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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    I like your fiendish villains. Though, I am curious as to how and why the kobold tribe lives in their base (or vise-versa).
    The favoured soul in the party is a lawful good Dragonborn of bahmut.

    The tribe of kobolds is lead by the kobold shamaness mentioned in the story (a sorceress). She and her tribe all served a minor green dragon that the players managed to destroy, at the same time, they succeeded in bringing the sorceress close to death.

    Instead of fighting to the death, the rather primitive Shaman instead fell down and worshipped the Dragonborn favoured soul as her new dragon overlord.

    Somewhat taken aback, and unwilling to slaughter an entire tribe of suplicant kobolds, the favoured soul decided it was a test from Bahmut, and took it upon itself to bring these wayward reptilians under his wing and educate them in the ways of good.

    So far, it has proven... challenging... and many lessons have had to have been taught :) (i am a cruel DM sometimes)

    They are currently making a home in the nearest thing the PCs have to a base. (An old ruined elven city containing an ancient library that they liberated from it's denizens)

    The other Caster was the favoured Souls Cohort (leadership feat), a half dragon diviner that was a failed experiment by the green dragon to breed her own dragonborn. It was the cohort that sent the sending to his master and the other PCs. (Who promptly arrived and Murdered the minor demon army (succubi and othe lesser outsiders)... bieng the 14th level twinked PCs they are.

    Raziel and Na' Tas expected as much, and were content to simply watch the group in action, so as to form a plan of attack.

    Na' Tas is a bard, with Subsonics, disguise spell, mass suggestion, a plethora of illusions and mind wipe amongst his spell selection.

    If all goes to his plan... Unless the players are very clever... they will likely never even know they are in danger. (or at least realise where the danger origionates from)
    Last edited by SanguisAevum; 2012-05-30 at 02:50 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Very nice. Both the players and their impromptu social experiment and your bardic plot.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Check it out! I am BACK, like a thing that comes back in a very convincing way!

    Without further ado, here's the first of the two things I promised like months ago oh god I'm so bad at getting this stuff done on time. Also, comments below!

    Previous chapters: 1 2 3

    Inheritance
    or: Lawful Doesn't Mean Reasonable
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    All at once, the crushing force disappears and my lungs fill in a rush. The air tastes like... nothing, like I’m not actually breathing at all, the air is so still and impalpable. I open my eyes and immediately regret the decision; everything is unbelievably bright, and my ears hiss with silence. Squinting, I see Nim groaning beside me, and Filbert on the other side of him, pulling himself up arrow-straight and looking around with narrowed eyes.

    I remove my hand from my knee and straighten up as well, and nearly lose my balance as I realize I can’t tell the ground from the sky. Everything is the same pure, blinding white, and there’s nothing here except the three of us--wherever we are, because we sure as hell aren’t in Joseph’s Gap. My breath thunders in my ears; the normal rustles and clanks of clothes and armor as I turn slowly around die off instantly, seeming barely audible at all.

    I open my mouth to speak, anxious to break the oppressive silence, when a shrieking growl cuts me off, steel crashing against steel. I spin; we are not alone. Not ten yards away, a chest identical to the one we just opened shimmers into view. Beside it, a very tall, robed figure stands, silhouetted darkest black against the relentless, unnatural light. The piercing noise repeats, almost like words--yes, that’s exactly what it is.

    This thing is talking.

    “Greetings.” Yes, it's definitely talking, and definitely talking to us. Its voice is the din of battle; the crack of magic; the howl of wind, and I grimace unflinchingly at the assault, glaring at its featureless face.

    “I require several minutes of your attention. Which of you is the Nocturne?”

    Honor Bound springs from its sheath to my hand in a blaze of color. “Who are you?” I demand. “How do you know that name?”

    The figure takes a step forward. As my eyes begin to adjust to the harsh lighting I can see the face under the dark hood--shining and impassive, polished black steel given humanoid form. As it approaches, I realize just how tall it is--the mechanical man stands fully head and shoulders above me. Its body is living plate, with seams visible in places held together I know not how. My left hand gropes behind me for the Aegis’ sturdy leather straps.

    “I do not require combat with you, Aegis. My business is with the Nocturne.” It turns its head to Filbert and then Nim, a joint at its throat opening and glowing white-hot as the metal plates separate momentarily. “You. You are the one bearing the title ‘Nocturne’; is that correct?”

    Nim, with nowhere to hide in the endless white expanse and without an instrument to play, pulls a knife from his belt and begins tossing it idly, two, three, four times. I grit my teeth, eyes flickering between him and the menacing construct, about to answer for him when he finally responds. “Yeah, that’s me.”

    “It has been four hundred and forty-eight years, two months, and eleven days, and still you have not fulfilled your contract, Nocturne. This is a most grievous breach of protocol. Do you wish to offer a defense?”

    Nim catches the knife after a particularly lofty throw and it disappears from his hand. “What, in the name of the One God or otherwise, are you talking about? What contract? I’ve never even seen a... whatever-you-are before. And I don’t make contracts with maybe-living hunks of armor lurking inside my coffer, in any case.”

    The mechanical figure is utterly still and utterly silent for a few moments. I slip my arm through the Aegis’ leather straps and pull the shield in front of me, waiting on tenterhooks for the thing's next move. At the edge of my vision I can see Filbert bouncing slightly on the balls of his feet. Finally, the figure tears the silence with its speech once more.

