Carrionette

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 440 posts (3,351 including aliases). 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 12 aliases.



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You manage to clear out a space in the embalming hall that is both relatively defensible and relatively free of the stench from the cages to the south. Before long, the prisoners chained to the altar awake, most of them disoriented and traumatized. You manage to gather from a few of the more lucid prisoners that those kept in the cages here had either not been taken yet "to see the Mistress" or had somehow resisted her mind-controlling abilities, much like Rolen's sister. For those, the most likely fate was gradual starvation and reanimation as a zombie by the priest you dispatched. They confirm that the passage beneath the statue leads to the Mistress, but any additional detail will require careful coaxing (ie. Persuasion checks).

The four cultists are far less cooperative. As soon as they wake up, they begin screaming and thrashing, trying to break free, although they quiet down, seeming to bide their time, once gagged and restrained. Deliberate questioning might shake some more information free ...

You hear a few distant noises during your rest, but no one approaches the room. You inspection of the various items reveals a variety of potent abilities:

* The elven blade, Namarra, is a +2 longsword of warning. The blade warns an attuned wielder of danger, granting advantage on initiative rolls. In addition, the wielder and any companions within 30 ft can’t be surprised unless incapacitated by something other than mundane sleep. The weapon magically awakens the wielder and companions within range from natural sleep when combat begins.

* The shattered sword is a +1 revenant blade. When attuned, it inflicts an additional 1d6 necrotic damage in melee and has the reach property, extending the wielder's reach with it by 5 feet.

* The black bracers are bracers of archery, which grant the wearer proficiency with the longbow and shortbow and a +2 bonus to damage rolls on ranged attacks made with such weapons.

* The round shield is an unmoving bulwark. The wielder gains advantage on opposed checks to resist being moved involuntarily. In addition, by speaking the command word inscribed on the inner surface, the shield functions as an immovable rod, magically fixing it in space until the command word is spoken again. The shield can hold up to 8,000 pounds of weight before it is deactivated and falls. A creature can use an action to make a DC 30 Strength check, moving the fixed shield up to 10 feet on a success.

* The strand of beads is a necklace of prayer beads. When attuned by a cleric, druid or paladin, the beads may be used to cast certain spells. Activating a bead is a bonus action (using the wearer's spell save DC if needed). Once used, a bead may not be used again until the following dawn. The necklace contains the following beads: blessing (bless), curing (2nd level cure wounds or lesser restoration), favor (greater restoration) and smiting (branding smite).


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Female Echani (Near-Human) Soldier 4/Scout 3/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 1

Errin nods at the Chevron, approving of his plan, then cocks her head toward Gunnar.

"Why do I have the feeling this isn't going to be a 'Surprise, I bought you a space yacht!' kind of conversation, and more a "So, there's a thermal detonator in my head,' sort of talk?"


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Hey all,

I encourage everyone to go ahead and respond to the most recent events in the in-character in the gameplay thread. But I'm glad you brought up the issue here, out-of-character, as well.

The whole moral quandary about whether to kill cult members has gone waaaay farther than I intended. While this sort of debate can spice up party interaction in small doses, it's not meant to be the focus and I don't want to see the game run off the rails as a result.

A big part of the issue here is that adventure I've drawn from for this dates back to the 1E/2E era, and charm/dominate spells worked much differently then, putting the target under the control of the caster indefinitely, until they were dispelled.

In the original adventure, members of the cult are very clearly controlled by an evil force. Even so, the module doesn't even discuss the morality of killing them -- In D&D ethics, they're basically monsters in a dungeon, to be slaughtered by the heroes at will.

In 5E, both spells are MUCH more limited. Charm merely makes them friendly to the caster for a short while. Dominate grants a greater degree of control, but doesn't last much more than a day. There's a lot more gray area as a result -- they've been magically influenced and corrupted, but the evil actions they commit are of their own free will. The magical control allowed them to be brainwashed more readily, perhaps, but they're still responsible for the evil they do once the spells have worn off.

On top of this, I think there is a strong argument to be made that your party is perfectly fine, morally, to kill the cultists when they pose an immediate threat to you or others. The mayor and others have asked that you refrain from killing unnecessarily, but that doesn't mean you are expected (or morally obligated) to avoid killing altogether. The cultists are not innocents, and you have evidence that some of them have embraced the darkness and continue to do very bad things long after any direct magical control expired.

Now, an added wrinkle here is that in-character, you don't necessarily know all that. You haven't researched the nature of the corruption, and you don't know much about the level of agency the cult members retain. But characters with magical knowledge would know about the limitations of charm and dominate spells, which would make it highly unlikely, if not impossible, for the cultists to be forced into bad behavior against their wills for any extended length of time.

If it helps, I will find a way to make that all apparent in-character in short order. I never meant for it to become such a distraction and I'd like to move on.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

"She started it," Magnus growls over his shoulder.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

"Take care ... their story is not entirely convincing. At the least they seem addled or delusional, thinking us to be this Dood they keep mentioning," Magnus says, loosening his sword in its sheath.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

Life with baby has settled down to the point I can manage a few minutes on the laptop to post. Now let's go explore and conquer!


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

I'm going to be out of pocket for a few days, welcoming a new baby/overlord into the world. Bot as necessary!


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3
Terquem wrote:
I will be traveling to Redondo Beach, California for training from Sunday to Saturday next week. The company is sending a laptop computer with me, and as long as the hotel has WiFi I should be posting normally, but if there is a delay, please forgive me, as you know, ITS REDONDO BEACH in February, and I live in Idaho, hahahahahahahahahah

Just ignore us for a few days, Terquem, and enjoy yourself. I attended a wedding in Redondo Beach several years ago and it's beautiful. Rent a bike and ride up and down the boardwalk if you get a chance.


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GM_Rorek wrote:

how do you handle the lucky feat?

