NobodysHome's Silly Serpent's Skull Moments [***Spoilers***]


Serpent's Skull

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Wow, TL! Do you even read before you favorite? :-P


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NobodysHome wrote:
Wow, TL! Do you even read before you favorite? :-P

Yes.

...

...

...

... sometimes.


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Pea Bear has Mascot phobia:-)


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captain yesterday wrote:
Pea Bear has Mascot phobia:-)

She's playing a vampire slayer inquisitor, right?

Mickey never stood a chance, alas.

This is a Disney lawyer joke.


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It is pretty funny while all the kids are climbing over themselves to paw at and cling to Bucky Badger, there was Pea Bear in the back glaring hateful daggers at him.

Come to think of it deep untrustworthy hatred might be better.


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Puppets. Why did it have to be puppets?


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Mummy's Mask spoiler, 1st dungeon

:
As a huge fan of Indiana Jones I was stoked for Mummy's Mask. So we had a party of Archeologists, mine a foppish gentleman with weapon finesse named Jeffrey Goodfellow, we get to the room with the little wooden dolls, I roll terribly on initiative and get swarmed by the dolls, Pea Bear who is next to the door sees me with dolls clinging to and stabbing me does the only sensible thing.

She closed and barred the door.

I fought on bravely for fifteen rounds while the rest of the party died out against the sand snake, at least Jeffrey went to his grave comforted by the knowledge that no one tied a rope to the piton above.

That was our first gut bustingly hilarious Mummy's Mask TPK (there was another)


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Did you kill any of the dolls? Also, how did you last 15 rounds, are you Rasputin?


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I think they only did 1 damage apiece with +0 or +1 to attack and I had a decent armor class and no I didn't kill any but that's because Pea Bear had the torches and Alchemists Fire.


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Don't worry, I won't tell anyone, Mr.Mad Monk sir.


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No time for a full post right now, but hopefully later today you'll hear more about this fiasco.

The really interesting thing (as mentioned in the obits): Mr. Stereotype's decisions have now been involved in 5 of 7 deaths, and 3 of 4 near-deaths.
It's not surprising, since it's his first-ever RPG. You learn through your mistakes.

But why is everyone still listening to him?!?!?!?!?!


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Honestly, depending on the character I was playing I may listen to him too just to add to the craziness of the party.

Some people are also just good at selling their idea, while other people are just willing to go along with any idea that is pitched as long as they don't have to come up with it. This is why people follow crazy politicians in both major parties...


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Oh, but we do have an eighth player, "Mr. Cheerful", and he had my favorite moment of the night: He's a cleric. He ran into the middle of the group and channeled energy, healing the party, the chimerae, AND damaging Athelya. Even better, he woke up Kwai Chang right under the claws of one of the chimerae just before ITS turn.

On seeing what a catastrophe he had wrought, he smiled broadly and said, "All right! I want to do that AGAIN!"


Haha, brilliant! Sounds like my Paladin...


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I love how your kids are so anti-metagame that they are willing to stand and try to bargain with 3 chimeras.


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Well, Talky McTalktalk is still trying to figure out "paladin rules" after I told him he couldn't just stand around stabbing helpless prisoners because they detected as evil.

I would have been a lot more lenient on the Sense Motive rolls if he'd been the one to say, "No, we should negotiate!"

But it was "Mr. Stereotype", whose wonderful inexperience leads to such hilarious antics.

And the most awesome part?

Mr. Stereotype's dad has joined the game as a regular, and he asked, "So, we don't know what chimeras are?"
I responded, "Apparently not. Nobody has that skill."
"Can I at least see the colors of their heads?"
"Yes. Black, green, and green."
<Crestfallen look>"Oh. OK, then. I guess I will just stand here waiting to 'negotiate'." *doomed sigh*

I'm working on a fairly full write-up for this one. As I mentioned, it should have been at least 3 PC deaths, so I want to do it justice...


