Yimni

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Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy

Korvosa is troubled.

All cities are. They are curious creatures, with bodies of wood, masonry, and cobblestones, breath that smells of sweat, middens, and fish markets, and blood made of people. You can't have people for blood without developing a bit of anxiety; they are full of stress.

Korvosa's people are especially stressed right now. Unease crackles between them like electricity, making every interaction a bit more agitated. Merchants haggling with their suppliers come to blows when once they settled their affairs over a friendly drink. Marital disagreements become domestic disputes. The city's population of pesky imps hides in the eaves and drains, as if ever their sinister offers were more likely to earn them a thrown mug or boot to the head, it's now.

You could say Korvosa's blood pressure is on the rise.

King Eodred Arabasti II is ill. This is not shocking at his age, but what is disturbing is that he has been ill so long. For several weeks he has not been seen, and rumors fly that clerics from all over Varisia have been summoned, only to leave shaking their heads in confusion. The king's seneschal is said to have vanished, and people mutter about foul play. Queen Iliosa, a beautiful woman a third the king's age, has been taking a more active role in governance, and people mutter about that too; that she is naive and foolish, and no doubt being manipulated by treacherous advisors who caused the king's disease. But most of all they mutter about the Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Since it's inception, the monarchy of Korvosa has never had a ruler who died of natural causes, or left an heir. Revenge, say some, of the Shoanti whose land the city stands upon, and whose spirits will not rest until it is returned. Angry gods, say others, fighting over whose followers should rule. Coincidence, say people who are promptly ignored, because what kind of story would that make?

Regardless of the cause, the Curse seems ready to claim another victim.

But politics couldn't be further from the minds of the five who now gather at 3 Lancet Street, at sunset on a cool autumn evening in the year 4711. One by one they come, some strangers, others acquaintances, but all connected by the appearance of a strange card that bid them to meet here and now, and by their shared hatred of a man who had ruined their lives and so many others.

The interior of this small, humble home consists of a single cozy chamber filled with a fragrant haze of flowers and strong spice. The aroma comes from several sticks of incense smoldering in wall-mounted burners that look like butterfly-winged elves. The smoke gives the room a dreamy feel. The walls are draped with brocaded tapestries, one showing a black-skulled beast juggling human hearts, and another showing a pair of angels dancing atop a snow-blasted mountain. A third tapestry on the far wall depicts a tall, hooded figure shrouded in mist, holding a flaming sword in a skeletal hand. Several brightly colored rugs cover the floor, but the room’s only furnishings are a wooden table covered by a bright red throw cloth and several elegant, tall-backed chairs.

A basket covered by blue cloth sits under the table. Next to it lays a note:

"Thank you for coming. I had to step out for a bit, but shall return shortly. Please, have a seat while you wait. The basket under the table contains bread and drink for you."


Hello everyone, and welcome to the discussion thread for my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign.

Here you can ask questions, provide comments, chat out of character, and warn us that you may be absent for a couple of days due to being on the run from the law because of some silly misunderstanding involving a parade float and a tanker truck full of marmalade.

A quick rundown of how we're going to do things, so everyone's on the same page. This is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to ask me questions.

Maps
I will be setting up a campaign on Roll20.Net, and send an invite link to all of you, so get a free account with them if you don't already have one. If you have a picture of your character you'd like to use as a token, feel free to send it to me and I'll add it to maps. If not, no need, the map is just a visual aid and I can just use your forum avatars.

Initiative and Combat
Combat in PbP can be slow, so to streamline matters when it begins I will roll initiative for everyone. You don't need to wait your turn to declare your action, feel free to post it early and then when everyone has posted for the round I will execute them in order and describe what happens.

If you are waiting to see what happens before you decide what to do (e.g. seeing if a monster fails his saving throw against a sleep spell before deciding to attack him), then post that. You can also put some conditions in your post (Attack Orc A, unless he dies before my turn, then attack Orc B instead), as long as they are sensible and straightforward. No making me wade through a complex nested IF/ELSE algorithm, okay? I get enough of that at work. :S

"Passive" Rolls
I like to keep the ball in the players' court as much as possible, so outside of initiative I'll generally have you do your own rolling. About the only exception will be when there's a situation where everyone is making the same roll at once, since waiting for 5 people to respond just to post a dice roll can grind the game to a halt. If Mr. Mystico is trying to identify a wand, he rolls his own Spellcraft check. If the whole party is walking by a bush with a ninja in it, I'll just roll 5 perception checks and say that Moondancer and Blüddaxe notice that there's either a ninja in the bush, or an unusually large rabbit in black pajamas.

Loot
I have created a google spreadsheet to keep track of party loot. Anyone can edit this, so hopefully no one person gets stuck being the party's accountant.

Experience
To keep bookkeeping to a minimum, I'll just award levels at appropriate story points, rather than tracking XP. In situations where the party would normally earn bonus XP, I'll probably hand out extra loot instead.

Anyone have any questions or comments?


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Just got the CotCT hardcover, and I've always wanted to run this fantastic AP. Anyone out there always want to play it?

What I'm looking for:

* 4-5 players.

* I'm more interested in well-developed backgrounds and personalities than powerful builds. Unique characters are more fun than mighty ones, and it's nice to accommodate different skill levels among the party.

