A Lapse In Judgment (OOC)

520 posts / 0 new
Last post
MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I'll be sure to add it on the to-do list, but in the meantime:

Werner's room is comped. Dalvar, Feruq and Thunk are all paid up until after breakfast, including a private room for each of them and a hot bath in the morning. Argus is tending the horses at Nafton's stables overnight, which means he has a warm place to sleep and will probably be treated to breakfast in the morning. We can assume he returned to Mayor Carman's estate an hour or two after the party split up for the evening for dinner.

By the time The Baron of Mutton/i] closes, Feruq has learned about the various items for sale in Milborne that the party can purchase the next day. We'll go ahead and assume Dalvar purchases the [i]ring of sustenance and Feruq grabs the amulet of teamwork, as well as ticking off another item that's been on his to-do list for awhile.

When his shift ends, Barthelew discloses two things to Werner. First, two different bands of adventurers have gone missing in or on their way to the New Mire, which lies south of Milborne and is believed to stretch as far as the western border of the Thornwood. The Heroes of Haranshire, who he has already met, have also visited the place but lived to tell about it. They reported serious goblinoid activity, including worgs (wolves that can TALK, of all things!) who are often encountered alongside goblins and their kin.

The locals are increasingly concerned not only about the economic consequences of the New Mire swallowing up so much farmland but also about the uncomfortable proximity of a seemingly highly organized and extremely aggressive colony of evil humanoids.

In other news, by the end of the week (that's ten days on the calendar these people use) Barthelew hopes to have a mobile soup kitchen up and running north of the river for the refugee camp. It's part of a charity initiative spearheaded by Haldelar and Parella, the miller and his wife (who runs a bakery boasting the largest brick oven in town). If Werner is interested in helping with that, they can put their heads together when it gets closer to launch.

"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

Werner will affirm his interest.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

It is now the 1st day of Qaden (Fivemonth), 23 days since Jelenneth's abduction and 25 days since the campaign began.

Feruq knows a little bit about the weather coming up in the next few days. Hold, please.

Random
I rolled 1d100, the result is 32 = 32.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 16 = 16.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 17 = 17.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 47 = 47.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 35 = 35.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 57 = 57.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 54 = 54.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 83 = 83.

"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
MinusInnocence's picture

Still rollin'.

More random
I rolled 1d100, the result is 31 = 31.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 83 = 83.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 7 = 7.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 94 = 94.

"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
MinusInnocence's picture

5.1: Normal weather.
5.2: Thunderstorm from 7am-8am, lightning strikes throughout.
5.3: Normal weather,
5.4: Normal weather.

Assuming nothing unexpected happens between now and then, the party anticipates setting out for Kuiper's farm in another hour or two, arriving sometime in the evening and sleeping there for the night before taking the ferry across the river the next morning. From there, they expect to traverse the Hog Brook on foot until they reach the Reflecting Pool, and from there venture onward to Broken Spire Keep (the exact whereabouts of which remain a mystery but SOMEone in the Circle should be capable of sharing its location).

Feruq thinks it is probably best if they just wait a little bit longer tomorrow morning before hitting the road to let the storm die down before they leave Kuiper's place.

Last one, I promise
I rolled 1d8, the result is 7 = 7.

"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
MinusInnocence's picture

I posted here in the "Questions, Comments & Criticisms" thread about stuff that might come up in the game that we don't really sink our teeth into but which might interest some people who are just curious to learn more about the campaign setting. Feel free to chime in.

SECRET
I rolled 1d100, the result is 89 = 89.
I rolled 1d3, 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
MinusInnocence's picture

The first entry in "Cultural Spotlight" is up. You can check it out here.

Last one, I promise
I rolled 1d100, the result is 47 = 47.
I rolled 1d6, the result is 1 = 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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

So I know that the ring is for shield other. Argus has Spellcraft, but there is no Spellcraft DC listed for recognizing whether something is a spell component or a focus. I'm probably going to assume Argus knows if my roll is not terribad.

