Blog Archive

Friday, 20 December 2013

Basic Nyssian Assumptions

Fire spells, items or creatures do not exist on Nyssa.

Magic (often called the Frequency) comes from the gods, given to clerics directly. Obelisks are divine outlets by which the frequency comes to the domain. Any time obelisks are in towns they become the equivalent to churches; the central location for meeting.

Wizards are believed to (theoretically) steal the energy needed to cast spells. Psionicists and sorcerers create the frequency within themselves, sometimes they are called living obelisks.

0 & 1st level spells generally are not lost in cities, due to being near obelisks, for both clerics and priests. Must still memorize spells as normal. Larger obelisks sometimes enable additional spell levels not to be lost, but only for the faithful.

Clerics, except for death spells, require only one spell component - their holy symbol. If they lose access to their holy symbol, they cannot cast any spells. One virtual feat clerics receive at first level is create holy symbol which takes one hour of prayer. Clerics have 15 + wisdom modifier, of clerical spells in their prayer books by spell level they can cast. They can replace spells freely with other priests at holy sites.

Wizards gain 2 spells every level until 10th. They gain one spell per level until 15th. Wizards no longer gain spells
automatically every level past 15th level, they must research them.

Raise the Dead can ONLY be cast at an obelisk. There is no material components, but the god will not enable them to be cast on an opposed aligned creature or someone that has angered the gods. Most times a service is required. Reincarnation is much more popular, but the listing is significantly different and so is the mandatory service.

Teleportation spells require teleportation circles. It takes one uninterrupted hour to create one in sand or other physical element as a temporary circle. A permanent one can be created in stone. If an open circle, anyone can use, and will take them to a Matched Location or to any other Circle the caster has been to or is aware of. If sealed (requires a password to step into AND step out of) must contain the true name of anyone going to use it.

Weeks are also called ten-days or a cycle. The most important day is Sword Day, wherein adults must spend four hours in weapon training. This is also the day duels are held and gladiatorial combat usually occurs.

Most people are pagan, meaning they worship more than one god. Only Paladins are required to worship at least one god. It is standard practice to make an offering to any obelisk you go to or pass by; it is considered extremely rude not to. You can use any god from any setting…. Most good aligned people say they follow the Quadrane (Quanna, Japeth, Darras & Mathai)

Hembria was an ancient magical empire that spanned the domain; Hembrian is vernacular for anything old.

Guilds are also known as Towers and they commonly hold seats of power in communities. Rather than one-person one vote, each tower has one vote on the governing counsel. Some common towers: sollus (gardens), song (Bardic), sorrow (mortuaries), silence (martial arts), Solomon (wizards), law (bureaucracy), Trade (merchants), war (military). Many others exist. In theory they are equal in the power, but this rarely works without political entanglements.

Dragons are generally called Tyrants, only two known types of dragons are native: purple & ice.

Drow do not exist in Nyssa. (There is a good-aligned, highly musical black skinned Elf called the Dral.)

Psionics exist on Nyssa; they are heavily located in one known area of the world, rare elsewhere.
Talented: pseudonym for psionic. Tallene are psionic humans.

Coinage: Oromians (the nation of sailors) mint all Nysarian coins. All bear official seals of the local government (City, Region or Nation) and a Tyrant. Wing/Seal, is the equivalent to Heads/Tails. One slight difference, if the coin is subsequently lost, it should not be looked for. This is called an offering to Fatanus (Lady Luck.) Common (Copper), Noble (Silver), Crown (gold), Lord (Electrum) are the names.

Constructs have at completion maximum HD. For example, an 8 HD flesh golem would have 80 hp. Most constructs are intelligent, part of the elemental spirits that are bound in their creation. All can speak in a limited fashion, but they can be given much more advanced directions.

Guns were once utilized, heavily in some sections of the world. For some reason, around five hundred years ago they fell into disrepute, no known reason. They still work, and some Smokers use them, but they are despised. Most must go to specialized collectors to buy ammunition. Guns themselves cannot be made magical, however, ammunition can be enchanted.

There are no stars in the night sky, rather there are four constant moons. Another seven moons can be seen at differing times. The seasons of the year are based on Curen’s (Prime Moon) position; Rising, Peak, Descent, Dearth. The other moons are: Drelth (Red), Frel (Blue); Kredant (Green).

While slavery is common in many parts of the world; it’s much closer to forced service. Most are criminals, prisoners of war, or of a differing race. In all but the most evil nations, children are granted freedom at birth (along with their mothers). Halflings are the most common type, next followed by Ogres, Goblins, Gnolls and Minotaurs; dwarves are the least common. Good aligned characters may not keep slaves; but not required to rescue slaves. Lyrria has an open door gate policy, the law does not enforce return, so they are essentially immediately free.

Rapine Creatures: Salamanders, Minotaurs and Gargoyles are a neuter sex; they can create brute drones or forcefully mate with other humanoids to reproduce unique combinations.

Rule of the fist. In most civilized areas large bladed weapons, missile weapons, martial weapons or exotic weapons are illegal to carry on the street. Everyone can use a dagger, staff or fist. In some areas, the list also includes free use of the rapier. Beating someone up (unless an elder, child or invalid) is very rarely criminal.

Spice, is the word used for illicit drugs, some varieties are: Bliss, rage, dream, jube, pixie dust, and angel blood. They are illegal in most lawful societies, but they are available.

Taint rules are found on Nyssa. Association with undead or demonic beings may cause the physical body to rot away or become deformed.

Undead are a constant threat. Any corpse not properly interned will arise as undead in 3-12 days. Jackalla, servants of Anubis serve as undertakers in 95% of all communities and are obsessed with destroying undead. Usually found in Sorrow Towers, large mortuaries, that serve as their mortuaries.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

incremental levels

Incremental Levels

Characters gain incremental levels instead of true levels, which are your levels divided into four segments: Skills & Feats,  Attack Bonus,  Hit Points and Spells / Other. 

When you gain a quarter of the experience you can gain any one of these bonuses for the level instead of waiting for the full amount for all benefits.

You do not need to gain all these segments to advance in an area. For example, a spell caster can gain new spells but not have the normal max hit points as they may have maximized spells instead of other areas.  

You can gain no more than 2 extra levels in a particular segment higher then your lowest segment level (i.e. 3 levels total). 

We are using the slow advancement based on the class table below.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Not So Undead - The Unfinished Race

Almost in time for All Hallow's Eve, a not so dead undead. Just think of someone who had died in battle or adventure, but simply arises, without explanation or reason. Who or how these beings come to being is up to you, but these are individuals that caused a glimpse of the "Other Side" and have returned. They are always hiding as they are neither fully part of either the living or the Dead communities. Fully sentient but with the foul appearance and horrible smell of their much better known counterparts.

