Keeping up with the Joneses #13

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Bianca grew up quickly, and Alexis tried her best to raise her well. Bianca was (quite literally) a whiz kid, and was always looking to learn new things.

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Bryant was feeling a bit left out at this stage.

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In his frustration, he left the stove unattended for a moment, causing the stove to catch fire. Fortunately his quick thinking averted disaster.

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Alexis continued to enjoy pursuits of her own, away from her children.

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Meanwhile, Bryant started to get to know his little sister, and slowly realised that perhaps she wasn’t all that bad.

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Pathfinder Monster Build: Adlets

adlet1As promised, I’ve listed my builds for the adlets I threw at my party a couple of weeks ago. The normal adlet is a CR 10 creature, with some good stats – particularly Dexterity – plus some spell-like abilities and a breath weapon. Their Constitution also gave them some staying power as the party tried to mow them down. I used the monster advancement rules from the bestiaries to create a few builds in Monster Codex style.

I created four builds: a shaman, a two-weapon slayer, an archery slayer, and a barbarian.

ADLET SHAMAN: A few adlets are more powerful shamans, with levels of oracle or druid. I thought the new shaman class worked quite well with this idea given the adlet’s decent wisdom.

Adlet (advanced) shaman 5, CN Medium humanoid (adlet, cold)

Init +14; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +18

DEFENSE

AC 28, touch 21, flat-footed 17 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +7 natural)

hp 238 (20d8+145)

Fort +13, Ref +22, Will +19

Immune cold; Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee +1 spear +21/+16/+11 (1d8+9/×3), bite +14 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 cold)

Special Attacks frozen breath (DC 24), hexes (chant, fortune, evil eye [DC 20, -2, 11 rounds], ward), storm burst (7/day, 2 rounds)

Shaman Spells Prepared (CL 5th) Here I just chose spells as needed during the encounter

3rd—3 slots
2nd—4 slots
1st—5 slots
0 (at will)—4 slots

Spontaneous spells (1 each/day)—charm animal, barkskin, speak with plants, grove of respite

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)

Constant—pass without trace
At will—ray of frost
3/day—fog cloud, sleet storm
1/day—commune with nature, ice storm, summon (greater ice elemental or 1d4+1 large ice elementals), wind walk (self only)

STATISTICS

Str 20 (+5), Dex 30 (+10), Con 24 (+7), Int 21 (+5), Wis 26 (+8), Cha 19 (+4)

Base Atk +14; CMB +19; CMD 41

Feats Diehard, Dodge, Extra Hex (2), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Run, Self-Sufficient, Weapon Focus (spear)

Skills Acrobatics +20 (+24 when jumping), Climb +13, Handle Animal +17, Heal +35,  Knowledge (nature) +28, Knowledge (religion) +28, Perception +28, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +20 (+28 in snow), Survival +35, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in snow; Skill Ranks Acrobatics 10, Climb 5, Handle Animal 10, Heal 20, Knowledge (nature) 20, Knowledge (religion) 20, Perception 20, Spellcraft 10, Stealth 10, Survival 20, Swim 5

Languages Adlet, Common

SQ arctic stride, favoured class (shaman), orisons, spirit (nature), spirit animal (arctic fox), spirit magic, wandering spirit

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Storm Burst (Su): As a standard action, the shaman causes a small storm of swirling wind and rain to form around one creature within 30 feet. This storm causes the target to treat all foes as if they had concealment, suffering a 20% miss chance for 1 round plus 1 round for every 4 shaman levels she possesses. The shaman can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. At 11th level, any weapon she wields is treated as a thundering weapon.

Spirit Animal (arctic fox, +2 Reflex): The shaman’s spirit animal looks feral, and appears to be in peak physical form. The animal can move through any sort of undergrowth or natural difficult terrain at its normal speed without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.

Level plan:

Level 1 Feat: Iron Will
Level 2 Hex: Evil Eye
Level 3 Feat: Extra Hex: Chant
Level 4 Ability score: Wisdom +1
Level 4 Hex: Fortune
Level 5 Feat: Extra Hex: Ward


 

MELEE TWF ADLET

Adlet slayer 4, CN Medium humanoid (adlet, cold)

Init +14; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +26

DEFENSE

AC 26, touch 21, flat-footed 15 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural)

hp 209 (15d8+4d10+118)

Fort +15, Ref +23, Will +10

Immune cold; Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee +1 short sword +25/+20/+15 (1d6+6/17-20/×2), +1 short sword +25/+20 (1d6+6/17-20/×2), bite +15 (1d6+3 plus 1d6 cold)

Special Attacks frozen breath (swift, every 1d4 rounds, 2d6 cold, DC 23 Fort or staggered for 1d6 rounds), sneak attack +1d6

