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Thread: (Recruiting Thread) Ruceeglaelstkinag: A Study in Applied Christian Theology of War

  1. #21
    tWebber Rational Gaze's Avatar
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    Is there any 'racism' against Warforged?

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    Partially Clarification of earlier point: Christianity is rare in the Vedag and what there is of it is mostly the "Crusade to take back the Holy Land and slay the unbelievers (totally not in it for the loot we swear! Really!)" That typified some of the real-world crusades from what I think I remember, but on a much smaller scale.

    General Comment: The questions so far have been more relevant to specific party members than to the major issues of the campaign*. This does NOT make them bad questions. In fact I quite like them and y'all should keep that sort of question coming. I'd just also like to see questions that focus on the 'building blocks for to lay the foundations for thebig analyses'...

    Actually, on second thought y'all had no way of knowing that those questions wouldn't lead in 'big picture' directions, it just turns out that way as far as I can see at the moment.

    *Extinction of Intelligence > 2 species**, torture (harsher that flogging and the stocks) and maiming as judicial sentences, requiring relatives or comrades in arms to perform the punishments in cases where the bonds of family or loyalty have been shown to result in the breaking of The Laws of War, orcish war-brides (we haven't gotten to that and it is actually a relatively minor point but I want help remembering it).

    **Genocide technically refers 'merely' to a race rather than a species, and is also an emotionally loaded term, when what I'm going for with the intellectual stimulation for ALL of us here with this campaign is much more dispassionate: "Okay, so IRL genocide is wrong, but why PRECISELY and with multiple independent proofs is that?".

    Anyway, if domestic cats and dogs were intelligent then "Wipe out all Persians." would be genocidal, where-as "Wipe out all cats." would be speciescidal(specifically?).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rational Gaze View Post
    Is there any 'racism' against Warforged?
    "Any"? Yes.

    But it is going to mostly fall into two or three categories:
    1.) Idiots (regardless of Intelligence and/or Wisdom scores) whose basic motivation (that they are in denial of probably) comes down to the squick factor.
    2.) Fear and demonization of a weapon that one's own culture doesn't have the knowledge or resources to generate (cf stealth bombers/drones/spy satellites IRL??? Maybe???).
    3.) Religious objections (tempted to lump this in with one or both of the above...)

    In any case the first would fall into the category of the modern KKK in all but a few backwaters of Rucee in terms of how much respect the general public gives them.

    The second is enemy propaganda in action.

    The third is... something your character may one tenth to half believe based on your backstory?

  3. #23
    tWebber
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    NOTA BENE: I'm making up a lot of this as I go, so almost anything I say about the setting may be subject to change... which is one more reason to ask questions EARLIER rather than LATER.

    Okay, off of my tablet and back on my laptop (at least for the moment...).

    Therefore let me have a crack at this whole "Freedom of Religion" thing I mentioned that I would try to expand on later.

    Basically it comes down to there are two types of Religion in this setting. "Powerless" and "Empowered". Christianity is a "powerless" religion, in that God does not directly grant clerical spells or "sponsor" Paladins, Grace-Gifts etc. The worship of Kurtulmak OTOH involves a priesthood most of whom ping on Detect Evil, and who receive spells from him. Thus they would qualify as "Empowered".

    In both cases the amount of freedom allowed is a balance between two things:
    1.) "There are many arguments that could be made against conversion by the sword. One of them is that it doesn't actually work out so hot, or maybe we would be doing that, since any net damage in this life would be literally infinitely outweighed by the saving of a single additional soul."*

    2.) Just because a person is motivated by a religion does not give them any particular rights to disrupt Ruceeglaelsktinagian law and order. This goes double for divine spellcasters etc. In Ruceeglaelsktinag proper the worship of any entity that grants spells is banned, and being a cleric of, say, Vecna, even if you don't believe he is a god, is a death-penalty offense. There is a high degree of tolerance granted to the conquered nations of the Vedag in their being allowed to worship even entities that grant spells, provided they can be at least somewhat relied on to not use those powers to foment rebellion. The penalties for doing so, naturally, involve being tortured to death by other clerics of your same faith, defiling the body, and then them praying for the damnation of the soul or suffering the same fate themselves. In some cases clerics of a surrendered people may be required to lay aside their power as part of the surrender agreements and even taking it up again (NOT an easy thing to do!) is cause for similar punishment.

    The same applies to "Powerless" religion that is used in the case of an individual to promote rebellion, although it will sometimes be a simple killing without torture, and the "pray for the damnation of the soul" thing doesn't apply in the cases of non-works-based religions (as I've mentioned before I believe?).

    No particular protections are allowed for "Holy Ground". If the Ruceeglaelsktinagian army wants to conduct a surprise search of a temple during the most sacred and secret rites of that religion, then they can and will do that, and any interference will be not meet with any tolerance. Similarly, anti-scrying or other methods of preventing spying are disallowed without special permision requiring a very valid concern about persons OTHER than the Ruceeglaelstkinagian forces.

    *Of course, that doesn't mean that some Ruceeglaelsktinagian Christian missionaries to the Vedag will not go armed (with sword, spell, or both), and ready to kill anyone who opposes them with violence or tries to restrain people from free access to them. Others will just make sure that the Rucee military knows their where-abouts at all times in case they get attacked, and others will trust God to protect them without any threat of more mundane violence.

  4. #24
    tWebber
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    "Interesting Item" ideas:
    These are just some first ideas. Feel free to go "Ick, NO!" or "Well, could you tweak this?"

    For our wereraven I was thinking of a set of gloves/boots (gloves in humanoid and hybrid forms, turn into "spats" in raven form). They would have a maximum of 10(?) charges and require a move action to activate or deactivate. They recover 1 charge every 3 days they are not used. (The ONE review of this enhancment I got placed it as being equivalent to a +3 bonus, so I'm being pretty cautious to start out with. We will upgrade if needed).

    Upon command your limbs and any monk weapons you wield it split into multiple slightly translucent versions of themselves, literally existing in more than one place at a time. These versions move somewhat independently, sliding through each-other, merging, splitting, and weaving around each-other.

    While this effect is activated, all attack rolls with it are replaced with Reflex saves by the target. The DC is 10 + 1/2 the attack bonus for that particular attack (including any circumstance bonuses or penalties that may apply). On a failed save the strike deals damage normally on a successful save the attack is considered to have missed. Miss chances, damage reduction, Deflect Arrows, etc still apply if they would have against the original attack (E.G. without this enchantment), however the attack deals full damage and more against swarms, counting as an area of effect attack for that purpose. Improved Evasion is also effective against it, granting the target half damage even on a failed save. Iterative attacks may be made with the weapon at decreasing DCs as per the number of attacks that would normally be allowed. Ranged weapons with this enchantment active bestow the effect on their ammunition which splits into quasi-real copies of itself in mid-flight. Melee weapons and the arms that wield them also appear to have their existence split between multiple locations at once.
    You specifically COULD get your skirmish damage with this (despite what the original version of this enchantment that I wrote says). It would apply only to unarmed/natural attacks, and monk weapons.

    Each round after the charges run out it provides no benefit, but instead inflicts 1 point of lethal damage, unless you are BELOW 0 hitpoints, in which case it inflicts

    While in raven form (not hybrid!) it effects your entire body due to your Tiny size. This grants you a 20% miss chance against any attacks between the attack you make and the start of your next turn. Note that "attacking the air", even with a charge attack, is a perfectly valid operation.

    For our Dwarven Waraxe wielding kobold The Waraxe has an inset handaxe (if you have ever seen "Final Fantasy: Advent Children"... yeah, like that). Combining or splitting them is a swift action. While split they are both Masterwork, while combined, they are +1 (IE magical, which basically means that they get a +1 bonus to damage compared to a Masterwork weapon, and can damage certain creatures that would be resistant or immune to mundane weapons). This should allow you to swap between Two-Weapon Fighting, and Two-Handed Weapon Fighting more easily. I'll also allow you to apply Weapon Finesse to the Dwarven Waraxe... when and if you ever get that feat, which you could from the beginning if you care to take a -6 penalty to initiative (which is normally 1d20+Dexterity MODIFIER).

