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Mayhem.com • View topic - The Menagerie

The Menagerie

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The Menagerie

Postby James » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:03 pm



So, we started up a new group for a limited run with Jake back in town and Matt (our Matt, makes him third in the groups, huh?). For the sake of fun, they all decided to make animal totem characters at SC 8.
Venomous Carnac (with shurikens and alchemy)
Albino/blue Minotaur with a maul and the blues
Leevan with unarmed fighting (Osaki Yojimbo)
Ra'Sharan with hatchets and tower shield
Ahrlen (modified into vulture) with fire magics

It was fun, and heavily combat driven. Most were fairly minmaxed, but they were able to take out a Longjaw Forest Drake (SC 13) with only one shocking out and one other near death. Took on 6 Scarrabi (SC 9, but poorly DM'd), and a fight that was one Curse Sewn (SC 12) and one Unliving Weapon (SC 11) at the same time. Very powerful, but also well choreographed. Weapons lined up to whelm often, and the veterans helped to guide the newbies in exploited flanking, whelm, range of attacks, etc.

We may be playing it a few more times while we have Jake in town, so I will post some XP


As this is a first game and I am sure you all have seen things you want to improve, add 15 to where ever you want. You are still at SC 8, so keep that in mind. Feel free also to take away things that you chose and found out didn't work well (like the ice magics for matt), and redistribute the points
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Re: The Menagerie

Postby Maugh » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:26 pm

Sounds like great playtesting. Have you guys found any hiccups with the Animal Totems?
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Re: The Menagerie

Postby wolfram » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:29 pm

As much as I hate to say this, the viper poison maybe a bit overpowered. 2 rounds at two dice down is a hefty. One could combine this with the sneak bonus and the ability to raise the cunning ability above 12, and create a very lethal enemy---one capable of taking down higher level opponents that a character probably should.

At the same time, the Tinek, at least from the read we did, seems a bit underpowered. Perhaps if quills, grew back at a rate of 10 an hour instead of over night? Just some quick thoughts.
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Longest Recap Ever

Postby marlin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:08 pm

Well, it was quite a night for the Menagerie. With the tank and the caster sitting this session out, the party had to diversify their talents a bit more to compensate. And whatever they did, it worked!

The three got out of the cave under the necromancer's lair and scrambled up the cliff face, with the little girl Mariah in tow. With her vague suggestions and some modest Wilderness checks, the party made its way north along the gorge to a tributary river valley patched with arid farmland. Following the river west, they came to the fortified town of Enistaf.

Mariah informed the group that Enistaf sat at the junction of three Clanholdings, Mariah and the necromancers being of the Tag clan, whose lands the party has been wandering through. They decided to try to enter Enistaf from the Tag side, betting that having Mariah with them would gain them entrance... even though Mariah warned them that they would probably be arrested. They were arrested, and didn't resist, but when they found themselves sentenced to death for murder, kidnapping, and trespassing, enough was enough, and they ran. And ran, and ran. While they ran willy-nilly through the fields, guards close on their heels, they discussed their future. Finally, they dove into the river to swim across and try coming into the town through a friendlier clan's gate.

The guards at the Bedet Gate believed the group's tale of shipwreck and destitution, and let them into Enistaf with a warning: in order to leave Enistaf, they would have to cross someone's clan lands, and so before they can leave Enistaf, they'd have to somehow secure an official passwrit.

They found their way to the city's Foreigner's Hostel and charmed their way into a room on credit. Then they went to get their booze on at the nearest pub, schmoozing for free drinks wherever they could find them. Here they were approached by a well-informed masked soldier of the Shek clan, who came with a tantalizing offer: come help us clean out a Tag clan necromancer's nest, and we'll give you a passwrit for travel, get you out of the city where the Tag are about to come assassinate you, and maybe earn a bit of coin. For good measure, the man gave them all free lodging at the Shek Hostel.

Huddled together in a single room at the Shek Hostel, the party received a surprise vistor: a noble woman of the Bedet clan. She, too, had a tantalizing offer: join her small entourage on a diplomatic journey north to the city of Feykril, as her guards, thereby gaining escort across the clanlands. They decided to leave the Shek high and dry, and take the Bedet job instead. With sufficient whining, the group got her to give them new lodgings at the Bedet Hostel, so they wouldn't feel so bad about ditching the generous Shek.

A long, boring night and day passed, waiting for the journey north. Finally they met up with the lady and her crew, and set out north. About halfway to Feykril, hell broke loose. While breaked for lunch, with the lady's body guard off answering nature's call, the chariot exploded, killing the noblewoman and badly injuring her assistant. The party members were far enough back that they took only minor damage, easily healed. When the body guard came rushing back, he attacked wildly at the party, who took him down in a ridiculous overkill. On his person was a mysterious black dagger imbued with arcane magic of an inscrutable nature.

The party decided to continue with their mission of escorting the lady's goods to Feykril. Suddenly they were reunited with their long-lost caster, now played by James! The journey was not a pleasant one, though, as evidence of destruction continued to mount. Finally, when they reached Feykril in the dead of night, they found not a city but an inferno!


Usagi Yojimbo - Your smooth-talking got you all better treatment than a trio of horrible monsters could have expected to get, in this primitive human backwater. You show a strong sense of honor and justice, and when that doesn't lead you to do the honorable thing, you have the good grace to fret about it a lot. Your protectiveness toward Mariah and Molg was as adorable as it was inappropriate. Give yourself 14 points wherever you want them.

Lamott - In a subtle way, you were the brains of this operation. And when it's time to fight, the amount of damage you can do is incredible. Your strength puts you in a good position to make gentlemanly offers: to let Molg ride the sled, to carry Mariah hither and yon, etc. 14 points, put them anywhere you want.

Kiro - You don't say much, but you bite really hard. You are quick to cook up a meal at any opportunity, though the diversity of the party's dietary requirements can be a hassle. As the party's handiman, you are asked to spend an inordinate amount of your time building ever-more-elaborate huts, which you do cheerfully. All in all, quite the homemaker (get it?). But nobody can belittle you for being domestic once the shurikens start flying! Take 14 points, and don't break anything!

Ay'Aa - You missed most of the adventure, having adventures of your own somewhere else. You play your cards close to the chest, try at every opportunity to manipulate your comrades, and don't give a damn about pathetic humans. When there is something to be done, though, wow can you become a tough leader!
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The Pen-ultimate Deskarian Adventure

Postby James » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:48 pm

The Pen-ultimate Deskarian Adventure

Despite the title, this was the closing session for the Menagerie party. Poor Sstorytellerent pacing and other factors contributed to a lack of full storyline conclusion however.

This one was a lot of fun. It was great to have a party constantly referred to as “monsters” by the populace at large and even to their faces from friends and enemies alike. The players also seemed to get a kick out of it. Strangers in a strange land, filled with humans and un-readable written language. The party was a great piecing of talents. All were very powerful fighters of a sort, each with their own sub-skills of charisma, knowledge, cunning, and noble strength. It was fun when the party split for a couple hours and the ones left to talk with people were the ones without any ability detect or demonstrate social understanding.

Usually, I post my favorite lines put forth by the characters in a session. While there was certainly ample highlights for each character and player, my favorite line of the evening was praise for me: “Nobody does Necromancy like James.” That made me very happy and very proud. Thanks for that, I like to think of it as my specialty as well. I agree that the head attached to bound, animated hands was pretty creepy and cool.

I enjoyed DM-ing in a new place. I have done Deskarian before, but only very briefly and without much NPC interaction. Thanks as always to Marlin for Tenpat and all the literally hundreds of hours he has put into geography, climatology, culture, language, customs, people, and history for his continent, especially his eastern end. It was fun to do a feudal clan government even for such a short time, it is a place rife with conflict and endless possibility for a capable outside adventurer. I only wish I got to read more stories set in Tenpat from the original author instead of made up by me for simple campaign setting. I look forward to returning someday to the Hearth and Aber lands of Ront in both fiction and as a setting for gaming.

The Totems played very well. We loved to try them out and see the strengths and weaknesses they had to offer (more often the former than later). The potential imbalance with the weapon techs may have contributed to the overall impression, but I at least enjoyed their use. All were new for me except the Ahrlen, which was modified to be new as well. The unarmed Leeven with maxed acrobatics was a fast dealer of death, even when rolling around prone. Carnacs are as terrifying as they should be (“There's a snake in the trash!”), Ra'Sharans are mean fighters, very mean and disarming them does nothing to diminish that (more animalistic 20+ damage with sabre teeth!), the Ahrlen was useful and without separate arms was not the unbalanced unstoppable archer I otherwise see, but bringing realistic 3D considerations to tactical fight utilized by others. The bird should be a bird totem, not an feather-skinned angel.

I hope we can play again when Jake visits. It was so much fun to have him back. The earliest roleplaying games of the Taylors were with Jake and I had somehow forgotten his important contributions to group dynamic, especially Dylan's.

Thanks for the game, everyone!
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