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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kol Korran's Avatar

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

    (Edit: The Campaign is complete! No more long waiting between sessions needed)

    Hi there play grounders. I have seen several Campaign logs on this site, and most have been an interesting read. I thought I'd share with you as well.

    Most of this first post deals with general Campaign issues. If you're interested just in the story, read about the characters, and then flip over to the next post.

    Links to the session entries:
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    Session 1: warehouse investigations
    Session 2: The Fury, the argument, the party
    Between sessions 2 & 3
    Session 3: New members, Skull Reave Trials, Into Dur Martop
    Session 4: Second floor of Dur Martop, the Medusa and the Husk, Debate over reward
    Session 5: Fighting lost battles, Guerrilla Ipix, Red's tricks
    Session 6: Wyvern hunt, Wyvern negotiations, Welcome Tuulikki!
    Session 7: plans and improvisation, butchering a villain, the map
    Session 8:The Road to Obsidian City- Stormreach, Harpy negotiation, undead, drow and riddles
    Session 9:Besieged, Bridge Battle, Webs and constructs
    Between Sessions 9 & 10
    Session 10: New arrivals, the Betrayal, "Bring it on!"
    Session 11: Showdown with the Keeper!
    Session 12: decisions, preparations, the shadow marches, the Dark Waters
    Session 13: Google's bad luck, deeper into the Silent Halls, lightning rail ambush
    Session 14: Into the Mournland, 6 ft. under
    Session 15A: twisted beauty, hateful metal, the organ seller, god in the machine
    Session 15B: The mines of Eston, raising it up a notch
    Session 16: Memories, personalities, confusion and laughter
    Session 17: events unfold, Flamekeep
    Session 18: besieged, first two waves
    Session 19: Battle of the Silver Flame, Desperate fight
    Session 20A: Obsidian City and Stormreach. gearing up, research and allies
    Session 20B: continued
    Session 21: The Vault of Imasil Kumam, dungeon crawl
    Session 22: Escaping the Vault, The Crimson ship
    Session 23: the new Captain/s, Mines of Eston (again)
    Last level up updates
    Session 24A: End Game, Battle at Thronehold
    Session 24B: End Game, Battle at Thronehold

    We are all in our 30's, but between work, kids and RL we usually manage to meet every 2-3 weeks for several hours of game. Due to our last DM needing a break, and myself wanting to get back to the DM seat (after a looooong time ) with many ideas brewing, we made a change and started a brand new campaign!

    A bit about the campaign: The initial inspiration came from SilverClawShift archives, the second campaign they ran with the hive mind (If you aren't familiar with SCS works, go to the stickies thread at the top of the forum's page. It's a worthy read. just please don't forget about me ). You do not need to be familiar with her campaign to read this log. I have however altered some concepts and added to them to create what I feel is my campaign.

    I am a fan of Eberron, and as such have placed the campaign there. The players however barely know of it. Some read a little, some more. I hope to hook them in. However, as we aim to enjoy, I did not force down the history, customs and so on down their throats. A sort of "Eberron for beginners".

    What to expect? the characters begin at 2nd level (or level 1 and LA +1 for some) 32 point but, 900 gp equipment. the campaign is supposed to reach abut 12th level. There are quite a few house rules, most of them minor, and you need not know them to read the log (A brief summary is below under a spoiler for the interested) this is not a sandbox, as there are villains with plans in motion, but it's not a railroad either. Player's action matters, and they can (and have, see session 2) changed the game significantly. I believe in choices- some that i give the players, and some that they create on their own. It doesn't mean that all choices are easy however...

    As you may have noticed, I tend to be "wordy"... I hope the quality won't be deterred by the quantity. Mostly the log will be written as a story, but from time to time I'll insert design notes or thoughts in spoilers.

    My request of you: Read and enjoy, ask questions, whatever. I'm enjoying discussing the campaign and brainstorming. Any ideas to contribute are welcomed!

    Players and Characters:
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    Kashana
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    Kashana (Red) (Better known as Red due to her long red hair): This Kalashtar sorceress (level 2)is an ex cyrian that was sent away (through diplomatic means) to Aundair during the last war, with several of her kind. As the mourning struck she became grief stricken and sought to learn more of what happened. Together With Layla her companion and her sister she has spent years trying to gather information and hypothesize about what happened. On an excursion to the border of the Mournland, the sister stepped in and disappeared.

    Kashana admires beauty and seeks to embody it. This is mostly physical beauty, not internal. She practices the dance of shadows.

    Older pic (The one she started the campaign with
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    Newer pics (From about session 3, been adding up each session)
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    Crunch: very high charisma and social skills. She is the face of the party (due to house rules all social skills are the same skill- influence), but prefers not to kill. i've worked with the player an adaptation to the Heartwarder PRC of the FR books, which will mainly allow him to increase the charisma even further.
    spell choices for level 1: sleep and Mage armor. he also carries A LOT of scrolls.


    Layla Donlo
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    Layla Donlo: An elf cleric level 2 of her own belief between life and death. The player seeks to become a necromancer, but kept the turning option. This player worried me- he is a pure power player, and for some unexplained reason decided to choose this path. I felt some discontent from him, but he decided to try and play it.

    Layla is also an ex cyrian, but she was captured by Darguun Goblinoids, where she saw harsh realities, and learned the importance of keeping every option open, no matter how objectionable. after escaping she sought some relatives that might be in Aundair, and hooked up with Red. The two are friends.

    pic
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    Google
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    Google: This half giant Psy War (level 1) wakes up in a prison cell in Aundair, with no memory whatsoever.

    the player played the last campaign as an ineffective rogue, whose back story was much invested, and didn't come to light at all. So in this campaign the player wanted "to hit things, and hit them hard".

    He became a sort of a conscience for the group.

    pic
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    Crunch: Google uses a large Great Sword. low dexterity, quite vulnerable, but high damage dealer. to compensate he took "force screen" as his known power". his psionic feat (forgot the name) enables him to expend the psionic focus for 2d6 extra damage.

    We have never played with psionics before. I decided I'll allow it, and see how it goes. I've already incorporated some Psionic elements into the campaign...


    Danves
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    Danves: A half elf who started his life as a rogue, but wanted to be something more. He joined the Arcane Swords of Aundair and became a Duskblade. In actual combat however he ran away, revealing the coward in him. He was captured by Thrane Forces and spent some time in jail, until Jaela Daarn (Keeper of the flame, a religious leader of great import. Also a child of 11 years old) called for him and told him that he has a role in great events to come. then she cursed/ Quested/ Enchanted him with a sort of a curse that demands he find Google (he didn't know his name then, just description), and then follow him on his cause, always proving to be just as Brave.

    The player played the tank at the last campaign, and wanted to try something that will challenge him roleplay wise- the charming scoundrel who tries to avoid fights, but can be effective when he needs to be.

    pic
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    Crunch: Rogue 1/ Duskblade 1 (intending to go on mostly with duskblade), skills are just all over the place with his high intelligence. Spells: Color Spray, Ray of enfeeblement.

    I have played with a duskblade once before and it was a bad experience. but i think this player won't abuse it.

    I've created a special mechanic (with the player) to represent the curse. In each dangerous situation, every round Danves is measured to see how brave he is compared to Google. Then he get some sort of modifier. At the end of the battle, he rolls 2d10, and add the modifier. Low results means the curse punishes him for being a coward, (mainly limitations to action points, but also a general "bad" aura) high results do the opposite. These last until the end of the next encounter.

    The mechanic is mainly there to add flavor, in a measured and realistic way.


    Ipiks
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    Ipiks: Poison dusk lizardfolk from Q'barra, where he was recruited by house Deneith. Due to his talent he is recruited to a special unit where he learns a unique way of fighting- Swordsage. he doesn't get to fight much before the war is over, and that frustrates him. He also develops his knack for poisons, and his ability to craft them. He dislikes the company of "warm bloods" , but he likes the opportunity for war.

    In terms of character i can say one word- Belkar. he is very much like him, only he works better within the group.

    pic (think axe and Kukris instead of bow)
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    Crunch: we have never used tome of battle before as well, so decided to try it. Going over it I realized that making most melee types against the party martial adepts would be insane in terms of planning. I don't have much time for that. Instead I decided that the 3 new classes are relatively new and rare to Eberron. Most enemies with class levels will still be from the other books, but a few select ones will present a greater challenge.

    Ipiks focuses on the tiger claw discipline, with some maneuvers from the shadow hand (forgot the names. sorry, i'm bad at this). We're still learning how these go.

    also, the players like poisons and crafting them. I changed the crafting rules to make this option more viable. I still think plain magic items are better, but the player loves his poisons...



    The following sections aren't really necessary for the log, but are here in case you're wondering:

    DMing style:
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    My first concern comes to seeing people having a good time. in order to do so i follow some basic guidelines:
    • Know what makes it fun for the players, and try and incorporate something for everyone. especially try to combine several elements into the same encounter.
    • Choices choices choices... plan some ahead, but also prepare to react.
    • change of pace: Different types of encounters (roleplay, planning, battle, and more), use of monsters, terrain, traps, limitations and so on. Changing difficulty level, changing, type of adventure (site based, event based, and so on)
    • Preparation is key. this is mostly due to my mediocre (ore less) improvisation skills. One of my weak points.
    • Roll with the punches: When the unexpected will happen. (and it will), don't fight it- incorporate it into a new opportunity.
    • The game must flow- learn and prepare what rules you know are necessary, but make a quick judgment on the go if you can't find it.
    • Monsters, situations and more- I adjust/ tweak/ alter things. not too much as to make them unrecognizable (to keep player and character knowledge relevant), but enough to keep players on edge.
    • CRs: I usually Eyeball a lot of these. i don't find them fitting.
    • Treasure distribution: I go by a sort of a wealth by-level. a character is supposed to have a total gain worth her experience points. I try and make all kind of unique and quaint new magical items. Purchasing items is (usually) not problematic in big cities.


    Main House rules:
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    There are quite a few, but here are the major ones:
    • Players throw most of the dice. instead of a monster attacking, the player rolls a defensive roll. instead the monster rolling a saving throw, the player rolls a "Spell roll". the result is similar except for two effects- i can't fudge for players, and they can use action points on monster's actions
    • Many skills have been grouped together (similar to 4E and PF), to have Thievery, stealth, perception, athletics, acrobatics, and influence to start with. the players can do more.
    • I don't grant XP for defeating monsters, but for making accomplishments. each adventure has some goals, and some side goals (some not known to the players). also, if someone does something impressive, the party may get extra XP
    • No XP cost for spells, rather an expensive component. No XP for crafting magic items, rather a spellcraft check of 15+ CL of item (however no character seem to want to craft)
    • Potions can reach 4th level


    Ok, time to start writing the session itself.

    (Search word: Tomer)
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2012-08-22 at 01:45 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kol Korran's Avatar

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

    "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

    Meeting number 1 (yay! ), August 28 2010 - Warehouse Investigations...

    In game date: Sypherus 7, 998YK (mid Autumn, month of the Shadow)
    Note to those unfamiliar with Eberron (don't worry, my players aren't either!): from time to time i'll put into spoilers little explanations about stuff in the world.
    Spoiler
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    12 is a big number in Eberron- 12 dragonmarked houses, 12 months, 12 moons, and so on. the months are named after the moons.


    Chapter 1

    Danves is worried about being back in Aundair. might people know of him? "low profile" he mumbles. now to find this huge man/ ogre/ something that the prophet talked about. Danves hears that someone fitting such a description is in one of the watch houses cells. he makes his way there.

    The three Musketeers: The Big, the small, and the smiling
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    Danves is looking after someone of Google's description due to the terms of his curse, though he does so grudgingly. It is important to note that No one seems to know Google's race. most think he is some sort of half ogre or the like.

    meanwhile Ipiks and Google are in cells at one of the watch houses of Fairhaven in Aundair. Google can't remember anything, but he is quiet about it. he remembers just three words: Cimdan, Auxelia, Obraskyr.but not what they mean. Ipiks in the meantime makes a whole "prisoner scene" including running his mug at the bars, and singing lewd songs about the guards mothers. As Google inquires to why he is here, the guard tells him they found him unconscious with Ipiks above him in an alley last night. "Stupid warm bloods! i was trying to help him. he was mugged! they took something bright and shiny from him. i knew i shouldn't have tried to do so!" Ipiks grin is a bit disturbing however.

    that is when Danves arrives, just after the lieutenant. Danves tries to persuade the guards to release Google with his charms, but the lieutenant disturbs him, saying there is trouble in one of the Orien warehouses. they secured the building, but the Lady wants capable people to come. the big man and little lizard seemed capable. if they do this, maybe he can let this investigation go. Ipiks spits "just when i do nothing then i'm blamed?" but Danves agrees for all three of them. Google is mostly confused, but would like to help. the two are given their equipment, and they are escorted to the warehouses, Danves making polite conversation, carefully avoiding telling about himself.

    Eberron stuff:
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    In Eberron there are 12 economic powers called the dragonmarked houses. each of them controls some industry or services. House Orien controls all land transportation (including the famous lightning rail) and couriers.


    Get out and get a job!
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    Meanwhile, at Wynarn University Kashana is bent over a book, and Layla is deep in thought. they come to the conclusion they could learn nothing more about the Mourning from books. they must explore it directly. but that is very costly, and they are broke.

