A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Strange days are afoot in Riddleport as an inexplicable shadow hovers in the sky over the city, attracting scholars and mystics to divine its meaning. Yet for most of Riddleport’s citizens, the shadow’s significance, known locally as “The Blot,” is fleeting. Riddleport already hosts a large number of scholars, but as word of the blot spread, additional investigators from locations as far as Magnimar came to witness the strange phenomenon, their numbers swelling the city’s population.

    Arguments over the source, nature, and implications of the shadow rage in areas where scholars congregate, but when it became apparent that the shadow was having little direct impact on the city itself, most of Riddleport’s citizens moved on to other concerns, leaving the matter to the bookish sages in order to get on with the business of doing business. Of course, the majority of the city’s residents find the influx of new marks to be quite welcome, and both pickpocketing and the confidence business is booming.

    Life continues on the streets of Riddleport. The most interesting thing for all of you is a gala held at a local gaming hall called the Gold Goblin. Although the Gold Goblin stands in a much-neglected neighborhood and the building itself has long stood dormant and empty, it makes a comeback as the big day comes. Crowds of participants and spectators mill about on the street or file together through the main doors to sign up for the tournament. Overseeing this gathering is a larger-than-life-size statue of a goblin, apparently cast in glittering gold, that stands atop the entry stairs with a smirking expression of satisfaction on its face, as if personally enjoying the crowds that shuffle past it into the doorway beneath the gambling hall’s gilded dome.

    Just inside the main doors, two sultry beauties scantily clad and wearing faux bat wings, devil horns, and tails play the part of alluring succubi. Both are employees of the Gold Goblin, and they cheerfully register contestants for the tournament and process entry fees. Armed guards stand nearby to either side of an immense treasure chest into which each patron’s entry fee is added. The guards are on hand to not only protect the money, but to prevent any overzealous admirers from trying to dare the infamous touch of a succubus.

    Beyond the registration table is the hall’s game floor. Dozens of gamblers, waitresses dressed as succubi, and bouncers mill about the room, wandering amid tables offering various games while dealers shuffle cards, roll dice, and spin wheels. Moving through this throng are a dozen more of the barely clad, bat-winged vixens serving drinks and batting coal-black eyelashes flirtatiously for tips. In the center of the chamber is a short podium atop which sits a massive gold chest affixed to the floor by similarly gaudy chains. On either side of it stands a bare-chested bouncer in the exotic garb of some foreign sultan’s court. Each stands with muscled arms crossed over his chest and with a naked scimitar of prodigious size tucked through his waistband. High above them, from the hall’s cloth-draped ceiling, hangs a brass birdcage within which crouches a small, bat-winged, pointy-tailed devilish creature that sulks as it gazes over the room and occasionally rattles the bars threateningly.

    The grand spectacle that is the Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold tournament is about to begin.
    Last edited by Grimtina; 2014-08-14 at 05:41 PM.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    In through the doors, walking amongst the crowd, is a small figure bearing a huge grin. Walking straight to the registration booth the gnome introduces himself "I am the great Vorbar, future winner of this here tournament. Where do I temporarily place my money while I talk all of yours?" He looked around and notices the the attractive entertainment and added "I'll also take one of the ladies when I go." He almost looks satisfied with his statement, as if just saying it made it true.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Abrogolam, followed by Antilior, the great eidolon, enter the Gold Goblin.
    Time to try a new scene my friend.
    At least the scenery is better than last time.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri knows this gambling tournament is foolish. His odds of winning are poor, and that's if no-one cheats him. But he's already committed. The shop is closed, and he's going to find a way to stave off the bleaching. This has got to be a good start, even better than vague ideas of looking into the Blot.

    So, the green haired wizard enters the Golden Goblin and heads straight off to register, looking curiously but neutrally at the 'succubi'. At least there are other gnomes here.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Fidgee fidgets, quietly in the corner of the establishment. He accidentally arrived earlier than he was supposed to, due in part to him not paying careful attention, and so has already been standing here for an hour waiting for things to get underway. His eyes are tired, and his face is blank and emotionless.