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The Mantis Strikes, and Hooken falls
As many of you are aware, I was very, very concerned about the party's survival after they decided to allow not one, not two, but THREE chimeras to approach them in the hopes of negotiating with them. (Yes, I looked it up. Since "chimera" is Greek in origin, "chimerae" is incorrect as a plural form. Live and learn.) I have to give proper credit to Mr. Stereotype: He was the one who insisted that he could speak the "language of monsters" (Aklo), and therefore he'd be able to negotiate with them with his whopping Diplomacy of... +6. As I wrote before, I really don't blame him for his decisions because he's really involved in the story, not in the rules system. But why the rest of the group still listens to him after he's killed 5 PCs and nearly killed 3 more with his decisions is utterly beyond my comprehension. (No, they're not doing it because they find it "fun"; they actually get really upset when things go very wrong. Except Deady McDeaddead, who really doesn't seem to mind dying all that much.)

Anyway, we were in initiatives. At the end of last week, Athelya had yelled out something in Aklo, and the largest of the chimeras had responded in Draconic, "Speak in a civilized tongue!" The chimera had had a full round to approach to 220 feet. After a long discussion in other areas of the boards, I spend some time pre-game rolling up Sense Motives against the actions of the chimeras (DC 20 to get a hunch), and I figured I'd let the PCs roll against the chimeras' non-existent Bluff skills if they managed to start up a conversation. Unfortunately, the Roll20 die roller hated the kids. The result of my pre-rolling: If the kids didn't figure out some other way to know they were in trouble, Hooken was going to notice that they were an attack pattern exactly... 50 feet out. Not a lot of room for error!
At that point, I appealed to NobodysWife. Without spoilering anything for the kids, in my campaign the idea of a whole cadre of Red Mantis doesn't appeal to me, so I buffed Chevane to 12th level to allow her to hold her own through Book 3. (Yes, I know I don't want to start a "Let's hate on rogues some more" thread, but it was hard to get her numbers up to a decent solo NPC given the build she already had at level 9. And looking at her numbers, I still think little level 7 Malek could take her out if she was silly enough to go toe-to-toe with him.) The kids have honored their agreement with the Red Mantis very well, and Chevane had already assisted them in Tazion, so it made perfect sense for her to be "around" in case they needed her. I gave NobodysWife her character sheet and told her, "I might need you."
Her response was a knowing, "Uh oh."

So we proceeded through initiatives as the party asked the chimeras several questions they didn't answer, Templari stuck her sword in the ground and stepped back from it in a display of non-hostility, and everyone else kind of muddled about casting an occasional buff (Gravity Bow by Hooken being the most significant) and waited for SOMETHING to happen. The chimeras, sensing easy prey, approached to 120', then 20' and above the party. Fortunately, most of the party had delayed actions, so when Tempari's Detect Evil sang like Ethel Merman and half the rest of the party finally made their Sense Motives, the party acted first. Voren Hasted the party, Athelya's Fireball was woefully ineffective, Malek shot well but did little damage, and Hooken's terrible rolls meant the chimeras were all still mostly healthy when their turn came along. Taking Tacticslion's excellent advice, the first chimera spent its breath clearing the foliage, doing virtually no damage to the group (I reduced damage by 10 per 5' of foliage) but annihilating their soft cover. Only Templari, who had chosen to stay outside of the cover, was hit for full damage, and she easily made her Reflex save. (Hello? Paladin!) With a terrible Reflex save, Hooken took a fateful 4 (of the 24 total) points of damage. Unfortunately, the second blast caught Hooken, Kwai Chang, and Heron. Both Hooken and Kwai-Chang failed their Reflex saves for another 27 points of damage. It seemed my bad rolling was infectious. Finally, Slycora (the advanced black-headed chimera) hit Hooken and Templari. Much to my chagrin, Hooken failed his third Reflex save in a row, took another 29 points of damage, and announced that he was dead. The group stared at each other in stunned silence for a moment. I raced back to the studio and told NobodysWife, "You're on!"
She said, "What? Already?"
I responded, "Hooken's dead."
She said, "Coming!"

The next couple of rounds were dicey at best. Kwai Chang tried to take on a chimera one-on-one and learned that this is a Bad Idea. Templari moved to Athelya and The PC Who Shall Not Be Named for some desperately-needed healing and successfully challenged one of the weaker chimeras. This put everyone in a nice neat line for yet another line of acid breath from Slycora (yes, constantly rolling 1's and 2's on all your damage dice at least means you get to do damage more often). For reasons totally alien to me, the uninjured, Hasted Malek stayed hiding in the back using his tiny, mostly-ineffectual bow. I was very concerned. It looked like one of the weaker chimeras was going to go down, but the other two were still quite healthy, and could one-round most of the now-injured PCs, with the exception of the cowardly Malek.

