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View Full Version : RttToH: Chapter Four: From the Tomb, Into Shadow. (Game thread, ICC)



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nijineko
03-02-2009, 01:47 PM
Campaign will resume as the surviving party members stagger from the depths of the Tomb.

Midnight
03-15-2009, 11:58 PM
The party is preparing to leave the original Tomb of Horrors. They have just defeated a monstrous demilich, although this was not Acererak himself. In the horrific fight, Grunther's body was utterly destroyed, beyond recovery, yet the characters found the gem that contained his soul and a soulless construct-like body to receive it. (Details to follow.)

Their objective is the defeat of Acererak the demilich, and they have won a major victory towards it: they have reunited the halves of an amulet, found by the wizard Dessatysso many years ago. He claimed that a message was hidden on the amulet, encoded; this message indicated how to get into . There are letters on the amulet; they are in Abyssal, and encoded, but decoded, they read: "The face of the fiend does more than devour; with the least of my form, 'tis the key to power." It has been speculated that this means the huge devil-face in the first corridor, which contained a Sphere of Annihilation to which Grunther lost his arm. The party is, however, leery of trying this for obvious reasons.

The party is right now recovering, with a great list of treasure (next post).
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Here's the treasure list!
XP: 9000 for 16th level, 11000 for 15th level, 20000 for Grunther (13th).

Potions:
Greater Magic Fang +5 (20)
Fly (5)
Heroism (5)
Shield of Faith +3
Magic Vestment +1 (5)
Magic Vestment +3 (12)
Magic Fang (1)
Magic Vestment +4 (16)
Cure Light Wounds (1)
Bless Weapon (1)
Magic Circle Against Evil (5)
Darkvision (3)

Scrolls:
1: arcane, Astral Projection (17th), Hold Monster (9th), Overland Flight (9th)
2: divine, Magic Stone (1st), Entangle (1st), Enthrall (3rd)
3: divine, Hold Person (3rd), Snare (3rd)
4: arcane, Jump (1st), Knock (3rd)
5: arcane, Arcane Sight (5th)
6: arcane, Hallucinatory Terrain (5th), Fly (5th)

+4 Ring of Protection
Rod of Metamagic, Maximize, Lesser
Staff of Size Alteration (50 charges)
Incense of Meditation (1 block)
Dark Blue Rhomboid Ioun Stone: Alertness feat
Cloak of the Bat

+4 longsword of defending
+2 vicious greatsword
+3 greataxe
+3 longspear


97 10 gp gems
Huge peridot worth 10,000 gp
Huge emerald worth 50,000 gp
A single, flawless opal the size of a manís head, worth 100,000 gp

nijineko
03-30-2009, 11:59 PM
{i don't know about the rest of the party, but i'm thinking of trying to exchange or sell some of this for useful gear. do we have any idea where we might end up trying to use that thing as a portal? not to mention the time we'll have attempting to get grunther through there... and i'm not sure about what the "least of his form" might mean. }

Midnight
04-12-2009, 02:27 PM
OK, the DM is now ready to go. The new NPC will join the party at an appropriate time; for now, Andree will remain with the party.

We will continue without Shisaku until he is ready to join. You have discussed resupply; you certainly have the gold to do so. What do you intend? There's a city not too far away, and there seems to be no immediate hurry, although you obviously want to figure out what to do ASAP. BTW, Grunther has only his hammer, armor and an Eversmoking Bottle; it would probably be a good idea to spend money resupplying him.

Please figure out your equipment purchases ASAP.

One last thing: I have made a long post adding to Nijineko's summary. Please read it, ESPECIALLY the diary; it contains clues.

One more thing: Please post your characters in the "characters, sheets and status" thread ASAP.

Midnight

nijineko
04-15-2009, 05:08 PM
righteo, i'll see what i can do. and get with matosapanjin (our remaining player) on the rest.

matosapanajin
05-01-2009, 04:52 PM
ok i missed all that happened to grunther...both his axes are gone?
maybe the majority should go to reequip him....

Midnight
05-05-2009, 01:39 PM
Here's the thing: In the original version, Grunther used a battleaxe. I retroactively changed that to a maul (essentially a big hammer); it fit the character design better. I had forgotten that he had two battleaxes, not one; he should now have 2 mauls, not one, plus his (ordinary) armor, an Eversmoking Bottle, and a +6 Belt of Giant Strength. He did not lose any equipment; he just had only incomplete equipment in the first place. I was merely suggesting that you get him some armor and such. In particular, he is now a variant of a Warforged, which I made up, called a Warforged Brute--a Warforged with the Powerful Build trait--and he's taken the Warforged Juggernaut class.

In summary, he currently has:
1) A +3 Undead Bane maul
2) A +5 Undead Bane maul of disruption (from the Deck)
3) A +6 Belt of Giant Strength
4) An Eversmoking Bottle
5) Adamantine full-plate armor (built in to his body)
6) Nonmagical shield
In terms of GP value, he's not much short of the rest of you, but you'll notice that he has no bonuses to his saves and his AC is poor. You should probably sell his lesser maul, enchant his armor and get something for his saving throws.

Midnight

nijineko
05-06-2009, 02:05 PM
well, he can't wear armor... so we will have to get his body enchanted. he can, however, wear an armor crystal, and we can get another one for his shield, plus weapon crystals for his weapons. plus, we can get his shield enchanted. due to the nature and setting, i rather doubt that there are any embedded warforged items available, so i guess we are "stuck" with standard magic items. i suggest that we get him a vest of resistance, at the least. should mato' and i come up with a list? and are we aware of our heading towards the plane of shadows?

Midnight
05-06-2009, 02:40 PM
I don't recall anyone ever mentioning the plane of shadows. The PCs believe that the portal, whatever it is, will take them to the "City That Waits", which is apparently some part of Acererak's holdings. You have also received warning (via a Divination spell) to be dressed for cold. That's all.

nijineko
05-06-2009, 04:13 PM
excellent, just making sure. i didn't think so, but perhaps i was making unwarranted leaps of associations from the orb and tomb settings and even the journal. or maybe i'm just dimly recalling things i've heard about the adventure without realizing. in any case, much apologies.

matosapanajin
05-09-2009, 05:55 PM
might be a good idea to get some cold gear, i sugest basic equip from frostburn, also how shall we intro my next victums :)

Midnight
05-10-2009, 11:44 PM
Hmm...I can do one of two things:
1) A slightly generic introduction--your characters had heard of the horrible things being done by the Dark Academy and went to check it out, then found out that the current PCs had gotten there first and decided to join them.
2) Something more directly relevant to your characters--unfortunately I need to know a little more about your characters' personalities and backgrounds in that case.

nijineko
05-11-2009, 04:29 PM
hmmmm, this is slightly meta, sorry, but isn't one of his upcoming characters capable of divination? ^^

matosapanajin
06-08-2009, 04:03 PM
do you mean the radient servant of pelor? then ya prolly

nijineko
06-08-2009, 07:03 PM
well, then, he could have divined the need for the two of them to be there at that time. i can just see him using a telescope with filter to be able to see the sun's prominences in order to divine the patterns of the future in the ebb and flow of the sun-fire. and the mystical side of that would be a good fit for mato.

nijineko
06-11-2009, 02:42 AM
{{{since andry is leaving, she will be taking the items that are personally useful, plus the items we cannot use; to use, or convert, or trade... however she sees fit.

the fact that these came from the tomb of horrors might be of use in 'boosting' the value, or at least ensuring full value for trade. come to think of it, at some point in the future, it might be worthwhile selling information about the tomb... but perhaps not until we manage to remove the necro-hazards at the very least. i'm also thinking it might be wise to flood the tomb with a bit of the runoff that pook is using to terraform the swamp.

some consideration must be given towards sectioning off the sphere of annihilation, and / or using it for a drain to control any excess of flood water in the tomb. also, if it is in fact a gate, and we can determine that fact for sure, then egress should also be considered, as well as controlling whatever the "least of the form" is... hmmm, another possible source of revenue, that. since i'm thinking that dust is the least possible size of a physical form (at least from a fantasy/symbolic macro-view), we should collect all that it is possible to do. i hope tina knows unseen servant, clean, or prestidigitation. we'll need suitable containers for them. maybe vials or some other stopper-able container. if the dust turns out to be the answer, mix it with some sovereign glue to ensure that we cannot lose it.

the death-gild is almost enough alone to foot the material costs of a true res. trading the opal for an equivalent amount of diamonds might be a more possible method of converting the opal. perhaps with an envoy from the elemental plane of earth. or with certain kinds of dragons, whom are known for valuing such gems. outsiders (preferably of the good persuasion) might also value such a gem, plus be able to marshal an equivalent value of diamonds. and be more willing than dragons might.... if we could find an outsider who is known to value opals in particular....

we must be sure to have andry take careful note of any family or relatives so that we can follow up on our former comrades. it might also be wise to only release the funds directly to whomever will be performing the raise attempt, so that we will be fulfilling our obligation to our comrades, and not simply providing a relative an easy out on a personal debt. andry, assuming her willingness, can be our agent in this regard, and we can repay her efforts in this regard with some additional task or quest on her behalf... assuming we survive.

gunther has received the oil of bless weapon, the cloak of the bat, the greataxe, and the longspear. also, looking towards his ac, we can use the remainder of his share to pick up the following: ring of force shield, amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +1, vest of resistance +1, a blueshine enchantment for his 'armor'-skin, and a least armor crystal of mind shielding. that will leave him with 135.5gp.

if everyone would like to chip in a small portion to boost the effectiveness of gunther's equipment... for another 6k either his amulet or ring can be increased to +2, the vest will cost 3k to achieve the same effect. for 4500? the crystal can boosted to lesser, for 9500 it can be made greater, with better protection for gunther versus mind-affecting things. path and prii can chip in 5k towards that.

regarding gunther, his awakening in the new form, rp or no? the gathering of the equipment will take a bit of time, as will the arrangements to transport them, even via teleporting. i am fine with a casual rp of the events i'm describing, up to you and mato. during all the clean-up and preparation for or next expedition might be a good time to intro mato's new characters.

i imagine that they will be met by pook shortly after they enter the region and are clearly heading towards the tomb area. he is likely to have various means of receiving warning of intruders set up as well. give me a chance to briefly roleplay the new him. might be fun, plus a good way to bring mato's characters up to speed. ^^

with the reworking of pook to a more suitable (and playable) form, he can remain on tap as a backup if need be, as well as safeguard our back. he can make use of the greater stoneshape to thoroughly entomb the necro-hazards, and set antipathy effects to ward away evil types while he is working. he will continue to rework the tomb entry area, reshaping the hill to be less identifiable, leveling the academy, and eventually the town as well, using the worked stone elsewhere to facilitate his terraforming. he will also be using omen of peril during the clean up to avoid anything too serious.


thoughts, comments, anyone?}}}

Midnight
06-14-2009, 12:26 PM
A bit of role-playing:
Grunther wakes groggily in his new, massive body. He flounders around, breaking nearby furniture with his strength, and says in a strange, deep voice, "What happened? Not feeling so good."

<I assume the other PCs explain the bad news and good.>

Grunther cries for a while and says, "What do I do? People will hate me. I look like something horrible."

<After reassurance, he decides to continue adventuring.> "What else can I do? No one will want me here anyway. No one will even believe I'm still me."

<He does appreciate the new equipment and his new strength.>

Then the party continues.

nijineko
06-14-2009, 11:55 PM
{{{what does the new body look like again? classic warforged? hollow suit of armor? or something else? i'm wondering what could be done to personalize his new body, or some other idea may occur to me....}}}

Midnight
06-17-2009, 05:02 PM
The body is that of an oversized warforged: A humanoid body of alchemical flesh, sinew and steel, 8' tall and massively built. Bear in mind that warforged as such do not exist in this campaign world; the description of "warforged" is for the players, not the characters.

nijineko
06-17-2009, 08:29 PM
we should pick up a glamoured enchantment on his armor-skin, so that he can make it look like clothing, that's fairly cheap too. (if i didn't already have that done...) we should also see if he has any house symbol or mark that refers specifically to him, and make sure that's permanently inscribed onto his armor-skin. i wonder if anyone has thought of the potential lifespan of a construct.... i'm for picking up a headband of intellect for gunther sometime too.

nijineko
07-06-2009, 12:52 AM
out of curiosity, how far along has pook gotten in the time that the rest of the party has been down below? given that he 'is' a treant, and that he will have one to three treants assisting him depending on a number of factors, plus summoned nature's companions and/or elementals as needed for spot efforts, i imagine that he could have gotten fairly far along in the renovations. what sights greeted everyone when they climbed out of the tomb?

as i recall it, the first focus was clearing out all opposition, then the academy, followed by the town, and then surrounding landscaping. the amount of firepower that pook could come up with is somewhat scary, so i doubt that he will meet much resistance.

Midnight
07-12-2009, 09:29 PM
A renovated landscape greets the party. The Black Academy has been restructured, open to the sky and airy. One sealed Necrohazard room remains. (The party encountered it earlier and decided not to open it. It contains some sort of necromantic hazard that even the necromancers were cautious of.) The necromancers have been completely cleared out, scattered to the winds rather than fight the overwhelming, victorious party. The town is starting to be more like a normal town.

Although corrupted by necromancy, the swamp was a natural swamp. So rather than drain or flood it, Pook and the others undertook to dredge it and properly dispose of the many hazards buried underneath. (They used their strength and many animated trees to dredge up the buried foulness underneath.) The various undead have been defeated, dead bodies properly buried (and with correct rights, thanks to Andree). The swamp is returning to its natural state; a few birds fly around.

About Grunther: There is no dragonmark. I repeat: I use "warforged" as a shorthand for "alchemically created living construct"; it has some of the abilities of what we think of as warforged, but there is no race of "warforged" as such; his body is a unique living construct.

nijineko
07-13-2009, 09:42 AM
dragonmark? what dragonmark? i don't recall referring to any dragonmark. and i did get the "warforged-like" comment the first time... did i mention something that made you think otherwise? ^^

Midnight
07-13-2009, 10:16 AM
You're right; what you said was "we should also see if he has any house symbol or mark that refers specifically to him, and make sure that's permanently inscribed onto his armor-skin". Somehow I misread that as indicating a dragonmark. No, he has no house or personal symbol. If someone cares to inscribe one, though, he would not complain.

nijineko
07-13-2009, 01:31 PM
let's work with him to come up with one he likes (and is able to remember and write himself)

(as a side note, and just some thoughts on the matter, a druid might preserve or destroy a swamp depending on the nature of the swamp, how it came to be, and how it affects the environment. if this particular swamp functions as a filter for other watersheds, or as the original natural home for various plant and animal life, then preservation might be in order. if however, it was the influence of the college or town or tomb that caused the decay of previously existing marshlands into swamp or some other such similar condition, then destruction would be more harmonious with nature.

i'm not intending this as a suggestion that you change anything, just thinking about your description provoked some philosophical musings. stuff in the line of pruning plants to enable them to reach full growth, and pine forests reproduce best after a forest fire, not to mention the fertile properties of ash, and so forth. ^^)

i still think picking up an headband of intellect for Gunther would be a "smart" investment. ^^ at least bring him up to 10 if we have enough.

