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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    As for the recastings...how big a threat are the plow teams under? If your perimeter defenses are keeping most of the bad stuff out, a few low-level casters who recast the spell a few times per day might be doable.
    Just to clarify, I’m thinking of Animal Purpose and Phantom Plow in the context of a large kingdom that’s snapped up a number of the orbs, and placed them to create a single agricultural region, which would be subdivided into fields, roads, hedges, etc.

    This would be a fairly large area in terms of acres, so it would essentially be a county in itself, in the sense of a rural division. I’m envisioning this region being established and maintained by a kingdom with the resources to collect the orbs and defend the area.

    So, once past the first couple years I’d say the threat level would be moderate, mainly cold-tolerant creatures and perhaps crop-raiding by other surviving enclaves. After a couple centuries, there may be a different dynamic if a frost giant empire or something similar develops, but early on I’d say the logistics of farming efficiently would be the biggest challenge.

    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    Might be able to to use the utility to convince some of those farmers to take some spellcasting levels too.
    I haven’t worked up the exact numbers for the Orb Kingdom, but I would expect there are hundreds of low-level spellcasters available, and druids and clerics of nature deities would be required to put in their time in the Orb Farms. If this setting has an equivalent of Chauntea from the Realms, then I could see the majority of the farming class required to attend agricultural academies where they would all receive training in basic crop magic.

    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    I’ll have to look that one up; I’m curious if doing both would work - sink a bunch of wells with Sweet Water and if there isn’t any water 100 feet deep, create the spring.
    As for irrigation, these could be a partial solution, but Oasis won’t provide the thousands of gallons of water required per day for crops on this scale.

    However, there’s an abundance of water in the hundred-foot snowpack surrounding the Orb Farms, and I expect there will be natural melting on the sides closest to the temperate orb environment, to the point where some form of irrigation system would be necessary simply to keep the meltwater from turning the adjacent fields into a soggy mush.

    So I could see a system of viaducts and canals bringing meltwater into the Orb Farms and channeling the excess away, possibly for a combination of civic use, stock ponds, millraces, etc.

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Maybe you can seal the vaults before you bring people in. You'd need some form of teleportation. But if teleportation is the only way anyone ever gets in or out, even during the earliest stages of construction, tracking the people coming and going gets a lot more difficult.

    Transport Via Plants could work once you've managed to get a big enough plant growing in your subterranean shelter. Gemjump could work, if you can first get someone carrying a bunch of specially-prepared gems down where you want to go. City Stride could work once your underground home is populated enough to count as a city.



    I'm still not convinced that high-level casters are going to attack us. In order for that to make sense, we'd need to have something they want. And taking it from us would have to be easier than other methods by which they could obtain it.

    I could see that applying to powerful, portable magic items. But if the things we're crafting are all either cheep or fixed in place, I can't imagine a truly powerful caster would consider it to be worth his time to mess with us.



    Speaking of valuable, mobile magic items, if the Everfull Larders are, in fact, the cabinet style of larder, can't we just suspend them from the ceiling, such that everything falls out as soon as they're opened? Then we could build a mechanism that automatically opens and closes the doors. Maybe power it with a water wheel attached to a Decanter of Endless Water.

    Now, to figure out a way to keep the eggs and the food stored in jars from smashing on the floor.



    Okay, so trying to get the reference. "40k" is clearly Warhammer 40k. Google says "DtD" is Demon: The Descent. And "7e" is presumably the 7th edition of... let's say Call of Cthulhu. That's what turned up when I searched 7e, anyway. Did I get it right?

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Okay, that’s fair. Based on your prior mentions I was assuming there was a physical map that would be traded around.
    Well, before I realized that "trees" and "paper" might be limited, I was thinking of it as a physical map… but, generally, still a *local* one, as a) that's what matters to them; b) it makes the necropolis feel "local".

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    If it’s more a question of verbal lore, that’s a different story.

    Although I’d say the faux sanctuary might still try to distort that somehow—perhaps if the necropolis becomes well-known for giving good directions, agents of the faux sanctuary might claim they had the information “straight from the necropolis, and you know how accurate they are, so you can trust me on this!”
    That… should still only work to raise the DC of their bluff check.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    I had a plan drawn out for a scenario similar to the OP.

    More than 1 poster have already mentioned using Everfull Larder, Decanter of water and several magical enhancements for Stronghold spaces. That would take care of the food/water/air/warmth aspects.
    What handles air? How long will this take to enchant? What will you do if you cannot get enough of the reagents you need?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    To flourish, have crafters build self resetting mechanical traps of various DCs for the population to overcome/survive. The population will earn XP for surviving the traps, and can start taking levels.
    That's… not unlike my plans for leveling should D&D hit IRL - kudos!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    While the traps are being built, higher level folks can party up with low level folks. The lower level folks can then use Pathfinder downtime rules to gain XP until they reach the XP of the highest level party member.
    Well, that's an awesome rule to know about!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    Pathfinder also has Kingdom rules that grant XP for exploring areas and for establishing settlements.
    Bonus for the necropolis.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    After a while, even if the highest level townsfolk is still capped at 12, you'll still have a 20,000 strong army of lvl 12 NPCs.
    Or more - reproduction is a thing

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    Additionally, activate the population to make a dungeon Stronghold large enough for them. (Dungeons have no max size). Give the Stronghold mobility enhancements like burrow, fly, teleport etc.
    Still limited by reagents? Or some other trick / tech at play here?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    My plan was to model the Stronghold into something like a Battletech dropship. After it is completed, the dropshop can emerge out of the mountains if resources run out or if the current location becomes unsafe.
    How did Everfull Larder, Decanter of water resources run out?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    Or look for other survivors/enclaves etc.
    Well, that at least is a credible, mobile threat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    However, there’s an abundance of water in the hundred-foot snowpack surrounding the Orb Farms, and I expect there will be natural melting on the sides closest to the temperate orb environment, to the point where some form of irrigation system would be necessary simply to keep the meltwater from turning the adjacent fields into a soggy mush.

