So, did we win?

5 August, 2015

End of game!

We played the finale. Big, complicated fight with some cool stuff tying it back to previous adventures: some of the mooks exploded into candy (from the haloween plane).

And Brus got to kill Limen, just like he told Dimfuzz he would. “I am going to kill him with this”, he said, “unless I find something bigger”. In the end – he did find something bigger: Shub-Liminel with an Enlarge Person spell. Limen had an Anti-life Shell up, but with a reach of 15′ Brus was able to get him.

Did we win? The ending was just a shade ambiguous. Perhaps the whole thing – Coin included – was all just a big game put up by Limen himself. But, our characters ended the adventure levelled up and with bags of loot. All’s well that ends well.

Thoughts?

Well – inquisitor is ok as a class. The specific picks I made to get travel domain made it quite a bit better. There was some rules adjudication needed for some of the teamwork feats, and the Surmount Affliction spell is useless without the rule that it’s the one spell that you can drop even when you are under the effect of one of the conditions it addresses.

It’s a bit monk-y: fighter with kick-butt will saves, so can deal with things that a fighter can’t. But really: can’t heal like a cleric, can’t fight like a fighter, can’t cast like a bard, and the sucky reflex save is crippling. The class would come into its own in urban adventures, I think.

Brus was a hell of a lot of fun as a character, but the class was complicated to play and not good enough at the things that it did do. The main reason Brus was as good as he was was that the DM gave him a weapon with book value completely off the scale.

As always, Brus will be shredded. I levelled him up to 15, just to see how the story ends – spells Ghostbane Dirge, Mass, and Instrument of Agony. Like Fallback Strategy, it sits there waiting to be used for 1 minute a level. Will save, but a free action in combat and the effect (nauseated) is very, very worthwhile. For his feat, I drew on his human heritage and took Defiant Luck.

And with the money from Limen, Shub-Liminel will be upgraded to being Cruel as well as Vicious, because it just has to be done 🙂 .

Bye Brus! It was awesome. For the record, here’s how he looks at level 15:

Brus Reckoner #15
Male half-orc fighter 1/inquisitor of Yog-Sothoth 14 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide 38)
N Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +12


Defense


AC 26, touch 13, flat-footed 26 (+9 armor, +2 deflection, +1 insight, +2 natural, +2 shield)
hp 154 (15 HD; 14d8+1d10+32)
Fort +13, Ref +4, Will +12; -4 penalty vs. odor-related effects
Defensive Abilities stalwart


Offense


Speed 40 ft. (30 ft. in armor)
Melee shub liminel +16/+11/+6 (1d8+20/×4 plus 2d6) or
   bite +10 (1d4+6)
Ranged composite shortbow +11/+6/+1 (1d6/×3)
Special Attacks exploit weakness, greater bane (19 rounds/day), judgment 5/day (2 simultaneous)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +17)
   At will—dimensional hop (140 feet/day)
Inquisitor Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +17)
   At will—detect alignment, discern lies (14 rounds/day)
Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 14th; concentration +17)
   5th (2/day)—divine pursuitUM, mass ghostbane dirgeAPG (DC 18), unwilling shieldAPG (DC 18)
   4th (4/day)—find quarryUC, judgment lightUC, leashed shacklesUM (DC 17), stoneskin
   3rd (5/day)—coordinated effortAPG, cure serious wounds, deadly juggernautUC, dimensional anchor, festerAPG (DC 16)
   2nd (6/day)—blistering invectiveUC (DC 15), bloodhoundAPG, instrument of agonyUC, remove paralysis, see invisibility, surmount afflictionUM
   1st (6/day)—deadeye’s loreUC, divine favor, expeditious retreat, fallback strategy, lend judgmentUM (DC 14), wrathAPG
   0 (at will)—brandAPG (DC 13), create water, detect magic, guidance, read magic, resistance, virtue
   Domain Travel


Statistics


Str 25, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +11; CMB +15; CMD 31
Feats Brutal Grappler, Cornugon Smash, Defiant LuckARG, Divine InterferenceUM, Escape RouteUC, Intimidating Prowess, Judgment SurgeUM, OutflankAPG, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dimensional hop), Shake It OffUC, Shared JudgmentUC, Swap PlacesAPG
Traits armor expert, brute (orc)
Skills Climb +10, Handle Animal +2, Heal +10, Intimidate +36, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +3, Knowledge (local) +3, Knowledge (nature) +3, Knowledge (planes) +3, Knowledge (religion) +3, Linguistics +3, Perception +12 (+20 vs. smells), Ride +2, Sense Motive +25, Spellcraft +3, Stealth +3, Survival +25 (+29 to track using scent, You do not have to move at half your speed while tracking.), Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +2 Intimidate, +4 to survival when tracking by scent
Languages Abyssal, Common, Custom Language, Infernal, Orc, Undercommon
SQ agile feet (6/day), monster lore +7, orc blood, solo tactics, stern gaze +7, track +7
Combat Gear potion of cure serious wounds (2), potion of shield of faith +2 (2), snapleaf, wand of cure light wounds; Other Gear +3 breastplate, shub liminel, arrows (20), composite shortbow, dusty rose prism ioun stone, amulet of natural armor +2, bane baldric, belt of giant strength +4, ring of force shield, ring of protection +2, backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, flint and steel, hemp rope (100 ft.), iron spike (2), iron unholy symbol, piton (2), torch (10), waterskin, material components for stoneskin * 3 (worth 250 gp), 137 gp, 7 sp, 4 cp


