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[3.P] Friday Night Planescape

 
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:38 am    Post subject: [3.P] Friday Night Planescape Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Not much to say here, other than the fact it's going to start at level 1, and only one player is familiar with Planescape. It's going to be vaguely sandboxy after the first adventure, which is going to open with a murder-mystery (ish) in the Lower Ward. This is the starting group of characters and the house rule section will be amended as rulings become necessary.

House Rules

Professions are like languages
Ability scores are rolled six times under 4d6-drop, the group pick whichever array is rolled
No PvP
Tome Monk is permitted
Moral Option 2: Banality of Evil
PC Alignment is treated as a pledge of allegiance more than moral doctrine
Affability used as guideline for resolving Diplomacy
XP is based on mission completion rather than points per monster overcome
Wish Economy - While Pathfinder's wish cannot generate wealth, all advanced magic items past a certain value are considered not purchasable with gold, including components to craft; which is all items of 5.000gp+ in value, unless they just give straight bonuses (Wisdom Amulets, Basic Shields, etc), at which point it starts at 15.000gp+

Players
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is this going to be a log or are you recruiting? If the latter, you should probably mention medium (irc, skype, discord, roll20, facebook, etc.) and be a bit more specific about time if possible (including timezone).

I probably won't apply even if you are recruiting, as it's pretty likely that one of my current games is happening at the same time. Still, out of curiosity, are you allowing say, most 3.5 stuff, most pf stuff and homebrew on a case by case basis? I'm guessing your base system is PF (i.e. cmb/d and all that)?
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virgil
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This is a log for a face-to-face game I'm running. So unless you live in the Mesquite Texas area, you can't really join. The base game is Pathfinder, but I am open to choices from 3.5/3.0, and homebrew on a case-by-case basis. While I'm fine with Tome, and in fact offered the Tome monk specifically to the player who made Tifa (who felt their choice to be better), at least half my players don't agree with that power level. Therefore, I'm not really pushing that line of reasoning.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dodge? Iron Will? Are they planning on PRCing or to take some feat that has those as prereqs or something?

Hmm... if they insist on Unchained Monk and Pathfinder fighter, maybe you could power them up somewhat in a way they're more likely to accept by allowing them to take an archetype or three in addition to their regular class stuff (since Unchained Monks don't have archetypes, maybe allow regular Monk Archetypes for this case (Tetori might be appropriate for Tifa, though she might want Agile Maneuvers as well)).

Since your Arcanist seems to want to blast, have you considered using Frank's lower level evocations?

Your Cleric seems to be the most optimized of the group.


Last edited by radthemad4 on Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:56 pm; edited 5 times in total
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virgil
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

They feel that Dodge and Iron Will were the best feats for them at the time. I'm reticent to change the rules heavily with this group, as I don't want to deal with the debates it would undoubtedly create (fireball at level 1!?); I honestly think that stealth buffs (discovered homebrew spells, tiger amulets, etc) are the easiest way to handle it.
EDIT - An important consideration is the fact that the party is level 1, the monk is comparable to the fighter, and even a fighter is fine at this level. I won't need to buff either of them for likely a couple levels. The weakest link for this level is the arcanist due to their evoker emphasis, but even that's not enough for me to be concerned right now; though I'm tempted to introduce "breakthrough research" that includes lower level evocations.


Session 1
All four characters have gathered together at Bloodgem Park, in front of the Bloodgem Massacre Memorial, to meet with a potential sponsor for adventure; Natalia von Chasm (sloppy, pale, noblewoman). Turla arrives first, noticing a body with glowing eyes behind some bushes; alerting some Hardheads, they agree it's a corpse and after some cajoling agree to take it out of sight to a Dustman for collection.

Natalia and the others have arrived by this point, and recognizes the corpse being dragged off (Eberth, retired Harmonium that made essentially zero friends). Upset, she puts the job on hold to give the party a different mission with the promise of pay - find Eberth's killer without alerting people that she cares about his existence.

Some clue gathering reveals that the victim was killed next to the monument (40' black obelisk with names of those Who Courted the Lady), then dragged behind some topiary, and it happened during antipeak. Wanting more information, they headed to the Mortuary to examine the body, cooking up a story of "concerned family" to get past the Dustmen guards. After a 50gp bribe, they got inside and were directed to speak with the Hrundlefrost, a newcomer tasked to handle the corpse.

