gromme

(I’m 1 day early but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh….)

Happy Birthday precious Holy Angel Akoya! ( ˘ ³˘)♥

Thanks to @silvormoon for the inspiration! 

Gromm finds a child-sized casket in one of the treasure piles and gets Charmed or something into opening it up. A vampire toddler comes tumbling out.
  • DM: Phaedra, its your turn.
  • Me: I stealth and shoot the demon baby.
  • DM: Really?
  • Me: Yeah. Didn't it attack?
  • DM: Um, no.
  • Me: Whatever. *rolls* 28 damage to the vampire baby.
  • DM: Okay, you all see an arrow appear out of nowhere and piece the demon baby through the shoulder. It stumbles, confused. It's very cute.
List of shibboleth names

by which the privileged judge their inferiors

A

Abbe Suger (French pronunciation: syoo-zheh, British: soo-gehr)

Chinua Achebe (chin-oo-ah ah-chay-bae)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (chim-ah-man-da nnnn-go-zeh ah-dee-che)

James Agee (a-jee)

Anna Akhmatova (onna ock-mah-taugh-vah)

Louis Althusser (lou-wee al-too-sair)

Jerzy Andrzejewski (yer-zhay ahn-zhay-ev-ski)

Roger Angell (angel)

Jean Anouilh (~ahn’oo-ee)

Diane Arbus (dee-ann)

Hannah Arendt (hahn-ah ahr-ent)

Martha Argerich (mar-tah herr-each)

Eugène Atget (oo-zhenne at-zhey)

Augustine of Hippo (aw-gus-tin)

Autechre (aw-tekk-er)

Richard Ayoade (eye-oh-wah-dee)

B

Angelo Badalamenti (bottle-ah-menti)

Walter Bagehot (badget)

Balliol College (bay-lee-uhl)

Donald/Frederick Barthelme (barth-uhl-me)

Karl Barth (bart)

Roland Barthes (bart)

Tom Beauchamp (beachum)

Walter Benjamin (ben-yameen)

John Berger (berdger)

Bishop Berkeley (barkley)

Hans Bethe (beta)

John Betjeman (betch-uh-mun)

Joseph Beuys (boyz)

Hieronymus Bosch (Flemish pronunciation: heer-rone-nee-mohse boss)

Tadeusz Borowski (tah-de-yoosh borr-off-ski)

Anthony Boucher (rhymes with voucher)

Tycho Brahe (Danish pronunciation: too-ghoh brahhh)

Broad Art Museum (brode)

Hermann Broch (~hair-monn brohhh)

Burgundy Street, New Orleans (burr-gun-dee)

Steve Buscemi (boo-semm-ee)

Bowdoin College (boh-din)

C

Gonville and Caius College (keys)

Menzies Campbell (ming-iss)

Thomas Carew (carey)

Vija Celmins (vee-yah tell-midge)

Michael Chabon (shay-bonn)

Jan Czochralski (yann choh-h’ral-ski)

J.C. Chandor (shann-door)

Dan Chaon (shawn)

Chyron (kai-rawn or kai-run)

Cimabue (chee-ma-boo-ee)

Karel Čapek (kah-rell chap-eck)

Michael Cimino (chee-me-noh)

Emil Cioran (chore-ahn)

Ta-Nehisi Coates (tah-nuh-hah-see)

Alexander/Andrew/Patrick Cockburn (coburn)

Paulo Coelho (~pow-lu kuh-whey.l-you.)1

J.M. Coetzee (koot-see)

Robert Campin (com-pin)

William Cowper (cooper)

Cré na Cille, Máirtín Ó Cadhain book (~kreh neh kill-eh)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (me-high cheek-sent-me-high)

Countee Cullen (cown-tay)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie (skwoh-doaf-ska)

Alfonso/Jonás/Carlo Cuarón (al-fone-so/ho-nas kwah-roan)

D

Gerard David (Flemish pronunciation: ~hhheer-ahrd dahh-fidd)

The Dalles, Oregon (the dolls)

Guy Debord (ghee du-borrh)