I assume you mean how will I handle Lucky with regard to disadvantage? I'm familiar with the issue, and with the designer's clarifications. But the "super-advantage" granted by picking from three rolls when you started with disadvantage is too much in a PbP, when rolls tend to be fewer and farther between.

So, I'd go with this interpretation if you wanted to use a luck point on a roll that has disadvantage:

* Roll your 2d20 and discard the higher roll.
* Decide to spend a luck point. Roll another d20.
* Choose to use the result of the Lucky roll, or the remaining die from the original, disadvantaged roll.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

His dreams tangled in a vision -- or memory -- of hand-to-hand fighting at a blood-stained ford, Magnus is slow to wake. Slowly, the shouting outside the shrine begins to drown out the shouts and screams in his dream, and he staggers to his feet, naked steel in hand.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

Magnus has no mules, but would help eat one if needed.


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Here you go, Tenro:

Otherworldly Patron: Fallen Warrior
(Credit to Polydeuces on ENWorld for the bulk of this, minor tweaks by me)
You have made a pact with a spirit or vestige that was once a great warrior. Some of these lingering shades may be altruistic, while others crave only an outlet for revenge. The crusader priest Arnd, the demigod Murlynd, the vampire Kas the Bloody-Handed and the Oeridian warlord Lum the Mad are all suitable fallen warrior patrons.

Fallen Warrior Expanded Spell List

1: heroism, command
2: branding smite, spiritual weapon
3: phantom steed, elemental weapon
4: fire shield, freedom of movement
5: geas, destructive wave

Tools of the Fallen (Level 1)
You gain proficiency in medium armor, shields and any weapons with the versatile property.

Veteran's Greeting (Level 6)
Starting at level six, your patron gives you the ability to respond to those that would test your presence. When a creature willingly enters your melee range, you may use your reaction to make a weapon attack against that creature. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Warrior's Resilience (Level 10)
Starting at level 10, you can invoke your patron's ability to shrug off damage. At the end of a short or long rest, you choose a damage type with the exception of radiant damage. You have resistance against that type of damage until you choose a different one using this feature. Damage from magical weapons ignores this resilience.

Strike of the Fallen (Level 14)
Starting at level 14, when you hit a creature with an attack, you can allow your patron to deliver a crushing strike of their own. The target is crushed with a physical damage type of your choice, instantly dealing 7d10 physical damage. This damage counts as magical, and ignores resistances. Additionally, the creature is knocked prone, stunned, and disarmed until the end of its next turn. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.


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After wrapping up a 2+ years Dark Sun campaign on the boards here, I'm putting together a new game set in another of my favorite classic settings. If adventuring in the birthplace of Iuz, Mordenkainen, Robilar and Iggwilv using 5th edition D&D rules sounds like your kind of fun, read on!

Three players from my previous campaign will be participating and I’m looking to recruit about three more. Enthusiasm and reliability are my top priorities, and will be far more important than character build as I select players. Still, if you want to boost your chances by building a complementary character, the group so far includes a half-elf rogue (duelist), a human warlock and an elf wizard (bladesinger).

I generally expect (and commit to) daily posting, except for Fridays and Saturdays, when I tend to drink beer and do things with friends and family. But Sunday through Thursday you can expect a post from me (a round of combat, or otherwise moving things along) and I hold the same expectation for players. I'm in the U.S. and tend to post about 11 p.m CST, but I don't care where you are or when you post in a given 24-hour period.

Before Jiggy asks: I do generally use maps in combat. I don't think it would prevent you (or anyone else who is link-impaired at work) from participating.

Also note: I'm looking for players who are enthusiastic about Greyhawk and 5E, but that doesn't mean you have to be an expert - just interested in becoming one!

Campaign Pitch:
The game will begin in Common Year 591, in the border town of Hochoch. Once a relatively minor river trading village situated between the Grand Duchy of Geoff and the Gran March, Hochoch has become an important staging area for the armies trying to reclaim Geoff from the giant and humanoid invaders who despoiled the country seven years earlier. As a result, the town is a stew of competing agendas, with displaced nobles, rival knightly orders, loyalists and refugees struggling for space and military support.

The ongoing war will provide a backdrop for your adventures, but you are not military men and women (at least not any longer). Whatever your history in Hochoch (and you should have one), you now find yourself among the outcasts haunting Hochoch's dockside taverns, willing to risk life and limb running delving into dark places or performing tasks for mysterious patrons. You're an adventurer!

Hochoch will serve as a base of operations for your early adventures, which are likely to take you into the nearby Rushmoors, once the seat of lich-god Vecna's mortal realm; the Dim Forest, where sylvan elves fight to retake their homesteads; the gnome warrens and dwarf holds of the Stark Mounds; and the nation of Sterich, where the shadow-haunted capital of Istivin has been reclaimed from the giants but lingers under a mysterious pall.

For a nice overview of Hochoch, check out this Obsidian Portal site: https://against-the-giants.obsidianportal.com/wikis/hochoch. I've also pulled together some information on local groups of note in the town, and links to other Greyhawk background for those new to the setting.

