New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 91 to 119 of 119
  1. - Top - End - #91
    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 20A: September 29th, 2011- Obsidian City and Stormreach. gearing up, research and allies

    In game date- Dravago 1-11 (Late spring, month of handling)

    (for some reason i can't put the whole session in one post. maybe too long? i really don't think so. we played for about 7 hours, as usual. anyway, the session is divided to two posts, just so the system will accept it)

    so, this session came up within a few days after the last one. as mentioned int he previous post, i tried to settle some things through email, but the short time wasn't enough, so we had to deal with things in the actual meeting.

    which led to making most of this meeting about... preparation and arranging for the next legs in the campaign (the final ones). though the players on the whole enjoyed, some were bored part of the way (mostly Grum's player who didn't get his quota of "kill!" and Red's player who'se character was busy with boring research most of the time.)

    so... this was not ideal. but i hope there were some good times. this time is the last time the party gets any time to organize and prepare themselves. plus, there were a few surprises and challenges here and there.

    in many wasy this was Danves' meeting. heshined a few places here and there, giving us good moments,

    one small leveling note: Red's player kept changing his mind about his 4th level spells as a wizard (weren't used yet). he chose assay resistance (to battle Rakshasas) and Dispelling screen (with slight modifications, to battle Auressia controlled swarms and possessed)

    for those who are more interested in the action, i suggest to skip to the spoiler labeled "so what have we got?" (highlighted in the second post), but there are some funny parts in the middle. for those wanting to learn of the process, and the last days of (relative) quiet, read on...

    Chapter 6

    Welcome Home?
    Spoiler
    Show
    As the party appeared, battered, bleeding, burnt and more in the middle of the temple, some half giants drew arms, some cried out. there was some big stone giant, a heavily weathered one at the back who raised a boulder. but they all stopped once they saw who these were! (a smaller stone giant eased up the elder one). a cheer went upon them, and some half giants ran to call others. a babbling coccoon enveloped them, but made little sense... Google was the one who spoke giant.

    And then Jaela screamed, and collapsed. Gabriel immediatley kneeled by her, try ing to see what happened. her closed eyes moved, face twitching, asif she was dreaming. she would not wake. Gabriel tried to heal her with her last spells, but though it healed her wounds, it did not heal her mind. "Auressia" said Danves grimly. "she got some hold on her".

    "speaking of which" said Red with a slightly amused, slightly alarmed voice "i think she got some hold of me too. once the protection against Evil wears off, i'm not sure what will happen..." (the dominate person spell) the party could spare one more circle against evil for her, for a short time, at least till they get their bearing.

    the party noticed a bit of change in the half giants armor and weapons- they were of karrnathi design, if a bit beaten. they smiled at this, realizing the half giants equipped themselves with the arms of the keeper's undead soldiers.

    Nau (the leader) rushed to the party, and talked with them in Broken Common. he seemed to thank them, congratulate them, and so on, but he was mostly trying to figure out why they were here, and why were they so badly wounded...

    Soon Deest and Daku arrived as well (Google's betrothed and mother respectfully) who could speak more. "where is Auxallia?" the party asked, to which she responded "come after me". a small procession went towards Auxallia's chamber, with the psionic generator. Ellesir, the Kalashtar psion/ artificer joined behind, speaking with Red in hushed tones.

    oh, one more thing. i passed a note to Danves Player- "you feel a bit odd, and it takes you a while to figure it out- the curse. it's gone. completely..."
    i couldn't read the player's response.


    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    we were fast coming to the last part of the campaign. i felt that it was time Danves makes his own conscious decisions, without any "hovering threat" above him. also, it seemed appropriate with the fall of the silver flame's church. i'm not certain how the player took it though...


    on the way to Auxallia's room Deest tried to ask the party as to Google's fate they told her he left them before thefight, but knew not where he is. she thanked them, but seemed troubled.


    catching up
    Spoiler
    Show
    the chamber held it's surprises. first there was Khork! only now he had scales, and a more reptilian appearance (became a dragon born). he welcomed the party, except Grum whom he treated a bit suspiciously. at my request Khork wasn't dealt with, we had enough on our plate.

    the second surprise- Auxallia was in some sort of a cocoon, silvery with all manner of rainbow colors. the party moaned at this, they kind of wanted her help. "when did this happen?" "a week ago she said she had an epiphany, that she knew what she must do. 2days later the cocoon was completed, we guard her since. "when is she coming out?". Deest raised her shoulders. "we don't know". yeah. the party LIKED that.

    it was time catching up, the party told the highlights of their tale (with Deest translating to Nau, and Soom- the weathered stone giant elder). about Auressia, the bugs, her spreading power, and her focus on Jaela. Soom had trouble believing such a small creature heldsuch power, andthe party explained as well as they could. thenews troubled the small assembly greatly.

    Nau then spoke, translated by Deest: "you came to our aid when hope was lost. you faced the undead horror, and risked your lives against their leader. our tribe would be gone if it wasn't for you." he then stood up. "and we shall repay our debt, and fight with our friends! the tribe joins your struggle, whatever you wish of us, we'll do!"

    some in the party seemed a tad surprised at this. they sort of expected to havet o work for it. but after the success with the keeper, it seemed only reasonable. Soom too vowed his help, but with a less enthusiastic tone. Ellesir was also willing to craft for the party free of charge, provided they supply him with the resources, or magic items which he could draw power from. Daku offered her help with potions.


    Basic Strategizing, and the small matter of spell components...
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party then tried to figure out their options, priorities and constraints. this was a jumbledup discussion, so i'll try to summarize it here in points:
    • The main constraint: TIME! Auressia obviously still had connection with Jaela, and it;s a matter of time till she'll make her way towards them. how long will that take? the party didn't know . Red suspected a month at least (mobilizing an army so large), gabriel was far more concerned, thinking that if she'll take Arcanix, the mages might offer a faster alternative. Danves also commented that she didn't need her whole army- they were fewer and weaker now. they needed some way to learn their time frame
    • which also led to the question- with Auressia spreading across Khorvaire, they need some way to fight her. ideally break her hold over subjects, or disrupt the hive mind, but some spell to fight the bugs might also work. research was a top priority, but unfortunately the only research material here was the Mind Flayer memories' shard from the Silent halls. Red will have to take this chore.
    • a more immediate matter: releasing Red from her dominate person spell. Red still had a rope trick spell, in which they'll sleep (and where Auressia can't exert her influence, and a dispel evil at morning will take care of that. at least one problem solved.
    • what About Jaela? Red suspected this was something to do with dreams/ nightmares (true). she asked me if there is any way to get in the dreams, or counter them. i said there is a special shard kalashtar sometimes use for that. and luckily Ellesir had one. however the older Kalashtar warned her that only one could go in, and then that one might face whatever nightmare or threat besieging Jaela. the party didn't like this, and tried to think of alternatives.
    • can they buy/ sell things in obsidian city? well, no, not other than very basic stuff. but Stormreach has a bustling market! however, since no ship is available, you'll have to trek it there, approximate it 5-6 days. the party hated this, since it might split the party, and the length of the trip there and back might mean they may leave the people of Obsidian city in trouble. they thought of using the teleport stone to shorten the time, but since this was a one use item, they decided to keep it. after much discussion, they decided that Red would stay for research, Gabriel will try and help Jaela (and do her own research), and Grum and Danves would trek to Stormreach (hoping Grum's survival skills will help shorten thet trip). Lareth (the blood of Vol cleric the party saved0 asked to join them! he could use some time in the city. the party suspected him, but agreed.
    • resources? the party, though they have quite a few items beyond WBL, were very poor on money. they needed to scrunch up some money. Nau and Soom were willing to give some of their tribes' loot, and the party decided to sell some additional stuff. still, not a lot. several thousands at most. Danves especially seemed displeased. he wanted to upgrade his armor, and enchant a heavy shield (which he can now wield), but Red and Gabriel wanted scrolls, many many scrolls. Khork would not agree to give any of Auxallia's treasure. it is for her to decide.
    • What about the warforged titan Elessir worked on the last time? well, apparently it is an obsidian psionic warforged titan! he thinks the giants wanted to use these as soldiers against the Quori. it functions similar to a regular titan, but has some psionic powers and reserve. however, though it follows some very basic command, in order to fight you need to transfer your soul to it, and after some time in it, it may drive you crazy.... yeah... lovely. the party chose NOT to use it.
    • what Else can Ellesir do? he could craft for them, but has a very low crafting reserve. the party gave him some of their items (mainly the ones they exchanged once they got the more powerful items from the church- Gabriel's holy club, Danves magic sword and Grum's magic armor to use for crafting. they'll give him assignments by the day. the first and foremost would be to try and charge Red's 8th level dispel magic wand (which they got from the Keeper). it got only 3 charges left.
    • Daku could also create some simple potions for the group. the party forgot about her till much later, when she produced some simple ones, i won't go into that)
    • information. the party needs information... Gabriel suggested she cast Commune, when i asked her if she has the incense required. (we exchange XP cost for 5 times the XP in materials) the player said he didn't. this prompted me to ask about various other spells of the 5th level which he just got. he lacked material components for most of the costly ones... (this is the first time of the player getting to such levels, and he thought he'll have time to purchase in time). revivify (1000 gp crushed diamonds) was a big issue. so some of the purchasing plans were changed for material components. Danves didn't like this. Info gathering will have to wait. (i didn't mention it, but Divination might have helped as well. still, not my job)
      another problem was with Scrying- it needed a 100gp font. butGrum searched much of the night and found Gabriel a font with draconic motifs (the giants worshiped the draconic gods). will do.

      DM design
      Spoiler
      Show
      some of goal of this chapter revolve around the preperation. so i wanted to give the party all kind of hard choices, from which they can either benefit or suffer. anotehr idea was to act on limited information. (there will be action in the chapter, but later on) some of this is reflected by the following:
      - conversing with Soom might gain his displeasure or his help, which might give a HUGE benefit, if the party wil lbe smart enough to think about it, or lose the benefit if not. (some hints about this, and the party;s tries are following in the log).
      - Jaela's special challenge can really help, and can really harm the party. it will be discussed more after the party... "deal with it".
      - the unknown time limit, and the party's (current) inability to learn what it is. this especially affects the decision to split the party to Stormreach.
      - the psionic obsidian warforged titan could be an asset, and a risk. the party didn't deserve a "free" titan to boost.
      - i did know ahead of time that Gabriel's players doesn't have the component.s still- it's his fault. but we start reaching levels and options that require resources (he's looking at the pact spells for instance). these need to be inforced, but they put their demand on the party's resources.
      - Lareth. he was a statistic block till the party rescued him, and i liked his antagonism of the silver flame. plus- a possible connection to Atur made him a character i could build on. and so i did. would you trust him or not?


    Gabriel making friends
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gabriel's player is a strategist, and he tries to get any possible advantage out of a situation. and in hismind stood one fact- the party never went to the Catacombs of Imasil Kumam the last time they've been here. (the creator of obsidian city. the party could have gone to that place to serach for things to help in the battle, but they ended the battle before that, and Google wouldn't allow looting it). cheking, he understood the weathered elder stone giant was the one to ask.

    she made her case to him, tried to say that this was the time to gather all resources, to fidn anything that might help to fight this demon. Soom replied that Imasil Kumam never fought demons, and the place was a holy one to his people, and must not be breached. there wasa further exchange of words, but Gabriel desperate need made her say some... realising this she tried to make up for it, asking to be escorted by Imasil or someone he trusted, to see they only take items of relevence. the persuasion roll was made, and came not so hot.

    The elder refused the request, and said that he respect the party, what they did for his people and their allies, but he sees no really need to desecrate the thousands year rest. of his people. Gabriel then made some comment about the silver flame's faith and treating the dead, which was sort of against that of Soom. the negotiation ended poorly.

    the party decided to rest. after the mournland and the tough fight at the church, they needed it. they climbed up to the rope trick, taking the still restless jaela and slept.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    Soom is a tough nut to crack persuasion wise (HD, class levels and wisdom) but not nearly as was jaela in the church. so it's quite possible. The player's argument however was not quite well thought of (even some of the other party members winced).

    what is in the catacombs? would i allow it? of course i'd allow it, but convincing needs to be done. i kep the catacombs as they are, though Soom knows the rites to overcome the obstacles (they would have faced them only if they decided to break in. which would be a breeze in their levels, but perhaps not to just one or tow, after separating, i wanted to avoid that, as it would leave the rest hanging for a long while.

    the catacombs held nothing important to the cause, but a few magic items and some loot that might have been used. the most important maybe are fractured spell shards that Red could have learned (3-5 level spells)


    Day 1, Obsidian City
    Spoiler
    Show
    i'm going to count the days of "the retreat" as it helps me keep count on things. the party awoke, memorized spells, and 1 Dispel Evil later, and Red was free. Grum, Danves and Lareth were going to Stormreach. gabriel, though not fully trusting Lareth, asked him to send a message to his superior at Atur when he gets to the city.

    Red went to Auxallia's room, reached for the shard, and started to focus on the twisted mad memories of the mind flayer researcher of thousand of years ago.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the player responded poorly to the game mechanic i suggested for the shard research (see in the previous post) so i figure dout he can probalby get one "revelation" a day on average. we forgo the roll and use this.

    on the whole, i am looking for a worthy mechanic of research- general, and spell research in particular (to which i'll get) especially something that will involve the player, since what i opted for got... somewhat boring.


    Gabriel was conflicted whether to use Ellesir's Dream shard to try and help jaela. the other players adviced against it, fearing that she might get a grip on Gabriel as well, or learn of the party's strategy. Gabriel decided to try more Dispel Evil.

    i wasn't prepared for this, but it seemed a viable option. still, i wanted to make it hard, so i called for a caster level check. the player failed, despite boosted caster level (through divine power feat), though using Action points.

    failing that, Gabriel went to the blood Pool again. she tried researching however she could, but found nothing new. then as she went back, she met Soom. again she tried to gain his help and assistance. and the elder told her that the pool was used by the ancient giants to call some sort of fiend, that gave them "fast travel". not much help there.

    again she tried to gain access to the catacombs(with Soom's relation one step down to neutral from friendly) and it seemed well, till she said he doesn't know what she sacrificed, and doesn't understand what needs to be sacrificed at this battle (maybe not these exact words, but on the same spirit), which made Soom narrow his eyes. "the keeper which you defeated and his sons killed two of my sons, and my tribe lost more than a third of his young. i do not know sacrifice?" another roll, and another failure. Soom turned and went, his feet echoing. this did not go well.

    last thing, the player wanted to try and scry on some poeple. the first was Obraskyr, who failed his saving throw. he saw the dragon flying (whereto he couldn't tell, 10ft radius doesn't show much) and heard other wings accompanying, though he didn't know what creatures. no one was riding it, but that was all she learned.

    the player had a spell he wanted to research, raising his Cleric level for a limited time for purposes of turning undead and exorcism, he started to pray (doing research)

    Ellesir was tasked with charging the dispel magic wand. at the end of the say 2 charges were added.

    at the end of the day Red came to the first revelation from the shard:
    - 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)

    yeah, not much help here... however, the research took it's toll on the wiardess' mind. saving two will throws she suffered some wis damage. Gabriel was told to prepare some lesser restoration for tomorrow.


    Day 1, on the way to Stormreach
    Spoiler
    Show
    3 half giants joined them for added protection. they followed the river. and i mostly disregarded random encounter, as they served no real purpose (though the party suggested the harpies again! ) Grum informed me that he decided to forgo another animal companion, and took the Distracting Shot feat from... PHB2? can't remember. on his request i allowed him to exchange his improved familiar feat for a homebrew feat called Marksmanship, which is basically a power attack ranged, but he adds the bonus onl once for bows, not twice. still- better than nothing.

    on the way, while Grum was leading ahead, Lareth took up conversation with Danves. "i wish to talk to you if i may. i'm a bit concerned about our tactics. are we going to stay here, in this dump while the demon spread over Khorvaire? Gabriel is too focused and hang up on her faith, but the silver flame just DIED. and Red, well, i applaud her power, but does she really think she could find a power to undo all that! the swarms, the possessions? you felt that fiend's power!"

    Danves seemed to think, a bit agitated and replied. "look, i know it looks grim, but it's the only choice we really got. Red will find the spell, and then we'll take the fight to it."

    lareth seemed unconvinced. "take the fight to it? to the middle of ti's swarmsand ever increasing armies of posseased?" that sounds like suicide." he stopped a moment before adding "look, you guys said that she's searching for these "seals" right, and one is at Atur, the temple of night. lets get ourselves there with teleports by Orien and whatever, and make a stand there! she took the silver flame by surprise, but she won't take the temple that easily. and we got plenty of undead, which i'll bet she can't control. lets be with an army, with force, at a key location, not out here, alone!"

    some of the party seem to think of the idea.. the rest thought that he might be possessed, or have some other interests at heart. Danves however replied to him "look, i know Red, and i trust her judgement. us few couldn't change the scale much at Atur, but we might be able to make a difference this way." lareth withdrew and moved away.

    one of the players mentioned that Lareth might animate some dead to help, but Grum objected vehemently. one of his favored enemies were undead.


    Day 2
    Spoiler
    Show
    lesser restoration on Red, and back to her research (which became most of what she did, which boredthe player. i needto avoid this or streamline this if possible)

    Gabriel tried more Dispel evil on Jaela, to no avail. and she tried to Scry on the traveler, but couldn't pierce her save, which seemed quite high. she too returned to her research.

    Ellesir was tasked to prepare a "spikes" scroll for Gabriel (though at 5th level). she didn't like it when the Mezzoloth in the church dispelled it. and cadded two more charges to the wand

    Meanwhile Lareth tried to talk to Grum, but the half orc seemed filled with purpose and sense of destiny, and his bow disliked the persuasion attempts. Lareth became quiet soon enough.

    at theend of the day- Research' revelation:
    - 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)

    more mental damage, more lesser restoration.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the mid west Droaam comment was refering to an adventure the party might have gotten to if they'd taken a different path. i was worried the party might focus on it, deciding to go there, but they barely seemed to notice it.


    Day 3, Auxellia emerges
    Spoiler
    Show
    as the party woke, and went on their morning routine, Deest came bursting- "quickly! come! Auxallia! she's back, and she's beautifull!" the party hurried to her room, where they found Auxallia on her treasure patch- her scales weremulticolored, andshe was feathered, including two wings. Gabriel immediately prostrated herself "a Couatl!"

    Eberron stuff, and DM's "fluff homebrew" stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Couatls have been the opposition of the early fiends, especially the Rakshasa, and have fought with the dragons against them. in a great act of sacrifice, most of them died to unleash an energy that bound many of the powerful rakshasa and leaders. to this days very few remain, even dragons rever them.

    one Couatl helped the Silver flame's first saint, Tira Miron to bind the fiend where the church of the silver flame now stands... they are considered sort of "high angels" for the worshipers of the flame"

    but how does a Naga turn into a couatl? well, for the details you'll have to go into my other link (the compendium) and scroll down to the serpent lords. basically, nagas grow and can take 3 paths, one of them might lead towards turning to a Couatl, though they don't know it before hand)


    Auxallia motioned them closer. they noticed her scales were shimmering and new. "i have returned. i am not fully who i was, but i share some memories of my kin, of the guardians that were here. i see you too have returned, here, to one of the focuses of the prophecy. the key players are gathering, events of great proportions are about to come. let us share our stories, friends, allies, prophecised ones, to battle the evil against us."

    Gabriel makes a show of being awed, inspired and the like, while Red tell their tale once again. the Couatl agrees of their plans, but suggest one piece of information, and one advice.

    She knows of the blood Pool! it takes a great need ("check!") and a spilling of some great blood ("will do") to usually summon it, but with a small chance of success. it is supposed to summon some fiend known only as "the captain", which can bring very fast traveling, but how she does not know. she does know that it was used to move many people at once. the pool of blood heighten the chance a great deal, with the correct ritual, which she knows. however, thereis mention of some price to the travel, which is... unclear.

    also, she reminds the party of the Crystal the found (and lost) at Dur Marrtop, which the Traveler fixed, but not charged. couldn't Ellesir do something with it? the Artificer checks, and a bit later that day comes and tells them he can make it use activated, emitting a sort of "anti-psionic field" in a large radius (60-80 feet, he's not yet sure) which will remain active for 30-60 min (again, not sure). he can do a 2/day activation, or limited charges (7-12) but can be continuos, even all in one go. the party discuss this, and though Red prefers the latter option, the others prefer the former.

    however, it would take him 10 (!!) days to make this, and most of the magical crafting energy they gave him. the party decides to go for it.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the shard will help greatly, but it's not a necessity. the party could use the energy to craft them items instead. again- a choice.


    Gabreil, still hung up on the catacombs asked Auxallia to remember if there is something important there, but she said she could not remember. the player let it go after that. Gabriel Tried Dispel Evil on Jaela again, and the last attempt worked! suddenly her body floated, turned to gabriel with Auressia's eyes and sneer and hissed "don't mess with me! she's mine!" before falling to the ground, again unconcious, but the hold on her felt.. lessened. Gabriel was pleased (she burnt about 2-3 action points on this so far). soon...

    Auxallia took Jaela to her embrace, trying to care and nurture the chil. another scry attempt on Traveler, again failed. she resumed her research, as Red resumed hers. but not before askinf Auxxalia to take from her treasure. the Couatl gave it all, though it was not much (4400. but what good would it do, now that the "shopping party" was gone?

    A sending to Danves: "we're sending 4400 more with some half giants after you. persuade someone to let you buy with money coming (it was better phrased in Hebrew). we trust your skill Danves". the half elf grunted. how was he supposed to do that? quickly a small team of half giants were assembled to take the loot to Stormreach, two days behind...

    Red's research took a heavy toll on her this day- 1 wisdom drain. tomorrow morning a restoration was cast on her.
    Revelation: - 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)

    this did spark some interest. tentacled brain in a pool? i don't know if the players really didn't know, or faked it, but they couldn't think what it is.
    don't worry, i'm not going to face them with a 25 CR monster, more a flavor thing, but might supply some clue later on, an important clue.


    Day 4- Obsidian City, Jaela
    Spoiler
    Show
    at morning, after memorizing spells, Gabreil tried her luck again freeing Jaela. this time she succeeded, and the child, Keeper of the flame seemed to sag, and ease her breaths. a little while latershe awoke, smiling. "there was the most awful dream- Auressia was there, trying to drive me mad. taunintg, whispering hard truth, easy lies, scouring my mind for the secrets of the flame. i was nearly gone, when you Gabriel, my Angel, have saved me!"