Spellcraft
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 18, 6 = 24.
MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I think it is technically a Knowledge (arcana) thing, but that is problematic because that skill appears on almost none of the class skill lists for spellcasters. I'm not sure what I would have set the DC at for using Spellcraft instead, but a 24 is pretty good.

"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
Talanall's picture

In 3.5, Spellcraft would clearly allow you to identify a spell as it is being cast, but the DC and verbiage specifies that this is based on observation of the verbal and somatic components. Foci and material components are not mentioned. Pathfinder removes all that, but adds that Spellcraft is penalized for distance as if it were a Perception check (which makes a lot of sense to me). And in 3.5, this has some implications for the use of Spellcraft to identify spells that have no verbal or somatic components. Theoretically, if you cast a silent, stilled shield other in 3.5, the spell is unidentifiable as it is being cast, and instead you would have to identify it by observing its effects. Hit points are an abstraction, so I'm not sure exactly how you'd do that.

It looks like Pathfinder splits off this last option, identification via observation of effect, and roll it into Knowledge (arcana). And it also offers an option to look at a material component and identify spells that can be cast using it. There's no direct verbiage about foci, but the main difference between a component and a focus appears to be that the latter is not consumed in use.

So I guess one way to approach the question would be to ask whether a spell actually needs to be being cast for you to recognize its components using Spellcraft. And if the answer is no, then maybe Pathfinder really offers two parallel ways of recognizing a spell.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I think arcana is supposed to be for weird crap that breaks the rules, while spellcraft is for normal stuff that plays by the rules. So you find a 'goodberry' bush and it is Spellcraft; you find a magical fountain that works like 'goodberry' and you use arcana.

But it sure seems to me that certain information about 'this should be possible with magic' ought to be generally known; otherwise NPCs couldn't take reasonable precautions against magic (like using small peepholes) based on any knowledge.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That distinction is applicable in 3.5. I don't know if Mike is going to maintain it in Pathfinder; the PF rules appear to have dissolved some of it.

The peephole example from Argent Cyma is the outcome of (probably several) incidents lost to prehistory, that must have involved craftsmen of various kinds asking wizards, "Can you magic people into opening a locked door and letting you inside their houses?" And then following that line of questioning until it arrived at the peephole in Nerillus Philo's door. And then 1,000 years later, guild-qualified master carpenters just know that peepholes are only supposed to be so big, and no bigger. They may not even know the real reason why, other than, "My old master used to beat me with a switch if I made them bigger, so that's how we're going to do it." Again, I can't really speak to how Mike will rule on stuff like that.

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I like the idea that Knowledge skills represent the kinds of information one acquires through academic study, while Spellcraft is sort of "where the rubber meets the road." Ranks in that skill reflect practical, hands-on experience in both casting spells and being subjected to them yourself. I make this distinction only because I don't think it would be a good idea in terms of game balance to combine the two skills, although that is really my first impulse; because when you look at some of the stuff you can do with a Knowledge (arcana) check, one comes away with the question of WHY that sort of thing isn't included under Spellcraft, and if so much of what we conceptualize Spellcraft to be about is actually relegated under Knowledge (arcana), maybe we don't really need two different skills at all.

But this is an unsatisfactory solution for the same reason I briefly touched on earlier: not everyone who casts spells has Knowledge (arcana) as a class skill. Because the other side of the skill is more about studying weird magical phenomena and monsters of certain types, and it's just part of the way the game is set up that wizards are into that kind of shit whereas oracles or druids might not be. Might an oracle or druid occasionally need to identify a spell; even a divine one or one on their very own class spell list; either by witnessing it being cast or examining the components used to do so? I think that sort of thing might be very helpful. Alas, unless we include things like this house rule under Spellcraft, they're up a creek.

So it's just much easier to look at the stuff related to identifying spells and port them over to Spellcraft. I'm not married to the idea that the DCs will always be the same, and I see no reason to actually remove those items from the list of functions of the Knowledge skill. But this is the best solution I have for the problem (which really isn't a huge problem in itself, but more of a symptom of a larger issue pertaining to skills and the way they do or do not overlap).