Hochoch Area Power Groups:

The Red Griffons: When Geoff fell to the invading horde, many survivors of its army pledged allegiance to the neighboring Gran March — in part due to the fame of its military — and were among those forces that reclaimed Hochoch from the giant invaders. These soldiers are now vocal supporters of the Gran March’s annexation of Hochoch, and they do their best to influence the general populace to accept the town’s temporary status as a permanent change. The Red Griffons take their name from their habit of displaying the Geoffite griffon in red and black—the colors of Keoland, Sterich, and Gran March.
The Freemen of Geoff: The so-called “Freemen of Geoff ” are farmers and soldiers who blame the monarchy for its inefficiency in defending the realm from the giant threat. Inspired by the nearby Yeomanry, the Freemen of Geoff wish to replace Grand Duke Owen I with an elected official who would better defend the cause of the common folk. One of the more vocal of the Freemen is Wyllems of Pregmere, a blacksmith with a reputation as a troublemaker.
The Loyalists: This catch-all term covers all of Hochoch’s residents who still consider themselves Geoffites under the rule of Owen I. Some of the Loyalists wish to see Owen move his court to Hochoch, while others view such an action as an unnecessary risk, given the Grand Duke’s advanced age and poor health. Many Loyalists actively oppose the Watchers, painting them as interlopers who value their own ambitions more than the welfare of Geoff ’s people. Some Loyalist groups have begun searching for Owen I’s missing heir, Count Hustin, viewing him as a possible rallying figure for the disparate groups of Geoffite society. So far, divinations have revealed him to be alive and “amid the sky,” but his exact location remains unknown.
The Knights of the Watch: This monastic order of knights has long aspired to control Hochoch and use it as a training ground for new Vigils (entry-level Watchers) who would fight the western nomads from beyond the Barrier Peaks (the traditional enemies of the order). When soldiers from Gran March first secured Hochoch, it seemed that fulfillment of the Watchers’ dream was imminent. But political maneuvering by Grand Duke Owen and negative repercussions from the local population cut that dream short. By order of Watcher leader Hugo of Geoff — a personal friend of Owen I — the Watchers became the elite defense force of Hochoch, and no more. While the Watchers perform this duty to the best of their abilities, in accordance with the precepts of their order, some within its ranks doubt Hugo’s capacity to continue leading at such an advanced age. Chief among these dissidents is the Great Honorable Wyvern Darwyck of Hookhill. Unsurprisingly to many, Darwyck would be one of the main candidates for Grandiose Imperial Wyvern if Hugo were to leave office.
The Knights of the Dispatch: Formed in the aftermath of the giants’ invasion, the Knights of the Dispatch is a splinter sect of the Knights of the Watch whose members eschew the Watchers’ strict adherence to codes of conduct in favor of more flexible methods of waging war. The Dispatchers are among the staunchest proponents for continuous raids into Geoff ’s territory, which makes them popular among the lower classes. A small number of Dispatchers have considered forming a new Geoffite knightly order based solely in Hochoch. The local leader of the Dispatchers is the Grim Basilisk Kerwynn of Gorna, a middle-aged swordmage who looks favorably upon adventurers willing to venture into enemy lands.
The Talons: Hochoch’s thieves’ guild has its roots in the bandit gangs that once preyed on river traders in the area, but its current operations bear little resemblance to that violent past. The guild’s leader, the half-elf Onshae, consolidated power after her father, the former guildmaster, was killed during the battle to reclaim Hochoch in 586. Known as the Snow Owl, Onshae has steered the guild away from outright thievery that might bring it into conflict with local military forces. Instead, the guild has engaged in a number of “reclamation” efforts, raiding the occupying forces in Geoff for supplies that can be sold on the black market or recovering valuables lost in the war and ransoming them back to their former owners. Although lucrative, the new approach has been met with grumbling from some within the guild who see more traditional targets ripe for the picking in Hochoch.
The Quiet Cabal: Lacking ancient sites of power or lore that might draw arcanists, Hochoch has never had a formal academy or other school of magic. Instead, a loose fraternity of hedge wizards, alchemists and sorcerers has grown up in recent years, with a majority of its members having been apprenticed one time or another to the sorcerer Icthene. A magic-user of middling power, Icthene has the near-albino complexion indicative of a strong Suel bloodline and is rumored to have once been a member of the Silent Ones. Whether he is or ever was a part of that order has never been confirmed, but the rumor has endured long enough to spawn a nickname -- the Quiet Cabal -- for the mage and his coterie of former students.
The Autumn Court: The humans of Hochoch have always maintained good relations with the high elves of the Oytwood and the wood elves of the Dim Forest, and those olven allies were instrumental in retaking the town in 586. Since then, a former festhall near the central Grove has been set aside for the use of fey visitors, many of whom still struggle to reclaim their own homes. The hall, once used for harvest festivals, has become known as the Autumn Court, as much for the faded decorations carved into its walls as for the red hair of the wood elves who come and go as they seek to free their home from the dire shadow that has claimed it. Aurumthalas the Raven-Prince, a dour high elf noble from the Oytwood, is looked to as an informal leader of the exiled olvenfolk.
Firecrown’s Band: Driven from their hold in the Stark Mounds during the initial invasion, Thorven Firecrown and his rag-tag of dwarven warriors have been fighting the giants and their humanoid allies ever since. With his numbers whittled down to about three dozen, Thorven and his band have laid claim to an abandoned brewery outside the town walls, where they have been stockpiling weapons and trying to attract additional fighters to their cause. Thorven’s booming voice and fiery beard have become a common presence on Watcher’s Hill as he tries to goad the knights into more direct action.

Other Greyhawk Resources:

If you’re looking for information about a specific nation, NPC or group, the GreyWiki on Canonfire.com is a fantastic resource.

There’s also a relatively comprehensive list of Greyhawk deities on Wikipedia.

This fansite also has some good resources, including a timeline and a fan-made Player’s Guide to Greyhawk that provides a great primer to the setting (there’s almost no rules content, other than suggesting which core rules options link to Greyhawk fluff).

The Sorcerer’s Scroll also has some good Greyhawk 5E resources that would help with putting together a character concept and background.

I expect to keep the recruitment thread open at least a week, through December 13, before making selections. If I decide to close it earlier or later than that, I will give at least 24 hours notice so folks can get in their entries.