    She looked at the Couatl with some awe, as both it and Gabriel took care of her. she was no longer filled with the power fo the flame, no longer the radiant high cleric of power. she was a girl- a smart and resourceful one, but yet just a girl.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    As was mentioned, the speaker of the flame turns into an 18th level cleric in the church, but outside it it relies on his/ her own powers and items. Jaela is an exceptional child, a 3rd level cleric, quite powerful protective magic items, and she has visions which are a plot tool.

    in most Eberron games jaela is supposed to be a quest giver, and someone who can cast really high level spells if the party might need them. i decided to try and make her an actual character (the Five Nations book helped a lot). not sure i portrayed her well.the party half respects her half makes jokes about her. but that may be the lot of most NPCs...


    she heard the plan, heard the strategy and problems. upon hearing about the lack of spell ingredients she stopped Gabriel. she reached to her robe, whispered some words and a pocket emerged, from which she took some stuff: a wand of Mass lesser vigor (party like!), 500 gp of crushed diamonds, and 2000 worth of incense. and lastly, two beautiful diamonds- these were enchanted with a resurrection spell, which anyone can use. the party liked that, but also a bit worried- "so high chance of death, eh?" the only other help she could offer was her visions, but they come unbidden and unexpected she could not control them.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    so what was the point of this, it seemed quite anticliactic- just spam Dispel Evil and that's it?

    well, the party did take a boring Route. i hoped one would go into Jaela's dreams. there they would be a contest over her mind ( a sort of a skill challenge, after each victory/ loss the character is pushed out, to come back the next day). the challenge was supposed to give mroe presence and lifeto Auresiia really, and the keeper second. thrwoing arguments instead of spells, over the keeper's soul looked like a fine idea on paper.

    but the party didn't want to risk it, scaredy cats! i left them with a mechanic on the spot that should have made it hard (and maybe encourage going into dreams?) but it failed. the only thing the party didn't get from this challenge was the chanceto learn some of auressia's secrets (had she failed she would have lost some of her temper and "slipped" some thing out.), but that is the price for not risking your own secrets (which could have happened as well).

    Jaela was supposed to survive for 5 days before going insane (and a liability), but the party finished before that.


    Another failed Scrying attempt ("why is the Traveler so hard to scry?")
    and back to research. a sending to the group told them about the ingredients, and lessened the demand considerably. Red, now acutely aware of her low saves, requested to buy her a belt of resistance (like cloak, just different slot). Danves growled- where to get the money?

    at the end of the day Gabriel finished her research, so i let her role a religion check. she failed, so she had to research the spell some more (again, not that happy with the research mechanic invented here) the player was frustrated, since he put the minimum into religion to get the synergy (5 points) and that's it.

    This night's revelation:
    - 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)

    Auxallia said she might have something, she needed to search her kin's memories. the party wondered if their shard from Dur Martop is enough, but after some consultation they realized it's not nearly enough.


    Day 4- Stormreach, nightly investigations.
    Spoiler
    Show
    due to a succesful survival check, the en-route party arrived there at the night of the 4th day. "finally civilization! after the heat, humidity, insects, plants... ewww!" Danves exclaimed, while Grum seemed sad "civilization, after the quiet, ease, peace and trnquility of the wild. stuffed rooms, overcooked meals. ewwwww!"

    the party decided to sleep the night, and buy things tomorrow. Danves, really needing some release after the Mournland and the bloody fight at the church, aid for two whores, while Grum meditated in his room. soon after the party started, Lareth knocked on Danves "i'm heading out, catch something to eat, relax".

    Danves suspected him, so he dressed up casually, grabbed some coin, his potion belt an headed after Lareth. Grum heard this commotion, and headed after Danves. Lareth seemed to be in plain clothes, not his armor, but didn't seem to try and evade. Danves found a street urchin ("you know, a David Copperfield kina kid") and paid him some to keep tab on the priest, just in case.

    they ended up seeinghim near a Sivis message station. he knocked on the door, and after a minute or so a blinking gnomish woman opened the door.she exchanged some words with him, and let him inside.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    House Sivis controlls amongst other things, the means for a fairly fast communication. their stations can communicate with one another, no matter the distance, and then a courier or someone else take the message to the person intended.


    Danves came by and knocked on the doo. the gnome woman openedthe door grumbling "two at his hour? don;t you know ho late it is?" but Danves produced coin, so she let him in, just to meet Lareth in the waiting room. Danves wassurprised (to his credit,the player had no idea how these stations are handled) "oh! Lareth..." "Danves, what are you doing here?" "um, sending a message, and you?" "me too, Gabriel, deluded as she is, though it would be wise to warn the temple."

    a few uncomfortable minutes later a gnome with the house' mark appeared, and Lareth went into the message stone room. Danves made sure the woman is dozing off, and drank a potion of gaseous form slipping into the room. disappointingly, he heardthe gnome sending the expected message to Atur: "bugs are possesed by a demon, they seek a seal protected by the temple, am at Xendric, trying to find solution, dispel magic effective." and so on. "i spent a gaseous form potion for THIS?"... then a thought followed "i left two whores for THIS?!?!" Danves returned to the room and resumed his form. he was invited in as Lareth left, fabricating a message and recipient (he had no idea at that point)

    Meanwhile, Grum watched from outside, and saw Lareth leave, but instead of heading to the inn, Lareth took to side street. he followed the priest, and saw him trying to converse mostly with goblinoids, the dregs of Stormreach. his keen ears heard the phrase "Initiate and the saint" a few times, but he couldn't figure this out. then he reached near the docks, and Lareth knocked on the door of an unassuming building. the door was opened, lareht showed his holy symbol, and was ushered inside.

    The player assumed this might be a blood of vol temple in disguise (they didn't have much friends in Stormreach, the Sovereign host was the dominant religion). after waiting a bit, Grum returned.

    As Danves came out, an Urchin grabbed his sleeve, and led him on a similar route of Grum. suddenly the two met. "what are you doing?" asked Grum. "i'm following Lareth, what are you doing?" "i'm following you following Lareth". he told him of what he saw, and Danves recognized the phrase "Initiate and the saint"- it's a phrase of the blood of vol mentioning the followers of the faiths, and those who sacrificed themselves for it, becoming undead or "saints", to protect the others, and further the churhc's goals. they decided that further investigations won't help, and turned back.

    DM improvisation
    Spoiler
    Show
    this wasn't planned, but i thought that the players on the "shopping trip" were a bit bored, and so thought a bit of subterfuge might be nice. and then they turned back, jsut as it got interesting... oh well.

    As to Lareth, i decided to make him mostly an ok guy, with some differentiating views. i wanted to step a bit away from "blood of vol= evil necromancers" concept. if you happened to read about the religion in "faiths of Eberron", it is a fascinating one!


    Day 5 Obsidian City- commune and final revelation
    Spoiler
    Show
    with ingredients in hand, Gabriel wanted to cast a commune spell. but due to the spell's "informative" answers, she wanted to build the questions wisely. another problem is that impose a 1 week minimum interval between commune spells (to be frank, this is due to a previous campaign, in which I spammed the DM with these) Gabriel was able to boost her level by 2, which meant 11 questions.

    finally, the players had their questions, and they asked as following:
    • "Can Auressia open the seal in the church without Jaela?" the answer: "no". this gladened the party.
    • "Does Auressia needs Jalea ALIVE to open the seal?" answer: "yes". another bit of important infromation
    • "do the catacombs of Obsidian City holds anything that can help against Auressia?" answer: "unclear". the powers didn't know about the specific items in the catacombs.
    • "Did Obraskyr inform Argonessen about the threat of Auressia?" answer: "no". the party was conflicted about this- does it means he's a traitor, or that she caught him before he coulddo it?
    • "would the dragons join the fight?" answer: "soon". ok, to tell the truth, the answer was meant to freak the players just a bit (they know what thedragons did to Xen'dric)
    • "are there any spies or someone who helps Auressia in Obsidian City?" answer: "no". this was really important to the party. i know i know, it might have been more fun if she had, but there arelimits to her power. Danves' player wondered if the answer extends to Lareth, since he's not IN the obsidian city....
    • "can the Traveler be trusted?" answer: "unclear". c'mon, i mean you're asking about the traveler? but joking aside, there is a real reason why the answer was as it was. i wondered why they didn't aks this about Obraskyr
    • "was the seal in Arcanix taken by Auressia?" answer: "no".
    • "are two open seals enough for achieving Auressia's goals?" answer: a slight pause, and then "unclear". the party are uncertain if that's because they phrased the question wrong, or because it is unknown, or something else.
    • "Will Auressia or a force from her be here within a week?" answer: "no". i don't understand why they didn't start with this, and tried to then narrow it down, as time seemed to be the most important. also, this is day 5, so they aretalking about day 12. unknown to them, Auressia's "reclaiming force" intends to arrive on day 13...
    • they hesitated and started to think and discusss the last question. then i said that they dally to muchand the spell ends (as mentioend in it's description)


    so, at least a week. that's something! Gabriel forsaken the scrying, and returned to her research, as did Red.

    at night the final Revelation came.
    - 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.

    the party understood several things: "the place the binding and psionic enabling of the swarm took place."- this means the Morunland, the Eston mines, the place of the seal. as Auxallia heard this, she seemed to think, and then added an opinion: "if you're going there, might it be worth of you to try and close the seal? however, we do not know how... and the price, might be high. Now Gabriel knew EXACTLY what i was talking about, but the others were confused, so the player explained- the other seal, the one at the church was sealed that way by a sacrifice of a holy warrior of the flame (Tira Miron) and a couatl. at which point the party turned to Gabriel, who also indicated Grum's player "we have more than one holy silver flame warrior." the party decided not to think of this now.

    they also learned that the possession is Auressia's thing, and might require divine research, but they had nothing to from from, unlike the Illithid Shard.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    would i require them to sacrifice a character? require? no. enable if they want to? yes. this sacrifice will grant them a hefty advantage at the final battle, but it's not necessary at all. more than that, there is an alternate way of closing the seal, but it would require Soom's cooperation, and some clue deciphering.

    why can't they affect the possessing? they could, if they had taken other routes in the campaign, such as sneaking around the seal's chamber and finding some of Auressia's writing in the rooms beyond, or taking up on the Traveler's first request of help, and so on. but then again, they might not have gotten the illithid shard that way.

    choices, actions, and consequences.


    Auxallia said she searched her guardian memories, and there might be an object to help them- the Psychic generator is charged by the moons, but the paranoid Imasil feared the Quori might find a way to block that, so he stored a large obsidian crystal in the hidden vaults of the city. he also placed quite a few defenses about them ("ok guys, we know where we're going next!") Auxallia knows how to reach them, but it would be better the giants don't know, hhmmmm?

    que in the McGaffin.


    continued on the next post...
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:06 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!

  2. - Top - End - #92
    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 20B: September 29th, 2011- Obsidian City and Stormreach. gearing up, research and allies

    Day 5 Stormreach, shopping Spree, Danves' persuasions OR "armies of warforged titans coming your way!"
    Spoiler
    Show
    most of the things on the buying list were not hard to find- many scrolls for gabriel (up to 3rd level) few scrolls for Red to learn from(i mainly remember lightning bolt and... fly! i was she she had it by now!), magic ingredients, Danves found a magic armor and shield (better defense), and even Grum indulged himself by buying some more adamantite arrows (10? 15? the player doesn't seem to care at all about magic items. i think he dislikes the book keeping)

    but then came the tougher to find stuff. as i may or may not have mentioned, i view Eberron as lousy with low level magic (up to 3rd), but very hard to find above that. red asked for 2 4th level scrolls (which Danves, due to poor gather info rolls) couldn't find. he did find quite easily the scroll of revivification Gabriel wanted (to free a slot space), but he needed to haggle for this.

    now, the guy has learned acting, and when he wants to, it's beautiful to see him act. onwards come the high priest of the Sovereign host temple. "yes Vassal, how can i help you?"
    "have you heard of what happened in Khorvaire lately?"
    "we have little contact with them, but we have heard of some sot of supernatural plague, some insects who attack people and so on? some sort of army from the Mournland besieging Thran even! if you'de believe."
    "oh, i belive, i've been there, i have been in the fights! and it's not just a plague, it's an ancient demon!"
    "oh my, really?"
    "yes, and the silver flame, it has fallen, i have been in the fight"
    at this point the priest look skeptic "wait... you've been to Flamekeep, survived a battle with this ancient demon, and now you're here, in stormreach?"
    Danves looked uncertain. "we teleported here"
    "Orien's powers will not take you that far, how DID you get here?"
    Danves did not wish to reveal the presence of Jaela, and decided another track. "look! it doesn't matter, the fact is i'm here, and i need your help, in order to fight and defeat this demon, we must all pull together!"
    "then come to the temple dear Vassal, you and your.. commrades, the Sovereign will protect you from devilry!" the priest called an aid and Danves heard him whisper "call for a Jorasco healer, i think we have a case here"

    Danves wasn't able to convince him he's not crazy, but he did convince hi to sell the scroll... for double the price.

    but the party was nearly out of money, and still they needed some things, and so Danves sought a magic item merchant, and found a little shop owned by a gnome, with two warforged guards and a cat folk.

    this time he tried to make up for the previous mess. he came to the gnome Jarmal, looking at his guards. "say there, these guards, how good are they?"
    "why the best! veterans of the last war!"
    "did they face a warforged titan?"
    "wha... a titan?" the gnome looked surprised.
    "yes, i come from the north... have you heard the rumors?"
    "the rumors? theones about a sort of a plague?"
    " a plague, and army. i've seen that army, and it ain't pretty. warforged! titan warforged! a whole bunch of them!"
    the gnome looked panicky "what? but they were gone! no more forges!"
    "it seems someone got a forge running again, in the Mournland, and now they aremaking them like crazy. first falls Thrane, soon Aundair, and you know.. pretty soon... they'll come here! a whole bunch of warforged titans! tens of them!"
    the gnome looked panicky, but also a bit suspicious. "wait, how do you know this?"
    "that doesn't matter! do you think i'll lie! you need to get yourself some adamantine weapons, the only thing that gets through their armor!" then heputthe Adamantine magic kama that belonged to the mockery on the shelf. he lifted it,following it's blade, waving it in slow archs, and making a show of it.
    (small note: i didn't want to tell the player that adamantite is quite more common in Eberron, and that Grum just bought some Adamantine arrows. he was making a cool funny story, but laying it soooo seriously, and with so much investment, i just rolled with it)
    jarmal (the gnome) said "well, it's a fine weapon you got there, but there are no monks, at least no monks with money in Stromreach! (which is a combination of a pirate town and old western town) who would i sell it to?"
    Danves looked confused, but responded nicely. "when the titans come, trampling your people, crushing your houses, when no weapon works against them, it will be THIS!" he waved the kama and sank it smoothly into a table "that will save the warrior who wields it! people will pay a high price for it!"
    at this place he rolled his influence roll, but rolled fairlypoorly, however, do tto the play i thought it should go that bad. "i'll buy it for 3500" siad the gnome (it costs 5000) at whci hdavnes started haggling with him some more until he got the prics to about 4250.

    happy he got something, he went out of the shop. this is when the players remembered the 4400 gp on the way. grumbling, Danves returned to the shop, Grum following, the palyers (and myself) amused, wiating to see where it goes.
    "ahh, so you come again? how can i help you?"
    "you know, i've seen many merchants, and i was looking for someone i could trust, i thought maybe you can be the one."
    "trust? what with?" the gnome looked curious, but suspicious.
    "well, i work for... well, better think of us as "interested party" here in Stormreach, we are trying to affect the goings in Khorvaire from afar. that is why i knew abotu the titans."
    bluff check went good.
    "really? who do you work for? i know, the Brealnders, right! that's why they weren't attacked yet! i knew the peace couldn't last! tricky bunch the people in Sharn!"
    Danves gave a conspiratorial, all knowing, can't tell look.
    "or was it the Karrnathi? bloody heartless bloodless bastards! it would suit them to go after Thrane first! the karrns were always fond of surprise attacks!"
    Danves looked around, as if checking if someone hears them.
    "wait! there were a group of karrns here some months ago, going into the jungle they said, but never came back! some dealings wit hthe filthy Drow i heard!"
    Danves gave a sly smile. "we are the reason they never came back"
    "cool! what can i do for you?"
    this is when Danves coughed a bit and became uneasy. "well, due to some operations of our... opposition, we came a little low of resources, as you might have gathered from our previous transaction. me and my fellows would appreciate it if you'd be willing to "help the cause", for which you will be repayed, only... i don't have the money on me now. it will arrive in 2-3 days."
    the gnome's expression grew sour. "you want me to give you merchandise, for free? that you'll "later" pay for?"
    there was some discussion when the gnome suddenly questioned "how do i even know your story is real" at which point Grum of all people came with a cool way for an "aid another" (sort to speak) help- he raised his bow, who started speaking in the commanding voice of hers, telling of their mission, holy duty and so on, with religious fervor.
    that did the trick. the gnome agreed, providing they leave some ites as "insurance" which will be given to those who come with the money . they left Danves armbands of natural armor +1 (as teh amulet) and Grum's eye lens of perception.

    all in all, this was a hilarious piece in the session. they got Red a belt of resistance +2 and a few other stuff. mission complete they retired for the night (all the searches took some time)


    Days 6,7,8,9
    Spoiler
    Show
    not much happened these days. Red started a research about a spell that could connect the Psionic shard to the web and disrupt it, Gabriel coninuted researching her sepll, and the shopping group traveled back.

    but they had to Face lareth's decision before leaving Storm Reach- the elf wished to leave them , to go back to Khorvaire, and seek teleportation up to Atur. he felt lost here, ineffective, and as if running from the real war.

    This was the point where Danves made his speech. i don't remember the details, but the main points were as follows: "you may feel as if we're not participating, but we were part of this from when it began. we are the major thorn in Aurassia's side. and though you may not believe it, we may be the only hope all of us have. Red and Gabriel may seem suicidal, but they are not stupid. we got the one thing that might make a difference."

    and then he turned more personal, and this was the first time i heard from him about the curse from the beginning of the session, when it was gone. "look, i have tried to evade my destiny, i tried to run away and evade these dangers, these horrors. but i learned that i could not. and morethan that- i believe that there is no place to run to anymore. if you think us cowards, know that we intend to bring the fight TO auressia. and even if i am a coward, i am going there as well, because in the long run- it's our best chance of survival." the speech was enough to convince Lareth, and he grudgingly joined the trek back.

    Danves' player thoughts about losing the curse
    Spoiler
    Show
    i emailed to the player concerned about this, and this was his response:
    "Danves have developed, but it's not he has left all his fear behind. He's tricky, and as you saw with the Bone Giants he rather be on ranged attacks while he can (as long as he's effective). Otherwise, while the enemy is not overwhelming scary (like those Golems) he might as well charge in screaming/shouting to encourage himself.

    He trusts Red and Gabriel's self-sacrifying, so he knows they don't leave him like he might have left them once if needed. He also won't easily make a suicide battle - unless, like in the church- there was no better choice. More than he's coward he's smart (INT 20 with his headband), so he knew that he cannot hide too long from the enemy. Yet, he's not the bravest warrior..."


    on day 8 Gabriel tried her religion roll once more and failed. i told the player he has one more chance. he grumbled a little but accepted.

    on Day 9 Red completed her research. i asked the player in advance if he wants to brew the spell, but he prefered for me to go with a "default" spell for this one occasion. not much of an interest to the player. a successful arcana roll later and they had their spell:
    4th level, Psion connection (researched)
    Casting time: 10 min.
    range: close
    connect 2 psion powers, passes up to 1500 power points,.

    that night the shopping party arrvied. the party exhanged info, Grum and Danves came to see Auxallia. the party decided to go to the vaults tomorrow. but before that...

    red's player (who i think became a bit annoyed/ bored/ vexed) at the 9 days of research, decided to have a little fun. expanding on the Succubus tongue's aspect, Red came to Lareth, and started to flirt with him. she told him about her "being buried alive" Mournland experience, and pretended that she cared what he said in response. soon enough, they were in Red's cabin, doing what frustrated long hard studying scholars do after 9 says of continuous research- getting in touch with the bad boys!

    this had some funny responses from the party: Gabriel (who had a thing for Red) came looking for her. "red! Red! we're gonna eat now, you coming?"
    ...huff muff and tuff... "i'm resting!"
    "Red! Red! they are telling the most funny story! you coming to hear?"
    ...huff muff and tuff... "i'm studying!"
    "Red! Red! they are..."
    ...huff muff and tuff... "i'm HAVING SEX! i'm not coming!"

    Gabriel was a bit offended, but took it in stride, when she told the others though... Danves fumed "what?! i brought him back for THIS? so he could stab me in the back? i should have left him! i should have... <mumble mumble>


    Day 10, surprise visit, surprise vision.
    Spoiler
    Show
    As the party prepared to descend to the vaults, suddenly they heard great many cries from the temple (they were resting in a cabin outside) as they rushed in they saw Google and Olam! the half giants greeted their hero, but Google responded stoically, conservatively, even with this words. Deest came rushing and hugged her husband fiercely, and Daku hugged Olam. after the initial excitement Google shared his story:

    while they were under Flamekeep google received a Sending, from his father in Fairhaven. he was needed, another part of the prophecy was held by Obrasky'rs friend. but she would only give it to those mentioned in the prophecy, she didn't trust Olam. so he made his way there, and met this friend, an elven woman called Sairen, a fellow scholar of the prophecy, researching other parts of it. he got a transcription of what she had, and went to Porcia, the Princess. it was not easy to get to see her, since the country was at war against Auressia's forces, but the princess have seen him. she then acquired on of the few precious high level scrolls of greater teleport, and with some minor additional help, sent him back to the party.

    "wait a moment, how did Olam end up there? wasn't he going with Obraskyr to Flamekeep?" at which point Olam answered "i was riding him, but her bugs were faster, so he told me of his friend, and dropped me to the water. i swam and hid and fought till i found her. it was not easy, i'm not accustomed to this land."

    surprisingly enough no one asked about Sairen. "anyway" Google talked to Auxallia, impressed by her new looks "i brought you this. Sairen couldn't decipher this, but maybe you could." the Couatl took the writings. "'hmmm, a day or two would be required" and slithered to her place.

    Google handed a sealed letter to Danves
    Spoiler
    Show
    "To my courageous warrior across the sea. it's strange to think that the adventure we've been through, the horrible imprisonment by those awful Daguuns was only the start of this whole mess. when the swarms and the Overtaken attacked, we we were confused, and attacked back. but they overtaken more and more, focusing their efforts on Arcanix. we did not know why, and tried to fight them, but it seemed only to strenghten them. slowly the magical wards fell, and terror gripped us- if the mages of arcanix fall, what shall be of Aundair?

    then we heard of the fall of Flame Keep and the silver flame. don't get me wrong, we Aunderian hate the Thranes for what they did to us in the war, but... we did not wish this to happen. When your gentle friend Google told me you were there, with the rest of your comrades my heart sank (how is the delightful funny Ipiks? Google stayed silent on his subject.). i held to the memories of our adventure, as proof to the courage of us Khorvarian, of facing horrors, brutality and foul fiendish scheming, and coming victorious. but it seemed even you, my champions, and my special champion... were lost to the evil upon us.

    with his news we understood a bit more of the danger against us, and we shall try to face it. Arcanix has fallen by now, many of it's mages have destroyed their labs and floating towers, and ran away (most of them to fair haven) but some of them were captured. including some of the most powerful ones. we face a deadly foe.

