The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 140
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    There's no problem with splitting up. This is a mystery adventure, not a dungeon-crawl. Just have your character come back in a bit -- don't wander off all day.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Adventure Introduction
    Show
    It is the morning of Sarday, the 11th of Barrakas, year 1837 Imperial Reckoning. You were dragged out of bed in the wee hours of the morning by the postman’s agitated banging on your front door – one of those expensive direct missives that has to be handed off personally. Within the envelope is a confusing and truncated message from Thomas Prest, professor of history at Ravenwell University and a close friend of yours. The message concerns the archeological expedition Prest had been arranging, set to depart for the eastern country of Therme in a month; Prest had asked you personally to accompany him, along with a few others, but now apparently there’s some big hiccup in the plans and he wants you to come immediately. So you pull on your coat and trundle down to the cobbled streets of Vanalot, which is muggy from last night’s summer thunderstorm, and board a carriage for the big white house on Locust Row, the professor’s residence, near Gideon’s Square.

    The scene on your arrival fast stirs you out of your morning delirium: a dozen constables arrayed on the pleasant garden lawn, neighbors crowded around gawking from the fence, and a hulking, haggard sergeant striding towards your coach as you disembark. His copper badge reads “Roderick Chapman,” and his furrowed brow tells that this has been quite a harrowing morning. “Another college boy, eh? –don’t interrupt, your friends already told me. They’re in the parlor, Constable Stordus is conducting interviews. You got some letter this morning, didn’t you?” You offer it, thoroughly confused, and he takes a quick glance at it before brusquely returning it. “Yeah, just like the others. I’ll level with you son, you’re in for a rough morning. Your professor’s just been murdered.”


    I ran this adventure in college and got a big kick out of it, so I thought I would try running it again as a PbP on the forum. It begins with a murder-mystery and ends with an industrial heiress, a university with a dark secret, and weird monsters set loose on a city! The 'sixteen questions' are below, and I'll reserve the next few posts for the lists of feats, gear, and the world guide. Be aware that it is a D20 homebrew if that's not your thing.

    System: D20 Modern E0 (similar concept to 3.5 D&D E6)
    Player Count: 1-5
    Style of Play: Exploration, mystery and intrigue. Think of it as if this was a series of comics or movies in the style of Flash Gordon, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and John Carter of Mars. A kind of “retro” or “pulp” setting with airships, rayguns, and famous explorers.
    Allowed Content: Setting-specific
    Character Creation:
    • Backstory: The protagonists begin as students, teachers, or affiliates of the prestigious Ravenwell University, whose professor has been mysteriously murdered.
    • Experience: Characters start at “level 3-4,” aka with three or four feats from the lists provided.
    • Wealth: Characters start with a wealth score equal to 2 + Cha modifier; add +1 if he is old (age 35+), or add +2 if he is even older (50+).
    • Ability Scores: Roll or pick from the table below.
    • Hitpoints/Health: 10 + Con mod + level (i.e. the number of feats you have)
    • Alignment: This story is for heroes, not villains.

    Other Notes: See later posts for the player’s guide and the list of feats.

    1. What game system are you running (D&D, Call of Cthulu, Palladium, GURPS, etc.), and if applicable what edition (Original, Classic, Revised, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th, etc.)?
    This game uses the D20 system common to Dungeons and Dragons, D20 Modern, and the like. It is a variant called “E0,” like E6 but completely level-less as opposed to level-less after 6th level. Anytime a PC would level-up he gains a feat instead.

    2. What ‘type’ or variant of game will it be (i.e. “Shadow Chasers” or “Agents of Psi” for d20 Modern)? What is the setting for the game (eg. historic period, published or homebrewed campaign setting, alternate reality, modern world, etc.)?
    This is a homebrew retro-pulp setting on the world of Oriana, a pangaean planet entering the industrial era but with vast interior lands still largely unexplored.

    3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many?
    I would like no more than five players; up to another five alternates could be possible as background NPCs, to be brought into the story if needed.

    4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)?
    The medium will be the GitP forum.

    5. What is the characters’ starting status (i.e. experience level)?
    The characters begin as students, teachers, or affiliates of a university in a large industrial city. You begin with three feats at character creation if a student – if you want to be a teacher or older affiliate, you may choose to start with four feats and be at middle age or older.

    6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with?
    This game uses the “wealth score” system from D20 Modern. Characters start with a wealth score equal to 2 + Cha modifier; add +1 if he is old (age 35+), or add +2 if he is even older (50+).

    7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want...or do not want? What are your rules on ‘prestige’ and/or homebrewed classes?
    The allowable feats are listed in the posts below; more feats become available as the game progresses.

    8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? ‘Prestige’ races or species?
    • Midians are tall, tan-skinned people with sharp noses and curly brown or black hair. Midian nations crowd the equatorial shores of the Utopian Sea, the Thalassian Empire the greatest among them. Haughty, cultured, and enjoying the bounty of a post-revolutionary industrial renaissance, Midians are the most common people in the setting. You could imagine them as a mixture of Napoleonic France (aping classical Greece and Rome), Imperial Turkey or Iran, and Caribbean buccaneers.
    • The Thaal people are broad, pale skinned and sport a variety of hair colors, mostly brown, blond, and red. They come from the squabbling nations in the southern highlands, mostly as unskilled laborers for the cities of the empire. They have a reputation among the Midians for being gloomy, stubborn, fractious, and backward; they would retort that the Midians are arrogant, decadent lowlanders. Picture a mashup of the Balkans, Scottish Highlands, Appalachia and Afghanistan and you’d be right on track.
    • Sheng are squat, brown-skinned people with straight black hair and beards. They migrated off the Meridian steppe centuries ago during the collapse of the Rhoscan Empire, and many of the nations west of Thalassia are of mixed Midian-Sheng origin. They are a small minority in the empire’s cities and solidly middle-class. Midians grumble that Sheng are insular and cowardly, if dutiful. Draw on China, Huns, Goths, Turks, and D&D dwarves when creating a Sheng character.
    • The Chagri have black skin and very little hair; they tend to be tough and love swimming even more than Midians. Chagri come from the Ringsea in the south, and their powerful countries are major trading partners with the Midians. In their homelands the Chagri practice aquaculture and follow very different religions compared to the northerners; they do not get on well with the Thaal, who are a persecuted and poorly-integrated minority in their lands. Think of ancient Greece and northern India, mixed with Atlantis myths and an aquaculture that borders on amphibiousness.
    • There are other races in the world, such as the Ashrak (orange, reptilian Bedouin from the interior wastes), Morgai (blue/black-feathered birdmen), the Tai’ka (grey skinned, black haired, tattooed desert-dwellers), Zyrians (blue-black, hairless, amphibious seamen from the northwest), and other, stranger peoples from far abroad, but these are not available as starting player races as there are not enough of them within the Thalassian Empire.

    9. By what method should Players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points?
    Roll or pick from the table above (which should mimic the “roll 4d6, drop lowest, and assign” method). If you want to play as an older (35+ years) characters like a lecturer or janitor at the university, take a -1 to Str, Dex, *and* Con scores and add +1 to Int, Wis, *or* Cha scores; if you want to be even older (50+ years), apply the above effects a second time. I guess you could be very old (70+ years) and apply the above effects a third time, but I would not advise it.

    10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so?
    This game does not use alignment, but I do not want villainous PCs.

    11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it?
    This is a classless system.

    12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them?
    Players make dice rolls (using the GitP forum tools) for their characters, while the DM rolls for the NPCs. However, when a PC would not know whether he had succeeded on the result of his check (such as when searching for traps), the DM will roll secretly, note the result, and inform the Players when relevant.

    13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules.
    Check the posts below for the feats and equipment available.

    14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)?
    You should be able to explain your character’s origins – just a few sentences on home, family, and work – and how he or she came to be associated with the university. Since the characters all know each other at the start of the adventure, I would suggest discussing your rough character concepts with the other players and integrating their pasts rather than presenting a finished character to the table. Characters might be students of the professor, friends and colleagues among the university staff, or attendants hired on, but all folks who were about to go on his expedition.

    15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above?
    The game is mostly puzzle-solving and roleplaying; while there is combat, it is sparse and dangerous, and there will almost always be another option besides fighting. Think of it as if this was a series of comics or movies in the style of Flash Gordon, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and John Carter of Mars. A kind of “retro” or “pulp” setting with airships, rayguns, and famous explorers.

    16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters?
    Players must use the material presented.

    ...more to follow...

    Spoiler: Player's Guide
    Show
    Oriana Player’s Guide

    1. This is not Dungeons and Dragons, but its own hodgepodge D20 system and setting.

    Do not assume that, because something exists in D&D, you can find it in Oriana. Races and classes aren’t the same; magic, monsters, and undeath work differently; the place has its own history and cosmology. Those familiar with the world’s most popular roleplaying game will doubtless recognize loads of it, however.

    I should note as well that the rules and stories featured here did not spring from my mind whole-cloth. Oriana as a system and setting is a mélange of ideas assembled out of the things I follow and enjoy: OSR idea blogs, published adventures and sourcebooks, human history, weird fiction novellas, and much more. I cannot here give everything the credit it deserves, or it would spoil a lot of the story, but don’t attribute this all to me.

    2. The Core Mechanic is the ability check (from Angry GM).

    When a player declares an action – which includes a desired outcome and an approach – the DM determines whether there is a chance of success and a chance of failure. If he determines the action cannot succeed, the action is described as a failure, though the DM may instead warn the player and allow him to do something else. If the DM determines the action cannot fail, the action is described as a success. If the he determines that the action can fail, but there is no risk or cost for failure (the player can keep trying until he succeeds), the action is also described as a success. Otherwise, the DM asks for an ability check to determine the outcome.

    Based on the player’s approach, the DM determines which ability – strength (Str), dexterity (Dex), constitution (Con), intelligence (Int), wisdom (Wis), or charisma (Cha) – governs the action. He also determines an appropriate difficulty class (DC) for the action. He also determines whether the character has a relevant proficiency and any circumstantial modifiers. Proficiency is any character feat that grants a positive modifier; modifiers can be a static bonus or penalty or the roll can be made with advantage or disadvantage.

    Once all of that has been determined, the player rolls a twenty-sided die (1d20) and adds the relevant ability and modifiers. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the action succeeds; if not, it fails. If you have advantage you roll twice and take the higher result; if you have disadvantage you roll twice and take the lower. Advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out, and if you would gain advantage multiple times you still only make two rolls, but you get a bonus equal to the number of advantages; multi-disadvantage is a penalty.

    If an action succeeds, the player either accomplishes his desired outcome or makes progress towards it. If the action fails, he does not accomplish his desired outcome and may suffer costs or risks associated with the roll. Regardless of the success or failure of the action, the DM may also apply consequences based on the player’s approach. He describes the results and applies any necessary consequences, and then play continues.

    When a character attempts an action that puts him in direct opposition with another character, the DC for the action is 10 + target’s modifiers for the relevant action. If the target would have advantage on the action the character suffers disadvantage, and vice versa. The most common kind of opposed action is trying to hit someone in combat – that DC is called an armor class (AC).

    A DM can also call for a reaction whenever a character may or must respond to something unexpected. The DM interrupts play to describe the situation, and the player then describes his reaction. The DM determines if the reaction could avoid or mitigate the unexpected event, whether it can succeed, and whether it can fail. He may ask for a roll as above, called a saving throw, based on the action.

    When two characters work against each other (an opposed check), they each make an ability check and the higher result wins, ties going to the defending/passive party. If one character has a higher level (i.e. has more feats), he gains a bonus to the check equal to the difference in level.

    When two or more characters work together to accomplish the same task, the character with the higher modifier leads the effort. Each assistant rolls against half the DC and grants the leader advantage if he succeeds. Characters can only work together if it is task where such help is possible and effective.

    3. Race means race, not species; think of these as fantasy ethnicities with unique powers.

    Oriana is a small planet in a system much like ours, with a single pangaean continent, several large islands, and two polar ice caps. Though home to many sapient peoples with disparate and unusual traits, they are all the same species, in so far as the concept of ‘species’ is understood as “able to intermarry and have children.” They all have similar lifespans and developments, are on a spectrum of sizes and builds, and for ease, the terms “human” or “humanoid” is used to refer to the various races because it’s easy, though the people of Oriana would probably use terms like “sophonts” (if they were being high-minded) or “men” and “mankind” (in the archaic sense).

    4. There are no classes; if you are familiar with the E6 idea, this is “E0.”

    When your character “levels up” at a story milestone you select a feat, gaining +1 HP and the listed ability; further, every three “levels” you add +1 to one ability score. Some feats have prerequisites that your character must have before you can take them.

    All feats are assumed to represent both active uses of those things (proficiency) and relevant background knowledge, lore, information, and awareness. When a player encounters something in the game in which he is proficient, the DM should give him any relevant information based on this expertise.

    “Adventurer” is not a profession in this world. Its history has its Alexanders, its Drakes, and its Livingstons (and its Earharts and Curies too), people that could be described as “player characters,” but if your PC calls himself as an “adventurer,” NPCs will be confused. Indiana Jones was an archeology professor, after all.

    5. Oriana has reached the industrial era and equipment reflects this, if through a fantasy lens.

    The most common weapon is the six-shot revolver (2d4 damage against an average man’s 10 HP), while soldiers use lever-action rifles (2d6 dmg). Fantastical metals have preserved some role for swords and armor, but if a gentleman wore a steel cap and plated coat (+2 AC, DR 2) on the street folk would think he feared a riot. Soldiers of fortune drink coffee, smoke cigars, and take opium to deal with pain; when in need of work they follow the criers and newsboys or read the local broadsheets. Both silver coins and paper notes are used in payments (one Thalassian argent buys as much as an American dollar, and a bronze portia is a fiftieth of that), while a rich man might give you a personal check, exchangeable at any reputable counting-house for legal tender. Those that retire hale, feted, and wealthy from a life of adventure can look forward to relaxing in a townhouse with running water and a gas lamp to read by.

    The mighty industrialists have started to harness the fires of coal and the whistle of steam, but for the man on the street these powers are stored in his clockwork, from the watch in his pocket to his cousin’s mechanical arm, which he charges overnight with a coal-fired autowinder. Stranger is the rare and valuable unweight, gleaned only from the island of Elysium, which allows the Morgai bird-men to fly and is worked into fabulous adamant alloys, impossibly light and incredibly strong, that make the marvel of airships possible. So too has the sorcerous archsilver, or “radstone” to those unversed in alchemistry, been tamed, and its bale lights turned to power the electric wizardry of the Empire’s finest engineers. Players may bedeck themselves with all kinds of wondrous items they find Oriana.

    Spoiler: Encumbrance Rules
    Show
    Every object is either very heavy (counts as two items), heavy (counts as one item), light (doesn’t count as an item unless you have several), or very light (doesn’t count as an item unless you carry hundreds). Stupidly heavy objects may count as three items or even more at the DM’s discretion.
    • If the number of items carried is equal to or less than half your strength score rounded down, then you are unburdened.
    • If the number of items carried is greater than this, but still equal or less than your strength score, then you’re burdened; this imposes no penalties on regular adventuring activities like fighting, but may impose disadvantage to things like sprinting, climbing, or jumping.
    • If the number of items you’re carrying is greater than this, but still equal to or less than twice your strength score, then you’re heavily burdened. At this point you’re basically stumbling around under an enormous heap of junk – you move at half normal speed, always resolve actions last, always have disadvantage (so attacks against you have advantage), always fail saving throws to notice or dodge, and feats of agility are basically impossible.
    • You cannot carry more items than twice your strength score.


    Spoiler: Wealth Score Rules
    Show
    To represent things like credit, debt, and bank loans, as well as requisitioning gear from your university, corporation, or government, instead of tracking gold pieces each player has a wealth score, which is also kind of a measure of social status or power in your organization, ranging from +0 (homeless) to +5 (middle-class) to +20 (crazy wealthy) and beyond. When you want to buy something, roll 1d20, add your wealth score, and compare this to the purchase cost or the item in question. As examples, a night at a hostel costs 2, a box of 50 bullets costs 5, a new pair of good clothes costs 8, and a new pistol costs 12.

    Buying an item usually takes about as many hours as its cost – if you fail the check, you can always try again, it just requires spending more time. If you spend ten times the normal amount required, then you may treat your roll as a 10. When you buy an item, your wealth score drops by 1 if the cost is higher than your wealth, and another 1 if the cost is above 15. Your wealth cannot drop below zero. You can raise your wealth score by selling items (this earns you +1 if the cost is higher than your wealth, and another +1 if the cost is over 15) and by working a job. After about a month of work, make the relevant ability check, and if the result is equal or greater than your wealth, you increase it by 1.

    6. Combat is deadly, and healing is hard; fight quickly and only when you must.

    Combat is broken into rounds of a few seconds each, during which every fighter takes a turn. At the start of an encounter each group roll initiative (1d6 + best Dex), the winner getting a free round where losers are surprised. In some situations, a well-prepared group will automatically win initiative.

    When the round starts, anyone loading, aiming, or guarding declares it. Then other fighters move up to speed (30’), attack, do both in either order, or move up to double speed in a straight line; resolve discrepancies in favor of side that won initiative. At round end, all loading, aiming, etc. are resolved together. A fighter can always choose to forgo his action and do nothing. Make group morale checks (2d6 vs 7 + best Cha, +4 very strong) when a group takes its first casualty and when half the group is left; reroll initiative after morale check.
    • A character’s HP is 10 + Con + level, and his AC is 10 + Dex.
    • A melee attack is 1d20 + Str vs AC; +4 if target surprised, -2 per reach increment.
    • A range attack is 1d20 + Dex vs AC; +4 if target surprised, -2 per range increment.
    • Attacks suffer disadvantage if the target is in cover, darkness, or if you shoot into melee.
    • If using weapon but not proficient take -2 attack; if wearing armor but not proficient take -2 AC.
    • You can always attack with fists: short reach, 1d4+Str dmg, -4 to-hit vs armed enemy unless surprised.
    • On a hit, the target loses HP equal to [damage die result + Str result] minus [target’s DR if any].
    • Fighters take -2 to attack rolls and AC at half HP; -4 at quarter HP; and are knocked prone and unconscious at 0 HP.
    • Loading lets you switch weapons or make ranged weapon usable again.
    • Aiming lets you shoot at the end of the round and surprise your target, albeit with a to-hit penalty equal to damage taken that round (if any).
    • Guarding adds +2 to melee AC and lets you focus on more targets.
    • Prone fighters are +4 range AC, -4 melee AC, -4 melee attack, and can only crawl 5' – standing up takes half your move speed and provokes a free attack (see below).

    A fighter can focus on two enemies (four if guarding, zero if loading or aiming); all other enemies surprise you and ignore reach. Some actions (like fleeing melee) provoke a free attack from adjacent enemies, which means that nearby opponents may make an immediate melee attack. A fighter can only make one free attack per round, even if multiple enemies provoke one. If you don’t attack you don’t provoke free attacks from focused enemies; you gain +2 AC if you don’t move.

    When hit, you can always choose to take half damage and be knocked unconscious (or otherwise disabled) for the remainder of the encounter instead of taking full damage and continuing to fight. If you surprise an enemy in melee you may choose to knock him out – he makes a Con save (DC = 10 + damage, with helmet -10) to resist. Fighters are knocked out and fall prone when reduced to 0 HP; if saved within rounds equal to level, roll 1d20 vs a DC equal to the damage-over-zero – on failure they die of blood/shock (if saved after combat, DC is doubled). “Saving” a fighter means rushing to his side and administering first aid instead of attacking. When a hit beats the target’s AC by 10+ or reduces him to 0 HP, he also takes a critical hit (1d8):
    • 1 Left Arm: can’t use, -2 to checks needing both arms, and drop weapon
    • 2 Right Arm: can’t use, -2 to checks needing both arms, and drop weapon
    • 3 Left Leg: half speed (can’t move if double), -2 to checks needing both legs, and fall prone
    • 4 Right Leg: half speed (can’t move if double), -2 to checks needing both legs, and fall prone
    • 5-7 Body: can’t heal above half HP (quarter HP if double), and fall prone
    • 8 Head: roll 1d6, 1 blind, 2 deaf, 3 mute, 4 -2 Int, 5 -2 Wis, 6 -2 Cha
    • Burned: can’t wear armor, -4 Cha
    • Frozen: -2 checks needing fingers, -2 Cha

    Other combat options are possible besides just making an attack roll; usually these cause disadvantage, which the target can waive to make a free attack against you. Either way, roll d20+Str against the target’s AC:
    • Disarm (use Dex or Str): knock weapon/item out of enemy’s hand.
    • Feint (use Wis not Str): gain advantage or surprise on attack against enemy next turn.
    • Grapple (always resolved last): you and enemy now wrestling – your only possible actions are to make opposed attack rolls to escape or attack with fists or knives; three consecutive successes pins your enemy.
    • Rush/Shove: push enemy backwards.
    • Sunder: break enemy’s weapon/item, if possible.
    • Trip: knock enemy to prone.

    It takes 3 months to recover from the brink of death (0 HP), so you normally heal ~33% of your HP per month, or ~8% per week. However, as long as you are in a hospital and a doctor makes a successful DC 10 Int roll for medical care each day, you can heal 10% of your HP per day. A doctor can also perform a surgery on a character to try and save his life – this takes several hours. The doctor rolls d20+Int (-4 without a hospital), and if he beats DC 20 the character’s HP is brought to one-quarter the total and the deleterious effects of critical hits will be removed once he returns to full HP. Doctors can also make checks for first aid (to stop bleeding or make a splint) and to create medicines to cure poisons and disease.

    Disease, poison, and addiction all work the same way. When a character is injured by a contaminated attack, touches an item smeared with diseased matter, consumes tainted food or drink, and so on, he must make an immediate Con saving throw against its DC. If he succeeds, there is no effect, as his immune system fought it off. If he fails, he takes damage after an incubation period and must make another save – he must make a successful saving throw to avoid repeated damage. Two successful saving throws in a row indicate that he has fought off the disease and recovers, taking no more damage. Diseases and addictions usually have an incubation time of a few days or weeks, while poisons act within a few minutes or hours.

