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Thread: The SilverClawShift Campaign Archives

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    May 2006

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    All Good Things...


    So, the epilogues.

    First, the Dragon Shaman made sure to mark the area where the Swashbuckler had fallen, noting that he would ensure that the location was always hallowed and revered.

    The three of us rested up in the (now cleared of danger) cave, and as soon as we were recovered, the kobold teleported us to just outside the church where the consecrated ziggurat had been, as per the Dragon Shamans request. There was no longer a reason not to, so the three of us dug our way down to the doorway to the ziggurat, and managed to pry it open. We could hear a faint hum coming from inside.

    We went lower and lower, and finally found her. Sitting next to a broken human-sized egg that looked like it had been cobbled together from bone and bits of broken coffin... a very makeshift egg. With a Dragonborn female curled up on the floor next to it, sleeping soundly.

    I said that it could be another trick, but at the noise, the ex-Changeling woke up and looked around in confusion, before whispering in a melodious voice with tear-filled eyes, "No. It's not."

    Me: "So we're just going to forgive her?"

    Kobold: "Yes, we are. She's not the same person anymore. That's what becoming a dragonborn means."

    And with that, the Dragon Shaman helped her to her feet, and we left the ziggurat.


    With that taken care of, we set about assessing the damage around the world. It was pretty severe. Over the next few days, we made stops at various notable locations. We picked up Macguiller and the survivors in that ziggurat, now uninfected. We went to Central Island (it is Macguiller's home, after all) and discovered that through it all, the captain of the guard had survived. Not only had he survived, he's the only person on the island who never fell to the infection. He barricaded himself in the cellar of the prison, which had enough provisions to see him through (barely). Most of the populace was in fact, gone (dissolved into the drifter swarm, most likely), but there were survivors nonetheless.

    The same was true in a lot of places. We'd visit various coastal towns, kingdoms, and the like. Papa HeeNo and his tribe were gone, but there was no way to be sure he didn't just move them somewhere. He wasn't likely to grab our attention now that we weren't needed.

    Some towns survived, some didn't. A small handful were completely untouched. Some were destroyed entirely. Others fell somewhere in between the two extremes. There were misunderstandings after the infection disappeared, and a lot of innocent people were executed for having BEEN infected... but, well. What are you gonna do?

    The world, slowly but surely, churned on as it always had.


    The Kobold, feeling antsy and unsure, decided he needed to do something to make sure. He tried to Scry on the drifter. He tried, but the spell faltered. He wasn't convinced though, so he tried twice more. The third time, the spell started to fizzle, but suddenly made a connection... On a five year old girl, with a glowing run on her forehead.

    We poured over the surroundings, and finally reached the conclusion that she was in the volcano ziggurat on central island!

    Obviously we teleported right over there, and found there was no way in. The lava had bubbled up and cooled over, sealing the entrance.

    So, the Dragon Shaman tunneled in, and me and the kobold carefully followed through the blisteringly hot rock that threatened to return to being active any day. We found her... the last infected person, one of the children who'd lived on central island and somehow didn't fall into the volcano. Presumably, she was one of the kids the Drifter had 'thrown' into the volcano, but had missed, and simply returned to being infected when her death wasn't needed.

    She sat in the corner of the desecrated main chamber, holding her knees and rocking angrily. When she saw us come in, she snarled. Began muttering insane babbling thoughts to herself. Said, "We came so close, we saw the light, we saw it. We could taste it..." Then she glared up at us, and said, "You don't know what we ARE. You think we'll stop? We'll never stop!"

    The Dragon Shaman had heard enough, and said we should heal her. I said that was stupid. She was infected, and no matter how thoroughly we healed her, we would never know enough about things to be sure she could ever be let back into the world.

    Dragon Shaman: "You're seriously suggesting we kill a five year old girl?"

    Me: "...Do what you want. I'm officially done with this world, and now I have the time to find a way off of it."

    So they heal-bombed the hell out of her. They made sure she was kept under surveillance for days, constantly being hit with healing magic to make sure the infection was really gone.

    Once the kobold scryed on the drifter over and over, and still got nothing, he was convinced the Drifter was truly gone, and they let the girl back into the world.

    ...Need Not Ever End


    Final epilogues.

    The kobold took the little girl as his ward, and no one really objected. Her parents were dead, and he was one of the heroes who'd saved the world. He said he was going to take care of her partially just to be kind, but partially to ensure that he was there to do something if the Drifter turned out to be tucked away in some tiny part of her mind.

    Aside from that, when asked what he was going to do post-story, he said "I saved this entire world, and now I'll continue robbing it blind".

    Then the DM asked me what I was going to do post-story, and I said I was going to plane-shift myself to the abyss, along with my soul-bound mental patients, and start a little mom & pop soul trading business. Hopefully I'll keep growing in power until I can become a true fiend, and then, fingers crossed, a demon princess.

    The Dragon Shaman coughed.

    See, no. Cause once I have some time to think about it, I'm going to hunt her down and either get her to repent, or END her.

    The DM looked at us both for a minute, thinking, before drawing a plain square on the battlegrid, and saying "Okay. You find her right as she's finished packing her bags (and souls) and getting ready for the ritual that will take her to the abyss."

    So the Dragon Shaman walks into my little inn room.

