A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Old Ways OOC III

    OK folks, here's my deal. Leaving in the morning for vacation through the weekend, partially camping, but not likely to be online even when I'm not in a cabin. I guess you'll just have to drag Mycah along and try not to get him killed - Ash would be heartbroken.

    I want to apologize if I haven't really been active enough this summer. While the weather is nice, I'm just not tied to the computer as much. Outside until dark in the evenings and out more on weekends, also busier at work and out of the office more often. I imagine that's the case with most everyone since the game has slowed so much lately, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    DwarfFighterGirl

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    I wouldn't worry about it, Koren. We have so many players it's quite easy for the game to move at a moderately fast pace even though not everyone posts that often.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koren n'Rhys
    There's a big 2-page table with every weapon listed. With WM, when you level up and get a new weapon slot, you can either train in a new weapon at the Basic level of proficiency, or increase your skill with an existing one. It runs from Basic -> Skilled -> Expert -> Master -> Grand Master with increasing benefits as you go. At each level it's harder to find a teacher, more expensive to train, and harder to successfully do so. IMO, it's a cool system but can get out of control if you go too far with it.

    Right, I've seen that before. I didn't know Nathros has further trained his poleaxe fighting.

    Oh my gosh! I found the Table you mentioned. :O I never saw/read that before. I think I have more bonuses to things cause of my sword.

    I am skilled in normal sword. I would get the flat +2 Att. of course.
    Now it also says:
    Dmg: 1d12 (instead of 1d8?)
    -2AC/1 (does this mean I'd have a bonus -2 to my AC as long as I am only attacked once that round?)
    Deflect(1) + Disarm (I don't know what this means.)

    ---

    I agree. No worries about that.
    Sometimes I forget for an entire weekend cause I'm so distracted and then I check on Monday and catch up. (Most of the time, it's been slow. ... sometimes there was a combat that's begun. >.< But that's really rare. ^_^ )

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Nathros has not trained, hence the "if". In all honesty, I am loathe to do so, since it will just further increase the gap between weapon choices (+6 to hit, 1d10+7 damage and other bonuses compared to +1 to hit and 1d6+1 damage with, say, short sword or spear). On the other hand, it could be argued that he is not pulling his weight if he does not, which would weigh heavily in the future if the party suffered a bad defeat for want of a couple of points to hit and damage.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevaera View Post
    Right, I've seen that before. I didn't know Nathros has further trained his poleaxe fighting.

    Oh my gosh! I found the Table you mentioned. :O I never saw/read that before. I think I have more bonuses to things cause of my sword.

    I am skilled in normal sword. I would get the flat +2 Att. of course.
    Now it also says:
    Dmg: 1d12 (instead of 1d8?)
    Correct.

    -2AC/1 (does this mean I'd have a bonus -2 to my AC as long as I am only attacked once that round?)
    Almost. It means you get -2 to your AC against the first attack each round.

    Deflect(1) + Disarm (I don't know what this means.)
    Deflect(1) means that in addition to your normal attack(s) each round, you can attempt to deflect one melee or thrown weapon attack each round by making a Save vs. Death Ray.

    Disarm is a special attack you can do (instead of your normal attack). You roll for your attack as normal, if you are successful, you force a Dexterity check by the opponent, which if failed means he's disarmed.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Woohoo!

    I've got to add this nifty revelation to my character sheet. :D

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew
    Nathros has not trained, hence the "if".
    Oh, woops. Missed the "if".

    On the other hand, it could be argued that he is not pulling his weight if he does not,...
    Yeah... I don't think you'll be hearing an argument along those lines... at least for some time anyways. Your damage is the highest and you hit most often within our group.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    For the record regarding the orcs, they aren't a DM-planned moral trap or anything. How each character acts may well effect their view of themselves or their allies. Also, foes let go may come back with their army to kill you or may go back their army and explain how overpower you are. It's up to you guys to deal with each situation as it arises, though for expediency, you may want to decide on a standard practice with prisoners so it doesn't take 3 days to hash out whether to execute them.

    But I wanted you to know that I'm not making them more sympathetic to get you to save them or waiting to spring a gotcha on you when you kill them. They're just different path as far as the universe is concerned. I'll deal with how the universe reacts and you can each decide how your character is effected.

    As an observation, the earliest iteration of this group trended really far in the merciful/optimistic direction (remember the pitiful kobold you rescued?) and this iteration is trending moderately far in the pragmatic/cynical direction.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    DwarfFighterGirl

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    I remember the kobold. But we could talk to him.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    As an observation, the earliest iteration of this group trended really far in the merciful/optimistic direction (remember the pitiful kobold you rescued?) and this iteration is trending moderately far in the pragmatic/cynical direction.
    I believe this may be mainly due to Ash's influence. I play her the opposite of myself most of the time. I often have her act according to her rational side vs. the usual moral value system I personally use to decide things.
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    If anyone knows Myers Briggs MBTI Personality Types, I'd pretty much be an ENFP and Ash would be more like an ISTJ-ish.

    The Kobold saving occurred before my time in the game.
    I don't disagree with saving a life, especially if someone takes responsibility for it. I imagine, on that level, Ash and I would agree.

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    In a campaign my husband DMed once, there was a kobold who was upset that his dragon escaped when he was in charge of it. The party nearly executed it when it wasn't looking, but someone stopped the rogue who was about to do it. Then they talked to him and found out his problem. The deal was that the dragon would be freed back into the kobold's care and the kobold would be their guide. The kobold grew on the party so they took him with them for some reason or other. Eventually the kobold gained experience, so he became a sorcerer. After a long and treacherous battle with a much larger dragon later on, the dragon tried to escape and the kobold was hiding outside from the dangers within the mountain. When the dragon flew by, he got up enough nerve to through a spear at it. It actually hit and the dragon came crashing to the ground. He jumped for joy and immediately dubbed himself a dragon slayer. Apparently the dragon had only 1hp left. :P Now the group didn't have to worry about the dragon coming back to kick their butts later. ^_^ Good thing the rogue didn't stab him when they first met, right?

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Nathros wanted to slay that kobold, but the group prevailed against it, though he still supposes it will betray the folk who trust it. A lot depends on how humanoids are presented in the campaign setting. The default is that they are all "evil" or "chaotic" aligned, and no reason not to suppose that is the case here. If that is the case, Nathros has no compunction about slaying them, not being due the rights of humans, demi-humans or semi-humans. Whether they are redeemable or not, and what the responsibility of a good or lawful alignment is with regard to that, casts the longest shadow on dealing with humanoid prisoners. Unless told otherwise, I typically assume that kobolds, goblins, orcs and hobgoblins re undeserving of mercy.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    DwarfFighterGirl

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    A lot of the change is from experience, I feel. When we spared the kobold, we were 1st level. Not much killing yet.

    By now we've killed a lot of people and creatures and nearly been killed ourselves, and we're more inured.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Well, that may well be the case for Brandon, but Nathros is as constant as the passage of time. Of course, he had plenty of experience of fighting and death before that first adventure.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  13. - Top - End - #163
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    DwarfFighterGirl

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    I felt bad all day thinking about those poor orcs.

    I shouldn't have had Bran kill them, but I've been so tired this week from the 10-hour workdays that maybe my thinking is dulled.

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    If it's any consolation, Nathros and Ash helped.

    They were fairly pitiable though. As was stated in Matthew's post, they would have been far less considerate in determining the fate of the party had the roles been reversed.

  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frivolous View Post
    I felt bad all day thinking about those poor orcs.

    I shouldn't have had Bran kill them, but I've been so tired this week from the 10-hour workdays that maybe my thinking is dulled.
    Just remember:

    1. They are entirely fictional beings
    2. They are very thin facades of beings at that (having neither names nor substance beyond "orc, 1HD, AC 6, dmg: by weapon, etc.")
    3. As much as we guide and direct them, our characters are not us and they live in a world of much harsher consequences and life-or-death choices than most of us.

    As I said above, I certainly didn't intend for the circumstances be a moral challenge for the characters, but I don't mind that it is. The characters can, individually or collectively come up with ways to deal with that situation when it comes up again. But I definitely didn't mean for it to unsettle any of you players. I'll try to avoid that in the future.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2013-07-26 at 04:59 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    I figure the results will usually be the same if they are a chaotic/evil race. It's when you meet the crazy humans or the seedy elves/dwarves that there's usually more moral debate. I figure Ash's standpoint will be:
    - If they knowingly tried to kill us, then we kill them right back.
    - If they were under orders and disillusioned, we'll hear them out and spare who we can if they're willing to reform or if we have the means to send them to trial +/or jail.
    - If they're a monster or a monster-like race, there's no point on hassling over them.
    - It's easier to kill them in their sleep and tell ourselves that it was a better death for them that way. They still fell in battle.

    In the end, they are still just characters of fiction, as you said.

    I don't personally mind the moral dilemma (keeps things interesting), though I always mention where Ash stands on the matter at the beginning - she's very methodical. Things often seem to end up that way in the end anyways, but if anyone comes up with a solid defense for the enemies in question, she could certainly be reasoned with.

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    I was certainly more bothered about the slaying of the berserkers than the orcs!
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  18. - Top - End - #168
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    The berserker seemed eager to resume combat, and might have simply launched himself at us if we'd tried to let him go. The orcs...seem like they would have been more willing to talk, had we been able to talk to them.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    I agree on both counts.

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    DwarfFighterGirl

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    Sheesh. I think that's a hit by Ashala, Aditi and Bran. Even at long range, 3 for 3.

    How often does that happen? I think we did 12 points of damage already.

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    We slew four mountain men in their sleep without even troubling to wake them, that is definitely more troubling to me than the slaying of half a dozen orc captives, even begging for their lives. As I say, though, it all depends on how "orcs" manifest in the campaign world. Can they be any other alignment than chaotic? Are they redeemable? Do lawful aligned deities frown on the slaying of captive enemies, even cruel and irredeemably evil ones? Unless otherwise notified I typically assume no is the answer to these questions, but I am not particularly worried either way.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frivolous View Post
    Sheesh. I think that's a hit by Ashala, Aditi and Bran. Even at long range, 3 for 3.

    How often does that happen? I think we did 12 points of damage already.
    Yup, and now Dural adds another 4 to make it 16. Woohoo!

    ---

    [ I continue talking on this subject 'cause theoretical moral dilemmas sometimes interest me. ]

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    We slew four mountain men in their sleep without even troubling to wake them, that is definitely more troubling to me than the slaying of half a dozen orc captives, even begging for their lives.
    Killing Lennie Small ("Of Mice and Men") was hard and tragic, but essentially necessary. He was nice and had good intentions (He just wanted soft bunny pets ), but he was dangerous and uncontrollable. The mountain men weren't even nice or good intentioned.
    Either way - to me, a painless quick death in one's sleep sounds less horrifying/terrible than being taunted with hope and doom alike then watching your brothers in arms being executed moments before you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    As I say, though, it all depends on how "orcs" manifest in the campaign world. Can they be any other alignment than chaotic? Are they redeemable? Do lawful aligned deities frown on the slaying of captive enemies, even cruel and irredeemably evil ones? Unless otherwise notified I typically assume no is the answer to these questions, but I am not particularly worried either way.
    Yep.

  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevaera View Post
    Killing Lennie Small ("Of Mice and Men") was hard and tragic, but essentially necessary. He was nice and had good intentions (He just wanted soft bunny pets ), but he was dangerous and uncontrollable. The mountain men weren't even nice or good intentioned. Either way - to me, a painless quick death in one's sleep sounds less horrifying/terrible than being taunted with hope and doom alike then watching your brothers in arms being executed moments before you are.
    It is not really about their experience of death, though, we did not even give those four the chance to speak, we just slew them and had every intention of slaying the one we kept for questioning, which we duly did. Of course, we also knew nothing of the motives of the orc war party, where we killed the mountain men because they attacked us, the orcs actually did nothing to provoke us other than be in the vicinity and be orcs.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  24. - Top - End - #174
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    True. The Dwarves did warn us of the Orcs though, leading us to believe they perceived the Orcs as a threat. When you know they are your enemy (like the fangs and the necromancer back in the caves), it's safer to attack first.

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    ...As I say, though, it all depends on how "orcs" manifest in the campaign world. Can they be any other alignment than chaotic?
    No. Well, maybe. Objectively, it's possible in this universe. But no known instances exist and all civilized societies regard them as chaotic (and colloquially "evil") menaces. Tales of orcish atrocities fill many pages of the human and demi-human histories. Orcs belong to a category known as "monstrous humanoids," which is generally how they are regarded - intelligent, sentient, and not good.

    Are they redeemable?
    Again, objectively, it is possible, though that number may be one in a million or one in a billion. Or perhaps some greater number if they were removed from orcish culture and cultivated by an Immortal for generations or something epic. But practically, no, an orc might be befriended, hired, cowed into cooperation, enslaved, but even one that is cooperative remains Chaotic.

    Do lawful aligned deities frown on the slaying of captive enemies, even cruel and irredeemably evil ones?
    There is probably some variation on the treatment of captives among specific Immortals and for specific civil authorities, but neither the lawful Immortals nor the Karameikian Church view orcs as anything more than Chaotic menaces. Maybe there's some heretic (or lunatic) out there who preaches their redemption, but common civilized religion holds monstrous humanoids in little regard. They can be executed without any concern about government/legal liability, especially in the wild.

    Unless otherwise notified I typically assume no is the answer to these questions, but I am not particularly worried either way.
    Basically, from a character point of view, the answer to each is "no." Only on a cosmic theoretical level is the answer a speculative "maybe."

    They may be pitiful, have intelligence, and can even be bargained or dealt with, but human and demi-human society doesn't recognize any rights of monstrous humanoids (which includes, orcs, ogres, goblins, kobolds, etc.). What's said here about orcs applies to any monstrous humanoid with subtle variations on characteristics. They are all historically violent, treacherous, and all the more dangerous for their intelligence.

    The rescued kobold was very young, abused by the leader kobold, and rescued by the party. He has a useful skill (and inbred trait) that made him useful to lumbermen. He might be harmless and civil the rest of his life or he might see an opportunity, have an impulse, or otherwise do something chaotic. Note: the people of Threshold are more tolerant than most and Bost's men even more tolerant than that, many places would have killed him on sight or turned you all away with him.
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    Sounds about right to me.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Well, I'm back and it seems I missed the deep philosophical stuff while I was away.

    Maybe I'm just a shallower person,I don't know, but this really was a non issue for me. It's a game and they were monsters. I rarely read a book or watch a movie trying to find some deep hidden meaning below the surface. I just want a bit of fiction and just try to enjoy something at face value more often than not. I mean, the Narnia books are full of Christian allegory, but I could case less. It's a fun story about magical talking animals. This in no way is a knock against you Frivolous, or anyone else who was truly bothered by how the game played out, and no judgement or offense is intended. We all get different things out of gaming, or identify more with our PCs and their actions. For my part, it's pure escapism. I just don't put that much thought into it. Props to Roland for rolling with this and being mature enough to consider his players real-life feelings as we go forward and try not to make anyone uncomfortable.

    In character, I suppose Mycah, having grown up in the lumber camp knows the dangers posed by orcs and other monsters outside the safety of the town walls. The berserkers were an ongoing obvious threat and the orcs are evil by nature, so he isn't losing sleep over it.

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    Roland: By any chance can we deduce or guess that the stinger has poison in it?

    I think Alanna has a curative for poison, doesn't she? And Bran has one, too, but it takes a bit longer to apply, since we weren't really expecting a wyvern ambush at this juncture.

    Plus I have been roleplaying Bran as not knowing what a wyvern can do. He thinks it's like a dragon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koren n'Rhys View Post
    Well, I'm back and it seems I missed the deep philosophical stuff while I was away.

    Maybe I'm just a shallower person,I don't know, but this really was a non issue for me. It's a game and they were monsters. I rarely read a book or watch a movie trying to find some deep hidden meaning below the surface. I just want a bit of fiction and just try to enjoy something at face value more often than not. I mean, the Narnia books are full of Christian allegory, but I could case less. It's a fun story about magical talking animals. This in no way is a knock against you Frivolous, or anyone else who was truly bothered by how the game played out, and no judgement or offense is intended. We all get different things out of gaming, or identify more with our PCs and their actions. For my part, it's pure escapism. I just don't put that much thought into it. Props to Roland for rolling with this and being mature enough to consider his players real-life feelings as we go forward and try not to make anyone uncomfortable.

    In character, I suppose Mycah, having grown up in the lumber camp knows the dangers posed by orcs and other monsters outside the safety of the town walls. The berserkers were an ongoing obvious threat and the orcs are evil by nature, so he isn't losing sleep over it.
    It is not that deep, we are just looking for a moral compass to guide our actions within the framework of the game [i.e. Is it okay to kill prisoners, and if so under what conditions?]. When people are not on the same page about this stuff it can cause a conflict of expectations later. A classic example from an early Dragon Magazine is the game master compelling a ranger player character to take care of a wounded wyvern.

    What a time to blow an attack roll!
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frivolous View Post
    Roland: By any chance can we deduce or guess that the stinger has poison in it?

    I think Alanna has a curative for poison, doesn't she? And Bran has one, too, but it takes a bit longer to apply, since we weren't really expecting a wyvern ambush at this juncture.

    Plus I have been roleplaying Bran as not knowing what a wyvern can do. He thinks it's like a dragon.
    I sort of leave that up to you. I trust each player to decide whether the character would have reason to know such details. Someone with knowledge (dragons) or knowledge (mountaineering) certainly would. Someone with a particular interest in dragons might have heard the tales. Most people would not have heard of them or have heard of them as a kind of dragon. That last option is a perfectly reasonable fit for Bran, but I'd allow any other reasonable decision.

    One might well suspect poison if it drops her, or I suppose on the sight of the stinger-like tail, but again, I'll leave that to each of you.

    If I were asked to make a decision, I'd say Nathros knows about Wyverns from his mountain heritage and the priestesses (PC and NPC) will immediately think poison if Ash falls.
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