New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 119
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Well I just finished reading and boy was it an amazing campaign. Its too bad one player had to leave, but it seems all of them are putting in a lot of care and interest into the story, which is amazing. Dont lose heart, many people probably read and like it but are at a loss for words because of how nice the log is.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    i'm real flattered. thanks! glad you like it. preparing for next session is going to be an effort. due to tests i won't have much time. hopefully i'll make it fine.

    thanks for reading!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Read it liked it and subscribed to it.

    Don't worry by the way about readers you have them for certain.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    Lewis Carroll

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 15A: July 9th, 2011- Twisted beauty, hateful metal, the organ seller, god in the machine

    In game date- 9-10 Olarune ( late winter, month of sentinel)

    Boy, has this session been a blast! surely one of the best sessions i ever had. it lasted 10 (!) hours. (i'll explain why later). the session was special due to a few things:
    • Google's player brought his new wife (which we know) to watch the game, he wants to bring her in on the hoby, she watched, but i believe she enjoyed it!
    • the players realy stepped up their roleplay. Red's player told me that he felt that Red was undergoing some changes, her peacefull tactics are not succeeding. and now the Trauma of being buried alive. it would affect her, he meant to show that.
    • Gabriel's player wanted to add something to his character, having been influenced by the group, she develops fond feelings towards them, but especially towards Red, feelings of a bit more... emotional and intimate nature. but he wanted it to be felt through action and roleplay.
    • it was my birthday! what a great way to celebrate!


    you may have notcied that this post is session 15A- i'm dividing this into two post mainly due to the length, but also because it's tiring writing such long post. due to time restraints i won't have time to write the second half in the following week or so, but feel free to respond to this post as it is.

    small rule change: we decided that if you declare you use an action point before the dice roll, you gain +3 to the roll

    and now for the first half of the session...

    The twisted beauty
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party rested in their rope trick, Red seemed contemplative, brooding. Danves suddenly saw Tuulikki (Red's pseudodragon familiar) peeping through her sack- she looked different, more.. frightening- the change that Red undergone affected her familiar as well. the little creature wasn't so timid looking either...

    the party was worried about healing in the Mournland. they were not sure their scrolls of rope trick would suffice. they had only 5... (1 Red had a long time ago, and 4 she scribed for the trip)

    After the rest the party climbed down back to the Mournland, and continued their Journey. soon rain started to pour, after a bit a sound of crying could be heard, crying children, from above. the party was unsettled by this, especially Danves who asked when they are going to be out of this place, and Red, who commented "the cry of Cyre's children, they cry for their nation".

    the party neared a stream, with a broken bridge over it, when mist started to gather. as they neared they heard a womanly voice originally beautiful, but croaked and broken at times. it said that war gets everywhere, even here, to her stream, but that they were few, and therefor they were going to pay. what will they pay to traverse? Red heard the location of the voice in the mist, and once the creature said that it's "her" land, she lost it, and cast a fireball.

    the party was a bit surprised at the aggressiveness, but battle was joined. the seeming woman had shriked in some pain and cast a spell. suddenly a lightning strike (flame strike with energy substituion) hit the party, causing some damage, dropping Johnny 5 to the ground. but the spell suddenly twisted, and persisted- a column of dark lightning! "living spell? how did it happen? what is going on?" yelled Danves.

    meanwhile two piles of plant debris and foliage (that were partially hit by the fireball as well) on he stream's bed rose as shambling mounds, and made their way towards the party, hiting Google nicely on the way. "first thing first! Google, if you please?" Danves struck the living spell, and Google finished it off, Fizzling down. meanwhile the fog dissipated and they saw the water creature. Danves gasped "A Nymph? here? evil?" but the fey looked twisted, mist trailing from her mouth hair and body, and her smile was sinister. she used some other power of hers, drawing on the essence of the Mournland, casting confusion on them! all succeeded except for Google who started to babble incoherently.

    by arrow and spell the Nymph is wounded and dives into the water, Gabriel and danves join club and sword with Fire from Red to dispose of the two creature, though Savage takes some beating.

    the battle seemed over, and suddenly Red collapsed on the ground in tears. Google, still under confusion started to run away but Gabriel dispelled the spell, soon after she got to Red knelt beside her and hugged her, comforting her. as she was comforted, Google decided to search for the Nymph. Gabriel joined him and wadded into water. suddenly the creature rose, her beauty beyond compare, shining bright, as if to blind them. but both withstood the awful glare, and with two powerful strikes killed the fey.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the Nymph is actually a Mistling Nymph, from "the forge of war"- a fey corrupted by the mournland, making it quite interesting, and amongst other things enabling it to make one living spell a day (that fades away after some hours). the living lightning strike was supposed to charge the shambling mounds' constitution, (they love electricty) but it died way too quick.


    they found some pearls and two elemental gems, allowing them to summon a large water elemental once each. But something was... wrong with Danves- he looked sickly, almost Grey/ Green. Tuulikki hissed at him "unnatural. unclean!" Gabriel offered to heal him, but he shrugged her offer. "it was because i wasn't there to help Google, i should have done better" he looked suffering, but the others let him be. the party used a rope trick scroll in order to heal, got johnny 5 working again with a wand, and moved on.

    Danves curse
    Spoiler
    Show
    As was mentioned before, i made a special mechanic for danves that can bring him a boon or a curse, depending on certain conditions, and a roll. this was the worst roll, other than some minuses he also lost an action point. the player took it in stride though, using it as a roleplay opportunity.


    Hateful metal
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party soon reached what remained of a large Thrane army invasion force to Cyre, intent on blocking the road from Eston to the rest of the nation. there were unmolested fresh bodies everywhere- of horses, dogs, humans, dwarfs, Cyrian militia, and quite a few broken warforged as well. there were simple defenses littered across the landscape- trenches, barricades, even a ballista or few. a massive dead still battle ground...

    but not so still, as from time to time they could here cries- "for the silver flame!", "for the crown of Cyre!", "cavalry charge" and voices of weapons hitting armor and more. the ghostly sound remains of a battle long fought and never ended kept appearing from time to time. (Credit for Biotroll for this, i chose not to use the carcass crab though. thanks!

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    There was a great war between the major nations of Khorvaire, the main continent. they were not allowed to hurt the dragonmarked houses, but they could circumvent their effectiveness in other ways. in Eston masses of warforged were created, for all nations but mainly Cyre. Thrane wished to stop this source.


    this again quite disturbed the Party. Gabriel wanted to stop and say a some last rites, Danves in his condition responded sarcastically, motioned his hand over them- "for all of them?" Red seemed even more withdrawn into herself, while Google looked sad, but in a stable way.

    the fields were quite large, but after some walking Google heard a sound from a barricade near them, when 3 Mithral warforged rose and threw thunder stones at them! all except Google were deafened, and couldn't hear the cries of "death to the fleshlings, and the flesh lover!"

    the 3 rose to run away to the defenses behind, but google was fast enough to smash one down immediately. the party tried to act in unison and seek cover and advance. from distant barricades 8 warforged archers started shooting arrows at them but other than Google, no one was hit (he always get hit.

    the battlefield was large, and it took a few round for Google, Johnny and Gabriel to close on the assailant, in the middle they had to cross log over spiked trenches. as they got close to the barricades an enlarged warforged came out with a big axe, and a stinking cloud hit them. despite all that, Google falling to a trench, and Johnny 5 again taken down, the battle was quite one sided. Google kileld the big guy (from the trench), Red webbed some of the barricades and prevented the caster from escaping, and from then on it was easy picking.

    they noticed a strange thing though- the 8 simple archers acted strangely, like the warforged they had seen with the Traveler, or in the warehouse at the beginning. Gabriel suggested to perhaps fix one and question it, but Red, who was in a very aggressive mood said "these are followers of the Lord of Blades, an enemy to Cyre and all of Khorvaire, we shall not bring them back!" to which the party (humbly) agreed.

    Danves' conditioned worsened (another bad roll, he was staying out of reach most time) and he was miserable. the loot on the warforged proved nice to Red, who found a Spell shard (Eberron's spellbook) with some useful spells, and Johnny, who got awarded several oils of repair damage, mainly so he could keep on working.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    The lord of Blades is a powerful charismatic warforged leader/ prophet who resides somewhere in cyre, preaching and inspiring many warforged that this is their era, that the war isn't over, and that they shall carve a new empire by destroying the flesh races. some call him visionary, some call him mad, but his agents are sure a menace (think terrorism in a way) through out Khorvaire.


    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    Why this encounter? first i think it's a fun encounter, some maneuvering on battlefield, cover, trenches and so on. second to bring the "empty minded" warforged again, as a reminder, and the flesh hating sect of Lord of Blades, the warforged have been trying to act against the dark six and claim Eston, and they had some info, and might be persuaded to assist as temporary allies through a very hard diplomatic effort. oh well.


    Johnny 5 or not Johnny 5?
    Spoiler
    Show
    Johnny 5 became a bit of a discussion. it was obvious that his main usefulness is taking a few hits and than falling down. the party discussed (OOC) whether to keep him or not. Gabriel's player said to lose him (he dislikes sidekicks), while Danves' player wanted to keep him mainly so they won't need to pay the fine. Red and Google players however, the moral compass decided to keep and protect him.


    May i interest you in a small purchase?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party continued and left the battlefield, reaching a farming area. the y looked for a place to rest, and found an old temple dedicated to the Sovereign host, but mostly to Kol Korran (see my Avatar) . Danves still sickened, and the rest in a pissy state they climbed to a rope trick Red cast. Google's player's wife brought the cake while the players memorized spells and the like.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kol Korran is the god of trade, coin, deals, and wealth. i thought that the following encounter should have a link to this god.


    when they awoke and wanted to climb down, they noticed that below wasn't the temple no more... just some ground. suddenly a strange creature- with the skin and ears of a goblin, nose, beard and hair of a gnome, and legs and hands of a kobold skittered below, looked up, and grinned a crooked teeth- missing grin. he yelled in a strange language to others, and skittered away fast.

    Gabriel cast spikes, Red mage armor. panciky little lot. they climbed down and found themselves in a big tent, almost a circus tent. there was a big heavy table in the middle, and various canvas covered items near the "Walls", they could feel a tremor to the ground. a few of the creatured skittered here and there, grinning.

    But then there was a voice behind them "ah! you're awake! good. my servants shall prepare a meal. a rare occurence here in the mournland, but then again- this is ALL a rare occurrence" a lean Ogre mage stepped out of the shadows, but he looked... not like an ogre magi. he had a suit, and old suit, covered with dust, while wearing a hat, and a monocle, carrying a cane. "how rude! i almost forgot to introduce myself. you can call me The Seller, or Grad" the last word was accentuated strangely, and Gabriel realized this comes from an ancient tongue, meaning "in between/ in the middle".

    you should have seen the looks on their faces.

    he offered them to join his meal, while they peppered him with questions. he would not reveal who is is, and siad that he had taken a LONG time to track them down. he was offering to sell them power, power of creatures of the world, in return for a bit of their... heroism. one of the oldest trades, and Heroic qualities are so hard to find... he seemed to know a bit about them, but considered their adventure quite trivial "a passing matter". when Gabriel wished to leave, he offered her the door. she looked outside, the entire tent was moving! though she could jump outside, she decided to stay. "i am doing you a little favor, taking you close to the destination, we still have some time, sit, eat, relax. this is a rare opportunity..."

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    Originally this encounter was supposed to be non moving. i realized that moving through more and more weird encounters of the Mournland gets boring fast, so this way i cut through the rest of the 'long road" encounters.


    what are the particulars of the deals? "ah yes, a fine question. well, it must go by the old rules, so the procedure is thus- i'll show you a few creatures i have in my possession, some willingly, some not, all of a special quality. you may choose one creature to... exchange organs with. the process draws some of your heroism, and brings a certain shock to your health. then you gain some of the creature's essence, and with it it's powers. the porcess does contain some pain, but is not all that unpleasant.

    you should have seen their faces!

    "Don't touch the food!" said Danvas, and everyone turned on a diet. they seemed to dislike the idea. "you can go back on the deal for an hour after the exchange, and return your health to normal, but i will keep your own precious essence." the party seemed to dislike the idea, and were contemplative. Gabriel seemed curious "you seem to know a lot about us, about our destination, maybe our foes. how about we trade you for info? we have things to sell!", "sorry, but know, i'm only interested in your heroic essence, and there is only one way that can happen..." She then argued and was able to persude him to add one thing more- a question answered for each of them, once they don't go back on the deal. he considered, but because i think this is a cool and interesting idea, he agreed. it was time to see the creatures...


    Monster and organ Compendium
    Spoiler
    Show
    Grad went to the the side of the tent and showed the the creatures:
    • The Guardian: a petrified stone giant, gives the powers of defense. if you wish to take it's power, place your hands on his
    • Sleeping Beauty: a sleeping succubus, mistress of persuasion. if you wand her power, just give her a kiss. don't be alarmed, this one doesn't have the life draining powers of her kiss
    • The Eluder- a chained and restrained displacer beast. the ritual with her require cutting and exchanging swathes of skin from the back.
    • The Dying Angel- a sleeping enagel frozen in crystal- he has taken the suffering of others and now is seeking to die, but first to unloaden the burden. to get his heart, hug him, and your hearts will rip and change places.
    • The mistling Dryad- a creature similar to the twisted nymph. to get her powers you must kill her (she's restrained) and draw her last breath into yours, which will cause your lungs to blled and mist, spewing mist forth
    • The Starving undead: an unknown humanoid undead, resembling a wight. to get his power you need to cut your hand off at the elbow, and stich his on
    • the proud- a little dragon partially restrained as well. to get his powers you need to cut to his gut, and eat his elemental gland while he eats some of your liver

    the party has so far realized that the cost is some permanent con damage (not to be retrieved in any way) and probably some action points, where if you go back on your deal you get back the con. the party was unease at this... GOOD!

    Red decided to go first, she contemplated between dragon and succubus and chose the last. she kissed the fiend, when suddenly the kiss became more powerful, more demanding, with the lips glued together. but Red didn't flinch. she felt the long succubus tongue entering her mouth, and then suddenly slicing her tongue. blood started to flow from the kiss, Danves belched. the tongue then slid and exchanged places, and knit together. Red fel back, a new tongue in place, sensing new poers, but also some loss.

    Red got SLA of suggestion 2/day, and +2 to influence (all conversation skills) but lost 2 con, and 2 action points. Grad then came, and ripped the tongue of the succubus (Red's) which now glowed fainlty, and tucked it into a satchel. the players were unsure if it's worth it, and contemplated.

    Meanwhile Gabriel took her turn. she came to the angel, and hugged him. he hugged her back and said "thank you" as the hearts ripped from their places, chest ripped open and the bloody exchange was made. she gained 1/day lesser holy transformation (from spell compendium, turn to a lesser angel, with wings) and +2 planes. (same losses) Grad came to the angel, which offered him Gabriel's glowing heart, which he put into the satchel.

    Google chose the stone giant, he held his hands, when the skin started to rip and turn from one to another. he gained stone skin 1/day (no material component), and +2 to athletics (all str based skills). Google didn't have any action points (due to the lightning rail fight at the beginning of the level, 2 sessions ago) so he now suffers -1 to all attacks till the end of the level. again, skin into satchel.

    Grad looked at Danves, who squirmed at the horrific transformations of his party. "it seems to hurt so much. anything to take off the pain?" Grad had a soothing ointment, and using it enabled Danves to have his skin ripped and exchanged with the displacer beast. the purplish hue of the beast spread over Danves skin, but he could bring it up or down as he wished (no fur). Danves gained Displacement 2/dy, and +2 to stealth.

    this took a little while, in which the party considered. and they decided not to go back on the deal.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    This encounter has been a Loooong time coming, but has undergone a lot of changes some can be found inthe organ seller thread
    i decided that the fairest will be with 1/day 4th level spell or 2/ day 3rd level spell. (they come quite close in pricing if you consider minimal CL, but as the CL here increases, the 2/day could arguably be called "better"


    Questions, Questions...
    Spoiler
    Show
    time for the questions:
    • Danves: how can i break off my curse? Grad seemed to think. "the way i see it there are 2 ways- you can either follow it through, or find a powerful enough Caster to break it for you. i know of 3 who are... somewhat accesible. first the one that gave you the curse, second the flesh weaver in Droaam, and third, though i'm not certain, the Druid oak Oaliam in the Eldeen reaches." the party were VERY intrigued by his curse.
    • Red: "i have died and was reborn again, in horrid conditions. i feel... wrong. can i find the meaning of life after this tragedy?" Grad thought some more "my answer may not be the one you seek, it sounds cliche, but it's all i can give. live life to the fullest, with every fiber of your being! and seek a worthy goal for your life, an achieveable one"
    • Google: "How can i get my memory?" Grad: "your memory lies where you are going, you may get it sill, in the hands of your enemies."
    • Gabriel: she had many questions, all shot at once (sneaky little bastard) but she settled on this- "can we find allies, an advantage in our quest?" Grad answered this quickly: "seek the assembly, the warforged worshiping the becoming god"


    Grad was very pleased. "i assume the deal fits you well? this has been most enjoyable. until we meet again... or we won't.. or we have.. in another life." suddenly Gabriel asked him "wait, who are the heroic essence organs FOR?" Grad smiled. "i have answered your question it goes to a very specail collection. relax, in about two hours we arrive.

    there were a few more minor conversation, Red checking her snakey tongue, Danves and Google their skins, and Gabriel trying to listen to her heart. some of the player decided to add subtle influences of the creatures' essences to them. there are still some sides to the deal they don't know about however...


    Outskirts of Eston
    Spoiler
    Show
    The tent came to a stop, and the party jumped down to see it was based on a lump of earth, loaded on... HUGE centipedes. Grad waved them goodbye and turned his... carriage. Party gains XP for reaching Eston!

    most of Eston and the hills sank, but some of eastern Eston still stood- on various small hills between streams were littered houses of the people who took care of Eston, and some construction yards and small creation forges, not working unfortunately. Gabriel told them the dark six have their forces mainly located at a small decorative fort where the ruler of this part of the city lived. he knows there are mines, adamantite mine,s but she didn't know much more. The Keeper kept her at the fort.

    the party started making their way to the fort, when they met some strange looking warforged, with lots of bits and pieces attached to their plating, trying to disassemble some smithy, 3 ran, 1 drew a sword. Red tried to persuade him but he ran as well, they caught up with him, and Red used her (newly acquired) suggestion power to persuade him to listen to them carefully.

    a bit more conversation revealed he was one of the Godforged, followers of the Becoming God. another skillful persuasion got him to lead them to the Assembley (the group of the warforged.

    The Assmbley was composed of about 30-40 warforged from different types, all with the odd habit of "rekiting" themselves. some of them even had warforged components attached (battlefists, armblades and such) they met their leader, a warforged calling himself "the architect". they soon learned that was just his title. a lengthy and difficult conversation followed, where the party (Red with others helping) tried to gain some leverage and information from the stoic figure. the Godforged were partially aligned with their foes however, (only partially) so that became a problem. i don't remember the details of the conversation, but the party learned of the following:
    • there used to be many more forces here, mostly undead, but many left about 1.5 ago. their leader dead? (the party cheered at that. Keeper down!)
    • the "empty ones" warforged are results of an experiment of a traveler with a partialy working creation forge in the fort. she tries making real warforged. they help her with parts and skilled craftmenship in turn for learnings the secrets of the forge. the architect doesn't think the empty ones are "the sorceress' main project, only the traveler seems to be interested in them
    • the place used to have a lot of activity, but for awhile now things have been quiet. people inside the fort say they are working on some sort of grand ritual in the mines?
    • there are 4 entrances to these mines- a lift in the fort, and 3 minor entrances around it in a considerable distance in other creation forges.
    • the minor entrances are guarded: in one there is a blusih huge lizard with many legs (the party guessed right it's a Behir), in another some unded with a smaller mutated lizard, and the last one had some great undead guarding it, but since the Keeper was gone, it left. they don't know what is there.
    • The becoming God is believed to be the source of all warforged souls. now that they exist they must create him for this they scour the mournland looking for right materials to add to themselves, but mostly to their god. there are many architects.
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY: from what the traveler said, the ritual will be finished in a few hours! (time to put the time pressure on!) the party got all excited about this- climax coming in!


    the party mainly got this information (which was very hard to get!) through pressing on the point of "if the forge gets working, they will enslve all of you again, maybe that is the purpose of the ritual!"