    ... Danves, we do not know what the next few days will bring, but i remember your rascal smile, your oh-look-i'm-so-charming words, and it brings a solace to my heart. Google was sure you have survived, and we divined your location. i've sent him and his father to you, with the meager help i could provide at this time. forgive me for not sending more, but they are needed for the fight. keep this sending stone, and may we remain in contact.

    though the Queen relies on the mages and help of the Sovereign priests, my heart, my soul feels that the solution my be with you, with all of you. i keep the hope and faith that you will prevail, that this darkness shall pass, and that once more we might bask in the light of Dol Arrah. May the Sovereign protect you, Danves. all of you.

    Princes Porcia ir'Wynarn, regal heir of Aundair."


    Danves have told them about the fall of Arcanix (day 7) and commented on the "how is the delightful funny Ipiks?" line. Google also handed them a sending stone (with Porcia), and artificers crystals worth 2500 gp worth of magic items (IF they'll have the time to use them)

    right. since Google might not agree to go to the vaults, the party prepared to go without him, when Jaela suddenly shook violently, spread her arms high, mimicking great wings flapping, then put her hands wide across, mimicking a great span, and then sat down, and just raised her ten fingers above her head.

    the party realized the meaning of this vision fairly quickly: "the dragons are coming, from a great distance. we got 10 days. so begins the final countdown..."


    "so what have we got?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    this spoiler is mostly for those who haven't read this far. but others might find it usefull to wrap things up before the action.
    so....
    • Jaela woken from eternal nightmare, which enabled her visions, which told that the Argonessesn dragons will arrive at Khorvaire in 10 days since this point in time
    • also, two diamonds with a resurrection spell attached, and some clerical material ingredients
    • a new spell that can join a powerful psionic source (a great shard the party will now try to retrieve from the vaults), to the source of the bugs psionic web (which is supposed to be in the Mournland, the Eston mines. in a pull of a tentacled brain?
    • knowledge of the blood pool- it can summon a fiend called "the captain" that offers some swift transport, for a price
    • Auxallia is now a Couatl. to understand how check my "monster compendium" link under "serpent lords.
    • some new pieces of the prophecy, that Auxallia tries to figure out
    • Ellesir is charging the shard from Dur Martop (that the traveler later fixed), that is supposed to grant 2/ day, 30-60 min, 60-80 feet antipsionic field. still working on it, supposed to finish on day 12
    • a commune spell was cast on day 5, lots of ino, check the specific day out. note that since then and now Arcanix fell to Aurresia
    • the party got communication from princess Porica, and now have a Sending stone with her.
    • various other stuff: a scroll of revivify, many other scrolls for gabriel, a few new spells for Red, better defense for Danves
    • Google is back, but not with the party at the moment.
    • Red made out with Lareth


    Action time, to the vaults!
    Spoiler
    Show
    Auxallia opened the secret ways to the vaults, and the party descended into the depths. when they reached the first room they started to draw. yes, for once, i'm going to do a proper Dungeon! no strange druid signs, no moving between personalities. i kinda suck at dungeons, so decided to try this one up for size.

    the first room looked like an entry room, of great size. as they stood at the opening they heard a loud intimidating royal voice speaking... in giant... which non of them understood. (originally the concept included Google here. i didn't change it because i think a party at this level should deal with this. the voice said ""who enters the vault of Imasil Kumam? turn back or face my anger!" the normal warning stuff.) but nothing happened, so they decided to headon, Grum with his sharp senses leading.

    that's when they heard the voice again ("than feel the wrath of giant kin!") when suddenly 3 huge figures appeared in the chamber (dimension door trap from a sealed nearby room)- 2 cloud giants skeleton, and one... mummy undead? the mummy tired it's despair power, but all succeeded.

    the giants however hit in their surprise round, and hit HARD. Red was smashed fiercely, dropping down to 6 hp, and as to Grum? he was critted (remember the players roll all the dice, he just have the WORST luck!)
    he made his mass damage saving throw, but was in bad shape.

    the battle was quick, as Gabriel spammed holy smite, Red withdraw, andthen blasted fireballs. As Grum tried to move he was AoO and went down to negatives, healed by... Lareth (Red: "hey! 6 hp here! no sex for you tonight!") while Danves shot his kelgor firebolts from the back, and Gabriel stepped forth to absorb attacks (which worked well, considering her Holy Smite caused the most damage) the battle took about 4 rounds, when the last bones crumbled to dust. they found a ring of minor fire resistance on the mummy (which did not help) which went to Red.

    the party was not happy. this was the first fight in the vault, and 2 of them were already nearly dead? they healed up, and thought were to go. (if you imagine a page, they came from the bottom left corner) they could go east or north...

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    why a dungeon all of a sudden? it's not really related to the campaign much (thematically, of course there is the Shard, but they could get that anywhere) i wanted the dungeon for several reasons:
    - it's a bit of a relaxing break from all excitement they have been through- Mournland, the church and so. something a bit more... mundane before getting to the big mess ahead. might be fun!

    - the party has gained a few levels in a short time, and Grum's player is new to the ranger. this sort of "testing field" might help them get used to their new powers a bit without bit mishaps.

    - it's somewhat of a different challenge than those they faced this far, and i like different challenges.

    - i get to play in dungeon making! the dungeon isn't large, but i think it may be fun!

    - and deadly.. very deadly as i hope was demonstrated by the firs encounter. the party has about 130-150% of WBL (Grum i think has considerably less, though i don't know why exactly. i think he just never much cared for magic items). the last two (short but deadly) chapters of the campaign won't be child's play, as you'd expect from the End Game. the party needs to up their game. this was hinted by the two resurrection gems as well, this is a more... vivid demonstration.

    - it gives me a little chance to emphasize the giant culture a bit. but this is not a main concern.


    ---------------------------------------------------

    and here we stopped. on the whole, quite a relaxed session roleplay heavy and info/ gear seeking. again returns the conclusion- organizing/ preparatory stuff is better handled in emails, however:
    - we didn't have enough time between meetings.
    - due to surprises (jaela, Auxallia, Lareth, Google) i doubt if we could have handled it WELL of screen

    the remaining sessions will be confrontation heavy. this was to be the last time the party could take a serious rest.

    after all- the countdown of dragons is on- 10 days. and in 3 days Auressia's "retrival team" might arrive. and who knowswhat schedule does Auressia works to? the pressure is on...

    hope you enjoyed the read, and as always- i'd love to hear comments, ideas, questions, critic or praise. next game is probably in 2-3 weeks.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-02 at 12:33 PM.

    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 - #93
    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]

    hmmmm... something not entirely connected.

    i was browsing through some art (to get inspired), when an idea struck me- some times i saw group paintings, that were done for gaming groups. so.... wouldn't it be cool if the group has an "end of the campaign" sort of portrait"?

    the idea brewed a bit. the current group (which may make it to the end, though maybe not survive it), main past characters (Ipiks and Google. I don't think the other characters of Khork's player had such a campaign long impression), and perhaps some NPCs, some enemies, that sort of thing...

    so i started doing some research, about what's the procedure commissioning a job, what do they need, you need and that sort.

    so i posted a hob thread on DeviantArt job offers thread. i think my idea (18 figures, 3 of which may count as two) might be a bit big for my funds, but i hope! (i may need to get it down to 9-10)

    if you have any artist friends, direct them to the job.
    if you have any ideas about how it should be, who should be in it, what sort of poses and the like, i'd love to hear. "12 heads are better than one!" (says the hyrda)

    also, i tried to ask the players subtly (i said it was for a not-gonna-screw-you encounter) to hear how their characters look better, noteworthy features and the like. only Gabriel's player answered so far. (however, Red's player supplied a lot of pics so far).

    i hope this will work, could be really nice. something to remember, you know?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-07 at 07:14 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!

  4. - Top - End - #94
    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]

    about the portrait idea. i've been having some thoughts. i posted them on a more specific thread would love to hear thoughts from those who read the campaign so far (as Krazzman did).

    i really don't want to mess this up. advice is appreciated.

    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 - #95
    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 think instead of making them roll for research you could take their spellcraft/knowledge modifier, add 10, then compare it to a DC. Say, like 15+spell level or something. Then at exactly the DC it takes (however much you want), if they beat it, take a day off for every 5 or 2 or something it goes over the DC, and if they fail it takes a day longer for every same amount they fail it by.

    That way they already know how much it will take, its not auto-win easy, and they can skip over it. As for crafting, are you using the craft-points variant (its in the SRD)? I find its way better than the regular way.

    Pretty interesting setup youve been left with. What happens when the dragons get there btw? Instant WorldTPK? because even if they do fix everything, Eberron dragons are jerks most of the time.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    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 LansXero View Post
    I think instead of making them roll for research you could take their spellcraft/knowledge modifier, add 10, then compare it to a DC. Say, like 15+spell level or something. Then at exactly the DC it takes (however much you want), if they beat it, take a day off for every 5 or 2 or something it goes over the DC, and if they fail it takes a day longer for every same amount they fail it by.

    That way they already know how much it will take, its not auto-win easy, and they can skip over it.
    i had a sort of mechanic for this.
    basic research (the shard) depended on:
    - their class level and Int.
    - their resources (in this case just he Shard. they could have gained other sources in the campaign)
    - their library (in this case none. Korranberg would have given the most advantage/ arcanix, thetwelve and Moregrave would have given less, but still good)
    each "30 points" of research would have gained them a revelation. however, Red's player ddin't had much time to review this system and opted to stream line it, and assume avergae. so checking it would have taken about 4.5 days. alltogether.

    as for the actual spell research (Either Red or Gabriel) my ruling was this:
    - you have to settle the details of the spell before the game with me (which Gabriel's player did, and Red's player just opted for "what the DM tdecides, it's jut a plot based spell")
    - the DC is 10+ (spell level x2)
    - you roll for arcana/ religion/ nature (depending on the respective class) after (spell level) days (i wanted research to take time) to see if you succeeded. i'm actually thinking it should take (spell level squared) days, but there is no time for that in my campaign. if not you spend more days for it. you are allowed 3 tries. Gabriel's player failed 2 times (5 ranks only), Red rolled poorly and barely succeeded (19 total). i don't believe Gabrieal will have more time.

    as i said, my machanics may leave more to be desired... perhaps i sahll use your ideas next time.

    As for crafting, are you using the craft-points variant (its in the SRD)? I find its way better than the regular way.
    hmmmm... i'm sort of using the pathfinder skill check system instead of XP only my DC is 15+ CL. it discourages just "grabbing item creation feats to break the WBL system" but still allows an advantage, though not as great as the normal ones.

    they only used the rules to scribe scrolls (mostly on the way to the Silent halls), but prefered to just buy items after that (precious time, and enough resources) there is also a "cursed item" mechanic i made, but i kind of forgotten to use it.

    for "Artificing NPCs" (Such as Ellesir) i mostly assume they made the roll (artificer have enough bonuses in my campaign for that. they are nerfed in enough other areas) except for major works (such as the shard of Dur Martop) which they still have to roll for. we'll see if he makes it.

    Pretty interesting setup you've been left with. What happens when the dragons get there btw? Instant WorldTPK? because even if they do fix everything, Eberron dragons are jerks most of the time.
    ahhh... the dragons. there is something planned for that. you'll see. this is not the destruction of Xen'dric, at least not for the first force. suffice to say that if the PCs are able to stop Auressia's plans in time they'll have a sufficient chance to stop the unleashed wrath. if they don't succeed, well... then things get interesting but will probably mean TPK or a new campaign. current campaign ending at a fail)

    on that subject, other than minor details (minor loot here or there) i've finished planning the campaign, mostly to not top myself before the campaign ends (i hope) and to be able to play without great intervals even when my schedule picks up considerably (in 2.5 weeks). i am worried about 3 encounters, one of them is the final battle that has a few stages. i am worried balancing, getting "really tough, on the brink" without it being "total TPK at the end game". hope i got it right.

    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!

  7. - Top - End - #97
    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
    hmmmm... i'm sort of using the pathfinder skill check system instead of XP only my DC is 15+ CL. it discourages just "grabbing item creation feats to break the WBL system" but still allows an advantage, though not as great as the normal ones.
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/bu...raftPoints.htm
    It was made with campaigns such as yours (fast paced with very little downtime) in mind, so maybe its worth a look. Its "instantaneous" crafting with a limit, and I like it a lot.


    On that subject, other than minor details (minor loot here or there) i've finished planning the campaign, mostly to not top myself before the campaign ends (i hope) and to be able to play without great intervals even when my schedule picks up considerably (in 2.5 weeks). i am worried about 3 encounters, one of them is the final battle that has a few stages. i am worried balancing, getting "really tough, on the brink" without it being "total TPK at the end game". hope i got it right.
    Just try to not make it a glorified cinematic; I tend to do that a bit, making it so they dont actually have much of a chance to lose... so make them feel you really are willing to let it all end in death x__x. On the other hand, since its the end of everything, maybe overpower them to hell and back. Divine intervention or something, then make them face something equally terrifying. So they have a "normal" time facing it, but only because they "earned" the final boost in power, which is temporary...

  8. - Top - End - #98
    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 LansXero View Post
    Just try to not make it a glorified cinematic; I tend to do that a bit, making it so they dont actually have much of a chance to lose... so make them feel you really are willing to let it all end in death x__x. On the other hand, since its the end of everything, maybe overpower them to hell and back. Divine intervention or something, then make them face something equally terrifying. So they have a "normal" time facing it, but only because they "earned" the final boost in power, which is temporary...
    well, they still have the reincanate rings from Dur Martop, and the revivify Scroll Gabriel bought (plus her spells) and 2 "everyone can use" ressurection diamonds. i'm not holding anything in. i hope they'll have some left for the final battle, but even if not, too bad. i can't go easy on them. perhaps in the session before i'll make a "mock battle" on my own and see how it goes, though it's never the same.

    i fully expect half or more of the party not to make it alive through the battle.
    i just hope some will survive. we'll see.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-10 at 12:49 PM.

    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 - #99
    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]

    Small update: the Portrait idea (at least by a professional) has fallen. the party and me searched for someone who might be able to work with our meager funds, but the prices offered are just too much... which is a shame.

    perhaps, as LansXero suggested on the thread i recently linked to, we might decide to do something on our own.

    damn...

    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!

  10. - Top - End - #100
    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 special encounter is tossing and turning in my head. most details are there, but one specific one isn't.

    if you can help, please visit this thread- About Google's wedding present

    it will be a bit of a spoiler, but i can use your help. thanks!

    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!

  11. - Top - End - #101
    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 21: October 15th, 2011- The Vault of Imasil Kumam, dungeon crawl

    In game date- Dravago 11 (Late spring, month of handling)

    Today's meeting revolved around continuing to dungeon crawl the vault. it was a tad grueling, but some good battles as well. not any major developments of plot.

    Between meetings i made a little estimate of the wealth of PCs. by our WBL (equal to the XP) the players are a bit ahead. the began the meeting with about 53000 Xp, and each had about 62000 worth of equipment. after their victories over the Keeper and such they deserve it.

    as i mentioned in the previous session log, this is a sort of experiment for me in creating a dungeon crawl (very simple one though) and also a bit of a warning that the difficulty is being upgraded. the latter part worked wonderfully, the former... well, you'll see in the description. the last encounter was just AWESOME!

    the party didn't advance as far as i thought (i imagined them finishing the dungeon, perhaps getting to the interlude. But this is it.

    last time the party just entered the vault, met some hge undead skeletons and a mummy, and Grum and Red nearly died. after this rough start, they healed and were ready to continue.

    General layout
    Spoiler
    Show
    The dungeon's corridors are all 20 ft wide, and the rooms are 40 ft high. the dungeon is sort of build like a rectangled ring, with a central room, the references of rooms and such will be to the ring, where the entrance is from the south west.


    Initial Exploration- the dragon heads
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party could go east or north, they chose north. they found doors leading to the inside of the ring, and doors in it's north west corner. they decided not to open anything. Grum who lead (Danves and Gabriel behind them, and Red and Lareth at the back) turned the corner and saw a corridor (the north corridor of the ring) stretchign east, but with great stone dragons heads on the sides.

    the party suspected traps, and searched methodically. Danves found to his dismay that the search relies on perception and not thievery (we use a condensed skill system, similar to PF) win which he hasen't invested much.

    still they found no traps. no one had any knowledge of Xen'dric, and thus they didn't know the importance of the dragons (though they've heard it a few times by now... the Giants befriended the dragons, and worshiped their gods. the statues were depictions of these gods). they saw 7 dragon heads. but found no trap. in the middle of the corridor there was a door to the center again, and a corridor to the north, with giant sacrophages to the sides. to the east the corridor ended in the middle of the ring.

    "Riiiight. not going THAT way! we check the doors south..."


    The work room, the obsidian board, and "Yum Yum!"
    Spoiler
    Show
    The room proved to be a big one, connecting to the doors in the western corridor as well, and to the south. near the doros the party noticed a huge board with... liquid Obsidian covering? other than that there was some sort of long table with tools, and what looked like a small forge and smithy. there was some writing on the board, so the party went to check it out.

    as Grum approached a small trap erupted, but he withstood it. some small psychic power? the board has some sort of a secret code on it. using magic, arcana and deciphering skills they tried to understand the 4 messages, but they got only 1- something about a chamber under the vault, some sign of high magic and danger.

    as they moved to the forge another trap erupted. still Grum saved, but then two strange dog like creatures with beaks and a scrawny look appeared, and tried to attack him. he felt a ping in his head as one touched him, losing 1 intelligence. he managed to kill one, but the other disappeared. soon 4 more appeared, targeting Red and Danves, devouring a bit of their mind power.

    Danves recognized them- Thought Eaters, not that dangerous at their level, but the buggers go in and out of the Ether, and might be quite a pest.

    the party find the forge could be activated with enough knowledge, and also some exquisitely made tools. they didn't know what to do with this though.

    DM Design- the forge
    Spoiler
    Show
    the forge is exquisitely made, and might be used to help Ellesir craft faster. at this point in time it might save them a day. they need to think of this first though.


    the party decided to go south, to the room in the middle south of the ring.


    "Do something funny! Dance! Dance!"
    Spoiler
    Show
    the next room held a great pool of water, and was furnished as a sort of resting and refreshment room. there was also a group of mephits there. upon seeing the party they tried a few languages till Draconic caught "new guests! new guests! how much fun! what do you do/ where you from?" all with jubilant exuberance.

    the party was confused, and tried to converse, but the Mephits wanted them to entertain them. Gabriel tried to haggle, but bored the creatures, while Red and Danves used their cantrips to make them laugh and cheer. Red even did a small dance (she has perform ranks) which surprised most ofthem, especially Lareth. the party tried to glean some information, but the Mephits weren't that helpful- the room had a portal to Lamania (plane of nature, air, earth and water. endless wild forests and wilderness) and the valut has many traps. when probed on the traps they refused to say, only implying they rely on one cryptically.

    there was another set of doors to the easr (the south corridor) with a motif of great regal giants, and a wiritng in several languages " for the privliged only, others- beware!" most of the party thought- "ok, this is where we go" Danves was worried though...

    (the room also connected to the initial room of the huge skeletons)

    DM design- the Mpehit's room
    Spoiler
    Show
    it had several purposes. first a roleplay inside the dungeon, though the players didn't rise to it. it held a sort of a skill challenge to get the mephits to like them enough by entertaining them sufficiently. and then they might have shared more knowledge. (the party was1 success away) for some reason they didn't even tried dimplomacy on them, which the players often like.

    the room also held a hidden danger. if the mephits were attacked (or angered) some would go into the portal, and activate the trap- shutting of all the doors, filling the room with water rapidly, and a huge elemental coming through the portal to help the Mephits. since i don't award XP for monsters beat but on accomplishments, doing the battle would have gained them nothing.

    other than information, the Mephits would also offer a secure place to rest. but that didn't turn out to be a problem. i forgot a spell....


    more traps, the Shard room
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party saw a corridor to the as Grum searched a head and found a concealed trapdoor pit trap. they navigated it and continued till the corridor curved north, and brought them to a big room, in it's north wall a big obsidian shard. but around it were runes.

    the party suspected traps, and Danves the partial rogue disabled the runes. but they were still fearful to approach, trying to come up with different strategies, contingency plans, safety procedures and so on. i got frustrated, and blurted something like "at the church of the silver flame you faced hordes of superior opponents, and hear you can't cross disabled runes?"

    Gabriel rose to the challenge (and later the player blamed me for goading him) and strode to the shard. this is when the invisible runes from above the crystal flared, and struck lightning down. Gabriel was hurt, but will survive.

    and then strange mist came from hidden slits in the ceiling. everyone madetheir fort saves.

    and then some psychic power was affecting them Red and Gabriel made their saves, and heard in Draconic "Quori! you think you know Nightmares?! let me show you nightmare!" but the rest- Grum, Danves and Lareht each saw Auressia's bugs coming from the walls, and taking controls of all the others!

    Gabriel noticed something was off, and cast Dispel magic on the group, dispelling the effect on Danves and Grum, but not Lareth (she also brought down Red's mage armor, but not biggy). as inititaitve started, they Grum was able to shake Lareht's belief allowing him another will save, that he survived.

    DM's oops!
    Spoiler
    Show
    i originally planned to have handouts to the affected players, hiding this effect from the rest, but i forgot to print it. so i had to tell everyone, which ruined the effect a bit.


    And Again
    Spoiler
    Show
    grum tried to searc hthe shard for traps, while the others hid in the corridor, failing that Red came to try and study it from the arcane point of view. this gave time for the trap to reset. the lightning brought Red to -5, and she fell to the floor, Gabriel and LAreth rushing to her aid (and Gabriel launching seething glances at the elf)

    the mist again failed to affect them, as does the mind effect (though Gabriel was close... very close) as they healed Red, two more Mind eaters appeared and nabbed adt Danves, they hit one but didn't kill it. Danves disabled the trigger (or so he thought) but as Red recuperated he surveyed the crystal, and found traces of illusion magic, well hid, makingthe Crystal appear to have psionic powers. they decided to leave it (they did suspect that it was a decoy, but wanted to explore.

    DM design- the False shard
    Spoiler
    Show
    the idea was a nice complex trap- requiring reflex, fort (the mist) and will. i hoped people will fail more. it was also one of the main falsities about the place. andi needed there to be a decoy shard. why? will be explained later. (in the next session log)


    going down. spells buffet!
    Spoiler
    Show
    another corridor went west, supposedly connecting to the rest of the north corridor, only there was a wall in the middle! the party saw 4 more dragon heads, but weren't worried. as they approached the wall though, they activated a trap- another pit trap!

    Grum tried to hurl himself at the wall to grasp it, but instead going through it! (illusory wall). Red's ring of feather fall helped her, and she grabbed to the pit's wall. Gabriel who was in the middle of he pit, activated her ring of the four winds (MIC) and started to fall down slowly.

    Danves and Lareth however, plumeted 100 feet, on spikes! they crashed down, Lareth skewering himself, and Danves also badly wounded. but the pit was open, to the north and south. to the north was some large room.

