Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Brief Stock-taking

I just want to work out a few character details, if we could.

Ahmet, I don't know if you got my email last night, but what I said was that you shouldn't feel it's necessary to run a fighter as your hench just because the party NEEDS a fighter.  Any character is of benefit, even another druid (which could create some interesting characterizations and 'intellectual' discussions between Ahmet's hench and Maximillian).  Obviously, Ahmet's druid hench wouldn't convert to Christianity, but player druids are also allowed to be very tolerant of the 'new' religions and the need to follow them.

While we're on the subject, I'm not sure if I am clear on WHAT your religious position is, Maximillian.  I tend to expect some sort of adherence to general Celtism, Greek mythology, animism or other form of mysticism.  Sumerianism, Zoroastrianism, Norse Celtic, Russian pagan, etc., are other possible choices, as well as any particular pagan perspective you'd like to try.  Something is normally de rigueur.  You may have told me, but I've missed it.

Is there anything else that needs discussion?  How long, for example, now that Andrej has written his letters, shall I jump forward.  Can it be left up to me?  I know something is expected for Halloween night, but unfortunately most of what we perceive about the night before, vis-a-vis paganism, was made up in the 19th century.  At most, Maximillian would spend the evening in silent meditation.  I might have something greater conjure itself, but that's an unlikely event for a 1st level druid.

UPDATE:

Ahmet's Henchman:


And two men at arms:


52 comments:

Alexis said...

Ahmet, once you've sorted out your hench, could you post the information here? I haven't got access to my email right now.

Ahmet said...

I understand what you are saying about playing what I want, not what I have to play, but having yet another spellcaster in this group (let alone a second Druid) doesn't seem like a good idea. At the moment, we have only two characters who can engage in hand-to-hand combat -- Ahmet and Andrej. (Sofia will eventually be bad-ass, but at the moment she wouldn't last long in a fight.)

Ahmet said...

I have no problem with jumping forward as long as you like.

Maximillian said...

I haven't completely worked out my religious beliefs, but I'm leaning towards representing myself as catholic, even though, if known, my beliefs would be heretical.

More specifically, I plan to be somewhat panthiestic, serving the gods of the zoroastrian hierarchy (where zoroastrianisim gave way to judeaism and in turn to the various christianities and islam; I'd see them all as the same gods.) However, I feel a bit like that's a bit much philosophy for a 1st level druid with 12 int. II'll dig more into that once I've got a few levels. For now, I believe in christian god, because I've seen his actions, and I believe in the sints, because I've seen their actions, and I believe in various other spirits of the land, because I've met them. I know that they are all different entities (saints are separate from god) but I lump them all together under the same name, as wills for lack of a better term.

I hope that makes sense.

To Ahmet: it's true we don't _now_ have enough people who can be in the front, but if you really want to take a different class, I say do it. We may have it more difficult in the intermediate term, but we should be able to cope.(Unfortunately my man-at-arms is a scaredy-cat better suited to supporting fire, so no help there.)

Maximillian said...

err sints meant saints.

Alexis said...

See the comment following the below:

I had written this for a description of the Druid character for my class rewrite:

"The traditional game has always attempted to ascribe to druids a reverence for nature, and to insist that they must not concern themselves with the affairs of demi-humankind, remaining neutral in such matters. Historically, very little is known of them: they were Celtic in origin; they opposed the spread of Christianity and monotheism, being polytheistic in their perception of the world; they worshipped certain trees and animals; and finally, they retained the ancient knowledge of medicine, astronomy and ritual throughout Europe’s Dark Age.

In D&D, the druid’s particular spirituality is not guided by the presence of a fixed and established hierarchy. There are no druidic churches, only holy shrines at which no structured ceremony occurs. Druids take their guidance from the natural course of events; winter into spring, summer into autumn … and independently assess where best to apply their knowledge in order to bring about a better world. They are free from the eternal battles of god versus god; they do not advance into battle to destroy one god to propagate another. All exists in the same structural construct. The druid does not see that it is important who, or what holds power within the construct—all power is the same. Nor does the druid seek “balance” in order to protect the construct—the construct has never been threatened in all the millions of years of its existence.

The druid’s primary purpose is to encourage others to renounce the wasteful efforts to accumulate power, wealth or even knowledge. All that is necessary to obtain happiness is to contemplate the natural world, to cease to be a burden upon it, and to live upon it. There is no greater good than the growth of things, or the act of eating things that have grown, or of cultivating in a manner that nature grows wild yet serves to sustain the dweller that resides within. A life lived simply, eschewing destruction, ending in a death which further encourages greater growth, is the highest ideal.

Innovation and creativity is beautiful where one hand creates, but when a thing makes slaves of a hundred hands, or a thousand, that thing is ugly. A baker bakes bread, or a candlestick maker fashions a candle, and such is the mastery of nature encouraged. But a wall breaks the backs of those who make it and keeps out life.

A druid must see the world and defeat it in his or her own manner—thus the player is encouraged to decide for themselves what nature needs to thrive the better. There is not druidical church to tell them … only other more powerful druids carrying forth their own agendas to make the world more fruitful and to be at peace."

Andrej said...

I understand the sentiment Ahemt. I often try to roll up whatever class seems most needed but that's mostly because that's generally what I WANT to do. Meaning, by nature when it comes to games I'm an organizer, a systematizer and something of a manager (or control freak, if you prefer). Maybe its the DMing instinct, but I tend to naturally think in terms of the party as a whole and I try .

But that's me. If you roll a character you don't want to play only to meet a perceived party need then more times than not you end up not playing them or quitting the game. That would be a disaster.

We can always hire henchmen to help Ahmet and Andrej out in the first rank, which is where I'll be keeping Andrej by the way so don't feel compelled to replace him. Go with what you want. Just make sure you're standing behind something or someone large when you cast your spells. ; )

Alexis said...

I'm not saying the player's druid must adhere specifically to this ideal ... but there MUST be some recognition that heirarchy, such as the Catholic Church, would be anathema to the fundamental nature of druids overall. When the Church demands the druid raise money, build a church, etc., as eventually it will demand that Andrej does, as he grows in importance, the act of doing so would morally undermine druid magic itself.

We can negotiate this, obviously, but some recognition that Druids are NOT Clerics with different spells is in order.

Maximillian said...

I just read the mysticism post, and I don't see it describing things farr from how I planned to play it. I particularly found this quote apt: "How often do we hear that nature is sweet and light, that we think of druids as tree huggers? Nature is a cold blooded murderer, as were the druids themselves." I say let nature lead by example.

You mentioned "Old Magic" which lets me clarify my stance about being a catholic. I believe in the teachings of the church, but I am also beginning to see the tendrils of the old magic that supports it, so I'm beginning to not believe that the priests understand their own power, or their own god, but that maybe that disbelief hasn't fully set in yet.

Maximillian said...

sorry, we're cross posting a bit. let me go back and read what you wrote.

Andrej said...

As for advancing the game forward once things are sorted out in this thread, I say yes unless t is to advance it forward 90 days. ;)

Andrej said...

Damn, given the above description of the Druid class now I want to play one, too.

As an aside, I had always imagined Andrej's father's side of the family to be strictly animists and I suppose therefore druidic. Perhaps there is some paternal ancestor who was indeed a druid. His mother's side was some form or other of eastern orthodox before Andrej was called to the Roman Church.

Maximillian said...

OK, I don't think we're too much at odds here. Druids worship gods, and I can see that the highest god I worship has the same fingerprints as the one the local catholic priest worships, so I call myself a catholic. I certainly don't consider myself a catholic cleric, and let's not discuss the trinity until you're ready to give me some hard evidence in-game ;)

I hope between this and the previous post you have what you were looking for.

One hard ruling I'll ask for at this time: Can a cleric see your baptismal status? Can they tell if their bless didn't work because you weren't baptized? Could a roman catholic tell that someone was baptized by a lutheran? What about orders within the catholic church?

You don't need to explain why at this point, but I'd like to know how hard the boundary between sister religions is.

Let's advance until something external happens. I would meditate tonight, but I think the solstice a month ago would have been a bigger deal.

Thanks.

Andrej said...

The Cuman and Kipchaks of earth appear to have historically been rather tolerant and even laissez faire religiously, and I always imagined this also for Alexis's world.

Maximillian said...

(I got the druids worship gods line from the other document you sent me. I guess your feeling on the matter has shifted, so I'll say I believe in, rather than worship per se. This is a catholic region, after all.)

Oh, great, now we're going to end up with three druids... :P

Alexis said...

The closest I could accept to a druid being "catholic" would be for that druid to be fundamentally Gnostic ... that is, the recognition that a lot of the saints were originally local gods of one type or another, who are individually venerated, as well as the usual recognition that christian shrines and holidays were built on or based on pagan foundations.

So if you want to be Gnostic, or Cabalist (the Jewish version), I could accept that ... though Maximillian couldn't be technically Roman Catholic (only small 'c' catholic, like the Nicene creed), he would never consider himself a part of the heirarchy, he would be fundamentally resistant to the idea that a single GOD controls everything, etc.

Remember, too, that Druids also have a "baptismal" service, called "coming of age," which would be blasphemous to Roman Catholics. All druid ceremonies would be.

HOWEVER ... in game, Andrej can easily play it that someday Maximillian will see the light, and can thus be tolerated until that day, while Maximillian would have to be very accepting that now and then Andrej is going to be very insistent on things being done the Church way. Ahmet, then, can pick which side of the mess he wants to be on; Lukas, I think, was already baptised, or perhaps not (if he has been, I owe him a week of +1s)

Does this sort it out for everyone?

Alexis said...

I think magically we'd have to argue that a cleric CAN tell who is, and who is not, part of their religion. It is a VERY good point, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone ask that question before (I admit, I'd never considered it).

Alexis said...

Regarding the Cumans, Kipchaks and other pagan groups ... most, in every corner of the world, have been very tolerant of Christians. Hasn't always been true the other way around ...

Alexis said...

Just saw Maximillian's last comment.

No, I am still with the druids worship gods angle ... I'm only being flexible as to what makes a "god."

In all of Latin Europe, Mary is on the same level as God and Christ. She is, effectively, one of the gods of Christianity. But those words are not used.

Ahmet said...

As for my henchman, let's do Human Male Fighter. I didn't roll well enough to get a Ranger or Paladin. The only other option would be a Thief or Assassin (as we've needed someone in the recon/scout role), but presumably Sofia can take that on.

STR 17
INT 9
WIS 10
DEX 11
CON 16
CHA 9

Even though I'll be playing two Human Male Fighters, the neat thing about Alexis's character generation is they'll each be unique.

However, I claim dibs on the next spell-caster slot in the group. :P

Andrej said...

Too true.

I'm on board with everything above as it pertains to Andrej. While he is 100% and un-apologetically Roman and Catholic in his beliefs, his personality and worldview have been shaped by his non-Catholic culture and coming into his adulthood as a minority amongst a tolerant majority. He's confident that in time, all worthy people will see the light. No need to tiptoe around Andrej, Maximilian.

Andrej said...

Ahmet, those scores would make for a nice illusionist...

Alexis said...

Want to try a multi-classed, Ahmet? It would mean forgoing the constitution, and less hit points, which wouldn't solve the front-line fighter issue you want, but perhaps it is something you hadn't considered, since I don't think anyone's mentioned it in my online campaign yet.

Ahmet said...

As much as I would love to play a gnome illusionist, again, I think we need a damage sponge. Our experiences with hirelings haven't exactly been fruitful.

I considered multi-class, Alexis, but as you said, it wouldn't really address the fundamental problem. A fighter/illusionist might be fun but he's also going to have to be in the back row.

The other consideration was if I wanted to play an Elf or a Dwarf, but I really love the concept of an Elf Ranger so I'll put that idea into my back pocket for a future time when the dice are kinder. Dibs on Elf Ranger!

I liked the idea of a Dwarf Fighter but I think he'd basically be a shorter version of Ahmet. I already play a grumpy guy, and I don't know any other way to play a Dwarf. ;)

So let's go with Human Male Fighter and see what we get.

Alexis said...

Generating ...

Andrej said...

While we're sorting ourselves out still, Alexis, any chance that use of a maul would be covered by a mace proficiency? I've finally read through all of the cleric material you provided (much thanks, very good work) and noticed its inclusion on the allowed weapons list for cleric for the first time. I'd like me some of that 1d10 dmg if possible. :)

Lukas said...

In response to the many things....
I am baptized catholic by andrej.
I am for skipping to the next interesting event.
I am unsure if it was answered if I could ride the exotic mounts from the mount spell (flying especially)
I would resent that dibs somewhat because I'm looking to get a Mage companion to be my assistant when I'm scribing scrolls. However I was also thinking a ranged combatant of some sort.

Alexis said...

Regarding the Maul,

It is a unique weapon, as are all on the list. But since it wasn't formerly available, if Andrej would like to exhange one of his proficiencies for the maul at the time, reality can be revisioned to account for it.

Regarding the Mount spell,

You can ride anything the spell generates, Lukas, but only the version of that creature as part of the spell. Real non spell created creatures are different.

Alexis said...

Ahmet is going to be busy for awhile. See update to the main post.

The stats have been adjusted for age on these three people. I will send you a market list for buying their equipment tonight if I'm able; my email has been in and out at home a few days.

Maximillian said...

I can forward the list for bozen, if that's applicable.

Andrej said...

Andrej exchanges "quarterstaff" for "maul". I mean, if you're going to go 2-handed you might as well go all the way, yes? Thanks for the flexibility, Alexis.

Ahmet said...

Interesting! As I said, with this character generation system, everyone is unique.

Andrej said...

Damn, we've got a veritable army now. That's what, 10 people when we travel now? It's a good thing Alexis increased the volume of food created with create food and water.

Andrej said...

If all of these guys are or become Roman Catholic, my bless spell suddenly got a whole lot more useful.

Ahmet said...

Kingdom of Naples, it's a pretty safe assumption.

Andrej said...

No doubt.

So what's the back-story with all of these archer hirelings, yesterday they were using Lukas for target practice and tomorrow they'll be heading out with us? ;)

Andrej said...

Hey Lukas, you want to declare for/ roll for Hichem for a bit (Alexis willing)? It looks like Ahmet and Maximilian will have their hands full and I've got Sofia. You can even take down his stats and such from Andrej's blog. Your call, didn't want you feeling too left out of the hireling parade. :)

Ahmet said...

I'm not sure if I should be coming up with a back story or if Alexis has something else in mind...

Ahmet said...

Lukas, try to teach Hichem your casting motions and convince him to mimic them in combat. That way the archers have two "wizards" to fire at ;)

Alexis said...

Ahmet will need the list for Bari Province, whichever trading city there Andria is closest to (I don't think Andria is one itself). He needs to know what weapons there cost less than 30 g.p.

Incidentally ...

I ran across a detail about coal production in the 17th century that vastly increased the likely world total production ... and this in turn radically brings down the price of iron. It takes 91 lbs of coal to make 1 lb of iron ... and if coal is cheaper, iron is, and if iron is cheaper, so is armor, weapons, tools, etc., etc. There's less of a dramatic drop with other metals, but iron was very affected. So future prices for iron are going ot be notably down. Sorry about how much money you've been spending up to now ... call it the last vestige of fallout from the 30 years war.

Alexis said...

For the moment I'm working out how Ahmet's henchmen show up; I don't think they'll be among Lazaro's men. Ah, I just had an idea.

Presume they are not present, meanwhile.

Alexis said...

I think moving Hichem to Lukas is a good idea.

Maximillian said...

While we pass the time together, I'd like to get to know the party, generate a bit of trust, share stories, etc.

I've read the past doings of the campaign, is there anything you'd like to keep secret from me? Or can we assume it all comes out during the (potentially) weeks we're stuck together.

Andrej said...

Nah let it all come out, unless the others object.

The only secret I'm not aware of is the "super secret bottle" Lukas has squirreled away in his backpack that he thinks we don't notice him eyeballing when setting and breaking camp.

I have my own super-secret bottle, containing the souls of two conspirators tied up in some business with the Gnomes of Zurich and a cabal of magic users in Anatolia... whoops, maybe I should stop now. ; )

Andrej said...

Speaking of super-secrets, Lukas you've got the "illusion book" in your or your horse's possession, yes?

Andrej said...

And another thing....

I assumed by advancing forward we wouldn't be going much past the next day or so. Since we're stuck here I was hoping Andrej could re-visit learning to read with Lukas. With that in mind I'll be requesting in the near future that my clergyman's bible be handed over from those supplies on the horses. Hopefully our hosts have no issue in complying.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will tell any story of his adventures since meeting Andrej, Silvius, and Nine-toes in Germany -- was it really just three months ago? -- but won't divulge anything about his youth... aside from graphically detailed descriptions of the gruesome deaths of myriad relatives in horrendous mining accidents in his homeland of Central Turkey.

In fact, almost any story Ahmet tells somehow leads to an anecdote about the crushing, drowning, asphyxiating, or plummeting of a brother, uncle, nephew, or cousin.

Alexis said...

Lazaro isn't any more interested in giving Andrej a bible than he is in getting Lukas' spellbook to him.

I'm working on the next post. Should have it up this afternoon, but won't have much time to run it until tomorrow.

Andrej said...

Very shrewd of him. The bible is waaaay more dangerous in the right hands. :)

Can Andrej learn to read without it? Maybe with a few pieces of chalk and a blank wall?

Ahmet said...

If only Ahmet was literate, he could teach Andrej how to write his name in the snow... ;)

Alexis said...

The next post is up.

Ahmet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.