Special Abilities


+4 to Survival when tracking by Scent +4 to Survival when tracking by Scent.
Agile Feet (6/day) (Su) For 1 rd, you ignore difficult terrain.
Armor Expert -1 Armor check penalty.
Brutal Grappler When you and an ally with this feat have grappled the same creature, you may attempt to damage the opponent on your turn (whether you were the one who first initiated the grapple or were assisting your ally in doing so).
Brute (Orc) Whenever you score a critical threat, you add (but not multiply, in the case of a confirmed critical hit) an amount of damage equal to your weapon’s critical modifier.
Cornugon Smash When you damage an opponent with a Power Attack, you may make an immediate Intimidate check as a free action to attempt to demoralize your opponent.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Defiant Luck (1/day) Reroll a natural 1 on a save, or force a reroll of a critical hit confirmation roll.
Detect Alignment (At will) (Sp) Detect chaos, evil, good, or law at will.
Dimensional Hop (28 5-ft inc/day) (Sp) As a move action, teleport with no AoO to seen destination. Spend an equal distance to carry others.
Discern Lies (14 rounds/day) (Sp) Discern Lies at will
Divine Interference Sacrifice a spell to force an enemy to reroll a successful attack against your ally
Escape Route You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when moving through spaces adjacent to allies
Exploit Weakness (Ex) With a crit, ignore DR, suppress Regen, and take advantage of vulnerability.
Greater Bane (+2 / 4d6, 19 rounds/day) (Su) Make the weapon you are holding a bane weapon.
Inquisitor Domain (Travel) Granted Powers: You are an explorer and find enlightenment in the simple joy of travel, be it by foot or conveyance or magic. Increase your base speed by 10 feet.
Judgment Surge (1/day) Gain improved versions of your judgments
Monster Lore +7 (Ex) +7 to Knowledge checks when identifying the weaknessess of creatures.
Orc Blood Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.
Outflank Increase flank bonus by +2 if flanking ally has same feat. If you crit, ally gets an AoO.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Quicken Spell-Like Ability (Dimensional Hop [28 5-ft inc/day] [Sp], 3/day) Spell-like ability is cast as a swift action up to 3/day.
Ring of force shield An iron band, this simple ring generates a shield-sized (and shield-shaped) wall of force that stays with the ring and can be wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield (+2 AC). This special creation has no armor check penalty or arcane spell failure chance since it is weightless and encumbrance-free. It can be activated and deactivated at will as a free action.
Note: In order to get the AC bonus from this, it must be equipped and then activated on the in-play tab.
Construction
Requirements: Forge Ring, wall of force; Cost 4,250 gp
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Second Judgment (5/day) (Su) Variable bonuses increase as the combat continues.
Shake It Off Gain +1 to all saving throws per adjacent ally
Shared Judgment Extend a judgment to an adjacent ally instead of enacting a second judgment.
Solo Tactics (Ex) Count Teamwork feats as if your allies had the same ones.
Stalwart (Ex) If you succeed at a Fort or Will save for reduced effect, you take none instead.
Swap Places You can trade places with an ally with this feat during your movement.
Track +7 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.

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He’s our buoy!

18 July, 2015

So, everything has gone to shit, Coin is probably dead, Limen was probably in the holy-of-holies – the tesseract – and has kinda stolen our plan. The dimensional anchor is imbedded in Coin’s portrait, and the rope extends off to … somewhere.

We had a bit of a chat to these kinda godlike dudes, who are Coin’s “children”. Maybe. We were going to want to catch up with Limen at the other end of this rope thing. We could follow that rope (which no doubt let through the Plane of Infinite Rats), or maybe take a shortcut.

We opted for the shortcut. We were waned that it might get a little damp.

Now, there’s a bit of history there. One of the doorways opened out onto a ship, which we sank a while ago and which “now” probably lies on the bottom of an ocean.

Checkov’s Gun was mentioned.

Oh, and we needed to find a wizard who was not very good (at being a wizard), but who was going to help in some unspecified way.

And they gave us a little thingy which would stop time while we all had a full nights rest and levelled up. Nice. And a second one. For later. Because we are going to need it.

