I’ll be the first to say it about yesterday’s game: We got lucky.

The party is not high level. We’ve got a mix of characters from, I think, 4th to maybe 6th level, though it may well be tighter than that, perhaps even only 4th and 5th level. 

That’s a fun place to play in, I think. But we’re limited. Hit Points for fighter-types in the range of 8-10 as a base, probably +10 to +20 for CON bonuses, and then 20 to 25 more for level advancement. So on the order of 38 to 55 HP. 

Case in point: Mark Bludiell, 4th level Paladin at the start of the game, had 38 HP.

But going against a 15th level fighter (or presumably a fighter)? Especially when we didn’t know it? Yeesh. He had about 110 HP, three attacks. But for whatever reason – maybe because it was supposed to be a peaceful negotiation – he was only AC 16. He could have easily been much higher than this. 

He also didn’t make use of special abilities. He could have had a whole raft of nifty stuff. Five attribute bonuses (fine, whatever) or Feats. He didn’t use Second Wind. He seems to have been a bog-standard Champion, but it could have been a lot worse. A few magic items with “smite-ish” abilities would have rocked our worlds.

One of the ways it could have been worse? His lieutenants and guards all died with one or two blows. I mean, when our party hits, we tend to hit hard (10-20 HP per turn). But that’ll still put a level 3 guy down in a blow. Damage doesn’t scale up much in D&D5, but (for example) I think if a Paladin expends a 4th level spell slot on Holy Might or Godly Smite or whatever he’s adding 4d8-5d8 to the damage, which is probably on the order of 1d8-1d10 (sword) +3 to+5 (strength) +0-2 for magic bonus. That’s 1d8+3 to 1d10+7 per hit, more for a critical. Average 11-17 per sword stroke; magic and powers compound this from “bad” to “Ow, my leg is gone!” pretty fast.

Still, our Sheriff, of 15th level? Surrounded by utter mooks. Had he a pair of lieutenants with him, instead of two guards and two foppish nobles, we’d have likely been well and truly fed to the Cuisinart. 

As it was, Mark went down hard, another character got hit for something like 35 HP, maybe, plus a few more desultory wounds. We’re out of healing and need a rest – badly.

And we won’t get it. There are over a dozen guys still at large just within the castle. At least eight to ten of them are armed with what +Rob Conley referred to as “Knight-killer” crossbows, which I assume do huge damage, and our only hope is to be missed a lot.

Worse yet, we probably can’t take ’em down one at a time, though we can probably try. I know Keyar is a hell of an archer; Mark isn’t awful, and now he gets two attacks as well. So perhaps two to four wounded (and because of the D&D HP model, that doesn’t do anything to their combat effectiveness) or incapacitated (which does).

We need to beat feet, rest and recuperate, and then come back. We need to find allies to help take some of the foot soldiers down. We need to prevent word of our little escapade from hitting the road to the City State too soon. We probably need to get word to the gathering led by Baron Theodar of Greenstream, which might net us some help.

And we need to find the clergy of Mitra, free them, and most importantly, figure out what Herone’s role in all of this is. 

Because honestly, for all that this town likely needed a good cleansing, my marked half-elf’s Quest was almost certainly not to overthrow Tain on behalf of Mitra.

Though it’s probably better than the alternative. The Regent of the Overlord, Myrmidon of Set and general bad guy, probably deserves to be overthrown. But I think this is all surface stuff. The deeper currents are something other than power struggles of the human kingdoms, I suspect.

We start off east of the bridge entering the city, and observe from a half-mile away that there’s a knight and three yeoman interrogating those who wish to cross. Based on our familiarity with this area, we know there’s a manor nearby – actually, lots of them. This is thanks to a poor set of Perception rolls by everyone but one character – we decided that +Tim Shorts and my characters were looking at squirrels. 

And thus the first title of the post was decided in the first five minutes of the transcript. Go team.

We decide that a  Paladin on quest isn’t one to be interfered with, and the rest of the PCs are “with the Paladin.” And the reptile man will threaten to eat anyone who says different.

They ride up to us after they spot us, and call “Halt!” 

“I am Mark Bludiell, a Paladin of Veritas on Quest,” I say, rolling a 23 Persuasion check. 

“Um, uh. He looks kinda elvish. Is he elvish? Who’s Veritas? Um, yeah, there’s rebellion and stuff, and we’re checking it out . . . um, please proceed!” they say, to our retreating backs.

(before the fold: +Rob Conley explains what a Sheriff is, and +Chris C. throws down some adventure sound bites of maximum inappropriateness)


In reality, we are dropping off armor at the Church of Mitra. And coming down the Trollwatch road, we run into a band of a half-dozen adventurer types, each wearing a green tabard with an 8-pointed star on it. They point at Leshar, clearly recognizing him. “They finally let you loose, eh!”

“So to speak. You wouldn’t happen to be the Twilight Company, would you?”

They refer us to the Jug Inn, and let us know that business is good. 

As we pass through the town, we see a temple of Set, and a temple of Mitra, with a pair of Overlord’s guards outside. We approach, claiming business inside. 

“The Temple is closed. The priests have been arrested. Who are you?”

I tell him I’m a Paladin of Veritas again; I make another good Persuasion roll, and they tell us that we can check with the Steward at Caer Tain. We decide to go get a room at the Jug Inn; on our way there we pass an apothecary, a merchant’s hall, and the millwrights . . . a chandlery for supplies, etc.

I ask Rob if he’s making all this up as we go, building by building. No, he says. That’s the advantage of using Harn fan-made stuff. Lots of detail.

As we continue, we see a merchant’s shop, and we recognize the name Herone. 

Dun dun dun!!

Unsurprisingly, across the street from the Jug Inn is a brothel. 

The innkeeper asks if we have our Tokens. We were supposed to check in with the Sheriff. She can’t let us in, but we could stable our horses while we check in. Mark pays the two days minimum to stable our horses and gear; he has no use for money anyway.

Between the Paladin in full armor and the lizard man, as Tim notes, “we don’t do subtle.”

While it is against my better nature as an RPGer, we decide that this group is of the “Hey, diddle, diddle, straight up the middle” strategy.

We head off to the Sheriff’s office at the main castle, Caer Tain. We get to the gate, walk through without being stopped. There’s a bunch of adventurers in line, and we debate whether to wait in line or play Paladin on Quest.

We decide to wait . . . and Leshar the Lizard Man yells out “Make way, the Paladin’s coming through!”