Character Creation:

Format: Please format your character’s description and stats in an alias similar to this.
Starting level: 4
Ability Scores: Use the standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) or point-buy with 27 points using the costs in the PHB.
Hit Points: Max at 1st, average after that, as per the book.
Exotic Choices: Certain races and classes count as an exotic choice. Each character can include only one exotic choice, and any exotic race or class may appear no more than once in the party.
No pets: As a general rule, avoid taking animal companions or familiars. With PbP these can bog down play and I want the focus to be on the PCs. Six personalities will be enough!
Races: All of the races from the Basic Rules (available free online) and PHB are allowed, except drow elves and dragonborn. Variant humans are allowed. Tieflings are allowed as an exotic choice, as are aasimar (from the DMG).
Classes: All classes and archetypes from the Basic Rules and PHB are available (except the beastmaster ranger, due to the no pets rule).
Backgrounds: All backgrounds are available. Custom backgrounds also will be allowed - feel free to change skills and swap background features or equipment; however, no background should ever grant more than two skill proficiencies, plus two tool proficiencies or bonus languages, and background features should not grant a mechanical benefit.
In addition to choosing a trait, ideal, bond, and flaw, answer these questions:
What’s one magic item your character would go to great lengths to attain?
What’s one thing your character wants that money can’t buy?
Name and describe one person in Hochoch who would do you a favor (and might ask one in return).
How does your character spend his or her money? Does he blow it at brothels and bars as fast as he earns it? Invest it in a business? Purchase expensive antiques? Support a family? Support an addiction to exotic drugs? Note: This is mainly a flavor choice, but I plan to allow you to “spend” money on your lifestyle if you want to gain various mechanical benefits, such as “fate point” style re-rolls, minor permanent abilities or to ensure a future treasure hoard contains an item that would be useful to you.
Multiclassing and Feats: Are allowed (but see the House Rules for changes to a few feats). In addition to the feat you might select instead of your 4th level ability boost, all characters will get a bonus feat at character creation selected/designed by the DM to reflect your character concept and background.
Equipment: Choose normal starting equipment from the packages available from your class and background. You then gain 100 gp to upgrade or purchase additional equipment.

House Rules We’ll be Using:

House Rule: The rogue’s Sneak Attack ability can be used with any light weapon, as well as those with the finesse or ranged descriptors.
House rule: Remove the ability in the Great Weapon Master feat to take a -5 penalty to hit with melee attacks to gain a +10 bonus to damage. The feat instead grants a +1 increase to Strength. Remove the ability in the Sharpshooter feat to take a -5 penalty to hit on ranged attacks to gain a +10 bonus to damage. The feat instead grants a +1 increase to Dexterity.
House Rule: Minor refluffing of weapons is fine. If you want a saber that does slashing damage but is otherwise identical to a rapier, that’s almost certainly fine. Just ask.
House Rule: You can use your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls instead of Dexterity when attacking with a properly reinforced longbow.
House Rule: Power Attack action option -- When making a melee or ranged attack action on your turn, you may make a power or precision strike that sacrifices accuracy for increased damage. You take a penalty equal to your proficiency bonus on your attack roll but gain a bonus to damage equal to twice your proficiency bonus. You cannot make a power attack with a spell or with an attack taken as a reaction or bonus action.
House Rule: We will be using the Disarm, Overrun, Shove Aside and Tumble action options from the DMG.

Additional Rules and Resources
WotC hasn’t published a lot of supplementary material for 5E, but there have been quite a lot of good 3rd-party and fanmade options published. I am willing to take a look at most anything, but will be picky about game balance and Greyhawk flavor, so I make no promises. Some things that are definitely allowed include:

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and web previews:

I have the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and will consider allowing most of the options included. If you are interested in something, let me know. Options that would be appropriate for Greyhawk include:
* New barbarian totems (elk and tiger)
* An arcane domain for clerics
* The purple dragon knight fighter archetype, which is similar to 4E's warlord and would transfer fine to another knightly order
* A couple of monk paths, which could fit with some work
* The Oath of the Crown for paladins, which would fit in very well
* The swashbuckler and mastermind rogue archetypes
* The storm sorcerous origin
* The Undying warlock patron, which is a death-focused power source
* The bladesinger specialization for elf wizards.

The mastermind rogue archetype from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide was previewed online and is allowed.

All options contained in the Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark column are available, including the deep stalker ranger archetype (which might require flavor changes), the shadow sorcerous origin and the Undying Light warlock patron. All count as an exotic choice.

The favored soul sorcerous origin from the Unearthed Arcana: Modifying Classes column is allowed as an exotic choice.

Spells from the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion are allowed, as well as the svirfneblin and genasi races (both count as an exotic choice).


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

"Let us hope she does not knock the tower down," Magnus says, adding quietly: "Again."


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Raun smashing something seems like an appropriate note to end on!

Wow! Two years, five months and two days, 4,017 posts later. I'd say we told one hell of a story. Thank you all for blazing a trail across the bloody sands of Athas with me in one of the longest-running and most enjoyable campaigns I've had the pleasure to take part in.

As I mentioned in the discussion thread a while back, I don't plan on running any more games with the Pathfinder rules, but I have been mulling some ideas for a new campaign on the boards using the 5E rules. I'd love to have any of you participate if the idea appeals to you.

Rather than Dark Sun, I've been mulling campaign ideas using other classic TSR settings. After drafting several different campaign "pitches," the one I keep coming back to is Greyhawk, incorporating some of my favorite old modules from the 1E/2E and "Paizohawk" eras of Dungeon magazine. My plan at this point is for a gritty, sword-and-sorcery leaning game set in the Sheldomar Valley (Geoff, Sterich and the Crystalmist mountains) in the aftermath of the invasion detailed in Against the Giants.

I'm hoping the switch to a less fiddly rule set will help get back to a post-a-day, five days a week schedule. Even at mid-levels, it was taking me an hour or more to put together a combat round in Pathfinder, which was a slog.

