Tenfold Shields (OOC)

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Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay. Roll pact strength so we can see how many he actually gets.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Rawhide

2d6 + 4 CHA + 4 Shaman
I rolled 2d6+8, the result is 2, 2, 8 = 12.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

Do we have a tone for this game? That last comment from Gorx went through a couple of revisions because my first thought was about making a couple of semi-vulgar "your mom" or "your face" jokes. I didn't really want to set the bar so low for puerile humor unless that's what we're going for.

Talanall
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I'm not going for a comedic tone overall, but Gorx is an asshole.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Gorx, the asshole, will take 10 on summoning some vermin. What's available?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Because Gorx is taking 10, he may summon vermin with up to 7 Hit Dice.

Italics indicate creatures that obey as if dominated. Behavior of creatures in a pact is determined by the Hit Dice of the most powerful creature; at no time may Gorx have more than 12 HD worth spirits in a pact at one time.

Ants
Soldier (6 HD, Large) - 1
Worker (6 HD, Large) - 1
Soldier (4 HD) - 6
Worker (4 HD) - 6
Soldier (3 HD) - 24
Worker (3 HD) - 24

Centipedes
Huge (6 HD) - 1
Large (4 HD) - 6
Large (3 HD) - 24
Medium (1 HD) - 36
Small (1/2 HD) - 48
Tiny (1/4 HD) - 60

Other
Bee (6 HD) - 1
Bee (4 HD) - 6
Bee (3 HD) - 24

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Cool. At the conclusion of the air elemental pact, Gorx will summon 4 Bees with 3 HD a piece. He will send them out in pairs to scout both of the locations the air elementals found. They should scout, avoid contact, and return ASAP. They have a crazy fast fly speed, so they're probably the best to do this.

Anybody have other thoughts?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think I'm going to roll some dice.

I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 4, 8 = 12.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 13, 8 = 21.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 11, 1 = 12.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 12, 1 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+10, the result is 13, 10 = 23.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 12, 7 = 19.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 9, 3 = 12.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 11, 3 = 14.
I rolled 4d6-5, the result is 5, 3, 5, 5, -5 = 13.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Dem bees dead, yo.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

So the plan is to wait for your bees to come back?

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Can't wait to hear what all the buzz is about

"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
Cronono's picture

Barring a proposal from someone else.

Darker

You could summon a lubricant elemental and we can see how many goblin shamans we can fit up Oni's ass?

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Does a shaman feel the things he calls in a specific manner? Like, does Gorx know specifically which bees are gone?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

If he concentrates on one of them as a standard action, he can get a sort of digest of its sensory input. He can't see through its eyes, but he'd know if it were (for example) looking at something, whether it hears stuff, whether it is hanging upside down from a ceiling, etc. These inputs would be filtered through the spirit's mind, and fiendish bees only have Int 3. So if he used this trick, he would be getting an awareness of the situation as the bee is capable of understanding it.

That'd be great for information like, "I'm crawling around inside a big hole in the ground. Lots of rocks here," or, "Something big and nasty is trying to eat me." If the subject has no frame of reference for whatever it's experiencing, then stuff tends to get lost in translation. And of course, you can only "listen in" on one subject at a time, so if your spirit ally takes a dirt nap while your metaphysical back is turned, you won't know anything about how it died.

As a result of this, celestial/fiendish animals and vermin have some limitations as servants. Many of them are made up for by the fact that they are among the most plentiful spirits; quantity has a quality all its own.

I suppose it's distantly possible that Gorx took a few minutes to ask his bees their names, and talk about their hopes and dreams and favorite flavors of pollen, and whether they had any larvae back home, and otherwise get acquainted with them enough to tell them apart from one another.

But I kind of got the impression that he was just summoning them up and sending them out to absorb danger and exertion that he didn't want to deal with himself.

I think what you are REALLY asking is whether Gorx has any convenient way of telling which of the caves under exploration is the one inhabited by something dangerous. And I guess that he does, even if he hasn't familiarized himself with the bees as individuals who have (for example) names. He doesn't need to be physically present to issue extremely basic commands, such as "Come here," "Go there," "Fight," and "Stand still." If he has one of his remaining bees go outside, he can use it check to see whether its exploration is concerned with a cave near a cliff or nestled beneath a copse of pine trees. You already know the first is to the east of you and the second is to the southwest.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I thought they had to be within earshot! This is much cooler. Gorx will call the survivors back.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

You need to be present and able to speak to them in a mutually comprehensible language to exercise any sort of fine-grained control.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Does that mean he can't summon them back?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think that ordering them to return to him is within the boundaries of a basic order like, "Go there."

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Great. He summons them back.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

This has been productive.

Darker

Grimvaalk attempts to use his nogging.

Survival +10 to look for tracks of any kind leading to or out of the cave.
Knowledge (nature) +9 to know what kind of plants and animals should be in the area to see if anything is suspiciously absent or present.
Knowledge (geography) +7 to see if this location makes sense for the timing and location of the dragon attacks.
Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7 to see if the cave looks altered in any kind of way (from a big dragon crashing through it, from intelligent creatures shoring it up). Or anything else that might make it unusual from any other hole in the ground.
Spot +7 to spot anything else of interest in the immediate area.
Grimvaalk will have his wolf attend him in the search, aiding another on the spot +3 check and doing a seperate track by scent +5.
Two extra 1d20 rolls in case I need more than one roll of the above to determine something.

I rolled 1d20+10, the result is 15, 10 = 25.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 2, 9 = 11.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 8, 7 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 18, 7 = 25.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 8, 7 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 4, 3 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 20, 5 = 25.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 8 = 8.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 5 = 5.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

What time of day is it now?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's late afternoon. Call it about three hours until sunset. The weather is calm, clear and warm, so there's good visibility.

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

Darker

Grimvaalk discover anything?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

Grimvaalk attempts to use his nogging.

Survival +10 to look for tracks of any kind leading to or out of the cave.

There aren't many tracks of any sort near the cave. To some degree, this is consistent with the terrain; the cave is at the base of a cliff, and it looks as if the cliff was formed when the hillside split. The result was a lot of boulders and rubble that don't hold prints very well. It's much rockier in these hills than it was when you were still on the steppe.

But there are a few, here and there. They don't look like anything Grimvaalk has ever seen before. The creature that made them is probably a little bigger than his wolf, maybe pony-sized. They head generally downhill, and he surmises that there's a water source down there. The tracks are probably where the creature goes down to drink.

Quote:
Knowledge (nature) +9 to know what kind of plants and animals should be in the area to see if anything is suspiciously absent or present.
There is a clear area surrounding the cave that's nearly devoid of plant life, even weeds and undergrowth. A small amount of dead plant matter still juts from the ground, but it looks old. Most of it is decomposed. Grimvaalk doesn't think he's familiar with any kind of blight that would cause this. Maybe a poison? Magic? He doesn't know for sure. If it were wintertime, he would expect to see some dormant plant life, but it's late summer. The cave's immediate area should be green.

There are signs of various insects and other vermin in the same area, but Grimvaalk takes the lack of tracks as a sign that most animals larger than a squirrel or bird must be avoiding this area.

Quote:
Knowledge (geography) +7 to see if this location makes sense for the timing and location of the dragon attacks.
Grimvaalk guesses so. This is the general area that Lwazi and the others told you to investigate. He's never seen a dragon in person, so he doesn't really know how fast they can travel.

Quote:
Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7 to see if the cave looks altered in any kind of way (from a big dragon crashing through it, from intelligent creatures shoring it up). Or anything else that might make it unusual from any other hole in the ground.
It doesn't look like the cavern entry has been altered. The cliff looks like limestone or something of that nature, and he thinks that the cavern was probably cut by water. Sometimes that rots the stone, so he guesses that this was also the root cause of whatever landslide carved the hillside away to expose this cave.

He'd have to go inside and look around to see if it has been altered, but from outside he thinks not.

Quote:
Spot +7 to spot anything else of interest in the immediate area.
He doesn't see anything.

Quote:
Grimvaalk will have his wolf attend him in the search, aiding another on the spot +3 check and doing a seperate track by scent +5.
His wolf doesn't like the way this place smells, laying its ears back and grumbling softly in discontent. Grimvaalk has to urge the animal on firmly to make it go nearer to the cave entry.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Gorx will throw his knowledge at this problem.

Nature to expound on Grimvaalk's findings, Planes in case this is some planar jank.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 18, 8 = 26.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 2, 8 = 10.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Gorx is as puzzled as Grimvaalk. There are tiny bits of plant life, mostly tiny seedling trees and other extremely new vegetation. He thinks he can rule out poison or disease as the reason why this swath of land is devoid of anything bigger than a seedling but smaller than a tree. But it's not clear what it going on. He doesn't think it's really natural.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm letting you guys talk this out. Please keep in mind that you're literally right outside of this cave.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I don't know if it matters to anyone, but the appropriate Knowledge skill for dragons is (arcana).

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

That sounds like a skill for nerds.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Yonah will use his scent ability. What does he smell?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Hmm.

Spruce. Limestone. Earth. Snakes. Rotting wood. Mushrooms. A soupçon of frost, very faint, but nicely tangy.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I assumed that the rolls we made when we first heard we would be after a white dragon dictated the extent of our knowledge about them, but if that's not the case, Zathrus does have ranks in Knowledge (arcana).

Also, I didn't assume we were literally at the mouth of the cave. I thought we'd moved near enough to see it, but not actually right up to it. Zathrus will be moving away post-goddamn-haste.

