I'll be there. Otherwise I'll be helping my gunslinging charm school graduate unlock the secrets of Arcanum.
I'll be there. Otherwise I'll be helping my gunslinging charm school graduate unlock the secrets of Arcanum.
I'm in, otherwise I'll be talking with my would-be mother in law about baby room decorations. And, quite honestly, I may have to skip out a bit at some point, but I'll try to be good.
bombshell. Congrats, xahlt!
So we all reached level 7 last Thursday! Seemed like just a session or two ago we were at level 6. It's tough choosing between these two potential powers. I welcome advice and discussion. It's down to:
You deal a staggering blow, opening a hole in your enemy’s defenses.
Encounter * Martial, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a light blade.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage, and the target takes a –1 penalty to AC and Reflex defense until the end of your next turn.
Brutal Scoundrel: The penalty to AC and Reflex defense is equal to your Strength modifier.
Which means right now it's against Fortitude, and I'd be slapping a -3 penalty to some fool's AC and reflex defense, and that would grow to a -4 penalty a level from now. On the other hand, it feels like it's low damage. And the penalty only lasts a round. So the Imperiling Strike stacks up against the:
You strike as quickly as a coiled viper.
Encounter * Martial, Weapon
Minor Action Ranged weapon
Requirement: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light thrown weapon, or a sling.
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage.
Which is even lower damage (hand crossbow's 1d6 vs a warhammer's 1d10), but I love the idea of having another minor attack option with Low Slash's melee attack. That means for two rounds in a row I could be attacking twice, without even resorting to burning an action point or hoping for a crit on an attack roll (which would trigger a basic ranged attack with the xbow). Or I could even go Standard-Minor-Minor and attack three times. I want my dwarfcop to be dealing death to the criminal element with both his ranged weapon and his melee weapon.
What say you, good people?
Last edited by Djscman; 05-07-2011 at 10:35 PM.
Touring Dassen On As Few GPs per Day As Absolutely Possible
Our little girl was growing up. She had summoned a mystical arrow from the aether, and flung it towards one of the blinded Mungdungu-shaman hobgoblins. The magic missile pierced his white winter wrappings, which soon featured a blotchy red. Thos-Ki, now alert and deadly again, smote many with his divine lightning. Fabada cunningly met a hobbo spear-thrust with an adroit parry, following with a sudden stab. Even Faren felt the smile of his beloved goddess as he blasted the surviving enemy with the force of his faith. Soon the small army of hobgoblins were a pile of corpses in the alpine slush.
Riders' hooves thundered from the nearby town. "Stand fast, in the name of Lord Rego!" The cavalry, ragged but deadly-looking frontiersmen, asked us our business as footmen trotted behind. As Brave Sir Kava explained our victories and the reopening of the Forest of Innenotdar, we couldn't help notice that the men were looting the bodies of the hobbos. That was our job! I mean, to confiscate the property of the alleged suspects. The horsemen were duly impressed that the fire forest, aflame longer than they had been born, was extinguished. They had been wondering why the hobgoblins, usually content in their mountain shit-holes, had been setting up the elaborate ambush so near the town and an unused mountain pass. Well, it's nice to have knowledge.
Lord Rego's Riders were never chummy, but were pleased when they discovered that we weren't more refugees fleeing the Ragesian advance. They waved us to the nearby town, Cornerwood. We traveled there hoping to find a hero's welcome, but there was none to be found. Oh, the Regoics were polite enough, but they lived a hardscrabble existence. The trade through the town had dried up with the flames in the northern forest. They were no longer filthy rich. Fabada remarked, "No, now they're just filthy." We checked in at an inn we mockingly noted was called "The Palatial". The yokels--er, locals--at the common room just wouldn't warm up to us. We hit the sacks, which actually were mattresses filled with chicken feathers. It was a luxury we hadn't felt in the weeks, maybe months, since we left Gate Pass. Indeed, I slept so soundly that when I woke up, I felt seven times stronger than I did back in those long-past days. My comrades felt the same. With a lighter heart, we adventurers and our beasts of burden set off again towards the distant land of Seaquen.
The weather had emulated many modern devices, from furnace-like in the forest, to icebox-like in the mountains, to shower-like in Dassen. Every day a new drizzle dampened our skins if not our spirits. We traveled through strange towns with interesting local color. One town was named after the godly artifact it used to host, Brightstaff. A covetous red dragon read a travel guidebook and wanted it for itself. The dragon would have burninated the entire town, had not the brave dwarven clerics venerating the Bright Staff surrendered the artifact. They also gave themselves up as hostages. The dragon was said to have a lair up in the hills with his staff and his entourage to this day. It was a sad story, but it extolled dwarven virtues. I thought I saw Cousin Faren dabbing his eyes with his beard. That made me bite back the sarcastic remark I was thinking of spouting. Something along the lines of, "Gee, I'm sure every town used to have powerful magic items that we can't actually see. It's the old 'Shahalesti Girlfriend' story." On the other hand, dragons are known to be assholes and perhaps the story was true. Perhaps some day we should liberate our dwarven brethren.