Let me know if that sounds interesting and you can commit to another game at that pace. I'll be hashing out some background and character creation guidelines in the next week or two, after which we can work up characters and recruit additional players if there are spots to fill. I'd like to get all that done during the holidays and get started with the campaign with the new year.


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The black bolt burrows deep into Nnn'tkklik'l thoracic cavity, leaving behind a trail of rotten chitin and blackened tissue as it goes. In an instant, the thri-kreen knows he is dying.

That certainty spreads like an echo through the shuddering collective, which seems to flex in its death throes along with the kreen. Raun feels it, the loss stoking her rage as she flails at the looming shadow with her cracked hammer. Gorkhan shivers as the connection fades, a half-forgotten voice whispering <<too slow, too slow>> as if the templars were coming for him again.

Woki feels an unfamiliar panic and calls for the spirits to help, though he knows they cannot reverse the death magic wielded by this unnatural thing. Daina flings fire as her connection to the others is ripped away, leaving her alone as she was so many nights in the slave pens outside Urik.

Grit cowers, undone by the creature's fearsome gaze and the realization that his oldest friend is dying, beyond his ability to save. His anguish washes through the discordant echoes of the collective, charging the frayed web with a vibrating power that stirs in Nnn'tkklik'l as he is swallowed by the black.

The thri-kreen's hearts stop, two blackened, rotting fruits. A final thought forms, reverberating along the slender thread connecting Nnn'tkklik'l and the fiend: <<Eat, clutch-mate. Share in this kill, as eater and eaten.>>

In a rush, the rot devouring the thri-kreen's hearts reverses course, flowing through the widening tendrils of the collective to its source. As it does, the deadly spell picks up shades of emotion, ghosts of grief and loss. It carries not just death, but the mortal pain death brings to others.

The transformed bolt buries itself in the umbral fiend. The demon stops, frozen, as its immortal flesh -- death made manifest, a blackness that has never known life -- absorbs the collective pain of mortal loss. It recoils, black flesh boiling away like a paradox devouring itself. Its screams echo silently through the chamber as the darkness burns away into nothing, erasing it and its spawn from the dust-filled chamber.

The staccato beat of Nnn'tkklik'l's hearts echoes in your ears.


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

"Well, we have a donkey that tends to produce droppings regularly, if your tastes run in that direction," Magnus says.

He sighs and draws his sword as Perry knocks on the door. "Please, Vodhan, let be lacking in peaceful and friendly manners."


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3
Victor von Gladden wrote:
Victor nods at Magnus' statement, "And here you thought I had no point. There is a limit to actions your God sees as acceptable before you must revert to making sacrifices that please him".

Magnus chuckles.

"I don't presume to know Vodhan's mind. But there is a limit to what I see as acceptable before I must go back to making sacrifices," he says. "After all of this praying, I want to hit something with my sword."


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3
Terquem wrote:

When Lijan drops a coin into the fountain, there is a loud

*plop*

but nothing happens maybe there is an answer to his dilemma, in the shrine Valarie mentioned...

"You ask too many miracles of a man in a single day," Magnus says. "Let me kill something first, or Vodhan will think I've become soft among you Alodoans. The blonde woman mentioned a statue that answer questions - perhaps it can offer guidance. Let us continue clearing the gatehouses, then visit these shrines when it is time to take our rest."


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

Based on those results, it seems Perry is thinking with something other than his brain!


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Male Vangar/Human Cleric 2 | AC 18 | HP 17/17 | Standard vision | PP=12 | S +4 D +2 C +2 I +0 W +4 Ch +3

"Before my foot charges into battle, would anyone like to try negotiating with the door - perhaps with a lockpick?" Magnus asks, his eyes glinting with mischief.


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Female Kagonesti Bard 4; AC 15; HP 27/27; Saves Str +1, Dex +5, Con +1, Int -1, Wis +2; Cha +5; Init +3; Passive Perception 14

"Oh, the hell with this," Moondancer says, before releasing the spell she had earlier prepared to use on Urgo.

Casting sleep on the three hobgoblin's.

Hit points affected:: 5d8 ⇒ (5, 8, 8, 5, 8) = 34

Seeing the hobgoblins drop to the dirt, she motions to the others. "Move, now!


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Female Kagonesti Bard 4; AC 15; HP 27/27; Saves Str +1, Dex +5, Con +1, Int -1, Wis +2; Cha +5; Init +3; Passive Perception 14

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9

"This way, you big goof," Moondancer hisses to Urgo, before stumbling into a pile of dried sticks that crackle and break rather loudly.

Doh! Hope everyone wore their running shoes...


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Raun wrote:
When the hooded figures arrive Raun tenses, gripping her happy, ready to bring it to bear if needed but letting it hang at her side. She glances at the others as Kaerl speaks.

Autocorrect speaks the truth. In her heart of heart's, I'm sure Raun's hammer is her happy.


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Some of the best info on Urik and halflings was in the "Chronicles of Athas" novel series.

Three of the books (The Brazen Gambit, Cinnabar Shadows and Rise and Fall of a Dragon King) were written by Lynn Abbey (of Thieves' World fame) and follow a renegade templar-turned druid from Urik. Lots of information about the city, as well as several halfling characters (mostly antagonists). Cinnabar Shadows, particularly, features a story arc that sends the protagonists into the Forest Ridge to deal with a halfling cult.

Lynn Abbey caught some flak for not adhering to established canon (mainly in Rise and Fall of a Dragon King), but I think those three are easily in the top five Dark Sun novels, the others being the first Prism Pentad book, The Verdant Passage, and the 4E-era novel Death Mark.

You can pick them all up used online relatively cheaply, although probably not in time to meet the character creation deadline. But I definitely recommend them.


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It's just too much in PbP. I eventually had to ask the druid and wizard in my game to rebuild to de-emphasize summoning. Six players and an animal companion is more than enough. Add in summons and a small army was needed to provide any sort of challenge. much more of that and I wouldn't have any hair left.