    Suddenly Danves and Lareth felt a sort of a pool, they tried to resist it but failed, and suddenly, their highest level spell was sucked away! from the room came a slow moving oozing mass- a huge Ooze.

    as Gabriel descended it took a spell form her as well. Danves and Lareth tried to get away, get some distance. Red realized there was trouble and let go of the wall, starting her descent, just as two though weaters appeared trying to nab at her. Grum realized the trouble as well, and starting climbing down, rushed.

    as they grew closer, the Ooze sucked their high level spells, growing stronger and stronger. (temp hit points) Gabriel realized what's to happen and started casting her high level spells on her, turning her to a deadly fighting machine. Red tried to harm the creature, but couldn't penetrate it's spell resistance, and the spell got sucked to it. the creature was beaming with energy! she then tried a vulnerability spell on him (to reduce SR) but failed. Danves and Lareth (the last quite scared, nearly dead, and losing spells) tried to catch some distance.

    as Grum was hurrying down, Gabriel try to close on the creature, which tried to slam and grab her, but failed do to her high high AC.Red the nsucceeded in her vulnerabilty but the creature allready had way too much Temp HP, and was continuing to drain them from spells. Gabriel started bludgeoning it, while Danves and Lareth shot from afar.

    the Grum crashed (rolled really low) and hurt himself, though not badly. everyone down, Red cast haste on the three close ones. Gabriel was down to 2nd level spells (she started with 5th), Red lost half her thrid level (yay ultimate Magus) and LAreth was down to 1st. the ooze even startedto drai Grum!

    but not being to heal more than the damage output, and Gabriel the tank blocking it's way, it was soon taken down. the party was exhausted, yet happy!

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    this is a sort of complicated trap, though perhaps i could have done it better. first of all there was the idea of splitting the party (a bit)- i expected some to succeed on the reflex, some to fail, and some to float. second the ooze was a resource taker, and initially nearly impossible to beat due to the high amount of temp hp it gained. i supposed it will prove a significant threat to the party, but Gabriel had a high to hit AC (even so she used 2 action points. the player feared it's slam and justly, not because of the damage, but because of the free grapple and constrict and pinning. perhaps i should have added a more combative threat, but it didn't seem to fit with the ooze.

    The Ooze is a refitting of the Arcane ooze from the MM3, only affecting all spells, and a few more minor changes.

    the ooze is a trap, the party could avoided it. i expected them to use fly options and get away. i forgot how much this party doesn't like to back from a fight...


    Rest and a conversation
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party was haggared after this. thay had very very few spells left. they decided to rest, using a rope trick (the spell i forgot). in the rope trick Lareth seemed worried. Gabriel tired to ask why. "I fought battles in the war. some of the people there could be called monsters. but not this kind of monsters!" Gabriel tried to reassure "But the undead we fought, isn't that sort of Blood of Vol's... speciality?" Lareth Sighed "exactly! the mummy? that requires a powerful necromancer, one that can summon such an ooze and more. i think... i think this is out of my league. i'm no fighter like Danves or Grum, and no caster like you or Red..." the party tried (half mockingly) to reasure him and then went to sleep.


    The laboratory of Mordor (Modo actually), the "Eggs".
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party remains held 2 adamantine giant sized weapons (long sword and long spear), but little else. found out that the chamber of the ooze led to 3 pit traps- the one they activated, the one they avoided before, and another one in the corridor with the sarcophagus (that led straight north from the northern corridor of the ring.

    they climbed up using the troll's gut rope from the last visit to the Obsidian City, and decided to check out the north western room. opening it they saw sometables on the far end, but in the middleof the room they saw a rubbery creature, filled with red green liquid. they knew it was a golem, but which kind? the creature spoke one word- "Modo!"

    the players mistook this for "Mordor" and a series of jokes began- "you do not simply walk to Mordor", "quick! look for mount doom! i have the +1 protection ring! my preeeecious!" and so on. after they calmed down however, they really didn't want to fight it so they left. it didn't follow.

    then they had an idea- instead of fighting the Golem, why not sneak by it? an invisibility spell later, Grum snuck to the room and reached the tables. it seemed like some sort of laboratory/ alchemy shop. however, he didn't know exactly what to look for. lacking time, detect magic, relevant knowledge skills, and seeing in dark vision, he made his search roll. he found a few thins, minor expendable items and left.


    the "Eggs"
    Spoiler
    Show
    then they decided to check out 2 doors from the central room to "center and a bit east". they found a little room, loaded with obsidian. a futher search by Grum found some strange spheres, with a sense of psionic to them. immediately the thought eaters started blinking in and out outside the room, shrieking. Grum who was tired with the things shot a few down, and they vanished. the party thought these were the creatures eggs, and decided to keep them.


    Greed, making plans, and executing them
    Spoiler
    Show
    But the players felt they missed on the laboratory. there had to be more there that Grum didn't find! so they tried to devise a plan to destroy the Golem- Grum would take the flying vestment from Gabriel (from the Mockery)and would open the doors, launch an arrow at the Golem, draw it after him, beyond the illusory wall and into the pit trap! Red might cast greater Slide if that didn't work. meanwhile, the rest of the party would rush to the room, throw everything to the holding bags, and run away.

    then they started arguing about the fine details of the plan, and tryingto find ways to make it better. this was frustrating. my exact thoughts in the next spoiler, not necessary for the story.

    thoughts about static dungeons.
    Spoiler
    Show
    static dungeons, such as this assume basically that most monsters, and traps, just wait there... this gives a party (if not rushed for time) plenty of time to strategize, which can be painfully agonizing... it also makes many challenges obsolete, unless the conditions change dramatically. i avoided this for this exact reason till now. bow i remember why.


    So the plan was set, all were in place, Grum opened the door, shot an adamantite arrow, hit it, and ran away. it followed, and closed the doors. he approached again ,and opened the doors, to be hit by a blast of Acid (Grum expected to be attacked) he ran again, but ift didn't pursue. it seems the Golem had orders.

    "Wait? do we have another invisibility?" they did. so this time Danves snuck in (dancing lights above the room), and with his skills found the ret of stuff- an elixir of stealth, a potion or two, and aroma of dreams. not much, but nice. as the items were identified so were the eggs- they were flawed psionic magical items that gave out some renewing psionic power. this was the food source of the thought eaters. they wouldn't be attacked from now on.


    The Crypt of Mabar, the slaves
    Spoiler
    Show
    nothing to do but to go in the corridor of sarcophagus. the party was weary of undead rising, but sometimes burial places are just that. they reached a major door, and heard the giant's voice in several languages, draconic amongst them " Quori! go back! neither you nor your legions will get the shard! it is ours!"

    Eberron stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    I think i mentioned this, but the Quori, creatures of the nightmare realm tired to attack the giants in ancient history. the entire Obsidian city is a sort of a defensive position against them.


    "Riiiight. Ominous." at a bit of pressure, the door slid aside, and the party entered a room. a huge one- they couldn't see the sides of the room (except closest to them) and the walls were entirely black. there was a chill in the room, and a slight sense of evil.

    but more there that- there were hundreds of slightly frozen bodies of elves in shackles in massive heaps topped on on the other at the sides of the main road, having expressions of extreme pain and suffering. those with the knowledge (especially Danves and Lareth) sensed the slight presence of Mabar, the plane of eternal night and darkness in the room. and as they entered- their lights grew dim.

    "undead... lots of them..." the party didn't look happy. they advanced cautiously, trying to see but the light and even Dark vision not going far.

    then they reached the middle of the room, when suddenly, a great numbers of deathly shrieks rose, and the walls sort of melted- they weren't black, they were just covered with shadows.. hundreds of shadows... coming towards them. the shadows were of shackled elves, andthey sort of ran over the bodies, not slide like regular shadows.

    "Form around me!" Red shouted, and they took the 2 rounds for the Shadows to arrive to cast some preparatory spells. Gabriel cast magic circle against veil and ghost touch armor (from a scroll) which saved her life. Danves drank a potion and activated his displacement ability, Grum activated his Arrow mind (enables making attacks of opportunity and avoiding such attacksat mele rage), Red raised her defenses as well as 7 mirror images (which savedher life) and LAret cast his spells as well. this was going to be Tough!


    Miniatures! lots and lots of miniatures! and a few bigger ones...
    Spoiler
    Show
    they were soon surrounded on all sides. as the door behind slid shut. "we need to fight and move ahead! must be some passage up north!" the party planned to make a fighting progress. they all coordinated their initiatives (delay). gabriel cast hide from undead. the shadows moved around them, some not seeing them, some did and attacked. most attacks were deflected however. a round or two of fighting showed little progress.

    but then the party heard some strange croaking voices calling and intimidating in giant. on the verge of the light, they could see figures- giant ones, of hideous undead zombie like creatures, with long hands, and long claws (Bone claws with a few minor changes) holding dark as night whips.they whirled them about shouting at the shadows.

    "slave masters- we need to take them down!" there were 5 of the beasties...
    under another Haste, Grum started to unleash 4 arrows in a round. his blessed bow and hatred of undead meant large amounts of damage! but the slave masters had lots of hit points! next, Danves tried a dangerous move- he tumbled his way through ranks of shadows (few noticing him due to Gabriel's spell) and struck at the creature, channeling a chilled touch, but to no success. Red was worried "Danves, don't cut out from the team!"

    Lareth raised his Symbol of the Blood of vol, and with a force of will took control over some, turning them against their masters. Red cast Life bolt on another slave master., as the Slave Masters tried to whip and claw at them (reach of 20 ft)

    the shadow swarmed again taking down image after image of Red. Lareth was hit nicely, his strength fading, while Gabriel's ghost touched armor blocked most attacks, and Grum evaded the attacks on him with ease.

    but not so with Danves. he was hit time after time, displacement none withstanding, and got down to Strength 3! he barely held himself. things started to look Grim


    Getting worse
    Spoiler
    Show
    Red decided to get aerial and cast levitate. but one of the Slave Master noticed that, and whirled his whip around, when some of the shadows started flying towards her. Grum still hit the wounded Slave master, and a life bolt of Gabriel took it down. some shadows seemed confused. Danves cast swift invisibility, and drank a levitate potion, going up. Lareth' shadows struck two of the slave masters, damaging their strength.

    but as the next shadows attacked the priest of the undead, he went down, body starting to twist into shadow. the shadows towards red reached her, and some passed the images, and hit her strength hard (she was down to 2!) Red, seeing Lareth' fate, panicked "Grum! take it down, take it down" she motioned towards the Slave master flying the shadows. she cast her empowered spell (ultimate magus) at him, and thankfuly with Grum's arrows, the Second Slave master was down. the shadows started to sink.

    Gabriel was determined to take down the 3rd. she cast some NOva spell (5th level, like circle of death, only against undead). it didn't take that many shadows out, but cleared the path to the slave master. the shadows swarmed over Gabriel, who'se armor easily shook off their affects, but Grum, despite action points, got hit twice, his strength down to 8...


    Taking them down, quick and fast.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kelgor's fire bolt from Danves, empowered scorching rays from Red, and Gabriel's powerfull strikes took down the third. the shadows were more confused, more hard t ocontrol, which might have just saved Grum's life. he dodged one more blow with his last action point (the rest were using them freely by now as well). one of the remaining 2 tried to call some of the shadows to reach Red, seeing her spells as the most dangerous, while Gabriel used the confusion to close on the fifth.

    again Grum's 4 blessed arrows and more spells from Red took the 4th down sending the hungry shadows down. Gabriel's angry and spells and arrows from Danves took the fifth down.

    the shsdows stopped attacking. barely, just barely, the party survived the battle (Gabriel at 12 strength, Grum at 8, Danves at 3, Red at 2)


    An ending of a sort
    Spoiler
    Show
    the shadows then turned to the party, and started to fade, saying soft grateful words, which they assumed meant "thank you.. thank you..." and faded. but there was another matter- the forming shadow. Gabriel without hesitation cast a dispel evil and ended it. "the least we could do".

    the party first retrieved whatever spells, scrolls and potions of lesser restoration to try and get them a bit back to shape, though not by much. then came the matter of Lareth's remains, or more correctly- his equipment.

    there was a lot of joking around about it- "we'll bury it, sure! in a shop!" or (by Red's player) "since i was the one who was in a relationship with him, shouldn't i get the... estate?" i didn't like it much, but i understand. just a game. they decided to take his stuff and try to get it to people of his faith (or just bury him if they can't)

    DM design- Lareth
    Spoiler
    Show
    He was never supposed to be an NPC. he was just supposed to be a combatant at the battle of Flame Keep, but then the party saved him. i tried to play him, add some more flavor to the game, but i think the party saw him mostly as a butting joke.

    i didn't kill him on purpose. by the dice as i say.


    the only other piece of equipment worth mentioning was the whips, which seemed to be made of pure night (matter of Mabar) and some sort of an evil feel. these however (not like Lareth) they took seriously and destroyed, though Danves suggested to sell them.


    did we find it?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party was barely standing, and they knew they needed more rest. but they just wanted to see what's behind the door to the north. it opened to a fairly small room, looking majestic, radiant, and in the middle there was a shard, a nice big obsidian shard...

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    and here we stopped. all in all, not a lot was done in this meeting, but the players had a blast in the battle with the ooze, and especially the battleof Mabar's edge.

    the last battle nearly ended in a TPK though. i think i may have overstepped it a bit, with my desire to make things tough. two characters were a touch attack away from dying without chance of resurrection, and another 2 strikes (Grum). perhaps a bit too close (and i thought to upgrade it to 7 slave masters, thinking it was too easy...)

    The party needs to rest, but they are worried they are burning time. they are at the middle of the 10th day. (and to remind you, at morning of the 13th day, Auressia's forces attack. not that they know)

    the party is close to the end of the dungeon, but there are 2 more suprises on the way. hopefully in next meeting we'll already get to chapter 7.

    thoughts? comments? ideas? questions?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-15 at 09:15 PM.

    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 - #102
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Garwain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

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

    I just read through your log, and what a delightful read! I read SCS campaign as well, and some elements made me smile, although in general there is a whole different feel to it.
    I very much like the dreams and revelations you are offering, although I guess not all of them are revealed?
    Anyway, I'm hooked. Keep posting.
    My personal folder is a graveyard of ideas, stuck in their dream phase.
    The "DM won't kill us" attitude is a bubble that sometimes needs to be bursted.
    There's an armor variant rule in UA that will drastically increase character survivability without completely bubble-wrapping them in plot invulnerability
    Throphies won:
    Spoiler
    Show



    Avatar courtesy of Linklele

  13. - Top - End - #103
    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 Garwain View Post
    I just read through your log, and what a delightful read! I read SCS campaign as well, and some elements made me smile, although in general there is a whole different feel to it.
    I very much like the dreams and revelations you are offering, although I guess not all of them are revealed?
    Anyway, I'm hooked. Keep posting.
    Glad you liked it! however, i am confused... what "dreams and revelations" are you talking about? the "DM Design- behind the scenes" sort of things? i say nearly all that's on my mind, perhaps i've missed a few things, but even fewer intentionally. when i did it was because they dealt with ideas i may yet want to use for other campaigns in the future, and i want this journal to be open to my players as well, when the time comes.

    a slight warning: i suggest you sign up for this thread, since due to our frequency of playing (next time will hopefully be in 2.5 weeks ) my updates are far and between.

    any questions or 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!

  14. - Top - End - #104
    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 22: November 12th, 2011- Escaping the Vault, The Crimson ship

    In game date- Dravago 11-13-...? (Late spring, month of handling)

    four weeks since our last meeting. too long, too long. still- this meeting was lots of fun! action, roleplay, and a nice finish. it was a good meeting.

    a few notes before we begin: i did a little Wealth check and found they were ahead of the curve in an average of 5500-7000 gp. which was good. they were surprisingly similar in terms of wealth, though optimization of said wealth is quite widely different, and the choices. (i'll discuss it if it interests anyone) this again brings me to realize how very similar each of the party members are, at least in terms of combat, though each has their strengths and downsides. This proved itself quite nicely in the meeting as well.

    another thing- one of the FEW upsides of a long delay between meetings, is that you get to mull ideas in your mind (and the forums) and refine them over, and over again. this has been true to the previous ideas of the campaign, but especially to the two parts of this session, especially the second part. there iwll be special DM design spoilers for them.

    one last thing- a small rule change: the only creatures immune to precision damage (mostly sneak attacks and criticals) are swarms and oozes. constructs and undead are free (this i will discuss as well if you wish). this proved important in the first part of the campaign.

    last we left the party, they were after the near TPK battle with the shadows, and have just opened the door to the room where the shard they've been looking for was held.

    The final challenge!
    Spoiler
    Show
    first thing first, the party used some of their resources to heal their strength (and slight hp loss) nearly to full, but enough to go on. scrolls and potions of lesser restoration were gone.

    the room was only 60 ft wide (small to this dungeon's room) in it's middle a pedestle with the humming shard. on the walls there were glyphs and carvings of the giant civilizations, but at the far end... a stone chair, and on it propped a giant skeleton.

    "lich!" Red said." he's not moving yet- we can prepare". the party cast some spells, while Danves searched for magic. he saw several auras from the skeleton's chair, but was weary. the party was prepped for a hard fight, when Gabriel strode closer to the lich, trying to discern it. to her- it looked like a dead skeleton.

    and indeed it was... Gabriel lifted the shard, and lifted it up (it's quite big). the XP for completing this goal got the party to the next level.


    Level up!
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party is level 11 now.
    - Gabriel gained her 10th cleric level. more spells, but nothing new.
    - Red gained another Ultimate magus level. and 2 more 4th level spells. i remember one of them is improved invisibility, not sure of the other. wiz 4/ sorc 1/ UM 6. she got plenty of spells, but her highest level of spells is 4th when she could have had 6th. she's powerful, but i worry of the last meetings.
    - Grum is ranger 11, got another extra attack and improved precise shot.
    - Danves got another Duskblade level, not sure of any significant changes. Rog 3/ DB 8


    not THAT easy...
    Spoiler
    Show
    after the party finished updating their sheets, i let them know that around after Gabriel lifted the shard, the stone shaft in the skeleton's hand turned in it's socket in the floor, and suddenly the door began to close. Gabriel couldn't make it to the door, so the rest dove in. then the REAL noise began- from the dungeon beyond the sealed door.

    "start counting rounds" i said, and the clock began. the party was slightly stressed, but not much. Gabriel and Grum went to the door trying to force it open, while Red and Danves thought it's the perfect time to... loot the skeleton. they found a magical amulet, ring and ioun stone (+2 con)- wand of identify quickens things up nicely!

    Grum's senses heard very faint stone rumblings, and saw some light coming from under the door. despite their efforts, they couldn't force the door. Gabriel used her scroll of meld into stone to slide under the door and seek the threat beyond. meanwhile Grum went to help Danves look for a an opening mechanism which turned out to be... turning the staff in it's socket again. not ingenious, but the idea was to buy time.

    nevertheless, the tales of Danves "ingenious" method of lock picking were repeated through out the session.

    about 6-7 rounds went by till the party opened the door, and now- they've throw initiative.


    Light of the Sun
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gabriel in the meantime saw two glowing figures in the room where they fought the shadows- large ones. she approached them quickly (still in the floor) and noticed they were some sort of bizarre constructs, made out of.. light?

    "If shadow won't defeat you defilers, than light will!" the party heard as they opened the door, the two beings moved incredibly fast towards the 3 in the room, suddenly shedding great light, but failing to blind the party. Red's fire and Grum's arrows proved useless. Danves under invisibility moved to a strategic location, and scroed a critical (see the rule change i mentioned at the start) and caused it serious damage. meanwhile Gabriel drew the other's attention, but it came only to 15 ft of her.

    far enough, for their Consuming Brilliance power (a sort of 15 ft spread disintegration sphere). both Danves and Gabriel made the save, and the one on the next round (though Gabriel need an action point).

    Grum in the meantime used Adamatite arrows that caused heavy damage, and with this arrows and the combined effort of the team, the creatures were destroyed.

    DM Design
    Spoiler
    Show
    these were Quesars from Book of Exalted Deeds. their disintegration power might be devastating, but it's saving throw is quite low. they were supposed to be a simple "warm up the system" fight after the one month pause.


    the party rushed to the doors at the far end, these two seems stuck. Grum heard some thing moving from the other side and some... slushing?

    about 11 rounds have passed.


    revisiting the Silent Halls?
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves found some opening mechanism, but when the doors opened, the party was suddenly hit by gushing water, washing and dropping all but Danves, who faced the corridor of sarcophagi, 3 of which were open ,and cloud giant skeletons ready at them.

    the water were about 2 feet deep now spread over the huge chamber. but the water was rising fast... "you don't scare us! it's not the first underwater dungeon we've explored!" said the players amused. the 3 giants shot or tried to hit the party, and Red was hit by an arrow, doing severe damage.

    "Find the water source!" yelled Red to Danves as she got out of the water. Danves nodded and cast swift invisibility after the other, moving through the narrow gaps between the skeletons... the other 3 were left to face the skeleton giants.


    dodging dragons
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves came to the corridor of dragon heads, the ones that were dormant before, but were active now. he figured out the water portal to Lamania, where the Mephits resided must be the reason for this. he tried to go through the main room but found it block, when the dragon heads keep breathing on him random streams of cold, acid and electricity. he got hit some times, but evaded the most of it. he decided to change direction, and go the circumventing route, through the hall of the false shard and traps.

    as the party battle the skeletons Danves drank an elixir of swimming which helped him a bit, but the last dragon's breath turned out to be a slow cone, affecting him. "great! just what i needed!"


    wasn't there a trap door here?
    Spoiler
    Show
    meanwhile Gabreil tried to turn the undead, but they proved beyond her power. but enough fire power from the three brought the skellies down, though with some nice wounds to them. they remembered there was a trap door here (which lead to the spell ooze) and Gabriel tried to bash it open, with Red' searching for a trigger. Grum started making his way after Danves. it was becoming a real hassle now- 3-4 feet of water allready.


    Lesson number one
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gabriel however, came right after, spread her wings and flew after them, quickly overtaking Danves, which was followed by Grum at some distance. the false shard however started emitting psionic rending power, the hit them... and a few rounds later again... and again..

    aren't we forgetting something? yep.. Red was left behind. she tried trailing after the party but the breathing heads wounded her deeply, and sh drank most of her healing potions, and was still between dragons, and before the long corridor of mind blast. water was allready 5-6 feet, they were swimming, except to Gabriel how was still flying, and just reached the water portal's room.

    DON"T SPLIT THE PARTY!


