had been stopped - once again. But he contemplated another danger - what would happen if there ever was an ambitious settlement that allied themselves not with other settlements but instead with the Bonedancers, the Razmirians or some other evil scum pestering the wild.
Could this ever be done? These evil hordes where looked down upon. Emerald Lodge neighbours Xeilias and the Everbloom Alliance squabbled about the rights to fight these monsters as they called them and to be the first to get glory in defeating them.
And so far it seemed impossible to talk to the leaders of these groups directly. All Emerald Lodge diplomats send to the Bonedancers had returned via Pharasma. But this didn't mean it wasn't possible - it only meant you had to do it in a different way.
Wasn't there wisdom in knowledge. Did everyone think Theodum just collected the chants of goblins for his own ego? There was information and power hidden in these scraps of paper.
These hordes where like a flow of water - they seemed to flow from a spring towards lower lands. But hadn't mankind learned how to tame the flow of water? You could block the spring and it would stop to flow - that was what was done already. But you also could build dams to direct the flow in certain direction or to stop it to flow into direction you didn't want. You could enhance the spring and make it flow more freely.
No - Theodum looked up again. These were evil thoughts - this place in the River Kingdom corrupted. Allying yourself with Bonedancers or Skeletons Risen from the ground was clearly wrong. He only could hope nobody else would ever have the same ideas.
As clearly - embracing the Evil for your own purpose was just wrong.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Theodum looked up from the map. He was still waiting for more information but everything Thod had supplied so far didn't look good. Three times now they had dispatched the leader of the Bonedancers in the last 6 weeks - but every time a new leader had stepped up.
And when it happened just yesterday it seemed the goblins had truly become restless and had started to overrun previously cleared areas.
The Bonedancers hadn't yet reached the Spire - but it was only a matter of time when the magics there would twist a goblin who might become a new leader - and if he would take over the Bonedancers then Emerald Lodge would be surrounded. They even had managed to form some Beachheads on Zombie Kitten Mountain - the most western part of the mountain now fully under there control.
At the moment the lands east of the Emerald Lodge was still free of Bonedancers - but to the west you could walk for a full hour and never leave Bonedancer territory.
They reached as far as South of Hammerforge.
Some magic seemed to keep them away from the former side of Ossian's Crossing and the surrounding lands. South of these lands it seemed they had lost control over their undead minions. A skeletal upraising now fought against the Bonedancers and seemed slowly to advance towards Canis Castrum.
Doomhammer seemed fully surrounded - but it seems to the Northwest of that settlement that again the Bonedancers had lost control over their undead minions and Ghouls roamed the lands and a different goblin clan called them their minions.
SOuthwest of Doomhammer was an area of scroched earth - no goblins anywhere in sight. It seemed the Razmirians fought a winning battle on that side. CLose to High Road the Ripping Chains fought a losing battle against the Bonedancers. They had been reduced to a single small area.
So what had he learned? Most settlements seemed to have capitulated against the Bonedancers. Some areas around Canis Castrum was only lightly populated - and the Emerald Lodge fought a losing battle. But even Golgotha had Bonedancers at their doorstep.
The only forces seemingly able to stop them where magic areas that kept them at bay or other groups strong enough to keep them out - like the Skeletal Uprising and the Razmirians.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I haven't done them for a while. RL and being unable to do 24/7 for PFO caused me to stop doing them. Maybe also a reason was that my own settlement flatlined while I had less time. Mut a few people here have asked me. And I was intrigued myself after the move of AGC. And we haven't been flatlining a week ago.
So what happened? Some pretty large changes over the last few weeks. Total numbers are up from 1301 to 1966. These have to be treated with caution as some might be no longer active. But 50% more characters means PFO isn't dead - especially if you look where the new members have gone.

But first lets look at the settlements that declined:

Stoneroot Glade is down from 95 to 70 and moved down the ranks. I'm told the crafters have moved to Tavernhold. Aragon is down from 96 to 18. This is a drop from large settlement close to being insignificant. But maybe it doesn't matter as they wanted to be bandits anyhow and you don't need (can't afford) too large a bandit settlement.
AGC moved on to Kreuz Bernstein.
Blackwood Glade and Deadman's Glen are down to a single member. We had the demise of Blackwood Glen discussed here - but Deadman's Glen just disappeared silently.
This leads to the settlements growing. Biggest winner in total numbers was Brighthaven - attracting 159 new members. Next is Tavernhold with +104 thanks to Stoneroot Glade crafters. But the real winner in my eyes us River Bank and the Pathfinder University which went up by +102 - growing from tiny roots to the fourth biggest settlement. Congratulations to the hard work of Hoffman and his team and a testament that this game is not dead.

25-Feb 08-Apr Diff % of landrush
Brighthaven 242 401 159 200%
Golgotha 173 231 58 206%
Tavernhold 32 136 104 247%
Phaeros 132 156 24 197%
River Bank 14 116 102 504%
Keeper's Pass 55 107 52 122%
Ozem's Vigil 74 92 18 112%
Kreuz Bernstein 2 100 98 313%
Emerald Lodge 67 81 14 159%
Talonguard 28 79 51 71%
Stoneroot Glade 95 70 -25 77%
Canis Castrum 34 66 32 550%
Forgeholm 51 56 5 112%
Callambea 41 57 16 79%
Auroral 41 53 12 312%
Alderwag 15 48 33 400%
Sunholm 21 21 0 64%
Hammerfall 17 20 3 57%
Hope's End 7 20 13 118%
Aragon 96 18 -78 30%
Freevale 11 11 0 55%
Blackfeather Keep 9 9 0 53%
Dagedai 8 8 0 16%
Blackwatch 3 4 1 33%
Blackwood Glade 16 1 -15 2%
Deadman's Glen 13 1 -12 13%
Terra Firma 1 1 0 7%
Iron Gauntlet 1 1 0 11%
Hammerforge 1 1 0 8%
Doomhammer 1 1 0 9%
New Daggermark 0 0 0 0%
Guardheim 0 0 0 0%
Highroad 0 0 0 0%

*Numbers taken from the map from Aussiedwarf. Was easier as doing a search myself.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Please have a look at the draft I have produced below. Anythig I miss - anything I should add? The are also discussed by all EL members on our own board. I just posted it there before posting it here. Happy to get input from non EL members as well and to improve it.

Some people might not like the style - but that part is non negotiable. My background is as a GM for TT games. As such I have to balance RAI and RAW (Rules as Intended and Rules as Written). Please read them as RAI. I have a strong dislike of Rules Lawyers who pervert RAI by finding loopholes in RAW. I have written these rules in a way that should leave me enough room not to be hold hostage to RAW arguments or to act in cases not covered. I hope in all these cases RAI is still obvious.

But please point out when you feel RAI isn't well enough defined or isn't fair and RAW could be improved.

You might notice the term 'Free Settlers'. This got in there through some remarks by Bluddwolf. I would like that a new company is formed - Free Settlers. This company will allow people who don't want to be forced into the rigours of a settlement to more or less play their own style and only have a very lose affiliation with the Emerald Lodge.

I'm currently looking for a leader of this company (could come from the outside) and will draw up rules that still need to be added to the laws of the Emerald Lodge. No bandits, criminals, evil worshippers are allowed and anyone who brings the Emerald Lodge in dispute will be kicked out. But apart of that I would like this company to be a company of independent people.

So this would not solve Bluddwolfs problem - but that is mainly because I can't see the Emerald Lodge sponsoring bandits. But maybe another settlement creates something similar and is allowing bandits in their fault.

The number allowed in that company should never grow to more as half the number of all other companies in EL.