Louis De Broglie (duh broy)

Giorgio De Chirico (Italian pronunciation: ~dee kee-ree-koh)

Richard Dedekind (between day-dah-kin and day-dah-kint)

Wilhelm Dilthey (dill-tai)

Alfred Döblin (deu-bleen)

Don Juan, Byron character (jew-un)

Gerrit/Gerard Dou (dow)

W.E.B. DuBois (duh-boyz)

Andre Dubus (duh-byoose)

E

Chiwetel Ejiofor (choo-we-tell edge-ee-oh-for)

Cary Elwes (ell-wiss)

Paul Erdős (~pal ehr-deush)

John Scotus Eriugena (era-jee-nah)

Leonhard Euler (oiler)

F

Nuruddin Farah (Somali pronunciation: ~nour-oo-deen farr-ah)

Colm Feore (column fury)

Ferdydurke (fair-deh-dure-kuh)

Paul Feyerabend (fire-ah-bent)

Johann Gottlieb Fichte (feesh-tuh)3

Ralph/Ranulph/Sophie/Joseph/Magnus/Martha Fiennes (rayf finezzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Gustave Flaubert (flow-bear)

William Foege (fay-ghee)

Lee Fang (fong)

Michel Foucault (~foo-coh)

Gottlob Frege (got-lobe free-geh)

James Frey (fry)

G

Gallaudet University (gal-uh-debt)

Clifford Geertz (gurtz)

Alberto Giacometti (Swiss pronunciation: yah-coh-mett-ee)2

André Gide (zheed)

Giotto (jhott-oh)

H.R. Giger (ghee-guh)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (~ger-tuh)

Nikolai Gogol (goggle)

Witold Gombrowicz (vee-told gomm-broh-vitch)

Jan Gossaert (~yann ho-sight) aka ‘Mabuse’ (mah-buu-zuh)

Philip Gourevitch (guh-ray-vitch)

Antonio Gramsci (gromm-she)

Matt Groening (graining)

Alexander Grothendieck (groat-enn-deek)

David Guetta (gay-tah)

H

Vaclav Havel (vott-slav hah-vell)

Michael Haneke (hanukkah)

Margaret H’Doubler (dough-blur)

Seamus Heaney (shay-muss hee-knee)

Aleksandar Hemon (between heh-monn and heh-mown)

Zbigniew Herbert (z’beeg-nyeff herr-behrt)

John Hersey (hearse-ey)

Hesiod (he-see-uhd)

Hermann Hesse (~hair-monn heh-seh)

Guy Hocquenghem (ghee ock-en-g’yem)

homo sacer, Agamben concept (Italian pronunciation: oh-moh satch-air)

Houston Street, Manhattan (house-ton)

Joris-Karl Huysmans (zhour-ris karl weese-moss)4

Bohumil Hrabal (boh-who-meal h’rah-ball)

Alfred Hrdlička (German pronunciation: ~hairt-litch-kah)

I

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (angh)

Eugène Ionesco (Romanian pronunciation: ~yoh-ness-koh)

Luce Irigaray (loose ear-ee-garr-eh)

J

Roman Jakobson (jacob-son)

Jacques, Shakespeare character (jay-kwiss)

Erica Jong (zhong)

Seu Jorge (~sewe zhawzhe)1

Carl Jung (yoong)

K

Frigyes Karinthy (free-gesh car-inn-tee)

Keble College (keeble)

Kelis Rogers (kuh-leece)

Imre Kertész (imm-reh kare-tace)

John Maynard Keynes (kanes)

Omar Khayyam (high-yahm)

Krzysztof Kieślowski (krish-toff keesh-loff-skee)

Q'orianka/Xihuaru Kilcher (core-i-an-ka/see-wahr-oo)

Danilo Kiš (dann-eel-oh keesh)

Paul Klee (powell clay)

Stephen Cole Kleene (cleany)

Phil Klay (kligh)

Karl Ove Knausgård (Norwegian pronunciation: ~kahl oo-veh kuh-nauss-gahd)

