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Birdship: A Suggestion Game

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Gobblecock, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
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    [​IMG]

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    A Wait to Remember
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    A long day affixed uncomfortably to a hard oak bench has been the death knell of your resolve. You took an oath to yourself never to direct your mind back toward the details of the day that swept you from your simple farming life. It ought to have been enough to hear all the fanciful retellings, breathlessly shared second-hand by the nuns in the abbey. It seems you played the hero, and you almost got the worst of it. There was no need to dig any deeper than that--not when they simultaneously had put the Royal Writ of Summons irrefutably into your hand and wished you a safe passage to the capital. Your first long journey from your small village. Since then, the road had yielded its own share of wonders and adventures, its own dangers and dilemmas. No need to remember.

    But this hard oak bench, surrounded by other bored petitioners! Sitting beside you, a frilly and lacy lump of an obese burgher who had claimed to own half the houses in the city, and who backed up his boast the first hour by trying to interest you in an affordable garret above one of his slum tenements; the subsequent four hours, by falling asleep and spreading out his ample bulk over the majority of the real estate upon your bench.

    The tedium can't help but jar loose your jumbled memories, and coming unstowed, they begin a cascade back into your conscious mind. Your clearest memory is awakening in the convent, swaddled in bandages and tended by the nuns. The rest comes to you in shreds, tattered and torn just like the war-banner of King Berengar fluttering above that embattled hill-top.

    Yes. That image is sharp and crisp, the royal standard swirling back and forth crazily in the changeable gusts. That horrid fickle wind, redolent of blood! And no less fickle than the wind, the advantage of the battle, too, had swirled back and forth all day. At the last push, there was no line of battle left, just a broad scattering of tired men in little knots, here trading blows, or else over there, pursing and being pursued, or in still other places, staging for a rally. Yet everywhere, the ground writhed with the stricken.

    Men of your village had broken and reformed four times under the fiery glare and the twitching walrus moustache of Sir Norrey. Whenever your good sense had told you to keep running this time, your lord's stare fixed upon you, and your village pride had sent your feet back into the abbatoir. No one would return to Norringham and call you a heartless hind! And so you went back, again and again.

    The clangor of arms, the shouts, the screams. The bushy tangle of Nemkin Stout's blond beard, matted down and dark, as he belched blood at you instead of his last words. The weight of the silver estoile that he thrust into your hand.

    You take poor Nemkin's religious ornament out of your pouch right now and feel its weight again, running a thumb along the words engraved into it, as if rubbing them could somehow unlock the mystery of letters. One time, you persuaded a wandering friar to recite the letters aloud for you. "Under this sign, you will conquer."

    Perhaps, unbeknownst to you, it was the fey power of these letters that drove you forward. Or perhaps it was hot-blooded vengeance for the loss of almost every other young man that you knew from your home village, not only Lemkin Stout, but also dozens of other friends. Or perhaps it was a lingering belief in the old veterans' tales, always dripping with glory and great deeds whenever the jug had finished its rounds in the village tavern. Or just perhaps, the true reason was that you felt alive on that day; and on all other days before and since, you have felt yourself to be the greater part in slumber.

    No one knows--and perhaps you the least of all--why you ran forward as other men began to break away from the fearsome tumult.

    Sir Norrey no longer reckoned. He had got himself knocked about the sconce with a poleax, and most the other surviving village lads started to flee in disarray at the death of their knight. The crude banner of tiny Norringham had fallen, but a still grander one caught your eye. It was then that...

    A. You dodged nimbly through the confused melee, as though the crowd was just an annoying obstacle like the tangles of the forest back home, occasionally using your sturdy longbow as a staff to fend off an assailant's swing or thrust, until you reached the hill-top. There, the rebellious Duc de Luche stood over a wounded King Berengar, battering his shield with a warhammer. One fluid and well-practiced motion bent your powerful bow and sent an unerring shaft deep into the Duc's eye socket.

    B. You took the noble sword from Sir Norrey's limp hand. It was better than your crude spear, and you didn't think he would mind someone else putting it to good use. Anyway, you remember him letting you hold it once before, when you were very small and he came around to visit your father on a matter of manorial stewardship. Hefting it again as a grown man, unexpectedly, the implement felt so natural in your hand that you had no problem cleaving a path to the royal banner, where you slew mightily at the king's side till the sword dropped from your benumbed hand in exhaustion, not in defeat.

    C. The remaining lads from Norringham looked to fall apart. Lambert Langleg shouted that all was lost and turned to run away, but you applied your cudgel to his pointy nose and a demonic roar at any others thinking of imitating him. Picking up the banner of Norringham, you took the lads back into the fray while gathering up other unattached deserters, bullying and hectoring, howling and swearing, striking commanding poses, roughing up some cowards, and occasionally even planting the banner in the soil and cudgelling a few Luchard skulls by way of example. When the banner of a small fiefdom set upon the enemy's rear as its struggled to seize the hill-top, the King was astonished to learn that a peasant had carried the day.

    D. The remaining lads from Norringham looked to fall apart. Lambert Langleg shouted that all was lost and turned to run away, but you pointed down into the valley at a distant cluster of brightly-coloured tents and pavilions, and quickly rejoined, "Nay, but rather there is all to be gained right now, Lambert Lack-penny! Duty be damned, and let the King choke on horse piss, but if there be a solitary guard left on his post at the enemy baggage train during this final assault on the hill, then tie me down to a Luchan faggot's bedpost! Now's the time that fortunes are made, me boyos!" Gathering other opportunistic deserters as you go, you lead a rabble that sacks and burns the enemy camp, taking treasures and committing murder and rapine among the soldiers' wives and camp-followers. Panicked at seeing the column of smoke and hearing the flight of wild rumours, most of the enemy routs down from the hill, despite being on the cusp of overrunning the King's last few bodyguards.

    E. Lambert Langleg cried out that all was lost. That miserable coward! Still, even notorious cowards like Lambert can occasionally make compelling and clear-sighted assessments. You'd seen about as much of battle as you cared to see for a lifetime. As a riderless horse trotted past you, you jumped into its saddle, certain that it would flee like a sensible beast. To your chagrin, it was the trained battle steed of the King's Champion, searching for its fallen master and quite capable of rearing up and raining down iron-shod hooves upon anyone wearing the hated Luchan emblazon. As the horse sought out the Royal war-banner, you suppose an observer might have viewed some human agency in that demented animal's path of carnage. In fact, you spent all your energy trying not to fall off. Eventually, you do fall and knock your head on a rock. Next thing you know, you're bandaged up in an abbey and get this summons. Why does crazy shit like this always happen to you?

    F. As the battle turned a final time toward hopelessness, and all the forces of the King disintegrated into confusion, a swan of purest white swooped down from the sky in front of you and changed into Yselta, the maiden who cut from her own flesh to the sustain the Lord Yeherua from famine, when the False One had tied the Lord to a rock in the desert to starve. Thus inspired, you transformed into a swan and flew to the side your lord King Berengar, where you blocked a score of spear thrusts and sword cuts meant for the King with your own unarmoured body. And a few on the unprotected head, too.

    G. In the confusion of a total rout, you found yourself behind the enemy advance and discovered an advantage that you had never really appreciated before. You are a Luchard on your mother's side, complete with a strong facial resemblance and a decent grasp of the language. This much-derided parentage finally bore fruit, wandering among the victorious enemy without challenge. A half-dozen miles away from the battlefield, you stumble upon a small Luchan squad escorting a prisoner with bound hands and a sack-covered head. Learning from the over-jubilant patrol that they had found the enemy King taking refuge in a local monastery renown for its wine, you manage to effect his escape before they can bring him to the army camp.

    H. You pause in your character-study long enough to admire your artistry. You are truly evoking the simplicity of this poor rustic fellow, and even now you have brought yourself to the verge of tears, by understanding and feeling empathy for his experiences. When he asked to hitch a ride to the capital on the back of a wagon, your travelling theatre troupe welcomed him in. Upon doubting the naïve simpleton's tale about a royal reward waiting for him, and being shown the Royal Writ yourself, it was then a simple task for your sister Esmeralda to lure him into a secluded copse of trees, where you garroted the lout as he lay atop her, and rolled his body down into a ravine. After a lifetime of suffering injustice, raising yourself and your sister up from the gutters of the slums, orphaned and unloved, picking pockets and stealing apples just to stay one step ahead of starvation, finally you will get the just compensation that the world owes to you, and all it requires is one last masterful performance!

    A. Natural archer, woodsman, appreciative king, decisive Royal victory, Duc slain
    B. Natural swordsman, impressed king, bloody stalemate, Duc injured
    C. Commanding presence, ox strength, astonished king, decisive Royal victory, Duc captured
    D. Novice mercenary captain, bonus to venal manipulations and negotiations, some loot, small band of followers, interested King, pyrrhic Royal victory.
    E. Jinxed, starts with destrier, amused king, bloody stalemate
    F. Horrific scars, touched by the divine, extreme constitution, sympathetic king, major Royal defeat (Prosperous Option)
    G. Foreign heritage, grateful king, major Royal defeat
    H. Gifted actor, some thieving and streetwise skills, appreciative King, decisive Royal victory.

    Or so you seem to recall. The battle is still a jigsaw of ghastly visions and strange sensations. As the memories continue to flow, you begin to sweat and can focus only on the faces of your dead village friends.

    An impatient shout snaps you back into the present moment, and with some relief, you realise that the Royal Clerk has been calling out your name.

    What name rings in your ears?


    ❀═════════════════════════❀════════════════════════════❀

    Character Personal Summary

    Currently known only as "That bumpkin over there"
    Aged of 18 years

    Current Status
    Below average health
    Below average fitness
    Below average mental state​

    Fixed Traits
    Unmeasured Height
    Unmeasured Muscularity
    Unmeasured Agility
    Unmeasured Native Wits​

    Learnt Skills
    Complete Illiteracy
    Uncouth Etiquette
    Ignorance of History
    Dim Inklings of Regional Geography
    Basic Combat Training​

    Item Inventories

    Known wealth of 30 copper pence

    Clothes
    Peasant hat
    Rough homespun linen shirt and trousers
    Wooden shoes.​

    Equipment
    A Royal Writ of Summons to the Chancel Office
    A silver religious token
    A small knife​
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
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  2. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
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    Table of Contents
    ❀══════════════════❀═════════════❀═══════════════════❀


    Prologue



    ❀═════════════════════════❀════════════════════════════❀
    Latest Character Report
    ❀═════════════════════════❀════════════════════════════❀

    Current Personal Summary

    Your Identity and Circumstance
    Master Oswald Fordwyne
    Sometime a Shepherd in His Adolescence
    Now a Serjeant of an Unsettled Fiefdom in Lower Clodovia
    Aged of 18 years​

    Current Vital Status
    Parlous Ill of Health
    Rather Wan of Fitness
    Somewhat Disturbed of Mind
    Withdrawn from Society

    Fixed Traits
    Exceeding Great of Height
    Somewhat Feeble of Might and Main
    Exceeding Rugged of Frame and Robusticity
    Long of Gait and Sure of Foot
    Wondrous Retentive of Memory and Quick of Native Wits
    Possessed of a Most Unnerving Glare​

    Learnt Skills
    Social
    Shockingly Uncouth in Etiquette
    Dry and Unappealing in Charm
    Unsophisticated in Body Language
    Unassayed Talents in Music

    Intellectual
    Complete Illiteracy in Letters
    Unassayed Talents in Numeracy
    Somewhat Expansive in Merovish Vocabulary, North Country Dialect
    A Loose Chronology of History
    A Rough Idea of Regional Geography