    Happy fun time!
    Spoiler
    Show
    the Mephits were ecstatic! so much excitement! Gabriel tried to talk to them, persuade them to help, but as with Soom... this isn't exactly her strong side. the Mephits were unimpressed. as Danves came (swimming panicky with not a lot of HP to spare, he tried to persudae better, even trying to goad them to an acid throwing match at the blocked door to the vault's exit. but he too failed, but learned that they might be more interestedin the "big one- maybe it can help". Grum arrived a bit later, suffering another mind blast...

    and Red?


    thank the Sovereign for little potions
    Spoiler
    Show
    Red remembered she has a potion of meld into stone for emergencies. "i think this constitutes an emergency, don't you think?" she moved in the stone under the blocked door Danves couldn't open to the main room, and saw it flooded, and the Obisidan board shifitng, like some portal, but she saw a figure beyond a big one, getting into the water portal room


    "An oceanic Dragon? in Africa?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    the figure was an eel like dragon from Lamania (Draconmicon) named Wijasi. it came through the water portal, and tried to inquire where he was, and who were these strange creatures. Danves managed to ensure some trade with it, and the party tried to barter and even bluff (which nearly started a battle if Danves hadn't bluffed better to cover it up!) but in the end the battle was avoided, and the dragon took some of their treasure (mainly adamantite giant sized weapons they found at the ooze and some trinkets from the Golem's room) the party were LOATHE to give these up, but they were in no good shape.

    the dragon stashed the treasure, and then told them he think the obsidian board Red saw is a portal to "somewhere else on this plane" ... "wait! be we already knew that!" said Gabriel's player, but Wijasi took back to Lamania.

    water at about 7-8 feet, with Red back, the party went through the portal to the outside of the Vault, which was now blocked entirely.


    DM design- the dungeon trap (not related to the story)
    Spoiler
    Show
    in the last session before it ended i made the mistake of saying i think we'll need 1.5-2 hours for what is left of the vault. that was for my previous idea (i'll explain soon) but my previous idea relied on the fact that the party expects to find the shard and waltz out. since that was blown, i needed an idea of "not waltzing out", but that can still be fun and challenging.

    i'm sure something similar has been done before. i rarely get really original ideas. i take existing ones and reskin them. i initially put all kind of features in the dungeon that were supposed to LOOK like traps, without being one (the portal room, the dragon heads, the sarcophagi) and so on. with the traps unexpected.

    this last piece was a sort of culmination of that- the last room in itself is not a trap, and completley safe (despite the "lich") but the rest of the dungeon becomes one big long trap, with time of the essence.

    not sure Wijasi the Oceanic dragon was interesting though. it felt like a bump.

    the original idea? the idea was that the shard was ANOTHER false shard, shattering and unleashing a living psionic power of 7th level. it was supposed to look that the party triggered a trap/ wasn't fast enough and caused this, perhaps leading them to fill they have failed. but there were clues to the real shard, behind a secret door near the beginning, with a... special guard which i may want to keep for the future, so i'm not telling.

    i think this came out better! do you?


    Prophecies and wedding plans(Day 11)
    Spoiler
    Show
    as the party got back quite exhausted (and wet) they saw excitement in the tribe, after some inquiery they were directed to Google, who told them that Deest and him decided to form a Union tonight! "dark times are coming, there may be no other opportunity" the party was called as guests of honor.

    the party went to Auxallia, who welcomed their return, and healed them as best she could. she told them Elessir will finish his work tomorrow. however, she had been studying the pieces of the Prophecy Google brought from Obraskyr's friend, and would like them to see.

    at this point i presented the party a sort of drawing of circles representing symbols and sign and their supposed interpretation. i made the mistake of making only one copy though, so it made it hard to all to view it at once. important lesson.

    Danves and Grum' players checked it first, but made little headway. Red' player was a bit too tired, and Gabriel's player took it afterwards. it was passed around as we played. the party mostly was concerned with the allocation of the treasures from the last room.

    weird treasure distribution (not really related to the story)
    Spoiler
    Show
    there were 3 main treasures from the last room (more in other places of the dungeon, but some were traded away with Wijasi). these included an amulet that enables a reroll of a save, a minor ring of spell storing (3 spell levels) and an ioun stone granting +2 con. they discussed things but somehow... gave it all to Danves.

    the player wasn't greedy, or tried out of his way to persuade them. they just thought he should have them... odd. maybe because he is usually their wild card? i don't know. the player spent quite a bloody freaking time trying to figure out what spells to put in the ring. Jeesh!


    The Prophecy
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is a bit of a puzzle, but not one essential to completing the campaign, but it can help. i've sent a literal description in an email to the party, so that they might try and figure it out. i put it hear as well (though it's more difficult to decipher this way.

    the party hasn't made a lot of progress, i'll put their guesses in spoilers, so you could have a go at it if you wish):

    TOP PART:
    Spoiler
    Show
    - chaos, blending hands, Khorvaire (the continent)

    - three signs intertwined: The Keeper (god of undeath and stolen souls), Kol Korran (god of trade, merchants, buying and selling) and voyage/ travel


    LEFT PART
    Spoiler
    Show
    - a sign Danves interpreted as a dragon claw.

    - beneath it two signs of earth?/ land? joined with broken magic. that is surrounded by many signs of souls, and... giving something? making something? that is surrounded by a thin circle of water signs mixed with air.
    Spoiler
    Show
    (Red thinks the first part is the Mournland)


    - beneath and to the left there are three intertwined signs: mind, arcane and... close? open? end?

    - beneath that there are three "slashed/ torn/ broken intertwined signs: bug, fiend and net.

    - beneath the big sign (the second) and to the right there is a complex series of signs: in the middle there is a greet fiend. from it three lines of adversity/ opposition: one leading to a Couatl. one to earth and one very unclear one to... belief? greatness? it's unclear. these last two signs (the earth and the unclear one) are also linked to each other, with choice?/ crossroad? in the middle.

    - beneath the complex series of signs there is a sign of possibility/ uncertainty.

    - beneath that a sign of anchor/ weaving/ threading rope. this sign is intertwined with a sign of earth and heaviness.


    RIGHT PART
    Spoiler
    Show
    - again the dragon claw sign.

    - beneath it a complex sign: a sign of a pit/ a hole/ depth, surrounded by a sign of grasping claws, surrounded by a sign of rulership/ command/ influence from this signs four line signs emerge: to the left- chain and air, to the left and bottom- chain and life, to the right and bottom- chain and earth, to the right- chain and death.
    Spoiler
    Show
    (Gabriel thinks this is Throne hold- the ancient seat of power for the empire. the chains are believed to be the seals- Arcanix, Flamekeep, Eston and Atur)


    - beneath that there are strange obscure signs: web? net? linked chain? for some reason the mark of Deneith appears (Deneith is the dragon marked house of protection, law enforcers and body guards, known for their elite troops)

    - beneath that two intertwined signs: one of 3 friends/ enemies (the sign means both, not one or the other) and... different paths?

    - beneath that another confused sign: self? enemy? many? one? two hands blending.

    - beneath that a sign of Crown, power, rulership, command, influence, Obedience.


    BOTTOM PART
    Spoiler
    Show
    - another dragon claw mark.

    - a very short sign, seem almost as if unfinished- fate? future? uncertainty?


    The party was edging to move on at this point, and a bit tired (real life yay!). Google wed Deest, underSoom's and NAu's ceremony, and made a small speech, mostly emphasizing how he'll stay with Deest and the tribe now- that they were his duty. Danves told stories and reanacted googl'es bravery (the term "and Google killed" came back often) Red did one of her Dances, Gabriel tried to reconcicle her discord with Soom, and Danves even started trying to woe Red? and Red responded with "as long as you understand- it's just a fling!", "hey, fine by me!"at the end all retired to sleep...


    day 12- shard of Dur Martop and decisions
    Spoiler
    Show
    not much happened- Red wrote spells in her book (she finally finished writing all the scrolls she bought for 3rd and 2nd level. i don't think she will finish till the end of the campaign). Gabriel prayed with Jaela and researched her spell, Grum and Danves sort of... hanged about.

    at the evening Elessir finally came with the shard he worked on- 80 ft radius, for one hour, twice per day, no psionics inside. they wished him to help charage their dispel magic wand next. Daku procured a few minor healing potions, which the party dearly needed.

    now that most resources were gathered- what next? the obvious plan was to get to Eston, through the pool of blood, and do the ritual there. "who will come?" asked Auxallia. the party were contradicted about this- they wanted Auxallia (since "Couatl" appeared in the prophecy, and Gabriel thought she may be needed to close the seal), but she was linked to Jaela, and after the experience with Lareth, they didn't want to bring her along.

    Auxallia said she could take Jaela to another plane through Plane Shift, and keep her there, but then she will most likely won't be able to help further. or leaving her with the tribe seemed like a bad idea since Auressia sensed where she is. the party chose to have Jaela and Auxallia take this route. the party alone will go to Eston.

    DM Design
    Spoiler
    Show
    again- choices and consequences- this helps the party in some ways, but limits their possibilities in others)




    day 13-
    Spoiler
    Show
    7 more days till the disaster the dragons will bring (that Jaela perdicted). early morning, scouts sent a message: flying ship! many of them! soon to arrive! Nau and Google mobilized the tribe, bid farewell to the party, and went to the jungles. Auxallia came with the party to the Pool of blood, to help the party open the portal before leaving.


    End of Chapter 6! on to the interlude

    The Crimson Ship
    Spoiler
    Show
    they stood at the brim of the pool. Gabriel bled herself, as Auxallia whispered words in an ancient tongue. mist rose from the pool, nearly blinding, and the party could taste Gabriel's blood in the mist. suddenly- an Eerie sound was heard (this did not have the effect i was hoping for...) and a ship with sails out of crusted blood, ancient and creaking rolled from the mist. a gangplank was lowered, and at it's top stood a humanoid shape, skin between brown and black, glaring yellow eyes, and no mouth.

    they could hear it in their minds: "The Blood was spilled, the need was Met, The Crimson Ship heeds the call, as it had, as it will, as it does. who Seeks to pay a price?"

    the party didn't like it. first Gabriel offered herself, but the Captain (as it presented itself) said that one price for all who travel. the party bid farewell to Jaela and Auxallia and boarded the ship.

    it was big, quite big. the captain moved them towards the helm, as it continued to speak to their minds. "one voyage, anywhere where liquid touches. fast and sure. i am the captain of the crimson ship. in the middle of the boyage the fates will demand a price. the price you must pay. then i deliver you to your destination."

    "what is the price?", "the price is of souls. you face an opponent, one specifically difficult for you. either it dies and soul forfeit, or yours. this is the price of the Crimson ship"

    so... a tough fight, this they could handle. they were told that once they know of their opponent, they can rest and prepare. the ship also held a conqueror boar (similar to chess) only all the pieces were pions, and made of crusted blood. were there even sides? there were 4 other boards beside it. also, there was some sort of a divining pool with black liquid in it "to be used by the fates". the party were led to their rooms, where they settled a bit, as the ship started to glide. soon everything around it turned into mists. Danves guessed they were in the Astral now...


    The Price
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party was ready to see what foe they are to face, the captain took them to the divining pool and spoke to their minds "the fates chooses your opponent, one difficult for you, but which must be paid. when you are ready to face it, i shall take you to it."

    "at times the fates gives clues, signs as to what may come." with that he strode to the helm. looking to the pool the party saw 3 visions:
    - a large coal some fire in heat, a bit glowing, a bit dimming. there are whispers in the background, inaudible and senseless.

    - A high quality mirror with various carvings of platinum and silver. a face appears in it, that of a slightly ugly maid. she looks disapprovingly, with some agitation.

    - a tasteful amulet of silver and some gems, there is an Amethyst in the center with a careful craving (into the gem?!?) saying "Here i remain. now and forever."

    now this brought a lively debate between the party members. at the end they came to think that the ember is some creature of fire(and since the party partly relied on fire, they disliked this option). the mirror probably some creature using a gaze attack, and the last some sort of either construct or undead. so they chose it.

    the image became more real growing and surrounding a neck (living one), under a leather armor, and belonging to... Deest- Google's wife.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    i asked for help for the wedding gift for Deest. it's detailed in this thread


    debate
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party did NOT like this. "we can't do this" said Red, with Grum's player conceding. they learned they might change a price at a "personal cost" (6 action points total) but they were still unsure. they decided to do some recon first.

    they decided to sleep, with Gabriel memorizing Divination spells. they suspected that the other choices were of a similar nature and thought that the Ember might be Jaela, and the main in the posh mirror is Porcia. and the divination proved them right.

    this brought another idea- why not try and take over the ship? but Danves identified the captain as a Yugoloth Ultraloth, (MM3) a powerful fiend general, and besides- suppose they do kill him... how do they navigate the ship through the astral? they used a divination to ask it it's even possible- it was possible, but hard, and entails a "heavy personal price".

    Danves thought of another plan- they could trick the Captain, have them take them to one of their "foes" locations, and use the teleport stone to get to the Mournland. only Porcia was close enough, but the stone won't get them into the Mournland, and it will take them precious time. time they didn't have to get there on foot or boat. not to mention that Auressia's forces might still be on the loose.

    this was a lively debate, and i can't remember all of it, but amongst things:
    - Gabriel saying that this must be done. that it's "for the greater good", and that "we are crucial to the world, they are not" (though this was said by the player, not character)
    - Red: "the end does not justify the cause" and "the road to the destination is as important as the destination itself" sort of lines of thoughts.
    - Red was opposed to killing anyone, while Danves' player was mostly opposed to Porcia, Gabriel to Jaela, and Grum to Deest and Jaela.

    in the end though a consensus was a greed upon- they are going to try and take over the ship! luckily for me, i prepared for such an option...


    Sails of blood!
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party were in their rooms, and cast spells/ drank potions to prepare- they knew it will be a tough one! Gabriel was without her 4th level spells (all used on divination, one failed) but she still had a few buffs.

    the element of surprise however, was of the captain. this was his ship, and he could see into minds. also- the sails had another surprise- Crimson death mists (MM2) came descending from the sails.

    Red invisibility didn't help- the captain could see the invisible, and targeted Red with a quickened scorching ray (SLA). thanks to her ring of minor fire resistance, she wasn't burned) an enervation ray struck Gabriel, but didn't penetrate her spell resistance. the 2 Crimson deaths attacked Gabriel and Grum, one draining much blood of the ranger.

    grum got away though, and started to pepper the captain with many arrows.they were surprised to find it wasn't even ("wait, isn't he a yoguloth?") but he had a high DR/ chaotic. thankfully to the party, Grum's intelligent bow was chaotic.

    Red and Danves got to the deck, and both got mirror images on themselves (danves from the ring of spell storing) which helped keep them safe (along with Danves displacement) as the Captain continued firing rays and more at them. some hit, and as they bled, the captain healed a bit. they were hitting him, but not enough. Gabriel was busy with the Crimson Deaths while Danves and Grum flanked (thanks to an arrow mind spell)Red was hit with enervation and lost a few levels.

    things were not looking well...


    Many, many, many jaws.
    Spoiler
    Show
    As Red was hit badly, Gabriel finally rose on the deck, and tried to heal and protect her. Red decided to move on the offensive. vulnerability and assay resistance allowed her to pass the captain's spell resistance. this is when she tried a new spell- Many Jaws. empowered. followed by many Jaws. empowered. and together with the rest of the group' damage (though it paled in comparison), this was sufficient to bring the captain down.


    now what?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the ship shook violently as the captain died, but then grew still, floating in the Astral. the party rejoiced in the Captain magic items (few but powerful), but... what now?


    DM desing- the Crimson ship (not related to the story)
    Spoiler
    Show
    the idea of the crimson ship began way back in chapter 3, when the party first visited the Obsidian City. basically- it's a complete steal out of Eberron's Explorer's guidbook. only there, the price IS a battle, and this is where i started.

    first i wanted to do a tough memorable battle, and started with the idea of a Kraken... then two Krakens. then a Kraken and some sea trolls.

    then came the idea of perhaps doing something the party would be against- killing celestial or good outsiders. i couldn't decide on which, so i thought to have a choice...

    but it still felt lacking- players won't really feel much against killing some "creature". but what if it's someone they knew? had a connection with? now this.. had a feeling of a price. (DoctorGlock if you're reading this i think it was inspired by one of your comments.)

    but then came the question- what if the players don't agree? what if they fight back? well, i needed to make a fight. i took the basic monster, and prepared some changes to make it more of a challenge, but Red's player keep surprising me with more and more spells, albeit simple ones. he keeps changing tactics, which is good.

    but that... is just a part of it. what it next? in the next session.

    if you're interested, this contains much of the thought process (minus the final idea though)

    -----------------------------------------------------
    so this is where we ended the session. next one- the Mournland (if they get there). i am still surprised to see how well they sometime work together (like the battle with the captain) and how disorganized they can be at other times (the escape from the vault)

    i drove two of the players on the way back, and was quite delighted to hear them partially continuing the debate, though more jokingly ("we should have killed not only Deest, but Olam, Daku, NAu and Soom! then Google would have nothing more to lose, become a more terrifying warrior, stop pissing about and come fight already!" or "look, Porcia.. maybe. Deest.. maybe. but not a 12 year old girl who's whole world have fallen upon her" (or were these Red's player words?)

    all in all i think it there is a chance (hoping not to jinx it) we might even play next week! if not, it may take some time.

    ok, i'm tired. time to finish. as always- any questions, remarks or 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!

  15. - Top - End - #105
    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]

    the players are trying to figure out how to get out of the astral. they think of trying to Call some creature (lesser planar ally) for help

    a side note: upon questioning on the prophecy, Danves' player told me my prophecies are too complicated so far. the party seemed to give up on them.

    damn,

    we're playing tomorrow, i'm worried about the end encounter for the Mournland. an entirely custom one, but a tough one indeed.

    oh well, we'll see 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!

  16. - Top - End - #106
    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, that does tend to happen a lot. Its not only that they cant think as you do and so have a hard time figuring out what it may be, but that also their idea of what it might mean has to fit with the rest of the party and all have to come to agree with it. Riddles, puzzles and the like are better on the easy side of things.

  17. - Top - End - #107
    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 23: November 26th, 2011- the new Captain/s, Mines of Eston (again)

    In game date- Dravago 14- 16 (Late spring, month of handling)

    now this was a fun meeting! plenty of laughs, some shenanigens and some very close calls! we've gotten through quite a bit through this meeting, which is good, to save time for the next meeting- the last one...

    a few things before delving in: first- the prophecy. the players either gave up or just plainly didn't have the time for it. so no attempt at solving it out of game was made. (see the previous two posts if you're interested)

    second- Red's player requested a rebuild. Red hasn't used or played out her familiar- Tuulikki nearly at all since she got it (way back in the Darguun slavery chapter). so Tuulikki left Red back with the half giants, and i let Red rebuild her improved familiar feat according to our house rules. she chose to add the Widen Spell metamagic feat (which thanks to her UM levels, she'll be able to cast sort of spontaneously...) i think she chose it preparing to face many swarms... not sure.

    one last thing- i think i made some bad DMing at the first part of this session (the Crimson ship part). i'll get to that and explain once it is done.

    somewhere in the astral...

    Captain?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party was "lost at sea". they knew that getting out of this will be tricky, and so they were wary. searching it seemed that the source of the navigation was the ancient helm, but as Red touched it she felt an ancient presence in her mind... "Captain?" it seemed to ask, and Red withdrew her hand. Gabriel realized this must be the ship, and wanted to converse with it, offer a deal, but the ship seemed intent on it's captain, and would converse in very crude images. she withdrew her hand as well.

    they wanted information, but Gabriel was out of divination spells. so they slept in a rope trick (the ship wouldn't let them sleep) and then Gabriel began. first of all she cast "speak with dead" with the captain. they learned that he wasn't always so, but he didn't remember what came before. Gabriel tried to bargain with him (i'll get to that after the ship part is done) but he said that the price is left to the fates, not to him or the ship. and they couldn't find a way to deal with the fates. they also learned that the captain can only be "dismissed" by dying.

    lovely.

    next came the divination spells. Gabriel's luck botched some of them but they learned that the ship will try and make a new captain, but the process is slow, but grows faster. the party interpreted this as having to disengage from "captainship" before it's too late...

    but what if one will become captain? they feared to leave anyone here, and hoped they could kill the new captain, and then cast revivify on them. but a botched divination didn't allow finding this out.

    all eyes turned to the helm. who will take the helm first?


    quick rotations
    Spoiler
    Show
    they figured this must involve some test of will, and so Red stepped up(buffed with magical items). "Captain?" the ship asked. Red gritted her teeth. "yes, i'll be the captain".

    suddenly the wood launched into Red's arm, to her meat, to her blood, fusing with it. and she could see through the mist to all kinds of points of light and images in the distance. this wasn't the astral, but a sort of place... between places... Red saw runes light up on the helm, and felt it try to resist. some of the runes glowed more strongly, and she figured these must be way point on the journey.

    what followed was a sort of skill challenge to navigate the ship to it's destination, with the party alternating at roles.

    the ship sailed on, and finally reached what looked like the shadow marches, with Dolaguants and Dolgrims in the shadows of trees. the party were confused- did they succeed or fail. Danves wanted to get out, but they realized that they won't have enough time, teleportation stone or not.

    the ship tried to make herself a new captain. the first trial was one of body (a sort of fort save or gradual transformation). Red withstood this due to an action point, but wished to change- fort saves weren't her strong suit.

    so she disengaged, and suffered massive damage, withstood her subsequent fort save as the ship ground to a still. Gabriel heelaed Red, as Grum have taken the helm (strong fort save)

    again the ship sailed, but Grum lost concentration and they reached a big cave with various ant like creatures in burrows in it's walls- fomorians. "Daanvi?" said Danves "we're waaay off track. Grum withstood the bodily transformation attempt, but he too decided to give way to another captain, this time Danves, who has better concentration (the party decided not to use Gabriel, so she could heal and revivify if need to). Grum withstood the massive damage, and was healed by Gabriel.

    Danves took the helm and started to navigate, Grum with his keen sight looking and identifying locations Red (who studied the runes on the helm) eluded to). with their help, Danves brought them to the mighty shores near Argonessen. Danves too withstood the save (they were throwing action points like no tomorrow).


    Danves' new vocation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Danves stayed at them helm, but the next saving throw was a will save- struggle over his mind. i was slipping the captain notes of the ship conversing with them, mostly saying things like that they were weak, unworthy, unfocused and how she will make them better. Danves' player took to it and responded in his own, bantering with the ship!

    battle of will was followed by battle of soul (will but with cha), and Gabriel lamented on how she was perfect for these trials, but Danves wouldn't let go of the helm! test after test, action point after action point he navigated the ship to the shore near Arcanix, seeing some of her fallen towers and the open seal in the sky, the magma rivers of Khyber, the shadow plane and more, with Red as his runes reader, Grum as his lookout, and Gabriel healing him.

    finally though, the last rune was reached, and the ship sailed into the shallow gulf near the mines of Eston, in it's waters the party hid last time. as it neared one of the old forges, Danves could suddenly feel the ship confused- "captain? passanger?" and it's hold receding partially from his hand. "Passanger!" he thought quickly, and in the moment of confusion withdrew from the helm.

    the party quickly lowered the gangplank, and descended ashore. Danves however, took the Captian's hat!