Fortunately, NobodysWife played a Red Mantis assassin like... a Red Mantis assassin.

Templari was Smiting Evil one of the lesser chimeras and more than holding her own. Athelya had fled cover and now had Slycora right next to her. Kwai Chang was in real trouble. Voren and The PC Who Shall Not Be Named were still hiding in the remaining foliage. Heron was nuzzling Hooken's corpse. Malek was looking for a good place to be ineffectual.

Suddenly two fiendish giant mantises appeared in flanking positions, one on the lesser chimera on Kwai Chang, and the other on Slycora with Athelya, of all people (who then ran away). In a bit of hilarity, one of the two lesser chimeras full-rounded Kwai Chang into unconsciousness, he made his roll to stabilize, The PC Who Shall Not Be Named channeled energy to wake him AND heal all the chimeras (AND damage Athelya as she fled Slycora's wrath), and the chimera then hit him again to put him back under. If it hadn't been for the pesky bug annoying the chimera, it would have spent its full-round attack all on Kwai Chang and we'd have another obituary.

Malek, realizing a "Pretty Lady" was watching, suddenly found his heart and ran up to engage Slycora. Unfortunately, Slycora rewarded him by hitting him with all 5 attacks for 57 hit points. Ouch! Fortunately, this gave Chevane the flank she was looking for and she returned the favor to the tune of 33 points of damage, plus Slycora failed his Fortitude save versus poison. Of course. Because... dice!
In the final, desperate round, Voren's bombs and Malek's blows all found Slycora, felling him before he could get off a second full-round attack on Malek, most likely killing him.

In a bit of miraculous, "We took useful skills after all!" moments, Voren had Craft: Mechanics, The PC Who Shall Not Be Named had Stone Shape to make stone wheels, and Malek rolled a massive Survival roll to skin the chimeras. They spent several hours making a wagon to get Hooken and the hides home. In a testament to Hooken's effectiveness, they refused to even search for the chimeras' lair until they had their portable howitzer back up and about.

They returned to camp, donated their own personal money to get a scroll of Raise Dead which The PC Who Shall Not Be Named successfully used, and Hooken was back with the world. Then they went and got the chimeras' loot, and I rewarded them with an increase to level 8.

=====
So, should I have put in Chevane? Without her, the third chimera would have killed Kwai Chang outright, and Slycora would have gotten off another full-round attack on Malek, almost guaranteed killing him. With those two dead, the remaining lesser chimera had its breath back and might have been able to drop Templari, who was hurting pretty badly. Had that happened, it might have been a party wipe.
As it is, I feel I reduced a party-crippling 3 deaths to 1, so I probably made the right decision.

And as I mentioned, having Chevane say, "That's twice I've saved you. I assume our bargain is still in effect?" and watching Templari squirm was worth every moment.

Ah, well, let's see how morale is next week...


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Why did Malek shoot them instead of using a melee weapon? Thanks for the writeup.


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Supperman wrote:
Why did Malek shoot them instead of using a melee weapon? Thanks for the writeup.

That's what everyone wants to know.

Impus Major's response was just, "I'm not going to take an attack of opportunity just to hit them."

Which made no sense once Templari's player offered to cast Paladin's Sacrifice just to get him involved in the fight.

Sometimes Impus Major is just feeling cowardly.

On the other hand, his random behavior is what makes Malek so awesome in the first place, so why change it?


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Do you run the sessions on Roll20 or locally and just use Roll20 for maps and stuff?

Malek, Templari's Litany of Sloth is your friend. Potions of Invisibility and Bear's Endurance are also your counter-AoO friends. :)


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justaworm wrote:

Do you run the sessions on Roll20 or locally and just use Roll20 for maps and stuff?

Malek, Templari's Litany of Sloth is your friend. Potions of Invisibility and Bear's Endurance are also your counter-AoO friends. :)

I have a ceiling-mounted projector, so I use Roll20 for maps, enemy counters, and tracking initiative. The turn counter is invaluable, as it prevents the constant questions of, "Who's next? When is it MY turn?"

I like having physical minis, but with 8 players it's a LOT faster to use the roll20 counters. They move their physical minis, and I move the Roll20 counter under the mini to track where they are.

