Monday 18 February 2013

Session 36 Lord Baldhead and the Unholy Temple 6-11/2/1480 DR

6/2/1480: Halvath meets with the Goddess, Mielikki, in his dreams, and is appointed the first Green Regent in a hundred years. His beard has turned noticeably green; grass and spring flowers grow where he walks. Reach Secomber. Secomber - Page Jareth & Paelias buy weapons from the dwarf armourer Crox. Halvath speaks with Shera, the local priestess, who is awestruck. Lirael & Arya recognise Boris' man Valtar sneaking out of the pub, Paelias catches him and they have him take them to Lord Baldhead/Boris on Lord's Hill. Halvath reveals himself as the Green Regent and an impressed Boris pledges allegiance. Party send his deputy Valtar east to Loudwater to search for the Zhent spy there. 
7/2/1480: Leave Secomber, downriver on Tollun's river barge.
10/2/1480: Reach Daggerford Northdock. Bargemaster Tollun talks with the local customs officer Sathira, who he knows, she tells him of disappearances on the Trade Way north towards Waterdeep. Magister Ilyrio, the local Magistrate, and two guardsmen have gone to investigate a new Temple of Bahamut recently erected north of town, but have not returned.
11/2/1480: Leave Northdock, encounter unholy temple 2.5 miles north of town. Rescue Magister Ilyrio from the devil worshippers, Quinn saves his life with her healing powers and Ilyrio is suitably grateful.

The Inn at Secomber

Boris' Hall
Temple in the Woods
Temple of Hell!
XP (per PC)
Roleplay, various - 350
Establish Diplomatic Relations with Boris - 700
Cambions & Cultists - 300
Rescue Magister Ilyrio - 300
Total 1,650+26,259=27,909
Need 32,000 for 12th level.
Shera of Secomber, Priestess of Mielikki & Silvanus
Crox the dwarf, Weaponsmith of Secomber

Saturday 9 February 2013

OT: Simon's New Minis

Female Bounty Hunter 

Trinia Sabor
Chivane, Red Mantis

Gray Maiden (x4)
Red Mantis (sword casting fail)

Hell Knight Order of the Nail


Figs reordered since my 10-mini Reaper delivery never made it (damn you Customs (grr) & Post Office (grr)!!)
Queen Ileosa

Shaedra, Female Paladin

Ridiculously well painted Shaedra, Female Paladin, on coolminiornot

Monday 4 February 2013

Session 35 Reach Lvl 11 PARAGON TIER - Demolishing the Zhents 5/2/-6/2/1480 DR.

5/2/1480 DR: Morning, a small crowd sees the party off from the Loudwater docks. Megana Nistral promises Jareth she'll make him a good sword. A little before sunset Tollun's barge draws up at the docks of ruined Zelbross. Paelias climbs the mast to survey the ruins, and in the red light of sunset he spots a metallic glint from an upper-story window about 200' away to the south-east. He decides to scout the ruins, the others following. 
A raven breaks from a leafless tree, cawing - Paelias turns back to see black & yellow clad soldiers closing on him - Zhentarim! A fierce running battle breaks out in the ruins; a squad of Zhentarim troopers supported by a Red Wizard, who magic-missiles Jareth. Arya senses something evil - Vale, Adept of the Black Sun, has returned! The Red Wizard blasts them with noxious vapours; Vale strikes Jareth blind with the Black Sun. But the power of the Black Sun proves no match for the heroes of Loudwater; Zhents fall, and Arya fries Vale with a fireball. The Zhent captain and last of the troopers are cut down trying to flee. Paelias decodes the notes found on Vale - apparently the Zhents have activated the Ammarindar Portal in the Southwood and are building a fort there. Furthermore they have an agent in Loudwater...

6/2/1480 DR: After staying overnight in Zelbross, Tollun's barge makes the forty-mile trip downriver to Secomber, a town which still stands on the north bank of the Grayflow. The sailors tie up the barge at the quayside and the group prepare to enter 'Lord Baldhead's' town...
"They never are friendly" - Lirael
Zhents in the Ruins of Zelbross

Jareth knocks the enemy Red Wizard prone
Lirael's Account:

Lirael sighed to herself as she carefully helped wash out one of Jareth’s many battle wounds. She was amazed he was still standing, but then, she was always astounded he was still going after a battle. He was a tank of a man. She had hoped that their trip to Secomber would pass without incident but had suspected (rightly, it seemed) that their usual luck would prevail. 

No Yuan-ti this time, but instead that horrible Vale and a whole host of Zhentarim. She glanced over at Arya, who was quietly tending to Dunstan (who, in turn, was happily jingling the additional 400 gold pieces they had taken off of the dead Zhents in his large hands). 

She wondered how the wizard felt after the spectacular fiery send off she had given to Vale. Revenge was sometimes sweet…or was it bittersweet? Now they knew that there was a spy in Loudwater. It was hard to imagine that someone they knew could have betrayed them. They would have to get to the bottom of that as soon as they could.

“Did you see how I dominated that guy? That was amazing, wasn’t it? I was amazing, wasn’t I?” The bard, Quinn, was so excited that her eyes practically twinkled. She even fist-punched the air, which reminded Lirael of another bard in times past.

“Yes, you were indeed amazing,” said Halvath gravely. Lirael smiled at him as Quinn rounded on him and proceeded to recount the battle in great detail once again. He was good at listening and that was what the bard needed.

“All done,” she said to Jareth. He flexed his arm, perhaps a mite gratuitously, and patted her on the shoulder. She waved him towards Arya, who was trying to help Dunstan out of his breastplate with little success. “Go on,” she said, “put those muscles to work, would you?”

“Will do,” he said, and clanked over to help the Red Wizard.

She wandered over to Paelias, who was still examining the sheets of foolscap they had taken off of Vale and the Captain. It had been pure luck that he had known enough of the language to puzzle it out (with the help of Arya). Mielikki be praised.

“Have you discovered anything else?” she asked him.

“More of the same,” he said. “I wonder how far they have gone with construction of the fort in the Southwood? Do you think we could turn the portal to our own use? And when are they planning on attacking Loudwater? And do you—”

Lirael held up her hand, not used to so many questions at once, especially from the normally quiet Paelias. “We shall see,” she said. “It will have to be one thing at a time. We have far more questions than answers.”

Quinn's Account:

A lifeless town, remnants of death

A fluttering Raven, an omen of the battle to come

A mass of marauders clad in armour of yellow and black

A Wizard in red casting missiles of magic might

A silver haired devil, casting light as bright as the ebony sun

Our fiercest fighters sight made black

Vapours of death brought down upon us

A rallying cry as the elf of the moon deals death

Vale brought to heel by a strike of song

A field of yellow and black corpses cover the town

Fire from the sky blots out the evil of the Black Sun

A scarlet mage brings an end to a chase ran too long

The words dance across her mind as Quinn lies back on her bedroll. The days previous events playing back over and over. Smiling as she thinks about her new companions. A motley group but truly the best a young treasure hunter could ask for. The Ranger, The Soldier, The Duelist, The Mage, The Priest ….. and The Dwarf. Laughing softly to herself at the last comment. Whatever else Dunstan might be he was a Dwarf through and through.
Snapping her fingers at the end of a stick in her other hand trying as always to bring fire into being as her master showed her years before. Her eyes widen as the tip sparks and catches light, succeeding where countless attempts before had failed. Laughing as she feels her arcane connection bloom and new possibilities open up before her.

                                                          *   *   *
XP: 728 (Zhents, deciphering script) = 728 per PC
Need 26,000 for Level 11
Lirael's account 150 XP+26,034=26,184
Quinn's account (bonus) 75 XP+26,184=26,259
Need 32,000 for 12th level.

Sunday 3 February 2013

PC & NPC Levels, Demographics, Creating NPCs

This table is to give a rough idea of what it means for a PC to be a certain level in world terms. Eg an 11th level Paragon PC is considered the equal of twelve 'normal men', a 21st level Epic PC is considered the equal of sixty-four normal men. A party of seven 29th level PCs would be equivalent to 7x256=1792 normal men. Equivalents assume each PC is alone on an open field, with opponents having equivalent arms. In practical terms a PC's effective power will often be much greater due to factors such as use of constricting terrain, synergy with other PCs, etc.
Minion Level is Standard level+8.
PC or Elite NPC Level
In-World Status (PC & NPC)
Equivalent Standard NPC Level
Equivalent number of ‘normal men’ 
(eg Standard 1 or 
Minion 7-9)

Creating NPCs
 I (GM) do stats as required; I've done a list below to give you an idea of NPC levels. In principle you can create NPCs with a Standard Level up to 6 below your Party Level; eg at 14th that's Standard Level 8, I put Ilvanus Tarc at the max level. Minion Level is Standard Level+6. A PC counts roughly 4 levels higher on this table, so a PC is Paragon at 11th, most NPCs aren't considered Paragons until around 15th, though I made an exception for Sir Jorah  at 13th because he's so awesome. ;) Most of the major established Loudwater characters who are combat-capable come in around 5th-7th level, a few up to 9th-10th.

