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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    *yawn* *stretch* *spine pops*

    Right, new snippet. Fair warning: writing will consist of mostly pre-coffee brain functionality.


    "Welcome to Hell"
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    Clarice's body ached. It felt like someone had mercilessly beaten her. Through the haze that clouded her mind she tried to remember what had happened to her, but the last thing she could recall was being attacked by three wolf-men. She could feel the icy rain on her skin, and something wrapped around her neck.

    She slowly opened her eyes and saw that one end of a chain had been tied around her neck while the other was securely tied around the trunk of a nearby tree. Clarice looked around quickly, but saw that she was alone in the clearing. Painfully, she crawled beneath the leafy boughs of the tree she was chained to and hugged her knees to her chest.

    "Naked, alone, and chained to a tree," she said to herself, shivering in the cold. "Clarice, what have you gotten yourself into?"

    Suddenly, she heard the sound of something approaching through the brush. Clarice looked around desperately for a weapon of some kind, but could not even see a rock large enough to be useful. She clenched her fists tightly. Empty-handed, she would have to fend off whatever was coming for her. As soon as she saw movement, she reacted.

    "Hatchling's Flame!" she shouted, blasting whatever was approaching with a cone of fire from the palm of her hand.

    Clarice heard a scream of surprise, and a few moments later Shane stomped into the clearing looking quite singed. Close behind him were Ed and Fluffy.

    "I've had it with your Tome of Battle crap!" the priest snarled. "You did more than enough of that yesterday."

    "See? I told you she would still be hostile," Fluffy said smugly. "We should kill her."

    "I didn't know it was you," Clarice said quickly. "I'm sorry, Shane."

    "One more thing like that and I'll strangle you, got it?" Shane replied irritably.

    "I don't understand. Why are you treating me like an enemy?" she asked nervously.

    "She won't remember," Fluffy informed Shane. "She's afflicted, not natural. They suffer amnesia when they change."

    "I'm still pissed," Shane grumbled. "She effectively took out all three of us by herself."

    "What are you talking about? I wasn't even hurt," the tibbet argued.

    "Why would she attack you?" the priest snapped. "You didn't do anything!"

    "What, am I supposed to know that we're fighting stuff effectively immune to my swarms?"

    "You could try doing something other than **** out cats."

    "Preposterous!"

    "Please," Clarice said softly, "what happened?"

    "You turned into a doggie-girl and tried to eat our faces," Ed answered as best he could. "Face eating is rude, doggie-girl."

    "Wh-what are you talking about?" Clarice stammered.

    "Can we keep doggie-girl, Mister Fluffy?" Ed asked.

    "You want to know what happened?" Fluffy asked Clarice. "I'll tell you everything. I relate all relevant information."

    Clarice blinked in confusion, staring at the tibbet curiously. It seemed to take a moment for Fluffy to come to the realization that he had not told her anything. He scowled.

    "Oh come on, you know what happened," he said angrily.

    Clarice shook her head.

    "Ugh, fine. You got separated from the group when we were traveling back from the hill ..."

    "No, you three abandoned me when we were attacked by those monsters on the road," Clarice said firmly.

    "Oh, you remember that?" Fluffy chuckled. "Anyway, they were werewolves. You got infected. You killed them, wolfed out, and proceeded to beat the crap out of the three of us when we came back."

    "You must be joking," Clarice replied nervously.

    "He's not," Shane answered bluntly. "That's why we chained you to the tree. Like a dog."

    "By the way, we don't have time for your whole 'oh gods what have I become' speech," Fluffy said pointedly. "Assuming you aren't going to flip out in the daytime, we're heading for Castle Ravenloft."

    "Hey, now I can call her a bitch and it will be appropriate," Shane chuckled as he turned to leave the clearing.

    "I think you're right," Fluffy snickered, following the priest out of the clearing.

    Ed approached Clarice and knelt down beside her, a friendly smile on his face.

    "I have fixed your clothes so that you can wear them again," he told her. "I will get them for you, okay?"

    "Ed, wait," Clarice said quickly, catching him by the sleeve before he could rise. "Am I ... am I really a monster?"

    "Of course not," Ed replied. "You are a pretty lady who will catch a cold for not wearing anything in the rain. Fluffy told me that you are only doggie-girl at night-time."

    Clarice's hand slipped away from Ed's sleeve, and the man rose to his feet. He patted her on the head, then turned and walked out of the clearing. Clarice stared after him for several long horror-struck moments. Eventually, she let her head fall against her knees and she began to weep bitterly.

    ***

    "I love random encounters!" Fluffy declared excitedly.

    "I thought you said you hated them," Shane replied quizzically.

    "I love them when they give enough EXP to level us," the tibbet laughed.

    Clarice tuned out the outlanders' nonsensical chatter as the group pressed on up the steep mountain trail. She was glad to be clothed and equipped once more, but she had enjoyed slaughtering the bandits far more than she felt comfortable with. The sight of their blood had stirred her in an unsettling way.

    "Here bitch!" Shane called out, snapping her out of her musings. "Come!"

    Clarice realized that she had fallen behind the rest of the group and hustled to catch up. She glared at Shane angrily.

    "Good girl," Fluffy snickered. "Maybe later we'll play fetch with you."

    The young woman immediately turned her harsh glare to the tibbet, who merely looked up at her smugly. She clenched her fists in an effort to restrain her pent-up anger. Fluffy and Shane had been poking fun at her all day, and she was quite fed up with it. She could not prevent an angry growl from escaping her lips. A sudden sharp pain hit the back of her head, and Clarice whirled around furiously.

    "Bad girl," Shane said reproachfully, poking her in the chest with the stick he had hit her with. "Be nice to the cat."

    With lightning speed Clarice grabbed Shane by the throat and slammed his back into the rock wall behind him. The priest struggled in vain to escape her iron grasp.

    "Touch me again and I'll show you how much of a bad girl I can be," she snarled, tightening her vice-like grip on Shane's throat.

    "Clarice, please let him go," Ed said quickly. "I will make them be nice to you, okay?"

    The young woman dropped Shane to the ground, horrified at what she had almost done. Shane staggered to his feet as he gasped for air.

    "I'm so sorry," Clarice said quietly as she quickly made her way up the trail ahead of the group, her cheeks burning with shame.

    "Well someone is touchy today," Fluffy scoffed.

    ***

    Strahd Von Zarovich watched from the shadows of the rafters as the four adventurers entered his palace. A priest of a foreign god, an imbecile with a spear, a talking cat, and Kolyan's adopted daughter. Zarovich had suspected that the unusual girl would one day be a problem ever since the mists had deposited the child in the village. She had grown up to be quite the fetching woman ... perhaps she should be kept. Strahd licked his lips in anticipation.

    With a wave of his hand, the double doors behind the adventurers slammed shut. Zarovich watched gleefully as they spent several frantic moments trying to open the doors. Now that they had entered his home, there would be no escape. He unleashed a ray of black flame down upon the man with the spear, and the man screamed as the fire enveloped him. He collapsed to the ground.

    "Ed!" Clarice cried out in panic, kneeling down beside the rogue's lifeless body.

    "I apologize for my rude introduction," Zarovich said as he floated down to the ground in front of the adventurers. "I am Strahd Von Zarovich, master of Barovia and lord of the fine castle you intrude upon. Welcome to Hell."

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    This is from a more chaotic campaign we ran...

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    Gilpin Burrows enjoyed a good night at the pub. His small frame and hearty appetite meant we was an ideal drinking partner. His comrades were staged throughout the bar in a manner he was all too familiar with. It was hard not to sigh into his cups. Kyr their fighter was already pushing and shoving Corwin their barbarian. With barely a glance he saw Caramis their illusionist already waiting at the base of the roulette table, a bag of holding open and ready. As Kyr threw the first punch at Corwin he braced for impact and within moments a 250lb angry half orc barreled into him spilling his drink. With feigned anger he snatched a sling stone and hurled it at the fighter's head.

    "Pick on someone half your size dimwit!"

    With a roar Kyr grabbed Gilpin and dragged him across the bar spilling drinks and causing mayhem, then with a wordless growl he flung the tiny halfling across the roulette table. Gilpin stretched his arms as far as they could go and acted as a rake for all the table stakes. Into the bag he went and for the next ten minutes all he knew was darkness.

    There was always a moment of doubt when the light returned. Someday Gilpin feared that Sundrael, their bard would not be the one standing above the bag, but a city guard. This time fate smiled upon them once again as Sundrael's graceful features smiled upon him.

    "Caramis locked up?" he asked

    "Of course" Sundrael replied " the moment you landed in the bag he sprinted from the bar with his robes aflame and the watch snatched him up. They were quite angered when all seven of the bags of holding he carried were void of the bar's tokens and the patrons money. I suppose we can extract at least another thousand for wrongful imprisonment and unnessecary search."

    Gilpin laughed as always. "The best part of a shell game, is not having a shell. Just make the bag invisible and guards will go after the runner, not the elf sipping wine at the table right?"

    Sundrael smiled even the wider "They do rarely pay attention to me, its almost dissapointing.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Nyarai's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @LordGareth: I haven't played Skyrim yet, but now I really, really want to. Jalrissa is one heck of a lady. (I assume that's a lady just because of the -issa, but I could be wrong.)

    Anyway, this is the first snippet I've managed to produce in a while.

    Good Hunting
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    The King's Other Castle. It was such a ridiculous name for a tavern, yet Karlen drew crowds all the same. Velveteen seats, gold plated fixtures, and other little touches made it easy for folks to forget their ordinary lives. They were just here to relax. Except for Aztra at the bar, who hiked up her skirts and slid two pins in her hair. It was time to go to work. Her seasoned gaze scanned the crowd, eliminating potential marks with each pass.

    The first to be granted serious consideration was a corpulent noble. His clothes were slovenly, and he had unwisely kept his long locks despite a very receded hairline. Even more atrocious than his fashion sense were his table manners. The sot could barely keep food in his mouth, and sauce dribbled down his chins. Imagine what he would be like with a woman... Aztra shuddered. Pass. Even if he hadn't shoved every spare cent down his throat, overweight men tended to be less receptive to her... gifts. Her hand twitched to check her hairpins, which were still secured. Good. Moving on.

    The next man was certainly easier on the eyes. Strong features, impeccably dressed, surrounded by a gaggle of adoring fans, he looked every bit the merchant prince... but that was as far as it went. His suit was barely worn, and his stories about the finance world were months out of date. It was all a ploy to bed some beautiful albeit stupid ladies. His coin purse probably bulged with coppers. Pass. He'd probably lose her money. She briefly contemplated revealing his deception, but decided against it. After all, the more women drawn to his table, the less competition there was for her. Play on, little amateur. Let's hope Lord Harlden doesn't hear about you wooing his daughter.