Also makes AE spells much easier, as I have 10' radius and 20' radius circles I can just drop on the targeted location.


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Soon you'll be needing cones and larger bursts. You'll want a 30' burst for those channeled energy pulses for both good guys and bad guys. ;)


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Last night was just efficient brutality:

  • After much discussion, the group went to the ziggurat in the Merchant's District and tossed a stone with Light on it into the sinkhole. The giant bat met a ranger with Favored Enemy: Animal who added a crit among his other hits to do 120 damage in a single round, the record so far in this campaign. Add a failed Will save to Knight's Calling and an alchemist hitting it for over 50, and the bat never actually touched anyone, or even got out of its cave.
  • They were intrigued by the powerful magic in the obelisk, but could not decipher it.
  • Having finally "cleared" a district, the Pathfinders started researching the area and they got two discoveries: The first was a description of the festival of Abadar in the district, and the second was the passive effect of the spire (which they already knew).
  • Since they used almost no resources, they headed into the Military District to search out the charou-ka.
  • The two girallon in the plaza met a fireball, a crit from Malek, and other mean, mean things.

  • So the entire army of charou-ka is alerted to their presence, but just watched them obliterate their two girallons without so much as batting an eye. In fact, one of the girallon hit Malek 9 times out of 10, did tons of damage including rends... and didn't reach even half of Malek's total hit points. (He rolled another 12, so even before raging he's at 109 with DR 1/-.)

    It looks like next week will begin with the party beating a tactical retreat. The charou-ka know there is power in numbers, but... Malek and fireballs? "No, YOU go first!"


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    But you expect them to do the sensible thing. Any self respecting group of honest PC's would now charge.


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    Supperman wrote:
    But you expect them to do the sensible thing. Any self respecting group of honest PC's would now charge.

    They remember Baron.


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    The charou-ka will probably be glad that the invaders don't know a Diablo-style flamewave then. ;)


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    You know, Mr. Stereotype's luck really is the stuff of legends.

    Short session tonight -- the group wisely fled the swarming charau-ka, who, being evil and vile, attacked the party in the middle of the night. And got obliterated for their troubles.

    But one less-brave soul ran away into the jungle. At night. Athelya sprouted her Wings of Flame and flew off in pursuit of him.

    So, as I always do when creatures run out of their "native" zones, I rolled an encounter roll for the charau-ka. (Monsters gotta eat, too.) A natural 1. Yep, something had found the poor little guy. I rolled percentile dice. 100. The Green God.

    Oopsie.

    So the charau-ka vanished in an instant, and Athelya, showing miraculous foresight lacking in Xethos, did not land to look around. Instead, she flew overhead, didn't roll well enough to penetrate the Green God's Stealth, and so only knew that something large and bloblike with appendages on the top was below her.

    And then she flew away, leaving it alone.

    And I didn't have to write up an obit this week...


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    You know, Mr. Stereotype's luck really is the stuff of legends.

    Short session tonight -- the group wisely fled the swarming charau-ka, who, being evil and vile, attacked the party in the middle of the night. And got obliterated for their troubles.

    But one less-brave soul ran away into the jungle. At night. Athelya sprouted her Wings of Flame and flew off in pursuit of him.

    So, as I always do when creatures run out of their "native" zones, I rolled an encounter roll for the charau-ka. (Monsters gotta eat, too.) A natural 1. Yep, something had found the poor little guy. I rolled percentile dice. 100. The Green God.

    Oopsie.

    So the charau-ka vanished in an instant, and Athelya, showing miraculous foresight lacking in Xethos, did not land to look around. Instead, she flew overhead, didn't roll well enough to penetrate the Green God's Stealth, and so only knew that something large and bloblike with appendages on the top was below her.

    And then she flew away, leaving it alone.

    And I didn't have to write up an obit this week...

    They... They are learning!


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    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with the froghemoth now, if anything.


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    Supperman wrote:
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with the froghemoth now.

    Definitely a love interest for Malek. How else can I possibly run it?


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    • "...the group wisely fled the swarming charau-ka,"
    • "... showing miraculous foresight lacking in Xethos, did not land to look around... "

    Stop this blasphemy in which you are speaking!


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Supperman wrote:
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with the froghemoth now.
    Definitely a love interest for Malek. How else can I possibly run it?

