Gaming W/Jemal: Planar Quest! (Closed) - Page 19




What's on your mind?

View Poll Results: Which Setting would you prefer Jemal to DM?

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  • Epic Problem : I want to fight the Epic Villains!

    1 8.33%
  • Jemal's Quest : I want to adventure across the Planes!

    9 75.00%
  • Epic Problem: I won't be playing, but this sounds fun to watch!

    1 8.33%
  • Jemal's Quest: I won't be playing, but this sounds fun to watch!

    1 8.33%
  • Meh, Neither grabs my attention.

    0 0%
  1. #181
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    Hey, it has been a while since I have had the time to play in any games here, is there still a spot open? I may be a little rusty, but I could whip up a character in short order I think

 

  • #182
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    Shayuri: Well then I'd suggest going with Summon Elemental Monolith? These guys have some pretty cool powers, some of which can have (limited) out-of-combat applications.

    (I'd go with Gate if this specifically *wasn't* a planar campaign, as it's the most flexible in use and applications after Shapechange. With a planar campaign though, I'm a bit worried it would diminish the impact of exploring brand new places - and I mean brand new - if we can just port in to the exact spot we want and always have the option of porting right back home if things get too rough...)
    So it goes.
    Active characters
    Antares, an Elven fighter/mage in Gambler1650's Legacy of the Silver Dragon 1 2 (S&S 4th)
    Fastus, blacksmith of flames in Tailspinner's Jade Regent (Pathfinder)
    Midgrim Goldhammer, a hefty dwarven fighter in Imperialus' Dwimmermount Dungeon (L L)
    Memorable games
    Sloor Sanbraiz, a Besalisk scoundrel in Possum's Dawn of Defiance I II (Star Wars Saga)
    Seif al Mariam, a touareg guide in Relique du Madde's Warlords of the Red Sands (PL6 M&M)
    Nightshift, a teleporting security guard in Jemal's Mutant Rising (PL10 M&M)

  • #183
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  • #184
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    Okay I have my character up in the rogue's gallery and there is a reason I haven't been posting about the backstory, unless you're Kemal just pretend I'm not here.

  • #185
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    Re Gods (and inspired by Shayuri's "trying to Ascend" background), I'm seeing a single god pantheon for Rauland, with the lower echelons composed of demi-gods/saints in charge of the different portfolios. The difference being that, in the lore of Rauland, these lower echelons were all once mortal that rose to god-hood through their own exceptional deeds (or were Gods co-opted from conquered tribes).

    Instead of re-creating new Gods for these, I suggest we take existing figures and just tweak their stories/local portfolio a little to make them demi-gods. (These labels in no way affect the powers of Greater, Lesser and Demi deities as defined by Jemal for his Planes; it's just the way this Prime's population sees things). For example, Ur is a secondary Zann worshipper, the deity of intelligence and self-learning, which was once the human mystic/hermit/prophetess Corianna Alderan before she Ascended (or so the story goes). He's also a great admirer of Baldor/Balder, the demi-God of courage, drinking and contests, who was once a dwarven adventurer (Ur's prime worship goes to his adopted country's head God/Goddess, whoever she/he turns out to be... Scott, as the only native PC, do you want to do the honors?).

    We don't *have to* export the idea to the other countries of our world, but we can. Mei Ying's Eternal Empire could have Divine Emperors that Ascend as a default (or, conversely, most of his court could be incarnate officials of the Divine Court?), while Braham's desert civilization could have a God of Freedom/Holy Father with probably a much flattened/chaotic hierarchy -- maybe just him or her as chieftain/creator and then the combined tribe of the Glorious Ancestors below, eternally struggling to maintain the "balance" with the four elemental genies?

    For the antagonistic Queendom of Dorith, I suggest Atana/Athena, the virgin dragon/dragon-scaled goddess of civilization, architecture, astronomy, astrology and warfare/strategy...

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by Binder Fred; Monday, 29th October, 2012 at 01:15 AM.
    So it goes.
    Active characters
    Antares, an Elven fighter/mage in Gambler1650's Legacy of the Silver Dragon 1 2 (S&S 4th)
    Fastus, blacksmith of flames in Tailspinner's Jade Regent (Pathfinder)
    Midgrim Goldhammer, a hefty dwarven fighter in Imperialus' Dwimmermount Dungeon (L L)
    Memorable games
    Sloor Sanbraiz, a Besalisk scoundrel in Possum's Dawn of Defiance I II (Star Wars Saga)
    Seif al Mariam, a touareg guide in Relique du Madde's Warlords of the Red Sands (PL6 M&M)
    Nightshift, a teleporting security guard in Jemal's Mutant Rising (PL10 M&M)

  • #186
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    Fangor/Wrahn - HEY, good to see you guys! We're sitting at 6 PC's ATM. Normally I'd say the more the merrier, but High lvl games can get pretty bogged when there's too many players, so I don't think I've got room, sorry guys.


    Shayuri - Actualy most of my favourite spells aren't 9th lvl.
    I agree with BF about gate - Hadn't really thought about it at first.

    My suggestions would be Time Stop for it's power (Hmm, 2-5 extra rounds of planning, movement, buffing, etc?); Shades for Utility; Monolith if you want a combat spell; Or Wish for that *oh shoot* button, and b/c I'm not one of those jerk DMs who tries to twist the wording. If you pay the 5,000 XP, you damn well get your wish! (Within appropriate power limits)

    *On that note, for those of you with Xp cost spells/Item creation feats, there will be alternative sources of power available to supplement (Not fully replace!) casting/creation costs so you don't end up too far behind the others.

    SHAYURI : Actually if you've got Spell Compendium, the spell "Perinarch, Planar" Would be a very fun (And campaign-relevant) investment... It affects the majority of the planes you'll be dealing with. Perhaps Mei doesn't even know she can do it yet, but finds out when she gets to the outer planes that she (Possibly due to being on the road to ascension herself?) has a degree of control usually only available to the gods.
    It's very much a "Use your imagination and ask your DM" Ability, but if you're OK with that, I think it could work very well, and would provide that flexibility you guys've been talking about, as well as some good roleplaying and adventuring hooks.

    Are you ready to post up a character sheet to the RG so I can look it over? I know you're not done, but you can keep editing, I'd just like to take some time familiarizing myself with the characters, I'm hoping to start soon"ish"



    FYI,
    If anybody's Curious about D'raven's character, He won't be connected with your backstory, he's essentially your 'planar guide' once you get off the Material, he's one of the Bazaar Merchants.
    Last edited by Jemal; Monday, 29th October, 2012 at 12:28 PM.
    Intelligence is the capacity to understand old Ideas.
    Imagination is the ability to come up with New Ideas.

    Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    This isn't evil! You're just a bunch of NERDS!

  • #187
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    BF: The init bonus would be Competence, like most items.
    Your shock trooper link leads back to the post it's posted in.. Found your suggestion though. I'm gonna compromise. It DOES allow a free trip check against both targets, but it's not using 'improved trip', it's a reaction to the bull rush, so doesn't grant the extra free attack from improved trip. Hows that sound?

    ALSO, reread that post and you have bull rush wrong - you can't actually push someone OUT of your reach with bull rush.. unless you bull rush them down a hole. to initiate a bull rush you have to enter their square, and then you push them back 5 feet.. essentially you move to the space they vacate, maintaining a 5' distance. And if you choose to keep pushing them further, you have to keep moving with them.
    It's not "SHOVE, he goes flying", it's more of a football "tackle, grab, push guy ahead of you as you move" Large and in charge would be for the first thing.. hit him, he goes away from you.

    *EDIT : N/m Just remembered you were using knockback*

    I'm fine with your Gods Idea, Primer's can call the gods whatever local names they want, it makes sense.
    Intelligence is the capacity to understand old Ideas.
    Imagination is the ability to come up with New Ideas.

    Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    This isn't evil! You're just a bunch of NERDS!

  • #188
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    Kinem - I was honestly contemplating ignoring this post b/c I wasn't sure I could respond to your (somewhat inflammatory) comments diplomatically. First off, I'm just going to say one thing : Just because your morals and beliefs differ from other peoples does not give you the right to say other people's views are ridiculous.
    I would ask that you remain open minded to different opinions, not everybody sees things the same way.
    Unless they're into scientology.. then they just crazy..


    I am however going to adress a few things directly.
    Quote Originally Posted by kinem View Post
    re: Polymorph Any: The suggestion that a PC would avoid using it as an attack due to moral reasons is ridiculous, both because there is much at stake in the battles (fates of many), and because it is actually less deadly than dishing out damage - because the effect can typically be reversed if the victors want to (or converted to a kill if they so choose), which also gives the advantage of allowing capturing and perhaps interrogation of foes.

    And Jemal's claim that it is a weak attack is, well, a weak attempt at trying to justify his position. It can end a battle in one stroke - hardly weak, especially if the battle seems to be going against us. (Not to mention that it gives the capturing option which damage simply doesn't give.) And sorcerers can cast several a day.
    It has nothing to do with justification. Can it end the battle in one stroke? Yes, but it has a higher tendency to do absolutely nothing.
    Think of it this way : You have a six-shooter gun, which can win any fight with a single bullet.. but you only HAVE 1 bullet in the chamber, and can only fire one a round. That's what save-or spells are like. You keep focusing on the "It wins in one shot" aspect and ignoring the fact that it's nowhere near guaranteed.
    If you think wanting something more reliable and less all or nothing is a 'weak justification for holding back' then clearly we are thinking on entirely different planes of existence.