    Bad DMing? (not related directly to the story)
    Spoiler
    Show
    before the meeting Gabriel's player came to me with an idea- what if Gabriel bargained with the ship/ captain so that they will drive them to their destination, and after this quest (defeating Auressia) is done, Gabriel will come back and willingly become the Captain of the ship.

    the player has a dramatic and somewhat self sacrifice tendency (not for the sacrifice, but for the dramatic effect). and to tell the truth- it sounded quite cool. but for some reason i didn't allow it to happen. partially this is due to how i envisioned the rules of the Crimson ship, but that is a lame reason- those could be changed for the benefit of cool.

    no, i think i may have been a bit too stuck upon my idea of "ship trying to transform a character into the captain" idea (which turned into no effect at all). that is not good DMing. i think that Gabriel's player's idea would have been more fun for him, and for the group, and would have given the story more a feel of a "price".

    so i'm not proud of this, but this was some bad DMing/


    earth worm
    Spoiler
    Show
    some atmospheric music i used
    the party were ashore, and they could see bugs all around, but no troops... the bugs weren't that interested in them, though some looked at them (the party didn't know this, but the magic of the Mournland meant that Auressia couldn't control the swarms here. but they were still intelligent and in masses). the fort (which held the main Karrnathi force before) seemed to be covered with... ice?

    but first things first- Gabriel was nearly out of spells, so the party rope tricked again and rested. they were worried, as time was not on their side- the draconic invasion?

    before exiting the rope trick Red cast 4 invisibility, and the party tried to make it's way between the earth bound swarms towards the hole entrance near the broken forge (the exact same approach as they did last time, where the Behir raked Google).

    But Red stepped on some bugs, and Gabriel's armor made noise ("women" said Danves) and the bugs started getting excited. Danves decided to hurry it up and entered the court of the forge, to find the hole now had a sort of earth cone around it, but perhaps open on top? so he came to climb it when the cone stretched out to...

    An earth elemental shaped like a purple worm! the battle music the beastie picked up Danves ("wiat, don't i get a grapple bonus from being the captain?") in it's jaws, as the party started to try and blast it away, but not before it swallowed the half elf, starting to churn it.

    as the party tried to fight the earth worm the swarms came from behind. the party thought to use the shard of Dur Martop, but for some reason they didn't. Danves in the mean time was churned badly, and readied a potion of gaseous form to escape, but the earth worm was killed before that and... petrified. Danves started to climb up, and the party towards it's maw to look for Danves.

    somehow the party guessed that going into the worm is the way to go, and so climbed down the worm (with Gabriel bringing up the rear suffering heavy damage) till the party found out they were coming out of... another purple wom's mouth (??) into the mines. Gabriel used a scroll of shatter and closed the entrance behind them, as the party flopped into the mine.

    one rope trick (to avoid the effects of the Mournland) and healing later, and even Danves who almost died were ready to go.


    The Eston mines, revisited...
    Spoiler
    Show
    As before, the walls of the mines were made of stone, adamantite and flesh (discouraging Meld into Stone) but... there was something weird here- there were partly ghostly, partly flesh, partly stone hands and faces coming out of the walls. they were moaning, some were singing...
    music for the mines

    the party thought that since the swarms saw them, this means Auressia knows they are here, so they must hurry. the walls tried to grab them, so they stayed away from them. something in them seemed familiar, but they couldn't remember.

    most of the mines were sort of deserted- no bugs, no empty minded warforged, no tools or noises of working, no demon keepers... they met some strange earth mound who seemed like... elemental cattle? at one point Red remembered the faces- some were in the strange memories maze of the traveler- these were part of her lost personalities.

    "so the traveler is in the middle of this..." but first the party had to deal with the middle of the dungeon.


    earth and air
    Spoiler
    Show
    last time the party were in this huge room it was filled with warforged from side to side, and the party battled their first Mezzoloth and Arrow demons. this time however, they could barely see 15 feet to the room- there was mist all around. but they did see the walkways- towards the center and to the far end (their destination) or the circumference of the room. to the sides of the walkways was liquid earth (not magma! no fire). just pouring down to somewhere... beneath the walkways. Grum's eyes detected some motion high in the mist. unfortunately, the party forgot it as soon as it was said.

    Grum took point and tried the circumference but soon met a huge earth elemental, that with one might blow have thrown him into the liquid earth. from his... "new vantage point" Grum could see to where it led- towards the center, to a grinding churning vortex. Danves came and tried to spar with the lemental, while Red took to the air and... was attacked by a lurking air alemental. Gabriel arrived and battled the elemental with Danves, but he was hit, and Red descended while Grum swam back up, the elemntal threw Danves as well, ("don't i get a swim bonus for being the captain?") but with spell and more the earth elemental was taken down. the air elemental did not pursue, staying in the mist.

    the party was wounded, but decided to get to the other side before healing. this time it was Danves who was surprised by a larger earth elemental in the middle, who nearly killed him! this one was much tougher to take down, but Red's psells along with Gabriel's massive damage dealing broke it up (and the air elelmental that attacked Gabriel when she decided to fly.

    3/4 of the party were down to singel digit hp at the end of the battle. another well needed rope trick, healing, and ready to continue. this was a CLOSE ONE.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    i had no idea this battle would be so deadly. surprisingly what made it so deadly was the limited vision, which forced the party to get into the elementals' reach. also, the party was "supposed" (beware of supposition) to either go through the middle, or the sides, thus meeting just one earth elemental. but the party chose to meet them both...



    a matter of will
    Spoiler
    Show
    as the party reached another hall, they saw hands grasping from all sides. Gabriel wanted to try and turn them. THIS time i did allow this a bit more creative idea, and she was indeed able to turn/exorcise the apparitions to the walls.

    half way through the corridor however, they heard a sort of tortured moan: "the place is mad, crumbling on itself, it will soon fall, you need not worry. soon all will be well, leave this place, never return, go back to normality, forget madness, forget ME." all but Grum recognized this was the Traveler's voice, and withstood her mass suggestion, but Grum thought she had a point, and turned to leave.

    Red used her Tongue and woven her own suggestion on him, which he again found reasonable. Gabriel's player laughed- "just goes to show what sort of spine you have Grum!"


    The jail, and some fun
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party reached the area of the Jail, where they released Obraskyr and Olam last time. this time, as guards/ jailors, were left two Rakshasa, who were half mad fro staying here so long. one was a caster and one a Zakya fighter. the caster was killed in one round by Grum, and the other soon followed. this battle was a breeze and the party seem to enjoy a bit of a relaxer after all the tough stuff.

    before it died, the party recognized the caster rakshasa as the one from the lightning rail ambush! well avenged.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the first reason for the fight was indeed to give a fun "crush them!" fight. the second reason was sort of to give a perspective- the last time they ran with this Rakshasa they were nearly killed. this time however they creamed the cat fiends.


    in one of the jail cells was the Architect! (the warforged leader of the godforged community that helped the party). they tried conversing with him, but he was clearly all mad. "they all went inside, we didn't meant for this to be! not like this! not out intent!" and "all cords! arcana, making and stone! all cords!" were the main pieces of info they were getting.

    they were coming close, but first there was another obstacle.


    The door
    Spoiler
    Show
    the corridor to the room with the seal and their objective was filled with cords of flesh and stone. there was a podium in front of it. as they got close an image of Auressia appeared "you come to the forbidden door, which was not to open. either you're an enemy, or something happened. if you are from mine, than place the gems to answer my riddle: "what is the correct order of ascention of the Dark Six? then place your hand in the glow."

    oddly enough, the party then decided that THIS is what the prophecy was about. i was dumbfounded as they pulled out the Prophecy piece and tried to figure this out. this took some time, when Gabriel had surprisingly came to the (right) conclusion that this riddle is trying to mess them up, and that there is probably no right answer (which was almost correct. this was after Grum checked the podium and found 4 complex magical traps tied to it)

    the party searched around and found 5 more lines on the floor between the podium and the corridor (thank Grum for his high high perception modifier). and Danves went to disable it, and with a bit of luck, opened the corridor up

    DM design and execution
    Spoiler
    Show
    the correct answer was only "Auressia". but this was very difficult to find out. i did design a few more ways to beat this thing, but they too had their complications. the door was supposed to be another kind of test vs. Auressia and her wiles, but in game it seemed like it was complicating things, taking a lot of time and adding no fun... so i... um... simplified the opening of the door.


    Last Battle of Eston
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party were nervous, and cast various spells of protection and more. the corridors to the left and right were gone, only the entrance to the main room. it too was filled with mist, except for the eerie glow of the opened seal. Grum heard some sort of warforged, or many warforged up front.

    and then it came, from the mist- a collosal gigantic warforged made out of many others, with 8 legs, 4 huge arms, and two hulking heads! (i got a sor of a robot gorilla autobot from a friend of mine to represent it) from it towards the walls were stretched an astounding number of cords of power, adamtantite and stone, seeming alive or animated, moving of their own accord like a mass of snakes!

    Final battle's music!Danves managed to dodge him, and made way to the cords, Grum Dodged too And started pelting the collosus with his few remaining adamantine arrow. Gabriel swung fre, and cast Recitation. But Red was trampled down...

    however, the creature's head swivled and shouted at Danves who barely made it not to start turning to stone (petrify under my rules cause dex damage, it's not instantaneous).

    the party hit the creature with spell and arrow, when shtye suddenly heard a scream from within. "The Traveler" Red yelled "she's somehow inside!". Grum and Gabriel who came closer saw her from, nearly naked and bleeeding trapped within the machinery. is she activating it? is this a ruse? is she a victim? the party didn't quite know what to think...

    and it was slowly repairing.

    and the Traveler's madness followed suit. all who grew close had to save or become confused (though i forgot this once or twice. it was a complex battle) As Danves cut cords one at a time, Red called for Holy fire (thanks to the robes she got at Flamekkeep) and burnt some of the creatures cords, while Gabriel cast smite evil on others. together, the creature was staggered a bit, losing strength.

    but just a bit. one of his heads turned to Red, and made the earth under her liquid flesh, as she was trapped in it, it closed on her and pummled her with all four hands.

    they all made it through her defenses, including the mirror images.

    it was too much, Red died...


    To the Rescue?
    Spoiler
    Show
    this was bad, but the party reacted incredibly fast. Danves jumped to Gabriel and cast swift invisibility, and Grum cast swift haste. with that Gabriel flew under the creature's gaze towards Red. but the creature could see invisiblity and AoO the cleric, but not enough to down her. quickly enough a revivify spell was cast, and Red returned to life (without losing a level) but still unconcious. the creatures pummeling was then focused on Gabriel who withstood most of it to the surprise of the party, and me ("how much AC?") and the creature was still slowly repairing

    but to heal her back to health, Gabriel couldn't risk another AoO (and under our rules casting defensively takes into account the opponent's BAB, which the party didn't want to risk. "get it's attention!" yelled Gabriel, and Danves went to do just that- he rushed towards him, and used a channeld combust spell, when they learned of another defense of the creature- it had spell turning!" Danves was burned by his own spell and pummeled by the creature's AoO. he was not in a good state. ("didn't my captain senses warn me about this? this is mutiny!")

    but this was enough for Gabriel. knowing that healing in the Mournland is chancy, she nevertheless maximized her healing on Red. and thanks to lucky rolls, and a well placed action point, the spell was spread around, healing her as well! but also, partly, the construct.


    more trouble
    Spoiler
    Show
    then the creature roared, and from it detached 6 adamantine warforged! the party groaned miserably. Red used this to get a lot of distance from the construct, and then holy burned more of it's cords, but to no effect, (they had evasion and could move on the walls) but he hurt the creature as well, and the screaming traveler within. Grum shot his last adamantine arrows and turned his attention on the smaller forged. Danves activated his displacer skin and flanked with Gabriel (under our rules you can SA and crit constructs) and his sword- Sure Thing enabled him to by pass the damage reduction, twice...

    the battle was not going that well- the creature was wounded, but repairing, each of his blows hit (well, except maybe Gabriel who blocked some), his spell returning was giving trouble (Red have mistakingly cast force jaws on him) and all perhaps Gabriel had no more action points, and even she didn't have a lot.


    on your knees
    Spoiler
    Show
    Gbriel then tried to get under the creature, towards the traveler and bash her out cold. the construct in return tried to cruch her, but she was able to get out just in time, she and Danves then got on the creature's back (by flying and climbing and tumbling) and started to thrash it (with SA damage for Danves since it was momenterily flat footed) as Red launched area spells from afar.

    this party doesn't back down. ever. even when close to a TPK, and through consecrated effort they dealt it just enough damage, to make it fall down and crumble into disabled individual warforged, and the traveler within.

    victory, just barely!

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    like other experiments of mine in this campaign, this battle worried me greatly- this was an utterly new creature, and a complicated one (perhaps too complicated, i kept forgetting it's maddening aura, and calculating the cords was a real bugger). i wasn't worried about a death, as there are ways to return, but i was worried by a TPK.

    what did this battle was supposed to gain? first, it was supposed to be an amplification of the traveler, and in a way- fighting her twisted genius (though it's not her alone) it was supposed to be a cool cinematic fight, and to test the limits of the party the meeting before the last.

    it was also supposed to enhance the godforged religion (though the party never caught up to that)- this was a sort of "forged god". though "not as we intended. oh well...

    actually, i was thinking it would be more deadly...


    Closing ends
    Spoiler
    Show
    At his point some of us already had to leave, so we closed things up in a bit of a rushed way. The party found the hidden brain pool and Red cast her spell, breaking the web connecting all bugs! (yay!) the party gained enough XP to get to level 12 (11 for Gabriel), but we haven't done the statistics yet.

    the party had no idea how to close the seal (though Gabriel suggested to sacrifice herself) they think it had to do with Auxallia (they are correct. it also needed Soom's help, or indeed a sacrifice).

    the Traveler: they basically realized that Auressia was half pissed, half amused that she helped the party, and so decided to make the whole mines her prison, with the construct powered by her (the party could also kill the construct by killing the Traveler, but then they would miss on some things, including treasure and XP). more of her ramblings here:
    Spoiler
    Show
    "so you made it out of there? in my dreams? did you... did you happen to find me? was i there? anywhere? am i here? who am i?"

    "Auressia... yes, the mean bitch! she found out we helped. she was amused- "only makes it better". but she needed all forces, so her magic, and my magic, we made this place. my place... my prison... my punishment..." (starts sobbing.)

    "her ritaul? like us, we wanted to learn, to experience, to share how it is to be. but she doesn't share, she controls, takes by force, overcome. She says that Throne will approve..."

    "the web? over there we think. beware the.. thing there. we don't like it. Auressia said it was necessary. like taking the one shard. like taking me. so many things are necessary. we wish they weren't so..." (nods to herself, muttering)

    "taking over Khorvaire? breaking the seals? who's next?" sad laugh she doesn't need them, she is going for the Throne. she said that even one seal open is enough, but more are better. we heard her! talking to the black cat- she knows the winged ones are coming, she must act fast!"

    "a way out? there is a way, we like making more ways. Auressia didn't find out... we think.. in our room here. the small one."

    " She is looking for the Throne, the Kept Throne. all the seals guard it, hold it, but she plans on shaking that hold. like she shook me" (winces, mimics being slapped hard, taking out a gurgling scream) "only she plans to shake it harder, much harder..." (sobs)

    "Obraskyr? the dragon? she has him now. she likes him very much. "my pet" she says. under special control. very strongly held. like i was. you don't get off her control, only by death... please kill me!" eyes watering. "please, please kill me, we can't take it anymore!"

    "stop her? how? she has grown strong, maybe if you reach Throne before she does?" suddenly a deadly hatred, a hardened stare. "and kill her, kill her hard, make her bleed, make her suffer, give her pain. doesn't matter, just kill her" then another sad smile, and head shaking leaning. "won't matter, we are lost, too far gone... but perhaps, perhaps for others? and for... justice? vengeance? do they exist? doesn't matter... doesn't matter..."

    "please, quiet, just quiet, so many of you talking, shouting, whispering, all at once! what do you want! what do we want? what..."


    The Traveler also had a secret way out of the mine, and an interesting piece of treasure- her secret lab/ portable hole. only it was protected by a riddle. thread dealing with the riddles here
    "No matter your guesses, it they are all the same."
    Spoiler
    Show
    wrong
    Red figured it out immediately, and the party gaiend access to it, to the dedicated Wright inside, to a bottle of air and endless provisions, and also to Golden lions.

    the hole also held the Traveler's last creations- Rod of the Mournland (a custom Rod of wonder activated by a memory of pain, regret or sorrow) also protected by a riddle. "I can be good, i can be bad, often shifting. i'm in every action, every trial, every venture, uncontrolled, but often deciding and controlign fates."
    Spoiler
    Show
    luck/ chance
    Grum guessed this one, though Danves is VERY weary of using the Rod. to tell the truth, i just though it would befit the Traveler to create such a device.

    succesful, but greatly beaten, with the Traveler accompanying, the party used her exit to leave the mines...

    ----------------------------------------------------------
    and this is where we stopped. spirits were elated around the table. it was a FUN meeting! the party really liked the captain (despite my bad DMing, though i haven't asked Gabriel's player on this)and the end battle. they were abit concerned at the increasing difficulty of the battles, but i say- "hey, we're coming to the end game! it better mean business!"

    next meeting will be the last, towards Thronehold. it's supposed to be long (8-9 hours of play) and hopefully a good climax. i hope any readers will enjoy as well.

    once i get the level up info from the group, i'll post about it. hopefully shouldn't be too long. this is an important level for them!

    next meeting will probably be in about a month unfortunately. as i have two tests quite soon. perhaps i'll be able to swing it sooner (i hope i can!) but i can't promise.

    as always- comments, thoughts and anything are more than welcome!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-11-29 at 01:23 PM.

    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!

  18. - Top - End - #108
    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]

    An update for anyone who might look forward to it- we finally settled on a date for the last game. it's on the Silvester (which isn't such a big deal in Israel). sorry for the long wait, couldn't be helped, believe me!

    I still don't know all the level up choices, these will be up about a week (perhaps two?) before the actual game.

    I'm making some slight alterations to the actual game, some ideas that sprang up, and due to some lessons from the past sessions "near deaths". if anyone has any ideas to add, i'd love to hear.

    There are two major choices which i'm waiting to see... what will the party decide on.

    sorry about blabbering, i'm just so excited about it!

    also, if you can help with this small problem of mine- Ipiks' music
    thanks!

    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 - #109
    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]

    Last level up updates
    The game is this saturday, but i'm here for the level update. the players have made most of their choices, the crucial changes i'll list here.

    Red: is now Wiz 4/ Sorc 1/ Ultimate magus 7... i had a discussion with the player whether it wouldn't be wiser to take another level of wizard instead of UM (which only upgraded the sorcerer part), but he likes it this way.

    Currently Red is capable casting as an 8th level wizard, 8the level sorcerer.

    her new feat is Alacritous Cogitation (complete mage) which enables her to prepare a spell on the fly in an unreadied wizard's slot.

    Most notable spells:
    4th level- assays spell resistance, stone skin, dispelling screen (SpC) greater invisibility and dimension door (sorc)
    3rd level - many jaws, dispel, fireball (all sorc), spell vulnerability, dazzling ray, fly, haste (she got a bunch of other spell as well)

    Grum: Ranger 12. only a new feat- improved favored enemy which grants +3 damage to them. so far they are: outsider (evil) +6, undead +2, dragons +2... all 3 will feature in the final chapter...

    also the player just remembered he as a house ruled feat which is similar to power attack, just ranged. he totally forgot about it till now... oh deary me.

    Danves: Rog 3/ Duskblade 9. he hasn't yet chosen his feat, but his 3rd level spell will be either vampiric touch, find the gap or spider poison (the last two from SpC). we use an expanded duskblade spell list suggested on these forums. i will know for certain only near the meeting itself.

    the player thinks his spell will matter little compared to Red and Gabriel, which surprises me since all the players proved pivotal and quite equal through out the campaign, so i wonder what caused this...

    Gabriel: Cleric 11 of the silver flame. no feat, but the player isn't complaining- 6th level spells! our rules say that the core spell are ok (with few exceptions), and spells from other sources are to be OKed by me. he hasn't sent any spells to ok so far (real life takes precedence), but i assume something will come up a day or two before the meeting.

    it might worthy to say that this player has never played at these "high" levels, and is unfamiliar with this level of spells, so this might be interesting.

    Most noteworthy spells:
    - mostly self buffing spells (divine power, spikes on his club, Spell resistance, and so on), recitation, divination (a new favorite)

    um, i think that's it. unless something goes wrong, this is going to be a bit longer session, and all so far already Oked to play as long as needed.

    meanwhile, Auressia...
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-12-26 at 11:42 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!

  20. - Top - End - #110
    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 thought this was the final session update :( good luck! Im sure it will be awesome.

  21. - Top - End - #111
    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 24A: December 31th, 2011- End Game, Battle at Thronehold!

    In game date- Dravago 16- 17 (Late spring, month of handling)

    So... I'm proud to declare the Campaign has ended, and in a blast! the expanded 9 hours meeting drew even longer to about 10.5 hours, but they were exhilarating! we were all kind of tense and ready for this, and the game was on.

    You may notice that this post is session 24A. yes, again it's going to be two posts. (due to experience with session lengths and word limit per post). hopefully i'll be able to post the second post (which include the end battle) soon enough. in the meantime, i hope any who reads this will enjoy this as well.

    i have set to myself 3 objectives for this meeting:
    1) create an intense and epic end battle.
    2) put the spot light on the PCs and give them a chance to show what they've been through.
    3) in some small ways to close loose ends and do a sort of recap to the campaign.

    i think all were done fairly well!

    2 small notes before i begin:
    - i spent quite some time trying to bring music to the session, but on most accounts the players didn't much notice (bastards! ) and i'll include music links. the thread dealing with this can be found on this thread
    - i was conflicted whether to put in or not the "DM design" spoilers, as they might detract from the rush. i decided to do keep them in, i hope it won't hurt your enjoyment.

    so.. .where were we?
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    "And the Misplaced hand of hidden shades and light shall wash the twisted hand of darkness and secrecy. The struggle for brood, shard, key and lore will send a mighty clap that will echo across the land of the fleeting, and over the world. The turns of the prophecy rely on the (undeciphered words...)"
    Part of the Draconic Prophecy

    Chapter 8

    for the opening music- if you're old enough you'll recognize this.

    Should i stay or should i go?
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party just got out of the Eston mines, depleted and tired, with the Traveler behind them. they did not know how much time they spent on the Crimson ship and the mines, but they had to rest. in Red's rope trick spell they started to discuss options. (i requested this be done before the session, but Real Life (TM) prevented much of that)

    the first thought was that with the hive mind gone the right thing to do was to contact Jaela and try to take back the church of the silver flame. they knew they had to get to Thronehold to stop Auressia, but wanted any help and allies they could get before that.

    problem was- they didn't quite know what is happening in the outside world. was the end of the hive mind also the end of possession? what about the fiend troops and others? what is the state in Aundair and Thrane? most importantly- how much time do they have before the dragons arrive, and what defenses does Auressia has?

    with this the traveler could help a bit. (i repeated the info i hastily said at the last session, most importantly that she is trying to free the Held Thrown, The Crown Eternal). the Traveler knew that Thronehold was traditionally protected by an Elite force of the dragonmarked house of Deneith, also protected by some powerful magic, making them very hard to defeat. and that Auressia assumed to use the bugs to take care of that. the party wasn't sure about them- were they still controlled or not? they'll need some way to bypass them...

    as the party talked i realized we were once again falling into the trap of a long planning stage, and that for some reason the party was EXTRA EXTRA cautious (later i learned they figured that since the battle with the construct was a near TPK, what comes next is going to be hell...)

    they rested, and GAbriel spent a divination to learn how they could close the earth seal (they could not) and a long commune that yielded little info. mostly that the dragons would come in 3 days (but that was a bit misleading. you'll learn more as we go), that the possession was not entirely broken, that the Deneith Shield is MOSTLY dominated, Flamekeep still occupied by fiends and their ilk, and Fairhaven under siege.

    the party decided to screw this, and to take a ship from the Eston mines rivulets' docks and sail straight to Thronehold.