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

The Law of the Land – Emerald Lodge
12.th of Pharast in the year 4712AR
These are the Rules of the Land around the Emerald Lodge
The Lands of the Emerald Lodge
Unless otherwise specified these laws apply to all lands that are closer to the settlement of Emerald Lodge as to any other settlement that isn’t abandoned. This laws also apply to the lands directly surrounding the towers called The Emerald Seven – which are: Baron’s Folly, The Moonshine Mill, The Nameless One, The Missing Hero, Thod’s Vigil and the Wandering Merchant.
Crimes and Justice
Any crime done inside these lands will be followed up by Theodum – or in his absence – Thod. Any victim of a crime should bring his or her grievance forward to Theodum or Thod at the first opportunity and they will investigate if a crime has been committed and if the crime needs to be followed up.
Crimes tend to be grievances against members of the Emerald Lodge or guests of the Emerald Lodge. Explicitly named are the crimes of murder, banditry and thievery. But we all know that criminals can be inventive to find other ways to pursue grievances of our members or guests– so this list surely is not complete and we will add other crimes as they are committed and come to our attention.
Many aspects need to be considered when a crime is being investigated and a judgement is done – these include the proximity to our settlement, the severity of the crime, if the perpetrator is repentant or not and if a perpetrator offers repayment for damages done.
Not every grievance is a crime and in most circumstances an apology of the perpetrator towards the victim will suffice. We try our best to be just – and both victim and perpetrator have to follow our judgement. We reserve the right to place a bounty on the head of unrepentant perpetrators or a perpetrator who is unwilling to give his victim the repayment for the damages he has caused. These laws apply in the same way to Lords or peasants. Before our laws both are treated equal.
Any repayment should never be higher as the damage done to a victim. Any victim trying to benefit or falsely accusing another person might find himself on the other side of the law him or herself.
If you feel unjustly treated by Thod or Theodum then you have the right to appeal to the Decemvirate. Current members of the Decemvirate are Abathan, Baron, Bellows McGurk, Deianira, Diltig, Flitwyck, Kaleigh, Pinki and Smendor. Three or more of these members can overturn any ruling made by Thod or Theodum. Any new ruling will have to be done by the majority of the Decemvirate – with Thod or Theodum deciding when no majority is reached.
No further appeals are possible.
The Growth of the Lands
What grows in our lands or what you can dig out of the ground belongs to nobody. But any druid will tell you that wanton harvesting of plants will leave only a barren land and this would mean all of us will suffer.
We are proud that our lands only offer the best quality of wood, herbs and gems. Only a land in equilibrium with itself can produce resources of the best quality. We therefore declare it a crime to harvest resources of inferior quality. Sometimes you only notice after the harvest that you collected inferior goods. We don’t persecute you should this happen – contrary – we will reward you if you bring this to the notice of the Decemvirate. But stop your gathering as soon as you find any goods with questionable quality.
The rule of not harvesting inferior raw materials applies to everyone – members of the Emerald Lodge as well as Free Settlers, Gatherers or Visitors.
Members of the Emerald Lodge have unlimited rights to gather in our lands. We expect that most of the materials gathered will be used for the betterment of the settlement and you are urged to deliver any resources not to be used by yourself to Larelai – our quartermaster. In return Larelai will give you materials you need yourself or refined goods as well as weapons, armour or other crafted goods.
Free Settlers are allowed to gather up to 500 raw materials each day. They can keep all they gather. The quartermaster will always accept donations for the betterment of the settlement from any Free Settler – she will also be happy to trade any goods she has in surplus against any goods that the free settler has gathered, refined or crafted.
Gatherers are members of other settlements or unaligned wanderers who want to harvest our lands. You are allowed to harvest in our lands up to 200 raw materials each day. In exchange we ask for a monthly token amount of 1 copper piece that covers a gatherer licence. In addition we ask for a donation of 10% of all the materials you have gathered.
The license to gather rare materials Tier 2 is 1 silver piece per month.
The payment and donation should be made to the quartermaster. You will find the quartermaster during office hours at the bank. Outside office hours payments should be made to any member of the Decemvirate or at the first possible opportunity.
Visitors. Merchants or Diplomats without a license don’t have any gathering rights in our lands. We don’t mind if you pick the occasional flower or have a lucky find of a gem. But if you want to gather more as 10 raw materials per day then apply for a gatherer license.
We trust all gatherers to pay their dues, not to exceed their quotas and to donate generously to the upkeep of the Emerald Lodge. Please don’t misuse this trust as offenders will be placed on the list of criminals and will be referred for judgement to Theodum or Thod.
Criminals in our lands
Anyone who has not committed a crime in our own lands is welcome as a visitor and has the same rights as any other visitor. We don’t hold any crimes that you have done in other lands against you. This does not mean that we give indemnity to everyone coming to our lands.
Other settlements who feel that we harbour a criminal and prevent justice against him or her should contact Theodum, Thod or the Decemvirate. They will allow in severe cases that you can hunt down the criminal in our lands.
Don’t go hunting for criminals in our lands without asking first. Otherwise you might risk to commit a criminal act yourself.
There is no lynch justice in our lands. And this applies also to our own members.
Visitors and facilities
At the moment every visitor is allowed free use of our bank, our crafting facilities as well as our training facilities.
The use of the bank is not allowed to hide ill-gotten gains from criminal activity or to store armour or weapons for an army or a war. Store these items elsewhere.
Smallholdings and Camps
We welcome visitors, merchants and gatherers from all places of the River Kingdom. Anyone is therefore allowed to erect a smallholding or a camp in our lands. Please be aware that there is only limited space for such a structure.
The last free space in an area will always be reserved for a true member of the Emerald Lodge. Please also be advised that a smallholding or camp under no circumstances should be used as a staging ground for a war or as hideout for bandits going into the lands of our neighbours.
Monsters and bandits
Monsters and bandits are a danger to everyone in our lands. Therefore everyone in our lands has the rights to kill monsters or bandits and take their ill-gotten spoils as reward for making our lands a safer place.
But please take care that what you think is a bandit is not a merchant or visitor instead. Mistakes do happen – but we don’t want to place any overzealous paladin on our criminal list because of a mistaken identity. This would just be a tragedy.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Two days ago I gave a talk at the Pathfinder University about diplomacy in PFO. This gave me the idea for the story. Around the same time an incident happened. One of our members learned a very painful lesson. He wanted to carry several valuable crafted goods and hard earned raw materials from Emerald Lodge to Marchmont. He had used some +4 ingredients to create a +3 item. It was his own stupidity that he couldn’t resist to attack a seemingly simple group of monsters – only to miss a champion among them.

The story could have ended here – but when he came back to his husk he saw someone looting it. A fight started (don’t ask me who started it) – words were typed in the chat that surely were not the most diplomatic on either side – and my member lost and described the behaviour of the looter in words that I can’t post here.

As a settlement leader – what do you do? Especially what do you do when the victim is not a starting player was clearly outclassed, the opposing side seems to think they don’t have acted improperly in any way but you feel your own settlement has just been bullied – especially if around the time the EBA disallows gathering from nodes in their area while there hardly can be anything more juicy as a husk containing many hours of gathering and crafting.

As diplomat you sit on a powder keg with fire all around you and a good chance it blows up in your face if you do anything.

The whole idea of this game is that actions have consequences. PvP can be done in different ways. Asked in the lecture at the PFU I said that I deliberately use Theodum for board thread PvP. So using Theodum seemed just the right answer to make a stance and to display that the Emerald Lodge isn’t bullied – by anyone.

Now for would be diplomats I would say to not repeat what I’m doing here. It is very unlikely you will get away with it. Actions have consequences – this also includes postings on these boards. I’ve worked hard to maximize the effect but to minimize the consequences – but I’m not in control what happens after I hit the submit button. And there is still the possibility that this whole lot blows up in my face.

I’m sure the victim of Theodum will feel backstabbed and treated unjust. Having given the player the chance to apologize or to hand back the items he got and not posting anything with Theodum he regarded this as threats, blackmail and extortion.

I personally react very negative to such accusations.

Welcome to PFO and the River Kingdoms. The way I see it I allowed the player an honourable diplomatic stand and deliver. The player didn’t accept it – so he will have to live with the consequences.
I’m sure he sees it differently and some will now paint me as a bully, a blackmailer and an extortionist. Welcome to a game working as expected.

I have to live with the consequences of my own actions and I bank on the fact that the majority reading this will rather agree with my actions – or just will see this neutrally and enjoy Schadenfreude.

I want to make sure it is understood that this action was the action of a single player and in no way should be seen as the Emerald Lodge trying to undermine another settlement. Unfortunately the player being a leading member of a large settlement inside a large alliance using the same name in character and out of character will make this whole thread very explosive.

I have a lot of respect to the hard work of Phaeros and the Everbloom Alliance. They do a lot of great work to make this game better – and that includes the player who gets outed here. But I’m not accepting misbehaviour inside our borders and inside the game from anyone – no matter which alliance they are from or how powerful they are.

You bully us or any visitor to us at your own peril inside the borders of the Emerald Lodge. You have what you hold. Have fun with the ill-gotten spoils you got from Bellows McGurk. We don’t need them back anymore. I hope the price you paid was worth it.

Anyone wanting to post in this or the other thread – please keep it classy.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Theodum was sitting with all the kids from the settlement in the Spire’s Retreat. There wasn’t a school in Emerald Lodge and this early in the morning was the only time without any customer. So the inn also acted as an impromptu school building.

Theodum looked around at the 5 young boyrs and girls aged 5 to 12 and started to talk. Good morning boys and girls. It is great that nearly all of you have come. Learning is important and today I wanted to talk to you about honour. Honour is something valued very much in the River Kingdoms. Honour is something you can’t buy with silver or gold. No matter how rich you are – if you wander down to Hammerfall or up to Marchmont – you won’t be able to buy it in the auction house. So who knows the most important rule of the River Kingdoms?

Three hands shot up and Theodum pointed to the young red haired girl which had her hand up in the air. You have what you hold..

Theodum smiled Well done Ayra – well done. Yes everyone here knows that you have what you hold is important in this lands. So who can give me the name of a well known and honourable bandit?

Grots hand shot up in the air. The half-orc boy was large for his 9 years and tended to listen but it was rare that he ever said a word. Master Theodum – Blodvaerd – Blodvaerd is such a bandit. He is the greatest bandit in all of the River Kingdoms. He is leading the Unnamed Company. I heard he can extract money even from Paladins and Lords. But he had a good heart. Have you heard the story of Blodvaerd how he helped a peasant to get his belongings back when he was waylaid by goblins just outside Marchmont. One day I will become a member of the Unnamed Company and I will be Blodvaerds best fighter.

Theodum smiled – he never had heard Grots speak so much. This small boy had a bright future if he kept teaching him the right ways of the River Kingdoms. Grots – that was a great answer! He took a sweet out of his robe and it arched towards the boy who snatched it out of the air before any of the others could take it from him.

Grots – that was a great answer – but do you also know someone whom you wouldn’t want to follow or join? .

The smile on the face of the young half orc disappeared and was replaced by feelings of disgust. He spit out the half eaten sweet. Decius Brutus – he is nothing better as a thief. He took away the new silver holy symbol from Bellows McGurk when he was send to Pharasma’s shrine just outside the Lodge after losing against an undead champion. Thod has offered a reward – the best sword that our weapon smith has forged so far. I will earn this bounty. Baron is teaching me and I will show Baron how good I am by bringing Decius head to him.
Grots brandied his rusty dog cleaver – half broken – a poor weapon and likely discarded by a goblin when he got hold of something better from an unwary traveller. But the young half orc brandished it threatingly and it seemed his prized procession. This certainly would be no match for a veteran of fighter Decius. But Theodum wouldn’t discourage Grots. He was young and still had lots to learn.

Grots – that is a great example. And that brings me back to the question of honour and the River Freedoms. Indeed the most important one is You have what you hold. But too many people in the River Kingdoms don’t use the full description of this River Kingdom Freedom. The full text should be

You have what you hold—that is, what you can keep hold of is yours to keep. Armed robbery is almost praiseworthy in the River Kingdoms, a major contributor to the region’s bandit problems, but burglary—denying the victim a chance to resist—is viewed as cowardly.

So always keep in mind for honour it is not only important that you have what you hold. For honour it is important how you got hold of it. And honour is something you can’t just hold in your hand if you are stronger and meaner. Honour derives from your actions.

Okay children – this was the lesson for today. Grots – go to the weapon smith. Tell her Theodum has send you and replace your dog slicer with a good cold iron short sword. You will need it if you want to hunt Decius for the Emerald Lodge.

And before you leave please let me know what you want to learn tomorrow. We could talk about bards, jesters or diplomats. The smile disappeared from Grots face and the other children also looked glum. Ah – you don’t want to hear about bards, jesters and diplomats. So maybe you want to hear about how a kingdom who did rise to power and ruled everyone around them – but the rule lasted less than a year as strive and infighting started and they crumbled back to ruins. Or do you want to hear about the might king who rose to power but his rule was cut short when he was run out of his own kingdom by his peasants. Or would you like the story about the kingdom that was formed by a simple ranger who had no more as 2 followers when he started and that did last for over fifty years until he died of old age.

