GM discussion thread.

Man, for a Vecna-head, Cymmeiian isn't going to learn much from his skill checks...

Saving a post I'd planned to write, for future inclusion in Cymmeiian's thread.

Here Come Da BodyCorporal Bridgeworth looks a bit ruffled at the idea of being separated from his patrolmen, but since he is neither a coroner nor a mortician, he looks prepared to bow to whatever conditions you set. Once you re-emerge in proper garb for the task before you, the Watch officer gives the signal to his men to bring in the body.

As you watch, a wooden horse-drawn carriage bearing no sigils of identification rolls up, its bearers looking a bit apprehensive. Even the horses seem a bit skittish as the watchmen surround the vehicle and open the side door. It takes five of the men working together, but with enough heaving and stern resolve, they finally succeed in extracting a long oaken coffin from the interior of the cart. Its bearers heave it past you and into the mortuary parlor, while the remaining watchmen keep shooting wary glances up and down the street. Thankfully, it appears their caution is not necessary, for the road happens to be deserted at the very moment they bear the coffin indoors.

You note- with somewhat grim interest- that the coffin they carry bears a black ribbon, with a large, ebon wax seal upon the coffin's lid. The seal features a grim-looking skull and crossbones, but beyond that, you are not aware of its significance.

I should be back posting tonight or tomorrow. CotF is first in line for tonight.

I need to install all my website software before uploading filez for you.

I really do want more details on the Secret Keepers. I have a few secret societies in play already, and I need to figure out how they all relate to each other.
Speaking of that, is there a possibility of fitting in the organization I created in my private thread, the Winter Trust? No biggie if not, I was just curious if I could utilize them in addition to Antonin, whom I'm inclined to exploit in order to further the Greb plotline.

That's a cool name. I don't remember the details. Probably it's fine, but I guess I should go back and read it.

I went back and found the details from my Antonin private thread. I used the PHB II rules for Organizations to create it.


Do Kamarilla Invierna (The Winter Trust)

Symbol: A blue drake, clutching an eight-pointed snowflake to its breast.
Motto: Fadilia vem pridaero ("Family comes first.")
Background, Goals, and Dreams: The Winter Trust is a tight coalition of families and clans, all from humble and poor beginnings, who immigrated to the duchy from the Old Country in the hope of building a better life for themselves. However, the very first who came to Fairhaven found a stratified, closed culture which did not trust these foreigners and their strange folk ways. Finding no way to make better their lot by legitimate means, the families of the Winter Trust thus decided that they would employ another of the traditions they brought with them from the Old Country: organized crime.

The goal of the Winter Trust is to provide the spoils from its illegal activities in Fairhaven to members of its organization. From pickpocketing to forgery, smuggling and extortion, the Winter Trust has its hands in many sinister pies. While most of the take goes to its members, a portion of the Winter Trust's revenues goes to assisting immigrants from the Old Country in relocating to the Duchy. In exchange for receiving the Trust's monetary and social aid, these individuals become indentured servants to the Trust, performing a variety of legal and illegal activities until such time as their debt to the organization has been paid.

Members: Most of the organization's members are martial characters, rogues or Experts. Occasionally the Winter Trust will take on members of exceptional skills, such as wizards, in order to further their criminal activities in unique ways. The Winter Trust also count a significant number of commoners in their ranks, who are by and large their indentured servants. These individuals often work at typical urban professions and set aside a small portion of their wages toward paying off their debt with the trust. However, the Winter Trust often calls upon these meek and mild-mannered citizens to do their dirty work. Sometimes, if the deed is dark enough, the Trust will offer a very tantalizing reward to their servant: a complete pardon from their debt. This debt forgivance is known as a Reckoning.

Type: Tribe, Business, Thieves' Guild
Category: Social (but favors those of Old Country blood)
Scale: 4 (Any two suitably nasty areas that share a border, especially a prison ward, if it exists)

Affiliation Score Criteria
Expertise .............................................+1/2 Character Level
Hails from Old Country .................................................. +2
Charisma 13 or higher ................................................... +1
5+ ranks of Sleight of Hand, Forgery or Gather Information... +1
10+ ranks of one of afore-mentioned skills......................... +2
Character has levels of Rogue or Expert ........................... +1
Character shares one of his/her contacts w/ the Trust........ +1 per
Character successfully moves and indebts 10 immigrants to Trust..... +1 per 10 immigrants
Completes a mission for the Trust.................................... +1 per mission

Title, Benefits and Duties
As you rise within the ranks of the Winter Trust, so do you benefit from the influence the organization commands within its sphere of Fairhaven. With this power, however, comes the duty to aid those of the Old Country as they try to make a better life for themselves in a new land.

Affiliation Score, Titles and Benefits
3 or lower: Shlemielda. "One of no concern." No affiliation.
4-10: Divitro. "Protected One." You are considered a member of the Trust in good standing, and everyone had better acknowledge it... or else. +2 circumstance bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information and Intimidate checks within the territory of the Winter Trust. Also, you gain an "Account of Leverage" with the Winter Trust. This is essentially a savings account which the Winter Trust dips from in order to finance its illegal operations. At the end of the month, the account will pay 5 percent interest or 100 gold pieces (whichever is lower) on any money in deposit.
11-15: Plataskra. "One with Silver Palms." You are on good terms with merchants and smugglers aligned with the Trust. You get a 10% discount on both legal and black-market items purchased in the Trust's territory.
16-22: Troikaven. "One who is Master of Three." You are now considered a lieutenant of the Winter Trust. You gain command of a Troika, a 3-man cell of 1st-level Experts. You may personally direct them to whatever ends you desire, so long as they benefit the Winter Trust in some way (skimming a bit off the top, and so on). You may specify their exact skills, which are typically criminally-related, and each gains the Skill Focus feat for one of their chosen skills.
23-29: Zipepti. "One With Keen Ears." You have access to the Winter Trust's extensive network of rumormongers and informants. +4 circumstance bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information and Intimidate checks within the territory of the Winter Trust, and you may gather information from throughout the Duchy without leaving Fairhaven.
30 or higher: Pekorskilo. "One Who is a Made Man." You have risen to leadership of the Winter Trust, and through your actions its influence has grown. You may now claim audience with a rival affiliation head within 1d4 days every two months. Furthermore, you may grant a Reckoning to any indentured servant of the Trust, in exchange for any favor you request that fits their skills or capability. Granting a Reckoning reduces your Affiliation score by 1 for each instance if you make use of this privilege more than once per three months.

Executive Powers

Hey, are the crossbow guards in question (the ones the wolf must pass near) close to Antonin?

If so, he's going to cast Ghost Sound followed up by Silent Image, to summon the illusion of a horde of screaming bats that will fly up from the sewer grates under them and harass them into distraction or flight.

The guards are standing near the canal.

Now that you're a GM, let's let the wolf die so I can move on.

I gotta figure out what to do with Kluh.

Now that you're a GM, let's let the wolf die so I can move on.
Alright, sounds like a plan. I don't feel as bad knowing it was bound for the Brotherhood.

As for Kluh, I'm thinking that once we get him to the restaurant, a little gold and "polite suggestion" will be all it takes for him to spill the beans about what went down with the Greb pouch heist. If you ask me, that's the most direct route toward moving the plot along, because I don't think the players are going to be able to connect the dots short of dropping some sort of deus ex machina revelation into the game.

Antonin is already aware that Kluh and Gregir had something to do with it, so we can probably steer the interrogation toward this. I kind of want to leave it in the player's hands to coax the information out, making as little use of Antonin as possible.

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