    Rational Gaze's Warforged Swordsage
    Hmm...
    1.) Something to turn you back to human for a few minutes at a time, given by someone who wanted to prove to you that you were still the same person, and thus probably still had your soul? Mechanically this would sacrifice 5 points of armor class to negate a -2 armor check penalty several skills, most importantly Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble. I had to strike a balance between "Tank" and "Stealthy" with your character and I ended up going ahead and taking the feat that gives you 3 more points of armor at the cost of that -2 armor check penalty. Note that in the case of Balance, Jump, and Tumble, the penalty are obscured on the sheet by the fact that they cancel out to zero with the synergy bonuses from Tumble, Tumble, and Jump respectively.

    2.) Or maybe you have an intelligent sword that is your twin sister (you were pre-mature)? That is something I've tried to create in the past, although it never got actually used, and it was proving difficult to balance.

    3.) Spit oil with magical slipperiness (equivalent to a short-ranged Grease spell that sticks around as mundane oil after the duration passes)... but since you use that oil for internal lubrication, it gives you a -2 penalty to move silently ON TOP OF the -1 penalties to Dexterity and Constitution. You can remove these penalties (and recharge the oil spitting ability) 10 minutes after drinking at least 4 pints of lamp oil.

    4.) T-1000-like ability to morph your hands, but requires skill to use it well? IE you spend skill points and each one or two gets you a "rote" thing you can do (turn your hands into daggers with the best aspects of normal and punching daggers, morph your hands into hooks for better climbing, different hooks for +X to grapple checks to hold on, flow into cracks for slow but sure climbing of any surface with cracks at least 1/2 inch wide in it, etc) AND points spent on this count as ranks in a dexterity-based skill that you can roll for things that you don't know by rote.

    5.) On the flip side of (1), maybe some of your existential crisis is because of an ability built into you that temporarily renders you immune to critical hits, grants damage reduction overcome by adaminitine, and/or provides a hefty bonus on saves against [Mind Influencing] effects at the cost of a -4 penalty to all mental ability scores as you transform into a state that is more towards that of a mindless construct such as an iron golem. Duration would probably be 1+(HD/2) rounds 1/day, or something like that.

  5. #25
    tWebber
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    Name: Razzik

    Race: Kobold

    Age: 16

    Class: Rogue

    Description (physical): Stands 4' tall. weighs 56 lbs. Physically stronger than most kobolds due to years of dwarven mining, he has a more wiry(lean not gaunt) physique, and dark blue eyes.

    Description (Stats): Darkvision, +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, -4 Str

    Personality: Dislikes elves and orcs, is keen on dwarves, and more neutral towards other races, but enjoys toying with others to see how they react. He enjoys lying and causing other people to feel unsure of where they stand on something if it leads him to an answer. He acts charming and will befriend other members of the party to figure out what makes them tick, or aid them depending on their relationship. He wants those deserving of punishment to be punished if it's been talked about and it is clear that punishment must be handed down, but he dislikes seeing innocent people punished, and will strive to see that a punishment isn't handed down to the unjustly accused. Razzik will attempt to build a relationship with each character, but how long and if those relationships last is how fond he becomes of the party member.

    Discussion: Razzik wants people working outside of the law to be punished. He always wants to see judgement handed out, but he wants it to be fair, so he tries to see both sides of an argument, see if there's a way that what the person is telling them is a falsehood or truth, and to think through a situation before killing another creature. He also believes there are cases where a guilty person can be turned away from their livelihood to a more sincere, and goodly(used loosely) path.

    Alignment: Lawful Good

    Tactical: Razzik likes to get behind and/or above the enemy for flanking, and will also try to utilize the terrain, bodies, and other items that may be on the field to hide behind and attack the opponent from stealth, giving him time to assess whether he could take his foe alive.