In the “morning”, John gives everyone a Water Breathing spell, which will last for a while, ditto a Wind Walk.


First door. Opened out into a sewer. There were all these skeletons that had had the flesh sucked off them, but it was ok because they were fully dead. Nice.

Our key/compass pointed “thataway” to the next door, so we went thataway. Tied up in the middle of the fetor was some dude calling for help. “Please help!”, he yelled, “He’s coming back!”. A brief interrogation during which Brus for the first time ever used his “Detect Lies” class ability determined that he was lying his ass off. We ignored him and went for the door. Oh, and I think Picklick shot him a bit just to see what would happen, because even though Morgs was not at the table that’s just how he rolls.

Anyway. As soon as we got close the dude, of course, attacked and a couple more emerged out of the scenery (it was a sewer – lot’s of scenery). We managed to get them down without too much trouble, because it turns out they were flesh-suckers. Every sucked cooked flesh off a chicken bone? Well, they did that. Faugh has taken 3 points of Charisma drain, which – well – doesn’t really do much to him. I think Will took some as well, which does affect him. But, he’s rocking about 20 normally, so he’s ok for the moment.

There was a ping from a pile of scenery, and we uncovered a Ring of Water Walking. We gave it to Faugh, on account of he is a gnome and occasionally gets in over his head.


Next door. Wood panelled rooms which smelled awesome with beeswax. Brus drops a Bloodhound spell every day, so was relived to be out of the sewer. Following our compass, we found a wooden shield that had been pierced through with a very odd foot-and-a-half long shortspear, made of a weird material, kinda chitinous and aww shit: is that a bee stinger?

You bet your booty it was.

Anyway. We found this nice room with a boiling kettle, some tea making gear, and no wizard. We opened a door and looked down a corridor to see a dude in a wizard’s hat bolting towards us, pursued by a swarm of unhappy bees. We admit the wizard, slam the door shut, and Picklick proceeds to wedge the door.

Thud!

Them is some big-ass bees. The wizard mentions that he seems to have upset them. Then there’s a knock on the other door. We reason that bees usually don’t knock, so we let the guy in. Wizard looks like he’s seen a ghost.

Guy says “I’m sorry!” and splits open, and a swarm of bees emerge. Then the other swarm breaks through the wedged door.

Fight fight. Will (or Bottom) gets stung, takes Dex damage. We hightail it to the next door, dragging the wizard along.

But there are two doors! One goes to the bottom of the ocean, and one goes – well, somewhere else. We opt for waterworld. But first, a plan is needed. We rope ourselves together – a good start. We will close the other doors, open the portal door and wait for the inrushing water to equalise pressure. Cool. But we have two problems – we have dudes in armour, and we have a wizard who did not get this morning’s Water Breathing.

For the Wizard, we decide to stuff him into a Bag of Holding. He won’t be in there too long, so will probably not suffocate. Rather than try to convince him to to this, Picklick saps him and we stuff his uncoscious body into the bag. We actually have two, but one of them has a few corpses in it (it’s a long story) so we put him in the other one.

Now, our first thought was to use Wind Walk. But after a moment we recall that that spell doesn’t really work well underwater.

But remember that ring of Water Walking? That we gave Faugh?

If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.

We decide that Faugh is our buoy. Problem solved!

So we secure our loos items (ioun stones, in particular) and open the door.

Well Brus, who opened the door, takes damage, people are washed back, there’s pummelling and cold damage and John drops a Resist Energy (cold), Mass. Much damage. The other doors in the room strain to control the pressure, and John’s invisible Fairy Dragon puts up a Wall of Force It won’t last long.

We get through the door and underwater, and far enough away from the portal to not be sucked back in once the WoF goes down. It’s cold, but we are warmed by the thought of what is going to happen to those fucking bees.

Faugh pops us to the top, cork-like. There is a fortuitous boat just nearby, the crew a little startled by people bobbing to the surface of the sea out of absolutely nowhere, and possibly also by the sight of a deep gnome calmly walking on the water like it ain’t no thing.

Aboard the boat, we let our wizard out of the bag. He’s a little bluish, but not too bad. He is also wet, having made the mistake of opening the bag for a moment.

And here we are. Alive, but still racing the clock.


Brus Reckoner – if it ain’t broke …

4 July, 2015

I’ll do this one OOC, I think, ’cause I’m feeling lazy. Full house again – everyone is back, which is good news.

So, we are in a city that has been conquered by some dudes working for Zon Kuthon. By which I mean, an army. We have kinda decided that rather than immdiately assaulting the scary fortress of evil, we should do some of the other encounters. The rationale is that ZK is getting mana off the bad stuff going down, so we should stop it. It’s very similar to the plot mechanism in the final Age of Worms module – take care of enough of the bad things in the city, and it knocks Kyuss from being a rank 1 god to being a mere demigod.