    Eberron stuff:
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    During the recent past, 4 years ago, one of the main 5 nations of the main continent was suddenly enveloped in a gray mist that killed everyone within it, and there after leaving it as a strange bizarre land with weird effects. think twilight zone enhanced. the destruction was called The Mourning, and the land of Cyre became known as the Mournland.


    suddenly one of the other less pleasant scholars, one who taunted them consistently came "you're still here? this is Aundarian university, not a refuge for Cyrians. here, i heard there was some trouble at the Orien warehouse in the south of the city, why don't you go and maybe be usefull for a change, with your magic?" Layla almost jumps at him, but Layla calms her down, and they decide that it might be a good idea.

    I know these weren't exactly great hooks, but they are a start, eh?


    Negotiations
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    as the two groups near the warehouse, they see angry merchants held back by a lot of guards that surround the warehouse, to the side there is an elegant woman in finery, speaking quietly with what looks like a guard captain. the two groups arrive fairly close, and Red (Kashana) introduces herself and Layla. asking for the nature of the problem in the warehouses. she tells them that something has been causing trouble in the ware house. the people that ran away speak of some flying red devil?

    the players don't like this. Red offers their magical talents to help solve the problem. "you're a wizard?" said the woman (called Lady Avandra d'Orien) "no, my powers are more... internal..." Ipiks laughs quietly "internal!". Lady Avandra seem skeptical "you too look so frail!" Google jumps in offering his power to work together with the two spell casters. Ipiks bawls out "work with them? but then less rewards! i need no "internal powers", i have my axe!" meanwhile Danves tries to persuade Google that the two seem like VERY capable spell casters, and they could probably take care of the problem alone, "we'll just get in the way, i'm sure"... Google however is adamant.

    then negotiations begin. Red is very influential, but Avandra is a skilled negotiator herself (by the way, i'm using the Giant's rules for diplomacy. see the gaming section). Ipiks decides to try and help and tries (for some reason) to frighten the merchant. his attempt goes poorly "she's hiring a kobold?" yells an angry merchant. (he never seen one in his life) Ipiks is destined to be confused as a kobold further along the line.

    just as the negotation seem to come to an end, a small group of 3 hobgoblins and a goblin come rushing in "don't take them, take us! we're stronger! Grumah and band!" Avandra seem to be considering, and decides that a duel would suffice, with a healer on stand bye. Google says it's unnecessary, with Danvas eagerly supporting him, but Layla and Ipiks draw their weapons, with some glee.

    all for naught however, as Red cast sleep and takes down all but the leader, who turns around astounded. Avandra is impressed, (bonus to influence roll) which makes her increase payment. Ipiks is quite impressed as well "Internal eh? and more money? say, i think we started off on the wrong foot..." Red actually takes quite a liking to the little creature.

    Eberron Stuff:
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    In Eberron Goblinoids are not monstrous races, but races with long histories. they once held great empires that since have fallen to ruin. in present day most goblinoids live as a sort of second class citizens in most countries. there is a new nation of goblinoids called Darguun, where things are different, but we'll get to that later.


    Design note:
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    Grumah's band was quite weak. their purpose was some sort of a unifying factor, and maybe some potential for humor (as there was). the performance in the battle affected the negotiation. they did splendidly of course.


    "Draw me a sheep":
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    The Party is suspicious. before they can make more investigations a guard commander comes and asks the party to look for a lieutenant called Ulrike and 2 soldiers that went into the warehouse but didn't return.

    the party wants to interview survivors, but they only found a warforged called Bolt (i wasn't prepared for this, so i winged this conversation). Layla interrogated the repairing warforged- he is a simple worker at the place, and when he heard screams he turned and ran. he had no weapons here, and didn't plan to be a hero. he saw a red flying thing with bit teeth. "can you draw it?" now then, i tried my best. my players looked at my picture, and gave me an aggravated look "this looks like a batman symbol". i shrugged my shoulders and smiled. then they started guessing what it might be, and i smiled wider.

    a Jorasco merchant offered the party a partially depleted wand of Lesser Vigor in exchange for part of the reward, and they were to enter the warehouse.

    Eberron Stuff:
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    Jorasco is another of the dragonmarked houses. it is ruled by halflings, and deals with all kinds of healing, mundane and otherwise. often of great importance to adventurers.


    Things that make me go Bzzzz:
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    I gave the party a map of the warehouse. basically it was a long corridor, with sections to it's sides, 6 sections on the whole, each one pertaining to different sort of merchandise (manufactured goods, stones, wood, liquid substances and so on). the party decided to explore the ore section first, as it was the closest (the party could enter the ware house from two locations, they chose this one). Danves seemed at some ease, suggesting stealth and exploration, but the party chose to stay together.

    while investigating they were suddenly attacked by some sort of palm sized insects. but not normal insects, since they incorporated Eberron Dragon shards within their bodies, making them a bit tougher to hit. The bugs mandibles were sharp, but they also shot dazing needles, and at one point when the group clustered 3 of the bugs surrounded them and activated some sort of a mind blast over them! the first few bugs were easy to dispose however.

    The players were confused. Red wished to investigate more about these. they found various bodies in the ware house, some with marks of mandibles, but some with big teeth marks, like a bear trap.

    The party was attacks again, but this time one of the bugs was bigger, about 3 times bigger. a sleep spell got rid of the smaller bugs, but the big one suddenly shot shards from his body, wounding Red more severely. Though it was tougher than the smaller ones,, Google and his big sword soon made a splat out of him.

    the party became a bit more paranoid. this is a good sign to a DM.

    Design Note:
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    In case you're wondering, these are creatures i made up, that may become major features in the campaign. sort of "psi-bugs" i gave them no name but my players call them "mind insects".

    this first few encounters were to give the players a bit of a taste that things will most likely be different. also, this is the first mystery on their hands.

    combat wise the small ones gain advantage in numbers (their psi blast gets stronger), while the larger ones have 3-4 first level pis powers (forgot at the moment).


    The Red Flying "Demon" OR "warforged can draw!":
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    The party then found a small wagon with a severely beaten horse (the bigger jaws) they are then attacked from above by... an enraged dire bat with red fur! Google misses the quick bat, while Danves tries to weaken it with a ray of Enfeeblement. But Ipiks and his maneuvers win the day, wounding the flyer deeply, before he runs away. something odd that they all notice- the bat has a harness on him.

    I thought to spring the bat later on them, but Ipiks will not be denied his kill! quickly he climbed the slab of ore beside him and searched for the bat. one perception check later, and he notice it hanging from the low ceiling some distance away, taking something out of the front of his harness. Hissing in triumph, the Little lizard man rushes forward, leaping from slab to slab (high athletics) while the party rushes from below after his noises.

    as Ipiks gets closer he notice the bat drinks potions! he is fully healed and flies towards Ipiks. 2-3 rounds later, while google tries to climb the slab ipiks throws it's head from above. "come up, you need to see this!" says Ipiks. and then the player turns to me- "looting!"

    Design note:
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    To Tell the truth, i thought the bat would be harder to beat due to his impressive AC (25 i think). but oh well, this is it. i planned to spring the bat on them later, a sort of a looming threat. i said "oh well" already? the harness leads to the second mystery.


    Lizard Chef:
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    When Ipiks loots he finds several empty potions and several full ones, i'm not a cruel DM) but he also find an object wrapped in cloth. as he undo it he finds an adorned ladle, but when he touches it the most bizarre things happen...

    as the part reaches the slab they see Ipiks seemingly scared, and confused. "what is this place? it is so unclean! who are you people? please, i need to get back to my kitchen, this is so... unseemly" what follows is a hilarious conversation with Ipiks (who know calls him/herself Bertiya) who is sure she is the royal Aundarian cook. Ipiks/ Bertriya berates Danves for being unclean (Danves thinks Ipiks is sick in the head), and treat the lovely Red ever so kindly. but after about 5 minutes Bertriya suddenly loses her voice and Ipiks return, taking out a dead rat and chewing on it.

    a quick detect magic finds a strong enchantment aura on the ladle, with traces of psychic energy. the party is further confused. Ipiks carries the ladle.

    Design Note:
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    Fishy, if you're reading this- this was due to your idea. The Ladle is part of a series of magical items that have a special place in this campaign. each holds an imprint of a personality in it. the character rolls a saving throw- if she fails, the personality takes over. (i have handouts for players) but it also bestows some special skills or feats (in this case nothing much to worry about) if the character succeeds, her own personality dominates, and she gain lesser skills and feats. this stays one for 1d6x5 minutes.

    these items have two purposes: first i hope they are interesting non standard, magical items to use, secondly they have a role in the campaign. not a necessary role, but a sort of a side quest.


    Don't let your guard down:
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    The party recovers, and moves to investigate the food storage section, as they near it they notice a small defensive post with the missing guards there, two holding crossbows, and Ulrike with a halberd. "don't come closer, go back, we protect the little ones!". "They are charmed or mind controlled" says Layla's player. the party goes at the offensive, with Ipiks Charging ahead and Red yelling to him "Do not kill!"

    but Ulrike has improved trip, and a ready action, and he trips and slices deeply into Ipiks, Red tries to cast sleep, but the two guards also have a ready action, and hit her severely. and to add to the fun, one of the bigger bugs descends from the top and fires more shards.

    Again Google smash bug, Ipiks wavers and dodges, Danves and Layla Shoot arrows, And Red cast more sleep. a bit later, the battle is won. the guards are tied and led back outside to the cheering of the crowd "Did you find the menace?" asks Avandra. "Yes, but we're not through"


    And the Plot Thickens:
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    The party enter gingerly into the food strorage area- basically a long corridor with loads of crates stacked at both sides. They find a dead elf with mandibles cuts, looking like a druid in front of a crate which side is open to reveal a mass of flesh.

    "Found the hive as well? great! you're just in time to give me a hand!" speaks a voice from the top crate. they see a young looking half elf busy with,,, something. He presents himself as Tarius d'Medani, an investigator of house Medani. someone committed a murder in their conclave, so he couldn't get here till now. he was on the tracks of these insect smugglers for quite some time now, and now he finally got them. he has some blasting spheres (custom magic items, like a low grade explosive), with which he intends to take out all 6 crates with bugs in. the elf must have opened the crate and broke the cooling protection, which kept them dormant.

    Eberron Stuff"
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    Medani is another dragonmarked house, responsible for investigations.
    there are many "day to day" convenience magic item in Eberron. Cooling crates wouldn't be out of the ordinary.


    The party, obviously was very suspicious. "why do you need us for?" asked Danves. "The blasting spheres take awhile to install. and the crate is empty. i'm no fighter, i won't be able to deal with any trouble. can you?" they debated, and decided to help him, for now. Tarius gets out his holding bag, opens it and out come two Warforged (lacking some plating) they assist him silently, obediently. the party ignores them.

    Ipiks looted the elf's corpse (the Dire Bat's master) and found ID documents identifying him as Ilrien Gasepi, warden of the wood. he also found a ring, which also held a hidden personality- a blind scholar from breland, expert on history and the planes, but this time he withstood the effect (luckily for him, or he would have gone blind for the duration)

    a bit of time later, and the new threat appeared- a swarm of tiny bugs (smaller than those they fought) and two large bugs. this fight was tough! the swarm covered Ipiks nearly instantly and took him to 0 hit points. they started using alchemist fire against it (with Ipiks escaping drinking a cure potion), but then one of the bug charmed Red, and they were seconds from a color spray (non violent way for her to protect her "little ones"), before Google Squashed the charming bug. the last bug ran away but Danves and Layla's bows got it.

    The party healed, glad they survived the fight. Layla notices that the warforged barely reacted during the fight, just stood there...

    Design Note:
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    I believe that each Session should have One tough fight, were things may stand on edge. there were 2-3 points during the battle where one or more could have died. without the risk of death, there can be no glory of victory.


    Light a candle for me:
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    The party still didn't trust Tarius (players are a suspicious Bunch), and so some guarded for more trouble, and some guarded him. a few lousy perception rolls later, and only Danves notice Tarius secretly drinking potions. he yells a warning and shoots an arrow, while Tarius blows up for of the crates!

    the party has some nice reflex saves. it seems they are up to a tough battle. but this session's confrontations will end as they began- with a single sleep spell. Tarius falls asleep, but even before he hit the crate he bursts into flames! the party is alarmed "another wizard!" calls Danves, searching, while the others rush to the burning figure. they didn't reach it in time, it burned completely. They got his holding bag, plus a big of magical gear that wasn't destroyed. (Ipiks even found a bit of poison). also they found several sets of IDs. Layla examines they remains "Changeling! what the hell?". detect magic find lingering fading evocation aura from braces he wore.

    The party decides to blow one of the two remaining crates, but save another for research (which the university takes)- they figure out that "Tarius" might have been trying to get rid of evidence


    Finishing it up
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    The Party get outside, and are welcomed by Avandra and the watch, who reward them. they ask of them to stay close by for further investigations. Red is deeply troubled, as is Google. Danves feels quite at unease, silently expressing dissatisfaction. Huzzah!