Speaking of dwarven brethren.... One day as we were breaking camp we saw a terrifying creature soar overhead. It had the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle...and a smartly-uniformed dwarf was riding it! Not only that, we could see that the dwarf was holding a strange box in his arms. We only got a quick glimpse of it, and the dwarf didn't respond to our hollers as he flew away, but it looked like the same sort of box we had found in Diamondmind Hall. Thos-Ki had called it a "Dyna-Gnome" or something similar, and we had been porting it about ever since. Seeing this airborne courier holding its twin made me think deeply about childhood stories. Had Great-Grannan ever mentioned flying dwarves in her tales of the Old Country? I couldn't remember. Maybe the box we were carrying was a mail satchel.
We passed though a duchy here, a barony there. They seemed to be populated mostly by humans who hated refugees and weren't all that friendly to Seaquen, either. Apparently on occasion the Lyceum was stingy with its magic when it could have saved the day. As we went farther south and closer to the coast, the weather became warmer and more desperate. We began passing more shallow graves dug into the mud, and heard tales of highwaymen and price gougers. We began blending into the masses of refugees. Everyone was trying to get out of the north because of the Ragesian army and get to Seaquen, but they didn't want to stay there forever. I flushed when I realized that was exactly what we were doing.
Dene was a swampy peninsula. We were on the sea coast, but the ports had voluntarily shut down. There were sightings of vicious flotillas just off shore, and no friendly ships would risk transporting us to Seaquen for the money we had to offer. In that case, it was to be the overland route. The roads only went to a point, then, according to rumor and Thos-Ki's purchased map, there were no tracks, no roads, little solid ground. We would have to figure out our next step from a faint dot on the map: Vydor.
Born on the Bayou. Born on the Baaaayou.Vydor was shabby, a little hamlet that sieved the waves of refugees from what remained of their savings. Its chief export was a make of swamp-boats sold at greatly inflated prices. Its chief import was misery. Annual rainfall: endless. We weighed our options. We could try to make our way through the fens on foot. Or we could try to buy enough john-boats to carry the five heroes, the two companions, the mouse, and the mule through the swampy waters. (Also, we'd have to hire porters to portage the boats some fifteen miles from Vydor to the edge of the swamp. Thos-Ki said that we could hire two porters and they could carry him! He was joking, of course; it would probably take four porters.) No one wanted to leave Rothak. I thought of designing a boat that could be propelled by a mule on a tread, but after a moment discarded the idea as too impractical to mention.
We remained in the town for a time as we gathered more information. There were terrible rumors of the swamp's inhabitants. Crazed cannibal mages, Ragesian Inquisitors killing other non-cannibal mages. We also started making inroads with the captains of industry in the town. These hardy tradesmen, boatmakers and pawnbrokers and the like, were hated by the refugees, but they performed necessary services. When Thos-Ki found his heart was moved by the plight of starving women and children, he decided to open a soup kitchen. Fabada latched on to one such boatmaker, and through swindle or persuasion -- "Say that he hornswoggled the gent." -- managed to get him to underwrite the entire endeavor. I advised that he could apply it against Lord Dene's tax collectors. The soup kitchen was a success. I had had my doubts, fearing erupting food riots among the rabble that would outweigh the little good done for them. But many of the wretches went to sleep in the rain with a little bit of warm broth and tubers in their tummies. And there were no food riots. Nice job, invoker, paladin, and attorney.
The excessive price of the boats were a sticking point. We had amassed a small amount of capital through our adventuring. But we wanted to take on the hordes of Ragesia. To do that, we needed to properly outfit ourselves in magic armor and weaponry, not squander our gold for its weight in wood. We eventually wore down the same boatmaker with our persistence. Kava's cavalier charm was influential, and I hit on the idea of playing courier to any business contacts the fellow might have in Seaquen. Reluctantly he agreed, and we found ourselves strolling out of the midden heap of Vydor with a small army of porters carrying our boats. And we didn't have to pay a single gp!
The edge of the swamp was foreboding and dismal, but as we were brave adventurers (even the girls, now), we deployed the boats without a backward glance. There were signs of the mass of humanity constantly moving through the swamp everywhere. Garbage, spindly trees stripped of branches for kindling, dry spots above the bogwater where the grass was crushed down by sleepers, occasional femurs...but we didn't see anyone else.
We had settled into a routine as we traveled. After the day's march, we would break for an evening meal and set up camp. Kava would silently pray over the meal. Faren, too. Every once in a while I would nearly have the urge to talk about my homeland and the unspeakable thing that had happened to me. I almost told my friends the story of when Khaz and I had to track a gem smuggler into a panel house, or when I had been mugged in Little Feywild. Each time the memories of my separated friends and family would rise up like a gorge in my throat, though, and I would only scowl down at the campfire instead. At night we would divide up the watch. Single watch if we felt relatively safe, and double watch in unknown places.
This was a swamp featuring cannibal mages, so we felt double watch was needed. We found a nice spot on a little island and had our customary meal. I was to draw last watch, which was usually by myself unless one of the girls or the mouse wanted to join me. I settled down into my bedroll and tilted my cap so the rain wouldn't trickle down into my eyes. Good night, dear diary.
Next time: But as Thufir sleeps, Kava witnesses two disgusting tiefling chicks approach the little island where the Indomitable Five make their camp. They make sweet music that mask their cruel intentions. What treachery is this? To arms, friends, to arms!