    Athletic
    Basic Combat Training
    Proficient Crook-Wielder
    Unassayed Talents in Dancing
    Unassayed Ability at Swimming



    Item Inventories

    Known wealth of 30 copper pence

    Clothes

    A well-made woolen chaperon headwrap, dyed yellow, with a red plume
    A well-made linen chemise, dyed red
    A tight-fitting cotehardie with pleated waist-lines, dyed parti-colour blue and green
    Fine woolen chausses, dyed yellow and lashed with red garters
    Black leather shoon curled upward at the toes, with silver buckles

    Equipment
    A Shepherd's Crook
    A Royal Writ of Conveyance
    A silver religious token
    A small knife
    A spare set of rough homespun peasant clothes and wooden shoes​


    ❀══════════════════❀═════════════❀═══════════════════❀

    A Word on the Game Settings, the Format, and the Philosophy
    GM NOTE: So this game is basically a medieval setting, analogous to Earth but distinct. (That is to say, there are no countries we know, but instead roughly similar ones, spiced up by the unexpected.) The magic prevalence is very low, or even no magic at all.

    You will be a newly minted lord pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. Shortly, you'll be prompted to pick a fief, and then the game will usually move forward a month per turn in regular play, with occasional forays into a much shorter roleplay timeframe, in which the players interact with the world and its inhabitants by speaking and performing actions in a brief scene.

    The game begins with a familiar CYOA list of branching options in the first instalment, but ultimately we're going to try doing this as a Suggestion Game, gradually phasing out branching options in favour of a more free-form player control over the character. Give an open-ended suggestion for how to spend the next time interval. If you like someone's suggestion, either brofist his post, or explicitly state your agreement. You could also specifically state your opposition. The most popular actions will all receive a proportional amount of consideration in evaluating the outcome.

    In this way, several players' suggestions can all be acted out in a single month, if they aren't mutually exclusive in nature, and if they seem reasonable to accomplish in the given time. However, common sense is applied here. A suggestion to begin a massive project like "build a castle" is likely to result in the Character futilely stacking up a heap of rocks, but "talk with the mason that we recruited about building a castle" will achieve some incremental steps in a single month toward the epic goal, such as a quote on the costs and time needed, plus perhaps some initial planning and surveying work.

    The focus won't be on numbers and complicated systems. There will be plenty of stats and items, but their strengths will be qualified rather than quantified. I like to have fun, keep the story going, and not worry too much about details. Hope you'll all enjoy playing, and consider checking out the original Lordship by Maldevious on Bay12.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
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  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Oh. Oh my. A new CYOA! And a very promising one, too!:love:

    I have little to no knowledge of the Middle Ages and what this might entail, so I guess I'd better follow the pre-made suggestions for a while until I get a better hang on things.

    Some very interesting choices are on offer, too. A swan? :lol: A jinxed character? A rape-murder-pillage mercenary with a band of like-minded brothers? Yum!

    Always wanted to play a bard. That this one starts with a bang, too, is just a bonus. However, D would be a close second for me. Therefore H>D.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
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  4. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I'm guessing E would be more of a mixed bag where you don't quite know what you're going to get in terms of luck rather than Xu Jing's terrible luck. I imagine that it's sort of like if we would have picked the Rabbit Adjutant in treave's Legend LP.

    The cutthroat opportunist mercenary and the slick bard intrigue me, but the character who has been touched by the divine definitely interests me the most. As far as I know, we've never played a religious character who was a true believer, so the opportunity to go with a zealous character who is guided by faith (and possibly fanatical) is an interesting angle that we haven't ever really explored. Given that it's set in a place similar to the Middle Ages, I think that this is a perfect place to explore this type of character.

    F
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
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  5. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Wow, this is great! I love many of the options (the one in C browbeating his peasant companions into achieving the clearest victory by being scarier than their enemies is hilarious), but I've got to agree with Esquilax that the less-than-lucid guy touched by the swan maiden seems most compelling. It'd be nice to go for the prayer option for once.

    F
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    C stands for Comrade Commissar. :salute:

    There is never enough Warhammer CYOAs.

    I, uh, have to ask. Can the F character actually transform into a swan, or does he think he saw a maiden and turned into a swan? 'cause, you know, 'touched' by the divine and all... :roll:

    But also 'low magic'.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
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  7. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    F is just begging for us to end up raped by the god lady. God who turn into swans are NOT to be trusted. Just ask Leda.
    H sounds interesting until you realize we're gypsies. Don't want to deal this the thieving/lying extended family that will come out of the woodwork.
    D is the most interesting to me. We're a mercenary. Both warring sides are hurting. Opportunities abound.

    D>E>B
     
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    It states that we are orphans. :M
     
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  9. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Doesn't matter. Gypsies will always have extended family. Wont be long before jackass cousin Bob shows up wanting a handout our he'll expose us.
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well, we aren't a lord for nothing. Just hang him, all quiet-like.

    We haven't made it to the top to be pushed around by those who ignored us when we were at the bottom! :argh:
     
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  11. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Hm, lately there are too many good lps to keep track of. Still, I'll give this one an opportunity. I vote for F. Let's see what kind of choices a zealous character will have. I assume it will be something like this:

    1. For the Emperor!
    2. For the Emperor!
    3. For the Emperor!
    4. Blood for the Blood Go- eer, the Emperor!
     
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  12. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

    Gobblecock
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    It's intended to be popcornish and fun, with enough realism to generate discussion on historical analogues and what happened then. For example, if there is a Viking analogue, they might wear horned helms, rather than belabor the fact that no horned helms have ever been discovered.


    F stands for Fedora. Just imagine him as a particularly fanatical devotee of the medieval cult hit, My Little Swanny: Zealotry is Magic. Fortunately for him, in this world, Swannies are a sizeable demographic and won't doubt your visions too hard, or be disapproving when you walk around in public with your swan-shaped body-pillow. Believing is seeing, after all.

    'Low magic' means that there will occasionally be some events that suggest forces beyond your ken; but in this case, the ability to turn into a swan is not an on-demand superpower...
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    C sounds pretty awesome, as those types always do, but I'm more interested in the archer and merc.
    A>D
     
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  14. Night Goat The Immovable Autism Patron No Fun Allowed

    Night Goat
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014
    F
     
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  15. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
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    This looks very promising.
    The archer dude looks intriguing, so A
     
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  16. a bear named spigot Arcane

    a bear named spigot
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    we are Spitely Wretched, the hapless horseman (E)

    alt name ideas: Jumbo Glutes, Foamy Melange, Cornball Rub
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
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  17. GreyViper Arbiter

    GreyViper
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    A.
    Not sure why, but this one caught my fancy.
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Archer and Saint are tied at the moment.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Not to my knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Totally missed Night Goat. A religious fanatic is pretty cool, yeah, but the Archer has some kind of swagger that I find appealing for some reason. They're both novel concepts for us.
     
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  21. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    D > E > H
     
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  22. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Oswald Fordwine

    (alternatively we could just pick a first name and then go "of xyz". Or go for a first name then nickname of our appearance/personality. From the other names sounds like something vaguely Anglo-Saxon would fit best)

    A.
    I usually dislike archer archetypes but longbowmen were pretty interesting.

    > D. Playing a condottieri type in the vain of Federico da Montefeltro or Muzio Sforza sounds cool.

    > C. Sounds like a bro.
     
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  23. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Flop to D>E>B>A>C Must fight against the rape swan and gypsie.
     
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  24. Jick Magger Arcane Patron

    Jick Magger
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria
    F.

    I wanna kick ass for the lord.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
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  25. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    The character and their patron god sound more like the types to get their asses kicked for the lord.
     
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