    Her third option was a rugged sort of fellow who stared at the table while his companions caroused around him. His kindly face was dotted with scars, no doubt with a heroic tale behind each one. Aztra could almost smell the musk of his armor. She rose from her stool only to sit back down abruptly. Her new vantage had revealed the object of her target's attentions; his wedding band. Indeed, there was some internal struggle churning in the lad's gut. It would take ages to woo a man like that, assuming his friends didn't step in. Regrettably... Pass.

    The fourth candidate was so perfect, Aztra wondered how she had missed him before. Tucked away in the corner, the young man wore the outfit of a clerk in the Royal Administration. Perfect. Today was payday. Best of all, there was this... fragility to him. He'd even stuck his nose in a book to avoid any unprompted conversation. If she could talk to him without arousing any suspicion, the poor little virgin would be putty in her hands. Aztra slapped her palm against the bar. Karlen set two glasses of wine before her with a mutter of, "Good hunting." She twirled off towards the back with a smirk on her face.

    "Joran? Joran?" Aztra called. Tears welled up in her eyes. The clerk slowly set down his book. No one could resist a damsel in distress, even a poorly-lit one.

    "Something wrong, ma'am?" he asked. His voice was smooth, charming even.

    "I went to go get me and my beau a drink, he's run off without me!" She set her glasses on the table and slid into the booth. The young man opened his mouth, but Aztra interrupted, "I'm Rahela, by the way."

    "... Cyric..."

    She slid a glass of wine his way and raised her own. "To new friends, then?"

    "Uh..." Whatever protests he had died upon his first good look at Aztra. "To new friends."

    **********************

    It had taken another glass, but Cyric finally seemed to be enjoying himself. A scribe in the Royal Financier's office, he was supposed to meet some colleagues who never arrived. Aztra suppressed a smirk. They would be here tomorrow, just like every month. Oh well. Their loss. She rose shakily to her feet, and before she could take one unsteady step-

    "C-can I walk you home?" Cyric asked.

    Aztra laughed. How predictably sweet. "Actually, I'm staying right here. I've never been to the capital before. 's why I was so upset, when Joran disappeared." She could see the disappointment creep into his features. "But! That's no reason you can't!" She leaned heavily on Cyric's shoulder, and he guided her towards the stairs. Karlen threw her a wink as the duo stumbled down the hall. "This's it." Aztra unlocked the door with one hand and reached for her hairpins with the other, pulling them out with a flourish. A small groan indicated her success. "Omigosh, I'm so sorry. Did I stick you?"

    "I-It's nothing." Cyric winced, clutching at his upper thigh.

    "Here, lie down on the bed." He hobbled over to the mattress and gently eased himself onto it. Aztra sat next to him, checking the time. They were well ahead of schedule. Ample time to reward a job well done. Besides, he was pretty cute. She pressed her lips against his and felt herself go weak in the knees.

    Not just the knees. Her entire body. "Damn," she thought. "Did I manage to stick myself too?"

    "No dearest," Cyric replied, and there was an edge to his voice. "You're actually one of the better mortal poisoners I've met." Aztra got a rough kiss in return. A mindreader? Mortal? Gods, what was this man? He breathed a response into her ear, but she never heard it.

    Vaalfar laughed as he shoved the woman aside. What a rush! His arousal had little to do with appearances, though she had been quite lovely. No, he'd witnessed that primal fear in her eyes, the realization that she was his prey rather than the other way around. What was supposed to be an ordinary hunt had completely turned his night around. The arrogant, lower-class grifter made for excellent fare. Who'd have thought? "You know..." he mused aloud. "Were it me, I'd have gone for the hero. He was actually separated. Ah well. Live and learn." Vaalfar cast an eye over her corpse and chuckled. "Figuratively speaking."

    **********************

    A red sun rose over The King's Other Palace, and the bartender pounded on a door with his meaty fist. "Az! It's Len! Open up!" When no response came, Karlen reached for his own key. "Damn, woman. Are you still asleep?" He shoved the door open. "Not trying to cut me out, are ya... Oh gods!" Aztra lay sprawled across the bed, the color drained from her skin. Don't panic. First things first.

    The money.

    It took Karlen a few minutes to ferret the late Aztra's savings out of their various hiding places. It had been nearly two hundred platinum, enough to keep the inn running the rest of the season. "Thanks Az," he thought as he wrapped her up in a sheet. Then, the bartender plodded his way down the empty halls. "No, officers. I don't know where she went. Shame though. One of my best waitresses. Never a nicer girl than that one." Karlen finally reached the cellar and started to dig. [I]"Sorry, Az. Can't have you shuttin' me down."
    Last edited by Nyarai; 2012-05-12 at 11:16 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tavar's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    New Exalted Snippet, this time Involving Sidereals.

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    He is standing on the balcony, overlooking the grand cityscape of Heaven laid out before him. Glorious and horrifying in equal measures. It reminds him of one of his few trips to Malfeas, though he'd never actually speak that. Too risky politically, never mind the potential threat if they thought him an Infernal.

    So he wait, arms resting on the railing, and reflects. Not on what he's actually seeing, but on what brought him here. To his present circumstances.

    He was one of the lucky ones, or so they say. With so much to do, and so much chaos, potential Sidereals aren't found till a scant few years before they exalt, a few even exalting before that. And some aren't found at all, dying through some random act. Maidens, but one relatively recent Chosen of Endings survived fighting in that whole Bull of the North Debacle.

    A twinge of guilt there. It has seemed like such a rational and easy task: the house legions were getting too strong, and so the Empress wanted them blunted without showing her hand. Reasonable, and quite within Heaven's abilities, what with the Bull just starting his rise. So the legions were sent, and the Sidereals hampered them, Child among them. Then everything happened at once. The Empress dissapeared. The other houses, seeing Tepet vulnerable, pounced, and the Bull proved more powerful than thought. Next thing you know the Tepet legions are destroyed completely, not blunted. A huge political shake up in the Realm, only overshadowed by the Empress's disappearance.

    Few really care about the thousands dead, on both sides of the fight. Even fewer about the Sidereals caught in the crossfire. Child does, though. It's one thing to have people die in order to save the world: Child's hands have more than enough blood on them from those, but they don't bother him. Not in the same way. But this, those men, they died for nothing, and Child helped kill them.

    Before, he had been a rising star in the Bronze faction. The gold were hopeless dreamers and fanatics, after all. The Bronze had a plan, a method. They had kept Creation running for over a thousand years, and would do it for a thousand more. The campaign against the Bull changed that. He didn't turn to one of those brain dead Gold fanatics, but he couldn't trust the Bronze faction either. The Realm without the Empress was nothing, and no one lasts forever. And yet, no one had set up contingencies. There was no plan, just mad dash solutions to paper over the problem.

    So he worked, doing his duties to the Bureau, but staying away from both parties. And he watched the world fall apart. Thorns. The Silver Prince. The Realm continuing it's slow crumble to Civil War and oblivion. The Solars and Lunars, back in force for the first time in memory. Every day it became more clear that if the Bronze faction ever had a plan, it wasn't valid any more.

    "Brillant Boy's getting called into the headmasters office? Quick, someone make sure the Yozi are still in Hell."

    A little start. He hadn't realized he was that out of it, for Starfall to sneak up on him. The little teasing does get him to relax, though. Turning, Child makes a little tossing motion as he chuckles.

    "Hah. The only time I get called into her office is when I'm cleaning up after one of your messes. I have an appointment. Though, with you up here, maybe I'll be called in anyways...."

    "You wound me," holding his hands over his heart, Starfall steps back, fake consternation on his face as he says the words, before dropping the smile as his eyes grow serious. "Honestly, though, I've been hearing rumors-"

    "I'm fine. Just taking a sabbatical."

    Starfall's jaw drops, and the balcony is silent for a long moment.

    "You, Mr Work-A-Holic. Mr Didn't leave His Office for 3 days straight. You put in for leave?"

    Slightly embarressed, Child rubs the back of his head. "Well, yeah. I guess I finally decided that I needed some time off. Hell, my hair's going grey, and I'm barely in my 5th decade."

    Clasping Child's shoulder, Starfall gives a true smile. "Good for you. You've been working to hard, time to relax a little. Plus, now I know why the note that called me here was so happy."

    "Oh?" The door to the office opens, a secretary god motioning for them to go in.

    "Ayesha won the pool on when you'd finally give in."
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
    -James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
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  5. - Top - End - #95
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @LordGareth: I haven't played Skyrim yet, but now I really, really want to. Jalrissa is one heck of a lady. (I assume that's a lady just because of the -issa, but I could be wrong.)
    Warning: Massive, massive liberties were taken with the portrayal of the combat and with NPC dialogue. That being said, the game is still fun as all hell.

    Jal is, indeed, a lady. Any thoughts on who she is as a person? Any thoughts on the writing itself (strong/weak points)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Nyarai's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Apologies. I kept my initial comments brief, because I wanted to post before the site spazzed again and I got too nervous to do it at all. Some more robust commentary.

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    His name starts with an 'H', I remember that much, but I wasn't paying much attention when I first met him and I've developed nothing but contempt for him since. I vaguely hope he dies so I can stop having to listen to him.
    I love this bit. It's funny and, right away, it gives a good sense of Jal's character.

    Stealth. Finally, an Imperial who speaks my language. A ghost of a smile crosses my lips, making the man in front of me laugh lightly.

    "Are you ever going to wear your uniform, Jalrissa? All that black makes you look like some kind of assassin."

    The ghost of a smile broadens, "All the better to make those Stormcloaks fear me then, eh?"
    Something about the idea of the ghost of a smile broadening bothers me, but it's a very small bother that's easy to put aside.

    --snipped for awesome dreams--
    Very nicely done. I'm making a note of this next time I try to write dreams or flashbacks.

    The stars twinkle at me from the clear sky above. Damn, I'd been hoping for some cloud cover for this.
    I enjoy these little observations. They really efficiently deliver insight about the character.

    "I trust you to do your job. Trust me to do mine," I say quietly as I get up into a low crouch. I stretch a little, staring at him with a flat expression, "An Imperial's idea of stealth is not blowing the horn before you fire the catapults, so I'm not about to take your advice on it."
    I'm not sure if that bit was your own invention or something from the game, but it was beautiful regardless.

    I slip out of the grate tunnel and land silently on the stone floor, glad it isn't wood but cursing the fool that didn't include wood. Wood makes noise, helps you detect intruders. Whoever this architect was, I hope Sithis is tormenting him eternally.
    Just to double-check, Jal is upset because she's taking this fort and architectural failings directly impact the Empire's success in holding it, right? Otherwise, I am exceedingly confused. Also, you repeat the word wood a lot. Maybe “glad it isn't wood, but cursing the fool that didn't think to include any”?