Three encounters, which makes it a big game night. First, we got a wandering patrol outside the rather nasty undead factory (DM’s: a great way to run a game is just to kick off with a smallish encounter more or less as soon as people sit down. Puts people in game mode.). Multi-legged dog things and some orc mooks. When I say mooks, I mean 100-odd hp mooks, but mooks. We discovered a sweet-ass combo: a Hold Monster from Will and a coup-de-gras from Brus. The naginata is a *4 weapon, so the coup-de-gras means a minimum DC 106 Fort save or die. There’s really not a lot of things that can make that. Maybe we wasted a 4th level spell on someone who was not actually a cleric (thought he had a holy symbol: “Gakk the cleric!”), but we wasted it on making sure that the magic whistle of bringing the entire city down on us like a ton of bricks was not blown, so probably woth it.

We noticed some sort of hamster-wheel-of-pain arrangement over yonder. Barbed wire and spikes, ordinary folks being forced to drive it. Rather nasty and very Zon Kuthon. We decided that the correct approach was to send in someone invisible with decent Stealth and Disable Device. A chance for the rogue to do his thing, which was really great because the player has had to miss a few games. The wheel went rolling off down the hill – unpleasant for the people in it, and people who got in the way. Some collateral civilian fatalities, I’m afraid. But at least the whole “evil green glowing magic stuff” aspect of it has been nullified.

Then we decided to look into the desecrated church. It was – well – pretty thoroughly desecrated. Flayed people hanging from the ceiling beams, corpses propped up in the pews, eeeevil symbols drawn everywhere. We found some clues that had been left carelessly lying about and then fight. Rats and rat swarms, couple of orcs, and chick with crossbow doing sneak attack and serious negative energy damage. She got the drop on us, which was bad.

It transpired she was a vampire using a weapon that lets you do a supernatural effect through it. So she was able to vampire level-drain at range with meatshields. Really bad. And worse, our cleric is phobic about rats.

Neverthless, two really good things happened. First, she rolled a 1 on her save vs Blindness. This pretty much hosed the encounter for the DM. Second, Will had a bunch of low-level creatures to use Rainbow Pattern on (Rats have an Int score, so rat swarms are subject to mind-affecting. Furthermore, they are not immune to weapon damage. They are still a pretty serious problem for this group, however.). This fascinated five or six of them. From there, Brus mopped up some mooks on the floor, and the more acrobatic took to the rafters to kill them some blinded vampire lady. Will moved the Rainbow Pattern outside so that the rats would follow and allow John to come in and start channelling, but John had started his Wind Walk dematerialisation (he really dislikes rats) and was out of the fight. Doesn’t matter – he did the main thing. Picklick tried sneak-attacking with a vial of alchemists fire, but missed. 10′ range increment, meh. Brus rolled some 1s, but mostly had a great old time on the ground, Bottom also cleaning up his share of mooks. Faugh got his pummelling strike in, but mainly had to chase flying blind vampire lady around the rafters. He has a natural climb speed, apparently.

Playing a bard can be a little frustrating at times – you do your bard song (which, btw, is invaluable: +3 to hit makes all the difference) and sometimes it feels like that’s it. But this session we saw what could be done with the bard’s spells. Particularly given that we don’t have an AoE blaster, taking half the combatants out of the fight made a big difference. Some cheese that gives Will a Fireball equivalent might be worthwhile (is there a Greater Sound Burst?).

Anyway. We got some clues – apparently ZK and Limen have some sort of “deal” going. The main issue at the moment is resource management. Some of the undead are light-sensitive, which means this town will become way unfriendly as soon as it gets dark. My character is using a vicious weapon and just chews through HP like crazy – we only have just so much heals.

We saw a side door on the cathederal of badness. We will un-desecrate the church by burning it down (quickest way to go about it, really), and then I’m not sure that there’s anything else needs doing before heading off for the main event. We are down on resources, but not seriously depleted yet AFAIK.


Brus Reckoner – The Beginning of the End

22 June, 2015

At last Coin tells us how his machine works, how it will bring an end to this entire plane of doors. The dimensional anchor will be attached to a spool of unbreakable cable. We will take that anchor all the way to Limen’s sanctum and ground it there. Then, Coin’s machine will haul it back into the tesseract. Simpler said than done, of course – the forces involved are immense. But that, in essence, is how his machine works.

But we still need a MacGuffin or two. A certain clutch of Soul Gems. And for that, we need some help. A paladin named Quicksilver.

According to the angels, Quicksilver is dead. But the angels were misled by Li-men. Instead, he seems to be on one of the planes. A hop, skip, and a jump and we are there.

We arrive at a hillock overlooking what seems to be a conquered city. Brus uses his new spell – Find Quarry. Quicksilver is in that evil-looking tower over there on the other side of the city (of course). His “mode of movement”, according to the spell, is hanging by his ankles and swinging gently.

Find Quarry – You sense whether a well-known creature you can clearly visualize is within a 20-mile radius of your current location, as well as the distance and direction to the creature in relation to you. You also discern whether the creature is moving, and its direction, speed, and mode of movement. The radius you can sense increases by 5 miles for every two caster levels you have above 10th (to a maximum of a 45-mile radius at 20th level).

And this evil-looking tower is not just any old evil-looking tower. A quick flick through the K (religion) recognises it as being dedicated to Zon-Kuthon. Quicksilver, one can guess, is having an unpleasant time of it.

How to get across the city? Around? Through? Under, via that conveniently-placed sewer outlet? Well, we are packing Wind Walk now. We are informed, however, that approaching the tower under cover of that spell is infeasible due to divine interference – a strong Deus ex Machina field surrounds it, and we will need to do at least some of the encounters our DM has lovingly prepared.

Smoke rises from a small cluster of buildings. We elect to alight there and take a squiz.


We head into one of the small, squat buildings with thick clouds of smoke coming from the chimney. The odour of rotting death and charred flesh is all but overpowering. Inside, three chained up somethings – humanoid shaped, at least, probably undead – are positioned to be overlooking a room full of charred skeletons. Brus attempts an intimidate: “surrender, or get killed!”. Yeah, it’s basic: but that’s what intimidate boils down to, anyway.

The – things – declare that they have seen things worse then death, and begin making gaze attacks. It’s on. Brus hits one, Faugh hits one, Picklick is outside, and John is just hanging back. Bottom comes in and commences trying to untie one. Brus goes “hmm, ok” and teams up with Faugh. Good tactics. Will calls out “We are supposed to be helping them!”, Brus replies, “We are!”.

More gaze attacks. The front door swings open a little, and the creatures shrink back from the light. Hmm – interesting. One goes down, then another – not before one of its gaze attacks finally hits home. In one of those bursts of unfairness of which the universe is so fond, Will is the victim. He feels a chill, a sapping of his life force. (One negative level to Will.)

Bottom frees the last one of its chains, and attempts to drag it away. It fights and resists with all its might. Brus, deciding that it would be educational to see what happens to these things in full sunlight, joins in, and he and Bottom drag it into the street outside. It’s screams grow louder and louder, more and more desprate until – bodily dragged into the full light of day – its flesh begins to smoke and fall apart, and it disintegrates into dust.


A few minutes inside the building tell the tale. These undead were once men, chained up and forced to watch as person after person was burned alive in front of them, the horror driving them mad. These buildings are factories to create new troops for Zon-Kuthon.

The party confer briefly. The fight may come down to John’s channelling and his Asimaar Daylight ability. In any case – they agree that they seriously need to be out of here before nightfall.

Bottom has a moment. It has been difficult for a Lawful Good monk travelling with this gang of frankly murderous worshippers of the Outer Gods. But what he saw in that building was a whole new level of evil. It put things in a little perspective. The tower lies ahead, and there’s plenty of city between here and there.

What a shame we aren’t using sanity point rules! Oh well 🙂 . Just the one fight because we spent a fair bit of time sorting out level 12 gear and purchases. Unfortunately, Brus’ weapon has a book value of 71k which completely blows out the value of his gear. I have sent some mail to our mailing list to try to sort it out. Ultimately, there is going to have to be some handwaving going on even if we do cut back his more expensive items (he is rocking a belt +6, which in all fairness is crazy at 12th level).

We are having a bye next week. More madness after that.


Brus Reckoner – Flattenning

14 June, 2015

RETCON!


As the angel’s morningstar bore down on Brus, time stretched out to infinity.
“BRUS”
“Yog-Sothoth? Is it time?”
“Yog-Sothoth is with all time. All space. All knowledge. Yet if they say ask a stupid question…”
The angel had paused, golden fury made statuesque. Brus asked, “What do you request of me?”
“I have given you The Dividing Line. A naginita… Nogginata… A weapon.”
“It’s pretty good so far! Did you see when I…”
“SILENCE. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. The space between the stars. You and The Dividing Line need to guide souls there. Slay those who do not go willingly into the darkness.”
“Sounds good!”
“I shall attempt to keep you on the threshold until the gates of all have coterminated. Then, and only then, may you join the space between.”
Just then Brus saw eldritch writing blaze on the haft of his naginata. In a language unspoken by sane men, unwritten by wise men, it read: “SHUB-LIMINEL” – The Dividing Line, The Space Between The Stars.
“BRUS”
“Yes?”
“Duck!”


Shub-Liminel, “The Dividing Line”, it is and always has been. 🙂 It has some groovy secret powers, and comes with an Ego to match.

Simple game last week – just a straight-up fight with a couple of juiced-up iron golems. We met Limen engaged in a simple, harmless pastime: flattening an entire world, making it nice and round. Will spoke to him a bit, then Brus stepped out and challenged him (necessary, because while the talky-talk was going on, his golems were coming closer to destroying the door that was our way out).