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    the Godforged are not my invention, they appear in the "faiths of Eberron" book- seriously one of the best books about fantasy religion out there. i seriously recommend it.


    the party decided to head for the Behir, once creature that can't run away and call for help.

    At this point it was very close to out normal ending time, and there was a quick discussion about whether to go on or not. (one of us had a big test tomorrow). we decided just one more battle...

    Time to kill a Big Lizard!

    -------------------------------------------------
    and here is shall finish for now. this has taken me really long to write. the next half probably won't be up for at least a week i think. sorry, RL takes precedence.

    hoping you enjoy it!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 06:57 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 15B: July 9th, 2011- The mines of Eston, raising it up a notch

    In game date- 9-10 Olarune ( late winter, month of sentinel)

    So it seems i may have some time on my hands, i'll try to finish writing this in one sitting. at the end of the previous half the party just decided to head to the Mines of Eston (and not risk the fort) through the entrance guarded by a Behir. here goes!

    The Behir
    Spoiler
    Show
    As they neared the non working Creation forge and it's courtyard, they cast some spells- Google activated his Stoneskin ability, looking grey, Gabriel cast Spikes (her favorite spell) and used an oil of Shillelagh on her holy club, making it a fearsome weapon, and Red just cast her defenses.

    But at the entrance of the yard they could see no lizard, just some stocking rooms, various piles of ... crafting staff, and the forge with the door to it open. besides that there was a big hole in the ground, the entrance to the mine (the custom bigger tenser's floating disc was not present. and all around it were... the bugs, those with the eberron shards in them, from the first adventure! only these were a bit different- first, all were of the adult variation, no really tiny ones. second they looked sort of sedated. that may have been due to the fleshy texture and appearance of the earth they were slowly consuming. and third, most of them had another shard in hem, a tiny Khyber shard.

    the party was surprised, and went towards the hole and the bugs to investigate, being careful. they were certain the Behir would come from the hole. but it was waiting hanging from the forge's ceiling, and dropped to surprise all of them, except Google with his keen senses!

    Battle on! The Behir quickly grapples google and coil around him, Red casts haste, Danves, shocked by the creature's appearance uses his displacment ability, turning purple hued, and tries to maneuver behind the creature. Savage and johnny both charge the creature, hitting him hard, especially Savage. the creature rakes Google, and though he hits with nearly all six claws, he barely does damage due to the stone skinm infuriating him greatly.

    Danves flanks the creature and sneak attacks him, while the rest hit the lizard with all they got, Savage's strikes really doing damage. frustrated the Behir relaeases Google, and bites at Savage, trying to capture her to swallow, but she barely escapes him (thanks to an action point), the freed Google ends things with two swifts slashes with his sword, cutting up the creature.

    Again a discussion whether to go on. we turned to the one who had a test the next day (Danves' player) who motioned to move onwards.

    The party decided not to look and hurry on (too bad, there was some loot here). they use a scroll of rope trick to heal themselves (3 left) and head to the mines.


    Traumatic Echoes
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves feels better now, the taint of the curse gone, but he is not pleased. he remembers his glimpse to the futre from the prophecy shard Obraskyr shown him- of himself running in terror from a mine made of flesh and metal, straight to the mournland. he knows this is the place. he speaks up his fears, but doesn't try to take the party back. he is just not happy about it.

    but as the party starts to descend the hole a resistance from an unexpected source rises- Red. she pals and stop, sweating. "I can't go down there, i can't go underground once again" it takes Gabriel a little while (about which we joked) to understand that to Red- this brings up the memory of being in the grave again. She uses a Scroll of Remove fear, and tries to calm her down, promising her she will protect her from any harm, and be her guardian. Red was assured and followed Gabriel down to the mine, holding her hand. Gabriel was Soooo pleased!


    First Caverns
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party descended about 75 feet to the mines, they found themselves in a big cavern, with the Magicla lift (not working) on the ground. there were bugs EVERYWHERE! they made their content noises and some looked at the party. they didn't like it. the bugs looked sedated, or numb for the most part.

    another worrying aspect was that the mine was party adamantite, little rock, but mostly... meat... that pulsated.

    suddenly a slight tremor hit the party, the whole mine shook. no, more correctly, it hummed. the bugs fuzzled at their places, but stayed content. the party felt that time is of the essence, they quickly moved.

    the party took the major tunnels into the mine, it was 15 ft wide, and soon led to another Cavern, this one filled with boxes of two varieties. one filled with cold preserved food (magical boxes), the others, filled with Khyber shards! these were pretty expensive, and could be worth a real fortune, but why are they here? where did they get so many? usually these could only be found in Khyber- Eberron's underdark. the party briefly discussed filling the holding bag with them, but decided they didn't have the time.

    Khyber's shards Source
    Spoiler
    Show
    Do you remember that there was a third Dark Six force to Q'barra? there was a small underground sacred city to which lizardmen over the centruries brought Khyber shards, to honor demons. the expedition there collected most of them. had the characters went there, they might have affected things differently. but then they couldn't go other places.


    Sweat shop, Eberron style
    Spoiler
    Show
    The next cavern was filled with long tables, at which sat the Empty minded warforged. they were busy- some went and got bugs with only and Eberron Shard, and brought it to others who fitted it with a Khyber shard, then freeing them. over and over again, like a production line. they ignored the party.

    the party was a bit disturbed at this, and tried to contemplate- what are the bugs for? the empty minded? are they tools? vessels? what? but they had no time, another tremor was felt, the party moved on.


    Bearded Devils and Lemuuuuuuures!
    Spoiler
    Show
    the next cavern had bars at the walls, adamantite bars. the party saw and heard some figures behind them, but first they had to content with the long moving bearded orange skinned humanoids in front of them with glaives (they soon recognized these as bearded devils.)

    Johnny quickly charged one who started to summon something. the other moved to block any further advance, google charged him and was hit by an AoO and his wound gave a sickly light and started to bleed (i ruled that bleeding is not countered by stone skin). the rest tried to stop the summning and failed.

    i let my players roll the dice most times, and they made the success roll for the summon, and the number of creatures summoned. it summoned 17 lemures! the battelfield was suddenly crowded, with Google and Johnny surround by some and a bunch of the jello creatures stopping the rest.

    the battle was a bit tedius, but also quite amusing. Google sliced his way to the Bearded Devils, but barely hit it (Google's luck) Johnny was quickly disabled, and pretended not to rise. Red tried many ranged attacks against the lemures, but kept missing, while Gabriel and Danves were at a Lemure-smashing contest.

    and i was really amused, keeping portraying the movmements and sounds of the petty devils (they kept repeating their names in miserable sorrowful moans "Lemuuuuuurree" i got a kick out of it, and to a degree the party)

    but as the little devils were slowly but methodically disposed off, Googl'es luck was getting serious. the Bearded devils kept on hitting him again and again, and he was accumulating bleeding wounds. as the Stone skin was depleted some half jokes/ half worries of "google's hittability" kept rising. he ended up using his Hostile empathic transfer to kill one of them, and finally killed the others as well (there were still enough lemures between him and the rest of the party for help). Red had an awful luck hitting with her lesser acid orb as well.

    a swig from the Good Berry wine to stop the last bleeding wounds, and fixing up johnny again, and they were ready. the prisoners in the ceel cheered for them. there were... dozens? a hundred? more? from a brief question all seemed to have been kidnapped or lured into the Mournland and Here, mostly by Rakshasas and Auresia herself. they were kept quite ok, though starving, but other than that they had no idea what was planned. they said the keys are held by the black panther Rakshasa and "the powerful sorceres".. the party could not undo the locks, and moved on.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    The battle lasted longer than expected. what was his purpose? mainly it was to give the involvement of Other planes creatures in this, and give the party a warning of the next encounter. i though it would be over in 4-6 rounds tops, but Googl'es luck and wanting to preserve resources did their thing.


    Again a discussion whether to move on. i promised the party they were close to the climax of this adventure, but could tell them no more. with certain grunts, certain cheers they pressed on. it was getting late.

    on the next cavern they met another oddity- in this one there were two neat piles- one of meat harvested from the mine, the other of tidbits of adamantine. on both were the bugs, eating.


    Big bug, big arrows!
    Spoiler
    Show
    finally the party reached the main cavern- it was quite big, and from it there were 5 ways to go- 3 from the hidden entrances, one from above to the fort (though the lift was up, and the party didn't seek a way to activate it. there were no stairs here) and the last entrance to the south west, beckoning.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is where all the options converge, from the 3 entrances, and the fort above. the fort would have been the most difficult, but there were hidden advantages to taking that root, though they would have come far more depleted to this room. the fort would have been the only choice had they not found out about the other entrances from the God forged.


    there were again tables and warforged working at making two-shards bugs, but there was another bug here, a big one, holding a trident! and behind him, right at the other entrance a green looking humanoid, with two BIG bows and four arms (Mezzoloth and arrow demon, from the MM3). the battle commenced with the arrow demon firing 4 arrows at them, hitting some (Google Obviously) and they starting to close the gap. Red cast a Protection from Arrows on Google, while Gabriel decided it was time to call on divine might.

    getting to the bug fiend was hard due to wall the warforged, the party tried to make it's way, when suddenly it unleashed a cloudkill on the party (except Red) Google of course didn't make his save, but it didn't faze the small giant much. meanwhile however the Arrow demon was making targat practice out of them, and his arrows and strangth (and strength bows) made persistent not negligible damage.

    Google, Johnny and Danves closed on the Mezzoloth, but not before he dispelled Google's protection from arrows and force screen, fighting amid the working warforged the 3 began to combat. Danves used swift invisibility to launch a sneak attack on the creature, and hit nicely, while Google hit him with the big sword. but the creature had damage reduction, which they did not surpass, and shook off quite a bit.

    meanwhile Red shot rays at the arrow demon, and Gabriel thought of how to reach him, there were many warforged in between. then she looked inside, and called on her angelic power to transform to a protectar angel, and flew to the demonm landing on the working table with grace, and smashing him with her enchanted club!

    there were two groups- danves, johnny (who became disabled and used one more of the oils on himself), and google with the mezoloth, and Gabriel the angle against the arrow demon, with Red shooting rays from afar (not penetrating the spell resistance).

    the mezzoloth unleashed another cloud kill, the opponents withdrew, and came back to him, flanking him this time. meanwhile though Gabriel landed good blows, the arrows took a heavy toll on the silver flame cleric. she was about to fall, and so broke one of the elemntal stone she had, letting the elemental fight the demon while she turned around a curner. therer she called on her faith (action point) to enhance her healing, and brought herself back considerably. with renewed power she flew to the demon again (who nearly killed the water elemental) and killed him just as the others killed the mezzoloth.

    it was a hard battle indeed, with a bit of loot, mainly the large power bow for google. the party gained enough XP to put them close, but not beyond the threshold for 9th level.

    they were depleted, (another rope trick scroll to heal, 2 left) Gabriel had but 3 spells left (not counting 0 level), Red about a third of her repertoire (Ultimate Magus have LOTS of spells), Google only 5Power points, and Danves blew a good chunk of his spells as well. Red was the only one with any action points left...

    there was another tremor, stronger this one. the party felt they were close to the climax, and they decided to move on. people were getting tired, and some voiced that they might make serious mistakes due to that, but they couldn't stop now.


    Friendly faces
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party moved downwards towards the tunnel, where they came to a split, but from the southern tunnel they could suddenly hear a heavy majestic voice "Google? Red? come here, i can't believe it!" they found some more smaller prison cells, but only two occupants- in one there was a dragon, and in the other... Olam- Google's father! (enter "luke, i am your father!" jokes)

    the father and son talked briefly, how he thought he was dead, but that Obraskyr told him differently. "you met Obraskyr?" "yes, i am obraskyr"(Red was speechless) said the dragon as it changed shape to the form they knew. "i have been watching the prophecy for some time, but we might have failed here. though maybe your coming could mean another twist of fate!" the two were wounded and behind better locks, and another conversation began. basically what they found out:
    • "i thought you were dead, but he told me you lost your memory, i think they have it here somewhere"
    • "you cost them the key and the keeper in the obsidian city, but they have a new plan- they are after the child! the keeper of the flame! but that is just part of their plan. how they are going to accomplish that i don't know. you must find what you can and run!"
    • "you come at the crux of time, they are about to finish some sort of ritual, with information they got from some aberration lore. you may be able to defeat them, but i doubt it. run while you can!"

    the party was adamant about freeing them (especially Red and Google) but try as they might they couldn't get Danves skill high enough to pick the lock (DC 40 here, DC 30 in the other prisons). when they realized they don't have to- they still had 2 potions of gaseous form!

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    I really tried to make the cells imprevious to burglary, but i forgot about the gaseous form potions (maybe a bit silly of me). players will surprise you. BUT, i took them getting the prisoners out into account as well later on. i'm glad they surprised me. it makes DMing worthwhile (that and cool moments of roleplay and more)

    why didn't i just make the cells permanent anti magic? because i felt that would be pushing the enemies resources too make (and if they had such resources they wouldn't probably expend it on prison cells, the party have allready taken their toll on their resources by killing the Keeper.

    Obraskyr is a CR12 dragon, he was supposed to be a future antagonist (in a way) due to certain... developments (those who read SCS log know what i'm talking about). he may still be.


    Dragon and psi warrior came relieved and happy. the party used the second to last rope trick scrolls to heal them up (the dragon took a lot of charges from the wand), i informed Google of his father's powers (Psi war 5, some similar powers, some not). he still remembered little about his father, which bothered him "we'll have a long talk once we're out of here. IF we're out of here."


    Aren't you forgetting something? LEVEL UP!
    Spoiler
    Show
    As i said, i award XP for acheivments, and freeing Olam and Obraskyr sure got them enough XP to level up. what changed:
    • Google got to level 8, can now attack twice, and has taken the lion pounce power.
    • Gabriel is also level 8, her wisdom grew, also two attacks
    • Danves is level 9. gained a level of rogue- duskblade 6/ rog 3. his feat i think is improved critical
    • Red is level 9, took a level of ultimate magus, that raises only her sorceress side this time. (about wis 6/ sorc 5but with +2/3 to cl) her feat is weapon focus ranged touch, which she uses a lot (under out rules you choose for the feat "weapon groups", and the bonus increases over time. she now has +2. all the characters have the feat
    • quite importently for the situation- replenished action points!


    the party again discussed whether to continue or not, but pushed forward.


    Fight or run?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the humming was much closer now, Olam told the party that soon south there is the ritual room. the party advanced and reached a small ante chamber. to the east and west were corridors that seemed to loop around the one to the south, a great cavern, lower level, in which a tear/ chasm/ wound to the adamantite was evident, probably made by the two big machines next to it. there were 4 figures humming- Auressia in her Rakshasa form behind the chasm, tendrils rising from it to her robes, and 3 other "normal" rakshasa in front of it, with their backs to the party.

    next to Auressia stood 3 more figures- to her left was another Rakshasa, a black panther one, and next to him was Ipiks! only in black red scales and a pair of wings. to Auressia's right was the blue cat the party met at Darguun, which they guessed is their ally. the room had several entrances to it, in 4 stood four of the martial Rakshasa, with the bastard swords (Zakya)

    the party withdrew to the ante chamber. a hushed discussion began- Gabriel and Danves (!) wanted to fight "did we come here just to run?" said Danves to the surprise of all, while Red and Google said they had no chance, even with Obrasky'r help. in the end the party decided to try and disrupt the ritual. how? focus fire on Auressia for one round, and then run away. Olam got a mage armor, and on of the bog bows, google another, danves with his own bow, red her last fireball, and Gabriel tremor on the group. they broke their second water elemental gem and had it guard their escape. Olam and Obraskyr followed their lead (Olam a bit reproachefully, Obraskyr bowing to "vessels of the prophecy".

    i had to remain passive at this- this was their choice, their decision for better or worse.


    That can't mean well...
    Spoiler
    Show
    go plan go!
    Olam and Google's arrows hit Auresia, but didn't penetrate her damage reduction. Red's fireball didn't pass her spell resistance, (but burned the traveler and the black panther rakshasa, the Mockery) nicely. Danves wasn't lucky either. But Gabriel's tremor spell fell most of them down except for the mockery, one "regular" rakshasa, and 2 of the Zakya.

    The mockery closed the distance in an amazing speed (monk) but didn't get to attack, at a word from Auressia however he stopped, the party began to run, with Gabriel unleashing her silence spell near the last Rakshasa standing. even that didn't stop the spell as the party ran, they heard Auressia laugh, and the humming get stronger. the bugs seemed to have noticed that too!

    Did they have a chance?
    Spoiler
    Show
    A chance of winning the battle? probably not, though the party surprised me before. disrupting the ritual? that was possible, just hard. they need to kill 2 out of the 4 chanters (1 being Auressia). that is acheivable, though quite hard, and would have taken the campaign on a whole different route.

    why build such an encounter? i have given some warnings (with obraskyr and more) that this was not a remotely easy fight, and that they should learn what they can and get away. remember the ante chamber had 2 corridors to the right and left? these would have gotten the characters to the rooms of the Dark six, where they could find some clues, have a difficult (but not so difficult) encounter, and due to further development, an interesting means of escape (that may yet come to bear)

    near the exit suddenly the humming stopped, and then, a great sickly light shot forth through all the tunnels, fixing itslef on the bugs that glowed. "my vision coming true! whimpered Danves". some of the bugs swarmed, forming 2 swarms in front, and 1 at their back. the swarms spoke with Auressia's voice, taunting them. the battle was swift- Obraskyer's breath and Red's web behind let them make a run for it. the other bugs... the thousands (if not more) bugs were slowly awakening from their stupor.

    As the sound of the swarms getting mass behind, the Party broke to the outside world...

    what now?!

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    phew! so with that cliff hanger, we ended the session. the next one is hopefully 3 weeks away. I think Google's player's wife enjoyed this, though it was a very long session (10 hours!) i'm a bit conflicted about the ending, some of the players said they feel they... botched up. some still think they should have fought, some less. a few questions rose while we were cleaning up and while i drove a player back:
    - we're in the mournland? with thoushand of rakshasa- bugs behind us? now what?
    - what of Google's memory? we totally forgot about that! (and yep, that is one of the things they could find)
    - wasn't the traveler with us?
    - wasn't the traveler Grad?
    - what would they want with the keeper of the flame?

    this session didn't end up as i expected, which is cool! it challenges me! i'll need to deal with some interesting issues here...

    i hope you enjoyed reading, feel free to ask, discuss, or just say hi!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:00 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Nice there; I guess you couldve let them delay the ritual or something as a freebie for trying, but that wouldve probably led them to try and keep fighting so maybe its for the best, as this way doesnt force your hand into a TPK. Very entertaining read, I hope no one got into trouble for staying so long at the game :D

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    I like this thread, hope one day I will be such an epic DM, but I am new at it (player for a long time) and my players are new to playing (and didn't even knew DnD before I DM'd) so it will take time before I can do something like this.

    I like the story and hope to read a lot more from you.

    Thumbs up from me.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    Lewis Carroll

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    @Lansxero- hhmmm... delay the ritual. that's a thought, but by how much? till they get of the mine, till they they get out of Eston? more? i was afraid the momentum will be lost. but you may be right- perhaps i should have given them some "Win"

    @ Duskranger- thanks for the praise, but the party is as responsible for this as i am. i learned a great deal from reading other campaign logs (especially SCS' logs) and reading various advice here on the forum. i war the choo-choo board the railroad train before that. (i still slip to it sometime, but i'm getting better. if you're open to improvement, the sky is the limit.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    @Lansxero- hhmmm... delay the ritual. that's a thought, but by how much? till they get of the mine, till they they get out of Eston? more? i was afraid the momentum will be lost. but you may be right- perhaps i should have given them some "Win"

    @ Duskranger- thanks for the praise, but the party is as responsible for this as i am. i learned a great deal from reading other campaign logs (especially SCS' logs) and reading various advice here on the forum. i war the choo-choo board the railroad train before that. (i still slip to it sometime, but i'm getting better. if you're open to improvement, the sky is the limit.
    I think I will steal your idea for later in my campaign of the partsdealer. I like that part. My players need to grow first before they are able to get the idea, but I enjoy giving them a free hand. But I will not keep an campaignlog of this game :P. I don't think that would be a good idea.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    Lewis Carroll

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BillyBobJoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    The bugs really reminded me of the Drifter from SCS' campaign. I love it. I just started reading today, and I must say I really love your campaign.
    Excellent Ponsoon avatar by Akrim.elf!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red XIV View Post
    Everybody outsmarts Nale. Including Nale.
    I will be unable to post for an undetermined amount of time due to medical problems and family problems. Just a notice.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    welcome aboard BillyBobJoe! the campaign draws inspiration from the drifter's campaign of SCS. it's general theme follows the same line.

    a little update. Red's player who can do photoshop magic has made an image to the request of Gabriel's player.
    i give you Gabriel (manifesting wings)
    Spoiler
    Show

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 16: July 30th, 2011- Memories, personalities, confusion and laughter

    In game date- 10 Olarune- ???