    "Hmm.." he mutters quietly as each new person walks inside.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    "Aww, more gnomes here to root on your brethren to win an easy tournament like this one? Much too kind of you guys. " Vorbar turns back to the registration and asks "How much to enter anyways?

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    "Ah, it's only a 1 gold fee, and you'll have to sign this agreement to keep by the rules." The fake succubus hands out a piece of paper is shoved over, made to look like a contract to sell your soul. "Arms and armour can be kept, of course, we don't want our estemmed guests to feel helpless." She winks.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    "You never would have gotten her anyways. " Vorbar said grabbing his gun with one hand while paying with the other. He then hurriedly signs the paper without reading it.

    "Now time for a drink." Vorbar takes off to one of the other.... Servers....

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Abrarge looks over the contracts, and looks up at the succubi.
    You do realize that this contract is more after the pattern of a devil, while you are dressed as a demon?

    Spoiler: OoC
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    Knowledge (Planes): (1d20+6)[23]
    Last edited by Keledrath; 2014-08-17 at 10:12 AM.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    She blinks. "No, I was not aware of that." With a tempting smile, she points to somewhere in the mass of people already present. "The boss said to dress like this, and so we did."
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Good to know this is being run by the ignorant. I shall be entering with my partner.
    He reads through the contract first.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    It's merely an overly dramatic code of conduct for the place, including warnings about cheating, theft, and as a side note fights between contestants are also discouraged. Added in is advertising for the various games.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    In the village where the heroes came from, with a kobold attack.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Abrarge signs the contract, and holds up a gold piece.
    Does my colleague have to pay separately?
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    "Yes," she nods. "Everyone is their own man - or woman - here."
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri too reads the contract, but he's already decided to do this. He'd sort of like to talk to the gnome with the Eidolon, but he figures he should wait until he's finished with his business here. Besides, listening to him talk with the 'succubus' is amusing. So, he pays his fee and signs, saying loudly enough to be overheard "Biltri, smith of properly interesting weapons, but now today, gambler."

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri, as a purveyor of interesting weapons, will probably note the Ripsaw Glaive the eidolon is carrying.

    Abrarge sighs and digs up another coin.
    You always end up costing me money, Antilior.
    Not my fault you feel the need to drag me everywhere with you.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    A game of chance, how could a man refuse. Nary signs up to the tournament with little thought for the paperwork.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    The place starts to fill up quickly. There are several players who probably have had trouble getting the money together to participate, and there are those who wouldn't really need the prize money at all. The Gold Goblin’s main hall is a very large room, and there are more than a dozen different gaming tables available for contestants to wager, win, and lose.

    For much of the afternoon, as the registration process continues, the gathering crowd spends time playing cards and other non-sanction games, drinking, or otherwise carousing. By the time dusk approaches and the tournament gears up to begin, there are more than a hundred participants in attendance, along with 17 dealers and croupiers, six succubus-costumed servers, and six burly bouncers crammed into the room. As with most such events, the room slowly fills with smoke.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    In the village where the heroes came from, with a kobold attack.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Vorbar finds a seat near Biltri. Slapping the gnome on the back, Vorbar introduces himself "And you sir, my fellow gnome, have the luxury of learning from yours truly. Names Vorbar. Good luck. You'll need it if you think you can beat me. " He expresses a big grin hoping to start an argument with the fellow competitor.

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    Biltri replies earnestly "And my name is Biltri. To be sure, any proper gnome is ready to learn what there is to learn from a new experience. Still, I doubt that luck will enter into this. Indeed, I doubt that you will defeat me, even if a goddess should herself grant luck to you and not to me. What reason do you have to believe that neither you nor I will lose to some other here - and there are many - before we can decisively face one another. Indeed, I am sure enough of this that I will offer a friendly wager - one silver from me to you if you are clearly the one who defeats me, and one silver from you to me if I win or am defeated not by you yourself. Surely you are confident enough to accept such a friendly wager?"

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    "Of course I accept! And I'll be even kinder, if you, by some miracle on top of a wish through the act of an almighty god casting an awe inspiring spell, eliminate me, I'll give you 5 silver pieces.". Vorbar responded excitedly, needing no more reason to try harder than a small wager.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    In contrast, Biltri is a little disappointed. For one, apparently Vorbar really does believe his claim. For another, despite the costumes, this gambling thing is seeming a little too much like running a business. Still, no backing out now. He speaks up, saying "Very well then. We shall see how this tournament goes - and either way we learn something."

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    As the windows begin darkening with twilight, several gamehall employees enter, carrying torches shaped like pitchforks skewering burning heads made of straw and cloth to light several large braziers, giving the hall a more infernal hue. A hush falls over the gathered crowd as a short man climbs to the central podium, accompanied by two gorgeous “succubi,” and stands before the gold, chain-shrouded chest there with a demoness on either side. He wears a formal suit, and his thinning black hair is slicked back. His lef arrm ends in a stump just above the wrist, and affixed to it is a bronze cap from which protrudes an oddly shaped key. This is Saul Vancaskerkin, the owner of the Gold Goblin and host of the tournament. He bows before the crowd and clears his throat before speaking.

    “Welcome, one and all, to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall and your chance to cheat the Devil and win back not only your soul but all of his gold as well.” He says this last as he pats the large chest before which he stands. “I hope you found your reception by the Devil’s lovely temptresses suitably entertaining.”

    This is met by a general murmur of laughter and a few catcalls. “Let’s take this moment to thank Old Scratch himself for attending this event. Not only did he loan us these lovely, dark angels, but he also emptied the deepest vaults of Hell itself to provide the gold for this tournament.”

    With this, Saul directs the crowd’s attention up to the imp in the birdcage. At the sudden attention, Old Scratch flies into a flurry of rage, banging the cage bars, spitting, howling, and screaming vile epithets in Infernal at all assembled. His theatrics are received with guffaws and even a smattering of applause. As the crowd dies down, Vancaskerkin continues.

    “Of course, he plans on replacing what he loses in gold with the souls of those of you who don’t win. The tournament rules are quite simple - as you play, you’ll earn more chips. And with those chips, you’ll be able to bribe your way out of the current Hell you’re trapped in, working your way down deeper until you get to Old Scratch’s treasury. Currently, all of you are Old Scratch’s prisoners in the first of the Hells, Avernus. If you want to work your way down to the ninth circle, you need to win games. Each time you win, you’ll be awarded a golden eye. If you come in second, you’ll get a silver tooth. And third place wins a copper heart. These bits of flesh and bone are what the devils use in Hell for currency, and they’re what you’ll need to pay in order to bribe your way into the next layer of hell. The first player to win a game after reaching Nessus not only keeps his winnings for that game, but also earns back his soul and the ten thousand silver coins that the Devil put up for this tournament. You can, of course, decide to cash out your winnings at any time you want, but if you do, or if you run out of money entirely… well, that means Old Scratch gets you.”

    Vancaskerkin grins evilly and the caged imp cuts loose with another profane tirade. “And that earns you the Devil’s Mark and an escort out of the game hall until the tournament is over. What, you ask, exactly is this Devil’s Mark? Well, it’s something too utterly horrible to even contemplate. The forfeiture of your very soul, it is. But I suppose I can show you what it is - gods know I more than deserve the Devil’s Mark. In fact, better make it two, girls!”

    With that, the two succubi accompanying him lean over and each firmly plants a kiss on Saul’s cheek with her ruby-red lips. When they pull away, their lip rouge has left clearly visible prints in the same shocking red on his cheeks. Saul beams as he cries out, “The Devil’s Mark, everyone!” which is greeted by a flurry of shouts, catcalls, and hoots. “Now, let’s cheat the Devil and take his gold!” which prompts one more rabid flurry from the imprisoned fiend above, and with that, the tournament begins.

    Some of the games are typical gambling games like poker and blackjack (called blackeye here), but there are four unusual regional games played at the Gold Goblin as well - Bounder, Ghoulette, Golem, and Skiffs.

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    We can play a few rounds or just play it out
    Last edited by Grimtina; 2014-08-22 at 03:51 AM.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    In the village where the heroes came from, with a kobold attack.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri doesn't know how to play Skiffs, but he seeks out the rules, anything he needs to play, and a table playing Skiffs. If nothing else, he'll learn something, right?

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    One of the other players is quick to explain the rules - clearly hoping he'll have one over and win if he's playing a complete newbie.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Fidgee, desperate for some excitement, walks up to a ghoulette game and puts half is money on one spot, and half his money on the next spot. "Go big or go home..." he mumbles.

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    50% of money on result 3, 50% on 4 of the d12 roll. I didn't actually see where it said how much money we have...

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri finds the game an interesting piece of geometry, but decides that between the social factors and the time required, he had best find a cheap and quick game, so he mumbles something incomprehensible about geometry and wanders off. Seeing a game of Ghoulette he sees people winning, and winning fast, so he heads there and sees if he can make this work. 10 games, and perhaps he can get into the next circle. Somewhere he knows that his original judgement that he's likely to lose his money is likely the true one. But the size of the prize justifies some risks, and he's got a logical method to give himself a much better chance than anyone playing slow games. Or so he tells himself, then gets down to the math of how to win. He has no idea what happens on a tie, and he doesn't want to slow down to ask, so he just avoids numbers other people have gambled on so if his number comes up he doesn't have to slow the game to argue about a tie.

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    10 games, betting 10 copper each on two different numbers that other gamblers haven't. There's room for 4 other people to do likewise. So if he spends 200 copper, and for each game he rolls a 1 or a 2 he gets 10 silver, and for each game he rolls a 12 he gets 1 copper.

    (1d12)[1]
    (1d12)[2]
    (1d12)[7]
    (1d12)[1]
    (1d12)[9]
    (1d12)[2]
    (1d12)[9]
    (1d12)[12]
    (1d12)[9]
    (1d12)[10]

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Nary sees the goul and rushes over with glee. A bad mouthed bard flinging insults during the game. How could he resist. How could any Gnome. He smiles at those who join the table. "Aha a game of chance and a laugh as well. How fortunate are we in this Goblins den?" He directs the question to the air and without waiting for an answer places some bets following the other Gnomes lead on the price point, dropping 20 cp over two numbers. "You look like a Gnome in the know, much luck with this goulish head?"

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    so are we just rolling d12s for this? ill use the same as raspberrybadger to make life easy
    (d12)[12]
    (d12)[3]
    (d12)[1]
    (d12)[6]
    (d12)[8]
    (d12)[7]
    (d12)[1]
    (d12)[7]
    (d12)[3]
    (d12)[4]
    Last edited by Mangles; 2014-08-24 at 07:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Second Darkness - the Gnome Way

    Biltri is focused enough on making sure to not slow the game down even a moment that he takes a minute to respond. Finally, he says "So far. Logic preventing the need for luck is of first priority, but luck is no bad thing to have."

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    PirateGuy

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    "Logic? Sounds boring trying to work out when things are happening. Chaos and luck are much more fun." Nary illustrates his point by gambling a further 200cp

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    (d12)[4]
    (d12)[4]
    (d12)[9]
    (d12)[8]
    (d12)[7]
    (d12)[10]
    (d12)[9]
    (d12)[5]
    (d12)[12]
    (d12)[1]
    Last edited by Mangles; 2014-08-25 at 05:26 AM.

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