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 Post subject: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 78
We played our second session of Sailors earlier this week in my "real" gaming group. Amusingly, the first play session had ended exactly where my kids ended their first session, right after the initial encounter with the Vine Horrors.

Like my kids, the grownups went right across the moat and through the gate. But unlike my kids, they didn't get lucky with the portcullis. It came down and impaled their halfling haberdasher, Randy, for 6 points. Since Randy had started with 5 h.p. and a pretty good luck stat, this was doubly painful.

Inside the courtyard, the player who's normally a party leader had all his characters hesitantly peer out from the gatehouse. He saw the well, the weeds, the mist rising from the sinkhole, and the tower, which half the party insisted (based on the rumors) was the place to go, since it was surely full of gold. But in yet another echo of my kids' sessions, another player struck off for the well, and once again, a series of party splits began.

No one fell into the well, though one character had to be grabbed with a Reflex save, and they all decided that it wasn't worth messing with. The guys at the tower played things very timidly, throwing rocks at the gargoyle and looking around for ways to climb to the battlements.

Halfling beggar: "Is there a way to climb the wall?"
Me: "It's covered in moss and vines, and though the walls are crumbling in other places, most of the stones seem to be in good shape here."
Halfling beggar: "But is there a way to climb it?"
Me: "It's made of stones, some a little crumbly, and it's covered in moss and vines."
Halfling begger: "Can I test the vines to see how strong they are?"
Me: "Make a strength check."
(Rolls an 18)
Me: "You easily yank the vine down."

The well-wishers catch up and decide to investigate the temple. They head that way as one of the other characters starts banging on the tower door -- not to try to break it in, just to deliberately get the attention of anyone inside. "Open up!"

I shift the action to the temple, because no one at the tower door is actually taking any actions. Our rutabega farmer tries to slide the bar from the temple door using his pitchfork. Someone else grows a pair and just pulls the bar loose. They see the statue, its pool of black ooze, and the scattered, scorched skeletons. In they go.

Wisely, no one approaches the pool to start with, skirting the outside walls first to plunder the skeletons as best they can. But one of the corpses lies right by the pool, and the ooze comes to life when they move up to search it. They kill the ooze without fatalities, though not without injuries. Steve the Urchin, down to one hit point, puts on a sooty chainmail hauberk, as do a couple of others.

What ensues next is a hilarious failure to understand the lack of a d20 search mechanism. I've described the temple, the rubble, the fallen beams, the bodies, and the golden censer.

"Is there anything on the bodies besides the armor and maces?"
"No, that's pretty much it."
"Can I search the pool?"
"Yes, but it's still very hot."
"I dig around and see if I can find anything."
"You don't, but your hands start feeling really uncomfortable and are all black and tarry."
"What about the statue?"
"What about it?"
"Can I search it?"
"Yes, you see that the eyes and fangs appear to be jewels."
"I'm going to knock the head off with my mace."
"Make a luck roll."
(Succeeds)
"You manage to knock the head off without knocking any of the gems loose. Which is good, because they would have been pretty hard to find in all the soot and rubble."
"Well, we searched the bodies, the pool and the statue. I guess that's it?"
(I shrug.)
"Wait, when you said that censer was golden, did you mean it was really made of gold?"
"Yes."
"I take it. Okay, is that all?"
"Well, you searched the bodies, the pool, and the statue."
"There's not anything else?"
"The room is full of rubble."
"Can I search the rubble?"
(Finally!)
"Yes, you find a small iron coffer."

This has all been interspersed with hesitant questions and proposed but non-undertaken strategies for getting into the tower. Now that the temple has been scoured, I expect the party to regroup and get iin to fight the beastmen. But ...

"I think there's got to be something about that well. My characters are going back to the well."

The party splits again. This time, though, someone decides to take a smash at the door, and rolls a natural 20 on his strength check.

"The door bursts inward, revealing ..."
(I describe the interior of the tower, and initiative is rolled and goes to the party.)
"Uh, can I close the door again?"
"It burst inward. You'll have to step inside to pull it closed."
Gongfarmer McDonald steps in, only to be cloven in twain from above by the beastman champion's axe.

A pitched battle ensues, in which Steve the Urchin's hauberk is insufficient to protect him, and Tito the Squire likewise meets a bitter end. They free the prisoners, hear the tales of beastmen and the transformations of fellow villagers into new recruits. They search the hides and discover the cache of treasure. No one tries the black lotus oil. They wonder how much the fine green cloak is worth, and someone bemoans the fact that they don't have a haberdasher to tell them.

Downstairs!

At the landing, the group is drawn by the passageway leading off to Felan's tomb, rather than the scattered coins. Lein the Astrologer deciphers the silvery runes on the door, and I recite the poem, ending with the list of four banes. I notice that no one is taking any notes about the poem. Hurricane the Ditch Digger forces the portal open, but the Astrologer has not stepped back. I roll a miss on Hurricane, but a hit on Lein. He saves! But the damage is max, and 10 points halved to 5 is far more than Lein's total -- a shame, since he had a 17 intelligence.

"I guess that was fire. What were the other three banes?"
Everyone looks at Lein's player, but he says, "Don't ask me -- my only guy who could read it is dead!"

In the icy tomb, the group comes close to losing more members, but manages to drag those frozen back out before death embraces them. Someone has the rather clever idea to spread the hides from the tower across the icy floor so they won't slip and slide. This gets my hopes up for rolling a 1 (no one did during the search of the tower), but the two characters they send back get lucky, and the rot grubs remain unencountered.

During the wait for the hides to return, the plundered treasure vault is discovered, and the halfling beggar almost gets killed by the trap, saving himself only by virtue of expending 11 points of luck on his Reflex roll.

They manage to free Felan's axe, though not his armor, and discover that the far door leads back outside.

Between the combats and the traps, though, they've managed to level up their first character: Hurricane the Ditch Digger becomes Hurricane the Warrior. He rolls 11 on the die, bringing him to 16 or 17 hit points in all. He's got a chainmail hauberk and the meteoric-iron axe.

The night ends there, with everyone else slavering for the next encounter, which will probably level up half the party or more.

Everyone had a blast, and we're all waiting for next week!


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:51 am 
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Awesome play report, Bilge! You had me laughing all the way through. I'll really glad the players enjoyed the game.

And these portions are priceless:
Bilgewriggler wrote:
"The door bursts inward, revealing ..."
(I describe the interior of the tower, and initiative is rolled and goes to the party.)
"Uh, can I close the door again?"

Bilgewriggler wrote:
"I guess that was fire. What were the other three banes?"
Everyone looks at Lein's player, but he says, "Don't ask me -- my only guy who could read it is dead!"


Thank you for posting the play report! I can't wait to read more.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 521
Great play report!

I have to say, one of my most irksome pet peeves is when a player asks: "Can I ....?"

I have taken to responding, "You can do...\/\/hatever you want."

They've finally started to get the picture. I don't remember this being a problem in older editions. I just wonder if d20 broke all the players.

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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 78
Harley Stroh wrote:
Awesome play report, Bilge! You had me laughing all the way through. I'll really glad the players enjoyed the game.

And these portions are priceless:
Bilgewriggler wrote:
"The door bursts inward, revealing ..."
(I describe the interior of the tower, and initiative is rolled and goes to the party.)
"Uh, can I close the door again?"

Bilgewriggler wrote:
"I guess that was fire. What were the other three banes?"
Everyone looks at Lein's player, but he says, "Don't ask me -- my only guy who could read it is dead!"


Thank you for posting the play report! I can't wait to read more.

//H

Thanks, Harley! I couldn't have done it without you, obviously! Terrific job on the whole module...it's a pleasure both to read and to play.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:59 am 
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Posts: 78
ragboy wrote:
Great play report!

I have to say, one of my most irksome pet peeves is when a player asks: "Can I ....?"

I have taken to responding, "You can do...\/\/hatever you want."

They've finally started to get the picture. I don't remember this being a problem in older editions. I just wonder if d20 broke all the players.

I think I'm going to make a habit of saying, "You're certainly welcome to try."


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 93
ragboy wrote:
Great play report!

I have to say, one of my most irksome pet peeves is when a player asks: "Can I ....?"

I have taken to responding, "You can do...\/\/hatever you want."

They've finally started to get the picture. I don't remember this being a problem in older editions. I just wonder if d20 broke all the players.


I actually find this irksome behavior on the part of a DM. The fact is that in an RPG the DM is the sole source of all knowledge regarding the world around the PCs. The players cannot possibly be expected to somehow have a perfect picture of all ways in which they can feasibly interact with a "scene" based on the the DM's initial description.

If, as part of describing a keep, I mention that "the walls are crumbly and covered with vines" my description will not convey the vast panoply of information the PC's eye would actually capture (exactly how thick the vines are, what species of plant they are, how sturdy the plant material appears to be, how integrated the vines are with the wall, the actual extent of the apparent crumbliness of the wall, the type and age of the stone, the slickness of the surface and dozens of other details).

As a result, it is perfectly reasonable for the player to say "Can I climb it?" They don't mean "is it somehow against the rules of DCCRPG for my PC to try and climb a wall?" because of course it isn't. They mean "Given what my PC observes, does climbing the wall seem to be a reasonably safe/plausible possibility?" At the very least they are asking the DM to give more specific details relevant to the task they want to do.

If the wall appears obviously climbable (the vines are woody and thick as a man's thigh with convenient handholds), I can tell the PC that. If the wall seems like something a person would want to test out further before climbing, or perhaps that only a skilled climber would attempt, I can communicate that. If the wall is obviously unsafe for some reason, I can communicate that, and the reasons why.

A snarky answer like "You can do whatever you want" or "You're certainly welcome to try" is simply not helpful or constructive.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 521
jozxyqk wrote:

I actually find this irksome behavior on the part of a DM. The fact is that in an RPG the DM is the sole source of all knowledge regarding the world around the PCs. The players cannot possibly be expected to somehow have a perfect picture of all ways in which they can feasibly interact with a "scene" based on the the DM's initial description.



That's a good point. I guess it's the way I'm interpreting -- and it may be my description of the scene that's the problem. Maybe I'll train them in their phrasing -- I'm totally okay with "My thief inspects the vines and wall. Are they climbable?" I have an old school group that is very good about this -- if they need more information, their characters seek it out. My younger group (I brought them up through d20 Star Wars and 3.X D&D) are more prone to be asking if it's possible within the rules.

Good take.

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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:25 am
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I agree, and I was a little conflicted about how to deal with the situation. But at the time, the extremely broad phrasing of the question (it was along the lines of, "Do I see any way to climb the wall?") just stymied me, since I didn't want to reply that the climb DC was 15.

Now, I could totally have answered with, "Well, there's the bar that was used to hold the temple door closed, and there are the charred timbers inside the temple. There's that chain down the well -- there might be a way to use it. You have plenty of people to make a human pyramid with. Also, you haven't explored more than a third of the courtyard yet." But it seemed like any answer I might give to, "Do I see any way to climb the wall?" would be me providing them a solution instead of them finding a solution. Maybe if I'd been quicker on my feet I could have done a better job eliciting actionable responses from the players. I will say that the suggestion about refining my descriptions is definitely helpful ("the vines are only finger-thick" or "there might be something hidden in the weeds of the courtyard, but you can't see much at a glance"), so I'll work on that.

Fortunately, it wasn't a pervasive issue. Once they got inside the tower, they did a pretty good job asking more directed questions, particularly in Felan's tomb.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:29 am 
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Bilgewriggler wrote:
They kill the ooze without fatalities, though not without injuries.


That ooze took out 1/3rd of the party I ran through the adventure.
The fight with the beastmen in the tower produced no casualties. Go figure!

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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:20 am 
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Ragboy and BW - I just wanted to thank you for the thoughtful and courteous replies to a post that perhaps could have been a bit more civil (and a bit less of a pompous lecture).

BW - I take your point about not wanting to spoon feed the players creative plans for climbing the wall. I agree it's somewhat of a fine line to walk, and not easy to do in practice. I guess I would interpret the question to be about free-climbing the wall, and tell the PCs that. ("The vines are spindly, but the wall looks like something a skilled climber could attempt by himself -- though he would be concerned about its crumbliness, and not wholly confident of his ability to safely reach the top without some sort of equipment or aid"). Again though, I am highly sympathetic to the difficulty of coming up with a precise answer on the fly.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:12 am 
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The report was great, thanks. jozxyqk does have a good point too. A DM's work is not easy. IMHO it's good to not say "No" to players when they ask me if they can do something. You need to be a little more thorough in explanations.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:32 am 
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When someone asks me a question like "Can I X?" I try to ensure that they have enough information, and then reverse the question: Do you want to try? In DCC, I have found, it sometimes helps to categorize tasks as Child's Play, etc., per the rules, without giving the exact DCs. When an attempt is made, I will usually tell the player how much Luck they need to spend to change a close miss to a success. I have found that the game plays better when I do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:42 pm 
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I would swear I replied to some of these earlier in the week. Sorry about that -- good comments and suggestions, all.