    We had a bit of trouble setting up the meeting. due to RL players canceled, we decided to cancel, but then got back again. the group sticks on. the meeting was a bit shorter, but much much more hectic. where the previous meeting was tense and dramatic, this one was amusing and filled with laughter.

    a small note that might gladden readers (at least it gladdens us)- it seems that due to my schedule clearing up considerably for 2-3 months, we'll play a bit more often.

    now where were we? oh yes...

    Somewhere to hide
    Spoiler
    Show
    so the party just got out of the mine entrance, the Behir corpse was covered with bugs, but they weren't eating it. no, the bugs were a bit numb, but coming alert quickly, some looking at the party. Gabriel called upon the exorcism powers she gained through her conversion (a domain in Eberron. the player chose it for spells, but serendipity works in mysterious ways) and tried to drive Auressia's presence from the bugs. Her faith was pure, her faith was strong, but not quite as strong as Auressia's power. the bugs turned her way.

    "to the water!" they rushed to the near by streams of half sunken Eston, and dived in with Obraskyr the dragon and Olam Google's father joining them. Red cast a rope trick under water, and they climbed to it, hoping it won't be found out. Inside the character looked at each other, alarmed. they just bought themselves some time, but as one player said- "we're screwed. now what?"


    plans and revelations
    Spoiler
    Show
    over the weeks before the meet, i tried urging the party to think and discuss plans. but the current rope trick plan was all they agreed upon. they decided they need more information to base their decision upon.

    Enter the info dump, i mean Obraskyr and Olam. the party earned this, and they were listening intently. the dragon settled, and spoke in a grave majestic voice. he told them about being a part of a small number of young dragons who have decided to observe the fleeting races, and maybe guide the prophecy. they were mostly watchers, manipulators, though they acted personally when the need demanded it. the rest of Argonnesen's dragons preferred to stay out of the matters of Khorvaire.

    Eberron Stuff:
    Spoiler
    Show
    In Eberron dragons are not (usually) solitary monsters, all working against each other, hoarding powers for themselves. instead the dragon made a continent wide "nation" of dragons in the far continent Argonnesen. there they grow, devise great magic and contemplate. few dragons however, act more directly with the world.


    he has watched this particular part of the prophecy, and awaited the rise of the hand of light and shadow. however, while they finished their business in Xen'dric he viewed a new turn of the prophecy, one most dire, and so after hearing the party went to the Silent halls, decided to investigate himself. he was caught in an attempt to infiltrate and fought, but Aurresia's powerful magic brought him down and he was imprisoned, where he met Olam. they have listened to their captors, and sometime drew them to conversations to glean some information. and they have found out a few things:

    The Shadow and her counter part the Mockery are probably Rakshasas seeking to free one of the great fiends of old times- the Rakshasa Rajahs. these were bound by dragons and their allies the Couatls in their great war eons ago. the red chasm the party viewed in the ritual chamber is probably a conduit to such a demon, as is the crack in Flame keep in Thrane

    Ebrron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    the Silver flame (to which Gabriel now belongs) main temple is Flame Keep in Thrane, it is based around a great crack in the earth from which the sliver flame rises like a great pyre. In the chasm the script say a great fiend, couatl and the saint Tira Myron are joined by the paladin's sword, in a great struggle. some theorize this is a source of good, some say it is corrupted, but the fiend within is contained.


    Obraskyr heard what is "the key" the dark six looked for. it was the guardian naga Auxellia herself, and not any of the artifacts. he suspects this is because Guardian nagas may transcend and turn into Couatls. a rare event indeed, the creatures are on the verge of extinction. and couatl's have the essence of the silver flame.

    DM sort of homebrew
    Spoiler
    Show
    I have quite a different take on all kinds of monsters and such to fit my world. this is mainly fluff, but some important fluff. if you wish to check it out look at the other link in my signature. you don't need it to read the log, i'll explain everything that needs to be know.


    this seemed to Alert Gabriel the most. Obraskyr continued. "but they have a new target- Jaela Daarn, also known as the Keeper of the Flame, visionary child, prophet and spiritual leader of the nation and religion. she is the only other known power to hold the spark of the silver flame within her, or so i assume."

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Jaela Daarn is an 11 year old girl, who is clr 18 inside the chapel of the silver flame, and clr 3 outside it (though still very wise and charismatic). the council of cardinals prefer to keep her in the chapel, for her protection. she is a spiritual leader, though the cardinals deal with the day to day matters and politics of Thrane.


    Then Obraskyr shaked his head. "however, i know little more. this does not make any sense! even with tens to hundreds of thousands of controlled bugs, the forces of the silver flame are stronger. there must be another stage to the plan."

    at this point Olam spoke, seeming weary, sorrowful and slightly excited at the same time. he spoke to Google while adressing the party. "And indeed me and my fellows, and my son have found more. we... tracked that strange sickly elf when we got to Khorvaire, and was able to spy on him and his allies in Sharn. some of the stealthier in the group gained a map, which Google and I studied." he lowered his head "but we delayed too long, and were found out. some ran to bring the message to Obraskyr, while other... bought them time". the half giant seemed sorrowful. after a brief pasue he continued. "there was a lot on the map i didn't understand, but there were 4 marks as seals made prominent. two they knew- one was at Flamekeep, and the other was here at Eston. the other two were at Atur, the city of Night in Karrnath, and at Arcanix in Aundair. what is their meaning i don't know."

    Eberron stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Arcanix is the abode of Aundair's wizards- towers floating in the ait on masses of earth. it holds amongst the greatest mages in Khorvaire. Red had studied there earlier. In atur there is the main temple to the blood of vol religion, and the center of their religion. it is full of worshipers and undead of various designs which are considered as small saints.


    the party seemed to digest the info, but not knowing exactly what to do with it. they knew that each of the "seals" (if that is what they are) was in a powerful location. but all were quite capable of defending against bugs. free demons? why 4 locations? the party was quite more concerned about their escape.

    which led to some discussions and questions of rumors and the like. i tried to initiate a conversation between Olam and Google, but other then some politeness and "We'll talk more when we're out of this mess". there had been nothing. the player seem uninterested in evolving this relationship. oh well.

    possible plans: Obraskyr emphasized he needs to inform the silver flame ("under guise. it will be hard to persuade them. they don't trust dragons or shapeshifters much") but also he must alert his superiors. he seemed worried about that- "their response for a possibility of releasing a Rajah might not be good to the fleeting. our policy is quite... harsh" those with some knowledge in history remembered Xen'dric and nodded wearily. "i will try to buy you as much time as i can"

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    When the great civilization of giants tried to use powerful magic in the past, the dragon nations utterly annihilated their civilization. and the dragons have zero tolerance for Rakshasa matters


    can they ride Obraskyr? he can take one rider, maybe two. and he wasn't that stealthy to totally avoid recognition. he might fly out of the mournland, but not into Eston again.

    By water? here the party had two ideas. the first is use a combination of water breathing and rope tricks to move on the bottom of the stream and river till they cross to the shores of Thrane. adavantages- quite safe and stealthy. disadvantages- agonizingly slow, and very boring. plus- very unheroic. this idea quite surprised me. i didn't think of it (i guess the Silent halls gave them the idea) but i was willing to allow it. i had one underwater encounter prepared (a steel kraken from Five Nations, a sort of underwater warforged titan equivalent) but that's it. thankfully i prepared for what happens in case they cleverly escape. however they quickly turned down this option.

    the other water option came when Obraskyr mentioned that he heard there were quite a few boats to the west, which he deducted were going to be used soon after the ritual. this was risky. the party imagined there may be many forces there, but this might be the fastest route.

    Another idea was to go by foot (or summoned many horses by Red, she has some spells. she always does.) to the boat that's supposed to pick them up. two problem- the road is long, and reuqires dealing with more crap of the Mournland. and plus- they could be tracked and engaged by Auressia's forces.

    Danves suggested another quite surprising alternative. "we need to do what they'll least expect- we'll go deeper into the Mournland, hide a while and then see". i was befuddled of the idea. another alternative i didn't expect. but i liked it. it would require improvising, but some ideas were forming, maybe meet more Godforged or followers of the lord of blades, or a survival game through the Mournland. hhmmm... But the rest disliked the idea.

    Gabriel's player, who had been deep in thought suggested another idea: "we should get back to the mines. THAT they wouldn't expect, and we have unfinished business there. this is an opportunity to find out more. we need it. The player has told me his frustration of how the last meeting ended. he felt they had missed greatly, failed in some way. he desired to fix that. the party however Really didn't like the idea- this is suicide. there was a little argument but they came to no conclusion.

    I had actually made plans of what will happen if they got back to the mines. things have... changed. they could find things there, but it was VERY risky. my motto is "always a way, rarely easy". the party decided to sleep on this, memorize spells, and decide when they wake up. so far the idea was to try to get to the boat with Obraskyr or Tuulikki maybe providing Recon, and to try to blast their way through to a boat. (the stealthy approach won't probably work). the general feeling was still "we're SOOO screwed."

    Obraskyr bowed his draconic head. "I shall need to live quickly, but i shall help you however i can while i'm here. you may still be the key out of this mess.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    each of the possibilities had it's advantages, disadvantages, and effects for the long future. I needed to remove Obraskyr from the party's "belongings" because he is a too powerful NPC that might hog the spotlight. plus, he may have another role in the future, that needs him separated.



    Another way, a matter of trust, the right spell at the right time
    Spoiler
    Show
    When they woke up Danves suddenly felt a Tingle, and heard a Sending from the Traveler "Your ally. if still alive, there is a way. In Fort. in working forge, a strange way. use stealth. heavily guarded, beware humanoids".

    now this caused a stir. Danves was quite confused- "Wait, is she with us? against us? she was in the cave, but..." the party was confused. "a way out? from WITHIN the fort? teleportaion magic doesn't work in the Mournland" some looked at me, smiling. "this is another this the DM came up with" (with certain groans) how to get into the fort?

    Here Gabriel offered a solution- she could use the spell "meld into stone" (most of the area was rocky) to enable them travel close to the surface, bypassing the troops! hhmmmm.. and i was hopping some illusion magic, distractions and sneaking in. damn players! it would take many of her 3rd level spells, but it's might be worth it. the players considered this, not knowing if they should trust or distrust the traveler. this was a wild bet, will they take it?

    they decided to go for it. but a few more matters before they go. Gabriel decided that Obraskyr alerting the silver flame on his own was not enough. as a cleric of the flame she decided on a back up- she used a Sending to contact the priest who made her conversion in Aruldusk (before they entered the Mournland) alerting him of the danger to the Keeper, fiends and possessed massive swarms. I didn't tell that to the player, but that simple Sending might be important in the future. Obraskyr took Olam on his back, bid the party farewell, and left quickly to fly west. the party was on their own. 4 spells later and the party started to make their way in the rocky sides up the hill of the fort.

    But things apparently changed a bit. there were many people, and creatures here- from the common racez, but also gnolls, orcs, the party seen a displacer beast and a wyvern aboe? and all were quite, unconcerned, but tesne. and there were quite a few bugs still, on surfaces and the people as well. as they moved further up they saw/ passed under bloated forms of meat/ distorted animals/ beasts, oozing liquid. as they reached the fort' wall and started skimming towards the gate Gabriel passed the cage where she was held by the Keeper. no time to contemplate, into the fort- Karrnathi undead, some adamantite warforged, and one warforged titan.

    the party was glad they chose a stealthy approach! in the fort were barracks, a manor, and more facilities, including the one semi- active creation forge. edgy, weary of a trap the party slid under the doors to the hall of the forge.


    Enigma
    Spoiler
    Show
    tools, warforged parts, metal and wood lay all around, as well as other artificery- stuff (small lab of many sorts) the six chambers of the forge were silent except one, that hummed. there were all kinds of small projects in various stages of completion here, and tables everywhere.

    there were also 3 figures- 2 hoods figures near the chamber. the party could only see they had warforged hands from their position. and another one was near one of the table, dressed in utilitarian craftsman clothes, it's face hidden by the table and stuff.

    There was something quite peculiar at the corner of the hall, there was a swirl of floating little Syberis shards, connectes to each other by thin silvery lines. they seemed to make a shape, of a a greater crystal? but there were many halls in the structure.

    Still stealthy, the party wanted to discuss, but i reminded them that's impossible while stone melded. Danves emerged in shadows, while Gabreil rose by the two by the chamber and cast silence, while Red rose beside the 3rd figure (google waited to long).

    but no combat yet, as the figure was indeed the traveler, in her natural form- pale milky skin, barely featured nose, white eyes. she was surprised, but then quickly motioned for silence. the two figures seemed frightened (they were indeed warforged, two of the Godforged who helped the traveler in exchange of learning) but yielded to the Traveler's will.

    this is the first time they saw her up close in her true form. she smiled and them, and then was sad, then distant, then focused, a myriad of expressions on her face. "it's good you have come. i watned you to help me before, i sent you a message, but you didn't come. too bad, never mind, oh well. now it's a new trouble, no?"

    it was clear that she was.. somewhat unhinged. "why do you help us?" Danves inquired. "i hoped you'd help me. besides- shadow dislikes, is disturbed by you. this means there may be hope, no?" then her expression changed "no, no there isn't. you came to late. you lost. we all lost". Gabriel interupted "we can help you!" " no you can't. you may have, but not any more. or maybe you can?" she laughed a strange low laugh "you don't really understand, and there is no time. there are so many".

    Red was frustrated "allllright, so how can you help us, you said there was a "Strange way"?" at this the Traveler brightened, and led them towards the swirling shards at the corner. "i lost them, she sent them away, but i got some back. i wanted to use them to... find what i lost, but they are not enough. i asked you" (she looked in a strange look at Danves) "to help me find some others, key others, but now they are away. it won't be complete"

    the party looked at each other. Danves' player reminded them of the weird list and shard finding spells he recieved while they were at stromreach, and they decided to go to the Silent halls. the traveler seem to talk to herself "I made it, and the spell. it is sort of like a net, of memories, expeirnces and people, but i think it may also be of distance ant time, they are all connected somehow, though some are lacking. I never tried it though" she said looking at the party. " i'm not sure of how it works, it requires an experiment, but it's all i can offer."

    Google in the meanwhile, his gaze wandering suddenly became alert. he noticed a white rod with a claw hand at the end, in it was a red stone, demon stone. it rang in his vanished memory as something very important. the Travelr who caught his eye seemed to bow a little, and spoke in an appolagetic tone. "I'm so sorry. it was an old attempt, an old experiment. i didn't use it no more, but the shadow liked it." Google seemed tense "THIS is what took my memory?" "Yes, but not this stone. she keeps it, i'm not sure how much more you can use it." Google took the rod, silent but brooding.

    Red in the meantime noticed something else. "the crystal from Dur Martop" (the adventure in Darguun) but... it's more whole now." "yes i fixed it. it's is some sort of a psychic barrier generator. i'ts not fully complete yet. Shadow cares little for it, she cared for the information in the book." another loot to the holding bag.

    the party wasn't happy. but as Red' player said "we don't exactly have a choice, unless Gabriel has more stone meld spells. what do we do?" the traveler smiled wanely. "first give me the personality shard you've got" the party handed her the five items they collected (and forgot about). the Traveler then deftly found a secret compartment in each item in which was hidden syberis shard. "now your necklaces" the party grimaced and handed her the necklaces they got in Darguun from their "Ally" , again she recovered a syberis shard, but discarded Google's "that one won't work" (Gabriel also didn't have a necklace) she then placed them amongst the swirling crystal, delicately. the 7 shards found their place, and connected in silvery lines.

    "now put your hands on it, and i'll cast the spell". Gabriel came to the traveler and suddenly hugged her strongly. "once this is over, i'll find a way to help you!" the traveler shrieked and jerked, fighting loose of the embrace, appaled and shocked "Don't EVER do this again, and we have allready lost... yet there is always the calculation you didn't expect, no?" reluctantly, the 4 heroes put their hands on the strange contraption and listened to the traveler reciting a spell from a scroll. suddenly the silvery lines shone, and they all swirled fast. the arms began to sink rapidly into the shining light, when the traveler suddenly turned with a strange look to the party, one of sudness, of being lost, but mainly of great anger and frustration. "I trusted you to find me, now feel how it is to be lost!" with that the party felt themselves vanish.

    DM design- the Traveler
    Spoiler
    Show
    The traveler is Eberron's elusive mysterious god of trickery, deciet, possible boon, possible malice, inginuity and creative artifice. i love the potential in this deity, and wanted to portray it's aspects in a "villain". however there are two main differences between the god aspects and the changeling know as the traveler- first, she does not do trickery for trickery's sake, but as a necessity, and she's not that good at it. secondly, while the traveler god is usually the one to outsmarts his opponents/ followers and so on, the traveler woman has sort of been "tricked" by her own inginuity, a victim of her own genius , lost in her creation.

    i didn't succeed (and i don't think i will) to share the traveler's full story and personality with the party, as they seem to rush or disregard things connected to her (such as the personality items). this is ok, not all things appeal to all people. she was between an enemy and an ally, and could be turned (and maybe will) to either side. so far the traveler is leaning more towards enemy, despite what seemed like a rescue.



    DM design- the personalities maze design [a bit of a spoiler]
    Spoiler
    Show
    My players were as confused as well by the rest of the meeting they were indeed right that this was "something i made up", but it has been a long time coming. let me emphasize though that they could have chosen other options. the entire experience seemed to have been both frustrating and highly entertaining.

    what is this "net of personalities" basically each shard contained the life experience of a single person the traveler was interested in (an experience voyeur if you may). they were connected to others. each "Scene" (will be explained later) contained personality items to other shards. these are sort of "corridors" in the maze, where the Scenes are rooms. the "dungeon" is built in circular tiers- each tier contains 4-5 "rooms" in a circle, and two also had "stairs" (corridor that felt "farther") up, and 2 down.

    from tier 2 and up there would be "secret" rooms (harder to find the object, and it would feel a loooong way away) that contained special scenes with greater danger, and a way to enter back into the real world. this was one way of escape.

    there were also sort of monsters that found their way into the maze that might be encountered while traveling "corridors". i'll explain their rationalizations later. there was a "boss monster" who tried to manipulate the fabric of the dungeon, defeating it would also enable escape from the dungeon.

    lastly, there was a chance affected by the characters action in each scene to draw a memory piece of the Traveler herself. these would gain small insight to her personality, and with enough insight they would find a major revelation about her, that will also enable escape from the dungeon, with an important. boon.

    it seemed simpler than the Silent halls and the druid codes to me. i thought i made it more organized. lets see what happened.


    A feast fit for a queen!
    Spoiler
    Show
    . the party became insubstantial, and floated through a nebula. there was a sense of distance and time passingsuddenly however the gray haze around them started to materialize, and themselves as well. they rolled a 1d4, and it came out as Google! he rolled a will save (against what he didn't know) and succeeded. i gave him a handout that basically said he had become Bertriya the cook (remember Ipiks at the first adventure?) in the kitchen preparing a meal for the queen of Aundair and some dignitaries. the submersion was complete, unlike the regular shard- he WAS her for the scene!

    the rest appeared as kitchen help and waiter, but they had kept their senses. all 4 players gave me a look of "wha..?" but some allready got into character- Gabriel's player (Wilma), started to bad talk Red' player (Greata) while Danves the waiter tried to get info from the guests, flirting with the ladies. Google's player however seemed out of his depth. this wasn't for him.

    the party tried to search while keeping the scene, and found the gray haze was beyond the dining room and into the cellar. Danves however found something strange- a long thin Drow dagger on one ofthe dignitaries, who didn't seem to be aware of it. it seemed more real, and out of place.

    before exploring it too much the jesting between wilma and greta became too audacious, which caused google to throw another saving throw, and as he failed the scene crashed, and the party was tossed.