"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
MinusInnocence's picture

OK. So is the plan to tell Dalvar and Feruq the others are running a quick errand and will meet up with them later? If so, do Dalvar and Feruq want to set out as soon as they finish shopping, or wait in town for the stragglers to finish their business? Is that a conversation anyone would rather have in the IC thread?

Random
I rolled 1d2, 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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think Dalvar's decision about whether to wait or go on ahead would depend on the direction in which the others are going.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I'm fine with letting him know.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

All right, so we're on the same page: the previous plan was to leave town as soon as possible, but that got pushed back a bit when Feruq disclosed that he had learned of a few magic items available for purchase in Milborne. They aren't all at some Magic Item Store so puttering around the village, finding the relevant merchants, inspecting the merchandise and haggling over price takes time. Not all day, but it definitely counts as an errand on your to-do list before you can saddle up and set out for Kuiper's place.

Now, Werner is saying he wants Argus and Thunk to help him run his own errand (including retrieving his own mount, which is not stabled at Nafton's place for an as-yet-undisclosed reason). This means leaving town for a bit before coming back, and the reason I phrase it that way is he is actually going in the opposite direction of Kuiper's homestead (Werner's horse is stashed about ten miles west of town, not east).

Hustling, the horses Argus and Thunk are riding (even if Werner hitches a ride with Thunk on the way here) could make 10 miles in an hour. It would take two more to get back to town, however, because you can't hustle for more than one hour per day without detriment.

So Dalvar and Feruq are looking at three hours before they can leave if they want to wait for the others. Some of that time will be spent handling their own business, but maybe not all of it.

"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
Talanall's picture

Dalvar will wait.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Feruq as well.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I might hustle horses to their detriment. I have a little healing magic.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

There's still a chance here for Thunk to make the whole thing go belly-up, if he decides that people walking around and talking to reanimated skeletons and zombies is like it's no big deal is just a bridge too far for him to cross.

But assuming he doesn't thrash Werner's minions, I assume the plan is to ford the river at the earliest opportunity and venture as close to the refugee camp outside Milborne on the north shore of the river as Werner dares on his skeletal steed. Then, Argus or Thunk (or both) will cross again to fetch Dalvar and Feruq and escort them back across to the north shore to continue on toward Kuiper's farm. Using the river as cover for the skeletal soldiers isn't a bad idea; anyway, the party would probably want to ride east on that side of the river no matter what you do because until Kuiper replaces the ferry, there isn't any way to stable your horses at his farm when you turn south along the Hog Brook otherwise. There are canoes to get people across, and Kuip does have a small raft that would probably be serviceable for getting the party's mules back and forth; but nothing big enough for a horse.

If Argus is interested in expending curative magic to heal the horses when they take damage from hustling again, the party can reorganize north of Milborne and continue their journey starting as early as 11 in the morning. If not, it will be noon before you leave. It's just about 20 miles; you'll be moving at 4mph because the mules are a little bit slower than the horses at top speed. So even without hustling again at all, you'll still make it there by 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

For anyone interested in how hustling more than one hour per day works: for the 2nd hour that you do so, you take 1 point of nonlethal damage and gain the fatigued condition. After that, the damage every hour doubles. Mounts, however, take lethal damage instead. If I'm reading the room correctly, reaching Kuiper's farm then turning south and making any significant progress along the Hog Brook at all is not exactly a dire emergency, so it doesn't really matter what time you get there today. You may even decide to stop there again for the night before setting out in the morning. I'm not your real dad.

"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

Additionally, if Argus doesn't want to waste curative magic, Werner does have some Onyx gems on him.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

First, a paladin. Then a sociopathic minder-wizard. Now an active necromancer. For a guy as ostensibly innocent as Feruq, he sure does end up keeping strange company.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Based on recent IC posts, I believe your assumption regarding the plan is correct.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

No sense hustling. What's one extra hour among friends.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

The party is now assembled perhaps a mile east of the refugee camp, which is situated opposite Milborne on the northern shore of the Churnett River. It's close to 1:30 in the afternoon.

