Dorak - Accentuate the Positive

Explorer’s,

Thank you for the help in arranging the meeting with Sir Testeverde.

Thank you also for the use of the premises to face the cursed mask. My companions were able to sever the connection between this world and the foul spirit that inhabited it.

In discussing my plans, though, the suggestion was made to remove the negatives from the team rather than to accentuate the positives.

I’d like to outline what I see as positives and negatives for my companions and myself and my proposed solutions.

First, myself: I am very difficult to catch unaware. I am all about being ready for battle at almost any given moment because I expect to be thrown into battle often and unexpectedly.

I can hit fairly often but not for very much if there is no precision damage. Even with my allies flanking my foe, I miss often enough that if I am not allowed to use my dexterity for greater damage, I would not be adverse to having a menacing looking weapon, or one with elemental properties.

My attacks at a distance suffer since I am using a non-enchanted crossbow. I worry that creatures will shrug off any damage I do at a distance because of the weak hand crossbow.

I could trade that to a light crossbow or even a heavy crossbow, but I am not a ranged fighter, having spent little time actually firing into melee and not having trained for that. It’s more of a weapon of last resort for when my foes are too far for me to reach.

I have acquired boots that make me harder to hear when I am trying to move silently, so boots that increase my mobility are unlikely and expensive.

An enhancement to my cloak that aids my ability to ward of spells could help but not very often. My failings against spells are usually spectacular, not merely something a bit of luck could have countered.

Second, Kumori: He’s using two weapons, and I don’t even know if both are magical. Enchanting two weapons is expensive, and he makes up some of that by using his offhand weapon like a shield, but the reality is that he can still miss, despite having more attacks, so making him hit more often and for more damage is good.

He’s about as hard to hit as I am, which does not seem to be all that hard, and increasing his dexterity would be meaningless because of the armor limiting his mobility. He’s already got a thicker hide thanks to recent loot acquired.

He could get a ring to make him harder to hit, which I don’t think will matter that much. Our foes generally do not succeed in landing a blow by the merest luck but usually hit soundly, often in critical areas.

He’s not as hearty as I am, and that is another option to improve, because it essentially gives him not just more stamina to take the blows of our foes, it also gives him a little extra before he takes Mormekar’s Journey.

He has a cloak to resist the spells of our foes that could be further enhanced. If he does not wish for a belt, upgrading his cloak and getting him a ring to protect him seem best.

Of course, I don’t know if his other ring was much help against those evil hounds. I must inquire.

His ranged attacks are improving, but I don’t know what training he has to use that. He may suffer the same penalties I do, except for the weaker bolts of the hand crossbow, and there is still a good chance for his enemies to ignore the attacks.

He’s also blind as a bat in the night. I am working to remedy this by enchanting one of his weapons. If it does not glow, I believe Satori makes the most sense, since he’d rather die than be parted from it.

Third, Smriti: She, like me, hits for little damage, and misses often. Her enchanted weapons are poorly suited to improving that unless they are given elemental properties or her kukri is enchanted to allow her to use her dexterity for greater damage. Her kukri is sharp but inflicts small cuts while the spear is awkward for her to use and more of a tactical weapon – even if it is poorly enchanted for her use.

It is possible Coatl could help her make better use of the sphere, and in doing so make Kumori and others also hit harder and heartier, though at a good cost to their defenses. However, we did not have time to explore the possibility of him acquiring that spell for his familiar while in Alhambra.

Her special attacks are often resisted. The best way to change that is to give her greater wisdom, which would also make her harder to hit and could help in cases where she grapples our opponents.

She could also benefit from a thicker hide, like Kumori has.

She has a cloak to resist spells like most of the party, and that’s another option to eliminate the negatives. Her weakest defense is her fortitude, though, so a belt to improve that would also give her more stamina for when our foes do not use spells.

She is blind as a bat in the night but has an enchanted crown to aid in that now.

Fourth, Coatl: He’s easy to hit, and though he has Mage Armor, I don’t recall him using it often. Since we are often attacked unaware, I’m tempted to suggest a rod to extend that and that he casts it in the morning, which would make it last half the day.

He’s physically weak, but he shouldn’t be attacking with a weapon in most cases. His greater contribution with the weapon is to threaten and take attacks of opportunity against our foes.

He’s got few spells and his spells are fairly easy to resist. I am probably the most susceptible to his spells, and I could resist his most powerful spells about half of the time. Our foes are often more resistant to suggestion than I am, making most of his spells less useful than ideal.

When I say few spells, I mean both in terms of those that he casts and those he has to cast – while his evil eye gives him options for when he is out of spells or has no spell to fit the situation, he has fewer spells to use on any given day.

I see Coatl as someone akin to a caped vigilante, who could benefit from more tools in his belt and more uses of the less powerful tools. I don’t know what circumstances lead to his having an intellect such that he may reach a level where his ability to cast a spell was limited by intellect rather than experience.

Essentially, if he advances his intellect at every opportunity, he’d still face an inability to cast his most powerful spells without a magical enhancement in the future, even if far off.

He could use a haversack like I and Ignatius carry since he is so frail. I don’t know if his boa could use it like a vase to coil out from… given the size of the boa and Coatl’s general weakness, we may need to track the location of both, though Coatl should always know thanks to his bond.

Fifth, Iz’Alma: Her problem is usually focus, though second to that is a lack of familiarity with her abilities. The focus has improved at times lately.

Her undead minions are relatively short lived, yet she calls upon them before the fighting has begun.

I believe that she has a bone armor available to summon that can serve in place of her regular armor with only a slight penalty, yet she takes a minute or more to put on armor when ambushed in the night.

Her mere touch can cause horrible wounds if she wills it and that can be done without concentration worries.

She has an ability to add a miasma to her foes at a distance, but I haven’t seen her use it often. It is newish, but it also stacks with her spells to weaken a foe at a distance if she does not wish to close.

She is carrying a shield, so she is rarely holding her sickle while casting spells, leaving her unarmed should a nearby foe try to flee or be threatened by an ally.

She has a lot of goods that she carries but does not use. Her Holy Water may actually be better in the hands of Dusky.

She does not have a difficulty landing her spells and there’s no items I know of to help her beyond possibly a headband to improve her allure since she is not frequently attacked physically.

I would also support her getting a necklace like Kumori’s or rings to lessen the danger of her following should we have to climb.

Sixth, Dusky: She is physically weak and has some of the same problems that Smriti and I face – if we hit, we don’t do much damage. Her situation is made worse by her size and the lack of enchanted weapon. I know that there are limits to what she should be carrying, because of her weight and her nature. Her greatest attacks come in the form of Inky, which she was reluctant to use after the creature’s death.

Seventh, Ignatius: He’s new, and is well equipped. I don’t know what he lacks, but I do feel somewhat cheap for using him to cast spells as if he were a spell caster for hire, when he’s been called to join us. I shall donate my masterwork dagger to him and his church as repayment for services offered. It reminds me of my own past sorrows and failures, so I hope to see it put to use in some way.

Eighth, Chrysos: She’s new, and appears to be relatively well set. I suspect she’s weak, as is average for the party, so she’s not going to be much help if we have to lug around a heavy coffin one day. However, her oratory skills may be helpful in unexpected ways, and we appear to be suffering an abundance of healers.

Well, that’s the general view on positive and negative aspects of the group. I’d still like to know if there were any leads on finding someone capable of applying dexterity in place of strength for the party, since it could be a key enchantment we need in the not so distant future.

- Dorak

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Dorak - Accentuate the Positive

Crimson Skies Grusnik