    Court at Flamekeep
    Spoiler
    Show
    again a sense of time and distance. This time Gabriel was merged as Lomak- a paladin of the silver flame (it was a coincidence) who was in the war once court due to his decision to go to Q'barra and help build new galifar. the rest were friends to arms who came to support his case before the cardinal judges. this went better in terms of roleplay, but the players felt lost. they found tow out-of-place objects- a warforged chest cavity and the cook's ladle. at some point the scene faded, but the objects remained.

    they tried interacting them in various ways, till Gabriel touched the ladle and concentrated on it. they were again whisked into the distance, again a sense of great time and distance


    Nightmare
    Spoiler
    Show
    suddenly on their way there was something.. wrong in the haze. Google's sharp senses noticed 4 horrific creatures emerging from the haze around them. 3 were a sort of a giant centipede, but with a wide torso, multicolored weird eyes, and two stumps o farms from which suddenly sprang pale shimmering blades. the fourth was like a snake with a torso, 6 small hands with vicious claws, two large arms with pincers, the same multicolored eyed, and a dangerous looking sting to the tail. he was the only one to notice them and prepare, when the snake one charged Red who looked at it with horror and recognition. "Quori!" she said.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Quori are ancient outsiders from the plane of dreams, Dal Quor. they have chased the spirits bound with the kalashtar a long time ago and hunt them still in more subtle means. they usually manifest psionic powers and have various fear/ mind affects. they are not supposed to have access to the material plane though, except by possession of willing subjects. i don't remember their correct names (asian sounding names) but the bigger ones appears in the ECS, and the others in the magic of eberron


    the battle was quite swift- the quori continued to full attack red and got her close to death, Gabriel was mostly on healing duty, while Google and Danves mostly attacked the creatures Google used his cleave superbly gaining attack after attack. soon these were dead. the party noticed their small teleportation items and healing abilities function well. defineteley not in the Mournland


    Wandering aimlessely
    Spoiler
    Show
    the following i don't quite remember. the party couldn't quite figure out what was importent, what not, how to navigate the place and so on. they descended mostly to funny (yet in character) roleplaying. they went up tiers, back to scenes, lost scenes and drifted and more. a few notable occasions:
    • once they got back to the paladin's memories, but this time to his memories in Q'barra. Danves failed his save, and lost 4 wisdom. this got him to 4 wisdom... and the player acted quite accordingly, hard of perception, understanding, and caution. this culminated one time playing as a warforged guardian to a changeling elite escort and rushing to the client- "GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER!", or playing an incredibly dumb awakened dire wolf druid ("i'm my own companion?")
    • at one occasion they triggered a leading memory of the travelr (as a dwarf) giving the personality item owner his item. they tried to pursue her, but didn't have a name for the dwarf and called him/ her "Mobold, don't go!" this cracked the party up, and Mobold became a favorite cry
    • the party did get into one of the secret Traveler's memories, one of when she was a 5 year old they were her toys- 3 various homonuculi, and her magic doll that could change appearance (this was Danves). they played along for a little while, and learned that her parents are seperatted, that she lived in sharn, but was not allowed to go out of ther father's forge/ lab/ house (they think her father was from cannith, but don't know) Gabriel's character (a smoothed out iron defender) tried to ask her directly what is her real name, which quickly broke the scene (this was lost from the traveler, and is in the dreams, but not in the traveler herself. subconcious. sigh. i made this too difficult)
    • the party also found one of the "secret scenes" one which was a loooooong way off. it almost proved lethal, for the memory belonged to a warforged assasin, and red nearly killed Danves. they couldn't hold the scene much longer or get out to the real world (through the item owner- a dwarf on an atonement period) and were thrust back
    • the party were escorts, a scholar on an expedition and his aids, a warforged just created and the makers deciding his fate, a druid circle, and on a weird drow marriage ceremony, these are at least those i remember.
    • there was one or two more battles with the Quori, increasing slightly in CR, but which didn't prove to be much of a problem. characters were hurt, but not that bad. To my opinion the Quori are quite underwhelming


    Bringing this to an end
    Spoiler
    Show
    i realized that if i'll let them figure this out, this will be long, tedious, and most importantly- not that fun. so the party "found" another of the Looooonnng away items, and followed it. Red turned to a Karrnathi leader before the attack on a village in Cyre, and the other his lieutenants, but the scene soon shook, as the memory looked back at them? the commander demanded to know ho they are, he seemed frightened, then as their persuasion attempts failed (they didn't quite know what to say really) he attacked. but with him were 5 more versions from different times of his life and undeath. Red was again wounded gravely, but mirror image and healing from Gabriel (the protecting angel) fixed her, and fireballs, Google's and Danves blades finished the thing quite quickly.

    with that the haze vanished, the commander's helm burst, and they appeared on top of some battlements somewhere. oh, and there were quite a lot of Karrnathi zombies and necromances running towards them "they Killed Gur Sakal get them!"

    had they time to look at the sky, something in the array of the moons would have certainly troubled them

    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    with that the meeting ended. no great climax this time (the commander didn't prove as challenging as i imagined, maybe i should have had his aids coming to battle?) so this was an "on the way" meeting sort of. oh well.

    a few notes about the puzzle dungeon:
    - it would have been better if i gave more clues as to how to draw the traveler memories about, or the expected resolution of scenes.
    - though i gave a detailed handout to the main character in each scene, maybe i should have provided more info about supporting characters.
    - i should think long and hard before putting more dungeon puzzles in the game. they don't work.
    - despite all this, the players enjoyed their "who's line is it anyway?" experience and provided quite good feed back, so this might be fun.

    those who read SCS journals know what the bugs are for, and the mess that is going to follow. this may require a whole lot more improve on my part. it's not my best skill, but i try to compensate for it with "adjustable preparation". so we'll see. things might get quite interesting from here on.

    one last thing- Google's player is planning on changing character, i'm not quite sure on the details yet, but we'll see. but there is another affected- Danves' curse is tied deeply to Google. perhaps it's time for Danves to grow?

    i hope you enjoyed the read, next meeting is scheduled to the 13th (yay!). as always- any questions, quanderies and comments are welcomed

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Well the personalities trails seems interesting but it couldve been much more obvious. Still, some people like to immerse themselves like that and some dont and there isnt much that can be done about it. Awesome read as usual! Mind if I use the concept later on in my campaign? Hopefully Ill have better luck xD

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    of course you can use the idea. glad you liked it.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 17: August 13th, 2011- events unfold, Flamekeep

    In game date- Eyre 26- Eyre 28 (Mid spring, Month of making)

    It has taken me a some time to get to do this update, haven't been feeling well. next meeting is two days from now, so hopefully the next update will be soon. this meeting was somewhat shorter since Red's player moved south and we went to meet there, and got a bit lost on the way. also, for me personally it felt like not that good a meeting. at points i was not as prepared as i wanted to be, i didn't play characters well and in general i didn't feel well. this entire meeting feels like a preperation for next meting. still, maybe there are things to be learned from it.

    one important note- Google's player has decided to try a new character. some of the party bemoaned this decision, as he was fun and also quite important to the party make up we'll get to that.

    Chapter 5

    right, on the top of a Karrnathi battlement.

    "Seize them!" also- look at the sky...
    Spoiler
    Show
    so there were about 16 karrnathi zombies rushing at the party, with what look like army necromancers. the party have talked through emails to maybe use their teleportation stone (which they got from the keeper) but knew not where to go. so they tried to converse, and Red's persuasive words bought them some time, to be brought to the commander of the fort.

    on the way down some looked at the evening sky, and were startled. the moons were not similar in location to when they entered the mournland. a quick caculation saw that about two and a half months passed since they entered the memories shard. Red confirmed that sometimes timeflows differently in dreams. Gabriel cursed "the traveler screwed us SO hard!"

    they learned they were in Fort Zombie, one of the two main defensive forts of Karrnath against southern incursions. the Karrnathi thought they were spies, due to all the trouble in Aundair and Thrane. "what trouble?" "the commander will tell you".

    a whole bunch of Eberron stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Karrnath's army as may have been mentioned is partly composed of the undead, and to support them- necromancers. they are not necesserily evil, but rather a sort of disliked necessity. the Karrnathi consider the undead soldiers as somewhat like saints or martyrs.

    in Eberron there are 12 moons corresponding to the months. each moth a different moon is somehow more prominent (i don't know exactly how)

    Karrnath lies on the eastern side of the Murnland (along with other countries not originally of the five nations), while Aundair, Thrane and Breland lies on the western side.


    since you've been gone
    Spoiler
    Show
    the commander of the fort was a dwarf called Karak Tur (i'm certain i'vestolen the name from somewhere, i just don't know where) the party told him most of the story, to which he responded "you must have went to the Phiarlan storyteller school if you think i'll believe that fable!- cought and escaped Darguun, siege with psychic giants in Xen'dric, fighting demons on the lightning rail, and then that adventure in the mournland, to top everything that "you must have been drinking" stuff about the dream world? you're the lousiest spies i met yet!" the party insisted that BECAUSE what they told is ludicrous then it's true, and an interesting persuasion ensued, which at east put some doubt in Karak. he was concerned about Gabriel's warning about the temple of night at Atur. "a priestess of the flame warning the blood of Vol? now i've heard everything!" to which Gabriel responded on the lines of "This is bigger than flame or undeath".

    Danves however was more concerned about the trouble that has transpired since they were gone. to which Karak Tur has sighed "we got some reports, but they broke off. they don't tell anything a fort commander you know. apparently some bug horror escaped the mournland, as was in your story and has been ravaging Thrane and Aundair. motly Thrane though. the bugs don't just kill however, they seem to take over people". "What does that mean?" "i don't quite know. that's what i heard. last report i heard say that many of these were converging on Flamekeep"

    this was the point where Red's player surprised me a bit. "first thing we need to do is research how to break Auressia's hold. we can't fight her like this." which was, admittedly, the sensible thing to do. it's just that they haven't done ANY research about any of the clues they've found in the previous chapters. so far they held the (repaired) crystal they found (and which was stolen and retrieved) in Darguun, and the memory of an illithid researcher from the silent halls. i told them it would take some time to make head in this research, but Google and Gabriel wished to reach Thrane in a hurry.


    getting to Flamekeep
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party convinced Karak Tur to let them go, and they decided to reach Karrlakton and get an Orien greater mark bearerto teleport them to Flamkeep. on the way Red learned a few more spells, and Gabriel sent a Sending to Obraskyr, wanting to know where he is, and any guidance. he told them he's under siege at Flamekeep and that they should get there quick. Danves was (rightfully) suspicous though- how would they know Obraskyr isn't possesed himself? they knew too little of the possession to really know.

    They arrived Karrlakton at night, and found the Orien enclave. the mark bearer protested and refused, but Red used her succubus tongue to planta suggestion in his mind that persuaded him. he would teleport them to the Orien enclave in Flamekeep, but would return the next day. it's supposed to have been evacuated.


    first meet with the possessed
    Spoiler
    Show
    as soon as the party teleported there, they met 4 soldiers of thrane, fairly capable by their ranks. but they turned on them and attacked. the battle was not hard, but was a bit alarming. the 4 soldiers worked in unison, and apparently had access to (most) of the abilities of the possessed, including magic. a few interesting discoveries in the battle though:

    - A dispel magic was able to drive the bugs of one of the soldiers, though it was very hard (the party deducted Auressia's level by this- 14). the truth is that dispel magic shouldn't have worked as i planned (there were other ways, including exorcism), but i couldn't find my notes and forgot and so made a (maybe wrong) judgement call.

    - sometime dead soldeirs released diminshed swarms of psi bugs, sometime not. the party don't yet know why.

    - at some point in the battle, the gaze of the soldeirs suddenly focused more intensely, and Auressia spoke through them "you've arrived allready? i have been looking for you". at which point they realized she's directing more forces towards them. but it also meant that Aurresia didn't have her full attention on all her possesed the whole time. if they fought possesed and were quick, they might avoid her attention.

    the battle ended, the poor mark bearer terrified, they rushed to find somewhere to hide.


    an awkward exchange
    Spoiler
    Show
    as they were about to reach the street a figure burst into the enclave, it was a half orc with an impressive looking bow (with etchs of the silver flame) and a snake wrapped around his body. he scrutinized them for a moment, and motioned them to follow him quickly. he got asafe place. the party didn't like it, but followed him towards a demure and forgotten Sovereign host maoselum on the way they heard various screeches of creatures overhead, and Danves saw a small flock of wyverns.
    in the maoselum Google's player introduced his new character- Grum the half orc ranger, hunter of the supernatural, who was guided here by his intelligent bow, to the aid of the flame.

    the player exchanged glances. "you follow a bow?" "we're are partners, and i have sought a way in when i heard the battle you were in. Alissia says it leads into the church. a Cardinal of old used it for... various reasons". the party followed Grum. on the way below Google suddenly stopped, as if listening to something, and told them he must go (there was atunnel out of the city). he recieved a sending that might mean there is more than one way to battle Auressia. this is something he must do."

    i hadn't really counted on the simple fact that this is exactly one thing that good wouldn't do- back down from a fight of those who need it. but we all suspended our disbelief and let it go. goodbyes were made, and the party rushed to the chappel.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    so maybe there would have been better places for the exchange to take place, but i haven't thought of any. Google didn't just disappear, he has a chance of getting back later, with a... Surprise.


    A test of faith
    Spoiler
    Show
    as they reached the secret door, they entered the catacombs of the chapel. they could see something was wrong. near what looked like a collapsed tunnel were the bodies of quite a few dead thrane soldiers, and bugs, they seemed to have suffered many small cuts, but also some big pummeling. the party suspected a trap, but also the big statue in the middle of the room. they guessed it was a Golem.

    Gabriel, as a cleric of the flame tried to converse with the statue, but it got down and pummeled her HARD (massive crit), at which point she used her teleporting boots to retreat. meanwhile spinning adamantite shurikens came from hidden slits in the wall (shredstorms, MM3) and launched lightning on the rest. after healing Gabriel tried a different tactics, using the divine energy to turn undead. the golem recognized this and returned to place, as have the adamantite swarms. Danves noticed that they were showing signs of damage.

    As the constructs returned to their places, the party heard rushing footsteps from the far side of the catacombs, where the stairs were/


    Time to go to church
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party went on to meet the soldiers coming towards them. they were headed by a man in a black attire over his armor, which Danvas recognized immediatly "Cardinal Krozen, head cardinal of the silver flame!" he hissed. the group was a bit surprised Danves recognized him by look. the severe man seemed to recognize danves and frowned, but had other things on his mind "who are you? where did you come from?" a paladin steppedforward and seemed to... "scan" them/ "they are not possesed cardinal" the soldiers lowered their swords. "yes... she expected them... in a way"

    they were escorted up, to the hall of the flame- a (mostly) circular hall with a circular depression in which there was a crack in the ground (similar to the one in the Eston Mines) from which a vivid powerful silvery flame roared silently. in front of it there was a small kneeling praying figure. it rose to great them- a young child of 11-12 years old, tanned with black curls, wearing a simple black robe, but radiating presence, awe, power, and undeniable good. the Keeper of the flame, Jaela Daran.

    Gabriel bowed profoundly, and Grum and his bow also offered their great respect, but the child wished them to rise. Danves was a bit jittery, as she smiled her own smile for him. (the group were all guessing what the heell this meant) "you need not show reverence. you have come here, in our most dire of times. we are all equal in our fight against darkness, in our devotion to the flame (there were some coughs from Red's and Danves' players) the fiend that i could not find has gathered forces. many forces. from it's own, and from our people, and it has come to lay it's siege upon us, to gain access to the flame, to free it's lord."

    what followed was a sort of a debriefing by Krozen and Jaela as to the situation. after Gabriel's warning was received, protection around Jaela was increased, but Auressia didn't go for the church immediately. instead her swarms harassed the countryside first, using the corpses of farmers and more to multiply, and possessing the bodies of elite soldiers, thus amassing a greater army. she also seemed to invade parts of Aundair, though she was in smaller presence there. also some monsters and creatures of savage Darguun, and various lesser fiends came to her from... somewhere.

    and now they got their force here, at least ten times more than the soldiers of the flame. inside the church were about 200 low level soldiers, paladins and clerics, and a handfull of high level ones. they have used their spells to turn the entire church into stones, but that will not last long. also Jaela's prayer will help to hinder the invasion forces, but not entirely, and prevent teleoprting in. (a migitated form of miracle.). Jaela's divinations lead her to believe they have 1-2 days till the attack start.

    there wasa depressive mood in the church. people lost their families, friends (some of which they were probably going to fight) and the future looked quite grim. they were veterans of the war, they knew losing odds when they saw them)


    Stay or flee?
    Spoiler
    Show
    and at this point some of the player's said "ok, so we can't win this/ they need Jaela as the key, right? lets grab Jaela and teleport somewhere else." which is admittedly... the sensible thing to do. only it made me cringe. i worked quite hard on the battle, and thought it would be a great climactic piece, and a cool battle. but some other players, said they can't do that. they must at least try and save this place, these people. they can't just live them to their deathsand run off with their leader, with their only hope and inspiration! a slight debate developed, and they decidedto talk to jalea, try to persuade her.

    "you wish me to leave my people? those who placed their faith in me? run away, which goes against all the edicts of the flame? abandon the silver flame, to which i am bount, which is a part of me, that i vowed to protect? i shall do no such thing!" it appeared to the party that trying to persuade the child will be quite hard, and even Red and Dnaves impressive skills will be hard pressed (i'm using thegiant's diplomacy rules, which rule that the DC is mostly decided by level (18 in this case), wisdom (highest cleric of the church, with divine spirit and superb magical items) and circumstances (yeah right).

    as they came back thinking, Krozen approached them, looking first at Dnves with despise "you were always a coward, and always will be. for the flame i don't see what she sees in you, but she trusts you, so be it!" anyway, you seem like more reasonable folks. i have been to the war, i have seen evil, but not the likes of this. you need to somehow persuade her, she has asoft spot for those she see in her divinations to get us out of here! she can teloprt us anywhere she wants on Eberron, with her kind of faith." at the looks of the party he grunted "yes, we'll leave these people to die, but this is not about the best possible outcome, but about surviavl, so that we might rise again! Jaela is wise, but she is also naive. this is a time to run! persuade her, and don't forget about me!" Danves, though not liking Krozen, agreed with him, but the rest kind of balked from him, especially Gabriel "have you no faith? no conviction? no trust in the flame?" to which he turned away.

    Eberron stuff, about Krozen
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the ECS and five nations Krozen is pictured as a sort of an evil grand vizier type of character. i know some of the players suspect he is a traitor. i decided to play him however as just a very practical if ruthless leader of the church. sure he is a bastard, sure he thinks of himself, but also about the church, in it's more "earthly" persuasion


    time for magic items. special ones
    Spoiler
    Show
    as Jaela finished her prayer, she moved around the crowd, offering grace, soothing words and more to her people. she led the party towards where some provisions and supplies were held. "i've had some special things kept for you. i felt that you are to come. it is not much but perhaps it will help fight the tide.

    she motioned Danves to her. "the curse or blessing wasn't meant for the giant man. it was meant for you. i felt that i may need a man of cunning, of guile in this struggle, but he needed to have bravery as well, he need to know when to fight and where to run. so i linked you to a fountain of courage, hoping you will drink of it's waters. i still see doubt in your eyes, and it is your decision to choose."

    Design note
    Spoiler
    Show
    At first when we developed Danves curse, it was basically as this: Danves was judged at every battle as to how brave he was compared to Google (he couldn't leave google once he met him), which granted him some modifier on a 2d10 roll which was made after the battle, with high results giving beneficial things, an low giving bad things.

    however, Google left, so we changed the curse so now Danves matured, and it was his own decision and actions he is measured against. the curse was mostly there to reinforce ROLEPLAYING desires, and so it could work like that as well. i had to twist the curse meaning a bit, but oh well...