The children smiled again – and so did Theodum. He was sure the children would be back tomorrow morning to listen to his stories. He still hadn’t decided if he should tell the story of the bard who’s song started the strive that led to the downfall or the jester who’s pranks at the court of the king had caused the peasants to revolt – or his favourite – the ranger who started with a small group of friends and united many larger fighting clans to rule as part of one of the longest lasting times of peace here in the River Kingdoms that Theodum was aware of.

Please only post in character in this thread - there is a second one for OOC postings.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I had a lot of fun this week with Theodums call to fight the bonedancers. The reason for the call was that it was an awkward escalation in an off-the-way hex that remained unchecked for too long.

The highlights for me were:
a) great roleplay in the roleplay thread
b) participation from various different groups
c) a way to mix with other groups

This makes it different to your normal pest control escalation fighting or recipe harvest that happens inside a settlement or an alliance.

Is there an interest to make this a regular occurence? We could nominate each week a hex that we target. People could meet up - fight together - have fun. I probably would move it away from Wednesday as this is my TT evening.

But I feel it would be a shame if this was just a one-off. It also might give non-affiliated players a chance to mix in with a group.

Having it regular also helps that people can plan.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Anyone who read the Role Play Thread first and thought it is about a settlement close to EL – I’m sorry to disappoint. This initiative does try to promote PvE and not PvP. This is a sandbox and it is time that some RP and PvE actions gets into the spotlight for a few days.

So what is it then about?

At -12/09 see PFO Atlas or approx. 6 km South, 7 km west of TK is a monster hex with a bonedancer escalations. The closest settlement is Deadman’s Glen – 2 hexes NE of the monster hex. Canis Castrum is also just 2 hexes away to the west – but they have to make a large detour getting there.

So no surprise that the hex was left unchecked and has grown over time and is now reaching all the way east up to Emerald Lodge and it seems even Golgotha. We tend to clean out the hexes next to us – but this is not helpful as long as the monster hex itself isn’t taken down.

We should have the raw manpower to do it ourselves – but it is 6 hexes away and it needs some serious coordination for us to handle it. So maybe the best idea therefore is to do this together. There have been shocking little cross settlement PvE initiatives lately.

So – I hope to see players from Canis Castrum, the Pathfinder University, EBA, Golgotha and maybe even from Ozem, Stoneroot and Aragon to fight the Bonedancers.

This is a ‘simple’ escalation. The biggest thread are the Death Squads – and even these can be tackled solo if you are very, very careful. The only difficulty of this escalation is – it is far away from everyone and it has been unchecked for weeks – possibly since the start of the game – so not only is the hex itself 100% - many other hexes are at 100% as well.

I’m not doing an overarching organization. Hop on the Golaron Mumble server and find a group of 2 or 3 likeminded players and just kill goblins. Please try to form groups with members of other settlements if possible. The whole idea is about a cross settlement collaboration here.

Golarion Mumble Server
Address: golarion.mumble.com
Port: 3093
Password: PFOnline

The Emerald Lodge will reward the group which finishes the escalation with a T2 armour – take a pick of either: Dwarven Steel Banded +1, Captains Chain +1, Ornate Chainmail +0 or Embroidered Silk Robes +0 – if possible we will try to upgrade the robes to +1 or we might add Boiled Leather +0 to the mix – but these I can’t promise. Check before in your group who will get it. Unfortunately I’m not able to promise such armour for each participating member.

I don’t know how quickly the escalation will be defeated from 100% down to nothing – but no worry – there are loads of bonedancers close by which will keep us entertained for a while.

Oh – and write about your exploits (or death) in the RP thread. Keep it classy – keep it entertaining.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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They have to die – every last of them. By night and day the shadow of evil is getting closer and it starts to engulf us from all directions. We should have acted while the evil was still small and easy to fight – but we felt secure in our position.

This was wrong – and the time of no actions is over. We will fight for our survival. We won’t any longer just set here and watch the evil happen around us without any actions. Emerald Lodge – it is time to go to war. We will send out couriers to all settlements who are friendly to us to help us in our endeavour.

On our own we are weak – and this is why we haven’t acted earlier. But once we swell our ranks with armies from other lands – nothing will be able to stand in our way. We will set a bounty for each evil slain. And whoever defeats the evil leadership behind it will get a special price.
It is time that the Emerald Lodge raises it’s banner and marches ahead of the troops.

Time to stomp out the evil – time to eradicate it. Evil hear us – your time has come.

battlecry:
Evil die - Bonedancers – die !!!

Please only reply in character in this thread. There is a second thread for general discussion, organization, etc. Please go there for details how to join our forces.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I placed at least 1 gp worth of goods into the Machmont AH. This includes T2 refined goods, +2 and +3 refined goods a T2 long sword as well as other items and 20+ recipes.

I also bought 100 coal fir 12 cp each which are safely back - actually I added an extra 8 while passing the plains 2 South if Marchmont.

I hope some of it sells to make it viable to go back and place more stuff in the AH. I tried to set sensible prices - some I saw where just ridiciolous - for 2 sp per lodestone the sword would cost nearly as much just in lodestone alone.

I'm happy to buy stuff we need or which is reasonably priced.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Theodum was meeting up with Thod in the library of the Emerald Lodge. “There have been bad news from the South. I don’t have full information – but it seems the holy grooves of the Blackwood Glade has been burned down by pillagers living north to us on the mountain.
There are rumours they used Risen Undead and other evil creatures – but that might only be rumours. It also isn’t clear if everyone in Blackwood Glade is now dead or if there are survivors and if some or all of these survivors are now heading back towards Kyonin. I hear many different stories.
Please go and find out more. Offer help to the survivors. Look for a druid if there is anything that can be done to the holy groove. Retrieve a sapling or some seeds of any holy trees if nothing else can be salvaged.
I will reach out to the leaders in the North and the South to find out what can be done to stop such a tragedy to reoccurring. And organize me a bucked full of Emerald Spirit – I will have to give my prayers to Zog and hope he will listen.
It needs to be a new bucket – the old one disappeared. I suspect an unsavoury traveller and his donkey – he seemed surprisingly interested in my bucket.”

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Updated numbers - have to be treated with caution as most settlements currently can't accept new members. %-numbers are now updated for every settlement and I used the ones from Caldeathes spreadsheet instead of the ones I took 3 (?) weeks ago from the GW webpages. They should be more accurate.
Callambea had a large drop in members. I heard rumours it is administered from afar now. Ozem had a similar sized drop - but I might have got last week wrong by 10 - so that might not be real. Aragon has overtaken Stoneroot. The recruiting in Marchmont seems to pay.

25-Feb
Brighthaven 242 120%
Golgotha 173 154%
Phaeros 132 167%
Aragon 96 157%
Stoneroot Glade 95 104%
Ozem's Vigil 74 90%
Emerald Lodge 67 131%
Keeper's Pass 55 63%
Forgeholm 51 102%
Callambea 41 57%
Auroral 41 241%
Canis Castrum 34 283%
Tavernhold 32 58%
Talonguard 28 25%
Sunholm 21 64%
Hammerfall 17 49%
Blackwood Glade 16 39%
Alderwag 15 125%
River Bank 14 61%
Deadman's Glen 13 163%
Freevale 11 55%
Blackfeather Keep 9 53%
Dagedai 8 16%
Hope's End 7 41%
Blackwatch 3 25%
Kreuz Bernstein 2 6%
Terra Firma 1 7%
Iron Gauntlet 1 11%
Hammerforge 1 8%
Doomhammer 1 9%
New Daggermark 0 0%
Guardheim 0 0%
Highroad 0 0%

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum looked proudly at his collection. Slowly it was growing. Just earlier today Jazz Strongblade had uncovered a large box full of unresearched pages in the back of her vault.
It had taken Theodum the better part of several hours to categorize them and to add them to his existing collection.
There was still a lot missing. But slowly all the text got rather more complete and in most cases he had now at least half of them.
He even had several spare pieces or duplicates. Maybe he should invite other researchers and collectors to join him in the Emerald Lodge and to exchange knowledge and duplicate pages.

Catalog of the Emerald Lodge:

Unopened Title Pages Theodums private library
? Asmodean Monograph 1 1 A fragment from the central Asmodeum tome
Unresearched Prophecy Book of 1000 Whispers 1-15 11 Scrap of Prophecy
? Chronicles of the Darklands 1 1 A scrap of text
? Commander Halven's Watch Log 1 1 Final Entry
? Crusader Oath 1 1 A sacred vow taken by all crusaders
? Cryptic Messages from LS 1-5 4 A tiny writing on a small strip of paper
Unresearched Journal Entry Diary of Kodeth Tell 1-11 9
? Exploring Saventh-Yhi 1-2 1
Unresearched Scientific Record Finding on Artifact RKESNA3 1-4 2
Unresearched Book Page Gorumskagat IV 1 1 From the heroic Gorumite poem
? Graveside Confessions 1-2 2
? Hammer and Tongues 1 1 From the holy book of Torag
Unresearched Book Page Hymns to the Wind and the Waves 1 1 Exerpts from the holy book of Gozreh
Unresearched Journal Entry Inside the dismal caverns 1-9 6
Unresearched Journal Entry Journal of an unknown Crusader 1 1
Unresearched Letter Fragment Letters of Treespeaker Salmus Achyon 1-3 2 Last letter to a friend
Unresearched Chants Life among the Goblins 1-17 11
Unresearched Book Page Melodies of Inner Beauty 1 1 From a traditional goblin chant
Unresearched Book Page On Giants and Giantkin 1 1
? Prophecy of the All-Seeing-Eye 1 1
? Placard of Wisdom 1 1
Unresearched Poem Secrets of the Dreaming Dark 1-2 1
Unresearched Book Page Tenets of the Paladin 1-77 50
Unresearched Book Page The Acts of Iomedae 1
Unresearched Book Page The Birth of Light and Truth 1 1
? The Book of Joy 1 1
Unresearched Book Page The Order of Numbers 1 1
Unresearched Journal Entry The journals of Maurice Lazaray 1-4 3
Unresearched Prophecy The Sakorian Prophecy 1-2 2
Unresearched Book Page The Vigilant Faithful 1-2 2
Unresearched Book Page The Words Behind the Mask 1 1
Unresearched Book Page Unbinding the Fetters 1 1
Unresearched Journal Entry Yolandili's Hunting Journal 1-10 6

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Something weird happened. One of our non-core 6 towers became unclaimed. It is technically possible that this can happen.