It was a hell of a fight. Brus would be dead outright if Brett had not permitted me to add the roll of an action point to my HP – and that’s with all the buffs, everything. I finally got a chance to use an inquisitor tactic that I have been (I think obviously) wanting to try for some time: Judgment of Smiting makes your attacks adamantine, and Share Judgement feat lets you give your judgement to another in place of using your second judgment for another effect. These things had DR 15/adamantine, so both Faugh and Brus having adamantine attacks kinda mattered.

Moments. Faugh nearly got flattened. There was a Wall of Stone that Will dealt with with a Stone Shape. His fairy dragon companion (“Puff”, of course) now has Dimension Door – allowing Will to TP and drop a channel. Golems, of course, don’t get the heal so is all good. Will decided to go flying, became the only visible target once the Wall of Stone went up, had large chunks of masonry thrown at him.

When the golems were defeated, their insides were full of keys. It kinda signals that the campaign is coming to an end. One of the main hooks for adventures is finding the right key for a door that we need to use – we now have heaps of them. I think our DM intended this simple combat session with two heavy hitters and not much else as a bit of a break for himself from running complex plot-driven adventures because the campaign will finish soon and he needs to prepare.

I’ll miss Brus. I built an inquisitor to try out a class that I haven’t tried before, and he rocks pretty hard, although a lot of that is down to some very expensive jewelry and a little rules lawyering. The Cthulhu-esque theme, which was almost accidental (just John’s alter-ego and myself selecting some cheese for our characters), also has worked well – thanks to our DM picking it up and running with it.

It’s not over yet. We still have ourselves an upstart demigod to slay. It should be good. Sorry if this blog post is a little melancholy. There are separate reasons for that.

Oh, Real World! Why must you intrude so?


Oblivion

6 June, 2015

The strange party returned to Coin. Next on the agenda – Quicksilver! A knight of Iomedae. He offered aid to Coin in return for an unstated service. The party dispatched themselves to a clock tower on some distant (for a certain value of the word “distant”) world.

They passed through a familiar passageway, a hall of doors, and recently a scene of bloody battle. Gouges in the walls left by some mechanical device. Blood everywhere. A trap laid across the hall – some sort of tripwire (?), its ends extending through two of the doorways – doorless, opening onto swirling madness. This tripwire was no ordinary wire, but a strand of curious rope – completely rigid and suspended in space. The party had encountered this material before – even possessed a length of it.

Perhaps the gouges in the corridor were made by the ends of this rope, sweeping down the corridor. Perhaps what they saw was not a trap, but a successful attempt to contain the rope. No matter. They simply stepped over or crawled under it, electing to not tamper with it (although Picklick could not resist a parting shot, as they stepped though one of the doors into the next world).


They stepped out onto a narrow, high, windswept ledge around what was clearly a clock tower. Walking around it, they found a door and entered. Here the meeting would take place.

No check to determine if we were swept off, because lets face it: what happens next if one of us is? DMs must always be careful to not paint themselves into a corner.

They were in a room housing enormous gears. No Quicksilver. On one of the gears was an origami bird – a message. Picklick nimbly leapt onto the gear to retrieve the message. He opened it, and a squad of Angels teleported into the room. The who had teleported onto the gear in front of Picklick began reading out a sentence of death: the party were found guilty of the deaths of Quicksilver and sundry others whose corpses they had encountered (but in most cases not been responsible for) and sentenced to death. They were commanded to lay down their weapons and submit to judgement.

Now, there’s a thing or two you need to know about angels. Angels are servitors of great forces brought into existence by the collective will of mortals – so-called “gods” – who are attempting to hold back the inevitable destruction of the universe as the great ones reawaken and bring chaos, madness, and death. These “gods” accomplish this by attempting to impose their ideas of “right” and “good” on beings weaker than themselves. They were made by mortals, and their primary concern is how mortals live, what mortals do, say, and think.

Yes, this is pretty preposterous. As if mortals thinking clean thoughts and having two healthful bowel movements a day will stop the chaos that is to come.

As is the case here, the gods often resort to execution to do this. They have courts of “law” (Who makes these laws? They do!) where these powers predictably conclude they have a right to act as they do. Thus they justify ordinary vengeance and their acquisition of power in their own twisted minds. In truth, the gods of mortal races are mere reflection of those races: preoccupied with sex, status, respect, money; vain, greedy, and power-hungry, which is to say fearful. They demand worship because they fear what will happen if they are not worshipped. They simply fade away, become a forgotten god.

Submit? To an angel? It is they themselves who ought to submit to worthier powers than they, and surrender themselves to true madness.

Is any of this true? It doesn’t matter. It’s what Brus thinks, at the moment. Maybe it justifies what happens next.