Were we playing tonight? I thought we were playing tonight. If we're playing tonight, I'm free to play tonight.
I can play tonight. There is a small chance that I might be interrupted if my wife is foolish enough to do shots at her happy hour tonight. Truly unlikely, but hilariously disruptive if it occurs.
Hey guys, thanks for being understanding when I had to cut the session short. As a thank you, I promise that if H'andrea's courtship of Fabada comes to fruition then Kava's head on a stick can be the best man and the wedding feast will be a delicious spit-roasted Thos-Ki (the dwarves are too chewy). The sisters will be so pleased.
I think this is shaping up to be the first real challenging encounter we've seen in a while, although I haven't seen all the whup-ass that 7th level bought you yet.
Kava was all ready to open up his can o' whup-ass right up to till he was dunked in quicksand. That delayed things for a turn, or would have if the lights hadn't gone out.
Looked up the whole prone while immobilized thing, and everybody* seems to concur that you can stand up, as long as nothing else is in the same square as you.
*everybody being defined as the first few results in a google search
THE BOG BITCHES
I had a strange dream as I slept in the rain, surrounded by stagnant swampwaters and drizzles and the odd hootings and ca-CAWS! of fen birds. I dreamed that Kava was playing with his Living Blade. The song of the Seela echoed around him. It seemed to emanate from the weapon itself, though in the voice of a throaty alto. Kava nodded his head in time to the music. He even started humming, then singing the words. Strange--the lyrics were Elvish, and suddenly Kava was pronouncing syllables as if he'd spent his childhood in a fey choir. As he hefted and rotated the hilt around in his scaly and clawed hands, it changed forms, growing, receding. It was a massive two-handed greatsword, it was an axe, it was even a longbow, but then it settled as the mirror of Kava's familiar longsword. It even briefly shrouded itself in veils of flame. Was the sword mimicking the enchantment Kava had wrung from the fiery familiar so many weeks ago? Or was the fire of Innenotdar Forest still sealed within the blade?
The Song of Forms was muted as Kava lifted his head. There was another song out there in the night, and it was approaching. I knew it, as people knew things in dreams they do not know in waking life. The song was Kava's. It was a knightly song, a song of his order, the Order of the Aquiline Heart. It sang of marching, of martial standards standing in soil, of trumpets trilling triumph, of bells tolling, of bellicose bellows. Kava couldn't not join in. As he did so, the new singers smiled and crept closer to their prey.
The singers were tiefling performers, horned and horrible, and as they emerged from the rain-mist, they ceased singing their duet. Their laughter was horrible. Our brave watchmen, Kava and Thos-Ki, marveled at them. I knew the ladies' names, the way people know things in dreams. There was H'andrea of the Bog. Miserable. Diseased. Sores covered her gaunt body, and black ichor oozed forth from most of them. When she smiled, water welled out of her mouth, dribbled down her chin. Then there was Andreyah. Arrogant. Bloodthirsty. Her form was more pleasing than her companion, if not for the blood that beaded from her pores. She was lightly armored in a pale hide armor. I knew, the way the sleeper knows things in dreams, that the hide had been flayed and dried and tanned from the poor human refugees that tried to make their way through this damned swamp of the damned. As she scowled, blood welled out of her mouth, dribbled down her chin.
They raised their arms, and Kava and Thos-Ki were pulled to the ground. The tufts of grass and soil that had seemed like such a great campsite had turned to quicksand. Thos-Ki hollered, and I woke up.
My eyelids opened, slowed by crust. I couldn't wait to tell Cousin Faren about the crazy dream I had. I slid out of my bedroll just as magical energy flared between aggressors and defenders. My mouth hung slack. I knew, in the way dreamers or risers rarely do, that the dream was reality. And it was time for battle. I had been sleeping with hammer in hand, and as I ran to the assistance of Tiljann and Chrysten, drew my crossbow with the other. Fabada had stumbled out of his tent to see what was all the commotion. The two ladies cackled at the sight of such a proud display of demonic attorney. Fabada puffed up, flattered, then took a closer look at his admirers. He, too, prepared to fight.
One of the andreads--I could no longer tell them apart in the rain--howled. She brought her arm down, and the lights went out. I stumbled forward in magical blackness, homing in on Chrysten's panicked cries and Tiljann's throat warmups. We would need her song soon. Stepping out of the magical blackness, I noted to my dismay that the witches had two other allies on our island.
The crocodiles were enormous, and one had its mouth full of Seela tourist. Angered, I sank my hammer into its flank, and for good measure shot a crossbow bolt almost harmlessly into its side.
It began to rain harder.
Next time: Rain delay!
What the--has Pogo been gently touched again? His last few posts don't even register as offensive. Whither, cleric?
Some obscure rules we were talking about last time that might come in handy tomorrow. Do we use the zone of big-ass blackness as a tool or avoid it 'cause we can't see when we're in there?
Make an Athletics check to make a long jump.
* Action: The check is usually part of a move action, but it can be part of any of the creature’s actions that involve the creature moving.