Zoltán Kodály (zohwl-tahn koh-die)

Sarah Koenig (kay-nig)

Alexandre Kojève (koh-zhevv)

Tadeusz Konwicki (tah-de-yoosh konn-vitz-ski)

Jerzy Kosiński (yer-zhay koh-shin-ski)

Alexandre Koyré (kwah-ray)

Saul Kripke (crip-key)

Thomas Kuhn (coon)

Milan Kundera (Czech pronunciation: mill-ahn koon-der-uh)

L

Henri Lefebvre (luh-fevv-ruh)

Stanisław Lem (stan-ni-swaf lemm)

Jonathan Lethem (leeth-um)

Jared Leto (let -oh)

Primo Levi (leh-vee)

Marina Lewycka (leh-vitz-kah)

Mario Vargas Llosa (yoh-sah)

Peter Lorre (laura)

Jan Łukasiewicz (yann wu-kah-shey-vitch)

M

Magdalen College, Oxford/Cambridge (mawd-lin)

Mannes College of Music (mannis)

Quentin Matsys/Quinten Matsijs (Flemish pronunciation: kvinn-tin mott-sayse)

Somerset Maugham (mawm)

Kazimir Malevich (may-lay-vich)

Thomas Mann (toe-mahs mahn)

Don Marquis (mar-kwiss)

Olivier Messiaen (oh-leev-yay meh-syonh)

Joel Meyerowitz (my-yer-uh-wits)

Czesław Miłosz (chess-waff me-woahsh)

Joan Miró (zhwamn me-roh)

László Moholy-Nagy (~lass-low moh-holy noidge-eh)

Robert Moog (mogue)

George Mosse (mossy)

Sławomir Mrożek (swah-voh-meer m’roh-zhek)

Ron Mueck (myoo-ick)

Harry Mulisch (mool-ish)

Edvard Munch (ed-vart moonk)

Robert Musil (moo-zeal/moo-seal)

Eadweard Muybridge (edward my-bridge)

N

Nacogdoches, Texas (nack-uh-dough-chis)

Natchitoches, Louisiana (nack-uh-tush)

Otto Neurath (noi-raht)

Bill Nighy (nye)

Anaïs Nin (ah-nayh-ees ninn)

Emmy Noether (neur-tuh)

Cees Nooteboom (sayze note-uh-bome)

Lupita Nyong'o (~nnnnn yong-oh)

O

Obergefell v. Hodges (oh-burr-geh-fell)

Máirtín Ó Cadhain (marr-teen oh kai-un)

Adepero Oduye (add-uh-pair-oh oh-doo-yay)

Jenny Offill (oh-full)

Claes Oldenburg (kloss)

Michael Ondaatje (awn-datch-ee)

The River Ouse (ooze)

David Oyelowo (oh-yell-uh-whoah)

P

Chuck Palahniuk (paul-uh-nik)

Wolfgang Pauli (pow-lee)

Charles Sanders Peirce (purse)

Samuel Pepys (peeps)

Jodi Picoult (pee-coe)

Max Planck (plonk)

Plotinus (ploh-tine-us)

Anthony Powell (po-uhl)

John Cowper Powys (cooper poh-iss)

Principia Mathematica (prin-kipp-ee-yah)

Annie Proulx (proo)

Marcel Proust (proost)

Joseph Pulitzer (puh-litz-ur)

Q

Qatar (cutter/gutter)5

Quinnipiac University (kwinn-uh-pea-ack)

R

Ayn Rand (well-fare recipient)

Sławomir Rawicz (swah-voh-meer rahh-vitch)

Satyajit Ray (Bengali pronunciation: ~shut-uh-jeet rye)

Steve Reich (raish)

Tom Regan (ray-gun)

ricercar (Italian pronunciation: ~reach-ur-car)

Rainer Maria Rilke (rhine-er mahr-ee-a reel-kuh)

Nicolas Roeg (rogue)

Theodore Roethke (ret-key)

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen/Roentgen (vill-helm rhont-gn)

Klaus Roth (roath)

Mary Ruefle (roo-full)

Ed Ruscha (roo-shay)

S

Edward Said (sigh-eed)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (sanh-eks-oo-pear-ee)

Luc Sante (sahnt)

Leonardo Sciascia (shah-shah)

Schlumberger (slumber-zhay)

Bruno Schulz (schooltz)

Martin Scorsese (score-sess-ee)

Henry Scrope, Shakespeare character (scroop)

W.G. Sebald (zay-bald)

Chloë Sevigny (sevv-un-ee)

Choire Sicha (corey seeka)

Charles Simić (Serbian pronunciation: simm-itch, but often called simmick)

Victor Sjöström (Swedish pronunciation: veek-torr hhhwhere-strome)

Theda Skocpol (scotch-pole)

Josef Škvorecký (yoh-zeff shkvore-etz-ski)

William Smellie (smiley)

Todd Solondz (suh-lawnz)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (saul-zhuh-neat-sin)

Léon Spilliaert (Dutch pronunciation: lay-on spilly-art)

Strange, barony (strang)

Edward Steichen (shtike-inn)

William Stukeley (stoo-key)

Wisława Szymborska (vee-swa-va shim-bor-ska)

T

Gay Talese (tuh-leeze)

Chief Justice Roger Taney (tawny)

Nahum Tate (neigh-m)

Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans (chop-uh-too-luss)

Wayne Thiebaud (tee-bo)

Uwe Timm (ooh-veh)

Tzvetan Todorov (tsveh-tahn toh-duh-roff)

Colm Tóibín (~column toh-been)

Ernst Troeltsch (trolch)

Edward Tufte (tuff-tee)

Tulane University (too-lane)

Ivan Turgenev (yvonne turr-gain-yevv)

George W. S. Trow (like ’grow’)

V

Michel Houllebecq (he doesn’t care)

Joos van Cleve (yohss fon clay-vuh)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (meez fonn der roh-uh)

Rogier van der Weyden (~ro-kheer fon dur vay-dun)

Arnoldus Vanderhorst, ultimate namesake of Luther (vandross)

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch pronunciation: ~finch-ant fan hawh)

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (ahn-toe-nee fon lay-when-hook)

Rembrandt van Rijn (remm-brondt fon rain)

Ludvík Vaculík (lood-veek vatz-oo-leek)

Johannes Vermeer (yo-hann-iss furr-meer)

Jones Very (jonas veery)

Vladimir Voinovich (vlah-dee-meer voy-noh-vitch)

Ludwig von Mises (fonn meez-ess)

Georg Henrik von Wright (fon vrikt)

W

Ayelet Waldman (eye-yell-it)

Quvenzhané Wallis (kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay)

Robert Walser (valzer)

Jean-Antoine Watteau (French pronunciation: ~vah-teau)

Evelyn St. John Waugh (eve-linn sin-jun wahh)

Max Weber (veigh-burr)

Simone Weil (zee-moan veigh)

Elie Wiesel (eel-ee vee-zell)

Garry Winogrand (win-uh-grand)

Ludwig Wittgenstein (vitt-genn-shtein)

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (wood-house)

David Wojnarowicz (voy-nah-roh-vitch)

Hermann Wouk (woke)

Woyzeck, Büchner play (voight-zikk)

Joseph Wright of Derby (right of dahr-bee)

Y

William Butler Yeats (yates)

Yerkes Observatory (yer-keys)

Yoknapatawpha County, Faulkner setting (yolk-nuh-pah-taw-fa)

Z

Robert Zajonc (zai-unts)

Slavoj Žižek (slah-voi zhee-zhek)

Andrzej Żuławski (ahn-drey zhu-wavv-ski)

1 Portuguese has a much more complicated phonetics than English & so these are especially approximate.

2 Because Giacometti was from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland a kind of second order snobbishness has descended on the pronunciation of his name. Most people who would judge you pronounce it as you would in Italian (jah-coh-mett-ee) but an inner-inner circle insist on correcting even these people with the Swiss-Italian pronunciation listed here.

3 The pronunciation of the -ch as soft instead of hard, unlike every other instance in German, was contrived after the philosopher’s death to avoid a near-homophony with that language’s word for ‘fuck.’

4 The last syllable doesn’t have an English equivalent but rhymes with the French pronunciation of Jean’s.

5 The first letter (qaf/qof/ق) has no equivalent in English or any other Western language and is more glottal than either of the sounds starting these approximations.

More? Better phonetic versions?

After we took care of the poltergeists, Gromm found an arcane-locked door. Never one to let silly things like impassable magic seals to stop him, he tries and fails twice to shoulder through it.  Thinking it is a matter of momentum, he takes a fifteen-foot runup to charge through it, unaware that Eryn casts Dispel Magic on the lock right as he hits the door. Meeting no resistance, he flies through and crashes straight into an amber golem. This doesn’t piss it off, but when we start going through the piles of treasure it turns out to be guarding, it does get angry. Gromm promptly decided to challenge it to an arm-wrestling match by ripping off its arm and beating the golem to death with it. Needless to say, Gromm won the arm-wrestle.

  • DM: Phaedra, your turn.
  • Me: I shoot the head werewolf. Oh, but nobody's in melee with him, I don't get my sneak damage.
  • DM: Nah, you're so far away, I'll give it to you.
  • Me: Awesome, you're the best DM. *hits, does 33 damage*
  • DM: The arrow sinks into his chest and he roars at the moon.
  • Me: Can I use my free action to flip him off?
  • DM: Sure, go for it.
  • Me: Awesome. *in character, holds up two birds* Fuck you!
  • DM: He orders Gromm to kill all non-wolves.
  • Gromm: Ok!
  • (the werewolf leader had Gromm under some kind of turncoat compulsion)
  • DM: Grosk (werewolf leader) continues staring down Gromm.
  • Me: Is he trying to have a staring contest with Gromm?
  • Evan: He needs to maintain concentration on his control over him.
  • Me: Well, I don't know that. *in character* Hey, Francis! One silver piece on Gromm to win the staring contest with the werewolf.
  • Ben: Gromm only has one eye.
  • Me: I'm still betting on him to win.
  • Vilinus: What is that great being with the wooden construction over its head?
  • Me: Oh, that's our dwarf.
  • Vilinus: That doesn't look like any dwarf I've ever seen; it looks like a magnificent treehouse!
  • (Gromm has been insisting on carrying the chariot full of loot over his head instead of just pulling it behind him. He gets away with it because has a 25 strength, thanks to the blessings of the same evil gods I lost my teeth to)
Body Horror in the Curse of Strahd: I probably should have seen this coming

Kopesk gave the arcanaloth her tail to “get closer to her god,” which he willfully interpreted as sending her to the afterlife. She came back, no problem. Later, we encountered sarcophagi that gave us all cool abilities, but most came with drawbacks. For instance, Kopesk has blindsight, but her eyes melted out of her face. I have three extra lives, but all my teeth fell out. Francis has a bonus to perception, but now he has a permanently closed eye in the back of his head. Wuvo, Bahshra’s feathered snake, has the ability to use Suggestion on people as a standard action (I think) but now also feels that he should be surrounded by art and will manipulate those around him to that end (as much as a non-sentient flying snake familiar can do that). Varissa has truesight, but also feels that life is meaningless and will not resist death when it comes, which is slightly conflicting with her other flaw: obtain power at all costs. Gromm has strength out the wazoo, but gained the flaw of being a bully, which was kind of redundant because he pretty much already was. Li got giant skeletal wings and can fly now, but he has to eat a pound of either bones or grave dirt every day or he dies. Mephistopheles wasn’t there, Feign abstained, and Father Z got something for his bat familiar, Bartleby, but I don’t remember what it was, or what anyone else got. I was a bit distracted by all the body horror.

On the plus side, accepting the gifts of evil deities meant that we were cool with the lich that guards the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. He gave it to us on the condition we don’t let Strahd get a hold of it, and invited us to come read books in his library when we have the time.