    “I see. You inherited the title of ‘Nocturne’ from another; is that correct?”

    “Well, yeah,” replies Nim, the knife spinning in the air once again. “Sure, there was another Nocturne once, but he turned out to be a phony. I’m the real deal.” He smiles, like he’s trying to impress this steel monster.

    “The previous bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’ is deceased; is that correct?”

    “That means ‘dead’, right?”

    “Yes. Has the previous bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’ died on this plane of existence?”

    “Well then yeah, I just told you. I’m the Nocturne now. If you want to settle your deals with the old dead one, be my guest; I’m just here to pick up an artifact. That’s the real chest, right?” He points with his dagger at the box behind the robed construct.

    “That is the original chest which contains the Willowisp. Do you, as the new bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’, accept full and complete responsibility for your predecessor’s oath?”

    “Woah, hang on, what? No, I never even knew that guy; I’m not paying off his debts. Go talk to a priest for that kind of thing; that’s not how stuff works around here.”

    “Then you refuse to accept full and complete responsibility for your predecessor’s oath? Be advised that this will leave the vow unfulfilled, and you will be subject to immediate execution for the crime of Failure to Accept an Inherited Planar Oath.” Its “voice” changes slightly at the last few words, becoming slightly louder and somehow even more artificial-sounding.

    At that, I take two steps forward, only an arm’s length from the machine. This close, I can feel the heat coming off it, and I shout up to its face as it looks past me, motionless. “Absolutely not! I don’t care what promise the old Nocturne made, but we didn’t ask for these titles, and Nim is not beholden to you!” It continues to stare at Nim, over my head.

    “Your predecessor, the former bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’, vowed to free another Agent of Law from its imprisonment in Joseph’s Gap Cathedral. He abandoned that promise; as a result, its terms pass to you. It is held in a Stasis Field in the dungeons below the Cathedral. Once you dispel the Stasis Field, the Agent will be able to leave on its own, and your oath will be fulfilled.”

    “I told you he’s not responsible for some oath the old Nocturne made five hundred years ago! If you want him, you’re going to have to go through me!” I lower my stance, shield at the ready, wondering if this thing is made of steel or some stronger metal, but knowing that Honor Bound will cut it just the same. It is still, silent, for several moments. “Did you hear me, you metal thug?”

    There is a cold feeling in my head and my vision shifts, not fuzzy but painfully sharp, as everything comes into the most perfect focus all at once, and I suddenly realize that I can’t move. Not a muscle, not a twitch. I can’t breathe; I can’t look around. In perfect, daggerlike clarity I hear the metallic screech of the thing’s speech again.

    “I do not intend to execute your companions, but I will do so if I must. Do you, as the new bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’, accept full and complete responsibility for your predecessor’s oath?”

    I struggle with everything I have against the sharpness; the glowing edges and perfectly-defined lines of the metal creature’s arm and cloak. The brightness behind it scours my eyes, and I cannot look away. I hear a sigh, then Nim’s voice.

    “How long do I have?”

    “You may have up to one week from tonight at midnight to fulfill the oath.”

    Nim sighs loudly. “Fine. I accept.”

    “You, the bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’, have until exactly midnight in Joseph’s Gap of the nine million, four-hundred-and-four thousand, four-hundred-and-thirteenth day of the six-hundred-and-twelfth cosmic cycle to ensure the freedom of Agent Three-Eight from the containment cell and stasis field beneath the Joseph’s Gap Cathedral. Failure to accomplish this task by the allotted time will result in your immediate execution. Opening the chest in front of you will terminate the existence of this intermediate pocket plane.”

    In a blinding flash, the thing is gone. I fall to the ground--not soft; not hard; in fact it doesn’t feel like a real surface at all--as I suddenly regain control of my body and hear a similar muted rustling behind me. Turning, I see Filbert already picking himself up off the invisibly-white ground. I look at Nim as I get up, but he speaks first.

    “We’ll deal with that later. Let’s just get the Willowisp and get out of here.” I nod, and Filbert and I follow him to the chest--identical in every way to the one we just opened. “It’s not locked,” Nim says, “and the trap is disabled.” He flips the catch and the lid flies up--instantly, the overwhelming pressure returns, and the three of us tumble forward once again into the gaping wooden maw.



    Comments/critiques are very much appreciated (content/grammar/formatting, anything at all). Also I apologize for being terrible at dialogue, especially dialogue with... uncommon participants. Now, on to my comments!

    @Winds
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    The fiend-dragon I made my pact with was shouting at me for opposing his plans.

    The one making the plans was Asmodeus.
    This presumably means that the fiend-dragon is subservient to Asmodeus, but it might be clearer if you don't refer to the plans as the fiend-dragon's plans, then immediately say Asmodeus was the one making them.

    I really should have written a will earlier.
    Haha, nice. This is an interesting consideration; bequeathing his power to his children. Am I correct in thinking that he doesn't have any kids yet, so this sentence is effectively "if I die first [before having children], it'll stay with me [but once i have kids if i die it will go to them]"? I'd love to see a little more detail about how he sets up this "will". Is there a ritual? Some kind of actual document?

    But 'luckily' there was someone in our car. Another 'fellow'. Where are these people coming from...
    Oh, the shenanigans one must go through when players change or characters die in planeswalking-type games.

