Yonah is far more patient than the average (Bug)bear. Slowly smoked dragon sounds delicious.
I guess you guys ought to decide what the watch schedule's going to look like. Zathrus in particular needs a solid 8-hour rest without interruptions to regain power points (it works similarly to how arcane spellcasters regain spells), so I guess he'll probably want either the first or the last shift in order to facilitate that. Other than that, I guess it's really your decision.
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
We can each take a shift of an hour and twenty minutes, or we can double up and do three shifts of 3-ish hours. Zathrus is in favor of the second option. Further, Zathrus will claim the earliest shift, because reasons.
Fanax will opt to watch with Grim or Oni.
When Gorx takes watch, he'll do so with some Air Elementals to keep him company.
Grim opts to watch with Fanax. The order of the shift doesn't matter to him.
It looks like you guys are doubling up, so absent any objection watches will consist of Zathrus and Yonah, followed by Grimvaalk and Fanax, then Oni, and Gorx at the end. As Fixxxer suggested, shifts on watch will last ~3 hours; at the current In Character date, you guys are near the autumnal equinox, so day and night are of approximately equal length.
That looks fantastic.
Good with it.
I apologize for the brief delay. Calculating spotting distances is a cumbersome process.
I'd like to know how Fanax and Grimvaalk behave when they're on watch. Do they stay in one place, or walk around, or what?
Grimvaalk stays put, putting himself outside of any firelight and hiding, both so he wouldn't be the first to be silenced if someone with better stealth got close to the camp and so the light doesn't ruin his darkvision. His wolf takes watch with him and stays within his sight.
Fanax will do periodic patrolling. He will do his best to stay away from the firefight but will try to cover a rough 50-100 meter circle.
I suppose we should roll for initiative, or something.
Its been months!
Oh. Now I can roll a 20. NOW. Hmph!
Typical goblin behavior, stealing and hoarding the high rolls that should probably be used in other campaigns.
If we get to roll while we're asleep, awesome.
Init, when appropriate
Init for Yonah, once he's awake. I'll be most curious about what he can smell when he wakes up.
If we get to roll while we're asleep, awesome.
Fanax leads initiative.
I suppose this is Fanax's last chance to shoot Grimvaalk in the throat before he wakes people up. Undoubtedly they'll want to discuss how best to meet this latest development.
Fuck that. Lets get Fanax killed and move him to the edge of the fog. Weapons out, of course.
A double-move will bring Fanax up short of the fog. He can get there if he runs instead, but that'd deprive him of his Dex modifier to AC until the start of his next turn, and he wouldn't really be able to draw his weapons. It's totally up to you.
Speaking of, is he going for a melee weapon or a ranged option?
Melee. Fanax will move as close to the fog as his little legs will get him without running. So double move while drawing his weapons.
Grimvaalk begins kicking away his companions. If his wolf gets an action that he can control, s/he should do the same.
With his 60 feet of darkvision and scent ability, what does Yonah see and smell?
My apologies; until now I had not provided a key to who is who. Please see below. Further iterations of the IC post will include this information.
Fanax (Blue 1)
Gorx (Blue 2)
Grimvaalk (Blue 3)
Yonah (Blue 4)
Oni (Blue 5)
Zathrus (Blue 6)
Black indicates a pack wolf, horse, or mule. White indicates an animal companion, mostly to aid my memory in terms of their being special rules that apply to those.
With his 60 feet of darkvision and scent ability, what does Yonah see and smell?
Yonah can that the fire is still lit, but is only burning about half as brightly as it should be. That's not reflective of his darkvision, but he'd certainly notice it.
He doesn't smell anything new (scent is effective out to ~30 feet, albeit subject to great variability due to wind direction or intensity of odor). Right now, the wind is basically neutral with respect to his location and that of the cavern. He is about as close as he can be to the fire without smelling the smoke very strongly.
He's caught faint whiffs of a smell that he guesses might be the dragon, but it's more of a residual thing from being right outside of its lair. This is a place where Vumrot obviously must come and go regularly, so I don't think it's surprising that his smell lingers.
If Yonah smells anything unusual, I will notify you. In general, the scent ability just gives information about whether the source of an odor is within range. Most of the time, Yonah can spend a move action to get a general direction toward the source. If he's really close, like within 5 feet, he can use scent to pinpoint the location of something he can't see.
Up to and including right now, he has not directly smelled Vumrot's presence. Just traces of something he hasn't smelled before that he guesses is probably Vumrot.
In general, Yonah would be able to recognize someone by smell the same way that he'd be able to recognize someone by sight. So (for example) if someone slipped into his tent and stole something, and then Yonah came back and found it missing before the intruder's scent had time to fade away, Yonah would likely be able to identify the thief just from being close to him unless the thief had done something to hide or modify his scent.
Yonah hops to his feet, hisses, "He's putting the fire out!" and proceeds to wake the next nearest comrades.
Noted. That'll be Gorx.
But before Gorx can act, it's Fanax's turn again.