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That animal companion list was one I put together for my game. I was going for a no-conversion-needed approach, just reskinning standard companions to the Athasian analogue without getting too fancy. I'd just look through Terrors of Athas for something that catches your eye then find a traditional PF mount with abilities that get you into the ballpark.

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I can understand the reasoning behind leading with the card game app, but it feels a bit like announcing Led Zeppelin are reuniting ... to record a car commercial. No doubt a kick-ass car commercial, but not really what long-time fans were hoping for.

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And excitement ... extinguished. Call me when the announcement doesn't include the words "tablet," "app" or "card game."

Cool, I guess, for people who are into that sort of thing. Personally, very disappointed. Note: I have $50+ with Paizo's and Obsidian's names on it as soon as you announce an actual CRPG I can play on an actual computer.


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Male Human Fighter 7 | HP 56/73| AC 27 T 13 FF 24 (-4 w/o shield)| CMD 24 | F+8 R+7 W+6 | Init +6 | Perc +10

"What? But ... I mean ... you're a priest! Of Torag!" Kurth says, shocked by Harsk's suggestion about appropriating Hunclay's tools. Shaking his head, Kurth stalks down the hallway, following Alice. "I never. Met more honest folk in prison. Take a job explorin' and suddenly everyone wants to start lootin' like we was a bunch of Pathfinders ..."

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19


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Grit wrote:
Sorry for your troubles Daina. I am a Mac user and continue to operate mostly trouble free. I did have a hard drive failure about a year ago, but that is not an OS issue.

Did I forget to mention the house rule that Mac users get -10 percent XP? ;D


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Within reason.


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Steam rises from the blood stain on the floor of the argossy’s cargo hold, the wisps of vapor enough to remind you that it’s been hours since the guards last brought your meager ration of water. Still, you’re not so thirsty that the thought of the fat jankx that left the little puddle doesn’t set your mouth to watering. Too bad the guard that speared the poisonous rodent took it for his own breakfast, leaving you with a wafer of unleavened bread that had as much sand as flour in the mix.

It’s been four days since you were sold at auction in Urik’s slave markets and loaded onto a merchant wagon bound for Tyr. Two days ago, the massive wheeled fortress left the trade road and -- judging from the light and the nausea-inducing motion since -- began traveling across the sandy wastes to the west. Based on the talk among the guards, the argossy’s captain hopes to water near the village of Kled and perhaps trade with the dwarves there before the final leg of the trip to Tyr.

Once there, your prospects are bleak. Kalak, the city’s mad king, has spent the last two generations building a massive ziggurat. If you’re lucky, you’ll be among the dozens of gladiators sacrificed in the games celebrating the monument’s completion. If not, you’ll be among the hundreds doomed to die on its slopes before the work is at an end.

The six of you are in the cargo hold of an argossy, a giant rolling fortress pulled by a pair of house-sized, armored lizards called mekillots. Wearing only breechclothes (and for the women, simple harnesses), you are bound hand and foot with giant-hair ropes in a pair of 10’ by 15’ cages made of mekillot bone.

The halfling, the mul and two humans are tied up in one cage [area A] while the the half-giant and thri-kreen are lashed to opposite ends of the other [area B]. Each of you has just enough slack to reach the chamber pot in the middle of your pen. It’s been six hours since the guards brought your morning ration of water. You don’t expect them to return for at least another four.

The surrounding cargo hold is packed floor to ceiling with trade goods, including straw-filled crates of obsidian weapons tauntingly stacked in view but well outside your reach.

Appraise or Knowledge (local) DC 10:
The merchant who bought you at auction wore the badge of House Stel, a pair of crossed black scimitars on a field of white. The same sigil was painted on hide-covered walls of the argossy.

Appraise or Knowledge (local) DC 15:
The merchant who bought you at auction wore the badge of House Stel, a pair of crossed black scimitars on a field of white. The same sigil was painted on hide-covered walls of the argossy.

Based in Urik, House Stel is specializes in slaves, iron and weapons made of obsidian and hardwoods from the Forest Ridge - all of which are going for premium prices in Tyr at the moment. The militaristic house has a close relationship with Urik’s sorcerer-king, Hamanu, but has a history of bloody conflicts with the elf tribes of the desert wastes.

Knowledge (psionics) DC 10:
In addition to the mundane guards that bring your meals, the argossy is staffed by at least two overseers skilled in the use of the Unseen Way.

Knowledge (psionics) DC 15:
In addition to the mundane guards that bring your meals, the argossy is staffed by at least two overseers skilled in the use of the Unseen Way.

Neither mind-bender appears to be particularly powerful, but both are skilled enough to incapacitate several slaves at once.

Diplomacy (gather information) or Sense Motive DC 10:
The guards expect you all to die within a week of arriving in Tyr. Although not particularly cruel, none seems the least inclined to help you or take a bribe - even if you had something to offer.

Diplomacy (gather information) or Sense Motive DC 15:
The guards expect you all to die within a week of arriving in Tyr. Although not particularly cruel, none seems the least inclined to help you or take a bribe - even if you had something to offer.

The guards are on edge. Traveling in this area of the Tablelands always carries some risk, but the local elf tribes have been particularly aggressive of late. Several companies of Urikite soldiers have been sent into the wastes to deal with them, but only one in two has returned.

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“I live in a world of fire and sand. The crimson sun scorches the life from anything that crawls or flies, and storms of sand scour the foliage from the barren ground. Lightning strikes from the cloudless sky, and peals of thunder roll unexplained across the vast tablelands. Even the wind, dry and searing as a kiln, can kill a man with thirst.
“This is a land of blood and dust, where tribes of feral elves sweep out of the salt plains to plunder lonely caravans, mysterious singing winds call men to slow suffocation in a Sea of Silt, and legions of slaves clash over a few bushels of moldering grain. The dragon despoils entire cities, while selfish kings squander their armies raising gaudy palaces and garish tombs.
“This is my home, Athas. It is an arid and bleak place, a wasteland with a handful of austere cities clinging precariously to a few scattered oases. It is a brutal and savage land, beset by political strife and monstrous abominations, where life is grim and short.”

-The Wanderer

Dark Sun is one of my favorite campaign setting and I recently put together a set of rules converting the setting to Pathfinder. If there's enough interest, I'd like to start a play-by-post here using the same material.

I'd prefer players who are familiar with the Dark Sun setting (particularly the original 2E campaign setting, from which I drew inspiration for my conversion). That said, anyone with an interesting character concept is welcome. As much as I disliked the 4E adaptation of the setting, the first page of this document provides a great primer for anyone new to the world of Athas. Additional information about the world is available here.

I'll be setting the game in the 190th King's Age, in the Year of Priest's Defiance. King Kalak still rules Tyr with an iron fist as thousands of slaves toil to complete his mighty ziggurat. For the purposes of the campaign the events of the novels and later supplements have not occured.

Characters will start as slaves, although it's up to you whether that is a recent development or long-term condition. If you simply can't reconcile starting as a slave with your character concept, I may be able to work you in, but in most cases I think slavery can be justified – a noble may have offended a sorcerer-king, a templar may be going undercover, a druid might have been captured by slavers, etc.

As a play-by-post, I expect the game will emphasize role-playing interspersed with exploration and (hopefully quick, almost certainly brutal) combat. To keep combats moving, I'll likely have players describe a series of two or three actions at a time, rolling damage along with to hit rolls, etc. We'll see how it goes and adjust as needed – combat and Dark Sun go hand-in-hand, but I don't want to spend a week at a time on a single fight.

I tried to emulate the original Dark Sun rules as much as possible, which means starting characters are a little more powerful than the Pathfinder baseline to account for the deadlier environment and lack of resources. Those benefits (higher ability scores overall and starting at 2nd level with max hit points) should help characters survive even if they aren't optimized for combat. Heavily min-maxed characters will be passed over in favor of those with broader capabilities and strong backgrounds.

If there's enough interest I'll pick the top five or six characters submitted over the next week or so and we can get started soon thereafter. This will be my first time running a play-by-post game but I'm a long-time GM. I'd like everyone to try to post daily, but occasional lapses are fine. My own schedule can be a little hard to predict, but I should be able to respond at some point during any given day.

Character Creation:

Ability Scores: Roll 4d4+4 six times and arrange as desired.

Level: Characters begin play at level 2, with maximum hit points. Characters will roll for hit points at subsequent levels, with a minimum gain equal to the average for their hit die (round up).

Race, class and psionic wild talents: See the Races and Classes document for changes and a list of allowed classes. Psionic classes will use the rules from Psionics Unleashed, which are available at d20pfsrd.com if you don't have a copy.

All characters may roll once (twice for humans and half-elves) on the Wild Talent table.

Traits: All characters will begin play with two traits – I'm happy to create custom traits or modify existing ones to match Athasian flavor.

Other House Rules: In addition to the changes to races and classes, you may want to review the House Rules file for a few other changes – mostly related to heat and dehydration – as well as several custom feats. In particular, note that the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat has been changed to grant proficiency with groups of exotic weapons. The Equipment file includes amended statistics for a host of weapons.

Equipment: Everyone will start play as a slave with no possessions other than a breechcloth (and harness, if female). For characters that need certain equipment to use class abilities (like a spellbook or divine focus), we'll work something out. Characters that receive familiars or animal companions will have an opportunity to find one relatively soon after the campaign begins, as will characters specialized in certain weapons or armor.

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I have to double- and triple-check NPC names with my players - like kids on the playground, if there's an inappropriate nickname suggested, they'll jump on it. I was running a conversion of an old Dark Sun intro module last night when one slipped through.

The fact that the characters started off as nearly naked slaves probably affected their reaction when they were introduced to the dwarf elder Baranus ...

Of course, I had spent the previous hour gleefully describing a combat in which two of the three PCs were repeatedly injected with eggs by a giant wasp queen. When the dwarf kept making his saves, he joked that it must have been a legitimate attack, "because the body has a way of shutting those things down."

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An RPG is like playing Cops and Robbers, except everyone involved has agreed to appoint an arbiter (the GM) to create a plot and adjudicate the rules. Player entitlement is one player arguing - after everyone agreed to play Cops and Robbers - that they should be able to play a dinosaur.

The time for that kind of lobbying is when the potential players and potential GM(s) are deciding what to play. Maybe everyone agrees to play Dinosaurs and Damsels, or Dinosaurs eat Cops and Robbers. But once the mutual decision has been made, the GM should be able to enforce it. And if the GM wants to run Cops and Robbers dinosaur-free, you either agree to play Cops and Robbers or find another, dino-friendly GM. Everyone has an opportunity to buy in, or not, but after that the GM is in charge.

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In a fit of nostalgia, I recently began working up some house rules for a new Dark Sun campaign using Pathfinder as a base. There's been intermittent interest in similar conversions over the years on this site and others, so I figured I'd post my work for others to comment on or use as they see fit.

A couple of notes on my approach: I don't have any of the 4E Dark Sun material and will be ignoring any changes it made to the setting, such as including tieflings and subbing goliaths for half-giants. I've included a few rules ideas from the 3.5-era Dragon/Dungeon mag conversions, but have excised any setting/canon changes (elans, maenads, etc.) made there, as well. As much as possible, I've tried to emulate the feel of the original boxed set, 2E version of Dark Sun.

To that end, I've included random wild talents - most characters get an actual power (or two) rather than just a PP reserve - and increased the power level of the races to about 20 RP to reflect the superior abilities of the Athasian races compared to their 2E counterparts. I'm using the psionic rules from Psionics Unleashed (available at d20pfsrd.com).

The original called for starting characters at level 3, but I'm leaning toward starting mine at 2nd level. I expect to play fast and loose with the wealth-by-level guidelines in order to emphasize the scarcity of resources and magic. Magic-using classes typically benefit when you do that, but magic-users have their own problems to contend with on Athas ...

When possible, I've tried to err on the side of simplicity. Rather than heavily modifying character classes to bring them in line with the original setting, I've simply banned those that don't jibe while making minor tweaks to others. An inquisitor with very minor changes makes a fine templar, for example, and the rogue easily covers the Athasian bard and trader. If you want to play a gunslinger or a summoner, pick a different world.

It's still a work in progress - the house rules document includes notes on changes to create water and endure elements, for example, but I haven't gone through all the spells in the core rules to sift out inappropriate choices.

I've gone back and forth on the stats for the half-giant (Large or just powerful build?) and thri-kreen, but I'm mostly happy with what I have at the moment.

Here's what I have so far:
Races, Classes and Wild Talents

House Rules

Equipment

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Is it just me, or is the binding on this much, much cheaper than earlier Tales books? I just started reading my copy and the first 60 pages or so were barely attached to the binding and are about to fall out. Story's good so far, but I won't be able to read it a second time ...

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Two feats and level 16 seems silly for what Martial Mastery gets. I've house-ruled a fighter-only feat I called Weapon Versatility that allowed all of a character's weapon-specific feats to apply to any weapon in the same weapon group.

For a single feat it adds a little versatility but no real power increase - at best, someone wielding a pair of kukris to save on feats might upgrade their main hand weapon to a rapier, for 1 extra average damage. Because weapons within the same group tend to have the same damage types, a fighter be able to get 2 of the 3 types (S/P/B) in a group, but not all three.

The primary benefit is that it makes a wider array of treasure useful - no more "Oh, that's a flaming handaxe, I only use light picks, just sell it." That's worth a feat, but not two - and certainly not at 16th level, when most characters have the money to commission whatever specialty weapon they want - and have already done so.

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(Note: Mods feel free to move this, but I put it here to get feedback from posters familiar with the AP).

So, as a break from my Legacy of Fire game I decided to run some 3rd-edition Shadowrun.

Partly to see if I could do it, I decided to use Carrion Crown as a basic road map for a plotline I'm working in between more traditional runs (mostly from the first season Missions adventures on Catalyst's site).

I've not been too worried about following CC exactly. Game's set in Seattle as the runners come together for the funeral of Dr. Peter Larrimer, a mage and surgeon who ran a charity hospital in the barrens and had done favors for each of them in the past. While doing runs to keep the hospital afloat (and arrange protection from the yakuza) the group recovers Larrimer's journals that mention Harrowstone, a private prison complex destroyed in a fire several years earlier.

Larrimer had been keeping an eye on the place, which was the site of clandestine, corporate research into cyber-zombie creation before the "accident" that left it a spirit-haunted ruin. He was killed by agents of the Whispering Way that visited the prison to extract a powerful free spirit trapped in a warded research area.

The group is approached by the Palatine Eye, an initiatory group that opposes the Whispering Way's attempts to resurrect a long dormant spirit of some kind, probably using a modified form of the rituals used in cybermancy creation - at least, that's my translation of the spiritual "MacGuffins" the WW is after so far.

For Trial of the Beast, I'm going with a simplified plotline: A local gang has turned in the body of the notorious "Beast of Leper Street," a barrens monster that has terrorized the locals for several months. The scarred carcass turns out to be a troll incarcerated at Harrowstone when it burned, but the body contains several more recent cyber-mods (in quantities verging on fatal).

The runners eventually will track down the beast's maker, a deranged cyber-surgeon who has been experimenting in hiding since Harrowstone's fall. He's on high alert when the runners arrive after recently being robbed by Whispering Way cultists seeking some magical doodads he spirited out of the prison.

For Broken Moon I'm thinking of moving in Native American Nation territory - have the runners infiltrate a corporate hunting lodge at a time when the local tribal councils (stand-ins for the werewolves) are at each other's throats over succession. I could work in some HMHVV-infected loup-garou or Wendigo to keep the werewolf vibe.

I'm looking for ideas on a MacGuffin for Broken Moon, though, as well as ideas for translating the later parts of the AP. I'm not sure where to place Wake of the Watcher - maybe farther up the coast, or south in Tir Tairngire or California Free State?

The vampires of the Ordo Maximus, with their rumored knowledge of advanced cybermanchy, seem perfect for Ashes at Dawn, so I might sub in London for Caliphas. For Shadows of Gallowspire, I'm torn between placing the endgame in a buried temple complex or in a corporate skyscraper in Seattle or some other megaplex.

Thoughts?

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Not to step on James crunch-tastic toes, but there's a simple fix -- architecture!
Within a few days of the notorious imp breakout, the Korvosan pseudodragons realized that attacking the imps directly was futile -- their poison was ineffective and even in mobs it was impossible to cause lasting damage. One enterprising clutch of dragons came up with a solution -- impaling grappled imps on the silver spires at the local temple (shrine?) of Desna. Soon the spires were laden with rotting imp corpses, and the well-to-do began erecting their own silver-plated "Imp Spikes" on estate walls and parapets for the p-dragons to use in their ongoing struggle. In another of his largely symbolic gestures, the King declared it an act of high treason to steal the silver-plated spikes. Anyone caught dealing in pilfered silver flakes is condemned to death. To date, the method of execution — being lashed together with dozens of imp corpses and tossed into the puzzle-shark infested water of the bay -- has proved a highly effective deterrent.