    Captain Gabriel
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party started sailing upstream, with Gabriel at the helm (untrained proffession check). she used about 2 Divine insigh spells and control water to help her, with the party providing as best help as they could. Danves contacted Porcia and tried to ask her to send some troops to Thronehold, but she could not. she asked where he is, but the sending ended. another Sending was sent to Auxallia, telling her to meet them at the Thronehold Docks.

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    As i may have mentioned- Throne hold was sort of the symbolic seat of power for the 5 nations of Khorvaire. it was forgotten through out the war (except for care takers and guardians), but was used to sign the peace treaties- the Treaty of Thronehold.


    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    why mess with sailing checks at this time? truth be told i assumed they would take some time to prepare... the Travelr and her dedicated Wright could craft some things for them. and i planned on Porcia teleporting to them with a royal mage and offering some other help... oh well.

    the sailing DCs weren't that hard, and quite laughable with Gabriel's spells.


    Thronehold docks
    Spoiler
    Show
    they reached the docks near midnight. as they disembarked a voice came from one of the docks Buildings "who goes there?" the party thought these were the ones not possessed, but tried to bluff them anyway, which kind of failed. a few arrows later Red grew tired of this and said they will surrender. they were brought to the leader of the unposses ed shield of deneith. as Gabriel helped heal (with skill and wand only) Red won the leader's ear, especially telling her that they broke the hive mind.

    "some of us broke loose, and the mages broke the magic on others, but we were no longer part of the Shield..." the leader told them of the special magic binding small groups of the Shield on the island- a sort of magnified "shield other" (in effect it gave them one HP pool- all stand or all fall). the party did not like this. "tough battle... we can't afford many tough battles" said Danves.

    other defenses included trained magebred dogs and griffons of house Vadalis, probably warding spells at entrances, and some of the sky space might be protected by Gargoyles, the shield didn't know (as to why you can look at my other link in my sig. gargoyles are quite different in my games). the troops included trained soldiers and some mages as well. They could not enter the palace itself (which was the province of the royal guard, no longer in effect) due to an ancient vow between the dragonmarked houses and the rulers of Galifar. they did however have some equipment to see the invisible. and there were far more possessed than not possessed.(though they didn't act as one no more)

    3 main entrances were suggested: through the main gate with some deception, through windows by dealing with gargoyles, or through the tallest tower- the Spear of Galifar, where there is less defense, but little chance of subterfuge...

    Eberron Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    Galifar was the first Emperor of the empire. i decided he fought with a spear and that the tower is a representation of that.


    the party started to discuss options. Red liked the gargoyles, Danves desired deception through sneaking somehow, Grum favored the spear. But then someone came in...


    A secret weapon?
    Spoiler
    Show
    inside came Jaela and Auxallia slithering behind her. the Shield members were impressed and awed. after greetings and such they both revealed to the party that there might be something they could help with. in case the fiend that Auressia tries to free is freed (and there were mechanics for that to happen or not), it will try to take form in this world. if that form could be bound, then it might be easier than beating it down. that could be done with the Silver Flame which Auxallia could provide, but to build this Link each will have to give a bit of their heroic essence, and more will be needed to activate the link. however- the form must be beaten down substantially before the link can have any chance of subduing it.

    the party agreed, Danves reluctantly and Auxallia wrapped herself around nad a soft but harsh light sprang into their bodies feeling themwith a sense of great good. "thank you, and goodbye" whispered the couatl before dissipating into nothing. some were alarmed "wait, did she just die for this?"
    they were not that familiar with Eberron's history

    Eberron stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    in past times the Couatls have sacrificed most of their numbers to bind many great fiends with silver fire, ther Silver Flame's faith venerate them in their sacrifice.


    mechanics of the Link
    Spoiler
    Show
    it took 1 action point from each, and for each it gained 150 hp. each time a party member was wounded, the link was wounded too. BUT- the link could not be healed in any way...


    Jaela said a prayer and looked at the party. "so, what do you choose to do?"


    a back entrance, of sorts.
    Spoiler
    Show
    at this point the session was dragging a bit, as they argued over possible entry routes. when suddenly someone asked Red "don't you have dimension door?" she did, and after finding the "no tleportation limits they searched the provided map and found a secluded place in a reasonable distance to go into the palace!

    i know, there should have been protections against this, but i just blocked long distance and very close distance effects. i decided to allow it to let the game move on. they said goodbye from the Traveler and Jaela, and went on their way. there was a short discussion whether these soldiers could provide diversion, but they decided against it. Jaela sang this song as they went on their way.

    under cover of night, with Red and Gabriel in the portable hole with the bottle of air (both from the Traveler, see last session) Danves and Grum reached the spot. (the two have stealth way high!) Red got out, and dimension doored themselves inside.


    everybody changes...
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party made their way in the palce according to Jaela's directions (she has been here before) till they reached the Hall of Galifar- a sort of an inside garden, with some ornate trees and a large pool from which a towring massive intricate statue of the first Emperor itself rose.

    suddenly, a booming majestic voice echoed from it "you have come far heroes! the time of the prophecy has come! your enemy is powerful, strong beyond measure! kneel before me, and let me give you my blessing, heroes of Khorviare!" but to Red keen senses something felt fishy about this. "come forth! your reward awaits in front of the pool!" they approached wearily till they saw four sacks, but would advance no further.

    a few tense moments passed when the statue spoke in a new voice, well familiar to some "oh well! i tried! thought it would be fun, no?" Danves grew ready at the elusive voice of Ipiks. "ventriloquism!" Red cast see invisible, but could not find the hiding lizard man. Ipiks' theme music

    "I wish not to fight, at least not if you wish to... we have come far, haven't we. i know- you say i changed, but i was at the church, in the great battle, invisible, listening, watching, and i must ask- am i the only one who has changed?"

    "RED, my friend, with the internal powers. i remember you from before, spells carefully chosen not to kill, but to trick, change, subdue. i remember your shocked expression on the roof of Skull Reave, when we all gleefully killed the chief. and i remember your much more hardened expression at the church, hurling fire and spell to kill your enemies. you didn't even twitch. you were more fearsome, more powerful, more elegant in your new dance of destruction than most of the fiends i have seen. will you win here? remains to be seen. but i think that in a way, you may have already lost..."

    Red answered calmly "sometime you need to be more ruthless to shorten the suffering. i did what i did out of necessity"

    Ipiks' voice turned to Gabriel "And you, the one i changed places with, i knew you as Savage, but then i hear you have a new name! a new religion! a new you, is it? but... i think your old name was chosen wisely. i saw you wield that club of yours, bring your fury upon your enemies. if at all, these new name and holy symbol are but feeble masks. you are more violent, frenzied, more of a savage than you have ever been! the Keeper would have been so proud of you!"

    "i've grown more fierce, more violent, more determined for one cause, and one cause only- to fight evil better!" answered Gabriel with a feverish belief.

    "And the new one, the one with painful arrows, ha! i heard you and your bow talk... great destiny, great fate she leads you to. does she? does she really? Auressia knows her name, she has defeated this Paladin in a bow of yours, made her seek vengeance. and you follow her unquestioningly... like the good pawn that you are. do you really know her goals? what about yours? are you truly doing this for "the greater good" or just to raise your own horn, like a glorified fame hound?"

    Grum was nonplussed "i follow my way and owe no explanation to you, who have chosen the path of evil and betrayal".

    "And Danves, i haven't forgotten about you. a coward, how i despised you at first. but in the church? leaping into dragons mouths? fighting front line? have you gone through a change as well? but then you left Krozen on the floor, and ran... and i'm not fooled- it was you who suggested the escape plan in the first place, you only fought because you had no choice.
    do your friends know? your secret? how you left your unit behind and ran while they were slaughtered? because believe me, you'll face overwhelming odds here as well. are your friends ready for you to run on them at the crucial moment? ehhhh Danves? a coward remains a coward."

    Danves was amused and cynic "well, I really miss my old self - I am not this way without you, you should come back to us... so i can STAB you with my sword!"

    then something odd happened, they could hear Ipiks growling, saying "get out of my head!" and the like until he hissed loudly. "good! away with you! nasty stuff!" the party was perplexed at this, but Ipiks continued. he explained (still hiding) that the Throne (which he called "the Big Bad") was trying to get into his mind. "not fun, not fun! first there were easy kills, then challenging kills, but now it's not fun, even too risky! not even one rat in the entire place!"

    Ipiks explained his deal- he wanted to get away, and they were to provide a diversion, yes? the party was skeptic, but he said he'll help- the opening to the Throne is in the Throne room (duh!) but it is protected by the dragon, and the one chewed by a dragon! (the party could get no more info out of him on that, he thought it's a funny riddle). further more- it is opened by dragon's blood and fiend's blood. but he wanted to trade hsi blood ("half fiend template) for something, something cool!

    the party thought what to offer when Red suddenly suggested "Ipiks! a lock, a lock of my hair!" he thought about it, but then "agreed! but a long lock! something to... remember you by..." Red put her lock on one side, and the party then went to the other, Ipiks grabbed the lock and told the location of a vial of his blood near the rim of the pool.

    and thus Ipiks left.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    wasn't there supposed to be a fight?! well i think not, for several reasons:
    1) Ipiks would get his ass kicked (despite gaining a few levels) and i don't think he would go into such a battle.
    2) i thought to use this opportunity to portray changes in the characters, and the best candidate for this was Ipiks.
    3) it was also a way to start putting the Throne's presence into effect.
    and that required more talking than fighting.
    4) this character was loved by the party, i felt it would be a bit bad to kill it. the player changed characters not because he wanted to betray the party, but because he thought it was unbalanced. i felt he still had sympathy for it, i thought it would be a bad end.



    The Dragon and the Knight
    Spoiler
    Show
    As the party made their way towards the Throne room they suddenly felt a probing interfering presence in their mind. not that strong yet, but enough to make the party partly distractd ( some minuses in the next fight)

    shortly after the party reached the Trhone room, with the majestic columns and the 5 chairs for the five nations. near them stood the still controlled Obaraskyr and... Krozen! now an undead knight!

    the battle was joined, (with this playlist to accompany) but as Krozen tried to approach Gabriel cast a bolt on glory on him, (6th level spell from SpC) which shot him down instantly. but... the knight cast Death thores on himself (all the better to catch unwary PCs with) which ended up hurting Obraskyr and destroying the few wight minions.

    talk about DM disappointment. but all for the best!

    the party spread trying to not be caught in the breath weapon, but Danves fell for less- Obraskyr's frightful presence. he ran faster than could be caught, so the other 3 were left to face the dragon. it launched on Gabriel, tearing her strongly. as Grum shot him again and again Gabriel tried to penetrate the defenses but didn't cuase lots of damage. Red dispelled it's abjurations, and Gabriel fought back.

    Obraskyr chose Red as a target due to some dangerous spells, but she evaded it with a few minor teleportation spells. meanwhile Grum steadily continued to shoot the beast. but it got to Red and wounded her greatly, which is when Gabriel commanded it (through use of action points) to fall down. together with more offensive spells, arrows and club the dragon was knocked unconscious.

    which is when a really big strange bug came crawling out. quickly dispatched they went to heal Obraskyr. their former employer thanked them, but requested they let him talk to the dragons, they will most probably send a spear point to their invasion.

    Danves' player was a bit disappointed at being absent from the battles (he always ran away from dragons in a previous campaign as well)

    there were some wounds, but smaller than for a battle with a dragon. but every wound counts... as the Link doesn't heal.

    Suddenly a deep powerful ancient voice in their mind "more come... more guests? enemies? i grow restless, it has been a long time. soon..." Ipiks' blood and Obraskyr's blood they revealed some sort of pattern in the floor before the Thrones, and the earth receded to reveal ancient stairs for down below down to the unfathomable depths...


    The Ancient halls
    Spoiler
    Show
    the effect they felt before grew stronger, but this time all withstood it, except for Danves, who seemed seriously distracted... (this was not his day!) they reached ancient halls. they looked man made, but old. old Galifar style. the columns depict the thrones above gaining sort of power from a shackled sphere below, and many people bowing. there were some of Auressia's swarms here, but quite restive.

    Throne spoke to them again. "Interesting, isn't it? quite a strange little innovation. she did well, my liberator. but is it well enough? they have their faults, but i will make them better. so much better. but they are obedient..."

    and suddenly there was darkness.


    "What is the Arithmetic of your soul?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Throne spoke again. "who is it that comes to me? why do you come to me? are you strong enough? whole enough? who are your allies? who are your enemies? who are YOU?"

    When the light returned the party saw themselves at a strange room- basically one large over mirror wall. but more disturbing were themselves! they all looked like changelings! from the mirror wall were many figures, some more familiar to most, some less. theysaw the image of the traveler (better clothed) as if moving behind them, talking in a rich subtle but direct voice. "Many experiences, many influences, many tribulations, conflicts, faces that we rememeber, faces that we wear... what is the arithmetic of your soul?" then she held her hand- 4 fingers.

    the party realized each one had to choose 4 figures that represent themselves. at first the players panicked- they thought it was one more of my inexplicable puzzles, but i assured them it was no puzzle...

    some seemed to be in clusters, some seemed apart:
    - behind them were figures connected to the past- Red before she was entombed in the Mournland grave, a gentler Red. Danves before he was cursed, Savage who still followed the Sovereign host, and Alicia- the paladin spirit in Grum's bow. however, each character could only see (and choose) her own past self.

    - in front of them were themselves as they are now. however, each character could only see (and choose) the other characters, not themselves.

    - to their right were 3 past allies- Google, Ipiks and Khork. each could see only those he had a meaningful interacion with.

    - to their left were major enemies- the Keeper, the Traveler, Auressia and some sort of a fiendish monstrosity combining all kind of lesser fiends (Rakshasa, bearded devils, mezoloth, arrow demons and the like), again, of the first 3 each saw only those they interacted with.

    - various separate ones- JAela, Auxalia, Porcia, Creelog (the hobgoblin chief from chapter 2), Krozen, Grad the organ seller and Obraskyr.

    when each was chosen the traveler behind the images asked "why is this one a part of you?"

    Gabriel decided to choose first:
    Red- "she is the love i'll never have"
    Jaela- "she is the center of may Faith"
    Auxalia- "Sacrifice"
    Google- "a noble and Courageous friend"

    Red chose second:
    Past Red- "It is still me deep inside"
    Gabriel and Google- "close friend I admire their morality"
    Grad- "i gave him a part of me and got a part of something else"

    Danves' turn
    Red- "because sometime the tongue is mightier than the sword"
    Google- " noble courageous friend"
    Auxalia- " because of her search for knowledge and curiosity of mystery"
    Fiend Monstrosity- "we all have monsters inside..."

    Last was Grum, who was the most simple
    Gabriel, Red and Danves- "because they are the ones i'm teamed up with"
    Auressia- "because she is the one i'm teamed up against"

    choices
    Spoiler
    Show
    part of the idea here was to give each one a possibility to express himself through their choices and interpretations. i must say they did NOT choose whom i thought, but some choices are interesting and indicative:
    - both Google and Red were chosen 3 times. they were sort of the moral compass of the party, which shows the party's adherence to them.

    - only Red chose her old slef, which shows that her change was not necessarily a welcome one, while both Danves and Gabriel reject the former selves, having undergone what they perceive a positive change.

    - no one chose Grum, which stands to reason- he didn't have much time to bond with the group, and most still preferred Google.

    - some characters such as Grad, Auxalaia or the fiend monstrosity i never expected even one vote. which shows that they may have had more effect on the game than expected.


    self chosen, self rejected
    Spoiler
    Show
    "you have chosen yourself, what you shall carry on, now you must face what you shall leave behind!"
    all figures that were rejected stepped out of the mirror and a battle was joined. it was soon clear the figures were not really the actual persona, and that their weapons and armor were not necesserily indicative of their power.

    the party seemed simple at first, but shown it's dangers soon enough, as the keeper bestowed negative levels, or Ipiks poisoned Red severely, and both Grum and Alicia shot arrows aplenty. Danves fought his past as Gabriel gouht hers, as the Traveler mimicked different combatants and their powers.

    but at the end the battle was won, without that great a difficulty. (and yet, the Link was damaged more) having done that the characters felt a sort of a gift... certain powers themed after the people they had chosen to be part of themselves- powers usable only once, usually for a minute, not extra powerful, but useful. there was darkness again before the light came back.

    they were at the other side of the ancient halls.

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the encounter of the mirror room had 3 purposes:
    - enable more expression of the character (discussed in the previous spoiler)
    - a sort of a recap of major NPCs and changes in the campaign.
    - an interesting fun battle, where some characters got to bash their own selves.

    the bonuses at the end are a little something extra to bring in to the final battle, a sort of "special alternate loot" to the battle.



    continued on the next post, though not sure when i'll get to write it.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2012-01-02 at 02:07 PM.

    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!

  22. - Top - End - #112
    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 24B: December 31th, 2011- End Game, Battle at Thronehold!

    In game date- Dravago 16- 17 (Late spring, month of handling)

    (sorry for the delay, real life and all that)

    About Action points and the Link
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now, the party have used few action points so far, saving them (wisely) to the end game. some of the benefits from the mirror room choices gave them a few extra action points (amongst other things), especially Grum. they knew they need 3 action points to try and activate the link though. the following battles were planned with action points in mind though... in more than one way...


    one step short of the end
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party continued down wards, ever downwards till they reached a longer corridor. the glyphs on the walls depicted dragons and fiends.. talking? conversing? civil? then the figures seemed to depict both races... combining forces? to put something bit, indecipherable below?

    but the party paid this little attention, ahead of them they could see a room in which there were 4 Rakshasa prostrating themselves in front of a big hole in the ground. the 4 seemed oblivious to the party, caught in some sort of.. fervor? the party couldn't tell.

    the Throne spoke to them again: "look at them. weak, Pathetic, wishing to control me to regain their glory back. they shall kneel as well. as all will. only my liberator understands. do you?"

    They shook their heads trying to get the voice away and quickly coup-de-graced them (pardon my awful french)

    the room was moderate size, with some blessed spears, bows and arrows on the side, plus some fountain that enabled those who drank from it to fly... fly where? to the gaping hole in the middle of the room, that looked to go down, down, down...

    as one of our players quoted the best adventuring line ever: "small chance of success? certainty of death? what are we waiting for?" they drank from the fountain, and jumped to the depths of Throne hold...


    The Throne's prison
    Spoiler
    Show
    a few minutes passed going down, till they saw the hole opening up to some big cave. the Throne spoke once more. "so you come to face my liberator, the one you call... Auressia? ah yes, frustration, anger, hate, desire to vanquish. you may make an (partner/ servant/ receptacle) as well? this should be... entertaining." they stopped and cast protective spells drank protective potions, and dove in.

    the space they reached was HUUUUGE, a great cave that kept descending down to the depths, with some mists rolling. in front of them, (about 300 feet) was a big semicircular sphere set at the cave's wall (about 50ft radius). reaching the sphere from the south west was the cord of life (from Flame keep) throbbing, burning and powerful, and from the east the cord of Death (from the Temple of Nigh in Atur in Karrnath) pulsing in black purple energy.

    and at the back of the Sphere stood none else than... Auressia. everyone got tense. she seemed to have some protective spells as well, from shimmering shields to multiple mirror images. in her sweet lacquered voice she spoke"you see? they have come, as i promised! despite all obstacles. they are destined to be yours oh Crown Eternal. but they will not come easily, will you?"

    which is where we rolled initiative. (using this song list)Auressia began with a chain lightning, after which the party got cloe to Red, and she dimension doored to the fiend! but then a mezzoloth and some bearded devils were summoned from somewhere! from the Throne itself.

    two can play Red's game and Auressia Dimansion doored herself to where the party was. this was a serious problem, since Red couldn't reach her with most of her spells (medium range) and the rest were used to close to Melee. Grum shot down some of her images and even hit her once, but this looked to be problematic. Danves and Red quickly disposed of the Mezzoloth (fearing it's dispel magic more than cloudkill) but for some strange reason they didn't leave the sphere. i was perplexed.

    Gabriel called on the benefit of Auxelia- knowing the nemy's plans in advance and alerted the party of a confusion spells which they averted. but the Throne tried to dominate (protection from evil notwithstanding against such power) over Grum's mind. they could feel it's power constrained, which with an action point is probably why Grum succeeded.

    Ganriel cast some spell on Auressia which didn't penetrated her Spell resistance just barely, while REd's player tried to find what he could use! Throne got hold of Danves who attacked Gabriel, but she turned just in time to block his attack, after which he broke from the influence...

    they decided to try and press towards her. Danves flew fast before being targeted by a hold person but succeeding due to an action point as well. Gabriel weary of the spells in closing the gap decided a subterfuge. she faked being hit by a spell and falleing of the edge of the sphere into the mists! an influence and sense motive later it seemed Auressia bought the trick! Gabriel started to fly in the mists towards the enemy.

    new demons appeared, amongst them an arrow demon. Danves for some reason turned, calling on the beefit of the lesser fiends (fiend monstrosity) to be super effective against them and nearly killed it with one blow. Grum finished it off.

    "one down! 3 to go!" auressia boasted, and got a bit closer, just close enough for Red to get in range. a small magical duel began with Red triumphing (again with action points) at dispelling nearly all of Auressia's defenses! (including scillinating scales and mirror images)

    which came right in time as Gabriel broke from the mist below, with an unhealthy aura around her arm and grasped the Rakshasa lord's ankle, HARMing her deeply!

    Auressia was deeply wounded, but her goal was achieved... for you see- the Throne prison needed a special essence to open it- heroic essence, and action points were pouring like water in this battle! Gabriel's use of action points reached the needed limit, and a grey misty cord shot through the prison, passed through Auressia, draggin her up, up and away!

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    the party has action economy, and i didn't want to increase Auressia's level more, since the Throne itself is an added major complication. so the main thing was the distance (which Gabriel's player overcome nicely) the second thing is the minor influences of the Throne. las thing was the ability to spring up a few defenses up (through legit methods) if her defenses fell. however, Gabriel came up RIGHT after Red took of her defenses, so i didn't get to it.

    however, the abundant use of action points made this quite exciting, but not that character damaging.


    a desire to rule?
    Spoiler
    Show
    The corad was draggin them to it, so they cast a few protective spells (Auressia did some dispelling herself) and let themselves be dragged up. through their journey up the Throne spoke to each again (i gave them printed pages) showing them the rulers of 4 of the five nations)

    Throne Speaks to Red (facing Dannel, ghost queen of Cyre)
    Spoiler
    Show
    you come from the land lost, broken, twisted, forsaken... you wish to help it, but such help cannot be given without understanding the cause. The cause stand in front of you- Dannel, the so called ruler. ( I put pics on most pages. I didn't have her pic. It's the ghost of the queen of Cyre) This is no monarch!- first she lost land to the elves, than to the hobgoblins, and now in her folly she has lost the land and the people themselves.

