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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    For the first time in years I get to take a break from DM'ing for my RL group and participate as a player. A very welcomed change, I'll say!

    Pre-game Background:
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    The campaign starts at level 1 and is being run by the best DM of the group. He's the one that got me and my friends into DnD in the first place and ran our first few campaigns. He has all the attributes of an epic DM: knows the rules inside and out, has a great attitude that carries over to the sessions and players, tells a great story, and really knows how to keep us an inch away from certain doom. This DM was absent for a couple years due to RL issues and this is his first campaign since his break. Awesome!

    The group is supposed to be five people, but we started the first session last night with only three. I'll call them Bob and George. Bob is our resident fighter: he always plays a fighter, barbarian, or some combination of both (once was even a half-dragon werebear barbarian!). I recently got him to try out the wonders of ToB and he's playing a warblade in my evil campaign and loving it. He wanted to be a warblade in this one too, but decided a change of pace was in order and decided to go for a blaster sorcerer. I'm going to have to help him out there. He hates support roles or anything that doesn't deal damage, so all his spells will be blasting or self-defense like mage armor.

    George is the support player. He doesn't care for dealing damage. He loves buffing the party and debuffing (crippling) the opponents, also patching up the group post-combat. Summoning minions is another hobby of his. He almost always plays a druid for this reason. This time he wanted to play a Lawful Good (/Dumb) Paladin. I convinced him to try out a Crusader, since it did everything he said that he was interested but better.


    Enter the Swordsage:
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    Finally, me. Since I view these forums, I could optimize like crazy if I wanted to, but that's not fun for me. I'd rather just play interesting characters that are in line with the rest of the party's power. I'm just allergic to boring classes. I stay away from anything that just does the same move over and over. I usually play a wizard, but I've also tried out a rogue, duskblade, paladin, and cleric. I always wanted to try a swordsage, so with my friend choosing a crusader I decided that now was a good chance. I've never made a ToB character myself and didn't do any research into the class, but I came up with this (good rolls too):

    Garth Bolstrum, Human Swordsage1

    STR: 11
    DEX: 17
    CON: 14
    INT: 13
    WIS: 16
    CHA: 8

    Feats: Adaptive Style, Shadow Blade
    Stance: Child of Shadow
    Maneuvers Known: Burning Blade, Shadow Blade Technique, Distracting Ember, Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Wolf Fang Strike, Mighty Throw

    10hp, 13 AC, we have no money or equipment whatsoever.

    I always wanted to make a cool combat-oriented rogueish character and just naturally gravitated to the shadow school more than the rest, but honestly I'm just choosing stuff that sounds cool.


    Campaign Backstory:
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    The backstory to the campaign is pretty brief so far and we picked it up throughout the session. The land that we live in is in the process of being totally conquered by a united force of goblinoids. The strongest tribes, the bugbears, are running the show and are the top of the hierarchy. Hobgoblins are in the middle, while goblins are almost slave status. With their combined might, they soundly defeated the armies of the good humanoids, dwarves, elves, humans, halflings, etc.

    Midway through the conquering, the goblins started getting restless. Though they're the weakest race, they're also highly numerous, and due to their mistreatment they started the murmurs of some sort of rebellion. The other goblinoids don't want this. So they halted their conquering and set about methods to control their weaker cousins. First, they tired the goblins out by using them to build massive coliseums. Then to keep them happy, they set up enormous gladiator spectacles every week to keep them entertained.


    The Beginnings, Free For All!
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    This is where the party comes in. We have all been "selected" (aka kidnapped) from our respective villages because of our above-average combative talents. We were then taken to a coliseum with hundreds of other folk and stuck in enormous jail cells for weeks. The crusader and sorcerer spend this time making friends. The crusader spreads the good word of Pelor, while the sorcerer makes friends with fellow halflings. Me? I decide right off the bat to make sure everyone knows that I ain't nobodies female dog. I find rusty nails on the floor, sneakily drop it into a fellow prisoner's drink, and when he downs the entire thing and starts choking in a bloody mess, I angrily tell him, "THAT'S what you get for messing with me!" Yeah, nobody tried to bully me after that. Neutral alignment by the way.

    One day, the goblinoids haul us all out of our cells and march us onto the coliseum's battlefield, the size of two football fields. The ground is littered with mundane weapons. As one hundred of us spread out on the field, I wisen up to what's happening. I move my way to some of the weaker looking prisoners and pick up two daggers.

    Finally, a large bugbear atop a high platform yells out that we must fight to the death or else we all die. There's a pause as people eye one another, unsure of what to make of such a command. It's quite a shock to most people. The crusader and sorcerer are shocked too. Me? I stab a teenager in the stomach and he goes down. Let the fight begin!

    Oh man, this fight was crazy. The crusader didn't want to fight, and his "group" of loyal friends were instructed to stick together behind him. He tried rallying people not to fight, but to team up and fight for freedom. Unfortunately, no one heard him or really cared, as a hundred people screamed and stabbed messily at each other. The sorcerer stuck with his halfling buddies -- or rather, safely behind them. With 6hp, that's pretty sound tactic. Meanwhile, I tried to intimidate those in my immediate area to leave me alone, then started running for the most vacant corner of the arena. I got stabbed along the way though for 3damage, taking me down to 7hp.

    Chaos continued to ensue. We eventually realized that there was a group of hobgoblins sticking together and figthing, and three ogres going on a bloody rampage. We all tried our best to avoid them. Me and the sorcerer were running for our lives. The crusader was perfectly fine standing his ground though. Surrounded? Ha! DR/5. Oh, you crit'd me? Crusader strike, I'm back to full. 'Kay.

    Finally the violence dwindled until there were only 6 of us left: us players, a crazy dwarf, a hobgoblin, and an ogre. The bugbear called a ceasefire. After congratulating us and giving us a feast, he says that we have formed into a gladiator team. We'll have three fights in the future. If we survive them all, we win our freedom and can choose to continue fighting for money or leave. Good luck!


    That's A Lot of Zombies...
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    In this downtime, we learn a little about each other. The ogre is a dumb ogre. The dwarf is a crazy dude who lost an important battle and now wishes to find an honorable death in battle. The hobgoblin is named Grish (I remember this one!) and is a former-prince of a hobgoblin kingdom but was dethroned and forced into the arena to fight. He's certain that he will die here. Clearly an optimist.