    Jaela reached and handed DDanves a very fine, this bladed long sword. "this here is sure thing, it lends it's power for precision attacks and making sure you hit. it once belonged to an... unorthodox hero of the flame. ("Sure Thing" is a +1 keen long sowrd, that increases to a +4 on sneak attacks. twice per day it can either ignore DR ans SR, or increase the spell DCs by 2

    Jaela caleld Gabriel who knelt before her/ "guardian angel, so confused and consumed with anger and anguish. you seek to unleash your anger, to make those who hurt you suffer." she got a slightly glowing club. "this belonged to a primal protecting angle of the faith. i give you "vengence". the club is a holy club (no +1) who'se bonuses rise to +4 whenever one of the party is at 1/2 hp or less, and twice per day she can refect damage done to her to her assailant, (with a saving throw)

    Jaela turned to Red. "a mind of beauty and aesthetics, yet witnessing horrors and violence find it must steel itself for the struggle to come. fight fire with fire. for you i have only got the remains of the robes of our of our great mages, hoping they would suit you, and that you would be honored in wearing the garments of our church. the robe of the silver purger grants a +4 deflection bonus, SR 18 and +2 to saves against magic and powers of evil creatures (meaning with the evil subtype), and twice per day she can turn her fire spell to silver fire, making them divine energy instead of fire, and gaining +4to overcome SR

    and last is Grum "you come to us without having been part of the struggle, and yet you are willing to fight. high in the north west there are orcs and half orcs who do not recognize us, yet fight for their version of the silver flame, against fiends on a daily basis. we have recieved one of their armors "demon hunter" in their tongue. this is a mithral chain shirt +2, +4 against mind affecting magic and powers, detect fiend at will (as the appropriate detect spells), and 2/day "hunter"s sense- for 1 round all attacks are keen, and you can reroll one attack roll.

    the players seemed to like their new possesions (though i'm notnot sure about Grum's player. i had something prepared for Google, and the exchange caught me a bit by surprise. the player didn't have his character ready till the meeting day, so i was a bit at a loss

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    so why these items? why now? don't they already have over WBL? well, there were a few reasons i did this:
    • first of all, the characters will probably won't get nearly no significant magic items from here till the campaign ends, as they will be on the run and fighting. minor magic items yes, but not major ones most likely. and unless they are imaginative, they won't get to trade their loot either.
    • i wanted to signify the upcoming battle more. make them feel that "this is it" and gaining special magic items help do that.
    • up until now the prty has been on mostly small adventures, which concerned mostly their immediate local. but now they are in the crux ofworld changing event,s, in what may be the fall of a nation and a major religon and force of good. thay are damn freaking heroes, and they deserve it!
    • despite having it's resources depleted, i wanted the church to somehow compensate and adequally equip those who were risking their lives to fight for it.
    • i thought it might be cool!


    ready to fight? wait, before that...
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party started a tactical discussion, that got cut short by their decision to do some gurerilla fighting. i was totally surprised! i didn't think that with the swarm of enenmies outside someone would want to go OUT! so i improvised, and kind of badly i hink (not my strong suit). the party ended up trying to take one of the converted storage houses. there was quite fine stealthy work by Danves who LED the assault. the sore house was guarded by two possessed soldiers, and a manticore on it's roof. Danves quickly disabled theguards with the help of the others, while Grum and Redtried to take down the manticore. the beast shot some spikes at them and flew away, roaring a warning, while an ambush drake and two feral yowler burst from the ware house. all were butchered quite quickly, though the party used up her powerful spells in a hurry. they burnt the suppiles and used a dimension door spell to return to their tunnel unnoticed.

    the battle let Danves and Red check out their new items, and they liked them! for me it enabled to test monsters ofthe first wave that is going to invade the church. hhmmmm... taking notes. the small victory boosted up moral a bit for the group, but as they said- "it's just a drop in the ocean"

    ------------------------------------------------------
    so this was kind of a "meh" meeting. sort of a preparatory meeting for the next one. the party so far plans to try and fight the odds (they have surprised me before, and i made two possible options for that to happen, though they will be FAR harder than anything the group faced till now), and if the situation gets dire, to try and persuade Jaela, to spring them out of there. i encouraged them to read a bit more on Eberron to try and think where thy can go.

    the next meeting is probably going to be EPIC (if i don't screw up as a DM, and if the players don't jump ship early), but very, very difficult to manage. quite the most complex thing i've tried so far.

    they have been emailing each other (and me) about plans and ideas and so on, which i quite enjoy. perhaps if i'll get to it i'll post the main discussion point on later posts.

    as always, questions, comments and the like are welcomed.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:01 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    preparing for the big battle
    (the following post deals with plans between sessions, and not actual gaming time. if not interested, skip ahead)

    It's good that players are kind enough to email the DM as well about their plans and questions. it helps me prepare better (or so i hope), and realize LITTLE things i forgot to do.

    like make a decent square map of the church. i had it in my mind, but that a big help, isn't it.

    also it made me think about Auressia's tactics and the church guys tactics a bit more seriously. which means that know i have a battle plan and series of events for the game. of course the players will muck it all up, but i could improvise better that way.

    i won't let my own plans be known yet so not to ruin the surprise, but suffice to say that Jaela's spell will mean the enemy will come in waves, with each wave with certain tactics and goals. the party assume they'll have 1-2 breaking points (they think they will burst the gates, and then it may be a withdrawing battle towards Jaela's position, while some forces will break in in her chamber. (at least some players think so, i haven't heard from all of them)
    anyway, here are a few of the questions and plans they have:

    1) how big is the church in terms of fighting grid? we use a grid of 19x28 squares (i think it's the default one). the party likened the church to a hammer shark/ the main hall (tail)could be about 2.5 grids, the long sitting hall (body) has the width of about 1.5 widths, and 1.5 lengths. the chamber of the flame (the head) is about a gird long, and two lengths wide. the church is kinda BIG, but managable. going from section to section will be a slight pain in the midst of battle

    2) what forces are there for the church?
    - Jaela, 18th level caster within the church, though some spell she can't cast (mostly those with XP requirement),she has quite a few protective items and a few other surprises, but she's not telling that to the party. she is closely guard by two hound archons.
    - Krozen, a 12 level cleric, guarded by a hound archon. he is the one actually leading the forces in battle.
    -2 more cardinals (9the level). their main job will be to lead the forces in the barracks and upper floor, and protect the catacombs. (if things go to plan, they will be mostly out of the battle till the 4th of 5th wave)
    - Malik, a general of the silver flame, paladin 8, will lead the forces in the main hall, buying some time.
    - about 130 warrior 3, regular soldiers, about 40 paladin 30, officers, and about 15 clerics of levels 3-5. as said, most of the elite forces were sent to deal with the disruption Auressia caused in the land, and were captured by her. nearly all of the possessed thrane forces are level 5-6.
    - 2 mages of 7th level. one protects JAela directly, the other is directed by Krozen.
    - there are few various craftsmen and the like (including Holdfast which the party met in Aruldusk), that may be put to some use.
    - the catacombs have the stone golem and shredstorm, though both been injured greatly (sadly, the party doesn't remember they have a wand of repair damage)

    3) any other resources? the party will receive a small amount of potions, mainly cure, fly and haste potions.

    4) Gabriel plans on calling a hound archon of her own, maybe two. beside fighting their main task will be to get any fallen people of the team to Jaela for an escape.

    5) Jaela's divinations have concluded that the attack will arrive in 1-2 days (give or take several hours)

    6) Gabriel wishes to use the time to try and contact Obraskyr, ask him for help, or at least understand why the hell he isn't in the church!

    7) they plan using "meld into stone" to do a little surveilence of the forces around them.

    8) Gabriel fears that Ipiks will try and assasinate Jaela. Danves' player think that an 18th level cleric, who was is the leader ofthe nation has survived plenty of assasination attempts, and knows how to protect herself. he IS right, however Ipiks will come into play (if the party doesn't run fast enough), but in his own way.

    9) if they have the time, one of the mages has calirvoyance/audiance, which they also wish to use for recon.

    10) the flock of wyverns they saw worry them, and they guess there are other flying creatures. however, they couldn't find a solution except archers and web spells.

    11) Red's player suggested to use some furniture and oil to booby trap susceptible break points. only no one really know how to make such traps. i have a feeling they'll come up with something.

    12) Grum still thinks that they should use their time to locate and kill "quality" targets. still, how to locate them, how to get them and back may be a big problem.

    those are the main plans so far. we meet tomorrow, there are still matters of what happens if they escape to deal with. this has such a potential... to be great, or to be a dud. we'll see.

    the last battle for the silver flame, tomorrow...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    I do realize this is a lot of work to remember and type up, but do update us as soon as you can! :D

    Ive resorted to using Warhammer rules when dealing with massive combats, as D&D breaks after a certain point, Since we dont have enough diverse minis, we make do with paper cutouts of the relevant units; for characters we use a conversion system that turns them into free very OP Independent Characters xD. Lets see how it goes using pure D&D though!.

    Also, I did get to use your personality shard idea, although in a different way. I turned it into time-travelling through relevant campaign history points, both as a break in their characters and plot exposition hour. Worked surprisingly well, and my usually non-RPish characters took to their newfound personas (in every scene, I had them take the body of someone but gain none of their knowledge and retain all of their own) and to acting them out. Players are weird.

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 18: August 27th, 2011- Besieged, first two waves

    In game date- Eyre 28- Dravago 1 (mid- Late spring, start of month of handling)

    we met a little later than usual, since Red's player could only arrive that time. in the meantime the rest planned and prepared for the siege as well as they could.

    planning this meeting was quite hard, as i had to take many people into account, and tried to plan things to be interesting. so far the siege hasn't ended, but i'm not sure these make good encounters- the pace crawls, people get confused, and way too much time is not spent on the PCs. also, it's a real hassle to deal with, especially what spells all the casters cast (i made a short list, but lost it with all the material i brought). it was a so-so meeting, so lets tell it: (forgive me if i miss on some details, this was a difficult meeting to run)

    general plan and layout
    Spoiler
    Show
    i've made a big map of the church, in 5 ft squares, and presented it to the group. on the main floor there was the main hall (protected by Malik and some troops_), the sitting pews and "neck/ body" (Krozen and some troops) and the hall of the flame (Jaela and most troops). battle will take place in each of these 3 spaces. there were also the catacombs and upper floors, but these were protected by the minor cardinals and their troops. the troops were spread thin, as the church was big. running from one side to another for a light encumbrance character would take 3.5 rounds approx.

    the characters discussed how to spread their allocated potions and where to locate themselves. Danves claimed they must stay close to Jaela, as the enemy will surely have special plans for her, but Gabriel (and Red when the player came) thought that the main hall should be the place, as it seems the enemy was focusing his forces on the great doors.

    Gabriel prayed and called upon a hound archon (lesser planar binding) which agreed to help without any further payment (protecting the silver flame against a horde of fiends isn't enough?) now she was like one the head honchos in the church, only she planned to use the archon mostly to aid the troops with his powers. it was named Jakar (the player loves Bab5)

    Gabriel also sent two Sending spells. the first to Obraskyr, wanting to know where the hell is he!?! he replied that the bugs stopped him from delivering the message, so he is bringing help. he asked the party to hold on till reinforcements arrive. some in the party believe him, some suspect him.

    the second sending was to Google, relaying their desperate situation, asking for help. Google replied he is going for help, but of a different kind, they must try to do without him. (a bit out of character but i wasn't bringing him back now)


    persuading the Keeper
    Spoiler
    Show
    before sleeping, (and when Red's player came) the party decided to speak with Jaela. the main talker was Red, while Danves and Gabriel tried to help (a sort of Aid another) Red took her aside, and repeated the importance of running away when the battle is lost, not letting the fiends fully win, being able to fight from another location and give hope to those who might still believe in the flame. "your responsibility is to make sure the locked fiend won't get out. you must run when you can".

    Jaela listened. "but this raises three questions- when is the battle "lost", who do we take (she could take six more duplicating greater teleport with her miracle) and where do we run to? the party was a bit stumped at this. they haven't really thought this through. they could use their teleportation stone to take themselves away, but then they will be separated from Jaela, which Danves objected fiercely to. so them, and Krozen... one else? Grum's snake?
    and where to? they discussed various option i gave them, amongest them go to the Druids in the Eldeen Reaches, (and the great druid Ooliam), maybe find an enclave of either Khundarka or Phiarlan and ask them to hide them, or maybe the Boneyard Obraskyr mentioned (i'm not sure iremembered to put it in previous session recaps). when Gabriel came up with an idea- why not Google's tribe in the obsidian city? it would give us some time, some allies, and maybe the naga could helpe as well! i was REALLY happy at this idea because it's one of the more interesting continuing places to follow on. didn't show it of course, but it was fine. also, unknown to them, this is where Google is heading anyway... the knots may be tied together. now to Danves and Gabriel's aiding attempts

    Danves surprised Jaela, and me as well by saying "i've come to see some of the truth in the flame in my travels, and i believe it needs to survive. for this it mustn't be foolish. fighting against this odds? there is no chance. we must run to fight another day" (not his exact words but close enough). Jaela was kind of touched by this. "i bestowed the curse or gift on you since i felt that in time to come, you might be one of our only true champions, but you needed to learn courage, so i attached you to a fountain of daring. i'm glad to see that it... rubbed on you a little" Danves rolled his eyes and went back.

    Gabriel who watched the conversation sensed something odd (sense motive)- though Jaela seemed calm, she was quite tense, and her eyes at times were not the eyes of a powerful deity linked super cleric, but rahter of a small child out of her depth. in an uncharacteristic motion, Gabriel knelt before her high priest, and hugged her, whispering "you may be a child, but you are still my mother". i... didn't quite know how to take it, so i decided Jaela didn't know as well. she got out of the embrace, perplexed, saying an odd and slightly shaken "thank you".

    however, mostly due to a lousy roll and the difficulty of this persuasion (i'm using the giant diplomacy rules), the attempt failed. Jaela wasn't persuaded by the words. "i am bount to the flame, and the flame is bound to me. i cannot just run and abandon my people, this would go against all the flame stands for. it will protect me, us.... i shall not run"

    dismayed the party returned to their doings, Krozen inquiring about the attempt. he smiled wearily. well, perhaps lost lives and spilled blood will convince her. Gabriel is really disliking him now!


    Speech
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party rested, and memorized spells for the battle, when Jaela climbed her podium that oversees the church, and spoke clearly, brightly, powerfully to the church. now, Gabriel's player wanted to do something similar, but i discussed it with him, and he now intends to do it further down the line. when things might get more dire. i didn't want to do the speech (i learned a few things from DM of the rings), but i felt that in this case it was necessary. perhaps not the greatest speech in the world, but i think it would do.

    "you fear death, you fear corruption, you fear the fiends here to besiege us. you want me to assure that it would end well, i cannot.
    the fiend is clever. it seeks to break us even before the battle has begun, it seeks to bring fear into our heart, doubt into our minds, defeat into our souls.
    but we shall not be easily fell! though we may feel the darkness around, we look with in and see the bright light, the burning flame, the unyielding fire that makes us soldiers of the silver flame!
    shall we bow down to darkness? will we lick the Rakshasa's heel? will we lay down our sword and let the enemy run us through?
    No! we shall fight! sword, mace, shield, spell, fire, and most importantly- spirit and soul!
    it has taken our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers from us. it will force us to fight them. and though it pains so, we shall. why?
    my family, we fight for there is no other fight, no other time, no place to retreat. this is the place we make our stand, our last stand, and by the silver flame's holy vengeful fire, we shall make the devil pay and send it back to the hells where it came from!
    Look around you my friends, my people, my children. see the images of saints, heroes, martyrs and holy men who walked before you. they are here with you now.
    look at me, i am here with you now.
    look at the flame behind me, a divine fire from the souls of all righteous heroes before. it is here with you now.
    steel your heart, brace your souls, the fight is upon us, and we shall not fal!"

    the players? they were busying themselves with other stuff. the bastards


    First wave, we come a knocking
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party was in the main hall. most stood behind the statue of Tira Miron, while Gabriel and Jakar stood with Malik and the troops some distance of the gate. the party used the oil reserves of the churchs to plan some "oil traps" in front of the main doro, planning to light them as the enemies cross.

    potions drank, spells cast they were ready. the thumps came again, this time with more vigor. four thumps on the gate, vibrating walls in the neck, and cracking and breaking stone glass images in the great dome.

    suddenly the great doorslurch forwards, and fell full lengths to the floor of the church. behind which were two warforged titans who partially knelt, trying to hide or protect those behind them.

    Red caught a glimpse of several creatures- some feral hounds and ambushs drakes they fought in their battle over the food storage and some... insectoid legs? no time to think, she unleashed a fireball upon them, scorching many, however the insectoid seemed to have spell resistance...

    Grum started to target one of the titans but the arrows didn't pierce him. it was then that he heard much of the stone glass in the Flame's chamber crash, and decided to rush there, his snake following. Danves yelled "distraction!" and sprang towards Jalea as well. Ganriel however was worried at the monstrous troops at the gate, and cast a bless spell to help them.

    Jaela promised them before the church had a few surprises, and here came the first- a shield of faith and lesser vigor for the rest of the battle. the troops felt encouraged, the players didn't really care.

    before the soliders could charge, two noxious cloudkills envelops many of the troops, felling them immediately, while some of the higher level troops lost con. "Mezzoloth!" they yelled (the bug like demon they fought in the mines together with the arrow demon) about 3/4 of the front troops were dead. Malik got the rest from the cloud to close the door gap, dreading to face the Titans, when they... stepped away, never getting in. the mezzoloths also retreated. the party was confuesd. the feral hounds carged the troops, who then began a long engagment with them.

    meanwhile, in the main hole the vibrating walls on both sides collapsed two more cloud kills enveloped Krozen troops felling all but 6 of them. the priest was enraged, and noticing one of the Mezzoloth dismissed him. (the spell), one less bug to worry about. but then some elite possesed troops rushed in trying to get at Krozen and his mage. the mage cast web over one of the gaps, slowing the troops. but there were still a fair number. Grum stopped his run towards Jaela and helped Krozen, killing first a sorcerer, and then helping kill a cleric and more.

    Danves reached Jaela, and saw about 10 harpies occupying the troops while the wyvers tried to grab the mage. some were kileld (mostly by Jaela) as Danves lnd his bow.

    meanwhile, at the door the feral hounds were joined by other possessed troops, though the small space didn't allow much of them to join the fray. this was the opportunity Red had been waiting for. hse drew her wand of Dispel magic, and cast it, using an action point to overcome Auressia's impressive possession abilty. 5 of the troops went on their side! (and these were level 5, not lvl 3). the panicked troops were rallied by Malik, while the two ambush drakes flew behind the line, and breathed a slow gas over the troops, affecting most. Gabriel and Jakar went to engage them, when Red noticed another danger.

    DM folly/ design
    Spoiler
    Show
    as i mentioned in the previous meeting, i made the mistake of allowing dispel magic to break possesion, due to not finding my notes andthinking (badly) on my feet. this proves problematic because Red has a dispel magic wand of level 8 (though not many charges left). it allows her 9and some of the other casters) to gain forces quite rapidly.

    why don't i just disallow it? because it would feel like a cop out. like i noticed a vulnerability and using my DM status to cover it up. no, instead i ened to find a way to deal with this.


    the church's side wall suddenly "opened up" (pass wall) and 4 figures came running through. a serious looking hobgolin warrior, some Kalashtar in simple clothing, a human archer, and what seemed like an exceptionaly beautfiul elf in plat armor. Red's first thought- "a hired party of assassins to take us down!" one focused on Red, and she saw a different look in her eyes, Auressia's look, just before she cast a fireball at her! thanfully Red drank a potion of protection against fire before the battle, and withstood the blast. so Red used more dispel Magic, and indeed- these were possessed troops! 2 turned to their side, (the elf cleric and kalashtar psion) while the rest ran. the pass wall was dispelled as well.

    DM Design
    Spoiler
    Show
    actually there are 4 such "parties" who's CR is about 9-10 each that are supposed to challenge the party. they are supposed to be more complex troops, interesting ones. however, after using one in the midst of this complex battle, i'm not sure they are a good idea. the tlepeaths powers and the cleric's spell were just additional headache. and now they are on the party's side!


    Meanwhile Grum and Krozen were thinning the troops, while the mage took out those behind the web. one of the wyvern's snatched Jaela's mage, and tried to fly straight into the flame, in suicide, but Jaela cast "hold monster" on him, and Danves killed him as the harpies withdrew.

    The first wave was over.


    questioning, following tactics
    Spoiler
    Show
    "ha! they are just testing us so far. this was an... inquiring stab" said Krozen. the party was not pleased. they felt they just dealt with minor threats, and not the big ones. the titans worried them, as do the mezzoloths. "we mostly lost troops to the cloudkills, few were lost to the actual fighting" said Grum. Danves was quite worried that they are targeting the mages. "none of them even tried to touch the keeper..."

    all said and done, they were not that much worse off. 34 of the troops died, but they gained 5 more experienced ones, and the cleric and the psion. who are they exactly? the Kalashtar was called maavakti, and she was a follower of the flame from near Thaliost, the city was overtaken by the swarms and she.... remembers little else, except horror. the cleric (which was dubbed the "vol guy" believed in the blood of vol, and served Karrnath. he was appaled to be her, as he was taken from near Karrlakton. Gabriel was quite worried about this and reported to Korzen. "hhmmm, we heard the swarms started attacking towards arcanix, but there were no reports of Karrnath. is Auressia on her way there as well?"

    "Vol Guy" disliked the church, but agreed to fight, if just to survive. both additions weren't up to par, having used some of their spells/ powerpoints for previous protection. Gabriel's player who usually has darker intents asked me "does he happen to have animate dead? to even the odds?"

    Krozzen took out two scrolls of stone wall, and closed the gaps at the neck. "that won't stop them for long though".wit hthe help of some troops they laid the broken doors as cover at the sides of Tira Miron's statue, and posted some archers behind it.

    oh, nearly forgot- a Delver breached the catacombs wit some troops, but they were stopped.


    Wave 2, the failed charges
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gabriel and Red decided to stay at the main hall. while Danves hid behind one of the pews, and Grum was more poised to fight... whatever might come.

    but the second wave didn't come immediately. the enemies howled and wailed, more bashing on the stone glasses,more of the titans bashing on the walls, and here and there the wavering walls. time passed, and most importantly- some spells ended, which was the point.
    then Red heard a noise- a loud buzzing. 6 great swarms flew high in the gap, though slowly, as if waiting something. Red didn't think more, and unleashed a fire ball on the swarms. but they were ready, and one cast a counter dispel magic (as auressia). but Red's power (and action point) withstood Auressia's spell, and burnt the bugs fiercely.

    next charged 2 ogre crasher lieutenants and a bear hound, the three and the swarms were close together due to the gap, so Gabriel's Smite Evil spell caught them all, and using her action point, all swarms excpet one was destroyed, and the other chargers were either hurt, blinded or both. focused fire by archers and flanking by the remaining troops brought this to a hold. further troops who were supposed to enter didn't do so. this was a fast and fairly easy victory for the two casters, but they both felt as if they were just being drained of their spells.

    meanwhile, in the neck Krozen's predictions came true- the titans shattered the stone walls, and once again troops stormed in. 11 bearded devils this time. the troops seemd outmatched, and so Grum once more rushed to Krozen help, who cast "divine power" and turned to a furious battle machine. his mage partially paralized some of the fiends, and Grum started to pick on them with his enchanted fiend hating bow.

    Grum sensed something in the hall of the flame just before leaving. his ears picked up the sound of something like distant fires, not the burning of the flame itself, but he couldn't pin point it. another pass wall appeared in the side of the hall of the flame, and more possessed trained troops passed. Jalea began to cast a greater dispel magic to turn them and close the wall, when two efreeti appeared, one hitting her, the other targeting her wizard. the wizard was bashed harshly, and Jaela was hit too, but (dice roll willing) she cast her spell, closing the wall, and freeing 9 of the 12 soldiers. a round later the wizard was dead, but Jaela banished the efreeti with a cry of anger, as her troops surrounded and finally killed the possesed ones.

    all characters went to fight the bearded devils. it was a slow fight, but in the end they all died without undue losses,. Jaela raised (raise dead spell) the wizard, who looked stricken. they all healed, and breathed. the second wave has passed.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    we stopped here. running the waves takes alooooong time, and they are slow. the party burnt some of their spells, but not nearly as much as i thought, thought the "high ups" NPCs are coming out as planned.

    i'm not sure if the player like this sort of game or not. they seemed to like being bad ass, but also think they aren't really challenged, and mostly worry- how many more waves are out there? is Obraskyr on his way with salvation, or is he toying with them?

    the two waves didn't feel that different to me. i have a few more surprises and ideas on the way, but i want to make each wave feel special. we barely get to play, no time to mess around. still, if we just end up playing 2-3 waves next session with no development... meh, i don't want this to happen.

    suggestions?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:03 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    for every problem, there is nothing that could go wrong by adding more Rakshasas to it.

    Naztharunes are very very good at sneaking around, and if you give them an swordsage level or three they become even better (although that may catapult them out of the party's CR). Between Hide in Plain Sight, huge Hide/Move silently modifiers and their shadow jump, they would be ideal for sneaking on the unsuspecting Jaela; even if the room is warded they couldve gone in hidden amongst the two waves, bid their time, then attack. They would be invisible for to lvl 3 troops for all practical purposes, and you should really find a way to drag the PCs to small, focused action. Then thin the ranks of troops a bit to ease it on yourself.

    Or go with one of the players idea: Next wave or the next after that one, Jaela divines a gap in the enemy leader's defense, probably due to sending his/her guards to die. Commando time go!

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Hello again LansXero. glad you used the personality maze idea. if you're players are enjoying it- all the better!

    as to your ideas: (this may contain some spoilers)
    - i have considered using the Naztharunes, but instead i have to other "assassins", which are slightly more known to the party- the mockery (a rakshasa who is a high level monk, with slight monk fixes) and... Ipiks! both can hide really well (the former has potions ofinvisibility, the latter a ring of invisibility). the mockery will probably go after Krozen, paralize him, and will try to coupe de grace him in the following round. Ipiks has his own... target (not Jaela)
    Auressia isn't trying to kill Jaela, rather capture her.

    for that she needs to make her enemies use their highest spells if possible, leaving her an opening. the great strategy is to wear the enemies down, though there are some more specific attempts and tactics at certain points.

    thinning out the low level troops: i allready sort of handwave what happens to them, which the party is fine with. but there are other tactics. not all of the mezzoloths are dead, there are some added rakshasas on Auressia's side that can cast quite destructive spells and some other troops (some of them come allready at wave 3)

    i understand i can add rakshasas and monsters and the like, but i choose not to. why?
    - first, the party divination might tell them how much the enemy has, and i don't want to later fudge things.
    - i want the party to feel (and i've told them so) that their actions matter. this was certainly true in the past with the death of others of the dark six, but even now- there is a certain amount of fiends of each kind, of constructs, of beasts and so on. the enemies resources, even one such as Auressia,. must be limited to feel real. i got that from the giant's villain making advice and Dust's "5L" villain creation thread (though i read it quite some time after starting the campaign, so i wasn't able to implement all)

    as to taking the battle to the enemy, outside. i like the idea, only... what weakness? the way Auressia is built as a mass possessor, she has very few if any weaknesses at the moment. but perhaps i'll think of something. it's an interesting idea.

    the battle CAN be won, but it will be far far harder than anything the party has faced so far (including the epic battle with the keeper). as i said- there is always an option, but i don't have to make it easy. however, my premise is that they'll try and persuade Jaela to teleoprt away after some considerable loss. they seem to think it will be in a lull between the waves, except for Danves' player who think that a major trick on Auressia's side is coming any time soon.
    we'll see what happens.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    I was mostly trying to advice zooming in to more PC-ish action if the waves are dragging on too long. And what is a mass posesor weakness? That it cant be everywhere at once. If he is manifesting into a bug to counter-spell or direct attacks or whatever... who is controlling the physical Auresia? (If she isnt present at the battlefield, since I got the gist that no one knows if she is or not, then by sheer distance to her actual physical presence she may need a conduit of some sort. Much more efficient than dispel-magicing everyone is to rush in and cut the head. The possessed will deprive the enemies of troops and provide a needed reinforcement, maybe even a second front for the fiends to deal with.

    But then again you know what you got planned and I dont, and considering your past work Im sure it will come out allright :D

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    first of all, thanks for the vote of confidence. i'm quite flattered, though i still consider myself ever learning. part of the reasone for the log is to ask advice and opinion from you readers. (though you may have remained the only one )

    the party has actually discussed the idea of finding Auressia quite hotly. there are a few snags with that:
    1) the party has different opinions of whether Auressia has a physical form, and controls the swarms telepathically, or if she merged herself with the swarms, and that they (and the possessed by extension) are her body. Danves asked Jaela to feel where Auressia is through her connection to her (the keeper and the fiend seem to be linked) but she feels her all around them. this still can be interpreted many ways.

    2) assuming she has a physical form- how do you find her? how do you reach her? this is from a DM's point of view not much of a problem- Jaela divines her location/ Krozen finds her somehow and so on. regarding your idea of some conduit helping her control so many bugs, i haven't really considered it, and it might be an interesting strategic point, but also adding vulnerabilites to the fiend's plans. i'll think of it.

    3) in case they reach Auressia, how do they fight her? first, she might well be with other minions, or other members of the twisted hand, but also, the party have somehow concluded (through a spell DC or other) that she has 14th caster level. that is enough to wipe the floor with them most likely. and as the campaign's main villain (a bit meta gaming) won't she have other surprises?

    so the party decided to stay and protect Jaela. though they look for strategic opportunities. from the siege at Obsidian City and their desire to strike at a supply storage, i gather this party doesn't like to "sit and wait" i'll need to see.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Biotroll's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Oh, we are still here and reading (and approving your decisions ). I had a lot to read as I was away for some time and now I wish I was part of the party!

    Don't know if you missed or decided to not include Skaravojen (the flamekeeper's pet, stated in Five Nations). If you decide to use some kind of conduit, you can assign this little puppy to help PC's to find and destroy it. (It might look odd, that it just appears in the church in middle of combat though. Maybe it was sent by Jaela to search for the conduit?)

    Also, my first thought when I saw possesion thing was, why aren't they using protection from evil? (Or magic circle against evil.) No possesion for the duration of the spell, save is Will (harmless), seems ideal for me. Every cleric or mage with bit of self-respect should know that it protects against possesion. Should be standard issue for the defenders. Also it would help a bit in defense against demons.

    If you don't want your PC's to fight Auressia yet, but you don't want them to spend another session in long battles in church, let the PC's to make diversion. Let one of the wizards cast Disguise Self or Alter Self to look like Jaela and make false retreat, trying to get at least some attention (and grabbing some of the forces, letting the defenders in church some rest). If they manage to escape long enough, they might meet Obraskyr with his reinforcements.

    Dunno what else advice I can provide now. Still will be looking ahead for new updates though.
    English isn't my native language, sorry for mistypes.
    Shared silver medal for Nataksukan in Iron Chef LXII - Dungeon Lord.

    Big thanks to Bradakhan for awesome avatar.

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    1) the party has different opinions of whether Auressia has a physical form, and controls the swarms telepathically, or if she merged herself with the swarms, and that they (and the possessed by extension) are her body.
    Well, you could do it like they do for some of the Elder Evils that are truly massive (i.e. Atropus): They may be all around you and their body may be a miriad entities, but there is still one may "projection" or "avatar" that is her.

    2) assuming she has a physical form- how do you find her? how do you reach her?
    That would be a bit difficult to balance, between making it sensibly hard and making it possible... you could make it so there is only a chance to do it for a short time, because of some reason.

    3) in case they reach Auressia, how do they fight her?
    As hard as they can. They need not beat her, they need to shake her focus and make her lose control of the posessed. Since the control can be dispel magic`d away (as you ruled, for better or worse) they really cant be entirely part of her, so there must be some sort of breakable magical link tying them together. If they hurt her enough or mess her up enough or read "krozen's distracting scroll of distraction" at her or something, she could begin to let go of posessed left and right. Then they flee before they get destroyed... I guess?

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Biotroll View Post

    Don't know if you missed or decided to not include Skaravojen (the flamekeeper's pet, stated in Five Nations). If you decide to use some kind of conduit, you can assign this little puppy to help PC's to find and destroy it. (It might look odd, that it just appears in the church in middle of combat though. Maybe it was sent by Jaela to search for the conduit?)
    aaahhhh. Skaravjen... so someone noticed i didn't include it. well done! why haven't i included it? (though i quite like it). i wanted Auressia's forces to try and whether down the church forces, making them cast more and more spells. Skaravojen's breath weapon complicated this. it gave Jaela a powerful and renweable magic offense, ans the dragonhound as well is quite hard to take down. it doubled the "really hard" targets that hat to be dealt with (Korzen i may have a way of dealing with), and so decided to lower this.

    beside, there were always Jaela, Krozen and Malik. the players attention sort of tops at 3 it seems. besides, it was one more to take the attnetion from the PCs. it was a hard decision, i really like the dragonhound, but decided to "not let it be"

    Also, my first thought when I saw possession thing was, why aren't they using protection from evil? (Or magic circle against evil.) No possesion for the duration of the spell, save is Will (harmless), seems ideal for me. Every cleric or mage with bit of self-respect should know that it protects against possesion. Should be standard issue for the defenders. Also it would help a bit in defense against demons.
    oh, they are using the protection against evil, and spreading the archins as best as they can for constant protection. sorry i didn't mention this. not all troops are portected, but most of the main ones are. however, most spels are short lasting, compared to the wait between waves, costing more and more spells. and lets not forget that Auressia can cast dispel magic on some...

    If you don't want your PC's to fight Auressia yet, but you don't want them to spend another session in long battles in church, let the PC's to make diversion. Let one of the wizards cast Disguise Self or Alter Self to look like Jaela and make false retreat, trying to get at least some attention (and grabbing some of the forces, letting the defenders in church some rest). If they manage to escape long enough, they might meet Obraskyr with his reinforcements.
    an interesting proposal. they will need to find a way to mimic thelink to Jaela somehow, but they will still need to find a way to protect Jaela herself, while they research the clues they got.

    originally by LansXero-
    As hard as they can. They need not beat her, they need to shake her focus and make her lose control of the possessed. Since the control can be dispel magic`d away (as you ruled, for better or worse) they really cant be entirely part of her, so there must be some sort of breakable magical link tying them together. If they hurt her enough or mess her up enough or read "krozen's distracting scroll of distraction" at her or something, she could begin to let go of possessed left and right. Then they flee before they get destroyed... I guess?
    that's a bit like what is planned for later actually, in a way, near the completion of the campaign... however maybe an altered version might work? this is also an interesting idea. thanks. i shall think about it.

    some odds and bits about the campaign at this point, for those interested
    - i think we have about 2-4 more meetings till the campaign ends, at least if the church battle runs moire smoothly and doesn't drag on.

    - so far the party is at different opinions and is confused as to the part of Obraskyr and the Traveler. the former they don't know if they can trust, if he is one their side, Auressia's side, the dragons side, or his own side. the latter they... don't really know what to think of. some think she's somewhat deranged, some think she is playing a game, Gabriel's player (who has a mind for conspiracy) even suggested to me that she is in fact a master manipulator, the hand behind the strings, appeasing Auressia and using her for her own far more sinister things. what do you think?

    - Red's player has sort of decided a contest of magical skill against the fiend, determined to beat her every move. so far she's succeeding! but so far Auressia only could cast 3rd level spells through her possessed. might it change?

    - the players bemoan Google leaving. they kinda liked him, and relied on his damage output. they are still coming to terms with Grum (including Grum's player).

    - i sort of came to the decision that action points are way too much, at least how they are done in Eberron. i mostly like how they use Hero points in PF.

    - there are quite a few thoughts brewing for another campaign, which may continue with the same characters or some of them, to quite high levels (also a first for me), or some other campaign that i think are also quite fun, most are stolen from other places, at least key concepts. i'll get to that when i finish the log (Host willing)

    - i started a new thread about the loss of mystery and wonder in RPGs, due to some frustrations i have. i love the campaign and having a great time, but this bugs me a bit. there are some interesting ideas there.

    - not for the first time, i feel things would run smoother if i had more system mastery, especially concerning spells. but i won't have the time to invest in that.

    that is all, thanks for the suggestions, i'll think about them and see if and how they fit.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Banned
     
    LansXero's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Lima, Peru
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    - i think we have about 2-4 more meetings till the campaign ends, at least if the church battle runs moire smoothly and doesn't drag on.
    I wish I could end my campaigns. Not because I wanna stop playing, I just suck at making endings :(

    - so far the party is at different opinions and is confused as to the part of Obraskyr and the Traveler.
    The Traveler as portrayed so far can go either way honestly. Obraskyr seems like should be more loyal though. Id say get more of a feeling for what they think is the most obvious and either twist it to surprise them or, if that would seem to be happening too often, switch it again and make it so they were actually right this time. If they gloat though never let them be right ever again xD

    - Red's player has sort of decided a contest of magical skill against the fiend, determined to beat her every move. so far she's succeeding! but so far Auressia only could cast 3rd level spells through her possessed. might it change?
    Since Auressia is bound to have higher level spells than Red, let them come into play as out of frustration with Red's clever tactics. So even if Auressia wins it, Red's player can get the moral win of "you had to use higher level spells to beat meeee!!!!"

    - the players bemoan Google leaving. they kinda liked him, and relied on his damage output. they are still coming to terms with Grum (including Grum's player).
    Adding a new character to a well stablished party is tricky, let him have a few more spotlight moments for a while, to help him get stablished :D

    - i sort of came to the decision that action points are way too much, at least how they are done in Eberron. i mostly like how they use Hero points in PF.
    Too much in which way? :O

    - there are quite a few thoughts brewing for another campaign, which may continue with the same characters or some of them, to quite high levels (also a first for me), or some other campaign that i think are also quite fun, most are stolen from other places, at least key concepts. i'll get to that when i finish the log (Host willing)
    Please post the logs to whichever other endeavors occupy you, it should be fun to read them. High levels are a pain to prepare for, so if you arent too big on the free time department, stay away from them. You may revisit these characters on a high level campaign after a new, lowish level campaign during which you use the spare time to plan the high level stuff. Gives both a break to you and your players from the current story and characters and gives you time for the tedious planning of high level 3.5 D&D.

    - not for the first time, i feel things would run smoother if i had more system mastery, especially concerning spells. but i won't have the time to invest in that.
    Actually, it probably would be more convoluted. There is a lot of stuff to memorize and plan for, through, but as a human you only have so much attention. There is a good chance, Id say, that focusing more on the mechanics would detract from the currently neat storytelling. You just need to be more of an entertainer and not let them figure out when you are caught flat-footed. Working more on improvising would probably be more rewarding than working on system mastery.

    that is all, thanks for the suggestions, i'll think about them and see if and how they fit.
    Thank you for the log and an oportunity that, for me at least and I suspect for many others as well, doesnt come easily: to see another fellow DM at work and get a glimpse of how they run things and why they do the stuff they do and how it all turns out. It is valuable learning for those of us that are still trying to get the hang of it and trying to improve, so keep at it :D

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Krazzman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Aachen, Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Oh boy... this log is EPIC!

    After reading this one I will start making one myself for the upcoming campaign I play with.

    But! I seem to notice a few things that were , did your "optimizer" really left the group? Or did you kick him out? Will that Ipkis make a move in your Battle or will you have him somewhere else? Cause I think he would be there in the "frontlines".

    Another thing that would interest me: The Class-progression. You mentioned what feats they took but not which class they have, that would something interresting, at least to me to know how they progressed. For Danves you sometimes did it by Mentioning how much Rogue levels he has, but the rest?

    I hope you got to play in the near future to see what you did with this battle.

    Have a nice Day,
    Krazzman
    Have a nice Day,
    Krazzman

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazzman View Post

    But! I seem to notice a few things that were , did your "optimizer" really left the group? Or did you kick him out? Will that Ipkis make a move in your Battle or will you have him somewhere else? Cause I think he would be there in the "frontlines".
    the "optimizer" decided to leave the group. the low frequency in which we were meeting (and i also think the tense group dynamics) made him leave. we may have needed to make him leave later on if that didn't happen, or we might have found a way to get along. can't really say.

    as to Ipiks, he is scheduled on making at least one appearance, if not more. he has underonge a transformation (last time the party saw him in the mournland he had black and red scales, and wings), and upgraded a few levels. however, in a straight fight the party would most likely still kick his ass. which just calls for an unfair fight. not the fron tlines, but the sneaky lines...

    Another thing that would interest me: The Class-progression. You mentioned what feats they took but not which class they have, that would something interresting, at least to me to know how they progressed. For Danves you sometimes did it by Mentioning how much Rogue levels he has, but the rest?
    well, Ipiks Google and Gabriel/ savage progressed fairly straightforward- just their chosen class.

    Red started as a sorceress, but after a meeting or two the player asked me to switch to wizard, since he wanted to go ultimate magus. he got to wiz 4/ sorc 1 (not sure at what order, but if i recall he got to wiz 3, than added sorc, then the last level of wiz) and after that just unltimate magus. combined with several pearls of power and the player REALLY knowing how to use the spells, he hasn't run out of spells yet (came close in the Mournland though)

    Danves has started as Rogue 1/ dusk blade 1. he took 2 (or is it 3) levels of duskbklade before adding another level of rogue, mostly to improve his social skills (which the duskblade does poorly in). after that he took duskblade levels, and the last level (9th) is another rogue level (again, for social skills).

    both Red and Danves have very high Influence (a combination of most social skills into one), but they often take different approaches- Red towards honor, duty, reason, and the greater good sort of thing, while Danves is a bit more underhanded, trying to appeal to self interest, "hard truths" and so on.

    Gabriel also has quite a high Influence skill, but the player feels it is not really Gabriel's place, and not her role in the party.

    I hope you got to play in the near future to see what you did with this battle.
    well, due to some real life problems, we postponed the meeting to this saturday. still not entirely sure about things, but my general approach is as follows:
    - cram "waves" into fewer shorter waves, with many more opponents, preferably stronger ones.
    - have some effects that alter the battlefield/ conceptions of the battle (you will see in the game hopefully)
    - some other... "Surprises".

    basically i feel the players are not that interested, feeling that the battle is lost, and are just passing time till they can persuade Jaela to teleoport away. to a degree, they are right, so no reason to linger on unneceseriyly, despite what i envisioned for this battle.
    still, as always, the players might surprise. i'm hoping they will- it makes the best of games!

    glad you enjoy the reading Krazzman, hoping you'll like what follows. not much left...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 19: September 25th, 2011- Battle of over the Silver Flame, Desperate fight

    In game date- Dravago 1 (Late spring, month of handling)

    hello again folks! 4 weeks have passed since the last meeting. i had some problems, and due to RL scheduling and so on this is the soonest we could play. i was worried that we lost momentum, but when i started of doing my usual "start of meeting recap" Red's surprised me by saying "no need. who can forget what happened last meeting, lets do this!"

    damn, that warmed my heart. the players seemed to be really expecting this, so i was glad. and as it turned out to be, i think it became one of the most intense meetings yet!

    there has been a bit of a snarky humor going on and forth. as part of it i sent the party an e-motivator before the fight. (from the excellent threads in the main forum). Red's player, who is handy with the photo shop, took a few minutes out of his busy work day to send a reply.

    "My oh My..."
    Spoiler
    Show
    origianl one


    the response
    Spoiler
    Show


    snarky bastards!


    a small note for those who don't read the posts between session logs- i realized that the party decided to evacuate, though they'll give it "a good fight". that combined with how hard it was to manage such large fights, multiple opponents, high level spells, effects, huge battlefield and so on, i decided to sort of shorten the ordeal. instead of many smaller waves of opponents (each with some of it's own quirks and so on) i condensed the waves to more massive intense battles, but ultimately shorter. i had my concern for this (which i'll discuss with any who'd be interested) but on the whole i think it worked splendidly well.

    ok, so back in Thrane, in the besieged church of the silver flame, the heroes have just defeated yet another wave of Auressia forces. but the night was still going to be long... and bloody.

    Status report
    Spoiler
    Show
    though the party gained some forces (amongst them Lareth the blood of vol priest, and a kalashtar psion) they still suffered casualties, though some they could bear. Krozan seemed pleased. he was impressed by the party's fighting skill, though he still remained cynical and resolute about their chances. "you mentioned you had some dragon ally coming?" the party exchanged glances. "we're not sure we should trust him."

    Red spent some of her spells, but not much. Gabriel a bit more, but still in a good standing. Grum was able to convince some of the archers to give him some adamantite arrows (he was obvioulsy a superior archer) which proved to be a wise choice. the church however, despite stone wall spells, seemed still quit vulnerable- the main doors were down, through which the party could see figures outside. there was a breach in the eastern wall of the long section , and the other breach could be destroyed by the warforged titan (or whatever caused vibrations in the walls from time to time). and perhaps most importantly- about 6 big breaches in the dome of the flame.

    The keeper of the flame however still seemed resolute, determined, and poised to battle. the party decided it was not yet the time to press the matter. Gabriel had an idea to move one of the giant stone door to block the eastern breach. gathering up some soldiers, they set to the task.


    Knock Knock
    Spoiler
    Show
    as they were pushing the door between the statues over the breach, they suddenly heard the footsteps of the warforged titan, who immediately started banging on the obstacle. with great strength and belief Gabriel encouraged the soldier to keep the door aloft, not enable the war engine break in. meanwhile the second titan broke the thin stone wall on the other breach, though it did not come in.

    Grum sharp senses (about +19 to perception) noticed some wavy figures in the air beyond the breach. he yelled a warning, just before the two of them unleashed fireballs on Krozan and his group. the mage, Kalahstar, Archon and few soldiers perished in the flame, while Krozan took some of the burn. luckily for the party, they weren't with him. as the two casters appeared, they seemed to be wearing some arcane robes. "They got the Wizards of Aundair?" wondered Red, before unleashing her own fireball on them.

    Spell resistance and save after, one of the casters stood unscathed, while the other burned, his face turning to that of a tiger. "s**t! Rakshasa!" the party cursed. they still had bad bad memories from the lighting rail incident.

    this seemed like it was going to be a tougher fight than the bearded demons.


    not done yet!
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves who stood close to Jaela (he took it upon himself to be her protector) noticed two figures appearinf floating in the opening of the dome- Mezzoloth demons, who immediately unleashed cloud kills on the soldiers, felling many of them. a third Mezzoloth appeared beyond the main entrance, unleashing more decimating vapors upon the soldiers there.

    and then, with a great shriek a huge green beast with a horn on it's head soared into the doom, creating a lance of sound that burst the church floor around some soldier,s sending sharpnel around them. the party had little idea what it was (poor knowledge checks), but some players recognized it vaguely- a Yrthak.

    not done yet friends! through the main door approched four heavy looking lizards on 8 legs, grumpy looking, but with sinister eyes- basilisks! the soldiers close to the door yelled in fear and turned away, but some allready to late. 8 statues were added to the churches collection of saints.

    "oh crap" was the general consensus in the group. another saying that warms a DMs heart.


    go! go! go!
    Spoiler
    Show
    things became fast moving from there. in the iddle section Krozan wove a protective spell, and went towards the Rakshasa, but they disappeared beyond the wall, perhaps not wishing to face Red's firepower. instead the warforged titan squeezed in. lovely.

    Jaela called upon the protection of the church, spreading great light and the spirit of the silver flame upon all who fought in it. A recicitation effect was laid upon all (+2 to all attacks and saves, the opposite for opponents, +3 to followers of the flame- Gabriel and Grum). by the end of the meeting, this probably was considered the most loved spell by the party, and probably the most effective.

    but why just one titan when you can have two? Gabriel let go of the door, spread her angelic wings and flew towards the basilisks. she felt they posed the greatest threat. with her gone, the titan broke through the door, scattering some of the soldiers, planning to go in. Grum who feared this, started pepering the titan Krozan was facing with Adamatine arrows, making him look a bit like a porcupine. Red moved to the main hallway, trying to decide who to assist. the Mezzoloth worried her greatly. after a spell or two she started making her way towards the flame chamber.

    meanwhile Danves was weary of further surprises. the single Yrthak focused on the soldiers, who pepered it with arrows. while looking for other threats, he shot the beast as well.

    but his suspicions were confirmed, as two more opponenets appeared in mid air, close to the keeper- two flying woman like fiends, with strange whip/ ropes coiling- Erinyes. they lashed at jaela, and one rope coild around the young child, binding her!

    Gabriel, followed by her Archon ally Jakar went to face the threat from the entrance. a well placed Holy smite spell destroyed the basilisk (who were fiendish by the way), hurt the mezzoloth, and made him blind. the demon tried to ran away from the church, and fell just beyond it's entrance. the semi- celestial and the divine hound gave chase.

    the party was split, two titans in their midst, and the keeper bound. things started to look interesting


    the battle intensifies
    Spoiler
    Show
    One of the titans ran over the stalls and tried to trample Krozan and Grum. the cleric was trodden down hard, but the hunter dodged and rose to send more arrows into the metal and stone giant. the other tiatan turned and ran towards... Gabriel of all sorts! (i though that that front lacked challenge).

    Red in the meantime tried to weave a spell over the entangling Erinyes, when suddenly another fireball hit her, as well as scorching rays! the 2 Rakshasa didn't retreat, they cast invisibility and got back in, focusingtheir effort on the caster, who proved to be a pain in Auressia's side. the fire nearly toppled Red, who wasn't expecting this, and the spell fizzled.

    Danves dropped his bow, and ran with a giant leap and strcuk the Erinyes from beneath, unleashing a shocking grasp at the fiend, who screamed. Jaela's two archons tried to severe the mystic rope, but feailed, while her mage failed to penetrate their spell resistance with his spell. the remaining Erinyes tried to charm him, but failed as well.

    but the one who captured jalea was folding back, dragging the keeper with her. if she could get her out of the confines of the church...


    Power B***h!
    Spoiler
    Show
    But Jalea herself had a few more tricks down her sleeve- one word, holy word, made short work of the Erinyes. she fell and suffered some damage, but seemed ok. the party however was shocked. "that kind of power? damn!"

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    how did i deal with the demonstration of "way beyond the PC's capabilites" power? wouldn't i make them feel useless? outmatched? that i'm just wanting to "have some fun" myself? also, why shouldn't she solve all the problems herself? when i chose to set this in the church, i conciously put myself in this corner. why?

    well, my thoughts are like this. first of all, though Jaela is the leader, it is obvious that the party has an essential role, and much more combat experience than she does. so they are necessary.

    also, the amount of enemies, their power, and the entire action economy thing means that she is not all capable, and that she doesn't solve encounters all by herself, but rather contribute her part to the team effort. the party actually felt that she was helping, but not overshadowing them (or so i think). in each wave i've assigned "jaela monsters" (and also Krozan monsters) that they are to deal with, to show they are fighting just as hard, but not diminish the importance of players, or their contribution

    also, unlike most common DMPC problems, this NPC is not going to be traveling with the PCs the whole time. she is a special feature in a special situation. the main idea beyond most "high magic" here is to give a sense of power of the silver flame, and the (hopefully) epicness of the battle. i think that was achieved quite well.

    lastly, and this is quite important- i didn't made Jaela a jerk. sure, she can be a bit annoying in her refusal to leave and so on, but on the whole i think the party understands her, even sympathize with her a bit (when they are not making jokes about her. bastards. and she does not partonize over the PCs. she respects them, treat them as equal allies to the cause, and respect their advice.

    all in all it was arisk, but i think it paid off, especially due to what will follow on the next session.


    Gabriel and the archon reached the fallen Mezzoloth, and struck him hard. but just before he died he was able to dispel most of Gabriel's ongoing spells, including her favorite- spikes. this put a bit of a dampner on the aasimar, especially since it also drove back the angelic transformation, the wings retreating painfully into her body. but there was no time to worry, the second titan was coming up fast.

    the first titan tried to strike krozan and Grum, and landed a few hits, while the demon hunter half orc Grum turned on his old enemies, his bow whistling as he first took one Rakshasa down, and wounded the other severly (his good aligned bow passes their damage reduction, and it's enchantments combined with his favored enemy makes him a deadly big evil nasty cat killer! i think the player built Grum especially with this in mind, but it's cool). the wounded Rakshasa cursed, and retreated beyond the wall, despite Red's attempts to rid the world of him. Danves, seeing that the Erinyes have been dealt with, and the soldiers were close to bringing down the Yrthak, rushed back to help the others.

    the two Mezzoloth sank beyond the wall, and as Jaela rushed to the wounded soldiers (those who lived) the remaining focus remained on the two titans.


    Tiiiiiimber!
    Spoiler
    Show
    While Gabriel (now slower and with no wings) and Jakar the archon closed on the rushing Titan, the rest tried to take the close one down. the thing seem to be able to take quite a bit of damage. it gut frustrated with missing Grum, and trampled his way over Krozan (again) towards a softer target- Red. but Danves readied a surprise. after finally remembering to do a knowledge check, the party was deeply surprised that unlike other constructs, this one wasn't immune to kingdom come from all kinds of spell.

    some of you perhaps remember the Chuul the partyfaced in the Silent halls? well this was a repeat performance. 3-4 ray's of enfeeblement later (Red and Danves) , and the huge construct could barely lift his own weight, and tried to run to the exit, the pesky, pesky Grum keeping putting arrow after arrow into him.

    but Red was... well... pissed off. she wasn't going to let him escape- she cast some 2nd level spell which it's name i don't recall which is basically like flameable grease, which toppled the giant down. like hyenas to a carcass, the remaining combatants closed on the consturct, and hacked him down, as he tried to wave his hammer and axe at them. the titan was down.

    Meanwhile, Gabrial and the Archon flanked the other titan, and exchanged a few ineffectual blows, till it decided to run away, with Gabriel moving aside.

    quite remarkably, this wave was won.


    Mix of XP, level up!
    Spoiler
    Show
    i haven't awarded any XP yet in the battle of the church, since i wanted to grant XP for each 3 waves as an accomplishment (there were supposed to be 12 quite smaller waves), so some things added up. not getting into details, the party was awarded quite a lot of XP.

    however, in my records, i thought they were lacking about 3000 to gain a level, but apparently they only needed 1350! the Xp would have gotten them to the next level anyway, but now it took them a nice portion in.

    Level up! under our rules everything gets added immediately, except for memorizing new spells (they are stuck with what they got till they rest), spells in spell book and such, and.. it think that is it.

    a VERY crucial factor to remember at this point is that action points replenish... which they dearly needed as the session progressed.

    what did they level in? lets see:
    • Danves: another level of Duskblade, can now use a heavy shield, also took a "dimension hop" spell, which also became crucial.
    • Red- another level of ultimate magus. 4th level spells as a wizard (not that she can use them right away)- assay resistence, and some ray that heavily damages constructs. also- 3rd level for sorcerer, which for red means one thing- a new supply of fireballs! (spontenous magic does level up immediately)
    • Grum- another level of ranger, new favored enemy, hasn't decided yet.
    • Gabriel- 9th level cleric, which is mostly one moree feat (not yet chosen), and 5th level spells! (can;t memorize them at the momet)


    I think we need to talk...
    Spoiler
    Show
    though as a whole the 3rd wave was a success, there were heavy casualties amongst the soldiers, mainly due to cloudkills, a fire ball or two, and the Yrthak. the party was exhilerated, but they felt that their resources were diminishing. how many more waves?

    Krozan exhcanged a few good words with Grum, impressed by his archery skills, and the general capability of the team. his good spirits, sarcastic nature and slight "i'm a bastard and i like it" attitude seemed to have likened him a bit to the party.

    as the players were updating character sheets, Gabriel decided to have a talk with Jaela. she tried to persuade her to leave when there is no hope. to fight while she can, but understands that this battle may well be lost. and that if she is what Auressia is after, they must keep her away. they exchanged arguments about the teachings of Tira Miron, the meaning of courage, sacrifice, honor and the like. Jaela seemed resolute in her ways, and Danves came to try and help Gabriel, but something interfered..


    a familiar face... or two
    Spoiler
    Show
    Even Grum couldn't har, when suddenly figures appeared, attacking int two small groups! near Gabriel appeared none other than the black panther Rakshasa, with the flayedskin and fur- the Mockery! it struck the cleric hard, but could not stun him. a rakshasa warrior also appeared, attacking Jaela in surprise, while a rakshasa sorcerer floated some distance away unleashing a fireball, burning some of them.

    a similar warrior and caster appeared near the second target- Krozan with some soldiers who were trying to use the remains of a door to block an entrance. but with them was another- out of the air above appeared the winged lizarman, black and red scales, burying his axe with tremendous force in Krozan shoulder, hissing loudly "die warm blood!" as the posion took effect over Krozan, making him pale.

    half smiles, half murmurs around the table... the return of Ipiks! i was trying to read Gabriel's player reaction (who originally played the little bastard), but couldn't much read.

    the ambush has sprung.


    to protect!
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves and Gabriel were close to Jaela, as were the archons. however, the Mockery was insidiously hard to hit (high stats, abilities, NA, and some potions). but Danves called upon the powers of his sword, Sure thing, to land one nasty strike on him, imbued with touch of idiocity, reducing his wisdom (and thus his AC) by 5. the Mockery in turn tried to pummel Gabriel down, saying the usual villanous things ("i shall tear your wings, eat your heart" and so on.) to which the player responded with his own... um... witicism as his high AC blocked most attacks. but the fireballs from the sorcerer were not to be forgotten, as they endedup doing quite serious damage, even dropping Jakar.

    meanwhile the warrior rakshasa and ipiks quickly cut Krozan a new hide (after ipiks used unholy blight to kill the soldiers helping) , and the priest nearly toppled, but a well placed heal brought him back. Grum rushed to his aid, and again his bow struck true against the little half fiend lizard. Ipiks turned hissing. "who are you? you shooting at me?" long hiss, and wave of axe "no worries! plenty of axe for everyone!"

    the party started burning action points in this battle. meanehile the warrior rakshasa hit Jaela quit e well while the remaining archon tried to cut him. Jaela summoned the power of Harm, butfailed to hit the Rakshasa Zakya. the Mockery seemed quite dangerous, perhaps even more than ipiks...


    i said "power B***h!"
    Spoiler
    Show
    Red was a bit away, and tried to get to the action, but the creature's SR failed her spells again and again. so she decided a different approach- a targeted dispel magic on the Mockery. spell after buffing spell fell, the magical auras gone. which is when the Mockery decided to move to Flank the Keeper, hitting her but failing to stun her.

    so she struck back. with the harm spell. and crittedhim. that was the most unexpected and fast kill in the campaign, which caught the players by quite a surprise. Jaela however, for the first time killing a major fiend with her own hands, seemed elated, victorious, seething. she turned to Gabriel "see the power of the flame? trust in it's power and cause." the player kind of groaned...

    The battle turned the fiends ran (they drank fly potions), while one Rakshasa Zakya was brought down by Grum's arrows, the rest escaped. and Ipiks? he made a small wave, and disappeared.

    DM decision- what just happened?
    Spoiler
    Show
    okay, so this may have been bad. a powerful NPC ending a fight with a major villain one handedly, with the players having little to say in the matter. should i somehow "altered" the result? or chose another spell? or perhaps made Jaela attack the warrior?

    have i stolen from the PCs a moment of glory? a possibly great moment?

    well, first of all- yeah, i may have. and perhaps therewas an oportunity lost here. true, the Mockery wasn't such an emotional investment for the party, but he WAS part of the dark six.

    that said, i think there is a slightly greater issue here. one of trust. the players need to know that i don't "fumble" or adjust results. i did that in the past, and it just ruins the game. let the dice fall where it falls. also, it's important to play the NPCs and monsters in a mostly believable way. and if one of the great demons is coming after her, she might as well use one of her strongest spells (especially if she cast it allready)

    the players (particularly Red's player) think that without Red' dispel magic he wouldn't have been hit at all, though i'm not so sure.

    strangely enough, this had an unexpected effect- the players treated Jaela a bit more (not much) as a bad ass, as "one of us". who would have known?


    DM design- the ambush, Ipiks and Mockery
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Ambush has a few purposes. first- make the players a bit more jumpy. they could be attacked even between waves! and Ipiks can fly, disappear at will, and is very, very Stealthy.

    Secondly, i wanted to bring the Rakshasa more to the fore, enhance their presence in the campaign. so a sort of "assasination squad" seemed a sneaky and devilish thing to do. a major threat after the lightning rail (at least in planning)

    Third, to bring two of the Dark Six (Ipiks is one of them now) into play. this was supposed to signal the party that the assault is nearing it's climax. i'm not quite sure they got it though. originally the ambush was supposed to come between wave 9-10. but here it is.

    lastly of course- the return of Ipiks as an enemy. went... so so. it was amusing, dangerous, but way too short to leave an actual impression.

    The Mockery: this guy is probably the... least developed of all the Dark Six gang. originally i envisioned the final battle of the campaign between the party and Aurresia and him, one caster, one melee fighter. they were supposed to be very closely related Rakshasa, who shared the secrets of the real plot, and manipulated the rest of the dark six. but i just... never got a real feel of him...

    As the campaign progressed it seemed quite clear that the party focused their attention on two figures in the Six- Aurresia and the Traveler. the rest were kinda secondary to them. and since this is how it went, i decided to change the focus as well. Auressia beacme somewhat stronger (higher level, plus a few more... tricks) and instead of her controling half the bugs and he the rest (different kind of bugs, the main reason why the bugs had two different kinds of shards in them), Aurresia controlled them all.

    the Mockery was demoted to an interesting battle encounter (and it seems not even that). so now we have our joke villain (along with the Devourer) oh well.

    for those interested the Mockery uses the base Zakya ability modifiers, has trained as monk 7 (instead of sorcerer or fighter), and has 3 extra monk levels- basically monk 10. it was considerably hard to hit, but not that much on attack options. nice, but not brilliant.

    Ipiks: Ipiks' purpose is to both be amusing, to be stealthy and dangerous, and to be an unbalancing factor.

    also, if i'll get to portray it (not much success yet) his "relationship" with Auressia who has given him power for turn of service might add a bit of flaire.

    mechanically Ipiks is swordsage 8, half fiend. most maneuvers from shadow hand and stone dragon.



    So, before we were interrupted (+ Plan B!)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Before i forget, some other results of the third wave, and the ambush: the cardinal in the catacombs and most of their force were decimated. Krozan uses the last scroll of stone wall to close the opening down. the upper store is also over run- mostly by soldiers brought there by wyverns. the cardinal and about 10 soldiers survived, and likwise closed the entrance from the flame chamber.

    the wreckage of the warforged titan was heaved (with about 20 soldiers or more) and pushed against the western breach. quite an effective blockage! lastly, the mockery may be dead, but it's equipment isn't! various potions, but two major items- gloves of dexterity +4 (Grum) and vestment of flight (3/ day fly for 5 mintues. one use left currently) this for some reason wetn to.. Gabriel. (who can manifest wings?) oh well... i cringed a bit at this treasure getting to the party without really "working for it", but oh well. i guess with the lack of treasure from all the other creatures they killed it's only fair.

    anyway, ambush beaten, a very severe guard was trying to look for Ipiks, but to no avail. the party decided to try and Convince Jaela again to leave if things become dire, and after some talk from all except Grum ("... um, what they said!") she agreed, she wasn't whole with the decision, but it had to do.

    the party realized a possible flaw in the plan- they all had to be 5 ft from Jaela when she cast her spell. but they could easily be split up... they decided that if they do split, they would yell Jaela to go, and would use their teleportation stone (from the battle with the Keeper)to move.

    but the stone has a range of 900 miles only. after a long discussion, they decided that if push comes to shove, they will teleport to Greenheart, the seat of power of the druids. not ideal, but better than nothing.

    the entrance hall was empty by now, except for corpses of soldiers, and a few statues... blood and wreckage was seen everywhere in the church. the siege became intensive. the party decided to divide their strength. Red and Gabriel, the two casters on the sides of Krozan in the long hall (Oh, and Lareth beside them, partly amused, partly depressed, partly hysteric that he is going to find his death in the church ofthe silver flame from all places). Danves and Grum stood to guard Jaela with the last remaining archon and the rapidly depleting mage. the remaining soldiers (about 50-60 of them?) were on both sides of the chamber of flame, with the lower level cardinal ready to help.

    "well, a fine day this is turning out to be, eh ladies?" joked Krozan.


    "I am Coming"
    Spoiler
    Show
    the ruckus of the army and demons and beasts from outside subsided suddenly. "pissed that the Mockery is gone?" the party joked, but only half heartedly... suddenly a buzzing went through the walls of the church, and then a loud, sinister whisper- "I am Coming" wa Auressia's voice.

    tension was building up. then, the party saw a movement, and two large creatures stepped through the entrance- large lizards, easily identified as rage drakes. (MM3 i think). above them buzzed 4of Auressia's swarms, and there were some figures behind them, one of the m quite bright....

    "hmmmm... fall back, now!" the long haul group said, making a run for it, wanting to pelt the beast with some spells before they close the distance.
    and perhaps in time, as the strange wall vibrations begans again- one at the blockading broken church door, the other at the... titan's body.

    and of course, from the 6 openings in the flame chamber dome entered 6 more swarms, though they stayed at the opening.

    Aurreisa was first. the party allready knew (though i think they forgot0 that she can cast through her possesed. but she could also cast through her swarms.

    Chain lightning struck, first Jaela but then arching and hitting the others! most made their saves, but some damage was taken. the message was clear- don't stay too close.

    Danves drank a potion of invisibility, Gabriel started buffing herself, Krozan as well, while Grum focused his fire on one of the drakes. the distance was great, but it didn't bother the master archer. arrow after easy arrow hit the beast, but it seemed to do it little damage, not stopping it at all.

    Red had a theory- perhaps the drakes were possessed? she cast a dsipel, only to suddenly hear a buzzing as one of the swarms countered it! so Aurreisa could cast multiple times? and she was determined to stop them... this did not bode well...

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    one of Auressia's surprises is to act several times in a turn, and cast several spells. this however requires a concentration check, not necessarily and easy one. it was supposed to be a surprise for later, but i guess in a way this act as a "prelude" for further battles) there arelimits on that ability, only the players don't know them yet.


    as the drake ran forward, the figures behindthem became clear- on two sides walked green demons, with 4 arms and 2 great bows- arrow demon such as they fought in the mines of Eston. the party cursed the "mini guns"...the demons crouched, and started loosing arrows at them, Gabriel and Krozan the main targets.

    between the demons came a strange sight- a sort of displacer beat, only made of fire! and on it rode some figure in armor, imposing. the pary cursed again.

    and then the broken door shatteered as in walked a strange abberation creature- on two legs, with two small arms, a blind head with a wide mouth, emiting strange sounds. Destrachan cursed Danves silently. a master of sonic attacks that can weaken any matter.

    the party no longer cursed, they sighed and looked grim.


    Talon, Bite, spell and sound and... wha..?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the battle was on! Auressia cast a confusion which made the archon move to protect, but the mage lost it, and ran from the swarms... straight to the jaws of a leaping drake, that tore him to bloody pieces.

    Grum continued with his foucs fire, as the arrow demon continued on their part, hurting mostly Krozan. Danves mover silently forward, wanting to make his strike, as Gabriel kept buffing.

    then suddenly theynoticed a new surprise. from the broken holesin the dome slithered and slumped two huge grey partly transparent masses, and fell to the floor. there seemd to be... parts moving in and out of focus in them, however they were still far from the main battle area.

    Jaela took no risk, and unleashed a destruction spell on one of the creatures, annihilating it. one down, one to go.

    the drake unoccupied with getting mage meat out of its teeth pounced on Krozan, wounding him severely. Danves snuck behindhim and struck a massive magic imbued blow! Gabriel closed the distance as well, but without her more potent magic, and the creature not being evil, she did little damage. Red turned towards the arrow demons, and unleashed a firball on them, but they were protected- lesser globe of invulnerabilty! the spell did hit two of the swarms above them and burned them well.

    The blind sonic master had a hard time navigating the benches (difficult terrain) but it was closing. the seond drake charged Gabriel, but she blocked most of it's attacks. the titan crumbled enough to let the second Destrachan pass. meanwhile the armored figure on the flame displacer cast some spells- cleric. the divine might spell did notbring a smile to their faces.

    the soldier menawhile divided arrow fire between the amorpheous beast, and the closer drake.


    Turn up the heat
    Spoiler
    Show
    "Let me show you a glimpse, of what his world will become!" came Aurresisa's voice again. the swarms buzzed, as suddenly the floor, the walls, the air, started to getup and fast... forst save, failure meant a bit of non lethal damage. but the heat seemed to be increasing!

    the arrow demons continued, trying in vain to pierce Gabriel's defenses, but finding Krozan a... convenient target. meanwhile the drake Danves hit got pissed, and ravged, hitting him with claws and bite, grabbing him and shaking him like a leaf in it's mouth. Danvas was at quite low hit points. most chances he wouldn't withstand another attack...

    gabriel tried to block the other Drake, as it clawed and bitten her, though she managed not to be grabbed. the archon hit and hit, but the beasts could take some damage!

    meanwhile the strange shifty blob advanced... and is it did- it started to heal. not wanting any more nasty surprises, Grum shifted his focus to it, plunging arrow after arrow into the form.

    I don't quite remember what Red did at this point... sorry

    suddenly Gabriel heard a voice in her head- Obraskyr! "hold still! i am coming! help is on the way!" the party quite doubted this. however.


    highlights
    Spoiler
    Show
    the battle was kinda frantic, most time on the edge sort of thing. powerful brutes from one side, arrows from the back, spells from Auressia, and the strange beast coming. oh, and the cleric in the back on his flaming mount. i do not rmember the entire sequence of the battle, but some bulletpoints:
    • Danves grabs the Drakes tonuge, and uses his spell to teleport him a short distance, enough to clear him out of it's jaws. unfortunately the maddened drake chooses a target at random, and tears Krozan apart.
    • Auressia tries various control spells at first, one of them is dominate person over Red, a sort of "personal enemy". Red barely succeeds using an action point. the party rejoice! then i say that Auressia uses her action point... less rejoicing. however, the protection from eveil protects from actual control, but Auressia may use that in the future.
    • the heat keep rising, at first subdual damage, but it turns even to lethal daamge. the soldiers suffer greatly from this, as does Lareth. Jaela tries to reverse this spell (no actual rules, so i prepared some0. however there is an interuption- Ipiks, Fully healed drops on Jaela, wounding her deeply, disrupting her attempt.
    • the amorpheus beast (chaos beast upgraded) reaches Grum barely alive. it tires to hit hit but fails, so it attacks his snake, who becomes spngy and lacking form. the party is quite disturbed at this. with anger, the ranger kills the beast.
    • however, Auressia, not liking the skileld bowman, cast black tentacles, and captures him and the snake, lockign them down.
    • Danves decides to use this to his advantage. uncharectaristcly brave he launches at Ipiks, who tuns away saying "you!? i kill you Danves! hisssssss" but the duskblade hits him, andusing his magic (and more action pints) send the lizardman into the black tentacles.
    • the mounted cleric approaches fast. seeing Auressia's attention elswhere, Red dispels the magic on the rider. it is quite succesful, especially the resistence to fire, which makes the rider panic and quirm as his... well... crotch starts to burn. party laughs.
    • the battle with the drakes is brought to an end after arrows from the remainignsoldiers, spells from red and strikes from gabriel. the monstrosities left an impression- easy to hit, hard to kill.
    • auressia, angried by Red launches fireballs. msot succeed, but Red do not, and falls unconcious, dying, as theheat increases.
    • Gabriel on her last spells cast mass resist energy, granting some very much needed protection against the fiendish heat. this practically saves Lareth, that tries to help Red, looking for a potion.
    • Danves takes care ofone ofthe horrid sound beasties (they did some damage, mostly to Gabriel, who didnt' make her saves well)
    • jaela, between this spell andanother (forgot) moves to the center ofthe conflict, and casts mass cure moderate wounds. this revives the party a bit, and practically saves Red's life.
    • most monsters are defeated, but there are still some swarms, nearly all of the soldiers are dead, smoldering, and the cleric and fire displacer are still quite good. the party not so much


    Rescue!
    Spoiler
    Show
    suddenly, as things look grim there is a great roar from outside, and Obraskyr perch in one of the openings. the party is suspicois though, and rightfully so. the dragon sort of smiles, and looks at them with the glint of Auressia in his eyes. "what do you think of my new pet?" and launches at them. the party,to tell the truth, kinda expected it. oh well, i tried.

    "we go! now! the party quickly gathered around Jaela. Danves wished to try and grab Krozan's corpse (at first i thought it was because they cared for him, but no- they wanted his loot!) but the rest objected. Auressia landed one more chain lighting on them before departing, nearly killing Jaela (4 hp left). the party+ Lareth -krozan -Grum's snake (which was still caught in the tentacles) gathered as Jaela called upon a miracle, to take them away (greater teleport), to Obsidian city.


    ... now what?
    Spoiler
    Show
    a moment passed. a long moment, and suddenly they appeared in the temple of dragons in Google's tribe. some half giants looekd at them startled, recognizing some, not the others. Jaela looked... different. the great grandeur of the flame, the spirit that was so powerfull in her was not to be seen. it was just a child, in a black robe, wounded and beaten, with the greatest look of loss on her face.

    The Keeper of the flame collapsed. Auressia has won. The Cathedral of the silver flame is hers now.


    End of Chapter 5
    ---------------------------------------------------
    this seemed like a good place to stop, don't you think? this was one hell of a session! very hard to pull off (especially the balance of challenging vs. not TPKing) but i think it was worth it. definetly felt epic. the players had great fun, despite the long time to get totheir turn, and me being confused with all the notes ofthe various creatures, tactics, spells, ongoing effects and so on.

    this for me was a unique challenge i wanted to try out, which quite worried me, but i'm glad it's done.

    some things the players are thinking about/ discussing:
    - they'll need to do some research until Auressia get to them. she has a link to Jaela, so she probably feels where they are. i plan to do at least the ground work forthis by email (so as not to bore those not participating) but i'll summerize things here.

    - they need to get Red rid of Auressia's domination, but it should be easy enough- sleeping a rope trick, and then dispel evil by gabriel.

    - they want to get Auxellia's (help the naga) little do they know what has transpired.

    - unknown to them, i think this is the best choice of teleportation destination they could have chosen (except maybe the temple at Atur, but that is for different reasons). why? wait and read.

    - Gabriel came to an odd conclusion- with the battle of the church over, she isthe highest ranking member of the Silver flame left. of course, most of the church consists of her and Jaela, so...

    ok, this has been long,and i'm tired. till next time!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:04 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    a little surprising update: we're probably playing tomorrow! it's the beginning of the holy day season in Israel, and so there are some vacations and what not. the players (and me) decided to try and make use of it.

    so it's a bit of a hurried organization, but we'll probably play down south, at Red' player house.

    oh, i added some pics to the previous post, at the start, under a spoiler called "my oh my..."

    i've sent the players an email concerning the research and the like to be done in Obsidian City, but it seems we'll just have to do it in session. luckily everything is already prepared. and for once i'm not changing it between sessions due to more... "hey! that's a nifty idea!"

    the main things in the email are as follows:(not really essentail, and might have slight spoilers!)
    Spoiler
    Show
    some things that better be handled on emails before next meeting, so not to bore people, and not to waste time

    Obsidian City: it's been a long time, glad you stopped by to visit. some things your characters remember: there is a tribe of half giants, including Google's family (imprtant figures- Deese, Google's bethroed, Daku, his mother and potion maker and Nau- the chief. there is also the kalashtar psion/ artificer (Ellesir) that worked on the ancient warforged titan, with which Red developed a slight raport. there is the Naga Auxellia, who acts as a sort of a guardian tot he artifacts here, and her new "self appointed" guardian and helper Khork (which i'd rather not deal with much)

    - also there is supposed to be a small tribe of stone giants visiting the place from time to time

    - the entire city was built by giants in the ancient giant civilization, before the dragons destroyed them. the city was built as a sort of psionic fort against the invading Quori- psionic monsters from the plane of dreams (you met some while you were tossed around between memories in the Traveler's "escape route") the giant that built the place was Called Imasil Kumam, obviously a mage of great power, possibly even had a talent for psionics as well

    - the artifacts: there is the psionic generator, a sort of runic obelisk which keeps the psychic barriers over the bridges, and is powered by the the moons. directing it may take special practice or talents. there is the Central Geode, holy to the stone giants, a big crystaline rock that some of them can use for various stone effects. lastly there is the [B]Blood pool[/B-] a regular large pool (not bloody), almost a little lake in a big stone chamber. you don't quite know what it does, but Auxellia said it's related to some long distance travel. she doesn't know how to activate it though. Gabriel tried to investigate it a bit on your last visit, and saw an inscription in fiendish- "when in need..." Auxellia said that she knows that the activating ritual requires quite a lot of blood.

    there may be all kind of interactions. however, the place has some... changes to it.

    research: i assume that is the main goal? the research takes time, and since your main source is the Illlithid shard, there are slight complications... due to... certain choices, routes, successes and failures in the campaign, and the current location, some things may bemore available to you, some less.

    i couldn't find a useful mechanic for research, so i made one up. basic rules:

    - each day you try to sift from the multitude of memories of the mind flayer to gain some insight. the process is long, hard and taxing. it requires 8 hours, after which you roll 1d20+ caster level (i assume it will be wizard?) + int. the shard gives an extra +7 to the roll. you add the score up. each 30 "points" grant you a revelation, which may be used to further your research. (or not in some cases) one person can examine the shard at a time.

    - fox cunning can't help with this, neither does Divine Insight (and the further research, below) action point might, and i'm open to hear other ideas.

    - the minds of Aberration are a mad place to visit., each day the investigator makes two will saves, to avoid "side effects". owl wisdom can't help with this, but i'm open to other ideas. the DC will be revealed in the meeting. not that high, not that low.

    - all these mechanics are mainly to measure how much time it takes, and the actual rolls will be made in the session, or if you can find an online dice roller that keeps results, that can be done too. as you gathered, Auressia will be on your trail, so your "vacation time" is limited.

    - i assume you're going to look for all the "revelations", and since they are needed for future planning, i'll assume you've went all the way. so here they are:

    the Mind Flayer's memories: (note- not all details are important, some are just for flavor)
    - some angelic yet terrifying and "wrong" creatures with all kinds of living attachments to him (armor, whip and more) holds court before several Illithids, of considerable expertise. he describes a project. a swarm, intelligent, psionic. (Rev 1)
    - a confused and quite detailed memory of trying to find the right bugs and mutating them to the purpose. (you see what seems like a much larger husk of worlds, a little part of you saw at Dur Martop in Droaam, in the blinking medusa room) this is quite long, it seems the bugs were finally collected from what feels like (in the strangeness of The mind flayer's brain), mid west Droaam? (Rev 2)
    - experiments to give the bugs intelligence, psionic powers and some minimal sort of a hive mind. it seems quite a few psionic creatures died in the experiments, including quite a few mind flayers. then- a break though- mutating the creature while submerged int a pool of some giant swimming tentacled brain. (Rev 3)
    - some time later you notice some experiments that seem to trouble the Mind flayers- weapons from the Dhakanni goblinoids. some crystals that disrupt the link between bugs. it seems temporary, but what if they are charged with enough psionic power? contempt from the mind flayer. the Dhakani are weak, they don't have enough psions... (Rev 4)
    - rage of the Illithid at a successful infiltration and "sabotage" strike by Elite Dhakani team. They somehow got some psionic power stored, and unleashed it at the right place- the place the binding and psionic enabling of the swarm took place. The core of the psychic web. (Rev 5)
    - there is nothing about possession however. it seems this is Auressia's doing. (this is not a rev, just a conclusion you come to on your own)

    this may open some avenues for you. you can research "regular" spells, to aid in the fight, or "special ritual/ plot thingy" spells/ effects.this is fairly free form, though i have some guidelines that i follow, but that i'm not revealing. tell me your ideas, thoughts and so on. there may be other sources of info (the naga, and more) that may help further, but we had better have SOME direction or we'll waste a lot of time.

    - again, time is a limiting factor.

    Other Matters:

    these will mostly be dealt in within the game, but a few things i suggest you think about:
    - what's to be done with the Keeper of the Flame? she has far lesser powers now, and is far more vulnerable, and Auressia knows where she is. how do you protect her?

    - where do you go from here? true, this will most probably be affected by the events of the research and a few other occurances in the meeting, but some general idea is nice.

    - you teleported to a place that holds a low level artificer, and a potion maker. they may be able to create/ convert a few items for you. another option would be to trek to stormreach and try to sell things there. but through the jungle it may take some time and hardship.

    ok, i think that's it. since we may all be using this email to comment on, comment in the text, and pick a color to stick with! (or do you have other ideas?) i'm staying black.


    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •