Lem

Wandering Wastrel's page

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Scribe of Middle-Earth

...and I've lost another week. Thanks for bearing with me through this.

Bergur manages to lose 1 shadow point, Onar loses 2 but Morwen doesn't get to banish the shadow just yet, which seems fitting somehow. Also, as we being a new Adventuring Phase, your Inspiration resets to 1. Use it or lose it :)

20 February to 1 March 2947

Journey to Beorn's House

Even though the worst of Winter is past, your journey is still not an easy one: the slowly-receding snow has left patches of ice and treacherous drifts that will suddenly give way, leaving you buried up to the waist. It seems to take you much longer than you should to travel a comparatively short distance. You feel the wearisome toil of many leagues in your feet when you rest each night.

As you travel, Ranulf tells you stories of his liege, Beorn; some of these sound incredible to your ears, but those of you who know of or fought in the Battle of Five Armies will remember that it was Beorn who slew the great goblin, Bolg, and brought back Thorin's shattered body from that fray.

It seems that Beorn has not taken comfortably to the responsibilities of rule, instead delegating most of the work. In particular, Ranulf warns you that the house of Beorn is governed mostly by a fierce spear-maiden by the name of Ennalda. Ranulf glumly informs you that it is she that you will have to convince to give you entry to Beorn's House. He gives you a word of warning: "She doesn't like adventurers or mercenaries. Her father was a sell-sword who left her in Beorn's keeping and departed for war, never to return."

DM Screen:

Embarkation: 1d12 + 2 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 1 - 3 = 4

STATUS:

HIT POINTS
B 15/15, HD 2/2
H 13/13, HD 2/2
I 25/25, HD 2/2
M 21/21, HD 2/2
O 26/26, HD 2/2

INSPIRATION

B 1
H 1
I 1
M 1
O 1

SHADOW (P)

B 1(0)
H 0(0)
I 2(0)
M 2(0)
O 0(0)

CONDITIONS

B
H
I
M
O

OTHER


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Wow. Even though I know what happens next, and have done for years, the story still manages to maintain its suspense. Quality storytelling!

EDIT: should add, amazing artwork as well.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

The timings might not work for those of you based in the USA, but posting this in case it's of interest to my fellow Brits.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Also, in case it wasn't clear: roll for hit points. If you don't like the roll, you get to take the average instead.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Hey all

Well done on surviving this far. You may now advance to 2nd level.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Bergur, I think there's something wrong with your dice. It actually rolled high for once ;)


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MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

15 LAMASHAN 4719

Brigid gives Arianna a grin: "You'd best start believin' in faerie stories, me girl, cause yer livin' in one!"

Yes I have been waiting a long time to deploy that line. No I regret nothing.

She looks at the rest of you. "Seems to me that you've had your fill of knowledge. Best you be on your way, now."


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MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Brigid's eyes glint with mischief as you recount your encounter with the tendriculous: "Ah, sure, and such as yerselves wanting to be tangling wit' the Queen, don't tell oul' Brigid you couldn't handle a little thing such as that!"

"Now then." She gratefully accepts the small mushrooms you hand over to her. "You've done oul' Brigid a service and according to the lore and tales, you can have a service in return. I promised you'd have the knowing of things, and so you shall, as far as I can tell it..."

Brigid's Tale:

Once upon a Timelessness (for we are talking of the First World here, where little things that mortals get so concerned about - time, cause and effect, gravity - don't really apply in the same way) the Eldest ordered things to their liking, although not without lots of squabbles among theirselves, the like of which you don't need to be knowing about right now.

Anyway and so, they ordered things to their liking and the fey were ruled by their own kindred in two Great Courts: the Seelie Court, having to do with the Summer; and the Unseelie Court, having to do with the Winter. And so it was, for many a time.

But then, one Queen of the Unseelie Court gave way to another, in usual fashion, and this newer Queen had plans. Why should she rule only half the fey? And this Queen was not only given to such thoughts, but she had the wit and cunning to snare one of the Eldest into her schemes. With his power, she would overthrow the order of things and establish a single Court. In return, he would receive devotion and love from the fey, making him more powerful than the other Eldest. Besotted with love for her (for I have to tell you that this Queen was surpassing beautiful, even by the standards of her kind), he agreed to this thing.

Of course, plans never survive contact with reality, even that thin poor reality of the First World. The other Eldest were not amused by this scheme to overthrow their own great plan - they joined together and banished the rogue Eldest from their realm, and from reality altogether - even his name is now forgotten by all, and whatever is left of him haunts some sad, lonely plane of bare existence.

As for the Queen... her punishment was almost to succeed, for the Eldest know that almost is one of the greatest and most significant of words. She cast down her opposite, the Queen of the Seelie Court, and just as it seemed that victory was in her grasp, the Eldest snatched it from her. They took her power and her might, and imprisoned her to lie in slumber, dreaming only of what she once had before it was all taken from her.