    We have a week to rest and relax until the next event. Fast forward to that event, and bam, we're in the arena again. Our opponents this time? ONE HUNDRED ZOMBIES! Among them is one ogre zombie. They're all raised from the bloodfest that happened last week. Packed crowd of goblinoids cheering, for who, no one is sure! But it's quite the event for them. Us? We're contemplating what our next characters will be.

    Now this was a pretty ridiculous fight. Me and the sorcerer brought up the rear while the ogre, hobgoblin, crusader, and crazy dwarf stand as the front line. I'll tell you right off the bat, we would've died twenty times over if it hadn't been for the crusader's iron guard's glare stance. That +4AC was a friggin' lifesaver. The entire front line got quickly surrounded but managed to stay alive for a bit due to that. Crusader strike was huge too, when he managed to draw it at least. Still, the NPC's healths were dropping in a hurry.

    The NPCs start breaking formation, and advancing despite our orders to fall back. At least were taking out a fair chunk of the undead in the process. The Ogre was of course doing the most damage (he also was Fighter2 and had Cleave, very nice) and was top priority to keep alive because of it. The crusader and I were doing some pretty decent damage too (when we hit), but unlike the crusader, I wasn't a crazy good tank. After two hits I was down to 2hp and had to play extremely cautiously. I also noticed that man, my 4 manuevers were far too little for these types of situations. I resorted to nova'ing (Flaming Blade + Wolf Fang Strike), running away, full-round action to refresh, then repeat. Meanwhile, the sorcerer tossed all his blasts at the zombie ogre, who was slowly advancing (he was stuck in the back, thank god).

    After a couple more rounds, the hobgoblin ex-prince is getting battered and fully surrounded. I'm trying to give him an escape path to retreat but he'll have none of it. The prince secretly hands me an envelope, then decides that now would be a good time to dig his claws into his arm, peel the skin back, and start pulling out small beads. Seriously. And he's provoking AoO's to do this too. Once he pulls one out, he hucks it foward at the unending swarm of zombies and BOOM! An explosion takes out a good ten of them and weakens the zombie ogre. He takes out another bead from his arm but the AoO's bring him down before he can chuck it. You can see the disadvantages of using such a storage compartment.

    As much as I'd like to pick up the bead that fell, 6+ zombies surrounding it tell me it's a bad idea. Instead, the crusader gets it for me. DR/5 at level 1 HURRRRR!!! He hands it to me, I chuck it, and it deals 5d6 damage. And it triggers the extra beads still inside the dead hobgoblin's arms. Boom! More zombies are dead, and the zombie ogre is more mangled.

    The fight eventually ends with me at 2hp, the crusader at 0hp(!), the ogre at 2hp, the crazy dwarf at an unknown hp (we didn't ask, he's friggin' nuts anyway). Only person who emerged unscathed was the sorcerer, who had zero spells left and was uselessly shooting crossbow bolts for half the fight (not that I was doing much more either).

    Victory! We return to our quarters and congratulated by our captors. We're given a sweet meal and goblin biddys like true king-slaves. We ask for a replacement for the hobgoblin, but the bugbear leader laughs and tells us that we get no recruits, and wishes us good luck on the next fight. We ask the DM if we leveled after we defeated one hundred zombies at level 1. He laughs and wishes us good luck on the next fight.


    CR7 vs. a bunch of lvl 1's? BRING IT!
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    A week passes, we learn more about the history of our world and why the coliseum is here, and then it's time for the next fight. We're downright afraid of what our DM will throw at us next. And we should be. But now we get a choice of armor -- leather, hide, or scale mail. I get the leather. Woo, 15 AC!

    When we enter the arena, the bugbear announcer declares that we shall be facing... An umber hulk. A CR 7 monster... AGAINST LEVEL 1'S! YEEEEEEAH! Quoth the paladin, "Man that sucks!" Oh, and it starts the fight burrowed. We don't even have any gnomes!

    So it gets the surprise round on us. The DM assigns us all a number and then rolls a d6. The dwarf gets unlucky. The massive beast bursts through the ground beneath him and puts the hurt on him but good.

    First round of combat, we all flank the beast and start wailing on it cause, I mean, we can't really run away right? Its 18 AC starts posing a problem to us, but the sorcerer is in the back loading it up with magic missiles at least. It's turn? It looks at the weakened dwarf, and with a full attack mangles the crap out of him, then chops him in half with its mandibles. MAN THAT SUCKS!

    We tell the ogre to try and grapple it, but he fails. And then something truly epic happens. I had prepared Mighty Throw, and with it as my last maneuver, I try to use it before I bow out to recharge my moves. The umber hulk rolls a 1 for its opposed grapple (the DM rolls in the open btw). I still have to beat a 17... But I get an 18! And thus the level 1 human swordsage grabs the umber hulk and TOSSES the huge beast to the ground! BOOYA MOTHERTRUCKER!!

    My small victory is short-lived, however. The round after it gets up, the umber hulk turns to the biggest threat to it -- the ogre who is actually hurting it. Full attack, dead ogre. Gulp.

    By the grace of the divine gods, the umber hulk starts rolling pretty bad. Still enough to bring the crusader down to 1hp even through DR/5 and even clobbers me once to bring me down to 2hp. I got some lucky hits in with Flaming Burst + Wolf Fang Strike for solid damage but things aren't looking good. Just when we think it's over, the umber hulk rolls a 1 and falls prone. I try to end it with my 1d4+3 dagger attack.. and roll a 1 and fall prone. The crusader tries to turn of battle by using a crusader strike.. And misses. The umber hulk stands up and swings a killing blow at the crusader.. And misses. The sorcerer at this point has one more spell left -- Ray of Frost, a cantrip. It hits for 1 damage. AND THE THING DIES! Cantrip'd, biatch!

    And so we live. Barely. We got back to our quarters, eat well, have more goblin biddy, and call it a night. We were 6, now we are 3, and we have one more fight before we get our freedom.


    Session 1 Closing Thoughts:
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    That's where the session ended. We were shocked that we lived, but the DM rolls right in front of us so there's no cheatin' involved. He told us that his only form of mercy was that he planned for the umber hulk to attack the dwarf first after the surprise round, but that's it. He was shocked that we lived too! He built the encounters with a party of 4 in mind, and he also assumed that I would've been a cleric (I would've played one if we weren't allowed ToB) for turn undead and that the crusader would've been a druid 'cause he usually is one, so the zombie fight couldve been way easier. Still, the crusader was a GODSEND in these fights.