    And, yet another 'K' name. I didn't think it was that common...
    Players doing this on purpose? Or will that start with the next replacement character, after they've read this comment in the journal?

    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.
    Ew. Also, I know Kalach is pretty jaded by this point, but I'd love to see more detail about stuff like this--fleeing inhabitants (or inhabitants unable to flee), natives trying to fight the thing, etc. It would do a lot to add a little more flavor.

    I like that Kalach's actual backstory and power sources, etc have followed him to the Real World(TM) as well. It's only fair they get more obnoxious as the compaign goes on Speaking of which, if you were falling behind before, you're definitely behind now. *cracks whip* Write, slave!


    @SanguisAevum
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    But even in the early days, we knew what style was Na' Tas.
    Great line; the name-drop is a little forced, though. At least set it off with a comma.

    blissfully slaughtering
    This is a great phrase.

    "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." Replied the warlock.
    "There goes a wall of force"
    "Noted, and that was a twin, empowered, magic missile. All in all I am not impressed, we two alone could deal with these two hedge wizards"
    You could use a once-over on the punctuation here, and this section as a whole feels a little strange. The narrative purpose is obvious (to tell the reader what is going on below), but the in-character reason for them telling each other things that they can both see and recognize is unclear. I think most of this could be dropped--just a mention of one notable spell, then "they watched these two for some time", then the comment about not being impressed, etc (which is very well-phrased). Alternately, you could go the way of the "flesh to stone" line a little later, and instead of having them actually talk, they can just alternate identifying spells: "Orb of Force." "Empowered Orb of Force." "Twin, Empowered Magic Missile." Having them actually talk about the spells makes them seem too invested in what's actually going on, where they should be just impassively, condescendingly observing. I do really like the way these guys talk, and that they use each other's names in just about every sentence (I think you could go further and literally have them use the other's name every single time they speak).

    "Flesh to stone" The duo said at the same time.
    This is a good moment in their description of spellcasting. It keeps their derisive aloofness.

    Within moments, the druid, in the form of a dire bear, was tearing demons to pieces.
    If he's turning into animals, we know he's a druid. More to the point, class levels are generally a metagame concept, and can generally be left out altogether. That gives you space to do something descriptive, so instead of the bit I quoted, you could have "Within moments, the heavyset, tattooed man among the new arrivals had tripled in size and become a monstrous brown bear, and begun tearing demons to pieces." The same goes for the rest of this paragraph, where you lay out everyone's main class, as well as both times you mention that Na' Tas is a Bard. The information is irrelevant to what's actually going on, and it's more interesting for the reader not to have that information just handed out.

    "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. Let us go and prepare"
    "Agreed, I have much planning to do and have seen as much as I need to"
    "Can you do it, Na' Tas? are you sure you can deal with these adventurers?"
    Again, I kind of want to have them use each other's names in every single line. "I have seen enough, Na' Tas. Let us go and prepare." "As have I, Raziel. I have much planning to do." But that's just me; if they don't actually talk like that don't change things on my account

    I like this storyline; I'm very interested to see where it goes. I also think your pair of fiends make for some fantastic narrators Keep it up!
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-06-21 at 05:35 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    In our houserules, a warlock's descendants may gain that power themselves, if they have the alignment and the inclination to put them to use. Lets us use the class without fiddling with exactly how the pact was made. Kalach wants his descendants to have that, if they want it.

    As far as the dragon goes, it wasn't clear in character or out whether that dragon was a form of Asmodeus or a servant. I wanted Kalach's pact to be with a dragon, the DM and I settled on a fiendish dragon. Who later turned out not to be a dragon at all. More on that later.

    Also...arg, no more whip! Me work!

    Next: We forget to mention vital information, then attend a party.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa

    My thanks for the excellent feedback. I will take it on board and make some changes.

    the in-character reason for them telling each other things that they can both see and recognise is unclear
    The idea was to try to convey that they are simply noting to each other (and perhaps confirming with each other) the capabilities of the two casters currently holding their own against the demon packs, without really being concerned by the display itself, or by the fact the display is effectively destroying some of the army. That obviously didn't really come across... ill try to change it round a bit. Also, there is a link into the name calling here... the pair like to try to call each other by name as often as possible (see below) they very rarely speak without using names, so I guess I need to make that clearer too.

    Comments re class information
    Its a fair point, the intent was to show that the duo have plenty of experience when it comes to adventurers and could recognise straight away what they were dealing with once a display of PC power had been given. I will try to limit that in future, as what you say about Meta information makes sense.


    Comments RE the name calling
    I did actually intend for them to use each others names constantly (i obviously missed several opportunities to do so!)

    It was a particular character "quirk" that i came up with for this duo. My rationalisation (other than it was just something to endear them as memorable characters) is that amongst all fiend-kind, a name is a powerful thing... these two have been a team for a LONG time and the constant use of names is both a reminder of the power that each of them has over the other, and of the implicit trust they have in each other because of that very fact. In effect... they are both asserting dominance, AND accepting subservience with each other at the same time, almost every time they speak.

    Am glad you picked up on it, as it was intentional.

    And, we will be returning to my game next week following a short break for me to do some playing in one of the other guy's campaigns. So no doubt the story will continue... though likely not in the direction I envisage... given my player's sometimes erratic decisions :)
    Last edited by SanguisAevum; 2012-06-14 at 07:54 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Second page? TRAVESTY! I must repair this at once!