Of course, all that raw power that they took from her had to go somewhere, so they dropped it into this plane. This land, here, is what remains - energy is mass is matter, don't go troubling your heads with the whys and hows of it, just accept it. So when I say you are on the Queen's land, know that it belongs to her, is part of her, and she is still linked to it. She knows what was taken from her and she wants to be reunited with it.

Well, the Eldest, they're... they're as different from us as a fey is from you, and you'll have to take my word on that. Your mortal gods, now, they'd have said "Be asleep forever and a day" and that would be the end of it. The Eldest don't work like that, and never have. Eventually, they knew she would wake up, but, eh, that's a problem for later. But they did establish a Watcher, who would sit here and watch for signs of the Queen stirring out of sleep and back to wakefulness.

And that's what oul' Brigid has been doing, ever since.

Aivar Kurisyl wrote:
He reaches for the silver shears they found many weeks ago at the place of the scythe tree massacre and shows them to the fey lady. "I could not help but notice that you own a pair of shears as well. Do these mean anything to you? We ... we found them amongst the bodies of a sizable amount of fey. The poor things were butchered by scythe trees."

The tiny fey's eyes fill with sudden tears. "Ah, bless you fer findin' that! It would have belonged to one of my sisters, who grew and blessed and tended that great forest out there since time out of mind." She shakes her head and wipes her nose on a handkerchief that she produces from nowhere.

"They felt it, they did, my sisters, along with all the good-hearted fey that used to live here: the dryads and the nymphs and the others. When she started to stir in her slumber, as she does now, and pressed her mind and her awareness into this realm, they were persuaded to rise up against her - dratted fools!" She gives another long sniff into her hankie. "Don't ever go following a unicorn, that's my advice. They've good hearts and so they have, but they'll insist on confronting things that are best left well alone."

She shakes her head sorrowfully. "Truth be told, I don't think they realised how awake she had become. Bending mortals to her will, that was something they didn't expect. Cold iron!" She shudders, and wraps her shawl closer around her. "They slaughtered everyone and dragged poor Brightmane off to who knows where - mortals aren't in my remit, you see, I've not the knowing of what they did with him."

She gives another sniff. "Sending those dratted scythe trees to feed off their bodies was an artful touch. She's not lost an ounce of her craft - or her malice. Even half-asleep as she still is."


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
The situation sucks. I'm fine, but I know plenty of people who aren't.

100% this. Patients are dying because there aren't enough ventilators; healthcare workers are dying because there's not enough personal protective equipment. People who aren't sick are suddenly unemployed and wondering how the hell they're going to pay their mortgage, their rent, their food bills.

Our resident troll (or perhaps I should say one of our resident trolls, for we are blessed with several) deciding that the real "not cool" problem here is people not buying pdf's is a stunningly bad hot take. Social distancing does NOT mean "alienate everyone around you by displaying a breathtaking lack of empathy."


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Thanks for the update and best wishes to everyone at Paizo (and to all the gamers reading this, wherever you may be)!

It's weird to see what windmills people will choose to tilt at in times like this, isn't it? Probably a displacement activity.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
DM_DM wrote:
You have a negative persuasion modifier? -- Hm: does this party even have a Face character?

*waves*

Finraeth raises an eyebrow as it becomes clear that Beran is not saying everything, but no matter. He offers the Woodman a refill of his hot drink, and takes a puff on his pipe while he considers things. "Well it was indeed, that we found you, but in truth we were not the only ones. A group of Woodmen - for so they called themselves - from Tyrant's Hill, an ill named place indeed, did disturb us most rudely as we sought to return to this place, and their leader, Dagmar, did claim that thou hadst stolen from her something that she owned, although in truth she did not state what that was. Naturally, we declined to hand over one who was not in a fit state to offer a defence. The matter became somewhat tense." He waves a hand in airy understatement.

He gives the man a quizzical stare. "Knowest thou a reason why someone from that fell place, in all proximity to Dol Guldur, wouldst make such a claim against thee?"

Persuasion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24


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F Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 19 | F +5 R +6 W +6 I Perception +9 | Campaign Trait Foe of the Strange | Init +4 I LoH 4/day

So. That was moderately unpleasant.

Apologies for absence. Reading through what I've missed and catching up now, will post when I can.


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F Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 19 | F +5 R +6 W +6 I Perception +9 | Campaign Trait Foe of the Strange | Init +4 I LoH 4/day

Note to self: do NOT let Delmoth roll for me

Jassminder drags Mizuko and Lahrehn away from the area of effect, while doing her best not to let them spew all over her.

Fort save if needed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

DO-OVER - everyone except Illyria:

The spider next to Bergur bites at him as the scout flees, but in its haste it misses. It nevertheless scuttles after him and Belgo, as does the other one. Thankfully, no more spiders appear - for the moment.
Morwen fires an arrow that strikes the spider threatening Bergur solidly in it side. It chitters in pain before Harry and Onar finish it off, at which point it falls to the ground with a loud thump and a crack as its carapace breaks open.

Everyone can act. Bergur and Belgo are on the bridge, it will take them 2 move actions to get back to the ground (either 2 round with an action to do something else, or 1 rounds if they use the Dash action). Spider 1 is DEAD. Spider 2 is 60 feet from Bergur, 30 feet away from the company on the ground.

STATUS:

HIT POINTS

B 9/9, HD 1/1
H 8/8, HD 1/1
I 10/13, HD 1/1
M 12/12, HD 1/1
O 14/14, HD 1/1

INSPIRATION

B 0
H 2
I 2
M 1
O 2

SHADOW (P)

B 2(0)
H 0(0)
I 2(0)
M 2(0)
O 2(0)

CONDITIONS

B
H
I
M
O

OTHER

Party ignores first point of Exhaustion for this Journey
Party gets +1 to all skill rolls made during this Journey

Spider 1 DEAD
Spider 2


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

...crap. That's the problem with everything being hidden behind spoilers - it gets lost.

My bad. Thanks for pointing it out.

OK, the spider near Bergur is dead, so you only have 1 other spider to contend with for now!


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
Radegund, The Magpie wrote:
"Finraeth, do you hear that? I'd swear that for a moment I heard tiny crystal polyhedrons clacking together."

I'm not sure whether the High Elf ability to see the unseen applies to the Fourth Wall.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
Walter the Vagabond wrote:
That's a /bit/ salty for someone who hasn't done anything more than press a legal claim. Harper's song was very creepy and disturbing, but it was a nonviolent way to resolve the dispute...

...If you think unleashing some sort of dark sorcery that made us all take a Will save is nothing more than pressing a legal claim, then I NEVER want to tangle with your lawyer.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Hi, all - RL is giving me a bit of a kicking at the moment. I will get some posts up this evening/tomorrow with a view to resuming normal service thereafter.

Sorry for any delays, thanks for bearing with me.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Sorry, busy day/week. Plus not entirely sure how to play the most recent curveball DMDM's thrown at me. Going to take a stab at it now.

completely irrelevant tangent:

Part of my job is writing up scientific protocols and articles before they go out for submission (it's a little more complicated than that, but that's the gist). The document I've been dealing with this week (and have just got off my desk) talks about suspending cells in a liquid that's known as Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium, or DMEM for short. I'm not going to admit how many times I've had to go back and check I haven't typed "DMDM" by mistake.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Sorry for the delay, thanks for keeping the RP going in my absence! Posting now.

@Onar - noted. Will do my best to try and remember but like I said earlier, please keep reminding me of this stuff so I don't forget to use it.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

What can I say? I must have failed the Will save against using the more familiar terminology :)


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

@Faem - fair, although it doesn't (shouldn't!) need a Lore check to know that handing over a helpless person to a bunch of armed thugs in exchange for gold is wrong.

@Veig - looks like I misinterpreted your post, my bad. It read to me like the dwarf was washing his hands of the whole thing.

So, what do we want to do?

Finraeth would suggest that since the man is clearly not in a position to offer a defence against the charge, they all proceed to Rhosgobel where these thugs, did I say thugs, I'm so sorry, I meant these plaintiffs can make their case and be heard. Once the man has had a chance to recover and put his side of the story, of course.

But if Faem wants to take the lead I'm ok with that, too.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
DM_DM wrote:
Finraeth wrote:


Apropos of nothing much: I was looking at the region map the other day - know what all those hexes put me in mind of? Kingmaker.

That's the variant campaign where you seek to build an empire... and collect Shadow points really, really fast.

Heh. A Game of Ringwraiths.

"When you play the Lord of the Rings, you win or you die."


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

OK, new rule: when we have the opportunity to scout a group of strangers to learn their intentions before announcing ourselves, we take it.

That was a really foolish thing to do. I hope we don't end up regretting it.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Everyone's current hit points are located in the "status" spoiler. If you want to know how many Shadow points, Inspiration points, hit points or anything else, it's the place to be :)

EDIT: that doesn't mean you can't keep track of this stuff yourselves. But the "status" spoiler is definitive.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Ouch. You guys hit really hard!

The spider rears back, ready to deliver another fearsome bite, when Bergur and Morwen's arrows strike it through its multiple eyes, Harry's slingstone crushes it and Onar and Illyria's blades cut its head clean off. It falls to the ground, its many legs spasming and twitching as dark, red-green ichor oozes from its many wounds. Where it falls, the mossy grass of the Elf-path withers and dies.

Illyria of course is not in much better shape.