"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
Talanall's picture

So the bloody skeletons are present, and evident to Dalvar?

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Doubt they're bloody anymore.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

@Cronono, what are your thoughts on this? Would Werner have ordered the skeletons to come up out of the river while he waited to rendezvous with the party, or stay put for now, or go on ahead, or do some other thing I haven't thought of?

"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

I think they are still in the river for the time being.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

That's probably for the best, but it should be noted that if something comes up where 20 skeletal warriors would come in handy, it might be difficult for you to communicate with them and rescind your previous command to continue marching until you reach X destination. For example, you would need to duck your head under the water and shout out your new orders to them, and they would each individually have to make Perception checks in order to be able to comply. Basically, what I'm saying is once you decided to send you them marching along the riverbed in water over their heads, you expected they would "go dark" until you reached whatever point you previously established to rendezvous with them.

This is probably a fixed position in terms of miles traveled and not a specific landmark, since Werner has never traveled this far east in Haranshire. How far did he expect the skeletons to march underwater before meeting up with them 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
Cronono's picture

Totally agreed and makes sense. I think our previous discussion suggested that the fixed distance got them relatively close to the farm.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Werner casts Bless targeting the PCs.

He then leaves.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Can we assume the bloody skeletons are going to just hang out on the bottom of the riverbank forever, or were they in the process of marching, or what?

So, I don't know if anyone else's characters have anything else to say about what happened, but it seems like pretty much everyone other than Argus was uncomfortable with the prospect of traveling and working with a practicing necromancer. "Uncomfortable" verging from "this is gross and weird" to "it's either him or me."

The PCs have responded negatively to the last few attempts by new characters to join the party. I assume this has nothing to do with the players involved; thus far, no one has said anything either to me privately or in the threads about having a problem with new folks jumping into the game. It just seems like the Heroes themselves are skeptical and guarded about the prospect of making new friends.

That's not to say that they were out of bounds on this one, of course. It was going to be a hard sell for Werner to persuade people who are members in good standing in the local community and who are currently battling a kidnapping ring made up of devil worshippers and known necromancers. The newly minted Count's father was transformed into a ghoul, which was traumatic for pretty much everyone involved. The local powers-that-be are all druids and rangers, who are typically pretty anti-Undead, and the religious leadership in Haranshire falls squarely on the shoulders of Semheis, who is sworn to the service of Sarenrae (a goddess of healing, sunlight and generally rooting out and destroying Undead wherever they can be found). There's also the posse of Phoenix Guard members, of course, who have their own extreme views about whether it's ok to reanimate corpses.

So it's not like saying "I don't think this is going to work out, no matter how nice a guy you seem to be" was the wrong call. But I just want to make sure this isn't part of a larger pattern of the PCs rejecting pretty much everyone they meet. I assume the next potential new character to join their ranks will have an even tougher audition now anyway.

For my part, I'm more than willing to have someone jump in. But up until this point I haven't really made any efforts at all to restrict access to content when rolling up a new character, and maybe that was a mistake? I just want to know where everyone's head is at.

"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
Talanall's picture

Speaking for myself and Dalvar's motivations, I think it's pretty transparent at this point that my PC has decided that he likes Haranshire, sees some opportunities for personal advancement, and wants to take advantage of them. You've covered the assorted reasons why someone with his goals might take a dim view of associating himself with someone who has decided to meld necromancy with some kind of workers' liberation movement, so I don't have to rehearse them a second time.

I have zero issue with new players in general, or with Cronono in particular. If I did, he wouldn't be playing in 2/3 of the campaigns I currently run. This was 100% a matter of Dalvar thinking that the political and public relations drawbacks of associating with a necromancer outweigh the undeniable utility of having a lot of virtually indestructible undead to soften up the enemy.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

For what it's worth, Dalvar liked Raphael and would have been happy to continue working with him if he had not died.