    As for my character, I'm loving it so far but I can see some weaknesses so far. In these tremendously long and dangerous battles, my 4 maneuvers are gone in a hurry. I'm glad I took Adaptive Style or else I'd be just normal attacking for the vast majority of the fight, but I still can't help but feel a little jealous of warblades and crusaders who have such an easy recovery mechanic while I spend a full round doing nada. The biggest issue so far though is HITTING things. I thought that I didn't need a high STR because I could take Weapon Finesse, but to my dismay I found out that the feat requires a +1 BAB, so I couldn't take it at first level. I only have a +1 to hit! That's making me miss way too much.

    Because my +hit is so crap, Shadow Blade Technique is a godsend. Rolling 2d20 and picking which one to use makes it far more likely that one will hit, even if I don't deal extra damage. With Shadow Blade feat, my daggers still do +3 damage anyway, not bad. On the other hand, Distracting Ember is fairly useless since I usually have a crusader to help me flank anyway. I guess it may come in handy in the future though.

    After all that craziness, the DM says we can level up once. This is huge for me because I get +1BAB, +3 AC, another stance and another maneuver. I still have to decide which new abilities to take... I gotta choose wisely, considering things will only get crazier from here. Second fight was an umber hulk at level one, what will the third fight be now that we're level two??


    Session 2

    Session 3

    Session 4

    Session 5

    Session 6a

    Session 6b

    Session 7

    Session 8

    Session 9
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2011-08-28 at 07:37 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    tagged for later reading

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Very cool fights. My DM also has a habit of long fights. It's nice to read how the ToB classes fare in those situations.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    A very interesting and challenging way to start a campaign, I like it. I also look forward to reading more of this.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Sounds like a great campaign.

    Crusader doesn't get DR 5/-. 5 damage is delayed until the end of his next turn, but then he has to take it. Extra Granted Maneuver is a good feat for getting the maneuvers you want easier.

    For you, your to-hit will be seriously suffering until level 3, and that might take a while to reach if you're still level 1 after three fights. Your character sounds delightfully evil, so embrace it, don't deny it.

    The sorcerer would do well with a reserve feat, since those are good for tickling less dangerous opponents to death without burning spell slots.
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    I assumed he was talking about stone bones, a strike that gives you DR5/Adamentine (or however that's spelled) when you hit.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Good read, and you touched on the weak points of the Swordsage very well, especially early levels. If you plan to focus on Dex you can't take Weapon Finesse until 3rd level, and you run out of manuevers quickly. Good call taking Adaptive Style though, or you'd be reduced to mundane stuff like the Sorc is after a few rounds.

    Shadow Blade Technique is one of the only first level maneuvers that make it easier to hit, and you have two of the others (Distracting Ember, Sapphire Nightmare Blade) so you're just going to have to suck it up until 3rd level when you gain +3 to hit with a feat, which becomes +4 at 4th level when you boost your Dex.

    If you really like the TWF stuff, the Bloodclaw Master is pretty nifty. The first 3 levels are definitely worth it, possibly all 5 although you lose out on some maneuvers for your nice TWF stuff you gain.
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    I find rusty nails on the floor, sneakily drop it into a fellow prisoner's drink, and when he downs the entire thing and starts choking in a bloody mess, I angrily tell him, "THAT'S what you get for messing with me!" Yeah, nobody tried to bully me after that. Neutral alignment by the way.
    Murdering people to show off sounds nowhere near Neutral for me...

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Rolling 1's to attack doesn't make you fall down.
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Rolling 1's to attack doesn't make you fall down.
    You mean a trained warrior at level 20 doesn't fall down 5% of the time when they swing? Craziness!!!

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by BeholderSlayer View Post
    You mean a trained warrior at level 20 doesn't fall down 5% of the time when they swing? Craziness!!!
    No, of course not! Thanks to iteratives, he falls down about 25% of the time! The more you practice with your swords, the more time you spend crawling as a result.
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Rolling 1's to attack doesn't make you fall down.
    Fumble rules suck.

    Oh, and Mighty Throw uses a trip attempt, not a grapple attempt (which should make life easier for you, since you don't add your BAB to resist being tripped).
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    No, of course not! Thanks to iteratives, he falls down about 25% of the time! The more you practice with your swords, the more time you spend crawling as a result.
    Touche my good man. Touche.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    Crusader doesn't get DR 5/-. 5 damage is delayed until the end of his next turn, but then he has to take it.
    I meant Stone Bones maneuver. He doesn't always have it ready , but between that, crusader strike, and Martial Spirit Stance, he soaked damage pretty darn well for a level 1. Which reminds me.. He shouldn't have two stances at first level. I'll have to tell him that.

    Extra Granted Maneuver is a good feat for getting the maneuvers you want easier.
    When we were looking for feats I showed him that but he didn't want it. He took Power Attack and Combat Expertise instead.

    For you, your to-hit will be seriously suffering until level 3, and that might take a while to reach if you're still level 1 after three fights. Your character sounds delightfully evil, so embrace it, don't deny it.
    Yeah, if a 200-person FFA, a 100 zombie apocalypse, and a friggin' umber hulk gives us a single level, I have my doubts about reaching level 3 anytime soon unless the DM keeps raising the bar at the same pace... Which I pray doesn't happen.

    I didn't mean him to be evil evil. Killing that prisoner was pre-emptive measure to make sure I wouldn't be shanked during dinner time or something. Then the killing of the teenager, well, someone had to start the fight, and I wanted to use the murder as a way to intimidate everyone around me from leaving me alone -- which worked, except it enraged his father, and boy did he know how to hold a grudge!

    Okay okay, maybe my character is just a lil' evil!

    The sorcerer would do well with a reserve feat, since those are good for tickling less dangerous opponents to death without burning spell slots.
    I'd have to double check but I think he's a couple levels away from taking one.

    Good read, and you touched on the weak points of the Swordsage very well, especially early levels. If you plan to focus on Dex you can't take Weapon Finesse until 3rd level, and you run out of manuevers quickly. Good call taking Adaptive Style though, or you'd be reduced to mundane stuff like the Sorc is after a few rounds.
    Yeah, Adaptive Style is so clutch.

    The sorcerer is doing surprisingly well so far too. Four magic missiles is a great boon against things with ridiculous ACs like umber hulks and zombie ogres. He hasn't been hit yet either. He whines that he wishes he chose warblade instead though. Can't really argue that, unfortunately.