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)

Constant—pass without trace

At will—ray of frost

3/day—fog cloud, sleet storm

1/day—ice storm, wind walk (self only)

STATISTICS

Str 20 (+5), Dex 30 (+10), Con 22 (+6), Int 15 (+2), Wis 18 (+4), Cha 11 (+0)

Base Atk +15; CMB +20; CMD 42

Feats Diehard, Dodge (+1 AC), Double Slice, Improved Critical (short sword), Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Run (run 5x speed), Self-Sufficient (+2 Heal, +4 Survival), Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (short sword)

Skills Acrobatics +32 (+36 when jumping), Climb +13, Handle Animal +8, Heal +6, Perception +26, Stealth +30 (+38 in snow), Survival +30, Swim +13; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in snow; Skill Ranks Acrobatics 19, Climb 5, Handle Animal 5, Heal 0, Perception 19, Stealth 19, Survival 19, Swim 5

Languages Adlet, Common

SQ arctic stride, favoured class (slayer), studied target, track

Level Plan:

Replace Power Attack with Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (spear) with Weapon Focus (short sword)
Level 1 Feat: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 2 Slayer talent: Ranger Combat Style (Double Slice)
Level 3 Feat: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 4 Ability score: Wisdom +1
Level 4 Slayer talent: Rogue Talent: Combat Trick (Improved Critical [short sword])


 

RANGED BOW ADLET

Adlet slayer (sniper) 4, CN Medium humanoid (adlet, cold)

Init +14; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +27

DEFENSE

AC 26, touch 21, flat-footed 15 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural)

hp 188 each (19d8+99)

Fort +14, Ref +23, Will +10

Immune cold; Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee +1 spear +20/+15/+10 (1d8+5/×3), bite +14 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 cold)

Ranged +1 composite longbow +27/+22/+17 (1d8+5/x3) (+1 within 30ft)

Special Attacks frozen breath, sneak attack +1d6 (45 ft)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)

Constant—pass without trace

At will—ray of frost

3/day—fog cloud, sleet storm

1/day—ice storm, wind walk (self only)

STATISTICS

Str 18 (+4), Dex 31 (+10), Con 20 (+5), Int 15 (+2), Wis 21 (+5), Cha 11 (+0)

Base Atk +15; CMB +19; CMD 41

Feats Deadly Aim (-4 atk, +8 dmg), Diehard, Dodge (+1 AC), Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Run (run 5x speed), Self-Sufficient (+2 Heal, +4 Survival), Weapon Focus (composite longbow)

Skills Acrobatics +32 (+36 when jumping), Climb +12, Handle Animal +12, Heal +6, Perception +27, Stealth +32 (+40 in snow), Survival +27, Swim +12; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in snow; Skill Ranks Acrobatics 19, Climb 5, Handle Animal 5, Heal 0, Perception 19, Stealth 19, Survival 19, Swim 5

Languages Adlet, Common

SQ accuracy, arctic stride, deadly range (+15 ft), favoured class (slayer [hp])

Level Plan:

Replace Power Attack with Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (spear) with Weapon Focus (composite longbow)
Level 1 Feat: Precise Shot
Level 3 Feat: Deadly Aim
Level 4 Ability score: Dexterity +1
Level 4 Slayer talent: Increase Deadly Range +5 ft


 

BARBARIAN ADLET CR 10

Adlet spear hurlers, stronger and more savage than their agile kin, are terrifying combatants.

Adlet barbarian (hurler, savage barbarian) 5, CN Medium humanoid (adlet, cold)

Init +9; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +13

DEFENSE

[RAGE] AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+5 Dex, +2 dodge, +5 natural, -1 rage)

AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (+5 Dex, +2 dodge, +5 natural)

Rage: hp 270 each (15d8+5d12+125+40) Normal: hp 230 each (15d8+5d12+125)

Fort +15, Ref +15, Will +9 (+11 while raging); +1 vs fear

Immune cold; Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft

Melee +1 spear +31/+26/+21 (1d8+13/19-20/×3), bite +28 (1d6+6 plus 1d6 cold) [RAGE]

Melee +1 spear +29/+24/+19 (1d8+11/19-20/×3), bite +26 (1d6+5 plus 1d6 cold)

Ranged +1 spear +31 (1d8+13/19-20/×3/40 ft) [RAGE]

Ranged +1 spear +29 (1d8+11/19-20/×3/40 ft)

Special Attacks frozen breath

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)

Constant—pass without trace

At will—ray of frost

3/day—fog cloud, sleet storm

1/day—ice storm, wind walk (self only)

STATISTICS

[RAGE] Str 36 (+13), Dex 20 (+5), Con 27 (+8), Int 15 (+2), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 11 (+0)

