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  1. - Top - End - #541
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrum, tired and worn completely out, collapses on the deck of the ship once he sees Delilah swing around. He lays there for a long time, and only moves after Tygrin comes up and sniffs him, "I'm not dead, you walking carpet! Don't you dare take a bite!" He kind of kicks at Tygrin a little with his metal foot (not wanting to risk his original one), and drags his almost lifeless body up. He rests on deck and once the old man is done with his "meeting", he says what Ferrum feared was going to happen....not more X-COM.

    Ferrum uses his legs and the wall to stand up, "Sir, the only place I have left to go is back home...and given my present shape I'm not sure that would work out too well. I am in limbo, forever neither machine or satyr....like my little friend over there, this is the only place left that I can call home. And some mother ****ing aliens just blew it up. I don't care how long it takes....I don't care how many parts I have to replace....but I will wipe the galaxy clean of these ****-eating aliens." Ferrum gives Aurelius a salute, "You have me until I die, or until they do, Old Man."

    Ferrum spends the next few days resting and doing some light training. Vallen studies him, pokes and prods here and there, and is even able to integrate some alien tech into his body. She gives him the ability to shoot his arm away from this body, essentially making it a nice grab-and-pull mechanism. Ferrum works on that some, getting used to it and practicing grabbing things and pulling them back. Then the Old Man gathers them together for a meeting. Ferrum listens to him carefully and nods, non-verbally accepting the mission at hand. "Don't worry, sir. I don't plan on letting any alien I come across live."
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  2. - Top - End - #542
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Dagrun, Dwarf Cleric

    When Aurelius breaks the news to the group that X-COM is officially no more, Dagrun adds his voice to the others, "I won't pretend ta know anything about these invaders, but I can tell ye this: Nobody hits a place as hard as they hit yer HQ unless they're scared of ye." He retrieves a flask from his pack, uncorks it, and takes a long pull, "These beasties were tresspassin' in Hausenberg when I came across yer people here," he motions to the others, "And they fought fer my home harder than most of those who lived in it. I don't care what Hausenberg thinks they've got, it ain't enough. If ye'll have me, I'd like ta join ye. At the very least, it seems like ye'll need a medic or two, but I'd prefer ta be on the front lines."

    Dagrun spends the downtime in Glory's Hallow resting, and seeing to the wounds of the others on the team.

    When Aurelius tosses the folders out for review and gives the order to find a new base, Dagrun skims the dossiers before holding one of them up. "This one here'll do nicely." He sets the folder marked OPERATION DARK TEMPEST on the table.
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  3. - Top - End - #543
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    "All my life, I haven't known anything but fighting and conflict. From one battlefield to the next in the name of Nuwessan, the only reprieve I've ever had since childhood was the months their arcanists saw fit to custom purpose me to war. I volunteered for the procedure of course, partly out of a sense of duty, but more so because it better prepared me for a role I had become so married to; that I couldn't abandon. What would I do if not continue to fight?"

    Kaeravak shrugs, though his apparent perplexity is belied by a sublime wistfulness.

    "You have my sword Aurelius, but be warned, I was enrolled in this effort as a proof of concept, a weapon to be tested; if I am recalled there may be trouble with Nuwessan. If you would have me, that contingency is yours to navigate."

    ****

    Much like his squadmates, Kaeravak was left exhausted and spent by the ordeal, no prior engagement of the veteran's many having come anywhere close to tapping him out as much as that nightmare of an evacuation. Similarly, he opted to do little but maintenance exercise, eat and rest, too hopelessly muddled and depleted by the insanity that had gone on before to muster much else, retreating to silent introversion. In spite of himself, within the constraints of his fatigue, he had sought to preoccupy himself as much as he was able, finding that his thoughts always found a way to turn back to his decimated squad when left to wander; it was a distraction he could not let himself entertain, not when there was still so much on the line, so much left to do.

    ****

    When everyone had assembled Kaeravak was all too aware of the souring atmosphere about X-Com's remnants. Once jovial and inviting, the natives had by degrees become ever become curt and avoidant, even hostile as the days, and Tygrin in particular, wore on. At the time of the meeting, there had been nothing left of the once friendly disposition of the townsfolk but daggers, the air seeming to brew almost palpably with their unspoken resentments. At Aurelius' declaration that the group would soon disembark Kaeravak cannot help but nod agreement.

    "It's for the best. The natives have tolerated us to the point of breaking; we shouldn't seek to test their hospitality any longer. As for deciding on our next course, I must admit, command and control has always been beyond my paygrade and in my view, my capacities, but if you insist, I will try to make a wise determination."

    When handed the set of dossiers, Kaeravak takes to pursuing them with a look of stern concentration, clearly uncomfortable with having been thrust into a role beyond his limited responsibilities as a grunt.

    "Well, seems to me we should be setting up a base of operations first of all; don't care much for the Drow to be sure, but we need some kind of safe guard against their damned sky pods, and there's no better defense against that than being half a mile underground. I'd certainly be wary of the locals; no telling what kind of scummers and sell-outs would betray us if the price were right; Lolth may be gone, but the treachery she engendered in her people certainly has not."

  4. - Top - End - #544
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    Cinder flutters up to the table, and takes some time to laboriously open the folders and peruse files larger than she is tall. Usually, she'd just ask for a copy her size, but in the current circumstances, she's amazed the Old Man bothered with even the basic ones. Much of the finer details makes her eyes glaze over, so she concentrates on the overall objectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    "Well, seems to me we should be setting up a base of operations first of all; don't care much for the Drow to be sure, but we need some kind of safe guard against their damned sky pods, and there's no better defense against that than being half a mile underground."
    "I'm not so sure 'bout that, Kae," Cinder pipes up, "The old base was a mile under a bloody mountain, and that didn't stop 'em from pumellin' through to th' caverns underneath. Sure, it ain't gonna be as easy to reach the drow caverns, but I ain't agrein' that it's the safest place. The Cedwigmar sky ain't this sky, and you can't be gettin' from one to th'other. Not ta mention that if they treat the Cedwigmar forest as they be treatin' the mountain, they' be in for a surprise. Me forest is a slumberin' beast, and you ain't wantin' ta awaken it. To be sure, I ain't itchin' to go back there and 'ave to face the tune, but there ain't no safer place to place a base."

