Cedona

Uncanny Valerie's page

97 posts. Alias of DeathQuaker (RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8).


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Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

I am indeed pulling out now, and I appreciate the ability to complete this adventure and bow out gracefully. If there is anything you need me to post one last time let me know.

Should things change and I am able to participate later and the game continues, I will let you know. Thanks very much for having me and happy gaming!

P.S.: Tarren, once Uncanny Valerie is written out, please remember to edit the campaign tab and mark Uncanny Valerie as "inactive." This will keep the campaign from showing up on my active campaigns list, which will make things easier for me to track. Thanks.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Okay. I will attempt to update. I am not exactly sure what I look like but I presume I will begin to glow as my power source goes into higher drive. I will likely go blank faced."

As opposed to of course her generally much more expressive face. Good luck, everyone.

"But do not initiate unless you are certain the update has commenced."

Valerie taps into her recall reservoirs...


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie thanks the vikings for their hospitality. When, later, they pass the rune stone, she uses token spell to clean it up.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie nods at Charles. "Refusing this generosity and acknowledgement of our deed would be tricky. I would suggest diplomacy if one chooses to leave the gifts behind, emphasizing ascetic virtue or some such. That said, there is also no harm in taking it, so long as you have a place to put it."

If they go, she does quietly re-offer the horse back to Hrothgar. As a 'Norn' she is not used to interacting with such beasts, and a fine creature deserves a well-trained rider.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie already told the party the cup was a divination device. I apologize for not describing it further but I wasn't quite sure I understood how it worked enough to repeat it.

Valerie raise her eyebrows in surprise. "Interesting. I have another theory then. Which, mind, may also be wrong. I come from a dimension where the purpose is to receive and record the record of all things that are, were, and ever will be." She says this in tone of voice one describes going to the grocery store. It's all she ever used to know, so it doesn't seem that spectacular to her. "Having been exiled from the Celestial Database, I am in theory disconnected to that dimension, but I still contain a good bit of data that I downloaded while serving my original purpose. I have also, as observed by BT, been able to enter update states that activate something resembling my original data upload/download mode, which according to the scientists, opens a microportal. Which of course is how we triggered our travel. I wonder if we have actually traveled to a subdimensional data stream generated by the Celestial Bronze cams within my brain. Although if this is the case, I am not sure how I am both here and the source of the data stream." She frowns.

"But if we wish to leave, I could try to update again and we could repeat the incident which brought us here. Of course, that could also cause us all to explode or implode in a non-Nissa-like and far more harmful way."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"It appears Theo has consulted with the oracular cup. Let us see if my theory is right or wrong." Valerie approaches Theo.


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Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3
Charles Wilde wrote:
Charles waves one of his lower hands, realizes that may not be visible just now, and shrugs instead. "I don't know, just... The witch said she sort-of remembered other iterations of the story. Like it keeps... resetting. So... what kind of place is this really? Does it just... replay Beowulf over and over? Does it acuaaly matter what happens on any given loop if it just resets again? How does this even exist?"

Uncanny Valerie pauses, opens her mouth, and begins to say, "Well, in addition to stable time loops, it's quite easy for certain entities to create a subplanar--" she stops herself. "You were asking rhetorically, weren't you?"

She frowns. "Suffice to say, being in a place where events repeat is not impossible. The fact that we have seen evidence of those who have been here from other times before us--yet not evidence of our own selves--suggests that whatever temporally recursive state this place is in has experiences changes with each repetition of the timeline. This suggests it may not be a stable timeloop, but rather something along the Brigedian Sought-Ideal-Rebirth Phenomenon, or as it is known in several versions of late 20th century Terra, the 'Groundhog's Day' curse. Meaning, if an ideal solution to a problem is sought, the loop will cease occurring--which according to Verve, is her and the witch's theory. We will soon learn whether that is true. As to why it is happening, I would posit the intervention of your nemesis has something to do with it -- you did say he was here, yes?"