Str 32 (+11), Dex 20 (+5), Con 23 (+6), Int 15 (+2), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 11 (+0)

Base Atk +16; CMB +27; CMD 48

Feats Diehard, Dodge (+1 AC), Improved Critical (spear), Intimidating Prowess, Point-Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Run (run 5x speed), Self-Sufficient (+2 Heal, +4 Survival), Weapon Focus (spear)

Skills Acrobatics +28 (+32 when jumping), Climb +34, Handle Animal +14, Heal +5, Intimidate +34 (+36 while raging), Perception +13, Stealth +20 (+28 in snow), Survival +30, Swim +34; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in snow; Skill Ranks Acrobatics 20, Climb 20, Handle Animal 10, Heal 0, Intimidate 20, Perception 10, Stealth 15, Survival 20, Swim 20

Languages Adlet, Common

SQ arctic stride, improved uncanny dodge, naked courage, rage (18 rounds/day, +4 Strength and Constitution, +2 Will saves, –2 penalty to AC), skilled thrower

Combat Gear Lesser Belt of Mighty Hurling, +1 spear

LEVEL PLAN

Replace Improved Initiative with Intimidating Prowess.
Level 1 Feat: Improved Critical (spear)
Level 2 Rage power: Intimidating Glare
Level 3 Feat: Precise Shot
Level 4 Ability score: Con +1
Level 4 Rage power: Terrifying Howl
Level 5 Feat: Point-Blank Shot

My Google Doc with the builds is available here.

Worm Attack!

undead_worm_by_michalivanSession Date: 11 December 2014 (final session for the year). Continued from previous session. This was a relatively short session focusing on tying up loose ends and ending off before the holidays.

After defeating the white dragon and his minions, the heroes gathered his hoard (and several trophies from the dragon himself) and returned to Magnimar to equip, sell and purchase materials to craft new magic items. With these in hand, they returned to their stronghold at Jorgenfist, where work was already underway on building dwellings for its new inhabitants.

In addition to crafting new equipment for the party, Ciaran was also working on a secret project – a simulacrum who would act as ruler of Jorgenfist while the party was away. Cecil and Nu decided they would take up leadership roles related to security and defense, while Radha knew immediately that the role of spymaster would suit her perfectly. Mayor Grobaras sent one of his clerks, Gellius Krupt, to keep an eye on his new outpost.

Before the heroes could commission any new projects, however, they were informed that a huge worm had killed several miners. Naturally they hurried to defeat the beast and get the mining operation back on track. Though the worm was indeed massive and terrifying, the heroes found strength in the defense of their own holdings, and the poor beast didn’t stand a chance.

With the mines cleared out, Ciaran instructed Harsk, the mine foreman, to increase the mining operations, and used his magic to locate several more rich veins of minerals that could be extracted. They also commissioned a new smithy to be built in their fledgling village. Soon they would be ready to head to Runeforge with confidence that their kingdom would be all right in their absence.

On the Action Economy and Challenge Ratings

I’ve talked about this a bit before, but my last few sessions with my group have made this relevant again – the action economy. Running Rise of the Runelords as written became difficult as my players gained levels and started pushing out huge amounts of damage every round. If you’ve been following my campaign journals (and know how Rise of the Runelords is supposed to go) you may have noticed quite a few changes, and a good number of player character deaths.

Some of the changes I’ve made to keep myself interested in the game as ‘GM-fatigue’ set in, but most of the changes have been to actually challenge the group. They were waltzing through the encounters as written, despite being a group of three for most of the campaign, and in some cases being below the recommended level. Part of this came from me as I learned how to run interesting and challenging encounters, but most of the important battles in the adventure path were written with a boss with no minions, or very few minions. Against a blaster sorcerer who also buffed up the strength-focused ranger and monk, solo baddies just don’t stand a chance.

In our last session of the year, I put the heroes up against a nasty purple worm, Well, he should have been really nasty. But he was alone, and the party – now including a sneaky ninja and the ranger’s deadly animal companion – did over 500 damage to him in 3 rounds (I bumped up his health after it became clear that the fight was going to turn out very short indeed). So, despite being of an appropriate challenge rating (the party is now level 14), the poor worm just couldn’t provide a challenge.

On the other extreme was our penultimate session of the year, when the heroes went up against the white dragon who happened to have a lair at the entrance to Runeforge. Since the sorcerer favours fire spells, I knew I had to beef up an encounter against a creature who was vulnerable to fire. So I gave him a a tribe of adlet followers. Adlets are CR 10 to start, but are also vulnerable to fire, so I gave each of them 4-5 levels of PC classes, including slayer, barbarian and shaman (I’ll post the builds for these later this week). The fight was epic, and lasted several hours of real time, with the party being forced to retreat to heal up before going back in to finish the job (‘run away’ is not really in their vocabulary). By the end of the session, they felt like they’d really earned the dragon’s hoard.