    "Still, I can see I'm in the losin' side. I 'ate them bloody caves, but if that's what we want, that's were I'll be goin'. Maybe them backstabbing drows can teach me a fe of their moves. I've seen what they do with them crossbows of 'em and it's bloody impressive, I 'ave to admit".
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  5. - Top - End - #545
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    At your assurances, Aurelius nods and turns to leave.

    "Make sure that you see Vallen before departing - I understand she has some . . . intriguing revelations about our enemy that she has discovered alongside Akamenos. If during the course of setting up our new base, confrontation is necessary remember that Vallen is not a combat officer. As such, neither she nor any other survivor has command in any sort of battle - you do. I will let you see to your own organization within the team. Good hunting!"

    And with that, the Old Man departs, leaving you alone with just yourselves and the double handful of non-combatants that are all that's left of X-COM.
    You go to see Vallen, and despite the situation the professor seems to be in a good mood - evidentially getting to study what remained of the alien armaments had improved her mood considerably.

    "Hello everyone! Ferrum - how is the grapple launcher working? I hope that the alloys are holding well enough to contain the explosive charge - as I mentioned before I did my best to mimic the construction of the invaders' harpoon launcher, but there are limits to what I can do with our current understanding. Understanding which has reached a very interesting new peak thanks to the aid of Akamenos."

    Vallen produces a jar filled with a viscous black oil, which she sets down on the table in front of you all.

    "This is all that remains of the X-D weaponry. As you can see, it has decayed into this liquid form, a process that occurred in the span of a few hours. And this-"

    Vallen produces an identical jar also filled with the same oil.

    "Is all that remains of the X-Ds themselves. I'm sure you've already noticed their black blood - this . . . Ichor is similar but a reduced form of that. While their bodies take a little longer to decompose than their weapons, the end result is the same - nothing but Ichor. Blood, flesh, bone - all of it, melted away into this liquid form. I - I've never seen anything like it! I would like to do some more tests on the Ichor with a full alchemical lab, but the implications of this alone are fascinating! Do the X-Ds craft their equipment from their own flesh like some sort of blood magic? Or do they fashion their bodies from the same elemental material as their equipment? I do not yet know the answer to that, but there is no question that the same material - what I called "Ichor" as I just mentioned - is the basic building block for the entire X-D war machine."
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  6. - Top - End - #546
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Kaeravak scoffs, his face contorted in naked disbelief.

    "Though Irongullet fell, there's no doubt in my mind that the onslaught would've been worse otherwise; I can't imagine the slaughter if there was nothing to shelter our base but a copse of wood. I'm not going to argue the finer points of living trees as part of a base defense, but I tell you I'd sooner trust a mile of solid stone to pick up more slack than some fickle treants. Way I see it, the Underdark is the least bad of several underwhelming choices."

    The pyromancer shrugs, settling back into his chair as one hand idly twirls his dagger about.

    "As for the Drow, only thing I want to learn from em is how many of the black skins we have to kill or browbeat before they'll let us be. Got a feeling the locals will be perhaps the most dangerous part of this mission. Best we avoid our 'hosts' as much as possible I think."

    ***

    When Vahlen discloses the result of her studies, Kaeravak nods, eyes alight with interest.

    "For once you're not making my eyes shutter Val. What you're saying makes sense between the living ichor and the bulb-headed one that can shoot with it. Hell, even the way they're able to transform our operatives with the stuff. Crazy really, Nuwessan dealt in some pretty advanced and esoteric war technologies but nothing quite like this."

    He leans forward to get a better look at the dormant ooze, grimacing at the bleak substance as though it were a catalyst for painful memories.

    "So... what about the practical applications if any? Find a vulnerability? A way to manipulate the sludge?"

  7. - Top - End - #547
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    At Kaeravak's comments, Vallen shakes her head.

    "I have only just begun my study of the Ichor. This is why I need a full alchemical lab in order to prefer more detailed analysis. I can point out though the obvious - there must be some way for the invaders to manipulate this material. Obviously some of them blur the line between flesh and this base component - such as that horrid monstrosity Kaeravak mentioned. But if they are constructing metal from the same material as their flesh, there must be some way for them to do so. The applications for such an ability, provided we could acquire sufficient Ichor ourselves, is immeasurable."

    Operation 3: Dark Tempest

    Five days after the team escaped from Mount Irongullet (so everyone recover 10 healing surges, Ferrum recovers 15 - or his max. ), the group assembles aboard the Skyranger and leads the handful of evacuation airships back across the border to Hausenberg. Following the instructions left in Aurelius's dossier, you travel to the dwarven mercantile hold of Boulder's Crossing, a trade crossroads between Hausenberg, Forectu, Elfhiem, and the Underdark nations.

    There Aurelius has established a safe house - not large enough to serve as a proper base for X-COM, but large enough to house several people and the Skyranger (Tygrin included). Given that the Skyranger wasn't going to fit inside one of the narrow tunnels snaking down through the earth that led into the Underdark, this was as far as Tygrin and your experimental airship could go.

    Fortunately the Old Man seemed quite confident that between Tygrin and the discrete nature of the safe house, the Skyranger and anyone you left here would indeed be quite safe barring an X-D invasion of Boulder's Crossing. Given the very dim view that Hausenberg had towards thievery, it seemed like a reasonable assumption, as much as anything could be counted on in this suddenly much stranger world.