*Result: Divide the Athletics check result by 10 (rounded down). This determines the number of squares the creature clears with the jump. The creature lands 1 square beyond the squares it clears. All the squares of the jump, including the landing square, use squares of movement from the action. The Long Jump table summarizes the total distances of various long jumps, including the landing square.
If the creature ends the movement over a drop, it falls and can’t move any farther as part of the current action. If the creature runs out of movement before landing, it also falls. However, if the jump was part of a move action, the creature can continue the jump as part of a double move, ending the first move action in midair and continuing the jump as part of the second move action. The creature makes a single Athletics check for the jump but can use squares of movement from both actions for it.
*Running Start: If the creature moves at least 2 squares as part of the action and then jumps, double the result before dividing by 10 (or simply divide the result by 5).
*Distance Cleared Vertically: To determine the number of feet that the creature clears vertically during the long jump, divide the check result by 10 and then add 2 if the result is at least 1. If the creature doesn’t jump high enough to clear an obstacle along the way, it hits the obstacle, falls prone, and can’t move any farther as part of the current action.
hiddenWhen a creature is hidden from an enemy, the creature is silent and invisible to that enemy. A creature normally uses the Stealth skill to become hidden. See also invisible.
FIND A HIDDEN CREATURE
Make a Perception check to try to find a hidden creature (see “Stealth”). If a creature finds a hidden creature, it might point the hidden creature out to others, resulting in them knowing its location.
*Action: Minor action.
*Opposed Check: Against a target creature’s Stealth check. The DM might apply relevant modifiers from the Listen and Spot tables, depending on how the creature is trying to find a hidden target.
*Success: The target is no longer hidden from the creature. If the creature performing the check cannot see the target for some other reason, such as magical invisibility, it still knows where the target is located.
Armor Check Penalty
Creatures use the Stealth skill to conceal themselves from enemies, slink past guards, slip away without being noticed, and sneak up on others without being detected.
*Action: The check is usually at the end of a move action, but it can be at the end of any of the creature’s actions that involve the creature moving.
*Opposed Check: Against the passive Perception of each target creature present. If the creature moves more than 2 squares during the action, it takes a -5 penalty to the Stealth check. If the creature runs, the penalty is -10.
A creature can make a Stealth check against a target only if the creature has superior cover or total concealment against that target or if the creature is outside the target’s line of sight. Outside combat, the DM might allow a creature to make a Stealth check against a distracted target, even if the creature doesn’t have superior cover or total concealment and isn’t outside the target’s line of sight. The target might be focused on something in a different direction, allowing the creature to sneak around it.
*Success: The creature becomes hidden from the target. Being hidden means being silent and invisible (see “Invisibility").
*Remaining Hidden: The creature remains hidden as long as it meets these requirements.
Keep out of Sight: If the creature no longer has any cover or concealment from a target, it doesn’t remain hidden from the target. The creature doesn’t need superior cover, total concealment, or to stay outside line of sight, but it at least needs partial cover or partial concealment from a target to remain hidden. A hidden creature can’t use another creature as cover to remain hidden.
Keep Quiet: If the creature speaks louder than a whisper or otherwise draws attention to itself with a noise, it doesn’t remain hidden from any creature that can hear it.
Keep Still: If the creature moves more than 2 squares during an action, it must make a Stealth check to remain hidden, with a -5 penalty, or a -10 penalty if the creature runs. If any creature’s passive Perception beats the check result, it doesn’t remain hidden from that creature.
Don’t Attack: If the creature makes an attack, it doesn’t remain hidden.
*Not Remaining Hidden: If the creature takes an action that causes it not to remain hidden, the creature retains the benefits of being hidden, such as combat advantage, until the action is resolved. The creature can’t become hidden again as part of that same action.
Also, if an enemy tries to enter the creature’s space, the creature doesn’t remain hidden from that enemy.
While a creature is blinded, it can’t see, which means its targets have total concealment against it, and it takes a -10 penalty to Perception checks. It also grants combat advantage and can’t flank.
I gave you guys too much time to talk this encounter over. Where in blazes are you guys long jumping to, I wonder.
Those stealth rules make my eyes bleed. I'm counting on you, Djscman, to help me through them if you guys end up playing blind mans bluff with the swamp hags. Unless of course they have darkvision as a special ability. I can't quite remember....
I'm in for some hag-stabbing tonight. If only I could long jump with acrobatics instead of athletics! I seem to recall having some luck when bounding around in the water previously.
Surmounting the Andes
The marshy attack. We were innocent travelers that just wanted a good night's sleep.
The eldritch mist prevented me from seeing what was happening on the northern edge of the island, but I could hear well enough. Thos-Ki held aloft his staff, preparing to invoke a hell of a spell. The crocodile nearest him clamped down on his other arm. That didn't stop our little godshard, though. The drizzle intensified to a downpour, directly above the andreads and one of the crocodiles. The swampwater rose up in a flood. "Like unto the first storm's deluge!" intoned Thos-Ki. He glared at our enemies with such intensity I could hear it through the fog, and the foes had nothing to say in response.
Chrysten squeaked at me, "What should I do? What should I do?" I told her to help me with this crocodile. She shot a orb of pure force into its head, narrowly missing Tiljann. The Seela was trying to sing even though a giant reptile was savaging her midsection. Suddenly the two women and I were dodging a swarm of tossed daggers. What the--was there another ambusher sneaking up on us? The daggers sank into Tiljann and myself. At this point none of us in the party had escaped injury.