We finished off the adventure last night, and let me tell you, the finale was brutal.

With Hurricane the Warrior in the lead, the party arrived at the pool chamber fourteen strong. Although initially suspicious of the compulsion to examine the pool and take a skull, most of the characters ended up doing so. The moldy robes were discovered and donned, and the mosaics examined. I was really hoping a couple of them would swim down into the pool and activate the trap (or find it and choose not to activate it), but it was all they could do to force themselves to take the skulls, so no one got any experience for the trap.

Onward and downward!

At the beach, the party split up , with some standing guard while others went to investigate the crevice leading to the grotto beneath the pool and yet others climbed the menhir. The dragon-prowed boat offshore unsettled them, and no one gave any thought to swimming out there.

Searching the grotto, the luckiest roll went to Luther the Noble, who found and pocketed the magical ring -- without telling anyone else. Meanwhile, the late astrologer's player marched his three remaining characters to the top of the menhir, ignoring the silvery runes and missing yet another chance for experience. "Too bad Lien died," he said. "I bet he could have read those runes." Half the party was within an x.p. or two of leveling, and they seemed intent on missing every opportunity to do so! But I have to blame myself as well; atop the menhir, Bing the elven chandler found the candle stub and said, "Aha! Here is my chance to shine!" Pulling out one of his trade-good candles, he lit it and summoned the ship to shore. I could have given him some x.p. for that, but I wasn't alert enough to do so.

After some debate about the wisdom of boarding the empty, enchanted ship, everyone got aboard. To the chaos leviathan! Surely, that will level-up several characters all by itself -- even if it kills several too.

The tentacles arise fearsomely, halting the boat, slapping at the deck, wavering menacingly toward the characters...

Jermaine the farmer says, "It wants a sacrifice! I throw it my goat!"

Two x.p. to Jermaine, whose quick thinking has denied everyone else the chance to participate meaningfully enough for me to justify a reward. He levels up as a wizard, rolling Feather Fall, Detect Magic, Ventriloquism, and Cantrip. With an 8 Intelligence, and a Birth Auger of -1 on spell checks, Jermaine perhaps should have chosen some other profession. His leap to first level has barely taken him above 0-level power, except that he can now take advantage of the "Recovering the Body" rule. (This will become important later!)

The ziggurat looms from the dark waters of the sea ahead, wild figures cavorting upon its hellishly lit flanks. There is quick strategizing as they draw near -- try to draw the beastmen to them, or use the robes and hides to infiltrate their way to the summit?

They decide upon the latter.

Up and around they go, beastmen parting before their unholy robes of chaos. They are almost at the peak when the acolytes recognize their charade. The effigy is hurled! The beastmen are alerted by their leaders! The battle is joined!

Things go very badly from here.

Wielding Felan's axe, Hurricane the Warrior is able to hew down a beastman almost every round. Jermaine the Wizard of Little Offense gets in a lucky pitchfork jab on the shaman and kills him in one blow. But the party is basically pinned between the acolytes and Chaos Lord at the top and the mass of the beastmen from below. Characters start dropping like flies. Pip the Squire goes down! Pocket the Herder as well! Pierre the Trapper outlasts quite a few others, but he has a 3 strength, and only a lucky crit one round allows him to do more than his maximum of 1 point of damage per attack. Lenwe the Elven Artisan, dead! Ray the Animal Trainer: Flailed!

Hurricane is a monster. He's got a 17 strength, 17 hit points, and he keeps rolling 3 on his deed die. The Chaos Lord only lasts three rounds against him, and fumbles on one of those. But the beastmen are hitting him too, rolling 5 and 6 points per attack.

Willie the Wainwright -- impaled on a spear! Luther the Noble, gored without ever telling anyone he'd found a glowing magical ring! Michael the Halfling Moneylender, cut down! People try touching their skulls to beastmen, but no one thinks to hurl one at the Chaos Lord.

An acolyte lays Hurricane low just after the Chaos Lord falls. There are three beastmen left atop the temple, but 10 or more still fighting their way up the ramp. Jermaine goes down too! First the Halfing (with 18 Luck and 16 Agility!) takes his third hit and croaks.