    While briefly stopped at the dwarven safe house, Vallen approaches the group.

    “I don’t believe that anyone has contacted the training center to inform them of our arrival – they tend to be under a communications black-out anyway. Would you prefer for myself and the others to remain here until you have gone down there and confirmed that the X-Ds haven’t somehow . . . compromised the facility there too?”

    The concern in Vallen’s voice is genuine – despite the fact that the professor had studied these creatures with a critical mind, after the assault on Mount Irongullet they were starting to assume a mythical air amongst what was left of X-COM. You were going to have to do your best in the days ahead to combat that – preferably by presenting as many X-D corpses as possible, to prove that they were simply mortal beings who had gotten lucky.

    “Oh, yes! Also, I have something for you all.”

    Vallen digs into her pack, producing several scrolls and a vial of ink that glows faintly.

    “It wasn’t easy, but I was able to secure materials and ritual guides for several defensive enchantments. With your permission, I would like to use them to enchant your armor. Magical weapons and armor are rare as you know, but I believe that they will be key in overcoming this threat.”

    (You got a suit of Hero’s Armor, Veteran’s Armor, and Dwarven Armor to distribute as you see fit.)
    (You should also decide so that I know whether you’re taking everyone with you immediately into the Underdark, or leaving them in Hausenberg. You could also take just a few people (Vallen) with you if you’d prefer not to be a huge crowd wandering the streets of Dudinnas. Although maybe a small army would be safer. )
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  8. - Top - End - #548
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Leaving Boulder's Crossing behind, you and the other survivors of X-Com descend into the Underdark.
    Several decades ago, this journey into the Underdark would have taken weeks and been fraught with peril - especially due to drow patrols.

    Today, the descent into Dudinnas takes merely hours, via a seemingly endless succession of rides along modified mining railways and trips down cargo elevators.
    It is also, barring the occasional accident or encounter with a denizen of the as-yet untamed corners of the Underdark, completely safe.

    Your journey to Dudinnas is particularly uneventful, although you do notice a group of tiefling thugs eyeing your group with a mixture of curiosity and animosity as your two groups pass each other at one exchange between railcar and elevator. Given the fact that they were unarmored and only had simple weapons like daggers and clubs on their person, the youths wisely decided to continue on their way - but not before saying good-bye to your group via a series of cat-calls at Kaeravak before they step on-board the departing railcar.

    After the twin upsets in Nuwessan of the Moloch Heresy and the following Inquisition, quite a few tieflings left the previously harmonious nation in a desperate exodus to escape the chaos and subsequent persecution (and the more subtle racism that followed after that). Of all the places they could have ended up, few would have guessed Dudinnas, but perhaps recognizing fellow exiles the drow welcomed the tieflings with welcome arms - as welcome as drow got, anyway. As a result, there was now a flourishing subculture of tieflings within Dudinnas, hailing from across the world but with the core consisting of the Nuwessan ex-pats. Obviously the tiefling youth you encountered had learned their manners from their drow hosts - open disdain and subtle hostility.

    If the last several hours of the journey do not put the rudeness of the tieflings out of your mind, the sight of Dudinnas stretched out below you as your elevator entered the city's massive underground chamber should. Situated above an underground lake, the drow capital city strongly resembled a tiered wedding cake made out of spider webbing and buildings. That first impression was not entirely inaccurate, but rather than perfectly circular layers Dudinnas was more a series of rough triangles layered on top of each other, impaled through the middle by a central stone pillar and anchored to a set of seven smaller pillars arrayed around the central one. The entire city and part of the surrounding lake below it was permanently lit up by patches of bioluminescent fungus, shedding all of the colors of the rainbow depending on the artistic taste of the cultivator and the minerals they used to fertilize it with.

    Your elevator touches down just below the top of the massive chamber's ceiling, on a cliff jutting out from the side of the cavern wall, overlooking the entire city below.
    From there, you take a gondola down along a thick strand of spider silk to the topmost level of the city - the Visitors' District or the Foreign Quarter (depending on whether you asked an outsider or a drow).
    For everyone but Dagrun, the city was a familiar sight to them as every X-COM operative traveled to the training center here for the final and most grueling part of their initiation into the ranks of X-COM.
    Surprisingly, that facility was on the second-from-the-bottom level, a level normally reserved for minor noble houses, temples, and administrative buildings.
    In fact, the facility had been converted from the manor house of the now-defunct House Nightshade, one of many such houses that had risen during the years of chaos that followed Lolth's death, and subsequently been crushed just as quickly after angering one of the weakened but still very dangerous Major Houses.
    The fact that Aurelius had somehow managed to get X-COM's training center down on the second level, and built out of a fallen house's manor, spoke to the Drow's tacit approval of the X-COM project.
    Whether or not anyone now in power was still favorable towards the project, or was willing to look the other way even now that the project had been canceled, remained to be seen.
    And like with so much of the drow, that support could reverse in an instant, based on nothing more than a whisper on the wind.

    (And, being a native of Hausenberg, Dagrun could have visited the city as some point in his life too - he just wouldn't know where the X-COM facility was.)
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  9. - Top - End - #549
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    It takes another hour for the group to wind its way through the twisting streets of the drow's home, taking several of the many elevators and web-spun tunnels that ramped down to the next lower level, before finally reaching the training facility. The converted manor was set near the edge of this level, and beyond it was merely open space and the not-so-insignificant long fall down into the faintly glowing waters below. To your surprise, as you approach the manor you don't see anyone manning the guard post outbuilding set just in front of the main doors, and none of the interior lights within the building seemed to be on. The place looked deserted, which should not be the case even though no one knew that you were coming.