* Reasonably consistent posting - I won't be a total hardass about this, but nobody likes to delay a combat because someone is missing, or have to roleplay a conversation scene alone while the rest of the party stands around jangling the change in their pockets.

* Have fun! If you aren't having fun, if things are too fast or too slow, or if you have a problem with my GMing style or another player, let me know. We'll work something out.

Character creation rules:

* Ability scores - 15 point buy, start at level 1.

* Core races only, please.

* No evil characters.

* 2 traits, one of which must come from the CotCT Player's Guide and be written into your background.

* Starting wealth: max for class, plus 100GP worth of equipment.

* Two Background Skills.

* Official Paizo material only - I don't have access to 3rd party sourcebooks.

* Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, and Summoner use their Unchained versions.

Gameplay:

* Leveling will be determined by story progress, not XP, to reduce bookkeeping.

* HP: Max + Con for 1st level, 1/2 HD + 1 + Con for subsequent levels (so d6=4, d8=5, d10=6, d12=7)

* Maps will be hosted on Roll20.net

* I will create a spreadsheet on Google Docs to track party inventory

Addendum:

* Recruitment will close on 1/5/2017.


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I'm currently in a campaign that involves Geb, and one of our main opponents is going to be Arazni. She's out to get us because one of the Bloodstones of Arazni (her lung) recently came into our possession, and we used it without knowing that doing so apparently signals her as to its location.

So an incredibly powerful undead demigod queen is gunning for us so she can have her lung back, and we don't want that to happen. A Legend Lore spell allowed the GM to reveal to us what the drippy thing in the jar actually is and what it does, as well as offer some cryptic hints as to where the others might be found. It's also been very strongly hinted to us that the Bloodstones are collectively Arazni's phylactery (if it's ever been revealed what her phylactery is in the setting I'm unaware of it, but in this campaign at least it's the Bloodstones). So we Gotta Catch 'Em All and destroy the lich queen for good, before she gets her hands on us.

But! While discussing our gameplan between sessions, an interesting idea occurred to us. These organs are still alive; they are specifically described as such in "Artifacts and Legends". This is a piece of Arazni's living body. So...would it work as the material component to a Clone spell?

Our next session is tomorrow, and we're hoping to propose a change of plans to the GM; we'll find all the other Bloodstones alright, but not to destroy them. We're going to use them to grow Arazni a new body and then kill her old one, so instead of regenerating lich-style like she expects, she will wake up as a mortal woman.

After that we're not sure what happens. It's entirely possible that after spending centuries as an undead monstrosity she's irredeemably evil at this point, so we'll just have to kill her again. But at least this time when she dies it will be as a mortal, and she won't come back.

But it's also possible that this will redeem her; unlike most liches, Arazni was transformed against her will, after she had already died. Liches can't help being evil, but returning to life might undo her corruption and gain us a powerful ally, one who knows all of Geb's secrets.

Do any of you know if there's any reason this plan can't work? If there's some aspect of the rules or the canon that we'd be violating? Even if there is, the GM might think this is an awesome enough concept to let us do it, but it's still good to be aware of any potential complications so we can martial our arguments in favor if it.


I have a new player who is just learning the game and has decided to play a paladin. Specifically she wants to use her Divine Bond to get a mount and engage in Mounted Combat. I warned her that the rules are a little complex for a beginner, but she's seriously into the whole "knight in shining armor atop a valiant steed" thing, so I decided to write her up a little guide to explain the rules and what the different feats will do and so on. But when re-reading the rules, I realized there are things I don't really understand myself.

Specifically my issue is Combat Maneuvers. Some of them, like Disarm and Sunder, seem straightforward enough, but the others are confusing, and I'd like to know if the rules have ever been clarified, or if not how you would interpret them.

Grappling: Is it even possible to grapple someone while I'm on a horse? If I do, what happens if my horse moves? Is my victim carried along with me? What if my target is also mounted? If my mount is grappled by a monster, but I am not, how does that affect me?

Bull Rush / Overrun: Who actually performs these actions, me or my mount? If it's my mount and I have feats that improve them, can I use those feats, or does my mount need them too? Some of them, like Trample, seem to apply to the mount if I have them, but others are unclear. And if it's me performing the action, does the fact that the mount is large give me a bonus to CMB?

Trip: The Core Rulebook has rules for if my mount "falls" in battle, but all it says is that I need to make a ride check to avoid 1d6 damage. I assume I'm still mounted, but do I take any penalties for being on top of a prone horse? Am I prone too, until the horse gets up?


So, Pharasma despises the undead, and considers them an abomination. Her priests hold that destroying them is a sacred duty.

So how do she/her clergy react to ghosts? Ghosts are not created intentionally through necromancy, nor does becoming one reflect some taint within the person prior to death (like how cannibals may spontaneously rise as ghouls). In fact, a ghost might want nothing more than to cross over and be judged by Pharasma so it can move on to the afterlife, but it simply can't. They're just an accident.

So if a cleric of Pharasma encounters a ghost, what's the protocol? Destroying it does no good, it will just come back. Leaving it alone would seem neglectful since it's against the natural order. I suppose trying to help it cross over would be ideal, but that could require any number of tasks, not all of them ones the cleric would likely be willing to do. I doubt any of Pharasma's faithful are clamoring to give Geb any help, to pick an extreme example.