Someone, maybe Sam the Butcher, gets a good hit in on one of the remaining acolytes, but is felled himself in return. Seeing an inevitable TPK if something doesn't turn the tide, I roll morale for the two beastmen left at the top of the temple, and they fail, scrambling back up and away from the characters. This gives Bing a chance to Recover Hurricane's body -- and he does! Seeing Hurricane back up again, and raising his axe once more, the acolytes leap down from the far side of the temple peak -- failing their reflex saves and dying from the fall. A lucky hit from Devo the Animal Handler at the front of the beastman pack gives me an excuse to roll morale for them as well, since they're down below half their numbers and the effigy and all their leaders have died. They scatter!

Bing Recovers Jermaine as well. It's now been five rounds since the Chaos Lord fell, and no one has had the guts to touch the flail or armor, so the cataclysm begins! Crashing waves! Stalactites hurtling down from above! Slabs of temple wall peeling loose!

I roll 5 rounds before the collapse will be complete, but no one is brave enough to scoop gold for more than two. They rush to the boat and are washed away into darkness.

There are four survivors: Hurricane, Jermaine, Bing, and Devo. Not one of them is his player's best character (as awesome as Hurricane is, he belonged to the guy with the 18-Luck halfling). Devo becomes a warrior. Bing rolls slightly better than Jermaine on spells, but gets "At great cost" for Invoke Patron. Guess he won't be casting that very often.

Everyone seemed to have fun, except the one player who got completely wiped out.

Now the question arises ... what to do next week?

The party is pretty unbalanced and meager in power, and one player doesn't even have any characters left.

My thought is to either (1) give 4 new 0-level characters to the guy who's out and 1 each to everyone else, then run them through Doom of the Savage Kings or People of the Pit, or (2) let this party float down the river resting up and regaining hit points, while everyone rolls up 4 new funnel characters to take through Portal Under the Stars. I'm leaning heavily toward the second, with the thought that the two parties could then join forces at the end of Portal.

I had a blast GMing this adventure. A part of me thinks I ought to have just let things run their course to that TPK, but I really didn't want the group to have too negative an experience on their first DCC adventure.

I'm hoping everyone maintains their enthusiasm in the weeks to come...


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Sweet! I would have thought the beastmen would break and run as soon as the chaos lord went down.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:44 pm 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
Sweet! I would have thought the beastmen would break and run as soon as the chaos lord went down.


I skipped it in the write-up, but they rolled a 15 on their morale check at that point.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:54 am 
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Depends on what your party wants to do... but I'd allow the guy without any chars to pull in 4 0-levels in Hirot or on the outskirts of the Pit, depending which way you go. If they're amenable to running through another funnel and then magically joining forces later on, that works well too.

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Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:15 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Bilgewriggler wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
Sweet! I would have thought the beastmen would break and run as soon as the chaos lord went down.


I skipped it in the write-up, but they rolled a 15 on their morale check at that point.


Wow, that sucked for the players.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:54 am 
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beermotor wrote:
Depends on what your party wants to do... but I'd allow the guy without any chars to pull in 4 0-levels in Hirot or on the outskirts of the Pit, depending which way you go. If they're amenable to running through another funnel and then magically joining forces later on, that works well too.


Good point. I'll ask them which they prefer. Luckily, I already have a hook for providing a second party with a natural link to the first, so if they go that route, it won't seem "magically" convenient.

cthulhudarren wrote:
Wow, that sucked for the players.


Yes, but it was a moment that testified to the power of unconcealed rolling. Every time I hit someone, critted, or made a morale check, it was sort of like the group was watching a tightrope-walker or a knife-throwing act. The gasps and groans were very different than similar moments in Pathfinder or D&D where I rolled a natural 20 behind a screen and announced a crit, or said a morale check had been made by the NPCs.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Bilgewriggler wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
Wow, that sucked for the players.


Yes, but it was a moment that testified to the power of unconcealed rolling. Every time I hit someone, critted, or made a morale check, it was sort of like the group was watching a tightrope-walker or a knife-throwing act. The gasps and groans were very different than similar moments in Pathfinder or D&D where I rolled a natural 20 behind a screen and announced a crit, or said a morale check had been made by the NPCs.


You could still have made a 15 a failed morale check, but your point is valid.


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 Post subject: Re: Sailors of the Charred Astrologer
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:47 pm 
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I didn't want them to think I was coddling them. In the future I'll announce the morale DC beforehand, and just make it relatively high if I'm hoping the monsters fail.


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