    Zombies, and the tower in the sky


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    These towers are such problems.

    We reached another town today. The compass pointed us to behind a house. No tower. We paced around the yard. It wasn't invisible. Finally, we turned the compass. The needle pointed straight up.

    I hate bloody wizards.

    Elle says this town has an 'air force base'. Whatever that means, she thinks we can get access to flight there. So, off we went.

    On the way, we got shot. Or, our car did. An old man shot our car because the noise from the car would attract the zombies. So stupid...

    And then we stood and talked. At gunpoint. It comes as no surprise that a bunch of zombies had gathered by the time we got away. We would have tried to save that old man, but...there were way too many of them. Even trying to leave, the sheer number of them wrecked our car.

    We killed dozens of them, but they got the drop on us. Or rather, dropped the car on us. Outsmarted by zombies, really...that's just embarrassing...Thankfully, the only one hurt was Kaldrig.

    We ran for it, and managed to find a building where a man was holed up. We got him to let us in. Barely. His name is Staff Sargent Anderson. He's a 'pilot' and he has a flying car. Plane. Oh good, a third meaning of that word. Anyway, we got him to give us a ride to the tower on his way to...well, I don't think he cares, other than needing to find somewhere not filled with zombies.


    Maybe we should have mentioned the guardian before it roared at us, though it didn't cause any problem.

    The guardian was a gold dragon. He agreed to let us through without incident.

    The usual three puzzles. The towers that can touch the realms of the divine whether or not their ruler wants, and they all have the same 'TITHE' puzzle, descending platform with simulacrum butler...even when that should drop us right out of the tower...

    Wait, so why are they tower-shaped? I mean, Elle says they weren't there before the zombies started showing up...so what's the point of an invisible, untouchable tower that doesn't actually have an inside? I mean, if they're not usually detectable, it couldn't be to show off...unless...

    No. No point. We're about to go through the challenge portal, anyway.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I am by no means an expert, but I enjoyed your snippet, so here are some thoughts for you Dr Bwaa.


    and my ears hiss with silence.
    Love this, it's a strange concept but I think we all know what it feels like, I wouldn't have been able to describe that particular phenomenon as well as this. Kudos


    My breath thunders in my ears
    Same again :)


    Beside it, a very tall, robed figure stands silhouetted darkest black against the relentless, unnatural light
    This might just be me... but I cant seem to read this line right. I KNOW what your trying to say and the image of what you are conveying is clear in my mind, but it just doesn't read right to me. I think its because the word "silhouetted" already suggests the blackness of the figure against the bright light and the "darkest black" section doesn't need to be there according to my brain.
    "Beside it, a very tall, robed figure stands silhouetted against the relentless, unnatural light" - reads far better to my mind, whilst suggesting the exact same thing.


    Its voice is the din of battle; the crack of magic; the howl of wind, and I grimace unflinchingly at the assault. I stare it down, glaring at its featureless face.
    I had difficulty with this as well. Again I get a sense of what your trying to convey, but I find it hard to relate the concepts to a voice, especially since my head tells me this is an inevitable, and I kind of expect a hollow, robotic voice for some reason. Probably just me though :) The "voice like thunder" lines are used a lot (even by me) and I always struggle with them even when I use them myself. Plus... grimacing and staring it down at the same time?



    Nim, with nowhere to hide in the endless white expanse and without an instrument to play, pulls a knife from his belt and begins tossing it idly, two, three, four times. I grit my teeth, eyes flickering between him and the menacing construct, about to answer for him when he finally responds. “Yeah, that’s me.”
    Hehe, I like Nim, this gets his character across very well :) Simple, but effective.



    “Yes. Has the previous bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’ died on this plane?”
    This doesn't read quite right to me.... it doesn't seem to fit with the "precise" way this thing speaks. It feels as though it should be more... "clinical" and "factual" like the rest of it's dialogue.
    “Affirmative. Did the previous bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’ expire on this plane of existence?”


    At that, I take two steps forward, only an arm’s length from the machine. This close, I can feel the heat coming off it, and I shout up to its face as it looks past me, motionless. “Absolutely not! I don’t care what promise the old Nocturne made, but we didn’t ask for these titles, and Nim is not beholden to you!” It continues to stare at Nim, over my head.

    “I told you he’s not responsible for some oath the old Nocturne made five hundred years ago! If you want him, you’re going to have to go through me!” I lower my stance, shield at the ready, wondering if this thing is made of steel or some stronger metal, but knowing that Honor Bound will cut it just the same. It is still, silent, for several moments. “Did you hear me, you metal thug?”

    There is a cold feeling in my head and my vision shifts, not fuzzy but painfully sharp, as everything comes into the most perfect focus all at once, and I suddenly realize that I can’t move. Not a muscle, not a twitch. I can’t breathe; I can’t look around. In perfect, daggerlike clarity I hear the metallic screech of the thing’s speech again.

    “I do not intend to execute your companions, but I will do so if I must. Do you, as the new bearer of the title ‘Nocturne’, accept full and complete responsibility for your predecessor’s oath?”
    I love how it is just dismissing the rest. Totally focused on it's primary objective, again, very clinical. And somewhat disconcerting.