    Me: "Can I HELP you?"

    Dragon Shaman: "Yeah... see. I've had some time to think about it. And remember when I said you were small time, and we had bigger things to worry about? Well we DON'T have bigger things to worry about any more. And now? You're officially the most evil thing I know."

    Me: "So now we lock horns and fight to the death?"

    Dragon Shaman: "You could repent."

    Me: "...Roll initiative."

    So, we fought. Hard. But it was kind of a stalemate. For every hit one of us made on the other, we would shrug it off or instantly heal it with fast healing or lay on hands.

    After a few rounds of combat, the DM sends me a private note that says, "You need him out of the room to complete the ritual".

    So... we fight a bit more, still really a stalemate... but finally, he lines up a few feet in front of the door to the room... and I hit him with a repelling blast that knocks him clean into the hallway, before running and slamming the door shut.

    Me at the table: All I say before slamming the door, is "See you in Hell."

    The Dragon Shaman got up and kicked the door in... only to discover the room is gone. Not empty. GONE. It's a doorway leading to the open air, and the foundation the building was built on.


    So, having taken care of my epilogue, the DM turns to the Dragon Shaman.

    Dragon Shaman: "So I didn't kill the witch, but I saved the world and got the girl? Happily Ever After?"

    DM: "Happily Ever After. No one knows who the ex-changeling is, or what she did, except for you and the kobold. But you both respect the fact that dedicating her soul to Bahamut is a second lease on life?"

    Kobold: "Oh yeah."

    Dragon Shaman: "Definitely."

    DM: "Then that's how it goes. She becomes a Dragonborn Bard, joining you in trying to subvert the actions of evil dragons and promote Bahamut's will on the world, and becoming famous for writing and performing songs of your deeds. Occasionally, you find her scribbling enigmatic looking seals, but that might be another story entirely."

    Dragon Shaman: "Happily ever after?"
    DM: "Scout's honor."


    The end

    Some Final Words


    Wow. I'm so glad to have that all DONE. I didn't think I'd have time to wrap it up today before our gaming session. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read it, and for being patient with the delays and my occasional incoherence. Hopefully it wasn't a let down (every story has to end sometime, some how ).

    Usually, after a really big story, we have a batch of smaller stories, or some one-shot combats, or things like that, but our DM had such a big plan for our next campaign that we're actually jumping into another rolling saga tonight.

    I'll try to post about it too, but I'm a little busy in real life right now, sooo... I can't make any promises about promptness or anything like that. Still, thank you for your interest and kind words everyone

    ...and so ends the Second Tale.

    __________________________________________________ _______


    The Vignettes are smaller side tales that SilverClawShift made over the course of the years, just little bits and pieces that came from her earlier (yet no less interesting) campaigns. Most of them (hopefully all of them) have been compiled here for your viewing pleasure.

    Favorite Kill


    We were playing an earlier version of the Dustlands (featured in my sig, and despite the delays, I swear it's not deceased).

    The party:

    "Deathwish": A human Cowboy/Desperado who, predictably, had a deathwish. His true love had gone missing, and a Loaman truthspeaker had given him the vision, "You'll find her on your deathbed". With nothing else to go on, and unwilling to off himself, Deathwish was the most unpredictable and careless gunslinger in ten cities (and probably more). At one point during our adventures, Deathwish had acquired 50 feet of nigh-unbreakable rope (which was another story alltogether).

    "Cordelia": A human Spellslinger (early version)/Trailblazer (the gist of the Trailblazer class is that any mount you make a successful check on turns into a firey (and frighteningly fast) steed). This was me.

    "Slick":A Sliss (snakeman) Grifter who carried a "Deck" of small stiff spell scrolls and liked to mix UMD and Sleight of Hand checks.

    "Levanitheklin": A Wasteling Healer.

    "Still Sure": A human Raindancer (early version).

    So, onto the story.


    Way out in the desert (predictably), a Sliss tribe with unnaturally blueish skin was making raids on small towns and taking living hostages. In the long run, it turned out they were preparing for some kind of blood ritual to revive a long-dead Vampire Lord Blue Dragon buried in the sands.

    Unfortunately, we performed poorly, and the sucker came tearing out of the sand at dusk and got ready to tear our group a new one.

    "Still" got busy warring with the enemy tribes raindancer, (yes, we called it a dance off. We're not 100% serious all the time :-p). Two high level raindancers going at it is borderline apocalyptic, the battlefield was being peppered with lightning bolts, hailstones, hot scorching winds, vision obscuring fogs, rain falling up, ect.

    "Levanitheklin" was at Still's side and trying to keep him alive.

    "Slick" was distracting the enemy tribe (the entire tribe) by blending into them in and out and making them fight each other.

    I was taking potshots at the dragon for lack of a real plan at that moment, doing little else but pissing it off and making it turn its attention on me, hitting me with one NASTY breath weapon and almost pounding me flat into the sand.

    And in comes Deathwish, after seeing the thing open up with its breath weapon. "Imma try to lasso its jaw shut before it can do that again." We all just stared. Deathwish wasn't just a cool name, after all.