The Unfinished 

CR 2
N Humanoid
Init +1; Perception +6

AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 15 (chain mail 5)
hp 9 (2d10-2)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +2

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +2 (1d4+1)


Morale 12

Str 13, Dex 12, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB 2 CMD 13
Feats:  Alertness, Endurance
Skills: Perception +3, Survival +3, Knowledge (Religion) +6, Stealth +6 and Sense Motive +5

Typical Weapons: Short Sword, Long Bow or Dagger
Languages: Jackalla, Dwarven & Common

The Unfinished (also sometimes called Necrites) appear as walking corpses, just entering rigor mortis. Most wear little clothing, and have little in the way of arms or other equipment. Since they appear as undead, they are greatly feared, shunned if not outright fought. However, their transformation and escape from the final death, they gain in both knowledge and sagacity. Many of these individuals become clerics of death gods or rogues, as they spend so much time in dungeons and other shadowy places of death and wealth. They have an significantly decreased appetites, surviving on a diet of fare found in dungeons: rats, bats or snakes but they can consume as per their original background. Since they are not traditionally born into existence, they do not have the same pull of romantic companionship.

Low level or mindless undead generally ignore the Unfinished unless they take action opposite to their base goals. More powerful, calculating undead often desire the Unfinished as their servants; evil ones often serve willingly.  It is not known whether the Unfinished die their own versions of a natural death, as most succumb in battle. Since they seem to find no respite in any location, locked between life and death, most Unfinished seem to find their place as adventurers.

Racial Levels: Racial levels work the same as class levels, they gain the benefits as listed. They can always take a non-racial class but they are then unable to rise in their racial class any further.

2 HD      +2 Wis, +2 Int, -2 Con, -4 cha;
               Pact of Tranquility
               Dual Nature
               Dmg Reduction 2 / blades;
              Gain BAB & Saving Throws as Cleric
              Gain Skill Ranks as Ranger (use Cleric or Ranger Skill List)
              +2 on knowledge (religion), Stealth and Sense Motive

Pact of Tranquility: They are never able to use a spell, feat or ability that enables them to command               or charm undead. While rarely allies,their nature prevents them from affecting their kin in a                             negative way

Dual Nature: Treat any spell or affect as a positive if it would affect either undead or living                             humanoid. If acting as either, cannot later act as the other during the same encounter on saves vs                   necromancy and undead effects

3 HD +2 Wis or + 2 Dex; Chill Touch 3 / day
4 HD Speak with Spirits or undead 3/day; +4 saves vs on necromancy and enchantment spells
5 HD Resist cold & electricity 10; +2 Wis or + 2 Dex
6 HD Death Pact I; Protection from Energy (10) 3 / day
7 HD +2 Wis or + 2 Dex; Damage reduction 5 / blades
8 HD Immune to Poison, Vampiric Touch 3 /day
9 HD Death Pact II; Damage reduction 5 / magic weapons of +2 or lower; +2 Wis or + 2 Dex;
10 HD Resist cold & electricity 20; Immune to necromantic and energy draining undead attacks; Treated as undead except they cannot be turned

+1 HD or level        Gain one level of a standard class

Death Pact I: Non-intelligent undead creatures of your HD or lower will not attack you (and your group if you are leading them) unless the group takes some sort of offensive or threatening move agaisnt them. It will take 24 hours of any pack member not seeing / interacting with any member of your group before the DPI is available again. You can have three times your HD as protected allies under your protection, if any take action all of you take face the potential attack of the angered undead.

Death Pact II: Intelligent undead creatures of your HD or lower will not attack you (and your group if you are leading them) unless the group takes some sort of offensive or threatening move agaisnt them. If you do break the pact, that intelligent undead will never have the treaty with you again. You can have three times your HD as protected allies under your protection, if any take action all of you take face the potential attack of the angered undead.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sea of Stones - Pt 1 - 10 (Our Start)

The storm finally started to calm in the early Vornic morning, as the early morning Defenders came out of the town to keep an eye on things. A downed ship just off-shore sent out multiple magical flares in the dead of night, but nobody dared enter the storm to search for survivors until the rains calmed down. Almost as soon as the Zernic soldiers saw the signs of the Galjain ship, they turned back. They didn't care nor want even healthy ship-mates (or worse) coming to their town, and they certainly wouldn't help them get there.

Galjaic adventurers came here for one main cause: treasure! There were plenty of caves filled with rumoured pirate bounty on the sea-shore, but it is the ruined temple of Lagosh that most came for, to search for magical artefacts of the past. The lawful Zern would permit the (would-be) adventurers in town if they didn't cause trouble. But that never lasted long.

For those interested, I would like to run a play-by-post game using mostly Pathfinder rules for anywhere between 3-5 players.

How we play: DM will post, will give everyone one day, then post a response answering questions and leading the story.

This is a game about adventure, challenge and choices. It is NOT a game about dice, players will roll NO DICE to determine outcome.

Classes: Pick from below, all classes can pick ANY skill

Fighter, 6 skills, 3 feats
Priest, 6 skills, 2 feats, 4 spells/level + turn undead
Thief, 12 skills+2 feats
Ranger, 6 skills+track+animal companion
Sorceror 6 skills+2 feats+3 Spells+Spell-Burn
Paladin: 6 skills+2 feats+holy weapon

Human: Gain Extra Feat
Tenderfoot: (also called Halfling) Bonus to Stealth + Diplomacy
Jahlen (golden horned goat humanoid): Horn attack +Bonus to Climb
Dwarf: full shield+bonuses to poison saves
Mechanoid: (golem) does not eat or breathe, not affected by poison
Ratling: night vision + smell

Who is on shore? If you are interested, send me a response, stating, character name, race & class and what you are doing. Send a follow up email telling me your skills, feats and if appropriate, spells.

GOT GAME.....prove it!
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Slag Mechanoid Rogue

Slag wandered the town slowly and carefully, much like he did anything , his sensors keeping track of things around him and cataloging everything into it's proper place. He was in search of work to be sure, his own upkeep wasn't cheap and his inventions and artwork all took resources, resources he was growing low on. He searched for something well suited to his particular abilities, and even more so anything that might increase his knowledge of machinecraft or his own history. His last memories had led here but ended outside the city gates...everything from there was a blur, lost to him. Why had he been here? what had happened? Why didn't he remember any of it??
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Response 1:

Slag continued to walk deeper into town, carefully observing the people who though not outwardly ignoring him, were trying to keep their distance. There were some of the foot soldiers, but they didn't pay much attention after realizing what he was. And in a flash, he heard a sound, a whistle that summoned him back. He turned around and without thought or impulse walked immediately to the beach. As he did, he saw more of the survivors, approximately two dozen onshore now, some helping their mates, or handling the dead, or  scrounging around for equipment. Slag did nothing to assist any of them, this was not his assignment. "Slag!" someone called out, he walked toward the Quarter-Master Tolish, who held a commanding rod, "Assist with recovery. DO NOT LEAVE THE UNIT!" (What action do you want to take?)?

Slag looked at the survivors guaging their worth...they seemed if anything a hindrence to the group..he would begin to salvage what items of value he could find amidst the debris. If there truly was nothing of value there then he would begrudgingly help carry survivors back to the soldiers and whoever he thought most likely to have medical skills.

A cloaked form woke, dazed and confused amongst the chaos.  His good eye coming into focus, his magic felt depleted save for the basics.  Shocked at the large form that approached him, he tried to rise but was pinned down.  Turning to look at what was pinning him down, Orin Ragebearer, was confused but not shocked to find a body slumped over his legs...

Kaily, was watching the ship from a distance when it was going down and made her way the shore line to see if there were any valuables to add to her hidden collection. She went down, ignoring most the survivors, unless they looked wealthy.  It was easy enough to persuade them to accept her help but in reality she was “helping” herself to the contents of their pockets and jewellery.  She knew exactly what will bring in a good price in the right places. She wasn’t too concerned about others that may be doing the same thing or watching out for those like her-self...
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Response 2:

Two human soldiers reached down, to help Orin up to his feet...they saw what he was and backed away. Any non-noble spellcasters were looked down upon, and Orin was far from the upper class of society, or else why would he be here? He came to his feet and saw the effort going on and had no spells that could quickly assist. He went to the nearest officer, Quarter-Master Tolish, who told him to stand-by.

Kaily found little to speak of, soldiers and sailors were the worst to loot, they drank all their money away. Though not dressed for it, she volunteered to be apart of the relief efforts.She quickly found her way standing next to a metal soldier and more humans, all looking ragged.

There were small groups of humans and dwarves helping to bring the injured over to Jadic, the highest level cleric on board the ship who did her best with spells and items to assist as quickly as she could. None of the Minotaurs who ruthlessly kept order on the ship among the "crew" were around; nobody really liked the smelly brutes but they were efficient and loyal which was what the Galjaic navy were always looking for.  Small crews were doing their best to bring provisions on board, on the escape shuttles. The main vessel, their war ship was the most visible item on the horizon, it's damage from lightning was apparent, some sort of magic was keeping it afloat for now...the crew, would do emergency repairs until they could get it to a dock for proper repairs.

Some of the non-aligned citizens from Ervatos, the nearby city, had started to come out to determine what had happened, and many of them began to assist in getting the hurt people into town. Officially the two cities, were among many in the Sea of Stones that were in competion for magic and slaves, unofficially many of the lower castes didn't care about their own Masters and tried to help or connect with each other when they could.

Slag, Orin & Kaily were called over, to help in securing the supply ships, hauling the long chains into shore. It was slow, heavy-going, but they kept a steady pace and in a few hours, helped to lead the shore crews bring four of the ships onto land. It was the last ship, that Slag noticed the carpet was half over the goods, in this case half a dozen of official emblazoned Pernic heavy armor. One of the lesser officers came over almost immediately after to cover up the goods, but said nothing to the mechanoid who kept on doing his duty.

Now there were more than 75 soldiers and others on shore with a makeshift camp. The worst injured were brought into the city, and the others were in the camp.

Seeing their exhaustion, Tolish told them they were relieved until later in the hour. What do you want to do? It is late afternoon.

Slag for the most part was quiet and stoic moving through the camp with an eye to details but not necessarily to people, if nothing presented itself as outside of the ordinary he would eventually settle down into a small space to himself and make any necessary repairs both to himself and to his equipment. He was a bit of a tinker in general , constantly at work on some new device or sketching out some new idea. When his self and equipment were in good repair and maintenance he would begin to sketch. His pencil flying across
the paper carefully detailing any ideas of the day so they would not be lost. He knew better than to get attached to any of the people, they were fragile and in ill repair. He had made the mistake of letting himself grow attached to one and would never make it again. People broke down, they stopped functioning and there was no way to fix them. ?

Response 3
Nothing particularly grabbed Slag's attention to the assorted mercs assorted on the beach, a little over half of the original crew, with none of the Minotaurs, the brutes that normally kept everyone in line. Nobody here were True Slaves, they all chose to come to the raiding mission - if it was the same as most of their missions, either the wildly chaotic elves or the savage lizardith.  As he began to outline the group and noticed the dwarves, unlike the humans, were in very tight formations as to where they stationed their tents and fires,  more so than the others. Then he realized their armor and weapons were considerably better then anyone else, not just an individual but the entire group. These weren't mere sell swords,these were true Myrmidons, recognized battle-hardened warriors...why were they here on simple raids?

After awhile they came back to the Quarter-Master who assigned them no actions, so they settled in place getting ready for the evening. There was some commotion, as merchants from the city started to come out, to see if these soldiers, these men-at-arms needed any food or ale. Short, tense conversations was the rule, little politeness between these sets of strangers, yet they both wanted something, so the trade kept on.

Slag sat down and began to outline the area in his drawing, saying nothing and starting to add the incredible layers of detail. After awhile as was his nightly habit, he closed his eyes and began to hum the only song he knew, the song that kept creating him, the one that echoed in his circuits every night, this was his refresh, the only time that he could heal any external damage. Though not asleep, this was one of the few times he was lost in something bigger than himself.  

He rose just before sunrise, and saw a set of officers meeting. A dwarf came over and stood nearby one of the sleeping tents, and as was there customs, began beating the morning drum,getting them awake, fed and started to move out. There were three main groups set up, patrol, transport and night-soldiers. Which group do you want to be assigned to first?

Slag ended his reverie refreshed and ready to face a new day. His contemplation of the day before had been how fragile these creatures seemed to be and an attempt to understand how they could be repaired or maintained.  He would keep track of the transactions going on about his general area, keeping an eye on prices and general demand..

He needed nothing from the merchants yet and had made nothing he wished to sell so he barely acknowledged them as once more he patrolled the camp looking for irregularities. He had little other plans or activities. It seemed likely that he would be of most use on the transport side of things using his superior strength and indefatigable endurance to provide a boost to such activities while still being able to double as a guard should the need arise.?

Response 4

There were no lots drawn for assignment, dwarves, humans and the few Minoutaur simply went to their duties. Dwarves, like Slag, went to the trading carts. The Dwarves put away their weapons and armor and began organizing the four carts, packed full of goods. There was virtually no space for the workers or their equipment, but somehow everyone was crammed in. Another two carts were for the soldiers. All six of the carts were pulled by Hederak, monstrously large creatures, a combination of horse and elephant, often used to attack giants. They seemed out place with their heavy fur in the jungle, but were well cared for by their Minotaur handlers.

For the first six hours, nobody said anything to you, other than the starting caravan passed by the local city, until it stopped at almost a random location, then you were asked to help unload the goods. As always, he did as commanded. They assigned most of the heavy lifting to you at first, you noticed that a few of the other dwarves had the same or greater strength than you, but your expertise at moving the boxes, especially in the wagons, was far more expert, so you were assigned there. That first day of travel there were three brief stops to sell goods, common placed ones that you could find at almost any trading spot. Yet, each time they stopped, customers were waiting to purchase their goods. Many of them came into one specific wagons, and each time left with a weapon in hand.

That first night, the day soldiers retired early, and the night ones came out, as the dwarves settled down. Many of them complaining about the drive, the conditions or their wagons. With no other mechanoid, you
were alone, at least at first. some of them offered you food and ale, but you politely turned them down. You spemd three hours on a superb outline of the camp and the jungle trees in the diminishing light.  One by one the dwarves fell asleep, and you, wishing to copy their pattern did the same, starting to listen to your internal hum. Less than twenty minutes later, you feel a hand agaisnt you. You realize one of the dwarves are trying to open your body cavity up...what do you want to do?

Slag would stop humming for the moment a subtle reminder that he was more than a machine. If the Dwarf continued with its actions he would step back one step, his hand moving to close the compartment. His voice loud enough to draw attention if any were close enough by "Was there something you required?" he would ask as always quiet calm and seemingly unflappable. ?

Response 5

The dwarven hand continued to rummage in the half darkness, franticly searching for the switch to open the chest cavity.  Your voice frightened the dwarf who Slag could easily make out the desperate act of running away, the would-be thiefs awkward backwards movement caused him to lose his footing. This had caused several other dwarves to be alerted, many grabbed their near-by weapons to come rushing.

"Dolok...what are you doing?" came one screaming dwarven voice. This was enough for Slag to open his eyes to see four dwarves immediately pounding down on the would-be thief. The whimpering response was not enough, as one of them bashed their comrade, knocking him to the ground once more.

"Golem... thing" the voice roared out, "Has this whipering snake stolen anything from you?"

This was one of the few dwarven names you knew Gnalid D'Kaepen, he was First Hammer on the mission, leader of the crew. "No."

Gnalid thought for a moment as his soldiers kept the would-be thief down. "Dolok, you are confined to the tent, when we get to proper civilization your arms are revoked, and you leave the Company."

"For what?" Dolok yelled, struggling to get up, "I didn't take anything, I was searching for contraband."

'For dishonour...and that's enough." Gnalid yelled, then went into one of the tents a few moments later came out with a pair of chains, throwing it down to his keepers, who quickly locked-up the would-be thief, and took him into one of the carts.

Gnalid came over offering you his hand, "My apologies for the lesser acting as a ...Tharon. We may take the spoils of victory, but we earn it with honour."  Slag knew Tharons, as the true lords of the water, the human empire that controlled everything they touched in the Sea of Stones. This was not their official lands, but they still claimed what they wanted and nobody was strong enough to stop them. "We have two more days until we reach the cavern, you are welcome to enter with us or change units,."

"My name is Slag." you say, and he begins to walk back to his tent...

Slag would take the dwarf's hand. It was a strange custom, a gesture of distrust that had evolved into a form of sincerity and greeting "I hold no one responsible for another's actions." he said earnestly, though as usual his words were clipped and measured and it might be difficult to discern his true meaning. "I see no reason to change units".  He would slide back to his place and go back to his reverie, his mind now on ways to ensure the person you were meeting with was not carrying a weapon...a machine to replace the primitive
device of clasping hands and shaking them to see what fell out.?

Orin sat patiently for a while but no tasks were assigned to him so he started to observe the various activities around the area. He noticed a perculior sight. It was some sort of construct but seemed to have its own motives. He followed the construct, who was called Slag. Orin hung back while the events unfolded with the dwarves. He quietly passed Slag and gave him a glance, then nodded. Orin then found an area with less of a crowd and waited for the Golem.?

Response 6

The remainder of the night passed by quickly, as Orin who was assigned to night patrol came to rest near the dwarven camp... he spent a hard night on patrol, with none of the humans and Jahlen saying a word to him, others came in groups, he was alone, and saw that like him the Golem was also mostly alone.

Crajin, Second Hand, came over and started a conversation with the lanky spell-caster just before morning meal.

"You carry no heavy armor, you...cast spells?" You nod.  "Priest or Wizard?

"Innate spells...Sorceror."

"Are you looking for a unit to join?" You nod again.

"You can carry stuff? Heavy stuff?" Again you nod, you know your leviatate spell would make a heavy load seem light and easily maneuverable. He points to a load of boxes, and in a second they were levitating a few feet off the ground. This time it was Crajin's turn to nod. "You'll work with Slag." He calls over the metal-man and introduces you to him, both of you recognize each other from the beach.

"Crajin, I was hired for delving...why are we acting as merchants?"

"We are on Zernic territory, they could stop us or make trouble with the Tharons. We come as merchants, and they let us pass."

"They know?"

Crajin nods, "We come twice a Turn. We have some weapons to sell, not enough to make a profit. But we know there are huge caches of coins in some of these caves. They don't have the ground forces, as they are pounded by the lizardith. Most times they let us take away what we find."

"Sounds fine to me, I know sometimes one needs to avoid unnecessary questions... Merchants move more freely. I am up for some treasure seeking. Any trouble we need to know about?". Asks Orin?

Response 7

"Mostly raiders - the lizardith are the worst, strong in number. The fey elves are quarter their number. but we have no quarrel with them, but the Zern have fought wars of intrusion. The zernic magic is far more powerful than the Galjaic, but they are spread out with their forces. That's why...we've come. Stories are told of great evil artifacts hidden beneath the caves. The Galjaic nobles know this is two jobs in one, fighting back the evil beneath and keeping the Zern at bay, that's why they indirectly hire us."

You hesitate, "You're not Galjaic?" you thought these were members of the aristocracy in Tonnax, their home city, High Galjaic where you and many of the crew come from.

He shakes his head, "We buy our rights, or they pay us to do their dirty work, which keeps the Zerns happy, which likewise keeps the Tharons away."

"You're all just..."

"We all pay the piper." He smiles and nods. It is crazy but that just seems to be the way.

Crajin says, "Tigers, girallons, apes, and snakes...the most common jungle beasties, but anything is possible, and always stay wary of the undead. Remember, bury or burn anything you kill, as that which is not put to rest will always return."

Morning meal quickly morphed into the trail, as the night soldiers traded positions with the day ones, and they headed out. Orin noticed even more soldiers out there, some he wasn't entirely sure were originally on the ship.  He was on a cart with four dwarves, none of them wearing armor, that spent their little free time playing cards for nobles.  He said little, and declined their offer to game...but he did watch enthusiasticly, studying strategy and techniques.

Slag too was in a cramped cart with other dwarves, they spent half their time drinking, half sleeping and a bit of the other time doing chores fixing up some of the product for sale. Again they stopped half a dozen times to quickly get their stock out...weapons, that's all the citizens of this fine island seemed to buy. They were high quality stuff hidden underneath the carts, not exactly illegal but certainly frowned upon.

Near the end of the day, the carts slowed down, but unlike the other times, did not stop, as it crawled past a death post. a gruesome scene as a a dozen lizardith in various stages of decomposure. Members of the military unit posed, besides claimed kills, some even cutting off pieces of scale to claim as trophies. The dwarves scowled disapproval very low, this was crass and looked down upon in their culture, but they knew not to show their feelings too openly. They were waved on, then continued for another hour before making camp.

A tall stony fissure loomed on the horizon, maybe an hour away from camp...a spyglass was shared among the dwarves to get a better look at it.

"Your day duties are completed." Crajin, Second Hand spoke, "Did either of you want to do anything tonight?"

Slag had seen the man and his furtive motions and gestures but saw no reason to meet up with him that night and was carried into the day without issue or comment. He mostly just observed, words were something he saved for important circumstances, wasted very seldom. He learned little from conversation but spent much of his time in silent contemplation, his mind always running as the day dragged on, when the night finally closed in he saw no reason to change his usual routine and would spent it as he always had , in sketches and quiet and finally in reverie. ?

Valimare awoke on what appeared to be a gurney by the shore. The drinking part he remembered, up to a point it would seem, but the rest was a rather large question mark.  Didn't matter much anyway, he would carry on and do what he did until orders arrived anyway. It wasn't normal for Valimare to black out from drinking, but it did appear fortuitous to have passed out on shore at the far end of town this particular day. He checked his blades and proceeded to look around.?

Response 9

Had it been five days of cards and drink and other  unmentionable things that he was on that damned cutter? Valimare  was aboard another ship, when they docked with the Galjain one, and he and his counter-part was invited aboard for drinks...and now he was here, in Zern, apparently signed up to do a damned cave dive. The bloody Arjaxs sold his contract to a bunch of Galjaic dwarves. Some dwarf was screaming at him to get into another cart, this one slowly heading away, he climbed aboard to see six dwarves, no armor on
sitting have a sip and a game of cards, smiling, he soon joined them.

He half stumbled out of the dwarven cart he was in at the end of a couple of days, the ale was wet enough at least, and he stayed afloat in coins .Their drinks were cheap, and he made some friends on the two day trip... they were headed to some dead fissure, where scaled beasts had been seen. A lizardith encampment perhaps...they could find some coin or jewelry, they could all be lined up for years. He felt a scratch on his arms, he looked to see a tattoo; by the Abyss he was bonded, he couldn't slip away and find another "job"!

Mostly dwarves here, but a sorceror and a walking golem. Bashint, one of his card buddies, came up to Valimare and slipped him some advice, don't sign up for the first wave. Valimare nodded agreement.

In the morning, First Hammer shouted out, "Dwarves, arm yourself into three waves. We enter the lower caves. Each group will enter a different cave - explore, come out with info. Only engage if it's a foe!"

Valimare, Orin and Slag, along with three dwarves in heavy armour and maces as their primary weapons and an old human female wearing vestments of Quanna, Goddess of Light (LG), she introduces herself as Nara D'Olinna.  "Greetings. I am a healer but prefer to eliminate the threats before they engage. My only request is no inter-party non-sense. If you are a detriment, I will not heal you." Just like every other priest you've seen, she wears a holy symbol necklace, except hers is one to Casna, (LN) god of justice.

Unnare D'Fastano, the lead dwarf also makes take orders from him, don't run from battle or refuse an order, those are his only instructions to you.

Questions or heading to the volcano?

Valimare nods and smiles, his scarred face forming a slightly comical scene.  He knows better than to question an order, although he studies the Dwarf, wondering what sort of leader he has dealt.  He looks around and wonders if this is the same Golem Bashint said had been "molested", but says nothing wodering what kind of humour golems have instead.  Well met all!  he says, and turns for the volcano.

Slag would simply nod his eyes flickering among those assembled, the rules of the mission seemed little more than common sense to him and would have not needed to be said were it not for the others who were going. He shifted slowly, readied whatever ranged weapon he had been built with and prepared for the descent. 

Response 10

The dwarves organized themslves into a square unit, aproximately twenty feet apart, all carrying their heavy crossbows. They moved into the jungle forest without saying a single word to the rest of their crew, moved bruskly, methodically trying to find a trail and scan for anything dangerous ahead.

Slag was impressed, those metallic bows had punch. His arms cranks held two arrows each, capable of firing one shot a round and then a woefully slow reload time. He was a young machine and his creator was no longer active, there would come a time for an upgrade, or, if he could find someone that could make upgrades to his unit frame. The trees were plentiful, but much smaller, less than forty feet high. The foilage was heavy, broad green and purple leaves near the lowest sections of the tree. Only reddish snakes that clung to the tree trunks and colourful avians could be seen at their pace.

The sorceror Orin could move faster than the dwarves, but decided to stay in the rear. He felt a magical connection here, much stronger than he thought possible outside of a city or Spell Tower. If he casted slowly, he believed it would be possible not to lose the mana, the spell energy that powered his spells. He had heard of this happening in heavily concentrated places of mana but never in the Wild. He wanted to follow his innate impulse and run to the library to research the place but he knew that he had to act on impulse alone, and hope that would be enough.

Valimare was impressed by the formation of the dwarves, unless they spoke without using words, they seemed to understand and obey their leader each other by instinct...not always a good thing. He glanced over to see the human cleric a few feet away from him, she floated instead of walked,  and wore armor unlike last night, and she had that glowing smile on her face. The fighter seemed to stop at the same time as the dwarves, a trail. The dwarves immediately changed positions, and motioned for the cleric to come forward, she did and then nodded at them.

Two dwarves continued going forward, another trailed the entire group. Unnare asked for the spellcaster to raise him up so he could have a look. Orin sighed heavily, closed his eyes and began to wave his arms very slowly, whispering arcanish words, a yellowish magical energy seeped from his hands, falling down to the ground then slowly dripped up...the dwarfs eyes bulged and then he was lifted up as the dust fell upward. The energy dissipatated before it reached the ground, but it surrounded the dwarf as he slowly rose. Orin smiled and then showing a confidence not there before opened his eyes,  never stopping waving his arms or keeping his chant alive. "Aye! On the way, the trail will lead us there!"

After returning to the ground the dwarf leader says to the rest of the group, "Some of you are faster than us Stone-Brothers. Better to stay together, but did you want to go ahead of the group or stay behind?"

Monday, 14 October 2013

New Setting Overview - Sea of Stones

Sea of Stones

You are all near the low rung of human society. Nobles buy magical education for a valued guild position: they make sure nobody revolts with their network of spies, magic and their pets - green tyrants, generally known as Dragons to everyone else. 

It's a hot, jungle environment, think of the Greek Isles as the epitome of civilization, at least to the aristocracy that rules. To the south is huge dangerous desert, to the north, the Never-Ending Winter rages.

Humans are top of the heap, and they keep other races as around as long as they don't have magical powers, and at the elite position are the Tharons who fight more among each other then any one else. 

Minotaurs are the brute body-guards, dwarves are the technical ones guarding and maintaining specific sites or duties, tenderfeet (or halflings) are house-slaves, ratlings are sewer city folk that are barely tolerated. 

Elves and the fey are the most hated enemy because they are paragons of purity, goodness and have discovered secrets that still elude the Tharons. Lizard-men, usually called Lizardith can be either very intelligent with huge cities, that are as complex as any other culture or horribly savage. 

Cities are a hotbed of intrigue, as all the groups and many hidden ones fight for intrigue or favor. The Wild is a place of danger, as dungeons hide secrets better left unfound, but there is always the hope of discovering something to help tip the balance...this is where we begin.

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I am re-using one of my oldest settings for my updated group. The last on-site group had to bow out because of changes, but many have opted for this online game. We post almost everyday, but we are still getting the bugs out of the system.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Restoration Domain

Domain spells is an feat option I give sorcerers in my world. They gain additional spell options by adding all spells in the domain to the caster's listing.

One of the most popular options for NPC sorcerers is the healing or restoration domain, so they don't have to rely on the loud-mouthed, preachier-than-thou overbearing clerics. This spell is less powerful than the clerical option, but it has the capacity of affecting undead creatures and constructs. One drawback is that because these spells interact with the positive energy plane, there is a small chance of overload, possibly harming the spellcaster.

Restoration Domain
1st Level: Positive Energy Surge, Lesser
2nd Level: Positive Energy Surge, Minor
3rd Level: Positive Energy Surge, Medium
4th Level: Positive Energy Surge, Critical
5th Level: Positive Energy Surge, Directed
6th Level; Positive Energy Surge, Vital
7th Level: Positive Energy Surge, True
8th Level: Positive Energy Surge, Absolute
9th Level: Positive Energy Vortex

Restoration domain gives sorcerers the ability to either heal living creatures or damage undead creatures or those from a negative plane of existence. These spells unlike the clerical spells affect constructs. Another difference, sorcerers must make saving throws or be temporarily affected by these energies by reducing their constitution scores. They heal drained constitution automatically 1 point per hour, or 2 an hour if they are resting or sleeping.
This directed energy always appear to be a blue energy blast.

Positive Energy Surge, Lesser
0 level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 1d3 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack, restore 1 dmg on mortal creatures. This spell also repairs damage on constructs. Undead do not get a saving throw, but they do get SR.

Positive Energy Surge, Minor
1st level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 1d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack, it restores 1d6+1 dmg on mortal creatures or constructs. If caster fails saving throw they take 1 temp con dmg, the save is a Fort DC 11. Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, Medium
2nd level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 2d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack, it restores 2d6+2 dmg on mortal creatures or constructs. Caster takes 2 temp constitution dmg unless they make a Fort DC 13 save. Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, Serious
3rd level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 3d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack, it restores 3d6+9 dmg on mortal creatures or constructs. Caster takes 1 voluntary constitution dmg, or 3 temp constitution dmg if they fail a save Fort DC 15. Otherwise as PESL. 

Positive Energy Surge, Critical:
4th level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 4d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack, it restores 4d6+16 dmg on mortal creatures or constructs. Caster takes 1 voluntary constitution dmg, or 4 temp constitution dmg if they fail their save (Fort Resist: DC 16) Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, Directed
5th level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 3d10 dmg on all undead within a 20 ft radius, or it restores 3d6+9 dmg on all mortal creatures or constructs in the same radius. Caster takes 2 voluntary constiution damage, no save. Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, Vital
6th level Spell
Range: Touch
Inflict 6d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack or it restores 5d6+25 dmg on mortal creatures. Caster takes 2 voluntary constitution dmg, or 5 temp constitution dmg if they fail their save (Fort Resist: DC 18). Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, True
7th level Spell
Inflict 5d10 dmg on all undead within a 50 ft radius; or it restores 5d6+25 dmg on mortal creatures or constructs within the same radius. Caster takes 3 voluntary constitution dmg. Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Surge, Absolute
8th level Spell
Inflict 12d10 dmg on undead if you are successful with a touch attack or restore 100 hit points on mortal creatures or constructs. Caster takes 2 voluntary constitution dmg, or 5 temp constitution dmg if they fail their save (Fort Resist: DC 20). Otherwise as PESL.

Positive Energy Vortex
9th level Spell
Duration: 1 round / 3 levels 
Creates a vortex of positive energy, inflicting 5d10 dmg on undead every round for creatures in a 200 foot range. Unlike other versions of this spell. Living creatures in area of effect must make a saving throw (DC 20) or take 3d10 damage, as the energy overwhelms their physical bodies. Caster takes 6 voluntary constitution dmg, or 10 temp constitution dmg if they fail their save (Fort Resist: DC 23) Otherwise as PESL.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Purple Owl (Favoured Creature of Lawful Forces)

Sometimes the creatures I like the most are small, weak but well-fitted to their environment. The Watcher or Purple Owl I think fits as in magical communities and acts as an ally and sometimes guide to lawful forces. This is one of a bunch of Purple-skinned creatures that can give small assistance and because of their colour smart players have an immediate inkling as to what is happening and why.

Watcher (Purple Owl)

HD:         2d8 (9 hp)
Init         +3
Speed 10 ft Fly 50 (Avg)
AC        20 (+2 size, +3 dex +5 natural)
Attack: +6 Talons (1d4)
Saves Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 18, Cha 14
Skills: Perception +21, Survival +15,  Knowledge (local) +8
Feats Alertness,  Weapon Finesse
SA         Hooting Prayer
Climate Usually Urban
Organization Solitary, Pair, or Family (7-12)
Alignment         Lawful Neutral (25% are Neutral Good)
Challenge Rating: 1
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Small)

Appears as a normal owl except they have purple feathers and keen eyesight that seems to be constantly watching everyone around them. They are the blessed creatures of  Casna and are often sent to help the faithful in their missions to advance the cause of law.

Combat: Watchers are almost always accompaning followers of Casna and as such rarely have to face threats alone. They work to battle chaos wherever they can usually by giving warning. Though faithful, they are smart enough to flee in order to spread  knowledge of a shared threat.

Detect Chaos (Constant) 50 ft
Fast Healing (1 hp / round in non-chaotic bound locations)
Immunity to poison, magical charms, and compulsions
Hooting Prayer: Once a day their hooting acts as a prayer effect to all lawful aligned creatures within a 60 ft radius, (equivalent to a prayer spell)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pyramid Passageways

The group continues heading down the stairs, lanterns lighting up on the side, always 100 feet ahead of them and the same behind. Cautious they keep to their tight formation, they eventually are more than three thousand feet in to the tunnels, far farther then they were expecting to go, when they reach a dark point, nothing to be seen. They cautiously halt, unsure of their next steps. Maza uses her spells to see a cloak figure aiming a bow towards them hidden in the darkness. The group calls out to the stranger who replies in the jackalla tongue, warning them to stay away, this is not their bounty. Arlel knows jackalla, a lawful guardian race often dedicated to city crypts; she understands this is not their enemy, nor is this, their quest, she tells everyone they have gone the wrong way. Not wanting to face a lawful figure who should be an ally, they head back, and it takes them just a few moments to return to the stairs, realizing there was a magical binding in the tunnels.
As they emerge out of the stairwell, they focus on the the Evil Pyramid entrance, Hervandos is able to avoid the traps by remaining perfectly calm. He fails, utterly, in opening the locks, so the halfling rogue comes over. But she fails her saving throw on the poison, she vomits, turns green and falls down, convulsing in pain. She is in tremendous pain but so disoriented, she is unable to do much more than shiver. The ranger and psion drag her far enough away, as the ranger heals her Tenderfoot sister, giving her another chance and the rogue passes her check, and is given help from the ranger once again.
The entire group hesitates: the entryway of the good aligned pyramid causes other problems, and as much as they dislike having to face the poison, that seems like a lesser problem then the induced ecstacy and loss of complete control. They need to find a way around, to go deeper into the evil pyramid where they believe their sarcophagus should be.
The soldiers herald something coming through the doors, as they turn to face a dozen or more of sand mephits, small rocky creatures with multiple sharp fangs, claws and bony appendages. The paladin and cleric face them front face, as the psion attempts to put up an energy wall. The ranger and rogue squirm around looking for a spot to strike. The creatures surround the cleric, cutting and clawing her, but not doing serious damage, at least not yet. They see at least another eight approaching. Finally the psion launches the energy wall, creating the barrier they need for defense. The others knock down the only two still inside the wall. The psion closes the large front doors and the soldiers seal them up with spikes.
In catching their breath, the group is left with what to do once again.
One of the lesser soldiers, wonders how they got through other traps, which gets the group thinking about what they could be missing. The rogue suddenly realizes in their haste to explore the passageways SHE didn’t search around, and when she does she eventually finds a false panel…opens it up, containing two levers, pulling them closes the obvious traps on the two other entranceways, it leaves the Pyramid of Darkness open and a heavy metal gate blocking entry to the Pyramid of Light. Now they are refocused again.
Going down the stairs they head back into another passageway, this one is wider than the one far below, none of the walls are decorated, or having hieroglyphics as they would have expected in a place like this. The bard tells the group the place is perfectly acoustic, sounds travel, far better than one would expect. Again, just as before, the lanterns are synchronized, coming on one after the other. Soon they start to hear a painful moaning, that reveals an inhuman voice in incredible torment, they see a hole in the side of the wall.
Looking in, they see a sight none ever expected to see, a chained Efreet, in horrible physical shape; the paladin detects an other-world evil. Everyone is a bit in awe, these creatures of pure fire were thought not able to come to the prime world of nyssa. No begging or speaks in its own tongue, asking to be freed, though only the Phaetox understands it, as Galdahad shares the language of flame with it. When its polite requests fails to convince them, it returns to its riotous cacophony, begging to be let out.
As they are about to walk off, when another being, covered in chains come out to tempt the paladin into battle. The bard tells the group this is an Kyton, an evil race not devils but similar. they often work for mortal creatures, torturing is often their primary task. It’s evil tempting words crush the paladin, promising an epic battle. Their group's focus is too strong, the paladin, who shows composure and decides it best to leave, leaving the jailer in his cell with the prisoner. As they continue on, the hole in the wall is gone or at least no longer visible. 
The group wonders how many more of these pyramid walls are holding something, are they all prisons?
They continue down, and see the cross-way turns, one direction turns into a short passageway to the right, a heavily armoured Ox Demon guarding a very elaborate door. While horribly named, they have run into these paragons of lawful order, unwilling to deviate from orders, certainly not something they have an active dislike of. In the other, a set of stairs heading down on a sharp angle.
Having no other way, they head down the passageway, when they see a small red flash dart across the passageway; Arlel summons a celestial blast, scorching an unnatural red rat that had fled from them but was still seeking to watch. Moments later they hear from a bellowing from below the stones, something in anger and mourning loss. Galdahad calls out to comfort it, but the red liquid beast roars out even louder, they see a long red snake-like entity, hungry but fearful. Not something that would strike out with treachery but of hunger, it seethes with anger, but goes back into the stone.
They look at each other and once more head down the stairs…

Monday, 26 August 2013

Old WotC Monster Books

Was looking for another gaming book, and found the M.M. V book in a box, forgot how much I loved / loathed it. I mean the entries are two pages to a monster is pushing it, and they stretch some of the monster variants out. They do have some nice beasties in this one though: Arcadian Avenger, Adaru, Remmanon, Illurien, & Force Golem to name a few. (Won't go into some of the others.)

I cherish these monster books, so many great ideas and the pics, are so fun to make your brain just explode with energy and fear!

Now I have to update some of my monster listing for the regions again...

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Game Summary Write-Up (Aug 13)

The group waits a few more days for their compatriots, as they hope will find their way back to town. At the same they realize many other adventuring teams are returning into the spire; some large contingents, with powerful steeds or walking golem-horses. They all seem to find a home for a few days, some of the smallest in an alleyway, hotel or tavern. Large military units, many with hundreds of volunteers that spend most of their days on the back roads, set up camps just outside the town.

Each of the units seem to designate a few of their members to go to the Fountain, some to sing or make a silent prayer or just stand in honoring someone who once walked. These units, drop something, coins, alcohol or other momento to represent something to their units. If you were to watch here just that early morning, one would be tricked that the offerings would drown the water even if for a few seconds. The water subsides and as it does the piles of coins sink low, so too with the men, as they did what they must and moved on.

Most of the party watches the goings on. None realized the mass of travelers and professional warriors that would be here...the sleepy spire town wasn't just alone here in the desert, though it felt like it earlier on in the week. Each party member did as they always did; the psionicist in meditation, the rogue skulking to watch over her party, the paladin with an eye on the fountain and speaking with youth, Galdahad in flight among her avian kin, Maza the Halfling ranger with a small group of city beasts and Arun, retreated to the Sphinx library, with another burning research subject in his mind.

Arlel with her small contingent made the first steps back in to town long before she had originally planned, hoping that her friends truly did make it here. The sight of the Phaetox flying high in the marketplace was a relief, she was always the first and easiest to spot. They connect, and bring together the rest of the team. Dassadar walks slowly over, making no attempt to hide his detect evil casting on Arlel and the rest of her group, and finding no hint of malice. The young cleric certainly recognizes his actions but says nothing, as a swarm of introductions to old and new comrades commence.

One of Arlel's newest allies is the tall, high pitched voiced, incredibly well dressed figure with an effusively charismatic personality, carrying many musical instruments at his beck and even more surprisingly an actual halo on his shining round his angelic head. Zelos tells them they have much to discuss, not just in one mission but one of their colleagues, Arun who is cursed or quite possibly his primary bond is not what it seems to be.

They go straightaway to Arlel's apartment to lay down the known details. They are all a little surprised, the rooms are clean, except for her two mirrors, completely splinterered. Unsure of what this means, they search the rooms and area before they continue sharing information.

Arlel elaborates on what she found not just in the library but in the streets and taverns, legends of powerful items hidden in the pyramids. The local tales speak in particular of an elaborate sarcopogus built for a Raja, able to rebuild & restore both people and objects, if they are adored. Her research shows its most likely resting spot, undisturbed because each team was unclear on its final location. She believes this group, is strong enough to return this artifact to civilization. The fountain portal will lead them there, but the gateway she opened will only last another six hours or they need to find another way back to the pyramid.

So too, Zelos bears legends, but not of an item lost in the sands, but of grief. A genie or otherworldly demon he believes was inadvertently summoned and leaving a wake of destruction. He explains that while Arun summons the memory of a warrior it is another being that is coming through, and he is not the only one who reaches into the midst. Others, far nefarious, are using Gorth for their own darker purposes, and theirs is a trail of blood, murder of heroes in their sleep or younglings in their home, he didn't meet their kin, he didn't need to. The story is the one that Zelos is determined to stop.

The group wonders if it is Gorth which was why their teleport did not enable them to go to the Duo-Diyalla Pyramid. Dassadar expresses some incredulity at Zelos's story, but Zelos begins telling a story of his incredible exploits, the team loses the effort to argue with him. Convincing them but at the same time Zelos believes he best not try their patience or trust too often; Dassadar especially (DM's hint: spells or other tricks on other party members work in moderation, at a certain point PCs will gain immunity.)

They concoct a loose plan of trying to get their friend to summon his servant though not capturing him in a way that could limit him until they determine how exactly they can fully deal with him. Wanting to meet Arun outside of town, they call him, but the scholars in the library reveal he is no longer around. The group does a search they find no sign, and nobody remember where he exactly went to. They find the old lore books he was studying, stories told of great past rogues and scoundrels who went on both desert and Sea of Stones quests. The last book he was reading, left open to the picture of "Raibasghi" a well known desert scoundrel long renowned for coming back from the desert wastes with treasure and magical trinkets; this was one of Arlel's heroes she was delving into. The party wonders if Arun left to go hunting, or, if somehow Gorth was able to take control. They rush out out to look for their ally.

Using his mind-scanning, Hervandos is able to track down Arun, finding him in a tavern, surrounded by dangerous looking rogues. He decides not to reveal their preys location to his comrades as he doesn't want them to be sidetracked as they came to the desert to complete the mission and prefers not to lose the quick way to the pyramids.

Realizing their wasted efforts, the heroes refocus on their original mission, scoping the dungeon & retrieving the sarcopogus. Zelos is torn though, committed to both completing this task and of stopping the killer Gorth, he wonders if he is doing the best thing.

At the fountain, Arlel speaks her command word and they step into the water, then through... into a huge stone room, high ceilings, and the first site of Arlel's volunteers struggling to close an outside door where a huge sandstorm rages. Each steps out into this large rectory, the fountain they emerge from though grandiose in size is far from its peak, as it has seen deterioration and even worse, barely a trickle of water inside the grand central fountain.

As Fesselin the rogue and Maza the druid step past each is given a momentary flash, Fessy works up a defense, as she tries to concentrate in her home and many positive thoughts. Maza fails and is shocked by memories but not her own, of an eerily positive flashes of many people here in this building in another era. The haunting images cascade imaged laughing, playing in the midst of a bygone era when humans, dwarves, Tenders and even elves are in this same place, filled with water, pets,and plants. Lasting a few seconds, Maza regains control of herself...she shares with the rest of the party, unsure of what really happened. Arlel admits none of her soldiers experienced this previously but again this was two Tenderfeet, she wonders if this could be a specific trap.

The group sees the many small statues and frescoes littered in the upper sections of the room, mementos of religious and standard pilgrims. They could tell it was once an eight door church rectory, but now only the main twenty foot tall master-door was in use. A domed roof shows a wondrous scene of angels, devils and aqua dragons flying in a cloudy sky, other details less conspicuous are lost in the dust from far below on the vantage point on the ground.

A kilometer each way, two opposing pyramid complexes reign tall, one to the left the Pyramid of Darkness; Pyramid of Righteousness to the right, Arlel's team discovered with the help of Zelos, three hidden passageways hidden under the sands. Two reach out in the direction of the Pyramids and the last one opposite the entrance doorway. Over the last five days they excavated, and found the entranceways riddled with writings that warn of unauthorized entry and curses for theft. The dark pyramid entrance brings shudders of cold, pain & misery; the one of righteousness brings happy near bucolic thoughts even to the point of mindless euphoria, both are avoided by the soldiers.

They light their torches, choose lots and enter the passageway...

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Leaf-Kin, Children of the Forest (Playable Race)

I have long loved to run adventures in the forest, where players defeat hidden enemies or overcome threats. This race was a way to add to these scenarios, I have been using the Leaf-Kin as something always present in druidic groves, but never actually getting involved, as they were too small, too weak and too playful. Eventually when running a session, the druids were in desperate state, and higher level leaf-kin got involved, much to everyone's (including my one) surprise. Have been working on these ever since.

One of the biggest questions that I wrestled with is should these be playable as druids; while it does fit, that's much the problem. I want these to be a strong ally or companion to druids, not an over powerful example.

Like all of my racial classes, you generally need to complete their full racial levels until you take another non-racial class.

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Leaf Kin

CR 2 N Humanoid
Init +0; Perception +2

Leaf-Kin are children of the forest, mobile plant-like beings that seek to find a balance between the needs of animals, intelligent creatures and the plants in the forest. They are often seen as something pet-like, playful or even innocently child-like, and while true, it is not their side. As they age and gain in wisdom and power, they are more likely to get directly involved when something threatens their kin, their allies or their territory. They resemble halfling humanoids, with brown wood-like skin, branches for hair ending in small leaves that change colour by season. They grow as they age, from small saplings, to large mature oaklings.

AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 natural AC)
hp 11 (2d8+4)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Wooden Short sword +2 (1d6)

Leaf-Kin are quiet, reclusive people that attempt to watch foes, make allies with common cause and wait for an ideal time to strike. At lower levels they often provide aid, but higher level individuals can literally make a entire forest come alive to defeat a common foe.

Morale 11 (Skittish, they are easy to break ranks and run for cover)

Str 8, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB +1 CMD 13
Feats Skills Perception +4, Craft (Wooden Armor or Weapons) +2, Acrobatics +2, Survival +4
Languages Faerie, Elven, Common
SQ Absorb 1 Poison

By Racial Levels

Photosynthesis (Regenerate 1 hp / hour in bright sunlight)
+2 Con, +2 Wis, - 2 Dex 
+2 to survival, +2 to Perception, +2 Craft Wooden Armor and Weapons
+2 natural AC
Both plant & humanoid features
Plantspeak (Speak 1 / HD + Wis or Cha bonus for five rounds)
Absorb 1 poison / two HD or levels (survival check vs DC to extract), 
Small Sized

3 HD Entangle (1 / HD), Invisibility to Animals at will, Immune to Polymorph (change back to leaf-kin after one hour if they have failed a saving)

4 HD Barkskin (1 / HD), Thorne skin (+1d6 dmg if touched or grappled); +2 to any 2 abilities

5 HD Speak with Animals, Invisible to Magical Animals (at will); Grow to Medium Sized

6 HD Secrete Poisons (Sleep, Attract, Drain, DC 10 + Survival), Goodberry or Plant Growth (2/HD)

7 HD Command Plant, +2 to any 2 abilities; Gain 1 Feat;

8 HD Wall of Thorns, Wood Immunity; SR: 8 +1 / HD or level gained

9 HD Animate Plant; Secrete Greater Poisons (DC15+level)

10 HD +2 to any 2 abilities ; Gain 1 Feat; Gain +4 natural AC, Grow to Large Size (3/day, lasts for up to one hour each time or until dismissed)

11 HD Change to True Plant; Regenerate 1 +con bonus hp / rnd in sunlight

12 HD Tree Walk & Commune with Nature (1 mile max; 1 / day)

+1 HD or Level: Gain +1 on SR by HD or level

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Gain attack bonus, saving throws as a cleric by level.

Skills: craft wooden weapons or armor, diplomacy, disable device (+4 if device is made with wood), escape artist, heal, knowledge (nature, geography, religion), perception,sense motive, stealth, survival

Secrete Lesser Poisons: (Sleep, Attract, Drain) DC 10 + Survival Bonus; use this once per day per two levels

Secrete Greater Poison: Immobilize, turn metal to wood, change to animal (DC 15 + level); use this once per day per three levels 

Preferred Class: Ranger, Rogue Bard, or Sorcerer

Banned Class: Druid, Cleric