Knowledge (arcana)
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 2, 8 = 10.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Really, die roller? Fuck you with a rake.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Is Fanax mounted, or no?

I guess that question goes for all the goblins. I'd also like to know who is where. Zathrus already has pulled a Dalvar and removed himself some distance, probably far enough that he can hunker down and listen for screaming and explosions.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Gorx is mounted and likely heading to Zathrus.

Darker

Grimvaalk is mounting up as well, he's going to look for a possible place to hunker down above the cave, so if something comes flying out he can make a decision about shooting it, hiding, or running out of there at 100% mounted speed.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I figure the easiest way to do the rope idea is for Yonah and Oni to flank the cave mouth and just try our best not to attract any attention, with each of us also staying away from Grimvaalk (no reason to entice it to blast us all if it figures out what's going on). One of us readies an action to throw our rope when it gets, say, 10' from the entrance; the other readies an action to throw when the first one does. I have a grappling hook I can use, maybe Yonah can rig up like a shortsword or something to tie to the end of his rope? Something heavy that can hopefully snag onto the wing somewhere.

Then I guess we just... I dunno. Resolve the action however Tal says. I think what we're shooting for is to apply the entangled condition to the dragon so hopefully it can't go up into the air.

It's an awful idea but letting the dragon fly around and freeze us all to death (or chase us into the cave so it can freeze us to death in there) is even worse.

"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
Cronono's picture

How effective would earth elementals be at collapsing the cave? Alternately, fiendish vermin?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay. So, let's see if I have some grasp of what is being attempted here.

1) Fanax is going to walk (or possibly ride, since he does have a pony; I'm waiting for confirmation on this) into the cave, see if there is a dragon in it, and then (he hopes) ride back out again as fast as he can with the dragon in pursuit instead of getting jumped while he's alone in there and eaten. Hopefully. He has not waited to let people take positions for an ambush, or talk about whether this is a good idea or anything like that.

2) Yonah and Oni have ropes. Oni's has a grappling hook on it. They want to try to entangle the dragon with these, so they're going to flank the mouth of the cave, hide as best they can, and hope they get the drop on the dragon. I'll come back to this in a minute.

3) Grimvaalk is mounted, and is looking for an elevated spot above the cave where he can (hopefully) hide, and decide whether to shoot at, cower, or run away from any dragons that may come out. I'll come back to this in a minute, as well.

4) Zathrus is mounted, and is trying to open up some distance between him and the cave. I don't know how far he plans to go, or what he's going to do when he gets there. Please advise me concerning the course of action planned. I think he was planning to withdraw a short distance, along with the rest of the expedition, and talk about how to approach this situation. But Fanax has preempted him, and I don't know if Zathrus is going to run away, hide, or pull up short and get ready to deploy his psionics.

5) Gorx is mounted, and is trying to open up some distance between him and the cave, and is following Zathrus. I don't know how far he plans to go, or what he's going to do when he gets there. Again, please advise. I responded separately to Cronono's inquiry about earth elementals, but from the subtext of his question, I get the sense that Gorx isn't necessarily going to just run off and leave his kin to die. Yet, anyway.

6) Where are the pack animals going? Fanax has a pack pony; if he's not riding that, then where is it? Running loose? Left in the care of someone else? Gorx has a mule, and the same question applies to that.

Please clarify what you're doing, in the cases where I've requested it.

So regarding the bugbears and their ropes, I think we're looking at an "improvised weapon" scenario. There isn't really a good way to apply the Use Rope skill here, because binding a creature takes 1 minute. That is, it's a set of ten full-round actions. MinusInnocence has suggested that you're really shooting for a deal where the bugbears manage to impose the entangled condition on the dragon.

What does that mean?

SRD wrote:
Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force. An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls and a -4 penalty to Dexterity. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + the spell’s level) or lose the spell.

There are some follow-on consequences for this. An entangled creature with the ability to fly may need to maintain a minimum forward speed to avoid stalling; for creatures with average maneuverability or worse, it's half their normal flight speed. That doesn't mean the creature can't fly, but it does make it very difficult to climb. An entangled flier that has a minimum flight speed would have to get disentangled first.

So I guess it's worth making the attempt. If the dragon gets airborne, life is going to get much harder on you in a hurry. Entangling the creature should make that less likely to happen.

For our purposes, I think I can allow a lasso or rope with a grappling hook to function as an improvised weapon. We'll say that fashioning a lasso will require a standard action and a Use Rope check (that's a Dex check, if you lack ranks in the skill) against DC 15.

Because these ropes are not really meant for dragon-wrangling, I'm not going to treat them as real weapons with which Oni and Yonah are proficient. Instead they are improvised weapons with a range increment of 10 feet (max 50 feet). They don't deal damage. All attack rolls made with them suffer a -4 penalty.