    Backstory: Razzik will try to persuade enemies to merge with our group instead of killing them. He is slightly seasoned in battle, but has only really seen experience in hunting parties. He used to work with dwarves in mining and farming land above ground, his tribe was trying to insert itself into society. Until, a tribe of orcs attacked a community of elves near their homeland leaving their farms destroyed, and resulting in many of the dwarves and kobolds in the fields at the time being slaughtered. While any remaining kobolds and dwarves were slaughtered in the caves that they were mining by crazed orcs retreating from their elvish enemies. He has been living off of stolen goods and lying to people since his village was wiped out, and this has given him time to work on his skills in persuasion, and get a basic sense of how things work in the world. He prefers to use axes over daggers due to his past friendships with dwarves, and the hunting he did with them.

    Me: I want to play a fun game, and I'm mainly here just for that to enjoy myself, but I'll take the game seriously and try to make it enjoyable for all of us. I've never played before, this'll be mien first time.

  6. #26
    tWebber
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    Huh... according to the SRD, it is:

    • -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.
    • Small size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ¾ those of Medium characters.
    • A kobold’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    • Racial Skills: A kobold character has a +2 racial bonus on Craft (trapmaking), Profession (miner), and Search checks.
    • Racial Feats: A kobold character gains feats according to its character class.
    • +1 natural armor bonus.
    • Special Qualities (see above): Light sensitivity.
    • Automatic Languages: Draconic. Bonus Languages: Common, Undercommon.
    • Favored Class: Sorcerer.
    • Level adjustment +0.

    Which, admittedly I had missed the natural armor bonus (or maybe it wasn't in the 3.0 book I was working from?). I'm pretty sure the Con penalty wasn't in that book either.

    In other news: The wereraven may have a diplomatic pass on the whole "no worship of anything that grants spells" thing. Actually, the only question is if he has it YET, or hasn't been to Rucee proper yet.

    More thoughts later.
    Last edited by Draco Dei; 08-31-2015 at 07:32 AM.

  7. #27
    tWebber Rational Gaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draco Dei View Post
    "Interesting Item" ideas:
    These are just some first ideas. Feel free to go "Ick, NO!" or "Well, could you tweak this?"

    Rational Gaze's Warforged Swordsage
    Hmm...
    1.) Something to turn you back to human for a few minutes at a time, given by someone who wanted to prove to you that you were still the same person, and thus probably still had your soul? Mechanically this would sacrifice 5 points of armor class to negate a -2 armor check penalty several skills, most importantly Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble. I had to strike a balance between "Tank" and "Stealthy" with your character and I ended up going ahead and taking the feat that gives you 3 more points of armor at the cost of that -2 armor check penalty. Note that in the case of Balance, Jump, and Tumble, the penalty are obscured on the sheet by the fact that they cancel out to zero with the synergy bonuses from Tumble, Tumble, and Jump respectively.

    2.) Or maybe you have an intelligent sword that is your twin sister (you were pre-mature)? That is something I've tried to create in the past, although it never got actually used, and it was proving difficult to balance.

    3.) Spit oil with magical slipperiness (equivalent to a short-ranged Grease spell that sticks around as mundane oil after the duration passes)... but since you use that oil for internal lubrication, it gives you a -2 penalty to move silently ON TOP OF the -1 penalties to Dexterity and Constitution. You can remove these penalties (and recharge the oil spitting ability) 10 minutes after drinking at least 4 pints of lamp oil.

    4.) T-1000-like ability to morph your hands, but requires skill to use it well? IE you spend skill points and each one or two gets you a "rote" thing you can do (turn your hands into daggers with the best aspects of normal and punching daggers, morph your hands into hooks for better climbing, different hooks for +X to grapple checks to hold on, flow into cracks for slow but sure climbing of any surface with cracks at least 1/2 inch wide in it, etc) AND points spent on this count as ranks in a dexterity-based skill that you can roll for things that you don't know by rote.

    5.) On the flip side of (1), maybe some of your existential crisis is because of an ability built into you that temporarily renders you immune to critical hits, grants damage reduction overcome by adaminitine, and/or provides a hefty bonus on saves against [Mind Influencing] effects at the cost of a -4 penalty to all mental ability scores as you transform into a state that is more towards that of a mindless construct such as an iron golem. Duration would probably be 1+(HD/2) rounds 1/day, or something like that.
    1.) Nope. Although for temporary stealth, maybe something that masks the sound of my footsteps?
    2.) I'll be honest, when I saw the words 'intelligent sword' it makes me immediately think of that scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. So, no thanks. I like the idea of having a twin-sister though. There's a book I read called The Fall of Mahkinoc where a guy falsely accused of murder transfers his soul into some kind of storage device smuggled into the prison in the form of a book. The book gets returned to the city library, some guy takes the book out and is subtly influenced by the other dude's soul into building a robotic body for him. When it is finished, the guy's soul gets transferred into the robot body and he escapes. However, his time in prison and in the storage device made him a bit mentally unstable, as he develops a split personality that speaks in a female voice. In the same vein as what you said, instead of a split personality, maybe two persons in one? I dunno.
    3.) Not a bad idea, but I personally wouldn't go for it for my character.
    4.) Again, cool idea, but not for my character.
    5.) Sounds good.

  8. #28
    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draco Dei View Post
    "Interesting Item" ideas:
    These are just some first ideas. Feel free to go "Ick, NO!" or "Well, could you tweak this?"

    For our wereraven I was thinking of a set of gloves/boots (gloves in humanoid and hybrid forms, turn into "spats" in raven form). They would have a maximum of 10(?) charges and require a move action to activate or deactivate. They recover 1 charge every 3 days they are not used. (The ONE review of this enhancment I got placed it as being equivalent to a +3 bonus, so I'm being pretty cautious to start out with. We will upgrade if needed).

    Upon command your limbs and any monk weapons you wield it split into multiple slightly translucent versions of themselves, literally existing in more than one place at a time. These versions move somewhat independently, sliding through each-other, merging, splitting, and weaving around each-other.

    While this effect is activated, all attack rolls with it are replaced with Reflex saves by the target. The DC is 10 + 1/2 the attack bonus for that particular attack (including any circumstance bonuses or penalties that may apply). On a failed save the strike deals damage normally on a successful save the attack is considered to have missed. Miss chances, damage reduction, Deflect Arrows, etc still apply if they would have against the original attack (E.G. without this enchantment), however the attack deals full damage and more against swarms, counting as an area of effect attack for that purpose. Improved Evasion is also effective against it, granting the target half damage even on a failed save. Iterative attacks may be made with the weapon at decreasing DCs as per the number of attacks that would normally be allowed. Ranged weapons with this enchantment active bestow the effect on their ammunition which splits into quasi-real copies of itself in mid-flight. Melee weapons and the arms that wield them also appear to have their existence split between multiple locations at once.
    You specifically COULD get your skirmish damage with this (despite what the original version of this enchantment that I wrote says). It would apply only to unarmed/natural attacks, and monk weapons.

    Each round after the charges run out it provides no benefit, but instead inflicts 1 point of lethal damage, unless you are BELOW 0 hitpoints, in which case it inflicts

    While in raven form (not hybrid!) it effects your entire body due to your Tiny size. This grants you a 20% miss chance against any attacks between the attack you make and the start of your next turn. Note that "attacking the air", even with a charge attack, is a perfectly valid operation.
    A very interesting item, indeed, but I'm not sure it will really fit my play style for this character. I get Weapon Finesse from Lycanthropy due to my Raven side, so my low strength is not really going to be too big a factor in my ability to hit. And while a 20% miss chance is surely awesome, I'm not sure this would be the best use of a cool-special-character-specific item.

    Here is an idea which I had that I think is pretty cool. It's inspired by the tale of Odin plucking out one of his own eyes in order to gain Wisdom from Mimir's Well.

    Mimir's Price: A mystical blindfold which allows the wearer to block out the distractions of his vision in order to concentrate on the rest of his senses. It takes up the Face slot. When not activated, it rests on the brow just above the eyes and provides no benefit. Activating or deactivating Mimir's Price is a standard action. When activated, Mimir's Price is pulled down over the eyes, conferring a +2 bonus to Listen checks and Blindsight (30), and allowing the user to use his WIS bonus in place of STR bonus on Attack and Damage rolls. However, in return the wearer automatically fails all checks and activities which require vision (ie, Spot checks or reading a sign or discerning different colors) and receives 2 points of damage at the end of each round. If this damage ever brings the user to 0 HP, Mimir's Price will no longer deal damage each round, but its other effects become permanent.
    Last edited by Boxing Pythagoras; 08-31-2015 at 12:49 PM.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every hidden truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

  9. #29
    tWebber
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    I'm still pretty worried about how few questions have been asked so far, and how specific to the individual characters they have been. What would y'all say to starting up the In-Character thread while we continue to work on the sheets. That way we can all know what we are getting into before we put in ALL that work? Although we don't want to delay things either, so, as I said, we need to continue working on the sheets (within the limits of our various abilities!).

    Really worn out (happens to me a lot), so I'm pessimistic as to my progress rate... both "worn out" and "pessimistic" happen to me a lot. I'm slow and/or error-prone (actually, maybe I'm just a perfectionist?), but usually not nearly as much of either as I think I am.

    I'll also note that, in my personal experience, understanding the abilities of your team-mates (the characters more than the players, although the players can be very important too) can be imperative. Also, DO NOT ignore any scrap of information I give you. I may, from time to time, say "pay no attention to the man behind the mirror", but you have to give me the chance to say that, rather than just assuming that a particular detail is irrelevant. Also, I've said stuff like this before, but it bears repeating: This is a lot more realistic of a fantasy story than most. Do not assume that you can get away with anything. Communicate with your team-mates (both In-Character and Out of Character), think and plan before you act, be a little paranoid, but don't let that stop you from being bold when your tactical analysis demonstrates boldness to be advisable. For those of you who don't know the system, don't let that slow you down, just say "Would X work?" and/or "But what if the enemy does Y?"... preferably to your team-mates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rational Gaze View Post
    1.) Nope. Although for temporary stealth, maybe something that masks the sound of my footsteps?
    <SNIP>
    5.) Sounds good.
    Great! I'll get to it as I have energy and/or inspiration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    A very interesting item, indeed, but I'm not sure it will really fit my play style for this character. I get Weapon Finesse from Lycanthropy due to my Raven side, so my low strength is not really going to be too big a factor in my ability to hit. And while a 20% miss chance is surely awesome, I'm not sure this would be the best use of a cool-special-character-specific item.

    Here is an idea which I had that I think is pretty cool. It's inspired by the tale of Odin plucking out one of his own eyes in order to gain Wisdom from Mimir's Well.

    Mimir's Price: A mystical blindfold which allows the wearer to block out the distractions of his vision in order to concentrate on the rest of his senses. It takes up the Face slot. When not activated, it rests on the brow just above the eyes and provides no benefit. Activating or deactivating Mimir's Price is a standard action. When activated, Mimir's Price is pulled down over the eyes, conferring a +2 bonus to Listen checks and Blindsight (30), and allowing the user to use his WIS bonus in place of STR bonus on Attack and Damage rolls. However, in return the wearer automatically fails all checks and activities which require vision (ie, Spot checks or reading a sign or discerning different colors) and receives 2 points of damage at the end of each round. If this damage ever brings the user to 0 HP, Mimir's Price will no longer deal damage each round, but its other effects become permanent.
    I like this in general, but Blindsight is a VERY powerful ability, mere Blindsense is a 5th level martial stance (Hearing the Air [Diamond Mind]). I'll figure something out.

  10. #30
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    Aaaaand now it seems that whatever bug or hidden requirement that is keeping me from giving other people editing permissions on Myth-Weavers isn't just a one-time thing, so I basically shouldn't be working on the character mechanics at all until that is figured out.

    I think we are going to need to do the IC-before-mechanics thing...

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