Pierce Haligarth, acquirer of fine treasures

For discussion of the Expedition to Ravenloft
User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

While I tend to agree about multi-class casters, in this specific context I think you'd get more game-wise adding a level of wizard than fighter. Fighter gets me an extra feat and a few more hit points, but unless Pierce starts wearing armor, that's not going to help much since he'll still be a crunchy bit of meat for any undead that get too close.

And for whatever reason, I've got this vision stuck in my head of Pierce never being interested in armor -- though I don't think he'd turn down a magical mithril shirt (as long as there was a story to go along with it).

At this point I'm thinking of leaving him as a 6th level rogue, but probably picking up a level of wizard at 7th to reflect his new found paranoia about the undead. Ultimately, I'd rather have his character evolution be governed by his experiences, and adding a level rather than retconning it feels better to me.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
EvilGenius
Posts: 6480
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Allentown, PA

Post by EvilGenius »

NukeHavoc wrote:While I tend to agree about multi-class casters, in this specific context I think you'd get more game-wise adding a level of wizard than fighter. Fighter gets me an extra feat and a few more hit points, but unless Pierce starts wearing armor, that's not going to help much since he'll still be a crunchy bit of meat for any undead that get too close.
I agree that a multiclassed caster is often far less effective than a straight class caster, especially a multiclassed wizard. But I think that in this case the idea is to get a few extra abilities, not to become a full fledged wizard. So with the idea to get a few extra magical abilities for fighting undead, 1 lvl of wizard is perfect. If you keep the rest of his levels as rogue, you're not really diluting the character concept or the roguish abilities.

User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

I think I'm going to go with the "figure out arcane secrets next level" route ... so I'm officially asking the DM for a +4 mace, err, for some sort of magical hook that might facilitate Pierce's magical learning (say, some abandoned book with a few still intact pages of spells in it ... and mayhap a few role-playing clues for the players...)
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
T1Mirage
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:16 pm
Contact:

Post by T1Mirage »

I am going out on a limb with this...

Nellis: “A moment of your time Pierce? You radiate a form of magic, a glamour perhaps possessed by very few individuals – even fewer in you humans, it's not your fault mind you. I only ask for you to look at my journey book. If the talent or blood is within you, you should be able to read through some of the text and make sense of it . Quite honestly, I am not that concerned with your ability to learn, as I am seeking the Amulet of Awken, which is a key to a mystical map. Unbeknownst to most and really only known by the elves, in the past hundred years the story was lost and only details, the map leads to various treasures. Read the book and see if you can follow the path.”

OOC: Whether the amulet is there or even exists, it is something to look for in a quest. The door is open for magic on my part. Perhaps your cohort can be found as you discover more of magic and it can be the tutor that teaches the master, as well, in Ravenloft, who can you trust which allows the DM to have fun with characters and cohorts alike.

It is a shame that the SPC spell Grave-Strike (allows sneak attack on undead) is not an arcane spell.

User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

T1Mirage wrote:Nellis: “A moment of your time Pierce? You radiate a form of magic, a glamour perhaps possessed by very few individuals – even fewer in you humans, it's not your fault mind you. I only ask for you to look at my journey book. If the talent or blood is within you, you should be able to read through some of the text and make sense of it . Quite honestly, I am not that concerned with your ability to learn, as I am seeking the Amulet of Awken, which is a key to a mystical map. Unbeknownst to most and really only known by the elves, in the past hundred years the story was lost and only details, the map leads to various treasures. Read the book and see if you can follow the path.”
Still staggered from having his intestines ripped out by ravenous zombies, then stuffed back in unceremoniously by his colleagues, Pierce raises a skeptical eye brow and accepts the book. "Talent eh? My father's uncle on his mother's side had a touch of something. He could move mutter a few words and my father's aunt's good pewter shakers would slide across the table. Used to annoy her to no end."

He pages through the book gingerly. "Hmmm. Not sure ... I think I might ... well, if I studied it that is ... " he pauses, touching the hilt of his rapier and then saying softly to himself ... "You didn't do me much good in that last fight, not even after all the trouble I went through to get you. 'Glimmering Blade of Champions' my ass..."

Looking at Nellis he says: "This book ... might it have some arcane incantations that might say, keep the monstrosities of this damned town from dining on my insides? Because I really rather like them where they are... Or perhaps some of those magical flames you used to destroy the pack menacing that paladin? Or, Nine Hells, anything that might be more useful than sticking them with a dagger? Because it seems to me, if I'm going to be staying in this Light-forgotten country, I might need to learn a few new tricks...
It is a shame that the SPC spell Grave-Strike (allows sneak attack on undead) is not an arcane spell.
OOC: Indeed ... but that's what magical research is for right? :)
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
erilar
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:05 pm
Location: Kirkwall
Contact:

Post by erilar »

Ashlyn, the female paladin your band has rescued from a grisly fate, hastily introduces herself and thanks you for your aid, but regrets that proper niceties must wait until the breached and weakened bulwarks can be repaired.

She unceremoniously chugs down a healing potion garnered from her pack and rushes off to aid several villagers that emerge from nearby buildings bearing tools. Included amongst those ad hoc handymen are three who can only be Vistani, the local gypsies that have been described to you, and a brawny but dim-witted young man wearing a shopkeep's apron.


Pierce:

Hastily grasping for any edge in further encounters with the not-dead-enough denizens of the village, you gratefully accept Nellis' proffered "travel book" and hunker down on a nearby stoop to read.

To your disappointment, the book is pure gibberish. Even your knack for deciphering old texts is of no use to you. Why - look at this diagram. Nothing but the scribbling of a bored child! Still, something itches at the back of your mind...

A wave of dizziness washes over you as the seemingly random moire pattern slowly twists into focus. No - that's not quite right. Like a hand-inked illusion that a carnival magician once showed you, patterns and depth exist that are lost to the casual observer. You feel yourself falling...

And you yelp, as a jolt of static shock - that is somehow not static - arcs from the book to the paralyzed finger you'd been using to trace the maddeningly curious pattern. The book falls from your grasp, and you hop up from the steps to suck on your numb index finger.

Realizing that you've managed to drop Nellis' treasured journal to the muddy ground of the besieged town square, you hastily scramble to retrieve it - to find that it is gone. You search the ground around you, under the planks of the stoop you'd been sitting on - even the muck of the nearby puddles. Nellis' book is nowhere to be found.
"This enemy you cannot kill. You can only drive it back damaged into the depths, and teach your children to watch the waves for its return." - Quellcrist Falconer

User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

"Hmmm. Well, yes ... sorry about that Nellis. I'm sure there must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for what happened. Perhaps after a bit more exploring I might be able to umm, read that chicken scratch."

OOC ... not sure what just happened. :)
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
erilar
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:05 pm
Location: Kirkwall
Contact:

Post by erilar »

OOC: There's no chicken scratch to read - Nellis' traveling spell book has disappeared into thin air! You looked all over the place (and you're pretty good at looking for stuff) - it's simply gone. What do you do?

George, what is Nellis' reaction?
"This enemy you cannot kill. You can only drive it back damaged into the depths, and teach your children to watch the waves for its return." - Quellcrist Falconer

User avatar
T1Mirage
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:16 pm
Contact:

Post by T1Mirage »

I first attempt a spellcraft check (you roll d20+14).
I next determine if I can 'find' the book.

"Pierce this is why humans are often barred from the schools of magic. You lack the discipline and control. If you wish to succeed, you must train your thoughts."

I then search for my travelling spellbook. Note, I only provided a journey book - much smaller book used for spells 0-1 level. Wizards would not hand-off a book with 2+ level spells... or at least I would not. :)

User avatar
EvilGenius
Posts: 6480
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Allentown, PA

Post by EvilGenius »

Lance, is the rest of the party aware of this turn of events?

User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

erilar wrote:OOC: There's no chicken scratch to read - Nellis' traveling spell book has disappeared into thin air! You looked all over the place (and you're pretty good at looking for stuff) - it's simply gone. What do you do?
OOC: Sorry if it wasn't clear but I realized it disappeared. Pierce was just saying he was willing to try again later ... if Nellis ever trusts him with another spell book...
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
erilar
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:05 pm
Location: Kirkwall
Contact:

Post by erilar »

I suppose the party's awareness depends on what they are up to.

I'm guessing that Doneghal is busy talking with Ashlyn and mojofying the barricades, and that he does not.

Nellis, noticing the severely disturbed expression on Pierce's face, has.

Anyone else - depends on what actions they were engaged in.

Nellis:
You spend 10 minutes combing the area unsuccessfully, severely ticked off at the loss of your expensive book. Frustrated, you hunker down to replenish your spell component pouches, only to discover that your journey spell book is in right there in your backpack, tucked in neatly with the rest of your books. What the...??
"This enemy you cannot kill. You can only drive it back damaged into the depths, and teach your children to watch the waves for its return." - Quellcrist Falconer

User avatar
NukeHavoc
Posts: 11889
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:07 pm
Location: Easton, PA
Contact:

Post by NukeHavoc »

T1Mirage wrote:"Pierce this is why humans are often barred from the schools of magic. You lack the discipline and control. If you wish to succeed, you must train your thoughts."
"But I just ... ummm. Hmm. Clearly arcane studies are more complicated I ever guessed..."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange

User avatar
T1Mirage
Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 10:16 pm
Contact:

Post by T1Mirage »

NukeHavoc wrote:
T1Mirage wrote:"Pierce this is why humans are often barred from the schools of magic. You lack the discipline and control. If you wish to succeed, you must train your thoughts."
"But I just ... ummm. Hmm. Clearly arcane studies are more complicated I ever guessed..."
"You have no idea of the depth and complexities. I shall explain the basic forms of magic... Magic is like water..."

User avatar
erilar
Posts: 6580
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:05 pm
Location: Kirkwall
Contact:

Post by erilar »

Nellis:
Applying your earlier comments about a Spellcraft check, and the distress of your "lost" spellbook behind you, you realize after some deliberation that Pierce must have somehow spontaneously cast Prestidigitation. While such a thing is not unheard of, it is certainly not common. You suspect that Pierce almost certainly has a previously-overlooked affinity for arcane magic.

OOC:
Capitalizing on gained ground, you think that if you spend a few hours of quiet, uninterrupted tutelage with Pierce, you should be able to teach him to control and memorize the cantrip Prestidigitation reliably - amazing!

Given similarities in the arcane flux and somatic pathway tracings of the two spells, and considering the effects that Pierce has described in his first unexpected magical experience, you believe that a variant of Ray of Frost utilizing the elemental subtype electricity would be a great second challenge for the young rogue. That one can be tricky for novices - the two of you will probably need 3 or 4 more hours of study to get that one down pat.
"This enemy you cannot kill. You can only drive it back damaged into the depths, and teach your children to watch the waves for its return." - Quellcrist Falconer

Post Reply