Step 1: Form a new unaligned company
Step 2: Take the tower
Step 3: Disband the company

It is possible that I just didn't notice.

But with core 6 disappearing / reappearing and cotrol taken off / control restablished I felt I bring this up here in case this happened to anyone else.

Emerald Lodge has retaken The Nameless One - but it still is a mystery how we actually lost it in the first place. Unless companies not aligned to a settlement don't keep towers anymore?

Anyone else seen this happening?

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

The live in the River Kingdoms was interesting in these days. Theodum had just rejoiced on the streets and praised Zog for dealing with the onslaught of monsters when a letter on his desk caught his attention.

REVOLUTION
We hereby declare the end of the Alpha-Aristocracy. Down with the leading class. Everyone has the right to be equal. No privileges anymore. They haven’t protected us from the monsters – they are not fit to rule us anymore.

There wasn’t any signature. Galt sprang to mind – could it be that some grey guards from Galt had secretly infiltrated this area. He would have to be on the lookout for guillotines. He didn’t wanted to lose his soul. But then – technically it would be Thod who had to march to the Guillotine. But could he really rely on it?

Messengers where send out – and the news back seemed bleak. Golgotha – Phyllain no longer in power, Hope’s End – Duffy ran out of town, Brighthaven – Cheatle no longer in control.

He went down to The Spire’s Retreat. One bucket full of Emerald Spirit again – oh – and please catch me a new rat.

It seemed it was time to worship Zog again. After all – the prayers had worked last time.

Edit: You might also want to read The Emerald Lodge Curfew where it is explained how to worship Zog properly.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Emerald Lodge Curfew - All pray to Zog

Theodum was busy writing placards and hanging them all over his settlement. The armour smith seemed miffed when he nailed it next to his forge, the loom gave him a strange look when he hang one on his drying lines for finest twine - but he couldn't care less - he had to protect his own citizens.
The lands were overrun by monsters. All his plans to investigate the Emetald Spire where at naught if the monsters left the woods and overran his settlements. Why hadn't they build a barricade yet.
Not everyone seemed of his opinion - he had seen Baron, Zaar Frozen Blade and Thod leave town earlier and coming back - blood splattered, laughing. They just have bad examples to the upstanding citizens. It was deadly out there.
At least he could ask these three rascals for a mission. 

Two hours later he met up with Baron, Zaar and Thod in the cellar of The Spire's Retreat. They had a large wrapped bundle with them that still wriggled as if something living was inside.

'Unwrap it' commanded Theodum. Be friendly but keep it under control.

A goblin appeared, only slightly bruised - but his eyes darting around with evil intend.

'Tell me your name - I heard you are one of the local shamans'

'Hlep not tellin yu nything' - his eyes looked around desperate taking in his hopeless position.

'Okay Hlep listen up. I know you don't like us - but I need your help. Here is a large fresh bread, still warm, a smoked leg of a pig, some fireworks, a dwarven Steel dagger and 100 shiny new copper pieces. This is all your if you build us an altar to Zogmugot, your Lady Lastbreath. Tell me what you need and all is yours - don't work with us and my friends here will to what they did with all your friends - understood?'

Hlep looked up - confused - but understanding slowly - after all he was a shaman of his clan. A mischievous grin spread over his face.

Me Give chair, rat, string, bucket - Hlep need dagger now. Hlep not can make altar if Hlep not dagger.

Theodum looked puzzled - but he gave the others the sign to relieve the goblin and get everything he asked for.

It took Hlep an hour - and Theodum was puzzled by his work. He first disassembled the chair and carved out bits here and there - sharpening different parts in the process. But reassembled the chair looked like before.
He then placed the chair in front of one of the wine casks - tied the rat with a string on one leg and the other on the rafter so that it was dangling just above the wine cask - he then placed the bucket under the rat so the rat disappeared from sight.

'Hlep good altr made. Longleg neat watr. Beir do better. But Zog want worship lone - so Longleg take watr, put in bucket, do prayr sit in chair whil rat close drown. Zog hear your prayr if done well.'

Theodum looked at the whole contraption - this was all there was. Well - even if they wasted some good food on the goblin - it was worth a try.

He handed Hlep all the promised goods and told Baron, Zaar and Thod to leave him alone. He then went up to the Innkeep and asked for the daily supply of Emerald Spirit. Surely of beer worked better then Emerald Spirit must be superior.

On the edge of the wood a laughing Hlep disappeared in the woods - biting into the smoked leg of pig. 'Zog know everything. Stuped Longleg prayer heard before given.'

Inside the cellar Theodum poured the Emerald Spirit into the bucket and sat down.

Trap damage 3d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 2, 4) + 4 = 16

It took two painful hours before Theodum was freed by the barkeep getting some wine. The rat had not only drowned by then - it seemed to have completely dissolved. Only a moth eaten piece of string dangled above the evil green looking liquid that started to seep out of the bucket.

The only thought Theodum had - it was worth it if Zog would answer his prayer. If not - he would go out himself and find Hlep and strangle him - even if this would be the last action he ever did.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I thought it would be good to get some stats before EE4.0 goes in. People who know these threads already will be familiar with the format - the name of the settlement followed by the number of pledged characters. I also added a week ago the relative % compared to the numbers at the landrush.
Also back is the number of towers as I felt this is a good time to make a snapshot.
So what about the click baiting title? Some people might notice that there is a different order. I tend to order by size - but this time around I first order all crafter settlements by size and then all other settlements. The reason is I noticed a clear trend for crafter settlements to underperform compared to all other kind of settlements.
So what do we see?
The best %-age off all crafter settlements is 68% for Callambea. In comparison there are 8 non crafter settlements which score >100%
Keepers Pass is in the Everbloom alliance - the two other large settlements there don't suffer that problem and seem to grow well.
In addition all three main crafter settlements LOST members week over week. The loss are an insignificant 1 or 2 members less for Keepers, Callambea and Talonguard - but this is compared to an averall growth from 1199 to 1169 members in settlements.
This is even more surprising if you read these boards. PvPer should struggle - if you read the posts then they are nearly unplayable. Crafters should strive - this is THEIR time to shine - gathering and crafting forms is what is important right now and what even some PvPers are forced to do.
No - I don't have an explanation. Individual leadership might play a big role - but I can't believe none of the crafter settlements can buck the trend.
So why do we have more problems attracting people to these settlements?

Keeper's Pass 51 57% 17
Callambea 49 68% 9
Talonguard 26 23% 14
Hammerfall 16 46% 10
Alderwag 15 14
Blackfeather Keep 9 56% 8
Kreuz Bernstein 2 6% 8
New Daggermark 0
Guardheim 0
Brighthaven 237 117% 21
Golgotha 159 142% 24
Phaeros 130 159% 13
Stoneroot Glade 94 103% 21
Ozem's Vigil 84 97% 14
Aragon 82 137% 18
Emerald Lodge 65 123% 13
Forgeholm 48 96% 11
Auroral 41 241% 12
Tavernhold 37 74% 12
Canis Castrum 31 258% 16
Sunholm 21 64% 15
Blackwood Glade 16 42% 8
Deadman's Glen 13 163% 6
River Bank 11 50% 12
Freevale 11 55% 6
Dagedai 8 16% 0
Hope's End 7 41% 16
Blackwatch 2 0
Terra Firma 1 0
Iron Gauntlet 1 0
Hammerforge 1 0
Doomhammer 1 0
Highroad

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Every tower that the Emerald Lodge claims its own has a name and a story. As chronicler I sometimes get asked about the towers. So I decided to tell some short stories about them. Six of these are named after the early heroes of the Emerald Lodge and the sevenths in honour of the discoverer.

The Emerald Seven (co-ordinates are taken from The unofficial PFO Atlas:

Baron's Folly -01/08 - the most eastern tower - likely the best known of them all - the story of Baron's Folly has been told numerous times.

The Moonshine Mill -04/09 - not really a true tower - this building is used by Alirya to make the best robes in all of the River Kingdoms. The mill is powered by waters coming from the Golgotha Mountains and passing the Emerald Spire - being infused with some of the magic there. Also north of the mill are some of the best areas to gather the finest wool and cotton as well as moonstones and ordered essence to turn into runespun robes of unparalleled quality. Alirya is said to be in the process to craft some even higher quality embroidered silk robes in the mill soon.

The Frozen Forge -07/07 - A mystical forge rumoured to be of ancient dwarven origin going back to the times of the quest for sky - a place you find Zaar Frozen Blade plying his trade. The forge uses ice and not fire to refine the metal and it once was used in one of the Sky Citadels of the dwarves and it is a mystery how the forge ended up in the River Kingdoms. Ancestors of Zaar were the owners of the last known Frozen Blade made on the forge before the blade got lost in a fight with evils from deep below. Zaar's quest is to once again make the forge useable and to rediscover the mystery of the frozen blades.

The Nameless One -09/09 - this tower was to be named after another hero of the Emerald Lodge. But somehow Pinki never told anyone and made a mystery of this tower. So maybe someone needs to travel there – or invite Pinki to a drink in The Spire’s Retreat to find out more.

The Missing Hero -11/09 - this is an empty tower. Rumour is that this was the last place where Frazzlerunning was seen before leaving the River Kingdoms. There is also a legend that a member of the Emerald Lodge with true intentions visiting this place in the hour of need will be able to summon the hero back to the River Kingdoms. Nobody in the Emerald Lodge so far has tested this legend.

Thod's Vigil -13/07 - This tower came into possession of the Emerald Lodge by trade with Hope's End for another tower. Thod spend a whole night on his own in the tower and rumours are he has to renew this vigil once a month to keep the tower in the possession of the Emerald Lodge.

The Wandering Merchant - -10/04 - this tower was the last tower to come into the possession of the Emerald Lodge. The tower was half burnt down and used as a hide-out of a local bandit group when Guildenstern the merchant stumbled upon it on his travels looking for a place to sleep. He was just about to settle down for the night when he was rudely disturbed by an arrow fired by a ranger from the North. He fortified the tower a little bit for the rest of the night and left the Emerald Lodge flag above the tower when he left next morning. The flag flies above the tower since.