And I think he was fine with Long Tom and whatever Crim's character was called. Although maybe he would have changed his mind and murdered Long Tom in his sleep if the dick jokes had continued. I think it's now well attested that he thinks genitals are gross and doesn't want to talk about them at all in any way. I had no personal issues with either player.

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

Darker

Thunk isn't a fan of the undead, as they are diametrically opposed to his deeply held beliefs about the nature of death and higher states of existence. For him, to die, especially in violence and battle, is to become thrust beyond the normally unbroken intersubjective plane and gain true knowledge and wisdom beyond mortal means. Undead are an abomination, from which no satisfaction can be gained from destroying, for they are empty husks and cannot be guided past the existent plane into something more through a swift and bloody death. His blade cannot shepherd them to true knowing, now or ever, and therefore he despises them.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

It's a character issue, not a player issue. I'm absolutely okay with new players, and I like Cronono. And I think that a player should feel free to choose any character concept that he wants to. But the games we run on the Archive tend to lean more heavily to the immersion roleplaying side, so it's bound to happen eventually that the characters might not be excited about a person joining their ranks for various reasons, and that due to the focus on roleplaying, that the players might not break character in the interest of fitting in a new PC.

This instance seems like a gimmie. In a very short time, our group has gained a local reputation as heroes and people of honor. It makes sense to me that we'd be unwelcoming to someone who brazenly wanders the countryside in the presence of undead that he himself controls. Dalvar summons fiendish animals to fight for him, but he doesn't ride into town on the back of a nightmare like it's a normal thing that people should just accept.

I admit to being a little fuzzy on the details of the last time someone tried to join the group, but I think we had just come off a forced march, and it might have been raining or something. We'd just fought a literal battle for our souls and someone who was traveling with us was presumed dead. The PCs were tired and grumpy, and if my memory is correct, we played their reactions to those things to the hilt when we were told "we want to come with you because it'll be fun and we want to be famous like you."

The TL/DR of this is that I've got no objections to new players, but it seems fairly obvious that the group isn't really going to suspend disbelief and welcome someone to the group with open arms just because that character is controlled by a player. That character is probably going to have to put some effort into convincing the group that they should be allowed to join.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

As someone who's character had a negative reaction to Rafael and a positive reaction to Werner, I think we can safely say it isn't the Player. Cronono did try to make Rafael unpleasant, so I think the reaction was justified. Also, too many diabolists is a problem. Associating with unpleasant people that aren't likely to form a hegemonic group is fine. So one demonist and one necromancer is better than two of either one alone.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I just got back from a business trip so forgive the delay in responding. I don't think there is any OOC animus here. I do think the Heroes of Haranshire are understandably wary of new folks. There are two factors there.

1) New folks are historically pretty shitty to this group. Whether they're unpleasant or obviously evil (mustache or no), the Heroes have had a pretty bad run of new would-be-members.

2) New characters have almost no introduction or presence aside from running into PCs between adventures. There is nothing that ties them really effectively to the world besides timing.

I'm not sure either one of those is good or bad. Gideon becoming a traitor is an interesting story and it makes sense that the Heroes would have some folks who aspire to be adventurers too. Similarly, literally every ally in some sword and sorcery fiction (read: Conan) just coincidentally bumps into the protagonists and they buddy up. That's perfectly logical.

There are a number of games where players decide their characters are going to trust/accept/tolerate/include new PCs by virtue of the fact that metagaming isn't always a bad thing. @Fixxxer speaks directly to this point in that the PCs on this board don't do that at all due to immersion roleplaying. People have a number of thoughts on what metagaming, if any, is appropriate and/or acceptable. I don't think there are any issues with sticking strictly to refusal to metagame at all if that's what's fun for folks.