    Thoughts for session summary:
    (we've already played 3 session, but I'm writing what i thought at that time)
    All in all i think this was a good start to the campaign. a nice short adventure, and many loose ends and clues. i am worried about the player of Layla. he was not in the game, didn't cast any spells (he said he chose wrong ones) and didn't seem to enjoy that much. i fear it is not the character for him.
    i think the group is starting to develop a nice dynamic. Ipiks was a bit too dominating, but I've talked with the player and that won't return. much preparation for next meeting, there would be the first of their big choices.

    So, what do you think?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-27 at 05:23 PM.

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

    no one is interested?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    no one is interested?
    Keepin' an eye on it.

    On other notes, members of House Jorasco are forbidden from providing any healing before being paid in gold. I'm not sure if the vows allow them to use healing or healing items as a payment for other services.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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

    at least one reader. yay!

    as to the Jorasco representative- she made the arrangement with Avandra. I'm sure that qualifies... no?

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

    I am reading with interest.

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

    This looks interesting. I'll be reading to see where it goes from here :)

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

    Just keep doing what you're doing! My Silver Hellstar Campaign Log doesn't get many comments either, but people are reading.
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    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Keep on. Some of us enjoy reading even if we don't post much.

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

    Meeting number 2: September 11th, 2010 - The Fury, The Argument, The Party

    In game date: Sypherus 9-11 998YK (mid Autumn, month of the Shadow)

    To the Docks
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    The party stayed at "The Kobold, The Halfling, and The Blind Maiden" Inn, and saw a show of the same name. they conversed a bit, getting to know each other a bit more (With Danves faking being Verrry tired) and so on.

    Early in the morning, as they were making their preparations the characters were interrupted by the Watch Commander, an elf named Sidius. He told them they interrogated the warehouse personal, and found that 2 were bribed to bring in the crates unchecked. further investigations led to the culprit- a dwarf merchant named Maruk, and his shifters band, called Saruk's pride. The guard was going to arrest them, and wanted the party' help, since they proved so effective the last night.

    Eberron Stuff:
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    Shifters are a race of semi- lycanthropes, they can "shift" a limited number of times per day, when they get various abilities like toughened skin, more speed, claws, scent, bite and so on. they are usually fairly wild. they are a LA +0 race.


    The party feared trouble (correctly) and tried to strategize (except for Danves who noted that there are many guards, and the party doesn't know their tactics, and will get in their way. Maruk is said to stay in an inn called "The Kraken" with his personal bodyguards. Red and Google thought to maybe walk in first, place themselves in key locations. they don't wear the guard uniform, do they?

    As they approached the Kraken, in the cold early fog, they heard chanting, and saw 20+ shifters, led by some priestess cleric chanting enthusiastically. and for some reason, wearing armor and their weapons close by. Layla caught ear of the chants... chants for the Fury! "This does not bode well" the party decided to stay with the guards. Sididus send some of his men t block the shifters from going on their ship.

    Eberron Stuff:
    Spoiler
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    The Fury is one of the Dark Six gods- wild gods of nature and the uncivilized world. the common faith ("Sovereign Host") stands against it, but many secretly give sacrifices to the dark six as well, to appease their anger. The Fury is the patron of passion, instinct, rage, emotions and madness.


    As they entered the Kraken, they saw some shifters, again armored and armed near the stairs. they went towards the stairs when they heard a deep voice whispering "I tell you, leaving now would only create suspicion" as Maruk came down, in fine furs, golden rings through his beard and so on, accompanied by one more elderly yet powerful looking shifter (we'll call him Gray) and another huge looking female shifter, with dodging eyes, and a great sword on her back.

    Sidius tried to talk to the sly Maruk for a few seconds, while the party was ready for trouble (and Ipix snuck behind the counter). but at some moment the female lost it, drew her sword, and cut up a guard!


    Start of the Battle with the Fury
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    One of the party members attacked Maruk, who turned a frightened face towards them, and ran for their protection. "why are you attacking me? save me! please!" he seemed utterly terrified of the female. meanwhile some of the shifters stayed, while the female growled at the gray one, who bowed and ran with some shifters through the side doors. a round later they heard him shout "3 fire teams, to the Balistas!" and it seemed as if all hell broke loose outside as well.

    Meanwhile the shifters inside chanted at the female "Fury... Fury... light of the Fury..." apparently they worshiped HER. the party tried to focus their attacks on her, while she cut up Sidius quickly, but some of her wounds closed quickly (DR), Google's strikes were the only ones to get through with any real damage! Ipix hit as well, but not as strong, while the rest focused on the other shifters. Red used a scrolls to lock the door behind them, so no shifters from the outside (including Gray) could get to them. Maruk hammered on the door, bawling to get out.

    than she shifted, and turned into a large were lioness! ("what the hell?!" croaked the players!) as well as flying into a frenzy. the players decided it was time to run. as they reached the door and Red opened it the Fury slung her sword im a stretching scabbard on her back and turned to a lioness.

    Outside They saw a battle raging over access to the ship, with Gray directing the efforts, and the priestess healing the shifters with her wand. some shifters were bursting into flames as Tarius did, and the party realized that must be some magical item to prevent them falling captive. Danves and Ipiks saw some teams running to the Balista towers. but there was no time to think. to my surprise, the party decided to protect Maruk no matter what. Google positioned himself to delay the Fury, while Red caught up with the fleeing Maruk, and used a scroll of charm person "you stay with me, will you?" "sure will fine lady!" said Maruk. Ipiks decided to help the battle at the docks, through a smoke stick to block view and then got close, unleashing a Blistering Flourish. he then ventured back, but didn't get to the fight in time.

    Danves unleashed ray of enfeeblement after ray of enfeeblement, while Layla used her summoned undead to block the fury for a round or two. she ran by Google (focused on Maruk), while he slashed her a bit more.... i should have really turned my attention to the players, but she had over half her hp.

    Maruk and Red got out of the gates, and She took out another scroll of disguise (in my house rules all "range 0" spells are instead "touch") and made him look like a filthy goblin.


    When Google Crits or "when DMs mess up"
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    Google was next to the Fury then, and he critted, in the confirmation he critted again, and he confirmed that... 9d6+18 damage. he rolled well, damaging her 49 hp (after damage reduction) not bad for a 2 ECL character! his sword caught her by the jaw, slashing by her neck breaking some limbs, spilling gushes of blood! the players cheered.

    i was a bit surprised then, realizing she might die. The Fury was supposed to be one of a bunch of repeating villains, that level up as the party does. this was supposed to be her first performance. perhaps i should have focused on the characters as well? not just Maruk?

    but as i mentioned, i improvise poorly. suddenly two tentacles erupted from the Fury's back, (again- "What the hell?") and attacked Layla and Google, without success. I decided for that round to keep her focus on Maruk, but due to Red's spell she failed to notice him, and panicked running back towards the ship (the guards were down). then Ipiks and Layla through alchemist fire, Google attacked again, and Danves kept to his rays. she Attacked Danves Google and Layla with Claws, Bite, and tentacles, and dropped two, But Layla (who has been expecting this!) took her down with the Death domain power, snuffing her life once and for all. (there goes my plan of stealing her body and resurrecting it)

    Huzzah! the player rejoiced as the fight left the Shifters. (those on the ship still took sail, the Balistas ineffective now) and 3-4 of those left surrendered. they players healed, and there were high spirits at the table. i realized i'll have to change a few things in my campaign, but it was worth it for moments like this!

    Some After thoughts and Design Notes
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    As you can guess, i planned/ assumed things would go differently. (the fury had 10 HD, most of them d10/d12, and quite a nice Con bonus). a few rounds of battle with the fury, then when they realized she's too much, focusing on other objectives- the balista crews, or taking down the healing priestess. there were quite a few minor goals (each with it's own effect). at the end Maruk was supposed to die, uttering or yelling something about "the log book". the party was then to rush to the dock master's house, where they would face Gray and some shifters, get the book, and see the shifters sail away.

    I do plan a bit for the unlikely (such as XP and initial results- What Maruk can tell them) but this did surprise me. i turned the Fury into a lion cause she's less dangerous that way- her sword damage could kill (not just disable, but kill) both Google and Ipix in one hit, and seriously disable the others. maybe i should have chanced it, who knows. doesn't matter now. the game progresses...


    Bad air at the gaming table.
    Spoiler
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    Xp was given- party went up a level, and almost made it to the next. but then we got to the loot. i wasn't intending to shaft my players after such an accomplishment- Beast skin chain shirt (in my rules weapon and armor don't need the +1 for adding other qualities. weapons who don't have it however do not penetrate DR/ magic), ring of protection +2, and The Fury's sword- "Raging whisper"- sizing, continual wounds (2hp/round) and madness- 1d3 wis damage per hit (no save). each of my villains have some sort of unique magical items, that cannot be replicated by the known artificers.

    The party thought to accommodate Google with the sword, but then Layla's players demanded it (and the ring) be sold and divided equally. this caused a huge argument at the table, that i could not believe we were having at these ages. in the end the party relented, but loaned Google a bit of money to commission a worthy sword.

    All in all i think the decision was correct, for the long term (it would be harder to balance encounters to fit his powers and theirs) but it was done (i think) for the wrong reasons- the player, who is a textbook power player couldn't stand someone this much more powerful than him. This all had let a bad air to the gaming session, and ruined the elation we previously felt. most were pissed off with him.


    Leveling up and items (for the crunch inclined
    Spoiler
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    • Red: took the Lesser orb of Acid spell (in my house rules it's an evocation spell, and subject to SR), and bought a lesser rod of extend, and many scrolls with her money.
    • Layla: bought another bag of holding for her undead. she bought a scroll of animate undead, and animated the fury (6 HD) as well as a bunch of shifter skeletons. I was still a bit dumbfounded when the player told me the plans. otherwise- no way that he could just buy a scroll of" animate dead", and the fury should have been taken to an autopsy
    • Google: took on the Extension power, and commissioned a +1 keen (he likes crits now) sword.
    • Danves: took on shocking grasp as a spell, and bough a +1 sword, and some potions.
    • Ipiks: i don't remember what maneuver he took (he hasn't used anything new this far). He took the Scent stance, wanting to make Ipiks more animalistic, more savage. he bought a +1 small great axe, and some components for poisons


    Chapter 1 Complete, onwards to the Interlude

    Maruk's Investigation
    Spoiler
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    The Dwarf didn't realize why his new friend Red was waving him goodbye to the new guards that rushed to the scene. Again, the party was asked to hang around. Lady Avandra d'Orien found them, and told them she is holding a high class party for their bravery, and to raise fund for the guards' widows and orphans. it will take place in 3 days. meanwhile, Ipiks crafted poisons, Danves tried to jog Google's memory, and the party partially shunned Layla.

    they were called to hear the details of Mark's story. the dwarf broke down easily. Apparently he was approached by the Fury about 2 years ago, just after the Treaty of Throne hold was signed. He was to be their face. they made non stopping journeys from within the towering wood in the Eldeen Reaches (4 days walk deep from the village of Narskind in the west of lake Galifar) where they got 6 crates of... something, over the lake, up the Lightning rail to Fairhaven (where they were now), and then a ship up the side of Thrane up to the Silver Carp village (eat of Arul Dusk), and from there the shifters took a shallow boat into the Mournland. Maruk is awreck, constantly sobbing, but strangely grateful "I wanted to get out, but i thought she would hunt me down! you don't know how fanatic her and her crew are!"

    the party forgot about the shifter prisoners, but it doesn't matter, as all 4 kills themselves the next day.

    Eberron Stuff: (quite a lot this time)
    Spoiler
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    • The Treaty of Throne hold brought the leaders of warring nations 2 years ago to sign a tentative peace between them. before that the continent was at a long, futile war. the Mourning was the catalsyst for this.
    • Eldeen Reaches- a wild country mostly covered by an ancient forest. whatever population there is, it is ruled kindly by 5 druid sects (wardens of the wood being the major one)
    • Narskind: a village i made up, on the west most point of lake Galifar.
    • Lightning rail- a sort of a train, powered by air elementals, run by Orien representatives. the fastest land transportaion.
    • Fairhaven: the capital of Aundair, where the characters are now.
    • Thrane- another of the five nations (like Aundair). ruled by a theocracy of the Silver Flame, a benevolent, if sometime zealoty faith.
    • Silver Carp: another village i made up, east of Aruldusk
    • Mournland- the bizzaro bizzaro land- wild magic, weird stuff, twilight zone. the land is what is left of Cyre nation, before it was destroyed. This is one of the most dangerous places in the continent of Khorvaire. Healing, divination and teleportaion magic don't work well there.


    Party time! Lets boogey! OR "3 strangers, 3 proposals"
    Spoiler
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    The players, expecting trouble (as players are known to) decide to come to the party in their combat gear. (sigh ) there is a little argument with the porter, but then lady Avandra arrives, and decides these are "ornamental finery".

    the party rubs shoulders with the hob nobs. they seem to be impressed by Google (if a bit frightened), and puzzled by Ipiks (and yeah, still frightened). then Ipiks suddenly hears some mentions that the royal cook came to cook the meal- Bertiya Oolsmeld! didn't he have her personality within the magic ladle?! he goes to talk with her. there is a hilarious conversation between the clean freak cook and the strange looking Ipiks. apparently she recieved the ladle some time ago from a noble she can't remember, and took a great liking to it! but then, one day, it was gone! she missed it at times, and would like to have it back. "one moment please!" said the ever polite Ipiks, who returns to Red, whose advice he comes to appreciate.