To lasso or hook yourself a dragon, you'll need to make a ranged touch attack. If you succeed, we'll need a Strength or Dexterity check from the lucky bugbear, opposed by the dragon's Strength check. If you win, the dragon is entangled and can only move within the scope of however much rope you paid out in the process of getting it entangled. So, for example, if you were 20 feet away when you caught the dragon, the dragon can only move around within a 20 foot radius of you.

You can keep the dragon tangled up for as long as you're able to beat it on opposed Strength or Dex checks. If you fail one, it jerks the rope free of your grasp and uses the slack to escape from being entangled.

Regarding Grimvaalk's tactical maneuver: he could try to get up onto the hill that contains this cave. That would require him to go somewhat out of his way, because the hillside has fallen away to form a cliff that I don't think he's going to want to try to scale while mounted on a wolf. And it's not clear to me that Grimvaalk is going to have TIME for this. The rest of the hillside is pretty steep, and he can't really have his wolf run uphill, because moving up a steep costs double normal. So he could be a long way from the action at the moment that Fanax comes screaming out of the cave with an angry dragon after him. It would probably be the best spot available if he made it up there in time, but if he's too late he's going to be way out of position. Ultimately, this is something that ought to have been worked out before Fanax went charging blindly into the unknown. But Grimvaalk was not afforded the opportunity to settle into a good ambush.

He could opt to withdraw along with Gorx and Zathrus, and stop while he's still within relatively easy bowshot. The area of dead vegetation extends a good 120 feet out from the cavern entrance, but that'd leave him within the second range increment of his bow. Not awful, and he'd be able to move closer afterward. On the other hand, that's still close enough that the dragon might spot him if he tries to run away.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Neither option is really suited for the job. If Gorx had time (and didn't have to worry about the noise disturbing whatever is in the cave) he could probably get some mileage out of the elementals because they're strong, don't get tired, and can just keep pounding away until they break the rock. But it would take HOURS.

If Gorx were one level higher, he would have access to some earth-based spirits that could do the job easily.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Clearly, we should just walk around the cave until we hit enough random encounters to level up. Probably make a few Gil that way to spend on some sweet chocobo mounts.

Quote:
5) Gorx is mounted, and is trying to open up some distance between him and the cave, and is following Zathrus. I don't know how far he plans to go, or what he's going to do when he gets there. Again, please advise. I responded separately to Cronono's inquiry about earth elementals, but from the subtext of his question, I get the sense that Gorx isn't necessarily going to just run off and leave his kin to die. Yet, anyway.

Is Zathrus is simply leaving, Gorx won't stray more than 100 feet or so from the Bugbears. If Zathrus is looking for a fortified position from which to rain down mind bullets, Gorx will join him there. Gorx is also happy to take along any stray pack animals, including his own.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Zathrus had the sudden realization about how foolish it was to have a discussion right in front of the cave mouth. Talanall is correct in that his intention was to move away for planning, but if Fanax and the bugbears have taken it into their heads to move on the cave, he'll look for some cover, ideally a place where he can loosely hitch his horse and move away from it a bit (maybe the dragon would go after the bigger meal). In a perfect world, he'd like somewhere that will give him some concealment from the cave while allowing him to keep an eye on the area.

It should go without saying that if he's not still psionically focused from his morning routine, he'll spend a moment to become so. When he sees someone head into the cave, he'll manifest inertial armor on himself. He'll remain ready to manifest force screen on himself should someone come bolting out followed by a pissed off dragon.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Fanax isn't mounted. The horse will be left somewhere near the front of the cave.

Probably won't matter but here's a hide and move silently check.

I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 20, 13 = 33.
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 3, 13 = 16.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

As a matter of fact, it does have potential to matter. The important thing to keep in mind is that Fanax can remain hidden for so long as he has cover or concealment relative to whatever is looking for him. Concealment derived from darkness isn't any good versus darkvision, but the interior of this cave is largely composed of natural stone. Outcroppings, stalactites, stalagmites, etc. may afford him cover, enabling the Hide skill.

It won't do him a lot of good if whatever lives in this cave has tremorsense, blindsense, or something like that. Hide checks do nothing against all that.

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

Darker

Grimvaalk will opt for "He could opt to withdraw along with Gorx and Zathrus" -- sounds like a good idea... besides, he doesn't have to be faster than the dragon. Just faster than Gorx and Zathrus.

He'll take his pony back with him, trying to get him as far away as he can in time and tie him up. If neccessary, the dragon might opt to snack on the pony rather than Grimvaalk.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

While we're getting situated - what spirits are available?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

While we're getting situated - what spirits are available?

https://www.dndarchive.com/comment/30981#comment-30981

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

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

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