Tiljann managed to twist away from the crocodile's maw. She flew up above the fray, unlimbered her bow, and started loosing arrows. I spotted Faren's nose emerge from the edge of the nighttime mists. A brief prayer was uttered, and both crocs flailed in impotent agony. When they moved again, it was with a fraction of their previous strength. It was just in time, too, because the croc I was standing next to decided to try the rend-limb-from-limb tactic on me. I tried to dodge, but its mighty jaws clamped down, engulfing my arm all the way to the elbow. My crossbow must have been tickling his uvula, but he tenaciously hung on. I couldn't get away, so I swung a powerful hammer blow down on his snout. The terror of Nurvil flowed through him, and he quivered. His eyes watered with crocodile tears, and I knew there was no way he could see. For good measure, I pulled the trigger and sent a bolt down his throat.
To the north of us, Kava was retching, but that was to be expected from him. The attackers cried in dismay as the acidic reflux poured over them. I heard Andreyah bark a command to H'Andrea, and my friends gasped in wonder.
"Look at her face...it's changing! It takes the form of one of those great scaly beasts!"
Kava, who had a scaly face of his own, quipped, "Well, it's an improvement!" Then he groaned as the croc-faced tiefling charged into him. Thos-Ki split the air with his blades of astral fire, causing our foes to scream, then took out his magic flute and piped in some magical music. It was catchy enough to rival the Song of Forms. We heroes bounced and bounded around. Even my crocodile arm-trap loosened his grip as he twitched to the rhythm. I took the opportunity to soft-shoe a few steps out of his way. I let the magical obscuring mists surround me. I hoped that, to the still-blinded crocodile, I had vanished into thickening air.
"Help us, Anndrea, coward!" cried one of the tiefling sisters. Ah, there was a third Ande-sister out there, the one who had thrown a veritable cloud of daggers at us. She stepped out from a bush where she had been hiding. Another tiefling, perhaps a bit chubbier than the others, with straight polished horns extruding from her head. She looked furious.
but with horns
Anndrea held aloft a staff as the rain trickled down her arm and shrieked out for lightning. A brilliant blast arced toward Chrysten, then up to Tiljann. A deafening thunderclap followed. Our girls ignored the nearby crocodile henceforth and started aiming at the devilish meteorologist.
The more distant crocodile snorted at my friends. Fabada kept poking new holes in it with his sword. I could hear Kava taunting it. "You're mine, and you're about to become my suitcase! What's that? You want to attack my comrade-in-arms? Too afraid to face me? I shall teach you the price of cowardice!" There was a crash, and I assumed the price of cowardice was death.
From the depths of the mist, I jumped out at the surviving croc...and then only the three Andreas remained.
Each more hideous than the last! Just imagine they all have horns. And bleed or spew black ichor or whatever.
I slipped back into the mist. It was still my ally. Anndrea never heard me coming, and instead tried to hit our girls with daggers again. This time, I think she was too nervous to throw correctly, for she hit nothing but air. Tiljann and Chrysten weren't nervous, and they didn't miss. I was so proud of them. I carefully took aim and let loose a blinding barrage of bolts. She couldn't see a thing, so I took the opportunity to sidle closer.
To the north, Faren fairly glowed with divine power. He had now pushed out of the mist, and was healing our most gravely wounded. One of our foes cried in dismay as she was illuminated. Fabada exploded in a paroxysm of violence, and very nearly finished off H'Andrea of the weeping black sores. Andreyah had enough of this battle. "Sisters, retreat!" she cried, and took off at a dead run towards the marshy woods. She happened to run straight into Faren's mace, much to his great amazement. But the hunter with the human-hide armor made her escape. The blood trail that began with Faren's mace quickly dispersed in the water.
There was no escape for her sisters. The devil with the weeping sores cried to Kava for aid. But not even flattery could save her. Thos-Ki recalled a particularly accurate version of an invocation, and she would ambush no more refugees. "You, little man!" Anndrea called, blindly waving about her staff. "Stop and...you'll be rewarded!" I emerged from H'Andrea's now-dissipating gloom. Anndrea didn't see a thing.
"I am no little man. In the darkness, I'm a giant."
And that was the end of that. We disposed of the bodies, finding one brass key on each of the sisters. There were no apparent locks, though. From the crocodiles we took steaks and skins. And then it was back to sleep.
Next time: Kind of hope Andreyah learned her lesson and began to walk the path of peace. But it wouldn't surprise us if she wanted some revenge.
I felt like I handled the stealth and blinding rules pretty well last time. But I did completely screw up on one part. When I was recrossing the island in the black fog, and made another Stealth check, I should have taken a -5 penalty. That's 'cause I moved more than two squares. Fortunately Annie made a terrible perception check anyway...wasn't that a natural 1?
But I'll remember that rule should the situation arise again. Sorry!
p.s. Also I was wrong about basic ranged attack, it is [w] (1d6) + dex mod for damage, not just 1[w]. I should be only subtracting 1 instead of 4.