Combat over

STATUS:

HIT POINTS

B 9/9, HD 1/1
H 8/8, HD 1/1
I 4/13, HD 1/1
M 12/12, HD 1/1
O 14/14, HD 1/1

INSPIRATION

B 2
H 2
I 2
M 1
O 2

SHADOW (P)

B 2(0)
H 0(0)
I 2(0)
M 2(0)
O 2(0)

CONDITIONS

B
H
I
M
O

OTHER

Party ignores first point of Exhaustion for this Journey
Party gets +1 to all skill rolls made during this Journey


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Onar - you get to make your attacks with Advantage


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F Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 19 | F +5 R +6 W +6 I Perception +9 | Campaign Trait Foe of the Strange | Init +4 I LoH 4/day
DM_Delmoth wrote:
All the blood in the room and nearby hallway evaporate in a xanthic cloud and then disappears completely. Mrs. Freeling's body transforms as well, her chest cavity reforms and only a the body of a normal elderly woman remains.

Ooh, I learned a new word: xanthic. Thank you!


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Battle map is updated.

To be clear, you DON'T get Advantage on the saves vs the Shadow points. You ONLY get Advantage on rolls against the Spider.

You also get a +1 to all skill rolls (but not attack rolls or saves, I think).

Good luck! This is a perilous foe indeed.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth
Morwen of House Isildur wrote:

"No, not a fate to be wished." Morwen seemed to parrot before asking. "How did you pass the Lonely Mountain completely?" She asked the dwarf, obviously a bit weary of the newcomer. "You're so far on the other side you're almost to Mirkwood." She pointed out.

Seriously! XD Poor guy is waaay off!

Yeah? YOU run fast as you can from a pack of orcs and see how long you can keep your intended course :P

The obvious answer is that he was driven here in a DM Fiat.

...I'm here all week folks. Don't forget to tip your waiter.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Finraeth sighs. In the short space of time (as Elves measure these things) he has been socialising with mortals, he has yet to understand why they almost invariably seek to shorten their given names. Granted, their life-span is not infinite, but even so, how much time does the practice truly save? It's not even as if Finraeth is especially long or difficult to pronounce (he thinks immediately of Galadriel, of Glorfindel, of Elrond's twin sons).

He wonders whether it is perhaps some influence of the Shadow creeping into language, seeking to mock what it cannot unmake. Be it so, he will have none of it.

But making a fuss about it will most likely achieve little. He opts instead to ignore the question.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

GM Screen:

Sword v Onar: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2

Sword v Onar: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

Javelin v Onar: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3

Javelin v Harry: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 5

Javelin v Harry: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1

The first goblin to step within reach of the dwarf's axe dies almost instantly, its black blood staining the rocky path. (I like it. You get 1 point of Inspiration)

Undeterred, two of its companions scuttle forward across the piles of shale, striking at the dwarf with vicious, bent swords. One of them hits, drawing a thin trickle of blood. (Onar takes 2 damage) A third strikes from a distance, throwing one of its javelins which misses by a distance.

The other two goblins turn to face Harry's challenge, scampering across the stony outcrops to bring their javelins to bear. The scholar ducks the first, but the second strikes him a glancing blow! (Harry takes 1 damage)

STATUS:

HIT POINTS

B 9/9, HD 1/1
H 7/8, HD 1/1
I 13/13, HD 1/1
M 12/12, HD 1/1
O 12/14, HD 1/1

INSPIRATION

B 1
H 2
I 3
M 1
O 1

SHADOW (P)

B 0(0)
H 0(0)
I 0(0)
M 0(0)
O 0(0)

CONDITIONS

B 1 point Exhaustion (no effect for now)
H
I
M 1 point Exhaustion (no effect for now)
O

OTHER

Party ignores first 2 points of Exhaustion for this Journey
Party gets +1 to the Arrival roll for this Journey

Everyone is up! (Harry and Onar for round 2, everyone else for their round 1 actions)


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

@Harry - so moved :)


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

It's OK, we're all in this together. We can retcon any mistakes if we have to.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Ah, we all know what's meant. I've no doubt I'll be telling my players to make Fort and Will saves rather than Con and Wis!


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

@Harry - thanks for the reminder.

@EVERYONE - I'm still getting to speed with the rules of this system. If your character has a special ability ("I never get lost" or "I can't be surprised" or "I always know what's going on") please remind me frequently as I won't remember it by default. Thanks!


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MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

Init, T: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Init, party: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

Bite, Surprise round: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
Damage: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (3, 3) + 7 = 13

Grab: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (5) + 19 = 24

SW: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (18) + 19 = 37
Damage: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 3) = 7

Nobody else has said anything so I'm assuming you keep well clear of the noxious fog

The stench is indeed foul, as the reek comes not only from the sulphurous clouds but from the densely-matted piles of rotting vegetation. However, the pit holds more peril than merely an affront to the senses: a vast clump of vegetation suddenly rears up and strikes at Raquel, taking a chunk out of her with a vicious bite!

Before anyone can react, the enormous creature has grabbed the cleric in its mouth and swallowed her in one vast gulp.

On the downside: 20 points of damage. On the plus side, almost unlimited scope for innuendo

Raquel:
This one's nasty. You need to make a Fort save DC 18 or be paralysed for 3d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 5) = 10 rounds. If you make the save, you can try to cut yourself free with a Light slashing or piercing weapon (you have one of those, right?). Make an attack roll on your turn. Remember that you're Sickened. Oh, and you're also grappled so spellcasting is out.

Party is up. Crossing the green line means taking a Fort save DC 16 or be Sickened: minus 2 to all rolls

Knowledge Nature DC 16:
This thing is a tendriculos. They are fearsome plant-based carnivores, immune to mind-affecting magic and nonlethal damage

Knowledge Nature DC 21:
This thing is a tendriculos. They are fearsome plant-based carnivores, immune to mind-affecting magic and nonlethal damage. They're also immune to acid and capable of regeneration.

Knowledge Nature DC 26:
This thing is a tendriculos. They are fearsome plant-based carnivores, immune to mind-affecting magic and nonlethal damage. They're also immune to acid and capable of regeneration. The regeneration can be stopped with fire or bludgeoning effects.

STATUS:

Aivar
Arianna
Sasha
Tristan
Nariel
Raquel 25/45, sickened


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Or our healer could spend 10 minutes to give me 2d8+3 hit points back. And - more importantly - my power of speech.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Illyria (and to a lesser extent Morwen) are devastatingly successful in their bouts. The redheaded Dúnedain is bested only twice, both times by a vast man with a barrel-chest covered in a coarse blonde beard that falls almost to his waist. The same opponent grapples with the braided Rohirrim, but Illyria slips out of his grasp and the two of them fight one another to a draw, to the cheers of the assembled crowd.

Morwen gains 1 point Inspiration; Illyria gains 2 points Inspiration

Harry's initial riddles are met with some puzzlement ("Candle?"), but are eventually guessed as "Shadow!" and "Stars!" respectively. However, the Bree-lander reaches deep into his memory and quickly pulls out half a dozen more, each more fiendishly difficult than the last, and the crowd has to eventually concede that they are out-witted.

Harry gains 1 point Inspiration

You eventually make your way through the crowded streets and to bed, early to rise the next morning.

23 November 2946

A foggy, dank morning greets you - this late in the year, the sun will not rise for some hours yet. In the quiet hushed way of those rising so long before dawn, you proceed towards Trader's Gate to rendezvous with Belgo and his daughter, who is still tousle-headed and sleepy after being up so long past her bedtime last night.

Belgo's goods and belongings are loaded upon the back of four rather mournful-looking ponies. They whicker nervously as Illyria's great horse passes them by, and shuffle their hooves out of the stallion's path. Belgo himself wrestles with a map of the region. "Right, we are here." His finger stabs at the mark representing the city of Dale. "I have arranged to meet with our Elven companions here, on the edge of the river." His finger points at your destination. "It seems to me that we are best going around the Long Marshes, although it may add to our journey slightly." His finger traces the proposed route and he looks at you for approval.

Map updated to show where you are going and the proposed path (you may need to zoom in to see it properly!)

STATUS:

HIT POINTS

B 9/9
H 8/8
I 13/13
M 12/12
O 14/14

INSPIRATION

B 0
H 1
I 2
M 1
O 0

SHADOW (P)

B 0(0)
H 0(0)
I 0(0)
M 0(0)
O 0(0)

CONDITIONS

B
H
I
M
O


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F Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 19 | F +5 R +6 W +6 I Perception +9 | Campaign Trait Foe of the Strange | Init +4 I LoH 4/day

I thought the Argus wall was - by some way - the best haunt that Paizo has put out there: the "What am I become" is a great hint at the solution.

I love haunts as a concept, but the implementation too often makes me want to do this...

(this isn't aimed at you Delmoth, btw, but at the game designers)


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Scribe of Middle-Earth
Bergur, Son of Ragni wrote:
"To be able to claim friendship with the Elves is a rare and valuable thing, even in these days of open trade." Bergur takes a sip of his ale. "It is fortunate that you have been able to maintain those connections. They should serve you well in your future endeavors."

Belgo gives a wry smile that isn't really a smile. "Let us hope so."

You agree to return to The Archer's Mark that evening and proceed to the festivities together.

If anyone wants to do anything between lunch and evening let me know and we'll retcon it

It is no understatement to say that all of Dale has been awaiting these festivities: almost every citizen, plus a throng of out-of-towners, crowds the streets leading into the main square in front of the Palace. Tables are set up on every avenue and courtyard, and every inch of space in the main square. Being relative nobodies, you don't get into the main square at all, but manage to secure some space at a table which does afford you some view of it. King Bard has opened his treasury doors, and a vast feast is provided for all who attend: an entire bevy of pigs, sheep, cows and deer must have been slaughtered to ensure an almost endless procession of vast platters brimming with cuts of roast meat, gravy and vegetables. There is mead, and even some wine from Dorwinion for those with a taste for such living (most people accustomed to mead find red wine to be too sour).

As the evening progresses and the food is consumed, various groups around the tables find their own forms of entertainment: story-telling, boasting contests, riddles; for those of a less cerebral inclination, there are drinking contests and wrestling matches. Of course, there is no obligation to take part - every endeavour needs its cheering spectators, after all!

Storytelling/Boasting/Riddle contests:
Make 5 rolls of the appropriate skill (performance, deception, riddle) and roleplay it out

Drinking/Wrestling:
Make 5 Con saves or 5 Athletics rolls

As night falls, coal braziers are brought out to ward off the November chill, and the festivities continue. Halla stifles several yawns, but insists she's not tired; it's well past her bed-time but her father indulges her this once. Once the food is well and truly consumed, and the plates are cleared away, a gong strikes and in its reverberations, silence falls over the crowd. King Bard ascends to a balcony on the Palace, overlooking the square. With him are two figures, regal and otherwordly in their resplendent garb: the rumours are true, and both the Elfking and the King Under the Mountain have come to pay their respects and renew their friendships. Or at least, so you assume: many speeches are made and there is much cheering, but from where you are sitting the voices do not carry.

'what did he say? blessed are the cheesemakers?'

There is no mistaking the gesture however when King Bard clasps the arms of both Elf and Dwarf, and the three of them bow solemnly to the assembled crowd, before taking their leave indoors (doubtless to discuss matters of great import), to resounding cheers from the populace. Once the nobility have departed, the festivities begin again in earnest, with hot mugs of spiced fortified mead and trays of sweet cakes being passed around under the glitter and crash of the fireworks of Dale.

Finally, the proceedings are brought to a close when a tall figure, venerable and cowled in a grey cloak, appears on the balcony where the three Kings stood. He does not speak, but throws his arms upwards, and high above in the cold, clear night sky, a flaming, winged apparition descends down towards the town.

(Halla gives a squeak and disappears under the table. A number of those present look like they might wish to do the same.)

Red wings and a fearsome, flaming roar trail and spiral through the sky, descending ever more speedily - before a dark shape speeds upwards just as fast, striking the enormous thing in its chest.

There is a vast, thunderous explosion and a myriad, myriad sparkling starbursts of every colour trail across the sky.

The silence that descends indicates that the party is over.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
DM_DM wrote:
Play the game long enough, and you'll have no choice but to seek the Havens...

Having given this some thought, I'd like to play this game long enough for that to be an option - the alternative is far less appealing...


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)
DM_DM wrote:
So, Radegund is unlikely to kill a Spider unless she crits.

Ask, and ye shall receive


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Thanks - I haven't been hoarding it, I just haven't had a chance to spend it yet!

Intimidation: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

OK, I'll use my Inspiration now

Intimidation: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20

An Elf-Lord in his wrath is enough to dismay even the Nazgûl. Finraeth is barely even Elf-Gentry (more sort of an Elf-Peon, really) but these Spiders aren't the Nazgûl, either.


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Heh. Found the one I was looking for:

"Remember, nothing will spice up your campaign quicker than long descriptions of NPC’s doing spectacular stuff while the players sit around and watch."


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Male High Elf Warden | HP: 2/9 | AC: 16 | Perception +4 (Night Vision) | Initiative +2 | Insight +4 | Wis save +2 (+4 v Corruption) | Con save +1 | Portrait Conditions: Exhaustion (2); Inspiration (N)

Finraeth spares a swift, downward glance at his now-sodden boot, conscious of the muddy, black water trickling down towards his socks; before turning his gaze back to his friendly (but perhaps overeager) companion as, in her haste to rebuke him, she in turn slips and falls - noisily enough to scare the bird away.

He looks ruefully around, conscious more than ever that the Eryn Galen of legend is, well, legend even in the stories of the High Elves. This far from the influence of his wayward cousins the silvan Elves, Mirkwood is no place for strangers. He does his best to project an outward calm, but one hand is never far from either bow or sword. It would not do to let such a child fall to mishap in this forest.

He gives her a warm smile, mindful of his responsibilities here: he has trouble guessing the ages of the race of Men, but this one seems particularly young even by their standards. "If thou wilt accept the counsel of a friend - for friend I am to all of the Free Folk, as many will I hope attest - then it doth seem to me that our chances dwindle even as the light itself doth fade (leaving us ever more and increasingly at the scant mercy of whatever peril roams beneath these trees) and thus would I suggest that our next actions, whatsoever they may be, are taken with a certain urgent swiftness."

Yep, that's right: he just used nearly 100 words to suggest that we get a move on

He looks up speculatively at the nearly-sleeping bird. "While I lack the woodcraft skills of my cousins who call this place their home, yet may we in hope trust that your feathered companion doth rue his missed opportunity earlier this day to partake of food and - while the dried trail-meat in my provisions bears but scant resemblance to the warm and sanguinated flesh of a fresh-caught rabbit - might it yet not be enough to tempt them from their lofty perch and back into our welcoming hands?"

So saying, he puts this to the test, eschewing stealth for careful tread around the little ponds that dot this part of the wood. Reaching into his pack, he withdraws some of the aforementioned dried jerky, and does his best to coax the bird back to safety.

Athletics, if needed to make progress: 1d20 ⇒ 12

Handle animal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14


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F Human (Keleshite) Paladin (Tortured Crusader) 3 | HP 24/24 | AC 19 | F +5 R +6 W +6 I Perception +9 | Campaign Trait Foe of the Strange | Init +4 I LoH 4/day

Jassminder walks briskly over to the least-wounded of the three in yellow. "I have some healing capability. Knowing where the blood and nerves are can be useful in combat."

Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

(With Saiya to aid, that's a 26)

She gestures at Saiya to join her, taking the fetchling's left hand and guides it on/into the body cavity, heedless of the blood. "Feel that? pinch it shut while I make a tourniquet."

She isn't gentle with the cultist, but her ministrations could work to keep them alive. One of them, anyway. They only need one.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Onar - great, I'll bring you in when I can!

@ everyone: the Mirkwood campaign recruitment is up and running, if you want more Tolkien in your RP (and who doesn't?).

LINK


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OK, details are now set out in the spoilers below. I don’t know whether you’re planning to explicitly use the rules for the Hunt/Eye of Mordor from the Rivendell book, but I’ve incorporated into his tale the concept that High Elves, even the least of them like Finraeth, can be slightly “noisy” to those with the capacity to hear it, and capable of drawing the Enemy’s unwanted attention.

Outline of Mechanics/Character choices:

High Elf from Rivendell

Warden

I have not yet decided on a path - I like all three of them. My current plan is to roleplay the character and get a feel for the game before making that decision when/if we get to level 3

Emissary background

Distinctive quality: Trusty

Specialty: Smoking

Hope: Only by joining forces can we hope to push back the Shadow.

Despair: The Shadow’s influence is too strong; my entreaties often fall on deaf ears.

Background:

Finraeth is a child, if any High Elf can be called such, of the Third Age: he was born during the Watchful Peace and was barely two hundred years old when Sauron’s return to Dol Guldur brought it abruptly to an end. Imladris was guarded even more closely after that and his first experience of travel beyond the Last Homely House was not until almost three centuries later, when orcs from the Misty Mountains invaded Eriador in 2740 T.A. Not permitted to take part in the fighting himself, Finraeth watched as the Dunedain, the High Elves, the Men of Bree and even the Hobbits of the Shire roused themselves and pushed the enemy back into the caverns whence they came.

What particularly struck Finraeth was that each of the forces of the Free Folk fought unallied with one another – and in some cases, even unaware of one another, as the Hobbits were of the Dunedain; and yet were successful nevertheless. Raised on tales of the Last Alliance, the still-youthful elf wondered what might be possible if only the younger races (suitably guided by the Eldar, naturally) could once more be persuaded to work together.

His requests to take a leave of absence from Imladris were met with flat refusal from Elrond (not that the Lord of Rivendell met with the young High Elf personally, of course). By this time, Smaug had devastated Erebor and much of the lands East of Mirkwood and it was not clear what further destruction the Great Wyrm had in mind – but Elrond certainly was not about to let any of his kindred leave the fastness of Imladris. Even a century later, when it became clear to all that Smaug slept, Finraeth remained seethingly tethered to home. He still does not know what prompted the Lord Elrond’s change of mind, but after a session of the White Council in Imladris, Finraeth was suddenly permitted to accompany Elladan and Elrohir on their periodic patrols of the surrounding lands.

Once they were confident that he was not a liability, he was given greater scope to wander, provided always that he remained within Eriador: Elrond was not going to suffer a High Elf to go within a hundred leagues of the Lonely Mountain, for fear of disturbing Smaug’s restless slumbers. Although not hugely fond of the wilderness, Finraeth took greatly to the company of others and over the centuries many a Bree-lander, Man and Hobbit alike, has whiled away a pleasant evening in the Prancing Pony with a well-spoken robed figure they doubtless assumed was an unusually clean-shaven Ranger. It was during this time that he acquired – perhaps the first and only of his kind to do so – a taste for pipeweed, and the pleasures attendant on the shared ritual of offering a match, or receiving one, of comparing the merits of Old Toby and Southern Star, of blowing smoke rings while musing on the state of things.

There were only two sorrows to mar his happiness at this time. The first was a chafing at the restriction on travel East of the Misty Mountains: Finraeth respected the reasons and obeyed his Lord without question, but he had heard of the vastness of Mirkwood and Eryn Galen as it once was. He dreamed of dancing under stars with his woodland kin, of a firelit feast and music and laughter; of seeing the Wayward Elves with his own eyes to see if the stories were true. The second was a crestfallen awareness of mortal strife: Bree-landers look with suspicion and even scorn upon the Dunedain “Rangers” - a feeling which is reciprocated by those who keep Bree safe from horrors unknown, yet whose only reward is mistrust. Even those few Hobbits of the Shire that he encountered, while a pleasant and hospitable folk, were undeniably parochial and deliberately – wilfully – unconcerned with the outside world. Dwarves too, fallen scions in exile from their ancestral homes, were not immune from this: all of them, Men and Hobbits and Dwarves alike, too often caught up in small quarrels to remember their great quarrel with the true Enemy. If they could be reminded … if they could be united …. if...if...if…

The first of those sorrows has lifted. Even today, the Elves of Rivendell mirthfully refer to any especially small unit of time as “a Finraeth” - based on the interval between his hearing of the death of Smaug and his oh-so-polite but extremely firm request to be allowed to leave.

Whether the second of those sorrows will lead him to triumph or disaster, only our tale will tell.

Description:

Finraeth has the pale countenance of one who spends little time outdoors and this is accentuated by the midnight-black of his fine, long hair. His grey travelling cloak carries faintly with it the scent of pipeweed, and a fine Shire-carved pipe is safely secured in one of its pockets. His garments are well-made and bespeak a prosperous standard of living, suited to one who is an emissary of Elrond Half-Elven himself. The sober colours of the soft cloth form a perfect backdrop to the star-lit gleam of the gem fastened on a chain around his neck.

As with all High Elves, his face is ageless, neither old nor young; and expressive of both great mirth and great sorrow.

Even in the fleetingly short space of time since he was granted the status of Elrond’s emissary and permitted to leave Imladris, Finraeth has acquired a reputation for trustworthiness: eschewing the compromise, double-speak and deception that so many diplomats employ, he instead speaks the truth as he sees it – which is very far from saying he is blunt, and indeed it is possibly his mannerism of speaking, with its circumlocution and elegant phrasing replete with subordinate clauses, sub-subordinate clauses, parenthetical asides (the totality of which is delivered in a somewhat archaic style: Finraeth learned the speech of Men many many centuries ago, and although he is well aware that “thee” and “thou” have fallen out of fashion long since, he employs them still) and lengthy, although never rambling sentences, which actually permit him to deliver truths which another party might balk at if they were phrased more directly.

In his native Sindarin or Quenya, by contrast, he is succinct to the point of brevity.

[In those tongues, a simple “yes” or “no” can have almost a thousand different shades of meaning, depending on the exact word for “yes” or “no” which is chosen, together with the tone and manner in which they are inflected.]

Tolkien level:

I have read LOTR and Hobbit many, many times. Beyond those I do not consider myself steeped in the lore of Middle-Earth: I have read the Silmarillion and a couple of other “background” books but would make no claim to have a clear idea of the timelines or events.

Comments/Questions:

I have explained (I hope!) his presence in Mirkwood; I have two options for his presence specifically among the Woodmen – I’m happy with either, but if you have a preference then let me know.

The first option is that he has been in Mirkwood for a while now and has come to tire of life at Thranduil’s court. His wayward cousins are amusing for a time, but their fundamental unseriousness means that he now regards them somewhat as you might a younger sibling who – despite having graduated some years previously – still insists on trying to live the fratboy/student lifestyle. Having danced and celebrated and drunk his fill, he has made his excuses and is travelling down to Rhosgobel to pay his respects to Radagast before he decides where to travel to next. The second option is that he has almost literally just arrived in Mirkwood and has come to pay his respects to Radagast in Rhosgobel (possibly bringing some token or gift from Elrond?), before moving on to the court of the Elvenking. The first option assumes that he has acquired some familiarity with Thranduil’s court and some of its personages (if not Thranduil himself). The second option assumes no familiarity with the region at all. I’m not sure how you are planning to have the PCs meet up, whether you want them to tie backstories together, etc., so I’m leaving this open in case you have a preference.

Also, I’m not entirely clear on the whole “artisan’s tools” thing – the player’s guide (page 152) suggests that pipesmoking supplies counts for this, so I’ve taken that and run with it in my backstory because I like the idea. I just wanted to run it past you in case you regard the “Subtlety of Craft” High Elf trait as meaning it has to be proficiency with something like smithing tools instead.


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Scribe of Middle-Earth

Goid to see there's at least one player who survived the introductory wall-of-text (it's a Tolkien game, I may have gotten a little carried away). Any others?

Also, RIP Christopher Tolkien. May the Valar escort you to the Undying Lands.

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