    So I could see a system of viaducts and canals bringing meltwater into the Orb Farms and channeling the excess away, possibly for a combination of civic use, stock ponds, millraces, etc.
    Isn't this all "acid rain" water? Isn't it a threat to your crops, not a solution?

    I guess we know where all the bandits are coming from: failed orb kingdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    I'm still not convinced that high-level casters are going to attack us. In order for that to make sense, we'd need to have something they want. And taking it from us would have to be easier than other methods by which they could obtain it.

    I could see that applying to powerful, portable magic items. But if the things we're crafting are all either cheep or fixed in place, I can't imagine a truly powerful caster would consider it to be worth his time to mess with us.
    Yeah, sadly, there's definite impetus for post-apocalyptic crafts to be intentionally made non-portable.

    Which also fuels the necropolis desire to move extra population to former failed projects, to utilize those static resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    Speaking of valuable, mobile magic items, if the Everfull Larders are, in fact, the cabinet style of larder, can't we just suspend them from the ceiling, such that everything falls out as soon as they're opened? Then we could build a mechanism that automatically opens and closes the doors. Maybe power it with a water wheel attached to a Decanter of Endless Water.

    Now, to figure out a way to keep the eggs and the food stored in jars from smashing on the floor.
    Self-resetting traps of feather fall?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    …What is this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    Okay, so trying to get the reference. "40k" is clearly Warhammer 40k. Google says "DtD" is Demon: The Descent. And "7e" is presumably the 7th edition of... let's say Call of Cthulhu. That's what turned up when I searched 7e, anyway. Did I get it right?
    DtD40k7e is… Dungeons the Dragoning (clearly from D&D & WoD) 40k (clearly from Warhammer 40k) 7e (…?).

    The system definitely "understands" things like Dragons, lycanthropic halfling, Liches, magic items, etc, so a lot of this thread is giving me ideas for Hoth, potential base for the rebels, to be scouted by the party, a group of Troubleshooters who will beam down as an away team from a Transformational, Armed, Really Dang Intimidating Ship.

    So, yeah, point being, expect me to mix my metaphors whenever possible
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-02-27 at 06:12 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #214
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    As for irrigation, these could be a partial solution, but Oasis won’t provide the thousands of gallons of water required per day for crops on this scale.
    Wasn’t considering it for the Orb fields, I was thinking of the vault for that, since rainwater coming into the caves would be acid rain at first. There’s also Animate Water so if we could just make a big enough reservoir (or more likely multiple reservoirs) and fill it beforehand maybe we could offset some of our water needs until the acid rain stopped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    Maybe you can seal the vaults before you bring people in. You'd need some form of teleportation. But if teleportation is the only way anyone ever gets in or out, even during the earliest stages of construction, tracking the people coming and going gets a lot more difficult.

    Transport Via Plants could work once you've managed to get a big enough plant growing in your subterranean shelter. Gemjump could work, if you can first get someone carrying a bunch of specially-prepared gems down where you want to go. City Stride could work once your underground home is populated enough to count as a city.
    Passwall?

  5. - Top - End - #215
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Originally Posted by Quertus
    That… should still only work to raise the DC of their bluff check.
    Sure. But if invoking the good name of the necropolis helps them lure in more refugees, then sooner or later that will get out, and all too easily it’ll become a tale of the necropolis luring helpless folk to their doom.

    Originally Posted by Palanan
    However, there’s an abundance of water in the hundred-foot snowpack surrounding the Orb Farms….
    Originally Posted by Quertus
    Isn't this all "acid rain" water? Isn't it a threat to your crops, not a solution?
    The acid rain will be a severe but short-term problem, and I’m assuming that it will last 2-3 years at most. Much of it will end up in the oceans as runoff through major river systems, and by time the snows start coming down in earnest, they should be back to normal composition.

    Originally Posted by Quertus
    I guess we know where all the bandits are coming from: failed orb kingdom.
    I’m assuming that the Orb Kingdom is large and stable enough to have the surplus resources to carry its population through the first few years, until the orb farms can be established. Between abundant casters and mundane stockpiles, they should be able to feed their own people and defend their existing territories.

    Originally Posted by Quertus
    Which also fuels the necropolis desire to move extra population to former failed projects, to utilize those static resources.
    This seems new, or maybe I overlooked it. Have you mentioned this before?

    It's a different wrinkle on their foreign policy, because there's always the temptation to help nudge another community from "failing" to "ooops, failed now."

    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    Transport Via Plants could work once you've managed to get a big enough plant growing in your subterranean shelter. Gemjump could work, if you can first get someone carrying a bunch of specially-prepared gems down where you want to go. City Stride could work once your underground home is populated enough to count as a city.
    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    Passwall?
    This would certainly work, and would be more feasible than Transport Via Plants, since the latter would only be able to move a handful of non-casters per day. I would also expect Transport Via Plants to quickly become dodgy and highly restricted, since most trees will perish when buried in snow.

    Gemjump reminds me a little of the old board game Web and Starship. Instantaneous travel between gems, but establishing a gem at a new site could be arduous.

    As for City Stride, it has one of the same limitations as Transport Via Plants, which is that it’s not really intended for mass transport. But still an interesting option for high-level exchange, and probably the default for the necropolis when moving between friendly communities.

  6. - Top - End - #216
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Sure. But if invoking the good name of the necropolis helps them lure in more refugees, then sooner or later that will get out, and all too easily it’ll become a tale of the necropolis luring helpless folk to their doom.
    Imagine that Santa Clause, the Queen of England, and Tax Returns were all real. Imagine that you - and possibly everyone in your hometown - have seen them, and see them regularly.

    Imagine some shady guy tries to convince you that they have a gift for you, from them, in their Tainted-window van.

    Are you getting in?

    And, if you do, and your organs are for sale later, do you really believe that news of this event is going to affect Santa Clause's approval rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    The acid rain will be a severe but short-term problem, and I’m assuming that it will last 2-3 years at most. Much of it will end up in the oceans as runoff through major river systems, and by time the snows start coming down in earnest, they should be back to normal composition.
    The first few years… aren't contributing to the snow accumulation?

    That's… something important to know when considering the viability of certain projects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I’m assuming that the Orb Kingdom is large and stable enough to have the surplus resources to carry its population through the first few years, until the orb farms can be established. Between abundant casters and mundane stockpiles, they should be able to feed their own people and defend their existing territories.
    I'm liking the kingdom based on thievery being the one that becomes the bandits, personally. It's just good karma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    This seems new, or maybe I overlooked it. Have you mentioned this before?

    It's a different wrinkle on their foreign policy, because there's always the temptation to help nudge another community from "failing" to "ooops, failed now."
    I have.

    The necropolis will provide information on abandoned / failed towns, to those who have outgrown their britches, and are looking for somewhere to colonize.

    … yes, I suppose that this policy could de-Incentivize some especially evil communities from helping outsiders.

    Has anyone ever commented that you seem to have a very dark mind before?

    And is anyone else concerned that the necropolis is, thus far, the most *benevolent* of the communities anyone has described?

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    shaikujin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    What handles air? How long will this take to enchant? What will you do if you cannot get enough of the reagents you need?
    See page 1 of thread for Chamber of Comfort (+ perma Gust of Wind if required)
    Costs 7,500 gp. Stronghold Builder default build time is 10k per week without rushing.

    Spell requirement is Leomund's Tiny Hut. Which has an unpriced crystal bead as a material component.

    For other rare/special reagents, use PF Downtime rules to earn Magic capital.

    Quote:
    For example, if you are brewing a potion, you can spend 1 point of Magic toward the cost of the materials needed to make the potion as if that point were equal to 100 gp.



    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Still limited by reagents? Or some other trick / tech at play here?
    Yes, there are a couple of other tricks.

    For special reagents, see Magic capital above. For the Stronghold itself, it's underground. Stone Walls are free for the levels of the Stronghold that are built underground. :D

    For special construction materials that qualify, self resetting traps of Fabricate to Fabricate ingots of Steel, Gold etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    How did Everfull Larder, Decanter of water resources run out?
    Those items are just for neccessities. There would be other resources presumably that the survivors might run out of (like space for depositing manure from 20k townsfolk). Even if they make it a totally self sufficient Stronghold, there are other good reasons for the Stronghold to be mobile, yes?
    Last edited by shaikujin; 2021-03-02 at 03:15 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    I'm still not convinced that high-level casters are going to attack us. In order for that to make sense, we'd need to have something they want. And taking it from us would have to be easier than other methods by which they could obtain it.
    Was this in response to a specific comment, or more of a general thought?

    Originally Posted by Quertus
    The first few years… aren't contributing to the snow accumulation?
    Heavy rains changing to a wintry mix over the first year, and snows building rapidly thereafter. There will be some acid snow at the very bottom of the snowpack once it reaches full depth (100-200’), but in spots where there’s localized melting (such as at the edge of the Orb Kingdom’s agricultural zone) the acid component will be diluted by mixing with the layers above into a thinly acid snowmelt, which should wash away fairly quickly.

    The acid rains will be a major factor in the initial mortality of crops and forests, but shouldn’t persist beyond the first two or three years.

    Originally Posted by Quertus
    And is anyone else concerned that the necropolis is, thus far, the most *benevolent* of the communities anyone has described?
    Well, the city in the mountain valley is concerned with keeping out of sight and not bothering anyone, and with keeping as many of their citizens alive as possible. Sounds benevolent to me.

  9. - Top - End - #219
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Well, the city in the mountain valley is concerned with keeping out of sight and not bothering anyone, and with keeping as many of their citizens alive as possible. Sounds benevolent to me.
    If you told me that you wanted to bring a character who was going to be hiding all the time, and trying to lose as few HP as possible, and that's what made them *benevolent*, I'd have to wonder if you knew what the word meant.

  10. - Top - End - #220
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    If memory serves, I wrote that thing about a lack of high-level casters amongst the raiders in response to some discussion of anti-divination measures for our underground base. More specifically in regard to concerns over higher-level divination spells that might be able to overcome lower-level anti-divination measures.

    I was restating my belief that high-level casters can probably secure better positions in the post-apocalypse than supporting raiders, and that if the raiders had high-level casters supporting them, they probably wouldn't have needed to become raiders in the first place.

    This was, after a fashion, meant to indicate that I think hiding from mundane means of detection and mid- to low-level divination spells is a sufficient goal. I mean, if we can hide from high-level divination spells, so much the better. But if we can't, being able to hide from the people who are actually likely to come after us is fine.

  11. - Top - End - #221
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    d6 Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    If you told me that you wanted to bring a character who was going to be hiding all the time, and trying to lose as few HP as possible, and that's what made them *benevolent*, I'd have to wonder if you knew what the word meant.
    Apples to oranges. This is a settlement that is mostly filled with civilians. A closer comparison would be if your character was carting around a bunch of rescued orphans while adventuring. Are you really benevolent if you take them with you into an evil dragon’s lair?

  12. - Top - End - #222
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Imagine that Santa Clause, the Queen of England, and Tax Returns were all real. Imagine that you - and possibly everyone in your hometown - have seen them, and see them regularly.

    Imagine some shady guy tries to convince you that they have a gift for you, from them, in their Tainted-window van.

    Are you getting in?

    And, if you do, and your organs are for sale later, do you really believe that news of this event is going to affect Santa Clause's approval rating?
    When phrased like that? Nobody is. The metaphor falls apart, though. Consider:

    1) Bluff isn't vs. static DCs, it's opposed by Sense Motive.
    2) No large group is going to be in full agreement: the necropolis will have members that don't agree with the necropolis' policies.
    3) Folks who voluntarily go undead tend towards south of neutral.
    4) Not all intelligent undead will be necropolis members.

    1 means that unless you're getting the info directly from a necropolis rep in every case, you're going to be dealing with folks who say they've got the info straight from the necropolis (and if everyone does demand it straight from a necropolis rep, nobody can cooperate).
    2+3 combine to mean that you might have official reps in the field who give out malicious data.
    3+4 means that you can have very convincing malicious fraudulent reps running around.

    ... so yes, it will take a rather lot of highly active work on the part of the necropolis to avoid a bad rep.

    Don't get me wrong: That active work is possible: essentially, you use various forms of information gathering to identify and locate malicious folks making use of your rep, then use whatever means seem suitable to make them stop. But you're liable to have a rather lot of it to do to keep a clean reputation.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

  13. - Top - End - #223
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    When phrased like that? Nobody is. The metaphor falls apart, though. Consider:

    1) Bluff isn't vs. static DCs, it's opposed by Sense Motive.
    2) No large group is going to be in full agreement: the necropolis will have members that don't agree with the necropolis' policies.
    3) Folks who voluntarily go undead tend towards south of neutral.
    4) Not all intelligent undead will be necropolis members.

    1 means that unless you're getting the info directly from a necropolis rep in every case, you're going to be dealing with folks who say they've got the info straight from the necropolis (and if everyone does demand it straight from a necropolis rep, nobody can cooperate).
    2+3 combine to mean that you might have official reps in the field who give out malicious data.
    3+4 means that you can have very convincing malicious fraudulent reps running around.

    ... so yes, it will take a rather lot of highly active work on the part of the necropolis to avoid a bad rep.

    Don't get me wrong: That active work is possible: essentially, you use various forms of information gathering to identify and locate malicious folks making use of your rep, then use whatever means seem suitable to make them stop. But you're liable to have a rather lot of it to do to keep a clean reputation.
    1 means that the necropolis automatically won the PR wars millennia ago, having convinced every world leader to permaban kill anyone who was racist against undead, ages before the current necropolis administration took over.

    You may want to consider implementing 1 differently, with more of an eye to realism.

    -----

    {Scrubbed}

    Every non-hostile "Project" (city, vault, nation, whatever) interacts with the necropolis directly.

    The only lie that can be told is that the speaker is a vault representative. Unless the vault administration itself chooses to lie to its citizens.

    -----

    The field operatives are the liches are the necropolis administration. (Technically, there's subsets going on there, but close enough)

    Morons who would go against the will of the council, endanger the continuation of mankind, etc, were weeded out of the selection process, and not invited to the necropolis.

    Yes, unlike the elven liches, many of the human(etc) liches are evil. Unless…

    {Scrubbed} If, on your world, all evil is "stupid evil", then I suppose that the council is entirely elven liches.

    -----

    {Scrubbed}

    Does the necropolis have nefarious members, with nefarious purposes? Yes. And that has been and will continue to be covered in my posts.

    Sadly, true evil lies in the still-beating hearts of men, not in the cold stone halls of the undead. The necropolis is nowhere near as evil as, say, the orb nation, that condemned so many places to death by stealing the things that others needed for their own survival, or (obviously) the false haven rumor spreaders.

    -----

    {Scrubbed}

    This would actually be more difficult than it sounds, however, as it would require a Lich to learn not just *that* the necropolis communicates data, but *how* the necropolis does so, *and* for the citizenry to be gullible enough to believe random evil Lich whom the necropolis hasn't vetted as *actually* being a new member.

    If it were anyone but an immortal Lich priest of Tzeentch, I'd say that the idea was too much effort and too crazy, with too little chance of success to even consider.

    But I will concede that a "stupid-evil", petty, vengeful immortal Lich priest of Tzeentch might actually combine willingness to make the attempt and nonzero chance of success to convince particularly foolish members of a community that he's a new Santa Claus, and there simply wasn't time to introduce him properly because of the sudden discovery of Paradise, which is a limited time, first come first served offer. So if they'd please step into his Tainted window van, he'll drive as many as he can to Paradise.

    It's still a Tzeentch-worthy long shot as to whether he'll get any traction in any given town, but if he gets lucky, and rolls well on his resurrection time for when things go south, he might actually convince a few towns to send people before word spreads to the larger community (Google says that there around 10,000 cities in our world; the necropolis can't keep up with alternate near that many).

    But we're *still* looking at a scenario that won't make the necropolis look bad. It will just make the towns that fell for it look foolish.

    Also, an immortal Lich priest of Tzeentch *probably* knows that it doesn't need to snack on Soylent Simpleton to survive. So, for this to involve the expected slaughter for food, the Lich would probably have needed to find some bandits hungry and desperate enough to work with an insane evil abomination… and who hate the less evil (and, in fact, seemingly benevolent) necropolis.

    It's a tough scenario to write.

    -----

    For the record, of the "not openly hostile" cities, the one that the necropolis *should* most want to fall (yes, some of the board pragmatically point out how certain town failures would be beneficial to their long-term plans) is actually the one that, by the will of the council, they are arguably most assisting: Silent Lorna.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-05 at 10:45 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #224
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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    1 means that the necropolis automatically won the PR wars millennia ago, having convinced every world leader to permaban kill anyone who was racist against undead, ages before the current necropolis administration took over.

    You may want to consider implementing 1 differently, with more of an eye to realism.
    It is right in the bluff skill description that it's opposed by sense motive. But you consider this unrealistic? While admittedly there's a rather lot of things in D&D and derivatives that are very unrealistic, I don't consider that one of them. Fixed DCs imply that the guy fresh out of his parents' house from a largely honest community is exactly as difficult to trick as the ruler who's been evaluating folks day in and day out for the last fifty years or so because she grew up in royal courts. An opposed check covers that quite well (guy fresh out of his parent's house? No ranks in sense motive; the ruler who grew up in the royal courts? Max ranks + skill focus, items, other feats, et cetera as appropriate).

    Also: "the necropolis automatically won the PR wars millennia ago" - presupposes no serious opposition to the necropolis. I do not buy that presupposition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    -----

    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
    ... I'm going to stop here.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-05 at 10:46 AM.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Problem with bluff is problem with moat social skills. Vs. humanoids without class levels, they are near garanteed success if you have like...3 to 5 levels with a decent stat. Most folks will have 0 ranks and 11 in their stat. If you get a plus 11 bonus you always win. Thats before figuring in the absurdity that is glibness. A judge or lawyer might have as much as plus 7 for skill focus but most will not.

    For those who actually take the time to invest in bluff, ie your party face, even without glibness tou should routinely trounce the vast majority of people. And thats before factoring things like charms and compulsions. You charm person that buyer and he really wants to believe his buddy so he takes a penalty on his sense motive. Plus do liches get a +8 bluff or is that vampires, or both?

  16. - Top - End - #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Problem with bluff is problem with moat social skills. Vs. humanoids without class levels, they are near garanteed success if you have like...3 to 5 levels with a decent stat. Most folks will have 0 ranks and 11 in their stat. If you get a plus 11 bonus you always win. Thats before figuring in the absurdity that is glibness. A judge or lawyer might have as much as plus 7 for skill focus but most will not.

    For those who actually take the time to invest in bluff, ie your party face, even without glibness tou should routinely trounce the vast majority of people. And thats before factoring things like charms and compulsions. You charm person that buyer and he really wants to believe his buddy so he takes a penalty on his sense motive. Plus do liches get a +8 bluff or is that vampires, or both?
    Confidence men have been around for a very long time, and make a great deal of money tricking other folks out of theirs. It doesn't take much skill to trick Mr. Random Joe on the street into giving you a few hundred, but for the big scores, you need to con a wealthy businessman... which is much harder. Again: Folks that don't much deal with trickery because they're not common targets (they don't have very much)? Not hard to fool. The folks that regularly deal with people that misrepresent, over promise, or straight-up lie? They've had practice (ranks) in sensing folks' motives, and take a higher degree of skill.

    You con some commoners out of a few gold pieces? Well, they'll eventually figure it out, and report it to the local authorities (same as real life). They get enough reports (or reports of big enough cons), they'll send professional anti-con folks after you (same as real life).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

  17. - Top - End - #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    It is right in the bluff skill description that it's opposed by sense motive. But you consider this unrealistic? While admittedly there's a rather lot of things in D&D and derivatives that are very unrealistic, I don't consider that one of them. Fixed DCs imply that the guy fresh out of his parents' house from a largely honest community is exactly as difficult to trick as the ruler who's been evaluating folks day in and day out for the last fifty years or so because she grew up in royal courts. An opposed check covers that quite well (guy fresh out of his parent's house? No ranks in sense motive; the ruler who grew up in the royal courts? Max ranks + skill focus, items, other feats, et cetera as appropriate).

    Also: "the necropolis automatically won the PR wars millennia ago" - presupposes no serious opposition to the necropolis. I do not buy that presupposition.


    ... I'm going to stop here.
    Lemme explain by example.

    Do you run a world where an Illithid, with Bluff beyond a city's ability to Sense Motive, could really walk into town and say,

    "No, I'm not an Illithid - this is just a skin condition, an allergic reaction to something I ate."

    "Here, come into this dark room, and take a look for yourself."

    "Eat his brain, then animate his corpse? Don't be silly. We got to talking about food, and I mentioned these delicious peppers I'd tried, and he grew curious. This is just the natural reaction to eating the peppers. Right, Sargent? Nod for yes."

    "In fact, these peppers are so delicious, you all should try one. Everybody pile into my tinted windows van, and I'll take you to them."

    Party gets back from adventuring, finds a ghost town with a familiar calling card. "Dang - another town emptied by the Charismatic Rogue."

    You even stated that you understood this concept earlier:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    When phrased like that? Nobody is.

    The problem is, the OP keeps presenting this level of ridiculous con, and seemingly not realizing how ridiculous it is.

    So it begs the question, what kind of world are they running? Are they running one that is realistic, where cons like the OP described would get laughed at, where it's worth actually running a PR campaign, or one that is RAW, where the necropolis should only be concerned with throwing numbers at things?

    I don't want to waste time trying to play (social) 5d Wizard chess on a checkers board. So, since the responses I've been getting don't match the game I'm playing, I'm asking for clarification regarding just what games are played there. Or whether they have been misconstruing everything I've said. Much like how you jumped to the conclusion that I wanted static DCs.

    EDIT: apparently, while I was writing this post, the mods misinterpreted and butchered a previous post of mine.

    To anyone who was offended by it, apologies for my unique verbiage and sentence structure, that made it appear offensive.

    To anyone who hasn't seen it (and those who did, and may have misunderstood): with the edits, it is all but indecipherable, IMO. That post was *intended* as a flow chart of various possibilities regarding the nature of the campaign world: the presence or absence of nuisanced evil, RAW vs realism, etc, and the ways that things would change should the campaign differ from my assumptions.

    Although it may have been poorly worded in its initial incarnation, it is all but worthless for its intended purposes in its present state. So, if you don't understand it / can't see how to turn what's left into such a flowchart… just ignore it, I guess.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-03-05 at 02:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Lemme explain by example.

    Do you run a world where an Illithid, with Bluff beyond a city's ability to Sense Motive, could really walk into town and say,

    "No, I'm not an Illithid - this is just a skin condition, an allergic reaction to something I ate."

    "Here, come into this dark room, and take a look for yourself."

    "Eat his brain, then animate his corpse? Don't be silly. We got to talking about food, and I mentioned these delicious peppers I'd tried, and he grew curious. This is just the natural reaction to eating the peppers. Right, Sargent? Nod for yes."

    "In fact, these peppers are so delicious, you all should try one. Everybody pile into my tinted windows van, and I'll take you to them."

    Party gets back from adventuring, finds a ghost town with a familiar calling card. "Dang - another town emptied by the Charismatic Rogue."

    You even stated that you understood this concept earlier:
    The problem is, the OP keeps presenting this level of ridiculous con, and seemingly not realizing how ridiculous it is.

    So it begs the question, what kind of world are they running? Are they running one that is realistic, where cons like the OP described would get laughed at, where it's worth actually running a PR campaign, or one that is RAW, where the necropolis should only be concerned with throwing numbers at things?

    I don't want to waste time trying to play (social) 5d Wizard chess on a checkers board. So, since the responses I've been getting don't match the game I'm playing, I'm asking for clarification regarding just what games are played there. Or whether they have been misconstruing everything I've said. Much like how you jumped to the conclusion that I wanted static DCs.
    Again: The example falls apart. Bluff has circumstance modifiers baked right in; that "skin condition" or "results of the pepper" is going to be granting the town a +20 to their Sense Motive checks (assuming he's not shot on sight, and has time to "explain"). If the illithid can get past everyone's sense motive - especially with that mod - then he's either VERY focused or sufficiently high level that he could probably just waltz through all the town's defenses anyway. Your scenario presupposes that the target has nobody who's competent in the matter on call. If they don't, then they'd probably have already been taken over by someone with a suitable skill set.

    And you're severely underestimating the folks who'd try to use the Necropolis' name to con folks. It's not a living guy walking in obviously breathing saying "Hi, I'm the new Necropolis rep!" (that's a super-hard sell)... it's some lich that wants bodies for his growing undead army that did a little homework to get the real rep's name & contact methods (Gather Info, divinations of various sorts) before going in via the same methods the official rep uses and saying "Hi, [Insert real rep's name here] is currently [insert plausible reason he's not available], but we found something that'd be perfect for you and thought you could use it immediately...." which is at most a slightly difficult sell. Or it's some living person saying "Hi, the necropolis gave us some maps, and there's more treasure than we can haul away, so we want to share the wealth...." which is a hard sell, but not a super-hard one, or maybe "Help! The necropolis rep sent to our vault gutted it! He was just prepping us for slaughter the whole time! But I got away, after seeing the methods they used, and might be able to help you avoid our fate if..." or occasionally it'll be an actual rep who thinks he can get away with it this time (folks get busted for embezzling from giant corporations all the time, and while that stops some folks from trying it, it doesn't stop all folks from trying it).

    There's ways to defend against this kind of thing - both as the necropolis, and as the vault - but as I said at the start of that chain "it will take a rather lot of highly active work on the part of the necropolis to avoid a bad rep."
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

  19. - Top - End - #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    And you're severely underestimating the folks who'd try to use the Necropolis' name to con folks. It's not a living guy walking in obviously breathing saying "Hi, I'm the new Necropolis rep!" (that's a super-hard sell)... it's some lich that wants bodies for his growing undead army that did a little homework to get the real rep's name & contact methods (Gather Info, divinations of various sorts) before going in via the same methods the official rep uses and saying "Hi, [Insert real rep's name here] is currently [insert plausible reason he's not available], but we found something that'd be perfect for you and thought you could use it immediately...." which is at most a slightly difficult sell. Or it's some living person saying "Hi, the necropolis gave us some maps, and there's more treasure than we can haul away, so we want to share the wealth...." which is a hard sell, but not a super-hard one, or maybe "Help! The necropolis rep sent to our vault gutted it! He was just prepping us for slaughter the whole time! But I got away, after seeing the methods they used, and might be able to help you avoid our fate if..." or occasionally it'll be an actual rep who thinks he can get away with it this time (folks get busted for embezzling from giant corporations all the time, and while that stops some folks from trying it, it doesn't stop all folks from trying it).

    There's ways to defend against this kind of thing - both as the necropolis, and as the vault - but as I said at the start of that chain "it will take a rather lot of highly active work on the part of the necropolis to avoid a bad rep."
    Those are much more reasonable cons than the ones that have been suggested thus far.

    Even some of the ones you listed should still auto-fail, but, yes, some of those are believable cons.

    But the funny thing is, if the necropolis has a "good name", they've already won. That was the objective they were trying to meet. Mission successful.

    So your "problem" presupposes success

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    ...I think a subject change is in order.

    It’s been mentioned a time or two but not really addressed: how are non-statue vaults managing sanitation and waste disposal? I thought about a Bag of Devouring but I suspect there are better solutions. Is composting something available in-setting?

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    Well, if you're not composting, then things are being taken out of the soil by plants, those plants are being removed from the soil for food, and nothing is being added back to the soil. So there's going to be less and less soil over time. Or, at least, the soil is going to have less and less of the good stuff in it.

    If you're farming an a cave with a few inches of topsoil from outside laid down, you're not exactly talking about a robust reserve of nutrients. If you're taking and not putting back, that's going to become a problem pretty darn fast.

    So I'm pretty sure any subterranean farming operations that actually last long term will be composting. The ones who throw their wastes into a Bag of Devouring are soon going to find themselves needing to go out and dig into the frozen land beneath the snowpack to get new soil. Or they'll just get really confused about why their crops keep doing worse and worse, and then they'll starve.

    I've given some thought to using Oozes, or some other pet creature to break down waste. A big heap of manure decomposing in an enclosed space isn't going to smell very good. Actually, are high enough concentrations of methane and whatnot dangerous? Other than the explosion hazard from being a flammable gas? The bacteria are consuming oxygen too. Well, some of them are.

    You could do an anaerobic digester. Then you'll only really have the anaerobic bacteria doing the work. And all the stinky gas is concentrated in a reservoir that can be burned for heat and cooking. ... Just, you know, don't burn so much that you run out of oxygen for breathing.

    Actually, compost provides heat. I've hear of people using compost to heat chicken coops in winter. New York winter. So actually decently cold. (Cue people from further north telling me that I "don't know what cold is.") Anyway, I wonder how that factors into our heating efforts. If we're deep enough underground, we're pretty well insulated. Maybe even warmed geothermally. We might have to deliberately avoid building too deep so we don't swelter.




    Actually, this kind of sends me back to the idea of not going underground. We can just put the compost pile out in the open, downwind. And we don't need to worry about fresh air, or magical sunlight replacements.

    Let's restart the snow accumulation argument. It will distract from that other argument, at least. I wasn't really satisfied with the example of snow accumulation in prior ice ages. Those lasted 10s of thousands of years. I don't think they're necessarily indicative of how much snow we'll be dealing with during a "mere" 1-thousand year ice age.

    Regardless of what the final, equilibrium depth of snow might be (the depth at which rate of sublimation equals rate of snowfall), the difficulty of keeping pace with snow accumulation for a human settlement is going to depend on the rate at which it falls. And I'm not sure that 1,000 years is much time for massive snow packs/glaciers to both form and migrate large distances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    Let's restart the snow accumulation argument. It will distract from that other argument, at least. I wasn't really satisfied with the example of snow accumulation in prior ice ages. Those lasted 10s of thousands of years. I don't think they're necessarily indicative of how much snow we'll be dealing with during a "mere" 1-thousand year ice age.

    Regardless of what the final, equilibrium depth of snow might be (the depth at which rate of sublimation equals rate of snowfall), the difficulty of keeping pace with snow accumulation for a human settlement is going to depend on the rate at which it falls. And I'm not sure that 1,000 years is much time for massive snow packs/glaciers to both form and migrate large distances.
    I can’t find a good source for how long it takes the glaciers to form in the first place, but Wikipedia puts ‘typical’ glacier speeds at 25cm (or ~10 inches) per day, with the range going from half a meter per year to 30 meters per day.

    I don’t know know what distances we’re working with for our hypothetical settlement, but given that the vault town is supposed to be in the mountains I’m going to say that getting buried by glaciers is a possibility we should take into consideration.

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    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    It’s been mentioned a time or two but not really addressed: how are non-statue vaults managing sanitation and waste disposal? I thought about a Bag of Devouring but I suspect there are better solutions. Is composting something available in-setting?
    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    So I'm pretty sure any subterranean farming operations that actually last long term will be composting.
    Waste disposal will be a major issue for any enclaves with substantial populations, and I think composting will be the go-to solution. For the city in the OP, the nearby cave complex will be large enough that some areas can be dedicated to a latrine system, which can be harvested for use in agriculture, assuming the other issues (light, pollination, irrigation) can be dealt with.

    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    Actually, this kind of sends me back to the idea of not going underground. We can just put the compost pile out in the open, downwind.
    …assuming you can find a place not buried under a hundred feet of snow.

    Which is a nice segue to the question of snow accumulation:

    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    I wasn't really satisfied with the example of snow accumulation in prior ice ages.
    I brought up Snowball Earth as an example of expanding glaciation despite reduced evaporation from colder temperatures, but that’s not intended as a model for snow depth in this instance.

    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    I don’t know know what distances we’re working with for our hypothetical settlement, but given that the vault town is supposed to be in the mountains I’m going to say that getting buried by glaciers is a possibility we should take into consideration.
    For the small city in the opening scenario, I’ve been thinking it would be in an Alpine-style valley, high enough that the valley floor is snow-free in the warmer months but with some snowpack on the peaks all around.

    Just how deep the post-impact snowfall will eventually become depends on the exact configuration of the mountains and valleys, so there will be a lot of variation from site to site. That said, some of the heaviest real-world snow accumulations range from 30-40 feet per year, so at that rate it wouldn’t take many years to build snowpacks several hundred feet deep.

    As for whether this would be considered a glacier, the USGS gives a minimum size of 0.1 km2 (~25 acres), with the added requirement that it moves downslope due to gravity. By this definition, there will be a lot of glaciers developing and moving around—but they won’t reach the four-thousand-meter depth of some ice sheets in the last glaciation.

    Originally Posted by Maat Mons
    Cue people from further north telling me that I "don't know what cold is."
    I had a friend who grew up in Barrow. He tended to win those conversations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga View Post
    ...I think a subject change is in order.

    It’s been mentioned a time or two but not really addressed: how are non-statue vaults managing sanitation and waste disposal? I thought about a Bag of Devouring but I suspect there are better solutions. Is composting something available in-setting?
    I'm familiar with at least one reference to putting dung on a fig tree, that particular written work dates back to the first century, and at the time it was being used as a reference to things gardeners were actually doing at the time with plants, so it should be available in a medieval inspired setting, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Those are much more reasonable cons than the ones that have been suggested thus far.

    Even some of the ones you listed should still auto-fail, but, yes, some of those are believable cons.

    But the funny thing is, if the necropolis has a "good name", they've already won. That was the objective they were trying to meet. Mission successful.

    So your "problem" presupposes success
    It's doable, yes. I've never argued against that.
    Getting started will likely require someone willing to be a pacifist and let their body be destroyed several times to get that first contact in to have the opportunity to chat: It'll be an uphill battle (a nightmare for some astral projection will likely save time on rejuvination).
    Each "vault" will likely need to be convinced separately (it's unlikely that they'll be talking to each other much, or trusting reports that the liches are, in fact, nice folks), so it'll be a repeated uphill battle.
    But it's doable for a group of liches who are willing to put in the effort.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

  25. - Top - End - #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Waste disposal will be a major issue for any enclaves with substantial populations, and I think composting will be the go-to solution. For the city in the OP, the nearby cave complex will be large enough that some areas can be dedicated to a latrine system, which can be harvested for use in agriculture, assuming the other issues (light, pollination, irrigation) can be dealt with.
    What about making friends with an Otyugh? Mind, it doesn’t say anything about composting what it eats, but a population of 20,000 probably has non-zero amounts of noncompostable waste we’d need to get rid of anyway. The biggest issues I see are the issues of disease (which was going to be a problem with waste management anyway), and I don’t see anything on how long they live so having one around might not get the vault through a thousand years even if it works.

    (Also possible quest hook: the vault’s otyugh managed to catch something it’s not immune to and the brave adventurers need to venture out into the frozen wastes to find a cure/replacement.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    I'm familiar with at least one reference to putting dung on a fig tree, that particular written work dates back to the first century, and at the time it was being used as a reference to things gardeners were actually doing at the time with plants, so it should be available in a medieval inspired setting, yes.
    Okay good. Wasn’t sure how old the practice of fertilizer was.
    Last edited by Kareeah_Indaga; 2021-03-06 at 09:49 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    What about making friends with an Otyugh?
    Interesting idea. Wouldn’t have thought it would be a good fit, but the description makes it more than likely.

    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    Also possible quest hook: the vault’s otyugh managed to catch something it’s not immune to and the brave adventurers need to venture out into the frozen wastes to find a cure/replacement.
    I like this, opens up all sorts of possibilities.

    Originally Posted by Jack_Simth
    I'm familiar with at least one reference to putting dung on a fig tree, that particular written work dates back to the first century, and at the time it was being used as a reference to things gardeners were actually doing at the time with plants, so it should be available in a medieval inspired setting, yes.
    Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga
    Wasn’t sure how old the practice of fertilizer was.
    Almost certainly thousands of years. The terra pretas of Amazonia were developed by enriching soils with organic waste and detritus of all kinds, and similar practices were likely in use in other ancient societies.

    As one example, see this paper on the probable use of pig manure as fertilizer in Neolithic Germany, 4000-6000 years ago.

    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2021-03-06 at 11:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    On otyugh waste disposal, in pathfinder curse of the crimson throne AP the city has deals with otyughs who live in the sewers. So that is very much doable as far as that goes.

    On how silly bluff can be, a mind flayer walking into town I do not think that would be believable so that's an auto fail. But a random human saying they are the king and have been cursed or something? Totally permissible and easy to pull off. Or if that mind flayer had already been estqblished all the rest fall into line. Social skills as written pretty much destroy worlds and world building. Realism does not work in dnd, nor does common sense in most cases.

    On natural plant growth and soil, transmute rock to mud, letting it dry into sand/soil and having druids cast spells so yields are always good should solve that issue and waste as a fertilizer has already been covered. Also a lot of underdark variety fungus grows with little regards for anything surface related so you could just go mushroom farmers.

    Also prestidigitation especially using of rules because of unlimited cantrips could handle all waste removal and cleaning fixing all sanitation concerns forever with just a few low level wizards working on cleaning duty. Or an at will item of it would be pretty cheap to make magic super vacuums for commoners. It also solves any issues with taste of whatever you will be eating if endless food cabinets or the like fail.

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    Default Re: Surviving A Thousand-Year Winter

    Originally Posted by Efrate
    On otyugh waste disposal, in pathfinder curse of the crimson throne AP the city has deals with otyughs who live in the sewers. So that is very much doable as far as that goes.
    Good catch on the AP there. That seems very feasible, just a question of finding an otyugh.

    Originally Posted by Efrate
    Also a lot of underdark variety fungus grows with little regards for anything surface related so you could just go mushroom farmers.
    The city in the mountain valley won’t have direct Underdark access, but the enclave that does have a trading relationship with the Underdark might eventually be able to trade fungi with other surface enclaves.

    Likely they would try to cultivate those fungi themselves, and keep those techniques secret, since the fungi might be their only export to other surface communities. A little fungicultural espionage could be another adventure possibility.

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    Isn't it in the lore that many of those fungi consume faerzress?

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    Re: mushrooms, I would worry about nutritional deficiencies (this being another reason I keep trying to find ways to save the livestock too) and also morale (...that is two letters away from a bad pun) from being stuck eating the same things day in, day out, if those are ALL that the vault dwellers are eating.

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