Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Death of a Scorpion

       /                  \
      /                    \
      |      HERE LIES     |
      |                    |
      |     Kan Kaleus     |
      |       lvl 6        |
      |      Fighter       |
      |                    |
      |     killed by a    |
      |pack of Desert Dogs |
      |        2013        |
      |                    |
     *|    *     *      *  |  *

So, Kan Kaleus, the Scorpion, the Sting of Urik, met his end.

We were supposed to get this guy off of a mekillot-drawn enormous multi-story temple-trader thing. After safely ensconcing our kobold henchman-turned stone golem inside one of the mekillots (yea, I know, long story), we got on as mekillot keepers.

The mage would use Ventriloquism to speak to the kobold-golem inside the mekillot when it needed to be cranky so we could "calm it down", this proving our worth.

Anyway. We got into a poker game with the officers of the moving temple, plus some of the priests. Good time for a mutiny? Yes! The mage excuses himself to go to the little mage's room, comes back around the corner throwing Deep Slumbers (3.5E larger Sleep spell, 3rd level). Dropped a number of them, which I coup de grace'd.

The idiot who we're there to retrieve didn't know about our plan, mainly because he was charmed by the head templar to keep him calm, and we couldn't tell him. He panics, runs. Guards alerted.

I'm armed with only a knife, having been at a poker game. It quickly breaks during a natural 1. I overrun/bull rush my way through entirely too many guards, make it to my quarters with 6 HP, grab my spear and shield and armor. I climb out the window, joined by the mage who gifts me with a Spider Climb to get down.

Our target is running away from the chaos through the desert with the rest of the slave crew. We climb down. It's night. Some odd desert-dogs begin picking off runaways.

The mage (who is a Dark Sun elf) quickly catches up to the target, begins dragging him back. Dogs are following. I recklessly throw javelins to draw them off the mage, and am quickly downed.

Mage returns the favor with Magic Missiles. I'm drug up onto one of the enormous wheels of the thing, stabilized. Mage has to run off to do something else.

My unconscious body falls off the wheel and is chewed on by dogs. The kobold-golem had emerged by this point and drives them off.

And, I quote:

Mage: Now that the dogs are off I'll climb down and give him the Dr. House treatment.
Me: Well, at least you'll know it's not, wait, I was killed by dogs. It's lupus.

So there's that.

The game I play in is 3.5E -> E6 through Trailblazer, and the DM is trying out a new thing where we can start multiclassing in lieu of taking another feat, and gain other class's benefits, up to level 6 - for example, the wizard is a Wizard 6/Spirit Shaman 1 - he gets the Spirit Shaman 1 benefits that aren't overrun by the Wizard benefits he already has (which is none so far). It's a "best-of" gestalt.

I have my doubts about the long term validity. I don't necessarily see why everyone wouldn't have 6 levels of Fighter and Wizard, no matter their core concept, or at what point it becomes more complicated to manage than just leveling up past 6th - at some point (which is already here) your limited number of actions as a single character as opposed to your total number of options for actions available becomes unwieldy. Additionally, as 3E presents itself, you are going to come up against opponents who are more difficult than they really need to be simply because you've got an abstract power level that's not really anywhere near your applicable power level, and 3E really begs you to balance your encounter scales. I don't think I've met a caravan guard with less than 2HD.

But, hey. That's why this is an ACKS blog, and I'm not running that game.

We're a few E6 feat-slots into it by now, so I'm working up a:

Monk 6 + (Fighter 2+Hexblade 2)

which is so far ridiculous. I'll post it later, just to share the madness. I have my doubts I can make anything similar in ACKS, as I did with the previous character, but I'll sure try.


  1. > I have my doubts about the long term validity. I don't necessarily see why everyone wouldn't have 6 levels of Fighter and Wizard, no matter their core concept

    The Elder Scrolls problem. I'd actually be sort of curious to see how Trailblazer's numerical analyses are altered by that houserule (or E6 in general). But yeah, I agree that I'm a lot happier running ACKS these days :P

  2. Exactly that - Full BAB, d10 HP, 6 levels of Wizard. Cleric might be even harsher, since there's no problem with armor and you get a lot of spells that can increase your staying power, if not your theoretical damage output.

    Trailblazer actually fixes a major problem with stacking classes, in that the unified spellcaster mechanics don't allow for you having two or more completely different table of available spell slots, so there's that.

    As far as TB's "Spine" analysis, I think the simpliest way to boil that down is that a PC only has one action set per round, so it's acting at the most efficient category in whatever it does, if it's maximally multiclassed. The big thing that happens (and this may have slipped under the DM's radar) is that if my 1st class has 2 good saves and 2 poor saves, per TB, and my second class chooses a *different* set of good saves, I can have all good saves once I have two classes of 6th level. (which is slightly redundant since the Monk gets a version of that already anyway)

    Assuming at some point I end up Monk 6, Fighter 6, Hexblade 6, it'll be interesting to see what to do next. Probably Ninja, since it also gets a bonus to AC which stacks with the Monk's (only a +1 at level 6) plus Sneak Attack.

    I am kinda using this to see how hard I can break it. I took Hexblade just for Arcane Mettle (Evasion for Fort/Will saves). I didn't know the Hexblade's spell list sucked so hard.

    We had our first session Sunday morning, and this character is Super Effective. The streamlining TB did with Grapple/Trip/etc. means I can lay some people down and keep freedom of movement, without a bunch of opposed rolls.

    We were still at that giant caravan temple thing, and I came in as one of the slaves on that ship (who remembered he had PC class levels all of a sudden :)) I grappled the main Templar that had escaped earlier from the poker game, and jumped off the building. Let him go with a free action, Monk-Slow-Fall'd my way to safety to the patio below. I did it again with a random guard just because I needed to get downstairs quickly.