Last edited by Djscman; 05-10-2011 at 10:42 PM. Reason: post script
Are we on for tonight? I have been watching Southern Comfort and preparing the remaining Andrea sister's plans for revenge.
I should be able to make it, but I might be late depending on how long an appointment runs. I might miss it entirely too I guess, but I doubt it.
I'll be there. And perhaps the hunter shall become the hunt...ed?
I am in the same late/maybe not at all but probably just late camp.
There is a small update to Fantasy Grounds, so hit the update button before joining tonight.
The Were-bitch Project
We left our hybrid campsite/battleground the next morning. The weather hadn't cleared up, so we were spending almost as much time bailing rainwater out of our boats as punting across the shallow muckwater. The swamp was more difficult to traverse than a river or lake. We were obliged to stop several times a day to portage our boats across narrow, annoying, ridges of land. There were spectacles to be seen in the swamp. At one portage, longer than most, we beheld a large pyramid comprised of carefully stacked human skulls. Some appeared to be old, some appeared to be so fresh that blood and meat still hung off the bone. We stared at the oddity for a moment before continuing our struggle with boats and mule. Whoever erected this monstrosity--cairn or warning or hoard--should have included an informational plaque.
Late in the afternoon, Kava held up his fist for silence and peered intently into the drizzle. Then he shook his head. When pressed, he said, "I saw a woman ahead. A human with bright red hair. She was following the same path to Seaquen we are...but then I lost sight of her in the mists." We had heard of this woman back in the last fleabite of a town we were in--she was supposed to be a spellcaster, arrogant enough to ignore the warnings of cannibals and stranger things in this swamp, and possibly competent enough to still be alive.
That night, exhausted from our day's travails, we set up camp again. After our dinner but before our watch cycle commenced, we noticed that the swamp's omnipresent fireflies were behaving strangely. Many and more began congregating around our campfire, and soon swarms of the insects floated around our little island. We didn't know of any natural or arcane reason why they might be doing this. Thos-Ki started babbling in his arcane jargon, but summarized with a shrug that in essence, this filth was fouled up. They weren't acting aggressively, just shining their yellow-green arse-lights at us, turning a dark rainy night into day. Somehow we managed to sleep anyway. Even Faren managed to catch some sleep...during his watch.
Fabada noticed this and was just about to knock him awake when all heard a great smashing cacophony. The tiefling and the sleepers arose from the clatter and ran to the boats to perceive what was the matter. Our boats were completely demolished. They were holed, they were hulled, they were smashed to splinters. Who could have done this? And what were the barely submerged logs drifting away from the campsite, and why did they leave their teeth in the remains of our boats?
No one wanted to chase crocodiles into shallow water, so we returned to sleep cranky, then, later, woke up cranky. Nothing strange appeared on my watch, except that eventually the fireflies drifted away. Without our boats, we had to struggle through the muck. Sometimes the water was only knee deep, sometimes it was above our waists, but eventually we were all covered with mud. It was a real struggle to get Rothak the mule into the water, but I kept nudging him and pushing him. In the end, my stubbornness outrivalled his. At least the crocodiles weren't a bother.
Today brave Sir Kava spied something dangling from a tree branch, then another, then another. They looked like cunning little weavings of twigs and twine, like the dreamwebs crafted by bored goliaths in the mountainlands above the Burrows. We looked left and right, and in every direction save the way we came, these devices dangled from trees. We took one down for further examination. It looked like the rim was big enough to hold something. After opening it up, we saw the tiny, still forms of some woodland critters. Little frogs, 'possum babies. Thos-Ki thought they might mark the boundaries of some sort of magical ritual. Perhaps someone was attempting to open a portal between an even wilder, swampier place. The word "Feywild" was mentioned, and "Feyswampwild". We asked Tiljann about it, but she said she only knew about woods, fire, and woods on fire.
I don't know if I believe in that extraplanar malarkey. On the other hand, there was a district back home called "Little Feywild", where the gnomes lived. They were mostly decent chaps. With this in mind, I advised my friends that without evidence of evil intent, I didn't think we should vandalize any more of these dangly art pieces. This was met with agreement. "Besides," said Fabada, "if anyone comes to mess with us, we can stab them." We stuck the thing back in the tree and continued on.
We came to a part of the swamp where there was more water than land, more lake than bog. On the far side of the lake we could see the humaness Kava saw yesterday. She was tied to a tree. I tried to sketch it as best I could, using one of the covers of the bodice-ripper romances I'd confiscated from the Diamondhall Manor:
The surviving sister Andreyah emerged from the thicket. She was the huntress, the tiefling female who wore a man-skin coat and wielded knife and orb. She raised her knife to the human female. Thos-Ki shouted, his voice echoing in his fearsome mask. At this, Andreyah turned and spotted us thrashing through the thick mud to her. She lowered the knife to the ground. I briefly thought she was surrendering, but she was only sketching something in the soil. We waded through the difficult terrain as best we could, but by the time we arrived the tiefling had dragged the human into the swamp.
We paused for a moment to reckon what she had scratched into the ground. It was already being worn away by the rain, but we could make out: "RAGESIA GETS THE BONES - I GET THE REST" How aggressive of her. Thos-Ki made several unflattering comments about the character of the redhead, even implying that she was not held against her will, and that this was some sort of elaborate trap. Perhaps he had a point, but we continued into the marshy undergrowth.
We had purchased a horribly inaccurate map of the swamp back in the aforementioned horse trough of a town before setting out. It was better than nothing. We dug it out from storage as Thos-Ki invoked his Hand Of Fate, as we had done in the fire forest. Once again, the hand indicated where we were on the map, and where the tiefling was going. Who owns that hand? I wondered. Is it some angel Thos-Ki can call on? Is it the hand of the Goddess Ioun itself? I was probably thinking more about the hand than guiding our party through the swamp, and it was longer than I wanted to admit before I got us back on track.
In the end it didn't matter. We stomped through the frog-infested red waters (strange frogs, in greater and greater numbers, all with a curious slit across the belly) until we again ran into captor and captive. Knife was again threateningly applied in the direction of neck. Thos-Ki hooted again at this. "And how long had the two ladies been standing there at their marks, in 'first position', waiting for us for get close enough for some unseen director to holler 'action'?" I stared up at the redhead and considered her. She certainly seemed frightened enough. Perhaps this wasn't an obvious act. Then I noticed the captive was at my eyeline, and then below. Were they standing in quicksand? Thos-Ki struggled not to mention her dead sisters. Andreyah smiled enigmatically as the water closed over their head.
"Come back!" Sir Kava heroically dove forward, tossing an end of a rope to me. I started tying it off to the mule. He leapt up, sweeping his arms forward, then jackknifing over into a dive--a feat even more stupendous considering he was in plate armor. Then, tragedy. Whatever means the women had passed through the ground had closed up, for Kava was painfully faced with solid ground only a half-foot below the red water's surface. He survived, fortunately, with no damage to his spine.
He splashed about and eventually came upon a handle to some sort of hatch cover. With the help of a one mulepower engine, we got it open. As water trickled down into the lightless opening--from the sound of it, it was only about a ten foot drop--Fabada sniffed curiously, then noted that this wasn't water we were standing in. It was blood. We lit a sunrod to shine down there. It illuminated graffiti of some kind on the underside of the hatch. It was in Elven. Kava had been gifted with the knowledge of this language thanks to his magic sword. "Welcome--or is it Beware?--the Hall of the Crocodile King." The sunrod guttered and went out.
Torches worked well enough once the five of us assembled down there. Our auxiliary boosters waited on the surface. We advised them that rearguard was a very sacred and special responsibility, and so they could neither allow themselves to be kidnapped (like that poor ginger wizard) nor let any enemies flank us from behind. Down below, we found that there was some hidden dungeon here, with stone walls and everything. The little room quickly narrowed into a hallway. We had to walk in single file, Kava going first, myself peering around his armored bulk, illuminated by Thos-Ki's torch. Faren strolled along, stroking his beard, and Fabada took up the rear, sword and smug grin at the ready.
We stopped at the sight of a strange groove in the floor. I tossed one of my two remaining daggers over it. A whirring sawblade rose from the floor to meet it. Trouble. Fabada shoved up to look at it. "We could probably get past this thing if we kept our backs to a wall. Then we looked at Thos-Ki's barrel of a belly. "Or we could try to disarm it." I tried my best, but I hadn't put much effort into disarming traps since leaving the Coppers. Boy, were there some great trappers and anti-trappers on my squad. As in so many ways, I did not measure up to them. Fabada and his thieves' tools succeeded where my special tactics' tools could not, and the underfoot menace was vanquished. We passed a room covered in rubbish and the ravings of a mad elf. Fabada searched it for loot but found none.
We came into a larger room. There was a door in each wall and a large sewer grate in the center of the floor. It seemed to be bolted down pretty well, so I dismissed it. Thos-Ki considered the grate. Then he poked at it. A brief clicking sound gave us just enough time to think "what the shi-" before teeth sprang out of it like so many popped corn kernels over a campfire. The teeth sank into many of us, and we immediately realized they were coated with poison (or possibly demonic plaque). We could hardly move at all. At this time, a door next to me slid open. Something terrifying shambled out. It stood on two legs like a normal person, but otherwise was a heap of bones. It seemed to be held together by leather thongs and canvas wrappings. The strange thing about it (besides the obvious) was that its spine looked to be large and reptilian. The south door opened and we beheld a giant snake slithering forth. The final door opened up and another dead thing peered out.
The battle was joined, and it was frustrating. We became aware that someone was behind the snake. He smelled fouler than the bugbear nest, the ghoul, and the putrescence from the sky we encountered in the fire forest...possibly worse than all three put together. That guy also stood on two legs, had a crocodile head, and wielded a staff that shot out an uncanny ray of blue light. Faren tried to "turn" him, thinking he was as dead or deader than the mummies smashing into us, but it wasn't. We couldn't get to him because of the snake blocking our path. Not just blocking, but also wrapping itself around our paladin and squeezing tight. It also bit like a croco- like a mule and had skin thicker than plate armor.
We were in a tight spot.
Thank you a thousand times for your journal, Djscman.
Thos-Ki is indeed immune to the mummy rot thanks to Barbra's mask.
Is everyone playing tonight, or are you all busy prowling the streets of 1940s LA, bewitching the haunts of the Witcher, or popping between portals? So much gaming competition lately.