    Unfortunately, if this was a trap of some sort, you were going to be walking right into it.
    Unless, of course, you wanted to go around the side of the manor, climb up the exterior wall, and drop down into the manor's courtyard, which had been converted into a maze-like training yard.

    Or leave and go hire the drow's preferred method of aerial travel - giant bats - to carry you back down here and land on the roof of the manor house proper.
    Which was one of the reasons why this more isolated manor on the edge of the level had been so convenient for X-COM - they could use the option to travel by bat to ferry people in and out of the complex without needing to be seen using the front doors. For an organization funded by a multi-national union, the expense for such bat rides was trivial - for a group of individuals without a lot of liquid coin on hand . . . not so much.

    "This doesn't look good. I don't know what's going on but it looks like a situation where violence could very well be a possibility. Perhaps you should go investigate while I and the others wait here? There's a nearby bar that I know of - mostly drow, although since X-COM established the training center here they've been warming up to the presence of "outsiders" coming in as well. We could wait there for your return."

    Vallen offers, staring intently at the dark building but shaking her head as she fails to sense any minds in the immediate area other than your own.
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  10. - Top - End - #550
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre View Post
    "This doesn't look good. I don't know what's going on but it looks like a situation where violence could very well be a possibility. Perhaps you should go investigate while I and the others wait here? There's a nearby bar that I know of - mostly drow, although since X-COM established the training center here they've been warming up to the presence of "outsiders" coming in as well. We could wait there for your return."

    Vallen offers, staring intently at the dark building but shaking her head as she fails to sense any minds in the immediate area other than your own.
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    "Ehhh... I ain't so sure 'bout that, Vallen. If'n they're waitn' for us, they may know 'bout the bar. Damn, but I 'ate this place. Bloody drows breed paranoia like my cousins grow flowers. If the place's empty, we could just walk in - but if'n they know we're comin', they could be shielded and in ambush. Ah say, we go up though the roof. I can fly up there me-self and drop ropes for you. Havin' the higher ground appeals to me"
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrums nods his head in agreement, "I tend to agree with my fey friend here. If they know we are coming somehow, and there is an ambush waiting for us, then they know where we might also go hang out. I wouldn't feel great leaving you alone for these drow to easily pick you off. If we can get more than one rope dropped that would be nice. I can scurry up there with you and help defend them if need be. Stop them from getting cut, little one, while the others are climbing."
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  12. - Top - End - #552
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Musician View Post
    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrums nods his head in agreement, "Stop them from getting cut, little one, while the others are climbing."
    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    "I'm afraid that ain't gonna 'appen, sorry. If there's anyone up there, I ain't defendin' no bloody rope - I'm jumpin' back down, and we run for cover. Look at me, Ferrum - I'm six inches tall. I ain't stoppin' no-one from cuttin' no rope if they wanna cut it. Nah, goin' in through a defended roof ain't in the cards unless we have air support, and Tygrin took the week off. But if they didn't count on us climbin', we'll 'ave an easier time sweepin' the place top-to-bottom."
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    There is a world of imagination
    Deep in the corners of your mind
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  13. - Top - End - #553
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    On the way down to the former training facility, Kaeravak was obviously ill at ease with his surroundings, his distrust of the natives irrepressibly evident if they weren't already as his eyes constantly dart about, head turning in perpetuity as though he feared to bear his back for more than a couple of seconds at a time. When catcalls greet him on the way to the city, his reaction is mixed, countenance betraying flattery and annoyance in about equal measure with a strange sort of ambivalence. Ardently silent for most of the way while barely disguising his disdain, he offers an iota of fleeting speech when the group at last appears alone on the gondola ride over, his tone hushed and wary:

    "Sooner we get this over with the better. Wouldn't trust any of these underdarkers with a half a copper; we'd best keep our profile low as possible; given our mix we probably stand out enough as it is."

    ****

    Kaeravak nods his assent, first looking between the two, then at the roof of the structure, eyes obviously casing the property, searching for choice areas of insertion.

    "I've got no problem with that plan; like hell I'm going in the front door regardless. Way I see it, there's either there's no one there, the inhabitants are on our side, or we've avoided an ambush; no harm, no foul. That said, anyone got a copy of the floor plan?"

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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Dagrun, Dwarf Cleric

    When the group begins their descent, Dagrun is visibly relieved. The presence of so much stone around him seems to be of strong comfort, and he trudges along happily with the rest of the group. He had never been to Dudinnas before, despite spending most of his life in the area, but knew enough to keep mostly out of trouble. He takes little notice of the young toughs that briefly size up his team, but instead spends his time plastered up against the windows of the railcar like a child in a candy store. He takes in the impressive feats of underground architecture with amazement, many of the more attractive or unusual buildings eliciting a low whistle from him as the group passes by. "I'll say this about these web-lovers, they sure do know how ta work with stone.", he murmurs quietly to the others.

    ****

    When the crew arrives at the training facility, Dagrun scowls a bit at Vallen and Cinder. "Ye just had ta go and ruin the sightseeing, didn't ye?" He shakes his head and responds to Vallen, "If there's trouble, ye shouldn't go off alone in this place. These pointy-ears probably see themselves as spiders, and us as the flies. We should stick tagether until we know more." He glances up at the roof before grumbling, "Why do we always have ta go up in the air?"

    Despite his grumbling, he nods to Cinder, "Check it out up there, and if ye think we should go in from the roof, we've got enough rope."
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    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrum smiles warmly at Cinder, "Aww lil bit, I wouldn't let anything happen to you. But if it makes ya feel better, go check it out like our furry friend here says," pointing at Dagrun. "If everything looks kosher, throw that rope down and I'll be up there before you know it!" Ferrum smiles at his fey friend, "Not to mention, I can try to zip myself up there for the last 30 or so feet.....if our Vallen here is to be believed." Ferrum winks at Vallen, teasing her a bit.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Carefully fluttering her way up to the top of the structure, Cinder does her best to avoid getting snagged by any spiderwebs, which seemed to coat everything down here.
    Reaching the top just as it feels like her wings are about to give out, Cinder ducks behind and underneath one of the handful of stone gargoyles that rim the outer edge of the roof (and will hopefully make a good place to tie off a rope should it come to that).

    A short distance away squats the rooftop's defensive ballista - a siege weapon that is open to attack rather than fortified due to its need to cover a full 180 degrees of fire from any angle above, as well as fire out along the rooftop to forcibly remove any intruders that did manage to land on the roof by blowing them off of it.
    But what really captures Cinder's attention is the airship sitting in the middle of the roof and the people shuffling into it.
    X-COM indeed did have company of some sort, and it definitely was not friendly.

    (Make a Stealth check, Cinder. Success means you don't get noticed, failure means that you do but manage to leap back off the roof before things get unpleasant, but then they absolutely know that you're here.)

    Shuffling into the airship's impressively large cargo bay was a slave chain of people, their features obscured by the sacks tied over their heads, but their non-descript uniforms definitely X-COM standard issue.
    They wear shackles and fetters connected together with heavy iron chain, along with collars that both hold their sacks in place as well as connect them via a short length of chain to the person in front and behind them. Two drow supervise the line of captives, shoving or whipping any reluctant prisoners to get them stumbling into the cargo bay as fast as their fetters would allow them.
    Also of interest are the half-dozen kobolds expertly fanned out across the roof, along with a seventh manning the ballista - while the drow are dressed in identical but otherwise drab clothing and armor, the kobolds proudly bear the crest of some sort of mercenary company - no doubt one of the mercenary companies that operate as part of the Exserpis Consortium.
    Cinder would need to get up close to one of the kobolds in order to examine the crest closely enough to identify which mercenary company, however, an idea that would seem to be a poor one with so many hostiles about.

    Yet not even the drow are in charge here, for after the last prisoner is shoved on-board, a cowled figure leans out of the back of the airship.

    "That the last of them?"

    The cloaked commander asked, receiving an affirmative from one of the drow.

    "Good. Set this place ablaze and then retreat. Meet at the rendezvous in order to collect your payment."

    His statement delivered, the figure retreats back inside as the small airship's bay doors swing closed, and the balloon-equipped aircraft begins to rise off of the roof and drift off, out over the underground ocean below. After watching the aircraft go, the drow in turn deliver their orders. Unfortunately, they are speaking in a tongue that is familiar to Cinder, but one that she can't understand - sounds like Draconic. Whatever is said exactly, the meaning is clear enough to decipher - the kobolds are to stay here and guard while the drow go back down inside.
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2014-09-16 at 09:11 PM.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    Cinder stays well out of sight, and then flies down to regroup. "The place's been assaulted. There's a bunch o' drow and kobolds in the roof, and tha' airship that just left is carryin' our people. Too late to stop it, 'm afraid, but I'm thinkin' we can get the destination from th' people they left behind - somethin' about a 'randevoos' point. It seems they want to burn the place, so we might want to stop 'em."

    She goes to the left side of the massive doors. "Good, th' grate is still 'ere. I used to sneak out to go to the bar through here when the doors' closed for the night. Silly thing, not keepin' some elvish wine on 'and. I was trainin' to be a soldier, not a priestess. It's a bit of a squeeze, but I can get through and unlock the doors. Ferrum, mind 'elpin'? Separate the bars a bit, maybe give me a shove if'n get stuck. Just be careful o' the wings"

    Spoiler: Action
    Show

    Bunch of rolls, just in case I need more than one.
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[19] vs DC 20 <<Use if Ferrum can pass his Aid Another check
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[28] vs DC 20 <<Use otherwise
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[16] vs DC 20
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[16] vs DC 20
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[30] vs DC 20
    Acrobatics - (1d20+10)[30] vs DC 20

    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2014-09-20 at 09:27 PM.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    The reforged satyr nods at Cinder's request, managing to bend part of the grating wide enough for the pixie to squeeze herself through without any difficulty.
    She must be getting better at getting herself out of tight spots, because she didn't remember it being that easy to slip through the grating before - but then, she was a lot more sober than during her return trips, too.
    Unfortunately, she was about to get into a much tighter spot in trying to get the front door open - although very faint, she could still hear sounds through the thin wood of the guard booth's door into the entry lobby of the manor.

    The soft rattle of wood against stone - somebody was playing dice nearby. Again, Cinder can't make out what was being said, but the yipping barks and reptilian rasps of the voices as they counted could only belong to kobolds yapping at each other in Draconic. More importantly, though, she could even more faintly hear two other voices, almost so quiet as to be an undercurrent to the dice game. But the voices were speaking Elvish, something that Cinder did understand quite well, and by straining her ears she was able to hear what the conversation was about.

    "Are we finally getting out of here? These dizards* are starting to get on my nerves. Any minute now city security is going to be -"

    "Relax. Last shipment just got sent out or so I heard. Now we've just need to do the clean-up. I've got one of the charges right here in my satchel. I'm going to go set it up. Form up's in five minutes, we're gone in ten, and after that, well - let's see city security make sense of this!"

    "Gonna be a lot of heat coming down after this. City security isn't going to stop looking for us after we drop a ****ing building onto the lowest level!"

    "Relax! Why do you think we brought the dizards along? For extra muscle? Somebody's gotta take the blame - might as well be some two-bit operation from Expersis."

    Spoiler: *
    Show

    Dog-faced lizards - a racial slur against kobolds
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    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    "Yo, Ferrum," whispers Cinder through the grate, "We've got company. Couple of drow, bunch o' kobolds. Tell th'others to be ready for fightin' the moment the doors open. I'll try to be quiet, but our damn guards didn't oil them 'inges. If they're still alive, they'll be 'earing from me, I swear".

    She then moves over to the door lever and with a flick of the wrist cuts the cord that would alert the other guardpost. With some difficulty - the lever being longer than she is tall - she pulls on it. When that accomplishes little, she flips over it and presses her feet against the wall. The lever finally budges. Cinder then drops low, picks a likely shadow, and moves out of the room and into the other guardroom, hoping the kobolds are too distracted with their dice game to notice her.

    In the other guardroom, she once again vaults over the lever and pushing with all the might her tiny frame can manage, throws the second switch, opening the door.

    Spoiler: Action
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    Stealth - (1d20+13)[18]
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder opens the door into the entry chamber as wide as she dared, praying that the door's hinges wouldn't squeak as they had so many times before.
    Someone must have oiled them since she was a trainee, as the door opens the crack necessary for her to crawl out through the top and fly along the ceiling towards the other door.
    The kobolds below continue their game of dice without noticing her or the fact that the door was now hanging open just a little bit.

    Cinder's next hurdle is the fact that one of the drow suddenly walks into view, heading for the guest rooms and lugging a satchel that bulges with something heavy - presumably the explosive device.
    Focused on his task and clearly eager to be far away from here when it detonates, he ducks through the door and closes it behind him while Cinder quietly tries to pry the other door open.
    Fortunately, the door is not locked, and Cinder slips into the other guard room without any further difficulties, although the hinges on this one creak just a bit and causing her tiny heart to nearly pop out of its chest. And yet the kobolds continue their dice game, one of them shouting something at the other two as a particularly notable result comes up on their roll (evidentially).

    Once inside, she flips the switch, and with a soft click the two bars holding the front doors shut retract into the door frame - everyone could enter now.


    (Okay, everyone gets a surprise round - i.e. free standard action.)

    Spoiler: Initiatives
    Show

    Cinder - (1d20+6)[26]
    Akamenos - (1d20+1)[15]
    Kaeravak - (1d20+2)[6]
    Dagrun - (1d20+0)[2]
    Khitan - (1d20+2)[6]
    Ferrum - (1d20+1)[4]

    Kobold Tunnelers - (1d20+5)[12]
    Kobold Dragonshield - (1d20+4)[14]
    Kobold Slinger #1 - (1d20+3)[12]
    Kobold Slinger #2 - (1d20+3)[4]
    Kobold Slinger #3 - (1d20+3)[17]
    Drow Stalker #1 - (1d20+8)[22]
    Drow Stalker #2 - (1d20+8)[26]


    Battle Map

    Battle Music

    Spoiler: Initiatives
    Show

    Cinder - 26
    ---------------------
    Drow Stalker #2 - 26
    Drow Stalker #1 - 22
    Kobold Slinger #3 - 17
    ---------------------------
    Akamenos - 15
    --------------------------
    Kobold Dragonshield - 14
    Kobold Tunnelers - 12
    Kobold Slinger #1 - 12
    ---------------------------
    Kaeravak - 6
    Khitan - 6
    Ferrum - 4
    Dagrun - 2
    --------------------------
    Kobold Slinger #2 - 4 DELAY
    -------------------------


    SURPRISE ROUND!
    Cinder, Akamenos, Khitan, Dagrun, Ferrum, Kaeravak - Take your standard action! (Assume opening the door is the action that starts the fight, and thus it's already open for you guys to take your standard actions)
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2014-09-23 at 05:54 AM.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrum watches at the pixie do her thing and disappear into the keep. And then he waits, for what seems like hours, until he hears a click....the bars of the doors getting out of the way. Ferrum smiles and whispers to the others, "She's done it....alright lads, lets get goin'!" In a flash and as quiet as he can, Ferrum races into the entrance and is on the kobolds before they even know what is happening.

    Spoiler
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    Actions - Surprise!
    Standard - Charge against KT2 (No OA due to surprise round) (1d20+8)[13], actually 16 with CA and the +1 to charge I forgot about
    Damage - (1d10+4)[11]
    Free - Mark all of the things!!

    With his new hand taking more the form of an axe now, Ferrum runs up to the kobolds. The other two see him coming, but the last one is too slow on the draw and the last things it sees is Ferrum's smile before it is beheaded.
    Last edited by Irish Musician; 2014-09-23 at 09:07 AM.
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    Dagrun, Dwarf Cleric

    Following on Ferrum's heels, Dagrun barrels into the training facility and hurls a bolt of radiant fire at the nearest kobold, hoping to catch it by surprise. It barely has time to register the dwarf's presence before a full-force bolt slams into it in a blinding flash of light.

    Spoiler: Actions
    Show
    Move: as indicated on the battlemap.
    Standard: Sacred Flame on KD1. Wisdom vs. Ref: (1d20+6)[26]
    Hit: (1d6+4)[9] radiant damage, and one ally you can see (Akamenos) chooses either to gain 3 temporary hitpoints or to make a saving throw.
    Last edited by Deadline; 2014-09-23 at 09:42 AM.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    Cinder listens carefully at the door and, from Ferrum's happy shout, decides that the kobolds on the left are no longer a threat. Instead, she scans the area for other targets, and doe not like what she sees on the balcony: at least one target, with height advantage. She looks around for the drow - by far the most dangerous opponent - but the closed door and stupid worship slab are in the way so, without better targets, takes a shot at the kobold.

    The attack, even at maximum distance and awkwardly aimed through the door's frame still manages to surprise the kobold, and the poisoned splinters take it down instantly.

    Spoiler: Surprise
    Show

    Standard: Sly Flourish @KS3
    To Hit AC - (1d20+11)[15] (inc. CA)
    Damage - (3d6+7)[21] (inc. Sneak Attack)
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Following in behind Ferrum, Khitan stays behind the shelter of the obsidian shrine while he collects his bearings.
    Meanwhile, Akamenos raises his crossbow and snaps off a quick shot at the kobold standing next to the one that Ferrum just smashed into the floor.
    The glowing bolt sinks into the creature's eye and the kobold collapses with a shocked rasp as the magic tracer lights up the vision of Dagrun, Khitan, and Kaeravak.
    Perhaps it's this magic that guides Dagrun's burst of holy light, crashing into the face of the still-stunned kobold who is the only survivor of the massacre thus far.

    (Kaeravak's surprise round, and Cinder's first round go!)

    Spoiler: Khitan
    Show

    Move into the lobby, into a square adjacent to Akamenos for the Magic Weapon buff in the event he gets to make an attack before Akamenos's next turn.


    Spoiler: Akamenos
    Show

    Standard: Magic Weapon vs. Tunneler #1
    To-Hit: (1d20+9)[21] (-2 Cover, +2 CA from Surprise)
    Damage: (1d8+5)[10]
    Hit: Kaeravak, Dagrun, and Khitan each get +1 To-Hit, +2 Damage until Akamenos' next turn
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2014-09-24 at 07:55 PM.
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    "Right. Time to light em up."

    Kaeravak flashes a broad grin as his implement surges with newfound power. Before the fleeting energies are lost, he thrusts a palm towards the surviving kobold while it puzzles over what's become of his ally, meshing it in a vortex of lashing flames. When they at last dissipate, nothing of the hapless mercenary or his armaments remain.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Surprise Round


    Standard Action: Elemental Bolt
    Attack vs KT1 Fortitude:
    (1d20+10)[28] (+1 Magic Weapon, +2 CA, -2 Cover)
    Hit Effect: (1d12+12)[24] + (1d6)[3] fire damage.

    If the attack hits and KT1 survives:

    Free Action: Hellfire Heart
    Effect: The enemy takes 6 fire damage. Until the start of your next turn, it has a -2 penalty to the attack rolls of attacks that include you as a target


    Contingencies:

    Free Action: Infernal Wrath
    Trigger:
    Kaeravak takes damage from a creature within 10 squares of him
    Target: Close burst 10 (triggering enemy within the burst)
    Effect: Kaeravak deals 1d6+6 fire damage to the triggering creature.

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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    Cinder peeks out the door, and smiles as the carnage to the left unfolds and takes out the whole group before they even got off their asses. But with two drow still at large, the battle has but started. She looks around for a new target but all are beyond walls or closed doors. With few other alternatives, she flies up to the top of the prayer wall, looks down at the drow beyond it, peppers him with with a few hasty darts, then flattens herself down to reduce her profile for the kobold on the balcony.

    Spoiler: Actions
    Show

    Move: to top of the prayer wall (see map)

    Standard: Sly Flourish @DS1 if beyond the wall, @ KS1 otherwise
    To Hit AC - (1d20+11)[21] (inc. CA from acting before the target)
    Damage - (3d6+7)[17] (inc. Sneak Attack)

    Minor: drop prone, hide (only from anyone without LoS to her - i.e. DS2)
    stealth - (1d20+13)[15]

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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    The drow grunts as Cinder's tiny bolts bite into his shoulder.
    He shouts something in Draconic, and then returns fire at the pixie with a handcrossbow, the bolt tearing through one of her wings despite Cinder taking cover on top of the shrine.
    Hands moving in a blur, the Drow expertly reloads his handcrossbow and snaps off another shot at the pixie before summoning up a cloud of darkness, disappearing from sight.

    Spoiler: Draconic
    Show

    "Alright you damn dizards! TIME TO EARN YOUR PAY! GET THE INTRUDERS!"


    Spoiler: Drow
    Show

    Drow Stalker #1
    Free: Cry for the kobolds
    Standard: Shoot at Cinder with his handcrossbow
    To-Hit: (1d20+4)[24] (-2 Cover, -2 Prone)
    Damage: (1d6+7)[11]
    Minor: Darkfire Cloud, Close Burst 1
    Move: Stealth: (1d20+12)[16]

    Drow Stalker #2
    Actions which the party cannot see.


    Spoiler: Initiatives
    Show

    Briefing Room Tunnelers - (1d20+5)[15]
    Dragonshield #2 - (1d20+4)[12]
    Quickblade #1 - (1d20+5)[9]

    Quickblade #2 - (1d20+5)[18]
    Kitchen Tunnelers - (1d20+5)[17]


    AKAMENOS IS UP!
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2014-09-26 at 11:18 PM.
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Cinder Ashborn, Pixie Harrier


    Cinder grunts as the drow's bolt hits her squarely, giving her a long gash. Thankfully, the drow's attempt at stealth is much poorer than his aim, and Cinder spots him sneaking out of the dark cloud. "Yo, people, he's twenty feet to my right, fifteen feet from the front wall"
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2014-09-27 at 08:23 AM.
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    Peering through the doorway to see the carnage Ferrum and others have wrecked already, Akamenos shrugs as he loads another bolt into his crossbow.

    "I'm going to hang back and see what else shows up to kill us - you all seem to have this situation under control already."

    It's pretty much at this point that all hell breaks loose as the kobolds in nearby rooms react to the invasion and call to arms by the drow.
    Almost simultaneously, the kitchen door and the door to the training area's briefing room burst open to disgorge nearly a dozen kobolds in short order.