"0th Level" Characters, including Minions of Minion Level 1-8. 
Maximum Attributes are 1 at 16 and 2 at 12-13, with other attributes at 10-11 or lower.
Baseline defenses are all 10, modified by Attributes. Humans get +1 to Non-AC Defenses.
Damage Threshold is CON/2, rounded down: normal Minion DT is Level+2. Use whichever is higher.

Many 0th level characters are noncombatant, if forced into combat they can attack at +0 (modified by attribute) with a knife or improvised weapon, damage is 2+attribute modifier, +2 on a critical hit.
Trained Skills: The 0th level character will have a maximum of 3 Trained Skills. One Trained Skill may be swapped out for a Feat, eg Ritual Caster or Skill Focus. Humans get a Feat for free.
If the character has a Minion Level, use that for combat stats, but for skills the character is treated as 0th level, with no level modifier.

Standard NPC Level Competency
1:  Novice, eg Initiate Priest, Apprentice Wizard, Green Troops, Lackeys
2:  Trained, typical Warriors, House Soldiery, eg: Human Bandit, Elf Scout
3:  Experienced, eg: Human Town Guard
4: Experienced, eg: Human Mage, Human Berserker
5: Competent, eg Zhent Soldier, Human Aristocrat, Light of the Sun Paladin
6:  Competent, eg Senior Temple Priest, Orc Storm Shaman
7: Highly Competent, eg Human Cavalier (Knight), Human Transmuter
8-10: Minor Heroes, eg Knight Lieutenant, Pirate Chief, Templar of Cyric, Knight of Elturgard
11-15: Major Heroes, eg Shadovar Knight
16-19: Paragon Heroes, eg Shade Knight, War Wizards of Cormyr, Cormyran Purple Dragon Knights
20-24: High Paragon Heroes
25+: Epic Heroes

Minion Level Competency for Humans
1 - Sub-normal, eg child/young teen street toughs, typical goblin or kobold.
2 - Human Rabble, completely untrained. Older teen street toughs, typical adult male Townsman.
3-4 - Poorly Trained - Typical adult male human Farmer, badly trained Troops.
5-6 - Minimal Training - Typical Tribesman, Levy Militia, Sailor.
7 - Lackeys, Green Troops, eg Loudwater Patrol, goblin warrior, Miner.
8-10 - Trained Troops, eg average nobles' retainers, human warrior, bandit, hobgoblin warrior.
11-12 - Experienced Troops, typical Town Guard, Human Mage
13 - Veteran Troops,Competent characters, eg typical Zhentarim mercenary, dwarf warrior, Human Aristocrat
14-15 - Crack Troops, eg Human Cavalier.
16-18 - Elite Troops, eg Knights of Elturgard, Orlbar Royal Guard. Pirates!
19-22 - Ultra-Elite Troops, eg Shadovar Royal Guard, Shadow Knights, Cormyran Knights.
23-27 - Paragons, eg Cormyran Purple Dragon Knights, Shade Knights of Netheril
28-30 - High Paragons, eg Malgedan Sunguard, Tanthul Personal Guard

In theory sufficiently bad training could lower someone's level. Thinking of how eg Iraqi Arabs or Afghan Pashtun seem to be a lot more effective fighters *before* being trained as a part of a 'national' army, I think you could take min-5 Skirmisher Uthgardt tribesmen skilled at raider tactics, try to train them to fight in ranks with spear & shield, and end up with min-3 Soldiers.
Some other groups' minion levels for trained warriors (not commoners/rabble/drudges): a typical goblin warrior or human lackey is 7th level, hobgoblin or human warrior 8th level, orc warrior 9th level, human town guard 9th level, dwarf warrior 11th level, human knight 13th level. Queen Valeris' Orlbar Royal Guard were 14th+ level. Ultra-elites like Shadovar Knights or Cormyran Knights are 19th+ level.