Just before reaching the door, Drokhar hears spellcasting and Tifa hears crumpling paper (as well as something heavy being shifted) when she puts her ear to the door right after knocking. There's a cough and admission to enter, to which they find a tall, thin Dustman with short black hair. He's standing in front of a now topless Eberth corpse that's laying face-down on the table, the rest of the room having body parts stored, including a mostly cleaned (and semi-disassembled) skeleton. The conversation is awkward, Hrumblefrost wanting to not be in the room and rubbing a mechanism on his walking staff. He makes motions to leave when the party find the corpse missing an eye and the eye fluttering behind blocks in the corner of the room. When Naisan blocks the door out and Tifa 'grapples' the eye before it reaches the window, Hrundlefrost polevaults over most of them to reach the window and slaps the eye out of Tifa's hand with his tail. The party tries to subdue Hrumblefrost (tiefling thief acrobat 2, not that they know), managing a stunning fist, but get distracted by a skeleton assembling off the table and immediately attacking; which confuses the monk player as to how anyone could be flat-footed after combat's started. The fighter one-shots the skeleton and Hrundlefrost jumps, leaving staff and eye behind; having Tumbled past all possible AoOs.



They, eventually, wrestle the eye into a jar. It's a struggle, because it's continually coated in some kind of substance that forces a Will save or be dazed for a round as you see/experience the final moments & death of the victim. It was dark, there was a sudden turn around, only to see a very short man (dwarf?) in a gillie suit say something about the Visionaries wanting his thoughts cleaned once and for all, followed by a rake of claws (possibly from a reach weapon hidden in the suit).

They head over to the Shattered Temple for help identifying the flying eyeball, figuring the Athar would have someone with ranks in Arcana or Religion. They meet a kobold proselytizer, trying to offer some details on recent massacres committed by still-favored followers to Pelor. The kobold recognizes the eye as an Isitoq, a specialized undead that allows the creator to see out of it from a distance (doesn't know the process personally, so unaware of range).

Tune in next time!
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virgil
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Session 2

Notes: The player for Tifa had family plans, so was not around for this session. We are also considering a change to the Craft rules
After gathering that information thus far, they head out to Bloodgem Park to make their Gather Information. After an hour or so, they watch a juggler for a short moment who calls out for someone to toss them a random item to add to his four hatchets being juggled. A stranger pickpockets Naisan's glaive and tosses it to the juggler, who begins. As the glaive is seen hurtling through the air, Naisan elbows a few people to the side as it go towards its weapon, grabs it without acknowledging anyone or even the danger of juggled hatchets (let alone the juggler's request to wait). Reflex saves are made, a hatchet lands on the warforged for 3 damage, and Naisan walks back with its weapon uncaring of the mess made.

Another hour or two passes, and they finally find someone who can help them, a humanoid orangutan that's a member of the Touchers (a branch of the Sensate faction). After some debate, he agrees to give a precise face of Eberth's murderer if they get something for him. His organization had hired someone to collect a hissing statue, but never returned. Nor had the second person the Touchers sent to check up on. The last they heard, both parties were to go through Smuggler's Tunnel, well known black-market route that was abandoned about two years prior due to its primary portal being destroyed. They figure it should be a safe trip, as rumours are only stuff like rats, ooze puddles, blind albino sewer owlbears, etc...

Due to the distance, they rest up at their respective kips and meet up about six hours after anti-peak near the entrance to UnderSigil that leads to Smuggler's Tunnel (behind the Lantern, a light source vendor). Cutting down the wall of razorvine covering the entrance (none had used the entrance for a few days), they begin their trek. After a bit, they run into a pair of hooligans; a young, blue-skinned one and a chewing dwarf and both are members of the Know-it-All gang (self-professed scholars, smartest member is the Int 10 leader). They are asking for a toll, to which Naisan responds with "TO THE SIDE" and attacks when they vaguely threaten it.

Digging through their bloody pockets, they find some containers of troll oil soaked in chewing tobacco, along with 37 stingers. A bit farther down the hall, they see some recently disturbed rubble and Naisan heads down a smaller tunnel to check for possible trouble...only to run into an albino sewer owlbear that was laying in wait to ambush a meal.


The good news is, the rumours are false. The bad news, it was the part about it being blind.

After a fairly long struggle, the sickly beast gives up on the attempt and escapes, and Naisan is unwilling to give chase due to it being one good claw away from being turned off (warforged healing penalties aren't helpful). They go back to the rubble, and as they move a rock, they begin to hear a hissing sound. Attached to some chewed bones is a leather satchel holding an 8" statuette made of basalt with jade cracks along it, giving off a hissing sound with a volume in direct proportion to how much surface area is exposed to the air. The Toucher is happy to get the statue back, and provides them his divination and a silent image of exactly the kind of character the party is looking for...a 4'6" troll with 6' long arms (moss troll with dwarfism).