Still, that encounter was well above what would have been a ‘normal’ challenge rating for the party. It made working out appropriate amounts of treasure a bit tricky too. I’m still learning the balance between making an encounter challenging and outright deadly – sometimes there’s a pretty fine line. Needless to say, I’ll probably be beefing up most of the significant encounters for the remainder of the campaign!

Minifig Monday #12: Mermaid

LegoMovie_Mermaid

This morning I present one of the minifigs from the LEGO Movie set, the mermaid. She comes with a shell and a gem, in addition to the cool mermaid tail. I also love her face and the blue hair – it all makes for a different-looking minifig. Even her torso is pretty cool – she’s definitely one of my favourite mermaid minifigures!

Minifig Monday is a weekly post in which I feature a random LEGO minifigure from my personal collection. I have a LOT of minifigures, so I hope to keep going for a while 🙂 Unless otherwise stated, all minifigs have been photographed by me. Occasionally I might replace a Minifig Monday with a look at a full LEGO set instead.

Keeping up with the Joneses #12

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Alexis now spent a lot of her time fixing things around the house – anything to keep busy.

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Bryant was also trying to find new hobbies. Somehow Alexis and Bryant’s attempts to keep their mind off the passing of Nick also kept them from paying attention to each other.

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Bryant was particularly hurt when his mother fell asleep during his birthday celebrations.

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Becoming a teen just didn’t seem all that grand.

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Bryant had barely been a teen for a day when his mother brought home a new adopted sister: Bianca Jones.

Journey to Runeforge

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Rise of the Runelords Campaign Journal. Continued from previous entry. Session date: 5 December 2014.

After realising that the Scribbler had left vital clues to the location of Runeforge in his strange poem, the heroes sought out the local map maker. Here they discovered that the ‘steaming mirror’ was likely Lake Stormunder in northern Varisia. This lake was located beneath the famous Rimeskull mountain, so named for the intimidating face carved into it. Armed with this information, Ciaran teleported the group (some of them safely inside bags of holding) to the mountain.

The heroes were somewhat unprepared for the blizzard they teleported into the middle of, and they were even less prepared for the altitude of 16,000 feet where breathing was difficult at best. The heroes hastily made use of the other spells available to them – a combination of feather fall and dimension door – to reach the relative safety of the ground. Were it not for the hot springs, the group could well have frozen to death right there.

After a dip in Lake Stormunder, the heroes donned appropriate winter attire and started to look for anything that might lead them to Runeforge. A hill at the base of Mount Rimeskull featured several standing stones. Upon closer inspection, these turned out to clearly be of Thassilonian origin, each stone bearing the face of one of the seven Runelords. Ciaran quickly deduced that each stone would therefore be linked to a certain school of magic. He cast a spell near one of the stones, which was absorbed by the stone, causing it to glow and the ground to shake, revealing a key in the stone head’s mouth. All was quiet after that, except for the howl of the wind, and something that sounded awfully like the howl of a wolf on the wind.

It wasn’t until they had activated all seven stones and claimed the seven keys that they realised they were being watched. A huge white dragon swooped down from a cave above and snatched Nova up in its claws, dropping her from a dizzy height. Ciaran used his familiar, Snappy, to cast feather fall on Nova, allowing her to float down safely. The dragon swooped down on the group and breathed its icy breath onto them before wheeling away and disappearing into the blizzard.

The group hurried up the stairs that led up to a nearby cave, and were dismayed to find that the dragon would probably fit comfortably through the entrance. Nevertheless, they hurried on, hoping to find either the entrance to Runeforge or the dragon’s hoard. They found themselves in a long icy tunnel, fortunately finding a safe, if slow, route down into the chasm ahead. At the bottom of the seemingly-endless cavern were seven stones surrounding an eighth one. Each of the seven stones bore a keyhole that seemed to fit the keys they had collected from the stone heads.

However, the heroes thought it would be worth their while to investigate the tunnels leading away from the central chamber. They eventually found a chamber large enough to house the dragon and his hoard, though there were a number of smaller sized beds that indicated others lived in the caves too, those these inhabitants, as well as the dragon, were nowhere to be seen.

It wasn’t long until the heroes realised they had walked into an ambush as they were attacked by a number of humanoid wolflike creatures, whose white fur had allowed them to hide almost in plain sight in the icy cavern. These adlets were fast and tough, and the heroes fought long and hard for their victory over them and their dragon master. The reward was well worth it, as the chamber did indeed house the dragon’s substantial hoard.