Pook will definitely send messages along to other members of the Verdant Grove, appraising them of the corruption and recent cleansing, the scattering of the polluting and nature-corrupting necromancers, and the need for guardians, or at least observers to ward against any regathering. he will likely also indicate the need for an heirophant and/or planar-based druid/ranger to help with something(s) (unspecified) unnatural to this plane and natural settings.

those who do not have means of sustaining themselves magically will need to restock supplies. {{{i'll make a series of survival checks after a while...}}} and it might be wise for everyone to stock up anyway... never know when something unexpected will happen.

are there any other sources of funds that remain untapped? i wonder how much the seer would pay for the tomb's location.... ^^ or perhaps for the story of it all. but not until we have it all set up correctly.

Midnight
07-15-2009, 11:08 AM
The swamp is natural. R.e. Grunther: He chooses a stylized left hand, symbolizing what he lost in the Tomb and regained thanks to you.

Grunther's Int is 6, so a +4 headband would bring him up to 10. Can the group afford it? Figure out the finances. Or Grunther can rework his treasure share to include it.

You can resupply with normal food, etc. easily enough at a city not too far away. Remember that you were warned to be prepared for cold. You don't need to be too specific about supplies--Grunther has a bag of holding, after all. Just mention how much food, etc. each person has.

The seer might be interested in the Tomb's location, but it's not worth THAT much to him--a few hundred GP, perhaps--say 200.

nijineko
07-16-2009, 10:25 AM
path and prii can contribute 5k towards enhancing someone else's equipment-such as the headband for gunther (though, now that i think about it, some of that might have to go towards food, actually). i'm not sure what everyone else's starting totals were, nor what additional equipment they might have purchased with their remaining left-over treasure share, so i don't know what their final totals were either. ^^

i think as npcs, they fall into your purview, but if you want me to spend the left overs for the npcs on equipment and such, i can go ahead and do so.

Midnight
07-17-2009, 09:09 AM
I was checking with you because Grunther is not competent to make his own choices r.e. equipment. I don't know what I was thinking about the cost; of course it should come out of his share.

nijineko
07-17-2009, 12:15 PM
oh, well, then we should get the +4, and then he should be capable of making more informed choices... theoretically. perhaps some coaching, and since his style is pretty much hack and slash and don't worry about the little stuff, we should tailor his equipment to his reflexes, regardless of his intellect, at least at first.

matosapanajin
07-25-2009, 11:51 PM
i like that idea with the divination thing, and possibly for helping understand the clue of least form

nijineko
07-26-2009, 12:16 PM
welcome back, sorry to hear about your previous modem. what do you think about the rest of the stuff discussed between the divination mention and now?

oh, and do you know how to use the multi-quote? makes it real easy to respond to lots of things at once. and keep track of it all. ^^

Midnight
07-31-2009, 10:27 AM
Mato and I talked the other day, and I explained that A) Divination requires that you state a course of action; B) he needs to be the one to actually say "I'm casting Divination and phrasing my question like this"; and C) Commune might be worth considering as well. Mato, as soon as you actually say "My character is casting a spell and here's what I'm asking about", I will give you answers. Also, we're waiting on your commentary about other things.

matosapanajin
08-18-2009, 11:15 AM
Solena: casting divination "where shall we go to find adventure"

Midnight
08-19-2009, 11:38 PM
"Bear the least of Acererak's form, and you can pass through the face of the fiend to the City that Waits. There you must find passage to the Fortress of Conclusion, where you must face the true Acererak!"

nijineko
08-20-2009, 05:51 PM
So, we get Gunther the headband. Hopefully he'll be able to make some decisions about what equipment he'll want. We'll coach him as needed about quality and usability. If he has any questions or wants adjustments, you can ask me and i'll give the 'party' response, if you want to. I imagine that he'll still be focused on removing the 'real lich' as a goal, and now that we've witnessed some of the powers, even if second hand via the pseudo-lich, a bit of looking into how to protect one from that is in order. How does the Gunther's outlook change, if at all, from his altered intellect?

Pook will continue to alter the landscape towards a more natural, if 'cultured garden' state, using elementals and treants as needed. He's not quite expecting word from the Verdant Grove yet, it's rather soon despite the urgency and nature of his report, but he will keep a sharp eye out. He is concerned that if this... being... is not dealt with, that it will continue to reach out to the prime material plane and corrupt, if not this place again, then some other place. He is contemplating the possibility that he might have to attend to this personally with mingled distaste, sadness, and trepidation.

Path continues his mental conversations and debates with Prii, and as he has sufficient discipline to work while he thinks, everyone else is likely oblivious to his preoccupation. I'm not sure how much the others would try to include Prii in conversation and decisions, but she tends to remain silent unless addressed. Sometimes even then. One might have to verbally or mentally poke her a few times to get her attention. She is so used to silence that she is still grappling with being a known figure again.

{{{which reminds me, i've been meaning to ask you, how would the quintessence interact with true seeing? after all, her body is layered with two applications of the stuff, not to mention the other effects currently in stasis... or would the true seeing have revealed the form of her spirit? }}}

Midnight
08-24-2009, 01:38 PM
OK, Grunther has bought a +4 Circlet of Intellect and enjoys his new (relative) genius. (His Int is now 10.) He has also had his armor enchanted and bought the usual buffs (Cloak of Resistance, etc.).

Unless I see something to the contrary, I don't see why quintessence would interfere with True Seeing.

So: You've cast your divination; characters are ready to go. What next? Let's go! We have an adventure to play!

nijineko
08-24-2009, 07:45 PM
{{{ i was just thinking of how true seeing relies on a form of vision... and how quintessence is a timestop effect where inside the quintessence time does not progress, and would any "vision" related effect penetrate? i realize that true seeing is not strictly vision in and of itself, just wondering about it, and haven't bothered to do the research on it myself yet. ^^ }}}

Midnight
08-25-2009, 12:33 AM
Well, the time-dilation effect of quintessence is the sort of thing that TS is designed to see through. In general, TS is a powerful spell; unless there is some sort of specific indication of something blocking TS, I would tend to say quintessence wouldn't block it.

Also: His name is Grunther, not Gunther.

Let's go!

nijineko
08-25-2009, 03:34 PM
{{{sorry, dropped the 'r'. i need to finish up pook, in case that is needed. }}}

matosapanajin
08-31-2009, 09:33 AM
Jackson and Solenal are searching around town for anyone who has heard of Acererak. [since they haven't actually met the group yet. once introductions and background are made i will have some commune questions but will wait till they actually know....]
--- Merged from Double Post ---
ok i replaced the extra turning with that divine shield good call Midnighht, and corrected rapid turning to quickened turning...had name wrong sorry.

i agree with the equiping and all, i think we shouldn't forget cold gear....something i hope the party will pass on once solena and jackson are along.

nijineko
08-31-2009, 11:30 PM
If by 'town' you mean the town right next to the tomb, then by approaching it directly you will have attracted the attention of numerous animals, who look at you for a short time and then take off running or flying. Before you are able to reach the town proper you would be met by a treant who steps out from some surrounding trees.

He holds up his hands, palm out in a peaceful gesture, studies you for a bit and then says, "Greetings, travelers. Where away you this fine day?" Oddly, there is a ring of some kind with a smooth round green stone and a small clip attached piercing the woody skin on one side of the head, roughly where an ear would be on a humanoid.

{{{If you didn't mean this town, then please disregard. =D }}}

Midnight
09-01-2009, 09:58 AM
I'm thinking something along these lines. Mato, Solenal (the Radiant Servant, correct?) cast some divinations that warned of the rise of a horrible undead being named Acererak. (Pelor HATES undead, of course.) You did some research and found out that he was a half-fiend wizard from centuries ago, and that he had a famous Tomb in this area. You were told to look for allies; these allies had defeated the Tomb but not Acererak himself, and would need help for the next stage. You made your way to the rumored location of the Tomb, and here you are.

Sounds good?

Oh yes: You cast the divination, as specified previously, concerning the City That Waits and so forth.

matosapanajin
09-02-2009, 08:17 PM
Solena responds "My companion and I are looking for allies in defeating an undead abomination named Acererak"

Jackson adds "can you direct us to the undead?"

nijineko
09-03-2009, 06:25 PM
"There's not many left here, for they've been scattered from this place... or crushed. Your timing is quite interesting, and betokens a story. May I ask what has caused you to come to this place, at this time?"

matosapanajin
09-10-2009, 03:38 PM
Solena: The brilliant Pelor has shone us the way to rid the world of the cursed undead, he told me we would find allies to defeat Acererak

Jackson: I am just with her (grins slyly as he points over his sholder to Solena

nijineko
09-10-2009, 05:57 PM
After a long moment's consideration... "Very well. There's some others you'll wish to meet." He gestures you towards the town, clearly expecting you both to precede him.

matosapanajin
09-25-2009, 08:59 PM
Jackson: please lead the way we'll be right behind you (smiles and gestures with sweeping motions).

Solena: (casting detect evil as following)

Jackson: by the way what do you call yourself?

nijineko
09-26-2009, 09:34 PM
The treant stands there observing you with a somewhat ironic cant to his stance. He notes the spellcasting, and after a brief hesitation, waits until it is cast. After some seconds, he makes spellcasting gestures of his own. "I don't mind being followed, so long as you don't mind it either." His stiff face quirks in what might be a lopsided grin or smirk in a being capable of more facial expression. Behind the two of you a very, very large elemental rips out of the ground. He says, "If they cast a spell or attack me, crush them... Follow me, then."

{{{he does not register as evil. if there are no other happenings, or unless the dm has something, then he will lead you into the fast disappearing remnants of the ruined town where you will be met by the rest of his party. }}}

matosapanajin
10-03-2009, 09:09 PM
both follow with Jackson smirking and poking Solena in the ribs with his elbow....

Midnight
10-03-2009, 09:51 PM
So far as your DM is concerned: I am still awaiting the players'/PCs' decision as to what you're actually going to do. In the interests of time, I would like to assume that Solena and Jackson will be filled in on developments. Tina thinks that given "With the least of my form, 'tis the key to power", plus the Divination, it is best to take the gamble. Her last suggestion: Perhaps the good cleric could go to the trouble of casting a Commune spell. A number of yes-no questions could be asked, but the only one she cares about is: "If any member of the party carries a pinch of the dust of the creature that we defeated in the final room of the Tomb, and all other party members touch that member, then we step into the black mouth in the green demon-face at the end of the corridor from the middle entrance to the original tomb, will we be transported, alive and uninjured, to the City that Waits?"

Other suggestions if we cast a Commune (she won't be the one casting Commune, of course, so she's just trying to spark discussion):
"Will Grunther's axe be able to damage the real Acererak?"
"Should we be prepared for extremely cold weather?" (Confirming an earlier hint.)
"Is the City that Waits in a plane other than the Prime Material?"
"Is the Fortress of Conclusion in a plane other than the Prime Material?"
"Does Acererak's amulet--the one with the phrase about 'The face of the fiend...key to power'--contain any significant clues that we have not yet considered?"

Just ideas--and remember, this is Tina the NPC; it is NOT the DM trying to drop hints.

matosapanajin
10-15-2009, 08:45 PM
Solena agrees with the commune idea and finds the aforementioned questions appropriate with one addition : do we currently have everything we need to defeat acererac permenantly.

Midnight
10-15-2009, 10:21 PM
This actually isn't enough questions--you're 15th level (correct?), meaning we get 15 yes-no-maybe questions. So far we have 7. 8 more to come! I can suggest some--perhaps nijineko can weigh in.

(BTW, nice to see you again, Mato!)

nijineko
10-16-2009, 08:08 PM
hmmm, i think some of our questions might partly depend on the answers we get so far? do we get the answers as we go, or do we have to ask them all up front?

Midnight
10-18-2009, 12:46 PM
From the SRD (on Commune):
"If you lag, discuss the answers, or go off to do anything else, the spell ends. "
That tells me that you can't discuss the questions significantly DURING the casting of the spell--and the spell only lasts about 90 seconds anyway. I'm afraid you have to come up with all questions in advance. Please do so!

nijineko
10-18-2009, 11:52 PM
thanks for that clarification. hmmmm, questions...

nijineko
10-20-2009, 12:08 AM
"If any member of the party carries a pinch of the dust of the creature that we defeated in the final room of the Tomb, and all other party members touch that member, then we step into the black mouth in the green demon-face at the end of the corridor from the middle entrance to the original tomb, will we all be transported, alive and uninjured, to the City that Waits?"

"Will Grunther's axe be able to damage the real Acererak?"

"Should we be prepared for extremely cold weather?" (Confirming an earlier hint.)

"Is the City that Waits in a plane other than the Prime Material?"

"Is the Fortress of Conclusion in a plane other than the Prime Material?"

"Does Acererak's amulet--the one with the phrase about 'The face of the fiend...key to power'--contain any significant clues that we have not yet considered or discovered?"

"are the 'city that waits' and the 'fortress of conclusion' on the same plane?"

"do we need to take further preparations that we have not taken to keep ourselves from harm as we journey through the mouth or to the city or to the fortress?"

...

nijineko
05-18-2011, 11:52 PM
we are pretty certain that acererak is an undead, thus it is not unlikely to be a place that is conducive to such. a simple planar knowledge check would probably list in order the planes with traits most conducive to undead. i imagine that the negative and shadow planes would be the top two. (don't know the lower portions of the great wheel that well, so there might be some there too) i think it would be worth a couple of questions to check off the most two (or even three or four) likely spots. therefore:

"if we pass through the portal correctly (meaning alive and well afterwards) will we end up on the plane of shadow?"

"(ditto)... on the plane of negative energy?"

"do we all need to carry a pinch of dust to pass through the identified portal and be alive and well at the other end?" (just to confirm one way or another... yes/no's can be challenging.)

"what things, not including the axe already asked about, which could significantly harm acererak which we can obtain within a reasonable amount of time?"

"what things we can obtain that would protect us against acererak's abilities?"

"what kinds of opponents will we be fighting against once we enter the city?"

"what kinds of opponents will we be fighting against once we enter the fortress?"



and that should make 15 questions. =D ball over to midnight's court!

(i'm aware that they are supposed to be yes/no's, but as commune does allow for up to 5 word replies, i'm hoping for a brief ,even if not all-inclusive, answer, as one hopes that the power in question being contacted would consider us (or at least their representative) going up against acererak to be in their interest too. thus not clarifying might be contrary to the interest of the power, as per the description of the spell. =D )

Midnight
05-22-2011, 02:41 PM
Ball back in your court. Quoting from the SRD: "You contact your deity—or agents thereof —and ask questions that can be answered by a simple yes or no." In other words, the questions MUST be Yes/No questions. The deity may reply something other than Yes or No, in cases where a Yes or No would be unclear or undesirable, but the question must be answerable by a Yes or No.

nijineko
05-22-2011, 08:12 PM
first "what things" replace with "is there anything"

second "what things" replace with "is there anything else"

first "what kinds of opponents" removed, insert "undead" in between 'against' and 'once'.

second "what kinds of opponents" removed, insert "evil outsiders" in between 'against' and 'once'.

figured those are the two most likely kinds of creatures to run into, especially if my suspicions are correct.

Midnight
05-24-2011, 12:13 AM
The answers to the new questions:
1) If any member of the party carries a pinch of the dust of the creature that we defeated in the final room of the Tomb, and all other party members touch that member, then we step into the black mouth in the green demon-face at the end of the corridor from the middle entrance to the original tomb, will we be transported, alive and uninjured, to the City that Waits?
Only that member.
2) Will Grunther's axe be able to damage the real Acererak?
Yes.
3) Should we be prepared for extremely cold weather?
Yes.
4) Is the City that Waits in a plane other than the Prime Material?
Yes.
5) Is the Fortress of Conclusion in a plane other than the Prime Material?
Yes.
6) Does Acererak's amulet--the one with the phrase about 'The face of the fiend...key to power'--contain any significant clues that we have not yet considered or discovered?
No.
7) Are the 'city that waits' and the 'fortress of conclusion' on the same plane?
Partially.
8) Do we need to take further preparations that we have not taken to keep ourselves from harm as we journey through the mouth or to the city or to the fortress?
Your preparations are enough, barely.
9) If we pass through the portal correctly (meaning alive and well afterwards) will we end up on the plane of shadow?
No.
10) If we pass through the portal correctly (meaning alive and well afterwards) will we end up on the negative material plane?
Close to it.
11) Do we all need to carry a pinch of dust to pass through the identified portal and be alive and well at the other end?
Yes.
12) Is there anything else, not including the axe already asked about, which could significantly harm acererak which we can obtain within a reasonable amount of time?
In the City and Fortress.
13) Is there anything else we can obtain that would protect us against acererak's abilities?
Protection against spells is good.
14) Will we be fighting against undead once we enter the City?
Yes.
15) Will we be fighting against evil outsiders once we enter the Fortress?
Yes.

nijineko
04-16-2013, 05:44 PM
(((it occurs to me that the "key to power" may mean more than just safe passage. i think we should take some extra vials of the dust with us, just in case.

The arrival of the other individuals would be slightly unusual. )))

A sailing vessel, a pinnace to be exact, crests a cloud, looking very much like it is sailing upon the clouds. As it rides the wind, breaking free from the cloud, it becomes apparent that it is not quite like other sailing vessels. It has a main square sail in the usual place, with two extra masts with lateen sails and rigging, stretched out from about midline, just below the railing on either side. Various figures are visible moving about the ship, sailors from their actions, taking in the sails, retracting and lashing down the two lower masts. The vessel approaches, slowing as it lowers, finally coming to a drifting rest a short distance above the ground.

Amid shouted orders, an anchor is lowered, pads attached, and it is laid near a tree so that it will catch onto a sturdy tree; and various fasteners are staked into the ground. A number of individuals lean on the railings of the small sterncastle, looking about with interest. A woman jumps to the ground, her robe/dress billowing as she drifts gently down. A man promptly follows, sliding down the rope ladder the sailors have been using with practiced ease. The ship must be crowded with so many people, in fact, it seems slightly small for so many.

The woman tilts her head, and reaches for the man as he approaches. He says something admonishing, to which she responds only nudging him with her offered arm. He takes her arm and guides her. It is soon apparent that she is blind. He is clearly a warrior, calloused, scarred and well thewed, however he wears no armor, nor bears any weapon.

Midnight
04-26-2013, 09:53 AM
They see a group standing outside the tomb: 2 human women, an elf and a huge, golemlike being some 8' tall, with metal plates covering orange-colored skin. One human woman has red hair and pale skin (what you can see of it) and wears plate mail (the helmet is off), although she moves awkwardly in it; her shield is emblazoned with a stylized sun, emphasizing its golden rays. The other is slightly shorter and slenderer, with brown hair, deeply-tanned skin and light armor, with a rapier. The elf has a bow [description left to the player]. The shorter woman speaks cautiously and says, "Might I ask why you're here at the Black Academy?"

nijineko
04-28-2013, 11:00 PM
(((Pook is likely involved with some aspect of the terraforming in progress, and may or may not have noticed. It is quite possible that he may have invoked some sort of elemental or rapport with the natural terrain which would warn him of the new incursion. )))


The man and woman approach to be within a more normal speaking distance, yet avoiding any incursion of personal space. They man is tall, over 6' in height, and he wears clothes of a simple cut, if well made. He guides the woman over the terrain with practiced ease and a floating gait. His hands are heavily calloused, in the way that only long experience with weapons can cause. Oddly, his clothing bears worn marks - to the experienced eye indicating that he has worn armor on top of his clothes with some frequency. His long black hair is held back from his pale skin by a headband, neatly tied into a single tail, and tucked inside the back of the collar of his short hip-length cloak. A pair of lenses in a leather strip are pushed up onto the headband. He appears to be human.

The woman is a bit under 6' wearing a flowing robe or dress, and is tastefully ornamented with jewelry and crystals. As she comes to a stop the cause of her blindness is apparent, her eyes are a solid milky white. She is very well proportioned with a womanly figure and is overall quite striking. She also looks human. However, there is a stillness about her, combined with a slow grace, unchanging expression, pale skin and dark hair that gives the impression of a statue or an ice sculpture.

Her voice is somewhat low pitched for a woman and has a soft rasp, lending it an unusual husky quality. "You may." She stops, waiting, obviously taking the question completely literally.

Her eyes suddenly flash with a silvery glow and she speaks, words tumbling out of her mouth, with a strange distant reverberating quality:



In forest dark or glade beferned,
The evil foe shall die unmourned,
Let those whom have the daylight spurned,
Fear our coming, they shall be burned.


She blinks a few times, shakes her head as if to clear it, and tilts her head up at the impassive man next to her before returning to her previous posture faced in the general direction of the group.

In the background, the sailors lower an anchor, whereupon a huge hulking shape that had appeared to be a pile of cargo rears up on the deck. The figure leaps over the rail, tipping the boat slightly, and drops to the ground with a loud thud. Grabbing the anchor, the figure secures it fast around a sturdy tree, handling the heavy anchor and thick anchor line like a piece of string with a trinket upon it. A mashed face combining the more objectionable aspects of orc and minotaur, shaggy piebald patches of fur, horns and fangs complete the rather shocking countenance. A sparrow sits upon his shoulder, like a pet, peeping occasionally.

At the railing, three humans of differing origins watch the proceedings. The remaining female shares the somewhat ethereal aspect of the pair in front of the group, though she is much shorter then they. The two males both look human, and somewhat like monks or ascetics of some kind. The fourth and last figure appears to be a statue or small golem of some kind, but as it watches, shifting its attention from place to place, it gives of a distinctly "living" vibe.

Midnight
04-30-2013, 10:14 PM
The red-headed woman says, "I'm Andree, follower of the Light of Truth. Those foul beings who shun daylight shall indeed be burned, although I prefer to heal rather than harm.

"You're a little late to take care of the Black Academy--we just finished with them. But if you can convince us to trust you, there might be adventure here.

"Although I appreciate your poetry, a more...straightforward description of your purpose would be appreciated. As my comrade Tina says [gestures to the brown-haired woman], we must ask who you are."

Tina continues, "Yes. This area has almost killed us several times over, so you'll pardon our caution."

The huge golem says in a deep voice, "Hi. Grunther." He pats the enormous battleaxes crossed on his shoulders. "Bessie and Cutter."

nijineko
05-01-2013, 02:06 PM
(((Note to DM: Oolanitari would have used numerous psychometry, destiny's trail, psionic based divination, hypercognition, a sprinkling of psionic based remote viewing, and similar investigative tools in order to learn about those with whom she next foresees the thread of her fate entangling with. Due to nature of these effects, much could be learned about the people in question without tripping over saving throws and spell resistance. I'm going with names, professions, and generic (ie: public) histories, except in the case of Path and Prii, where seeing in them a cusp of event probability, she will have spent more time delving into this and that.)))

Anchor tying finished, the hulking figure jumps and clambers back into the boat, causing it to lurch and rock. The sailors and most of the others at the rail keep balance with ease, though the short female grabs at the railing with a yelp and once settled sticks her tongue out over her shoulder at him. Noticing that the man next to her had an arm ready to catch her, she sniffs and returns her attention to the group below.

The blind woman speaks with a slow grace, turning first to Grunther - she curtsies, "We greet thee, Grunther. I am Oolanatari." She points to a largish crystal on an arm band, "This is Ii." The crystal in question suddenly grows crystalline spider-like legs, detaches itself from the armband and clambers up to her shoulder, whereupon it waves one spindly leg.

Oolanitari turns somewhat towards Tina. She curtsies again, "We greet thee, (here she uses Tina's full proper name)." She tilts her head, and then, thoughtfully, "More than caution will be needed where next thou tread. Trust your instincts, do not hesitate to strike to save a stranger, though thou may lose something of value."

She then turns towards Andree. Curtsying, she says, "We greet thee, (here she uses Andree's full proper name). We are not here for the present, but for the past-in-future. It was not I that spoke in riddle and rhyme to you, but the voice of the collective future gathered here. I, Oolanatari, am Sangehirn, which means healer; it is also said that I have some repute as a seer. I am a Guildmaster of the 'Wandering Eyes'. With me are cohorts and followers brave to venture aid and support with the dark thread of possibility in which you find yourselves entangled. Great forces are at work, seeking to bend the proper flow of History in order to reshape Tomorrow. Thus have we come." She pauses, head tilted as if listening to something only she can hear... "From healing, harm. From harm, a great healing of the flow. Fear not to heal."

Stepping to the side a bit, she seems to focus on Path. She curtsies, somewhat deeper than to the rest, "We greet thee, honored ancient, Elapri'ianyi of the Emerald Flame." She again pauses, " Wounded, fled; laid abed; stilled was the breath; awoken by Death; shun steel's touch; shalt gain much; Heart's desire; Life's fire." She blinks, and the words, "You'll want to raise an heir, lest the Erbauer art be lost," tumble from her mouth. She draws and lets out a long breath.

Then she curtsies again, but to a depth somewhat between her last and the rest, "We greet thee... Path... ye whose name may not be spoken amongst those not kin." Path, who had tensed, relaxes slightly. Oolanatari crosses her arms, and her chin sinks to one hand in deep thought. "The perfect shot, is one of the heart; not of the mind, nor of the hand." She raises her head and clasps her hands in front of her in a pose of waiting.

After a beat, the man shifts position suddenly and steps forward to her side. "I am Aamonkhad, warrior. With us come Tesshi," the short woman, "Zorel," the man who was ready to catch her, "Xiong Mao," the other man, "Coil," the golem-like creature, "Subtle with little Honmushi" the hulking figure, and apparently the pet bird, "who have all agreed to actively aid; and Captain Sheshkamlo with crew, who will provide passive support." Each gives a gesture of greeting when named. Even the bird peeps. Captain Sheshkamlo turns out to be the 'sailor' at the wheel of the ship.

Midnight
05-01-2013, 05:34 PM
[Tina's full name is Tina Karrennos; Andree's is Andree Starshine, called Andree the Red.]
Grunther says, "When do we smash the lich?" Tina lightly kicks his ankle; there's a slight "clang" and Tina winces. Grunther looks as abashed as a golem can look.

Tina then continues, "So how do you know so much about us? It would be nice to know your intentions. You are very poetic and well-informed; I'm impressed. If we can verify each others' bonafides and intentions, an exchange of information might be useful."

Andree says, "The Light of Truth may reveal many things; I could have found out as much about us given a few divinations." To the newcomers: "You will pardon me if I perform a quick divination concerning your arrival." She begins to busy herself with a lens of crystal, rune-engraved bone dice, and many glances at the sun overhead, murmuring and gesturing.

[In game terms, she is clearly casting a spell of some kind. I am assuming that no one wishes to interrupt her, but people could if desired.]

nijineko
05-02-2013, 03:43 PM
((( assuming the default rules setting of "psionics are the same" is in operation, then know: psi or psicraft will be used to get a grasp of what sort of operation she is actually attempting. if it is divination, then fine, if it is something else, another action might be called for. it is important for you to know that the ship and everyone on it is cloaked in a mind blank effect, as is Oolanatari herself with a personal mind blank. Aamonkhad is not protected, nor are any of the sailors on the ground (followers of either Oolanatari and/or Tesshi). i will try to get you the ship stats shortly. The below action assumes that Andree is actually casting a divination.)))

Oolanatari eyes her preparations for a moment, then calmly states, "As a matter of courtesy, I should like to mention ahead of time that most divinations are unlikely to be directly effective with regards to me, or on anyone who happens to be aboard the Far Seeing (apparently the name of the ship). It should work correctly on everyone else not aboard. Perhaps if the seeking was phrased indirectly, or about the benefit of allies with regards towards your future endeavors...."

Prii speaks up, "A Sangehirn? I am glad that they were not all destroyed. Is the ancient code still followed as it was in the past?" To which question Oolanitari answers with by shaping her hands and fingers, forming a particular gesture.

*know: psi*
*psicraft*

Midnight
05-02-2013, 08:17 PM
[Technical note: Although magic-psionic transparency is in effect, that only covers dispels, spell/power resistance and detects. Psicraft and spellcraft are NOT the same skill, nor are knowledge: psi and knowledge: arcana. However, I am willing to make a partial exception: Psicraft/spellcraft may be used to identify spells/psionics with a -10 penalty, ditto with the knowledges. Bottom line: The knowledge check enables you to confirm that it is, in fact, a spell, one with foci of various kinds, that takes a while to cast. Thanks to your natural 1, however, psicraft is insufficient to identify any more details.]

Andree has stepped away from the newcomers while doing this, and she and Tina are both glancing towards the newcomers. After about 10 minutes, and a few questions quietly asked while looking at the sky (you overhear a fragment: "...with the newcomers...intentions..."), and another roll of the dice...
Percentile roll 1
Percentile roll 2

Midnight
05-02-2013, 08:23 PM
[Terrible rolls for Andree!]
For the benefit of Path and Prii, who are watching: She tells them quietly, "My divination was inconclusive, but an augury says that trusting them will be of benefit, at least in the near future. I suppose we can tell them what we know. I have scanned them with true sight, they're not hiding their identities, and the two down here are good-aligned."

Tina sighs and says, "They clearly have a degree of power, and I'm getting used to powerful people jumping in and out."

Sense motive

Midnight
05-02-2013, 08:41 PM
[The DM can't roll to save his life tonight]
Tina sighs and says, "The two of them are odd enough I can't tell what they're thinking, but we may as well tell them. It seems like they know much already."

To the newcomers: "Very well. As you know, I'm Tina Karennos. I suggest we all gather together--perhaps we can enter your impressive ship? Perhaps we can eat while we talk."

[Assuming that some sort of gathering, in the ship or out, takes place, Tina gives a small speech; this is also a recap for the benefit of the PCs. You find that she is an excellent, enthralling speaker, enhancing her storytelling with bits of song.]
"We're here because there has been a spread of negative energy throughout this country: dead people spontaneously animating as wights and other horrors, and repeated sightings of a demonic face with an enormous mouth; we saw some of this ourselves. After much research, we found that the demonic face was known as the Sign of the Devourer, and was associated with an ancient, powerful demilich named Acererak. Apparently a wizard named Desatysso adventured with his party into the Devourer's tomb; the tomb was buried under and behind the building you see here [gesturing towards the Black Academy and the various black-robed prisoners being led away]. Most of his group of adventurers died, and two were crippled, but he apparently found what he was looking for: a way beyond the Tomb, for the Tomb is apparently only a gateway to Acererak's true stronghold, and the supposed demilich within was only a shadow of the true Acererak.

"Connected with this was a prophecy: 'And when the Devourer is one with the Final Void, all knowledge will be his, and he shall be like unto a god.' The Final Void apparently refers to the Negative Material Plane. In addition, Desatysso had an amulet which was taken away by his surviving party members, including Grunther here. Using a cryptic puzzle hidden in this amulet, plus spells of divination, we found that (skipping over many steps) carrying a bit of the dust that was left from Acererak's mortal body and stepping into what appears to be an annihilating sphere will actually transport us to the 'City That Waits'. We came in, fought the Black Academy, and cleaned out the Tomb, with several of us dying permanent deaths along the way." She stops with grim remembrance.

"I have to admit, assistance would be nice. What can you do? I'm the sneaky sort and a bard as well, Path is obviously an archer, Prii has many various talents, and Grunther is very, very good at hitting things until they fall down." She punches him lightly with a clang. "Oh, and one more thing: From what we've found so far, we're likely to face outsiders, lots of undead, lots of deadly traps, and plenty of necromantic magic. Oh, and very cold weather. Pleasant, huh?"

[She waits for responses.]

nijineko
05-07-2013, 06:08 PM
[The DM can't roll to save his life tonight]
Tina sighs and says, "The two of them are odd enough I can't tell what they're thinking, but we may as well tell them. It seems like they know much already."

To the newcomers: "Very well. As you know, I'm Tina Karennos. I suggest we all gather together--perhaps we can enter your impressive ship? Perhaps we can eat while we talk."

Oolanatari is not slow to accept the suggestion, graciously directing the entire group towards the ship. She warns everyone not to bring any magical items utilizing extra-dimensional spaces with them, suggesting that they be left behind. She follows this up with an offer to have any such items stored below deck should that be desired. By this time, the rope ladder has been staked to the ground, providing stability, which Aamonkhad ascends. There is also a pulley and hoist arrangement with a sling, which arrangement Oolanatari takes advantage of, lifted and swung aboard with ease by the hulking figure.

The small group on the deck precedes everyone through an oddly broad door leading into the tiny sterncastle cabin, with the sole exception of the large hulking figure who remain on deck. The bird twitters loudly from his shoulder, then flits through the doorway in a smooth swoop. Oolanatari enters last, after personally welcoming each new individual aboard the Far Seeing, though her lack of expression or smile makes it feel odd. As the door shuts behind her, the sounds of the ship fade to silence. Beyond the doorway is a richly appointed room decorated in crystal, with accents of wood and stone. The room is at least 20' wide and 30' long, which is certainly larger than the entire ship itself! Several narrow but tall water sculptures adorn various parts of the room, adding the gentle tinkling sound of water falling.

The floor is a mosaic of stone and crystal and wood, with thick, plush rugs here and there. A faint breeze is felt, spiced delicately with a pleasant incense and laden with the smells of many foods. A large table already set with several places dominates the center of the room above which is a crystal chandelier spreads its arms over the table, shedding multicolored light everywhere. A number of comfortable chairs with small tables line the edges of the room, creating a comfortable atmosphere, broken only by a single huge chair in one corner. From behind a set of screens in another corner, transparent figures in livery (a triple eye motif) drift out carrying platters and bowls of foods of many kinds, along with pitchers containing various liquids, the sources of the delicious smells.

Oolanatari takes her place at one end of the table, most of the rest of her group take places at specific chairs around the edges of the room, leaving the central table for the guests. The oversized chair, about right for the one who remained outside, remains empty. Once everyone is seated, the feast begins.


[Assuming that some sort of gathering, in the ship or out, takes place, Tina gives a small speech; this is also a recap for the benefit of the PCs. You find that she is an excellent, enthralling speaker, enhancing her storytelling with bits of song.]

...snip....

[She waits for responses.]


Oolanatari rises and speaks, "We shall each introduce ourself and speak somewhat of our abilities. As I have already done so, I shall begin instead with a broad view of what we are and whom we represent. We are all members of the guild of the Wandering Eyes, of which I am a Guildmaster. The Wandering Eyes are superficially a gladiatorial guild, though not of the usual stripe. While we do participate here and there in the non-lethal combats and contests available in various countries, our purpose is more to collect memory-images of various encounters and store them for later viewing. Indeed, such is our primary source of income. The other aspect of our guild is that we are most of us either manifesters, sympathizers, or supporters of the art called by some "Mind-Magic", and by ourselves "Psi". Being aware of the prejudice which exists against our kind, and our art in some, I hope that none of you are so inclined; but if so, that you are at least willing to be learn by association with us who we really are and what we are really like.

While it is a precept and teaching of our art to preserve the privacy of non-enemies, a noble concept wherein it must be admitted that not all abide, please be aware that some uses of our arts will impinge upon said privacy. For example, as a Seer, I am sometimes aware of the future, and the past. If I choose not to look away, I cannot un-see what may be unfolded to me. In the case of our meeting, I received unbidden visions of our working together, and based on those visions, I deliberately delved into your pasts in order to learn what manner of beings you were and are. The results of such, excepting for matters publicly known, shall remain with me and will not be shared with any, save upon your individual request or upon threat of serious harm to those in my care. Likewise, when I extend my awareness to my surroundings, I may learn somewhat of all in my vicinity, such as what may be carried in pouch, bag, or pack and so forth. While this has great usefulness in spotting enemies or items invisible or otherwise hidden, it is only courteous to forewarn.

I also am Sangehirn, as I said before, which means healer. When using such powers, it is most likely that I will learn much of the body and state of one being healed, which again, is useful in finding the more subtle forms of infestations, parasites, and malign influences, but will also reveal much of the self to my view. Again, such information will remain with me, save upon individual request, or again upon threat of serious harm to those in my care.

I regard all who work with me equally, as under my care and under such protection as I can offer, regardless of the length of time involved." Oolanatari sits down. It is noted that throughout the entire delivery, her expression did not change, even once.

The short woman stands next. She has a generous, warm smile, with a heart shaped face and large eyes. Her outfit is colorful and feminine, though well suited to being outdoors. She obviously has the same sort of (racial?) cast to her features as Oolanatari and Aamonkhad, but what on them is elegance, on her is... cute. She looks almost like an older child or maybe a young teenager. Her voice is clear and quite pleasant sounding, imbued with a genuine warmth. After a beat, it is realized that she is not moving her mouth, yet seems to be speaking in the native language of each listener, **I'm Tesshi, and I'm older than I look. I'm a Telepath. That's the stereotype everyone thinks of when they hear "Mind-Mage". I see minds the way you see candles in a dark room. I'll hear what you think, if you think it loudly enough, unless I'm trying to ignore it, like now. But only the stuff that you put into words in your head. I don't somehow know everything in your head, like most ignorant people believe. Your secrets are safe from me. If you're ever in danger, and I'm nearby, you can just think hard enough and I'll hear you.

And If I ever do have to enter your thoughts, you'll know it, even though I'm very gentle. It's sort of like that Rary's thing I've heard about. And I'll ask first, unless you've gone insane or something. I hope you liked the foods and drinks I selected for our meal. If you're ever short of some necessity, come see me. I'm the Cook, and Quartermaster.** She glances over at Path, **I'll happily help you find a style that will not interfere with your movement or combat needs...** she shoots a fleeting glare at Aamonkhad, **and complements you.** She sits down.

The bird, which upon close inspection is revealed to be a sparrow, begins singing and hopping back and forth. After a moment, Tesshi projects gently, **Honmushi, dear, I don't think they can understand you, may I?** The sparrow produces a loud flat tone and puffs up the feathers for a bit before relenting. Tesshi closes her eyes and tilts her head as if listening, and her mental 'voice' somehow sounds like a different person - also female, **Honmushi! I can become almost anything. I prefer being myself though. I don't like being asked to carry stuff, just because I can become something big. If you do, you'll regret it!** She hops back to her dish and picks at seeds. After a moment, you can see the flash of actual and decidedly non-bird-like teeth in her bill as she cracks a particularly tough seed.

Tesshi comments to everyone, **She means that, you know. The last person who mistook her for a beast of burden? Flying cow. Took me forever to get the dung smell out of their clothes, even with help.** Tesshi shudders. The sparrow falls over cheeping, unmistakably laughing.

Tesshi responds, **No, I still don't think that was proper. It was a lot harder with the diplomatic envoy of (country name) after that, even if you did think his party looked like a herd. He lost credibility, especially since no one else believed in the flying cow** More peeping. Tesshi emotes a motherly air of exasperation and long suffering, shaking a finger at Honmushi who gives a mollifying cheep.

One of the men slides to his feet, standing loosely. His slightly long and springy hair forms a mane around his head, and he is dressed in riotously colored clothing. "I'm Zorel. My specialty is called a Kineticist. I deal with various forms of energy. Heat, cold, electricity, even alchemical energies like acid. My favorite is fire." He holds his hands out in front of himself and they burst into flames. He waves his hands about for a bit and then with a snap of the wrist the flames lengthen into a whip, which lazily swings out to snag a piece of meat from a dish and with a wiggle, flips the meat neatly into his mouth. He claps his hands together and the flames billow briefly and go out. He chews and swallows, "Oooh, spicy. Just like I like it! Thanks, Tesshi!" She rolls her eyes.

Aamonkhad rises gracefully. "I greet everyone again. I am Aamonkhad, a warrior, a Soul Weapon. My form of Psi has been honed into a realized weapon." He breathes deeply, exhales and gently spreads his hands. Abruptly, a large faintly glowing bastard sword forms, then with a slow swing in his hands, it slowly shrinks to the size of a longsword, shrinks to a short sword, then shrinks again and splits into two long daggers which finally disappear. "I am also quite capable at ranged combat." With a gesture, a slender shaft of visibly vibrating light condenses into one hand, which shoots across to his other hand and likewise disappears. "Usually one will see one or the other, either a Soul Knife, or a Soulbow, but I have worked hard to learn both arts." This then explains the lack of weapon or sheath, and perhaps also the seeming lack of armor.... With a slight nod of his head, he reclines again.

The other man unfolds from a lotus, stands, and bows. He is dressed rather traditionally as a monk. His hair is bound into a simple tail. "I am Xiong Mao. I have long studied the nature of matter and energy, and turned my focus upon how they are bound to form the objects we see around us, and how those bonds are broken. Perhaps if there is time later, I may demonstrate for those who are interested." He then refolds himself into his chair.

The living statue stands. He is formed of a mixture of woods, crystals, stone, and metals. He is roughly humanoid in form, but made to a muscular mechanical ideal, rather than an organic one. His features are rough, but recognizable. He has one fewer digit on his hands than other humanoids. His crystalline eyes glow slightly. His voice is rough, like stones rumbling, but with a squeak on some sounds, like wood or metal rubbing together, "I am Coil. I am of the Warforged kind. I like to build things. I like to fix things. I will build you new things. I will fix your old things. I will make you a good bargain. I helped design this ship. I helped build this ship. Thank you." Most of the rest of his group smiles as he says this last.

Oolanatari glances at the oversized chair. "Subtle does not like being inside; also it is his custom to make himself familiar with his surroundings. He is a quiet person, but, please do not misjudge him nor his intelligence based on his appearance.

I should like to add one more thing here at the end of our introduction. Our intention is to accompany you on your quest. I have foreseen that combining our efforts will be necessary if there is to be success. Yet none of us are entirely free from our duties to the Guild, and certain other circumstances. What I propose is that we accompany you, providing a secure base to rest, recuperate, and restore yourselves by the means of our good ship Far Seeing. I also propose that one or two of us at a time accompany you in your forays, as our other commitments allow, and as our various abilities fit whatever needs may be at hand.

I welcome your thoughts and questions."

Midnight
05-07-2013, 08:06 PM
[Note: Tesshi does not sense Tina mentally at all, not in any way. It's probably rather disturbing for her.]
[Also, given Oolanatari's general powers and ability to sense "important things" happening, her divinations have probably included something we hadn't explicitly mentioned before: Urgency. She has a feeling of doom and disaster looming in all of her divinations. Hard to put a finger on, but it certainly involves the Tomb in some fashion, and whatever it is is coming soon--weeks, perhaps days.]
[Tina and Andree also fill in the newcomers on the rest of the information: The results of the Commune spell, etc., etc.]
[One more DMing item: Looking over the old posts, you decided that you needed to prepare for cold weather, but no one actually mentioned what form those preparations would take. Also, Oolanatari's divinations have hinted at cold. One suggestion was made earlier: Fur clothing from Frostburn. This, plus standard cold-weather gear, would grant a +10 bonus on Fort saves to overcome cold damage. Think about what you intend to do. A full set of mundane cold-weather gear (clothing, blankets, tents) costs only 25 gp/person, so I'm willing to assume you've already bought it if desired, but it does apply a -2 armor check penalty, a -1 penalty to AC, and -5 feet to movement. DMs judgement call. Have you done anything else?]

Andree says, "Those of us who don't just THINK about their powers all day long"--she smiles at the various psionic types, clearly jesting--"need to figure out what spells will be needed. Also, are you prepared for cold? We may need to shop, and we may wish to perform more divinations. At the very least, Tina and I need to adjust our spell load. It's late afternoon, so we'll presumably sleep before too long.

"On a more personal note, I worship a power that I call the Light of Truth: the sun that reveals all and returns the restless dead to their proper state. I am something of a diviner, I hate undead, and I can swing a mace from time to time, although that's not my favorite activity. I try to stay cheerful but have been known to have a bit of a temper. Before too long I want to finish all this and take a vacation!"

Tina concurs and says, "I have a feeling it would be best for us to move soon, too. Personally, I'm as prepared as I'll ever be. I don't know about you, but we have our cold-weather gear and are ready to go in. My bardic research has revealed only that the City That Waits is real and ancient, and was apparently torn from this plane of existence in a violent fashion ages ago. There was also a reference to a curse, but I don't know the details. I suggest we proceed promptly."

[One more DMs note: All the DM's NPCs have bought cold-protection magic for their armor or have some other form of magic cold protection, in addition to mundane protection.]

Grunther says simply, "What do we do?"

[Ideas?]

nijineko
05-09-2013, 09:40 AM
[Note: Tesshi does not sense Tina mentally at all, not in any way. It's probably rather disturbing for her.]

{{{just a note to the DM: both mindsight and the telepathy special ability it is predicated upon, both are explicitly NOT "mind-affecting", nor do they duplicate any detect effect; and thus should work perfectly fine on Tina, allowing Tesshi to find her mentally any time she is using said ability and Tina is in range. and as a side-note will also work on anything that has an INT score even if it is immune to mind-affecting, like intelligent undead, plant creatures, certain outsiders, and others.

the read thoughts power on the other hand, is "mind-affecting"; therefore she will not be able to read her surface thoughts.

speculating upon the design choice of mindsight and the telepathy special ability, i believe the latter is not surprising as it merely enables a role-playing enhancement (one-way communication) and does not confer a mechanical benefit, save the possible narrow application regarding language-dependent effects requiring understanding, as opposed to "must speak the same language" explicitly. the former allows pinpointing of squares, but cannot pierce concealment on its own, which minor benefit is completely in line with the benefit of a feat.



i'll reply to the rest after some research and so on.}}}

Midnight
05-10-2013, 12:06 PM
As an FYI, I have been reading about mindsight, and several DMs house-rule that it is blocked like detects. I'm considering ruling that it's blocked by 6 feet of stone/2 feet of metal/lead like detects. DMs generally HATE mindsight. We can discuss it, though.

matosapanajin
05-11-2013, 10:00 AM
(Greetings I am still alive, should I proceed to assume that sole a and Jackson are involved as well)

nijineko
05-13-2013, 11:02 AM
(Greetings I am still alive, should I proceed to assume that sole a and Jackson are involved as well)

{{{of course, as we discussed on the phone a while back, this idea of mine was originally to provide a rotating supply of characters who bring differing sets of abilities to the table, as well as filling in any holes in the party roster caused by real life. i would like to expand it so that anyone can swap out and play one of the cohort characters as a break or for fun.

above and beyond that i would much prefer that you be actively and frequently involved. whenever you can't for some reason, contact us in a timely fashion to let us know, and your character can rest in the stronghold for the duration, and we'll just swap in two of the spare group.


***


unlike yourself, midnight, most dm's can't handle advanced play and make such houserules to compensate.

then again, there are a few do so simply out of a personal preference for a particular style of play or to limit power levels to suit some personal ideal. while that may be fine for them, i happen to disagree with those ideas. more importantly, i feel that it would not suit the power level of the campaign as played up to this point. personally, i will resist such a houserule.

here are some rules logic to back up my preference and position:

unlike most detection type spells, roughly half of the forms of extra-sensory input via psionics is not subject to blocking by stone, metal, lead, or whatever. take clairvoyant sense, for example: it is a 2nd level power that works anywhere on the same plane within the limits of obvious and/or known locations. no material can block it. though it is not mentioned in the power, however, i would imagine that null zones, wild zones, and anti-zones would prevent function within those areas; though it may be possible to look into such areas from outside using this power.

there are a few powers that are limited by such materials. given the explicit inclusion of such limits in certain powers and the deliberate exclusion of said limits from other powers, i believe the intent of the rules is crystal clear. where it was felt that such limits were appropriate, the rules were explicitly included, and where it was not appropriate, the rule was deliberately excluded.

psionics in many ways has been reduced to a clone of the magic system. therefore differences from the rest of the rules are deliberate and intentional to give psionics unique mechanics and abilities as well as flavor.

another example and case-in-point of the concept: feats are not supposed to grant supernatural abilities, as mentioned in several previous sources. however, all psionic feats are supernatural, rather than psi-like/spell-like as spell based feats are. this exception is explicitly pointed out in the rules as being deliberate.

and now for some rp-based reasons:

added to that, it is not like the one specific character out of the 15 available for this campaign (of which only 6-7 will actually be in play at any given time) is going to be a factor even half of the time. furthermore, the difficulty has already been ramped up by you already to account for our upper-end levels compared to the adventures' expected spread of levels; she is a very frail type require much resources on the part of the party to keep her safe; and if and once they make a scouting probe with her and subsequently get her back to safety, some of the enemies will have likely relocated rendering part of the information invalid anyway.

given all of that, i think it inappropriate to make such a houserule for this campaign. ^^ }}}

Midnight
05-14-2013, 07:08 PM
About mindsense: I see your point. Fair enough; we'll try it as is and see what happens.

Mato, welcome back; it's been a long time. As Nijineko said, we only ask that you stay involved, and if you can't post in a timely fashion, let us know so we can rotate in characters.

About your characters: They're basically fine, but we need to talk about a few abilities, their design and a few details. I will email you privately about suggestions and points I have to make. Here's a major point: Design efficiency is important. It is fine to have a campaign which is just light-and-easy roleplaying where the specific design of the characters doesn't actually matter, but this is not such a campaign. It is based off of the most legendary character-killing dungeon ever made. As such, character design is IMPORTANT. Your characters are mostly good, but some of their magic items need work, and their skills are, unfortunately, not optimally chosen. I'll be sending you emails about them soon.

Looking forward to playing,
Midnight

matosapanajin
05-15-2013, 04:35 PM
Looking forward to your email and keeping this site up in safari so can check in daily at least, I responded via return email but got note saying that went to admin not you sorry bout that

Midnight
05-20-2013, 02:26 PM
Just an update for the group: I have messaged Matosapanajin r.e. character issues; hopefully these will soon be resolved and we will continue ASAP.

matosapanajin
05-20-2013, 03:06 PM
Got the emails and will be fixing hings quickly

nijineko
05-21-2013, 10:50 AM
{{{likewise, i am working on finishing off the rest of the cohorts. there is a bit of a hangup with the two monks, they both have a similar goal, but with a slightly different focus, so differentiating them mechanically is somewhat of a challenge. one is a big, hulking, raging monk, the other is a breaker, both of which tend towards high damage output. }}}

matosapanajin
05-22-2013, 06:34 AM
(Did we have the character sheets online somewhere, paper at home and was going to work on them while at work)

Midnight
05-22-2013, 10:06 AM
I tried to post Mato's character sheets, but they're too big. Mato, can you remind me of your preferred email and I'll send them to you that way?

nijineko
05-22-2013, 01:12 PM
{{{i believe i can set up a separate section on epicfetch's web site for us to store things like character sheets and maps. shouldn't be an issue at all.}}}

Midnight
05-22-2013, 05:01 PM
Please let us know when you've done so. Thanks!

Midnight
05-23-2013, 02:10 PM
Matosapanajin--I've sent the character sheets to your personal email.

Midnight
06-04-2013, 10:35 PM
Matosapanajin--any news/requests/comments on character changes? As soon as you're ready to go we can begin.

Midnight
06-19-2013, 11:56 AM
OK, I've checked out Matosapanajin's characters and they look fine. Let's get started! Just let me know when you actually enter the Tomb. Think about any buffs, etc. you wish to cast.

nijineko
06-19-2013, 06:12 PM
{{{ character sheets are stored here (http://epicfetch.com/external-campaigns/rtttoh/). only some of them have been uploaded, but enough to get started with. }}}

matosapanajin
06-20-2013, 08:31 AM
Excellent thanks for checking them out

matosapanajin
06-20-2013, 08:32 AM
Just a note on Jackson, everyone who is willing he will use endure exposure on each day to protect against elements and his breath

nijineko
06-20-2013, 01:36 PM
we will all need 24 hour cold protection in place. depending on how bad it is, ie: if the environment deals cold damage versus just being really cold. we might also want to consider having negative energy protection available. once we are on the other side, we can use various information gathering means to ascertain the next best course of action.



point of clarification for dm: dispel effects, like any other magical effect, cannot cross planar/portal claudications, as exemplified by portal, rope trick, mansion and similar effect descriptions. this means that when such item/effect(s) are dispelled, that they go inactive, rather than the popular myth of disgorging all contents, due to the fact that the dispel cannot affect the ex-d space itself, only the claudication interface.

thus, having all extras retreat into the extra dimensional spaces on board, reducing the ship to its' smallest form, and placing a dispel on it for the duration of transition through the orb portal will have the effect of trapping everyone within the ex-d spaces until the dispel wears off.



as far as character sheets go, we should only be missing zorel (tesshi's thrall), coil, and xiongmao.

Midnight
06-21-2013, 09:18 AM
Understood about the dispel and extradimensional spaces. Please specify what you mean by "24-hour cold protection". Of course, Jackson's ability is effectively an endure elements spell, which protects against normal heat and cold and gives immunity to his breath weapon. In addition, Tina has 10 points of cold resistance. Are there any other continuously-active cold protections that I should know about?

nijineko
06-21-2013, 12:12 PM
the endure level effects we can produce that last for 24 hours is what i was referring to, as well as the need to consider if there is extra environmental damage above and beyond "just cold", as in XdY/rnd type damage.

since we are jumping into an unknown, there will be extra protections. i'll review the abilities and let you know.

matosapanajin
06-22-2013, 06:27 PM
I believe Solent also has some cold resistance from a magic item set but otherwise I think that is it

nijineko
06-26-2013, 01:13 PM
let's see: Oolanatari will be carrying the ship in its least form. (heheheh ^^) those who will not be attempting the portal directly will be inside aforementioned ex-d spaces. just to be paranoid-safe, a tiny pinch of dust, suitable sealed and distributed, will be given to each living person aboard, as well as embedded into a small portion of the ship itself. (it is incidentally immune to disintegration due (apparently) to an obscure loophole in the rules (literal interpretation?) with living objects, but best not take chances.)

we don't know what we will find on the other side, but we should be combat ready. we also need to be balanced between keeping our more vulnerable characters inside, and having information. Oolanatari, Tesshi, and Honmushi are some of the best information gatherers on our (nijineko's) side. However, they are less combat capable in some respects, particularly Tesshi.

as far as preparations go, i would like everyone to have the benefits of the cold protection offered by either Jackson or Zorel. additionally, we will have active stygian wards (similar to death wards) going on all members not in the ship. there will also be an active zone of alertness (10' radius), damp power (area affect augmented), and weather prediction plus detect ship going. so everyone will need to stay within 10' radius at first.

anyone not 'front and center' should be in the ship, i'm thinking, so who are we proposing to have the scouting party composed of?

if everyone else is contributing combat heavies, then Oolanatari with Tesshi (and Zorel) is the better info gathering combo, otherwise Oolanatari with Aamonkhad might be best.

matosapanajin
06-28-2013, 10:40 AM
Both Jackson and Solent have some info gathering abilities Jackson will be employing invisibility and both are constantly under hide from undead with no save for intelligent undead. I recommend Jackson do the cold protection as it protects from his breath also and hat frees up your casters slots for other things

Midnight
06-28-2013, 11:14 AM
In terms of who's outside the ship: My understanding is that Jackson (dragonfire), Solent (cleric), Tina (rogue/bard) and Grunther (fighter) will be there. So we've got the basics minimally covered. It seems that one more front-line type and/or one more arcane-like caster would be a good idea.

Also: Matosapanajin, unless you've got an ability I haven't heard of, Hide from Undead provides no save for unintelligent undead; intelligent undead do get a single Will save. Please let me know what the DC is.

nijineko
06-28-2013, 02:51 PM
in that case, i will go with Oolanatari and Aamonkhad to begin with. we can adjust from there.

matosapanajin
06-29-2013, 09:53 AM
Both Jackson and Solena have shirt of wraith stalking which grants at will hide from undead and specifies no save even for intelligent undead

Midnight
06-29-2013, 11:15 PM
Yikes! You're absolutely correct. I missed that. Ridiculously underpriced magic item. Oh well, you've got it.

matosapanajin
06-30-2013, 01:05 AM
Perhaps but it's very situational really, I had them both with it for the concept of having been a bit of undead hunters from time to time in their past what with Solena being radiant servant of pelor and all. :)

nijineko
07-01-2013, 10:03 AM
Ridiculously underpriced magic item.

i think the point of the MIC was to adjust what items should cost based on in-game usage experiences. so, technically, it's not underpriced, it is now priced correctly. ^^ that is, if one agrees with their assumptions and logic inherent in the decisions made. after all, normal invisibility (2nd or 4th level effect, iirc) doesn't allow a save either.


btw, midnight, as mod of this thread, you can delete spam posts.

matosapanajin
07-01-2013, 12:04 PM
So r we ready? As an aside out of game I am moving to wisconsin in a couple weeks

nijineko
07-01-2013, 12:46 PM
So r we ready? As an aside out of game I am moving to wisconsin in a couple weeks

that was a cheesy notification. ;D

contact info via email, please. =D

Midnight
07-03-2013, 02:30 PM
You're going to milk this Wisconsin move for all you're worth, aren't you? :-)
Just let me know when you're officially entering.

nijineko
07-03-2013, 02:44 PM
so, any more information you need? or can we get the game moooving? ;)

matosapanajin
07-11-2013, 05:48 PM
Ok I can be entering now FYI I am moving on 20th with Kim and rehya joining me in August

Midnight
07-11-2013, 11:20 PM
OK, so just to be official and clear: You are casting the aforementioned protections on yourself, giving each person a pinch of the lich's dust, and entering the big open mouth at the end of the corridor, correct? Let me know what the party order is, and I will tell you the results. Grunther will volunteer to go first.

matosapanajin
07-12-2013, 09:43 AM
That is correct and tho I can't speak for everyone Solena and Jackson usually travel together with Jackson behind in confined areas due to breath past Solena but Jackson also scouting ahead if needed else side by side

nijineko
07-12-2013, 01:58 PM
Oolanatari will be in the middle with Aamonkhad at her side, as ready as possible. They will step through together. Just before we all go through, however, she will do a bit of psionic divination attempting to ascertain if there will be hostile forces / effects on the other side, other than the environmental that we know about.

Midnight
07-16-2013, 11:59 AM
When you're casting spells/manifesting powers like that, please be specific. To quote the SRD, "...a divination spell can provide you with a useful piece of advice in reply to a question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity that is to occur within one week". What question, exactly, are you asking?

nijineko
07-16-2013, 03:52 PM
(((you know what, never mind the divination - i just realized that the manifesting time for it is too long to do right before we step in. instead, she will manifest a fully augmented sense danger, which will allow her to manifest a wide range of powers in a surprise round/first round as an immediate action. please proceed.)))

matosapanajin
07-17-2013, 02:28 PM
Jackson - anyone who I haven't granted elemental endurance to please raise your hand. (After the prep also doing greater draconic flight and invisibility)

Solena - if everyone is prepared lets go and may the light of Pelor protect and guide us all that we may see clearly the evil which needs to be vanquished

Midnight
07-17-2013, 08:31 PM
OK. Grunther enters first, followed by Oolanatari and Aamonkhad, then Solenal and Jackson, with Tina bringing up the rear. (I assume that Prii is not currently active?)

You find yourself in another place. A vast roof of roiling black clouds hangs above, periodically limned with silent electrical discharges of enormous magnitude. Spread out below this ominous skyscape is a Promethean city of slender towers, thrusting up from an impenetrable abyss of darkness below. The tower bases are hidden in absolute blackness, almost as if they were erected upon the darkness itself. The heights of the spires are rounded, sleek, and enigmatic constructions of stone and metal, repeatedly illuminated by the actinic lightning play above. Thin spans and fragile bridges connect many of the slender towers at various levels in a mazelike array. You stand upon one of these spans of black metal, equidistantly suspended between three unlighted spires. An obelisk of rusted iron stands before you, bearing a lengthy inscription. A thin layer of hoarfrost coats everything, and your breath steams in the frigid air. However, given your cold preparations it feels no more than cool.

A basic map of the towers will be attached shortly.

There seems to be no immediate danger, and nothing is attacking you. What do you do?
3960

nijineko
07-17-2013, 09:47 PM
(((Prii is in Path's belt sheath, I had not assigned them specifically to the ship, so they are likely silently tagging along in the middle between the newcomers and Tina. Oolanatari will want to reactivate the ship, expanding it to rowboat size in order to activate the mobility options, then expanding it to ship size, and someone will need to notify those inside to come out, stay with the ship, set a guard and so forth. The ship will be kept low, perhaps partly phased with the ground, given the unwelcome appearance of the skies. Once that is dealt with, I suggest that we split into two groups (to prevent AoO) and examine the obelisk first - try to read what is on it, and then consider the spires from the outside. )))

Midnight
07-17-2013, 10:26 PM
Note that I have added the city map to my previous post.

nijineko
07-18-2013, 11:16 AM
(((if we do split into two groups, Path and Prii will be with the one that Oolanatari and Aamonkhad are not. that will put a strong psionicist and a warrior type with each group. Prii will manifest a level one utility astral construct (duration of h/l) of the quadraped type, this will be useful for trap checking. )))

Midnight
07-18-2013, 03:36 PM
matosapanajin? Do you agree with nijineko?

Midnight
07-18-2013, 07:50 PM
One more note: The whole map area is about 1500 feet by 1500 feet; the towers are about 120' wide, and it seems to be several hundred feet from the current bridge to the blackness in which the towers are rooted.

matosapanajin
07-20-2013, 02:51 PM
Is there any way to communicate between groups? If so I am fine with that and recommend Jackson and Solena go to the obelisk to help interpret otherwise we should stick together

nijineko
07-20-2013, 05:45 PM
(((by groups, i meant about 40' apart from each other, when it is practical to do so. ^^ not going in two different directions... so i don't think it will be too much of a problem unless there is a major incident. then again, considering where we are....

Prii was a combat psionicist in the middle of a very lengthy war. she requests that she be handed to each person in the group in turn and then returned to Path. this will enable her to communicate with everyone regardless of their location. it it must be initiated from her direction, though. does anyone else have a way to initiate a communication should it be necessary? )))

Midnight
07-20-2013, 07:38 PM
Who's actually looking at the inscription, and who's standing 40' away? And where is the far group? (Refer to the map; they could be to the east, west or south of the X/party location, or in the air if they want to fly.) I will give you the results of reading the inscription when I know this.

Midnight
07-20-2013, 08:58 PM
As a side note: Given the slow pace of these posts, I request that people provide as much detail as possible with their posts. For instance, you might have specified which group was going where in your previous posts. Just trying to save time.

nijineko
07-22-2013, 10:15 AM
((( i suggest that we divide our characters either by player so that some are with each group, and/or by ability so that we have the greatest breadth of ability in each group. i was expecting mato and midnight to pick which grout their characters would be in, as i had already specified the division of my characters. Oolanatari and Aamonkhad will be with the group examining the inscription. i suggest group 2 be to the east and examine whatever that brings them closer to, as well as keeping an eye on the rest of the party. Once we decide to enter a tower, i do not expect to be able to maintain the separation. Prii will have the utility construct lead the way, and if this puts them rather near a tower, she will have the construct stand as to block any door/entry without actually touching / crossing over. )))

Midnight
07-22-2013, 10:19 AM
Tina will be looking at the inscription and will check for traps first. Grunther will be with the other group.

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 12:14 AM
Well in that case Jackson will go to the inscription and Solena with the others as Jackson is more on info

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 12:16 AM
Also jackson knows a plethora of lanages and can do object reading at will if that helps

Midnight
07-23-2013, 10:24 AM
OK. Tina checks for traps; in the interests of brevity, I will skip the dice rolls and say that she finds none. Tina, Jackson, Oolanatari and Aamonkhad read the inscription. It reads as follows:
Acererak is impressed; you now stand under the darkling sky that most never dreamt of. Your only path forward is through this demiplane of broken piety. The journey shall task you to your mortal limits. However, this verse may help you on your way to me within the Void, where you shall receive a fitting prize for your persistence:

This City That Waits was the city of Moil
Where dreams truly died, but bodies yet toil
In slumber unrelenting they lie yet in wait
Biding their time to seal your fate.

Discovery of the Void and my Fortress within
Demands exploration through peril again.
Find amid towers degenerate the single key
And resolve the dilemma of problems three.

Beard the brine dragon in its frozen hollow;
Remove the Key, avoid its starved swallow.
Beneath webs of glowing emerald
Hangs a riddle-box, ripe to be solved.

The Darkweaver endures the cold in her lair;
Grasp your fate with consummate care.
The lifeless dream that marks the crime
Is the Vestige that guards the sand of time.

Each resolution removes one obstacle
For those who peruse this written oracle:
The Phantom released flies you in this fashion
To my inevitable Fortress of Conclusion.

To puzzle out some of the references in this rhyme, anyone who has the relevant skill may make the following checks:
Knowledge: History
Knowledge: Arcana
Knowledge: Religion
Bardic Knowledge

Tina's (limited) Bardic Knowledge: Midnight rolls some dice

nijineko
07-23-2013, 10:47 AM
Aamonkhad's knowledge religion
Path's knowledge arcana
Prii's knowledge history

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 06:05 PM
Jackson's arcana
Jackson's religion
Jackson's history

keep in mind as me tend earlier Jackson always has draconic knowledge invocation on

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 06:06 PM
Also anything useful from read object on obelisk?

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 06:09 PM
Can I do a knowledge acererak puzzles?
Jackson's knowledge acererak puzzles

matosapanajin
07-23-2013, 11:20 PM
In case it didn't make it all four of those knowledge checks should be +3 to what is listed was looking at wrong skill should be +14 not 11

Midnight
07-24-2013, 09:00 AM
???I assume Knowledge: Acererak is a joke--there is no such skill. Nice rolls, though.

Object reading: The object has only had one owner. The owner was a chaotic evil male undead; he created the obelisk and left it here. He was about 600 years old at the time. (Note: This fits what you know of Acererak.)

Knowledge: Arcana--you recall references to a brine dragon; it's apparently a sea-dwelling dragon of some kind. Very good swimmer; fairly strong; breath weapon type unknown, but it's some sort of cone. The Darkweaver--you don't know much about it, but it's some sort of spellcasting, spider-like being associated with darkness.

Knowledge: Religion--The city of Moil existed long ago (you don't know how long), and the inhabitants worshipped Orcus (demon prince of the undead). It's an ancient legend; exactly where it was or what happened to it is unknown, but there are rumors of some sort of catastrophe involving Orcus's anger at the city when they somehow turned from his worship. The Vestige is somehow associated with the history of Moil; you recall reading a fragment of text talking about it being a "horrible cloud", but no other references.

Knowledge: History--not enough for any significant results.

Other references--you don't recognize them.

One more note: There are a number of towers that aren't on the map, but there are no bridges connecting to them. You may fly to them if you wish.

nijineko
07-24-2013, 09:33 AM
((( if i am sent a picture based map of some sort, i can host it on epicfetch, and then we can link to it to display here. )))

Midnight
07-24-2013, 10:11 AM
The text map should be good enough, I hope. I can't show you the map from the module itself (there are secrets in it), and I'm not a very good drawer; that's why I used the text map. If the text map is too unclear, let me know and I'll try to clarify.

Midnight
07-24-2013, 01:36 PM
Note: Minor change to my previous post--I said that the creator was a half-fiend/half-human, whereas I should have said undead. I have fixed the post.

matosapanajin
07-25-2013, 07:31 AM
​Jackson - well it would seem we have a number of puzzles ahead of us to solve ( will explain to all what he learned)

nijineko
07-26-2013, 10:38 PM
Oolanatari indicates that we may as well begin exploring. If there is no particular feeling about it, then she picks the tower group two is closest to. (tower #2, as it happens.)

matosapanajin
07-27-2013, 08:02 PM
Solena - one place is as good as another (using detect undead before entering and maintaining while able
Jackson - (also detecting undead)

Midnight
07-28-2013, 12:29 AM
OK, you head towards tower 2. Is the ship currently shrunk? If not, where's it going? Also, what is the party using for light?

You reach tower 2. The end of the bridge leads into an arched opening on the sleek side of a tower of gray stone and metal. The lintel of the arch is skillfully carved with what appears to be a fancifully rendered sunrise, although the layer of frost covering the carving makes it difficult to see for certain. No sound or movement is forthcoming from beyond this portal, although you can dimly see that it leads into a corridor.

(Map coming shortly.)

Midnight
07-28-2013, 12:51 AM
Here is the map of tower 2. It is drawn to 10' scale (NOT 5' scale), and you are at the entrance connected to the path in the northwest corner. (BTW, compasses, etc. DO work here--your sense of direction seems normal.) The 2 blue squares represent doors that you can dimly see as you peer in. The green square is a window leading into a room you can't reach directly from here; it's badly blurred by frost, and there's no light from whatever is beyond, so you can't see in the window. The outer ring of the map represents the entire tower (you can't actually see most of the tower from your perspective, but you can tell it's about 250' across); the inner area represents the small amount you can see inside, basically a corridor with 2 doors that extends out of sight. The archway is at the point where the path enters the tower.3970

nijineko
07-29-2013, 05:31 PM
{{{The [i]Far Seeing[i] will remain in ship form, with a continual guard and watch 24/7. The anchor will be either laid upon the bridge span where the obelisk is or hooked onto the edge of the span, whichever is more apropos the weather conditions. A spark cable will be rigged to the mast using a break-away knot and the other end laid/attached to the metal span (ie: a lightning rod/cable). Given the spider climb effect upon the hull, the guard / watch will include a full 3D 360ļ policy. The map of tactics is keyed to the exploring party, as many as can be keyed - this will also reveal the surrounding terrain, such as it is. The ship can predict 'natural' (ie: not spell caused) weather up to 24 hours in advance within 3 miles, and can detect other kinds of ships / vessels within 7 miles. (i think i recalled the distances correctly) The captain is to have the [i]Far Seeing[i] drift at the end of the anchor chain, unless the weather, if any, proves inclement. Then the ship can use multiple hooks to attach to the metal span, winched down tight, with the attachable pads to protect the hull from the surface of the bridge. It is worth noting that almost all of Oolanatari's followers are psionicists of some stripe or another. When not on duty on deck or guarding, they will remain within the x-d spaces where there is more room, food, and comfortable environment. No one is to leave the ship in this dangerous and unknown environment, unless they are 'swapping out' with a member of the exploring party. Dangerous circumstances have other instructions.}}}

Oolanatari, being blind, is indifferent to the lighting conditions, or lack thereof. She does, however, pull out a spherical lump of grayish material with a small crystal attached, and holds it up. It twitches and seems to melt, crawling swiftly down her arm, across her body and clothes until she is enveloped. She holds her breath as it covers her face. She picks up each foot, allowing the stuff to finish. It hardens, transforming her dress and skin into a likeness of armor. The face plate has breathing slots.

Aamonkhad will give a practiced step-hop, as armor fades into existence out of the ether floating about him, which dons itself upon him in mere moments. Placing his hand together in a prayerful manner, he separates them slowly, a brilliance shining in between. When his arms reach full extension, he is holding a very large sword which seems composed of glowing crystal, shedding about as much light as a torch.

Midnight
07-29-2013, 07:14 PM
{Note: I described the tower assuming you had some sort of light.}

nijineko
07-29-2013, 11:28 PM
Oolanatari will manifest an augmented touchsight.

(80' radius, ignore darkness, invisibility, concealment, negates spot/listen checks to notice, pinpoints everything, requires line of effect, but not line of sight. the descriptive text states emanation, so it should go around corners and through cracks and holes.)

Midnight
07-30-2013, 07:50 AM
Small quibble: Line of effect is line of effect; to quote the Rules Compendium p. 80, it is "a straight, unblocked path...A solid barrier cancels line of effect." And touchsight says "...you must have line of effect to a creature or an object to discern it." So no seeing around corners. Seeing through cracks/holes--depends on the circumstances; generally you can see with touchsight what you could see with normal sight through a hole or crack (a very small, specific area, more if you're up close).

I think touchsight is described as an emanation because describing it as a burst would be confusing (it is, of course, a continuous effect).

In any case, touchsight doesn't reveal anything more than I've just described. There are no significant holes or cracks in the doors or walls, and nothing invisible/concealed comes to your attention.

Midnight
07-30-2013, 08:46 AM
Tina speaks up. "I have a question. I can start singing and keep it up for a good long time. This will help us fight better and so forth, of course, but it will also ensure that any waiting monsters know we're here. Should I sing continuously and broadcast our brave presence far and wide, or save it for when we know there's trouble?"

nijineko
07-31-2013, 01:55 PM
Aamonkhad would vote for saving it, Oolanatari does not have an opinion, though she wonders if the effect still works if done very quietly.

Midnight
07-31-2013, 02:32 PM
I would rule that bardic music must be done at a normal tone of voice or louder, just like normal spellcasting--nowhere does it imply anything else. This entire place is fairly quiet, although the wind and lightning above make some noise. Speaking of lightning, you see a fairly powerful bolt jump from the upper to the lower layers (above the city, below the city) while you're waiting--it's some distance from you, though.

nijineko
07-31-2013, 05:38 PM
{{{The captain does not like that lightning. He will order extra viewports made (a simple matter of scraping/dissolving off more paint, as the walls are otherwise transparent) to cover the full range of needed observational view, and will move to the secondary controls inside the cabin, monitoring the group via the map of tactics. The rest of the crew will remain inside unless absolutely necessary, using the viewports to maintain the watch.}}}

Aamohkhad comments that the lightning might be a danger when crossing the spans, and that we should be careful.

matosapanajin
07-31-2013, 06:48 PM
(Hide from undead doesn't make her singing quiet only makes undead unable to perceive it so living and constructs would hear it just fine)

matosapanajin
07-31-2013, 06:51 PM
Ooc did my previous post about Solena and her wands etc come thro seems missing

nijineko
08-01-2013, 10:12 AM
Ooc did my previous post about Solena and her wands etc come thro seems missing

{{{nope, you'll need to repost.}}}

Midnight
08-01-2013, 10:51 AM
I did not see a post about Solenal and wands. Also: Tina isn't under Hide from Undead (although Solenal and Jackson are), so any undead would hear her if she sang anyway. So what's the consensus for Tina's singing, Matosapanajin? And regardless of her singing, what are people going to do?

matosapanajin
08-02-2013, 09:32 AM
Ok solena was using 2charges from wand continual flame in two gold coins onee for each party and also one charge hide undead on her party at level 6 so upto 6 people duration 1hour tina would be one of them and said "may the light of truth guide us all."
Also she is willing to take point or second as is appropriate if tina or anither can check for traps
Jackson was helping with inscriptions

Midnight
08-02-2013, 10:33 AM
Please make it clear exactly what you think the party is doing. Your last post confuses me a little, Matosapanajin:
1) OK about the wand charges; the party now has Hide from Undead, but note that it's just the spell version--intelligent undead do get a Will save.
2) You say "one for each party"--the general consensus was that the party was moving to tower 2. I had assumed that after checking out the obelisk at your arrival point (with the rhyme and everything), the party had decided to go to tower 2 and had done so, thus reuniting--the party is no longer split.
3) Jackson helping with inscriptions--which inscriptions? The entrance to tower 2 has a fancy carving on it mostly obscured by frost that seems to have something to do with a sunrise--is that what you're talking about? Or are you still talking about the inscription on the original obelisk (the one presumably created by Acererak? Or something else?
4) Finally, are you entering the obvious passage in tower 2? If so, Tina will of course take point as the party's trap monkey. :-)

Midnight

nijineko
08-02-2013, 01:30 PM
{{{my understanding is that we have rejoined, the splitting up into two sub-groups should only be in spaces large enough to make it feasible while keeping clear tabs on each other. when it is decided to enter, i would have tina check the archway for magical traps, just to be certain, and if the tomb was anything to go by....}}}

Midnight
08-05-2013, 05:10 PM
Matosapanajin? Nijineko? Any updates? Matosapanajin, I still need an answer as to what inscriptions Jackson is helping with. I am, as stated above, assuming that the party is together on the path leading to tower 2.

As soon as I get confirmation from Matosapanajin as to what Jackson is doing, I can tell you what happens next.

matosapanajin
08-07-2013, 06:12 AM
Sorry the inscriptions have already been handled. Solena is still doing the two coins in case we split again and she is also explaining that if anyone attacks an undead the rest hidden by the spell also become visible

Midnight
08-07-2013, 08:45 AM
OK. Tina searches the arch for traps. In this case, I am making the rolls privately.

She finds nothing and wipes away the frost to look at the diagram. She says, "It looks like a sunset--rather depressing picture, but abstract. Wait a minute..."

IMPORTANT DM'S NOTE: I can't change the roll, but her bonus should have been +21, not +20. So her roll is 26, NOT 25. If you read this post earlier, please reread it and the next one, as they've changed.

Tina attempts a Will save

Midnight
08-07-2013, 08:47 AM
Tina sways on her feet for a moment and shakes her head. "I must have missed a trap. When I wiped away the frost and looked at the inscription I felt a wave of dizziness and exhaustion wash over me. I barely resisted it. Don't look at that inscription!"

Midnight
08-08-2013, 01:15 PM
Tina checks for traps again, finds none, and steps up to the first door in the corridor. It's thick, heavy oak, unmarked; it appears to open inward. Again she checks for traps and finds none. What do the rest of you do?

Also, it would save time if you established a SOP for opening doors. If you want to be paranoid, Tina could check once or even twice for traps on each door, but that will slow you down substantially.

matosapanajin
08-09-2013, 09:33 AM
First detecting magic....is the symbol magical if it appears safe Jackson will look at the inscription. As for the doors I recommend moderate caution as in a quick traps check and a crossfire setup in case of baddies on other side. Maybe a Miele I front with two ranged on sides and Jackson just behind to make efficient breath attacks or Jackson in front if people rather since he can breath without dispelling everyone else's hide from undead

Midnight
08-09-2013, 10:00 AM
It's an inscription, not a symbol, and it radiates a lot of magic. Whether it's safe to look more closely at that inscription is up to you to judge; note my posts earlier.

Midnight
08-12-2013, 03:40 PM
Matosapanajin? Nijineko? Are you continuing? I'm waiting for Mato to indicate what Jackson wants to do with the inscription. Do you want Tina to open the door now?

matosapanajin
08-13-2013, 12:19 PM
Sorry thought i pisted, jacjsin dddevour magic does greater dispell on inscription then translate it

matosapanajin
08-13-2013, 12:33 PM
Dispell attempt 18+16 for total of 34 and get 5 temp hp/ lvl of spell lasting 1 min

Midnight
08-13-2013, 01:24 PM
Your dispel does suppress the trap. However, the suppress only lasts 1d4 rounds. I will roll for the # of rounds it lasts; if it's 3 or 4, you finish looking at the inscription before the trap is re-enabled. If it's 1 or 2, the trap re-enables itself before you can finish.
# of rounds dispel lasts

Midnight
08-13-2013, 01:25 PM
Your dispel does suppress the effect. However, it only lasts for a round; the trap re-enables itself as you attempt to read the inscription. Make a Will save, please.

matosapanajin
08-14-2013, 08:59 AM
Jackson will save 15+14=29 and will wait for result before continuing anything else

Midnight
08-14-2013, 09:19 AM
You feel a wave of dizziness and exhaustion roll over you, and you stagger slightly. For a moment you're desperate for sleep and just want to close your eyes. But your trained willpower fights it off.

Looking at the inscription, it doesn't even appear to be language--it's just an etched, rather abstract depiction of a sunset. You don't like the feel of it somehow.

Tina speaks up. "I felt the same thing. I think this inscription is just a trap. I suggest we just move on."

nijineko
08-14-2013, 02:16 PM
Aamonkhad is willing to be the melee type in front unless someone else prefers to. Oolanatari and him are both ready to proceed, though Oolanatari briefly wonders aloud if walking under the arch will also trigger the inscription....

Midnight
08-15-2013, 07:18 PM
Tina checks for traps twice: The first is taking 10 (33) and the next is:
Tina checks for traps again

Midnight
08-15-2013, 07:21 PM
She finds no traps and opens the door; it's unlocked.

This chamber is mostly empty save for a large thronelike stone chair facing a 10-by-10 opening in the western wall, a window to the outer darkness; the window is obscured by ice and frost. The back of the chair is enruned with a bas-relief of a rising or settings sun, blurred by ice.

New map coming shortly; having stepped into the corridor, you can see more doors and a turn in the corridor, but no apparent threats. The map will also show this room.

Midnight
08-15-2013, 11:43 PM
Updated map is attached.
3972

matosapanajin
08-16-2013, 01:21 AM
Lets check it out (jackson)
Solena holds up a glowing coin to provide light

nijineko
08-16-2013, 10:07 AM
Oolanatari will indicate that she wishes to step into the doorway, enough so that her senses can fill the room. She will report anything interesting or unusual that she senses to the rest in a soft voice. Aamonkhad is readied to transpose with her should anything attack her from inside the room.

Midnight
08-16-2013, 11:11 AM
Oolanatari steps inside, as does Tina. Nothing alarming happens. Tina goes to check out the chair. She says, "It looks like whoever sat here would look out the window, that's all. I'm going to check it for traps..."
Roll 1: 33 (take 10); roll 2:
Second check for traps

Midnight
08-16-2013, 11:12 AM
Tina: "No apparent traps. I'm planning to sit down in the chair. Agreed?"

matosapanajin
08-16-2013, 04:10 PM
Jackson says " maybe I should sit we need you to check for traps"

matosapanajin
08-16-2013, 04:11 PM
Ps keep in mind I have magic insight going on Jackson so detect magic in effect for 24 hours

nijineko
08-16-2013, 09:47 PM
Oolanatari and Aamonkhad vote against anyone sitting in the chair. Path has his weapon ready, and is keeping his eyes along the corridor for what he can see. Prii calls out that if someone must sit in the chair, to let her position the construct to do so. (She will do so, if there is agreement.)

matosapanajin
08-17-2013, 10:01 AM
Solena - draws dawnstar out and watches the window

Jackson - that sounds like a great idea, everyone be ready. (watches towards the ceiling above the throne)

Midnight
08-17-2013, 10:37 PM
OK. Tina defers to the rest of the party. The construct sits in the chair. You wait for a moment, but nothing happens so far as you can tell--no problems, no attacks. What next?

matosapanajin
08-18-2013, 12:57 PM
Jackson recommends trying living person if nothing move to one of the doors

Midnight
08-18-2013, 07:01 PM
Tina says, "I'll just sit down as originally planned. Watch for trouble!" She does so. She says, "I get a feeling of...something, but nothing specific or dangerous. I'm going to try to activate it as a magic device, and I'll disguise my alignment at the same time." She uses Use Magic Device to A) emulate Chaotic Evil alignment and B) blindly activate the device: Emulate CE and activate blindly

Midnight
08-18-2013, 07:03 PM
A brief flash of beautiful, golden light, like the sun, illuminates Tina and the chair. She starts slightly and says, "I feel great--invigorated, even!" In game terms, she feels healed and rested--she could rememorize spells, although she doesn't have any cast at this point.

nijineko
08-19-2013, 11:13 AM
{{{Someone should probably search for secret doors before we move on from this room.}}}

Midnight
08-19-2013, 01:15 PM
Tina does a quick take-10 search and finds nothing.

{DM's note: I am assuming that Tina will check only obvious spots--the interior walls where there aren't already doors, and the chair itself. This will take about 30 rounds=3 minutes. Checking the entire room would take substantially longer--20 minutes to check the floor and walls, another 15 minutes or so to check the ceiling if that's desired (and if she can reach it--she can't fly).}

nijineko
08-19-2013, 04:19 PM
{{{ I would assume obvious checks unless we specifically say otherwise. We can come back if we determine something odd about the internal dimensions as we proceed.}}}

Aamonkhad will make ready to open the opposite door, assuming that Tina checked it as 'something obvious'. When everyone is in place, he will open it.

matosapanajin
08-20-2013, 03:26 PM
Jackson and Solena agree basic checks to keep us moving forward but maybe someone should keep track on a map of what we find

Midnight
08-21-2013, 10:37 PM
Feel free to annotate and re-post the maps as desired. You open the door. It reveals an abandoned-looking room littered with frost-covered debris: mostly very old-looking wood and stone rubble. There is another door on the far wall and another window; this window is less frosted over and gives a blurry look at the other towers and the lightning-illuminated sky.3973

matosapanajin
08-22-2013, 11:57 AM
Jackson looking for magic if nothing interesting lets check out the door, maybe Tina could quick check for traps

Midnight
08-22-2013, 04:11 PM
OK, this is fine. A few points of protocol to speed things up:
1) In this place (forgot to mention this), you will find that there is magic everywhere. Therefore, I am going to assume that when you are detecting magic in a non-combat/non-urgent situation, you are doing it for 3 full rounds.
2) When Tina "checks for traps", I am assuming the following unless you specifically mention otherwise: A) If the party's at a door, she's checking the door and the area in front of it. B) If you're in a room and interested in another door, she's checking the far door. C) In these situations she is taking 10 (which is sufficient to detect most but not all traps) and rolling once (which gives her a chance of detecting the worst traps). This means that it's taking her about 2 rounds (12 seconds) per 5' square, bearing in mind that this tower is drawn at 10' scale. Note that 12 seconds per check can begin to add up; if you want her standard check to be just take-10 or just a roll, please say so.
3) Since Tina is an NPC, I am making her Search, etc. checks in secret; that avoids the temptation of metagaming the values of her Search checks.

In any case: You detect magic and find nothing on this room specifically. There is, however, strong (7th-9th level spell equivalent) necromantic magic suffusing everything. You're not clear what its purpose is; it doesn't seem to be anchored to any object or location in particular, and it seems oddly formless--it's not like most spells you're used to seeing. Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft checks are applicable for more details.

In this particular case, the empty room makes Tina paranoid. She does just a take-10 search of every square between her and the far door (not the entire room--just a 5' path), as well as the standard check of the far door. She finds nothing and sets off no traps doing so.

Midnight
08-22-2013, 04:31 PM
One more note about detect magic: There is also powerful (7th-9th) level transformation magic all over. It seems more normal than the necromantic aura, though.

matosapanajin
08-23-2013, 05:03 PM
Ok Jackson knowledge and spell craft checks
16+14=30 on knowledge planes
10+14=24 knowledge arcana
8+19=27 spell ccrafting and agree with basic items as you have outlined them

Midnight
08-25-2013, 11:53 PM
OK. With the various rolls you can determine this much: The necromantic energy doesn't seem to be a spell so much as it is a concentration of pure negative energy. It's powerful, but you're not quite sure what it's focus or effect is. It might be some sort of natural occurrence; if it is a spell, there seems to be no particular purpose to it--it doesn't seem to be actively DOING anything. You can't uncover more with the checks you've made. The transformation magic, whatever it is, seems to be cast over the entire city and seems more akin to a permanent magic item than a spell--something imbued into the city itself, and its environment. It's quite old. Again, nothing in particular seems to be forthcoming, except one thing: You think the necromantic effect is newer than the city-wide alteration. Finally, Tina, having found nothing, walks over to the far door and prepares to open it. Nothing dire happens. "Shall I open it?" she asks.

nijineko
08-27-2013, 10:34 AM
Aamonkhad is ready at the door.

{{{When he is "ready at a door", this means he is positioned such that he is not directly in front of the door, nor in the doorway, but that he can see out through the opening door, regardless of which side and direction it opens. Typically, Oolanatari is next to and 'behind' him, where 'behind' is defined as him being between her and whatever/wherever the next anticipated or actual danger may be. }}}

matosapanajin
08-27-2013, 08:59 PM
right lets go on ahead - jackson


​Solena - and if anyone starts feeling wierd say something immediately

Midnight
08-29-2013, 12:50 AM
OK. Tina opens the door, with some difficulty. It opens up into a corridor (updated map coming soon). This hallway proceeds northeast. It appears to dead-end, with no other exits, but you can't be sure because the omnipresent ice is far thicker in this corridor. In fact, icicles of every size and length hang in dense clusters from the ceiling. Some of the icicles are so long that they have joined stalagmites coming up from the floor, forming columns of ice. The ice is a foot thick or more on the walls as well, obscuring anything that might be behind it. Spot checks, please. Tina's spot Grunther's spot

Midnight
08-29-2013, 12:53 AM
Updated map. NOTE: I've exceeded my attachment quota, so I'm deleting the old map each time I post a new one. They're cumulative.3977

nijineko
08-29-2013, 10:48 AM
Path's spot check.
Prii's spot check.
Aamonkhad's spot check.
Oolanatari's spot check.
Ii's spot check.

Midnight
08-29-2013, 05:25 PM
Those spot checks are good enough; in the interests of time, matosapanajin, you don't have to roll unless you want to. Path and Aamonkhad notice that at the far end of the corridor (the northeast end), there does seem to be a door buried underneath the ice.

Midnight
08-31-2013, 11:17 PM
Tina says, "I'm going to check out the door if I can." She looks around for confirmation. Nijineko? Matosapanajin? Input?

matosapanajin
09-02-2013, 09:58 PM
Tina says, "I'm going to check out the door if I can." She looks around for confirmation. Nijineko? Matosapanajin? Input?

See title

Midnight
09-03-2013, 10:49 PM
For future reference, any time you do something that requires a dice roll, please go ahead and make the roll if possible. E.g. for your fire breath, roll the appropriate damage. In any case, Jackson's fiery breath does melt a good deal of ice away from the door (how much depends on your damage roll), but it also has an unpleasant side effect. The fire makes the ice above and below you shiver and quake; a hail of massive, sharp icicles fall from the ceiling. The party in general is hit by icicles, which are charged with negative energy as well. Here are the effects: Piercing and cold damage from icicles; Reflex save DC 18 for half and Negative energy damage; DC 18 Fort save for half. IMPORTANT: If you took NO piercing/cold damage (e.g. due to evasion), then no Fort save is necessary and you take no negative energy damage.

Midnight
09-03-2013, 10:52 PM
Tina's Reflex and Fort saves: Reflex and Fort. Grunther's: Reflex and Fort. NOTE: Endure elements does NOT protect you from the cold damage, but cold resistance does. So Tina takes no damage due to evasion; Grunther, protected from cold, takes 3 piercing and 4 negative energy damage.

nijineko
09-04-2013, 04:53 PM
Path has ER 5/cold.
Oolanatari has DR 3/-, fast healing 2

With nothing below an 18, everyone saved for half, if i calc correctly that would be:

Path takes 3 damage from piercing, and no damage from cold.
Oolanatari takes no damage from piercing, and 2 damage from cold.
Aamonkhad takes 3 damage from piercing, and 2 damage from cold.


{{{Please note that no one in the party takes any negative energy damage due to the stygian wards placed on everyone before passing through the portal - 24 hour duration.}}}

matosapanajin
09-05-2013, 03:56 PM
Ok Jackson did 29 fire damage(8d6-5 3 1 3 5 5 4 3)
reflex of 11+10 for 21 fort of 17+20 for 37

solena reflex of 19+7 for 26 and fort 10+23+2 for 35 and has cold resist of 5

matosapanajin
09-05-2013, 03:57 PM
​Jackson - oops didn't think about the pointy pointy things

Midnight
09-05-2013, 04:13 PM
OK. So the PCs take some damage--as mentioned, no negative energy damage, and most of you took no cold damage either. It looks like the ice over the door was about 3' thick; the fire melted maybe 1' of it. Tina: "I didn't think about the pointy things either, but they're only annoying. Jackson, perhaps you can keep breathing, with me beside you, while the rest retreat into the previous room? Each time you breath, Solenal can heal you; the damage shouldn't be more than scratches. I can dodge these icicles all day long."

Midnight
09-05-2013, 04:15 PM
{Two more points, nijineko: 1) stygian ward on the whole party is a lot of power points--please keep track. 2) It will be running out before too long--the duration is presumably 16 minutes, and you've spent about 8 minutes so far.}

matosapanajin
09-08-2013, 08:53 AM
Ok first fly up to ceiling after everyone is out then 60' line of fire to clear icicles first then blast the door
6,6,5,5,3,2,2,1=30 line

Fire breath 6,6,6,4,4,3,2,2= 33
fire breath 6,6,5,4,2,2,2,1= 28

Midnight
09-08-2013, 01:52 PM
OK, that does it. No more icicles door fall, since you destroyed them, and the door is now relatively free of ice. Tina checks for traps and finds none. Grunther positions himself, ready to open the door. Tina: "Are we ready?" When the party is ready, she opens it. {{A point of protocol: In situations like this, should I just assume that Grunther does, in fact, open the door, or should I wait for affirmation from the players?}}

nijineko
09-09-2013, 11:41 AM
{{{I believe that we spelled out our 'door approach' earlier. i'm pretty sure I did for Oolanatari and Aamonkhad. Path would be lined up to shoot through the doorway if necessary, but back a bit. Otherwise, I think it is okay to just go ahead with the opening once we've indicated that is what we are going to do next, unless one of us specifically says otherwise. }}}

matosapanajin
09-09-2013, 02:13 PM
I second the comments above in door protocol.

Midnight
09-09-2013, 11:50 PM
{BTW, does Solenal heal anybody yet? It's only a few hp, basically just scratches.} In any case, Grunther opens the door with a heave. It opens into a room coated with thick ice. Whatever the original volume of this room might have been, the yards-thick layers of ice have reduced it to a 10' cube. In the very center of the chamber is a metal pedestal, strangely ice-free. The pedestal is etched with many signs and runes, and the symbol of a sunburst is prominent on all sides. On top of the pedestal is an ornate device, not unlike a vise, holding lengthwise what appears to be a metal wand. Otherwise, the room seems empty. {Actions?}

Midnight
09-09-2013, 11:59 PM
The latest map: 3990 Note: The gray represents ice; the yellow represents the stand and wand. The outer dimensions of the room are only a guess, of course; you can't see them because of the thick ice.

nijineko
09-11-2013, 01:01 PM
{{{can you say evilbadtraptraptrap? i thought you could}}}


Oolanatari suggests that we either leave it alone, or try gain information about it via detection, short-duration divination, and other similar non-invasive effects. (who can do what?)

Midnight
09-11-2013, 01:28 PM
Tina: "It's up to you. I'll let the magical types cast whatever spells they like, then I'll check it for traps."

Midnight
09-11-2013, 09:36 PM
Then Tina rereads nijineko's post more carefully. ;-) "Leaving it alone is fine with me too."

matosapanajin
09-12-2013, 10:28 PM
Solena - how about a daylight spell in the room with everyone outside, if not then let's move on we can always come back

Midnight
09-12-2013, 10:40 PM
Tina: "Go ahead and try it. You think that a daylight spell might have something to do with it because of the sunbursts on the wand?" She and Grunther move outside as requested.

nijineko
09-13-2013, 10:21 AM
Oolanatari, Aamonkhad, and Path move out.

Midnight
09-13-2013, 02:30 PM
matosapanajin: Is Jackson going to move outside or stay with Solenal? Also, when Solenal casts the spell please make a level check for her (d20 plus caster level). Then I'll tell you the results.

matosapanajin
09-14-2013, 10:05 AM
Jackson is moving out too
solenascaster check 17+16=33 being done from outside room centered on the wand inside

Midnight
09-14-2013, 09:40 PM
OK. The daylight spell goes off, but disappointingly, nothing seems to happen other than the obvious: The room is now more brightly lit. The wand and stand just sit there, not reacting.

matosapanajin
09-15-2013, 08:44 AM
Well if kiri were here I know what the next move would be but she's not.....

Solena - perhaps we should mark it and move on (did any ice melt)

Midnight
09-15-2013, 07:50 PM
The Daylight spell didn't make any ice melt. I'll see if I can annotate the map for you.

nijineko
09-16-2013, 02:24 PM
{{{let's move on for now, and come back to this later - i feel it is either a trap, or something we will need later. }}}

Midnight
09-16-2013, 07:54 PM
I've annotated the map. You move on. Where are you going?

For future reference: Given the limitations of posting, it's best to anticipate questions/next moves if possible. E.g. nijineko, it might have helped if you'd said "let's move on for now..." but finished with "Perhaps we could 4003move to such-and-such a spot", thus anticipating my and matosapanajin's question of "OK, where do we go next?"

matosapanajin
09-17-2013, 08:58 PM
I think we should move rather quickly noting interesting objects but cautiously, there are a number of riddles to solve....in the meantime any more ice covered rooms should maybe be thawed from outside by Jackson has 30' cone and 60' line if that helps speed us along....

Midnight
09-18-2013, 12:54 AM
Understood. Most passages have only a coating of frost, not solid ice like this one. You still haven't answered the question, though: Where exactly are you going to go? There are 2 unopened doors and an unexplored passage that you're aware of in this tower, all towards the north (you're just southwest of the middle of the tower).

nijineko
09-19-2013, 10:03 AM
{{{I suggest that we go to the first unopened door closest to the main entrance, and explore there next, checking for traps, taking a peek outside, guarding against anything down the corridor.}}}

matosapanajin
09-20-2013, 03:03 PM
Jackson and Solena like that idea Jackson will guard our backs as he has range if needed to switch

Midnight
09-21-2013, 01:41 AM
OK. Skipping over several doors in the interests of time: You find and open 3 doors to the north, finding nothing but frost-covered rubble within; Tina checks them and finds no traps or secret doors. (Bear in mind that this is only a quick check of obvious places; in any case, no traps affect the party.) Mapping out the remaining corridor, you end up with the following map:
4006
As you can see, there are only 2 unopened doors that you're aware of, both in the northeast corridor. Remember that the light green squares represent windows; they're generally frosted over, but with a bit of effort you can see out of them to the bleak cityscape. There's nothing that seems immediately menacing outside, though.

Actions?

matosapanajin
09-21-2013, 12:15 PM
Jackson- well how about we flip a coin heads door one tails door two.....

Midnight
09-21-2013, 04:22 PM
IMPORTANT: I made a mistake with the previous map! There are 4 empty/rubble-filled rooms, not 3, and 3 doors that might lead somewhere interesting, not 2. In the interests of time, I went ahead and outlined the empty, uninteresting rooms. Corrected map uploaded. Flipping a coin won't work now, with 3 doors to choose from. :-)
4007

matosapanajin
09-23-2013, 07:29 AM
Let's try the most exterior of the three interesting rooms and work inward

nijineko
09-23-2013, 02:01 PM
agreed, outer ring door first.

Midnight
09-23-2013, 11:14 PM
OK, you check out the outermost unopened door, with the usual protocol; Tina finds no traps and nothing special. You open the door; there's no apparent danger.

Frost-covered shelves fill this chamber, standing in darkened rows. The nearest shelves seem completely empty: no books or papers; you can't see the contents of the farther shelves. They seem as empty and devoid of life as the view of the city from the east wall.
Map:
4008

nijineko
09-24-2013, 12:27 PM
Carefully move into the room, covering each other with angles of fire, allowing Prii's construct to lead and walk around first. (This will likely trigger any attacks / traps that may be waiting, while giving us warning and room to fight. as it is a utility construct, the duration is considerably longer than normal.) The construct will cover the floor, walking between each shelf, and eventually go first around what appears to be the corner towards the end of the room, until something happens, or nothing happens. Examining the shelves can wait till after the room is confirmed clear. Someone will be looking up, just in case. ^^

Midnight
09-24-2013, 01:10 PM
This is fine, of course. What's the order and spacing of the party? Tina suggests that she go in shortly after the construct, so she can scout. Grunther suggests going next (he needs to be in the front lines anyway).

A note about time: Given Tina's caution examining doors for traps, etc., each room has taken a little while to go through--I'm judging about 2 minutes, including the time to travel between rooms. Therefore, it's been about 14 minutes since you entered tower 2. Round/level buffs are long gone; minute/level buffs cast when you entered (if any) are on the verge of expiring.

matosapanajin
09-24-2013, 09:51 PM
How about Solena then Jackson next and Jackson will look up....while holding Solena's shoulder

nijineko
09-25-2013, 02:17 PM
{{{ that's fine with me, mine can help bring up the rear with Oolanatari in the middle of the formation. }}}

Midnight
09-26-2013, 12:19 AM
OK. The construct moves ahead from north to south, systematically looking behind the shelves. It seems to find nothing in particular for a while. It rounds the southernmost bookcase, Tina following.

As Tina rounds the southernmost bookcase, she gasps! You see her wince in pain. As she does so, you hear a cracking sound and the sound of movement. She yells out, "3 undead of some kind! Tougher than zombies! They drain life!" She points quickly at locations out of the rest of the party's line of sight (except for one zombie, #3).

The map is attached below. IMPORTANT: I am aware that the construct encountered the zombies first. However (you will find this after the fact), the zombies were encased in ice and did not react in ANY way to the construct, nor did this effect affect the construct in any way. Therefore the construct paid them no attention. They did not react or move until Tina came close to them.
Damage of zombie #1
Damage of zombie #2
Damage of zombie #3
Tina's Fort save #1
Tina's Fort save #2
Tina's Fort save #3
4009

Midnight
09-26-2013, 12:21 AM
So Tina takes full damage from zombie #1 and half from the other 2, for a total of 20 points of damage. She says, "The zombies are getting stronger!" (NOTE: The Stygian Ward wore off long ago.)

Midnight
09-26-2013, 10:53 AM
2 more notes:
1) I have them labeled as "zombies" because they are zombielike. They're definitely not normal zombies, though.
2) In case it isn't obvious, roll for initiative! ^_^

nijineko
09-26-2013, 11:15 AM
Aamonkhad murmurs, "By your leave?" to which Oolanatari replies, "Go!"

Aamonkhad's eyes glitter with light briefly, his skin takes on a odd cast, almost as if lit from within, and he shouts, "Lady Tina, transpose!" as he leans forward as if to take a step. {{{ Assuming Tina does not resist... }}} Tina feels a sudden sense of imbalance and has a momentary glimpse of the profile of Aamonkhad's face as she suddenly finds herself standing next to Oolanatari, who puts out a hand to Tina's shoulder to steady her.

Aamonkhad adjusts his stance so that he is next to the closest enemy and his strikes blur into a glowing pattern, his blade gleaming with a brilliant, hungry light.

Prii instructs the construct to move to block movement from the creature behind the attacked one, and as it has no combat capabilities, it will simply be ready to attempt to stand in the way of the creature and will not back up even if attacked. Path moves swiftly over to protect the girls, scanning mostly behind them and above in case of some cunning trap, while glancing forward occasionally to keep tabs on the battle.




{{{ in game terms:
speaking = free action;
expending focus for death ward = free action;
activation of transposition cloak = swift action;
5' adjust to closest zombie;
full attack action. (rolls in order of: 1st attack, 2nd attack, 3rd attack, 1st base, 1st holy, 1st bane, 2nd base, 2nd holy, 2nd bane, 3rd base, 3rd holy, 3rd bane) }}}