    Don't agree morally? Lets talk Science.
    If you want to break it down into math, I could do that too :
    EX: A lvl 20 mage with 36 stat(18 base +2 race +5 book +5 lvl +6 item) and greater spell focus using a 9th lvl save or spell would have a DC of 34. Using just core, that's literally the best you can do.
    A good PC save at this lvl is ~20-25, and badguys tend to have better stats than PC's.
    Lets use the most Iconic example we can : A Red Wyrm (I'll just use the CR 24 version to simulate a boss fight rather than the full Great wyrm). He has a +30, and that's assuming no magical buffs.
    He needs a 3 to fail.. That gives a 15% chance of our example mage's max level spell winning, and 85% chance of nothing.
    So my prior gun analogy actually gives you a BETTER chance of success than a maxed out caster using a save-or spell. (16.666)
    *For the record, THAT is a justification.*

    If you still like your 1-bullet golden gun, that's your prerogative, but I prefer reliability, and that's very much the opposite of either being ridiculous, or holding back.

    Would a full duration noxious blast have been OK if it were made more powerful by letting a warlock also be able to use it to buff allies, e.g. if when used on an ally it doesn't cause damage and gives something useful instead? I hardly think so, but Jemal's logic on PAO (OK since it can buff) would suggest it would be.
    Except that's NOT what I said.. If you took away the damaging factor ALTOGETHER then you'd be much closer to PAO.. my problem with PAO is that it DOESN'T have any effect if they make the save. If noxious blast changed the blast so it had no damage, and JUST had the incapacitating effect on enemies and a minor (Usually utility based) buff on allies, THEN they'd be close to similar.
    Last edited by Jemal; Monday, 29th October, 2012 at 01:01 PM.
    Intelligence is the capacity to understand old Ideas.
    Imagination is the ability to come up with New Ideas.

    Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    This isn't evil! You're just a bunch of NERDS!

  • #189
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    Gonna stay away from the pmorph thing. Tempted just to not get it, in fact...but I like it too much not to.

    Jemal, Planar Perinarch is looking really good! I don't know offhand how many planes are highly or divinely morphic, but the flavor alone can't be beat.

    I do not think I will START with it though. I will start with Time Stop. It solves issues I'm having regarding buffing without access to Quicken Spell and I think it makes more sense for Perinarch to kick in after she's been to the outer planes at least once. I can take it with my next level.

    As far as the gods/cosmology goes, I didn't mean for my whole "eastern" thing to dominate the cosmos. In fact, I'd intended for her beliefs and philosophy to be rather exotic and bizarre outside of the Empire (and honestly, a bit exotic and bizarre even within the Empire).

    In the interests of contributing though, here's some background info I'm playing with. Still open to comments and suggestions and wholesale vetoing by the GM, of course.

    And just to re-reiterate...this is not stuff I want everyone's character to embrace, or necessarily even be familiar with. It's very particular to the Eternal Empire. Neither do I ask or expect for Jemal to make any of it actually representative of the cosmos. In fact, it'd be fun to take Mei into the planes and find out that she had it wrong all along.

    It -does- provide a path by which mortals can become divinities though, so it's useful for understanding Mei's ambitions, and possibly for understanding how other mortals might have performed similarly in the past.

    ---
    Two things are central to the cosmos, and our place in it. The first is the literal center of the cosmos; the axle about which the worlds turn...the Grand Celestial Mountain. At the apex of the Mountain is the Holy Imperial City. At the center of the city is the Palace of the Emperor; an enormous structure in which the gods of the universe hold court. And of course, at the center of the palace, surrounded by the tiered seats for every deity in existence, is the empty Jade Throne. Seat of the Celestial Emperor himself, the source from which all divine power and wisdom flows.

    In the court of the Palace, the gods constantly engage in political byplay, jockeying for laws of nature that will give them advantages. The net result of all these these mutually-opposing forces comes to zero, maintaining a status quo that is orderly despite all appearance of chaos. The only laws that are immutable and not subject to divine negotiation are graven on a huge jade tablet suspended over the Throne.

    1) Mortal Free Will May Not Be Abridged by Divine Action.

    2) The Great Chain of Being May Not be Broken.

    3) Life Must Go On.