I am not sure if the fire is low enough to get by. Fanax will move towards the fog. Double move into it. Not sure if a hide and a move silently is called for but here it is. Reduce movement as required.
You're asking me to make some decisions that I'm not in a position to make for you. It's not within the scope of my role as DM to tell you whether Fanax thinks it's warranted to be stealthy. That's all you. If you think he should be stealthy and he has the means to be stealthy, then yes, checks are appropriate to see how stealthy he is.
The fog cloud effect will enable him to make Hide checks, since it grants concealment (you need concealment or cover to use Hide). And in fact, once he enters the fog it will totally obscure him from the view of against anything that is more than 5 ft. from him. Fog doesn't do anything about sound, though. And there's really no downside to using Hide in addition to Move Silently (since he can without having to alter his route to pass through cover or concealment or anything like that). So he may as well use Hide.
If he wants to be stealthy in fog, though, he also will have to move quietly. So Move Silently is in order in that case.
Fanax is subject to penalties to both of these skills based on how quickly he moves. I think you're aware of this, because you said you want to make a double move, but you also said to reduce movement as required. These are mutually contradictory instructions, and I don't know which to follow.
Should Fanax move some distance that is between 5 and 15 feet, he will suffer no penalty to his Hide/Move Silently checks. If he moves a distance between 20 and 30 feet, he suffers a -5 penalty. If he moves up to 60 feet (but is not charging at something to attack it) he suffers a -10 penalty to the checks. And if he tries to charge as sneakily as possible (or if he's trying to run quietly or something like that, covering more than 60 feet of ground) it's a -20 penalty.
If Fanax wants to actually enter the fog, then he must move at least 20 feet, and a -5 penalty is the minimum he must incur. He can potentially move until he is adjacent to the nearer edge of the bonfire, incurring a -10 penalty (although this would leave him in plain view of anyone waiting on the far side of the fog). If he wants to get closer but isn't willing to suffer a penalty to his checks, he can get right up next to the edge of the fog, but not go in.
I am confused. Fanax can't move silently, without penalty, on a double move of 30'? Couldnt he move 15' to the edge of the fog then move 15' into the fog using the MS and Hide skill?
I wasn't sure if moving into the fog would reduce the speed even more. If it did I figured you would reduce speed as appropriate.
So move 15', not using any skill...just moving slow. Reach the fog and move 15', assuming there isnt any more movement penalty, using the Hide amd Move Silently check.
Does that work? Am I reading the map wrong? Should Fanax just Leeroy Jenkins this entire scenario? Is it really that bad to wear white after Labor Day?
Fanax cannot move silently, without penalty, on a double move, because the rule does not seem to care about the number of actions he is expending for a move. Instead, it uses his movement speed as a yardstick and assesses penalties based on multiples of that figure. I'm parsing the following rule:
Check Your Move Silently check is opposed by the Listen check of anyone who might hear you. You can move up to one-half your normal speed at no penalty. When moving at a speed greater than one-half but less than your full speed, you take a -5 penalty. It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to move silently while running or charging.
Hide contains nearly identical language with regard to the effects of movement, so this is applicable there, too, but with some added prerequisites about needing to have cover or concealment, and with some verbiage to describe how far you can move between hiding spots.
Fanax's speed is 30 feet. So he can move 15 feet without a penalty to Move Silently. If he moves faster than that, he takes a -5 penalty. Theoretically, I could read this rule to indicate that the -5 penalty is only applicable if Fanax moves up to 25 feet, and that this is the upper limit to this stage of penalty, rather than his full speed of 30 feet. But that isn't really consistent with how D&D usually handles thresholds of this nature.
The rule also explicitly says that if you move any distance as part of a charge or at a run, you take a -20 penalty. It's theoretically possible to charge across distance of up to twice your speed, although it's usually the case that you charge a shorter distance than that. Similarly, it's usual that when you use the run action, you're trying to cover a distance larger than twice your speed. Either way, I think it's fair to say that these cases indicate movement that takes up most or all of your character's actions for a given turn. They are full-round actions.
The rule does not explicitly nominate an intermediary stage of penalty between the one for moving faster than half-speed and the one for movement as part of a charge or at a run. But because one of these penalties is -5 and the next is -20, and because D&D customarily adds bonuses and penalties in increments of 2, 3, 5 or 10, it's pretty simple to figure that this intermediary stage is at a -10.
As a goblin, Fanax is one of a couple of Small humanoids that can move at a base speed faster than 20 ft., which is a huge advantage for him over (for example) a halfling or gnome, because it means that he can move substantially farther with only a modest penalty than is true of slower Small races. See the table below for an outline of how penalties stack up based on your movement speed and the amount of ground you try to cover.
And so on, as you hit multiples of these speeds.
I am not necessarily opposed to making a house rule to deviate from this, instead working based on a fraction of the rate at which you move per action you spend; this would be consistent with what you'd like for the skill to do, and frankly it probably would be easier to administer in play. But I think we need to be clear that it would be a house rule.
Also, it wouldn't be fair for me to adopt such a house rule without being extremely clear about this: it probably would be more favorable to monsters and NPCs than it would be to you as players. As a DM, I use the stealth rules against you guys FAR more often than you use them against me. Anything that makes sneaking easier is going to make ambushing you easier. So that's something you're going to have to discuss among yourselves.
As far as the effects of fog: moving into fog will not reduce your speed, because it doesn't blind you and it does not physically impede your movement. It reduces your field of vision to a 5-ft. radius from your square (and even in that radius, creatures and objects have normal (20% miss chance) concealment). There are more powerful versions of the fog cloud spell that physically impede your movement; both solid fog and acid fog do this, and there's a white dragon ability that causes ice to form on surfaces inside the fog. But this is just fog; presumably Vumrot had or has some means to create it, and it seems reasonable to think that if he could produce a more powerful effect, he would have done so by now.
I wouldn't be opposed the house rule but will defer to other players.
Fanax will move to the edge of the fog at 15' as to not suffer a penalty.
Oni will stand and equip his spear. That's both of his move actions for this round but he will talk as loudly for as long as he can while he does so. "Awake! Awake! The dragon is coming!"
Let's have a Listen check from Zathrus. He's asleep, but Oni is talking "loudly" and is 20 feet from him. So we'll say the DC is -5 + 1 (distance) + 10 (sleeping) = 11.
Since Kurz is on his person, his Listen modifier is +3.
Excellent. He's awake. What's he going to do?
"What the FUCK?!" demands Zathrus as he's jolted awake. He blinks away sleep and sees the scene. "What the fuck?" he repeats as he stands, his drowsiness disappearing instantly as he concentrates on getting a force screen around himself.
Gorx will stand. He starts invoking his spirit pacts.
Gorx senses some new developments in the Spirit World; different spirits are available to him. Italics indicate creatures that he can command as if dominated. He believes that the presence of the dead and the countervailing disappearance of some elementals is indicative that the Great Horde has covered enough ground to place this part of the Spirit World under its influence.
Ghosts or ancestral ghosts (1 HD) - approximately 150
Water (Medium, ~6 HD) - 2
Water (Small, ~3 HD) - 4
Air (Large, ~8 HD) - 1
Air (Medium, ~4 HD) - 2Air (Small, ~2 HD) - 4
Earth (Medium, ~4 HD) - 1Earth (Small, ~2 HD) - 2
Bison (~5-7 HD) - 3
Wolf (~4-6 HD) - 7Wolf (~2-3 HD) - 24
Boar (~4-5 HD) - 3Boar (~3 HD) - 1Horse (~3 HD) - 41Eagle (~1-3 HD) - 31Rat (¼ HD) - 100+Raven (¼ HD) - 100+
Giant Ant Soldier (~4-6 HD) - 7Giant Ant Soldier (~2-3 HD) - 24
Giant Ant Worker (~4-6 HD) - 7Giant Ant Soldier (~2-3 HD) - 24
Giant Bee (~4-6 HD) - 7Giant Bee (~3 HD) - 22†
Monstrous Centipede (~6 HD) - 1
Monstrous Centipede (~4 HD) - 6Monstrous Centipede (~3 HD) - 24
† denotes lowered numbers due to prior fatalities.
Gorx dislikes it when he unintentionally kills elementals. He wants to intentionally kill things, not accidentally. Consequently, he's going to summon a whole boatload of ghosts.
He'll be paying careful attention to see if he knows any of the ghosts.
Gorx is 4th level, so he is able to have up to 8 HD of spirits in a pact with him at one time. The ancestral ghosts available to him all have 1 HD, but they also have turn resistance +2, making them behave as 3-HD creatures for the purposes of his spirit pact ability. This is why they are not treated as if they are dominated.
This also means that his boatload has to fit on a pretty small boat; he can "fit" two such spirits on his boat.
On the bright side, Gorx is entirely correct that it's hard even to injure a ghost, much less destroy one. This is definitely a perk, because it makes them easier to coax into fighting on your behalf. He'll still need to do some fast talking to get them to do anything risky for him, but they know how hard it is for the living to hurt them, and this has an impact on how they perceive their exposure to risk.
I think that historically, we have behaved as if Gorx can recognize the same spirits over multiple summoning attempts, and can choose them preferentially. But I don't think he has ever actually called on any of the undead before in game, so let's say that this time, he's reaching out randomly, and that in future he would be able to recognize the same ghosts and decide whether to call on them again.
A quirk of using ghosts or ancestral ghosts is that they're templated creatures, and most of the base creatures eligible for these templates are NPCs. So I am going to generate two random NPCs of 1st level and apply the ancestral ghost template to them.
I was referring to something more like "Oh, hey, I just summoned Steve's ghost. Steve's dead you guys, hope he didn't owe you money."
To extend your metaphor, I needed to determine the answers to questions like "Will Gorx and his companions die if they look at Steve the Ghost?"
I don't think Gorx knows either of the ghosts who're going to be answering his call tonight, but you should go ahead and roll a Knowledge (religion) check anyway.
Fixxxer can (if he likes) roll Knowledge (local).