    I know the reason for the Mournland, and more than that- i know how to start and repair it, make it strong, stronger than before! Bring back it's glory! And it starts with you Kashana. I see you as it's new ruler. Bow to me, accept me and the power I give you, and Cyre shall rise again to heights never before imagined. Your power is great, but so is mine, can you conceive what we can both achieve?

    Kashana known as Red, will you bow before me, so we can rule together? Strike your former queen, and claim your Throne!


    Throne Speaks to Gabriel (picture of Jaela, ruler of Thrane)
    Spoiler
    Show
    I have sensed your power from a far sacred one. a faith so bright and scorching it lights up even my dark prison. You come here seeking to pull me down, but do you know what it is you're here to do? The fiends don't know it, but I am something else than they expected, something the dragons wish to keep secret. You have all been led as fools, fools by those secret puppet masters of Argonessen.

    You may resent me for your church, but that was not my intent or doing. And still, don't you ask yourself how easily it had happened, how it was brought down with so slight an effort? Wasn't this the most powerful religion, the one to stand against darkness? And yet it falls within such a short time. "but it has not fallen, we saved the Keeper!" you say and rightfully so. But that was because YOU were there. Had it not been for YOU, the church would have been nothing but a crisp by now.

    I offer salvation, I offer renewel, I offer rebirth! You can sense my power, and I can sense yours. The Silver flame must reach a new time, under a new leadership- your own, under me! With my power you can guide the people and the holy warriors to new heights, greater glory and spread the faith and it's war like never before!

    Gabriel, will you bow before me and rule together? Strike your queen, claim your Throne!


    Throne speaks to Danves (picture of Auralla, queen of Aundair)
    Spoiler
    Show
    some may think you the unlikely hero, but I sense the one true rational mind here, the one who see the odds, see the possibilities and knows of the road that must be taken, knows of tough choices, of hard decisions. The dragons are coming, and they come not just to stop me, but also ALL who know, or who MIGHT know…

    You may stop me from breaking out, but then who will stop them from annihilating you? The dragons have a secret, and they wish it well kept. I have the power to stop them, stop their tyranny, stop them meddling with fate, the prophecy, all of our destinies. Will you help me? I am not as horrible as you've been led to believe. The fiends do not fully know what they release, and they will be surprised as well.

    The time has come for new leaders, new men of foresight, not geared by greed, lust for power or ego like your former queen has been. Men like you. She stand before you, but I can have you take her place, rule her realm, shape it to your true vision, make it better for your kind. My power can ensure this.

    Danves, will you bow before me, so we can rule together? Strike your queen, and claim your Throne!


    Throne speaks to Grum (picture of Kaius, king of Karrnath)
    Spoiler
    Show
    unlike the three others, you serve no monarch. No- you serve a higher purpose, a greater ideal, you fight on your own. You think this purpose may be to bind me again, but I promise you it is not. I am terrifying, but not to the people of Khorvaire. The dragons come since they have a secret, which they wish to keep it that way, at all costs. Help me face these tyrants; acknowledge me as your throne, and I will show you a new world, better world, with you one of those leading it!

    before you you see the Karrnathi King- a ruler of an army of undead, who have brought to practice the tradition of making his soldiers rise again as unholy abominations! A ruthless dark lord. But he has a secret- he is a vampire himself! A feeder of other's blood, how can it be left to rule a whole country?!

    Take him down, and with my power you can take hold of his place, cleanse the country of it's undead abominations and give rise to a new shining era, directing it's forces towards a benevolent just cause! Yes, I can help with that for I am not so evil as you've been fooled to believe.

    Grum, will you bow before me and rule together? Strike down King Kaius and claim your Throne!


    as they read i drew the Throne room once more. Auressia was there (with some defenses and a bit healed) and next to her some tear in space, behind which... something could be seen. Throne? the party was seperated now, from west (aundair, Danves), south west (Thrane, Gabriel), south east (Mournland, Red) and east (Karrnath, Grum). the life and death power cords were still present, though the party didn't notice them except as obstacles.

    the leaders were sweating, obviously under powerful control. but the party had to answer. Red and Grum "we never wished to rule!" while Danves and Gabriel's players contemplated... Danves answered with "i don't trust you!" while Gabriel thought to try and bluff him, but decided to just show defiance "Bah! to the hells with you!"

    in return the 4 rules turned on their heels grimacing, and knelt in front of the Throne. they spoke their allegiance:

    Auralla: "the kingdom of mages gives power to the Throne" (gives spell levels)
    Jaela: "Thrane, who worships the Silver flame, we gives healing to the Throne" (regeneration_
    Dannel (ghostly, tormented): "The dead nation of Cyre gives our sorrow and our pain to the Throne (spells deal extra pain)
    Kaius: Karrnath now sees the true general, the true leader. Karrnath gives it's Solders to the Throne

    DM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    3 purposes: first a chance for the characters to express themselves and show defiance. second it's a chance for the Throne to actually interact with the party on a non-battle level. i think it's required from a campaign's big boss. and thirdly, it opened up some interesting options. there were options for bluffing the Throne, bot taking down the rulers (who are the ACTUAL rulers), or just subduing them. the party did none of those...


    Round 2!
    Spoiler
    Show
    this list for the battle music as the party showed defiance, about 12 lesser fiends, a sort of a primitive version of bearded devil sprang up as a sort of shield (to better give Auressia the time to cast her spells). But Danves won init, and utterly surprised everyone at tumbling past everyone straight to Auressia and attacking her channeling a combust spells, nearly killing her! she ran behind one of the thrones and used a limited wish to try and disintegrate him, but he had one more mirror image (spell storing ring), and it hit it.

    Grum however, would not be deterred by cover, and 2 arrows later and Auressia was dead! the party's response? "Google kills!"

    The Throne was pissed and use his influence over the rulers to try and make Danves kneel, but it succeeded. Gabriel strode forth and used opalescent glare (Spell compendium, 6th level) which made nearly all lesser devils to retreat! the party focused their powers on the throne, as it tried to control them (at times succeeded) or make them kneel (lose actions) through their rules, but through the use of more actions points the party avoided most.

    Danves who was closest to the thing, noticed it's plate and serpentine body. suddenly a clawed limb struck at him, causing him great depression.

    Suddenly the Throne's attention was up. "the new races disappoint me. weak, pathetic, full of themselves, disrespectful. i haven't had time to study their minds well yet, but the mind of a dragon... that i had time to study, for a long long time, i know it well!"

    And the grey misty cord shot up again, taking them all up!


    Spear of Galifar
    Spoiler
    Show
    As the party launched up they saw the visions- a great host of dragons (more than 100) coming close to Thronehold (to those wondering, these were the forefront force, the tip of the invasion), and suddenly with a shift- much closer, above the Spear of Galifar tower. "a twist here, a pull there, and..." (about half the dragons turn to fight the others!) "control, or elude till control. the dragons will serve me WELL"

    the party was on top of the Spear, a much more limited space, with a small landing on it. the cords of life anddeath were very evident, stretching up to flame keep and Atur.

    and the Throne was here, the rip larger and two great arms were coming out of it, directing some of the dragons to fight others! the sky was ablaze with fire, cold, lightning and clashing teeh and bites. they did not seem to see him! (


    Round 3
    Spoiler
    Show
    took me awhile to make this list, the apex of the campaign! as the party rose to action, they found the will draining from them, they wanted to serve, to kneel, to be obedient. but some broke off of the influence, only to be punished (wounded) for their insolence! Grum started unleashing arrows, and Gabriel and Danves flanked the Throne, trying against all of their instincts to obey to fight the thing! it was hear to hit it (hye mostly hit the rip) and wound it, but they had. just a bit

    which is when the huge copper dragon (random roll) started descending towards them. the Throne controlled dragons! "S**t!" went a curse around the table. the dragon breathed and hit Gabriel, before... jumping to the life cord, disintegrating itself! the cord shook violently and reduced to 2/3rds of it's size. the party was alarmed- it's was trying to fully free itself!

    Grum decided to try and tap to the life cords power, perhaps strengthen it, but though he succeeded to reach it, he could only us it to heal himself. Danves gought against desperation again and again to strike the Throne, channeling succesfuly touches of Idiocity to decrease the power of it's influence.

    another Dragon started gliding down. a huge Red one this time. Gabriel was desperate, and tried to use the Rod of the Mournland (gained from the traveler) but this random rod (sort of like a rod of wonder) served only to heal some (Throne included) and... make the rip bigger.

    meanwhile Red dimension doored to the other side of the landing and touched on the essence of the Death cord, adding necrotic power to her spells. the dragon came and burned the unlucky Grum badly, and Gabriel only a bit. and then it jumped to the Death cord, shaking the tower, reducing the cord extensively...

    knowing their time was coming to a close (the LInk's hit points were getting REALLY low) the party tried to activate the Link, but to no avail. the Throne was still to strong! oh, and another dragon started to descend. depression started to grip the group.


    the role of heroes
    Spoiler
    Show
    They decided to give it what they had left. they had less then 9 Action points combined, the Link had about 30/40 hp left, and if it's gone, they'll have to actually BEAT the Throne (which was an option i was prepared for ) Grum decided to delay after the rest. Red used her necrotic spells to cast a powerful empowered many jaws that finally broke through the Throne's high SR! ?(the player had bad luck through out the session. the Throne cringed at the jaws biting at him.

    this was followed by a quadruple (!!) critical by Danves, which was followed by a quadruple (?!?!) massive strike by Gabriel (she has tons of damage bonuses). Danves' striketook him a bit into the rift, and he saw a serpentine great creature, like an ancient primitive wyrm, far bigger and more ancient feeling than even the dragons are. (the player thinks it's a lynnorm from MM2) feeling this might be enough, Grum touched inside and activated the link!

    and it worked! the Throne was screeching roaring bound! by why wasn't it drawn back to it's prison... "something missing" they could hear the remants of Auxallia's voice. the party looked blank at each other, but Gabriel (and it's player) who knew a bit more about Eberron knew what it meant. "Gabriel jumps in!". "what? are you crazy? no! there is another way!". "there is no other way, this is what she would do, she runs in yelling, jumping into the rip!"

    and with that the rip was suddenly drawn deep down, down to the bowels of the earth, underneath Thronehold, to the Throne's prison...

    DM design- Sacrifice
    Spoiler
    Show
    why did i include the sacrifice? mainly because Gabriel's player wanted to sacrifice his character through out the campaign (as could have been seen most evidently in the Crimson ship affair, or wanting to sacrifice her at the earth seal). talking to the player afterwards he seemed ambivalent about it. part of him liked her to survive, but part of him likes this ending very much.

    it was a bit forced, i know, for which i regret, but i hope this is good enough. however, it may have marred the taste of victory a bit. still, bitter sweet may be nice.

    If you're read SilverClawShift journals than the "Link" and the sacrifice are somewhat familiar. i never said i was truly original...


    DM design- Throne
    Spoiler
    Show
    i had real problems with this one. it has gone through many kinds off changes and editions. but at the end i wanted to achieve 3 things:
    - a single overpowering theme- domination. first it was the characters, than their rulers, then dragons.

    - i wanted it to be a sort of a mystery, a final twist to their expectations- not exactly a Rakshasa Rajah, but something... different and connected to the dragons)

    - i wanted it's mechanics to be different enough, strange enough so this might feel like a unique challenge (not sure i succeeded about this- it not attacking the party directly made it feel somewhat passive)



    Not out of the woods yet
    Spoiler
    Show
    The control over the dragons was broken. they stopped fighting, though a few were already dead, some flew down, ready to incinerate them, but a gargantuan black dragon stopped them, and flew down to talk with Red. "who are you and what exactly happened here?"

    Red was too tired, too distraught over the loss of a friend to be intimidated or awed. she talked with the dragon as equals, telling their story. some of the dragons wished to kill them for "knowing too much" but the black dragon would have none of that. he told them to keep things as secret as they can, and leave this place.

    Red requested the dragons to treat their kind with more equality, like fellow sentient beings rather than lesser ones. the dragon seemed to think . "perhaps, perhaps you have evolved a little this day, there is much to think about. we shall remember you 3, and this Gabriel you spoke of" with that the dragons left, taking their wounded and the dead through their spells.

    The 3 remaining heroes stood on top of The Spear of Galifar, victorious yes, but what lies next? kick in the ending credits music!


    Finishing up
    Spoiler
    Show
    The possessed power faltered with Auressia dead (they each held a tiny bit of her, though not commanded through the hive mind). the party returned with Jaela to Thran and together reclaimed Flame Keep. both Aundair and Thrane were able to take care of the possesed in their territory.

    we talked a bit about what the characters might do now, but the players don't quite know ("i'll fight an ancient evil for some centuries to come" said Gabriel's player laughingly). we decided people will think about it and post it on emails (which i'll add when they come)

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Many Facets of Darkness
    The End

    the people were between happy and nervous. they felt we cut it real close, and they were kind of expecting a TPK! they looked mostly kind of stunned at the end... is that good or not? i'm joking, but they seemed to have loved it.

    the first campaign i finished, it was well worth it!
    but the log isn't over yet, a few things in the next post... (short one)
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2012-01-05 at 11:38 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!

  23. - Top - End - #113
    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]

    so what is next? is that it? well, the log will have a few more minor things on it, later on if you're interested:

    1) a sort of "where are they now" kind of piece that the players and me are helping to create, a more detailed and thought of summary than can be done in 10-15 rushed minutes of the meeting end.

    2) being the anal guy that i am, i've made a questionnaire for the party, mostly so i could learn better what worked and what didn't. i'll post the results (including my own thoughts) here. (Grum's player already sent back his, the rest haven't. i'm waiting for them all).

    3) what's next with out group? Red's player will have his own adventure in a world he has been working on for quite some time (with vastly altered race and battle rules). this will take about 6 sessions. during this time i'll work on the next campaign, so if you liked reading this, there may be more coming.

    i've made 11 suggestions for future campaigns, on widely varied routes. the players are discussing them. i'll post my suggestions here if you're interested.

    4) i'll answer any questions anyone may have, which leads me to...

    My Request of the readers: if you have enjoyed this campaign log, and read this far, i would be really really happy to know of it. i'm kind of etchy about asking this, as i imagine i have but a few readers, but it's would be really awesome to learn others have njoyed my groups efforts as well.
    i'm not forcing anyone, but if you've read this far, please post and leave a word.

    Thanks for reading!
    Kol.

    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!

  24. - Top - End - #114
    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]

    Let me congratulate you. It was an epic read.

    I also DM sometimes, but never as you seem to be able. You get a lot done in a session and your players are completely in the world (which is very well done).

    In short, I will follow the next campaign also. And I wish you a lot of luck in your DM-ing Endeavors
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    Lewis Carroll

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DoctorGlock's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Precious Jerusalem

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

    Bravo, a good read

    As the above poster noted, you cover alot each session, how long do your sessions generally run? I generally run about 3-4 hours myself and can never seem to get alot done (I admit it has much to do with everyone starting with favorite youtube picks and spouting memes for a half hour to an hour. Then we start the game)

    I am going to be starting an Epic level game of Legend in about 3 weeks and want to put up a campaign journal. How did you go around avoiding thread necro when you posted sessions?

    Last session, the primordial wyrm in the gate? Was that the dragon below? (Not very good with Eberron fluff, but I don't think they have Asmodeus)
    Last edited by DoctorGlock; 2012-01-05 at 08:59 AM.
    I work very irregular hours and usually very long ones at that. If I do not respond to something in a timely manner pester me in an OOC thread. If something big is happening in the Middle East I will probably be busy for a few days because I am the idiot wearing kevlar and interviewing people on the fronts.

    Do you like MTG? Do you like Gitp? We have a Discord server for like minded players.

    Currently Running: Through the Faerie Ring

  26. - Top - End - #116
    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]

    thanks Duskranger, DoctorGlock. glad you enjoyed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorGlock View Post
    Bravo, a good read

    As the above poster noted, you cover a lot each session, how long do your sessions generally run? I generally run about 3-4 hours myself and can never seem to get a lot done
    we meet quite rarely (about once every 3-4 weeks) so when we get to play, we PLAY. an average meeting is about 7 hours, with the first half hour or so being burned on socializing and the like. but from then on we play up pretty straight.

    How did you go around avoiding thread necro when you posted sessions?
    it never really came up i guess. i think a thread "goes necro" if you post on it after a few months (6? ) but since the latest i posted was after a month and a half, it doesn't matter.
    i have another thread in my link, a small project of mine (that i've neglected long enough) that got updated only once every few months. but in the first post or so i notified about this, and haven't had any trouble. (yet)

    Last session, the primordial wyrm in the gate? Was that the dragon below? (Not very good with Eberron fluff, but I don't think they have Asmodeus)
    no, it wasn't the dragon below. i'm not telling what it is since i notified my my players of the log, and this might have a significance on a future campaign. (depending what they'll choose). suffice to say it's my own contribution to the history/ mythology of Eberron, though i would hazard to say it draws inspiration from somewhere i can't pinpoint.

    the concept was that it's something the fiends don't quite understand (except for perhaps Auressia) and the dragons have a vested interest in keeping secret. also- it seems to possess quite a knowledge about dragon minds (and less about lesser races' minds)

    i hope this answered your questions!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2012-01-06 at 03:59 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!

  27. - Top - End - #117
    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]

    That last fight scene was really amazing. I think its a great finale for an outstanding campaign. Youve been trying to many different things at different times, always looking back at your work and asking about this and that and always trying to top yourself... I must say I have nothing but respect and admiration for you and the work you put forth for your players. It seems like for you, DMing is a labor of love, and it shows in these journals how you bring every little bit that you can to the table to make it the best it can be. There may have been some misses (puzzles not being well received, for example) but overall the whole experience felt like a really great movie or TVseries. I would aplaud you but you already received a lot of praise for it, and well deserved at it. I will just simply say that one day I hope I can be half as good a GameMaster as you have shown yourself to be in this log, and to have a quarter of your will to improve, curiosity, humility and niceness.

    Of course, a lot of it is from the players, all whom seem like really awesome people to have at the table. You are lucky to have them, and they are lucky to have you. Its a shame that it had to end, but what a great way to wrap things up!. Although, there are so many loose ends... but high level D&D is a mess hehe. Anyways, great job, great read, and make sure to keep us updated if you ever do another one! :D

  28. - Top - End - #118
    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]

    ..... why, i'm so deeply flattered Sir! thanks for the praise!

    in fact, i wanted to thank you as well LansXero- you've participated in most discussions and gave advice from about half way through, some of it affected the game more, some less, but all appreciated! it was encouraging seeing someone takes such an interest.

    so thank you, and the rest of the readers. the players are great indeed, and though it is a cliche- i couldn't have done it without them.
    ---------------------------------

    there is a possibility of a high level campaign, (about 1-2 years after we've finished) at least one player is pushing towards that (Red's) but the discussion is still going. some ends i'll close soon enough in a closing post, and others are left open on purpose.

    when i start the next campaign (as i surely will, but probably in a few months from now) i may do the log differently, i'm contemplating. there may be a "planning a campaign log" for some of the more preparation intensive campaign ideas, in which you all will be welcomed to join.

    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 - #119
    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]

    my players have been mostly lazy, so i don't have all i said i write yet, but we do have a decision about

    The next Campaign!

    the two runner ups were between the following

    Here be Dragons
    Spoiler
    Show
    a continuation of this campaign, up to 20th level or perhaps beyond. basically more epic stuff, turned up a notch. the following was the promo for the players:
    7) Dragons of Eberron: an unheard of event occurs- the party is invited to the nation of dragons- Argonessen! (Where no foot of the common races ever stepped) what do they want? Can the party withstand their intrigue, their power? 1 dragon is dangerous enough. What about 10? 50? 200? 2000?
    - It doesn't get more Epic than this I think!
    - This campaign is the most epic, but also the most dangerous. You need to navigate cautiously or else become a smear. High risks, high gains.
    - Out of all the ideas in this category, this one is the most formed, though not as ideas 8 and 11 in the next. It is however, still quite plot driven.
    - Extra material: dragons of Eberron (thanks for the book guy! Great inspiration for the DM only), draconmicon, dragon magic (both for players as well).

    Red's player was the advocate of this campaign, with Grum's player supporting.


    Pirate Campaign
    Spoiler
    Show
    Pirate Campaign- new world, low to mid/ high levels: I haven't seen yet the Pirates of the Caribbean (I know, I know…) but the general idea is sea voyages, islands, robbing merchants, stealing loot, fighting or evading a colonial force, and dealing with witchcraft and voodoo themed magic. Inspired greatly by Fire fly. (with some twists. Thanks Ariel!) The party will get a ship, and a crew, and seek their fortune on the high seas!
    - Out of all my ideas this is the most fleshed out, followed closely by idea 8. Therefore a bit more detail is provided. It does not mean it's a favorite.
    - The World is not Eberron, rather a place called the Withcling Isles- a continent that was fractured to numerous isles. An outside force called the Empire (comprised of humans mostly) controls the place, and there are other outside merchant forces. A HEAVY theme of superstition, curses, wily witchcraft (along with specific rules), as well as villainy, piracy, and being great scoundrels. But it also has place for high adventure and epic moments.
    - This game also relies heavily, perhaps more than the rest, on player's involvement.
    - The game focuses partly on adventures (which might be more episodic and less campaign focused, at least till a campaign emerges) and partly on the ship and crew management (I intend to make it fun!)
    - There is no set plot or campaign in mind, but rather some starting adventure hooks. Out of them and mostly out of the characters themselves, we'll spring up adventures, and then a fully blown campaign. It is VERY open ended at this point.
    - Beginning at level 2/3, but I don't know how high it will go. It has potential for mid- high or very high levels. Leveling will probably be around once every 2-3 sessions.
    - The book Stormwrack will play a heavy part- it deals with navigation, weather, ships marine combat and more. Again- I'll detail the main things in a wiki, but further reading might benefit you.
    - There are many changes to the common classes, and though the variety stays, the classes and many options are changed. For example- the islanders only use more intuitive warriors (which also use a simpler, more balanced version of Maneuvers from Tome of Battle, not out shine the casters). Their casters are spontaneous casters and similar magical vocations, where as the Empire has more schooled professions (wizard, fighter, cleric, paladins who hunt witches). The islanders are composed from a variety of races, while the Empire only has humans and dwarves (which you can't play, under normal circumstances)
    - There is a subset of rules for curses, codes, vices and superstitions. My own invention. Adds mechanics to these… "mixed blessings".

    Gabriel's player and Danves player wanted this one. (though Danves preferred yet another campaign over this)


    aaaaand... it's the pirate campaign! Grum's player changed minds, and Red's player conceded for the time. i'm not sure about logs, here are my thoughts:
    - a campaign building log, where you get to help plan things.
    - possibly a campaign log, though maybe somewhat different in approach than this one.

    still waiting on Danves' player to choose his ending and the questionnaire, and i'll post them then.

    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
  •