I've struggled to bring in a character to this game. Absent some way to overcome barriers 1 and 2, I don't see myself as being able to bring a character into the game. It makes perfect sense, mind you, why a PC like Werner wouldn't be welcomed. I don't think anyone is wrong for wanting an open necromancer to be around.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I really enjoyed Raphael, and it was a real disappointment that he died when and how he did. If that hadn't happened, then I think it's likely that he would have ended up meshing with the party after a little while.

Werner was going to be an especially hard sell because of all the stuff that went down at Parlfray Keep. But in general I think the difficulty is surmountable.

Your second point, that new PCs have tended to drop in on us with little introduction or presence, is really the crux of it all. I think Dalvar does his fair share of figurative mustache-twirling, but at the end of the day the other Heroes tolerate him. Aside from any questions about whether they consider him a friend, they probably do this because he's a known quantity. They know his capabilities in a fight, and they know he's unlikely to start a fight if he isn't reasonably sure that it's one they can win, and probably also one that there's no good way to settle peacefully instead.

I have a pretty good idea that in the past, at least one of the PCs has seriously considered killing Dalvar out of concern that he was in league with the Heroes' adversaries. I don't think that's a current issue, but I could be horribly wrong.

And the same is mostly true of how Dalvar looks at his companions. Even regarding Thunk, who probably has the least in common with him out of all of the current party members, Dalvar has a certain baseline expectation of how the other Heroes will behave, how they'll fight. He has an idea of what constitutes normal behavior for them, insofar as you can use that word to describe anything that an adventuring company does.

When a new PC is introduced into this relationship, the very first thing that most of the existing PCs are going to ask is, "Is this dude going to get us killed because he's too crazy, bloodthirsty, incompetent, dishonest or evil for us to trust him in this risky business we've taken as our vocation?" There is a little bit of flex in this calculus for us as players; that's one reason why the Heroes didn't really try to drive Raphael away when he decided to tag along with them. He didn't really show up with a clear reason why we should adopt him into our ranks . . . but he also didn't immediately set off warning klaxons for any of us.

But overall, the Heroes're the kind of guys who'd consistently decline this kind of risk. The past couple of attempts have been orientated around thrill seekers and politically radical necromancers. Werner in particular was just about as dangerous to be around as any character concept that I think I could dream up.

At least in Dalvar's case, there are a few ways to quell some of his reservations about new faces. One of the best is to present him with a new comrade who has some coherent, long-term motive for adventuring. "I think I might get rich if I live long enough," is lacking because Dalvar isn't really interested in risking his neck alongside someone who may abruptly decide that he is now rich enough. "I want to honor the memory of my dead family by eradicating the
that killed them, so that others won't have to suffer the same heartbreak" is much better, though a little trite, because it lends an overarching sense of what the newcomer values. Dalvar doesn't personally care about other people's heartbreak, but the reasoning is basically coherent, and that is what matters to him.

Another possibility is that a newcomer may be recommended to him by someone whose opinions he respects (or at least, someone whose opinions he is obliged to take into serious consideration). If Count Parlfray, or a member of the Sylvan Circle, or even someone relatively unimportant like Haldelar and Parella were to vouch for someone, it would help.

And a third possibility is just to present Dalvar with someone who is obviously an asset in adventuring, and who does not present some kind of imminent danger to Dalvar's own safety and goals. His first impulse when faced with goblins, worgs, orcs and devils, now, has been to seek a peaceful conclusion, and the rest of the Heroes have basically either tolerated it or actively egged him on.

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

Darker

Talanall wrote:

Another possibility is that a newcomer may be recommended to him by someone whose opinions he respects (or at least, someone whose opinions he is obliged to take into serious consideration). If Count Parlfray, or a member of the Sylvan Circle, or even someone relatively unimportant like Haldelar and Parella were to vouch for someone, it would help.


This! Easy in. Or even build in a link to a character already in the game. Dalvar's cousin. Argus's next door neighbor. Thunk's long lost puppy.

Also, an unpleasant diabolist and a pleasant necromancer make very bad choices for a party that was just betrayed by someone they trusted who turns out to be something of evil, devil worshiping cultist. A pleasant necromancer might actually have been fine, but you can't bring in the army of the dead right after they meet.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I think we're all on the same page with regards to what would and wouldn't work ICly.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Something else that's occurred to me is that as a group, the Heroes will really tolerate a lot. I mean, Feruq generally considers himself to be a good good dude, but he pointedly finds something interesting on the ceiling when Dalvar starts waterboarding people for information (yes, I'm gonna keep picking on Dalvar here, because reasons). If Dalvar had showed up wearing an executioner's hood with a bag of hooks and flechettes and wearing an "I heart torture" shirt, Feruq wouldn't have teamed up with him. And Feruq would probably leave now if Dalvar suddenly developed a penchant for pulling the wings off of flies and torturing every enemy we didn't kill outright. Instead, it turned out more like "Hey, guys, there's thing thing I know how to do and I generally keep it to myself, but it would be really useful here, so I'mma do it, so you may wanna take a walk or something."

I don't think that walking dead necromancy is an insurmountable challenge in a group like ours. If he was with us and we were in a fight and he raised up a skeleton or zombie to help us, I don't think Feruq would see much pf a problem with it. The problem was really just how normalized Werner seemed to want it to be. Riding a puss-dripping undead horse wherever he goes was just a bit much for Feruq to just accept on sight. But others have already pointed out potential ways that might be overcome. If, for example, we arrive at Kuiper's farm and he were to vouch for Wener with an "I know he's got some rough bits, but I've known this guy for a while and I think you should let him come with you" argument, then Feruq would probably be inclined to relent because of his trust for Kuiper.

Feruq might not want bloody skeletons following his group around, but I'm not trying to make it harder for Cronono to join a game he wants to be in.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

You're picking on Dalvar because everybody is pretty sure he's evil as fuck, even if he's usually very well-behaved.

But that's kind of the point. If Dalvar needs to pass as a normal, law-abiding member of society, then all he really has to do is act in a socially appropriate manner. If he doesn't have a fiend summoned and isn't torturing people or talking about how he's going to rip out someone's heart and eat it, then outwardly he's really just an eccentric guy from out of town. And at this point, he's been nothing but helpful to the people of Haranshire. The only people who've seen him do anything evil have been the other Heroes, and as Fixxxer notes, they didn't exactly try to stop him. Their continued silence makes them complicit, if anything, because they've been running around with this guy even though they've had some evidence that he's not totally benign. But maybe that's okay. He's definitely not as bad as their adversaries, and he doesn't cause public relations issues.

Also, Dalvar would never use hooks and flechettes to torture someone. It's messy, and he really hates messes. Ditto for ripping the wings off of flies. That's gross. Flies buzz around eating all sorts of horrible stuff.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

True, Dalvar seems more like a Saran Wrap kinda guy.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

It does sound like we're all on the same page after all. I think I will work with Cronono and a few others who have tentatively expressed interest in joining the game in the past and try to work them in all at once, with a mutual NPC acquaintance to bridge the gap. In the meantime, we'll probably close 2EE to new players just to make sure we're not wasting anyone's time.

In-game, does anyone have anything else to contribute or will Argus just return the ring and everyone can watch Werner ride away? I don't want to proceed if someone else had something to say.

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

Darker

Didn't someone promise that Thunk could smash all the undead?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Yes, but now he's riding away without having dunked his head underwater and yelled at them to come up from the bottom of the river. So not only is Werner a necromancer, he is also a scoundrel who thinks nothing of shirking his promises to others.

But while it would probably make Think feel better, running after him and chopping him to pieces FEELS murdery. I mean there isn't anyone else around so if the others didn't object, he would probably get away with it. Thunk's read on how everyone feels about the guy tells him they would probably be upset to see him butchered.

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

Darker

Thunk's not anti-murdery. Not really pro-murdery either. Sometimes murder happens, what are you going to do?

Pages