From Beyond The Stars (OOC)

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MinusInnocence
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Successes: 0. Failures: 1.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Green means a thing, right?

Nose Planes
I rolled 1d20+12, the result is 19, 12 = 31.
MinusInnocence
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It DOES mean a thing.

Successes: 1. Failures: 1.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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But what could it mean???

Sense Motive INT
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 13, 5 = 18.
MinusInnocence
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That check is good enough to reveal that for one of the five successes you need, you can attempt to roll Diplomacy. The DC will be lower, but you can only succeed at it once; then it's removed from the primary skill list.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Raphael is woohoo good at making friends.

Religion!

Maybe?
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 9, 13 = 22.
MinusInnocence
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Successes: 2. Failures: 1.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Gotta see if I can figure out what's going on!

Sense Motive INT
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 14, 5 = 19.
MinusInnocence
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That's a failure. He's not actually sure how she's doing this stuff - maybe she's not and it's just an illusion. But the beds coming to life and trying to stomp Thunk to death were definitely real, so it's not as though EVERYthing in the Keep is harmless.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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But Raphael knows what planes it's coming from!

I hope
I rolled 1d20+12, the result is 4, 12 = 16.
Cronono
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Ugh

Question. Can I use the Fortune Hex on myself for this skill challenge? Can I use other buffs?

MinusInnocence
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Successes: 2. Failures: 2.

Cronono wrote:

Ugh

Question. Can I use the Fortune Hex on myself for this skill challenge? Can I use other buffs?

Yes, with the understanding that delaying completion of the ritual now that you've reached this stage may not be prudent. Each skill check counts as a standard action, if we must adjudicate it as such (and we must if we're incorporating other abilities that explicitly require a specific amount of time to be able to use). So, trying to roll a primary or secondary skill check is a standard action, but so is hexing yourself.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Got it.

Knowledge Religion. So many colors.

You know nothing, Jon Nose
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 8, 13 = 21.
MinusInnocence
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Successes: 2. Failures: 3.

If you intend to use the Fortune hex, now is the time.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Sense Motive INT

Skeletal motive
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 9, 5 = 14.
Cronono
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Glad I didn't waste that on a skill.

Fortune, cackle, Religion

Gotta laugh
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 2, 13 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 18, 13 = 31.
Cronono
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Welp, maybe this won't suck?

Sense Motive INT, dammit
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 1, 5 = 6.
Cronono
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Clearly, angels.

MinusInnocence
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Well, the Cackle hex means you get to utilize the Fortune hex on that next turn. Is there a compelling reason you wouldn't have wanted to roll that Sense Motive check twice and take the better result? I will update the IC post momentarily but just wanted clarification on that.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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In my head, the order of operations that turn was Standard to use Fortune Hex, Cackle to preserve the hex, next round Skill check with Fortune. Is that not right?

MinusInnocence
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Ah, yes. You're right, you actually lose a round of being able to use it because you targeted yourself with it. OK, well I'll update IC now.

Successes: 3. Failures: 3.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Sense Motive, INT

Ain't worked yet
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 13, 5 = 18.
MinusInnocence
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Make an Intelligence check, please.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Or, try to do so, anyway

Int
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 19, 5 = 24.
MinusInnocence
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Raphael is beginning to think that the phenomena observed within the pentagram and the fireplace are both extraplanar, and specifically infernal, in origin; and likely unrelated to the spirit he is attempting to exorcise. But the stuff with the room shaking and the doors opening and closing, not to mention the reanimated corpses piling on top of each other... that's probably her doing, or more accurately, the doing of the entity borne of the vengeful ghost becoming one with Parlfray Keep itself.

Both issues are dangerous and both are getting worse faster than he is accruing successes. He doesn't think he has a lot of time left before devils, ghosts, or something else decide this has gone on long enough, regardless of whether he fails another roll. Attempting to escape somehow might be an option; there are windows that reach nearly from floor to ceiling flanking the main double doors leading from the hall out into the courtyard, even if the doors themselves are being held shut (which may not actually be the case).

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
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Later, we're all going to look back at this as the moment when the campaign went screaming off its rails for good.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I was pretty sure that started when Thunk declared "Thunk carry things"

Cronono
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I have thought about this. I think there is something to be said about careful and prudent approaches to adventures that mitigate risk and ensure the highest probability of accomplishing realisticly safe character goals.

Safe people die of old age in bed.

Raphael will not enjoy that luxury.

Knowledge Religion.

You only unlive twice, three times tops.
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 9, 13 = 22.
MinusInnocence
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Successes: 3. Failures: 4.

Roll initiative.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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There's never enough time.

Init
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 17, 6 = 23.
MinusInnocence
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Secrets

Random
I rolled 1d2, the result is 1 = 1.
I rolled 1d3, the result is 2 = 2.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 5 = 5.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 2 = 2.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

MinusInnocence
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OK! So Raphael is standing kind of close to the center of the room; he was going back and forth between the edge of the pentagram and the hearth, which was nearly centered along the eastern wall. But now it's dark; there is some light filtering in from near the ceiling and through the hole in the ceiling that leads up to the library, but it is too dark here on the ground floor to even see his hand in front of his face unless he's standing right next to the smoldering logs. The windows flanking the double doors leading out of here are still covered by the curtains. The fireplace was snuffed out entirely and there is no longer any sounds, illumination, smells, heat or any other sensory input emanating from the area of the broken summoning circle.

What does he want to do?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Summon Monster I - Fire Beetle with Fiendish Template

MinusInnocence
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Solid. I need one Fortitude save and one Reflex save, please.

Secret
I rolled 5d6, the result is 2, 3, 2, 3, 5 = 15.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

MinusInnocence
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A map won't be of much use to you because until the fire beetle arrives from Avernus, the only illumination in this chamber on the first floor comes from the pile of cinders stacked around the dead cultist. They provide a single square of dim illumination, like a candle; this means that anything within 5' of it is barely visible and eligible for Stealth checks to remain undetected, and anything further away than that is 100% concealed in darkness.

Whatever it is that Raphael hears (and, more importantly, smells), it is close now. So close.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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How about that diplomacy check? Too late?

Cronono
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Fort, Ref

What about intimidation?

Fort, Ref
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 4, 3 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 7, 3 = 10.
Cronono
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Fort, Ref

What about intimidation?

Fort, Ref
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 4, 3 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 11, 3 = 14.
Cronono
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Sorry for double post. I am on a cell phone this week.

MinusInnocence
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I'm also sorry that rolling twice didn't appear to have helped you at all. Raphael is sickened by the stench, which means that when he makes the Reflex save he suffers a -2 penalty to his roll. The rules are silent on the issue of whether being sickened necessitates a concentration roll to continue casting a spell, which would normally be completed at the beginning of your turn on Round 2 after a whole round.

However, none of that matters because you failed your Reflex save and subsequently took 15 damage. Raphael is at -8 and bleeding out. Raphael has a Constitution of 14, which means he has six more rounds before he dies.

The bad news is that each round you need to attempt to make a Constitution check, DC 10, but with a penalty applied equal to your current negative hit point total. So the first roll is made at -6 total (after factoring in your modifier) and it gets worse by one point every round thereafter. If you make one, hooray! You're stable. But recovering on your own is actually extremely difficult, and we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

The good news is that so much dust has just been kicked up by the ceiling falling down on your head that whatever it is that was coming over to say hello can't see you anymore. It has to try to find you before it can do anything nasty to you. I will give it a random number of rounds to attempt to do so before it forgets it was looking for you.

Random
I rolled 1d4, the result is 3 = 3.
I rolled 1d9, the result is 6 = 6.
I rolled 1d9, the result is 7 = 7.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 9 = 9.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

MinusInnocence
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And again.

Random
I rolled 1d9, the result is 8 = 8.
I rolled 1d9, the result is 2 = 2.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Sic semper fatius

Death rolls.
I rolled 1d20-4, the result is 1, -4 = -3.
I rolled 1d20-5, the result is 8, -5 = 3.
I rolled 1d20-6, the result is 19, -6 = 13.
I rolled 1d20-7, the result is 5, -7 = -2.
I rolled 1d20-8, the result is 12, -8 = 4.
I rolled 1d20-9, the result is 5, -9 = -4.
MinusInnocence
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All right. You can go ahead and roll all six checks in a row now. They start at -6 and get progressively worse, so -6, -7, -8, -9, -10 and -11. A natural 20 succeeds even if the penalty would suggest otherwise.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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I misparsed. Does the third roll actually result in an 11?

MinusInnocence
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Oh, sorry. Missed that. Congratulations! You stabilize at -11. Here's more bad news. Each hour, you get a chance to regain consciousness despite your horrific injuries. Similar to before, your current negative hit point total is applied as a penalty here, so the first roll will be at -9. If you succeed, you're disabled and thus limited to only a single move or standard action each round (but anything strenuous will cause you to lose a hit point and start bleeding out again). If you fail, you lose another hit point. This doesn't cause you to bleed out, but it does make the next check to wake up harder.

Once you wake up, after resting for 8 hours you get to roll another DC 10 Constitution check to start regaining hit points naturally. Again, failing here means losing another hit point (but you won't fall unconscious again and you won't start to bleed out).

It sounds like the party isn't terribly interested in going back inside at night to look for you or find out what happened. They may not even return in the light of day. So right now you basically have to make the magic happen on your own.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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Does preparing spells count as strenuous?

MinusInnocence
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I'm going to rule no. Casting them would, however. So even if you nailed this first roll in an hour and woke up, then, tomorrow morning succeeded on the check to see if you could start recovering hit points naturally, you would only get 4 back (bringing you back up to -7). You would still be disabled, but doing anything more than shuffling around at half speed, eating and drinking is probably inadvisable.

Just like before, although the checks start out at -9, they get worse. So if you fail one, one hour later and every hour after that you need to roll a natural 20 to succeed. You have three hours to wake up or die.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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What about casting CMW?

MinusInnocence
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Not a bad plan, but if you don't roll high enough to reach 1hp at the end of your turn the whole process starts over again.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Cronono
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I think these rolls are right.

Dying, again
I rolled 1d20-9, the result is 14, -9 = 5.
I rolled 1d20-10, the result is 13, -10 = 3.
I rolled 1d20-11, the result is 1, -11 = -10.

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