They head out to the Armory to look for a Hardhead that knows about Eberth. Just before they get inside, Tural gets a mental ping from having successfully made a Will save, but can't see anything visually worrying or even an origin. Unable to act with that much information, they go inside and ask for someone to help. They failed their Linguistics test, which means they take much longer to fill out the paperwork to get in touch with someone who will tell them about Eberth. The clerk they are sent to knew him. Eberth was a recently retired divination assistant (didn't actually know magic, but processed spell components and organized paperwork for them) with no real friends and kept to himself. When the party asks about a pygmy moss troll, she gets defensive and requires some a few minutes of Diplomacy to convince to give that information; the troll's name is Bert, is her supervisor, and had decided to take the rest of the day off just minutes before the party reached the office.

Heading out, they decide to go update Natalia on their investigation, but Dhrokar sees some movement out of the corner of his eye as they cut through Bloodgem park. Taking a change of direction to not lead Bert to Natalia, they eventually get ambushed anyway (didn't know moss trolls could turn into trees). The fight's over relatively shortly, and they interrogate him after tying him up. He found out, through an information broker called the Wyvern, that Eberth had been having daydreams about beating up the Factol of the Harmonium and that the Visionaries cannot abide by such thoughtcrimes. Visionaries are an extremist faction within the Harmonium (with possible overlap with Mercykillers) that believe thoughts are just as important to enforce as crimes.

The party is concerned about what to do with Bert by this point. They fear the repercussions of killing a member of the Harmonium that has an unknown amount of political backing. Tural is also concerned with murdering a now defenseless person. After some debate, they shove the regenerating body into a sack and pay a black market contact to open a one-way portal for 'disposal'.


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Last edited by virgil on Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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virgil
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There is a delay in the game, as we have lost the player running the cleric. The players debated amongst themselves, and decided the monk character will be retired and that player will make a LG cleric of Yemaya (healing and nobility domains). I'll update the first post whenever I get the final stats/names from that player.

They are concerned for their survival at the moment, as they have been given a mission to go to Baator.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Session 3

The party now consists of Elmer, Naisan, and Tural. They meet up with Natalia von Chasm for her investment opportunity. She wishes for the group to work together, venture into Dis, find the location of a Kokrachon lair, and obtain a sufficiently detailed description for those with greater teleport to be able to use. She is paying them ahead of time, the consequence of failure being a black mark on their reputation. They sold one of the strength potions and used the proceeds for the arcanist to scribe two of the scrolls into his book (the hide from baatezu & polar ray), took the portal key (plain silver ring), and headed out to the second layer of Baator.
Quote:
Large Tent w/Camo Netting
Dis Compass (10gp, +2 Survival in Dis, wonít accidently walk into Dis)
Wandermeal (28 days worth)
Troll Styptic (12)
Goodberry Wine (4)
Scroll Book (6 of each): Hide from Baatezu, Polar Ray (level 1), Invisibility, Expeditious Retreat, Obscuring Mist, Mage Armor
Potions (4 of each): Mage Armor, Bullís Strength, Enlarge Person, Holy Water
Composite Longbow (Str +3) w/quiver of silver arrows
They proceed to spend the next two weeks moving as cautiously as they can, and I will skip over all of the sights they see and promptly walk around as much as possible to avoid any potential encounter with a location that isn't Unit Elysium (with the plan

The encounters they deal with are several run ins with a scapegraces, a vargouille that ambushes them in the middle of the night (biting Naisan, who's immune to its 'disease'), and just plain walk faster when they see lemures. They actually talk to the card sharp in hex (0, 2), who waved hello. After some conversation, he offers to give them information for the location of Unit Elysium in exchange for a game of cards; taking his place on the chair for a day if he wins. They look to walk away and not take the offer, so he ups the ante to an hour on the chair and he'll also give them one of the cards he bargained his soul for that got him stuck. Elmer takes him up on the offer and wins the hand of cards, to which the sharp honors the bet and gives them the hand of Baator card and directions. At which point, they hustle over, use a spyglass they purchased earlier for more details, and get the hell out of Hell.

I can't help but notice that they managed to avoid using a single consumable of any kind.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
at least half my players don't agree with that power level. Therefore, I'm not really pushing that line of reasoning.


I've been met with similar resistance by all sorts of D&D gamers who ranged from "Pamphlets" OD&D Grognards; to the Pseudo-Grognards of my own 2e games of the 1990's; and multiple "narrative" focused players (one of which tours & performs at weekly local and yearly national (slam) poetry competitions & thought everything about what I described in [Tome] was impossible, then they played a RoW Barbarian and loved it; an other who I'd consider a "Gold Standard" for what a competent and contributing "Roleplayer" would look like (Character Backstories that are detailed but brief; Organic skill picks that relate to the PCs actions; Staying in character (both TTRPG & larping); but isn't willing to be an "Underwater Basketweaver")


Now, while there has been resistances, once they started using the [Tome] rules they understood that it wasn't ever about "Higher Power Level"; but really about being able to actually "Roleplay" their characters without constantly being hamstrung by a need for "Powergaming."

Honestly; I think that the true success of the [Tome] franchise doesn't come from player acceptance. Players almost invariably don't know shit about the rules; and what little they do know is not enough to form any sort of opinion on what the fundamental flaws in the rules even are. Thus making any input from them counter-productive to running a good game.

Really, the success of the [Tome] franchise comes when I have about 5-6 DMs that I know who now will run [Tome] over other D&D franchises; and accept [Tome] arguments for mechanics over the mountains of trash that it opposes.

A good example of that would be a session with a DM who was relatively new to running [Tome] (but has run 3e/3.5 & 4e) where I explained that yes, I could be an Ogre in a level 2+ campaign, and it's not going to break shit; and the DM finally agreed b/c "I wouldn't have thought of allowing it before, but if that's how [Tome] works then alright."
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:

I can't help but notice that they managed to avoid using a single consumable of any kind.


In Baator? WHAT?!
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Session 4

Wallowing in their wealth, they consider their options and come to the conclusion that they need more paying work. So, they spend a day relaxing and updating their characters to level two, then head out for one of the more reliable boards where job offers are posted. It's known that the owner of the place where the jobs are posted has a door fee of baked goods, so they stop by Tural's place to pick up some bread. While doing so, they notice a window open, so they go inside to find a purple-faced goblin corpse laying on the floor with his hand in a jar. After some deliberation, they crack open the jar to discover a parchment with "You've got my eye on you" written on it. Unsure of what to make of it, they drag out the corpse for Dustmen pickup and for Hardhead investigation. While they wait...

We have gained a new PC, Ranulf. A Viking oracle from the steppes on some backwater Prime gets a vision that they're needed in Sigil. Over the next year, he travels and reaches a portal with the key of "left bear claw" that opens readily for the barbarian with a bear claw necklace. Once through, witnessing the cacophony of sights and smells the Clueless experience upon entering Sigil for the first time, he guides his horse in a random direction. He sees a pair of half-orcs pointing at a group (the PCs) and shouting about them killing Finger, then running off to tell their boss (before the party can successfully correct them). Tural recognizes the name Finger and the half-orcs as flunkies for an orc by the name of Red. They decide to head for Red's hangout, the Sump; the Clerk Ward's grungiest and poorest figh club, where Red is the reigning champion. Ranulf approaches and asks the party what's happening, following them to assist in the hopes that his vision from before will become more clear.


You seem trustworthy. Would you care to join us in our noble quest?

The party is totally baffled as to how the bouncer is alive, being the blue-skinned hooligan they stabbed back in the second session, as they don't know how he's important enough to waste a ressurection. He's not interested in letting them into Sump, for obvious reasons, until a successful Intimidate check is made and they are permitted entry. Inside, they see Red, a green-skinned orc built like he came from Azeroth and listening to two half-orcs tell him how Finger got murdered. The party approaches, which doesn't make Red happy. Sump normally doesn't permit nonhumanoids to fight in the ring, but Red convinces the handlers that it will be an "unofficial" blood fight, and the party decides to let Naisan be the one to fight him (with weapons).

The fight takes its sweet time, because I don't roll above a 6 for the first four rounds and Naisan wastes a couple rounds realizing that going in with a polearm in tight quarters was a tactically poor move and has to spend time getting a new weapon. I finally hit in round five for 16 damage, which surprises the party (they don't know he has 23 strength), but it's not enough. Naisan kills the orc with one HP left, and is declared the unofficial champion. Naisan takes the head, hoping it will prevent him from being raised like the bouncer was. As they walk out the door, a heavily robed figure with a 10' pole walks by and attempts to steal the head with a tail. Naisan tells the stranger to stop, and is abruptly surprised by them promptly turning around and leaving.

They check on Tural's house, rest for a bit, then head to the Forge to find a fire that can destroy the head sufficiently. Along the way, they are ambushed by a weird headless skeleton of surprising strength, and fail to notice the 'pilot' after they defeat it until they're a distance away and it scurries into an alley. While at the forge, Naisan's bag starts making knocking sounds. The (until now) forgotten jar with the flying, glowing eyeball has become energetic and is trying to pry open the jar from the inside. They notice a robed figure with a 10' pole nearby, and approach to make small talk until they leave; it's of notably different height than Hrundlefrost, but suspect it to be him in disguise. Nothing violent has occurred, so they look at their empty money bags as a higher priority, and head out for the job posting locale they were originally aiming for.


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virgil
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Session 5

They arrive at the Boar & Hydra, finding an array of plot hooks in both local clientele enjoying drinks and the hanging job ads on the post. There's a bit of option paralysis until Ranulf decides to approach one patron that's obviously trying to drink to forget; a well-dressed elf(?) with solid black eyes, ash grey skin, and voice akin to a swarm of insects. After some mild bribes with booze, the individual reveals that they're a courier whose delivery cannot be made because the recipient disappeared, and their masters will have them flayed alive if they don't get a response within three days. The party takes pity, and offers to go help look for the missing recipient, to which the courier offers to pay the party if he gets to keep his skin.

Agreeing to the terms, the party is given the name and last known location of Othar, the Earl of Bladereach, as well as information on the portal (key is a fang, painted black). They stock up on supplies and head out to Bladereach, arriving through the door frame (Ranulf's horse barely fitting) of a ruined house. An isolated hill, a castle at the top, in a sprawling moorland with a town of human peasants settled around the base (no labor animals). They're largely ignored by the townsfolk until directly addressed, to which they're deferentially directed to the castle above to speak with the Earl.

They suspect the PCs to be nobility

They are greeted by a slate-stalker bugbear in what's best described as a butler's parade armor, claiming to be the chamberlain. After some discussion, the chamberlain agrees to give the party information of where the Othar may be. He was last seen in the woodlands at the edge of the moor to hunt small game for sport, and brought a small retinue. Normally gone for a few days, his absence extended to weeks along with his retinue. Search parties found nothing, and the lack of hobgoblin activity suggests that their hostile neighbors both don't know and are not involved in his disappearance. The party is also warned that they shouldn't bring any animals with them on the journey to the woods, and the chamberlain offers to keep Ranulf's horse in the castle (noting that they'll have to find something to serve as a stable), and are assigned a 14yr old child who normally serves as Othar's field chef. They hadn't gone with him on this venture, but had on enough prior ones to know where to begin looking.

It takes a day of travel, pushing a bit. The kid informs the party that something in the pollen/spores of the moor does bad things to non-intelligent fauna, which is why there are no insects or animals in the region and Othar has to travel a fair distance to do even light hunting. Upon reaching the woods, they find signs of where camp was set up a few weeks ago, but evidence showed the campers up and left in a very thorough manner. Checking with the kid, they're told of at least one cave a couple hours from their position, so they head over to check it out. Along the way, they begin to notice a path of broken trees, as it snapped by a force coming from. Taking the short detour, they find a fallow in the earth leading to a crater, but no meteorite to be seen. Naisan finds digging/claw marks surrounding the crater's center, bringing suspicion it's been absconded.

Not finding anything special at the moment, they return to heading for the cave, where Ranulf barely spots something big and using active-camo near the entrance. The others still can't see it, but they all approach cautiously before they're ambushed by a giant bug; which takes a few HP before finally stabbed enough to stop moving. Naisan then decapitates it and carries the head on their way down the cavern. At the terminus, they see two bat-like creatures in a room filled with crates and several metallic crystals giving off pale violent light, as well as Earl Othar hanging on the wall. Othar is pale white, has black hair trailing down to his waist, shirtless, and shows obvious signs of torture.


And yet the party thinks Othar is the vampire

They throw a solid intimidation check, punctuated with a mantis head, and are allowed to take leave with Othar; who mildly creeps them out when seeming to ignore the pain "because it's just a body." Fortunately, Othar doesn't burn in sunlight, and doesn't burn with exposure to positive energy. They fight off some passing hobgoblins in the moor, keeping them alive after asking the Earl what to do with the invaders. Upon arrival to the castle, they escort the hobgobs to the dungeon, get word to the courier to deliver his message to Othar. The courier owns a herd of Yzobu, and gives the party an IOU their pick of any 500 of them from his herd, as well as instructions for how to reach his home through Sigil. He then hightails it to his masters with Othar's response.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I may have forgotten about transcribing sessions, and there's been nine sessions since the most recent one written above. The question for myself is whether I should play catch-up and write up the events covered since the last game, give a summarized digest of what's happened in the gap and pick up where I left off for future sessions, or just run my game and forget about transcribing its events here...
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