"And I think the next step to resolving any unfinished business would be finding PhDestruction. Do you have any idea how to track him?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Not terribly adept at socialization, Uncanny Valerie sticks to the edges, and notices Charles being pensive. "Is something bothering you?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"What faith I lack in the witch, I have in Verve. We have not known one another long, but she is level-headed and the most experienced warrior among our group. It sounds like she has taken care to be certain of her take on the situation." She considers. "Your people must stay true to their word--leave her be. But build your hall's defenses well, just in case." She looks at the party. "Perhaps we can assist."

She looks at Nissa. "As for Grendel's head, I would follow Verve's lead on that. Charles too, for he witnessed the exchange as well. Peace has already been offered and accepted. If Verve feels seeing the head again would upset the witch, it may be better that it be buried."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Oh dear," says Valerie. "I did not mean to work at cross purposes with Verve. I do fear deep malice from that woman. Grendel could not have had the capacity for what he did, with such determination, had she not nurtured it in him. He was the weapon she used against this place. But, perhaps with his defeat, she recognizes continued action is futile. Verve, do you have good reason the witch will keep her word?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

With the King:

She says quietly to the halfling, who is on a roll with her speech. "Nissa, you might spare your wise words for one who is not dying already."

She gives Hrothgar a sage nod, glad her words gave him some comfort. She has only a rough sense of how best to interact, guessing Hrothgar is proud, she does not think coddling him with platitudes about the way he describes his condition would help.

She says louder, in response to Nissa's speech. "Grendel had barely enough brain to be considered self-aware. Like a human toddler who tears off the wings of butterflies simply because it can, not out of intentional cruelty but because it barely grasps the value of life. This is just a guess, but if she is a user of magic as skilled as you say, Nissa, Grendel's mother put him up to this. He would not have decided to attack Heorot and Hrothgar's people if he had not been convinced of his right to do so, and certainly was not taught to value life by his mother. I doubt he understood the true consequences of his actions. But I expect that she does. With that, I think we should go check on our compatriots and see how they are faring."

She says parting words to the king and goes to find the rest of the party to ask them what has happened with the witch.


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Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

From my game post:

Quote:
If Nissa joins her she smiles a welcome and whispers, "Is everyone okay? What did that woman say to you?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

With the Royals:
Valerie stays close to the king and queen (although the Queen steps aside to chat with Theo), worried about how things may aspire--though she keeps half an ear on what may be going out of sight where her other comrades are. If Nissa joins her she smiles a welcome and whispers, "Is everyone okay? What did that woman say to you?"

Quote:
"Valerie the Uncanny, my people say you are a norn; if this is true, then you know how I will die. The norns know of these things, do they not? But, I know that as well, I will die old, and tired, and soon. I will die coughing in my bed beside my beautiful Queen. I don't need a goddess to tell me that, but tell me, Norn--if that is what you are--what of my people? What of this thing we have done, and which you have completed? Do my people live? What is the fate of the Danes?"

Valerie listens carefully, and chooses her words hopefully as well as she can. "I am not sure what I am to you, but I can answer these questions. The dark days of this time will both be told by Danish skald to other skalds but also, writ down," she pauses, because she knows writing is considered rare, sacred, and important. "And the tale shared across the seas. The story will not just be an inspiration for heroes these northern lands, but valued for what it tells future generations about how you and your people lived--in strong, stalwart communities, stewards of one another's lives, and that the Danes of Hrothgar's day were survivors against great odds. The tale of this time will one day be known as one of the oldest recorded tales from this part of the world. Humanity will tell this tale, in many tongues, all around the world, even thousands of years from now. Though much will be forgot, this land, and indeed the name of Heorot and Hrothgar will not be forgotten--and while they were imperfect as all people are, they were in the end, honorable. The people will live these next few centuries in struggle, plague, and war--but also will come victories and important unions. Two thousand years from now, you might not recognize the land, for time changes all, but the Danish folk shall still live and be recognized for being among the most prosperous in the world. Triumphs and tragedy will abound, but they will not falter, and live on."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Yes. Plus there was some good time spent looking at the stuff in the cave, where Charles didn't do much, so it's reasonable to assume he was resting/recovering.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Uncanny Valerie frowns as various events around her all at once. She finds as a being originally used to processing data, but not being an entity who was supposed to do something about it--even though she has metamorphosed, she finds herself overanalyzing the situation, trying to figure out what is the best thing to do. Then she realizes such hesitation itself may be dangerous.

Having moved toward the Queen already, she ultimately decides to stay close to the King and Queen, as the more brawny folk approach the witch, and make sure nothing untoward happens to them. While she's at it, she tries to look loyal to the King--indicating she is still acting in service of this realm and of Hrothgar rather than separate of him.

Diplomacy, Aid Another: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

Perception, witch: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Sense Motive, witch: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Thanks.

Valerie has turned her attention toward the queen for the moment.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Godmoding (presuming the actions or reactions of a character that is not your own is under your control) does cause harm. It's not cool, so don't do it.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3
The Olympian wrote:
Uncanny Valerie wrote:

Nissa is already talking to her by the time she casts telepathic message, targeting Nissa and the two nearest people to her. (Probably Verve and Charles.) :Be careful, that woman's a witch.:

Then Wealhtheow screams.

Valerie moves toward the queen.

According to Val, Theo wasn't part of the telepathic message, for the second time. Hmmm.

Everyone turns their head to see the queen scream.

No, you WERE part of the telepathic message in the cave. She excluded Nissa that time. I can only target three people (the target number is determined per-level and we are 3rd level). Therefore, one person is always going to be excluded, and the targets are determined by proximity (which is also why I said "probably" because I'm not 100% sure of positioning). I figured in this case Theo was most likely farther away because he was closer to the king with the head of Grendel. If I misunderstood the positioning and Charles or Verve were farther, then they are excluded and you got the message. I am limited by game mechanics. There is nothing personal going on here.

As an aside, you are not GM, so why are you presuming "everyone"'s reaction?


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie frowns as she assesses the woman's strange (compared to the other Danes) appearance, only to notice too late Nissa approaching her to be able to issue a warning with any obviousness.

Nissa is already talking to her by the time she casts telepathic message, targeting Nissa and the two nearest people to her. (Probably Verve and Charles.) :Be careful, that woman's a witch.:

Then Wealhtheow screams.

Valerie moves toward the queen.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

While accepting the gift graciously, Uncanny Valerie also approaches the horse carefully, as she is not sure how the creature will react to her unearthly scent. She also has never had the practical experience of riding a horse before, so she fiddles a bit with the reins, stalling.

When she notices one of the thanes is not cheering, it makes her curious, and she pays attention to the woman's appearance, wondering who she might be, at least in broad terms of role.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Culture, for determining her rank, etc.: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie handed it back to Theo


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Accounting for various permutations such as different cultural mores for members of different social strata or corporeal states of being."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

She definitely will say goodbye if she is able. :)

And thank you for your comment above. Once or twice I have stuck around a game when it was clearly not a good fit with me, trying to stubbornly stick to it even when I was getting more miserable playing. Long story short, the departures ended up being much uglier than they should have been if I had just recognized it wasn't working out and left. In this case there's no red flags or anything, it's just not a good fit for me and I'm feeling increasingly lost.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie snaps out of myriad internal analyses. "I am not primarily designed for combat, but I am not incompetent either. If no one else wants the sword I will hold onto it for the time being, until such time as someone else wishes to use it. Perhaps I can determine the mystery of its attunement a bit better. The cup is a divination device. I can already do what it does." She hands it back to Theo. "Best you keep it in case I am separated from you, and you need an informed analysis of a situation."

She watches the interactions, and raises an artificial eyebrow at Theo. "Please be advised that physical contact without consent can end poorly, especially when your target is a telekinetic. Also, it is considered extraordinarily rude by at least 10,328,124,201.3 cultures throughout the multiverse."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3
Tarren the Dungeon Master wrote:

If you're not having fun and have decided to leave, you should leave when it feels most comfortable to do so.

I conceived of this PbP to be episodic and comic-book-like so characters could come and go. I committed myself not to creating any big mysteries that couldn't be resolved in one episode.

One of the reasons this game was designed to be episodic is so people could come back any time, and you'd be more than welcome to rejoin the game if it ever seemed like fun to do so.

That is extremely generous of you, and I may take you up on that offer at some point in a later date. Right now work and the PBP I am GMing are taking too much time for me to be able to focus on this game to a degree that I feel comfortable and entertained playing. But at another time it might work better for me.

Quote:


Uncanny Valerie can easily disappear in character. Next time you traveled transdimensionally, I was going to offer everyone the choice of arriving safely or getting lost in the Shuffle. Theo and Valerie being outsiders would be especially likely to take a different route.

I think that works well and I can play through to the end of the Beowulf saga.

As for healing Charles, IIRC all he needs to do is take 10 minutes to recover his SP. Then he'll be at full SP and only down 5 HP. I can also attempt a medical treatment check to recover a few more HP. (If this has already been discussed in the game thread, cool; I haven't read it yet and I'm behind several messages).

I'd rather save the two spells per day I have left for any other healing that may need to occur.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Perhaps it was a poor choice of words. What I meant was: "I think it's cool the way you wrote this, but this isn't what I expected."

I can tell you really wanted me to engage with what you were attempting, and you clearly put a lot of thought and energy how to describe the items. My brain had hit the brakes on "what is happening, I don't understand why what I expected to happen didn't happen," and couldn't get past it in the moment. If I'd just shared the initial spoiler, other folks probably would have figured it out. I am sorry for f+~*ing it up. I especially am sorry because I definitely know what it's like as a GM to work really hard on a description or scene or puzzle, and then get either no reaction or a very jarringly unexpected one. Sadly, sometimes players and GMs are just playing on different levels.

Anyway--to be clear, I am leaving this game. I can't keep up with you, and I am not having fun because I can't keep up.

Please let me know if you would prefer if I just pull out now, or you want me to play along to a point where Valerie can be written out/disappear.

Thanks.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3
Tarren the Dungeon Master wrote:


The "once per 24 hours" suggests to me that identifying an object can take up to 24 hours.

I think it would have been boring if Gandalf just cast 'Identify' to figure out the answer was 'friend'.

I'm hearing that you don't enjoy riddles though.

It is hard not to read the last two sentences, and some of the comments in the lengthy description in the in-game thread to me, as getting a bit defensive, and I'm not sure that's called for. Communicating in a text medium of course can be fraught with misunderstanding, so I could be reading into that (and you could have been reading into my post something that wasn't there; I apologize for any lack of clarity or unintended tone). In addition to just these last couple days being insanely busy for me, I decided to step back and let things cool a bit before responding, for both our sakes.

Everything I post here here is an attempt to set the record straight for purposes of understanding, and not start or continue an argument.

I feel it is important to clarify this, first of all: my initial response to your "translation" of my item ID checks was simply one of confusion, nothing more.
A) you responded in a way I entirely didn't expect based on my own understanding of the rules or the way I have ever played d20 games with anyone, ever, in the last 30 years. I do not believe you did a bad thing, I am just pointing out that I was thrown off and explaining why.
B) I just didn't understand your post, and didn't even realize you were handing me (or the party) a "riddle" to solve. Whether I like riddles or not is irrelevant to what actually happened--embarrassingly, the first time I even realized what you wanted me to be doing was solve a riddle was when you mentioned riddles in the quoted post above. I just truly didn't get what you were aiming for. (As an aside, I do like riddles from time to time; however, I think my extraordinarily literal-minded android would be really bad at solving them, and attempting to try would be metagaming.)

My second post (the one above at 3:23 p.m.) was to point out where the rules were located, and how it worked, since you had said you couldn't find the mechanic. I was trying to be helpful. The third paragraph was to offer an explanation for why (I think) it works the way it does. (As an aside, I clearly misstated the rules, which hopefully you noticed when you read the rule for yourself: identifying a single item doesn't take 24 hours. You can actually roll an infinite number of item ID checks a day, if you have an infinite number of items to identify. It's just that if and only if you fail, you can't try again for a given specific item until the next day.) I was just trying to help you find and understand the rules; I wasn't trying to argue or passive aggressively object to the use of riddles I actually didn't even realize were present in the game. And while I disagree with your interpretation, as GM, it's your prerogative to interpret the rules as you see fit. All you have to say is "this is my rule/houserule" so we're on the same page.

Re Gandalf: LOTR is very definitely not an RPG, but even if it were, that's not how it would work (especially since mechanically, identify doesn't work that way at all). If that scene WERE in an RPG, what if Gandalf's player couldn't figure out the riddle themselves, because they are just not as smart as Gandalf? IMO, a fair GM would let Gandalf's player roll an Intelligence or skill check to attempt to determine the answer (and as a reminder, item identification is the result of a skill check, not a spell). If the roll succeeded, the GM would provide the answer. If a middling success, maybe they'd only get a hint. But they wouldn't just repeat the riddle and force the player to try to solve it. At the same time, if a player of a dull-minded dwarf PC knew the answer to the riddle, should they blurt out the answer to the riddle even though it's likely impossible their character would ever be able to figure it out? Player knowledge and PC knowledge are different things (and is why when I've pulled some random knowledge out of my ass that I think, but am not sure, Valerie would know, I've checked to be sure that is okay).

(And for the record, just in case anyone is shocked to find this out, I am not actually a celestial automaton from another dimension. :) )

I'm sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to this, and in the meantime there have been a million other posts because the pace of this game is insanely fast and everyone is apparently in a different time zone such that most of the posts appear when I am asleep.

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

Which leads me to a DIFFERENT ISSUE: I am mightily struggling to keep up with this game. And it's possible that the situation that just occurred suggests I am also too slow, mentally and temporally, to play it anyway--things are happening so fast it's hard for me to sit down and absorb really what's going on and it's leading to misunderstandings and missed details.

I had been hoping to give it another couple weeks but especially as work as been extremely hectic of late, and the PBP I am running is demanding a lot of my time and attention right now, things are straining at the seams. I am realizing this game is not a good fit for me, and rather than wait any longer I think it's best that I pull out now.

I am happy to keep playing Uncanny Valerie until there is a good moment to remove her from the game, or I can just leave now and you can decide she blips out of existence. Let me know what you would prefer.

Thanks.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

I'm sorry folks; I earlier was trying to get a clarification and understanding of Tarren's interpretation of the rules (which is quite different from my own) before sharing the spoiler info. Things since have gotten quite busy. I don't have time to write a real post right now, and as usual this game is flying at a rapid pace, so suffice to say, Valerie shares her observations on the items (ok to read spoilers). Please bot Valerie as needed, no pun intended.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Per the skill description, it is "part of the action to cast detect magic," i.e., it is combined with the action to cast a spell (a few seconds).

The identify spell simply adds a bonus to the check and allows you attempt an ID more than once per 24 hours.

The devs know that spending an eternity to ID items is a hindrance to PCs without much narrative value. While there's an argument toward verisimilitude that it should take time to analyze, the gameplay factor pushes for expedience: because magic (and technological) items are useful, if not actually critical at times to gameplay, players will always prioritize identification, and that results in the the adventuring party stopping every five minutes or after every single fight to spend an hour or hours identifying items. If they can't get a clear picture of what items do, they will either waste even more time working on identification, or just not use and then sell the items because they don't want to risk item curses, etc. This actually ultimately breaks immersion far more. (And while I don't expect other GMs to do this at all, in my games, especially PBPs where keeping up your game's pacing is critical, I just auto-id everything (save for very rare, special items) so people can get back to the story faster. I've never found this practice hinders roleplay or the overall narrative, and moreover keeps players engaged because they aren't waiting for the wizard/bard/etc. to do all the IDing.)


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

The description of IDing items is under the Mysticism Skill. Success means properties and command words are revealed.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

GM:
All due respect, while the descriptions you provide are beautiful, they are extremely vague for two results of 40. The mechanic is to identify the properties (meaning their actual descriptors like +1 or flaming or "casts this spell) and command words of items. (And it's not clear to me from your description what the command word actually is--is it the entire phrase?) She should be able to get more specifically what they are capable of, e.g., +1 sword. In my experience, PCs who don't know what items do won't use them and just sell them or ignore them. If the items are so powerful even that result reveals little, she should be able to tell that, having seen from detect magic that the auras were strong.

Valerie starts at the illumination of the blade. "Oh dear. According to the data in the universe I recall processing, very few entities love wisely. This may be quite dangerous."


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Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Grendel's mother, I wonder... is it the swamp hag of lore or a chimera crafter?"

She takes the chalice, and casts identify. She can attempt to ID one item each round for 3 rounds. I'll try the chalice first, then the sword, and use the third roll for the lowest of the two.

ID Chalice, Mysticism+Identify: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 + 10 = 40
ID Sword, Mysticism+Identify: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 + 10 = 39
ID ?, Mysticism+Identify: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 + 10 = 40

Glares at die roller. Where were YOU during combat?


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Hmm. The transfer happening at a Bacchanal throws in numerous complicating variables. Has this ever happened to you before?"

She keeps walking around the room looking at everything and then stops. "Well, you have an eye for the special, at least, Theo. That chalice definitely has a magical aura. As does this blade." She picks up the weapon.

"I can run a magical diagnostic to see what they do, if you don't mind handing the chalice to me briefly." She looks around. "Has anyone found anything else of interest?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie blinks at Olympian in genuinely innocent confusion. "You were not recruited with us, Theo, so why would I be 'targeting' you? My assessment was based on the parameters by which the rest of us were selected for this mission." This last statement she states matter-of-factly. She shakes her head. "Although you are right to correct me. You DID arrive here by different means, so my theory lacks sufficient data to support it. There are obviously multiple entities or phenomena sending people here. Why here? Why this place? Is this really ancient Denmark, or a simulation?" She nods to him. "What do you remember before you came here? Perhaps if we understood why and how you arrived that may provide some clues to the situation."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3
Verve wrote:
"Does anyone know why someone from our world would be here?" asked Verve as she approached the DNA Stasis Jars to investigate them further.

Uncanny Valerie speaks after she is finished healing Charles.

"Charles' nemesis, PhDestruction, clearly had some means of capturing mythical beasts and created chimeras with them. It is possible this is PhDestruction's handiwork or something simular--after all, if PhDestruction from your world was able to collect 'samples,' that means the technology to travel transdimensionally existed in that time and place before we tried it. Especially given the presence of others from other worlds who attempted to take down Grendel, I even wonder if our arrival was not accidental. We were specifically recruited as 'superheroes.' Most who would answer to that moniker would leap without question to fight a dangerous monster threatening a town--and would be among the few to be willing to do so given low survival rate and absent guaranteed reward."

Her eyes begin to glow brightly as she looks around the cave. "There is obvious high technology here, but I would also like to scan for extranormal energies. 'Magic,' in other words. Please bear with me for a few minutes." Casting Detect Magic She walks around as she looks for magical auras.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Actually, the best way to deal with regenerative foes is this." Valerie produces the torches she asked the Danes to give her, and hands them and a lighter to Theo. "Would you mind doing the honors? Apply the fire to the wounds much as your half-brother Herakles did to the Hydra. I must attend to Charles. This will take about ten minutes, so I'd appreciate it if one of the others of you would watch over us while I am working."

She leans over his body, places her hands on him, and begins to hum--harmonic tones when issued in exactly the right way, urges the body to rapidly speed up its natural healing processes.

Using my 1/day Healing Touch ability; it will heal 15 hp.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Seeing him fall, Valerie points at Charles and incants a stabilize spell, causing his bleeding to stop. Unlike in Pathfinder, this is a ranged spell, so she doesn't have to touch Charles to make it work.

She then runs in to physically intervene between Charles's body and the troll. Fine if this provokes AOO. If need be she will stand in the same square he is, which should be possible since he is prone and unconscious.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

A million questions buzz around in Uncanny Valerie's mind, even as she processes the combat happening in front of her. Some of them escape her mouth despite knowing the time for conversation is long past.

"Who has told you about your birthright? Did they tell you to fight for it? Where are they now?"

Even as she speaks, she fires.

Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

But trying not to hit one of Charles's body parts, she aims too wide.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Shrugging at the monster's stubbornness, Valerie returns to shooting at the monster.

Attack, arc pistol: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

But she misses.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

The more I play d20-based games, the more I realize the d20 is too random. Extreme failure is as likely as critical success and both are as likely as an average result, when in reality, averages should have a higher chance to occur. It's always why PF1 was a game of bonuses, because you could never rely on the die. Unfortunately, in an attempt for balance, they've reduced the ways you can get bonuses (understandable, given PF1 was nicknamed "Mathfinder" for a reason), but it is revealing the swingy nature of the core engine a lot more, and in PF2 in my limited experience of it, this problem is even worse. I like how these games are structured a lot, but the reliance on the d20 itself oddly enough has become the biggest problem for me.

Valerie tries her command spell once again, telling the creature to "FALL."

Will Save DC 15 or fall prone.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie draws and fires her static arc pistol.

Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Electricity Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"Do you think you gain something from eating your family?" Valerie calls from the back.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Agreed.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Well, so much for trying to be quiet. "It's a genetically modified hallucinogenic fungus. Do not touch it. Well, really, don't eat it, but I would avoid contact to remain safe."


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

As Valerie was unable to include Nissa in the telepathic message, she signals to her with a "stop" motion to discourage her from entering the cave just yet. She taps her ear and points at the cave to indicate she heard something.

She waits to see how the others respond before proceeding further.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Uncanny Valerie casts telepathic message, targeting Verve and the two people closest to her (everyone says they are right behind Verve, so I'm not sure who that would be, but if in doubt, Charles as he was tracking and the Olympian as the first person I noticed who said he was right behind Verve).

Something's here. Don't be alarmed, I am using brief telepathy.

Targets can reply with 10 words or less.

Val also frowns at both the slime and the DNA vials, certain that both are odd and the latter does not belong in the Terran Dark ages. She pulls out her Chemalyzer and points it at the green slime. It grants a +4 circumstance bonus to Engineering, Mysticism, and Physical Science checks to identify an unknown drug, medicinal, poison, or other chemical substance.

Engineering, Chemalyzer: 1d20 + 3 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 3 + 4 = 21
Mysticism, Chemalyzer: 1d20 + 10 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 10 + 4 = 28
Life Science (chemalyzer does not apply, if xenoscience specialty applies, DC is -5: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Valerie follows Verve, keeping an eye out for the unexpected.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

"I agree with Charles, I think it is worth giving Grendel a hearing first. The Danes are not a gentle people, and we only have their word for his crimes. Nonetheless, we should be prepared for the negotiations to go poorly, and respond to hostility in kind."

She looks around. "But who is going to lead in talking?"


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Sorry folks, I've been around off and on, but was on the road today in particular. I am ready to go. Valerie will ask the Vikings for some torches to help fight Grendel.


Android Scholar Mystic 3 | SP 21/21 HP 22/22 | EAC 15 KAC 15 | Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +6; +2 vs disease, poison, mind-affecting, sleep; immune suffocation |Init +2 Perc +8 |RP 3/4 |Spells/day: Lv1 2/3

Folks, I'm heading off soon for holiday obligations from now through 12/26 or so. I'll check on my phone but will be less active. Please feel free to bot Valerie, pun intended. :)

Happy holidays all.

I'll PM about triggery stuff when I get back. Best probably to have a reminder in a few days, not really stuff I want to think about right now. Thanks.