    There is considerable room for interpretation among these laws, but attempts to stretch them are muted given the consequences of stepping too far. The current interpretations are as follows:

    Mortals cannot be denied the ability to make moral choices due to direct divine influence. Persuasion and coercion by force or magic is acceptable, since choices still exist under those conditions. However, using divine power to simply predestine a mortal's response is not cool, and will be punished. Killing a mortal is not considered abridging, since a mortal soul persists after death and can still make choices following that.

    The First Law ties into the second, because the Great Chain of Being relies on moral choices to determine each individual's place. The specific morality to which one is bound varies by one's place, but in all cases living according to that morality advances one, while falling short causes regression. The Second Law further stipulates that the specific moralities that make the Chain up, and the various incarnate states that form the links, are not subject to divine reinterpretation. No god can remake the 'rules' by which souls advance in the cosmos.

    The Third Law stems from the loophole in the First, in which killing does not count as abridging free will. It merely exists to make sure the gods do not simply wipe out life, thus freeing themselves of the many burdens life places upon them.

    The second thing that determines our place in the universe is the Great Chain of Being, referenced in the Second Law of Heaven. Simply put, it is a metaphysical 'path,' that leads from lesser to greater existences based on one's moral compass and state of enlightenment. Despite the moral component, progress along the Chain of Being is not exactly a case of good versus evil, but rather increasing levels of insight, awareness and metaphysical 'connection' to the universe. It is possible to be at a high level along the Chain, but still be a terrible person. However, most people, when gifted with more awareness and insight also gain empathy and understanding, leading them towards 'good' decisions.

    Mortal understanding of the Chain of Being, and how it measures one's status, is imperfect at best. The general mortal consensus about the various links in the Chain are as follows:

    Dirt and quarry stone ->
    Natural Stone ->
    Crystals and Gemstones ->
    Lichens, algae and grass ->
    Shrubs and low trees ->
    Anything flowering ->
    Tall trees ->
    Mean animals; insects and rats and carrion eaters ->
    Noble beasts; horses, dogs, apex predators and other beasts with greater than human aspects ->
    Magical beasts; creatures with subhuman intellect, but magical powers ->
    Mean person; a humanoid with limited means and/or intellect ->
    Noble person; a person with significant resources and personal competence ->
    Exalted person; a person who's prowess is superhuman, or the ruler of a nation's worth of people ->
    Immortal; A person who has, by mastering his or her virtues and achieving a plataeu of enlightenment, conquered time's mastery of the body. Despite this, the Immortal still has a physical existence ->
    Demigod; an immortal who has achieved mastery over a cosmological principle and can exert divine authority over that principle.
    Lesser god; similar to a demigod, but no longer bound to a physical existence save on the Holy Mountain.
    Greater god; as a lesser god, but with more cosmic principles, or less specific, more encompassing principles they have power over.

    Two special positions exist that are 'outside' the Chain of Being. The first is that of Spirit, which applies either to mortals who have died, and who's souls remain in the physical world...or to an immaterial entity possessing divine or semi-divine powers but which exists only in the material world. Many such spirits serve gods in the world...but others work against them, luring mortals away from worship, or making mayhem. And a great many spirits seem to have little interest in questions of gods or men, and simply act according to their natures regardless of who is there, or not there, to see.

    A human spirit becomes a 'soul' when it leaves the world and travels into the lands beyond. For a time it travels, living a second life, until it is drawn back into the world to be reborn into whatever form its position in the Great Chain of Being warrants. Spells that raise the dead can cut the soul's second life short...which can also have implications for its proper reincarnation on the Great Chain. For this reason, raising from the dead is considered to be contrary to the natural order, detrimental for the long-term well being of the soul in questions, and undertaken only in situations where the need is very pressing...or by those who have no interest in the order of nature, or the long-term well being of the soul.

    The other special case is that of the Emperor himself. Technically he could be considered a kind of 'overgod,' but since he spends extended periods in contemplative trances, he does not have much direct impact on the cosmos save in brief, sometimes cataclysmic moments. Alone of the entities in the universe, he is capable of upending the cosmic order and replacing it with another. It is even thought by some that this has already happened at least once, though when and how and why is purely a matter for speculation.
    Last edited by Shayuri; Monday, 29th October, 2012 at 09:23 PM.

  • #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemal View Post
    Fangor/Wrahn - HEY, good to see you guys! We're sitting at 6 PC's ATM. Normally I'd say the more the merrier, but High lvl games can get pretty bogged when there's too many players, so I don't think I've got room, sorry guys.
    More than understandable. I might still finish the character, perhaps put some history down and be an adjunct/former member/ally to the group if that ever comes into play, if that is acceptable.

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