    First out is a kobold clutching a short sword in one claw and a chicken leg in the other.
    While he takes up a defensive position between the stairs leading up to the balcony, nearly a half dozen smaller kobolds filter out behind him, clustering around the door in anticipation as they pull stubby javelins from their back and look nervously back and forth, scanning for targets as they chatter amongst themselves in Draconic and polish off their own leftovers.

    Spoiler: Quickblade #2
    Show

    Move: Move to Door
    Minor: Throw open Door to Dining Area
    Standard: Move to indicated position


    Spoiler: Kitchen Tunnelers
    Show

    KT3
    Move: Move towards Lobby
    Minor: Shifty to Shift to Indicated Position
    Standard: Ready an action

    KT6
    Move: Move towards Lobby
    Minor: Shifty to Shift to Indicated Position
    Standard: Ready an action

    KT7
    Move: Move towards Lobby
    Minor: Shifty to Shift to Indicated Position
    Standard: Ready an action

    KT8
    Minor: Open Door to Kitchen/Dining Area
    Move: Move to Indicated Position
    Standard: Ready an Action

    KT9
    Move: Move towards Lobby
    Minor: Shift via Shifty power to Indicated Position
    Standard: Ready an Action


    A moment after the appearance of this group of defensively-minded kobolds, the door right next to Ferrum explodes outwards and the reforged satyr finds himself surrounded by more of the chattering little bastards.

    Spoiler: Briefing Room Tunnelers
    Show

    KT4
    Move: Move to Indicated Position
    Minor: Open Door
    Standard: Throw Javelin at Ferrum
    To-Hit: (1d20+6)[10]
    Damage: 4

    KT5
    Move: Move adjacent to Ferrum
    Minor: Shifty Power Shift to Indicated Position
    Standard: Attack Ferrum
    To-Hit: (1d20+6)[19]


    Like the one that Kaeravak had obliterated a moment ago, the kobold lugging a human-sized heavy shield around and using it like a tower shield might almost be comical, even if didn't use that shield to attempt to slam Ferrum up against the wall and pin him there!

    Spoiler: Dragonshield #2
    Show

    Move: Move Adjacent to Ferrum
    Minor: Shifty Power Shift to Indicated Position
    Standard: Shield Slam vs. Ferrum (vs. Reflex)
    To-Hit: (1d20+5)[10]
    Damage: (2d4+5)[11] (+1 for adjacent kobold allies)
    Hit: Ferrum is Immobilized until the end of the Dragonshield's next turn
    Hit: Ferrum is Marked by the Dragonshield
    Miss: Half Damage, and Ferrum is Slowed and Marked until the end of the Dragonshield's next turn.


    The last kobold carrying a short sword and a deck of cards adds insult to injury by attempting to shiv Ferrum while he was pinned up against the wall by the kobold's ally.

    Spoiler: Quickblade
    Show

    Move: Move Adjacent to Ferrum
    Standard: Shiv Ferrum
    To-Hit: (1d20+6)[18]
    Damage: (1d6+5)[7] (+2 for adjacent kobold allies)


    Ferrum's armor protects him from all of the kobolds blows, although a few nearly find a chink in his armor.
    Being slammed up against a wall by a midget with the tenacity of a bulldog still hurt, though.

    Roughly on the same level as Cinder and able to see over the Drow's cloud of darkness (it's only 5' high, and the top of the shrine is 10'), one of the kobolds up on the balcony cries out as it loads a small clay pot into its staff sling before loosing the projectile at the pixie. The clay pot hits the back of the shrine about halfway up, and bursts into flame, the thick tar inside the pot burning brightly even though the stone is unaffected by the flames.

    Spoiler: Draconic
    Show

    "Look out below!"


    Spoiler: Slinger #1
    Show

    Standard: Staff Sling vs. Cinder (-2 Prone)
    To-Hit: (1d20+6)[13]
    Damage: (1d6+3)[5]
    Effect: (1d3)[2]


    Spoiler: Initiatives
    Show

    Cinder - 26
    ---------------------
    Drow Stalker #2 - 26
    Drow Stalker #1 - 22
    Quickblade #2 - 18
    Kitchen Tunnelers - 17
    Briefing Room Tunnelers - 15
    Dragonshield #2 - 12
    Quickblade #1 - 9
    Kobold Slinger #1 - 12 DELAY
    ---------------------------
    Kaeravak - 6
    Khitan - 6
    Ferrum - 4
    Dagrun - 2
    Akamenos - 15 DELAY
    --------------------------
    Kobold Slinger #2 - 4 DELAY


    KAERAVAK, KHITAN, AKAMENOS, DAGRUN, AND FERRUM ARE UP!
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2014-09-27 at 12:02 AM.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  30. - Top - End - #570
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: X-COM: The Fourth Dimension IC (D&D 4E)

    Ferrum, Reforged Satyr Warden
    Ferrum charges the group of kobold, dropping one immediately. As he rises, his friends drop the others around him. "Thanks y'all!" As Ferrum hears the "sneaky" drow try to leave his black bubble, Ferrum's wee friend points him out. However, more kobolds come streaming out the doors and Ferrum must turn his attention to them. The first throws a javelin, which Ferrum bats away with his shield. Another takes a swing at him, trying to disable him, but right as its sword reaches his leg, he raises it...sword harmlessly skating under it. Yet another of the little dragons come to attack him, and it too misses as Ferrum dodges its attack. When they are done, Ferrum eyes them all and just smiles, "My turn, little lizards."
    Spoiler
    Show

    Actions
    Free - Mark all next to me
    Standard - Attack KD2 (1d20+8)[13], (1d10+4)[13] & I gain 3 THP
    Minor - Just to take an extra good look at the room for sneaky drow (1d20+10)[23]
    Last edited by Irish Musician; 2014-09-27 at 01:16 AM.
    My Extended Signature, Check it out!

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