    Many hazards are fairly unique, but the following are common enough to have a consistent ruling:
    • You will die after three hours of exposure, three days without water, three weeks without food – each time third of that passes, your max HP is reduced by a third.
    • Falling hurts you exponentially the further you fall; damage is 1d6 per 10’, though intentional falls or landing on something soft counts as 10’ less.
    • Someone set on fire takes 1d4 damage per round. If the die comes up a 4, an extra 1d4 is added as the fire gets bigger. If the die comes up a 1, a d4 is taken away as the fire starts to go out. Water puts out fire, obviously, and spending your turn rolling around on the ground removes a d4 per round.
    • You can hold your breath for 5+Con mod rounds. If you don’t have time to take a breath, you have 1d4+Con rounds of air left. Once you run out of air, you take 1d6 damage/round until you can breathe again.

    7. Magic – the powers of the mind and the invisible spirits – has always been real.

    Everyone on Oriana believes that the material world is not the only things that exists; there are other planes, invisible but no less real, inhabited by the strange and uncanny, and that veil can be pierced by minds on either side. The real debate is over what that otherworld is, and what the powers and beings within even are. While the official tenants of the Messian religion hold that souls pass on after death, and that any entity claiming to be a departed loved one is attempting to deceive you, belief in ghosts is widespread throughout cultures. Neither Sheng nor Thaal folklore makes any real distinction between spectral undead, elemental spirits of the world, and embodied concepts or minor gods. The Chagri, who are mostly polytheistic, are insistent that there are distinctions between the higher, more distant gods and the more ubiquitous imps and fey, but their religious history suggests this was not always so, at least before the revelations of Zaras and other prophets. Among the more skeptical, esoteric orders there are those that ponder whether the spirits are really independent beings at all; some secret societies claim they are in truth gestalt emanations of a collective unconsciousness. Whatever they are, you’d be a fool to think the spirits have no effect upon the world, from poltergeists to possessions and more subtler forms of manipulation.

    Thus, “magic,” as the handling of the subtle energies may be called, has always been a part of human civilization. Much is shrouded in superstition and charlatanism, and much of it does not work – yet weeding the power from the puffery is always difficult because so much of it is mental, and the relationship between the worlds seems to rest on principles of sympathy rather than causation. Every nation has its own magical traditions. In the Thalassian empire there are professional mesmerists who can hypnotize and control others, and alchemy, exorcism, and divination may be performed by businesses and religious officials. Many of the Chagri that migrated to the Empire remain in their spell-castes, unique sorcerous lineages that combine social class and blood ancestry; likewise, the Sheng immigrants keep up their tantric meditative practices through which their monks gain insight and influence the world from afar. The Thaal have their own blend of religious and magical practices, especially the Charismatics, whose powers – so they claim – come from a divine voice.

    Spoiler: History in Two Minutes
    Show
    In the Primeval Era the region saw city-states founded in Apygia and Stygia, the migration across the Ringsea which drove giants into the mountains, and the Aeolian Sargon founding the first empire with a sword of bronze. The Classical Era witnessed the lockstep legions of the Rhoscan Empire slowly conquer the coasts and tame the mountains; it ended with the emperor’s adoption of the Messian faith. In the Medieval Era the Sheng migrations from the western steppe smashed crusaders, destroyed the empire, and settled the Apygian lands…at the same time the inland Ashrak conquered Stygia and the Gangan empire of the Ringsea broke apart. In the Colonial era several Midian countries emerged from the ruins of Rhos and, despite the frequent religious wars dividing the Messian faith, they reestablished sea routs to the far-off Emerald Empire of Shengan and with pike and shot carved outposts on the Elysian Isles and many other lands. The world is now in the Industrial Era, which has seen Chagri throw the Ashrak hordes back into the desert and revolution unite the Midian nations into the mighty Thalassian Empire.
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-03 at 10:55 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Feats List 1
    Show
    Spoiler: Combat Feats
    Show
    Acid Resistance: reduce all acid damage taken by your Con bonus

    Archaic Weapons: +3 to attack rolls to fight with swords, axes, maces, and bows

    Armor Proficiency: wearing light armor imposes no penalty to attacks or d20 rolls to climb, jump, etc.
    --Improved Armor Proficiency: no penalty from heavy armor either
    ----Advanced Armor Proficiency: armor imposes no disadvantage to d20 rolls to sneak and steal

    Blind-Fight: no disadvantage for melee fighting in darkness

    Brawl: +3 to attack rolls to fight with fists, knives, and clubs
    --Improved Brawl: attacks with fists deal 1d6+Str damage instead of the normal 1d4+Str
    --Knockout Punch: a critical hit on an unarmored foe with a fists attack deals maximum damage
    ----Improved Knockout Punch: can knockout armored targets
    --Street-fighting: deal +1d4 extra damage with fists, knives, and clubs
    ----Improved Feint: no disadvantage when trying to feint in combat

    Cold Resistance: reduce all cold damage taken by your Con bonus

    Combat Expertise: take up to a -5 melee attack penalty to gain an equal AC bonus in melee
    --Improved Disarm: no disadvantage when trying to disarm in combat
    --Improved Trip: no disadvantage when trying to trip in combat

    Combat Martial Arts: no -4 penalty to fighting armed foe with fists
    --Improved Grapple: no disadvantage when trying to grapple in combat
    --Improved Combat Martial Arts: gain advantage when fighting unarmed against unarmed opponent
    ----Advanced Combat Martial Arts: deal fist damage with successful trip, rush/shove, or disarm

    Combat Reflexes: can make one extra free attack per turn (normally one per turn)
    --Flurry of Blows: can make two extra free attacks per round

    Coordinate: roll d20+Cha; if you beat DC 15, allies gain a +2 bonus to attacks & AC next round from your voice
    --Inspiration: this bonus applies to skill checks and saving throws as well
    ----Improved Inspiration: the bonus improves to +4

    Damage Reduction: gain DR 1 (reduce all damage taken by 1, can’t reduce damage to zero)
    --Improved Damage Reduction: improves to DR 2
    ----Advanced Damage Reduction: improves to DR 3

    Defensive Martial Arts: +2 to AC against melee attacks unless surprised
    --Combat Throw: +2 to d20 rolls to disarm or trip opponent
    ----Improved Combat Throw: free attack to trip foe when he misses you with his melee attack
    --Elusive Target: if you are focusing on an opponent he takes a -4 penalty to ranged attacks against you
    --Unbalance Opponent: enemies do not add their Str bonus to melee attacks against you

    Dodge: +2 to AC against ranged attacks unless surprised
    --Agile Repost: free attack to melee attack foe when he misses you with his melee attack
    --Mobility: +4 to AC against free attacks (i.e. attacks provoked by reckless action)
    ----Spring Attack: may attack in the middle of movement (allowing lunge and retreat)
    ------Whirlwind Attack: spend a free attack for the round to make an extra melee attack

    Drive-by Attack: no disadvantage for ranged attacks made from a vehicle or horseback

    Dual-wielding: carry knife or pistol in off-hand, use it for second attack with -4 penalty
    --Improved Dual-wielding: off-hand penalty reduced to -2; +1 melee AC with off-hand knife
    ----Advanced Dual-wielding: no off-hand penalty; +2 melee AC with off-hand knife

    Electricity Resistance: reduce all electricity damage taken by your Con bonus

    Evasion: if you beat a Dex save to take half damage (ex: to dodge an explosion), take no damage
    --Uncanny Dodge: enemies don't gain advantage to hit you if they win initiative
    ----Improved Uncanny Dodge: can focus on two extra enemies per round
    ----Defensive Roll: make a Dex save vs 10+damage, if you would drop to 0 HP, to survive at 1 HP
    --Opportunist: use free attack to melee foe when ally hits that opponent with melee attack

    Exotic Wargear (X): you can use X strange weapon or armor without penalty

    Exploit Weakness: with a good reason, you can use your Int instead of Str or Dex for attack rolls
    --Battle Plans: your allies can benefit from your ‘Exploit Weakness’ ability if they hear your idea
    --Cunning Trick: if you successfully feint against an enemy, he cannot attack you on his next turn

    Far Shot: double weapon’s range
    --Dead Aim: +2 to ranged attack if spent last round aiming (+4 if target didn’t move)

    Fast Reflexes: +3 to d20 rolls to dodge explosion, grab ledge while falling, or seize initiative

    Fighting Style (X): gain proficiency with all weapons and armor of race (X)

    Fire Resistance: reduce all fire damage taken by your Con bonus

    Frightful: enemies make morale roll at start of combat, you gain +2 to attacks until you are hit if they fail
    --Terrifying: enemies frightened of you are take disadvantage to their attack rolls

    Great Fortitude: +3 to d20 rolls to survive disease or poison

    Hardy: take no penalty for being at half HP and only -2 penalty for being at quarter HP

    Ignore Armor: ignore 1 point of enemy DR
    --Improved Ignore Armor: ignore 2 points of DR
    ----Advanced Ignore Armor: ignore 3 points of DR

    Increased Speed: increase speed by +5 ft
    --Improved Increased Speed: bonus improves to +10 ft
    ----Advanced Increased Speed: bonus improves to +15 ft

    Iron Will: +3 to d20 rolls to resist tricks, charms, and magic

    Melee Smash: deal +2 extra damage with melee attacks
    --Improved Melee Smash: gain +2 to-hit with melee attacks
    ----Advanced Melee Smash: deal +4 extra damage with melee attacks

    Personal Firearms: +3 to attack rolls with pistols, shotguns, and rifles
    --Ironsights: add Dex bonus to damage with firearms
    --Improved Firearms: attack bonus applies to all firearms
    ----Advanced Firearms: attack bonus improves to +5

    Point-blank Shot: gain advantage when shooting point-blank
    --Rapid-fire: spend a free attack for the round to make an extra ranged attack at -4 penalty
    ----Double-tap: if you can fire two shots at same target, both hit as long as one of them hits
    --Precise Shot: no penalty for shooting into melee
    --Shot-on-the-run: may attack in the middle of movement (allowing shoot and retreat)

    Power Attack: take up to a -5 melee attack penalty to gain an equal damage bonus in melee
    --Cleave: use free attack to melee new target if you dropped the old target in melee to 0 HP
    ----Great Cleave: can ‘Cleave’ as long as you damage target (can’t target same foe twice)
    --Improved Rush: no disadvantage when trying to rush and shove a target
    --Improved Sunder: no disadvantage when trying to break target's weapon

    Quick Draw: draw weapon instantly; can draw new weapon instantly if you drop the old one

    Remain Conscious: if reduced to 0 HP, you remain conscious for one more turn (critical applies immediately)
    --Robust: double your Con bonus to your HP; critical doesn’t apply until unconscious
    --Power Through: if an attack drops you to half/low HP, you don't take the penalty until after next turn
    --Fast Healer: heal twice as fast

    Run: move up to x5 speed if whole turn spent sprinting (+2 to d20 rolls to jump if you do)

    Sonic Resistance: reduce all sonic damage taken by your Con bonus

    Toughness: gain +4 HP
    --Improved Toughness: HP bonus increases to +8
    ----Advanced Toughness: HP bonus increases to +12

    Weapon Finesse: may use Dex instead of Str for attacks and damage with fists, knives, and clubs

    Weapon Focus (X): gain proficiency and +2 bonus on attack and damage with (X) weapon

    Spoiler: Utility Feats
    Show
    Acrobatic: +3 to d20 rolls to jump, balance, and tumble

    Alertness: +3 to d20 rolls to hear and spot things

    Animal Affinity: +3 to d20 rolls to ride and handle animals

    Athletic: +3 to d20 rolls to climb and swim

    Attentive: +3 to d20 rolls to investigate and sense motives

    Builder: +3 to d20 rolls to build structures of wood or stone

    Cautious: +3 to d20 rolls to disable locks and traps

    Charming: gain advantage when rolling to influence those that find you attractive
    --Easy Speaker: +2 to d20 rolls to gain confidence or information
    ----Captivate: easily distract targets out of combat with a simple d20 roll

    Confident: +3 to d20 rolls to gamble and intimidate

    Creative: +3 to d20 rolls to some form of artistry or music (ex: paint, write, play instrument)

    Deceptive: +3 to d20 rolls to bluff, lie, and disguise yourself

    Educated: +3 to d20 rolls to recall historical information and solve math problems

    Empathy: gain a +2 bonus to interaction rolls with a person after a minute in conversation
    --Aid Another: you provide double-advantage when you successfully help someone
    --Intuition: you may make a Wis check vs DC 15 to get a "good/bad feeling" about a course of action

    Endurance: +3 to d20 rolls to swim and survive the elements

    Expert Driver/Pilot: +3 to d20 rolls to drive and pilot vehicles
    --Aeronaut: you know how to pilot airships and gliders

    Extreme Effort: gain +2 bonus when using full turn to lift, drag, push, or break and object
    --Improved Extreme Effort: bonus improves to +4
    ----Advanced Extreme Effort: bonus improves to +6

    Fast-talk: +2 to attempts to bluff, gamble, or lie
    --Dazzle: with a pun or witty remark, you may add your Cha bonus to your melee attack roll
    ----Taunt: if you successfully feint the foe must attack you next turn and gain disadvantage for it

    Focused: +3 to d20 rolls requiring long, careful concentration on a task

    Gearhead: +3 to d20 rolls to work with engines and machines

    Guide: +3 to d20 rolls to navigate and survive in the wild

    Healing Knack: +2 to d20 rolls to perform first aid and medicine
    --Healing Touch: heal 1d4+1 HP per 5 HP total on a successful surgery
    ----Improved Healing Touch: +4 HP on a successful surgery, advantage on regular healing rolls

    Jack-of-all-Trades: you can always try an unmodified skill check once, even if you have no idea what you are doing

    Linguist: when you encounter a new language, you can make an Int check to understand it

    Medic: +3 to d20 rolls to perform first aid and medicine
    --Field Surgeon: no -4 penalty for doing surgeries in the field

    Meticulous: +3 to d20 rolls to forge documents and search for loot/traps/secret doors

    Nimble: +3 to d20 rolls to escape bonds/grapples and perform sleight of hand

    Speak (X) Language: can speak language (X), in addition to your native tongue
    --Read (X) Language: can read, and write, language (X), in addition to your native script

    Stealthy: +3 to d20 rolls to hide and move silently

    Studious: +3 to d20 rolls to decipher a script and research a puzzle

    Tracker: +3 to d20 rolls to follow tracks

    Trustworthy: +3 to d20 rolls to negotiate and gather information

    Spoiler: Soldier Feats
    Show
    The Thalassian Empire is an enormous military machine, and many soldiers retire after a tour of duty in foreign wars or along its overstretched border. The following 'Soldier' feats represent the kinds of special talents a character might gain after service in the imperial forces.

    Leadership: when attempting to help an ally with a skill check (i.e. not an attack roll or special attack), you can always make a Charisma roll (add your Soldier level) against the regular DC instead of the relevant ability at half DC. The ally must be within sight and hearing distance and must be able to understand you. Your Soldier level is the number of Soldier feats you have, including this one

    Synergy: every two Soldier levels you can choose to gain a permanent +1 bonus to AC (lost if surprised or unable to move) or a +1 bonus to attack and damage with knives, grenades, pistols, and rifles (the weapons of an imperial soldier).

    Favored Enemy: select a type of creature as your target, such as “canines,” “ghouls,” or “Ashrak”; you gain a +2 bonus on attempts to bluff, listen, sense motive, spot, or track creatures of this type, and a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures. You may select this feat multiple times, each time picking a new target or improving the bonus on an existing target by 1.

    Camouflage: you can attempt to hide in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

    Light Sleeper: you can make listen checks to hear a sneaking enemy even while asleep, without penalty (a sleeping character normally takes a –10 penalty on suck checks).

    Tactical Expertise (Requires Soldier 2): as a full-round action (like aiming or guarding), you can use your tactical knowledge to coordinate allies. Allies to be affected must be within sight and hearing distance and must be able to understand you. You make an Intelligence check at the end of the round with a DC equal to 15 + the number of allies affected; add your Soldier level and subtract any damage you took that round. If the check succeeds, next round all affected allies gain either a bonus on attack rolls against a designated target or an AC bonus against a designated target equal to half your Soldier level. The target may be a single large creature/vehicle or a group of enemies all within 30’ of each other. You choose which of the benefits to impart and must impart the same benefit to all affected allies. The benefits last for 1 round. You cannot apply the benefits of this ability to yourself.

    Powerful Frame (Requires Soldier 2): you gain a +4 bonus on all rolls made to resist being tripped, overrun, knocked prone, or pushed back; further, whenever you hit a target of equal or smaller size with an attack that applies your Strength modifier to the damage, the target must choose to make a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (DC = damage dealt) or be knocked prone by the force of the blow.

    Extreme Endurance (Requires Soldier 4): treat your Strength score as four points higher for the purpose of carrying limits and halve all penalties from low HP and critical hits.

    Commanding Presence (Requires Soldier 4): as a full-round action (like the ‘tactical expertise’ ability), you can use your commanding presence to enable an ally or weaken a foe’s resolve.
    • Enabling an ally requires a successful Charisma check (DC 20); add your Soldier level and subtract any damage you took that round. If the check succeeds, you can negate any one harmful condition affecting a single ally for the next round, such as fatigue, panic, or stun. The ally to be affected must be within sight and hearing distance and must be able to understand you. You cannot use this ability on yourself.
    • Weakening a foe’s resolve requires a successful Charisma check against its Wisdom; add your Soldier level and subtract any damage you took that round. If the check succeeds, the target is shaken (-2 to attack rolls, saving throws, and morale checks) for a number of rounds equal to the amount by which you beat its roll. The target must be within sight and hearing distance. A target that resists your attempt to weaken its resolve is immune to the use of this ability for the next 24 hours.

    Spoiler: Gunslinger Feats
    Show
    Oriana has had gunpowder for centuries, and many heroes have been fantastic gunmen. The following 'Gunslinger' feats represent the kinds of special talents a character might gain with skillful use of firearms.

    Gunslinger: A gunslinger makes his mark upon the world by hardscrabble luck and amazing deeds. At the start of each day, you gain a number of ‘luck points’ equal to your Wis mod plus your Gunslinger level, min 1 (your Gunslinger level is the number of Gunslinger feats you have, including this one); taking this feat also gives you three starting deeds (see below). Your luck goes up or down throughout the day but cannot go higher than this initial value; when you sleep, the pool refreshes. You spend luck to accomplish deeds and regain it in the following ways; while your luck pool is empty you can use dares. Note that you never have to regain luck if you do not want.
    • Critical Hit with a Firearm: Each time you score a critical hit with a firearm attack you regain 1 luck point.
    • Killing Blow with a Firearm: When you reduce a creature to 0 or fewer HP with a firearm attack while in the heat of combat you regain 1 luck point. Destroying an unattended object, killing a helpless or unaware creature, or slaying a foe that has fewer total HP than half yours (or whose level is less than half your own) does not restore any luck.
    • Daring-do: Each active dare has a specified means of recovering luck.

    Deeds grant you some bonus or effect upon expenditure of the necessary luck points, which can be done at any time. Upon taking the ‘Gunslinger’ feat you gain the first three deeds from the list below (Deadeye, Gunslinger’s Dodge, and Quick Clear); each deed thereafter is its own ‘Gunslinger’ feat.
    --Deadeye: When making an attack with a firearm you ignore the target’s armor DR; this costs a number of luck points equal to the number of range increments between you and the target.
    --Gunslinger’s Dodge: When a ranged attack is made against you, you may spend 1 luck point to move 5’ as an immediate action; doing so grants you a +2 bonus to AC against the attack. This movement provokes free attacks. Alternatively, you may drop prone to gain a +4 bonus to AC against the attack. You cannot only perform this deed if heavily burdened.
    --Quick Clear: As long as you have at least 1 luck point you may draw a pistol in place of moving or attacking; by spending 1 luck point you can reload a revolver instead of moving or attacking.
    --Gunslinger Initiative (Requires Gunslinger 1): As long as you have at least 1 luck point you can always act in the surprise round; you can spend luck points to add them to your group’s initiative check.
    --Pistol-Whip (Requires Gunslinger 1): Once per turn you may spend 1 luck point to make a surprise attack with the butt of your gun; this is a normal melee attack that deals 1d4+Str damage (1d6+Str with a rifle) and is in addition to any other actions made that round.
    --Trick Shot (Requires Gunslinger 1): As long as you have at least 1 luck point you can use your gunshots to perform tricks like blasting locks or scooting unattended objects; further, if you were just hit with an attack that drew blood, you may press your gun barrel to the wound after shooting to reduce the damage taken by 1 – this requires shooting and not moving the turn after taking damage.
    --Dead Shot (Requires Gunslinger 3): Each point of luck spent grants a +2 bonus to your next attack and damage roll with a firearm. You may opt to spend luck after making the attack or damage roll.
    --Startling Shot (Requires Gunslinger 3): As long as you have at least 1 luck point you may choose to intentionally miss a target with your shot, as long as you could potentially hit it; the target grants advantage to anything attacking it until the end of your next turn.
    --Targeting (Requires Gunslinger 3): You may spend 1 luck point to choose the effect of a critical hit; or spend 3 luck points to apply the effects of a critical hit to an attack that dealt at least 5 damage. That this does not turn the attack into a critical hit for other purposes (like regaining luck), and it only applies to your own attacks.
    --Bleeding Wound (Requires Gunslinger 5): You may spend 1 luck point to make an attack bleed, causing the target to lose 1 HP at the end of each turn until the damage inflicted by the attack has been doubled or it spends its turn doing nothing but staunching the flow of blood (provokes free attacks, any magical healing will also stop this).
    --Gunpowder Expert (Requires Gunslinger 5): As long as you have at least 1 luck point you never suffer mishaps when dealing with firearms, explosives, or gunpowder.
    --Lightning Reload (Requires Gunslinger 5): As long as you have at least 1 luck point you can reload while guarding.
    --Cheat Death (Requires Gunslinger 5): You can spend luck to absorb damage, each point of luck acting as 2 HP.

    Dares are similar to deeds but become active when your luck pool is empty and become inactive when you regain points. Upon reaching zero luck you can pick one dare to be active – once chosen, the active dare cannot be changed until the you regain luck then reach zero again. You may hold off picking a dare until you need it and may even start the day with zero luck so you can have a dare active. Each dare is its own ‘Gunslinger’ feat that requires Gunslinger 1.
    --Desperate Roll: While this dare is active you gain advantage on all ex saving throws. You may regain 1 luck once you succeed at two such saving throws while using this dare.
    --Frantically Nimble: While this dare is active you gain a +2 bonus to AC. You may regain 1 luck point when any enemy making a ranged or melee attack against you misses you three consecutive times. The attacks need not come from the same enemy.
    --Out for Blood: While this dare is active, you score critical hits with firearms when you deal at least 10 damage with a firearm. You regain luck with critical hits (as normal).
    --Run Like Hell: While this dare is active, your speed increases by 10’ and you add +2 to your AC if you did nothing but run on your turn. You may regain 1 luck point the first time you are more than 100’ away from your closest enemy.

    Spoiler: Scoundrel Feats
    Show
    Not all heroes are honest types; sometimes crime pays. The following 'Scoundrel' feats represent the kinds of special talents a character might gain after long experience sneaking and thieving.

    Sneak Attack: When attacking from surprise (by flanking or ambushing your enemy) you deal +Xd6 extra damage, where X is one-third your Scoundrel level, round up (your Scoundrel level is the number of Scoundrel feats you have, including this one).

    Trap-Finder: You gain a bonus to checks to find and disable mechanical and magical locks and traps equal to your Scoundrel level.

    Trap Sense: You gain a bonus to saving throws and armor class against mechanical and magical traps equal to your Scoundrel level.

    Synergy: if you have both Trap-Finder and Trap Sense, you also gain a bonus to checks to palm objects, pick pockets, and climb, sneak, and hide equal to your Scoundrel level.

    Gossip and Rumor: You may make a special Intelligence check with a bonus equal to your Scoundrel level to see whether you know some relevant information about notable people, mythological beasts, legendary items, or noteworthy places. A successful check will not reveal the powers of an item but may give a hint as to its general function. Once you make this check for a given subject you may not try again later; this sort of knowledge is essentially random. If used in combat or a dangerous situation this requires you to spend your turn lost in thought (provokes a free attack).

    Uncanny Dodge (Requires Scoundrel 2): You can react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so; enemies do not gain advantage for attacking you from surprise or while unseen/invisible. At Scoundrel level 4 enemies do not gain advantage for flanking you either and cannot deal sneak attack damage to you. However, if an enemy has a higher Scoundrel level than you then you lose these defenses against her attacks.

    Clever Fighter (Requires Scoundrel 4): When you go into combat you prefer to rely on tricks to fight your enemy, since scoundrels like you tend to be small and easily crunched. When a fight starts you have one chance to do something clever, either a crippling strike or a graceful pirouette; whenever you want to use your chance, declare it and apply the effects below. Once you use your one chance, you must spend a full turn studying the scene (provoking a free attack) to regain your chance. If you are ambushed, you do not have your one chance ready and must spend a turn preparing as if you had already spent it.
    • Crippling Strike: You can sneak attack opponents with such precision that her blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her sneak attacks has disadvantage on his attacks until he spends a full round recovering (this provokes a free attack). If hit multiple times, the effects stack.
    • Graceful Pirouette: You can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. When you would take physical damage roll 1d20 + Dexterity bonus + Scoundrel level against a DC of 10 + damage; you leap out of range of further attacks, and if the roll succeeds you take only half damage, or no damage if the result is double the DC.

    Slippery Mind (Requires Scoundrel 4): You can wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel you. If you are affected by a mind-control effect and fails your saving throw, you can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. You get only this one extra chance to succeed on your saving throw per magical effect.

    Hide in Plain Sight (Requires Scoundrel 4): You can attempt to hide behind anything, and I do mean anything, as long as it could conceivably cover at least some of your body. You can even attempt to hide from someone already looking at you. No promises on how high the DC will be, though. This does not make you invisible – enemies will notice you interacting with them. It’s a great ability for escaping, however.

    Spoiler: Alienist Feat
    Show
    A fun bit of flavor that I couldn't help but include.

    Alienist: This feat represents training in various cutting-edge fields of criminology, many of them invented only in the last decade or two. Since alienists are almost universally upper-class and college-educated, their methods are often dismissed by constables as a waste of time and money.
    • Dematoglyphics: The study of the “glyphs” of the human hand comprises both the techniques of dactyloscopy – identification of fingerprints – and cheiromancy, or palm reading. As long as you have a few minutes and your kit of papers and powders, you can copy a suspect’s fingerprints or glean them from a crime scene, allowing you to identify criminals (most people don’t realize that a person’s fingerprints are unique and unchangeable!). Cheiromancy requires only a few minutes of asking a subject questions about their plans and observing the physiological indicators on their hands – after this the DM makes a secret DC 6 Int check to tell you whether the subject’s proposed plans will come to good or bad ends (if you fail you will get it wrong).
    • Reteoptography: Most people don’t realize that your retina – the innermost, light-sensitive part of your eye – is constantly recording and clearing reverse images of everything you see; thus, by projecting light through a severed eyeball and into a series of special lenses, you can actually view the last image seen by that eye before death! This does require getting to the corpse before any rot sets in, as well as convincing family and authorities that this technique actually works.
    • Anthropometry: There are many reasons to measure bodies and corpses; for one thing, those trained in anthropometry know that the dimensions of certain bony structures remain fairly consistent through adulthood and can be used to identify individuals from mere bones (as long as you already know their measurements, of course) or determine a victim’s race, sex, and age from just a few bones. However, this field also comprises the more controversial subjects of phrenology (determination of mental traits by head measurements) and physiognomy (assessment of character from observing appearance). By subjecting a person or corpse to a long physical exam, you can effectively read the subject’s surface thoughts and emotions – so while you cannot determine if Andreas was the one that murdered Hugo yesterday at the docks, for example, you could determine that Andreas is a murderous man and currently harboring feelings of guilt, fear, and rage. Assessing mental state this way requires the DM to make a secret DC 11 Int check – you gain a modifier equal to your difference in level, and disadvantage if the subject is an alienist himself (if you fail you will get it wrong).

    Spoiler: Master Engineer Feats
    Show
    Oriana is a world of fantastic inventions impossible in our own, and I would be remiss if I didn't provide a way for players to make their characters into eccentric tinkers or soot-stained mechanics.

    Note: Your "Brilliance" is equal to the number of Master Engineer feats you have taken; it is applied as a bonus to all checks to design, repair, or destroy machines and mechanical or electrical objects.

    Jury-Rig: Gain a +2 competence bonus on checks made to attempt temporary or jury-rigged repairs. At Brilliance 7, this competence bonus increases to +4.

    Mastercraft: You have become adept at creating mastercraft objects, either electrical or mechanical. On average, it takes twice as long to build a mastercraft object as it does to build an ordinary object of the same type. The cost to build a mastercraft object is equal to the purchase DC for the components plus double the bonus provided by the mastercraft feature. You can add the mastercraft feature to an existing ordinary object by making the checks as though you were constructing the object from scratch. When successfully completed, a mastercraft object provides a +1 bonus to its quality compared to an ordinary object of the same type. All weapons and armor, and certain other types of equipment, such as mechanical and electronic devices, can be constructed as mastercraft objects. At Brilliance 4 your mastercraft objects provide a +2 bonus. At Brilliance 6 your mastercraft objects provide a +3 bonus.

    Quick Craft: When scratch-building an ordinary electronic, mechanical, or structural item, you reduce the building time by one-quarter. At Brilliance 5, the you reduce the building time of ordinary and mastercraft objects by half.

    Strike the Gears: You can use your knowledge of mechanics to more easily defeat and disable enemy vehicles. You deal +1d6 points of damage against machines by targeting slight weaknesses in their design or armor. In addition, you gain a +4 bonus on grapple checks against machines, enabling you to better climb on and deactivate them. At Brilliance 5, the bonus to damage increases to +2d6, and the bonus on grapple checks improves to +8.

    Reconfigure Weapon: You can reconfigure a melee or ranged weapon, improving one aspect of it. Reconfiguring a weapon requires 1 hour of work and a successful DC 20 Int check; reconfiguring a mastercraft weapon is slightly harder (DC 20 + the mastercraft bonus). You may take 10 or take 20 on this check. The reconfiguration imposes a –1 penalty on attack rolls made with the weapon but grants one of the following benefits indefinitely. Weapons can be reconfigured multiple times; each time a weapon is reconfigured, the benefits and penalties stack. Undoing a weapon reconfiguration requires 1 hour and a DC 20 Int check.
    • Greater Rate of Fire: The user can continue firing the weapon until he stops or runs out of ammo; each shot after the first takes a cumulative -3 penalty. The targets must be close together.
    • Greater Ammo Capacity: The weapon can hold 50% more ammunition than normal.
    • Greater Concealment: The reconfiguration grants a +2 bonus on Dex checks made to conceal it.
    • Greater Range Increment: The weapon’s range increment increases by 10 feet.
    • Signature Shooter: The weapon is configured for a single individual’s use only; anyone else who uses the weapon takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

    Craft Prosthesis: You can build replacement limbs and organs. You must first make a Wealth check against the purchase DC of 16 to acquire the necessary components, then invest 24 hours in its construction. At the end of that time, you must succeed at a DC 20 Intelligence check; if it you succeed, the prosthesis functions properly and can be installed at any time via surgery. If the checks fails, however, the design is flawed and another 24 hours must be spent fixing the problems, along with a new check made at the end of that time.

    Sabotage: You can sabotage an electrical or mechanical object so that it operates poorly. You must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom check to accomplish the downgrade, and sabotaging a mastercraft object is slightly harder (DC 20 + the mastercraft bonus). Noticing your handiwork without first testing the sabotaged device requires a successful Wis check (DC = your check result).; fixing the sabotaged item requires a successful repair check.
    • Sabotage Device: As a full-round action you can reconfigure a device with electrical or mechanical components so that anyone who uses it suffers a penalty equal to your Brilliance on checks made to use the device.
    • Sabotage Weapon: As a full-round action you can sabotage a weapon so that it misfires or breaks the next time it is used. A sabotaged weapon cannot be used effectively until repaired. This use of sabotage also applies to vehicles.

    Extreme Machine: By spending 1 hour and making an Int check, you can temporarily improve a machine’s performance—at the risk of causing the machine to need repairs later. Select the single improvement you want to make prior to making the check; the DC for the check depends on the type of improvement being made, as shown on the table below. You can’t take 10 or take 20 on this check. If the check succeeds, the effect of the improvement lasts for a number of minutes equal to your Brilliance, beginning when the object is first put into use. After the duration of the effect ends, the machine reverts to its previous state and a repair chance percentile roll is made. The result of this roll indicates whether the machine requires repairs before it can be used again.

    Ranged Weapon Improvement / Craft DC / Repair Chance
    +1 to damage / 15 / 25 %
    +2 to damage / 20 / 50 %
    +3 to damage / 25 / 75 %
    +5 ft. to range increment / 15 / 25 %
    +10 ft. to range increment / 25 / 50 %

    Tool and Device Improvement
    +1 equipment / 15 / 25 %
    +2 equipment bonus / 20 / 50 %
    +3 equipment bonus / 25 / 75 %

    Vehicle Improvement
    +1 on initiative checks / 20 / 25 %
    +1 to maneuver checks / 25 / 50 %
    +2 to maneuver checks / 30 / 75 %

    At Brilliance 4, you can apply any of the above as permanent upgrades, and add the modifiers below to your list of upgrades. A permanently upgraded item has a 10% chance of breaking after each time it is used.

    Handheld Weapon Upgrade / Craft DC / Repair Chance
    Weapon dazes target for 1 round / 25 / 25 %
    Weapon knocks target prone / 30 / 50 %
    Weapon stuns target for 1d4 rounds / 40 / 75 %

    Vehicle Weapon Upgrade / Craft DC / Repair Chance
    Weapon deals two extra dice of damage / 25 / 25 %
    Weapon ignores 5 points of target’s DR / 30 / 50 %
    Weapon’s critical hit increases by 1 / 35 / 50 %
    Weapon ignores 10 points of target’s DR /40 / 75 %

    Automata (Requires Brilliance 4): You can build small machines (automata) to serve as the your eyes, ears, or hands out to a predetermined distance away from the character when the you want to set explosives, disable a device, listen for something, repair a device, or spot something. Automata require a night of rest and rewinding to make ready for use; activating an automaton takes the place of an attack, and it thereafter acts on your turn. Follow these steps to build an automaton:

    1. Buy the parts. The purchase DC for the components needed is based on the automaton’s size. Make the Wealth check to purchase and gather the necessary components prior to starting construction. A “rat-sized” automaton can be 6-12 inches long or tall and weighs about 1 pound. A “cat-sized” automaton can be 13-24 inches long/tall and weighs up to 3 pounds.
    Size / Purchase DC
    Rat / 18
    Cat / 15

    2. Construct the frame. The machine’s body determines its size, shape, locomotion, and hit points. The DC of the crafting check is set by its size and modified by the form of locomotion selected. Select a frame size and form, add manipulators and sensors as necessary, and choose its action limit (how long the automaton can act before it powers down). Add all the modifiers to determine the DC and make an Intelligence check to construct the frame. It takes you 30 hours to construct a rat-sized frame and 12 hours to construct a cat-sized frame. If you fail the check you can try again but take a penalty equal to the amount by which you failed the check (this is cumulative if you fail multiple times).

    Size / Purchase DC
    Rat / 15
    Cat / 12

    Frame Shape and Locomotion
    Biped / +4
    Quadruped / +3
    Treads / +2
    Wheels / +1

    External Components
    Manipulators / +3
    Audio/visual sensor / +2

    Action Limit
    5 rounds / +1
    10 rounds / +3
    15 rounds / +5

    Extra Bonuses
    Per extra hour spent working / -1
    Access to Thalassian workshop / -5

    3. Construct the insides. The next step is to build the internal gears for the automaton and install them in the frame. The DC is based on its size and is modified by the number of components that need to be wired together. Add all the modifiers to determine the DC and make a Dexterity check to construct the insides. It takes you 12 hours to wire a rat-sized frame or 6 hours to wire a cat-sized frame. If you fail the check you can try again but take a penalty equal to the amount by which you failed the check (this is cumulative if you fail multiple times).

    Size / Craft DC
    Rat / 20
    Cat / 15

    External Components
    Per external component / +1

    Extra Bonuses
    Per extra hour spent working / -1
    Access to Thalassian workshop / -5

    4. Program the drone. Programing the automaton is the final step. Decide the type of check you want the automaton to make and how high a check bonus to program into the frame (can't be higher than your Brilliance). Each automaton can only contain programming for one skill. The DC for the check is 20 plus the bonus you want to give it. Determine the DC and make a Wisdom check to construct the insides. It takes you 1 hour to program a frame. If you fail you can try again. An automaton can be reprogrammed at any time; doing this requires 1 hour of work and another such check.

    Extra Bonuses / Craft DC
    Per extra hour spent working / -1
    Access to Thalassian workshop / -5

    Strike Lightning (Requires Brilliance 3): effects hidden until unlocked
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-03 at 11:05 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Feats List 2
    Show
    Spoiler: Radstone Feats
    Show
    To say that radium is an enigmatic substance would be to sell it short entirely. The archsilver has been a mystery since earliest antiquity, and many a scholar and alchemist has followed it to his doom. Even the strongest of historical wizards scorn the stuff. But not fifty years ago the secret was finally cracked by the famous Dr. Cavorum Lucet, a devoted metallurgist and alchemistry professor. While the Elysiun unweight was discovered quite accidentally by the missionary Anton Guérisseur, Lucet devoted his entire life to the deliberate study of metals. Although he never found his hypothetical “Cavorite,” supposedly distilled from ‘gravonic particles,’ and in his later years he wrote several thoroughly disreputable, poorly-researched, and politically-charged papers on “Vril elements” and the link between animal magnetism and electrical energy, his pioneering work on archsilver remains the epitome of scholarly brilliance, his life a testament to the scholarly archetype, one who devotes everything to the pursuit of knowledge.

    While not as strong as steel or conductive like copper, radstone’s unusual property of ‘radiance’ makes it incredibly valuable to modern technology. It constantly emanates energy on an invisible wavelength, energy which can be harnessed to power devices. If properly bound, the scholars imagine, radiance could power machines without the hiss and heat of coal-steam or the heft of heavy clockwork gears. Yet its stubborn secrets keep this power hidden away, and its frightening side-effects keep the public away. The Thalassian military, however, has been excitedly sponsoring research into the metal – many alchemistry students can receive a full tuition payment if they sign on to produce radium shells, madwheels, and monstrous warbeasts for the army after accreditation.
    Despite its utility and increasing ubiquity, the average Thalassian knows very little about how the substance works. Belief in “cursed metals” has always existed, and if half the stories about radstone are true, it’s bale lights are indeed the stuff of malice.

    Spoiler: Archsilver Rumors
    Show
    “The Izhorian Thaal residents of the Castrian district still have slimy, pale, and foul-smelling skin; most of their parents and grandparents were hired by Dr. Lucet to build the first archsilver foundry.”

    “The Rhoscan Emperor Valenian II famously died from consumption of archsilver tonic, then reanimated a day later. He continued drinking tonics throughout his fifty-year life, dying and reanimating a second time while on campaign against the Sheng before dying a third and final time on the battlefield.”

    “Dr. Lucet’s wife lost her nose and ears away to her husband’s experiments, and her hair has entirely fallen out. This is why she wears a mask in public.”

    “The famous doctor (and later magister) Istan Therevy experimented with archsilver over a century ago, and reportedly the old man’s teeth and nails regularly fell out and grew back.”

    “There was a famous scandal in the broadsheets a while ago about a bright young alchemistry student, a distant cousin of the Hakan of Orokhistan, Vheg IV. The Hakan had sponsored his cousin’s education in Thalassia in the hopes he could begin establishing archsilver foundries upon his return, but after only a few years of exposure to the substance in academy the young man’s eyes clouded like milk and he became permanently blind. It caused quite a stir.”

    “Folklore from the highlands says that wearing an archsilver pendant lets you see in the dark. Well, I don’t know about that, but it certainly does change your eyes so they can’t tolerate sunlight!”

    “Supposedly, the reason Dr. Lucet never smiled for his portraits was because he drooled constantly. That’s why he shaved his beard later in life – it stained!”

    “In the Hospital of Saint Vesanus (don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t an asylum), there’s supposedly a smith that once worked with radstone; they say he eats little to nothing and can tolerate raw or rotten food, but constantly rages and complains that the staff are trying to poison him – he throws out food claiming it has no taste, then complains that he always feel hungry.”

    “Archsilver was the one thing Marius Venture never dabbled with, even though he knew Dr. Lucet personally. His son Amadeus supposedly started up a foundry in Legios, but after the workers started showing up with gaunt limbs and saggy potbellies, Venture Industries closed the place before it even opened.”

    “According to Sheng tradition, archsilver tonics will slow your heart, allowing you to sleep away the years – of course, in Sheng medicine everyone has a fixed number of heartbeats, determined by the starts or something, so conserving them is the key to a long life.”

    “Dr. Lucet’s assistants all had the same nervous twitch. They squirmed like rats if you looked at them.”

    “The archsilver talks to you.”

    “You know Chagri divers weigh themselves with radstone weights? They say it keeps them warm in the depths.”

    “In Therme and Letora, where they mine the stuff in loads, you can always tell the miners from the rest because they weep bloody tears. The rats around Cold Canal are the same – I think that’s ‘cause the universities dump their spent stuff there.”

    “Before he disappeared, Dr. Lucet’s habits were the stuff of wild rumor. Supposedly he slept in a torpid state, and nobody could wake him until he had rested exactly eight and a half hours. It was like he died every evening.”

    “Some scholars attribute the insanity of the Rhoscan Emperor Caracalla to lead piping laced and aqueducts built with radstone-flecked granite. It would explain his ravings that a spirit in his belly commanded his awful conduct.”

    “All alchemistry students that work with archsilver complain of delirium and hallucinations; it’s from the fumes, no doubt. Just an unfortunate side effect of the pursuit of science.”

    “Dr. Lucet’s son Horace is supposedly sexually impotent, and rumors from the upper-crust says he’s nearly emotionless. Such a shame he displays none of his father’s potency with metals.”

    “You can usually tell, just from their image on tapestries and statues, which ancient alchemists worked with archsilver – they always look gaunt, and exhumation has always revealed a weakened skeletal frame.”

    “There was a famous case a few years ago in Saint Timothy’s Hospital with an alchemistry student was admitted after a stroke. Turns out he had been stealing radsilver pellets from his proctor’s lab, and the stuff hidden under his bed had gradually poisoned him. His family tried to hush up the story, but of course it got out. They say he died from a blood clot in his brain, but for hours after he died his blood was turgid, discolored, and visibly moved beneath his skin.”

    Archsilver Smith: Taking this feat means you have studied alchemistry in college or as an apprentice, and are slowly learning to build the various horrendous and amazing machines the Thalassian military uses to wage war across the globe. It grants you the following four abilities -- Radiant Senses, Radium Tolerance, Sniff Out the Stone, and Desperate Measures -- and allows you to take the subsequent item-creation feats that use radstone.
    • Radiant Senses: Your ears, nose, and eyes are all amazingly sensitive; also, you can see into the ultraviolet spectrum. If something could be smelled, you will smell it. If something could be heard, you will hear it. You can’t technically see in the dark, but your other senses are so sharp that you can operate in darkness without any penalties.
    • Radium Tolerance: You are able to endure the proximity of a number of lumps of radium equal to your 1 + madness + Con mod. For each lump of radium that you carry around with you above this limit, you suffer burns, weeping sores, and persistent sickness, lowering your maximum HP by 1 per lump until you get rid of the excess. If you carry excess radium for a full week, you have a 5% chance per excess lump of starting to mutate: this mutation has a 20% chance of being beneficial, a 30% chance of being harmful, and a 50% chance of just being weird and freakish. Normally characters have radium tolerance 0 and suffer double the negative effects; for fairly obvious reasons, most people avoid radstone like the plague.
    • Sniff Out the Stone: You have a natural talent for sniffing out radstone deposits. At any time, you may spend 1 hour slinking around with your tools and make a DC 10 Wis check; if you succeed, you sniff out a nearby lump of radstone, accessible after just 2d6 hours of digging (of course, if you're in a settled area, the local inhabitants might not be too keen about you digging up their floor to retrieve the magic plague-rocks buried underneath!). If exact timekeeping isn’t an issue, just assume that you are able to dig out one lump of radstone for each full day you spend prospecting.
    • Desperate Measures: If you’re really desperate, you can swallow lumps of raw radstone, which is kind of like attempting to metabolize a noxious mixture of amphetamines and rocket fuel. Make a DC 15 Con save, adding your madness. If you succeed, you take 1d3 damage but also gain +2 to your melee to-hit and damage rolls for the next 1d20 minutes. If you fail, you take 1d6 damage and are incapacitated by uncontrollable vomiting for the next 1d6 rounds. Whether you succeed or fail, you have a 5% chance per lump swallowed of developing a new mutation over the next 1d6 days. Anyone without radium tolerance stupid enough to swallow the stuff gets double the penalties and none of the advantages.

