GG4 Week 7 – a little downtime

25 March, 2012

Week off, this week. I ran a delve, which was fun. By which I mean, it was a TPK. Daniel somehow has managed once again to build an entirely legal monster freak powerful character. But not enough, not enough, when it’s three characters without a healer against a room full of vampires.

Korgul has been taking items instead of his split of the lewt and so has been running short of cash. Turns out I have not been taking the 100gp per job into account. Fixed that – he now has the correct treasure. And a hat.

Oh, and “Versatile Duelist” feat, which is extra fun with the dynamic dagger. I ran the numbers through excel. Even with a -2 to attack, broadsword does the most DPS. (-1 because you lose the brutal scoundrel dagger bonus, -1 because there’s a +2 instead of a +3 proficiency bonus on a broadsword). Scimitar is slightly better against things with a very high AC – things that you need an 18 to hit. But if you are up against something that you need an 18 to hit, you’re screwed and an extra 1.5 hp per round isn’t going to help.

A half-orc walks into a small but overflowing workshop.

“Business or pleasure?”
“Always a pleasure, Biggles, but yeah – I came in abaht some armour.”
“Ooch, I was wondering when you would. You know you have about three hundred gold on account?”
“Well, nah, I didn’t know. Which is why I have been wading into fights wearing this.”

Korgul dumps a sack onto the bench, and hauls out pieces of hardened leather. Biggles casts a professional eye over them.

“Well, laddie, there’s nothing much wrong with that. One or two notches, but nothing serious. I can easily add a little magic if you like.”
“Yeah, fanks. Wot do you fink you can do?”
“Well, you have enough gold for a basic dragonshard, and enough for a little bit extra. More if you traded in that dagger.”
“Naaw. I’m growing attached to it. Watch this:

Korgul staps back and draws a dagger from his belt. A flicker of motion, and suddenly he is holding a four and a half foot long broadsword.

“Nice, eh? Also works as a can opener if yer gives it a minit ter recharge. Where does the extra steel come from?”
“Dynamic weapon. The extra steel is conjured matter – it evaporates after a bit, which I’m sure you’ve noticed. Don’t you find a broadsword is a little clumsy for you?”
“Dunno wot yer talking about. I been practising. Nah worries.”

Biggles reaches to a shelf and pulls down a large book. Inside are pages and pages of arcane diagrams and spells, the diagrams overwritten with detailed notes on the position of each line and circle, and precise measurements of the positioning of dragonshards to be embedded as part of the enchantment.

“Well Korgul, I can do you any one of these – you can buy a 2-grain khyber shard with what you have. Plus labour, of course.”
“Of course. Oooh – that could come in ‘andy.”
“A little out of your price range, lad.”
“Oh. Yeah, awlright. Ow about this one? Replusion? For when I is getting mobbed.”
“Must be your personality, eh? Repulsion it is. Come back in four days.”
“Four days? I would av fort you could knock one of these out in a hour!”
“You’re not my only customer, Korgul. Just my ugliest. Four days.”


20 March, 2012

So the sluts are coming out marching again, apparently. A Canadian police officer said, “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”, and the grrrls are outraged. Outraged, I tells ya!

Thing is, you can tell that these walks are pro-establisment. How? No cops beating people. No teargassin. No tazing. No people being bludgeoned into a bloody mess and then packed twenty at a time into paddy wagons. No being held fifty to a cell for two weeks and then being released without charge.

You know. None of the usual.


Because the slutwalk is at its core a plea for more police, more security, more big, strong, safe men to keep an eye on every little thing that everyone does. Perhaps a woman should be able to dress in heels and nets and go where she likes without harassment or risk. But be that as it may, the only way to make it happen is more surveillance, more cameras, more locking down the police state.

There was never yet a cop who didn’t think that having a bunch more cops wasn’t a good idea. There was never yet a prison guard who didn’t feel, deep down, that the world would be a better place if everyone were in prison. And their bosses and boss’ bosses feel pretty much the same way. That’s why they are more than happy to let these marches, alone of all similar offences against public order, proceed without state-initiated violence.

Slutwalk is a demand for more paternalism.


17 March, 2012

We change watch: Klael goes to watch the hostages, and Rainor joins us. There are doors to the north and southwest. I think. I am getting a little turned about, which is unnerving.

This dungeon is quite large, and Dave was mapping out the rooms by drawing them wherever we could fit them on the sheet. As a result, it was tricky for players to keep track of where things were, which nicely mimicked the disorienting effect of the Guards and Wards.

To the north is a cavernous room with pillars arranged as stepping-stones. A test of balance – another barbarian test, but one more to my liking. I step across. The pillars are rounded at the top and a little slick. Jope will not make it across here without a little help. I see some movement below. On the other side a short passage and a door which I do not open.

I head back to join the group – Rainor watching my progress. On the final pillar I become overconfident and fumble the jump. My ring of Feather Fall catches me, but below I find what is causing the movement – swarms of ants. Big ones. I cast Spider Climb from a scroll and flee, but I have several of the things on me, and thousands follow me up the wall.

I put up a Wall of Fire to burn them off. It helps, but not enough. Jope’s standardbearer uses the standard (a dragon head on a pole) to breathe fire. After a little longer, I manage by dint of rolling about to crush the remaining ants. But I need a fair bit of help from Ovthen to deal with the bites and stings.

The southwest corner is where the hag-priestess map indicated that the focus of the complex is, and we open that door.

Beyond is a temple, really. And barring our passage a human of indeterminate age. He and Jope chat a little. It seems that he more-or-less administers the test, and is not terribly pleased that Jope needed help to get through it. He is a priest of Gorrum, it seems – the chaotic god of fighting a lot. After a moment more of banter Jope simply attacks him. The fight might have gone on longer, but Rainor managed to stun him with a splendid shot to the temple, then – taking advantage of his momentary distraction – I got him with a Scorching Ray that arced up and transposed our positions. Although this sort of misfire can be a disaster, in this case it meant that he was teleported 30 feet away from his weapon. The next few seconds, well, nothing out-of-the-ordinary happened.

Yeah, we mugged that poor bastard. Three crits – two from Brett, one from me. We use the GameMastery deck, so it’s always a little more fun.

I open the next door. Beyond is a man who has sort-of half transformed into the hero (?) in the statues around us. With him are a squad of undead. The man attacks me rather than Jope, springing in and away. The undead move in. I drop a Glitterdust on the group, and retreat.

The man and the undead warriors pour through the door, I am hit again, then Rainor, then another one takes a swing at my ne…

I shall remember you, Verdant-daughter. To any who wears me I will tell your story too among all the others.

And so ends the story of Seldryn Verdant. She died looting a tomb – low on spells, out of action points. If she had cast Improved Invisibility rather than Glitterdust, it might have turned out differently. As it was, she was overkilled by 15 points – a definite character death.

Dave is not keen on respawning, and I don’t really want to bring her back nerfed. I had a look through Ultimate Magic, and two options have caught my eye so far.

First, there’s the question of her family ring: Thought and Memory. We could bring back her cousin who was present during the owlbear attack as a Magus, a gish class who probably can benefit from the T&M bonuses.

The second option is that it seems that this “hero reborn” business involves a certain minor artifact sword, dedicated to Gorum. I am thinking Oracle of Steel, which is an option for Oracle in UM. Chaotic Neutral, of course. Oracle of Steel gets Disable Device as a class skill. It leaves us short of an arcane caster, but like any team that’s been working to together a while the only way to seamlessly replace Switch would be to make a Switch clone, which we don’t want to do.