    I grit my teeth as a dozen blades converge on me, suck in a breath, and summon the power of the Thu'um within my blood. The dragon-tongue sings in my veins with addictive intensity, needing only the Voice to shape it, and I scream out the words of my intention - "Fus ro da!" The Shout picks up the Nords and hurls them off of the battlements, and I smile darkly as I hear bones snapping and the screams of dying men.
    *squee* You said the thing from the game! Okay, I'm done now. But yeah, this is the sort of writing that makes me want to have the dollars for Skyrim.

    Assassins do not thrive in chaos, because we require secrecy. Chaos makes secrecy irrelevant, puts all of your enemies out in the open. When 'do as thou wilt' is the only law, we wither and starve, a redundant service in a world where murder is only technically a crime. There is no secrecy on this battlefield, and it is no place for an assassin.
    Well put, and a refreshing diversion from the more typical bloodthirsty, anarchical sort of assassin.

    The healing brew is bitter and foul but it works, staunching the flow of my life's blood and filling me with vigor. I crawl a few feet before springing up and sprinting along the wall. The Stormcloak I'm running at thinks I'm charging him and raises his shield to receive me, but I spin around him and sink my knife into the back of his neck, and I feel the Blade of Woe drink his life. I grab him and use his armored body to absorb a few more arrows and grit my teeth in angry rage.

    This is not what I am supposed to be doing, and these clumsy oafs may well be the death of me if I continue like this.

    "Lucien, kill them," I order harshly, and the ghost forms at my side. I point at the archers on the battlements and he nods once, charging forward in utter silence.
    Good description of the healing potion. Apparently Skyrim folks don't gussy that stuff up. I have no idea why Jal has a ghost, but it's awesome, so doesn't really matter.

    I am no stranger to the scent of death but this isn't it. Death is a small, quiet smell - a coppery tang, mixed with the smells of the body's last few convulsions. This is not death. This is slaughter, a charnel house just like the last two forts I helped take. I look at my cheering men, and then look away. Their barbarism disgusts me.
    So is she upset because they butchered everyone in a distinctly unassassin like manner or because they're so darned happy about it?

    "Victory for the Empire, eh Jalrissa? Jal? Are you alright?"

    "I need to report," I reply, not looking at whatever-his-name is. "Hail the Emperor."

    As I walk away I hear his confused, "Hail the Emperor." He thinks I am his friend.
    Good interaction between these two. Even without directly saying so, you can tell H is trying to be friendly because he calls her by a nickname.

    All told, Jal strikes me as a very well-developed, natural character for the world she inhabits. You don't just label her an assassin and let those associations carry the work. In fact, she seems to be a lot more of a solider than some of the barbarians who serve under her. The characterization is spot on, the combat feels varied each time Jal snuffs a dude out, and my reaction half the time to a unknown term or phenomenon was, “Not entirely sure what's going on, but who cares? This is awesome.

    River Tam avatar by Strawberries

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Sorry to everyone for getting behind on comments! I meant to catch up this weekend, but alas, it was not to be. Never fear; they are forthcoming!
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

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    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Nice work turning Skyrim into a snippet. Well written and snappy.


    Anyway...

    Working for (then siding against) a mad god

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    These people are all mad.

    We asked what seems to be the only sane member of the 'command squad' to explain what's happening. James Morran is what's called the 'Lord Commissar' of the empire. Second in command to Ian Moone, who was a warlord when they met.

    That was before they killed the boss of their city-state, wiped out the only actual nation they knew of, and took it over, with Ian declaring himself the God-Emperor.

    And now we're part of that empire, apparently. They're sending us as the first wave against a town they didn't participate in the draft. We are to take out whatever air defenses they have. I hope Elle knows what that means.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________

    It was a moot point. They didn't have defenses of any sort.

    How is it that these people took over and rebuilt a nation without knowing about pacifists?

    We spoke to the inhabitants. They refused the draft on principle. When we explained what was happening, they sent an envoy. With the attack about to begin, he ran as hard as he could.

    We got clear as well. There was nothing else we could do. The envoy was shot on sight, the town was destroyed.

    I could do -nothing-. My soul bound to hell for power I couldn't use. What a sick joke.

    But...that's not what James signed up for, either.

    He chose to help found the nation...and now he plans to kill Ian.

    Maybe he's just as bad. His followers seem to be buying into the idea of being heretics too much. But...better him than a evil deity. Hopefully.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordhenry4000 View Post
    Sorry to everyone for getting behind on comments! I meant to catch up this weekend, but alas, it was not to be. Never fear; they are forthcoming!
    WELL HOW DARE YOU!

    Says the guy with the gigantic unpaid comment backlog with no intention of working on it in the foreseeable future.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    I think this is everybody; let me know if I missed you.

    Also any comments on my last couple snippets? Since the next one isn't going to be ready for a little while because I'm slow?

    @Gareth
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    speaking to a man many would kill for just to get a chance to meet.
    The "for" is unneeded/redundant/awkward here.

    I am here to kill him, and I am very surprised that he seems intent on letting me
    This sentence, however, ends too quickly for my liking; I had to reread it to be sure I knew what was going on. Not the biggest problem in the world, but when you're in the middle of a flowing dream montage you want to avoid that sort of thing. "...intent on letting me do so" would make this much clearer. Otherwise, this dream sequence is great.

    wood, wood, wood
    As Nyarai mentioned, you say it a three times in two sentences.

    My arrow pins the apple to the inside of his mouth, half-bitten and bleeding juice.
    This is great.

    I bent the tip. Damn. That's going to take forever to fix.
    This was pretty unexpected. The cadence change doesn't bother me, but I had to go back and reread the paragraph before to understand why that might have happened (still not completely clear how you break your knife in someone's eye). If he's literally driving the blade pretty much full-length through this guy's skull, I'd mention that before this line.

    I take an arrow in the shoulder and the force knocks me back. I go with it, let it spin me to the ground, and tear it out roughly. It hurts and sends bright spots swimming in front of my eyes, but I can't have it stuck in me when I drink my potion.
    This is good stuff. "Hurts" is a little weak though.

    I sheathe my blade and keep walking away. I need to set a good example, even if no one that matters can see me. Assassins cannot thrive in chaos, and discipline starts at the top.
    Very, very nice.

    Overally I liked this snippet a lot. Honestly the only thing that I felt was a little out of place was the Shout; it seemed almost like you only put in the actual words to say "hey readers this is skyrim!" Otherwise, Jalrissa's characterization (everyone's, really) is great; it really comes together well at the end when she's ended up fighting people hand-to-hand and complaining that it's not what she's "supposed to be doing". As always, your handling of a chaotic battle scene is inspiring.


    @SleepyShadow
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    Yay more Clarice!

    It felt like someone had mercilessly beaten her.
    I expected this to be the setup for a joke ("Then she realized that the last thing she remembered was being beaten. Mercilessly.") As it isn't, the sentence falls a little flat--a little too much exposition without description, (ie. what did she feel?), or maybe because you're using a truthful simile (ie. there's weirdness because she was beaten, nearly to death. "It felt like she'd fallen out of an airship" would be a more enlightening comparison).

    "I've had it with your Tome of Battle crap!"
    Heheheheh. Also I don't think I've mentioned this before; I love that she yells the names of her maneuvers.

    "You could try doing something other than **** out cats."

    "Preposterous!"
    God I love your party.

    "You turned into a doggie-girl and tried to eat our faces," Ed answered as best he could. "Face eating is rude, doggie-girl."
    ...oh god. For someone with a tragically low INT, Ed sure does care about etiquette

    --Fluffy/Clarice "exposition" conversation--
    Ahahahahahahaha.

    Clarice's hand slipped away from Ed's sleeve, and the man rose to his feet. He patted her on the head, then turned and walked out of the clearing. Clarice stared after him for several long horror-struck moments. Eventually, she let her head fall against her knees and she began to weep bitterly.
    Can't tell whether to d'awwwww or D:

    "I'm so sorry," Clarice said quietly as she quickly made her way up the trail ahead of the group, her cheeks burning with shame.
    This is a great moment. Also, I'm surprised Shane & Fluffy haven't made some comment about her new level adjustment yet

    --session ending--
    Oh, Strahd von Zarovich is great. Great great great. Also, poor Ed. For a rogue, he's pretty terrible at staying out of harm's way.

    Very fun snippet as usual. I like seeing more real interaction between the party; Shane/Fluffy's abuse of Clarice and Ed's pretecting everyone while Clarice struggles with her new bloodlust are all very well done. I hope that magic sword is pretty great, because otherwise I'm not seeing much of a way out of way out for our intrepid heroes!


    @Kaveman26
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    Kyr their fighter ~ Corwin their barbarian ~ Caramis their illusionist
    Rather than drop these titles so explicitly, why not let their actions show what they are? Especially when you've got people like a barbarian and illusionist--these positions should be exceedingly easy (and fun) to show the reader without stating it outright.

    spilling drinks and causing mayhem
    Same thing here; "spilling drinks" is good but then "causing mayhem" lacks any real descriptive power. Replacing this with another example of the sorts of destruction occurring would make the scene more vivid.

    I suppose we can extract at least another thousand for wrongful imprisonment and unnessecary search.
    This is a great line, and a good reveal of the party's plan.

    Overall, very nice first snippet! There are a couple typos here and there, but nothing world-shattering. This party is certainly entertaining; I look forward to more!


    @Nyarai
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    The King's Other Castle. It was such a ridiculous fantastic name for a tavern
    Fixed that for you.

    His clothes were slovenly, and he had unwisely kept his long locks despite a very receded hairline. Even more atrocious than his fashion sense were his table manners. The sot could barely keep food in his mouth, and sauce dribbled down his chins.
    ::shudder:: This is a great description; love the details (though I believe slovenly is generally used to describe people, rather than things).

    "No dearest," Cyric replied, and there was an edge to his voice. "You're actually one of the better mortal poisoners I've met."
    You know, I was worried about this guy the moment he gave his name...

    Vaalfar laughed as he shoved the woman aside.
    Wait what? Who is Vaalfar? I had assumed this was actually Cyric, randomly messing with some mortals. Is Vaalfar an agent of his, or is the name just coincidence. Suddenly I understand nothing.

    "Ah well. Live and learn." Vaalfar cast an eye over her corpse and chuckled. "Figuratively speaking."
    Awesome.

    Great first snippet! The last line left me a touch confused (what stories?), but overally this was great. I really enjoyed the voice & the language, and the pacing was excellent. Many more to come, I hope?


    @Tavar
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    Maidens, but one relatively recent Chosen of Endings survived fighting in that whole Bull of the North Debacle.
    It might be my lack of Exalted knowledge getting the better of me here, but I can't make heads or tails of this sentence. Otherwise, this is a very nice slice-of-life/flashback snippet; I'd love to see more from this story. I really like some of the things you've done with the descriptions of Heaven, both politically and physically. The final conversation starts a little abruptly, which is perfect for the scene, and I love the ending line


    @Winds
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    These people are all mad.
    Coming from a typical D&D adventurer who later in the same snippet admits that he damned himself in return for mortal power--great opening line. And completely reasonable from his standpoint, of course.

    We are to take out whatever air defenses they have. I hope Elle knows what that means.
    Heh. Good reminder here.

    How is it that these people took over and rebuilt a nation without knowing about pacifists?
    Good question.

    Fun snippet; it seems a little departed from the more recent ones in terms of content--a little less detailed, I think, since you're covering so much. I would have liked to see some of the other party members' reactions to this situation (admittedly a little difficult because of the journal-entry format). Uh... good luck against the God-Emperor?
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Ah, yeah, it's probably a lack of setting knowledge. The Maidens are 5 of the most powerful gods in the setting, part of the Incarna which rules heaven. They are representations of fate. In this case, it's basically using their collective name in place of 'gods' or whatever. Essentially, very weak curse.

    In exalted, when someone is referred to as capital C Chosen of X, it means they're exalted, with the X referring to their patron. Chosen of Endings means the character in question is a Sidereal, and more specifically the Chosen of Saturn, the Maiden of Endings. Her purview is, well, endings.

    The Bull of the North is a major in setting character. Some years before the normal start of the game, setting wise, he Exalted as a Solar, one of the strongest types of Exalts. Now, normally he'd be hunted down, as the most powerful religion in the world says that non-Dragonblooded(elemental based Exalts) are evil demons possessing people, most especially the Solars. So he starts gathering the tribes of his people, and basically starts pulling a Genghis Khan.

    But the Bull exalted far from the centers of power, and so had some time to grow in strength. Then, due to politics, the legions the Realm(most powerful nation, and who's state religion is the aforementioned one), were internally sabotaged, as they belonged to a noble house that was getting too powerful. Unfortunately, the Head of State disappeared while this was going on, and the other houses say this as an opportunity to further lame the house in question. This combined with the Bull being stronger than though lead to the complete destruction of the house's legions, instead of simply humbling them. Furthermore, now the Realm can't effectively strike at the Bull, as it's primary offensive weapon besides the Legions relied on the Head of State.

    Also, the Sidereals were involved in the Bull of the North campaign, and several died in the process. Normally, for exalted, this isn't a problem: the exaltations just go and chose someone else. But Sidereal Exaltations, for a variety of reasons, take about 20 years to go through this process, and the Sidereal Exalted are fewer in number and more overworked than any other type. So, the guy in question is calling it a Debacle.

    So, yeah, tons of setting stuff involved in that sentence.
    Last edited by Tavar; 2012-05-07 at 01:19 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    The reaction of the narrator (who's sort of chilling in Aztra's skull without making this 1st person) represents my initial reaction to the name when I saw it. "Ugh, that is the dumbest name ever." *REJECTED* But eventually, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was in fact the GREATEST name. It has forever replaced "The Roaming Knight" as my go-to inn name.

    Cyric and Vaalfar are the same person. Erm, incubus. The bit about the 'stories' was just supposed to be a drawback to the name of the tavern and imply some generically unsavory deeds by the lords of this land. Any advice on edits I can make to clarify those two points? I've been writing for a long time without sharing, so there tends to be great swaths of information I think is obvious that may not be so.

    Glad you liked it, lh4K. I shall definitely have to post more.
    Last edited by Nyarai; 2012-05-08 at 01:31 PM.
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    Never again will I doubt the ingenuity of a rules-lawyer with an imagination.


    The River Runs at 18 Gallons Per Round
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    Clarice rose to her feet, her shoulders shaking with rage. She glared at Strahd Von Zarovich, who merely smirked back at her.

    "You killed him!" Clarice shouted as she fought back tears. "You killed Ed! The one person here I considered a friend!"

    "Why do we never get character development?" Shane asked Fluffy.

    "I'm Mr. Fluffy the Cat God," the tibbet replied. "Who needs more development than that?"

    "Maybe it's because you two are insensitive jerks to the NPCs," Ed's corpse suggested.

    "Hush, you're dead and undermining Clarice's angry speech," Zarovich said reproachfully.

    "Oh right, sorry," the corpse said before resuming death.

    Clarice glanced at Shane and Fluffy for confirmation, and they motioned for her to continue. She nodded and turned her steely gaze back to Zarovich.

    "I will make you pay for what you've done," Clarice said firmly as she drew her sword. "Pay for what you did to Ed, what you've done to me, and for what you've done to all the people of Barovia!"

    "Wait!" Fluffy said quickly. "My turn first."

    Fluffy cackled maniacally, and the room was suddenly filled with mangy tabby cats. Shane, Clarice, and Zarovich all stared at the tibbet as his laughter faded away.

    "Cats?" Zarovich scoffed. "Really?"

    "Did you forget already?" Shane grumbled. "Vampires have DR ..."

    "It is only stage one of my brilliant plan!" Fluffy declared. "Now his black clothing will be completely ruined by the shedding of many cats, and he will run off and cry his makeup off!"

    "Or I will just kill all three of you," Zarovich replied with a smirk.

    "Oh, you are a non-sparkly vampire?" Fluffy asked sheepishly.

    "Correct."

    "&$@% my life ..."

    Clarice shifted her footing and leveled her sword with Zarovich's chest. She glared at him defiantly.

    "Stance of Clarity," she muttered. "You cannot go unpunished."

    She lunged forward with a mighty cry, ignoring the biting and scratching of the cats around her legs. She leaped up, her sword poised above her head.

    "Mountain Hammer!" she called out as her blade struck down in a deadly arc.

    Zarovich stepped to the side, narrowly avoiding the attack. The sword smashed into the floor, sending bits of marble tile and bits of cat flying in all directions. Strahd struck at her with his long wicked claws, but the young woman retaliated faster than the vampire could react to.

    "Feigned Opening!" she cried as she swung upward, catching Zarovich in the ribs with her sword.

    "It's like watching bad anime ..." Fluffy grumbled.

    "It's like watching good anime," Shane argued.

    "Your opinion is invalid. You like Naruto."

    "It has a good story if you skip the filler."

    "Shut up and take your turn."

    Shane acquiesced and aimed the palm of his hand at Strahd. A massive jet of icy water sprayed forth from his hand, drenching the vampire, Clarice, and dozens of cats. Clarice coughed and spluttered as she cast her eyes toward Shane in confusion. Both she and Zarovich were thoroughly soaked.

    "What was that?" Strahd grumbled as he swept a lock of dripping hair out of his face.

    "Vampires lose one-third of their health for immersion in water," Shane explained. "I just sprayed you with eighteen gallons of water in under six seconds. I'm pretty sure getting sprayed with what amounts to a riot hose of magic water counts as immersion."

    Strahd Von Zarovich sighed exasperatedly, then let out a shriek of agony as his skin began to steam and burn. Fluffy cackled victoriously.

    "I told you it would work," the tibbet said to Shane. "I skip my turn."

    Clarice wiped the water from her eyes as she looked at the equally wet vampire. The constant biting and scratching from the cats was growing increasingly painful. She wondered if perhaps this was Fluffy's way of punishing her. She worked through the pain and struck at Zarovich again.

    "Emerald Razor!" Clarice cried out; her blade flashed green for a moment as it cut across Strahd's chest.

    The vampire hissed in pain, but still he retaliated. He drove his knee into her stomach, knocking the wind out of her. As she doubled over in pain Zarovich raked his claws across her back, his black talons tearing through her armor as if it were paper. She cried out and staggered away from him, leaning on her sword for support. Strahd smiled wickedly, but his smile quickly turned into an irritated frown as he was blasted by another jet of icy water.

    "You giving up yet, Zarovich?" Shane asked with a laugh.

    "Noob vampire focusing the tank," Fluffy snickered. "I skip my turn."

    The swarm of mangy cats continued its relentless assault on Clarice, and this time she could not hold back a whimper of pain. She could feel the tibbet's eyes on her, and she knew he was trying to kill her.

    I don't understand, she thought. Why does he hate me so much?

    The pain of the swarm coupled with her own dark thoughts distracted her long enough for Zarovich to close in on her. He grabbed Clarice by the wrist and throat, twisting her arm until she dropped her sword. She struggled valiantly, but could not escape his inhuman strength. Another blast of water suddenly drenched both combatants, and Clarice was hurled to the ground as Zarovich exploded in a massive ball of steam. Nothing remained of his body save for a few wispy vapors, and those soon dissipated away.

    "Vampires are so easy to kill," Fluffy chuckled as he at last dismissed his swarm.

    "Whoo! Time to loot the castle!" Shane declared. "Think we'll run into any more battles?"

    "Oh, I'm sure we will," Fluffy replied. "Luckily I only used one spell that fight, and you're down only a few orisons."

    "I guess I need to heal up Clarice," Shane said grudgingly.

    "No," Clarice said as she slowly regained her feet. "Save your healing for yourself."

    "Are you sure?" Shane asked. "You're really hurt."

    "I'm sure," Clarice replied with a wane smile. "You two enjoy yourselves plundering the castle."

    "Where are you going?" Fluffy questioned suspiciously.

    "I've done what I set out to do, thanks to your help," Clarice answered as she sheathed her sword. "Strahd has finally been destroyed, and that's reward enough for me. I'm going home."

    ***

    It had been months since Clarice had last seen the outlanders. Things had returned to normal in Barovia Village, in some ways better than normal. Wolves no longer prowled the outskirts of the village, the townsfolk were no longer afraid to venture out at night, and the fog and rain that permeated the area had given way to pleasant sunshine and beautiful moonlight.

    Of course, Clarice could not enjoy the moonlight. Every full moon she locked herself in her cellar to prevent herself from causing harm to anyone. However, a few days ago she had received a letter from the famed doctor Rudolph Van Richten. The letter had said that he could cure her affliction of lycanthropy so long as she had not tasted the blood of another human. Naturally, she accepted his offer.

    It was dark and raining the night that he was to arrive. Clarice thought little of the weather, however. She longed to be free of her curse. She paced back and forth anxiously, praying to every god and goddess she knew of that Van Richten's cure would work.

    A knock on her door broke her worried thoughts. Clarice rushed to the front door and pulled it open. A tall man stood on her doorstep. The leather cloak he wore to protect himself from the icy rain concealed all put his pointed chin and muddy boots.

    "Doctor Van Richten?" Clarice asked.

    The figure nodded solemnly.

    "Come on inside," the young woman said with a smile. "Let's get you out of the rain."

    The man stepped inside quickly and closed the door behind him. Clarice walked over to the fireplace where a small kettle hissed over the warm fire.

    "I've got some tea here if you like," Clarice offered as she carefully removed the kettle.

    "I prefer a different drink, Clarice," the man replied in an all-too familiar voice.

    The young woman spun around with a gasp of terror as Strahd Von Zarovich tore away his cloak with a wicked smile. The kettle slipped from Clarice's hand as she backed away from the approaching vampire.

    "Did you think a little water would kill me, Clarice?" Strahd asked, laughing mirthlessly. "Foolish girl."

    Clarice turned and ran toward her bedroom, hoping to get her sword. Zarovich was faster, however, and grabbed her from behind before she could even reach the door. She struggled in vain against his grasp as he pinned her against his chest. She shuddered as the vampire ran his thumb along her bare neck.

    "Clarice," Zarovich hissed in her ear, "it's time to put your blade to work."

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I dunno, the running water thing works for me. Were I DM, I would have let it pass if he were trying to block the vamp of. On the other hand, the running water thing has a great deal more to it than water, so you couldn't expect the same thing. I love that your vamp thought of that.


    We kill a mad god (twice)

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    Again with being conscripted. What is with these people, and how did they not have a coup sooner?

    James' army calls themselves 'chaos' for some reason. I don't get it, but I'm not going to argue with an army of warriors twice my size in spiked armor...

    In any case...the capital broke into a civil war. We played both sides as long as we could. It didn't work out that well.

    I really hate guns.

    In any case, we found the fight between Ian and James and leapt into the fray. The guy was really tough. It took longer to kill him than it took to kill most dragons. My blasts, Logrim and Kaldrig slicing at him, Elle with her gun, James with a two-handed gun of some kind...

    He finally fell, and we were returned to the main room of the tower. Going through the final door, we found ourselves in that desert, save that the sword and pedestal were there. A younger version of that madman guarded it. He apparently got the idea to call himself God-Emperor from us. My head hurts.

    Again.

    He challenged us to single combat. He was no real challenge...in this form, he wasn't a match for even one of us. I wonder how he got so strong... Meanwhile, Neeshka grabbed the sword and brought down the tower. She also grabbed Ian's gun, which is bigger than the ones the HPD gave us before. She almost shot us by mistake before Elle took it off her with promises of teaching her to use it.

    I *hate* guns.


    So apparently a paradox won't end the world. Unless it did end that world. Which would mean...

    ...Nevermind, I don't want to dwell on it.


    And wizards think my powers are messed-up.


    Though...James' performance was weaker than it would have been had the DM asked for a copy of the character sheet. Sigh.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Rather than the next bit of the Joseph's Gap story, you get this weird thing, because I needed a break from writing (spoiler alert) Inevitable dialogue.

    Hunt
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    “...And then the Elf says, ‘You mean to tell me that all the Gnomes and Dwarves are gone from Arnac?’ ‘Every single one,’ the genie replies. ‘Well in that case, I wish for a glass of fine wine, please!’” Everyone’s heard the joke a hundred times before, but we all laugh drunkenly anyway, raising wooden mugs of heady, bitter ale as the big man on my left--Karl something--launches into another joke.

    I glance across the room. The Nymph’s Lounge is dim and crowded and loud, but my mark is easy to keep track of. He’s wearing a garish yellow cloak and a tall, pointed red hat, pushed close to the little raised stage where the “nymphs” are dancing. The show should end any minute.

    The men at my table laugh again and I turn back to them, refreshing the big grin on my face and taking a deep drink. Karl half-shouts to me over the noise of the bar, “See anything you like?” which elicits another round of guffaws from my tablemates. “Nah,” I reply just as loudly, “the girls at this place always smell like fish!” Karl laughs, and a guy who looks like he might have some Orc blood pipes up, “Speakin’ of fish, you boys see Derrik’s wife by the docks earlier? What a face, eh!”

    The smaller man next to him gives him a good punch to the shoulder, and the big guy roars with laughter, leaning his stool so far back he nearly topples over. Out of the corner of my eye I see the red hat on the move; most of the dancers retiring for the night through the door behind the stage, with a few sticking around to suggest to the audience how to arrange for a more personal show.

    I push my stool back, raising my eyebrows suggestively at the other men at my table, and head for the counter. I scrape a few coppers out of a vest pocket and deposit them prominently in front of the harried-looking barmaid. I make my way to the stage and try not to look too closely at a skinny girl clothed only in translucent bluish silk as I linger for a few moments, then turn away and slip out the door.

    The man in the red hat is nowhere to be seen when I step out onto the moonlit street, but if my information is good, I know where he’s going. I turn left and then left again, into the narrow alley next to the Lounge. Only a few feet in, the tavern’s chimney juts out almost to the opposite wall, and I squeeze around it to the other side, where I know the alley continues for a short way and then comes to an end against the back of a warehouse.

    Feeling around in the dark, I find the piton I’d hammered into the stone chimney this afternoon at head height. From there, finding the other two and climbing to the roof is a simple matter. I retrieve my bow and quiver from where they hang inside the chimney and pry out the piton they hung from, stuffing it into a pocket and slinging the quiver over my shoulder as I make my way towards the back of the tavern.

    Sure enough, Red Hat is there, standing silently in the shadows of another dead-end corridor not far from the back doorway. He’s clearly trying to stay hidden despite his outlandish garb, and he seems surprisingly successful as, a few silent minutes later, the back door opens and girls begin to leave in twos and threes. The door blocks their view of the man and they hurry away through the night without a backwards glance.

    Several more minutes pass; the man below me puts his hand into a yellow pocket and waits. Finally, a dancer exits the tavern alone, and the yellow-cloaked man makes his move. Like lightning, he appears at her side, gripping her upper arm and winding a thick length of white cloth around her face several times, effectively silencing her cries.

    Wrenching her arms behind her back and binding them there, he throws the girl easily over one shoulder and, holding tight to her bare, struggling legs, carries her down the alley toward the road. Her thin blue dress flutters in the light breeze. So, my contact’s accusation of kidnapping certainly holds. I suspect the other will as well, but I keep silent until I can know for sure.

    The buildings in this area are packed so close together that hopping from rooftop to rooftop is no challenge at all. I keep pace with the man easily for several minutes as he strolls almost casually down the lane with the struggling girl draped over his shoulder. The few passers-by who notice him hurry quickly in the other direction, anxious to pretend they didn’t see. Each time, I grit my teeth and wonder what kind of world it is I’m trying to save.

    Soon enough, he turns off Crosstown into a long, twisting alley, following its path nearly to its end, when he stops and turns to face a large wooden shipping crate.

    Releasing the dancer’s legs with one hand, he digs in a pocket with the other, removing a key and unlocking the crate in front of him. He pulls the lid open, and I shift down the length of the roof a short way to get a better look. Something tells me Red Hat isn’t taking her anywhere else. “Erastil, guide my sights,” I mutter as I ready my bow and notch an arrow to the string.

    I feel the slight prickling ruffle as a crest of feathers replaces my hair, my eyes stretch and widen and the content of the crate comes into view. It is a table of sorts, with thick leather straps pinned to it in several places, and its purpose becomes horribly clear as he tosses the blue-clad girl down on it, binding her arms, legs, and throat so she lies spread-eagled on the wooden surface, tears leaking from her wide eyes.

    The man draws a long knife from somewhere inside layers of hideous fabric and grabs a fistful of the girl’s dress with his other hand. That’s enough confirmation of the second accusation for me. I draw the bow taught, sighting along the shaft as my prey leers down at his.

    The young dancer cries as the knife advances. There is a soft hiss; the man falters. The knife clatters to the ground; the man’s hands clutch at a length of oak protruding from his throat. Crimson spills over yellow robes. The man staggers, then topples heavily into the dirt, knocking the tall red hat from his head. The girl stares around, eyes wide with fear and confusion.

    The feathers slowly recede from my face, and I make a conscious effort to soften my eyes and unclench my jaw. I stow my bow on my quiver again and jump lightly down from the roof, landing with a soft crunch on the dry earth. Drawing my own knife, I carefully sever the restraints holding the girl to the table as she stares up at me. She pulls the gag from her mouth, and I offer her my hand and help her down off the table, waiting in silence as she smoothes and adjusts her dress.

    After a minute, she looks down at the yellow-clad corpse, then up at me again, silent. “This is a dangerous part of the city, alone at night. Do you live close by?” She nods. “Would you like me to walk you there?”


    @Nyarai
    The problem I have with the "stories" line was that you've just never mentioned anything about the political climate. With some thought, I arrive at the conclusion you wanted--some kind of sideways jab at the current regime--but it's not obvious, and is kind of distracting from the events of the snippet.

    I got that they were the same person; I was just confused because I assumed at the "mortal" line that Cyric was, in fact, Cyric the God, in human form and screwing with people for laughs. So that's probably just my own interpretation getting in the way. It might be clearer if you didn't have the ******** right there though; it makes it seem like it might be a scene change or something, where it's really continuing on directly. I'm not sure if this really needs too much clarifying, though.

    @Tavar
    Wow that was a lot more exposition than I expected. Thank you! That definitely helps a lot. I've said it before, but I really need to play some Exalted so I can feel more at home in these snippets.


    And, winds & sleepyshadow, I read both your last snippets and loved them; real comments are coming soon
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    I made edits as per your suggestion, lh4k. Thanks for the advice.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Oh, my! A wild Name Change appears! Seriously I didn't really expect that thing to ever go through.

    @SleepyShadow
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    "Maybe it's because you two are insensitive jerks to the NPCs," Ed's corpse suggested.

    "Hush, you're dead and undermining Clarice's angry speech," Zarovich said reproachfully.
    As always, your treatment of their "ooc" dialogue is awesome.

    Strahd Von Zarovich sighed exasperatedly, then let out a shriek of agony as his skin began to steam and burn.
    Oh man. I still don't think I'd allow this. Very funny though.

    "I'm going home."
    Yessssss. Get out of there while you can Clarice!

    "Come on inside," the young woman said with a smile.
    Oooh, good touch. Poor Clarice though (and I love how von Zarovich keeps saying her name). I suppose he was telling the truth about curing her lycanthopy, though--maybe. If it works like that. Looking forward to seeing how she interacts with the party now (and what vampire mythology you're going with as far as personality/alignment/etc).


    @Winds
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    To be honest, I didn't like this one as much as some of the others. It seemed to jump around a lot, especially the first several paragraphs. This moment especially left me wishing for more explanation:

    We played both sides as long as we could. It didn't work out that well.

    I really hate guns.
    We know they've encountered guns before, but there's no particular reason for Kalach to hate them right now. The best I can do is assume that "it didn't work out that well" was on account of something particular to guns, but I'm in the dark as to what that is--a little more exposition here would make it a lot clearer.

    I did really enjoy his treatment/analysis of the time travel/whatever-it-was that went on there. His comment at the end about the relative weirdness of his powers vs time travel shenanigans is great, too. Overall, I just wish this snippet were fleshed out with a little more detail about specific anecdotes and so forth.
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    Hee, nice! It's an insanely fun name to say aloud, that's for sure.
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    Another snippet, this one not based on something besides Exalted!

    Names stolen shamelessly from other sources.

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    Doroga looks to the East, watching the sun rise, as is his custom. The camp is beginning to stir behind him, but if feels as if there's a cliff between him and them. He'll be leaving, after all. To be a hostage, though the crap-sitters don't call it that: he's a cultural exchangee. Funny how they aren't sending one of their own out here. But then, the stronger rarely have to make concessions to the weaker, do they?

    The Earthshaker clan needs this treaty: give the Humans some worthless ground to mine for even-more worthless gems. Pretty, to be sure, beauty is everywhere. Useful things, now those can be all too rare. And the Earthshakers are getting some very useful things out of the deal: yearly gifts of worked metal. Then again, the Humans are getting something useful as well, aren't they? He may be the second son, and thus not the true heir to the Shaman, but he has power all the same.

    A hand on his shoulder.
    "What do you see, Cub?"

    Scowling, Doroga looks up at his father. "I'm an adult now, Father. And today I'm leaving. The least you could do is call me by my name."

    There's a twinkle in the old man's eye, causing Doroga's scowl to deepen. "The clan judges you an Adult, but you are my child yet. I don't wish to send you away, but the clan needs this treaty, and everything has a price. The Alerans will be your hosts: remember, you aren't simply a hostage there. You will be our permanent representative. What you do reflects on all of us."

    Doroga almost resist, caught up like most new adults in the importance of their new status, before catching his father in a hug, burying his face in the older man's shoulder. "I'm scared, Father. What if I change?"

    "I certainly hope you do." Looking down at his son's stunned expression, his face softens, and he continues. "Life is change. You'll see that one day. But as long as you live, you'll remain my son, and have a place in this tribe. Many things will change, but not that. Never that."


    _______________
    Three Years Later

    He doesn't wake till long after the sun rises, anymore. Waking up at dawn is for the poor, or the barbarians out in the wilderness. Certainly not for the Aleran family, or their honored guest.

    Lazily stretching, Doroga gets up to do his morning grooming, before going downstairs to breakfast with Marcus. The two were the same age, and had become close friends over the past few years.

    The next few hours are filled with them fooling around: it's their day off from studies or duties. Doroga does show Marcus that new trick he worked out, but beyond that it's the same as many other days.

    Until the event that shatters everything. Returning home, Guards all around the house, apparently keeping the surrounding crowd to get any ideas. They enter easily enough, and in the Atrium they see why. Several Hobgoblin Warriors, dressed for battle, lounge around. They stiffen when they see Doroga.

    One finally steps forward. An older warrior, a friend of his fathers. Nasaug, if he remembers correctly. "Doroga. Get your things ready. You're leaving."

    Marcus comes between them. "What are you talking about. He has to stay for the treaty-"

    "His brother is dead, and so is the Treaty. Your false-tribute saw to that." Nasaug looms over Marcus, gripping his sword so hard his hand is beginning to shake.

    Doroga knows he should intervene, but he feels so...disconnected. Apart from everything around him. He silently goes, gathers the few things he needs, and leaves, saying a few token thanks to the Aleran's sympathies. Home. Where is home, really?
    ______________

    It seems like a blur. News of his brother's death, the call for his return. The gathering for war. The Council. Him, speaking out for peace, and the backlash.

    Now he sits in his Father's tent. Wearing the traditional Earthsaker garb, but after 3 years it feels wrong, somehow. He thinks back to the day he left, and his father's words. Maybe he was wrong, maybe that has changed.

    The flaps open, and his father walks in. He's older, easier to see now without the ceremonial garb. As if more than a mere three years have passed. Doroga genuflects, speaking with his head touching the rug.

    "Father, I'm-"

    "Don't apologize. You are right, this is pointless. But worse, it's futile. We can't win, not against the human army. But we don't have a choice."

    He's startled by the tone in Father's voice. He hasn't heard him like this since mother died. "Surely there's something-"

    "No, they've laid the trap too well. Continually encroaching, taking more and more. Now the only choice for us is between dying well or poorly. Well, most of us."

    "Father?"

    "I have one last task for you, cub. I need to go with the War camp. You'll be in charge of the Peace camp. If-When- we lose, keep them alive. Keep the clan alive."

    Doroga is stunned by his father's request, mutely nodding.

    His father gives that knowing smile that Doroga always found so infuriating, before turning to leave. He pauses by the tent flaps, looking over his shoulder at his son.

    "May the Earth Shake in your Passing, Doroga."

    Having called him by his name for the first time, he leaves. Doroga never sees him again.

    When really was the correct word.
    ______________
    It is raining. He hates the rain. Least of all due to the trouble it's causing the clan. Sapping the strength of the injured, making accidents more likely, and hiding their pursuers.

    Ahead of him, one of the warriors stumbles. For a second, Doroga thinks it's simply putting a foot down in a loose patch of mud, but then he falls backwards, and the arrow sticking out of his throat is visible.

    "Ambush! "

    The next few...minutes? Feels like hours, but then, it always does. So much happens, so fast. Some mounted men, falling to the flames he summons. Another warrior down, a lucky hit to his leg. Some aren't as lucky: a child taking an arrow to the stomach, and trampled under a rider's mount. The mother, or maybe sister, speared through her chest as she reaches for him.

    There are two few attackers, though. They must have thought this was another of the scattered bands, rather than the remnants of the tribe, such as it is. They are surrounded and overwhelmed in short order, and Doroga moves to aid the wounded.

    After tending the most grievously wounded, some warriors approach, dragging a living man along.

    "Nasaug, what is this? I don't have the strength to cure all of our own wounded, much less the enemy."

    "Shaman, this trash says he knows you, that you'd want him alive." At this, Nasaug rips the mans helmet off, revealing Marcus Alerans face. "So, do you?"

    Doroga doesn't speak for a bit, shocked to see the familiar face of his friend.

    "Doroga, it's me! I'm so glad to see you: I thought that-"

    Doroga's face softens for a moment, not really hearing his friends words. When he looks up, however, he sees the trampled body of the child, prepared for the death rites. Looking Nasaug in the eyes, he speaks in a hard monotone.
    "He's simply someone I used to know."

    A small motion from his hands, and Nasaug draws his sword and slices in one motion, seperating Marcus's head from his shoulders. Doroga's glad it's raining, otherwise someone might think he was crying.

    They preform the rites for their dead. Most of the invaders are simply left where they fell. Except for one body, which the Shaman obliterates in a moment of privacy. Only Nasaug sees, but he never tells a soul.
    __________

    Years Later
    Doroga looks to the East, watching the sun rise, as is his custom. The camp is beginning to stir behind him, but if feels as if there's a cliff between him and them. He'll be leaving, after all. A hostage, again, this time to fate. He might bring the salvation of the clan.

    If not, he will bring fire, death, and the end of the world.
    He fears his fate too much, and his reward is small, who will not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.
    -James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
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    Came out a bit longer than I hoped, but oh well.

    This is a story about a cannon-fodder NPC I had in the last session of my campaign. He turned out to be a real hero, though, considering his 3 nonlethal damage caused a CR 4 half-orc barbarian to go unconscious (he had 2hp left). Had that not happened, the half-orc would have probably killed one of my players.

    And of course... the players couldn't really give a damn about him, regardless of whether or not he saved them. :p

    Anyway, here it is:

    The Nameless Thief:

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    The Thief paces around the burial chambers, examining the old coffins from time to time. The events surrounding his current predicament weigh heavily on his mind. Where did it all go wrong?

    There was a time when he and his fellow thieves were simple cutpurses. They'd steal at any opportunity they could and, yes, they'd rough up their victims occasionally. But murder them? That was hardly their style.

    The old times, the better times, feel like a distant memory now. The Thief sighs heavily, but his musing is interrupted by a nearby door swinging open.

    The Intruders stand before him, weapons drawn. He knows he is outnumbered, and immediately submits.

    They take his weapons, they threaten his life. Fear washes over him; he begins to sweat. His family back home is probably worried sick. How will he afford to pay for his daughter's medicine if he's killed here?

    "You will show us the way to the woman," a foreign-looking man orders.

    The Thief feigns bravery, and he agrees reluctantly. He knows the woman of which they speak. The same woman his superior kidnapped, the same woman whose husband they murdered in cold blood. He wanted to help her - he was a good man - but how could he, outnumbered and weak as he was?

    Biting his lower lip, The Thief takes his keys and unlocks the adjacent door. The Intruders motion for him to step inside.

    He does so.

    In the next room, several of his colleagues sit around a snuffed out fire pit. It was a stupid mistake to try and light a fire in these underground tombs, and they'd nearly choked to death from the smoke the day prior.

    The Thief greets them; he tells them of The Intruders, and how it would be best to allow them through. His colleagues are shocked and disgusted with his sudden betrayal and a fight ensues. By the end, two of his fellow thieves are dead; one has surrendered, after dropping his weapon accidently in the heat of battle.

    The man who surrendered tells of the half-orc behind the next door. Their leader's right hand. A man The Thief has seen before, a powerful creature more orc than man. The mere thought of him sends a chill down The Thief's spine, for he knows his betrayal will eventually reach the monster's ear.

    The Thief moves to the door, his hands shaking. As he readies to turn the key in the keyhole, the door suddenly breaks from it's hinges. He's hit by the door, which knocks him clear off his feet and sends him tumbling across the room.

    The room begins to spin. His vision becomes blurry. He can see The Intruders fighting the half-orc, but he feels helpless. They will die - he knows it.

    Pulling himself to his feet, The Thief weighs his options. He decides to help The Intruders. They're his best chance to return to his little girl.

    He bravely charges forward, pummeling the back of the half-orc's skull with his fists. Momentarily distracted, the half-orc turns and swings his club.

    The Thief feels woozy. His head is in remarkable pain, and blood drips over his eyes. His knees buckle. It becomes harder to see.

    He remembers his daughter. He remembers that she must get the money for her medicine. He tries to say her name, so The Intruders will know. They will help her - he's sure of it.

    He opens his mouth but no words come out. There's a bright flash, and then nothing.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    @Dr. Bwaa

    Okay, I get that.


    @Tavar

    Interesting. Is it actually set in Alera, or is it something else with similar characters?


    @Rallicus

    Oh, how players treat NPCs. You did well making his reasons and actions relateable, though. I like how they don't seem to have introduced themselves...
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    Fortune's Favor as Lea

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr. Bwaa: Thanks for the comments, and glad you liked it. I liked your snippet as well, though I'm unsure why it required a spoiler alert. Is it from something I should know about?

    @Winds: I allowed the water thing because it seemed creative enough to not give it the DM Boot of Disapproval. However, there's no way that Strahd Von Zarovich would be permanently destroyed by level 0 spells, hence his return

    @Tavar: Well written and I liked the story behind it as well. It almost seems like the backstory behind The Red Hand of Doom

    @Rallicus: I know the feeling all too well. Players rarely (if ever) view NPCs as anything more than talking chunks of exp.


    The snippet that I bring today comes from a short adventure completely unrelated to the Ravenloft goings-on. Whats more, I'm not the DM for once!

    Film Noir D&D
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    The Blue Beacon was your average sort of tavern: smokey, dimly lit, and always with something going on. It was a cesspool to some and a haven to others. I had been asked down to this place by an anonymous letter claiming that my help was needed. It was a gamble to trust a strange letter, but the prospect of paying work was too good an offer to turn down.

    Maybe I should have.

    Mac, the bartender, gave me a nod as I came in and sat sat down at the bar. My back was to the room, but Mac had a mirror hanging behind the counter for his waitresses to spruce up with, so I could watch the whole bar without anyone being the wiser. The barmaids stood in a flock chattering. A couple of rough-looking gents were at the back of the room arguing about paladins. Down at the other end of the bar were a couple of dames that looked none too happy. When they got up and started toward me, I had a feeling I was about to find out why.

    "Mr. Faber?" one of them asked.

    I turned around, pretending to be surprised by them. The one that talked was a wisp of a woman, hair in a bun, glasses. A cute doll, if you liked bookworms. The other woman ... well, let's just say I've seen street corner harlots with less obvious intentions and more clothing.

    "That's right," I answered. "Horst Faber. Is there something you need?"

    "I sent you a letter ..." the mousy girl said, her voice trailing off.

    "I got it," I told her as I pulled it out of the pocket of my trench coat.

    "Will you help me? Please?"

    "Why don't you tell me what it is you need help with?"

    "Well," she replied, "I think my husband has been kidnapped ..."

    Missing person. Husband. Swell.

    "What makes you think that?" I asked.

    "He went down to the temple of Mystra a few days ago, but he hasn't come back. Do you know anything about the temple?"

    "I can't say that I do," I answered.

    Of course I did. It was more of a fortress than a temple, with high walls, iron gates, and guards patrolling the place night and day. I was a man of faith, but not that faith, and I couldn't say that I agreed with Mystra's dealings. I listened to what she had to say, but she knew even less about it than I did.

    "Before I agree to help you," I said, "what's the pay?"

    "I don't really have much money ..." the dame started to say.

    I didn't like where this was going.

    "I'm sure we can work something out," the whore said seductively.

    "Not with you," I replied stiffly.

    "I'll give you whatever money I have," the girl said quickly. "Just please bring my husband home."

    "Fine," I muttered. "I'll see what I can do."

    "Thank you so much Mr. Faber," the mousy girl said delightedly. "I've already got someone to help you."

    I didn't like the sound of that. I liked it even less when the two men at the back of the bar waved at me.

    "Are you ready for adventure?" the burly man asked. "Let's destroy the evil! For righteousness!"

    "I hope you rolled up something more useful than a paladin," the scrawny man beside him grumbled.

    I should have turned down the job.

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    @SleepyShadow
    Heh, the alert was just a minor spoiler for my next Wanderers snippet--there's an Inevitable involved Nothing to do with the one I actually posted.

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    smokey
    While this is technically a correct spelling of the word, "smoky" is the standard one. "Smokey" is more frequently a first name than an adjective.

    I had been asked down to this place
    This just feels like a kind of weird turn of phrase. "Asked to come down" maybe?

    Mac, the bartender
    Obviously.

    a couple of dames that looked none too happy. When they got up and started toward me, I had a feeling I was about to find out why.
    I like that you're going for the noir vocab, here. "Looking none too happy" would be more in-tone. Also, "when they got up and started toward me" is unnecessary here; the line is much stronger without it. Since you still need them to have action toward our hard-boiled protagonist, maybe have them glance at him in the sentence before "a couple of dames looking my way and none too pleased."

    Missing person. Husband. Swell.
    Nice.

    "I'm sure we can work something out," the whore said seductively.
    Horst is still narrating this scene. Put some more of his derision into this line; you know he wants to.

    "Are you ready for adventure?" the burly man asked. "Let's destroy the evil! For righteousness!"
    Ahahaha. Oh, Paladins.

    This is a really fun snippet; I hope you've got more of these. This thread needs more noir. One other thought--you've got a lot of "I didn't like the sound of that/where this is going/etc" breaking up the girl's lines--they're so similar that I think you could play with them a little more. It could be really effective to just hammer the phrase two or three times, on lines by itself, without changing it up quite as much:

    "He went down to the temple of Mystra a few days ago, but he hasn't come back. Do you know anything about the temple?"

    I didn't like the sound of that.

    "I can't say that I do," I answered.

    Of course I did. It was more of a fortress than a temple, with high walls, iron gates, and guards patrolling the place night and day. I was a man of faith, but not that faith, and I couldn't say that I agreed with Mystra's dealings. I listened to what she had to say, but she knew even less about it than I did.

    "Before I agree to help you," I said, "what's the pay?"

    "I don't really have much money ..." the dame started to say.

    I didn't like the sound of that, either.

    "I'm sure we can work something out," the whore said seductively.

    "Not with you," I replied stiffly.

    "I'll give you whatever money I have," the girl said quickly. "Just please bring my husband home."

    "Fine," I muttered. "I'll see what I can do."

    "Thank you so much Mr. Faber," the mousy girl said delightedly. "I've already got someone to help you."

    I liked the sound of that less than anything else the dame had said. Less still when the two men at the back of the bar waved at me.

    "Are you ready for adventure?" the burly man asked. "Let's destroy the evil! For righteousness!"
    Obviously that's pretty crude but you get the idea. Just an thought that struck me as I got to the last few lines.


    @Tavar
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    -Act I-
    Aww, Doroga's dad is great. I generally picture Shamans a bit more brooding and isolated; this guy feels more like Mufasa. Very good opening; no complaints at all (even if I don't know what race the protagonist is, yet ).

    Doroga does show Marcus that new trick he worked out
    Context? We don't know what kind of stuff they do; all we know is that Doroga's life is now hugely different. Are they sparring? Street performance? Magic?

    Several Hobgoblin Warriors, dressed for battle, lounge around. They stiffen when they see Doroga.
    It may be worth noting that this is the first time Hobgoblins are actually mentioned; it's not totally clear until a few lines later that they're friendly (so to speak), or at least aligned in some way with Doroga. At first I thought three hobgoblins had somehow taken over the home and were now lounging around having the humans cater to them or something.

    Doroga knows he should intervene, but he feels so...disconnected.
    Presumably at the news of his brother's death, which I get, but I'd like to see him react to the news. See him lose focus and stop paying attention to the rush of conversation around him, rather than just hearing "oh he feels disconnected."

    -End of Act II-
    Again, Dad is great. I would put some single-quotes in the last line of this bit, though, to make the sentence clearer (eg. 'When' really was the correct word.)

    The next few...minutes? Feels like hours, but then, it always does. So much happens, so fast.
    This does a great job setting the feel of the ambush, but the last bit (bolded) is weak in comparison. I think you could remove it altogether.

    There are two too few attackers


    -End of Act III-
    Great finish; very strong melancholy and resignation throughout the whole ending. At first I was kind of appalled by Doroga's decision, but on my second read-through I sympathized with him much more. I might put a reference in the paragraph where he makes his decision to Marcus himself--the blood on his sword, spattered on his helm, etc--reminding the reader that, friend or no, thirty seconds ago this guy was butchering Doroga's family. I liked this snippet a whole lot--definitely sucks to be Doroga, though.


    @Rallicus
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    That was hardly their style.
    I think you're communicating "they would never do that" with an air of sarcasm, but it comes across (to me, at least) as more of a "they wouldn't do that... most of the time." "That was never their style" might be clearer.

    How will he afford to pay for his daughter's medicine if he's killed here?
    I doublt he'll be paying anything at all This might be less jarring as "Who will pay for..." or something of the sort, or perhaps a reference to the fact that he hasn't made any arrangements for paying for and procuring the medicine in the event of his untimely death, and an oath to do so immediately if he makes it out of this alive.

    after dropping his weapon accidently in the heat of battle.
    Heh. Oh, fumbles.

    He tries to say her name, so The Intruders will know. They will help her - he's sure of it.
    Besides them being Heroic Adventurers In Need of More Side Quests, how does he know this? He knows (as far as we know) nothing about these guys, except that they're perfectly willing to kill anyone in their way to whatever goal they've got. That said, I actually really like this line (and the callback to "he knows it" just before)--if you hinted somewhere earlier at some noble cause, or even a slightly Good leaning of one of the party members, the line wouldn't clash at all and would actually just be really confortable and kind of sweet.

    Overall, I liked this snippet a lot. The Thief is likeable, despite being basically undescribed, and the PCs come off... well, as very typical Adventurers. It's always fun to see the PCs from the perspective of the NPCs they interact with; their crazy self-assured antics and single-minded focus on some unexplained or inane objective. There's more to come, I hope?
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Overall, I liked this snippet a lot.
    [/spoiler]
    Thanks, and I appreciate the input.

    The snippet itself was slightly rushed because I wasn't sure how long it would come out to be in my post, so I left some details out. You're right about "he's sure of it" part. The cleric was incredibly kind to him (at least, in comparison to the other party members) and she was probably the strongest factor in him not being cut down where he stood.

    I guess the aforementioned line doesn't make sense without adding the cleric's involvement in, so I'll do that.

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Thanks for the input. Actually, Doroga's father seems to be more like Doroga from Codex Alera than Doroga is. And the reason for the names is that I'm horrible with them, so steal ideas from any available source.

    Good point about the trick thing, and the race. Probably should just change the latter to "Earthshaker Warriors". And yeah, need to expand several parts.
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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Thanks for the input. It was my first attempt at writing anything even close to noir style. Clearly, I should have watched The Maltese Falcon again before attempting this

    I do have more featuring Horst, though the adventure was quite short lived.


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    It's a hot day in winter when I can tolerate a holy knight more than a mage. Zephyr didn't seem to understand that I wasn't interested in his arcane babble about feats and classes and such. According to him I was "non-optimized." He was living proof that wizards are unhinged. I almost felt bad for Ambler, who had been 'assigned' to protect Zephyr. The paladin did not explain what he meant by that, and I was not interested enough to ask.

    Zephyr had gone to the library to do research on the temple and he took Ambler with him. Not that the knight could read. Still, the two had left me alone and I can't say I was disappointed. Zephyr was a fool if he thought that he would find out anything useful. Books only tell you what the authors want you to know. You have to talk to people to get real information, and I knew exactly what people to talk to.

    "What do you want this time, Faber?" Marla asked as she and the other courtesans gathered around me.

    People talk too much to the wrong people when they let their guard down, and Marla and her girls had keen ears.

    "Information, same as always," I told her.

    "Information doesn't come cheap."

    Same old routine as always. I reached into my coat pocket. Miho drew a sword and put it to my neck from behind me. I let her take the coin pouch and toss it to Marla. The blade was removed and sheathed. I checked my pockets to make sure Miho didn't take anything else. She didn't.

    "I need to know about the temple of Mystra," I said as I straightened my hat. "Start talking."

    It turned out my client's husband wasn't the only one missing. Marla had lost three girls in the past month after paying a visit to the priests at the temple. I knew Marla was telling the truth. She's always had a rule with her girls that they could leave whenever they wanted to as long as they told her first. Marla was worried about them.

    After my chat with Marla I went to the library to check up on Zephyr. He wasn't hard to find. All I had to do was follow Ambler's snoring.

    "How long are you going to read?" I asked.

    "I'm doing thorough research on Mystra and the temple," the mage replied. "It'll be about three hours. Just sit and wait and we can proceed."

    "Three hours is time we don't have."

    "Plot advances with us, not the other way around."

    Idiot. I left without another word. I had told Marla that I would try to find her girls, and I was a man of my word. I didn't give my word lightly.

    By the time I got to the temple I had already formulated a shaky plan. I planned on scaling an unguarded section of wall, sneak inside pretending to be a new convert to the faith, and then start looking around for husbands and whores.

    I didn't even get the grappling hook tied to the rope before a passing guard on the street noticed me. He started coming toward me with a halberd, and I knew that if I could not drop him in a single shot with my crossbow he would call for help. I knew my hand crossbow did not carry enough power to stop him.

    He stopped about halfway from me, and that's when I saw blood dribbling down from his mouth. I watched in surprise as he hit the ground with a wet splat. I couldn't keep myself from smiling at his killer.

    Beautiful, deadly Miho.

    A new plan began to form in my mind as I searched the dead guard's body while Miho kept an eye out for more passing guards.

    "How good are you at acting?" I asked her with a wry grin on my face.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Guys guys I have two more snippets nearly done (just need to get them back from my beta-reader and make edits)!Yeah you've never heard that one before.

    @SleepyShadow
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    It's a hot day in winter when I can tolerate a holy knight more than a mage.
    I appreciate the sentiment here, and it's a great line to start this thing out, but the bolded part could be... bolder. More expressive. As "Noir" is really more of a film descriptor, what you're generally going for in writing this genre is generally closer to straight Hard-Boiled: unforgiving descriptions and gritty, violent imagery.

    Same old routine as always.
    This is your second "as always" in just a few lines. There's no need for it here.

    I reached into my coat pocket. Miho drew a sword and put it to my neck from behind me. I let her take the coin pouch and toss it to Marla. The blade was removed and sheathed. I checked my pockets to make sure Miho didn't take anything else. She didn't.
    I like this scene, and the casual attitude Horst describes it with. It would come off a little better, I think, if he didn't explicitly give every detail:
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    I reached into my coat pocket, felt the tip of Miho's sword jump to my throat. I held still as she took the coin pouch and tossed it to Marla. When she removed the blade, I checked my pockets to make sure she didn't take anything else. She didn't.
    It turned out my client's husband wasn't the only one missing. Marla had lost three girls in the past month after paying a visit to the priests at the temple. I knew Marla was telling the truth. She's always had a rule with her girls that they could leave whenever they wanted to as long as they told her first. Marla was worried about them.
    Marla, Marla, Marla! There are no other actors in this paragraph, so there's no need to repeat her name; it's clear enough. Perfect opportunity for some descriptive, probably derogatory--or at least a bit offensive--identifiers. There's a reason people associate noir fiction with the narrative referring to a woman as "the dame" (etc) rather than by name.

    Idiot. I left without another word. I had told Marla that I would try to find her girls, and I was a man of my word. I didn't give my word lightly.
    One nice thing about noir is there's a bit of freedom-of-tense that comes with the genre. The main character/narrator is allowed to talk to the audience a bit, so you can make this a little smoother by putting the last sentence in present tense. "I don't give my word lightly" is much more confident.

    I knew that if I could not drop him in a single shot with my crossbow he would call for help. I knew my hand crossbow did not carry enough power to stop him.
    The bolded part above is redundant/awkward. You clarify what exactly you're shooting with in the next sentence. Keep the narrative crisp and terse; you're the narrator; you've got places to be.

    Beautiful, deadly Miho.
    This is a great line, but it doesn't belong all by itself like this in noir fiction. Attach it to the previous paragraph or give it some more description; what Miho does, how she looks, if she says anything, all that kind of stuff.

    I hope you continue this; it's a lot of fun to read! Generally, the things I would say to work on style-wise are:
    As the narrator, when in doubt...
    ...make yourself look slick.
    ...disrespect everyone else off-hand.
    ...describe the violence point-blank.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Well, this has been still long enough. Also, I'm falling behind again, so I need to get back to posting.


    One nightmare after another

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    We said our goodbyes to Kronc. He seems quite content to stay in that town rendering zombies to paste. Well, more power to him. Every one he stills is less problem for everyone else.


    Nothing of note happened during the day, but...I had a dream. The fiend-dragon I made my pact with was shouting at me for opposing his plans.

    The one making the plans was Asmodeus. He noticed. He's angry with me. A problem I knew I would have to confront...

    Fine. Given what a clusterluck I've walked into, I really should have written a will earlier. In regards to how most adventurers get their gear, my possestions are fair game to anyone that can find and use them. The only thing that matters to me is the power. I intend that my children have it, but if I die first, it'll stay with me, and I'll fight the devils with it. We'll see who owns who, in the end.

    Well. It sounds good, at least. We'll see how it goes.

    Anyway, Neeska is gone. She decided that while a cursed warlock is fine, a possessed, floating warlock is too much.

    But 'luckily' there was someone in our car. Another 'fellow'. Where are these people coming from...and how many portals are springing up? Honestly, I suppose I should just be glad none seem to lead to the planes of water or earth.

    So, Kol has joined us. Not that there's much choice. He wants to go home, too. And, yet another 'K' name. I didn't think it was that common...

    As we went, we passed a city. It won't be there much longer. There was another huge beast attacking it. Made of worms, and tall as the buildings.


    I really don't think I'm qualified for this. Need to get it over with and get back to my own realm...
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So, the players in my game have progressed enough, and ruined enough plans to finally get themselves on the radar of some fairly powerful, and intellegent foes.

    Naturally the first course of action of any rational thinking entity is to find out exactly what it is dealing with.

    After some digging around, the PC's base has been discovered by the Bad guys, and, determined to find out about the capabilities of these "adventurers" they do what bad guys do best.

    Call in some favours, and sacrifice an army of minions in order to draw the PCs out.

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    The two half fiends watched impassively from their perch as the various minions they had brought with them tore through the ranks of the Kobolds below.

    "It's not much in the way of a base is it, Na' Tas?" asked the first, in a somewhat derisive tone.
    "Were we much different when we started out, Raziel?" replied the second.

    Raziel raised his voice slightly so as to be heard over the screams of one unfortunate reptilian being quartered alive by a pack of succubi.

    "I suppose not" he began "But even in the early days, we knew what style was, Na' Tas. I mean... just look at the place!"

    Na' Tas Shrugged as he cast his darkly glowing eyes over the scene below them. Raziel had a point, it was little more than a ruined elven city populated by the ragged remains of a Kobold tribe. Not exactly the bastion of defence they had expected when they followed the leads here. Below them their demonic horde was blissfully slaughtering the pathetic little creatures in ways even he wouldn't have thought possible.

    "It does lack a certain degree of... elegance, I suppose" he conceded. "But then... I don't think they spend much time here, Raziel. It looks like they leave those two in charge"

    Na' Tas's clawed finger pointed over the way towards two individuals. Around them, the battle fared somewhat differently. Surrounded in a not insignificant aura of power, they lay about themselves with various magics. The Fiendish bard quickly wracked his brains and recognised many of the spells they were using.

    "That was an orb of force the half dragon just flung, Raziel"
    "Indeed Na' tas, and the Kobold shaman is using them as well. But her's are empowered."
    "There goes a wall of force, Raziel"
    "Noted, and that was a twin, empowered, magic missile, Na' tas. All in all I am not impressed, we two alone could deal with these hedge wizards"

    The pair watched as a Succubus dropped from the sky. The grey tinge of stone quickly spreading across it's body. It shattered into fragments as it hit the ground.

    "Flesh to stone" The duo said at the same time.
    "Ahh" exclaimed Raziel "And there is a sending, Na' Tas... not long now"

    Not six seconds later, there was a whip crack of supersonically displaced air as the objectives of this little excursion teleported directly into the carnage

    "And here comes the cavalry, Raziel" whispered Na' Tas, with a grim smile that revealed his fangs.

    Things down below changed dramatically, Within moments, the scruffy looking robed human transformed into a huge bear and begun tearing demons to pieces. The high elf spellcaster was obliterating whole swathes of fiends one spell at a time, the northern elf with twin swords was a whirling engine of death incarnate, and the armoured dragon-born and elf female were brandishing symbols and banishing outsiders ten each at a time.

    "Now THESE folks are interesting, Na' Tas"
    "Oh yes, Raziel. I would wager these are the ones we need to deal with carefully"
    "Indeed. I have seen enough, Na' Tas. Let us go and prepare"
    "Agreed, Raziel. I have much preparation to undertake and have also seen as much as I need to"
    "Can you do it, Na' Tas? are you sure you can deal with these adventurers?"

    The half fiend smiled grimly as he flexed his pinions.

    "Oh Yes Raziel, they wont even know they are under attack."
    Last edited by SanguisAevum; 2012-06-14 at 07:41 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I like your fiendish villains. Though, I am curious as to how and why the kobold tribe lives in their base (or vise-versa).
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