    So he makes a Use Rope check and a ranged touch attack, both succeeded with crazy high rolls, and the unbreakable rope snags behind the fat part of the dragons jaw and pulls tight. The dragons, ticked off obviously, tried pawing at the thin tight line digging into its face, but the rope was too small and too tight for it to get it off. Deathwish was making the strength checks to hold the rope tight, but was getting flung around the battlefield in the process, nailing everything he hit with some mutual bludgeoning damage. Finally, the dragon gets mad enough at me hitting it and the line holding it tight, that it decides to take to the skies. Deathwish does not let go.

    So he's being dragged at a few hundred feet per round across the still hot desert sand, trying hard to 'waterski' as opposed to being dragged face first. Shouting "Whoa whoa whoa WHOAAAAAAAAAAAA" the whole time. And the dragon starts fading into the distance.

    In the interest of not losing our friend, I shout that I need some kind of mount (ours were dead). The healer takes a beat to summon his class's unicorn (...), and I run and hop onto it. At the time, we hadn't decided if summonable animals (let alone OTHER PLAYERS CLASS FEATURES) could be taken over by a Trailblazer, so I asked the DM if what I was trying would work.

    He thought about it for a minute, and then decided the "Rule of Cool" trumped any problems with it, and I made the Mounting check to dominate/burn the unicorn.

    So now I'm on a scorched black unicorn, with glowing red-hot hooves, evil red eyes, and a flaming horn. Rule of Cool indeed. I shout to the group that they won't be able to keep up, so just keep fighting and follow the scorch marks when they can. And suddenly I'm hauling ass through the desert at night, at about 360 feet per round, leaving burning hoof prints and scorched plantlife in my wake. (Mind you, this was before the Ghostrider movie too).

    (As an aside, the group successfully killed off the Sliss tribe, and started following the trail we left a few minutes later).

    So our Gunslinger is being dragged by an ancient angry blue dragon vampire, and I'm following hot on their trail (pun very much intended). After a chase, the dragon ended up over very rocky terrain and started to bludgeon the hell out of our cowboy by swinging him into rocks. Being faster than the dragon (I was almost capped in the Trailblazer class), I managed to pull ahead up some high rocky hills, and jumped off a peak into the dragons face, which cause it to falter in flight and fall abit. The cowboy took the opportunity to scramble through a gap in the rocks and loop the unbreakable rope around a HUGE boulder, and make a stable knot. When the dragon tried to soar off again, the rope snagged in the middle, and with the counter-weight of the boulder it sent him crashing to the ground wing first.

    I took the chance to jump off my mount and onto the dragons face, and "Opened Up" on him (a core concept of the spellslinger class is the ability to go nova). Hit him so hard with raw magical energy I knocked myself back off of him a good 50 feet and into a rock face, and he was seriously jacked up as a result.

    But he wasn't even close to being DOWN, just hurt and angry. So the dragon pounces up and at me. Except before he can squash me like a bug, the cowboy is ON him, the rope now wrapped around its entire head and horns in various spots, the cowboy holding on like they were reins and jerking the dragons face around as it tried to move (strength checks, sometimes the dragon succeeded, sometimes it got its field of vision forcibly pulled in another direction). The Cowboy is also occasionally pulling out his spellshot pistol and firing a round point blank into the base of the dragons skull.

    The dragon, not liking what's going on, takes off again but the cowboy is directing him (in a loose way) back towards our group. So I'm back on the unicorn and following again, and we meet up with our group a little past where the now-deceased Sliss tribe had been. The Raindancer starts helping the cowboy by directing gale-force winds into the dragons face, making its flight even more difficult than the cowboy had been. Slick tosses illusions at the dragon left and right, enough of them beating the dragons will save to distract and confuse it amongst all the wind and the reins pulling its face.
    The healer hops on the unicorn with me, and we make a running jump up onto the dragons tail, ride up it onto its back, where the healer jumps off to join the cowboy (and I make another running jump through the dragons beating wings and directly into the storm force winds, because I was going too fast to stop).

    The HEALER goes nova, clinging to the dragons head and making constant touch attacks to deliver heal spells. Finally between the hurricane force winds and hail, the pistol rounds to the back of the head, and the pulsing positive energy, the vampire dragon 'dusts' in midair, dying and burning to ashes in seconds.

    Leaving a terrified cowboy and healer careening through the air at top speed through the ashes of what HAD been a massive elder blue wyrm. They hit hard, rolling and tumbling forwards at first, then backwards as the wind took over. The raindancer killed the dance, but the winds still had the rest of us being tossed like ragdolls for a second.

    I wish I could have made that sound more climactic. We were so thrilled that we managed to kill that thing, the DM was amazed (he'd wanted it to be the campaigns BBEG! The campaign had to do a plot change when we tore the sucker out of the sky). It had been our first encounter in a week, and we used basically all of our daily resources/features, and almost every consumable gear we had. That wasn't a fight we should have won.

    It also threw us out of commission for a week to recover. We crashed where we were, not even making a campfire, just sleeping in a huddle. The healer touched us up a little in the morning, and we limped back to the nearest town to rest and re-stock on what we could.

    For the Sake of an Innocent


    Technically he declared war on the seventh layer of hell specifically, and its archdevil Baalzebul, any other devils caught in it were collateral damage.

    The best part was the reason though. A single man, a first level commoner at that, had made a deal with an evil cult. It wasn't in exchange for his soul, it was an exchange in food and aid for his struggling family until the harvest season came up to yield better crops. The cult sabotaged his crops so he couldn't afford to hold up his end of the deal, and then "lawfully executed" him (read, ritually sacrificed him) and sent his soul to hell.

    Our favored soul decided their sabotage was a breach of contract, rendering it null and void, and that the man should not have been harassed (let alone executed) over the event.

    He even tried to get messages to Baalzebul himself (and Asmodeus when that didn't work) for a legal discussion on the matter. Neither gave any formal acknowledgment.

    So the favored soul kidnapped the entire cult, executed the entire group on sanctified grounds, telling them to tell their masters "Formal war has been declared".

    And it was waged. Church officials called him a lunatic, asked if all the resulting bloodshed (and probably destabilization of the universe at large) was worth a single soul. his response was "A single innocent soul. And yes."

    We stormed the first layer through various inter-planar portals, held the archdevil of the first hostage (and even sent a battalion of the churches armies to help the devils hold the front line in the blood war! we didn't want the whole universe collapsing over this).

    Fought our way down to the seventh layer and saved the farmer. We're told explicitly by a slightly bemused Asmodeus (whose voice causes nosebleeds and nausea, and sounds like a mixture of thunder rolling in with the shrill of a million babies shrieking in pain) that our presence had been entertaining, but that we were to LEAVE, now.

    The favored soul ordered a tactical retreat. Cause I mean. Asmodeus. DAMN. But we still did what we went for.

    "But We Remembered the Fire Resistance!"


    How many people have co-players who would double cross them at a moments notice? Is it a personality trait of theirs, or just good roleplaying? Thankfully, in my case, it's the latter.

    My friends can't get together for gaming anytime over the next few days, so we grouped up this afternoon for a pretty long session of getting excited over what we roll on shiny dice, like all good and right people should.

    We decided to play some eberron material randomly (a word about my group, we have very short attention spans, and other gamers have described our playstyle as "like shadowrun" even if we're playing D&D). Our DM is fantastic at coming up with things on the fly, and his notes are usually just ideas scribbled with enough space to try to link them together as a coherant story. This works surprisingly well if you have a quick thinker with a knack for theatrics/cinematic style/dramatic storytelling. It helps that our group tends to cooperate and act as a unit in real life, even when our characters are killing each other. We would rather have an interesting story than claim success in our own minds.

    Which brings me to the title of the thread. Those backstabbing jerks.

    Another trait of our DM is that he lets us get away with absolute murder when it comes to our insane ideas about character builds. None of us are really powergamers, so he tends to give us a blank check when we're picking our race, class, backstory, ect.

    So it wasn't a big deal for me to be a Shifter, with Binder selected as a base class. (an aside that I hope doesn't violate any licenses. Anyone who doesn't know the Binder base class should at least be aware that the fact that you are likely to be persecuted is a huge part of the classes flavor. Binders are considered heretics at BEST by most churches). Binder is also a CHA heavy class, so I become the spokesperson/smoothtalker by default.

    To keep this from turning into a novel, I'll skim over the backstory about this situation the best I can.

    - Around first level, early on in the game, my group (generally chaotic, and good, in various quantities) had to take a low level cleric of the Silver Flame hostage for various reasons I won't get into detail about here.

    - We didn't mean this cleric any harm, and weren't planning on hurting him. We just needed a hostage that the authorities would be worried about being responsible for killing to cover our bases.

    - The party went out for some business while I kept watch over the cleric. I was our Plan B, as the rest of the party could warn that their failing to return to our hideout, alone, would mean me slitting his throat. A bluff, but that was the plan.

    - I'm alone with this sniveling tied up cleric for a good two days. During that time, I kept binding a vestige to keep my power level up and ready in case I found myself in an emergency.

    So on three separate occasions, this cleric of the silver flame sees me drawing an enigmatic seal, and verbally making a pact with a terrifying monstrosity from outside of reality to share my soul with it for 24 hours. He knows my name.


    Cut to 3 levels, and a number of months of adventuring later. We're all level 4, and becoming rather notorious. Our group goes by the general style that level 1 is an average person, level 2-3 is exceptionally skilled and noteworthy people, that level 4 is fantastically capable, and that level 5 is the equivalent of an olympic athlete or a noble prize winning scientist or some such. Above level 5 is superheroic to varying degrees.

    So we're a bit infamous in some circles. We're not bad guys, but we're certainly not doing things by the book, off the beaten path, marching to the beat of our own drum-... you get it.

    My group is trying to pass through a mid sized town without much fuss, maybe pick up some gear and refresh our supplies, and head out to our next destination under the radar.

    Because it's relevant to the story at hand, I'll list some facts about me at this point.

    - I have a vestige bound that grants 10 fire resistance

    - I have a class feature that grants 5 fire resistance

    - I have a cute little ring that gives me 10 fire resistance and my DM agrees that they all stack cause he's cool with stuff like that.

    - The vestige I have bound brands a symbol into my palm as a sign of our pact (a temporary brand, but still).

    - The vestige I have bound also gives me the ability to wreath myself in flames. The flames wouldn't hurt me, so the fire resistance doesn't matter, but it's still relevant info.

    - I'm wearing a sort of low-key-but-still-elegant noble outfit, as the partys spokesperson I like to look presentable. My scruffy, scarred up, slightly pungent 'allies' probably look like mercernary bodyguards or something.

    On to the story. Our party decides we could use some healing gear, and the logical place to hit up for something like that is the local temple. Which just happens to be dedicated to the Silver Flame. I'm fairly confident that my charisma will get me through this without hassle, and probably at a discount, despite being a shifter (and therefor a second class citizen in most places, especially to the silver flame).

    I meet the guard in front of the temple and start smooth talking. I introduce us as a party of adventurers, and ask if we might purchase some healing potions to keep us in one peice if we encounter any trouble. The guard says he thinks he's hear of us.

    I put on the charmed/elated act, thinking maybe he'll suck up to the bigshots. I introduce myself as >my name< (DANGER WILL ROBINSON) and reach out to shake his hand.

    He asks, "THE >my name<???"
    "No one but! :)"

    He reaches out to shake my hand. Grabs my wrist. Looks at my palm. Accuses me of being a heretic heathen, declares me guilty on the spot, and tries to abduct me for a swift execution.

    Oh boy.

    The ensuing chaos was remarkable. This bumpkin town is immediately whipped into a frenzy, with people shrieking "Witch!", "Heretic!" ect. so a full on city street full of 1st level commoners, a handful of silver flame guards of undetermined class or level, and a few more higher level tempalrs coming out of the temple. All trying to abduct me.

    In the frenzy, my group has managed to keep a low profile, and comes up with a fantastic idea. As I'm attempting an acrobatic escape/dodge/jackie chan style climbing running and sliding scene, the party rogue comes up, sneak attacks me with a blackjack to the back of the head, and knocks me out cold.



    They get REWARDED for being the ones to bring me down, and I'm immediately tied to a post and a pyre is built. I wake up as they give a small speech about impurities in the world being cleansed with holy fire, and they light the bonfire. It flares up, and I am officially being burned at the stake for being a heathen.

    While my party looks on with a sick shrug.

    But wait. My story gets better.

    The DM declares that the open flame, combined with my 25 fire resistance, isn't enough to actually do me any damage. The fires flare up, and my poofy noble clothes are now aflame.

    The fire burns through the rope (met with open mouthed staring) before it actually hurts me, thanks to the fire resistance. I crawl down OVER the bonfire, looking for all the world like some japanese horror vision, while literally engulfed in natural flame. I activate my vestiges halo wreath of fire, doubling the intensity of the flame visually, and give my best feral roar while shifting (+2 strength yay) and strike out at the nearest person, a random guy standing in the street in terror. The Dm decides that no real dice roll is needed, as he's frozen in terror, and my clawed, flaming hand rakes most of his face off and drops him. Things near me are starting to combust, and I'm leaving scorching footprints.

    The crowd scrambles like a cattle stampede. All but two of the silver flame templars turn tail and run, screaming into the evening. My 'friends' immediately do a double double cross, the rogue slits ones throat and they all beat the other one to death there in the street. While I stand there. On fire. Staring angrily.

    They tried to play it off that they knew I was going to get out of the situation.

    "We knew you'd be fine, we remembered you had all that fire resistance"
    "no you didn't. You didn't know they would use fire. They could have cut my head off."
    "Oh come on, they ALWAYS burn heretics at the stake..."
    "We remembered the fire resistance!"
    "No you didn't"
    "*stares angrily*"
    "You know you're still on fire."
    "I am aware."

    We continued adventuring together. Very Very awkwardly. With a lot of staring.

    My revenge has so far been subtle, but sweet. As the parties spokesperson, and the one responsible for getting us out of trouble at all costs, I've taken a lot of opportunities to make them look horrible, going so far as the explain in a hushed tone to a guard that our dwarf friend was severely retarded after a troll smacked him around for a while, and that we felt obligated to look out for him.

    Subtle revenge isn't enough though. The campaign isn't over. And if, for one tiny split SECOND, it becomes easier for me to let the party die a horrible death while I walk away whistling? They will be rolling new characters.

    Uh, so, yeah. Anyone else have double crossing bastards they call friends?

    ...and then...

    But Vengeance Is Tastier When You Heat It Up A Bit


    So I got my revenge tonight, and it was sweet and tasty.

    One common trait of our games is that we leave a MOUNTAIN of notes after each session. We all carry a small notepad, and anything we need to discuss in private, we scribble on the notepad. Helps keeping out-of-character knowledge from becoming an issue, because you didn't hear that information in the first place. The most common notes are between the DM and players, but if characters decide to head off to discuss something alone, we can actually plot without the DMs fore-knowledge of our plan. Makes things interesting.

    And we recycle the massive amounts of paper we tear through, don't worry.
    Anyway, the end result is that we don't really raise eyebrows when secret notes are being passed. It's a given, and it's not necessarily something sinister, just a roleplaying aide.

    So my party (now level 5, the last level before we become engines of superheroic destruction), finds a relatively quiet out-of-the-way corner of the world to crash in for a few days and collect our bearings after some particularly BAD planning went south. We had a mini quest in the town helping out a gnome stage magician (this was NOT something I set up, the DM dropped it on us as randomly as anything else, I had no prior knowledge about it).

    Then we planned on relaxing for the evening. While the party started a brawl in a bar for entertainment (really.) I headed out for a shopping excursion. Since this was all out-of-character stuff for the other players, it consisted of me and the DM passing notes about what I was hoping to accomplish, while he DMed a random bar fight.

    As a side note, the vestige I had bound gave me a number of random abilities, one of which included being treated as a wizard of my level when it came to using spell trigger items like wands, so I could use em freely same as a 5th level wizard.

    Now, what I did, and the DM approved readily, was find the gnomish stage magician we'd helped earlier, and talk to him about buying some of his stage magic stuff, which the gnome was fine with (he was a real spellcaster who just happened to use it in theatrics instead of adventuring, putting on a 'brilliant' show for entertainment purposes).

    So I came back to my party with
    - A number of wands that did various useless magical tricks
    - A few pints of flammable oil

    The local authorities (with a semi-southern sherrif twang, which was a ncie touch) were berating my party for causing such a ruckus. He let them go with a slap on the wrist cause he could tell 'they didn't mean no real harm', along with a warning to keep their noses clean until they passed to the next town. My party sheepishly agreed that the fun was over, and we headed to a nearby inn for the night.

    We were going to get separate rooms, but I suggested we'd probably feel fine with crashing in a room together (we did it in dungeons and the wilderness anyway) and it'd keep our cost down, which in the long run could give us more cash for crucial gear, so my party agreed that we'd just rent a sizable room and work out some sleeping arrangements there. We roleplayed it, arguing over who was gonna sleep where without letting it get too heated, with people arguing that they weren't sleeping on the floor until the party wizard reminded everyone (me included) that we all have bedrolls and blankets and sleeping gear in our packs, like always. Having a pillow makes sleeping on the floor more bearable, and we let the fighter (swashbuckler, actually) sleep in the bed cause all the extra physical stress was worse on the joints and back ect.

    So the Dm tells us we all fall asleep while I'm handing him a note. The party starts describing waking up, and he gives us the always ominous "Oh no, wait." Which means he's being the devil.

    Or in this case, that I'm being the devil.

    And he starts making them roll listen checks over the swashbucklers snoring, which they fail, and are very freaked out about.

    Especially when they realize, the DM didn't make ME roll a listen check.

    The DM makes them roll a few more, which made me nervous, but none of them passed. They were starting to get nerve wracked, with the rogue actually grabbing his character sheet and yelling "WAKE UP MAN, WAKE UP, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!" but it was too late. I abandon the notes and say aloud to the dm "I splash the rest of the oil in the swashbucklers face".

    Jaws drop.

    DM: "You wake up with a cough and a snort, immediately assaulted by the overpowering smell of volatile, COMBUSTIBLE chemicals."

    Swashbuckler: 'I shout "What in the hells are you doing?!" loud enough to wake the party."

    DM: "Sure, I'll give you that. Everyone stirs, the smell of flammable oil permeating the room."

    Me: "I wave my crossbow pistol around and say "No, no one move, or this is liable to get very messy very quickly!" with a sweet smile."

    DM: "Nate, roll a spot check (Nate's our wizard, and he passed the check). You notice the bolt loaded into the crossbow pistol is glowing faintly, a dull red tip that, even in your groggy state, realize is probably ripe with magical fire."

    Nate: "I say aloud, "For the love of god no one move!""

    Swashbuckler: "Screw that! Roll initiative, I jump out of bed at top speed and attack with my fists!"

    DM: "Jump out of bed at top speed?"

    Swashbuckler: "Yeah!"

    DM: "What's your Dex? *rolls a secret dice* take 5 bludgeoning damage from smashing your face into the wall of force over your bed."

    Swashbuckler: "You've gotta be KIDDING me. Where the hell did THAT come from."

    Me: *Out of character (which we just say out loud)* "The gnome uses moveable walls of force to roll marbles over the tops of the audience."

    Swashbuckler: "What the hell? What's that mean?"

    Me: "I'll explain later. Back in character now though. I figured you'd be the one to try something like that. Aren't swashbucklers supposed to be INTELLIGENT?"

    Swashbuckler: "Fine, back in character, what do you want from us?"

    So I went on to explain that I'd gotten some unique magical gear while they were all wasting their time peaking under waitresses skirts and smashing mugs of ale on random passers heads. I tell them that they're all already under the effect of one of the spells. Which is controlled by me. And that if I decide, they will immediately take 1d2 points of fire damage any round I decide I'm unhappy with them. A weak effect... except that they are all soaked, along with the room, in torch oil.

    I also tell them that, while they get will saves against the second effect, I can try to force any of them to freeze, or pick the direction they run in (which will be away from me, requiring them to close the distance if they want to attack, if they get a chance to).

    Wizard: "Ug. God. Alright. What do you want us to do?"

    Me: "Burn for me."

    Wizard: "...what?"

    Me: "I activate the fire ability. "BURN FOR ME!!!!!!""

    DM: "everyone flip a coin for damage, and then roll 1d6 for fire damage as the entire room flares up like the pits of hell themselves."


    DM: "No, it is, you're very much on fire."

    Swashbuckler: "I roll off the bed, avoiding the wall of force, and ATTACK."

    Me: "Not really."

    Swash: "Huh?"

    DM: "Roll a will save."

    Swash: "Oh you've gotta be *expletive* kidding me." *rolls and fails, by a wide margin*

    Me: "He runs out of the room."

    Swash: "Runs out of the room screaming "OH GOD I'M ON FIRE""

    The DM goes on to explain that everyone in the inn goes into panic mode as the flames spread out of our room and a group of random people run by FULLY engulfed in flame. Along with making them roll 1d6 for fire damage randomly (about once a round). All while I run behind them, laughing maniacally, making them run in random directions and freezing occasionally, while on fire, screaming "DANCE MY PUPPETS, BURN BURN BURN. BURN AND DANCE! HAHAHAHA"

    Then I cast invisibility on myself and disappear into the alleyway (we're outside at this point, along with the evacuated inn).

    DM keeps making them roll 1d6s while they dance for me unable to put out the flames, and freezing anytime they try to stop drop and roll or go for something that might help. when the wizard is at about 1/5th of his hitpoint total, the DM gives them this.

    DM: "Suddenly, the illusory flames wink out of existence, and you're left standing, panting in terror, under the night sky. In your skivvies."

    Rogue: "WHAT?!?!?!"

    DM: "Good question, I'm sure you'd be wondering what the hell that was about in character too. But there's no time for that, the local authorities show up, and immediately place you all under arrest, dragging your protesting forms into the night, saying he knew you were trouble and that he shoulda locked you up after the barfight."

    Jaws still dropped.

    Me: "I watch and wait while everyone tries to figure out what happened, until the crowd starts shuffling nervously back into the inn or leaving as warranted, and sneak back to my room, locking the door and curling up in the bed."

    I slept soundly (though the room did still smell of oil) and got up bright and early to wait by the jailhouse for my party.

    The local lawman and his goons escorted them to the front, and told them he wanted them out of town by nightfall, or they'd spend a lot longer than one night in the pokey.

    I asked them if they slept well, with a huge grin.

    I explained to them that the ILLUSIONIST I'd gotten all my magical gear from assured me that none of it would cause any real damage, but that it still felt "hot enough to make the front row break a sweat when it flares up on stage".

    Swash: "I guess I don't really need to ask WHY..."

    Me: "No. You DON'T. *back in character* I lean in to the party and look the rogue dead in the eye, and say in a small, friendly whisper, "don't *expletive* with me." and walk away."

    Jaws are still mostly dropped here. Rubbing foreheads and eyes in great annoyance/recovery.

    Me: "I shout out "Are we gonna have any more problems? Or do we know who's the baddest dog on the block now?" (I'm a shifter and all)."

    Rogue: "We'll be good."

    And there was much rejoicing. By me. I've got my eyes peeled for them trying to turn this into something more, but I'm confident I can stay one step ahead of them if they try to. Hopefully they'll realize they had this coming, and that I didn't have to use FAKE fire, and was being very generous to them in how I got my revenge. After all, it wasn't FAKE fire that was burning me. Or my clothes at least.

    Good times, good times.

    If You Mix A Portable Hole And A Bag Of Holding, Stuff Happens


    In this campaign (it was a horror campaign, and our DM is good at horror), I played a bard whose draconic ties didn't manifest in any flashy way, but as raw undilluted greed and a tendency to hoard like crazy. Plenty of extra-dimensional holding space, plenty of random oddball items that no one in a million years would find useful (our DM LOVES to throw 'useless' magic items at us and watch us figure out a way to make it useful. One we could never come up with a good use for was a bucket that, when placed on the ground by a sentient creature, would wait for 36 seconds, and then flip upside down (or right side up). It wasn't strong enough to flip more than liquid contents, or a comparable weight. What the hell do you do with this bucket? aside from pranks on exhausted farmers.)


    The BBEG we had our sights set on was a kobold sorcerer lich with permanent reduce-person cast on himself. Yeah. We were hot on the heels of a Tiny sized Kobold Lich. ADVENTURE. EPIC. EPIC ADVENTURE.

    His lair turned out to be extra-dimensional. In a kobold village (lot of traps) deep through the kobold tunnels (even more traps) there was an inner sanctum. The inner sanctum had traps, and...nothing else. No lich. No sorcerer. We cast every kind of dispelling/purging/sensing magic we had at our disposal. And all we got was an unbelievably faint magical aura coming from...

    A rabbit hole covered with a rock. Which we managed to widen physically, then magically, and enter.

    Our BBEG was a reduced sized kobold lich sorcerer with an extra-dimensional lair hidden in a rabbit hole. Covered in a rock.

    Oh ye gods. The horror. The horror.

    No. Seriously. The unrelenting gut wrenching terror of moving a single inch.

    A question for the gaming community. Do you know what a giant extra-dimensional tower is like after a bored (reduced) kobold lich sorcerer spends 1100 years setting up his defenses?


    More. Traps.

    HORRIBLE traps. Nightmare traps. Traps that, for example, summoned cows and then tore them inside out and showered us in their blood and gore. Why? No tactical reason. JUST TO MESS WITH US. Just to throw us off our game and rattle us and make us wish we weren't there.

    This was a COCKY reduced kobold lich sorcerer, and he did not respect his invaders.

    And for every 'just to mess with you' trap there were 4 'kill you in creative ways' traps. The rogue caught an average of 2/5, and we wound up wishing he'd catch the non-fatal traps because they were really starting to freak us out. I think the worst was the giant rotting angelic face with golden bird wings that simply screamed, and screamed, and screamed.

    So we get to the lich. And this fight is... well, it's hard as hell. But it's also annoying (in a fun way). He's a foot and a half tall, undead, ENTERTAINED BY OUR PRESENCE, and has enough spell slots to do all kinds of horrible things that aren't actually fatal, they're just playing with us.

    We're outgunned. By a RKLS (reduced, ect). And not just a little outgunned, he's playing with us, and we KNOW it.

    But there's no way our DM would let us get in here and not at least hint that we were going to a no-win fight, so we start looking for what to do in this situation.

    To make an already long story just a little bit shorter, our rogue and wizard manage to team up while the rest of us distract the little guy, and they.... *drumroll* SET OFF A TRAP

    But it was the win for us, because this trap wasn't supposed to trigger unless the lich lost. He panicked and was flung off into the nothingness as his tower began coming apart brick by brick.

    DM: "Alright, healbot. Roll a knowledge (the planes) check."

    Cleric: "Uh? Uh. *roll 17* + a lot"

    DM: "You realize the abyss you are currently staring into an an ageless, timeless demiplane of infinite size. Nothing here will die of thirst, old age, or starvation. There's nothing here. You will simply drift forever into the black.

    Cleric. "Uh."

    So we're scrambling for the exit at the base of the tower, as the tower comes apart in random directions. Many stunts, many feats, ect.

    At halfway down, we set off... guess. Guess what we set off.

    If you guessed 'trap' you get 1/2 point. It was a gravity reversal trap that made us fall up into the ceiling. So now we're working our way up to the bottom of the tower ( ) and we make it, but we also don't.
    The rift is too big for us to make it across, and the way the tower is coming apart, trying to float to it will just send us off in random direction. The rogue comes up with a bright idea.

    From one of my many bags of stuff, I produce a mithral chain (). The rogue promises this idea will save us all. They wrap themselves in mithral chain, and here's the idea. I slingshot them to the portal out using the big statue as a counter-point, and then they yank me back to the exit. Except when they get slingshotted up there, and I grab the chain and get prepared to be yanked... nothing. I look up and see the other end of the chain just floating there.

    And I drift off into the eternal void of soul destroying nothingness, facing an eternity of losing my mind.

    Why? The rogue figures I been stealing more than my fair share of the loot, cause I'm so greedy (I wasn't).

    The cleric shouts out that he's sorry, but they can't find a way to get to me without risking themselves, and says something about always remembering me. Gee, thanks. I'm sure that thought'll keep me warm. Out in the eternal nothing. I'd rather go to the 6th level of hell.

    The Dm gives me the Game-ologists last rites. "Roll up a new character I guess."

    Me: "No! Wait! I can still do stuff right!"

    DM: "Uh. Sure?"

    Me: "Okay, I, uh. I take off one of my boots and let go."

    DM: "...kay. The boot floats off slowly in a random direction. Everything in this INFINITE plane repulses everything else, and the only landmark was destroyed by your party."

    Me: "I take off my other boot and let it go too!"

    DM: " also floats off randomly."

    Me: "Goodbye boots!" :(

    DM: *slaps forhead* "Okay. You have fun in the abyss. When you're ready to roll up a new character, I'll weave you back into the game. For now, we're gonna move on."

    So there I sit. Tuning out the rest of the party continuing adventuring, moving onto the next higher up on the BBEG scale (A vampire so old the lich was afraid of him). Staring at my character sheet. Humming TAPS.
    I kinda zoned out for a while and just relaxed, watching them play and mourning my characters loss. Then I saw it.

    "WAIT!" I shout, interrupting a random discussion.

    DM: "Wait for what?"

    Me: *holding out hands as if there was something there* "I HAVE A BAG OF HOLDING."

    DM: "Yes. Enjoy your worthless loot in the abyss."


    DM: "... oh crap?"

    Players: "???"


    Players: "Just entertaining yourself in the hoary netherworld then?"

    Me: "No no no! There's two things that happen. You can put a bag in a hole, or the hole into the bag. One way destroys both of them, the other OPENS A RIFT TO THE ASTRAL PLANE AND SUCKS EVERYTHING NEARBY INTO IT."

    Cleric: "Which does which?"

    Me: ":D"... "D:"... I don't remember."

    DM: *Chuckle*

    Me: "Let me roll a check?! Knowledge arcana?!"

    Dm: "Sure."

    Me: "*fail* CRAP. What about knowledge, history?"

    Cleric: "WHY would that answer this question?'

    Me: "Cause it has to have come up before at some important time, and maybe I can remember which does which that way."

    DM: "Sure, roll."

    Me: *fail* "Oh god."

    Everyone's staring at me at this point. And I'm totally lost in my character for the record. I'm looking back and forth at my hands, trying to decide which to do. Finally, I stuff the portable hole into the bag of holding and pray.



    Anyway. Story over. It keeps going, I fought my way to the ethereal plane, haunted my party for a while, managed to kill the rogue, and then found a way onto the material plane and rejoined the rest of the group.

    ....that was really long.

    Last edited by 13_CBS; 2010-03-28 at 05:26 PM.