    All in all, was a great scene.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    @Sanguis
    Thanks for the feedback!! I'm glad you enjoyed it; I made some adjustments to clarify/improve a couple of things.

    And yes, my DM is a sadistic bastard sometimes (we've just left a heavily undead-infested area of the world, and now there are Inevitables who only want to deal with the Rogue/Bard? Pure Evil), but he has a wonderful gift for storytelling. It'll probably take me forever, but I fully intend to write up this entire campaign. Then again, I still have (at least) eleven more chapters of this session to write, so I'll probably just focus on that for now Again, thanks so much for the feedback!

    @Winds
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    Or rather, dropped the car on us.
    Is this... literal? If so, how? And if not, I don't understand the metaphor.

    Outsmarted by zombies, really...that's just embarrassing...
    Ahahahaha. Also, the old guy with the shotgun (I'm just guessing here) is a great "random encounter". And it certainly feeds Kalach's frustrations about the whole situation, as well

    He's a 'pilot' and he has a flying car. Plane. Oh good, a third meaning of that word.
    The not-quite-ooc-ness of this is great as always. It would really be a lot more convenient if we just made ornithopters instead of fixed-wing aircraft.

    Maybe we should have mentioned the guardian before it roared at us, though it didn't cause any problem.
    This is kind of weird. Mentioned to Anderson, I assume? And I'm surprised there's no reaction from him (Anderson) when a freakin' dragon shows up--jaded by zombies or not, it doesn't seem likely he's seen dragons before. And if he has, I want to hear about it!

    unless...

    No. No point. We're about to go through the challenge portal, anyway.
    I like this; very in keeping with Kalach's no-I-don't-care-just-get-this-over-with attitude toward the whole thing. Fun snippet as always (though I'm still waiting for "We forget to mention vital information, then attend a party."
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    Is this... literal? If so, how? And if not, I don't understand the metaphor.
    Yes, it is. We used the car as cover/a wall, and the zombies oushed it over on us. Kaldrig and Logrim got caught under it, poor sods.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Ahahahaha. Also, the old guy with the shotgun (I'm just guessing here) is a great "random encounter". And it certainly feeds Kalach's frustrations about the whole situation, as well
    Revolver. A shotgun would have been so much better, though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This is kind of weird. Mentioned to Anderson, I assume? And I'm surprised there's no reaction from him (Anderson) when a freakin' dragon shows up--jaded by zombies or not, it doesn't seem likely he's seen dragons before. And if he has, I want to hear about it!
    Yes, mentioned to Anderson. That would be the 'forgot to mention' from the preview. Anderson was freaking out pretty badly, but they were toobusy gearing up for fight/diplomacy/runforit to make much of it.


    Anyway, I should comment on yours, shouldn't I?

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    An interesting turn of events, and fairly well written, though I agree with Sanuis about some of the word choice. I look forward to seeing how this develops.

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So, I don't have the time to write it right now, but soon you'll be seeing a Star Wars snippet from me ^_^


    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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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Thanks Winds! I'm having trouble finding ways to keep the next scene interesting, but hopefully I'll be able to get it done this weekend. Or maybe I'll just decide that I no longer care about this scene and just dump it unceremoniously into the forum and move on so we can get to more of the plot. Who knows??

    And Gareth: DO WANT.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Second page again? For shame.

    I can fix this with science! Or another snippet. Y'know, whatever works.


    Foul play, sir!


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    *Several pages have been torn out of the journal*

    The portals led to a mansion, wherein a number of people have been invited to search for one million dollars. But even Elle thinks that's fishy, and that sense is confirmed by the fact that we are locked in until someone finds it.

    After meeting the seven others in the mansion, we started moving though the mansion. A man named Willum approached me-to make an alliance, I thought-but left in disgust when I said I didn't care about the money. We had other concerns, though. Kaldrig collapsed, and we couldn't wake him. And of course, he was the only one of us with any skill at healing.

    And then we heard a scream. One of the two women had come across a body-that of a wanderer that someone mentioned had been a soldier. I ended up being blamed-Willum had stolen my journal and handed it to someone else to read. These people don't believe in magic, which is strange to me. Each of them has some form of magic item on them, but portals to other realms are beyond their belief? Later, I took a closer look at my journal and found he had written in another section. And somehow, the want-to-be investigator thought it had been my writing. Honestly. It should have been obvious by then, but I didn't see the addition until later.

    So it went. The infuriating man decided that we would go in groups-and split up our party. Despite the fact that the murderer used a knife and none of us have one. The fool.

    The only real surprise left was Kaldrig-he became a zombie while we weren't looking. Somehow. He attacked the man Elle and Kol were with, and they shot him down.

    So in the end, the killer took one more person by surprise...but then that fool detective noticed that the knife had been cleaned on the corpse. Willum being the only one with a knife and no alibi, attacked and was captured. Time stopped, and we left. We split up-Elle and Logrim went to make sure Anderson was ready to go, while Kol and I brought down the tower, taking a satchel that was left with the pedestal.

    Wait a minute. How did Willum know I had a journal with me? Maybe I should have asked...

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    @Winds
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    *Several pages have been torn out of the journal*
    So how close to caught-up are you now?

    one million dollars.
    A couple things bugged me about this: first, has it really been long enough in the "real" world that dollars are normal parlance by now? Also, it seems to me that anyone from a D&D world is not going to have even the slightest sense of what a "million" is--what is there to approach that kind of number for reference? Some mention here of how that's either an unimaginable sum, or else "that's apparently a lot of wealth", would go a long way.