    If you really like the TWF stuff, the Bloodclaw Master is pretty nifty. The first 3 levels are definitely worth it, possibly all 5 although you lose out on some maneuvers for your nice TWF stuff you gain.
    I'll have to look into it. I don't know what I want this character to be just yet, still just getting a feel for the maneuvers and stuff. I'm very impressed with the book so far.

    Rolling 1's to attack doesn't make you fall down.
    DM's houserule.

    Oh, and Mighty Throw uses a trip attempt, not a grapple attempt (which should make life easier for you, since you don't add your BAB to resist being tripped).
    Er, I'll keep that in mind. My knowledge of tripping was fuzzy so I just assumed it was grappling rules with a different effect and the DM went with it.

    I still gotta choose another maneuver and stance for next week's session. They all sound so neat, it's hard to choose! I'm leaning towards Stance of Clarity and Stone Bones right now. I like not dying.

    Got a question: If you miss with a maneuver, like Crusader Strike, is the maneuver expended? I assume so but want to double check.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Yes, it is expended.
    Extra Granted Maneuver is powerful because it nearly triples your chances of getting that one maneuver you want.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Honestly, that's an awful house rule (falling down on a 1). The other DM in my group started with a house rule that if you rolled a natural 1, you dropped your weapon, and we thought THAT was unfair. He quickly agreed with us after several monsters dropped their weapons in back-to-back combats.

    As Tyn pointed out, the rule makes even less sense as you gain levels. When you start gaining iterative attacks, your chance to fall down increases. A level 20 full BAB character with a two handed weapon will fall down 20% of the rounds that he swings. A character with two weapons will suffer an even HIGHER rate of falling down, something like a 35-40% chance EVERY ROUND (I don't feel like doing the math, so I threw a guess at it).

    A better way to handle critical fumbles is rolling twice. If you roll a natural 1, roll a d20 again. If you roll below, say, 3 or 4, you fall down. If I were to actually do this as a DM (I wouldn't) I would actually rule it as a DEX check vs. a DC of 5.
    Last edited by BeholderSlayer; 2010-09-21 at 03:32 PM.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    This story is a pretty interesting read and demonstrates the superiority of ToB classes over the core melee classes. Will you post more after your second session? Perhaps you could make a small journal of this campaign, that'd be pretty cool.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Master_Rahl22 View Post
    If you really like the TWF stuff, the Bloodclaw Master is pretty nifty. The first 3 levels are definitely worth it, possibly all 5 although you lose out on some maneuvers for your nice TWF stuff you gain.
    Bloodclaw Master 3 isn't that impressive. The Pouncing Strike is poor, Low Light Vision is meh, Shifting is minor. The rest of the PrC goes along the same lines, so I should think 2 levels is a good drop-off point.
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    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
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    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by BeholderSlayer View Post
    Honestly, that's an awful house rule (falling down on a 1). The other DM in my group started with a house rule that if you rolled a natural 1, you dropped your weapon, and we thought THAT was unfair. He quickly agreed with us after several monsters dropped their weapons in back-to-back combats.

    As Tyn pointed out, the rule makes even less sense as you gain levels. When you start gaining iterative attacks, your chance to fall down increases. A level 20 full BAB character with a two handed weapon will fall down 20% of the rounds that he swings. A character with two weapons will suffer an even HIGHER rate of falling down, something like a 35-40% chance EVERY ROUND (I don't feel like doing the math, so I threw a guess at it).

    A better way to handle critical fumbles is rolling twice. If you roll a natural 1, roll a d20 again. If you roll below, say, 3 or 4, you fall down. If I were to actually do this as a DM (I wouldn't) I would actually rule it as a DEX check vs. a DC of 5.
    I think the critical fumble rule that we use in my group is a bit better. If you roll a natural 1, roll again against the target AC. If you miss, you provoke an AoO. That's it, no falling down or dropping your weapon or blowing up the world. And it avoids the problem of it happening more often as you level, for the most part, since your attack bonuses will usually be high enough to hit the target AC.

    But, this isn't a critical fumble houserules thread, so I'm going to add to the group of people saying that fight was epic.
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Yeah, the prone on a 1 rule sucks. It's not a huge deal but I can bring it up next session.

    I plan on recording all the sessions here as a journal. Unfortunately, we've all been pretty busy (especially the DM) and haven't had a chance to play a second session yet. I'll probably host another session of my evil campaign during the time off but I don't think people are interested in reading that journal.

    Yeah, ToB is already looking way better than core melee. We would've 100% TPK'd if our crusader was a fighter instead. From a limited perspective I'd say swordsage appears to be the "weakest" of the bunch, and maybe you could make a case that fighter1 is a bit stronger. If I was a fighter instead of swordsage I could've swapped my DEX for STR, picked up a 2hr and Power Attack and two other feats, and likely would've been more useful for the first session. But definitely with an increase in level the swordsage will also pull far ahead of core melee. It's also just more fun in general. I LOVE having so many options and not just power attack over and over.

    The crusader is also saying that ToB is overpowered. I agreed with him over core melee, but this guy is usually the druid of the party. I told him crusader is no way stronger than plain old druid, wildshape + animal companion. He disagrees. Oh well. I just hope he's having fun.

    Bloodclaw Master looks cool but I don't see my character turning into a feral beast and hacking stuff up that way. I read up on the other PrCs in the book and so far my favorite has been Mo9. So many sweet abilities but best of all, look how many new maneuvers you can learn (from any discipline) and so many more you can READY! That'd be a huge boon in really long battles. The feat requirements are pretty awful though. Honestly, I wouldn't mind straight swordsage either.
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2010-09-25 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    . From a limited perspective I'd say swordsage appears to be the "weakest" of the bunch, and maybe you could make a case that fighter1 is a bit stronger. If I was a fighter instead of swordsage I could've swapped my DEX for STR, picked up a 2hr and Power Attack and two other feats, and likely would've been more useful for the first session.

    {.......}

    Bloodclaw Master looks cool but I don't see my character turning into a feral beast and hacking stuff up that way. I read up on the other PrCs in the book and so far my favorite has been Mo9. So many sweet abilities but best of all, look how many new maneuvers you can learn (from any discipline) and so many more you can READY! That'd be a huge boon in really long battles. The feat requirements are pretty awful though. Honestly, I wouldn't mind straight swordsage either.
    I'm pretty sure your swordsage just feels weak because he doesn't have weapon finesse yet. If you take it as soon as you hit 3rd level and stick with shadow stances and the shadow hand feat, you'll be superior to any fighter. It's also easier to optimize IMHO because your offensive stat is also your defensive stat.

    Also, if you want a sneaky kind of swordsage the shadow sun ninja (p. 126 ToB) might be worth trying?
    Last edited by Kaeso; 2010-09-26 at 08:21 AM.

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    If I was a fighter instead of swordsage I could've swapped my DEX for STR, picked up a 2hr and Power Attack and two other feats, and likely would've been more useful for the first session.
    You could have swapped dex for strength and used a two-hander even with a swordsage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
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    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    You could have swapped dex for strength and used a two-hander even with a swordsage.
    True! But I still wouldn't have been proficient with the Hide armor that the DM gave us.

    Now that I'm level 2 and get WIS to AC and the almighty Stone Bones I should hopefully survive to level 3 and start wrecking stuff. Fighter is already beneath me.

    Shadow sun ninja's fluff looks pretty interesting but the mechanics look underwhelming to me. I do have this insane idea of a dervish using desert wind maneuvers. Crazy I know, but fire-themed boosts plus dancing full attacks sound like fun times.

    Next session this coming saturday...

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    I've always found the sword sage looks better on paper, but when seen in action, it has a tendency to disappoint. Their recovery mechanic is such a huge problem... and I like the sword sage-only schools! I just wish they had something a little... more. I don't know what it might be, but I place them behind the Duskblade in the glass cannon competition.

    Good luck with your sage!

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    Shadow sun ninja's fluff looks pretty interesting but the mechanics look underwhelming to me. I do have this insane idea of a dervish using desert wind maneuvers. Crazy I know, but fire-themed boosts plus dancing full attacks sound like fun times.
    You can't be an evil Shadow Sun Ninja anyway.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    New session, new journal entry:


    Prelude to Session 2:

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    We don't play often, but when we do play, it's an all-day event. Our session yesterday lasted 9 hours!

    We also added another member to the group. I'll call him Dan for convenience. Dan is fairly new to DnD and has a handful of gaming sessions under his belt and he already knows his stuff. He's the type that considers himself far too cool for geeky things like DnD, but at the same time he's a hardcore closet geek that loves gaming. He plays with a very casual mindset, likes simple fighters and knows how to play them, and wants to keep it that way. His current character is a human fighter 2 named "Handsome Dan" (hair type: majestic, skin: bronzed, is an ex-model turned warrior etc). He plays neutral so he can do whatever he wants.

    Since we're now level 2, the sorcerer and I took another level of our respective classes. I went with stone bones maneuver so I won't die so fast and step of the wind because it seems situationally spectacular. I'm salivating at the WIS-to-AC bonus that I get this level because I already know how much I need it in this campaign. The crusader decided for something different: a cleric dip. I can only assume that it's because he dislikes the smashing role and would prefer more support as per his usual preference. Fluff-wise it works out fine -- ridiculously devout crusader of pelor decides to change his method of worship to a more clerical route. In this particular campaign, the dip choice proves to be quite effective, as you'll see. I should note, though, that the crusader won't start the session with any of his cleric abilities. He has a level in it, but he hasn't "learned" it yet.


    The DM's World:

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    I want to mention how the DM has built up his world. He talked to us at great length over the past two games that he's trying to convey a "heroic" setting as opposed to a "superhero" setting. He linked us this article to explain what he's aiming for.

    If the average human is a commoner with 10's in all the stats, then already the average adventurer is the cream of the crop, the top 1% of the population in terms of exceptional abilities. A guy with a 14 CON is big, strong, exceptionally healthy. To tie that in to this specific campaign, where (so far) the bad guys at the top of the food chain are bug bears, their race's average CON is 14, putting them waaaay ahead of humans in physical aptitude.

    So at level 1-2, we're highly exceptional individuals. 3-5, he says, we're pushing the absolute limits of our abilities. By level 6 we're reaching the realm of superhuman. He wants us to struggle and feel the mortal danger of low levels before letting us taste the sweet success of higher levels. I really appreciate that style.


    The Last Fight:

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    We pickup right where we left off. Sorcerer, crusader and me have one more fight before we finally win our freedom. The day arrives and when we enter the arena, the bugbear announcer informs everyone that we will be fighting Grish, the reanimated version of the hobgoblin ex-prince. Pfft, one measely undead? We just took down an UMBER HULK! I'm not worried. We dish out some decent damage in the first round and things are looking great -- until its turn. The undead KO's me in one swing. Then he KO's the sorcerer. Then he almost downs the crusader. In a panick, the crusader waves his holy symbol at it -- which triggers his turn undead ability. Instead of turning, the undead is "cleansed," and Grish tells the crusader that he must deliver the envelope (the one that he gave to me before going splat). Then the crusader wakes up. It was a dream, but the crusader feels as if it was a divine mission given to him. And since he now feels a connection to his god and can pray for spells, it's a pretty convincing dream. Cool way to introduce his cleric dip.


    Special Request:
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    So the crusader/cleric is now even more wrapped up about the might of pelor mumbo jumbo. Gravy. If you didn't know, people who constantly speak about righteousness and how great their deity is are just a hoot to be around. But we deal with it while waiting for our final fight. One day, however, we're requested to meet some visitors. We're left alone in a room with "stunning" hobgoblin women in expensive attire that have come to visit us. They don't speak common, but they act flirty and offer us wine. So yeah... They paid for our "company." Well, if we're going to pull this off then alchohol is a must, so we drink some wine. The wine knocks us out. Sweet mercy!

    When we wake up, we're in the same room, the hobgoblins are gone, and we're naked. Success!

    Or... is it? We find out that we actually look like hobgoblin women now. All of our equipment is gone, but the women left their dresses for us and two envelopes. We get clothed and read the first envelope, which explains that the wine was spiked (duh) and was mixed with a potion that granted us an illusion spell to make us look like them for at least a day. The women, somehow affiliated with the late Grish, had drank a similar potion to look like us for a bit longer than that and take our places to die in our next match. We were to take their carriage and deliver the letter that Grish had given us. Apparently, people really wanted us to deliver this letter personally and were willing to make enormous sacrifices to get it done. We're grateful to be free, so we decide to go along with it.

    We make our way out of the stadium, get into the carriage awaiting us at the entrance, and are on our way. The driver is in on this mission. He tells us that he works for Grish's family, reads but doesn't translate the envelope (jerk!), and tells us that we must deliver it to a specific address. Fine. As we ride through goblinoid lands, we notice a human being dragged in a net by a bugbear and complaining that his beautiful face is being bruised in the process. The good characters in the group feel bad and tell the driver to pay for the purchase of the slave, which he reluctantly does. And so the fighter joins our group. He too was captured and was off to be thrown into the gladiator stadium. He decides it's better to stick with us since if he set foot in this goblinoid territory by himself he'd be just enslaved again. Hooray, the group is complete!

    The driver eventually stop at the edge of a forest and tells us this is as far as he can go, also hinting that there's a reason why goblins can't undertake this mission that we've been selected for. We try to ask him some questions but he drives away. The potions wear off around this time and we look like our normals selves again. And so our fearless heroes, one beaten up handsome prisoner and his three cross-dressing accomplices, venture off for their epic adventure!


    You Gotta Do Better Than Goblins:
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    We're at the edge of a forest with nothing but the dresses on our backs. We have an address and nothing else. We assume that we should head in the same direction that the carriage was going before dropping us off, so we start heading in that direction. Days pass with little excitement. We catch some rabbits and want to cook them but then have to debate about whether it's smart to make a smokey fire in middle of goblinoid territory. I suggest that we actually WANT attention, because we can potentially ambush someone who investigates and get him to show us where the hell we're supposed to be going. Fighter (neutral) agrees, crusader (lawful good) and sorcerer (chaotic "good") disagree so we don't do it. It doesn't really matter, because the next night we see a band of goblins pass near our sleeping spot, and then the following day we get ambushed by a different group. They've been sent by the gladiator's administration to bring us back.

    Eight of them, four of us. They're armored, we're in dresses and high heels. They didn't have a chance. I even got to use my Step of the Wind stance to catch a fleeing goblin through undergrowth!

    By the way: Unarmed Attack + Burning Blade = SHORYUUUUUKEN!

    We end up having two hostages -- the one that tried to flee and one that got KO'd. Gear upgrade! I get a small morningstar out of it but the armor is too small to fit any of us. No shadow blade weapons so I'm stuck with +1 to hit and 1d6 damage :(


    Epic of Dave:
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    The battle left us with two hostages: one awake, one KO'd. The awake one speaks Common and can lead us to the address on the envelope. I tell him that if he behaves then we won't harm him. I like this one and we eventually rename him Dave. I revive the other one and ask whether it speaks common. It doesn't seem to, so I punch it in the face to see if I could make it speak normal. It still doesn't, so I knock him out. Dumb goblins.

    So, what to do with them? We want to keep the common speaker alive, but the other one seems useless. If we let him live he'll no doubt go back to where he came from and get more troops following us. We can't bind him since we have no rope and taking him with us just isn't worth the risk. He also just tried to kill us, which hurt our feelings if anything. We want to kill him.

    Of course, the crusader forbids killing the evil goblin. Lawful dumb ftw! While the sorcerer tries to change his mind, me and the fighter sneak off and kill it. Crusader gets mad but the fighter smooth talks him back to indifference.

    I spot Dave sneaking away during the commotion. When I shout at him, he gives me a frightened look and runs through the undergrowth, AGAIN! Not the smartest fellow. I catch him via Step of the Wind stance again and haul his sorry ass back to the group and give him a good scolding. I tell him that if he does it again, I PROMISE to end him in the most painful way imaginable.

    We head out again with Dave leading the way (with a morningstar spike in his back). We're eager to make friends with the newbie in our group. But first, we must break him. This is how we named our lil' buddy:

    Me: What's your name?
    Dave: My name is Rahksu--
    Me: -- IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS! *unarmed strike*
    Dave: My nose! Why?!
    Me: You're a funny goblin. You'll be Dave.
    Everyone: "Dave" is a good name!
    Dave: Please don't hurt me.

    We learn as much as we can about our destination from our new best friend, which sadly isn't much since he's never been there before. Each "city" in these lands are sizeable self-governed hobgoblin kingdoms, each with their own rules and customs. The rules are cruel and strict, but if we keep to them (and find out what they are for that matter), we can walk free amongst the goblinoids, not as full citizens, but better than slaves. Break the rules, however, and we'll be enslaved or killed without hesitation. Sounds like a nice place.

    We're not sure how successful our efforts of friendship are, but we try nonetheless. The crusader tries to preach to Dave the goodness of Pelor, I try to beat him senseless until he's my buddy, and the sorcerer randomly offers up his snake familiar for Dave to play with. We're best buds!

    Unfortunately, we have an incident on the road to our destination. Dave cracks. He holds the snake familiar in a death grip and then pulls out a knife that he presses against it (we never searched him). He warns us that one wrong move and the snake gets it. Understandably, we're all pretty upset with him at this point. We try talking him down:

    Crusader: Dave, you don't have to do this.
    Dave: Back off or else the snake gets it!
    Fighter: You think I care about that snake? I'm gonna kill it first then I'MA RAPE YOU BITCH!

    Somehow our diplomacy isn't working. No matter -- an arrow whizzes by and takes Dave out. 400ft. behind us are humanoids beside horses. Nice snipe!

    Initially I assume that these humanoids are friendly, but the hail of arrows quickly convinces us otherwise. Turns out they were five hobgoblins, and these guys were a lot tougher than the goblins we've been knocking around.

    This fight is noteworthy because it's the first time that the crusader really showed off his cleric dip. He casts Enlarge Person on himself. At first this seems very impressive -- our tank just got bigger. Then we realized that without any armor or shield, his AC is 10 in this form. And he's a really big target. He gets KO'd fast. The sorcerer eventually goes down to arrow fire too, but me and fighter manage to finish the remaining two hobgoblins and end the fight. Searching the bodies yields wanted posters of us, some silver pieces (keep in mind these are our first coins this entire campaign), and a well-deserved gear upgrade. We have a selection of armor from leather to scale mail and everyone ends up picking up one of the hobgoblin's weapons, which is fairly diverse. I finally find Shadow Hand weapons; a shortsword and a dagger. Back at full offensive capacity! Of course, acquiring horses is pretty baller too!

    I go back and get Dave's corpse. I'm furious with the little bugger. We gave him everything and then he goes off and tries to backstab us! Worse yet, I promised him sweet painful agony if he ever crosses us, and then he went ahead and died so I couldn't carry out my promise! I decide that I'm going to bring Dave along to the city and get a cleric to raise him so that I can carry out bloody vengeance. The party disagrees with my idea of bringing a rotting corpse into the city. "Not practical," they say. Party poopers.

    With a heavy heart, I leave Dave behind. And thus ends the Epic of Dave.


    Relax! It's Just a Spooky Town:
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    We no longer have a guide, but we know that we're already on the main road heading towards the city and pimped out with sweet new horses, so we stick to it. Eventually we spot a village up ahead just as the sun sets. As we enter, we notice that no lights are on and not a soul is stirring on the roads. There's a dreadful silence. The horses get restless. Something feels wrong, but we don't know what. Darkness falls.

    It's night and we're tired. We decide to "investigate" the inn first and take a better look around in the morning. Maybe there was a reasonable explanation for everything. We hear faint scurrying sounds now and then, sometimes a flicker of movement in the darkness. Creepy, but we're still sleepy. Adventurers need their beauty sleep. I'm not even sure if there's mechanical penalties to being sleep deprived, but Handsome Dan doesn't want dark circles under his eyes!

    We put the horses in an empty stable and then enter the inn. Also empty. We check the keys behind the counter. Rooms 1-6 are empty but 7-14 are taken. We go upstairs and check the empty rooms. The beds aren't made but otherwise they're empty. We check room 7. It's locked. We knock, no response. We hear something move inside and decide to act, breaking down the door. Suddenly, an overwhelming smell of rotting meat assaults us. Inside are dozens of human body parts cut up and placed in stacks on the floor. The window's open. Nothing else is inside. Whatever was here is already gone. Then the sorcerer shouts, "the stables!" Yeah, it'd suck if this thing went and killed our pimp rides. We bolt towards the stables.

    Thankfully the horses are safe, but EXTREMELY agitated. It's decided that this place sucks. I hear scurrying movement in front of us while at the same time the crusader hears movement behind us. Not good. We decide to get the hell away from here, sleep somewhere else, and come back in the morning.

    At this point the sorcerer's player has to leave and the DM picks up control of him. It's around 10pm and we've ridden out of the village and get a good mile between us and whatever the hell was running around in there. We find a place to "sleep" (we're a bit terrified so it's uneasy resting at best) and the crusader takes first watch. They attack within the second hour.

    We're suddenly attacked by a co-ordinated ambush on all sides. Six humanoids with bloody canine teeth and bony decaying frames rush towards us with claws and bites. The crusader and I are hit by their claws and bites during the fight and told to make fort saves, which we both roll miserably on and become paralyzed. The fighter handles the remaining two undead. A couple seconds later we get unfrozen and realize that the sorcerer is gone.

    The crusader informs us that those creatures are ghouls (knowledge check) and gives us a quick rundown on them -- possess a feral cunning higher than an average human, eat corpses, can paralyze and transmit ghoul fever with their bite. This news is especially disturbing because both the crusader and I have been bit, meaning the disease might be incubating in both of us. I quickly devise a solution:

    Me: Are there any head ghouls?
    Crusaders: Yeah, ghasts.
    Me: So we just need to put a wooden stake through the ghast's heart and the disease will vanish!
    Crusader: That's not right at all.
    Me: LET'S DO IT!
    Crusader: You're an idiot.
    Me: And you're lawful good!

    The sorcerer needs to be rescued, if he's still alive that is. Waiting until morning would lower our chances of success. We head out immediately for the village again. Time to slay undead!

    We sweep the perimeter of the village first this time. The sounds of scurrying movement and shadows moving in alleyways and rooftops means that we're not alone. We come across a barn with barred windows and a line of zombies standing in front of the closed entrance, ghoul corpses around their feet. Very strange. We find a blacksmith shop that also is barred in but empty and we leave the horses in there. We're ambushed by more ghouls but handle them fairly well. The crusader's turning ability is awfully useful.

    The barn looks awfully suspicious so we go back there. We massacre the zombies guarding the entrance mostly because of a wicked turn undead roll by the crusader who stopped a dozen ghouls from ambushing us from behind when we engaged the zombies. We break down the barred door, ready to face the evils inside...

    ... And see around a dozen civilians cowering in a corner behind an angry cleric. "What are you doing?!"

    Oops.


    I Am Village:
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    The cleric casts Hold Person on the fighter, since he broke down the door. We're about to explain ourselves when he fires a Searing Ray at us, which whizzes past and strikes something behind us. Turning around, we see it -- dozens of ghouls moving towards the entrance. Oh dear.

    The crusader tries to turn undead. It sorta works, but isn't enough. Then the cleric steps in and raises his holy symbol -- of Nerull. The ghouls start ripping each other apart and the stragglers are mopped up by the zombies. That's how it's done!

    The door gets repaired and we have a chat with this cleric. Apparently the cleric is here to find out why the ghouls are massing in such large numbers here, as it's generally unheard of for ghouls to do this without instruction (too little food and such). He rescued as many civilians as he could but can't leave the barn. The ghouls watch the building at all times, and the moment that he'd leave, they'd swarm inside and kill everyone. So he wants us to play detective. If we help, he promises that he'll cure us of our disease. The fighter needs more persuasion.

    Fighter: What's in it for me?
    Cleric: If you need incentive, here.
    He offers up a gold coin, and when the fighter reaches for it, the cleric casts Contagion on him.
    Cleric: There. Now you do this for me or you die a painful death to Slimey Doom disease.
    Fighter: Jerk.

    We wait until morning, because the ghouls keep to dark places indoors during the daylight. Very "I Am Legend" vibe. When dawn comes we start investigating.

    We head over to the Inn. After some stupid decisions on my part that led to ghouls jumping me, we decide to check out the locked cellar. We hear movement down there and muffled cries. Jackpot! We bust down the door and easily dispatch of a couple ghouls down there. We find infected villagers and the sorcerer locked in a room. They're conscious but very weak and look dazed. There's also an altar in the center of the room emiting a cold and dark aura. Atop the altar floats a dark open book, pages slowly flipping of their own accord. Since it's very clearly evil, I try to destroy the book with stabbity death. No dice, it's immune. I close it instead. That works, and the book one-ups me -- it locks itself in its adamantine casing and I can't open it even if I wanted to. The infected villagers now stare at the book in my hands and line up behind me. Weird. We here massive movement upstairs. I guess the ghouls know we're here!

    The crusader wants the book so I give it to him. The villagers now follow him. Seconds later, ghouls pour down the staircase. The crusader tries turning them, but instead they cower in horror where they stand. He moves forward but they don't attack. The book's doing it. We head out of the inn, and all the ghouls close to us are cowering in awe. Further away we see a mass exodus of ghouls leaving the buildings and running for the hills. It seems they're afraid of the book now.

    We're about to bring back the book to the cleric when I bring up a concern: the cleric is pretty darn EVIL. I mean, his god is friggin' Nerull! Do we want to just hand a book of ultimate evil to him? I don't and the party agrees. Unfortunately, I have to bring up the counter-argument: if we don't hand over the book then all the infected villagers will die. More importantly, I may die. That sucks. The crusader decides (since he's holding the book hurrr) that we'll tell the cleric that we fixed the problem and that he needs to heal us as he promised, but we're not giving him the book. I know that this won't fly but I'd rather not turn into a ghoul, so I agree.

    We go to the barn. Sure enough, the cleric decides not to heal us until we give him the book. He lied. We then have a moral dilemna: hand the book over or not? The cleric points out that if we don't hand over the book, the infected ones will turn into ghouls and then kill all the remaining villagers. If we do hand over the book, he promises to heal everyone and be on his way. He says that he's not an evil person, just interested in studying undead, and that the book would be much worse off in an undead's hands than his. On the other hand, we've now established that he's a bit of a liar, though our sense motive checks say that he seems sincere. On the other hand, as he points out, he can probably kill us all on a whim. Darn.

    So we hand over the book. He opens it, looks it over, and then hands it to a zombie servant. If I was more good I'd have tried to take it from the zombie and run, but hey, neutral here. True to his word, he spends the next couple of days healing everybody of their disease, then bounces. We call it here.


    Session 2 Closing Thoughts:

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    I really like how this guy DMs. Plot and direction feel a little wonky sometimes but his delivery is phenomenal. Not too serious, not too casual, good descriptions, good mood. He can wear different NPC hats without any issue of cracking up, something I really struggle with at times when I DM. His improv skill is amazing and fluid.

    Forcing us to be so deprived of gear, giving us little nibbles of mundane equipment only to tear it away and force us to fight in dresses and high heels, it raises the challenge in a fun way and makes me really appreciate when we find something valuable. When the cleric held out a gold coin to the fighter, it was the first time that I really appreciated its value. I think all too often we horribly undervalue gold and only think of how many hundred thousand gold pieces is required to purchase our next fancy trinket. Dragon's hill of gold coins? Pfft. It kind of sucked that I spent most of the session gimped without any Shadow Hand weapons, which is a requirement for my weapon focus and Shadow Blade feat, but it made me savor my power boost when I finally got my hands on them again.

    I asked the DM if we could've killed the cleric. He said that it was a Cleric6, had minions, and was as wealthy as you'd expect for a level 6. I don't think we would've won.

    As for the characters, I'm still loving the swordsage. Stone Bones and Step of the Wind have already earned their spots, while WIS-to-AC means that I'm currently +1 AC higher than anyone else, sitting at 19AC and a bonafide tank (though 15hp is still low). I love the versatility of the class and now have a full understanding of all my abilities, which means I don't slow down combat at all. I've been missing hits waaaay too much though. Level 3's +1 BAB and Weapon Finesse should fix that. Until then I just have to put up with it.

    The crusader's change to cleric seems okay. I think he'd be stronger as straight crusader in most cases, but with the campaign's change to heavy undead, having Greater Turning is ridiculously good. I'm very eager to see how he moves the build ahead in the future. Maybe keep switching between the two classes?

    Sorcerer still seems fine. He's our only ranged attacker and magic missile is still an MVP spell right now. He hasn't been bothered with fighting naked either. I pointed him to some neat sorcerer spells like Wings of Cover for the future.

    Finally, the fighter has been holding his own very well still. He doesn't care for complex things like spells, but he knows how to swing a sword and he's always fast to do things in combat. Power attacking with a greatsword and cleaving keeps him as the most consistently high damage dealer and he also has the highest hp right now. Since he likes keeping things simple, I'm going to suggest to him to try going barbarian for level 3 and beyond. Pounce is simple, rage is simple.

    We didn't level yet. Argh. I really want Weapon Finesse. I guess it'll have to wait until next session.
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2010-11-13 at 01:27 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ranger Mattos's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    ... how come my games are never this awesome?
    Avatar by me. My PM box is always open, for avatars, or just talking.

    I am a:
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    Neutral Good Elf Druid/Cleric (1st/1st Level)
    Futhark rune by Icewalker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonprime View Post
    Wouldn't a bulb only be sharp if someone broke it? Oh...wait...that's actually very fitting for this situation. Well played Ranger Mattos. Your metaphor-crafting is masterful indeed.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Elfin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Your borderline-evil, semi-psychopathic swordsage sort of creeps me out...but I must agree, this sounds like a really interesting campaign.
    Can't wait for the next installment.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Master_Rahl22's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    You should totally suggest Ruby Knight Vindicator to the Crusader if for some reason he hasn't seen it yet. It combines Devoted Spirit maneuvers with Cleric/Paladin spellcasting so it's a great way to combine the two. It also provides him with some great ways to spend those Turn Undead attempts when there aren't undead around.

    As for the game so far, it seems like it's been pretty fun. I enjoyed the Dave's epic the most I think.
    Master Rahl guide us. Master Rahl teach us. Master Rahl protect us. In your light we thrive. In your mercy we are sheltered. In your wisdom we are humbled. We live to serve. Our lives are yours.

    Awesome Richard avatar by kpenguin!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dralnu's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Swordsage's Journal: The Gladiator Arena

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvenblade View Post
    Your borderline-evil, semi-psychopathic swordsage sort of creeps me out...:
    Thanks! I've been embracing the borderline-evil side now. My character's intelligence also dropped a bit lower for this campaign so I could up the stupid remarks count and bait more DM traps. Why avoid DM traps when running into them is always more fun?

    Someone told me my character's turning into a Deadpool personality. I took that as a huge compliment.

    I'm also gonna miss Dave. We gained and lost one of our best men that session. I'm hoping that we'll befriend another goblin down the road and name him Dave to carry on the legacy. And if that one also dies then we'll just find another Dave of course! Less costly than a raise dead spell anyway.

    That PrC looks amazing. If the crusader likes it, maybe the DM can reflavor it to a servant of Pelor.
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2010-10-04 at 01:17 PM.

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