Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

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Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby James » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:38 am

I will write more on the slight changes of setting later, but wanted to start the thread so you can post characters and/or questions about characters. The major change is the Development is no longer a psuedo-monarchy and is now a Theocracy led by the Lord Bishop of Resverik. Marlin, I hope, will forgive me for what these terrible westerners have done with the Masdacar and what it says.

Skill Cap 7: 110 points.
Lets do it!
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby Maugh » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 pm

That is not good. Herons group got into trouble with the religious folks. Hopefully theyre not the same ones.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby marlin » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:06 am

Scripture like the Măsdakar is always abused. The channels of power will cut through any bedrock, as they say in the Čoméz. In Prăklor there is a saying: Felt ja gadz ŭl ab, ăřd fŭ'n gosas àl, "Anything can be a tool if you have a use for it."

So, anyway, I've got a cool Valkyrie ready to rock; therefore I hope no one wants to be a demon, because something will have to give. Also, I wanna talk to you about weapons. Finally, is there somewhere I can see a full, labeled worldmap?
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby James » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:58 pm

Hey all. This is the tweak in the Development setting. I will not be offended if you do not read the text. If your character is not from the city, that may be good, if you have been in the city a while, you should know it a little. The end lists are worth skimming for everyone, though.

The greater part of Tenpat has been changing. East of Lake Myridil, the Empire of Lyrens has been expanding in all directions. The expansion has largely been through peaceful means and the only need for large-scale battle has been in putting down extremist peoples within countries joining of their free will. Lyrens promises to revolutionize the world through its finely built roads, effective Emperor Republic government, and agricultural practices. What the Empire lacks, however, is access beyond the land-locked center of the continent. Nomadic Deskarian to the southeast, tiny hold-out kingdoms to the north east, imposing mountains north and south, and the whole of western Tenpat block it from owning land on the coast.

Response has, naturally, been very diverse to the expanding empire. In the Lesyngs at the base of the Lyesty Mountains, the diverse factions are rising beyond words and arguments to actions. While the issue is more imminent for the East, West Lesyng's principle city-states have committed themselves to action. The nature of the city-state government of the country has allowed for strange divergence among the cities while still maintaining the cohesion of the greater nation. Each decided that the best way, generally, to avoid being assimilated was to return to tradition, civic works, and cohesion: part of the same strategy used to rose the separatists that caused the war and resulting schism between West and East. The interpretation of these ideas has taken different shapes.

Development changed significantly 6 years ago. The monarch was failing in health. When his sickness was found to be terminal, he converted power to the Lantrasaant splinter faith The Church of Resverik. Most of the city was surprised by the move, especially the nobility. The royal family had, however, been planning the change in power for some time and the once-heirs were already members of the church without desire for the cursory rule of their line. With the monarchy went the official titles of nobility and their downgrading to regular members of the citizenry.

The reasons for this decision were many, and some based more on religious belief. The neighboring theocracy of the Holy Realm of Olshono and other western theocracies had demonstrated the effectiveness of the governmental system as well as consolidating the national identity and keeping down incidents of crime. The neighboring nations had also highlighted problems that needed to be avoided such as xenophobia, fanaticism, cruelty, isolation, lack of trade, and corruption arising from the mixing of earthly practicality and holy law. The homogeneous nature of Lyrens made the move toward solid principles and alliance-by-similar-hatred possible from the Holy Realms of the west.

The change in power came over the course of several months and the once High Bishop Harchmont became the Lord Bishop on Mid-Autumn Day. The changes have not been extreme, and most were built to their current code slowly to avoid panic and reaction. Development, so far, retains its name and most of the city is much as it was before the Lord Bishop came to power. Important changes are as listed:


LISTS OF CHANGES
City:
The Palace was demolished and the new Temple of Traditions in under construction. The planned building occupies all tunnel space under the city south of the Merchant River and will rise nearly to the top of the cliff.

Fever town was razed to the ground, but returned near to its original state in less than a year despite city-sponsored programs and charity.

The thieving guild, 37, is no more. Thraj'War is barely a shadow of its old power. Chalice is no longer a guild and more a circle of Lahabyol and Verbayaxt in secret contact.

The old quarry is now a part of out-town due to Earth elementalists doing most of the work with the Temple.

The Dragon's Bile is no longer permitted near town due to demonic owner. Whirling Top and Charisma & Steel under new management.

City Watch are fewer in number, but are mounted upon Ash Walker Birds and a known ratio of 1:5 of Watch are trained as Yazata.

Laws:
No demons or power derived from demonic powers

No High Magic use relying upon the ideals of Dark, Death, or Chaos. Other High Magic use is by special permission only.

All inhabitants of the city will have their weapons peace-bonded. Said peace-bonds are short lived and require quick travel to a place where they can be stored.

Repeat criminal offense incurs strict penalties or prison labor, indoctrination, or death.

What you believe, feel, or worship at home is not regulated, but the only legal public religion is the Church of Resverik.

Official Missionaries of the Church may not be harmed or be interfered with when on Church business.

People:
Heckiss Boil no longer so easy to access.
Alpanar's is limited in creation of items.
Sages working at the Sage's Tower no longer have access to lore on some magics.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby James » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:05 pm

Thanks for the use of your religion bro, if only by name and vague knowledge (10 year old memory). I think we talked about the weapons on the phone. The world map is in the Nations and world building section under the thread "NEW WORLD MAP." Tenpat, for us, is going to take the place of the continent second to the furthest east in the central region. This places the Savage Lands of the Drakes to the West, Totem Lands to the South, Neiral to the North, and the Angelic and Demon Lands far away to the North West.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby wolfram » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:41 pm

Very cool changes to Development.

For this campaign I will be playing a Scath named Trélok.
scath3.jpg
Rough 3D Render of Trélok. Based on the description in the book, but with more organic rather than ornate markings.
(193.14 KiB) Not downloaded yet


Trélok's strengths are cunning and intuition; his weaknesses are charisma and strength. At the moment he has no magic. As talents, he is a sculptor (natural media such as stone,wood, etc using his void claws) and is a thief lore student.

Back Story Rough Draft:
Trélok is originally from a small hidden Scath community in the Sedas where he first learned sculpting. Three years ago he left his community to see the world, as encouraged by his elders. Hearing of master sculptors in Development, he made is way to the city to apprentice under one. He applied under the greatest sculptor, (name here please James) who laughed him out when Trélok could not lift the stones he asked to sculpt. Trélok sneaked in that night and carved a pillar standing in the workshop. The master sculptor was impressed enough when he saw it in the morning, that he accepted Trélok, as a student. Once established as an apprentice, he sought out his other reason for coming to the city, to join one of the great thief's guilds. He was much disappointed by their degradation, but managed to gain entrance into one of the remaining guilds (James does this work?). Since then he has been using his sculpting apprenticeship as cover for his thief training. Time has passed, and Trélok grows impatient for real adventure...

Anyway this is a rough setup. Let me know if I need to changed this up a bit.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby James » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:28 am

You guys and your fancy symbols! No even totally sure if I say the names correctly in my head, but they look very pretty. Thanks for the work you put into them. I just realized that I misread Marlin's post. There is no fully labled map. People were to do this with their own domains they were working in. Chris (Wolfram) did a fantastic job with his area...and I just realized this is where I moved Tenpat, isn't it? Well, shift, shift, shift. Neiral and the Totem lands have maps, but none computer done and posted. I haven't gotten around to doing the demonlands one yet.

In response to Trelok:
I like it a lot. Wanted to point out that the last party played with bizzare geography and that the Sedas is really on the Eastern part of Tenpat and the Lesta Mountains are the mountains just behind Development. Certainly there would be master sculptors in Development right now in creating for the all-stone Temple of Tradition. Head Undersculptor Kest Stonemeld could be your man. He is helping to create the upgrades and elegantly understated designs in the tunnels that honeycomb the ground below Development in the Temple District. As your skill caps are all still 7, what the master craftsman would be struck by is less the overall product and more at the unique fey-inspired style, and obvious potential.
The remains of the Thraj'War are still enough of a guild to be worth joining. I will post a describtion of a guild and benefits after I make the edits for the new setting. They still operate within the Great Market and Gaming districts. Also, the Spinning Coin operates in Out-Town, a place growing as the walled portion of the city cannot. They do not have as deep an infrastructor and do not have the secret tunnel access of the Thraj'War. Your choice.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby dylan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:09 am

So the character that I was initially going to play turned out to be the brother of the character that I AM going to play. I'm a human who curses the gods! (for only giving me 4 extra points and no special abilities for being human) My soul has great value to me though. I am a warrior/Earth/Fire elementalist. I have a great love for humanity and hate for corruption. My character (nameless for now) has lived in Development for several years and spent much of his time assisting the clean up of fever town, although in vein, as it's now back to its original status. My brother is an angry Fire/Void elemantalist who hates everything non human, spending the majority of his time trying to eradicate all demons, fae, angles, totem creatures, etc. Since I am more accepting of other races and magical beings, we went our separate ways a few weeks ago, with him leaving Development. Now I spend most of my time helping my contacts and random civilians with their troubles. :)
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby Maugh » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:12 pm

On a non-mechanical point of view, I really quite like your character's human vs non-human bigotry. Sounds like fun.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby James » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:05 pm

A party of Good characters. Different from the usual faire...in fact, each person is doing something a little different from what is traditional or expected. Marlin is running the proud, in charge Tank? I wouldn't have guessed he would play a character who punches out street toughs and kicks in the door to a back room of a house with pooled blood and evil magics. Chris has not started to crack elemental magics apart yet. Frightening to have him repeatedly disappear with this upper teens-low twenties sneak checks at SC 7. The surprise attack with daggers has done great damage, but the speed penalties with the sneaking has balanced it well we think. Dylan is human for what we think is the first time in all gaming history. We had a lot of fun with his 12 intelligence and difficulty understanding anything and lack of attention to detail. He also rocks the rod (wand) arcane foci, but we haven't seen it in combat yet.

Sinister atmosphere, or at least that is how I felt. Most of your who have played with me have fought the Requiem of All Suns through their wickermen traps or at their temple in the swampy Cauldron above Lonti. I felt the overall tone was dark even during the day hours. I liked the awkwardness of the team work that is well placed for the first adventure of a party, and I tried to give opportunities for the characters to feel placed in the city. For the first time, all the characters call Development their home rather than just the city they were tossed together in on their travels. Imps were creepy and nasty and I think Fevertown was well displayed. I felt good about it.

In the end: Herja is hauling out the three crate with their vile contents, Talina was uncovered as a liche (jaw phylactery), and at least one use of the bone dust has been revealed (almost an undead summoning technique), still about 20 min out from recoil expiration on regrowth, and just barely out of Fevertown on the way to the Temple.

XP
Herja- Valkyries are tough. She shows that well. I loved when she got sick of the planning of the stake out and just walked right back into the Sage's Crooked Spire to gather more info while her companions continued to debate obliviously. The morningstar/flail/mace is something I will just have to get over I suppose. Loved the Great Leap charge, and “stutter falling” with defy gravity. 4 for combat, 2 Autonomy, and 4 elsewhere.

Jambronie - Humans can kick ass. No min maxing here, and anything but average. Untrained in a skill? Still have a d10 or 12. Magic, melee, alchemy. Fear the future, evil! We have determined that Earth Magics like stone walls weaken after a time and eventually return to the earth. Otherwise SC 4 elementalists replace all construction and a few could replicate the walls of Bastion over the course of a few hours. 4 to Magics, 2 Grit, 4 elsewhere. ….5 to extra skill Schmooze *sigh*

Trelok- Like I mentioned above, the disappearing was fun. I like that your friends never know where you are and you seem to just leave during conversations because their perception is woefully incapable of matching you sneak. I like the surprise attacks and have fear for what it is going to do as you get stronger. 2 to scout related skills (percept, sneak, athlet.), 2 to combat, 2 to Grit, 4 elsewhere.
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City Lore 1

Postby James » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:24 pm

City Lore 1
Herja has been training warriors for some time. There are posting to interview for the opportunity to “train with an angel of battle” at both the Church and the Fighters’ Guild. The “angel” part has been crossed out and replaced with Valkyrie multiple times, and although the respective offices in charge of posting apologize every time, every new post makes the same mistake. Her Studio/studio apartment is small and cannot accommodate more than about five students at any given time. Her love of teaching usually keeps the students changing because with her hand, they quickly rise near to her level of ability.

Currently, the students are:
Tom Pathfinder – Young man new to the Church of Resverik. Eventually, he hopes to become part of the Missionary Calling. Right now, he lives in one of the large tenement buildings in Out-Town where he works as a courier. Skill cap 5, battleaxe.
Kasil of Isket – An adult woman who served as a Water Caller on the Myridil coast of Shojokwa. An unusual illness took her ability to manipulate water, so she traveled to the end of the Chanalis River to find a new calling. She is a fast learner with Skill Cap 11, but still new to combat.
Liza Veil – Member of the Church of Resverik’s lore office. While not herself a researcher, she is one of the head librarians and knows how to obtain the best information for research in the fastest ways. Connected among many Church Loremasters. Skill Cap 6, unarmed combat.
Crease – An ex-street thug who once made the mistake of trying to steal from a citizen only a few feet from the City Watch. After his indoctrination, his assigned calling was as an informant and security officer. Surly, unhappy with position, but enjoys learning to fight with the axe and Morningstar. Skill cap 6.
* - (For Marlin to fill in the last one)
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby marlin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:41 pm

* - (For Marlin to fill in the last one)

My other student is:
Širà - A girl who looks younger than she must really be, with a strange accent (but what does Herja know about things like accents?). She trains with a wooden ax with steel blade caps, and seems suspiciously proficient with the weapon -- Herja sometimes suspects the girl is way beyond the level of the class, merely pretending to incompetence. Regardless, she seems to be at skill cap 5. She is a relentless gossip and sometimes talks of things no one could/should know. Herja likes her despite herself, and hope to make her a Valkyrie if the church doesn't claim her first.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby marlin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:09 pm

Here are the custom Character Sheets for Herja and Trélok I've made, since James thought other people might like to see their styling, and a portrait of Herja that Chris made for me (just because it's awesome). 8-)
Attachments
Herja portrait.jpg
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Trelok Charsheet.pdf
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Herja Charsheet Oct21.pdf
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City Lore 2

Postby James » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:46 pm

Thraj War in the 6th Year of the Lord Bishop
The Guild itself is still ruled by the Squatting Spider, though he is less open about himself and whereabouts these days. The old hierarchy has changed somewhat in order to better protect the identities of members. Here is what Trélok knows about the guild:

He claims the ranks of “street thief” and “Freelancer.”
* -"Street Thief" allows him to steal from citizenry in the Market District and Gaming District. It does not allow direct stealing from businesses due to the protection money they pay to the guild. Cons that cheat money from a businesses are not considered “direct stealing.” Amounts of 10gp or more in any given week require a tax of 10% to the guild. (He knows this percent decreases as his involvement in the guild increases.)
* -The registration as “Freelancer” came with an up-front fee and tax on jobs accepted from the guild. This registration granted him access to one of the larger safe-houses of the guild in the city, located in a secret basement complex below “The Tower” tavern. This is allegedly unknown to the owner. Access is through one of the private meeting rooms in the basement, and an alley close to the arena.
* -This safe-house a few rooms/chambers expanded from old tunnels. The posting boards for jobs requested by the guild are in the main chamber, as are mailboxes for the anonymous Thraj War craftspeople. This first room has comfortable seating and a few tables. Often, this room also serves for freelancers trying to fence stolen goods to other members. Cots to for those in hiding are within a long, narrow room with a strong door. The rest of the few remaining rooms of adjacent chambers are used for private meeting, temporary vending, or other purposes. The reduced membership rarely uses all this space and only a few masked members are usually in the safe-house at any given time. All members are encouraged to keep masked or otherwise concealed around their fellows.

Further investment in the Thraj War guild is by invitation only and requires successful completion of posted jobs, display of potential, and trust.

As mentioned in previous posting, Trélok's contact for the guild is a corrosive named Weep. Weep wears a shedscale cloak covered by cloth to mask his powerful odor and protect the other cloth from dissolution. He has a pocked face and always appears to be sweating heavily. Despite his best intentions, when he speaks, the noxious odor of his acidic composition permeates the nearby air. He is of nondescript, average height and build. He is in charge of the Tower Safe-house and is contact to many low-level thieves. Trélok has never seen him fight, but knows that despite his smell, he can practically disappear into crowds and darkness. It is rumored that he can fully undergo bodily apotheosis to pure elemental acid at will.

For Trélok, contact with Weep is usually made either through mailbox in the safe-house or etching a silver coin with a circle and giving it to the green beggars routinely found near the Cascading Edge or Warehouse 1.

Trélok has done only a couple, very small jobs for the guild. Mostly catching non-members trying to steal on their turf. He has not yet worked with other members or done much very profitable.
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Re-caping

Postby James » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:58 pm

Situation as it stands (Jared will join you next time, so I am re-capping for him as well):
The party (Herja, Trelok, and Jabronie) was pulled together by Marcus, the Chief Investigator of the Church of Resverik. Herja for her divinity and martial prowess, Trelok from Herja's suggestion and vouched-for skill, and Jabronie for his knowledge of Fevertown and reputation in the city. Marcus had identified a Sage from the Crooked Spire as a possible member of the Requiem of All Suns, and wanted the party to follow her into the vile neighborhood of Fevertown.
The party confronted her for arrest and it was revealed that she was a liche. After womping her and her demon pets, the party brought her remains back to the Temple along with several crates found within the house to which she fled. The crates contained a bizzare demon skeleton and dozens of street children that seemed dead (later revealed they were just magically suspended somehow).
In the second (and most recent) adventure; the party accepted a contract from the Thraj War thieves' guild from Trelok's guild contact, a corrosive named Weep. The true nature of the job was unknown to Herja and Jabronie and they were smooth talked into it. The Church of Resverik then offered Herja the job of breaking up the same gathering with a raid from the Watch, but she had to turn it down due to contract. The three joined the other thieves in taking down and packing up "The Shadow Crucible" for the assasin's guild, Chalice. One assassin, Stergwyr, waited behind to oversee the project. Jabronie and Herja were nervous and upset, but things really went bad when Herja noticed the alchemist rigging the crates was a demon and summoned a fallen warrior to blow the rigged crate (None saw the summoning and only Herja knows she started the chaos).
The party got away just barely and got to the Temple in time to see a massive monster escape from the temple and leap into the Chanalis River. They helped out with all the injured at the Temple and saw many cultists dead on the grounds. After the very long night they all went home to rest for work, Herja convinced Trelok to sleep at her house for safety sake. The night saw a failed attempt from imps to invade Jabronie's apartment, and the gruesome death of all of Herja's neighbors and the fleeting sight of a small black form from the complex.
The next session starts that following morning.
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Showdown at the Shadow Crucible

Postby James » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:12 pm

For some reason I am constantly surprised by the ability of PCs are inventing the "option C" of my dramatically overscripted "cake or death" type plans. However, it is always this surprise that makes the adventures memorable! I thought for sure that you guys were dead when Stergwyr came after Herja when there was no back up. Skill cap 17 berserker in a closed space hundreds of feet above the city, sounds like death to me. Good thing for the stone wall, Weep's one round delay or help, and the abilty to defy gravity.
I loved the principles of the group and the stubborness. It is great when Marlin and Dylan are distracted so Chris and I can play Trelok's interactions with the Guild with the other two really not knowing what is going on. Too bad that the contract went sour and you are all still fairly poor. Sorry for the lack of combat, I had expected more last time.
You have a very powerful enemy. Until he is dead or bored, he should not be underestimated. I guess "option C" would be he kills ya'll...

The characters are developing well and the party is ...well, the party is still not very cohesive. Gotta work on that.

XP
Herja - The principles, the power! The lack of perception! 2 to defensive skills, 2 for social skills (includes something like intimidate), 2 for lore. 11 skill points left to spend...

Jabronie - So much stone! I wanna see use of that rod before there is opportunity to attune your sword. 2 for social skills, 2 toward Alchemy, 2 toward your spellcraft. 11 more points.

Trelok - You are very sneaky, and really have no care for your "friends." Or maybe just their morals. 4 toward your social skills, 2 for sneak-relavant abilities. 11 skill points for testing game limits...
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City Lore 3

Postby James » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:09 pm

City Lore 3 – The failed “Project Redemption” and Jabronie contacts
In the 2nd year of the Lord Bishop's reign, the Church of Resverik enlisted the aid of adventuring parties, the City Watch, and civic engineers to demolish and rebuild the district commonly known as “Fevertown.” The residents were given temporary housing and meals in two large, modified warehouses at the district's western end. As expected, however, many of the residents refused to leave and some became hostile.

When opportunity had been given and notice made clear, the Watch and hired adventurers moved in under the command of the Izfiate Confederate archmage, Horst of Rain. Although strong resistance was expected, the first demolishing spell was twisted in the archmage's hands and somehow shattered his mind and power in a devastating implosion that took with it some of the strongest hired arms in the force. Before the rest of the assembled warriors could regroup, darkness exploded from existing shadows to plunge Fevertown and much of surrounding area into darkest night for three days.

Under the shroud of supernatural night, the remaining residents of Fevertown fought back. The opponents were rarely seen in the grueling urban combat, but flashes of demons, cancer mages, and twisted monsters were glimpsed in the fae light of magic spells. When the dark spell was shattered with the warping of a symbol ingeniously concealed in the arraignment of the drainage gutters, the battle dramatically turned in the favor of the surviving honorary city officials.

For the next year, the district was run carefully by the Church of Resverik. Tenements, kitchens, and workshops were built. Programs for training the residents in trade were pumped with funds from the city and church. Great effort was put forth to keep the residents employed, fed, and educated, and by the end of the year it seemed that Fevertown could run on its own. (The Church tried many new names for the district, but none seemed to stick)

By midsummer, the Watch became suspiciously ill when patrolling through the area. By Autumn, the streets were becoming choked with impromptu tents and kiosks. The residents still maintaining their jobs moved elsewhere and strangers seemed to occupy the area. When the chaos of the Festival of Masks on the 4th year of the Lord Bishop was over, the Watch could no longer enter Fevertown and it seemed to be back to its original state despite quick attempts to intervene.

Jabronie fought in the three day darkness alongside his brother. He was young and had not lived in the city for very long. Both had been eager to prove themselves to the people of the city and excited for the opportunity to legally destroy non-human evil. In the darkness, Jabronie first really began to rely on his magics, and developed their formal use from the basic Earth/Fire manipulation he was used to into formal spellcraft. To this day, he maintains occasional contact with some of his comrades in arms from that extended night.

Kamar Gardens – Master Herbalist who assisted the assault with healing and potions for the troops. Kamar is a tall man rumored to have dryad blood (Jabronie violently denies this). He is a kind and passionate man who is quick to trust. He owns a small house with a fenced garden yard and a second, more exotic garden on his roof. After the money from the Project dried up, Jabronie went to work for the herbalists and maintains the apprenticeship to this day.

Collin Dust – Sargent of the Watch in the residential district. A loquacious human who has lived his whole life in Development. He organizes some of the patrol schedule and is an active member of the Fighters' Guild. Like many member of the Watch, he frequents the Tower.

Taskmal Source – A drop-out of both the Praaklor Academy and Shojokwa's Spirit Talking, Taskmal is a brilliant middle-aged man with moderate skills is High Magics and warlock lore. He is prone to making long-term plans and quickly abandoning them. He is independently wealthy and wanders about the city and helps people when he notices their need.
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The Burried Rot Ore Mines

Postby James » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:52 pm

That was very combat heavy of a game. The opposite of the last few adventures together for the most part. No NPCs to talk to, no clever ways out (sometimes, see ice sphere shark net), and tons of bashing. I think that I accomplished what I sought out to do, even if it didn't feel as good of tone and sstorytellerenting as usual. We got the Naiad on the crew, got to try out some combat ability, and found out very little about the monster that got away other than that it was getting smaller (hope you all got that) and that it was using something not quite necromancy, not quite void...but dark and very evil.

I think everyone had at least a little bit of a chance to shine. Maybe Trelok a little less without the urban environment or enemies with eyes. Still, some great long distance hits and the Dark Blade that cracked armor was great. I think my favorite moments were when aqua limb and shadow claws joined to flip a mattress.

The party swam down, killed strange bottom dwelling crustaceans, blocked a huge shark from attacking through the hole (since thawed, have fun on the return), then finally found an ancient entrance to the cliff beyond the falls. The fragments of the demonlord's borrowed bodies pasted to the walls frayed Jabronie's soul (just slightly more upsetting to him than dragging him unconscious through the caves like a helium ballon).
You chose left (adventurers always do), and followed the short-cuts made and path taken by the fleeing demonlord, easily because of crazy high intuition on 3 of 4 characters. (Will it be so easy as the taint begins to fade? Did this taint frighten off monsters that will no block the party's return?)
Then, the tentacles coming from the shaft. Wow, so many 1's and 2's that Ardon would have felt at home. A very one sided battle dropped Trelok and almost others before escaping to the old safety room. On the return trip, the very opposite rolls reduced the horror to jelly fast. The barrier helped keep the tentacles in check and lower the number of attacks it made, too.

Treasure (I am sure you wrote it down)

The Rods of earth elemental enhancement...or so they seem to be.
The strange dust that filled the troughs
The random collection of jars and such seemingly of alchemical nature.
The rope, 50 ft. very nice rope.

XP

Skill cap 8 time everyone:

Herja – Some great hits, both giving and receiving. Loved the Great Leap and battle axe that started the monster's doom. With the exception of the trepedation around going home alone with Stegwyr may be there, you showed your usual confidence. Too bad underwater you couldn't talk to say, “if these things are on the bottom, why don't we just swim up?” Remember that even if you cannot fight with both at the same time, you can hold two swords for parrying and to choose which to hit the guy in front of you with. 4 for Offensive Combat, 4 for Defense (any), 2 for Perception or Lore, 3 elsewhere. Also, 2 points for your Hymnist(sp?) skill.

Jabronie – I don't think this has been his favorite trip. Autonomy is a hard thing to get around, but I think the problem was dice based, not skill points. Also, I am not fair with Difficulties on traps and things for lower level PCs. Good to see the fire (or boiling water) come out to play. Your soul will heal...or while fragile, the Requiem of All Suns will pick at it in you sleep and use it to fuel evil abominations. 2 for Autonomy, 4 for Offensive Combat, 4 for Magics, 3 elsewhere. 2 for your demonology skill.

Jack – Welcome to the party! Good use of your ice spells, and good use of the bow. I hope you like how it went for combat. After we do the next adventure and you are able to see him at work around people, I am sure you will like how well rounded he is. If not, we can re-tool. Aqua limb is so much fun, it should always be on. 4 toward Magics, 4 toward Combat (any), 5 elsewhere.

Trelok – The claws still seem balanced despite the stacking...afraid of sucker punch, though. This was not his kind of thing. I liked him in the city skulking about and helping Herja at home with the investigation. 2 toward Sneakiness, 4 toward Combat (any), 2 for Perception, 5 elsewhere.
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City Lore 4 - Temple of Traditions

Postby James » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:46 pm

Due to the tragic incident at the Temple of Resverik, the Temple of Traditions has been opened sooner than expected and offices have been relocated in a hurry. I have verbally set the date, but it is not in writing and so I cannot remember, so I am going to officially do so here:

Spring 30, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop (West Lesyng Calender), marks the somber opening of the Temple of Traditions (ToT). It is expected that once things have calmed slightly, the Lord Bishop will mark the occasion with a celebration.

ToT is now the main building of the city and therefore all of southern West Lesyng. In only a few short years, the cliff, palace, and surrounding buildings have been completely remade due to the tireless efforts of teams of Earth Movers, contractors, sculptors, masons, tradespeople, architects, and adventures. The entire floorplan is not available to common eyes, but this should not be a problem for most people who are to use the ToT, and construction is still not full complete. The Great Hall is the main entry point to the awesome structure. Alchemical and Magical lamps of vibrant colors eternally burn behind the windows of stained glass high on the walls cast the hall in shifting hues from the religious scenes of the Crafting of the World and the Teachings of the Resverik. The floor of polished granite seems to cast a slight ambient illumination in the room effectively removing any shadowy corners and adding to the feel power and health.

The Great Hall bares 49 pillars of artistic and/or structural purpose. At the far end is the entrance to the Hall of Worship and onward to the classrooms, libraries, workshops, reflection rooms, offices, and private chapels that together form the Church of Resverik. The doors are to be attended to by clerics later on, but are currently guarded by members of the Yazata Brotherhood and Holy Guard members with Arcane, elemental, martial, and unique talents. Public are allowed within to worship, but are screened by the guardians.

Branching from the sides of the Great Hall are other important facilities of the City-State. Governmental offices and diplomatic apartments are distributed through the right side of the Hall. A separate, official entrance is located on the outside of the cliff for those wanting to avoid the Hall and a third entrance for the governmental offices is protected from the ToT that is for processing and housing of criminals awaiting punishment.

To the left of the Great Hall is the Resverik Academy and includes nearly all of the city's old University faculty and library with other additions. The Academy is a tribute to their God and while many of the classrooms are below ground, some have windows on the cliffside and the previous site of the Shadow Crucible was given to the Astrology and Astronomical Studies department. Admittance is expected to surge some professors have been hired from distant locals of the Realms to bring the finest in knowledge and teaching technique to the city. The Academy will be opening officially on Spring 60 and the end of the early rains.

Other parts of the ToT include emergency storage in case of siege, side access to the Bank, extensions from the Church and Governmental offices for trials public and private, miniature cave farms, soon-to-be underground river access from Chanalis above the falls in case of occupation, and more. Banned from the ToT are private businesses and private storage of goods, permanent housing for any but high ranking members of government and Church, any use or research regarding use of Ideals Death and Chaos or demonology.

Someday I would like to make a floor plan for commonly used spaces, and detailed descriptions for them, but that is a ways off.
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Door of the Den of Evil (like a malazan book title)

Postby James » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:11 pm

The greatest Snatch n' Grab kidnapping ever in any of my games. I loved it.
Many things hang unresolved for our adventurers at the moment. There were very weak attacks from imps, the business with Stergwyr delayed by the Harbor Master's intercession, the moving to the Temple of Traditions, the Thraj War offer to Trelok, and smaller concerns. This party seems to hate inaction (as most adventurers do), and so sought out trouble when none was shoved in their face for a day. A single day can't pass without action!

The only promising lead came from Carson, a member of Jabronie's old unit. He had left a message with Jabronie's boss (Herbalist), that he knew where the people from the building in Fevertown that Talina was working with moved on to. Carson is now detoxing from his long use of Serpent Greese and was very grateful for the silver given to him by Jabronie and Herja at his shady tenement house. Jabronie feels good after the ritual at the new Temple that bolstered his spirit and ready to fight.

To set the scene: Down by the Ferry outside town, there are a few odd shops and warehouses. The house of suspect (discovered through gossip) is an imposing structure of several stories. Old school wards distract and redirect those who would approach. When wards taken care of by shadow claws, the party's ambassador, Jack, approaches the door. With his charm, those within couldn't help but to answer through the small slide in the door.

Facts: Warehouse is active only at night. Wards affecting public emanate from the house. Person at the door is swathed in bandages and assumed to be demonic through assumption and slim evidence.
Decision: This is a house of evil and permission from city extends to handling such dens of evil, especially is possibly connected to on-going case.
Spectacular Plan: Herja and Jabronie wait to either side of the door, Jack knocks on the door to talk again as Trelok readies death in the shadows of the building. With the charm rollin' again, the demon returns to the door. Jabronie uses his corrosive rod and dissolves the door exposing the demon standing surprised with the door slide in his hand and air in front of him. Jack thrusts his aqualimb into the opening mouth to silence alarm (an unknowingly blocks powerful effect), Jabronie and Herja grab the man, and Trelok cuts him from behind as they drag him instantly to the base of the stairs in the street. In the punishing light, the demon is weakened, Trelock doing 30+ damage per hit,Herja holds him with hands of iron, Jabronie stone walls the opening to block would-be demonic helpers, and Jack ties him up for interrogation.

Wow, good way to end it, I think. What now? Where to take him? Do this publicly next to the den of evil? What about the demons/evil within? No strong Watch presence at this side of the ferry and cleared land around the handful of buildings. People of action, not long-term planners. Good action!


XP

Herja – loved the grapple and your brusque attitude toward people who are neither of use or threat, like that drug dealer. 2 to Intimidate, 2 to Lore, 2 to Offensive Combat, 6 elsewhere. 2 to pedagogy, 2 to Good vs. Evil

Jabronie – Magic skills increasing and so is your re-discovered happiness. You mentioned having no intimidate and the intimidating strike skill. Feel free to redistribute those points if you want to. 2 to intimidate or other social skill, 2 to Magics, 2 to Tinker, 8 elsewhere. 2 to Schmooze (not doing the other one on the site), 2 to Lore: Demonology

Jack – I fear the future of Aqualimb. You are a clever one. Dissolved poisons? Controlled freezing? *shudder* 4 to social (any: emp, charm, gossip, deceive, social tech), 2 to magic, 6 elsewhere. 6 to additional skill: Front Man. Can be used against relavant defensive skill to grant +1 tech bonus to any plan where you are central. (battle plan, negotiations, invasion, court defense, etc.)

Trelok – You are only skill cap 8 with dagger stats. You are hitting like Ardon's axe at SC 10! I know, I know, it will only get worse. 4 to thief skills (justify), 2 to combat, 6 elsewhere. 2 to Thief Lore, 6 to Backstab Allies (non-combat). Can be used in place of deceive when convincing friends to do something that benefits you more than they.
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Theft of the Crucible and Betrayal at the Dockyards

Postby James » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:06 am

Theft of the Crucible and
Betrayal at the Dockyard


A haunting crescendo to end one what was likely the most trying week of our heroes’ lives. While the high ranking members of the church and government were locked within the Inquisition, evil risked showing it hand publicly.

In the beginning, the party attempted to finish clensing the “Den of Evil.” Through void magics, the demons hid within and the captive demon died to the Voice of the Yazata Thalamew. Frustrated, the party was unable to do much with the warehouse and the Watch members betrayed Thalamew and tried to kill them as well. Although in the end the warehouse was razed with divine magics, the victory served only to reveal that members of Watch and militia were involved with the Requiem of All Suns’ plot, or yet another layer of their own plans.

Aimless at first, the party drifted around the city the next day. Jabronie and Trelok returned to work, and Herja settling the near-future arraignments for her students. Jabronie was sure to stop by his friend Collin Dust to warn him of what he had seen at the Ferry and the corruption evident in both Watch and militia. Herja had a short conversation with Stumpy the Bane to square away her students’ training and came away with unsolicited promises from him to also help her out if Stergwyr returned to the city.

Then the party met Kivas Theurge. The woman claimed herself to be a member of the Investigations department directly beneath Marcus. She needed them to perform a task for him as he, and other ruling members of the city, were unable to act directly or communicate from where they were isolated. Though suspicions were high, they could find no direct evidence of any deceit in her story and plan. Instead of accepting blindly, however, the team made plans of their own. Trelok himself was convinced at first that this was not the work of Thraj War. Efforts had been made to hide involvement from the street thieves and freelancers and so the Scath, try as he might to gather info, accepted the possibility of legitimacy in the offer. Herja went to the dockyard and spoke with the Harbormaster. After a short conversation between the bravado-filled, uncharming duo, the Valkyrie was able to obtain the Harbormasters teeth of water breathing for use in the evening. Jabronie returned to his friend, Collin of the Watch, and explained what he knew of Kivas’ plan. After short conversation, Jabronie received the support he wanted from trusted allies as Collin promised to wait near the Waterfall house in case the party was double crossed.

The theft of the Shadow Crucible from the Pituke vaults was painful. Even with some alarm systems disabled and the answer to one of the entry keys supplied, the party was sprayed repeatedly by the super-heat acid from the defense system. They were able to avoid the lightning coils and artificially autonomous guards, but getting the cargo out proved difficult. As the acid repeatedly doused the heroes (expect Trelok how mostly escaped the damage by being the helper below), clothes and equipment melted, flesh and hair melted, and even armor was destroyed by the time escape was made. Once the warrior duo fell unconscious from the pain and Trelok barely was able to wake them in time to have Jabronie heal them before the acid spray renewed.
The travel to the dockyard included a frightened, but kindly, old man on the merchant river, a Watch member well outside of his comfort and competence zone, some skulking, and kinda-sorta-almost resisting arrest. “We accept arrest. But can we-“ “I mean-“

At the Waterfall house, all hell broke loose. When the thieves came to take possession of the cargo, Jabronie tried to wheel the horses and escape toward the Temple. Trelok, having known the true nature of the job for a while now, betrayed Jabronie and tried to bring the horses to the thieves. In the ensuing violence and madness Herja returned with the Watch, thieves attack, Vraaj Demonlord attacked from Requiem of All Suns, Collin and friends joined the fray, and Trelok waffled with allegences, helping to slay the demon, but then escaping with Kivas to the Waterfall house while the others returned to the Temple of Traditions.

Kivas is secure in her escape with the few pieces of the Crucible, masked within her "forgettable" ability. She failed account for Jabronie's memorization ability and the roused wrath of the Valkyrie. I think, however, that the true wrath is reserved for the betrayal of Trelok.

GREAT GAME. So much action, so much planning, varied skill use, character development, brilliant ideas, scary rolls…wow.

I will post a brief “The Next Hour” post later.

XP
All get 20 skill points. It is a lot, but you did a lot in this session. You all used core skills and satellite skills, so distribute as you see fit. I assume you hit the skill cap, but someone let me know.
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Trélok's Flight

Postby James » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:54 pm

First a Note for All of You:
The conclusion to the last adventure was epic in the real sense. There is a splitting of forces as well as quick repercussions. Because of this, I wanted to make little post-scripts. I encourage you all to read them to know what is going on. If we did this part in session, I think that it would take forever and because each person has a different place, it would be boring for 2 of 3 the whole time. I hope you will forgive me.



I am uploading the text for this because I like regular formatting more when text is a little longer..
Unlike the other follow-ups, I am only giving you the next half hour or so. Herja and Jabronie's will extend to the next morning.
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Jabronie's Poisoning and Herja's Enlistment

Postby James » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:00 am

Here is the other 2/3rds of the aftermath for Herja and Jabronie.
Notice that Trelok's story ends much before the others so he has opportunity to have used his night for whatever he felt needed to be done.

Not sure how we are going to save Trelok in the party, but maybe it can be done! Good Luck!
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Aftermath

Postby James » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:36 pm

Welcome back! I am excited to return to this group after our hiatus for the Menegerie and the Holiday break. Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!

So, Trelok will be catching up to the group after a night and day of mystery. Is Kivas alive? Is Weep? Is Trelok still in the Thraj War? Did he moonlight with the Spinning Coin because of Kivas's deceit? We will learn, I am sure. In the meantime, the only bit of information for certain is this:

In the mad scramble before and during the dawn round up that resulted from the Inquisition, The guild leaders of Thraj War and Spinning Coin both ordered guild members to go to ground and leave the city-state if they have recently been involved in underhanded dealings with the government or official extension.
Trelok overheard a small snatch of conversation from Spinning Coin members that mentioned the "damn cultists" left the city entirely. The thief also mentioned "the Shadow Cleft," but when saying this, did not seem to know what it was. Trelok knows that it is less of a what than a where. The Scath of the Lestii Mountains refer to the place as "Nasnuhull," a word from a lost language from another people. It is the closest the Scath have to a holy site and is a fissure through an ancient, forest-consumed city. The fissure weeps shadows and terminates in actual Void. The Scath are allowed passage into the crevice but not permanent residence anywhere near the old site. Although this treaty is millenia old, the Scath still honor it. Trelok himself traveled there in his youth and could likely find it again on his own.
He also knows from his time there that only a Scath or powerful worker of the Void could navigate the Cleft and find anything hidden within.
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Re: Development, 6th Year of the Lord Bishop

Postby marlin » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:53 pm

If asked, Herja would straighten her shoulders and haughtily declare:
The City of Development and the Church of Resverik grant me occasional authority to arrest or combat particular enemies of the state.
The divine mandate of Esseldein grants me unqualified authority to pursue and slaughter demonkind.
But there is no power in heaven or earth that can grant me the authority to harm another for personal vendetta.


If pressed, she would add:
The nature and extent of his odious crimes have yet to become fully apparent, but make no mistake: Trélok will face a reckoning.
"Questions are a burden to others; answers, a prison for oneself."
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