Someone said recently that there is an eights tower - The Gift of the North. It isn't confirmed yet if this tower exsts or where it actually is.

Some darker rumours:

Is it true that the number of towers - 7 - has a special meaning?
Does it connect to old Thassilonien times?
Are the towers spread out in a star shaped form?

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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All

I don't know yet what will happen on Thursday with the new patch. But I have to say this is a great community and despite this being a competetive game I got a lot of support from many different sides. Below is a bit I copied from our internal members discussions:

So where to we develop from here?

Post cataclysm I expect that we will focus on

Trade and craft - well above average

Defence - well below average

Training for fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue - we will have the minimum to ensure you keep training. Beyond that it depends what we can afford or if these training could be done at our neigbours
-----

In the meantime we will soldier on - trying to be a place for players who don't want to be in one of the large power blocks, carry on with the mission to explore the Emerald Spire (some day) and add our bit of quirkiness and RP to the game to make it a better and more interesting place to be.

And Theodum wrote another piece - The Emerald Seven - inspired by the post from Proxima Sin.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum visited the Spire's Retreat. It was himself who had put up a sign - no Emerald Spitit allowed anymore due to health and safety reasons - but he should have known better. He now lived in the River Kingdoms and people here didn't like rules.

Worse - it seemed that since he had put up the sign that a continous group of people had visited the inn and most of them where found later on dumped outside.

Was he here to drown his sorrow - or to play the fool and enlighten the area around. He couldn't care.

Barman - one Emerald Spirit please.

With this he took a large sip

Fortitude save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I would like some input from my own settlement as well as from other groups.

The upcoming changes in EE4 make our current status difficult. I see out settlement as failed if we can't offer rank 10 training.

What would we need?

8 towers

What do we have?

7 towers - of these several likely not defensible (by us)

Why can't we take more?

1) Neutrality makes it difficult to go poaching easy targets
2) Golgotha to our North and EBA to our South doesn't offer room
3) 2/3 of our alliance is on EU time-line. Starting PvP to capture towers after 22:30 is not an option (17:30 EST or 15:30 Seattle time - unlikely that there will be many open PvP windows earlier)

There is no decision made - and I look for alternative ways what best to do. Become a member of a large alliance would be the easiest option it seems. There are many reasons why I wouldn't like to do that - but I have to stay realistic.

So - let me know your thoughts if we should stay neutral and how.

Disclaimer: I haven't talked to any of the other alliances nor to my own members. No decision has been made. But I look for an option that preserves 8 towers for us.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

4 hexes in the South westerly direction of the Emerald Lodge - the crater hex. Hasn't spread yet - but that is likely only a matter of time.

Hope's End is close, Blackwatch as well - Hammerfall as close as us.

At the moment at 53%. Either it gets killed fast or it will stay.

To late (GMT) to organize anything now myself aoart of ringing the alarm bell - but maybe EBA is interested in protecting Hammerfall.

Happy to lend all help that Emerald Lodge can give - but that is outside our league.

Happy to get any tips from Golgotha.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Another week has passed - we are close to 1200 or should I say we reached 1240?. It depends. So another look at numbers. I haven't resorted them from last week - so Canis Castrum would have passed Talonguard in total numbers and Riverbank would have climed up the rankings.
But I felt the more interesting bit are numbers I didn't add in the past. I did compare the current number of characters pledged with the number of votes that the settlements got during landruch.
A percentage below 100% means that some backers never made it that far to start the game and to join the settlement for which they pledged the vote. I know of several players who voted for me but never showed up. But I also have quite a few players in the Emerald Lodge that didn't vote for me.
Numbers aren't perfect as I took them from the latest landruch numbers - and they will have changed since the end of landrush. But I couldn't bother to dig the original numbers out from somewhere (Cal ?). I also wasn't sure which company was Alderwag or Blackwatch.
A total of 8 settlements have > 100%. Not surprisingly Brighthaven, Golgotha and Phaeros are among them.
The only two other groups from the original top 11 are Aragon (thanks to the Alegiant Gemstone company I assume) and Emerald Lodge (yep - proud about that).
But there are three more that I hadn't realized how well they do. Auroral has a staggering 224% - they must do something right. Canis Castrum is even better with some 258% - the best overall compared to the landrush.
But what really suprised me was Deadman's Glen. After all - not too long agao I assumed the group 'dead' and was hoping for some of their core 6 as possible additional towers for us. They seem much more alive then a lot of other groups.

Oh - I also looked at unaffiliated companies. This is a little bit difficult as you can't 'search' for them. They pop up when you make the search unspecific - but there is a mx. list of hits that you get.
I identified a total of 17 such companies with a total of 41 members. There might be more - but likely not many.
I listed the ones with 2 or more members. The only one truly of significance seems to be Sensou. The other ones might be good additions to settlements - especially to smaller ones - but there just aren't that many more players out there already in companies.
Still - at least the Pathfinder Society should contact me.

Brighthaven 229 113%
Golgotha 158 141%
Phaeros 116 141%
Stoneroot Glade 78 86%
Aragon 75 125%
Ozem's Vigil 69 79%
Emerald Lodge 61 115%
Keeper's Pass 52 58%
Callambea 50 69%
Forgeholm 48 96%
Auroral 38 224%
Tavernhold 37 74%
Talonguard 28 25%
Canis Castrum 31 258%
Sunholm 22 67%
Blackwood Glade 13 34%
Hammerfall 13 37%
River Bank 18 82%
Freevale 11 55%
Deadman's Glen 13 163%
Blackfeather Keep 9 56%
Dagedai 8 16%
Hope's End 7 41%
Alderwag 7
Kreuz Bernstein 2 6%
Blackwatch 2
Terra Firma 1 7%
Iron Gauntlet 1 11%
Hammerforge 1 8%
Doomhammer 1
New Daggermark
Highroad
Guardheim

1199

Sensou 12
Order of the Dragonturtle 4
H.A.N.D 4
Grey Company 3
Chudds Inc 3
Pathfinder Society 2
Misfits and Mystic Merc 2
Mazon's Misfits 2

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Theodum had been invited to the naming ceremony of the new tavern at Emerald Lodge. He wasn’t a fan of such crude drinks like Cayden’s Brew – or worse the unrefined taste of real dwarven ale. But as leader of the Lodge it was his duty to be seen in public – at least on special occasions.
He actually enjoyed it being surrounded by cheering folks from the Lodge. He did spot Flitwyck, Armenfast, Endel, Zaar Frozen Blade, Pinki, Baron and many others from the Lodge – all seemingly in a good mood – and most with at least a drink or two too many already.
Walking into the tavern he spotted some good places where he would be able to spread the word about what was going on in the River Kingdoms. He even had a name for it – the Chronicler. This place deserved a story to be told.
On the opposite side of the bar be spotted Dieanira the bard of the lodge. What a great addition to the place – she really was good in uplifting the mood of the lodge. Not like her fighting prowess which still seemed to need some form of improvement. But you had to take your members as they came - with all good and bad characteristics.
Moving towards the bar he noticed that people stepped back and a sudden silence fell upon the tavern. Reaching the bar he noticed a delicate elven crystal glass with a green glowing liquid in it. He had heard about that famous drink – capable to fell the strongest of fighters it was said. It was called the Emerald Spirit
He discarded it as rumours – after all he had seen Thod down two glasses in quick succession as part of a dare – and he hadn’t noticed any ill effect on him.
Smiling he approached the bar and took the glass in his hand. Turning around to the assembled but quiet members of the lodge he held it high to give a toast and poured it down his throat.
.
Fortitude Save 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
.
.
.
He couldn’t remember what had happened next – apart of waking up with the worst headache of his life – hours later – and in his own bed. Maybe rumours that a watered down version of the drink was used in port cities to knock out innocent people and have them awake later on a slave galley wasn’t that far fetched at all.
Surely a drink he would not recommend to any visitor to try at the Spire’s Retreat. Rather a drink he should outlaw on safety and health grounds – alas the people in these lands seemed to react allergic to any laws restricting their freedom.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum looked up from the paperwork. This had to stop. This had to stop NOW. All these expenses for coal, iron, weapons, armour. This was just wrong. He had founded this place for research - but Thod was perverting it into an army camp.
Yes - there were monsters around - and maybe not everyone close by was actually friendly - but this didn't mean that 99% of efforts had to go into building a local military.
The Emerald Lodge was peaceful - the Emerald Lodge was here to explore the Emerald Spire - not to compete with Golgotha or Brighthaven to compete for militaristic might.
Time to make an example. With this in mind he marched off to the Armour Smith.
Jazz - show me what you are working on. I'm very concerned in the costs you currently produce. Hm - one Dwarven Steel Banded - delivered to Baron already. A second one - already nearly finished - sized for Smendor. But I see you got from Thod the refined materials for a third one - and even refined materials for a fourth one are ordered. Are you aware what all of this costs us ???
I hereby conficate the third Dwarven Banded Steel Plate +1 in the name of the Lodge. You will carry on producing it as normal - but it won't be used any military purpose of the Emerald Lodge but rather sold off to the highest bidder to enable some spend on non militaristic uses here in town. And if Thod complains - send him to me. I can deal with him.

Theodum left the Smithy a lot happier as he had arrived. This deed was done. Now it was time to send a few letters out to other settlements to advertise that some armor of the highest quality was up for auction to the highest bidder.

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It is just over a week when I did it the last time. So time to have a look again. There are well above 1000 characters now in 30 settlements. Brighthaven did grow massivly and they represnt nearly 20% of all characters.
Golgotha is healthy growing but couldn't keep pace and Paeros now also is above 100.
Big jumps in numbers are Forgeholm and Auroral. Some sign of life in Iron Gauntlet and Dagedai finally went up from a single member.
So 3 settlements >100
8 more > 50
12 more >30
15 more >20
10 more >10
Still 10 settlements <10
And 3 settlements still no signs of life at all

Freevale and Hammerfall lost members - albeit minimal. All other settlements above 10 members did grow.

The Emerald Lodge now has a growing US membership.

04-Feb
Brighthaven 217
Golgotha 152
Phaeros 102
Stoneroot Glade 77
Aragon 61
Ozem's Vigil 59
Emerald Lodge 54
Keeper's Pass 51
Callambea 48
Forgeholm 46
Auroral 36
Tavernhold 35
Talonguard 28
Canis Castrum 28
Sunholm 22
Blackwood Glade 13
Hammerfall 12
River Bank 11
Freevale 11
Deadman's Glen 11
Blackfeather Keep 9
Dagedai 8
Hope's End 7
Alderwag 7
Kreuz Bernstein 2
Blackwatch 2
Terra Firma 1
Iron Gauntlet 1
Hammerforge 1
Doomhammer 1
New Daggermark
Highroad
Guardheim

1113

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I guess Brighthaven couldn't have Golgotha ahead of them - or did they withdrew all spies back to home - well - they are ahead again.
Interesting that Ozem to Callambea was joined in numbers by Aragon and Emerald Lodge. You can assume I'm proud about that.
A lot of tower activity with Alderwag, Riverbank, Deadmans Glen and Bernstein. So at least some activity there.
Oh - and only now do I notice what happened to Guardheim. Thought my numbers are wrong - but Guardheim is leaderless again - see message here that I missed.
All in all 59 more members in the last 3 days. Brighthaven got nearly a third of them. Not sure if all 7 inguards are counted again.

26-Jan
Brighthaven 141
Golgotha 135
Phaeros 82
Stoneroot Glade 62
Ozem's Vigil 50
Aragon 48
Keeper's Pass 46
Emerald Lodge 45
Callambea 45
Tavernhold 29
Forgeholm 29
Canis Castrum 21
Talonguard 19
Sunholm 19
Hammerfall 15
Auroral 15
Freevale 12
Blackwood Glade 11
Blackfeather Keep 9
Hope's End 7
Alderwag 7 15
River Bank 5 7
Deadman's Glen 5 4
Kreuz Bernstein 2 8
Blackwatch 2 0
Terra Firma 1 0
Hammerforge 1 0
Doomhammer 1 0
Dagedai 1 0
New Daggermark
Iron Gauntlet
Highroad
Guardheim

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Bonny did ask that we write up some of the history of our settlements. Having been a chronicler in the early stages of the landrush I felt it was time to return to the roots of Theodum. Yes - he is officially a PFS wizard 13 or 14 with one level of Chronicler and he gained the title of Venture Captain in the Eye of the 10.
I would urge others also to write somethin up. Bonnies message is here. You can even win a Limegreen Goblinsworks Drawsting Bag. Actually not sure why I advertise this as this gives others the chance to win it - and anyhow I expect it will go to Alirya - our tailor aka my daughter should we win.
I hope Brighthaven takes this writeup as what it is - a well meant bit of Emerald Lodge propaganda. I'm not claiming it is totally unbiased. Happy to read what happened from a different viewpoint.
For Harad and the Map project. Baron's Folly is in -01/08. I will do write ups for the Moonshine Mill and the Frozen Forge and will let you know where these are. They are 'towers' we took and I have everyone in the group defending Baron's Folly the option to choose a tower and to name it and to make a story around it - related to their character.
So I hope I will manage to get this done over the weekend.

The Chronicles of Theodum the Wise - Chronicler of the River Kingdoms - Wealday and Oathday 14th and 15th of Abadius in the year 4715 AR

The short time around the 14th and 15th of Abadius will forever be of high significance when future historians will research the rise and downfall of the kingdoms formed around the Emerald Spire. I'm priviledged not only to be a Pathfinder Chronicler but also to have first hand accounts of what happened on this crucial day and the diplomatic aftermath that followed.
The morning of Wealday will likely be forgotten by many soon. It was the start of the so called War of towers - a 'war' that in 100 years time will most likely be forgotten by all but some scholars.
The war of towers was initiated by Rhyn the prophet - or Rhyn the mad as he is also known. This was a testing ground for the strong, the mighty, the powerful - the deserving of the River Kingdoms to make a claim to areas they would like to control.
Having formed the Emerald Lodge for the Pathfinder Society this brutal competition that favoured the settlements with the largest armies was of a lot concern for the Lodge. Wedged between the mighty Brighthaven and the evil Golgotha the signs didn't bode well for the lodge in the competition for power and land.
A meeting with the worshipped ruler of Golgotha - Phyllain - had resulted in a truce and in some towers and places of interest that the lodge could claim for themselves. One of the towers offered was a derelict ruin - far to the east of the Emerald Lodge - a ruin not contested by Golgotha.
But if there ever was a poisoned chalice - this would count as one. It was clear from even a quick glimpse of the map that the ruin was outside the military power to hold by the lodge - and also that the mighty and shining Brighthaven would contest the place - albeit likely assuming that this would be a powerplay between them and their evil counterpart - Golgotha.
Counting a claim of 1 quarter of the ruin for the lodge - judged on distance - and given 2 more quarters by Golgotha and Bernstein - there was a good incentive to accept the poisoned chalice and just to prepare. As what danger is there truly in poison if you have magic to counteract it.
So first of all volunteers where needed. Baron - Master of arms of the lodge volunteered first to lead the expedition. Thod - gatherer and monster hunter of the lodge was next. Then Zaar Frozen Blade - the smelter of the lodge, Frazzlerunning, Pinki and Alirya - the tailor. Two more volunteers never arrived - and they lost their entry into the history books forever.
Early in the morning the group set out. To take the tower it was important to be first. Any militaristic engagement was expected to fail.
So Baron was leading his small group into the ruin - to claim it for the lodge. They started erecting the flag for the lodge when they saw two wanderers passing by. Undisturbed they worked on - only to find out that the two wanderers actually had been scouts belonging to Brighthaven - and they had brought reinfocements.
What followed is the reason it found an entry into the history books - as the heroic actions of the small group assembled around Baron laid the foundation for an Emerald Lodge not squeezed into a tiny area of land.
Overrun and undertrained the heroes of the lodge soon lay all on the ground - dead in their own blood - cut down by axe, sword and arrow. But so miracolous is this area that such a defeat doesn't last for long. Our sould have mercy if Pharasma ever asks us for the price.
Throwing themselves against the invaders they didn't achieve much - apart of needing the blessing of Pharasma multiple times.
Any sane general would have withdrawn his half trained troupes. But this is why the place has now become to be known as Baron's Folly. Undeterred he grouped his sorry troupe into one and started a last assault.
Taken by suprise of the sudden organisation - or just weak and tired - the group around Baron achieved the impossible - they turned the luck on the battlefield and for the first time it was the soldiers of Brighthaven which had been removed from the ruin again - all of them. And they didn't return.

Now if you think this would have been the end, then you know little how the River Kingdom work.

You have what you hold is a mighty motto - but it means you have to ensure to keep what you aquire - or you might as well lose it soon again.
A frentic second battle started - but this time it was the pen and diplomacy that fought against each other - a battle yours truly is much better suited for. Refusing to cede the ruin the next morning as a large contigent of Brighthaven troops stood ready to take it - there was the pen - the only weapon left - that could ensure to keep the tower.
Golgotha offered to defend the tower for the lodge - but you have to be careful when dealing with the devil. Sooner or later it will corrupt you. All these Hellknights might think they are in control - but someone more sane like me likely doesn't want to tempt fate.
So instead a frentic number of letters where send out from the lodge to other citizens of the River Kingdom - appealing to their opinion of the true ownership of the tower. There was even a collection for the heroes of the battle for coal and iron to be forged into weapons and armour.

I'm proud to tell that this led to several very generous donations - albeit donors wisely wanted to stay private - not to be drawn into the conflict.
The only group undeterred was Brighthaven. They still seemed of the - justifiable but ill-advised - opinion that the stronger one should get all the spoils. So with trepidation I made the pilgrimage up into the mountain to meet directly with the High Lords of Brighthaven. Oh - I took care to have sweets for the kids on the streets, smiles for the crafters in their workshops as you don't go into the mouth of a lion unprepared.
Two pieces of parchment I carried with me - one a declartion of war by Brighthaven against the Emerald Lodge - one a document to cede the ruin to the Emerald Lodge. Both I laid before the High Lords of Brighthaven - unwilling to leave until one of them got signed.
So on that day I risked all of the Lodge for a small ruin in the woods.

On that day the pen proofed mightier as the sword as I emerged with the parchment I wanted to be signed.
But on that day I also learned how foolish is was to stare the powerful in the eye with nothing in your defense as your pen. A sword easily cuts of your hand - and then - what would I be as a chronicler.
So the ruin got a name that day - Baron's folly - as it was as much a folly of myself as a folly of Baron to lead his unprepared troops to victory.
Writing this on Starday the 24th of Abadius we are still in the pocession of the ruin. We are also in posession of 12 other buildings - among them the Moonshine Mill, the Frozen Forge,

Thod's Mignight Vigil and the Lonely Wanderer. Several of the other buildings still need names - but it will be Baron's Folly that will be remembered in the history books.

Suggested other reading for research:
The Lore and History of the New River Kingdoms according to Theodum

Edit: Bonnies post

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

If people haven't noticed. My favourite coal hunting ground no longer delivers coal. Tansy leaves are much less common and I find a lot more pine where there wasn't any.
Also some maple turned to oak.

Thought people might like to know

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I left out tower count this time. So what are the highlights.
Some 10% more characters in around 72 hours.
Golgotha has overtaken Brighthaven in total member count. Aragon is now ahead of Emerald Lodge but the gap towards the settlements ahead of Emerald Lodge has become smaller.
Alderwag and Kreuz Bernstein have now officially taken towers and Alderwag is now an official settlement. Riverbank has now some official members.
There is a company that sounds like it will be part of Terra Firma - I added a count of 1 to Terra Firma - Terra Australis Incognito.
This reduces the number of complete inactive settlements to 4 and the number of settlements that haven't taken towers to 10.

Golgotha 127
Brighthaven 122
Phaeros 81
Stoneroot Glade 59
Ozem's Vigil 50
Keeper's Pass 45
Callambea 45
Aragon 41
Emerald Lodge 39
Tavernhold 26
Forgeholm 26
Canis Castrum 21
Talonguard 18
Sunholm 16
Auroral 15
Hammerfall 11
Freevale 11
Blackfeather Keep 9
Blackwood Glade 8
Hope's End 7
Guardheim 7
Alderwag 6 2
Deadman's Glen 5 0
River Bank 4 0
Kreuz Bernstein 2 4
Blackwatch 2 0
Terra Firma 1 0
Hammerforge 1 0
Dagedai 1 0
New Daggermark
Iron Gauntlet
Highroad
Doomhammer

806

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I like to keep am eye on the political landscape - just to avoid suprises. And being a data junky I have my various spreadsheets. But I thought some people like to know this data as well.
After week 1 there are still 12 settlements without towers and 6 without members. It could be 7 as I counted a company called Alderwag ... as officially Alderwag - it could be 4 as I read online that signs of activity have been seen in Riverbank and Terra Firma and it sometimes takes extra time to be official (like Aragon struggling for a few days).
There are a little bit over 200 more members in all the settlements. I guess there will be a hike once the window to accept growth to 24 (48?) hours. I surely missed a few members.
On top of membership are Brighthaven and Golgotha - followed by Phaeros. These are also the ones making the biggest noises here on the board or doing PvP.
Followed is the next block of 4 - the quite ones. Stoneroot Glade, Ozems Vigil, Keppers Pass (albeit they sometimes get dragged into hostilities due to their allies) and Callambea.
I try to steer Emerald Lodge a little bit out of the headlines - Aragon might enter them - and some further below like Forgeholm (can't ignore you every time) might be content to build up at their own pace.
Tier 2 gathering is now available - tier 2 refining should be immidiate. Haven't checked if a min-maxed char can do it already or not. Crafting will take a moment longer as you seldom can work with rank 7 refined items - but maybe I need to check what is available.

All in all - the game is developing. It is not a big explosion of players - but also no doom and gloom scenario.

Brighthaven 114 17
Golgotha 106 19
Phaeros 78 18
Stoneroot Glade 56 14
Ozem's Vigil 50 12
Keeper's Pass 43 14
Callambea 42 12
Emerald Lodge 33 13
Aragon 32 18
Tavernhold 23 12
Forgeholm 23 10
Canis Castrum 19 15
Talonguard 18 12
Sunholm 16 14
Auroral 14 8
Freevale 10 11
Hammerfall 10 6
Hope's End 9 11
Blackfeather Keep 9 8
Guardheim 6 10
Blackwood Glade 6 6
Kreuz Bernstein 2 0
Alderwag 2 0
Blackwatch 2 0
Deadman's Glen 2 0
Dagedai 1 0
Hammerforge 1 0
Doomhammer
Highroad
Iron Gauntlet
River Bank
Terra Firma
New Daggermark

edit: Tower numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt. They change a lot between Golgotha, Brighthaven and Phaeros.
We need a new motto - not 'You keep what you hold' but 'This is mine - until the next PvP window'. It is just not possible - memberwise and game wise - to truly defend all towers during your whole PvP window. How many are actually fought over and how many are just sneak camped I don't know.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

It looks like 3 more settlement have left the status of complete inactivity:

Riverbank: No in game signs yet - but an announcement of the new leader (?) can be read here
River Bank Heads Up

Also Backlwatch and Deadmans Glen have both an assigned company and a char count of 2 each. No towers assigned to them yet - but this always takes a little bit longer.

The character count assigned to all settlements is up to 666 - an ominous sign.

There is also an Alderwag Harvest Ass. = but I can't tell if this ia a group belonging to Alderwag or a group trying to claim resources around Alderwag but otherwise independent.

The leader of Deadman's Glen should contact me if he can as we have a few towers around his settlement that seemed empty. My e-mail is in my profile.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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With politics and the war of towers in full swing I thought I give a quick primer on the subtleties of claiming a tower.
The basic idea is simple - you have to amass the highest ranking claim and convince your opponent that your claim is more valid then theirs. But alas there is no such mechanic or fixed rule as the 1000 point mechanic - therefore claims will be refuted and wars will be fought. It would be sad if this wouldn't be the case as then we wouldn't have such a facinating game.

But I thought I best explain what I think constitutes a claim to a tower:

Basic claim types
a) Proximity - the closer the tower is to you, the stronger the claim
b) Force - the larger your troops the more you can claim
c) Negotiation - trading of claims with other settlements
d) Time - the longer you own a tower the stronger your claim
e) Public opinion - what do people think not belonging to your own group or opposing group whom the tower belongs to

Now lets look at these claims in more detail:

Proximity is a very strong claim type. Being the closest settlement will give you an automated claim on a tower. The NAP further strengthens this claim for the core 6 towers. This will give you an automatic strong claim d) as well. This claim gets weaker the further you get away. A conflict will always arise when a tower is the same distance. By definition this tower can never be claimed solely on the grounds of distance.

Force is second strong claim type. This is PvP - being the stronger party will give you the upper hand. The danger with this claim type is that it will nearly always affect claim type e) - the public opinion. Declaring war or being the defender can strengthen this claim - taking a tower by deception or agression will weaken it.

Negotiation is in principl a trading of claims. There seldom is a tower which you can claim 100%. Especially towers at borders might fall 50:50 towards two settlements. Negotiation can help to exchange part claims by ceding claims to one tower and strengthening them on another one.

Time - the longer you own a tower the stronger your claim becomes. This is why it was so important to take towers quickly on the first day of War of Towers. This advantage is now gone - I doubt there is a single unclaimed tower outside the core 6 left. This also means you want to keep towers you currently own as each tower you lose will reset the timer.

Public opinion - in most cases there will be 2 parties who dispute a tower. But there are other players who will keenly watch, cheer you own or claim foul play. Public opinion will seldom be the overriding force and it is fickle and changes with time. Public opinion most likely will lead to a temporary ceding of claim but as you need to convince you opponent of the rightousness of your claim you build up problems for the future.

Now there are multiple ways to weaken the claim of an opponent or to strengthen your own. If I get time, I will go into more detail and might even give a few examples.

I will be AFK for a while now - great sunshine outside. But that won't prevent me from working on ways to solidify our hold on the towers we currently own. Or thinking about a follow up to this thread.

Please let me know if there is an important category that I missed out or where you agree and disagree.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I got a PM yeysterday before I went to bed to explain the political landscape to a player looking for a place to settle. Instead of answering him directly I felt it might be best to post my reply here.

First of all - have a look at the Political Map drawn up by Duffy. If ever a picture can speak a thousand words - this is it.

Not all settlements of alliances are equal. To get an idea of size and influence I would suggest the following thread where I list holdings after day 1 in the war of towers WoT after Day 1.

Now a few words to the individual alliances. I try to be objective and not to slander anyone. But feel free to give a more detailed review of your settlement or alliance in your own words.

Everbloom Alliance - main settlements Brighthaven, Phaeros and Keepers Pass. This is the largest alliance by numbers. They have declared themselves mainly neutral good and try to foster PFO by being the force of good in these lands. They welcome every type of players and are especially open to roleplayers as well. Opponents might describe them as an overwhelming force that smothers gamestyles not in accordance with their own by sheer numbers.

Nation of Katalphas and the Empire of Xeilas. Dominating settlement - Golgotha. Here we have the Evil and chaotic conterparts. The background of this group is strong in the PAX gaming community and you will find a lot of hardcore PvP players originating from EVE. Opponents would describe them as - well - they are evil. Do we need to say anything more.
This broad brushstroke description leaves out Aragon - a settlement of free spirits and selfdeclared bandits. But it would take me a whole article to describe them.

There shouldn't be a surprise if you expect that there is a lot of friction between these two major groups.

The Free Highlanders and the Highroad Covenant. The silent third alliance. Important settlements - Ozem's Vigil and Stoneroot Glade. This is a rather lose affiliated group. Ozems Vigil was formed by several smaller groups that banded together and Stoneroot Glade was a late entry in the landrush that had some strong showing. Opponents opinion: everyone watches Xeilas and Everbloom at the moment - so not much to report (yet).

The Emerald Lodge. nestled between the two opposing alliances and next to the Emerald Spire the Emeral Lodge tries to build up a neutral settlement and meeting place and tries not to favour either side. The Emerald Lodge has it's root in the Pathfinder Society and has a high percentage of non PvP players. It tries to justify its existence by filling the void that is a neutral place in this game. Opponents might describe the Emerald Lodge as an impossibility in a PvP game, as having forsaken it's neutrality in the Baron's Folly incident when they did PvP and afterwards extorted a tower from Brighthaven, that they are too close to the evil Golgotha, that their leader Thod is a schemer, arrogant and too ambitious.

The Aeonian Leage. An alliance formed by some smaller settlements that banded together to ensure their settlements provided all training that is needed. Opponents would say - they are too small to be of any influence.

There are several other settlements but only time will tell where they end up of even if they will be active or not in this game.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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I generated a few new numbers. These are the number of towers captured inside the first 24 hours by settlement, a number of characters pledged to each settlement and also remarks about towers lost.
All these numbers have some flaws. There can be 1 to 3 characters per account. For EL I would say that we have 1.75 characters per account on average meaning 3 out of 4 acounts have their main and their DT pledged to us. I don't know how representative this is.
The tower holdings lists all towers you captured before the last downtime. This means that towers gained after day 1 are not included. But I did include towers lost.
I don't have these numbers for Brighthaven or Aragon. Brighthaven seem to have reorganized which reset all their data to zero. Aragon still seem to struggle to get leadership sorted out / get it active.

There are 197 towers taken by 17 settlements with >0 towers which is 11.6 on average. A total of 9 towers changed hands. I don't know if there are still open PvP windows - in this case numbers can change.

Settlement,Characters,Character gain,Towers,Towers lost and to whom
Brighthaven 97 0 ? ?
Aragon 21 16 ? ?
Phaeros 66 9 25 -1 Golgotha, -1 Tavernhold
Keeper's Pass 41 5 16 -1 Canis Castrum
Golgotha 93 43 15 -1 Phaeros
Stoneroot Glade 56 0 14
Hope's End 7 0 14 -4 Sunholm
Ozem's Vigil 39 2 12
Emerald Lodge 31 7 12
Forgeholm 23 7 12 -1 Blackfeather Keep
Tavernhold 21 3 12
Callambea 42 2 11
Talonguard 13 1 11
Freevale 12 4 11
Auroral 13 6 8
Sunholm 13 5 6
Blackwood Glade 8 1 6
Hammerfall 6 -2 6
Blackfeather Keep 9 0 4
Guardheim 6 2 2
Canis Castrum 9 8 0
Kreuz Bernstein 4 0 0
Dagedai 1 0 0
Hammerforge 1 0 0
Alderwag none
Blackwatch none
Deadman's Glen none
Doomhammer none
Highroad none
Iron Gauntlet none
River Bank none
Terra Firma none
New Daggermark none

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum was settling down after he had communicated via a sending spell with his counterparts in The Empyrian Order. How had this happened - how was it possible that the world had turned on it's head. How had it been possible that his evil enemies in the North were regarded as good and the good and honorable folks of Brighthaven in the South were described as the evil ones.
And all of this because he had written up the battle around Baron's folly in a less then flattering manner.
The Empyrian order had been honorable on the battlefield and he had no bad feelings that they had fought his own forces. After all - it was just Thod who died multiple times - not Theodum himselve. And wasn't that what fighters were good for?
But somehow all of this had developed a life of it's own. Words had flown around, insults followed - and all of this because of a decrepit tower far, far away.
But good that they had talked and Theodum had no ill feelings towards The Empyrian Order. After all they were honorable folks.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum looked at the note he had got from Golgotha. They had offered to help in the defence of the tower that Thod and friends had captured yesterday. If the reports had been right then the whole issue had been horrible.
Thod and the other heros of the Emerald Lodge - Baron, Frazzlerunning, Pinki, Alirya and Zaar Frozen Blade had ventured to the empty tower. It was far from any settlement - so there was no suspicion that anyone would detest to take this tower from them. Theodum had though long and hard which towers to take in this new stage that had let to the bloodshed - to the bloodshed of Emerald Lodge crafters.
The reports stated that they arrived with an empty tower. They spend time to clean it up, restore the battlement. During these actions they saw some wanderers. Ask where they were from the said Brighthaven. Thod had welcomed them to the tower for a good dring of dwarven ale once the work had been finished. But they left before that was done.
A while later - the group was just about to work on the gates and finish the build up of the tower - a larger group of armed men from Brighthaven arrived. The slaughtered Thod and his friends down to the last men.
Pharasma be praised that they didn't die permanently as they threw themselves back into the tower - not accepting the unjustice done to them. In an heroic battle after many death they finally chased the aggressors away.
It took a while to remove all the blood stains from the tower - but it is now in fully functional order and Theodum was proud of his troops.
Their weapons and armor was battered when they came back - Theodum would ask for donations from his other members - donations in coal and iron - to equip them better and honor them with the best weapon and armor that the Lodge could craft.
And for today he would go to the tower himself to show his solidarity. He would take with him some peasant with clubs and see if the agressors would come back. This seemed the better solution as to accept the help from Golgotha.

He smiled and went on towards a fruitful day of work. Just in case he also prepared a teleport for later in the day. No need for him to get killed with any of the peasants if they would be attacked again.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Who will take the first tower? Will there be lots of PvP or will most groups stay away from each other. Do you start from far away and work inwards, do you go the other way round. Did you plant some stormtroops deep into the enemy teritory to take some of their towers.

I know a lot of US players will be working - but at least they will be able to see what unfolds.

I will keep this up to date as it develops - assuming I sit idle in a tower and wait it to be captured. If you don't hear from me - well - then we will be busy.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

This thread is about cross-over. Some of you might be aware that I'm quite active on the Pathfinder Online parts of these message boards. I'm less often here - but don't worry - I'm still a PFS GM and I still have my weekly group - albeit we moved from PFS to Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition - running it using PFS rules but in campaign mode.
Paizo tapped into their fanbase during the Kickstarter. So it was to be expected that you would have quite a percentage of PFS players and GMs also taking part in the Kickstarter - especially as it was the only way to get the special edition of the Emerald Spire book.
But where are all these PFS players and GMs now? If you don't have the time to follow this board and the PFO board then let me give you a quick summary of the state of the game with a special nod towards the Pathfinder Society in PFO.
With the war of towers starting today there is an added incentive to join a settlement now. But is PFO right for you or do you rather want to wait longer?

First let me start - the online game and Pathfinder tabletop are two very different beasts. The PFO games uses the lore of Golarion - but the rules and classes are build up to fit a computer game and are not based on the Pathfinder rules. So the lore is a crossover - especially if you did a Kingmaker campaign - or if you play the Emerald Spire in PFS mode - thanks to the Kickstarter which made the book a reality. But don't expect the feel of the tabletop game.
In PFO you have to craft your own goods. This is anathema to PFS. In PFO you also have to align yourself with a settlement to allow to enjoy the game fully.
Both of this - as well as sometimes heated discussion - might have kept a lot of casual players away. There are option to 'play on your own' or if you prefer more PFE than PvP. You can read these treaties on the PFO threads somewhere buried or on our webpage where I collated them Playing on your own parts 1 to 4 in the news section. There is a lot of fun you can have and a warning - it can be addictive if you get fully in to it.
At the moment there is a new community being build up there with other dominant people - but also some familiar faces.
So if you are from a PFS background - where to go?
Most of the large groups like the Everbloom Alliance of the Empire of Xelias have some PFS members already. These groups are dominated by computer players but they tend to be welcoming to everyone new. After all - at the moment everyone needs more manpower.
During the landrush there also have been two PFS rooted settlements. The Open Road was formed by a US group with some PFS venture captains included (Kyle and Nani Pratt). Umfortunately while I'm writing this I haven't seen them or their comrades in the game yet. Give me a shoutout if you are active.
And then there is the Emerald Lodge. I tried to give the settlement a background as a lodge for the Pathfinder Society. It was formed by Venture Captain Theodum (he gained this title in the Eye of the 10 in PFS) and he is supported my several other PFS players. So far 80% are European - but that is mainly because it was easier to arm twist them to join me.
We have established the Emerald Lodge as a group that from it's background is there to explore the Emerald Spire for the Pathfinder Society. Don't get your hopes up - the Emerald Spire is in the game - but it is an empty shell right now and might take years to be added into the proper game. But we secured a place for the Pathfinder Society just at the doorstop. Paizo is aware of us and we had Lisa Stevens visiting us in the first two hours of game start (you need 30 minutes walking to get there from any of the starting points minimum) and maybe she is still around with her non-cheat character. Bit what I really wanted to offer is a place where PFS players can meet up in character.

My dream is that some day all of this maybe comes around full circle. I started the lodge with Theodum - who was is my very first PFS character and is currently level 14. He is the acting Venture captain there. The Emerald Spire is currently way ahead as a tabletop - so some day I hope Theodum will be the first to go down into it in PFO.

And maybe if Mike Brock or some of the writers for Paizo are reading this - there was the plan by Paizo to ensure that PFO also can feed back into their other lines and that they have the rights to character names and settlement names. So maybe, just maybe - the Emerald Lodge will feature one day in a Pathfinder Tales story or in a PFS scenario.

Hey - I had to add this here. Which PFS gamer wouldn't dream of having something related to his character immortalized in a scenario.

If you are a PFO Kickstarter backer and are in a different settlement - let me know or visit the Lodge or the Spire. If you are still looking for a place - the Emerald Lodge needs more Pathfinder Society Field Agents right now. Now was this last sentence IC or OOC?

PS: Oh and you can now collect as random drop various short pieces of Golarion lore. Theodum is collecting them to build a library in this uneducated backwater.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

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Theodum paced up and down. He had just taken his daily bath - treated by some priests of Calithria when his contemplations had been rudely interupted. There had been a ruckus outside - he was told the Golgothan leader himself had caused it. Good he had meditated in warm water and was spared to meet with him.
But that meant there was business to tend to. The War of Towers had been declared - and it would start later today. It was time to assemble the troops and send them out to claim land for the Glory of the Pathfinder Society.
Rumours were flying high. The evil Golgothans in the North had just recently raided Hammerfall. Surely this was a testrun for worse to come. Was the visit of Phyllain an attempt to spy out the lay of the land. Oh he would see some fierce opposition if they tried to lay hands on towers of the Lodge.
But the information he got was confusing. He had also heard they would spearhead an expedition straight into the area of the Everbloom alliance - leaving death and slaughter in their way. Or the rumour that the whole Non-agression pact was just a big bad ruse. Unfortunately his informant had left out the information if the ruse was by the north or the south.
Oh and then there was the paladins of the south - saddling up on their unicorns to smash the evil - unfortunately trampling everything in their way - including the lodge. And the worst - there was rumour a faction from the Emerald Lodge had undermined it and had made a pact with the Golgothans and they were about to dispose him as the leader and install someone more friendly to them in his stead. This was too similar to the Shadow lodge plot that it could be just ignored.
All these were just rumours - but as ever - some of them contained a piece of truth somewhere hidden inside. Jazz was assembling brand new longbows and longswords for the troops or anyone joining them. It seemed war truly had arrived.
So it was time for Theodum to teleport to safety - ahem - teleport to the Grand Lodge of Absalom to ask there for help and reinforcements. Good he could leave all the fighting to Thod.

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Theodum paced up and down in the growing library of the Emerald Lodge. In general his lodge made great progress. They had hired a great armorsmith Jazz Strongblade and smelter Zaar Frozen Blade. Production of goods - while slow - could compare to the best elsewhere in the River Kingdoms.
A weaver created the best thread you could get and Alirya was turning it into great robes - with Theodum himself adding the necessary magic ingredients. These were first signs of civilization being brought to the River Kingdoms. But he would fool himself if he didn't also notice the numeous monsters all around - mainly goblins, wolfs and ogres as well as bandits all over the place.
So far the new settlers seemed to cope well with them - avoided these dangers were possible or erased them if they felt this was the better solution. Not that this seemed to help so far - they grew pack like mushrooms in a wet cavern patch.
The more interesting past was the growth of relations. Representing the Pathfinder Society in these areas Theodum tried to build a base for them without playing favourites or getting involved into the rivalries of other settler groups. So far it seemed to work well - he had welcomed a lot of strangers to his place - but the Hammerfall incident and a formal inquiry about using some of the facilities at Emerald Lodge had him rattled.
The spot he had chosen for the Emerald Lodge was a great one - very central to many of the new settlements springing up. Good to meet up and exchange resources or trade. As such every visit and deal was encouraged. But he had to stay one step ahead to avoid a repeat of the Hammerfall incident on his own soil.
If there was one weakness of the Emerald Lodge then it was it's strength - the location. He could easily get between the lines of other bigger groups.

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