All the guards ready their weapons, the guy manning the table stands up as if he’s been shocked, and stuff is about to get real.

Mark Bludiell calls his light; “I am a Paladin of Veritas on Quest. There is no need for violence here.”

They tell us that we have to check in, and if we do anything, check in with them. 

I go all Holy Might on him, rolling Intimidation of 22, “You wish to get between the High Lord Veritas and the object of his quest? I know not what I am called to do, but I brook no interference.”

They look shaken, and bring food, egged on by Leshar the Lizard Man asking for food, ale, and cheese. “Don’t pay too much attention to Leshar,”  Vognur says. “Leshar gets this way when he hasn’t eaten anyone for a few days.

Food is brought, we eat, and then we’re escorted to the Sheriff.

We have a very animated, hostile confrontation with the Sheriff. I score a few points, but eventually he invokes his right as minister of the law to kick us out of the city. That’s within his right, so we start to depart.

I start to try and pry out the source of his trouble so we can find an amicable solution, but he’s having none of it.

So Keyar Nailo shoots him. Twice. For 21 points of damage. He’s still up. Leshar, who has been planning this bit of inspired violence with Keyar for a bit, slashes at, and kills, one of the guards.

Oh, it’s on now. There are only two guards inside the room. So that shouldn’t be too bad, but when we try and leave, we might find it a tetch more difficult.

Since we surprised the GM too, everyone rolls initiative.

Mark tries to Command the Sheriff to “Yield!” But he rolls a 23, and does not. He then attacks me three times, hitting me once for 12 HP. I guess I can defend myself now. 

Keyar uses Colossus Slayer and hits twice, adding but 2 HP using the ability, for 20 HP more. Vognur also attacks the largest threat, trying to clear the table (Athletics check at DC 10, rolls 7), but attacks at -2, hitting for 14 slashing, and then second attack for 11 HP. That’s 25 more.

He’s now taken over 60 HP of damage, and he’s still up. Yeesh.

Leshar takes another shot at a guard, and hits for 14 HP, and he goes down. Leshar jumps up on the table (rolls 26!) and gets in the faces of the two noble dandy-boys and smiles like a Kzin.

Mark hits, on his first attack, for 19 HP, invoking Divine Smite to do so. 

This guy is still up. 

And he hits me three times, hitting me for a total of 51 HP of damage. Yowch. I’m at -25 HP.

Keyar does slight damage (6 HP), and Vognur does 9 HP more. He’s still up. 

Mark fails his first death check. He gets a lingering injury, a minor scar that won’t be removed without major magic. Guess Veritas was displeased.

He steps over to Keyar and smacks him twice for 35 HP. We have to deal with this guy.

Keyar adds Hunter’s Mark to his roll, hits for 12 piercing damage, and our 111 HP foe finally goes down (he was 15th level!).

Tain is now under new management.

Vognur does Second Wind to pick up a lame 6 HP, bringing him back up to 20 HP. He then tries to stabilize Mark Bludiell with a Medicine check, rolling a 10, which stabilizes him. Whew.

One of the nobles tries to flee, the other hits Leshar for 7 HP. Leshar sneers, misses, and we hear “The Sheriff is down! The Sheriff is down!” from below. Sigh. 

The second noble breaks and runs, provoking an attack of opportunity which hits for 13 HP. He’s badly wounded, but escapes down the circular staircase; Keyar gives chase. The Sheriff also fails his first death check, picking up a minor scar on the roll. Mark and Sheriff match now.

Keyar runs down the stairs closest to him, and takes out a guard down there.

Vognur takes a moment to kill the Sheriff, and takes his sword – which turns out to be a +2 sword, a very nice find in D&D5. 

Leshar makes a Perception check, and hears the guys below complaining loudly about being trapped in a room filled with nothing but arrow slits. “I can help you fit through the arrow slits!” snarls Leshar – which would have been much cooler had he not blown his roll. But he still gets an Intimidation check; they’re going to stand their ground.

A guard rushes Keyar, and misses. Keyar backs off to shoot (attack of opportunity misses), and shoots him twice for 22 HP, finishing off everyone upstairs.

Vognur heads down the spiral stairs, and attacks with the new longsword pillaged from the Sheriff. He hits for 18 slashing damage, and the injured guard goes down.

The final guard begs for his life. That leaves Leshar the Lizard Man, who grants him mercy this day, and the stale stench of urine hits Leshar’s nose.

That’s the combat, for now. Keyar closes and bars the double doors, while Vognur ties up the surviving guards.

Keyar enters a room, and gets surprised and stabbed by a bunch of guards laying in wait. He gets tagged for 3 HP. Keyar backs out (provoking attacks of opportunity, which miss), and he marks and shoots both, killing one. They slam the door shut, and bolt or block the door. Keyar picks up a dead body from the floor and uses him as a battering ram (+1 damage!) to slam into the door. A roll of 13 (net) is sufficient to open the door! 

Vognur and Leshar hear the fighting through the arrowslits. They run upstairs through the hall, passing Mark’s unconscious body.

Keyar’s turn, and he once again takes a step back, provoking a failed attack of opportunity, but misses both times. One of the guards hits Keyar, for 9 HP.

Keyar pulls his rapier, misses twice, and he’s struck in turn for 5 HP.

Vognur arrives, and quickly dispatches the two guards. 

We’re out of combat again, so we decide that we’re about done for the night. Keyar applies Cure Light Wounds to Mark B. We note that the guys outside were carrying Knight-Killer crossbows. 

We’re in a world of hurt. We expend most of our healing magic. Three Cure Light Wounds and all of Mark’s 20 HP of Lay on Hands later . . . and we’re still in a world of hurt.

Good news is that Mark sneaks over the border to Level 5. This will net him +3 instead of +2 for proficiency, an Extra Attack, an extra 1st level and two second level spell slots. I also realize that I’ve been doing my Paladin spells wrong – but no worries, easily fixed if I live to get another Long Rest.

+Rob Conley +Tim Shorts +Joshua Macy +Daniel McEntee +Chris C. 

We pick up after a two-week hiatus, and we’re joined by Leshar, a lizard-man former gladiator and fighter on behalf of Mitra.This is +Tim Shorts‘ new character, and he seems a fighter of some ability.

We learn from him that the revolt in City State was quite real, but that the Regent has pretty much got the City-State buckled up, but he’s turning his attention to fighting Dracolindis.