But there was not really time to dispute jurisdiction and due process with this bailiff. Because before he had quite finished reading, Picklick stabbed him.


Tactically, it was a bad situation. The party were clustered together on a gangway being approaced from both sides, with Picklick out by himself on the great gear in the center of the tower. The head angel swung at him twice, nearly killing him outright. Picklick chose to dive over the side and feather fall to the base of the tower.

Morgs keeps thinking like a barbarian. IMO: Picklick needs a couple levels of Assassin. Not that that would have helped here, as angels are immune to death effects.

As it was, he basically got no play, which sucks considering that he had to take a week off. Sorry, man. I feel for you.

Two of the squad were not angels, but were Assimaar inquisitors. One of them used a spell to chain John to a moving gear. Faugh moved up to engage them, and Brus and Bottom moved over to fight an angel coming from the other direction. John, calling on the madness of Azathoth, projected a field of madness around him in all directions. The party were kinda used to it, but the flying cherubs were struck with fits of giggling, and even one of the other lesser angels was confused. The second lesser angel projected a field of antimagic – breaking the confusion and also breaking the spell holding John in place. Brus stayed put of range of the field and with Bottom felled the confused lesser angel. Bottom attempted to save him, managing to stop him bleeding out. A cherub flew over, vomited cold over Bottom who protected himself by ducking behind the wing of the not-quite-dead-yet angel on the ground. “But … why?” wailed Bottom. The cherub moved within reach of Brus’ naginata, and Brus cut it cleanly in half.

Brus – dead babies: 1

Brus relies heavily on buffs. It’s not just spells – inquisitor buffs are supernatural and are suppressed by antimagic. Happily, angelic antimagic is 10′.

Meanwhile, John had moved over to the fight between Faugh and the Assimaar Inquisitors. His aura of madness mostly neutralised them, and they were cut down. But the lead angel had come over, and that bastard was tough.

A truckload of damage, and AC in the 30’s. With buffs, Brus rocks a +25 to hit and Faugh is even better. It was still a tough fight.

The second lesser angel saw that everyone bar the leader was dead. He teleported himself and his fallen comrade out. Brus had finally (finally!) worked out that these guys were good, not lawful, outsiders. He had his bane on, switched to Judgement of Justice, and moved up to fight the main good guy with Faugh.

The great angel was already touched up. Brus swept his naginata and put in some hurt as well. The great angel turned and struck Brus three times, cutting into him twice and killing him outright.

I̡͉͉a̩̠͚̝!̸̩̼̣ ̺̼̯̬Í̮̦̜͚̪͈̖̰͘͞ą̧̯̟͍̳͙̻̻!̧̖͎͓͚̱̬̟ ̞̣̘̳̥ͅY̬͎͇͡o͔̦̜̮̲͢g̶̥̜̭̦̕ ̨̼̰̗̼͞S̨͖̭̥̥̝ó̯t͕͚͙́h̡͚̮͉͎̰̠̫̖͚o͈̥̻͝t̵̨̛̯͚͈̥̱ḥ̢̘͚̭̹͟ ̨͓͕͟͠n̤̺͕̪̠-̷̢̰̝̬͙̳t͕̙g̡͙̬͖̬̀l̩͔̦u͏͕̘̭̤ͅi̝͍͖ ̦̳̙̼͔͞I̷͈͕͕̲̫̻á͈͍̣̥̦̙̣̩̭!̡̙̮̱̯̣̠̝̲̗͢

The great angel turned and struck Brus three times, but on the second cut Yog-Sothoth intervened. Brus’s naginata spoke to him in the language of the Dark Tapestry. A command. An order. A ban.

D͉̰̮͚̣͓͘ͅU̷̸̞̰͕͕̣̥C̛̘͔̯̕K̶͔͎̕!̭̥͓̪͈͈͝

Dave had already had John use his Divine Intervention, but Brus had not used his. We had to retcon it because I had forgotten about my new feat 🙂 .

In a few more moments, Faugh with only a little help finally managed to roll something decent and slew the angel. It faded away into light. A sheet of parchment fluttered to the floor.


Picklick made it back up to the gangway they were on. “I’ve been trying to set light to this place,” he said, “but this wood is old“.

They retrieved the sentence of death. On order blah blah blah for the murders of etc ect etc we find you guilty and sentence you blah blah blah.

Will noticed something odd. The 20th flight? Angel flights go up to sevens. Those old style numerals – “X X”. They were the eyes of Limen. These angels had been deceived.

But for Brus, another matter was more pressing. He approached John, the priest of The First. “This weapon spoke to me. A weapon that speaks should have a name. I will name him ‘Oblivion'”

John made a sign. “His name is Oblivion. You and he will save many from the horror that is to come.”

BY KILLING THEM! Bwahahaha!

Oh man, I totally forgot about Neeko. Wasted my once-per-day 4th level spell on trying to locate her. She, of course, had gone through a portal and was off-plane. Neeko is Picklick’s foil, so maybe there’ll be some hobgoblin/catfolk love next session.


Voices in the dark

23 May, 2015

There is little to tell about the actual heist. The main exhibit hall was trapped and fitted with alarms, of course. Antimagic effects that lasted for about three rounds, and then the guards arrived. Walls dropped into place, but the party had had the foresight to bring their escape route right up close to the exhibits. Dimfuzz and Picklick went on a lock-picking and trap finding spree, except for the one trap that William managed to trip.

It’s a bit of a shame that on the night Picklick’s real-world alter ego was not present owing to a bit of an emergency, as this scenario was kinda meant for his character to be the main actor. Lots of traps, lots of interesting effects. The antimagic meant that people who don’t rely so much on magic got a chance to step forward.

Sorry, man – we played it out without you there.

During the brief interval of antimagic, John’s companion was revealed – a tiny dragon, no doubt some sort of servitor of Azathoth.

John is in thrall to a usually-invisible fairy dragon, whose hallucinogenic breath weapon … explains a great deal.

There were guards, there were Stinking Clouds (Brus was out of action for a whole 18 seconds, which is a long time in D&D), they lifted the anchor, the tiebreaker, and a thing or two else besides. Dimfuzz turned out to be as treacherous as you would expect a gnome thief to be, but in the end all was forgiven – although not forgotten.

The group killed most of the guards before escaping though the door, leaving a lone museum employee to explain the mess to his superiors.

And the whispers in Brus’ mind began to resolve themselves into words.

F̜̤̰͚̼t̶͍̰̟̠̫͈̱;͖̜̫̪̬nͅ’́ ͚̭͎̬n̪̯̳̮͙͍y̙͡a̖͉̲̣̫r͈̩ĺ̺̳͈ ̼̦͟h͈̳e͖p͏̖̘͎͚̦-̢̳̜̯̠̖͓i̛̺͖ͅm̘h̪o͘t͓̞̙̫̣͓̣h̬̯̘̻̻͟e̥̼̩̳̳p̶,̳̫̮̩͟ n̟̪͈͈̯̮̲g̶̭͔̭ͅl͙͕̺̤̀u͇̘̼̖i͓̭̖ ͞R̰̘̭a̪̹͖̖̼͇y͟l̛̘͔n̠̲̙̬̼͍ģ͍̣̻̗͔͎̼ ̞̘͈̰̠̪͇p̴̮̝̲̻̬͎t̺̭͈̟’̢͍̞̤t̲̬̟h͇̟̥̲a̘͖͢r̶̹̖͓̳͚̘̥ḻ̶͕̣͉̗̦̲t̖̝͡op̟̪̞̺h̶̯̗t̞̝̻͎̙g̰̮̬̲̘̟̳eṇ̠͍̭!̝͇̞͢

Oh, he could call. And the powers beyond the veil of illusionary safety would answer. There was always a price, of course, but Brus had faith.

Ping! I took “Dark Tapestry” as a language. It’s not on the list, but I image Brett will OK it. And “Divine Intervention” as a feat – immediate action to sacrifice a spell and make an opponent re-roll an attack. Brus doesn’t use a lot of spells – he’s usually too busy hitting things – so I look for anything that’s doable as a swift or immediate action. One-round-per-level buffs are just not his bag.

I’ll be using it mainly on enemy crit confirmation rolls (which are attack rolls), or if anyone gets through the line and goes for our squishies.

For 4th level spells, Freedom of Movement would be thematic and useful, but meh – I’d rather try out some new spells I have never used before. So I grabbed “Judgement Light”, which has a variety of handy effects including a burst Farie Fire which, I’ll tell you now, is totally worth a 4th-level slot. I have selected restoration as my other one but … meh – not really Brus’ thing. I think I’ll change it before game.

Curse of Magic Negation
Will save. Too risky.
Divination
fun, but not worth it for a spontaneous caster. More John’s thing.
Leashed shackles
Reflex save.
Litany of Sight
WTF? Fourth level? When I pack See Invis anyway?
Find Quarry
Hmm. A possibility, seeing as we often need to chase specific people. It has no game effect, because lets face it in the metagame we are certainly going to find who we are chasing.
Divine Power
One round per level. Feh.
Hold Monster
Will save, but very handy for big & dumb. We need something that will bring down a dragon, but they have a good will so this spell will probs fail.
Dismissal
Unfortunately, it is usually we who are the outsiders.
Greater Invis
Very handy, but I have used it before, and I only get 1 4th level spell a day.
Shadow Barbs
Not as good as it seems if you can’t apply Inquisitor Bane (etc) to spell effects.
Stoneskin
probably his best pick, mechanically. But again: I want something new and different.

I’ll think about it. I’ll probably sacrifice the best cheese and go with Find Quarry, which is thematic.