    But Red, and a few of the others are not there, they are entangled in their own conversations. Google is approached by a smart looking gentleman (think James Bond) whose names is Galwind Farshick. He represents interests of the crown (or so he says), and is concerned by the druids involvement in all of this (remember the dead druid Ilrien Gaspei?). he would like the party, being non Aundarian to explore where the Crates came from, and if there is any more, and who's making them. he offers a reward. "talk to your friends, including the one eying us suspiciously (Danves) and let me know tomorrow, i'll be at..." he gives Google an Address.

    Red and Layla hear very similar proposals, just from different people, and to different places. Red is approached By Edmund, a fellow scholar from the university, representing someone who explores the draconic prophecy (or so he says). he feels Khorvaire may be in danger, and that the PCs may be key to stopping the fate that can come. he wishes the party to explore into the Mournland (with funding for various items they might need). again- meet me tomorrow at... one last thing- "beware who you befriend"

    LaylA is approached by Lady AuresSia ir'Opal. a fairly elderly lady with a grumpy looking husband. both fought for Aundair, but now they sponsor adventurers on perilous tasks to get all kind of historical treasures around Khorvaire (or so she says). she too is a draconic prophecy researcher, and have heard about the insects. there is a mentioning of them in the prophecy, and how they would "Bring out old lore from and old tomb, and wield the weapon against the swarms long ago". AuresSia found out this Tomb, in Darguun, near the village of Skullreave. she believes only the party can find the tomb. she would like to have it (after the party reads of it). she offers a slightly larger reward, due to the chance of slavery. meet her at her flying ship- the Fiery Hope tomorrow.

    Eberron Stuff:
    Spoiler
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    the Draconic Prophecy is a huge series of omens and portents and signs that keep appearing all over the world, dragons, devils and sages have been trying to decipher it, and have at times found cross roads in the fates, thus enabling them to affect the future. it is very poorly understood by non dragons or fiends.

    Darguun is the rising new land of Goblinoids. it's ruler tries to bring it to be accepted fully between the civilized nations, and is going to great lengths for it. many of the tribe lords however don't fully agree with him. slavery is a common practice in Darguun, (mostly are slaves from the war), even though the ruler tries to stem this practice out.


    Design Note:
    Spoiler
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    Yes, 3 options, all leading to altogether different adventures. i wonder what would you have chosen?


    Finishing up
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    Meanwhile, Danves is suddenly thrust to a wall. "You!" yells some slightly drunk member of the Arcane Swords (an order Danves belongs to) "Where did you disappear to?! there have been rumors..." Danves successfully squirms and lies his way through this awkward conversation (people were staring) but his pursuer (Drake Wilhelm) promises to look after him.

    At this point i notice the party isn't that much interested in the party no more, so i cut things shorter. all that is left is an appearance from Princess Porcia ir'wynarn! the 17 years old come to the flattering of everyone in the party, but she is drawn to the heroes. most are just polite with her, but Ipiks tries to shock her (which she likes, and to which she laughs. he doesn't trust her afterwards) and Danves tries to flirt, to which she slightly return, but only slightly. she spend some time talking with them, and then takes to her table.

    the party is then led on a stage, Lady Avandra makes a small speech, as does the new head of the guard. they are presented with a reward (golden unicorn horn. not from a real unicorn!), and Avandra also gives them a year worth of traveling in the Lightning rail in luxury booths. this is where we stopped.


    Thoughts for session summary:
    Maybe i could have handled the Fury battle better (at least i should have made more detailed maps of the docks) but the players enjoyed the end results (as have I).
    i'll need to deal with Layla's player. this may happen again, and then what? he's a good player however, i'd prefer not to take him out of the game.
    The party was fairly lame, as they were still thinking about the argument, and also- maybe it's just not their thing.
    the choices seem to have intrigued them. good. i expected them to be already in one of the adventures by now. i have prepared far ahead. but it's good that they have stopped here, it gave me time to better prepare.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-27 at 05:36 PM.

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

    ]Between meetings 2 & 3

    I was pondering what to do with Layla's player, when he contacted me. He apologized for how he reacted, and the ruining of everyone's fun. he suggested to leave the party. (he is the guy to resort to extremes unfortunately). I convinced him to try and talk things over with the group, which he did, and they all want him in the group, just to confirm to what the majority says, and be less of an ass.

    I insisted he change character to something he actually likes, and feels good with. let me worry about the lack of healer (this in fact presented interesting opportunities. ). He agreed, not liking the up and coming necromancer (even with the Fury's skeleton, which was more powerful than anyone in the group. phew!) what character? wait till the session.

    Red's players continued investigations on the 3 patrons through emails with me. he couldn't find much info about the guy who approached Google (Eldeen Reaches job, "In service of the crown"). Red flirted with Edmund and got little more information, mostly the Edmund seemed sincere that his master (whomever it was) is concerned about Khorvaire's fate.As to Lady Auressia, Red pretty much confirmed what he heard, with the added tidbit that she was vocal in her opposition about Aundair's participation in the Last War, before she disappeared for awhile, just to return to her Adventurers funding venture.

    Spoiler: the Party's choice. don't read if you want to be surprised.
    Spoiler
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    The party had an interesting discussion over the Emails, which i was glad to see. But in the end it was fairly one sided. Google wanted to follow the Prophecy, he felt it was important. Danves thought that if they can get a weapon against the insects, it would be best to get it before exploring any of the other avenues (though i did warn the players they might not have time to explore all..) and Layla's player (true, his character wasn't in the discussion, but it affected him as well) preferred the mission to Darguun on the basis of: like goblinoids, hate druids, hate weird Mournland stuff.

    Red wished to explore the Mournland, due to her personal reasons, and because she felt time was ticking, and the sooner the party learned what the bugs were for, the better. Ipix's player joined the discussion way too late and was just annoyed "the tomb? i hate undead! poison doesn't work on them! (various annoyed curses)"

    So, off to Darguun. whatever could go wrong?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-27 at 05:37 PM.

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

    Meeting Number 3: September 25th, 2010- New Members, Skull Reave Trials, Into Dur Martop

    In game date- 12-24 Sypherus 998YK (mid Autumn, month of the Shadow)

    (Google's player was absent from the meeting, so there won't be much input from him.)

    Chapter 2

    The orc and the bard
    Spoiler
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    Ipix returned the ladle to the cook, and Layla notified the party she has some things to think about, and would leave them tonight. she would leave tonight. she would leave them the party's holding bag and what is left of the Lesser Vigor wand. the next day they went to meet Auressia in her small airship- The Fiery Hope. the lady was delighted to see them, but disappointed that Layla wasn't with them. she seemed irritated at that "you are supposed to be five, according to the prophecy". as the party planned to stay 3 more days until Google's sword was ready, Red commented "If the Prophecy deems us to be 5, we shall be 5".

    And low and behold, as the party descended the airship tower, a grey-green skinned figure, nearly as hulking as Google called for them "You! you are the one that killed the monster at the dock! you found my friend Ilrien. I'm coming with you! My name is Khork!"

    Needless to say, Layla's player new character could have a better name. "Cork? hork? pork? and other jokes started around the table. the party didn't first accept this new member, but he seemed persistent, and honest, if somewhat blunt and... how shall i put it... dumb. They accepted him to join for the while, as they got to know him better. He explained that he was friend of Ilrien (the dead elf at the warehouse) but came to Fairhaven later than Ilrien did with his dire bat. he wished to continue on his friend's errand, and this seemed the best way.

    Khork
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    Orc Dragon Shaman. i made a bit of a mix with Eberron Dragons, so he could pick whatever energy type, skills, and power. he chose fire cone, survival and two other skills i forget, and feather fall. he also has a ridiculous amount of hit points (now we're at 4th level, and he has a bit over 50!)
    Mostly he uses a shock morningstar (not +1, as i explained earlier)


    Eberron Stuff:
    Spoiler
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    Orcs in Eberron are not the evil destructive savage race that they are on other worlds. they are in fact a spiritual shamanistic race, and have brought Druidism to the other races. they have fought with the goblinoid empire ages ago, but since then they have reclined and receded, and are now very much a dying race.


    Next item on business- getting a healer. off to the Jorasco's house enclave. there the party tried to hire a healer to go along with them, but one the house heard they were going to Darguun, only one healer accepted to go- Mika d'Jorasco. but she entailed a bit of a fee indeed.

    As the party thought this through, a young woman in chain shirt, quite pretty if plain came rushing towards them "there you are! glad i could find you. My name is Trisha Cail, and I'd like to join your party, if you'll have me." the party was of course, suspicious. "changeling!" hissed Ipiks, almost drawing his axe. from a short interrogation it seemed that Trisha was part of a band of traveling artisans, dancers and entertainers (not related to the house of shadow), and that she had learned their arts, but yearned for adventure. once she has heard of the battle at the docks, she knew she had found the right party.

    Trisha is a bard (but is that all she is?), but a VERy inexperienced one. (never seen battle). however, she can heal a bit, and she can use a wand. to boot, she said she could acquire another wand. her fees were steep as well, even after Red got a reduction, but after a short debate the party preferred her over Mika. Ipiks was the only one that objected. and he's been keeping an eye on her ever since.


    Journey to Darguun, to Skullreave
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    Ipiks continued crafting poisons, while the others used the rest of their money to acquire potions. mainly potions of lesser restoration, as none of them could heal ability damage. Trisha vanished to get her stuff, while Khork blabbered on and tried to impress Google and Danves of his fighting skills.
    3 days later, early morning, the party climbed on top of The Fiery Hope, and started their journey to Darguun. the weather was ok on the most part, and Khork trained combat with Trisha (she was weak of arm), as Red and Google tried to talk about the prophecy with Auressia. All they could learn was that the tomb, or building, or whatever dates to the time of the Dhakanni Empire, when they fought with the Aberration masters known as the Daelkyr. for some reason some sort of research was done here. previous people who attempted to go in ("we're not the first?" asked Danves) were mauled by some sort of a stone statue at the entrance.

    They passed by the gray mists of the Mournland, and Red's mood came down, until they reached Fort Kennrun, in western Breland, just north of Darguun. the party descended, as did Auresia. she called for a goblinoid honor guard, and gave the party a small tribute to give to the chief of the Skull Reave clan. (2 sword made of a special metal called Bysehk, and a sack of amethysts)

    Under their honor guard they traveled. this part of Darguun was in fact Cyre once, and various buildings and it's building style could be seen from time to time. as were the slaves in the fields. The guard commander, a hobgoblin called Guud spoke "we're far from Lhesh Haruuc's rule (the ruler). some of these outlying tribes still practice the old traditions." he held his Sovereign Host symbol tightly, as if indicating he is an "Advanced" hobgoblin.

    Trisha was appalled at this, but could do nothing. It was obvious that things were quite new to her. after several days of journey the party reached the outskirts of skull reave.


    Creelog, Ipiks speech
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    The village was a martial one. almost all hobgoblins wore some sort of weapon, some sort of armor, while goblinoids tended to the more menial works, usually by forcing slaves to the jobs. the party's mood got darker. Guud led them to Creelog's abode, a sort of miniature palace he erected. inside were many goblinoids in council with their ruler. Creelog is a nasty looking hobgoblin, with a female goblin adviser called Sheelesh, and 3 bugbear guards. the party decided not to fight (though i did prepare for that option).

    after they were pronounced, the party was given room to speak their lot. Red started to speak, but she saw the Hobgoblins whispered in discomfort, and realized this must be because of her being a woman. "But i am here to present my master, and our leader- Danves!" Danves spoke eloquently, giving the tribute, and asking permission to enter the ruins. "You wish to enter Dur Martop, and you pay the toll, but are you worthy?" the other hobgoblins seemed to like this, and the party grew worried "Do the gods find you worthy?" (all this was due to prompting from the adviser, which the party disliked from now on). "you shall face the 4 trials of our 4 gods- the Shadow, Mockery, Devourer and Keeper!" the party grumbled, except for Khork who thumped on his chest, calling them on.

    Than suddenly Ipiks leaped forward, and called their attention- would the gods not choose if they were worthy or not in the tombs? would that not be a worthy trial? they have just vanquished a champion of the fury, should they do so again? the speech went on, and was quite good, and the player rolled 20, and added an action point! the Hobgoblins whispered amongst themselves, some wishing to see the trials, some fearing the rage of the gods. finally Creelog ruled. "you shall not face the 4 trials, you shall face 3!"

    Design Note:
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    the trials are supposed to be some simple battles, to let roll some steam. 3 would suffice as well. besides they were supposed to show aspects of the dark gods.


    Eberron Stuff:
    Spoiler
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    • Shadow: god of corrupted magic
    • Mockery: god of torture and self inflicted scarring, as well as war, betrayal and cruelty
    • Devourer: god of avenging nature- storms, floods, and hunger.
    • Keeper: god of the undeath.


    the party spent the night at the despoiled temple of the Sovereign Host, Guud offering prayers to Dol Dorn and Dol Arrah. (the war gods) Trisha was nervous, and Khork and Red tried to comfort her. Ipiks too, in his way- he dug her a grave.

    Google had headaches, he kept thinking on the fight with the Fury.


    The Trials
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    Next morning, he party was led to a sort of a makeshift Arena, divided by 4, with Sheelesh and themselves in the middle. each part held one of the fights they were to fight. they chose the Shadow (fought a living fireball), the Keeper (Troll skeleton and a shadow), and finally the Mockery (Scarred Skull crusher Ogre MM3). the 3 fights were an utter MASSACRE! and the crowd went wild.

    once they were victorious however, something went wrong- Google roared in agony, and there was a sort of a whisper around him "you killed me, now i kill you!" he suddenly attacked Danves, nearly dropping him. Danves quickly dropped him with a color spray, but the group was disturbed. That was the Fury's voice! she's back? Sheelesh said she had never seen something like this. a curse? a ghost? the party had not the time to find out.

    They got some rewards, amongst them a partially charged wand of scorching ray (for defeating Shadow), and a sash that gave a weapon the Vicious ability (from Mockery), which Khork wound up his great axe (secondary weapon)


    Leveling up (for the Crunch inclined)
    Spoiler
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    Level 4 for most, level 3 for Ipiks and Google:
    • Red: took Tasha's hideous laughter as her spell
    • Khork: can now breath fire for 2d6 damage every 1d4 rounds.
    • Danves took Kelgor's fire bolt as a spell
    • Google didn't attend, so we didn't know what power he took.
    • Ipiks' player wasn't prepared (RL problems) so he hasn't decided on a power yet.


    The ruins of Dur Martop
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    The party was taken in boats to a small flooded valley, where lay the ruins of the old goblinoid city. On the way they heard this was some sort of a research center. they were led to a Dais in front of one of the ziggurats. as they stepped on it they suddenly saw a wingless stone dragon, like the Chinese ones one the side of the ziggurat- gargoyle, and a strong looking one it seems.

    Design Note:
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    Gargoyles (as other creatures in may campaigns) are a bit altered. Gargoyles are living constructs, with deep ties to a building or a place. they can come in many shapes and sizes. their signature power is "Fade out"- erasing their presence from your awareness (even if you're looking straight at them) This has made gargoyles somewhat of an unpredictable quantity. for more on my gargoyles, look at the second link on my sig.


    The dragon asked them as to their purpose, and who was their leader. all in goblin. since he knew the language, Danves translated for Red, who said she was to retrieve the book to fight the swarms again, which was one of the answers that satisfied the dragon, he opened the stone gates to Dur Martop.

    As the party entered they suddenly noticed that their skin, teeth, hair ,all were changing! they were becoming goblinoid looking (Khork and Google appeared as bugbears, Ipiks as a goblin, and the rest as Hobgoblins.) plus- the doors began to shut behind them! they ran till they reached the main hall. they were somewhat confused, somewhat frightened, and altogether worried. Red practically mourned the loss of her beautiful hair, Trisha seemed fascinated, and Ipiks pinched the skin in amazement.

    Design note:
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    I stole this bit from somewhere. unfortunately i can't seem to remember from where. credit to whomever originally thought of this idea.


    The hall was large, in the center of the Ziggurat. at two places it was collapsed into two holes that led to some watery level below. there was a statue at the end, of some Hobgoblin in fine robes holding a staff. Danves (who knew goblin) started to decipher the writings on the columns, when two strange creatures that looked like two goblins mashed together- 4 eyes, 2 mouths, one lumpy body, 4 arms, but two legs, came into the room puzzled. they screeched something in a strange language when Khork immediately breathed on them. they barely survived, turned tail and ran into a side corridor, screaming in their strange language. (for those who didn't recognize, these were Dolgrims, from the Eberron Campaign Setting(

    the party prepared for combat, covering the 3corridors from that direction. a few rounds later they heard doors opening, and several dolgrims followed by lanky blind humanoids with tentacles from their shoulders (Dolgaunts) and one Dolgrim apparently shouting orders.

    the first round or two things looked simple. the corridors were hampering to the twisted creatures. but that's when their master decided to make an appearance- from one of the holes at the back risen an orb, upon which were several eyes. it shot rays from it's eyes, burning Red, wounding Danves with negative energy, exhausting Trisha, and nearly disabling the rest! Red was at 0 hp.

    Suddenly the focus of the battle changed. Ipiks used his powers to deeply wound the orb, while Google enlarged himself and drew near. the Dolgrim cleric at the back blocked him with his spiritual weapon. Red tried to make the orb laugh, but it just didn't see the humor. Khork for some reason focused on the Dolgrims still.

    The orb paralyzed Ipiks, and wounded the rest, before it retreated to the water below. Trisha healed Red a bit, while the battle turned against the Cleric and his remaining minions. the cleric instilled the fear in Google and Khork who ran away, but thanks to a sleep spell and a color spray, the battle was one. and with captives!


    Interrogation, a talk with an eye tyrant
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    the party tied up their prisoners, and tried to talk with the, (2 dolgrims, the doglrim cleric, and a dolgaunt) the cleric understood Goblin! "you speak the language of the old enemy! this is why you attack? how did you get in?!" long story short, it appears the Dolgrims and other aberrations followed Xorchial, the Gauth (lesser beholder) into the ruins from the under dark, in search after something that was theirs (the cleric knew not what) that their enemies held here. but the "snake woman" who turned some of them to stone, and her "blind minions" from above didn't let them get it! Xorchial was appearently doubly afraid of her (having many eyes).

    yes, they are talking a medusa, but wait!

    The cleric suggested he could get Xorchial to talk with them. he also gave enough description to draw a map of the first floor. apparently there was also a temple to the goblinoid gods, where some sort of fleshy creature lurked. they got their foods from replenishing barrels in the kitchens. the cleric just wished to be done with this mission. he has spend here years already. a possible room where Xorchial stays was also marked, though apparently it was blocked. the gauth used the under tunnels to move around.

    the party set to meet Xorchial in the main room. after a few moment it rose cautiously from one of the hols (and fully healed! hmmmm?) it said it is attracted to something on the upper level, where the snake woman is, but also that his minions (those who survived) say there is something deeply wrong about her. as the party mentioned the book they are seeking, he said the above floor holds a library, and that from what he studied there is supposed to be a vault, that requires several orbs, or some things called "moons" (he never saw one) to open her opening mechanism. he had two of these orbs, and would exchange them for the death of the snake woman.

    The party didn't like this, but they reluctantly agreed, Ipiks's player however, having read the Eberron Books wondered "Medusas are creations of the Daelkyr as well! why is she against them? also- aren't we helping the enemy here?"


    "Gibber gabber!"
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    The party decided to explore the ruined temple of the Goblinoid gods. to there surprise they found that from what was left, it could be seen that the goblinoids worshiped the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six together, with no distinction! and also, there was a 16th god set apart in the middle, but it's statue was ruined beyond recognition.

    religious studies will have to wait, as something dripped and slid over one statue, a mass of flesh, eyes, mouths and teeth, speaking incoherently. "Gibbering Mouther!" cried Danves "Lets get out of here!" the party went to go when the creature cried out for them "Wait!/ New people!/ New food? No!/Yes!/ Eat!/ Wait!/ talk! exchange!/ yes, we know, they feed!" the party became intrigued, and had a VERY hard conversation with the gibbering mass of flesh, who kept moving over the statues, making lewd and horrific imitations of them. In short, it had secrets, which it would sell for bodies. fresh bodies!

    As Ipik's player said- "good luck Google isn't attending or we'd never have gotten away with it" they fed it a dolgrim and dolgaunt (dead ones, not the captives) which it devoured in the most horrific and disgusting way i could describe. but they asked for secrets of things they already pretty much knew. as to new information they learned that Xorchial has some magic item that heals him, that the medusa is "partly here, partly not", that the mechanism depicts the Eberron moons (12 in number) but that some are already in place. and that the Vault has another of the Dragon Stone Gargoyles. they also learned the gibbering mouther knows where are 2 more moons.

    as they tried to feed him another Dolgrim, the creature refused. "New Flesh/ Tasty tasty/ More more/ different but not same/ new, yes?/ Hungry/ Hungry/ Hungry...."

    Design Note:
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    I know gibbering mouthers are supposed to gibber incoherently, but i thought this would be a more interesting encounter!


    The party decided to sleep in one of the rooms of the lower floor, before they head up to face the twisted Medusa.

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Thoughts to sum up the session
    All in all a good session I think! The start of it with all the preparation dragged on a bit, but was essential. I'm glad they chose Trisha, this will be of some importance later on.

    the trials were the party's moment to shine, and the Gauth was their Moment to fear. everyone loved the conversation with the mouther at the end.

    Next meeting, the not quite so ordinary Medusa, and a few more surprises...
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-10-27 at 05:45 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kol Korran's Avatar

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

    ok, i updated as far as we've played so far. next meeting is supposed to be on the following Saturday. i hope there are some responses to this. .... pretty please?

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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

    Stumbled on this last night and have been enjoying reading, even more so since I rather like eberron :).

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

    Meeting Number 4: October 9th, 2010- Second floor of Dur Matrtop, the Medusa and the Husk, Debate over reward

    In game date- 24th-25th Sypherus 998YK (mid autumn, month of the Shadow)

    This was a shorter meeting than the previous ones. Red's player was a bit busy with his new born son (Hurray for Tom!), so his input may seem a bit lessened.

    about the powers not yet chosen by 2 players:
    -Ipiks chose Shadow jaunt (short distance teleporting power)
    - Google chose the Offensive precognition Psy War power (+1 insight bonus to attack)

    Of traps and rogues
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    The Party finished up resting, and headed towards the stairs of the second floor. as they climbed it, some heard a metalic grind, and the floors suddenly flattened and a pit opened behind them! but everyone succeeded not falling, and they climbed to the room above and easily dispatched of 2 Grimlocks, the Medusa's servants.

    They had a few options of where to go, and chose to move clockwise. the first room they found used to be some sort of an alchemy workshop. Khork however was surprised at the entrance by two ambushing Grimlocks. Ipiks teleported into the room yet crashed into one of the tables, failing his stealth check. the others has some trouble entering the room due to Khork (wanting to avoid AoO), but all in all the battle was easy. it turned out that one of the Grimlocks was a rogue (sneak attacked Khork). A surprising turn of events came when Danves boldly entered the room, risking the AoO, and slashed with his sword. I do believe this is the first time for Danves sword to make an appearance!

    the room contained little, other than a hidden Stone Salve in a niche in the fire place. This was given to Trisha to hold, as her role for the battle with the medusa was to sing and not look at her.


    A spy in our midst?
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    Next room held some sort of a prison and torture/ experiment chamber, that the party realized was used against aberrations. As Danves surveyed the room with his detect magic, he suddenyl caught glimpse of the sorrow stricken Trisha, who till now have avoided his sweeps. she practically gleamed with magic! her armor, necklace, ring, cloak. he became suspicious, and looked over her equipment a bit more closely while she talked to Red. he noticed the armor and weapons are probably of aundarian make (yes, he has relevant skills). he heard some higher ups in the army sometime get commissioned good gear. certainly a young woman such as this out of a "traveling company" won't be able to afford it.

    Now this started a big debate, especially out of Ipiks' player who never liked her (digging her grave) and Khork's player who kind of did like her. Danves' player ended this by saying he does not yet tell the party about this. he thinks that "there is something fishy about her, but she does seem sincere and true about the way she acts and her loyalties. i don't think she works for our enemies, i think there is a 3rd party here...". To which Ipik's player retorted "Changlings always appear sincere and loyal".

    In their searches in the room the party found a pair of goggles, which once identified proved to lessen the DC of gaze attack a bit, but they also imposed a penalty on perception and attack rolls, since they were all murky and stained by now. these were given to Red (lowest fortitude save) she bemoaned her new looks.


    more floor investigations
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    the next room on the circuit held a warning "room of the Husk, don't enter unless protected" the party opened the room to find that it is bizarre- they felt as if dimensions change there, distances shrink and enlarge, and Google noticed something made out of flesh and tied with tendrils to the walls in the midde of the room.

    Um... right. the party closed the door. the got to another corridor, and another room which turned out to be the room of Uurd, the chief researcher here. they found his chest, went through his trap, and found one of the Moon orbs, and a part of his journal, depicting between crumbling pages his years of studies and research of abominations. he mentioned getting "part of the husk, a key to the Daelkyr. if only i could unlock it's secrets" and in the last few entries he says he may have found the solution to the swarm weapons, and that he locked the research book in the vault. the room also contained another door to the "room of the husk".

    The next room the party found was a massive library. again, with most books as dust, the preservation magic failing somewhat. Danves quickly realized how the books were organized, and started to look amongst the books, findings first the "book of aberrations". (this book enables the player to get a result of 20 on knowledge checks. it cannot be used in battle) he checked it for the husk. It appeared this was the Daelkyr's major tool for creating and altering creatures, and that it draws it's power from the plane of Xoriat itself.

    Ipik's player suddenly realized "this is what Xorchial is after! he want the husk!" the rest chimed in, thinking the gauth might be able to travel to Xoriat through the husk, like a portal.

    um... yeah.

    Design Note:
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    The Husk of Many world is a minor artifact from the Magic of Eberron book (if i'm not mistaken). I have altered and changed it somewhat.


    He also searched about Medusas and Gauths. the only thing of real interestst is that Medusas petrification is not instantaneous, but rather may take a few rounds. (i've made it still a threat, but not a "save or die") there were other books which he searched, about various subjects, but nothing he found was of note. (this took some time. the players were CURIOUS!)

    Meanwhile, Ipiks searched the books for something shiny. thanks to Khork's "senses" aura, he found one of the books to be hallowed, containing another Moon. two rooms remained, the husk room, and the central room. and the party knew who was in the central room...


    The Big Battle!
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    The party stood at the door of the room, and started buffing themselves- Danves drank a potion of invisibility, Red used a scroll of mirror image. Google used his psy powers (other than extend), and Khork tied the Vicious Sash (see previous meeting, at the trials) to his morning star. ready? Charge!

    they burst into a room which looked like a small planetarium, with an orrey of the moons in the middle, 4 moons in it, 8 missing. "The husk room!" they said in unison, and after a short debate, they rushed their, wanting to prevent their buffs from ending.

    the room was much larger inside than outside. and the part of the husk hung in the middle of it. there were several walls in the room. the medusa was no where in sight. Khork moved forward into the room, looking for her, when he suddenly saw her, appearing and disappearing, here and not here! he met her gaze, but withstood the effect. she moved to try and catch him again in her gaze, yet he with stood it again, as did Google who saw her. She was hissing maddenly "I am it's guardian, go away, or die!"

    The party' plan was that the two strong ones will focus on the part of the husk, while the rest will focus on the medusa. Ipiks hid behind a wall, Trish came next to him, straining her voice in song fearfully, while Red came and cast Tasha's hideous laughter on the Medusa. and thanks to a high action point, she succeeded!

    Design Note
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    As i mentioned in the first post, my players roll most of the dice, including spell rolls to overcome creatures "Magic AC" this enables them to add action points to magic.


    So here my wonderfull MEdusa was going to laugh for 4 rounds from now. Thanlfully, her gaze is also a passive ability. As Khork and the enlarged Google closed on the Husk, they got into it's distorting field, and began to hurla and puke as it twisted and warped their bodies. Worse however, Khork didn't even scratched it with his weapons (really high DR) and Google did small amount of damage. and the field was continuing to affect them. they decided to abandon the Husk.

    meanwhile Ipiks reached behind the Medusa, and Danves in an uncharacteristic show of courage stepped right next to her and channeled a shocking grasp right into her blinking body, nearly killing her! but he met her gaze, and was nearly turned to stone, growing slow and heavy! the next series of attacks by the party missed her, as she blinked out and in, but they all withstood further gazes from her (not even bothering to shelter their eyes). It was Google's sword that finished the poor maddened laughing creature's suffering.

    Design Note
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    I thought it was an interesting battle, though Red's spell surprised me. the medusa is a regular medusa, just with a permenant blink on her. and her gaze causes 2d6 dex damage, when reaching 0- becoming stone.
    The husk piece is destroyable, it is just quite hard to do so. had the party done that, they'd have received a substantial grant of XP. not everything have to be tied to the immediate adventure. here it acted like a sort of a magical trap.


    The party found a sack with 2 more moons in it, a bit of treasure, and Marvelous pigments. they drank a few potions of lesser restoration (not healing all damage. and got ready to tidy up.


    Danves in a new light, finishing up
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    As they walked out of the room, they noticed something strange, there was an odd scent in the room, a pleasant one, of flowers, and summer heat. it emanated from Danves, as did a soft slivery glow, and a shine in his eyes. he looked stronger, more confident. Trisha seemed stricken by him, but he acted as if this is nothing and the rest didn't pursue the matter. (truth be told, we had little time left to play, and the party wished to finish this up now, investigate the glow later)

    Player's mechanics
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    As mentioned in the players section in the first post, i have made a special mechanic to represent the player's curse/ blessing. it just now reaped for the first time- he rolled high on his chart, and i added him bonuses for bravery. in short, he is blessed by the silver flame for a short while- until the end of the next encounter his action points are d8, he gets one temporary action point, and he get a bit of buff to all kind of little things.

    this could have gone the exact other way as well.


    As i mentioned, we were in a bit of a hurry. the party took the bodies of a grimlock and the medusa with them. got to Xorchial, talked to him he thanked them and gave them 2 more moons, he went upstairs to the husk. they looted his room, and then went to the gibbering mouther, fed him the two corps, and got the locations of the last 2 moons. Ipiks then had an idea, and told it of the husk "lots of yummy flesh!". the mouther slid through holes and crevices. as the party climbed up to the orrey they found it tailing Xorchial who was moving the floating husk piece downwards, towards the opening to Khyber!

    The party was worried about this "I think we might just have made a big mistake guys" Ipiks said. (Can you say "Sequel Campaign"?) but they didn't wish to waste time fighting it. they put the moons in place, and a staircase rose up to the last level. There they met another Dragon Gargoyle and 5 glass doors behind which were items of note, above the doors there were clues. in the middle was the book they searched for and some sort of big Syberis Crystal ("a weapon against our enemies"). in another was a diamond with runes floating over ("to come back again"), in another 3 wooden rings ("come back in a different chance"), in another a belt ("to protect and endure"), and in another two gems, one earthen, one looking airy ("to manipulate the elements").

    The gargoyle spoke to them, saying that for the battle ahead they may take one more item, other than the book and the shard. now, Red had a spell on a scroll called "scholar's touch", which lets you memorize a whole book in one round (what wouldn't i do for such a spell for exams ). she read the book instantly. it dealt with information about the insects, how they were created in the shadow marches, how they seek flesh, and their psionic powers. it also dealt with the building of this specific Syberis shard to tune it to be a sort of psionic disruptor for a large scale. but it is not complete. as may yet be, this use of the spell was VERY important. (see on next)

    I thought that giving players options will be fun, but i forgot one thing- how bloody greedy they may be! various attempts at persuasion. (i went by the giant's diplomacy rules, they came to within 2 of succeeding) and thought to fight the gargoyle (a tough, but winnable fight, though perhaps with a casualty) in the end i relented and let them identify the stuff: diamond- raise dead that can be used by anyone. wooden rings- 3 reincarnations, usable by anyone. the belt- reduces ability damage by 3. the last two were elemental gems. the party (after another tiring debate) chose the rings over the diamond.

    It was time to leave Dur Martop.


    Welcoming party
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    As the party went out the corridor, changing back from goblinoid to their old selves they saw that quite a few Goblinoids were gathered to meet them, about 50 in number, led by Creelog and Sheelesh, on the heightened platform near the ziggurat. And they were not the only ones- There was another obat coming, on it 4 mithral warforged, and tow odd creatures- one looked like a goblinoid but with thick bluish grey fur and feline contours. the other was an incredibly thin elf, looks like starving, but with a big belly, smiling alarmingly, making the party feel hungry all of a sudden.. between them stood Auresia! who quickly stepped on the platform, and drew closer to the party, smiling "our heroes!"

    Google noticed that something wasn't right about her, and whispered to the party that. whomever it was heard it, and with a growl it's features changed to that of a tiger, a bastard sword at his hip, and armor on it. Trisha was the one to recognize it this time "This is getting worse! Rakshasa!"

    "Indeed" the creature said. "now enough with the pleasantries- hand over the book!"


    Thoughts to sum up the session
    With that our session ended, and i'm pleased to say that the players are allready debating on their course of action. as Red's player summarized it:
    "we can fight, we can parley, we can run" none of them looked like good ideas.

    It was a fun meeting, though with very few fights (i prefer a few memorable ones, and a few fun and simple ones over a lot of fights). The players are about to learn of Trisha's real identity, which might prove to be quite interesting. Danves' character is also starting to evolve, which i heartily approve of.

    I meant to do a sort of "individual visions" sort of thing in the Orrey, but forgot about it. oh well, i'll be able to do it some other time.

    not much readers (if any) to this log. oh well. maybe i'll share this with the group once the campaign is done.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-04-25 at 08:18 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    not much readers (if any) to this log.
    We're here.
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    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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

    I've just discovered this thread and really like it so I subsribe I'll be following it.
    Latest homebrew: The Avatars of Magic, powerful monster each dedicated to ne school of magic.

    My homebrewer's Extended Signature
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    Mirar, Bizarre human Focused Conjurer/Master specialist (summoning specialist)
    Xilef, shifter Druid 8//Barbarian 5/Weretouched master 3
    Other Character.

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

    a little notice to whomever is following the thread. due to various RL issues, we're not sure when we'll have out next meeting. might be in two weeks, in three weeks, or if things turn out spectacularly well- next week.

    So far their plans follow around: (none without flaws)
    1) let Khork burn the book with his breath
    2) let ipix take the book (it is currently on Danves) and dive and disappear into water. with his Stealth, he will be hard to track down
    3) try to dupe the Rakshasa by giving the book about aberrations instead of the real book.
    4) fighting has been agreed to be suicide. Khork still wish to give it a try.
    5) the party has 2 fly potions, and Trisha and Ipix has gaseous form potions (from the Fury). IF Khork and Google will drink these potions, maybe they can grab some of the rest and fly away. (problem- the fly speed is only 40 ft, less than the boats, and some of the goblinoid and the elf have bows)
    6) fight long enough to have Red run some distance and use her "rope trick" scroll, and then Ipiks will lead the enemies after him and hide, while the rest hide in the rope trick.

    this is as much as i remember.

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

    Did you publish it anywhere in hebrew?

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

    hhhmmmmm... actually i haven't. the group has a wiki site for house rules, characters and such, but they have already stopped maintaining it. and anyway it's in English.

    I chose English and not Hebrew for several reasons:
    1) I thought of perhaps sharing our adventures/ site with others, and more people read English rather than Hebrew.
    2) many of the books have never been translated into Hebrew (sword sage, psychic warrior) and though some can easily be translated, it would feel odd to me.
    3) For some strange reason, I type much faster in English than in Hebrew.

    Why do you ask Akma? if there is a worthy enough cause i might translate some or all of it.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Why do you ask Akma? if there is a worthy enough cause i might translate some or all of it.
    Hebrew is my native leanguage, so I rather read something in hebrew instead of english, and I didn`t want to read the whole thing just to find out that there is a hebrew version.
    Anyways, I`ll start reading now.

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

    Popping in to say that I am so jealeous of your group Kol... I really would love to play in such an awesome campaing.

    Edit: I forgot to ask if you could post your poison rules, they seem really interesting and I like poisons ( I actually had an undead poison dusk lizardfolk character, sadly that pbp game died shortly)
    Last edited by Dusk Eclipse; 2010-10-11 at 04:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    @ Akma: Are you an Israeli as well?

    @ Dusk Eclipse: Thank you so much for the compliment! I'm glad you're enjoying the read. as to the poison crafting rules:

    Poison Crafting rules
    Spoiler
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    Reasoning
    crafting stuff takes a LOT of time, especially the pricey ones. I played with Ipiks Player in another campaign by the Complete adventurer rules, and he got to craft 2 doses of poison over 4 levels. Knowing that this campaign will be even more fast paced (not the beginning, but we'll get there). i wanted to create rules that will enable him to craft and use poisons more freely. my players don't abuse the rules (well, mostly they don't), so i'm not worry of the abuse much.

    The rules themselves
    - buying metrials: always a 1/3 of the market price.

    - you can't buy the materials for the following poisons: Dragon bile, purple worm, Wyvern. you can but wyvern poison itself, but not the other two.
    (notice that i still allow the black lotus. it is mostly done out of flavor reasons)

    - crafting poison: you roll for the poison's DC to create (different from the DC to resist!) if you reach the DC, you create 1/4 of the poison, for every 5 above it, you create 1/4 more. that way- it should take you on average 3-4 days to create a poison fairly reasonably. if you fail by less then 4- no progress, but no harm. if you fail by 5 or more- you ruin half the materials for the poison. notice that the cost of the poison doesn't matter in this! i hope this is a simple enough method, that would speed things up a bit.

    - extracting poison from other sources: you make a craft check against the average between the resistance DC and crafting DC (i will tell you in advance every time). upon success you get enough material for 1d3 doses. every 5 checks above, you gain enough for 1d3 doses more (up to 3d3 doses max)

    - there may be some special poisons or creatures in the campaign, you'll see.

    - heal and knowledge nature synergy with the Craft Poison.

    - Begin of play: since you have the craft skill, it can be argued that you crafted any poison who's craft DC is 15 using 1/2 it's cost in materials (this assumes sometimes you ruined some of the stuff).
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-04-14 at 05:54 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    @ Akma: Are you an Israeli as well?
    Yes.
    And at first glance the poison crafting rules seems balanced.

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

    Thanks... maybe I'll pass them to my DM to see if he is willing to let me use them...
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    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Meeting Number 5: October 23rd, 2010- Fighting lost battles, Guerrilla Ipix, Red's tricks

    In game date- 25th-26th Sypherus, early morning, 998YK (mid Autumn, month of the Shadow)

    So, i gave my players quite of time to think and prepare for the major battle that was looming over them as a cliff hanger at the end of the last meeting. they came up with quite a few plans. what came out of it... well, you'll see.

    Important note: Red's player decided he wants to go for the Ultimate Magus PrC, (Complete Mage) because his current progression would make her too powerful. I don't think this is the case, but i went along with the player. in order to apply to the PrC he needed to remake his character as a 4th level wizard. "Poof!" appear the spell shard (Eberron's version of a spell book), spell component pouch and many new possible spells. new languages and skill points, but no ranks in influence... Red became far less persuasive. Danves' role as the party speaker got enhanced. Red's rod of lesser extend was traded for a head band of intellect (with a 1000 added gp).

    So lets parley, shall we?
    Spoiler
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    Facing the Rakshasa, the sickly thin elf, the bluish grey furred hobgoblin, and The hobgoblin shief and many warriors Things didn't look good. Ipiks try to hide between the party members and prepare poisons, while red drew back with Trisha (the little that they could) while the other three gripped their weapons more tightly. the party decides to try and parley. Danves, the strange influence and light upon him still from the medusa battle, starts his speech aimed at the goblinoids. He tells them that they disrespect their own gods, to attack their champions, who won at the arena (check two sessions ago), and that were allowed to enter a sacred site of their empire and come out unharmed.

    The arguments were good, but unfortunately there are some things Danves doesn't know about their religion. the chief, and then the others laughed "you know not the ways of the mockery- we have betrayed you, and take from your power to make us stronger! besides, these are the champions of the dark six!" he gestured towarss the Rakshasa and the two other enigmatic figures.

    Danves intended to address the 3 then, but Khork lost his patience, and decided to drink a potion of fly. (a plan of the pary was that Khork and Google will both drink potions of fly, fly away carrying the rest, and hide at a rope trick behind the ziggurat) the Rakshasa and the others see this as a threat, and start to fight.

    Design Note:
    Spoiler
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    Though it may not seem so, there were ways to get out of this with a smaller fight. Danves had a few more arguments in store, but we didn't get to them.


    So far, so good
    Spoiler
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    The Blue Hobgoblin (I'll call her Blue) reaches to her fur with quick motions and draw a wand from it. Google's player grimaces saying "dispel magic", nailing it! (to my opinion the most important general spell) meanwhile the hungry elf comes closer. the chief's bugbears charged at Khork, Google and Danves.

    Red surprises everyone with , telling Ipix "kill her" and casting Baleful Polymorph (spell compendium) on Ipix and a warforged behind blue, making them exchange places! The Rakshasa then uses some power, and comes close to google. The elf unleashes some strange power that send shudders of hunger and fear at the party's bellies, but they shake it off. the power affects the elf's allies as well though, as their spirits lifts

    Eberron Note:
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    The Rakshasa is an Ebrrron Rakshasa called Zakya, who is a sort of a martial version of the race, a tad weaker than the spell caster. they have a few SLA. the one used was True strike.


    not too bad so far, eh?


    going down hill
    Spoiler
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    The chief's adviser cast sleep and puts trisha to sleep. Google kills the warforged in their midst, while the rest strike at Bugbears, Khork with his fire breath. Blue pulls out another wand while stepping away, wave it, and suddenly dimension doors away! Ipiks curses and jumps to the water of the lake, disappearing underneath. the Rakshasa comes at Google, and with two mighty swings (max power attack with two hands) drops him to the negatives.

    over the next round or two, the party tries to fight, Khork's restorative aura healing them slightly. he grabs Red and the unconscious Trisha, and starts to fly away, Red casting scorching ray from her wand on the elf as it start casting some thing she recognizes as a sort of a "nature's ally" spell, only with words and incantations calling on Mabar? the fire ruins it's concentration. but then Blue uses her dispel magic wand to bring the flight to a stop.

    Eberron Note
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    Mabar is the plane of Endless Night. think negative energy plane.


    Meanwhile Ipix has been setting some of the boats on fire with alchemist's fire throw from water, while dodging javelins.

    Meanwhile Danves puts a potion down Google's gullet but soon there after falls to the Rakshasa's strikes. the fiend hold his sword to the two fallen warrior, and call to Khork- "Grovel, or they die!"


    Groveling, Khork style
    Spoiler
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    the orc doesn't like that word. while Red tries to persuade him to stop, The thick orc demands to discuss the terms, and when there are no terms, he decides to charge the fiend none the less.

    when he was close to dying, Khork agreed to surrender. The rakshasa wanted them dead, but blue called to keep them alive "they have been to one of the ziggurat, like the Fury has. we should learn from them." "They are the other hand! they are the enemy! we should kill them now!" "and risk upsetting the prophecy?"

    DM's oops!
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    I messed up a bit here. i had planned on another reason for keeping the party alive- the fury coming out again and lashing wildly, and the champions of the dark six wanting to explore this, but i forgot about it. when i suddenly brought it in (telling Ipix player roll will against possession) it seemed out of place and forced. i made Trisha be possessed but it wasn't the same. oh well, mistakes happen.


    Creelog (the hobgoblin chief) came grinning, Sheelesh his adviser besides him. "You will all make fine slaves! much power!" little did he know how he was going to regret this.

    All this while Ipiks was submerged underwater, hidden.


    The loot! NNoooooooo! and a... suprising... surprise.
    Spoiler
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    the party was stripped of all their gear, down to their bare clothes (except for the lizardman), the party bemoaned this, Khork's player especially unwilling to let it go. he got away with hiding a dagger on his person with a good thievery roll.

    but when Trisha (who unconscious at the moment) lost her necklace the party was in shock- she changed shape, to Porcia, the Aundarian princess! "Oh F***!" went a bit around the table. The hobgoblins were puzzled, but Danves and Red persuaded them it's a residual magic effect from the ziggurat.they were put in manacles, and started to be led back to the town. they heard the elf and blue arguing, he former wishing to "taste them, feed on them", and blue saying they are "too important to the goal and our studies". the party guessed (correctly) that these two were part of the "dark six/ other hand" like the Fury was.

    As Porcia came about (due to Khork's aura) she was startled, panicked. the others assured her by whispering that her secret is safe with them. Khork, not knowing who she was kept wondering, but trusted the party's instincts.

    And behind the group a small lizard head was all that was seen above the water.


    Getting Comfy
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    The party traveled through the farms and outlying regions of Skull Reave once more, in a different state. night was descending, and they were being led to the lock up area, with it's cages of slaves. on the way Ipiks noticed Creelog calling and instructing some worgs, wolves and their riders to spread out (looking for him obviously). he started evasive maneuvers.

    near the lock up, the party was split! Danves Google and Khork were being put in 3 cells, 2 large ones for beasts, and Danves in a common cell with other slaves. meanwhile Red and Porcia were being led through the village to Creelog's house! various hoots and calls came from the male population, and so on. near the house Creelog stopped, and awarded some of his lieutenants with spoils from the party's possessions. Red noted them. to great cheering and rude remarks of the crowd Porcia and Red were thrown inside the house, the grinning Creelog behind them. as the door closed the grin evaporated. "I don't like humans! you're disgusting and wrong! but my people think i do. so be it, until you can teach me your power, or i give you as a prize.

    DM's Note
    Spoiler
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    Some things i agree to put in the play, some i don't. rape is a no no in my book. this led to a little discussion on the subject at the table, but we agreed to play it this way.


    Red and Porcia were put in a little cage between Creelog and Sheelesh' rooms, with a bugbear guard watching.

    all the party noticed the loud noise from the multiple forges working near the lock up where the three musketeers were. Google and Danves tried to talk to the prisoners (one of which was a Sovereign host priest) and learn some information- apparently each day the slaves are taken out for various works ("maybe you'll work in the mines?"), and were led back ate evening, except for some who were kept for night work. Khork in the meantime tried to break his manacles, without success.


    Now you see me, now you die!
    Spoiler
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    Ipiks snuck towards the forges, using their smell and noise to mask his approach. so far he has been successful in evading pursuit. (he has very high stealth skills) he saw the compound, evaded the guards, and asked the prisoners to the whereabouts of the others. Google was easy to pin down. Ipiks snuck in, and used his shadow jaunt ability to teleport into Danves' cage! a quick hurried conversation and ipiks went looking for the keys- this meant taking down a patrol. he laid in wait in one of the cages,and then shadow jaunted outside, killed or silenced most of the patrol with his poisons, and looked for the keys. Unfortunately, one hobgoblin got away and raised the alarm! Ipiks got back and threw the keys to the party, and tried to get away to a safer place

    a group of 2 worgs and 2 wolves caught his scent and followed him to the forges. loud enough to kill them silently enough (one worg and wofl ran away)


    Escape or no escape? and who are you?!
    Spoiler
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    as the hobgoblins rushed to the area, the prisoners became frightened "they will punish us, you'll see! no good can come out of this!" talking to them a bit more, and meeting a few... "examples" the party learned the Hobgoblins punish severely for first attempt to run away, and the don't even bother with punishment the second time.

    this surprisingly has dissuaded the escapees considerably (Except for Khork, who still wanted to go. they decided to try and use the keys, dagger and so on to "fix" their manacles so they could be opened quickly enough in need. a few disable device rolls later, and all had "sneak open manacles".

    as they had just finished it all, in the middle of the mess another hobgoblin came between their cages, and called their attention. "how did you let yourself get caught! you should have been more careful than to fall to Aurasia's dupe! their interest in you might wane fast, you must escape soon! i may try to help you from the outside, but you need to tell me how!"

    the party summarized this is some changeling, but inquiries just led to "an ally, so far". they asked for a spell component pouch, and maybe some thieves tools, and any healing supply it could manage. the hobgoblin said he would visit them the next night, and will try and do his best.


    Red's Tricks
    Spoiler
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    Red talked a bit with Porcia. the princess was tired of the schooling and protection she received, she wanted to see the world as it is, face actual danger. while Red commented her determination, she also cautiously advised that this was a very foolish thing to do, and it puts quite more people in danger.

    Then Red started looking for components, and thanks to the hygine she found a small cockroach.

    Design Note:
    Spoiler
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    at this point i decided to allow "similar" components to those in the PHB. the cockroach for example replaces the cricket, cotton replaces wool, grains replaces corn and the like. sure, i could say no, but it would have been far less cool.


    she calls for the bugbear and convinces it that they deserve food. as it brings the food she asks for "just one hand" to be free so that she could eat. some nice influence rolls, and one sleep spell later, and the dumb bugbear falls asleep. they quickly use his keys to get free, manacle him, gag him (why not kill? Red has ideals) and go listen by the door to Creelog's room. she hears him, Sheelesh, and the bugbears. both quickly sneak into Sheelesh's room, and Red casts one of her few remaining spells for the day- rope trick, the two climb up the rope, just as they hear all hell breaks loose when the captured bugbear is found.


    Stables to burn, walls to climb
    Spoiler
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    Ipiks takes a different route, trying to wreck as much damage as he can. he finds a stable of horses, and then the player tells me of the way he soaks it to make it like a candle "cool! how many pints do you have?" "um, 2..." so Ipiks starts to burn the place, but the fire is quickly put out, while he get away to the surrounding woods, and hides.

    Meanwhile, Red and Porcia watch down the window. after some initial clamoring, they suddenly see Sheelesh getting into the room. she prepares for bed, and sleeps. two stealth checks later, and Sheelesh dagger, and the adviser has her throat slit. Red takes some of their belongiongs back, plus a few bits more, and most importantly- she finds her spell book and a spell component pouch. they decide to get on the roof. the attempt goes horribly wrong, and while Red gets up the roof, Porcia falls down! she tries to escape, but gets caught. Red watches as the princess of Aundair is taken back into Creelog's house. seeing no stairs leading to the roof, Red decideds to sleep here.


    Red Tricks, take 2
    Spoiler
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    As the morning comes the three musketeers and the rest of the slaves are awakened rudely. "one of you tried to escape last night! her wziard friend too! we will catch her, but first, we punish the insolent!" the slaves are starting to be brought towards the Arena where the party fought just a few days ago.
    Menawhile Red has awoken, and has carefully chosen her spells. "i have a plan" the player tells me. Porcia is led out, held by Creelog, while Red watches them from above. then begin the spells:
    - disguise self, As Creelog!
    - Balefull teleport with Creelog! now Red iswhere he was, looking as he was! intending to catch them by surprise Red yells "Over there! the other slave!" Creelog is a bit surprised this round.
    - Mount, getting Porcia and herself on it quickly, and starting to run away.
    -while riding- Expeditious retreeat, for a little head start!

    Creelog is furious and some of the bugbear guards start yelling orders. Usually Sheelesh would organize such a thing...

    we make a few stamina check for the mount, but it rides far out of the city, at the speed of worgs/ wolves.


    While the shepherd away...
    Spoiler
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    while the slaves and most of the warriors go to watch the punishment, Ipiks takes this opportunity to start and slaughter every hobgoblin smith he can find and the smithies.


    Desperation
    Spoiler
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    The three amigos are chained to other prisoners. they are told they will see the punishment, and then will teach the lieutenants their powers and secrets. they are led to the arena, but Creelog arrives soon after, furious, he points at them, and motions to bring them. the party panics, they realize they are going to get whatever punishment there is

    (the players meta gamed here a bit, they realized that:
    - Sheelesh was killed.
    - a patrol was killed.
    - Porcia and Red escaped right under Creelog's nose.
    - By Creelog's slight limp, getting down from the roof didn't improve his mood.
    Someone is going to pay!)

    So, while going by the lieutenants with their weapons, Danves creates a ghost sound, and call his friends to break free!the "sneak fix manacles" come off easily, and Google and Khork grab their weapons from the surprised lieutenants! Danves isn't so lucky though. he remained weapon less.

    the battle from this point... wasn't pretty. melee without armor is brutal. first went Google and Danves, but Khork! again he was called to surrender, but Khork? in his words- "there are so many times when you can bend over" he fought, burning action point after action point, breathing fire and have even killed a lieutenant single handely, but Creelog and his bugbears cut him down.


    Thoughts to Sum up session
    And at this point we stopped. the three stuges know they should expect something (and in my case it's not just HP damage). Ipiks is slaughtering away, and Red is Fleeing with Porcia, though intending to let her go and go back to the group.

    All in all a very fun meeting. other than the battle at the start, and the meeting with the ally, i had to improvise (though i came prepared) i think i gave quite a leeway to the players in this, and i think they enjoyed it.

    The Trisha/ Porcia angle didn't really grip the party unfortunately, but what can you do.

    I have prepared some possible punishments in case the party screws up, but after the havoc they've done, the punishment should be severe, memorable, and not make the player want to thrash out his character. carefull balance is required, i hope i make it right.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-04-25 at 08:19 AM.

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

    Meeting Number 6: November 20th, 2010- Wyvern Hunt, Wyvern negotiations, Welcome Tuulikki!

    In game date- 26th -28th Sypherus night (mid Autumn, month of the Shadow)

    It's been a long time since i posted, and it has been a long time since we played... i started medicine school, and it's demands have put quite a constraint on our games. this is, to say the least, quite vexing. it looks like our schedule won't get better at least until the current semester's exam period will be over, which means a few more meetings.

    two important notes before we go on to the meeting: first of all, concenring the predicament of the 3 captured prisoners. i have opened another thread to get the opinions of the play grounders as to what to do about the subject, and due to them i have decided to "take a detour" from the originally planned course of the adventure, which is what this meeting (and probably the next) is all about. if you want to check the lively discussion, it could be found in this thread

    secondly, Red's player decided he wants a familiar for the ultimate magus, and after some discussions and tweaks i allowed it, (with her taking the appropriate feat). wait and see...

    A choice
    Spoiler
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    As the 3 failed revolutionists awake, they find themselves strapped to a wooden holding. but they feel pain, great pain coursing through their bodies at every motion, even breathing. Creelog is there, but some distance away, one of his lieutenants, the powerful bugbear Groomesh stands before them, surrounded by the others, smiling. "Good, you're awake. the pain you are feeling is called "Mockery's Agony", an old art our skilled practitioners know well how to perform. it will subside momenterily, but as the days pass it will increase, and will slowly consume you and your health. but it is but a guarantee." Groomesh unfolds his arms, putting them at his hips. "you are powerful warriors, we might have another use for you. i offer you a deal- we need you to dispose of... someone, and in return you'll be freed of the Agony, and we'll let you go. you are too much of a trouble to keep." he looked back at the lieutenant's corpse Khork burned and beaten to death.

    As Danves and Khork inquire, Groomesh tells them that several years ago a cunning "strange" Wyvern from the mountains have maid it's lair a few days ride from the village. she has been raiding the village at times, taking cattle and people. the village warriors tried to dispose of her, but failed.

    Khork flatly refused "Wyverns are a sort fo dragon, right? I'm not going to kill any dragon!" but the players discussed that this would buy them time, and who knows, maybe they could make the wyvern take their side? they ended up agreeing. as they were freed they saw that Creelog was sulking, as he stormed out of the Arena. the party realized that not all was well between the leadership of the village.

    a few persuasion attempts later, and they were returned their weapons, and given their free choice (other than full plate mail) of armor, and basic equipment, plus horses. they were given directions, and set to go, the pain in their nerves serving as a reminder

    Design Note:
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    what is Mockery's agony? something between a curse and a surgical procedure (profession: torturer ) totally made up:
    • whenever a character suffers 10 hp or a partial amount, he suffers also 2 subdual damage. this adds up- if he takes 11 hp he suffers 4 subdual
    • each night he needs a fort 12 roll to get a good night sleep (regain hp and spells/ powers)
    • every 1d3 days he rolls a fort 17 roll or suffer 1d2 con drain
    • this can't be healed with remove disease or remove curse, just with heal, or a sufficient heal check. most likely house Jorasco is needed.

    yes, i know this is kind of harsh, but it's better than what they would have gotten otherwise, and puts some time pressure on them


    Looking for a lookout, making a discovery, reunions!
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    meanwhile Red and Porcia finds a small stream and send the mount onwards, to belay any following wolves, they floow the stream close to the village, and find an abandoned barn to climb and take a lookout from. conveniently, it's north to the village, where the other party members will be heading.

    meanwhile Ipiks has the same idea, and tries to finds the tallest building. he finds it, and it's guarded by the 4 mithral warforged... unable to resist temptation he sneaks inside, and finds on the second floor a small makeshift laboratory, with the great crystal they got from the ruins! Is this the Blue cat's place? unfortunately it's too big for him to carry. he does however find a book in code next to it and a large map of whole Khorvaire and part of northern Xenderinc there, with various markings and letters on it. not having the time to dwell on it, he stuff these to his pack and climbs to the roof.

    both characters see the village starting to fill out after the failed spectacle at the arena, Ipiks tries to jump roof and use stealth to get out of the village, but fail at the last stretch, falling on some goblins teenage lovers in the field who scream in panic. as he runs Red spots him, and provides some diversion and message him to get to her. Ipiks rejoins her.

    soon there after they spot the three horses with everyone on them, "traitors!" hisses Ipiks "i gave them the key and they would not escape, and now they got all their stuff back, and horses?!? traitors!" as they approach a comical exchange comes between them and the suspicious Ipiks, but after explanations all mount the three horses, and they move on.

    Red's player surprised me then by saying "you know we have to obliterate this village when we get back, do you?" they all nodded. i didn't realize how much antagonism this situation evoked in them! (later the player told me he was referring to destroying the village so as to free all the slaves, but i think the others understood differently as well)


    An "ally" on the road
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    down the road they meet their Hobgoblin "ally" (/changling) from the night before. they suspect it to actually be the Blue Cat in disguise. it gives them their holding bag (within it several potions of healing, restoration, the scorching ray wand, one of the reincarnation rings and a few other stuff) it tells them that the lieutenants blame the escape, and death of warriors and more on Creelog. he insisted on the ritual, but they insisted on using the party differently, they need to watch their back when they return to the village, things could be to their advantage, or worse.

    he also warned them to guard Porcia- if harm falls to her there could be war between the two countries (which the players cared little about), and also they would be lamed for her death (which the players cared greatly about).

    when asked to his motivations the Ally said that so far his goals and the party's goals coincide. Ipiks wondered what ere his goal in the village, to which the ally laughed "i care little for the village, there are greater more important things". At that he rushed his own horse and left the party.

    DM Oopsie!
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    I forgot to impart another important piece of information here. luckily there will be other times, and they won't need it now. sometimes it's hard to keep track of things


    First Negotiations with dragons
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    the party knew the Wyvern called "Big Red" resided in a small ruined outpost tower of the goblinoids 3 days ride from the village. the first two days imparted on them the hardship of The Agony, as Google failed to sleep (poor rolls), and the disease almost wracked havic on their health (all hail to good fort saves!).

    the third day was in an open expanse, littered with trees here and there. then the party was ambushed from the back by 2 wyverns!! don't worry- young (medium sized) wyverns. though Khork tried his hand at convincing them to stop, they fought on and were taken down in 2 rounds due to Ipiks Driow poison (unconsciousness), and a Scorching ray crit. guessing they were Big Red's children, they were tied up, and then awakened by Khork's healing aura. they were parlied with, and asked to call Big Red. they were relaeased, and the party waited.

    Soon there after a larger red shape got closer, and set on a tree, Red and Khork (who had to see the dragon) approached it, while the rest stayed back. some distance from it she asked them to stop. though Red conversed with the lizard eloquently, Khork boasted as to their strength and how they could have killed her children if they wanted to, but they spared her. this... did not sit well with her. i decided to give it another try. "did you bring tribute to me? or do you come to dragons empty handed?" while the party though of what to offer as a reward, Khork boasted that the life of her children was tribute enough.

    that was enough for me, and Big Red launched from the tree. she tried to grip Khork but failed, and as the party tried to hit her she grabbed Ipiks and started rising in air, while Danves shoots arrows at her. guessing her intent, Red cast balefull polymorph between Ipiks and Khork. as Big Red dropped the orc, he activated his draconic power of feather fall and fell safely to the ground. having suffered some damage, Big Red retreat.

    DM design
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    For thos who may wonder- Big Red is a fiendish Wyvern, with an extra 7 hp. the little wyverns i reduced to 5 HD, and lowered various numerics, including the strength of their poison.


    i had sort of planned on the party to try and go kill Big Red, planned as a simple adventure with a monster boos at top. this was proving more interesting indeed...


    Level Up!
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    as the party reached the tower i awarded them XP for getting this far, and this allowed them to level up. they are currently level 5 (4 for Ipiks and Google) some major choices:
    • Google took some psionic power that lets him coat his weapon with an acid adding 4d6 to his weapon whenever he hits next! handy...
    • Khork took a level of... Barbarian! seeks to become a great damage dealer as Google? or a damage sponge? he has huge amounts of HP, I personally thinks it just fits his style.
    • Danves took another level of rogue, mainly to boost his Influence skill, and knowledge skills.
    • Ipiks had not many changes, he thinks to change his choice of Scent stance, since it doesn't really come into play.
    • Red took her first level as Ultimate Magus! (she didn't get her familiar yet, but wait...)


    Ogres!
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    the party continued to the tower and reached it at night, there were a few ogres and their pets on the first 2 floors, of which the party disposed of with great relish, even though they were brutally flanked by the chief and two others. at one point Khork recieved two massive blows that would have fallen some of the others, but he just stood up grinning.

    they found an ogre's power belt on the chief ogre (my small joke), which Khork took so far.


    A voice without a body?
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    the next floor was occupied by remains of a library. as they searched the place, Red and then Khork heard a voice speaking to them in their heads, wondering why they are here, why do they want to kill big red? though Red conversed and explained their predicament, Khork just went uop and told the party "hey guys, there is a voice in my head telling me... (and the party just blinked at him after that).

    i don't remember the whole conversation with it, but finally they convinced the little magical wyverling to appear. it was tiny, and flew straight to Red, liking her. it spoke telepathically, and asked the party if they could spare her siblings, and mother, even if she was a big meanie. when asked why she was so small Tuulikki (the Wyverling's name) said she was born "different". she would judge them by their actions, and she flew outside for now.

    Enter Red's familiar! Tuulikki has all the stats of a pseudo dragon, only she's a "special" wyverling. the player seemed pleased (i hope)


    Negotiations take 2, and prize for Khork
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    the party went up the stairs, were attacked by the yong ones again, but persuaded them to stop. then they went and met with Big Red who was circling the tower in air. this time Red directed most of the talks, trying to forge a temporary alliance with the wyvern, so that together they could "wreak terrible havoc and vengeance" upon the village, so that they won't dare try a scheme like this again. this time the negotiations went smoother, and she landed, willing to talk plans.

    Khork felt drawn to a part of the treasure. she recognized the dragon within him, and let him have it- a draconic helmet. he put it on his head, and it attached to his skin, granting him more power!

    DM design
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    the helmet is the first in a series of special tailored magical items for the characters. i have no idea of how to balance it, so i hope i'm doing this right. as to stats:
    • it allows him to activate 2 of his auras at a time
    • increases his breath weapon by 1d6 (not increasing his DC)
    • detect fiend (evil outsider) for 10 rounds per day, as if concentrated 3 rounds (this goes with Eberron's dragons' enemies being fiends)


    And here we stopped. the players said they will make plans to attack the village with their new ally, and i can't wait to see. unfortunately, i'm not sure how much time i will have to prepare, but we'll see. this is all moving in unplanned directions.

    and remember the map found by Ipiks? we'll get back to that yet...

    i hope you enjoyed the read. if you are reading this, drop a line, it's always nice to know people are reading.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2011-04-25 at 08:20 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Many Facets Of Darkness- DM's Campaign log [Eberron, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    And here we stopped. the players said they will make plans to attack the village with their new ally, and i can't wait to see. unfortunately, i'm not sure how much time i will have to prepare, but we'll see. this is all moving in unplanned directions.
    How much chance will they have to win?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    In a world ruled by small birds, mankind cannot help but wonder how this state of affairs came about.

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

    Very interesting so far with lot of unplanned thing. i'm sorry to hear that you have less time to play but glad that you still do and even more so because you share it with us. Thanks.
    Latest homebrew: The Avatars of Magic, powerful monster each dedicated to ne school of magic.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by akma View Post
    How much chance will they have to win?
    how much of a chance? i don't know... mostly since:
    • i don't know what they are trying to achieve exactly. as far as i gather the main objective for now is to kill Creelog. regarding that i planned for them fighting him THE FIRST TIME THEY MET HIM in potential, he isn't that much (Ftr5, Brb1) he relied on the added protection of his lieutenents and personal bugbear body guards. maybe i'll nee to upgrade him to make him a threat?
    • i know not their plan yet. i think that in the mean time it focuses on having the Wyvern fly them and drop them on Creelog's roof, and then some sort of diversion. plans however, rarely work as... planned.
    • i don't know what happened in the village while they were gone. i have some ideas, but they are still unformed.

    i want it to be tough, but winnable. i'll know more as the weeks go by and players email each other.

    Nice to see you reading Akma, and Zagan.

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