    Note: Your "Madness" is equal to the number of Radstone feats you have taken; it is applied as a bonus to all checks to discover, prepare, or understand metals and chemicals.

    Archsilver Studs: You can break a lump of radstone down into fragments, carve each of them into pointy little talismans, and then hammer them into your own flesh in order to hyper-stimulate your nervous system through controlled radium exposure. Each set of radstone studs boosts either your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 18, and counts as one radstone lump for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Cackling Madwheel: You can build a ‘madwheel,’ which basically a giant spiky hamster wheel 4’ wide and 8’ across, powered by a bunch of mutant creatures running along inside it; and then you can build a seat on top of it and ride around on it while cackling madly, because the army pays you to make these and you're obviously totally nuts. Building a madwheel takes a week and requires at least six mutant creatures to power it; it moves at 60’ per round, the same pace as a jogging human, but once it gets going its momentum is enormous, allowing it to smash through fences, wooden huts, infantry lines, etc. – anyone it crashes into must make a DC 10 Dex save to get out of the way, or take 2d6 damage from being smashed or run over. You have cover from your seat but can’t shoot forwards, because there’s a huge freakin’ wheel in the way; you can, however, strap up to three trigger-operated gunpowder weapons onto the madwheel, one on each side and one on the front, all of which you can operate without leaving your chair – although if you want actually aim them, you can still only fire one of them each round, and you can’t reload them until you stop the thing and get off. The madwheel has 24 HP, AC 15, and is immune to piercing attacks (spears, arrows, and bullets).

    Depleted Radium Shells: By subjecting a lump of radstone to an alchemical process and mixing the resulting ‘depleted’ radstone with lead, you may cast a set of six shells that ignore 2 points of armor DR, suitable for use as ammunition in any gun that you may have. Carrying these shells around with you counts as one radstone lump for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Ether-Ray Projector: By burning radstone within a high-pressure crucible, simulating millennia of degradation under the earth, you can generate waves of ethereal rays that pierce flesh and capture images on special screens, invaluable for delicate surgical operations or disabling of locks and other complicated sealed devices. It takes about a day to build the projector; use of it takes an hour and consumes one lump of radstone. Using this device can grant a doctor advantage on healing or surgery rolls or a mechanic advantage to crack a lock or other device, but the users (and the patient) suffer mutation risk as if exposed to radstone for a week.

    Improvised Gunsmith: At this point you are so used to dealing with guns and explosives that with access to a workshop you can scratch-build a firearm in a weak and make twelve bullets a day. Of course, these aren’t the most quality of firearms – these ‘boomsticks’ require two hands, deal 1d12 damage, take 3 rounds to reload, and explode on a to-hit roll of 1, damaging you as if you shot yourself. You can combine a whole bunch of boomsticks into a single, hand-operated, multi-barreled ‘rattlegun,’ allowing you to fire once per round until each barrel has been fired once, at which point you need to reload them all, which takes three rounds per barrel. A rattlegun can have up to six barrels but is very heavy – if you move and shoot you take a to-hit penalty equal to the number of barrels, and carrying it around counts as one item per barrel.

    Lightning Projector: Given a week’s tinkering time in a workshop you can construct a crude lightning generator, which uses hand cranks or rodent treadmills to build up an electric charge and then channels it through a radstone prism to turn it into a crackling wave of brilliant-blue electrical death. Building up a charge takes ten minutes, so this is not a weapon you can use every round, but when fired it zaps everything in a 30’ line in front of you. The damage it inflicts varies based on how much radstone you use to make it: one lump grants 1d6, three lumps grants 2d6, six lumps grants 3d6, and ten lumps grants 4d6 (a DC 15 Con save is permitted for half damage). Carrying one of these weapons around counts as a number of radstone lumps equal to the number used to make it for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Monstrous Growth: By breaking a lump of radstone into splinters and strategically jamming them into a small animal like acupuncture needles, you can force it to undergo a spectacular course of mutation-fueled growth. Over the next 2d6 days this rat, pigeon, fish, or whatever grows into a giant, hairless, man-sized mutant; it will have 2d4 HP, AC 8+1d4, and a +1 bite attack dealing 1d4 damage. On some primitive level it recognizes you as its master, and will obey simple commands as long as you keep it fed. The maximum number of such beasts that you can command at once is equal to your madness.

    Poison-Wind Globes: You can grind radstone up into very fine airborne powder, which you then seal inside a thick glass globe. Each poison wind globe requires one lump of radstone and one day to make, as well as access to glassblowing equipment. When thrown they smash open to release a 5’ radius cloud of noxious poison gas; everyone caught within the affected area must pass a DC 15 Con save or take 2d6 damage. The gas persists for 1d6 rounds, moving with the prevailing wind (if any), before evaporating – multiple overlapping clouds do not require additional saves, but do increase the damage by 1d6 per additional cloud. Carrying these around with you counts as one radstone lump per globe for the purposes of radium tolerance. Whenever you suffer a heavy impact while carrying them (e.g. taking falling damage, being whacked with a big club, etc.) each globe has a 20% chance of shattering on impact, creating a poison gas cloud centered directly on you.

    Radiant Fire-thrower: You have learned how to mix radstone dust into a horrible radioactive sludge which, when combined with oil and tar, turns into a napalm-like substance that burns with a ghastly silver flame. Given one day in a workshop you can construct a crude flamethrower to launch this stuff at your enemies, each flask of which allows you to spray an area in front of you 15’ long and 5’ wide. Anyone caught in the burning spray (or simply splashed with the unlit fluid and then set on fire) takes 2d6 fire damage, DC 15 Dex save for half, while someone who somehow managed to get an entire flask of the stuff poured all over them would take 4d6 damage when ignited (no save, but this is not likely to be practical in combat conditions). Making each flask takes two hours and one lump of radstone, and carrying it around counts as one lump per flask for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Radstone Pellets: You’ve fiddled around with this stuff enough that you know how to refine radstone down to a potent, condensed pellet. With a day of work you can convert up to ten lumps of radstone into as many thumb-sized radium pellets that count as radstone in all respects except they are now very light items.

    Radium Powder: Given access to a workshop, you can cut your gunpowder with radstone dust, creating a flash of silver radium flames when the gun is fired. The resulting weapon deals +3 damage but takes two rounds to reload because you have to clean the warped barrel after firing (sure you can keep firing, but it’s a cumulative 15% chance the gun blows up un your hands and you take damage as if you shot yourself). One lump of radstone is enough for six bullets; carrying them around counts as one radstone lump for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Radium Snuff: You have learned a technique for ‘cutting’ radstone dust with other chemicals to create radium snuff; inhaling it is rather safer than just swallowing lumps of radstone raw. Grinding a lump of radstone into a dose of radium snuff takes one hour; snorting it has the same effect as eating radstone, but grants a +4 bonus on your save and has no chance of causing mutations. Carrying a dose of radium snuff counts as one radstone lump for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Scarbalm: By mixing radstone dust with pitch you can create a horrible tarry sludge which, when heated up and poured onto an open wound, half-melts and half-glues it back together, leaving horrible black scars. Making one pot of scarbalm takes one day and uses up one lump of radstone; carrying it around counts as one lump for the purposes of radium tolerance. Applying it takes two rounds (one to heat it and one to pour it), heals 1d8 damage, and is horribly painful for the patient.

    Screaming Steel: Given access to a forge, you can create a bronze-and-radstone alloy handheld bell (or cymbal, or triangle…) which, when struck, generates an ear-splitting wave of sound capable of shattering objects and making eardrums burst into bloody ruin. A peal of sound directed at an object within 10’ causes it to shatter; a peal directed at a person’s head inflicts 1d8 sonic damage (DC 15 Con save for half) instead. Either way, you take 1d4 damage each time you ring the bell, as blood pours from your ears and eyes in a thoroughly unpleasant way. Making a screaming bell requires three lumps of radstone and counts as the same number for the purposes of radium tolerance. This is, incidentally, why nobody makes armor out of radstone alloys – beyond the risk of mutation, you’d take 1d4 extra damage with every blow!

    Weeping Steel: Given access to a forge, you can melt down a mixture of metal and radstone into an alloy which you then forge into a bladed weapon. The resulting weapon constantly ‘weeps’ corrosive black particles like venom, increasing the damage it inflicts. The damage bonus granted depends on the number of lumps of radstone melted down in making it: one lump grants +1, three lumps grants +2, six lumps grants +3, and ten lumps grants +4. Carrying one of these weapons around counts as a number of radstone lumps equal to the number used to make it for the purposes of radium tolerance.

    Spoiler: Mesmer Feats
    Show
    I am indebted to Joseph Manola (https://udan-adan.blogspot.com/) for coming up with the mesmerism mechanics, and to Arnold K (http://goblinpunch.blogspot.com/) for the idea of wizard vision.

    Wizardry has always been a part of Midian history, from King Solon’s legendary binding of demons to Emperor Claudian’s laws against sorcery to the tracts decrying witchcraft written during the Vulgar Wars. Men have always known that the world was inhabited by invisible entities living in parallel and that incorporeal nets of force connected all living things. The ancient Rhoscans believed that spirits infested everything, from the souls of inanimate objects to the shades of the restless dead, and by careful training their priests communed and supplicated these beings. The Apostolic Church venerated a panoply of saints, and the living regularly called for assistance from the holy dead. While the Evangelists denied the existence of ghosts and discouraged attempts to contact what were surely demons masquerading as loved ones, they regularly invoked the universal force of the One to bind worshippers together and strengthen their resolve. Throughout the ages there have always been secret societies whose members claimed higher knowledge of the hidden things. In modern Thalassia and much of the equatorial Midian world these roles are taken up by the mesmers.

    Mesmerism is the practice of opening one’s inner mind to the ethereal force underneath the material plane, sometimes referred to as “animal magnetism” or “mesmeric energy.” Modern mesmerism emerged from the esoteric Hermetic movement of the 16th and 17th century, though many suppose its origins are far older. Initially unpopular, occasionally persecuted as heresy, and confined to the upper classes, the Hermetics gained public prominence as they were gradually accepted into the courts of those kings who recognized their skills as valuable rather than mere chicanery and charlatanism. The violence and upset of the Thalassian Revolution popularized the use of their practices, and the survival of several royally-chartered schools ensured their proliferation into the modern day.

    The popular image of a mesmerist is of a respectable if somewhat bizarre professional, with the same status as a doctor or lawyer – though just as physicians may sell poisons and surgeons may rob graves, people are aware that mesmers can and do use their skills for nefarious purposes. College-educated men from the middle and upper classes, the typical mesmer is well-dressed and owns an office in a good part of town. He carries in his bag a journal, textbooks, and mirror, incense to help induce the trance state, and smelling salts to wake the patient; he is often accompanied by an apprentice or a trained animal (usually a crow, parrot, or small dog) to either use as a medium or to wake him from his own meditations. He usually belongs to a fraternal association of other mesmers in his town or region, who enforce standards, support each other legally and financially, and may have even paid for his tuition. Of course, for every professional mesmer in town there is surely a charlatan or two in the uglier, poorer districts that claims to be a self-taught practitioner – the fraternal associations have done much in recent years to gain municipal licensing powers and drive such frauds out of business, similar to what the college doctors are trying to do to midwives.

    People know that mesmers have studied to be in tune with secret energies that permeate the world and are aware of all kinds of invisible particles that infest it; by subjecting a patient to a trance, a mesmerist can reveal these things to him too, for as long as the hypnotic state lasts. Most clients seek out the mesmerist as a kind of combination psychiatrist and exorcist, though they can also provide a number of healing services. Judges may employ mesmers to extract confessions from prisoners, though most constables just prefer to beat the truth out of poor suspects and reserve expensive mesmeric treatments for the rich and well-connected. Supposedly, mesmerists can use their powers to possess people or exercise some other kinds of control, though most country’s laws forbid the use of mesmerism to control others. “Possession” is a crime similar in severity to theft, or rape and arson in serious cases, and repeat criminals may be chemically blinded (if not simply executed), since everyone knows a mesmer’s power comes from his eyes.

    Mesmerism: Taking the mesmerism feat represents the years of college study needed to become a mesmer and grants you the following powers: wizard vision, mesmeric stare, somnambulism, mesmeric energy, and battle of wills. A character’s “magnetism” is the total number of ‘mesmer’ feats he has.
    • Wizard Vision: While it has a more professional name among practitioners, the folk-term has stuck: mesmerists all have “wizard vision,” an ever-present sixth sense developed due to the mesmerist’s constant exposure to the invisible magnetic radiance that permeates the atmosphere. As they say, once the “third eye” is open, it can never be closed. Expect lots of muttering and mumbling about “animal magnetism” and “the music of the spheres” from mesmerists! A mesmerist can always detect hidden or invisible creatures (though they appear as radiant particle clouds or eldritch color waves, as does everything under wizard vision) and can always know if another individual is a mesmerist by looking him in the eyes. Every mesmerist is a little mad, whether because the cognitive dissonance required to deal with his wizard vision makes him loopy or because the impossible facts and sights constantly assailing his humanity drain his empathy just a bit. Upon becoming a mesmerist a character must take 1d4 points of either Wis or Cha damage – this madness is permanent and cannot be healed, but the character gains an equivalent amount of extra mesmeric energy, or ME (see below). At any time, a mesmerist may roll another 1d4 and take more madness to gain more ME, though if this would cause him to drop to zero Wis or Cha he will drop dead or go completely insane the next round, and you will lose your character.
    • Mesmeric Stare: By staring at someone for one round, you can project waves of mesmeric force into his body and brain. This ability has a maximum range of 20 ft. + 5 ft. x magnetism. Your target must make a Wis save (DC 10 + level difference) or go into a trance state, effectively paralysed by your mesmeric powers for as long as you maintain total concentration – of course, if the target wants to enter a trance state, then he can forgo his save. It is possible to mesmerize animals as well as humans. If you have access to a mirror, still pool of water, or other reflective surface you may mesmerize yourself; you cannot wake yourself from a self-induced trance, but after a few hours you will probably just fall asleep. If you use both hands to make continual waving motions (“mesmeric passes”) at the target of your mesmeric stare, propelling additional waves of mesmeric force into their bodies, they take a -2 penalty to their saving throw. You can only make mesmeric passes if your hands are empty and your arms are unencumbered. If your target takes any damage, or if you take any action other than walking, talking, and staring, this effect immediately ends; if you injured you must make a Con save (DC 10 + damage) to maintain concentration. Once someone succeeds in a saving throw against your mesmeric stare, you cannot attempt to mesmerize him again for the next 24 hours.
    • Somnambulism: Once you have placed someone into a trance state using your mesmeric stare, you can order them to perform simple physical actions: “drop your weapon,” “walk forwards,” “unlock the door,” and so on. All these actions will be performed very slowly and clumsily, making fine manipulation impossible – similarly, if you tell the target to attack someone, his blows will be so slow and clumsy that only an immobile target will be in any danger. If you order your target to do something harmful to himself or repugnant to his beliefs, he may make a new saving throw to break out of the trance; and if they actually take damage, the trance ends immediately.
    • Mesmeric Energy: You have a pool of mesmeric energy (ME) equal to your magnetism + madness. This energy is used to power your Mesmeric Powers (see below) and is recharged after a good night’s sleep. Whenever you use your mesmeric stare or mesmeric powers on a target you may spend ME to raise the DC by the amount spent. Whenever you are affected by a mind-affecting supernatural power (e.g. sleep, charm, fear, etc.), you may spend 1 ME to reroll your save (or to make a save, if the power doesn’t normally allow one). If you fail, you can try again next round until you either pass your save or run out of ME.
    • By touching a fellow mesmerist, you may transfer any amount of your own ME to them. If this transfer brings them above their normal maximum level of ME, the excess must be used immediately, or it is lost at a rate of 1 point per round.
    • Battle of Wills: If you ever try to involuntarily mesmerize another mesmerist, they are instantly aware of your attempt; and, instead of making a saving throw, they may instead choose to engage you in the world's most epic staring contest. Each round, you each roll 1d6 + magnetism; the loser loses 1d3 ME. Whoever runs out of ME first is mesmerized by the winner.

    Clairvoyance: Once you have placed someone into a trance state, you may spend 1 ME to relocate his senses to another location, with a maximum range of 10 miles x magnetism. The location must either be named (e.g. “inside Lord Beaumont’s study”) or exactly specified (e.g. “on the other side of this door” or “three hundred yards west of here”). For the duration of their trance, the entranced individual can see and hear whatever is happening at this location as if he was actually present and will truthfully answer any questions you ask about what is happening there. The effort is very tiring, however, and can be maintained for a maximum of 1 minute x magnetism; after this the subject collapses in exhaustion and the trance ends. An exhausted subject has disadvantage (for all d20 rolls, roll twice and take the lowest) for as long as he was under the effects of clairvoyance. If you use clairvoyance on yourself you do not answer questions but rather wake with the knowledge gained during the trance.

    Derange: Once you have placed someone in a trance, you may spend 1 ME to scramble the animal magnetism in his brain. The target may make a new saving throw to break out of the trance and resist this effect; but if he fails, he will start to behave in completely crazy, random ways as soon as the trance ends, and continue to do so for 1 hour x magnetism thereafter. You cannot derange yourself.

    Diagnosis: Once you have placed a sick individual in a trance state, you can ask his to diagnose himself. The target will then proceed to recite some eccentric-sounding but basically harmless routine of diet and exercise that he needs to undertake in order to get well – “Eat celery seven times a day and avoid all contact with hot water,” for example, or “run three miles every morning and drink nothing but raspberry juice.” For as long as these instructions are followed to the letter, the patient gains advantage (roll twice, take highest) on all saves against disease. If you diagnose yourself, you will wake with the necessary knowledge.

    Electric Sex: By spending 1 ME, you can charge an iron bedframe with animal magnetism for the next 24 hours. The next two people who have sex on it during that time will be refreshed and revitalized: each will regain 1d4 HP and will gain a +2 bonus to Str and Con scores for the next day (if relevant, the chance of pregnancy is also greatly increased).

    Energy Drain: Once you have placed someone into a trance state, you may concentrate for one round and spend 1 ME to suck all the animal magnetism out of him. The target may make a new saving throw to break the trance but takes 1d6 x magnetism damage if he fails. Unlike all other forms of damage, this does not cause the trance to end. If the damage doesn’t kill the target you can try to energy drain him again the following round. You cannot energy drain yourself.

    Enthrall: If you place a single individual into a trance state (willingly or otherwise) for at least one hour per day – and continue doing this for a number of days equal to his Wisdom score – then at the end of this time you may invest one point of ME in them to reduce him to a state of reflexive obedience. While in this state he will automatically obey any instructions you give him that are not obviously harmful or repugnant, and may be placed in or out of trance states by you at will, simply with a word, gesture, or glance (and you don’t need to concentrate to maintain these trance states). If you try to force the target to do something harmful or abhorrent and he then passes his saving throw to resist your command, the enthrall effect ends as well and must be re-established from scratch. You cannot enthrall yourself.

    Eyes in the Belly: Anyone whom you have placed into a mesmeric trance gains, if you so choose, the ability to see as though he had “eyes in the belly.” These so-called gastric eyes can see through clothes, darkness, wood, and even thin walls, allowing the target to see inside locked chests, through doors, etc. For the duration of their trance, the individual will turn his eyes to look in any direction you dictate, and will truthfully recite what he can see through them. If you trance yourself to gain gastric eyes, you cannot turn your body under your own power and will not respond to questions, but your gastric eyes do “see” all around you and when you wake you will remember everything seen.

    False Memories: Once you have placed someone in a trance state, you may spend any number of points of ME to modify his mind. For every 1 ME spent you may grant the target a new save against a mind-effecting affliction such as supernatural fear or charm, possession, or another mesmerist’s link for enthrall and long-range mesmerism. You may also spend 1 ME to describe a fake event and implant it in the target’s mind, though he gets a saving throw against this and a success shakes him out of the trance. Each additional saving throw or false memory takes a minute to describe, and whenever the target is presented with evidence that his memory is not real he gets a new saving throw. You cannot give yourself false memories.

    Inspire Dread: When any enemy or enemies you are facing makes a morale check, you may spend any amount of ME to make yourself seem fearsome and terrifying. Your enemies take a penalty to their morale check equal to the amount of ME spent. You cannot inspire yourself with dread.

    Long-Range Mesmerism: Once you have successfully mesmerized someone, from that point forwards you may spend 1 ME to attempt to mesmerize him even if he is not present, up to a maximum range of 10 miles x magnetism. If the target does not want to be mesmerized, he gets a saving throw as normal, and if he passes then you cannot attempt long-range mesmerism upon him again until you have re-established your hold by successfully mesmerizing the target in person. However, people already under the influence of your enthrall ability don’t get a saving throw against long-range mesmerism. You cannot use mesmeric passes when attempting long-range mesmerism. Once the target is mesmerized, you gain a general sense of where he is and what he is doing, and you may then use any of your other mesmeric powers on him – commanding him with somnambulism, healing them with mesmeric healing, etc. – just as if you were actually present. The trance ends if the target is hurt or if your concentration is broken. You cannot long-range mesmerize yourself.

    Magnetize Fluid: By spending 1 ME, you may charge a bottle of water with animal magnetism; whoever drinks it will be healed, regaining 1d6 HP. The water will retain the charge for a maximum of 24 hours, or 48 hours if mixed with iron filings. An individual cannot heal more than 6 HP per day by drinking magnetized fluid.

    Magnetize Ink: By spending 1 ME, you can imbue the ink of a letter you’ve just written with a mental impression: an emotion, for example, or an image, or a short phrase. The first person who reads the letter will immediately find this emotion, phrase, or image taking root in their mind, although if they’re not familiar with mesmerism they may not realize where it has come from!

    Magnetize Metal: You may spend 1 ME to charge a metal wand, rod, or staff with animal magnetism. Wielding this whilst making mesmeric passes at people imposes an additional -2 penalty on their saving throws against your mesmeric stare ability, for a total of -4. The advantage of a wand is that it is easily hidden, while a rod can be used as a one-handed club and a staff as a two-handed staff. Whatever its size, the item retains its charge for 24 hours.

    Mass Mesmerism: By spending 1 ME and directing your mesmeric stare against a whole group of people (who must all be standing in a group, allowing you to stare at all of them at once), you may attempt to simultaneously mesmerize a number of people equal to twice your magnetism. They each get a saving throw as normal. You may choose to have any subsequent mesmeric abilities you can use – mesmeric sleep, mesmeric command, suppress pain, etc. – affect any or all of them, at your option (they will each get a saving throw as normal). Remember that you must be able to stare at your target to maintain the trance, so if you order the group to split up (or other circumstances prevent you from staring at them all), some will break out of the trance immediately. You can combine this ability with long-range mesmerism to mesmerize multiple distant targets at once. You cannot mass mesmerize yourself.

    Meditative Stasis: When you put yourself into a trance, you may enter a state of hibernation in which you do not need to eat or drink and produce no waste – you still breathe, but shallowly. You remain in this state for days, spending 1 ME each day, until you either reach 0 ME and wake up, or are knocked out of the state by something else.

    Mesmeric Charisma: You may spend any amount of ME to give a commanding quality to your words and gestures. For each point of ME your Charisma score is increased by 2 (max 20) for 1 hour x magnetism. You may invest ME in the target of a trance, raising their Charisma once they exit the trance.

    Mesmeric Command: By spending 1 ME, you may gain a much more powerful form of control over someone whom you have placed in a trance state, similar to a “charm person” spell. For as long as you maintain complete concentration, the target will obey your commands to the full extent of his normal ability – he will fight for you, perform complex tasks for you, truthfully answer questions you ask him, and so on. As with somnambulism, harmful or abhorrent orders permit the target to make a new saving throw to break the trance. You cannot use mesmeric command on yourself.

    Mesmeric Healing: Once you have placed someone in a trance state, you may spend any number of points of ME to heal his injuries; each point expended heals 1d6 HP but requires an hour in the trance – you may spend double the ME to divide the time required by two, triple the ME to divide it by three, etc. If you spend three or more points at once (for healing, not to speed up time), the target is also healed of any poisons currently affecting him. Mesmeric healing cannot regenerate lost body parts. You can use mesmeric healing upon yourself.

    Mesmeric Sleep: By concentrating for one round, you may cause anyone whom you have placed in a trance to fall into a deep sleep. The target will instantly pass out, and unless awakened by loud noise, pain, or similar sensation, he will continue to sleep for the next 1d6 hours. By spending 1 ME, you may instead choose exactly how long the target will sleep, up to a maximum of 24 hours (taking any kind of damage still wakes them up immediately, though). You can combine this with mesmeric healing to count the hours in mesmeric sleep as hours in a trance (that way you don’t have to spend hours staring at someone to heal him!). You can use mesmeric sleep upon yourself.

    Mesmeric Spiritualism: Anyone whom you place into a trance state gains the ability to see and communicate with nearby invisible beings, spirits, ghosts, etc. They will truthfully describe what they see or hear and can be used to convey messages back and forth between you and the spirits. The effort is tiring, however, and can be maintained for a maximum of 1 minute x magnetism; after this the subject collapses in exhaustion (as clairvoyance) and the trance ends. By combining this ability with clairvoyance your subject may communicate with spirits in a distant location. You may use mesmeric spiritualism upon yourself; though you will not answer questions asked by onlookers, you may ask questions within your own mind of the nearby spirits and will remember their answers once you leave the trance – and spirits may still use your body to convey messages to onlookers.

    Perfect Recall: Anyone whom you place into a trance state gains the ability to answer questions about their past with perfect accuracy, including recalling entire conversations – even conversations conducted years ago in languages they don’t know – word for word. During the trance state the target will truthfully and accurately answer any questions you ask him about his past, though he will get a second save if you try to get him to reveal information that would be seriously harmful or repugnant. Perfect recall is tiring, however, and can be maintained for a maximum of 1 minute x magnetism; after this the subject collapses in exhaustion (as clairvoyance) and the trance ends. You may use perfect recall upon yourself; though you will not answer questions asked by onlookers, you may ask questions within your own mind and will remember the answers once you leave the trance.

    Phreno-Magnetism: By spending 1 ME, you may channel mesmeric energy into one of the phrenological organs of a target whom you have mesmerized, enormously exaggerating one side of his personality: so, you could supercharge his rage, his friendliness, his laziness, and so on. This effect begins as soon as the trance ends and lasts for 1 hour x magnetism. You cannot use phreno-magnetism on yourself.

    Summons: Once you have successfully mesmerized someone, from that point forwards you may spend 1 ME to attempt to call him to you, up to a maximum range of 10 miles x magnetism. The target instantly become intuitively aware of your location, and experience an overwhelming desire to come to you. If the target attempt to resist this he may make a saving throw, and if he passes then the effect ends, and you cannot attempt to summon him again until you have re-established your hold over him by successfully mesmerizing him in person (people under the influence of your enthrall ability don’t get a saving throw, however). If the target fails, however, he must come to your side as quickly as possible. The effect ends if your concentration is broken. You cannot summon yourself.

    Suppress Pain: Once you have placed someone into a trance, you may spend 1 ME to render him impervious to pain for 1 hour x magnetism. During this time, the damage the target takes from all attacks is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 1) and taking damage will not knock the target out of the trance. This may be combined with mesmeric sleep to place people into mesmeric comas from which they are effectively impossible to awaken until the appointed time. You can use suppress pain upon yourself, though if nobody is around to wake you up, you will probably waste the effects as you will be stuck in the trance until you fall asleep from exhaustion and then wake up hours later!

    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-03 at 11:01 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Feats List 3
    Show
    Spoiler: Shaman Feats
    Show
    Feats for a character that wants to practice spirit-worship in the vein of the non-Messian Thaal and Sheng in Thalassia will go here if anyone in interested in such a character. Even in an industrial world such as Oriana, reverence for the spirits remains strong.

    Spoiler: Spell-Caste Feats
    Show
    Chargi spell-castes are something between unique and sacred bloodlines and professional guilds of fraternal warlocks, each with a single and unique suite of eldritch powers. The Chagri claim that these are evidence of their divine descent, and each spell-caste has its own secret rituals, passed from parents to children, performed in veneration of the ancestor god. Needless to say, most non-Chagri are skeptical of this, but the inability of powers to transfer and combine through inter-caste or inter-racial marriages does give some credence to the belief. At the very least, whatever principle animates the caste's powers, it is capricious and does not seem to follow normal laws of inheritance and biology.

    While there are dozens, if not hundreds of such castes in the lands of the Ringsea, the fortunes of many have sadly fallen as technology either outright replaced their social purpose or enabled the remaining Chagri to exterminate those clans deemed too powerful and dangerous to allow. The four castes posted below are ones that have, for one reason or another, migrated to the Thalassian Empire and found work in its cities.

    All spell-caste powers operate on the same principle of "shakti," the cosmic power of creation and animation, represented by the fluids of the body, most particularly water and blood. A Chagri caster has a pool of shakti equal to 2 x the number of spell-caste feats he has. Shakti is spent to activate the powers each feat given, and regenerates fully over the course of a day (so a Chagri with a pool of 1 regenerates at a rate of 1 point per 24 hours, one with a pool of 6 regenerates at a rate of 1 point per 4 hours, etc.). A Chagri can also spend his own HP as shakti -- it is all the same power, after all.

    Spoiler: Anusandhaan
    Show
    The Chagri of the Anusandhaan caste are believed to be the descendants of Xero-jaana, a trickster goddess and spirit of knowledge, represented as a fox or a dolphin. Under their skin, the blood of the Anusandhaani runs blue and copper, forming vivid and pulsing lines that glow more brightly the mightier the caster. Many are scholars, bureaucrats, judges, and priests, but those who bear the power of their goddess work for the government of Mauryan as special warrior-servants tasked with guarding members of the royal family. While Mauryan law forbids any from leaving the realm, a population escaped decades ago led by Gagan Naidu, a member of a failed coup against the heir. Gagan escaped with much of his relatives and, along with many other members of the plot, were given refuge in Thalassia (which may have been behind the coup). Gagan died safe, but impoverished and disgraced, and descendants have made their living as bodyguards and detectives for Thalassian gentry.
    • Right-Hand Power: By spending 1 shakti you become instantly aware of all mesmerism, radstone, spell-caste powers, and other such magical effects within 60'.
    • Left-Hand Power: By spending 1 shakti you become instantly aware if a specified creature, object, or area has been poisoned or is poisonous.
    • Upper Power (requires Shakti 1): At any time, you can invest 2 shakti to become aware of any attempt to observe you by means of casting, mesmerism, or other divinations. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Lower Power (requires Shakti 1): At any time, you can invest 2 shakti to become aware of any invisible creatures near you (they appear as clouds of light particles or rays of alien color). As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Greater Power (requires Shakti 2): By spending 2 shakti the glow of your blood fills your eyes with light; for a number of minutes equal to your level, you cast light from your open eyes as a torch and you can see through all darkness, smoke, illusions, and all other obscuring effects.
    • Inner Power (requires Shakti 2): When injured, you can instantly convert Shakti to HP to absorb the damage.
    • Synergy: taking any amount of Anusandhaani feats grants you a bonus to checks to spot enemies and other dangers equal to your maximum shakti.


    Spoiler: Khoj
    Show
    Agori-vak is a lupine god of the Chagri; a savage cherub wearing a wolf-pelt, bearing a hunting horn and accompanied by a pack of mongrel dogs. His theogony is confusing, as the god is only present in the mountainous northeast, where he is either ignored or despised as a demon. Only among the Khoj is he worshipped. Demeaned as a clan of savage, jet-blooded woodland bandits, the Khoj enjoyed one brief period of majesty when they held a mountain kingdom during one of the ages of disunity in the south, but when the Mauryan dynasty rose one of their last wars of consolidation was to destroy the Khoj Realm. The survivors were driven out of the Ringsea and into the western highlands, where they first sought to conquer and rule the Thaal but were eventually overthrown and either destroyed or integrated into the population. A small portion survived and continued to migrate north, until they were settled by the kings of Novostria on the frontier to defend the realm against the Sheng. Today Novostria is gone, lost in the Revolution and replaced by the Thalassian Empire, but the Khoj remain. While most publically profess the Messian faith, they still practice their rites to Agori-vak in secret. Many serve as soldiers and bounty-hunters, but increasingly they are employed by the big mining concerns to sniff out seems of silver and coal, though many Khoj elders see this as demeaning.
    • Right-Hand Power: At any time, you can invest 1 shakti to become aware true north at all times. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Left-Hand Power: By spending 1 shakti you sense the direction of a well-known or clearly visualized object or location. You can search for general items, in which case you locate the nearest one of its kind if more than one is within range of up to 500 feet. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Upper Power (requires Shakti 1): By spending 2 shakti you visualize a specified person or creature. You can specify a general person/creature, in which case this affects the nearest one of its kind if more than one is within range of up to 500 feet. The target becomes vaguely aware of your location and interest, and if it decides to come towards you it will easily find you. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti. If a target has already been affected by this power from a Khoj Chagri and knows it, should he ever be targeted again in such a way he will know what is happening; otherwise it is merely an unusual feeling that quickly passes if ignored.
    • Lower Power (requires Shakti 1): By spending 1 shakti you sense the direction of a well-known or clearly visualized person or creature. You can search for general persons/creatures, in which case you locate the nearest one of its kind if more than one is within range of up to 500 feet. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Greater Power (requires Shakti 2): By spending 2 shakti and meditating for several minutes, you become intuitively aware of the shortest, most direct physical route to a specified destination, be it the way into or out of a locale. You will know the exact path to follow or physical actions to take at any given time in your journey, such as sensing trip wires or knowing the proper password to bypass a guard; you do not know the whole route ahead of time, however. The power does not grant you the power to surpass obstacles you have no way of passing, such as unlocking doors without a key or lockpicks or vaulting a 50' chasm, and the effects only last until you reach your destination or a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Inner Power (requires Shakti 2): When injured, you can instantly convert Shakti to HP to absorb the damage.
    • Synergy: taking any amount of Khoj feats grants you a bonus to checks to befriend and train canines equal to your maximum shakti.


    Spoiler: Dhaal
    Show
    The Dhaal are a powerful warrior-caste with numbers in the hundreds of thousands and were an instrumental part in the rise of the Mauryan Empire. Easily identified by their gold-and-indigo blood, the Dhaal are near to royalty in the Ringsea. They have their own province, Bahlika, currently ruled by Benegal Soter, their prince, and they are spread far and wide through the realm given their privileged position as officers in the military. Their god, Sola-dhaal, is one of the more popular across the Ringsea, which only furthers their influence -- those that are not warriors are usually priests of the great solar wheel, protector of the daylit sky and all who toil beneath it. With this trust comes freedom as well, and it is not unusual for the Mauryan Emperor to grant his Dhaal subjects approval to settle abroad. Even Vanalot itself sports a temple to their god in the "Dallish Ward." While theirs is a martial tradition, their status and riches make life easy for Dhaals, and expats can be found occupying a wide variety of high-status jobs in Thalassia.
    • Right-Hand Power: At any time, you can invest any amount of shakti to increase your AC by half that amount. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Left-Hand Power: By spending 1 shakti you gain a pool of 10 temporary HP against ranged weapon damage. Multiple uses of this power increase this HP pool. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Upper Power (requires Shakti 1): By spending 1 shakti you gain a pool of 10 temporary HP against a specified energy type, such as fire or cold. Multiple uses of this power increase this HP pool. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Lower Power (requires Shakti 1): By spending 1 shakti you gain advantage on saves against all mesmerism, castings, and other “magic” powers manifested by enemies of a lower level than you. Multiple uses of this power stack. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    • Greater Power (requires Shakti 2): Your Lower Power now grants advantage against the powers of enemies of equal or greater level as well.
    • Inner Power (requires Shakti 2): When injured, you can instantly convert Shakti to HP to absorb the damage.
    • Synergy: taking any amount of Dhaal feats grants you a bonus to checks to sense motives and falsehoods equal to your maximum shakti.


    Spoiler: Parvarish
    Show
    The Chagri of the Parvarish caste are believed to be the descendants of the Skylos, not a single god but rather a divine clan of attendants to the sea-god Varuna. Depicted as watchdogs, octopi, and sometimes as gremlin-like fishmen, the Skylos were apparently sent to guard the first Chagri as they traveled from their sunken homeland in the center of the Ringsea to colonize the tropical coasts and river valleys. Supposedly, many of the Skylos fell in love with their charges and took them as wives, weakening their divine blood, and for which Varuna cursed them to fear and despise the sea and dwell on land instead. The modern Parvarish are a recently-constituted caste; the Mauryan Emperors created them by decree out of recognition of their shared power. Thus they carry diverse traditions and many do not believe the Skylos legend at all. Chafing at the restrictions on trade and marriage, many have fled the Ringsea to other regions. The only thing that unites the Parvarishi is their red and brown blood, and the strange attraction many spirits seem to have for them. Whatever the truth of their origins, the Parvarish have put this affinity to good use, and conjure spirits to serve as spectral guards and wardens. In Thalassia, as in Mauryan, most Parvarish work as locksmiths and mechanics, while those of the strongest blood are hired to work as special guards over banks or private fortunes.
    • Right-Hand Power: At any time, you can perform a short meditation of a few minutes to invest 1 shakti to ward a small area no greater than 20’ in radius. Each time a creature enters the warded area or touches it, a mental alarm alerts you (and only you) so long as you remain within 1 mile of the warded area. You note a single mental “ping” that awakens you from normal sleep but does not otherwise disturb concentration. A creature that speaks the password (determined by you at the time of casting) does not set off the alarm, nor do miniscule creatures like insects. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Left-Hand Power: At any time, you can perform a short meditation of a few minutes to invest 1 shakti to link two nearby persons, creatures, or objects. By means of this casting, you misdirect the information from divination that reveal auras (detecting mesmeric power, discerning lies, and the like); the subject of misdirection is detected as if it were the other object unless the diviner succeeds on a Wis roll-off against your Cha. For instance, you could make yourself detect as a tree if one were within range at casting: not evil, not lying, not magical, neutral in alignment, and so forth. The effect lasts so long as you remain within 1 mile of the target. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect.
    • Upper Power (requires Shakti 1): Your Right-Hand power can now, if you wish, damage those that enter the area, dealing 1d8 psychic damage per shakti invested in addition to activating the alarm. An affected creature gets a Dex save (DC = 10 + your Cha + shakti invested) to leap out of the warded area and take only half damage. Once a creature enters the area, however, it becomes immune to the effects for the next 24 hours (or until you replace the ward).
    • Lower Power (requires Shakti 1): Your Left-Hand power can now, if you wish, completely obscure the target from divination instead of merely confusing detection attempts.
    • Greater Power (requires Shakti 2): This powerful casting is primarily used to defend a stronghold. The ward requires a day-long ritual and the investment of all your shakti; it protects 200’ square per shakti, shaped as you desire. Fog fills all corridors, obscuring all sight beyond 5’. All doors in the area are locked or jammed shut (DC 20 to pick or force open). Inky black tendrils fill all stairs from top to bottom, entangling any that enter (DC 20 to escape) – they are weak and flammable (can burn or cut 5’ square per round), but they regrow in 10 minutes. Where there are choices in direction, such as an intersection or side passage, there is a 50% chance that intruders believe they are going in the opposite direction from the one they actually chose. One door per shakti is covered by an illusion to appear as if it were a plain wall (it is still a door and works if touched). In addition, unusual lights, smells, and sounds abound throughout the area, along with the occasional gust of ethereal wind; these effects are caused by the spirits and are out of your control. As the shakti is not spent but "invested," it does not start to regenerate until you banish the effect, which will end the moment you leave the area.
    • Inner Power (requires Shakti 2): When injured, you can instantly convert Shakti to HP to absorb the damage.
    • Synergy: taking any amount of Parvarish feats grants you a bonus to checks to create or disable traps and locks equal to your maximum shakti.


    Spoiler: Cantor Feats
    Show
    Messianism is the primary religion of eastern Oriana and its worshipers call upon the divine voice to heal the sick, banish the unclean, and unite with God. While the feats below describe "singing," this is only for Apostolic Messians, who use the ancient language of Mysia. Evangelist and Charismatist Messians have developed their own invocations, which use modern languages, since the Vulgar Movement of the late Medieval Era -- though their preachers do not call themselves 'cantors' but 'speakers', the use the same feats and have the same effects. Note that the powers of the Messian faithful are not examples of 'divine magic' (although they have a religious character and are used in ritual) but of natural harmonics similar to the powers of Thalassian mesmers -- they are mundane powers wielded for a divine cause, like the swords of crusaders or the words of missionaries.

    Music of the Spheres: A cantor can use his song or poetics to produce extraordinary, even supernatural effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired) by reciting the naturally harmonic formula discovered over the generations. These abilities can all be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, or singing lyrical songs, according to his religious traditions. By taking this feat, he gains access to Countersong, Fascinate, and Inspiration.
    Starting a song is done at the start of the round, at the same time as those loading, guarding, etc. At the end of the round the cantor makes a Charisma check, adding his cantor level, and subtracting any damage taken over the round; if the result beats the relevant DC, the effect manifests and affects the relevant targets in subsequent rounds. Some songs require concentration, which means the cantor must continue singing each round thereafter to maintain the effect. This does not require subsequent checks, however, unless the cantor is damaged or suffers a similarly severe distraction. This kind of singing requires complete concentration, and thus the cantor cannot speak, move, or do anything else while singing.
    A cantor gains a pool of cadence, which is equal to the number of cantor feats he has, including this one. Each time he successfully manifests a song this pool is reduced by one; if the pool dips below zero, these negative points of cadence are called drain. When making a check to sing, if the cantor has any drain he suffers a number of disadvantages on the roll equal to that drain. A full night’s rest removes all drain and replenishes all cadence. Checks to maintain a song on which the cantor is concentrating (due to damage or distraction) do not reduce his pool of cadence.
    • Countersong: A cantor can use his music and poetics to counter extraordinary or supernatural effects that depend on sound. The cantor may concentrate for up to 10 rounds on the countersong: each round of the countersong, he makes a check, and the next round any creature within 30’ (including the cantor himself) that is affected by a sound-dependent attack may use the check result from the end of the last round in place of its saving throw, if his check is higher (if the effect doesn’t normally grant further saves, he may use it anyway. However, countersong has no effect against attacks that don’t allow saves.
    • Fascinate: A cantor can use his music and poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90’, able to see and hear him (and visible to him), and able to pay attention to him. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three cantor levels (round up), the cantor can target one creature. When using this ability, the check result is the DC for the affected creature’s Wisdom save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the cantor cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, however, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the cantor concentrates (up to his cantor level). While fascinated, a target takes a -4 penalty on all checks made as reactions. Any damage or distraction to the cantor or creature requires the cantor to make another check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new check result. Any obvious threat that would prevent the ability from working to begin with, such as someone drawing or aiming a weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect.
    • Inspiration: A cantor can use songs and poetics to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the cantor. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears him and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every six cantor levels (round down).

    Inspire Competence (Requires Cantor 1): The cantor’s inspiration ability can now be used to help an ally succeed at a task outside of combat. The ally must be within 30’ and able to see and hear the cantor, who must also be able to see the ally. The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on a specified type of check, such as to unlock a door or control a ship, as long as he or she continues to hear the music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible, such as singing to increase someone’s ability to negotiate or move silently. The effect lasts as long as the cantor concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A cantor can’t inspire competence in himself.

    Suggestion (Requires Cantor 1): The cantor can now make a suggestion to a creature that he has already fascinated. A suggestion is a course of activity, limited to a sentence or two, and must be worded in such a manner as to make the activity sound reasonable; asking the creature to do some obviously harmful act automatically negates the effect. The suggested course of activity can continue for the entire duration, but if the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the effect ends once the subject finishes what it was asked to do. You may specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration of the fascination instead of initiating the action immediately; if the condition is not met before the duration expires, the activity is not performed. Using this ability can be done once per round and does not break the cantor’s concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect. A Wisdom saving throw (against a new check by the cantor) negates the suggestion, however. This ability affects only a single creature, and the creature must be capable of understanding the cantor’s language.

    Banishment (Requires Cantor 2): The cantor can now use his music to exorcise demons, turn undead, and otherwise banish unholy creatures – each such creature has a resistance level (most are RL 1-3), indicating how powerfully evil it is and how difficult to fight. The check is made as normal to determine the maximum resistance level you can affect. If you can restrain the target such that you can perform an exorcism over the course of an hour rather than just a single round of combat, you gain advantage on your check. Then roll [2d6 + Cantor level + Cha mod] for the total resistance levels of unholy creatures you can affect. You target the closest allowable monsters first, ignoring those that are more than 60’ away or have total cover relative to you.
    Charisma Check Result / Maximum Resistance Level
    0 or lower / Cantor level -4
    1-3 / Cantor level -3
    4-6 / Cantor level -2
    7-9 / Cantor level -1
    10-12 / Cantor level
    13-15 / Cantor level +1
    16-18 / Cantor level +2
    19-21 / Cantor level +3
    22+ / Cantor level +4
    Affected creatures flee from you by the best and fastest means available for as long as you maintain concentration (max 1 minute); if they cannot flee, they cower (giving any attack rolls against them advantage). If your max resistance level is twice that or more of the target, you destroy it instead of causing it to flee.

    Greatness (Requires Cantor 2): The cantor can now use music and poetics to inspire greatness in one or more willing allies within 30’, granting them extra fighting capability. For every three cantor levels (round up), the cantor can target one ally. To inspire greatness, a cantor must sing and an ally must hear him sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the song and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with greatness gains a number of bonus temporary hit points equal to half the check result, and a bonus to saves and morale equal to a quarter this result (round down). Subsequent inspirations made while under inspiration may replace lesser, earlier inspiration effects but do not stack. Once the effects of the inspiration end, the temporary hit point vanish, possibly resulting in the death of the affected character. A cantor can target himself with this ability.

    Song of Freedom (Requires Cantor 2): The cantor can now use music and poetics to break an enchantment, mesmeric effect, or other mind-affecting attack, using the cantor’s check result as the save (if the effect uses one) or as his character level (if it does not use saves, it is broken if this effective level is greater than that of the one that produced the effect. Using this ability requires 1 minute of uninterrupted concentration and music, and it functions on a single target within 30’. If the effect comes from some permanent supernatural effect from and object or location, the song does not remove the effect from its origin but does free the victim from the effect. A cantor can’t use the song of freedom on himself.

    Song of Protection (Requires Cantor 3): The cantor can now use music and poetics to shield one or more willing allies within 30’. For every three cantor levels (round up), the cantor can target one ally. To target an ally the cantor must sing and an ally must hear him sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the song and for 5 rounds thereafter. A creature affected gains a bonus to AC equal to a quarter this result (round down). Subsequent inspirations made while under inspiration may replace lesser, earlier inspiration effects but do not stack. A cantor can target himself with this ability.

    Mass Suggestion (Requires Cantor 3 and ‘Suggestion’): The cantor can now make a suggestion simultaneously to any number of creatures that he has already fascinated.

    Extra Music (Requires Cantor 4): The cantor adds 4 cadence to his pool.

    Haunting Melody (Requires Cantor 4): The cantor can now use music and poetics to intimidate all enemies within 30’. Every enemy must make a Wisdom saving throw against his check, and if they fail they take disadvantage to all checks for a number of subsequent rounds equal to his cantor level.

    Music of Growth (Requires Cantor 4): The cantor can now use music and poetics to target all animals and plants within 30’. Each such creature gains a bonus to its Str and Con scores equal to a quarter his check result (round down) for as long as he concentrates.

    Soothe the Beast (Requires Cantor 4): The cantor can now use music and poetics to improve the attitude of an animal, his check applied to the table below to determine the creature’s new attitude. The typical domestic animal will be indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. To use this ability both the cantor and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30’ and under normal conditions (i.e. not already fighting each other). Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. You can also use this ability to influence a magical beast too, but you may take a penalty on the check according to the creature’s power.
    Initial Attitude / Unfriendly DC / Indifferent DC / Friendly DC / Helpful DC
    Hostile (will take risks to hurt you) / 20 / 25/ 35 / 50
    Unfriendly (wishes you ill) / — / 15 / 25 / 40
    Indifferent (does not care about you) / — / — / 15 / 30
    Friendly (wishes you well) / — / — / — / 20
    Helpful (will take risks to help you) / — / — / — / —

    Tenacious Words (Requires Cantor 5): If the effects of a cantor’s song would end early, due to a saving throw, countersong, or other such effect, they instead last a further 1d4 rounds before ending.

    Deafening Song (Requires Cantor 5): The cantor may use songs and poetics to temporarily deafen all creatures within a 30-foot spread. A successful Con save against your check negates the effect. The deafening effect lasts for as long as you concentrate (up to 10 rounds); anything that would cause the cantor to reroll his check also grants those affected another save.

    Rapid Inspiration (Requires Cantor 5): The cantor can use his inspiration ability in place of an attack, instead of taking an entire round to use it. The inspiration takes effect immediately after he concludes the action.

    Rapid Fascinate (Requires Cantor 5 and 'Rapid Inspiration'): The cantor can use his fascinate ability in place of an attack, instead of taking an entire round to use it. The fascination takes effect immediately after he concludes the action.

    Reactive Countersong (Requires Cantor 5 and 'Rapid Inspiration'): The cantor may begin a countersong at any time, even when it isn’t his turn, though this uses his free attack for the round and the check is made at disadvantage. He cannot, however, use reactive countersong at the same time he is using another music ability, though he could stop the other ability to begin the reactive countersong if so desired.

    Strength of Voice (Requires Cantor 5): Double the range of any cantor music ability that has a range.
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-03 at 11:03 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: World Guide
    Show
    THE WORLD OF ORIANA

    “It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
    – last words of famed natural philosopher Darian of Tarraco

    Oriana is a world of extremes. Thanks to the abundance of spirits and their effects on the environment, the world possesses great beauty as well as terrible darkness. From the cloud-capped peaks of the Spine of the World to the spectacular beauty of the azure Ringsea, through the algae-choked, iridescent depths of the Canyonlands and the endless vast of the great southern deserts, north or south, east or west, Oriana contains natural wonders undreamed of on other worlds. Looking up into the night, one can see the moon charting a golden path across the sky, giving way to stars gathered in constellations, each named for a god of legend.

    The heart of the world is a single great continent that has no name; it wraps around the southern pole, its edges creeping up past the equator until it plunges at the Great Scarp into the sea that commands the northern half of the world. The utter south, Polaris, is a frozen wasteland none have ever seen. Deserts of sand and blasted rock march northwards from its limits in all directions until they meet the great landmarks that force bitter winds to give way before the bounty of green. No such mark is greater than Tharsis, the Spine of the World, a colossal north-south mountain range that rises from the southern desert hills above the tallest clouds, before tumbling, thousands of miles north, into the sea.

    A million rivers fall from the snow-capped peaks of Tharsis west into Amazonis, one of the cradles of civilization. Thousands of years ago it was beautiful and green, but now it is a harsh badland wormed by countless threading rivers. Clinging to the cliffs of Tharsis and facing the Amazon Sea are the nations of Arvad, Medusan, and Sthenan; north of them lies the colonial-republic of Semotia, founded by Thalassian expatriates over the past century. All four face the enormous kingdom of Therme, a giant which straddles the mighty Mangala River. Therme’s badlands hold the ruins of many ancient civilizations – Kumat, Xarak, Stygia, and infinite others.

    West of Therme along the coast lie Pelusia and Letora, ancient Midian realms along the Aeolian Straight, the norther half of which is formed by the enormous island of Elysium, host of the Midian countries of Charontis and Orcanis, the Thalassian colony of Kerberos, and the kingdoms of Namneta, Volca, and Axona, the last realms of the Morgai bird-men. While Charontis and Namneta have been for decades reduced to mere puppet states of the Empire, the others remain free. The Aeolians of the Straight are a proud and ancient people, tracing their history back to fabled conquerors like Shargon and Philander, who once controlled an empire that stretched from Therme to Thalassia. Those days are long past them, however, and the last thousand years of their history have been spent squabbling with the Morgai across the Straight and the Ashrak of the great desert.

    Ashrak migration has been a major factor in the history of the east; the interior grasslands south of Therme and Aeolia were once the deep outposts of Midian civilization, but century after century the inland cities fell to the scaled hordes of the south. Only in the colonial era was this pattern reversed, the result of many small and bitter border wars waged by the so-called “Greenlanders” against the Ashrak. From east to west the countries of Bozisharod, Apsyan, Sakan, Ballakan, Lurmsakun, Chelkar, Haruzan, and Pesarzan coat the liminal zone between the Midian coastal countries and the deeper and wilder desert. These are hardscrabble places where life is cheap, and anything can be bought and sold – slaves, fossils, artifacts, and desert gold all abound in the souks and bazaars of these dry and deadly lands.

    West of the north-south column that is Elysium-Aeolia-Ashrakan is the mighty Thalassian Empire, jewel of the eastern world. Built on the fading memory of Rhoscan glory and forged from a Revolution that fused four decaying kingdoms into a modern imperial state, Thalassia stretches from the Isidian Sea in the west to the Aeolian Straight, its southern back shielded by high mountains from the Ashrak of the desert and the Chagri of the Ringsea. But those uplands are not empty; a panoply of highland Thaal nations – Laasmaar, Jogiriik, Maarvald, Jahimaar, Vanariik, and Idarien – cling to its peaks and valleys. Thalassia here plays the role of a dispassionate hegemon, intervening in local feuds only to ensure a constant supply of silver, iron, and coal flow down the rivers to its great industrial cities, from which frigates, steamships, and dirigibles all launch into the Utopian Ocean, bound for Aeolia, Isidia, or stranger lands on the far side of the world.

    The western border of Thalassia bridges the land of Isidia, which is almost a ringsea but forms only a crescent opening into the Utopian, a colossal bay called Isidis by the ancients. Its shores were once the breadbasket of Rhoscar, and the homeland of bronze-age empires before that – Apygia in the south and Syrtis in the north – but the eastward migration of the Sheng changed the region immeasurably. Now Isidia is a place of mongrel kingdoms like Amganisag and Tamurisag in the south, Yakhustan and Orokhistan on the northern crescent. New to the region is Mahtavamaa, a young highland state carved by Thaal rebels out of Amganisag territory in the last century; the two countries are ever at odds, and the Empire keeps a firm and careful watch should war break out again upon its western border.

    Finally, south of those feuding lands is the Ringsea, a huge inland basin shielded in the east by deep highlands against the Ashrak of the desert. This is the land of the Chagri, their home for millennia, and the northernmost spur of their civilization is the Mauryan Realm, the only eastern empire truly strong enough to threaten Thalassia. It is good that high mountains, thick with Thaals, keep them from each other, and the minds of their sovereigns focused on trade instead of war.

    TIMEKEEPING

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to get, and a time to lose, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace. What profit hath the worker from that in which he toils?”
    – from “The Writings,” attributed to King Sofan Amon

    Outside the Ringsea, the people of eastern Oriana mark the passage of time according to the standards developed by the Thalassian Empire (based on earlier Rhoscan systems) and sanctioned by its senate almost a hundred years ago. Days are twenty-four hours long, divided into day and night. Seven days (Sulday, Molan, Zolan, Wiran, Zoran, Farday, and Sarday) make up a week, four weeks a month (Zarantyr and Olarune to begin the year; Therendor, Eyre, and Dravago for the spring; Nymm, Lharvion, and Barrakas for the summer; Rhaan, Sypheros, and Aryth for the autumn; and Vult when winter begins), and twelve months a year. The old system of weeks and months doesn’t actually correspond to the solar year, and for centuries the ecumenical astronomers have tried to produce a pattern of “saintly days” that exist outside the calendar and can be introduced periodically to realign it.

    While a particular culture may count the years dating from some significant event in its past, the common calendar of eastern Oriana is the Messian Calendar, which counts from the First Dawn Council to the present day. The adventure begins in the year 1837 ND (the 1837th year of the ‘New Dawn’). During the Revolution that spawned the Thalassian Empire, there was an attempt to secularize the calendar by reverting to the pre-Messian system of dating from the founding of the city of Rhoscar, but it never caught on, and while previous emperors have flirted with the idea, the current compromise is to write “IR” (Imperial Reckoning) on official documents, not “ND.”

    GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

    “The ruler who implants in the hearts of his subjects not fear resulting from cruelty, but love occasioned by kindness, is most likely to complete his reign safely. For it is not those who submit from necessity but those who are persuaded to obedience who continue to serve and to suffer without suspicion and without pretense of flattery. And they never rebel unless they are driven to it by violence and arrogance.”
    – from “Meditations on Death,” by Emperor Valenian II

    Since the fall of the Rhoscan Empire over a thousand years ago, most Midian countries have been feudal monarchies. While the Revolution a century ago resuscitated ideas of republican rule, the bloodshed and terror that resulted from it quashed much of that sentiment, and so although Thalassia has a senate and plebiscite few would pretend that real power does not lie with its monarch the emperor. However, it is no longer feudal, having long ago transitioned to a mercantile economy: the rural farmers are either freemen or tenants, and a middle class of laborers and shop owners has developed in the larger towns and cities; noble titles and ancient bloodlines may guarantee social status or exclusive legal rights, but no longer any economic or military power. The ‘nouveau riche’ are strong competitors with the surviving aristocracy, and several times an emperor has granted such bourgeoise elites noble titles to increase competition.

    Outside Thalassia, the old model of government still holds, especially in Therme, Elysium, and the lands of the Thaal (though Thaal monarchies often resemble military dictatorships more than anything, especially the newer states). Aeolia has always had a strong tradition of federated, if not necessarily republican, rule, and in some ways the Sheng states of the west and the Ashrak countries in the south are as much theocracies as they are monarchies. The Mauryan Realm is a monarchal empire, but unlike Thalassia it has not senate or constitution and is far less centralized, with many regional princes enjoying near-autonomy from their sovereign; many ethnic minorities are nearly-autonomous as well, and local government is incredibly varied among the Chagri.

    MAGIC AND RELIGION

    “Proclus the Successor grandiloquently defined theurgy as, ‘a power higher than all human wisdom, embracing the blessings of divination, the purifying powers of initiation, and in a word all operations of divine possession.’ It may be described more simply as magic applied to a Godly purpose and resting on a supposed revelation of a religious character. Whereas vulgar magic, goetia, used names and formula of sacred origin to profane ends, theurgy used the procedures of vulgar magic primarily to a sacred end.”
    – from “Before the Dawn,” by Magister Aelian the Quiet

    The distinction between “magic” and “religion” is a prickly one. Often times, historically, the local man of woman to whom you turned for guidance and help was a priest at your temple, while a “magician” or “cultist” was anybody that practiced magic but you didn’t trust. Spirits effuse the world, everyone knows that, and even in the modern day, when a Thalassian mesmer might perform rituals without a mention of religious or philosophical thought, his client knows that he is contacting the world of spirits for aid.

    In Thalassia there are three kinds of “magic-users” to whom people usually turn: mesmers, cantors, and speakers. All serve as the shepherds of spiritual matters in some way or another: whether by officiating births, marriages, and deaths; by easing troubled minds with council and exorcising wicked spirits; or be serving as keepers and judges of the moral law. Mesmerism is, of course, a secular job and not a religious position, though the practice did emerge from esoteric mysticism and occultism, and most mesmers are religious. People know that mesmers have studied to be in tune with secret energies that permeate the world and are aware of all kinds of invisible particles that infest it; by subjecting a patient to a trance, a mesmerist can reveal these things to him too, for as long as the hypnotic state lasts. Most clients seek out the mesmerist as a kind of combination psychiatrist and exorcist, though they can also provide a number of healing services. Judges may employ mesmers to extract confessions from prisoners, though most constables just prefer to beat the truth out of poor suspects and reserve expensive mesmeric treatments for the rich and well-connected.

    Cantors are the priests of the Apostolic sect of Messianism, the oldest and most orthodox. Its name comes from the apostles that followed the prophet Yshan; as the personal companions of an incarnate savior, they attained central status in the emerging religion, and the direct transmission of their words and teachings was considered vital. This was formalized in the ‘doctrine of transmission,’ the idea that the word of the apostles was the most direct method by which the divine law could be passed on while there was no savior on Oriana; the priesthood, which traced itself to them, was thus said to have the sacred power of ‘magisterium,’ the ability and duty to tutor the peoples of the world through sacred ritual. To an Apostolic, it is extremely important that the words spoken during a ritual are in the language of the original apostles – otherwise they cannot be sure that they are receiving real divine connection, as the true meaning of the sacred word may not be translatable. This doctrine has led to Apostolic services taking on a very emotive, musical quality; since the vast majority of worshippers (and even many priests) do not understand the liturgical language, it is often sung to help convey its meaning via tone, meter, and gesture – hence the term ‘cantor.’

    Speakers are Messians too, though they are ordinary unordained men and women – they are not Apostolics, and they would resent being called “priest,” though many lead assemblies as well as perform other services. The Evangelists and Charismatics completely reject the priesthood and the doctrine of transmission, among others, and so their speakers communicate solely in the ‘vulgar’ tongues.

    The traditional myths of Chagri are quite different. Those that have not converted to Messianism study the texts of historic prophets and reformers, such as Zarathar and Mazak; the religious built around these men do not have priests but gurus and teachers, men that have studied philosophy but clam no divine connection. In some ways, the patriarchs and matriarchs of the spell-castes fill this role, as their connection to their clan’s progenitor-god is physically evident. Chargi spell-castes are something between unique and sacred bloodlines and professional guilds of fraternal warlocks, each with a single and unique suite of eldritch powers. The Chagri claim that these are evidence of their divine descent, and each spell-caste has its own secret rituals, passed from parents to children, performed in veneration of the ancestor god.

    “One of the students asked Zarathar, ‘Are you a god?’ He said he was not. ‘Then are you a healer?’ He replied that he was not. ‘Then are you a teacher?’ the student persisted. Again, he denied it. ‘Then what are you?’ asked the student, exasperated. ‘I am awake,’ Zarathar replied.”
    – from Dr. Marcus d’Laimey’s “Annotated History”

    While many Sheng and Thaal in the east are Messians, their ancient traditions are still strong, and most have not given up spirit-worship completely. While true shamanism is rare, many families and communities still revere a patron spirit. Nobody disputes that these beings exist, or that they cannot grant powers, but many Thalassians scoff at such practices. Professional mesmers will tell you that spirits have nothing to teach us that our scientists have not discovered for ourselves, while cantors, speakers, and caste-leaders scoff at the idea of “worshiping” beings no better than ghosts, animals, or powerful men. “Spirits may be immortal, ethereal, and yes, at times even helpful,” they will say, “but they most certainly are not ‘gods.’”

    RURAL LIFE


    “See them pretty ladies there, / Husk that corn before you eat; / They will fix it for us rare, / Husk that corn before you eat. / I know supper will be big, / Husk that corn before you eat; / Think I smell a fine roast pig! / Husk that corn before you eat…”
    – traditional Izhorian work-song, sung while husking

    Farmers dominate the countryside of most nations, raising crops and providing food. In some places farmers are bondsmen indentured to the lords that control their lands, while in others they are free workers who own or lease their land and pay taxes to the ruling class. Farmers toil through the daylight hours and rest when darkness covers the land. They live within a mile or so of a trading village, which is guarded in turn by a local official, whose position may be elected, inherited, or appointed by a higher authority. When legal disputes arise, it is this officer (or his appointed agent) who settles disagreements and issues rulings.

    Some farmers have magic and technology to help them with their chores, provided by their local official or purchased from a merchant. Most have to worry more about bandits, ghouls, and marauding monsters than the armies of the neighboring nations or the politics of the capital city. The average farmer doesn’t wander far from his home, but every family has a member that went off to fight in a war or seek employment in a city, and everyone knows someone whose brother or sister decided left home entirely in search of fame or fortune.

    CITY LIFE

    “Farewell and adieu to Venenian ladies, / Farewell and adieu to you, pearls of the west; / For we’re under orders / To sail out to glory, / But know in our hearts you girls beat all the rest! / We’ll rant and we’ll roar, us true Relian sailors, / We’ll range and we’ll roam all across the salt seas; / Until we strike sounds / In the harbor of Bukhar; / From Hell’s heart and back’s only thirty-five leagues!”
    – traditional Relian sea-song, attributed to the Second Corsair War

    For as long as there has been trade and piracy on its rivers and seas, caravans and bandits flitting from oasis to harbor, the east has been a place of cities. All townsfolk and city-dwellers engage in a craft or trade of some kind, though for every professional there are three or more common laborers working in the city. People live in close proximity in the cities, swimming in the harbors, shopping in the markets, working and relaxing as need and opportunity presents themselves. City-dwellers have a bit more access to the conveniences of magic than their rural counterparts do, and cities are the only places where one can buy clockwork wonders or devices made of unweight or archsilver. Factories fill the towns and cities, and even the least well-to-do city has gas lanterns to light at least the major thoroughfares and exchanges.

    In a city, law and order prevails – or at least it tries. A city watch patrols the streets and a local garrison protects the trade roads and caravan routes passing nearby. Courts and judges hold sway over matters of law, deciding disputes and determining guilt or innocence through something akin to due process. News also travels much faster, as rail lines and the rare telegraph tower ensure the local broadsheets are up-to-date on all the latest goings-on in the world.

    ECONOMIC MEANS

    From the rural communities that dot the countryside to the villages, towns, and cities that rise wherever need and circumstance come together, the people of Oriana fall into three economic categories: poor, middling, and wealthy. There are ranges and degrees of wealth in each category. Six out of ten people in Thalassia are common farmers, unskilled laborers, and tradesfolk who are in the poor economic class, having no more than 40 or 50 argents on hand at any given time, and most having considerably less. Three out of ten people are in the middle class, which includes skilled laborers, prosperous traders and shop owners, skilled artisans, most nobility, and low-level adventurers, folks who normally have a few thousand silver pieces or more to their names. One out of ten people fall into the wealthy category, those with access to a tens of thousands of argents at any given time; this class includes powerful government officials, barons of commerce, the patriarchs and matriarchs of the old-money aristocrats, the most popular and successful professionals, mid- to high-level adventurers, and the ruling royalty.

    LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION


    “So many tongues; it is a wonder at man’s infinite inability to communicate, and one may be forgiven for being surprised that any two persons can understand each other.”
    – from Brobevik’s “The Accounts of the East”

    “Thalassian” is a very artificial language – really it’s more a style of speaking, a Relian dialect created in the imperial academy that reverts, where possible, to historical Rhoscan. All part of aping the splendor of that vanished age. Most educated men in Thalassia and the Isidis region can read and write in Thalassian, even if they don’t really speak it, but only for technical descriptions, medicine, and philosophy. The common language in the center of the Empire is Relian, since this is the homeland of the Relians, one of the many Midian peoples; the darkest by skin and hair, they pride themselves as the direct descendants of the Rhos. Vastians, in the west, are well-regarded as a martial people. Descended from the marriage of the Rhos with the ancient Kitarans, mixed with some barbarian blood from the highlands and the steppe. Their eastern counterparts, the Nerians, are sometimes regarded as effete, but they are also stereotypically imagined as the most intelligent and prosperous of the imperial peoples, living as they do along a major trade route and descended from Rhos colonists mixing with the ancient Aeolians. Finally, the Armen of the southern highlands are the fairest in color but also the poorest and most rugged – their region has always been a borderland in the empire and one ravaged by invasions throughout its history. Of course, numerous minority groups exist throughout the empire, and the modern races of Thalassia are very mixed. Almost any group of people can be found in its cities, if one searches hard enough, but the largest and most significant Midian groups are the Gyptians and Aeolians, and of the Thaal the Latgal and Izhorians.

    Throughout the history of the east, Messians have always stressed the importance of education, not least in the sacred word but also in knowledge of the grammar and history necessary to understand it and the math and science by which to appreciate and use it; formal schooling thus is considered a necessary part of every child’s training. Local curia and town councils often pool money to hire teachers for children; in the countryside, some families of means still maintain schools for the sons and daughters of their laborers, the last vestige of the old noblesse oblige. Private tutors provide an education for the children of the upper classes, and in the larger cities there are usually one or more academies, which cater to all who can afford to attend. Higher education is available at a number of colleges and universities, as well as among the religious institutions from which they sprang, and many professional and government positions, such as those of doctors, lawyers, and mesmers, increasingly require such accreditation. Still, the overwhelming number of people learn their trade via apprenticeships or on-the-job training, even if they did spend a few winters in school as children. Most people can read to at least some degree, though penmanship is stereotypically abysmal among the lower classes.

    DEATH AND UNDEATH

    “Who knoweth that the spirit of man goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast goeth downward to the earth?”
    – from “The Writings,” attributed to King Sofan Amon

    Among primitive peoples in eastern Oriana there is a fairly consistent idea of death as an inevitability, and existence beyond it as a certainty. The souls of the dead linger at rest, and the difference between an ancestor and an elemental is blurred and confused in the folklore of the Thaal, Ashrak, and eastern Sheng. Ghosts abound in their myths, but the souls of the unimportant, while immortal, are expected to fade over time.

    Quite differently, the Chagri have always believed in the transmigration, or “reincarnation,” of the immortal soul. While their ancient beliefs took this very literally, the reforms of Zarathar in the 9th Century changed this: instead of understanding the movement of the soul as “you are your great-grandfather,” the Zarathrians argued, among other things, that the animating force of the body, the shakti, is not unique to individuals but flows like water from a greater source. Mortal man is merely one spoke of a mighty wheel spinning far beyond his ken. The orthodox, however, stop at bloodlines; Mazak, a 15th-Century prophet who claimed to be Zarathar’s true disciple, was most the extreme and argued that all were merely part of a universal One – his doctrines are persecuted, if not outright illegal, in the lands of the Ringsea.

    For a Messian, the question “what happens after death?” has an easy answer: “they are united with God.” More interesting is to ask what happens to the non-believers. The answer for the Apostolics, the oldest branch of Messianism, was hammered out in the Third Dawn Council. The Apostolics have always held a belief not dissimilar to that of the pagan shamans, that unclean souls wander the earth until they are forgotten and fade, but that this is not merely the regrettable reality of existence, but a horrible curse. For all that the old pagans scoffed at their idea of divine union and transcendence, the ruins of Rhoscar embraced this religion millennia ago.

    Evangelists and Charismatics hold to a very different tack. These heterodox, reformist movements (Apostolics would say heretical…) preached that the animating force is mere energy, and that what people called the soul, the “you,” was reason, will, and though, and that this could not survive death without embracing of the transcendent Word. They firmly deny the existence of ghosts and other “lingering souls,” – a spirit might pretend, out of innocence or malice, impersonate the dead, but those that have gone will never return except through God.

    “I waited patiently; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to God.”

    “Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
    – excerpts from the Hymns, translated

    All sects of Messians believe that their god incarnates in the world at times as saviors to lead his people, and in addition to the three universally accepted saviors they hold to a rich body of saints, the “probably incarnates.” And because the faithful dead are believed by Messians to unite with God, it is very possible for a Messian to believe a departed holy one might speak to him, either because he was a saint (and so really a part of God) or because, now joined with God in death, his is now the same voice as the divine.



    None of this conjecture on the soul, of course, applies to the un-dead.

    Many people think that ghouls are undead that prey on the living. They have it backwards: ghouls are living men that eat the dead. Many people think that ghouls are thin, skeletal things. This is not usually true: ghouls are corpulent, bellowing, vital creatures, grown fat from eating death. Like all living things, they eventually age and die. But when a living ghoul dies from old age, it quietly transitions into undeath. Many ghouls don’t even notice the change.

    Because everyone knows that once one has indulged in cannibalism, the urge to return to it becomes stronger. Eventually the urge becomes an instinct, and then the instinct becomes a drive, and then it rules out all other urges. A freshly-minted ghoul is a puffy man with bad breath and a stutter. An ancient ghoul is a giant beast that has forgotten his language and his name. The oldest, most powerful ghouls have been so overwhelmed by these instincts that it is incapable of pursuing any other goal. And so, although it may be a form of immortality, it is a very poor one.

    “The psychology of a ghoul is especially remarked upon. The classic legend, told in taverns everywhere, tells of the loving husband who died protecting his loving wife in the midst of a hateful war. But he returned as a ghoul, and lovingly hunted down his wife before lovingly eating her alive.

    “You see, when a person becomes a ghoul, most of the memories remain intact, and the personality also tends to survive the process. The mood is, allegedly, much improved, and stories abound of good-natured ghouls who are as cheerful as they are ravenous. What does not survive are the specific cares and motivations. They still crave the company of their old friends – and remember their addresses – but care nothing for their health or happiness. Ghouls gradually segue into undeath from life through a process a bit like dementia: they lose themselves bit by bit, and the soul decays before the body does. But ghouls still have attachments, can still enjoy the world – and that they do, with gusto.”
    – from “Death and Undeath,” by Dr. Istan Therevy
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-03 at 11:07 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Re-posting Dr. Ridley's information here. As I've done in the IC thread already, I will seize this fine red to color the doctor's words.

    Spoiler: Description
    Show
    A man of many contradictions, the good doctor's defial of academia's whole expectative gamut might lead one to imagine he intentioned for paradoxy. A towering Thaal of prodigious bulk and jocund veneer, whose sagging physique intimates some great strength now long spent upon the draw of years, Dr. Ridley looks more the forcibly-retired boxer than the typical snoot of academe. Ever the wastrel, he has drooped and slouched between instutions of high education for much the last decade, earning reputation as the lusty advocate for dice, drink, and women along the way. Yet does he find means of sponsorship and home for his raucous theorizing once more, once welcome has worn thin.

    Indeed, the bloviating persona of Dr. Ridley is given to an infamously infectious - pardoning the pun - likability among whatever faculty he finds himself. At the center of an endless maelstrom of rumour and hearsay, the doctor's pockets are often full and his wealth frequently shared. Some whisper the scar upon his brow is the result of trepanning, while others claim his eyes are that of a devil's - the deep piercing blue of summer stormclouds; which roam voraciously. In any event, subtlety is not among his chief suites, nor is any penchant for study. Students frequently complain that, though he is without doubt a captivating orator, his lectures ever border upon the nonsensicle. As his detractors call him charlatan and unfit for scholarly pursuits, his thralls would call him visionary.


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    Hieronymus was born Messian, with another name, to a family now lost, in the tumultuous state of the Mahtavamaa Thaals. His youth was marked by the all common tragedy of a nation at war, and capped with a failed stint in the rebel-turned-separatist army. He refuses to speak of his youth - the life of Hieronymus Ridley instead began when the boy miraculously arrived to study at Ravenwell. There he met Thomas Prest for the first time, and the two became bosom friends, until the Thaal inevitably left to wander again.

    A consummate reader, Hieronymus devoured his way through the old theories of mesmerism. Spending time among carnivals as among scholars, for many years has the man built his own persona - the title doctor would originally come in the way of honorary degree from one, and then soon many, elder institutions. Though not certain himself from where his backing originates, cheques ever arrive desiring him keep to his path. That he does, exuberantly.


    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Ability Score
    Strength 10 (+0)
    Constitution 8 (-1)
    Dexterity 6 (-2)
    Intelligence 9 (-1)
    Wisdom 10 (+0)
    Charisma 18 (+4)
    Age = 54
    Health = 14 (10 - 1 + 4)

    Feats
    Magnetism = 3
    Mesmeric Energy = 9 (3 + [1 + 1 + 4 Madness])
    Charming
    Mesmerism
    Mesmeric Charisma
    Suppress Pain

    Possessions
    Wealth = +8 (2 + 4 + 2)
    Quite fine clothes; including overcoat and cane
    Locket, within which is a mirror
    Cigar case, expensive cigars within
    Hip flask, expensive liquor within
    Revolver, standard issue (24 bullets)

    Last edited by Boethius Junior; 2019-09-07 at 12:44 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Boethius Junior has a good idea, everyone should post his or her character sheets here as well (I guess I don't know if that's standard practice or not on the forum). Should I also try to summarize and carry over the answers to the various questions on the recruitment thread, or can we let those go?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    So the current party layout, as I understand, is:
    Volk = currently in parlor, but may go to question Jack in the garden
    Mrs. Cassus = currently in the parlor
    Okaan = currently in the parlor, but may go upstairs with Stordus to check the (currently locked) study
    Donovan and Dr. Ridley = leaving to canvass the neighborhood for anyone the constables may have missed
    There was also (OOC) discussion of someone checking the body for signs of archsilver-based weaponry.

    I will try to update the IC-thread either daily or every other day, unless that is too fast.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Volk

    Spoiler: Description
    Show
    A completely hairless, muscular Thaal man, covered in scars and tattoos. He normally wears thick leather workpants, a clinking tool-belt, and steel-toed boots, but is sufficiently urbane that he'll put on a shirt whenever he absolutely has to. He has exactly one facial expression, and it doesn't give anything away. He speaks very quietly.


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    I was pit fighter, back in the old country. I did not choose it. When I am 15, I try to pull a job against the black mantis; they are gone now, I'm told. But once, they were most feared crime family in my country. I was stupid, and they catch me, and they hurl me into the pits with their enemies and their slaves. We fight to amuse the bosses and their men; against each other, or as meat for their beasts and monsters. Most died. But I lived, longer than anyone. They hammered radium spikes in to me after my fifth fight. To make me strong, they said. But the science they used to do this was clumsy, and for a time I felt nothing except pain, and dreamed of nothing but the whispers of the archsilver. They say it talks to you, and they are right.

    When Black Mantis came to this country, they brought me here, too. But the boss was a fool. In the old country, he could do as he pleased, walk the streets with his beasts and none would challenge him, but is not the same here. When the soldiers came for him, he opened the cages and set his beasts and his gladiators on them. Many soldiers died, but the rest fell back and sealed the doors, and they piped poison-wind down into the cellars. Once they could hear nothing and noone else banging on the doors, begging to be let out, they come down again. Everyone else died. But I lived, again. It has become habit.

    I was sick... dying... from the gas and the radium spikes in me. It was all too much. But a professor from the university had come with the soldiers to advise on the beasts and the Black Mantis' magic, and he saw that I still lived, and he made sure I got care. He saw that it could kill me to remove my spikes, so he altered and inscribed on them to make them more like proper archsilver studs, so that they would not continue to poison me. However many years I have left, I owe them all to Marc Cassus. He spoke of me to his friend Thomas Prest, another professor, who took me into his care. I was poor houseguest. I could barely speak except to scream or swear, yet he gave me as much of an education as his time allowed- philosophy, natural history, mechanical engineering, alienism, which fork to use at fancy dinners- I know a very little of very many things now, thanks to these men. When I was older, Thomas Prest gave me work- as his assistant, or bodyguard on his expeditions, whatever jobs he had. Prest was my friend. I owe them each a debt I can never repay.

    And now I will never get a chance to try. Prest was good to me. He was a good man. I will find the man who killed him. And then I will ask them many, many pointed questions.


    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Experience: Level 4
    Wealth: 3 (+1 Age)
    HP: 16/16
    Alignment: Fatalistic Pessimist

    Array 6: 14, 14, 14, 12 12 10

    Strength 18 (-1 Age, +5 Archsilver Studs)
    Dexterity 13 (-1 Age)
    Constitution 14 (-1 Age, +1 level increase)
    Intelligence 13 (+1 Age)
    Wisdom 12
    Charisma 10

    Feats: Brawl, Archsilver Smith, Archsilver Studs, Jack-of-all-Trades

    Equipment:

    5x Archsilver Studs
    Old revolver
    Thin-bladed knife
    Bronze knuckledusters
    Lockpick set
    Glass cutter
    Bullseye Lantern
    Handyman's Tools

    (Likely intended progression:

    Radstone Snuff (can chow down on more radstone with less chance of getting sick and/or messing up the timing)
    Great Fortitude (assuming it applies to radstone, can eat radstone more safely without needing to prepare it in advance)

    Empathy: gain a +2 bonus to interaction rolls with a person after a minute in conversation
    --Aid Another: you provide double-advantage when you successfully help someone (2 deep)

    Dual-wielding: carry knife or pistol in off-hand, use it for second attack with -4 penalty (1 deep)
    -oWeapon Focus (Knife): +2 to hit, +2 damage

    Combat Expertise: take up to a -5 melee attack penalty to gain an equal AC bonus in melee
    --Improved Disarm: no disadvantage when trying to disarm in combat (2 deep)
    --Improved Trip (2 deep)

    Combat Martial Arts: no -4 penalty to fighting armed foe with fists
    --Improved Grapple: no disadvantage when trying to grapple in combat (2 deep. 1 off Advanced Martial combo)
    --Improved Combat Martial Arts: gain advantage when fighting unarmed against unarmed opponent
    ----Advanced Combat Martial Arts: deal fist damage with successful trip, rush/shove, or disarm (Imp Trip/disarm combo: 5 deep.)

    Defensive Martial Arts: +2 to AC against melee attacks unless surprised
    --Combat Throw: +2 to d20 rolls to disarm or trip opponent (2 deep.)
    ----Improved Combat Throw: free attack to trip foe when he misses you with his melee attack
    --Elusive Target: if you are focusing on an opponent he takes a -4 penalty to ranged attacks against you
    --Unbalance Opponent: enemies do not add their Str bonus to melee attacks against you (2 deep. 1 off Combat Throw)

    Focused: +3 to d20 rolls requiring long, careful concentration on a task)
    Last edited by SlyJohnny; 2019-06-11 at 06:22 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    So Volk knows Donovan and Lydia, but not Ridley or Okaan? Do I know either of those guys by reputation/what their capabilities are? I'm assuming spellcaste don't wear uniforms or badges or anything that would immediately denote what caste they are.

    For that matter, do I know Donovan and Lydia's skills? In particular I wasn't sure if it was common knowledge that Lydia is a scientist in her own right, or whether she's used "assisting her husband" as a smoke screen for her own experiments, etc.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Mrs. Lydia Cassus
    Show
    Backstory: The widow of the late Dr. Cassus and former instructor of Music Theory at the local women's college. Her husband was fatally poisoned and herself badly injured during an experiment in radstone-alloy harmonics - one aimed at safely harnessing the radstone acoustic effect for non-destructive uses. Her physician has suggested that fresh air, warm sunlight and above all else a break from obsessing over where the experiment had gone wrong would be of tremendous benefit to her health, and so she has agreed to travel into the Therme countryside along with an expedition hosted by her late husband's friend and colleague, the kindly Professor Thomas Prest.

    Appearance: At first glance, someone's dowager aunt, improbably dressed in mourner's garb. On closer inspection, said garb is increasingly shabby and - Zaras Above! - what happened to her nose? Is that drool? A tooth? She certainly seems friendly enough, but let us never speak of what is beneath that veil again. I shall have nightmares for weeks.

    Str: 07 (-2) Dex: 07 (-2) Con: 18 (+4)
    Int: 15 (+2) Wis: 12 (+1) Cha: 06 (-2)

    Health: 18/18
    Wealth: 1 (2 starting, +1 Age, -2 Cha)
    Radium Tolerance: 3/7

    Feats: (Madness +2, Brilliance +1)
    Archsilver Smith, Screaming Steel, Sonic Resistance, Extreme Machine.

    Notable Equipment:
    -A dark, veiled hat, suitable for concealing the most alarming of her scars. A white silk rose clings to it, the last reminder of now absent wealth. It is accompanied by a dour dress and a similar pair of gloves, carefully tailored to offer the impression that she still has the usual number of fingers. (Mechanically, the clothing which I can only hope our characters start out with).
    -The Harmonic Prototype, a radstone alloy device which more closely resembles the depraved union of a tumbleweed and several tuning forks than the more orthodox bell arrangement. Typically left swaddled in thick green velvet, to avoid any unfortunate incidents. (Mechanically, a tangle of Screaming Steel which has frequently been upgraded and repaired with Extreme Machine and which will likely see similar improvements in the future).
    -A thick sheaf of papers describing the experiments which lead up to that fateful day. Interleafed within is the delighted scrawl of progress, a number of old invoices, a few letters from the military alluding to the possibility of funding and a small selection of sheet music. (No mechanical benefit, just a bit of RP)
    -A notable absence of radstone, which could be filled by either of the other Archsmiths on the expedition. Scarbalm Tonics, perhaps?


    Volk would definitely know about Lydia's stills - she never made much of a secret of the fact that she was assisting with the theoretical end of the radstone experiments and she displays several of the signs of acute radstone exposure, which Volk would obviously notice given his own expertise on the subject.

    I am posting in this shade of blue.
    Last edited by Grek; 2019-06-07 at 03:05 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    This never got copied over, and has several important bits of information. So here it is now:
    Spoiler: Vanalot Information
    Show
    It's a very large city, with easily over a million inhabitants. The eastern part is old and overgrown, the inevitability of nine centuries of relatively continuous habitation (interrupted by the odd fire, plague, or war), and it was built very close to the ruins of the ancient capital of the Rhoscan Empire. The modern city is bisected by the Nepenthe River, which flows north-west out of the mountains a thousand miles away and empties into the ocean. Vanalot was founded on the eastern bank of the river by the kings of the country of Augustia, though they were building on an older settlement. The odern city is so crowded that people started spilling over onto the west bank a long time ago, but that was considered a separate town until recently, when imperial decree united the metropolis to celebrate the building of several enormous bridges (made possible with unweight-alloyed Elysian Steel) spanning the river. The city is Mediterranean in climate, so think of Marseilles, Rome, and Istanbul -- very hot and muggy in the summer, cool in the winter, storms are regular but snow is rare. The Nepenthe is very large, like the Mississippi or Danube (without the rapids), so although the sea is far off you can sail from Vanalot out into the wider world.

    As the imperial capital, Vanalot is probably the most important city in the Thalassian Empire. The royal palace is here, and the senate, as well as nearly all the major offices of state. It holds dozens of universities, nearly all of the big industrial, merchant, and banking concerns have offices and factories here, and it hosts a huge shipyard for the imperial navy and the largest airship docking tower in the empire. Like most Thalassian municipalities, Vanalot is organized as a commune; it has a large municipal council produced through a confusing property-based lottery/voting-system among the districts, which in turn elects the mayor, who is responsible for preparing meetings of the council and for implementing its decisions. The council determines the commune’s budget and local taxes, and it makes decisions regarding municipal services. Individual communes often band together to provide certain municipal services cooperatively, but Vanalot is so huge that it does this all itself, and because of their deep connections to industry and national offices, 'the services' are the real power in the city. This is even somewhat publicly acknowledged, as the city's chief justice (who reports to the higher imperial courts), its commissioner (the head of the constabulary, or citizen-police; a non-elected position commissioned by the mayor), its metropolitan general (head of the local gendarmes, or military-police, also answerable to the imperial government), and several heads of urban departments such as agriculture, sanitation, and the railroads, all meet semi-regularly in some of the more refined gentleman's clubs to discuss business with the rich and important.

    Ravenwell University is merely one of many fixtures of education in this great city. It is not a royally-chartered institution, dating from little under a century ago in the midst of the Revolution that overthrew the Augustian monarchs and swept a vicious republic into power. Eamon Ravenwell was a rich gentleman and fervent republican, and received money from the state to establish a boy's school to train the new elite of Thalassia. Needless to say, when monarchy came back into favor the school was not viewed highly, and the Ravenwell family sunk most of their fortune into keeping their namesake alive. For its own safety, the school transitioned from an overtly-political academy to a finishing school and research institute, and is ever eager to take in the sons of the sizable class of wealthy-but-not-noble that populate the metropli of the empire. While it has won coveted licenses to pursue research into dangerous industrial materials such as unweight and archsilver, it has never been given a royal charter or the recognition its faculty feel it deserves. The school puts on a show of being a proper and cultured academy, with humanities courses, mesmerism lectures, and celebrations of classical education, but even with its trivium and quadrivium most are aware that under the surface is a ruthless institution desperate for contacts, favors, fame, and money. It's chancellor, Damian Ravenwell (a great-grandson of its founder) has kept an iron grip on his family's legacy for nearly forty years, and though the school has tutored some great inventors (and investors) in their youths, such as Sir Amadeus Venture, Lucius d'Antonio, and Dr. Cavorum Lucet, most of these went on to win their fame and respect while working at "real" universities, and Ravenwell has had more than its share of bad eggs and accidents swept under the rug.

    Your friend, Thomas Prest, was in fact a graduate of Ravenwell. Prest came from a family of middling means, and attended in the 1790s, where he studied history, languages, and ancient civilizations. He went on to employment in the foreign service, working for ambassadors in distant places like Therme and Amganisag, before he married and returned to his home city for a quieter life. He has served as a professor of ancient history for at least a decade, and was six months ago appointed to dean after the passing of his friend and mentor, Thaddeus P. Wash, the former head of that department. He lives in a big white house on Locust Row, near Gideon's Square, with his wife Martha; you have all visited several times by now. Martha is a short, homely woman in her mid-50s, with an unfortunately large nose. She was a nurse before she married and dotes on her husband and guests. Together they have several children, most of whom have moved away, but a son, Abelard, is a lawyer with a local firm, and a daughter, Bethany, is a religious novice (the Prests are a very traditional family); you've met these two once, when you were invited for Martha's birthday a few months ago. The Prests also have a live-in maid named Juliet d'May, a young woman in her mid-20s, and you are familiar with Prest's driver, Jamie "Jack" Worthing (a local teenager) and his student-secretary, Sebastian DeVries, though neither live at the house. Sebastian is a shy young man that has been volunteering as Prest's assistant since his promotion increased his paperwork. Prest also has a loyal dog, a black barbet called "Argus," who usually sleeps in the small stable by Nellie, the carthorse. Volk used to live in the house too, before he got his own place and Jack was hired, but he's always been welcome for Sulday dinner.

    Prest has been planning this expedition for almost nine months now -- you were due to leave over a month ago actually, by the original plan, but the promotion to dean put loads of work onto his lap, and no-one has gotten around to ordering new steamboat tickets. Lydia and Hieronymus, as fellow professors, will know that Wash had several health problems when he died (the man was over seventy and very fat), and may have had been in the early stages of dementia as well; he certainly left Prest a lot of unanswered mail, unsorted grant requests, an a few angry thesis-writers in the lurch. When Prest approached you about the Therme expedition it was over drinks at the Golden Perch, his favorite establishment -- Lydia, Volk, and Donovan already knew each other, but that was when Hieronymus (and Kvard51) were introduced to the rest. Apparently, Prest had gotten wind through a "private contact" about a potentially untouched archeological site in Therme, beyond the Valley of Kings in Dejnev. The "contact" was evidently some industrialist that had been looking to dig for phosphates in the region. Normally off limits due to the historic nearby pyramids, a lot of haranguing the local governor had gotten him access only to uncover what might have been, by its description, a coffin-lid bolt and some pottery shards similar in style to the ware used by the ancient mortuary cults. Needless to say, this discovery got him run out by the locals for violating a historic site, but he passed on the story to Prest that there might be something valuable in that region, just not phosphorous. The way the professor told it, this could very well be evidence of an untouched site that predated the Xarak era -- maybe even from a pre-Kumat period if the marks described on the shards were evidence of a real primitive style, and not just due to damage. Prest was cautious, though, and concerned about funding; it could be months before they could get approval to set off, and he worried that if news got out another institution might mount an expedition first.

    So for that reason everybody stayed pretty quiet about the idea, save for the monthly meetings at the house on Locust Row to plan it. Tickets were bought for a steamship heading east to the city of Novae, then Leptis, then Stros in the colony of Kerberos. The professor had been writing to a friend in the diplomatic service, and had gotten the papers to travel on by a new ship to the city of Kytheria on one of the Orcids, the islands off the east coast of Elysium. From there the party would get another ship to the country of Semotia, where they would buy food and supplies before taking a boat down the coast until they reached the Mangala River, the road into Therme. Past the city of Karnak and up into the highlands lay Dejnev and its Valley of Kings, a deep cut into one of the spurs of Tharsis, where the stones for Therme's famous ziggurats were quarried, and where kings of Kumat were said to have made their final stand against the Xarak over two thousand years ago.

    Recently, Prest had been rather nervous about the whole project. Maybe it was the upset to your plans due to the promotion and the rescheduling, but it's been dawning on you that you aren't really sure he'd gotten permission from the chancellor to actually launch the expedition, or indeed told anyone about it at all except you and his family. His purchasing had also become somewhat erratic; you had organized to buy some supplies from a local provisioner, Ilien's, which doesn't usually outfit university expeditions, at your last meeting two weeks ago, and he had made a rather odd list of gear. Prest had insisted on buying most of the necessities in Semotia if possible (to prevent any rumors or suspicions), so the trunks on hold at Ilien's currently contain no food, canteens, local maps, compasses, bedrolls, or tents. But he had ordered all the ropes, tackle, digging equipment, and even a box of dynamite, as well as several pistols and lanterns. That was curious, but at the time just seemed like an eccentric precaution. But now you're here, in his house on Sarday morning, and his cold body is lying in the pantry in the next room.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Donovan Mireck, 19-year-old rogue/traveler turned Archsilverist

    HP 16/16
    Scarbalm Left: 4 (1 handed to Volk)
    Radstone Lumps Left: 1

    Spoiler: Description & Backstory: going for an outlandish tale
    Show

    A rather attractive young Midian man with tan skin, dusty-blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes, Donovan was born to peasant parents in one of the cities a good ways off. Things took a turn south when he was 10 -- his mom died of a flu, and his dad wound up owing money to unsavory doctors who took him -- so Donovan wound up an orphan. Sick of the city, he struck off on his own... and somehow managed to survive between small pickpocketing, working odd jobs on farms, and (as he grew older) his charm.

    Things went really south when he was working as a chimney sweep for some rich dude. His plan was to do the job and, after getting paid, sneak back down the chimney and help himself to some goodies he had seen. But, during the job, something about a drunk mistress wound up with a shooting match between his employer, his employer's wife, his employer's mistress, and a visiting Archsilver professor that maybe the wife was sleeping with. With whatever happened, Donovan got shot, and the Archsilverist saved his life with scarbalm. The Archsilverist then started to quickly run off lest he also get shot, but Donovan was fascinated by the cure and followed him, stowing away in his wagon.

    Once discovered the next day, the two got to talking. The prof took a shining to Donovan, seeing in him some of his own wild adventures as a youth, and Donovan seemed to take an intuitive understanding to Archsilver. The prof -- turns out he wasn't really a professor, but a former student posing as a professor to work some scams -- gave Donovan a good review as they came to Ravenwell. He was accepted.

    Although a studious student, he does enjoy going out in the town and peddling his charms. However, despite being somewhat a cad, he becomes serious (if a touch excitable) about radstone and is very willing to apply scarbalm at cost for those who can afford it and for free for those who can't.


    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show


    Donovan is handsome, usually favoring speed and agility over strength. And he's not one for always thinking ahead. Although not dull, his talent for Archsilver seems to come from an excessive interest rather than innate intellectual talent.
    Array: 16, 14, 14, 10, 10, 8

    Strength 10
    Dexterity 14
    Constitution 16
    Intelligence 10
    Wisdom 8
    Charisma 14

    Feats: Archsilver Smith, Scarbalm, Monstrous Growth
    Radstone Limit: 1 + 3 + 3 = 7
    Usual Radstone carried: 6 scarbalm tonics, 1 stone

    Carries a pistol and knife, but mostly for intimidation purposes. He's not a fighter.
    Also carries lockpicks, a glass cutter, and some similar 'tools' from his unsavory past. But he mostly just uses those to impress as party tricks and sleight-of-hand stuff.

    Mutants
    Spoiler: Fishy
    Show

    A trout mutated into a land-squirming, fanged monstrosity. Enjoys eating frogs.

    HP [6]
    AC [9]
    Bite Attack +1, 1d4 damage


    Spoiler: Pretty Bird
    Show

    An injured street pigeon that Donovan took mercy on and subjected to treatment as a cure. Now a large bird-like biped monster, with a few dozen feathers covers parts of its skin.

    HP [7]
    AC [12]
    Bite Attack +1, 1d4 damage


    Spoiler: Cloak Rat v2
    Show

    His first mutant (well, that survived the process), a small rat he found in his dormitory cloak one evening. He usually has it wear a large black cloak, as the growth left some patches of skin not fully healed and it looks rather unseemly. But it was pretty frail and didn't survive testing. To its memory, he then made Cloak Rat v2

    Cloak Rat v2
    HP [5]
    AC [12]
    Bite Attack +1, 1d4 damage

    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2019-06-26 at 08:50 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    JeenLeen, I've got no problem dropping Charming; it's only the first day of the "session" after all.

    I'm sure that Volk knows Ridley is a professor and that Okaan is his friend. At the very least, the group has met every other month or so the past year to plan the trip, so everybody has a base idea of who everyone is and what they can do -- Ridley is a mesmerist, Okaan is a tracker, Volk is a fighter, Lydia and Donovan are archsilversmiths, also that Ridley and Lydia are professors but the other three are not.

    Grek, good thinking about the Vanalot info. I had forgotten that post.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Okaat Rhukaan Taash



    Spoiler: Description
    Show
    Okaat Rhukaan Taash has the mahogony skin and and almost hairless pate of his people, the Chagri. Tall and well-muscled for a man his age, "Rhuk" is dressed as an outdoorsman.


    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    Born in the Western Highlands of what was once Novostria, Rhuk converted to the Messian faith as a very young man in order to join the army as a scout.
    After serving faithfully for 10 year, he left the Imperial Army and made his way in the world as a guide for hunters and ruin-seekers, cartographers and thrill-seekers.

    It was on one of these expeditions that he met Doctor Hieronymus Ridley. Shortly after reaching their objective, the party was set upon by an ancient and powerful ghoul.
    The combined knowledge and skill of the party was required to hold the creature at bay, and although it was wounded multiple times, it's hunger drove it to continue the attack. In the final confrontation, Rhuk was grieviously wounded by the ghoul.
    It was Dr Ridley's direct intervention, and the power of his Mesmerism, that kept the ghoul from feasting on Khoj Chagri flesh that day.

    Dr Ridley nursed Rhuk back to health after they returned from their journey, doing so at his own expense. And so Rhuk swore Life-Oath to stand with and protect the Doctor for the the rest of his days.

    So it was that when Ridley went to join the Prest excursion, Okaat Rhukaan Taash was by his side.


    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Ability Score
    Strength 12 (+1)
    Constitution 12(+1)
    Dexterity 14 (+2)
    Intelligence 10 (+0)
    Wisdom 12 (+1)
    Charisma 12 (+1)
    Age = 51
    Health = 15 (10 + 1 + 4)

    Feats
    Shakti = 4
    Soldier Synergy = 2 (+1 attack w/knives, grenades, pistols, and rifles)
    Camouflage
    Light Sleeper
    Khoj Left Hand Power - By spending 1 shakti you sense the direction of a well-known or clearly visualized object or location. You can search for general items, in which case you locate the nearest one of its kind if more than one is within range of up to 500 feet. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.
    Khoj Lower Power - By spending 1 shakti you sense the direction of a well-known or clearly visualized person or creature. You can search for general persons/creatures, in which case you locate the nearest one of its kind if more than one is within range of up to 500 feet. The effect lasts until a number of minutes pass equal to 10 x your maximum shakti.

    Possessions
    Wealth = +5 (2 + 1 + 2)
    Outdoor Clothing
    Revolver (2d4)
    Lever Action Rifle (2d6)
    Long Knife
    2 Canteens
    Last edited by Kvard51; 2019-07-05 at 10:14 PM.
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
    ― Kvothe, The Name of the Wind

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    I posted and updated my character sheet.

    Swapped my 16 Cha and 14 Con, to 14 Cha and 16 Con.
    Traded Charming for Monstrous Growth. Donovan's not a fighter, but he has some pets that can. (Pets are currently at the university research section.) I was going to go for Trap-Finding, but I saw that mosntrous growth takes 2d6 days to make a mutant, so I figured I didn't want to slow down to grow all my mutants once I got it.
    I tried to roll for their HP and AC, per the feat, but the code didn't work. If anyone has insight why, let me know.
    EDIT: Realized it was because I was editing a post and the dice-roller doesn't work when editing. I'll re-roll in a new post when one is appropriate again

    I increased his starting scarbalm to represent the increased radstone tolerance. He has still used 2 doses.

    Also, is 16 HP right.
    10 base + 3 Con modifier + 3 feats = 16, right?
    And, with 3 feats, do we get a +1 to one attribute?
    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2019-06-07 at 02:13 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    @JeenLeen

    It takes one day to make a pot of scarbalm from a piece of radstone. You could probably use the Prest's kitchen, but it's a pretty long and noxious process.

    @Kvard51

    The study window isn't broken. The glass is normal and intact.
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-07 at 02:35 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Has a gear list been posted, incidentally?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Magni's Hammer View Post
    @JeenLeen

    It takes one day to make a pot of scarbalm from a piece of radstone. You could probably use the Prest's kitchen, but it's a pretty long and noxious process.
    I shall be more careful with my doses in the future, but it felt right to use two those ways (gather potentially useful clue, and save dog that probably little value IC but makes sense character-wise.)

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Magni's Hammer View Post
    @Kvard51

    The study window isn't broken. The glass is normal and intact.
    Unngh. I misread "Broad" as "Broken" on my phone at work. I'll try to fix in a bit.
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
    ― Kvothe, The Name of the Wind

  22. - Top - End - #22

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Hieronymus is not exactly lying here, but would this semi-truth require a Charisma check all the same?

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    No need for a check. It's a harmless white lie, and the crowd has no reason to suspect you (in fact, since he looks like a professional person, they have good reason to take your word for it). It will only matter if you or another PC tell a different story later and somebody realizes the inconsistency.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Spoiler: Gear List
    Show
    Armor

    Buff Jacket: +1 AC, DR 0, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 10
    This armor is best imagined as a heavy leather jacket. A number of other impromptu armors, things akin to modern sports gear, offer similar protection and game statistics.

    Leather Armor: +1 AC, DR 1, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 12
    This archaic armor consists of a breastplate made of thick, tanned animal hide, along with softer leather coverings for the limbs and head.

    Plated Coat: +0 AC, DR 2, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 16
    This coat has dense yet (relatively) light sheets of Elysian steel sewn into the sides; alloyed with unweight, it provides protection that would otherwise be impractical due by mass, but this also accounts for its hefty price.

    Plate-and-mail: +3 AC, DR 2, Very Heavy Item, Purchase DC 18
    This medieval-era armor is a long, hooded shirt made of interlocking metal rings, with a layer of padding underneath and covered in dozens of overlapping steel plates, including a helmet. It’s heavy, making it uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time; it's also very expensive, not so much because of the materials but because few people make them anymore and they have to be fitted to the wearer.

    Sergeant's Armor: +3 AC, DR 1, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 16
    This flexible, segmented body armor is made of steel and is designed for extended use by patrolling forces; the armor sacrifices a degree of protection for a modicum of comfort—at least compared to other tactical body armors, but it still provides good deflective covering of the body, neck, and groin, and comes with plates for the arms and legs. Imagine the lorica segmentata of a Roman legionary upgraded and crossed with modern riot gear. It requires a license to buy.

    Metal Helmet: +2 AC, DR 0, Light Item, Purchase DC 14
    This simple-but-vital bit of equipment is a part of any modern soldier’s kit, and can be worn with another piece of armor. Though it is too thin to withstand a direct blow, it easily turns glancing bullets away from a soldier’s head. It requires a license to buy.

    Weapons

    Revolver: Range 30’, 2d4 Damage, AP 2 (ignores 2 points of AC from armor), 6 Bullets, 1 Hand, Reload 1 round, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 5
    50 bullets are purchase DC 5.

    Flintlock Pistol: Range 20’, 1d8 Damage, AP 2, 1 Bullet, 1 Hand, Reload 3, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 16
    A bag of powder and 10 shot is purchase DC 8. Rarely sold anymore.

    Longbow: Range 40’, 1d8+Str Damage, AP 1, 1 Arrow, 2 Hands, Reload 0, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 10
    12 arrows are purchase DC 8.

    Crossbow: Range 40’, 1d10 Damage, AP 1, 1 Bolt, 2 Hands, Reload 6, Very Heavy Item, Purchase DC 14
    12 bolts are purchase DC 5. Really old-school -- but at least it's quiet.

    Shotgun: Range 40’, 1d4+4 Damage, AP 0, 2 Shells, 2 Hands, Reload 1, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 7
    50 shells are purchase DC 5.

    Repeater: Range 90’, 2d6 Damage, AP 2, 6 Bullets, 2 Hands, Reload 1, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 15
    20 bullets are purchase DC 6. It requires a license to buy.

    Fists: Short Reach, 1d4+Str Damage, AP 0, Melee, 1 Hand.
    Always available; -4 to-hit vs armed enemy unless you surprise him.

    Knife: Medium Reach, 1d6+Str Damage, AP 0, Melee, 1 Hand, Light Item, Purchase DC 2
    Can be thrown at Range 10 ft. or attached to a repeater (making it long reach and 2 hands).

    Club: Long Reach, 1d8+Str Damage, AP 0, 1 Hand, Melee, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 2
    Covers most improvised weapons, as well as axes and hammers not meant for combat.

    Saber: Long Reach, 1d8+Str Damage, AP 1, 1 Hand, Melee, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 6
    A long, heavy slashing sword used by cavalrymen and officers; if you are proficient with it, gain +2 AC against melee attacks.

    Firebomb: Range 20’, target lit on fire (ignores armor DR), thrown, 1 Hand, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 3
    Requires 1 round to “load” (lighting the bomb) before it can be thrown; there is chance if you fall (15%) or are hit in melee (5%) that the bottle shatters and coats you in flammable liquid.

    Grenade: Range 20’, 2d6 Damage, thrown, 1 Hand, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 12
    Requires 1 round to “load” (priming the bomb) before it can be thrown; the attack is against an “AC 10” space (on a miss it scatters 5’ x every 3 difference x range increments), all within 5’ of target make a DC 15 Dex save to dodge and take half damage, full damage on a failure. It requires a license to buy.

    Alchemy

    Acid: Range 10’, 1d6 Damage (ignores armor DR), thrown, 1 Hand, Heavy Item, Purchase DC 2
    There is chance if you fall (15%) or are hit in melee (5%) that the bottle shatters and you are damaged.

    Anti-toxin: If you drink antitoxin, you get a +5 alchemical bonus on saving throws against poison for 1 hour. Very Light Item, Purchase DC 10

    Smokestick: Range 20’, smoke cloud, thrown, 1 Hand, Light Item, Purchase DC 4
    Requires 1 round to “load” (lighting the stick) before it can be thrown. This alchemically treated wooden stick instantly creates thick, opaque smoke when ignited. The smoke fills a 10-foot cube that completely obscures vision. The stick is consumed after 1 round, and the smoke dissipates naturally (a moderate or stronger wind dissipates the smoke in 1 round).

    Sunrod: This 1-foot-long, gold-tipped, iron rod glows brightly when struck. It clearly illuminates a 30’ radius and provides shadowy illumination 30’ beyond that. It glows for 6 hours, after which the gold tip is burned out and worthless. Light Item, Purchase DC 5

    Clockwork

    Arc Torch: This autowound electrical torch clearly illuminates a 20’ radius and provides shadowy illumination out 20’ beyond that. It lasts for four hours and produces a loud buzzing while activated. Heavy Item, Purchase DC 11

    Sacred

    Holy Water: Range 10’, 2d4 Damage (ignores armor DR), thrown, 1 Hand, Light Item, Purchase DC 5
    Holy water only damages undead and other unholy monsters. There is chance if you fall (15%) or are hit in melee (5%) that the bottle shatters and the fluid leaks away.

    Not a complete list; I will update through the week as I convert more stuff to the proper format.
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-10 at 01:08 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    What are "unholy monsters", other than undead? Also, do undead exist beyond now-dead-ghouls and, if yes, how widespread are they and how do they form?

    Are archsilver monsters "unholy"? No offense taken if yes.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Unless Kvard51 strenuously disagrees, I'm all for showing the police the letter and then taking it to Sebastian to translate. I see no reason not to trust the constables, but considerable reason to distrust the professors in Prest's department. Sebastian, being a student rather than a professor, seems like our best shot at figuring out who's suspicious.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    I do not object. I am sorry for my absence, I had a pretty crazy weekend. My best friend’s daughter got married and my own daughter was a bridesmaid. So we were out of town all weekend. Then I worked 14 hours today to catch up. I’ll get something up in the next few hours.
    “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
    ― Kvothe, The Name of the Wind

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Congratulations to the newlyweds. And I'll post right away.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Weddings are always nice. Hope it was fun! And seconding Grek's congratulations.

    As far as you know, "unholy monsters" applies to only ghouls and to evil spirits. Though, since spirits are incorporeal and ethereal, it's very hard to hit them with holy water. Archsilver monsters aren't harmed by holy water as long as they are still alive.

    Ghouls are probably rare. Most people go through their lives without ever seeing one, but (especially with modern transportation and newspapers) almost everybody has heard of one. Think of them like serial killers, or at least prolific murderers. Then again, Vanalot probably has a community of ghouls hidden inside -- "community" being anywhere from "more than one" to "a hundred loosely-connected monsters" -- but Vanalot is an enormous city, with over a million people, so the idea that 0.0001% of the population are dying/undead cannibals isn't unreasonable.

    Now, usually, ghouls really start popping up wherever there is war, famine, civil unrest, really anything that endangers the food supply and/or leaves corpses around. The Thalassian Empire has, mercifully, been quite stable since the Revolution a century ago, but that was a period of really horrible civil war that spread into a damn-near continental conflict. A lot of the more famous ghouls of recent history date to that period, like the "Red Inn Murderers," a husband and wife pair that fed on travelers and refugees, and the Burke Brothers, a band of unclear size and relation that started by collecting bodies to send to anatomy schools, then moved to looting battlefields because it was more lucrative, then moved to eating the dead and other looters. The Elysian Famine spawned Ucusta, also called "The Blackbird," a bird-woman ghoul that supposedly started hunting settlers to feed her starving family, slowly turning them all (though some parts of her story might be colonial propaganda). The Highlands are supposed to be crawling with Thaal ghouls, like the one that Okaan and Dr. Ridley went to hunt down, since it's very rural and lawless up there.

    Spirit hauntings, however, that's much more common. Everybody has a story of a neighbor or relative that had a poltergeist, or saw a possession, or had a bad run-in with a night spirit as a kid. That's why mesmers are in such high demand. Though, whether these are cases of ghosts, mental illness, ambient bad psyche, otherworldly entities, or a mix...well, the jury's still out. But the manifestations are real, and you can bet you've seen them or been told about them. When all this is over, the Prest's house will almost certainly need an exorcism; maybe even all of Locust Row. You just don't murder a man in his own home without stirring up bad juju. It could manifest as formless shades appearing to roam the streets; it could be that Thomas Prest (or an entity claiming to be him) starts invading people's dreams, trying to say something; it might be more physical, like telekinetic damage or inexplicable signs; and it could be months, even years, before this stuff starts to happen. But it would be more unusual if it didn't than if it did.

    Incidentally, it's not an awful idea, if you ever feel stuck, to spend a night at the Prest's house or try hiring a spiritualist. I can't make any guarantees on how useful it would be (i.e. I have a table of random events), but spirits and the occult are a part of the setting and adventure and are always an option in the mystery.
    Last edited by Magni's Hammer; 2019-06-10 at 11:54 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Age of Exploration [0] - The Secret under Ravenwell [OOC]

    Natural 20! Jack of All Trades already paying for itself.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •