Jade Regent: Visions of Jade

Gestalt contrast

I did a “what if” gestalt of Francisca with bloodrager. I also updated her base character sheet here to let you all see the differences. It wasn’t a full update including new ability descriptions, but the weapons have been added and numeric stats updated. Without further ado…

Normal Francisca, no rage or smite: http://pastebin.com/QetMRszC
Raging plus smite: http://pastebin.com/G01JP9bT

Major changes are hp and extra attack statistics thanks to rage. Also got a few more skill ranks that I put to offset ACP and give her ranks in perception. The celestial bloodline from bloodrager also gives her +1d6 versus evil outsiders and her weapons count as good while she’s raging which will stack with holy/bane that will be down the line plus a few other defensive abilities. Plus, the spells from bloodrager lets her enlarge and draw a line that lets her take more AoOs which are quite fitting for her being a paladin.

Just an exhibition if we want to go hunting that army ourselves.

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Plans versus the army of demons

What do we want to do? Francisca is all for going total war with them head to head.

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The Third Vault

Dec 28th: In the early hours of the morning, the group continued their foray into the castle, killing a wight, the quickling, rescuing Kelda Oxgutter from the intellectually challenged ogre, and encountering a spectral blue maiden. Kelda recounted her tale as the last of the raiders who killed the drake in Brinewall harbor, and was overwhelmed by some mysterious creature in the caves under Brinewall, and would reward the party for freeing her if they escorted her safely to her home in Karlsgard. They eventually found the vaults, broke down the gate and found a false wall. Within that third vault was the ghost of Rokuro Kaijitsu and another false wall. Within lie three chests, including one with the Warding Box containing the Amatatsu Seal.

When the Box was opened, the kami of the Amatatsu Seal first gave Ameiko a vision of jade, then quickly left her body and returned to the Seal and presented the visions of jade to the people in the room with the Seal. These visions were some means of communication from the kami world to the human world. The opening of the Box also seemed to trigger some sort of divination, as the oni have been seeking this artifact for decades. The visions showed many details that the party members suddenly knew, including that the Amatatsu family had sold the family sword Suishen to an amber trader in Karlsgard.

Leaving the vaults, the party ran into and killed Kikonu in the stairwell, who warned them “You’ll never make it out alive!” Of course, Kikonu was also insane, so who knows what that meant. Exiting the castle, the party was immediately under fire from an enraged harpy. Arrows and javelins convinced it to retreat, though Scout also saw some sort of magic in the Brinewall library tower.

By dawn the group had rigged the broken wagon to be fit to travel and the caravan headed out of Brinewall and met the trail north towards Jol and Karlsgard. Scout left the party for Crying Leaf.

Dec 29: During the night Sandru and Ameiko ran off south. Giving chase, Francisca, Chit and Shalelu tracked them up to where they met an exhausted Sandru who told them Ameiko had asked him to help her get to Riddleport. Chit went back to the caravan camp, where he and Kelda decided to go north to Karlsgard. Ellie, Koya, Spivey, the drivers and the wainwright made camp to repair the wagons, having only one horse between them.

Dec 30: Francisca, Sandru and Shalelu continued riding south, but between them they kept a slower pace than one rider alone would keep. Ameiko’s tracks continued, but she seemed to be pulling ahead of them.

Scout ran into a roving tribe of Nolander horsemen, which were the only people who understood Scout in a long time.

Chit and Kelda continued north, as Chit tried to irritate the chaotic neutral barbarian while they were out in the wild where no one would find the body when she killed him… Unfortunately for her, her honor dictated not murdering her companion who have technically been there when others saved her life.

Ellie and the camp continued to rest and repair, as well as foraging for food and supplies.

Dec 31: Scout arrives in Crying Leaf, and starts to question if he should help the caravan.

The others continue in the respective paths.

Jan 1: Ellie and the caravan encounter some traveling Nolanders, and convinces them to barter. Koya trades her mother’s amethyst ring for a riding horse, Ellie buys a horse with cash and herbs, and the horsemen agree to trade another horse for a variety of spellcasting, fortune-telling, and healing services. Having enough horses to begin moving the caravan (though riding horses instead of draft horses), they caravan heads south towards Riddleport.

Scout rides towards the caravan’s trail to meet up with the caravan. Upon hearing that Chit and Kelda went off into the wilds alone in the middle of winter, he rides quickly up in that direction.

Francisca, Shalelu and Sandru continue following Ameiko.

Jan 2:

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Storming the Castle

December 26th: Scout and Chit stormed the gate when they saw it open to allow a patrol out. After securing the gate house, the others were called up to being a protracted sweep of the castle. Dire corbies, an ettercap, ogrekin, troglodytes, a quickling, and a strange red skinned man were among the residents of the castle. Many strange creatures seemed to be living in the same castle together, and many of those are now dead. Among the dead was Francisca, made to laugh to death as dire corbies tore her apart. Spivey knew of a scroll of Raise Dead stored secretly some miles away that she had encountered decades ago in her travels, and retrieved it for Koya to bring Francisca back from the dead. The group occupied the castle’s stables as a resting point during the operation, while a winged figure watched them from atop the castle.

December 27th: In the dark, early hours of the morning, the group resumed its attack on the inner keep of Castle Brinewall.

End ~4am

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Two KIA, two MIA, and three recruited

December 25th: Scout, Francisca, Shalelu and Sandru set up an ambush and killed three dire corbies. While fearless and vicious, they didn’t present much threat. Bringing the bodies up to the gatehouse however lead to a dozen enraged (or maybe hungry?) dire corbies launching themselves over the wall to attack. While the dire corbies were all killed without much effort, the survivors seemed content having sent the message that they are not afraid to die.

Some effort was made to build a portable ram to knock in the rusty iron gate, but as night fell the group fell back to the more defensible barracks. Setting traps and moving horses to a nearby forge, the guards through the night had to deal with interrupting quickling harassment as it destroyed a wagon and used it as kindling to try to set the buildings on fire. The second guard was killed, as were two horses. Numerous grotesque but vividly lifelike taxidermies of small woodland creatures were left outside the barracks door as some sort of gift (or fey mind trick), while hearts were carved all over the walls of the barracks, though only about two feet off the ground.

December 26th: Koya and Spivey suggested the quickling may have some sort of twisted crush on Aplenka, and that could be why Aplenka and Bran had left. After the second funeral, Francisca convinced Spvey to held them in their quest to drive out the dire corbies. Later in the morning, a rowboat came to the dock carrying a human woman and a ratfolk man (and their mounts). They said their names were Ellie and Chit respectively. Chit deduced that Ameiko’s coma is induced by a spirit of some sort trying to control her. A voice came out of Ameiko saying something like ‘Birds can’t fly’ and ‘Beware the birds’. It didn’t sound like Ameiko’s voice at all.

After creating more arrows, acid and a portable ram, and collecting some mugwort extract, Scout and Chit approached Castle Brinewall on Hawkster. As they approached the gate began to open, and Scout charged in on Hawkster… this could get interesting.

End ~12pm

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The night of the quickling

December 24th: After setting up camp for the night, the watches were attacked by a quickling: a supernaturally fast fey, that was running between carts and tents, and cutting guards as they set watch. It seemed to have a thing for Aplenka, and it managed to kill one guard before he could go back for healing.

December 25th: In the morning, the party checked some abandoned buildings, finding a barracks and a former smithy among other damaged structures. Koya demanded the party bury the guard, and went with them to the nearby cemetery. The cemetery was meticulously maintained, and it appeared that Spivey, a lyrakien and devout Desnite, had been keeping this cemetery peaceful for the last decade or so. Spivey was suspicious of the interlopers until Koya performed a moving ceremony for a fallen traveler in the presence of Desna. Spivey warned that Brinewall castle was occupied by “crazy bird men”, and encouraged the party to clear them out.

Camp was moved into the barracks. Aplenka scouted the castle, finding one gatehouse, several watch towers, two fortified siege positions and 20’ stone walls. Some humanoids walked on top of the walls from time to time.

End ~9am

Mechanics note: Quicklings are only invisible when they have not moved for at least one round. Given a dark night, lots of cover, shadows and overgrowth, and a +18 Stealth modifier it can generally find a good place to hide moving at half speed (60’) with no Stealth penalty. It is then visible until it goes a round without moving… but searching an area that large wasn’t easy. When Aplenka was getting stabbed from under wagons, she would have had an AoO as it left (though the quickling would have cover and miss chance) if she wasn’t using a reach weapon. Harassment is the fey specialty, so it’s safe to assume it’s coming back soon, once the quickling sees an advantageous situation again.

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The River Plan and Brinewall

December 15th – The trails become muddy again as the temperature goes slightly above freezing and moisture continues. A hungry bear danced with Hawkster and Scout before eventually succumbing to hunger, cold and arrows.

December 16th – Rain again. The Velashu River is likely flooding, and since this is late winter it will likely be hard to find operating ferries north of Riddleport.

December 17th – Roderic’s Cove. Francisca sought out and cut a deal with the Port Governor, Jess Gildersleeve. Gildersleeve has some pirates who broke the “no piracy” rule… and a paladin sworn to uphold the law and decency might be useful to her, in exchange for safe passage through Riddleport and across the Velashu. The pirates were attacked and disarmed, before being taken into custody

December 18th – More rain on the well worn road to Riddleport

December 19th – Riddleport. Using Gildersleeve’s writ, Francisca found some individuals at the River Runner Inn who could transport the horses and wagons north of the city on the West bank of the Velashu. The Velashu is at flood levels and as wild as Riddleport’s reputation. Yet Sandru kept an eye out, and no one seemed interested in robbing the group, and all their goods made it to the destination intact.

Ameiko heard a rumor some pirate gang escaped from prison in Roderic’s Cove. One rumor has it the pirates were attacked by thugs hired by some legitimate merchants angry at the piracy. Everyone agrees there was a fight and that Gildersleeve had her men arrest the pirates… Some say they were on the way to arrest them before the merchants hired thugs. Some say they were arrested to save them from certain death, and that Gildersleeve was doing a favor to get out of the pocket of a Riddleport pirate lord… Ameiko is entertained by the games of lies and rumor spin doctoring going on in the local politics, and that Gildersleeve seems to have played several players simultaneously. Ameiko doesn’t mention this to her two paladins, but Sandru and Koya seem to enjoy the story. The truth of what happened is irrelevant to players who have other games to play.

December 20th More rain walking North along the bank of the Velashu. Starting to get colder away from the coast again.
December 21st. Winter Solstice. Bran and Koya hold different solstice prayers. Koya, Shalelu and Bevelek thank Desna for a safe journey and night under the stars. Vankor offers some prayers to Gozreh and the spirits of nature, and tries to hang out with Bran and pretend he’s not a B-list NPC. Bran doesn’t notice.

December 22nd – Walking through The Nolands there’s barely a deer trail. Even the Shoanti have deserted this area, and no caravans seem to have passed through here in months. The horses don’t look well after weeks of cold rain, and look a little sick.

December 23rd – Brinewall. Even with a sign off the main trail, the “trail” to Brinewall takes a hunter’s eye to even know it ever existed. Half the day is spent clearing brush and trees blocking the wagons. While the noblewoman was doing manual labor clearing the trail to her rightful lands, she collapsed and fell unconscious. Koya is working on various theories of treatment, but suspects this is not natural. Koya also suggests the horses (and mules) are coming down with a horse flu… rarely fatal, but enough to leave them too weak to move for perhaps a week. Another ill omen. Unnatural noises are definitely coming from the woods, and the sun has just set. Sandru suggests either the PCs split off or take the whole caravan with them, and the group camps near the edge of the woodline outside the abandoned village of Brinewall. So far, it’s certainly living up to its reputation as a cursed, haunted place that every sane being should avoid. And the party hasn’t yet set foot into town.

End ~5pm

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Best friends campaign trait

The way it’s written, best friends is current, not childhood only.

Best Friend: You are best friends with one of the NPCs; you’ve grown up together, and while your friend has had a much more exciting life than you so far, you hope one day to follow in your friend’s footsteps and see the world—or perhaps even become an adventurer yourself. You’ve picked up a lot from your friend, but particularly his or her skill in interacting with others. If Ameiko is your best friend, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks. If Sandru is your best friend, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Bluff checks. Whichever skill you gain a trait bonus on, that skill is always considered a class skill for you. In addition, in situations where your best friend is in danger, you gain a +1 trait bonus on all attack rolls against foes that threaten your friend. NPC Choices: Ameiko, Sandru.

Emphasis added. So, we’ve grown up together AND we are best friends currently. Supposedly.

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The Road from Sandpoint

December 7th: The caravan set out from Sandpoint in the early morning. Sun rises around 7:30am and sets around 4:30pm, so 12 hours of travel time per day means setting out around 5am and setting camp around 5pm.
December 8th: The weather became colder walking further from the sea, and mud began giving way to frozen ground. Around this point Shalelu started drinking again.
December 9th: The caravan passed a tree bound in heavy chains. It radiated overwhelming evil.
December 10th: The caravan burned a bloodbrush that could have attacked another traveler.
December 11th: The caravan rested in Galduria. Scout went ice fishing on Lake Ember and caught a large catfish, which Aplenka cooked up for everyone.
December 12th: The caravan ran into another caravan full of Shelynites. They sang some hymn about a martyr while craftsmen repaired a wagon. Shalelu knew them, stopped to talk to some and came away happy.
December 13th: The caravan rested in Wolf’s Ear, once known as a safe community for werewolves. Wooden stakes were made and garlic was purchased. Hungry wild dogs got into some of the supplies.
December 14th: The caravan passed a questionable mercenary platoon.

The weather is now consistently in the 20’s F, and with windchill is colder, which has frozen the mud to allow for faster travel. Anyone outside a shelter (such as a covered wagon) takes 1d6 nonlethal cold damage per hour (DC 15plus1 per hour Fortitude). The caravan has been putting heavy winter blankets over the horses and mules to keep them warm (plus2 circumstance bonus!) and other care like calorie rich feeding and putting insulating grease over extremities (plus2 untyped bonus from Survival checks), but even so they seem to be suffering from the weather (base Fort plus8, Endurance, HP 19 means a plus16 check against 15 through 26 while traveling… failing 1 time per day on average). At night, the 20’ by 20’ pavilion tent has room for horses to warm up near the fire.

A periodic channel from Koya keeps the frostbite at bay when the sun goes down and the wind bites, but the cold has still been challenging. She has been using Endure Elements on the three drivers (who are stuck outside for 12 hours) every day. Shalelu seems relatively unfazed by the weather and suggests that she start scouting and Scout can stay in a wagon to stay warm. Ameiko breaks into bawdy songs whenever the weather seems miserable to lighten the mood… she would play her samisen but her fingers are too cold. Sandru has been driving, but he’s also been monitoring the horses for frostbite and trying to take care of them. Bevelek has been setting a speedy pace and cutting a trail well for others to follow around the path. The two guards continue to need names (level 1 warrior basic NPCs) while they say dumb things, while the wainwright (level 1 expert basic NPC) has spent his time carving up spare wagon parts on the boring trip with tools purchased by Ameiko. He picked up some firewood in Galduria to replenish the firewood supplies consumed out on the plains, and found some quality hardwood for sale as firewood. The PC wagon’s driver is not doing so well in the cold (another unnamed level 1 commoner basic NPC) and asks for help occasionally.

Relationships:
Everyone: Ameiko +1 “This trip has been the most fun I’ve had in years.”
Scout, Aplenka, Francisca: Koya +1 “Investigating strange things and strange places is really the joy of travel. And travel is the joy of life.”

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OSR Gaming- Player and GM Agendas

Some commentary on old school/new school approaches to RPGs. I enjoy things like this. Though, it is long – 1 hr 20 mins. The meat of the video starts about 15/20 minutes in.

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