I'm still finishing The Witcher 1 before I buy the second, so I should be good.
I'm just happy to be in a situation that may actually require some serious healing. I discovered last week that in addition to my mace providing +4 healing instead of +2, it also has a power associated with it that lets me spend a healing surge and get +2d6 on it, so if I ever have to heal myself I can just do that.
No really, this mace is overpowered.
Dwarfcop is higher priority than noirecop. I'll be there.
I'm in, and here's a link to my iPlay4e showing the correct to hit bonus for Kava on various powers, for some reason its much lower than it should be in Fantasy Grounds.
Echoing appreciation for Djscman's accounts, and also for the pull of noire invoker which I'm pretty sure is an unlockable case.
The Snake and Its Pets; A Crate Without A Pallet
The fight continued in the Room of Poison Teeth. Thos-Ki was the proverbial (though he would believe to be literal) godsend, holding the darkness back with his torch and an undead thing back with his divine bulk. I continued to hammer away at the head of the gigantic snake. Every swing continued to crack its hide a little wider, and maybe I was getting closer to its brain, no doubt the size of a walnut. The smelly indigent in the back continued to point its stick at Kava. The blue light, possibly the light of some otherworldly sun, that shone forth from that staff made the hairs on my teeth stand on edge. Kava and Fabada moaned in dismay as the other mummy laid its hands on them. Its skin flaked off onto them, and where skin met skin, skin flaked off. There were stories about mummy rot, and how one ought to avoid mummies without an amulet of protection, but they had no such protection.
Cousin Faren bowed his head, and through the power of his faith and his distaste our friends were able to shake off the rot. Ioun took the form of a divine fungus to consume the rot. Or so I presumed, as I finally cracked the snake's walnut and turned on the pestiferous walking cadaver. With the help of our attorney, I was able to dispose of the curse of the mummy. Kava and Fabada quickly converged on the bum with the lightstick, and taught him the meaning of vagrancy laws. Then only the single mummy remained, the one that had been quite contained by our Invoker. When there had been to mummies threatening us, our holy men thought to wield the radiant light of the goddess against them, but nothing really happened. "Perhaps a little combustion would light our path," intoned Thos-Ki. He swung his torch at the mummy, who shrieked with the pain of a loose collection of bones and weathered skins held together by oily rags (now on fire).
Kava slapped himself on the forehead with the flat of his Living Blade. "Fire! Duh!" The Living Blade rippled with the fire of the burning forest of Innenotdar, and Kava applied it directly to the mummy, who promptly was incinerated.
It was time to rummage around the other rooms. I was beginning to perceive the fledgling science of criminology. There are only so many ways for bands of adventurers to address the root issues of evil lairs. Exterminating vermin is only a short-term solution. We had no plans to move in to this Hall of the Crocodile King, no plans to convert it to a tourist trap. (While lesser adventurers perhaps could use it as a stronghold to protect refugees from the swamp's perils, we had Ragesia to worry about.) We had to weaken our enemies by meting out Economic Punitive Damage. Every coin we confiscate from their vile hands is one less coin they--or the next infestation--can fritter away on vice, or underwrite raids on decent folk. So it was to this end we applied ourselves, as vigorously as when we had fought those foul-smelling horrors. We tried to be sneaky until Faren pointed out that we were holding a torch. Then there didn't seem to be much point.
In an adjoining storeroom we found a mysterious wooden crate. The sawblade and the tooth-shooter had made us extra cautious of traps, so we looked around first before appropriating it. Sure enough, the herpetophiles had carefully set the crate on some sort of pressure plate. Neither Fabada with his thieves' tools nor I with my special tactical tools were able to disarm it or determine what it would do if it were to spring. So we did the only logical thing. Fabada put all his weight on the plate. I took the crate and set it down in the grate room. Fabada prepared to leap to the hallway; he does so love his flashy acrobatic displays. Yet as soon as his feet left the ground, a heavy and previously unseen barrier slid down the doorframe. "Water!" we heard Fabada cry. "Water's pouring in! I can hear it! And it's dark! Help!" We set to work heaving up the door before our attorney could drown. I admit a few jests were made against his profession and predicament.
Thos-Ki's staff helped a little when employed as a lever, and water began flowing out of the room. We couldn't hold up the deadfall door, though, so we had to prop it open with our precious crate. Fabada slid out of the door instants before the door smashed the crate to kindling. Actually, it turned out to be kindling surrounding a small amount of gold coins and some crappy folk art we could probably sell. That will teach these evildoers the error of their ways.
We took the remaining path to the south. An unearthly green glow passive-aggressively pushed back the darkness. We came into the next chamber. The floor sank, and sank, and sank again before rising, like some sort of inverted ziggurat. On the far side of the pit stood the last Sister. Next to her stood the bound and possibly gagged human redheaded female. And another redhead next to her. And another redhead next to them. All identical to each other. Andreyah threw back her head and cackled. That's fine, lady, but we need the setup before the punchline.
Next time: what the f--strange devilry is this? Three attractive damsels that look like each other and are in no way professionally affiliated with their cruel tormentress?
Last edited by Djscman; 05-26-2011 at 04:07 PM. Reason: removed a comma splice of Orcus