    Oooooh. This has the potential to be the single greatest moment in Serpent's Skull history for all groups on and off this planet that have ever ran it! ... and I don't even think that is hyperbole ...


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    justaworm wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Supperman wrote:
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with the froghemoth now.
    Definitely a love interest for Malek. How else can I possibly run it?
    Oooooh. This has the potential to be the single greatest moment in Serpent's Skull history for all groups on and off this planet that have ever ran it! ... and I don't even think that is hyperbole ...

    All three of you owe me a desk cleaning, and probably something to clean my tears from my own (comparatively) wasted Froghemoth encounter.


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    Egads, I'm imagining Malek putting the moves on the froghemoth. "Grippli are a crappy race, they said. Look at me now, luggage!" *cue Aquaman atop Cthulhu emerging from the surf meme*


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    Well, I'm not a rules guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not finding any feats whatsoever that allow a non-ranger or druid to get an animal companion, with the arguable exception of "Leadership".

    So since he can't pay for it, it's going to have to be played for fun. And fun it will be!

    Not for the kids:

    I figure she'll swallow him whole, he'll cut his way out, and she'll decide he's "mate", not "food". Isn't that how frogs figure such things out in the wild?

    And just wait 'til all the other PCs' mounts start going "missing".

    "Bessie? Did you eat Hooken's horse AGAIN?"
    ...Innocent froggy eye roll...


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Well, I'm not a rules guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not finding any feats whatsoever that allow a non-ranger or druid to get an animal companion, with the arguable exception of "Leadership".

    So since he can't pay for it, it's going to have to be played for fun. And fun it will be!

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Feel like there's a joke about the "Mounted Fury" archetype there somewhere but I'm not going to make it :)


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    Erm ... actually, they can NbH. Depending on Malek's ability to have fun hamming it up, I'd levy a feat tax and be done with it. It's your table, what does it matter if you play a little fast and loose with the rules? <grin>

    Edit: I like your take on it too. ;)


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    When Malek meets the love of his life, cue the following music video: Hello. ;)

    The Exchange

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    justaworm wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Supperman wrote:
    I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with the froghemoth now.
    Definitely a love interest for Malek. How else can I possibly run it?
    Oooooh. This has the potential to be the single greatest moment in Serpent's Skull history for all groups on and off this planet that have ever ran it! ... and I don't even think that is hyperbole ...

    So true! I've only been lurking on this thread so far, but this comment demanded a "favorite". Keep up the awesome game Turin! I can't wait to see what happens next!


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    This is NBH's game, not mine. ;)

    The Exchange

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    Turin the Mad wrote:
    This is NBH's game, not mine. ;)

    Of course. You had just posted above me, which is probably why I made that typo. I'd have corrected my post, but I was hastily posting before I rushed out the door to go to work and I didn't see my mistake until just now. Sorry, NobodysHome! Keep up the good work!


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    ^______^ No worries, just wanting to make sure credit is given where it is due!

    Other musical suggestions: Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero and It's a Heartache. Others that come to mind are Kim Karnes' Betty Davis Eyes and whichever version of The Girl from Ipanema you prefer.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    What about Supersuckers Pretty F&$~ed Up or their country duet with Kelley Deal from the Breeders Hungover Together.

    That last one played at our wedding, the only country song allowed. :-)


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    He could get an animal companion through the Nature Soul>Animal Ally>Boon Companion(optional) chain, as Turin said.


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    Turin the Mad wrote:

    ^______^ No worries, just wanting to make sure credit is given where it is due!

    Other musical suggestions: Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero and It's a Heartache. Others that come to mind are Kim Karnes' Betty Davis Eyes and whichever version of The Girl from Ipanema you prefer.

    *looks at froghemoth pictures* Queen Fat Bottomed Girls?


    Drejk wrote:
    Turin the Mad wrote:

    ^______^ No worries, just wanting to make sure credit is given where it is due!

    Other musical suggestions: Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero and It's a Heartache. Others that come to mind are Kim Karnes' Betty Davis Eyes and whichever version of The Girl from Ipanema you prefer.

    *looks at froghemoth pictures* Queen Fat Bottomed Girls?

    Nice!


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Hot Chocolate!

    Ruyan.


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    Go with the oldies:

    Froggy went a-courtin' and he did ride,

    Mmm-Hmm...


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    Oh My...


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    You see what happens when you leave for awhile. :-)

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