That pretty much leaves us on our own. 

To interrogate, we have Halia Thorton, Settite and the person that runs the miner’s guild, and Sir Varius, general thug and horse lord of Highgarden.

The mayor, Arno, left behind something that might prove useful. It’s 2′ long, 8″ high, filled with writing implements. And the Seal of a Magistrate of City-State.

Hrm. We talk about fake credentials, but hey – Paladin. We have a hungry lizard man, a priest with a thirsty blade, and a Paladin whose idiom is pretty direct. What could go wrong here?


We eschew obfuscation, and make a beeline to the Highgarden Manor. We elect a pathway to enhance our sneakitude . . . but fail miserably on a series of awful rolls. 

“AM I STEALTHY YET?!”“Nope.”

As we go, we pass an inn covered in turtle skulls. The innkeeper asks us what’s going on, we say we’re headed to the Manor. 

“Sir Varius isn’t there,” she says.“I know,” says our Paladin. Not necessarily a master of the reassurances, is he. Truth, not comfort.

There are people going about their daily lives inside the Manor. We knock. A bar is lifted, and a woman says “YEEEP!” and flees in terror.

No worries, we say. The reptile man comes in peace. Really. Vognur rolls a 1, and Leshar notes that he could  have bit off her hand and ate it and gotten a better reaction. We speculate that Vognur may have met that maiden before, explaining the reaction.

The whole place is run-down, like Varius’ armor. We follow her, and she’s shrieking “They’re warriors!” 

The Paladin shows his holy symbol, “we mean no violence here.” She finally sees Carmina, Elder of Mitra, and breathes a sigh of relief – “please tell me that awful knight is dead!”

“Who dares enter here? You’d best be gone or you’ll be in no end of trouble.” There’s some shouting and a scream, as the people inside engage in a vigorous religious discussion.

We kick in the door. There are three women huddled over a trap door leading down. They see us and they back away. There appears to be the steward of the manor, laying in the basement with a broken neck, dead. 

The eldest woman says, defiantly: “I do not regret his death. He was a bad man.”
Leshar the very violent reptile-man says: “Was this your first kill?” He sounds very approving.

We go in, and see the broken body of a priest of Mitra; he’s barely alive. The paladin lays on hands, and he revives, says “Praise Mitra!” and falls asleep.

The household gathers, and we get it sorted out. The manor servants and occupants do not look healthy or well-off. The stores, upon examination, shows food of middling quality for Sir Varius, and utter crap for everyone else.

We encourage the remainder to make a meal of Sir Varius’ stores, for themselves. The priest awakens, and we find he is Elder Gefgist.

“Forgive me for not getting up.”

We get his story. The messenger came. Elder Gefgist was listening with the other townsfolk. Some of the peasants, in league with Sir Varius, informed. The visiting elder escaped, but Elder Gefgist was taken, and tortured. But Sir Varius couldn’t even get torture right.

We then search the rest of the house, looking for papers and information. The rooms seems to be of common size. It looks like Varius tried to get involved in a lot of things, but not even the bad guys wanted him on his team.

We look for ties to Hilda, and find it – but she’s not that interested in this thuggish knight as a partner either. 

There is one thing of interest – there is one connection to a Master Palad – a mercantyler (merchant) in Tain – about an interesting proposition. But alas, no details on the proposition itself. But a list of five people, including Herone. Ah, ha.

We continue to search the manor, and our eagle-eyed Lizard rocks it. As we’re searching, Leshar wanders out carrying a large box, for which we find a key on the dead body of the Steward. It contains 500d and 10 gold crowns, plus the charter for the manor.

Elder Gefgist gives us each 1 gold crown, worth 320d each. We eat, offer blessings to Veritas and Mitra, and then we have to decide what to do.

There’s one yeoman left, who promptly surrenders and joins us, and six militia. They all have harvest to bring in. We also remember that Tormar is the village/manor of the knight we captured and ransomed. But wait – we still need to drop off the gear in Tain. We probably have until mid-month before we have broken any pledges.

But watch out for trolls to the northeast, orcs to the southeast in the woods, so these villages must stay protected. And of course, there’s a dragon at Thunderkeep (T), and the keep of Valion between us and Tain.

We have several missions, all of which seem to take us to Tain. 

Sir Melius, though – his rep among the people of Highgarden is better than Sir Varius, and way better than Sir Colin. We decide to head over to Lervin, where there’s Sir Tunnon, who is known to be Mitran, and so we try and chat him up, hoping to enlist him and delegate settling Mardan, since the loss of Sir Colin may have upset things.

We see more-alert militia at Lervin, and they’ve set up a barricade; troops file on the bridge. We approach openly, and by the time we hit the ford, Sir Tunnon and four militia approach. The townsmen in the field seem mostly organized.

He recognizes Leshar, but not Elder Carmina. He asks us what we want, and we tell him it’s to chat. We accept. 

We tell him that Phandalin has revolted against the Overlord and declared for Dracolindes ad Mitra. This caused Sir Varius and Sir Colin to try and take Phandalin. They fell in battle, killing Colin and taking Varius prisoner. And oh-by-the-way, Sir Melius of Tormar attacked us and ransomed his armor. Carmina is on his way to Tain, with messages to the Bishops and to drop off the armor. 

Sir Tunnon says that the magistrate of Valion must have screwed up; there’s a lot of fighting up that way. There were a bunch of troops tried to march to Lervin (oh, that was us too), and so the Lervinites were prepared for trouble.

He thinks that this is all good news. He holds out a message from Baron Theodar of Greenstream. He wants to gather those sworn to the cause of Mitra to join him there.

Hrm. Well, our desire is to see that the people of this area are at least safe, and so it occurred to us that whatever we could offer up for mutual defense and protection would be good. He asks us who we left in charge – the Elders of Mitra in Phandalin and Highgarden. 

Tunnon is heading down to Greenstream. The reeve has things well in hand. We could come with him to Greenstream.

We decide to head to Tain, deliver the armor, and deliver the Bishop’s messages. Tunnon reminds us that being caught in Mitran robes. He also advises us that as a group, we’re a major military force.

We head off to Tain. We crest the ridge on the way to the keep of Valion, and see a pillar of smoke rising above the valley. The keep itself is burning, and there are other buildings on fire or burned (B). There are people around, tending chickens – any battle is quite over, perhaps.

The keep is just a burned-out shell. Vognur walks up to the first peasant he sees to ask what’s up. Mostly they back off, but two stand firm, and we come up holding out empty hands. We ask what happened, other than the obvious – a battle.

The magistrate said that we are now under the authority of Dracolindes; the local horse-lord knights took exception. The horse-lords are at the gate, and the harvest must continue. 

What happened to the forces of the Dracolindes? He received a message from the Baron of Greenstream, so they left. They hope that the guy that freed the starving village (Leshar ducks his head) will save them too.

The question is do we slip across the river in the night, and not get entangled in a fight? We take a wide berth to direct line-of-sight to the keep. As we approach the bridge and ford, a single guy on horseback rides out to investigate us.

Leshar starts walking directly at the horse lord. He fires two bowshots at Leshar (and rolls a 1!) and we decide not to return fire, and move along.

“A shot that bad is its own punishment.”

***

We pause here, having done the entire session without smiting anyone. We’ll have to make u for it next turn. Tain awaits. 250xp were awarded.

Players this session: +Tim Shorts+Chris C.+Joshua Macy , +Ken H , +Rob Conley 

Preview map:

***

A lot of plot development this time, but still, we had to decide which of many forks to take. Tain seems the best bet, as we have concrete things to do there. Still, the manor of Sir Colin and the meeting with the Baron at Greenstream loom large on our minds.

Work has been a Terribly Dire Polar Bear recently, and today most of all. Fortunately, SJG comes to my blogging rescue by releasing something that was pretty darn interesting in playtest.

GURPS Boardroom and Curia is a book all about groups of people. In a word: Organizations. 

It’s a PC-facing guide to what organizations, from street gangs to multinational conglomerates to multinational conglomerate street gangs (and given the global reach of some gangs, this isn’t really an exaggeration!). From Wayne Enterprises to Intergang to the Peace Corps to the Green Lantern Corps, you can probably figure out what to do.

I had an interesting time on this one, because I’d just threw down quite a long post on this topic thanks to my daughter being precocious. 

This manuscript got a lot of love and attention in the playtest – all of it geared (successfully, based on the revisions brought forward by the irrepressible +Matt Riggsby, the supplement’s author) to ensuring that the manuscript was even more player-facing (and GM-facing) than it had been before.

Organizations – from the merchant’s guild to the Illuminati, from the LiberDemoPublican party to Anarchists United, and (more seriously) many of the organized religions that have and continue to play important roles in politics and society in both reality and fiction – play a defining role in the human world. Every time you shop, go to the bank, go to church to pray, contribute or read something from a political party, you’re interacting with an organization. When you have to deal with the Infernal Revenue Service to straighten out a bit of a problem with your yearly Soul Return, you’re dealing with the people in the organization. Every time you’re stymied on the phone and say “I will speak with your manager, now” you’re interacting with the rules presented in the book. 

Thanks to Pelgrane for JUST the right tone

More importantly, when you need to get the Army to send a squad of gunships to die messily attacking a Lovecraftian Horror – you’re dealing with an organization, and the book will help you do it.

I haven’t re-read it in full yet. But I will. Not only that, but I fully intend to use it to scope out Oliver Enterprises, the fictional megacorporation helmed by my NPC Patron Wayne Oliver (yes, yes, derivative, but deliberately so, and he even makes Tony Stark jokes about himself) for my on-hiatus Alien Menace campaign. 

So check it out – I think it’ll be worth your while. And if not, you can speak to my manager.

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise – it’s the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in an I have to put that in my game kind of way.

So, let’s delve in . . . but remember you’re descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin’ Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can’t be found. Nope. Nothing to see there. Though you’re going to want to lose your lunch after spending time in the horrid living room of your bad guy. But don’t worry, you can always punch him in the gut with a magically-enhanced fist of death.

But what’s this we see here? Awww . . . it’s so cute. A tiny, fluffy little bunny. I’m sure it’s cuddly and oh my glob, it’s attacking me! The pain, the pain! Aaaaaahh!

Dire and Terrible Monsters ( +Peter V. Dell’Orto and +Douglas Cole )

Of course, I co-wrote this one, so you can take my review with a grain of salt. That being said, I noted in a previous post that this article was more fun than any other of mine to write thus far. Peter wrote about it as well.

This article presents a couple new prefixes, a staple of DF monster-making, which turn regular monsters or other creatures into something else Angry monsters, Enraged, etc. The article presents two prefixes – Dire and Terrible – that take an ordinary creature and make it larger and more ferocious (Dire) and surprisingly lethal (Terrible). The text and sample monsters are presented in an over-the-top, humorous fashion, but the prefixes themselves are not inheretly silly.


Style, Writing, Execution [-2 to 2 points]: Peter and I had a great time writing this, and it shows. Others that read this one loved it; even my wife, who doesn’t always read my stuff, read it end-to-end and loved it. 2 points.

Background, Inspiration, Epiphany [0 to 4 points]: The premise here is good – and can be applied to any and all monster creation to amp up any critters you need. 3 points.

Drop-in Gaming Utility [0 to 4 points]: You can use the prefixes for any DF game to give your players a challenge, or a quick, surprise, nasty fight. Applied to (say) a werewolf or mundane animal, a new challenge can be made of an old threat. 4 points.

Overall: 9/10.  A good premise, easily extendable, and a fun read. 

Would I use it? Yes. Obviously. I’m biased, of course; I wrote it, and Peter’s one of my favorite authors, as well as an outstanding collaborator. 

Biases Aside: An alternate scoring if you’re approaching the article as not-me.

Build it Yourself: Even though there are sample creatures, there’s some work to be done, especially on the Terrible creatures, to make them useful. That would take it down to a 3.

Your Humor is Lost on Me: Some may object to the tone and flavor of the article – silly creatures like the Terrible Terrier might not be the right tone for some. That doesn’t lower the mechanical utility of the article, though. Writing score would drop to 0-1.

Background for DF?: I knocked it down a point because it’s light on why, and jumps to how. But if you just don’t care, then what you can do with more prefixes is simply pure fun. 

Upper-Lower bound Rating: The worst this one will rate is about 6, and the upper bound is the only perfect 10 I’ve given. It’s the same score as Pointless Slaying and Looting, which is probably my favorite GURPS article to date, bar none. On that scale, I’d say that this one is closer to 8-8.5 . . . or pointless slaying is better than I gave it credit for (probably true).

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise – it’s the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in an I have to put that in my game kind of way.

So, let’s delve in . . . but remember you’re descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin’ Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can’t be found. Nope. Nothing to see there. Though you’re going to want to lose your lunch after spending time in the horrid living room of your bad guy.

But what’s this we see here? A small, harmless-looking guy in a robe? The rube has no business in a dungeon. Or does he?

The Magic Touch (+Matt Riggsby)

This short article presents a set of magic items tuned to the martial artist archetype. Martial Artists usually eschew weapons and armor, and so much of the common loot one finds is inappropriate for them. This article tries to help balance the scales – but many of the items are not unvarnished benefits to the user!

Style, Writing, Execution [-2 to 2 points]: The writing is casual and approachable, with game mechanics present, but woven into text. 0.5 points.

Background, Inspiration, Epiphany [0 to 4 points]: The basic concept is sound – give Martial Artists more stuff to play with. And each one, mostly, requires some sort of sacrifice to the user, which is very in the spirit of “discipline for power” that is the core of the martial arts philosophy. It makes you want to create more of these, which is good. 3 points.

Drop-in Gaming Utility [0 to 4 points]: These are easy drop-ins to any game where magic items and and martal artists can be found. The “bite” that makes some of these items less than an unvarnished good might detract for a few of them, but there’s always the Concussion Amulet. 3.5 points.

Overall: 7/10.  A short utility article that delivers on its premise – cool stuff for martial artists – with no wasted motion. 

Would I use it? Yes. Maybe not all at once, but the overall lesson here is solid: provide cool stuff for each player’s character.

Biases Aside: An alternate scoring if you’re approaching the article as not-me.

It’s Just A List: Of course, that’s the entire point. Ready-made items. But if you don’t like the gear-catalog flavor, then drop-in utility will be degraded for you. I’d not go lower than 2, though – because it’s the very definition of drop-in.

Exposition, not Mechanics: You might get more satisfaction on the presentation than I did, enough to boost the Writing score to 1.0 or 1.5.

Upper-Lower bound Rating: This one’s pretty tight. It’s a solid 6-8 any way you look at it. It’s not long enough that anyone could say “this was a waste of time,” and it has high-level lessons to be extracted. Plus, ready-worked examples save the GM time and inspire other creations. 

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise – it’s the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in a *I have to put that in my game* kind of way.

So, let’s delve in . . . but remember you’re descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin’ Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can’t be found. Nope. Nothing to see there.

But what’s this we see here? And why does the floor . . . move?

Eidetic Memory – Living Rooms (+David Pulver )
In this installment of Eidetic Memory, David pulls out all the stops in making delving as awful, gross, and cringe-inducingly squicky as possible. And I mean this in the best possible way. The article covers some of the history of having part of your dungeon be actually alive, as well as what various viscera and giblets can be found within. Living rooms (a phrase I will simply never hear correctly again) as traps, as rooms, as diversions . . . and monsters. It’s all here. Including making chili out of the dungeon floor. I mean, yuck.

Style, Writing, Execution [-2 to 2 points]: I have to admit it, despite repeatedly cringing at the text, I couldn’t stop reading. I mean, ewwwww. But it really drew me in. Now I have to bathe. 2 points.

Background, Inspiration, Epiphany [0 to 4 points]: The article is strongest in this category. Between the history of living rooms, lots of ideas to make them either gross or spectacularly gross, stats as a monster, or advice on using them as traps, you’re covered. 4 points.

Drop-in Gaming Utility [0 to 4 points]: You can always populate a room with this stuff, but you may need to design a special location to properly host it. There’s lots of generic advice, and a few drop-in statblocks, but again, this is a how-to guide, not a “do this immediately” style of article. 2 points.

Overall: 8/10. Very, very strong offering from David this round. It’s simultaneously disgusting and useful.

Would I use it? Yes. I might need to wash thoroughly after planning an adventure with this advice, or maybe not eat for a day or three. But overall, this is great fodder for a DF alternate mission, as well as any horror adventure.

Biases Aside: An alternate scoring if you’re approaching the article as not-me.

I don’t have much to say here. Drop-in utility could be lower if you don’t like the overall concept. Higher if you want to do this as a level of your existing megadungeon. Likewise, I think that at worst you’re in the 3 zone for Inspiration because of the cross-over possibilities for horror and maybe even sci-fi.

Upper-Lower bound Rating: If you stop reading because you’re grossed out, well, I guess that’s a tough one. So if you despise the concept and aren’t willing to read through, you could wind up with as low as a 4. If you have an existing megadungeon you can drop this into, its probably as high as a 3, which makes the range 4-9, but probably clustering in the 7-8 range.

But I still need to get some mental floss and clean up.

We see action coming out of the manor as we start out. Ten spearmen, a couple of men-at-arms, and a few carts and wagons. We decide to anticipate them heading to Lervin, so we can set an ambush at the bridge (B) from Lervin to Phandalin – the route with the best road.

We guess correctly, and high-tail it first down the same road as they will take, but then cut cross-country to come at the bridge from the south.

We wanted to set a Rune of Boom on the bridge, triggering it when the bad guys are on the bridge, but the Glyph is not that easy to set up. We estimate it’ll only take 1-2 hours to get there for them, so we’re going to have to move it move it to get set up and prepared.

The good news is that we can probably move several times as fast to cover the roughly 2 miles from Highgarden to the bridge at Lervin. Even at 10 mph, that’s about 12-24 minutes. So we’ll have anything from abut 35 minutes to as long as 1 hour and 45min to get ready for them. Most likely is something like a bit more than an hour – just enough time to set up the Glyph of Explody Bits and then have a bit of time to wait for them to come.


We set up behind as much cover and concealment as possible, missile weapons at the ready. We figure if we can down the two knights first and foremost, the “host” will likely be ineffective even if we don’t destroy them all. 

The Glyph of Warding explodes in a 20′ radius, so we steer clear of that. Keyar Nailo sets up a very concealed trap (natural 20!) at the south end of the bridge. 

We set up . . . and wait. We decide anything fancy is not in the cards, and (potentially against my better judgement) fail to set up a classic L-shaped ambush. 

The small force approaches; the knights are riding to the east and west of the short column, with ten spearmen and a man-at arms.

They walk right into the spell trap. BOOM. The stone-plank bridge is on fire.

Sir Varius is up front, and he takes 23 points of damage, as he fails to save. The man-at-arms takes 9 HP; the seven spearmen each take 25 HP, wiping them all out.

We’re instantly down to a wounded knight, a less-wounded man-at-arms, three spearmen, and an unharmed Sir Colin. Keyar takes aim at Sir Colin; Mark at Sir Varius, and Aevin Steelhand shoots Sir Varius for 7 HP. Mark’s arrow ricochet’s off his armor (AC 18). Sir Colin is spared a similar impalement by his armor. Vognur whiffs as well.

Markbludiell continues his streak of poor initiative rolls, nearly at the bottom of the heap with an 11. The spearmen on the other side rock it with a 20, so they go first. we’ll see.

Aevin goes first, and shoots with advantage at Sir Varius, which also glances off the armor. Sir Varius snaps out of it, and charges at Markbludiell. His horse takes a tumble, and we hear the ugly snap of a broken leg as Varius hits the pit trap that Keyar set. He takes 10 HP from the fall; the horse is down, screaming.

Sir Varius is on the ground, and Vognur draws his sword and moves to the attack; Vognur has advantage due to his being prone.

The spearmen start to break and run, but Sir Colin strikes one down; the rest are well motivated, and charge the PCs. Sir Colin himself runs up next to Aevin, striking once for a crit, and missing a second attack. He hits Aevin for 23 HP!

Ouch.

Markbludiell casts Sacred Weapon, but misses Sir Colin with a sword attack anyway. The yeoman sergeant moves up and shoots Markbludiell with a crossbow, rolling 19 but bouncing off of his armor and shield.

Aevin invokes Second Wind to heal 1d10+4 HP, getting 9 HP back. He also does Action Surge for two attacks to Sir Colin, who was paralyzed by a spell in the prior round; Colin is hit twice for 27 HP of slashing damage. 

Sir Varius gets up (!) and attacks Vognur twice, hitting once for 16 HP. 

Vognur attacks Sir Varius, but misses. Keyar is up, and crits on Sir Colin, which we need, for 22 HP, and Sir Colin goes down. The horse goes into a frenzy and attacks Aevin, and +Rob Conley rolls another crit, doing 20 HP to Aevin. 

Even the f**king horse rolls 20s. And an attempt to use Animal Handling on the horse by Mark fails. Carmina attacks Varius with burning hands for 10 HP.  Kayar hits Varius for 21 HP, and with an arrow through his throat, goes down hard.

The sergeant at arms breaks and flees. Sir Varius passes a death check.

Vognur pursues the sergeant; we want to take him captive. Sergeant can’t run without disengaging. The horse critically misses against Mark, which gives him the opportunity to Dash after the sergeant without provoking an attack of opportunity or disengaging. 

Carmina casts a healing spell on Aevin for 7 HP. Keyar snipes a fleeing yeoman, dropping him. The yeoman sergeant snarls and says “I’ll die fighting, rebel scum!” He attacks twice, rolling 9 and 21, hitting Vognur for 8 HP. 

Aevin moves over to Sir Varius to tie him up as he bleeds out; Sir Varius survives another death check. One more and he stabilizes. 

Vognur swings and misses. The yeomen flee for their lives. The horse bolts away, and Sir Colin fails a death check, his first one. Mark Bludiell misses badly again, despite Sacred Weapon. 

Mark has not done a single effective thing the entire fight; Keyar drills the final yeoman, who is slain.

Yeoman Sergeant draws a shortsword and attacks with two weapons, hitting with the shortsword for 4 HP.

Vognur finally connects, much to his player’s relief, doing 9 HP.  Sir Colin passes a death check, so he’s not out yet. Mark Bludiell finally connects, doing 11 HP, plus 3 HP for Divine Smite, which is so puny he takes Veritas’ name in vain. Come, on, really? Nothing is going well for Mr Paladin today.

Mr. Yeoman Sergeant misses three times with two longsword attacks and another shortsword attack. Keyar makes a Medicine roll for Colin thanks to a Bless ability. Sir Varius misses another death check. 

Mark actually hits again, and does 13 HP of damage, again most of it’s due to spending a spell slot for more juice.

Carmina plays horse whisperer, rolls 20 on Animal Handling thanks to Guidance, and calms a fleeing angry warhorse. Go him.

Keyar hits the sergeant with an arrow in the throat, and he finally goes down. He yanks the arrow out of Varius’ throat, which kills him. 

Mark stabilizes the yeoman sergeant for later interrogation. 

We loot the bodies, finding 100d on Sir Varius; another 50d on Sir Colin. Sir Colin’s armor is actually worth something – his full panoply and the warhorse is worth about 4,000d. Not bad. The carts hold 1,000d worth of supplies, which we can take back to Phandalin. Plus a pair of mules.

That just about makes up for the diamond dust we spent on exploding runes.

We get a short rest in, and Sidwin comes walking up the road from the South. He was supposed to be in Tain. 

We head to Phandalin, it’ll take us about two hours to cover the 4.5 miles to the town. Keyar goes to scout out Lervin to see what was going on there, why no one came to see the fight, nor the explosion. Sidwin was delayed in his journey to Tain when he had to fight off some ghouls, losing his henchman but saving some commoners in the process.

He did find a courier’s sash, though, as well as an iron rod, with a dragon’s claw holding a broken glass orb. We hand it over to Keyar; we inspect it, and it was clearly once magical. But the real treasure was the courier sash, which came from a fresher body; the orb came from a skeleton. Wands in that style were used by elven mages involved in creating magic items. You are not sure exactly; it’s definitely not a traditional wand. Maybe it’s a focus for creation, control, or focus. It’s definitely from 400-1,000 years ago.

We arrive in Phandalin between 3-5pm. We see the barricade manned by two militia. We introduce ourselves, and while being cheered for our victory, we head back and incarcerate Sir Colin and his Sergeant at arms. 

We take a Long Rest, and chain up the Sergeant and Sir Colin. 

Sir Colin eventually wakes with a grunt, spitting out some half-congealed blood. “Nice bit of spell work; only way you would have taken me down. You’re lucky we had a pretty little lady to cast these spells for you.”

We ask if Sir Colin is willing to give us his parole, as a properly captured knight. He says he can’t speak, he says. 

Yeah, right.

“Hrmph. You’re smarter than you look. Your best bet is to kill me here where I stand. I’d never give my parole to scum like you.”

Mark asks about the priest captured and tortured back in Highgarden. Last time Sir Colin saw him he was just blubbering. 

Markbludiell slams a sword through his chest, ending the life of a brutal, evil thug (he asked Vertias first. Sir Colin was the very definition of evil). 

Sidwin shakes his head, walks out of the building, and keeps walking. Night falls as Sidwin heads for Tain.

***

That’s the session. 

“The only bad time to cast explosive runes is inside a room of less than 20′ radius.”

We chat for a bit, trying to figure the next move.

OK, we jump right back in, waking up in Phandelver with the town still intact, and us heading out to Tain via Highgarden Manor. We look to see if we could bring a few fast riders, that we could dispatch in case we need to send a “LOOK OUT, VIOLENCE” warning back to Phandelver. We look around, and there are no horses, let alone fast horses, to be found anywhere. Only mules, oxen, and other mining-friendly beasts. We decide on runners instead, and Devan and Tomas step up. One of them brags he brought a midwife to town – there and back – in the time it usually takes to get just there.

He’s hired.

We head out to Highgarden Manor, crossing a ridge along the way. As we crest the ridge, we see a knight and a couple spearmen. We decide to approach. Mark’ s a more “Hey, diddle diddle, straight up the middle” type. Keyar Nailo, our resident elven ranger, sneaks through the underbrush, while the rest of us approach openly.

We get to about 500yds away before we’re noticed. They stop abruptly, then ride closer, readying weapons cautiously. They take out weapons. So do we. Mark reminds Tomas and Devan, our “spear-carrier” messengers, that their job is to carry messages, not fight.

We are challenged by a knight – not Sir Varius – who demands that our Elder of Mitra surrender her weapons, as the Mitrans are unlawfully in rebellion against the overlord.

Hmm. Well, that’s true, but we’re not giving up weapons for nothing. Carmina tried Hold Person, but our foe resists easily, recognizes that an attempt to bewitch was made, and orders an attack.

Our ranger misses with a surprise bow shot (grar!), while Aevin steelhand crits with a crossbow shot and nails him for 8 HP. Carmina herself casts Sacred Fire, and our target fails his saving throw, taking another 9 HP. 

The knight delivers two blows to Carmina, hitting with one of the blows for 14 HP. So if he’s a fighter, he’s level 5 or higher. So this guy could easily have 40 HP or so. Keyar fires again. Mark steps up, using Sacred Weapon to add his CHA bonus to his strikes attack rolls, and spends a spell slot to increase damage. He barely hits rolling 15+4, and does 16 HP total, badly injuring him. Aevin hits again for 8 HP, and the knight falls to the ground.

Now it’s just the two Yeomen, one seems likely to run, but the other calls out “We must save Sir Melius!” and hey stand firm. One hits Aevin Steelhand for 9 HP, which ain’t bad for him.

The horse (!) is a tough foe as it is; it goes into a blood frenzy, but stumbles (critical miss). 

Carmina casts Spare the Dying on Sir Melius; we have no wish to see him dead, we just aren’t going to be giving up our arms to anyone.

Mark casts Command: “SURRENDER!” at DC 14, and the final yeoman surrenders, and drops his weapons. Aevin tries to use Athletics to grab the reins of the horse. Naturally, he crits, rolling 26. He tugs it down, and the horse stands trembling, quieted.

Aevin passes the reins to Mark, who makes a nice Animal Handling roll (he’s got skill in it) to pacify and hobble the horse. We set to work making our foes safe.

The ransom of arms and armor of a defeated foe is part of the social structure. What we know about this guy is that he’s a horse barbarian. Full of honor, pride, and duty – but with more “modern” gear and a really nice horse. Fully trained warhorse.

His holy symbol is that of the Lars; a traditionalist. He’s not a threat from that perspective. He is a full supporter of the Overlord, and Phandelver is not normally part of his responsibility. 

We wake him up, restoring 10 HP via Lay on Hands. He wakes and gives his ransom amount (500sp), and being told his men are alive, gives the parole for the bunch of them. “I’m in your power, maiden,” he sneers in a derogatory way. 

“I’d prefer to be addressed as Elder,” Carmina says gently. “You may not believe this, but I have no quarrel with you. I was reacting to the injustice of your demands.”

“I didn’t seek it either, but you won, so I have no choice but to ransom myself, my arms, and my horse.”

Mark grills Sir Melius a bit, and says he was just out and about patrolling his land after some messengers from the Church of Mitra caused a rebellion on his lands. He’s heard that the regent has draconic support. He’d also been requested to join Sir Varius at Highgarden, but Melius thinks Varius is a twit, so he had better things to do.

We huddle up, to discuss.

We make Insight rolls, and know that we can leave horse and armor with the Temple of Mitra, in escrow. 1500sp to the Temple, in exchange for the parole and that’ll keep him off the playing field for a few weeks. 

We move on, and proceed on to Highgarden. Keyar will scope out the place, using a bit of subterfuge and looking like a wandering hunter. Which he is. He grabs some dead rabbits and goes to look around. As he gets closer to town, he draws curiosity but not alarm.

In front of the main manor, Keyar sees weapons, arrows, arms, and provisions being stacked in wagons in front of the main manor. In the center of the area, to the west of the center of town, is a burning or burned temple of Mitra. There is weapons practice going on, loudly, near the town center as well. There are 36 4″ turtle shells tied up in an odd bundle in front of the tavern. 

In the manner of one transacting business, Keyar asks to sell the rabbits. A garrulous trader want to buy, and tells him that the Mitrans have truly overthrown the City State. The Dracolindes will save them all, kegs of mead, happy times are hear again, etc.

About fifteen minutes after that, Various chased him out of the village; he returned without killing the guy, then burned out the temple. 

They keep transacting, and chatting, and Keyar provisions himself up. Varius is offering a silver a day to go beat up Phandelver.

Because the Phandelver guys are raising an army to attack the Sheriff of Tain.


Sir Colin brought his troops over the other night; he’s the guy to talk to, but he’s a hard man. Fair, but hard. The magistrate is on his way to Tain with the miners. The troops planned to leave at noon, but that won’t happen. They’ll be leaving this afternoon at the latest, though. There’s about a dozen fighters, two knights. Mitra go with you. And Keyar has concluded a spectacular recon foray.

We write the messages and intel out, and immediately dispatch our two runners back to Phandelver. It’s about 2 hours walking, 4-6 by wagon.

Oh, and as the missing priest of Mitra is mentioned, the area next to the manor is darkened by the hand of Veritas. Evil has been committed within. Markbludiell starts to get all twitchy; he really wants to get into the manor house, and bring out either the body of the priest, or his healed and talkative self. Plus any records that might be in the place.

We decide, though, that the two knights are primary. They’re the fulcrum on which a lot of pain may arise; stopping them 

***

We break there. We all get 200XP for gaming, and we give 100XP to +Daniel McEntee as MVP. +Ken H , +Joshua Macy +Chris C. , +Peter V. Dell’Orto +Rob Conley 

It’s no secret. Ever since I read Elisabeth Moon’s The Deed of Paksenarrion, I’ve loved playing paladins. +Rob Conley did me a favor and quoted the best description from the book in a prior blog post:

Paraphrased From page 579 of the Trade Paperback the Deed of Paksenarrion.

Most think being a holy warrior means gaining vast arcane powers, that they would be nearly invincible against any foe. But truth is that while Paladin are skilled at fighting, that was the least of their abilities. A quest might involve no fighting at all, or a battle against beings no steel could pierce.

Above all paladins show that courage is possible. It is easy enough to find reasons to give in to evil. War is ugly as many know. But we do not argue that war is better than peace; paladin are not that stupid. It is not peace when cruelty reigns, when stronger men steal from farmers and craftmen., when the child can be enslaved, or the old thrown out to starve, and no one lifts a hand. That is not peace: that is conquest and evil.

Paladins do not start quarrels in peaceful lands, never display their skills to earn applause. But we are the sword of good defending the helpless and teaching by our example that one person can dare greater force to break evil’s grasp on the innocent. Sometimes that can be done without fighting, without killing, and that is best.

But some evil needs direct attack, and paladins must be able to do it, and lead others in battle. Wonder why paladins are so likable? It is important, we come to a town, perhaps, where nothing has gone right for a dozen years. Perhaps there is a temple there and sometimes there is not. The people are frightened, and they have lost trust in each other, in themselves. We may lead them into danger, some will be killed or wounded. Why should they trust us?

Because we are likable, and other people will follow us willingly. And that’s why we are more likely to choose a popular adept as a candidate rather than the best fighters.

In any case I decided to explore the world of D&D5 a bit into the spellcaster/power user realm. I’m usually a pretty fond guy for straight-up fighter types: Fighters and Rogues. But I wanted to get my feet wet in the power set.

I started with the idea to try a Monk, but then I came up with a set of rolls, and given the religious struggle at the notional heart of the campaign (I think it’s deeper than that with religion as proxy, but there you go), I decided to try Paladin instead.

I decided that the guy would be a half-elf, who was doing his own thing one day as a boy when he came across a brutish young human with a group of seeming sycophants brutalizing another boy, a peasant.

Angered, he challenged the boy, mocked him, and in the ensuing fight, thrashed him soundly. He did not escape unscathed – nor unnoticed. A fey – a ridiculously high level wild Elven Monk – watched it all happen. As fey will do, she blessed him with an elvish glamour (the high CHA and Folk Hero background), but cursed him as well – marking him as such and bringing him to the attention of greater powers than eve she. Forever would he follow the path of defending the weak. 

And between the spell she cast marking him as forever an avenger of the downtrodden, and his bloody visage after the fight, he was called the Marked Bloody Elf. Or Mark the Bloody Elf, shortened to Mark Bludiell, Markbludiell, or just Mark. Even he does’t remember his former name.

This mark led to another one – a calling by the High Lord Veritas as his Hand in the Majestic Wilderlands. The curse that was a blessing was a seed that took root – and of course, the young thug happened to be the scion of a powerful noble. Because fey never give a rose without thorns.

Mark Bludiell (4th level Paladin of Veritas)


STR 17; DEX 12; CON 16; INT 12; WIS 14; CHA 18


Yeah, I rolled well. And the choice of Folk Hero plus my own choices gave me

Animal Handling; Insight; Intimidation; and Survival.


Natural abilities due to being half-elven don’t hurt:

Darkvision; Can’t be magically put to sleep; Advantage vs being charmed.

Paladin abilities by fourth level 

  • Divine Sense – with action, any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60′ not behind total cover. 1+CHA bonus per long rest
  • Lay on Hands – 20 HP healed per long rest; 5 HP from pool to cure disease or neutralize poison. 
  • Fighting Style: protection. Can take a reaction to give adjacent friend help by attacks against him having disadvantage. Requires shield.
  • Divine Smite – 2d8 extra damage for 1st level spell slot, +1d8 per spell slot level max 5d8, +1d8 on undead or fiend.
  • Immune to Disease (Divine Health)
  • Oath of Devotion

Channel Divinity (can do each once with a short rest between?)
  • Sacred Weapon (includes light) – Imbue one weapon with positive energy. Adds CHA to attack rolls. Bright light in 20′ radius. Treated as magical weapon. 
  • Turn Unholy – 30′ WIS saving throw or run away
His equipment is nothing special. Plate armor and a shield, for AC 20. A sword and a longbow. He’s got a horse, not a Paladin’s Mount, but a serviceable quality mount.

He can learn up to 6 1st level Paladin spells, though he can only cast three per day. 

I was surprised to find that there’s no basic Light spell on the Paladin’s list. While you can call light with Sacred Weapon, you can’t just play You Light Up My Life, which was a surprise. When I needed it, though, last adventure, Rob handwaved it away and allowed it as a cantrip because it was really cool as a part of an Intimidation roll.

I get Protection from Evil and Sanctuary as part of my Oath spells, always prepared. Six others? My calling is to always wade in where the fire is hottest, so in any fight I pick the biggest, baddest monster and head straight for him. If I must, I use Compel Duel to force him to fight me, to preserve others. As for he next five spells I have to pick, I’m still somewhat at a bit of a loss. Command seemed appropriate. Divine Favor too, as well as Searing Smite, though that one was mostly just cool. Given my protector thing, I should probably pick up Shield of Faith, Bless, and Heroism.


But I’m sure there are better choices out there, and I’m definitely up for good suggestions.

Mostly, in terms of other equipment, he’s probably got a basic adventurer’s pack with traveling gear and survival gear, and that’s about all. 

Thus far, he’s been fun to play. My background and calling play right into the thick of the plot, so this is the first paper man I’ve played in a while where the details of who he is, the what and why of his calling, are really important. Getting into roleplay for roleplay’s sake for the first time in a while is making me flex my imagination a bunch, much to the good.

***

Oh, and two posts ago was my 500th since I started the blog. Go me.