    The only real surprise left was Kaldrig-he became a zombie while we weren't looking.
    Bwuh?

    Time stopped, and we left.
    I can't picture what's going on here. How do you leave when time stops? For that matter, how do you notice time stopping at all?

    I like this one--I like the scenario, and as always Kalach's unbelievably jaded attitude toward the whole thing, though I think some more explicitly sarcastic/exasperated statements, just one maybe, like at the end when "OH LOOK WE CAUGHT THE BAD GUY THEN EVERYTHING STOPS WE WON YAY", would go a long way toward making it clearer that the lack of detail is due to the writer being fed up with the whole thing.


    I am the worst at actually finishing my own stuff to a reasonably-satisfactory degree. THE WORST. Part 5 of the Joseph's Gap session is now with my beta, so I'll be posting that within the next couple days (if I don't, I'll... I don't know. Think of something suitably penance-ish and say I'll do that).

    And everyone else who hasn't been posting here nearly as often as I want you to: for shame!
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I have been writing up a campaign recap (The Big One) and in the course of doing so I alluded to a character's background and his visit to a Giant city. With encouragement to write something up more in the style of these snippets I put the following together.

    A Matter of Scale:

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    Marilius had spent nearly three weeks in the city of New Jotun and he could still not shake the constant feeling of being cold. A sanctuary where all races of giant could meet and debate without fear of violence, it was not meant for human comfort. Everything was built too large for the average man's eye. No matter how warm the air, everything felt cold. He constantly felt himself pulling his sable cloak tighter around himself.

    There was a single place where he found a degree of warmth and could find enjoyment. Korlwyn was a prominent Cloud Giant Ambassador and once famed warrior. It was said that he had the heads of five black dragons mounted on his trophy room walls, a story that Marilius himself had told multiple times. Korlwyn had personally welcomed him to the city and instructed the otherwise giants-only city to greet him with open arms and eager ears. Marilius considered himself a natural storyteller and his tales of bravery and songs of infedility had resonated with the giant culture. He almost felt the smallest twinge of guilt in seducing Korlwyn's daughter. The majority of Cloud Giants had silver hair and blue eyes, she was a prize amongst her own kind for she had eyes green as emeralds and hair like spun gold. He knew it was little more than a dalliance, he was simply different from her usual suitors and that gave him all the edge he needed.

    There first night was awkward. He had come to her chambers for a private show and the fire burning in her hearth was more akin to a burning house from his perspective. He had performed songs, ballads, and even juggled a flurry of daggers none of which seemed to impress her. On a whim he made an off hand comment about overcoming a reluctant maiden in a hayloft and her attention and demeanor shifted. She was easily twice his height and he was considered well above average height. It was her eyes that won him over. He had long suspected that few people took the time to really look at her and pace attention. THe fact that she always kept her eyes facing down was to him not so much shyness as a warning sign. Despite her remarkable beauty he had reasoned out that she was in fact insecure. To his benefit he ALWAYS had to look up, and this afforded him knowledge that few of her other suitors would have had the presence of thought to explore. He knew that her shining green eyes held flecks of sapphire.

    "Princess" he said forlornly, a title only he applied " I could lose myself in the oceans of purest green that are your eyes, and take solace in finding myself again in the flecks of blue"

    "You noticed" she said shocked " I don't know how seeing as how I have barely made eye contact"

    "I notice all things beautiful and since arriving in New Jotun I have noticed only you"

    There comes a moment in picking a lock, or cutting the wire on a trap or even when reading a rune on an ancient wall, when one knows This is It. In that moment he knew she was his. Unfortunately there was a certain matter of perspective. Several minutes of embarrasment later they paused and realized that certain things were not meant to be. Marilius refused to show defeat and in a flash of inspiration he boldly wrote a note to the Ambassador's butler...a simple request that made all the difference.

    The Ambassador's daughter requests two potions from the larder. Please bring with haste a potion of Enlarge Person and a Potion of Reduce Person.

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    So how close to caught-up are you now?
    Not even close. I think we were level 6 or so at this point...we're 15, now...



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    A couple things bugged me about this: first, has it really been long enough in the "real" world that dollars are normal parlance by now? Also, it seems to me that anyone from a D&D world is not going to have even the slightest sense of what a "million" is--what is there to approach that kind of number for reference? Some mention here of how that's either an unimaginable sum, or else "that's apparently a lot of wealth", would go a long way.
    Noted.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Bwuh?
    OOC, we knew it was coming. He had symptoms that were never quite enough for anyone to know something was actually wrong...not that we could have healed him at that point, anyway.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I can't picture what's going on here. How do you leave when time stops? For that matter, how do you notice time stopping at all?
    Quite right. To be more clear, the 'actors' of that scenario were frozen, and a door back to the main room opened for us.


    @Kaveman

    An encouraging start. You seem to be in your character's head pretty well, and your writing is good. I look forward to more.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    @Kaveman26
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    He constantly felt himself pulling his sable cloak tighter around himself.
    This repeated "himself" just bugs me for whatever reason. Something like "he found himself constantly pulling his sable cloak tighter around his shoulders" might flow a little better.

    Korlwyn had personally welcomed him to the city and instructed the otherwise giants-only city to greet him with open arms and eager ears. Marilius...almost felt the smallest twinge of guilt in seducing Korlwyn's daughter.
    Oh... oh my...

    There first night was awkward.
    "Their"

    the fire burning in her hearth was more akin to a burning house from his perspective.
    This sense of scale is great.

    On a whim he made an off hand comment about overcoming a reluctant maiden in a hayloft and her attention and demeanor shifted. She was easily twice his height and he was considered well above average height. It was her eyes that won him over.
    Woah wait what? In one sentence, we go from her aggressive posture at his inopportune comment to "her eyes won him over"? What happened to her aggression. This is a jarring transition.

    few people took the time to really look at her and pace attention.
    'Pay', presumably? It seems to me your brain was trying to squeeze "face" into this sentence, as well

    "I notice all things beautiful and since arriving in New Jotun I have noticed only you."
    Very smooth (needs a comma after 'beautiful' though).

    The Ambassador's daughter requests two potions from the larder. Please bring with haste a potion of Enlarge Person and a Potion of Reduce Person.
    Well... I guess that answers that question!

    I liked this snippet a bunch. The looking-up/looking-down thing felt a little awkward--not that I didn't get what was going on, just that it seemed kind of forced. The things you did to convery scale and the feel of the Cloud Giants' palace are very well-done. The not-quite-tongue-in-cheek narrative style is very fitting, as well--it meshes well with the actual subject matter, and with Marilius' personality. If there's more to this little excursion to New Jotun (or anything else from your campaigns for that matter), I'd definitely like to hear it!


    @Winds
    Oh jeez. Well good luck catching up, then!
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Hey all, I've got a lot of catching up to do on the snippets, it seems. After quite a lengthy hiatus, the group has finally returned to gaming. So without further ado, here comes our glorious shenanigans once again!


    The Tempestuous Trio
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    Igmar sneered coldly beneath her cowl as the three greenhorns made their way across the bridge toward her. They looked dazed, confused, and thoroughly miserable. Perfect clay to be molded.

    "I see you have finally decided to wake up," the woman said coldly. "Do you remember your names, or should I just assign you numbers so I can keep you straight?"

    "My name is Jerea," answered the first to cross the bridge.

    Jerea was a tall, spry young woman with short cropped blonde hair and pale skin. She was garbed in a white and blue tunic and soft brown boots. She smiled warmly at Igmar as her bright blue eyes cast about the area.

    "You said that we'd be given gear soon, right?" Jerea asked.

    "After introductions," Igmar replied quickly.

    "Hi everyone, my name is Saitomi," said a lanky young man.

    Saitomi was a ruddy skinned youth with long black hair and dark eyes. He was garbed in a black leather jerkin, matching trousers, and tall black boots. Igmar nodded to him curtly, then turned her eyes on the third member of the group.

    "My name is Ree Aper," the cross-looking young woman said. "I hate starting at level one ..."

    "Get over it," Igmar grumbled. "Your appearance please."

    "Oh, right," Ree said. "Here, you can read it."

    Igmar sighed and rolled her eyes, then stammered incoherently for a moment. She stomped her foot angrily and pointed a long finger at Ree.

    "Really?" she snapped. "THAT is what you look like?"

    "Yep," Ree answered smugly.

    "Black hair," Igmar listed off, "skanky dress. Big boobs."

    "I hate low level game play," Ree said. "If I survive past level five I'll bother with more detail."

    "Whatever," Igmar grumbled. "Anyway, the three of you are here because you are in need of rehabilitation. You three were badly wounded in the last war, and your memories taken from you."

    "Wait, we're war veterans and we're level one?" Ree questioned suspiciously.

    "Your memories and experiences were taken from you," Igmar repeated. "Get it?"

    A blank look crossed Ree's face for a moment, then she nodded in understanding. Satisfied, Igmar continued.

    "There will be a ship departing for the mainland in three days time," Igmar said. "Why not enjoy your stay for a while? I guarantee that you will find plenty to keep you busy until the ship is ready."

    "Do we have to pay for our boat fares?" Jerea asked.

    "No," Igmar answered. "Your passage has already been paid for."

    "By whom?" Ree questioned.

    "I cannot reveal that information to you," Igmar said cryptically. "However, I can provide each of you with a weapon. Wild animals and other dangers are not unknown on this little island, so it would be wise to arm yourself. What weapon would you like?"

    "I want a sword, please," Saitomi replied brightly.

    Igmar nodded, reached into a small black bag tied to her belt, and withdrew a thick longsword far too large to be contained in such a small bag. Saitomi took the blade from her with wonder in his eyes.

    "I think I'll be creative," Jerea laughed. "I'll take a ... um ... oh, I'll take a maul."

    "What's that?" Ree asked quietly.

    "It's like a big hammer, I think," Jerea whispered.

    Igmar nodded and procured a massive stone mallet from her magical bag and handed it to Jerea. Ree folded her arms over her chest and nodded toward Igmar's bag.

    "I want that," Ree said, indicating the bag.

    "No," Igmar said flatly.

    "Bah, fine ... I'll take a dagger, I guess," Ree muttered. "I don't plan on attacking anyway."

    "You don't?" Saitomi asked concernedly.

    "Of course not. I'm a sorcerer," Ree answered.

    Igmar sighed and procured a long black knife from her bag. Ree shrugged and put the knife in her belt. After sheathing his blade, Saitomi grabbed Ree and Jerea by the hand.

    "Come on," he said excitedly. "Let's go exploring!"

    Saitomi pulled them along behind him, ignoring their protests. Igmar watched as they ran off into the distance. She laughed coldly when she saw what direction they were going.

    "Those fools are headed right for the watchtower," she murmured. "All according to plan."

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    This is my first snippet, I guess. Please give me an honest critique, but don't be brutal, please. I'm new at this.



    The Traitor, Part 1:
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    Thorek Hardstriker brought down his Waraxe heavily into the orc’s shoulder, and heard the satisfying crack of bone and squeal of pain as the orc fell to the churned sand. Just after, he felt a shockwave travel through his shield and up is arm. It seemed another orc had rushed over its comrade and launched a blow at him. Instinctively, he eyes shifted to look up at it as he raised his shield and brought his Waraxe back over his shoulder. The orc growling at him looked indistinguishable from the other fifty or so attacking his platoon. It had a pig-like face hidden under a battered helmet, and menacingly brandished a wooden plank, driven through with rusty nails.

    Thorek sprang up, leaping up a full foot, rising to about eye level to the orc before bringing his Waraxe down and hacking into the savage’s unprotected neck. The monster hit the ground dead. Thorek went back into his combat stance, and tensed every muscle of his stocky body to launch an attack at the next orc to step in front of him. The small warband his platoon was fighting had tried to sneak through the southern passes to launch a surprise attack on the village of Screeside, Thorek’s home.

    What the orc warparty hadn’t counted on was that the barren passes were guarded by a platoon of Dwarven militiamen: a wall of sharp steel and stout hearts. The warband had decided to charge the Dwarven line, and the current melee was the result.

    Thorek sprang again, this time beheading an orc warrior. He slid his red stained axe blade through the soft sand, cleaning it. Then brought it back over his shoulder and tensed his body again. The next orc to charge him was carrying a rusting longsword, gripping it in two hands. He sprang up to chop into his new opponent, but as he brought down his Waraxe, the orc casually deflected it away and, while Thorek was off-balance, swung it’s sword down at him. Thorek just managed to get his shield in the right place to soften the blow, but not by much. The sword slammed into his shoulder. Thorek’s chain shirt prevented it from actually cutting into him, but the force behind the blow was still there, and Thorek gritted his teeth and choked back a sob as he felt his collar bone break.

    As the orc raised its sword back over its head, howling triumphantly, Thorek made his move. He ignored the searing pain in his shoulder and launched and uppercut at the orc’s unarmored armpit. He heard the satisfying sound of flesh tearing and stepped back as the orc crumpled to the ground.
    Then, Thorek heard a new sound over the raucous din of battle. An earsplitting roar echoed from the back of the orc ranks. The warriors facing him parted, and a grotesque being stomped through their ranks. An Ogre, Thorek thought. Figures.

    Ogres are savage creatures, living in small tribes in the flatlands. Occasionally, an orc tribe would capture an ogre and use it as a beast of war. The Ogre dwarfed the orcs around it, whom in turn dwarfed the Dwarves around them. It was a pale green color, with a heavily muscled frame. The Ogre wore nothing, save a loin cloth and two spiked shoulder plates held onto its torso by two straps. A massive club, covered in barbed hooks and jagged spikes, was clenched in the brute’s hands.

    Then, another roar ripped its way out of the beast’s throat. With one swing of its mighty warclub, it cleaved a semi-circle out of the Dwarven line, sending the poor souls, screaming, into the air. Thorek stood, appalled. Then, with hatred for the Ogre burning in his eyes, he charged.

    The Ogre spotted him, and swung his club in a downward arc, intersecting Thorek’s path. Thorek sprung to the side, spun around its legs, and, holding his Waraxe in both hands, planted it in the back of the Ogre’s knee.

    The brute let out a scream of pain and fell to his knees.

    Thorek, with a smirk, proceeded to remove his Waraxe, and then promptly lodge it in the Ogre's head. He smiled as he looked upon his fallen foe. Then, he felt a burning pain in his chest. Thorek stared, confused, at the blade that had seemingly sprouted from right where his heart should be. Then, the world went dark.
    Last edited by Kymme; 2012-07-08 at 12:24 AM.
    We were sailing on waves of silver,
    There were echoes in the wind.
    When we raised our sails to capture them
    Our ship was lifted up and in and we sang:


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    Sasha Terthian - Celestial Spheres
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    William the Outcast - The Life in Your Stories

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    Justice is Dead
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    We'd tracked the Erinyes to the Cathedral of the Invincible Sun, in Shatterdown. There were five of us - Sir Jorin Shieldheart (a paladin in service to St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel), Brother Gentlefist (a cleric of Kord), the illustrious Lady Wandholm (a bard of noble birth and bearing), a nervous elf that gave his name only as Butterknife (with very little explanation thereof, though Sir Jorin seemed to know something about him that the rest of us did not) and myself, Koalin Indigo, a sorcerer of some small fame.

    We had no idea what we were in for when we opened the front door.

    The Pelorian altar had been desecrated with the blood of a dozen murdered priests. The devil stood at the head of the room, impassively observing a lay member of the church that was strangling to death as she swung from a noose. The Erinyes body was splattered with gore, and I am ashamed to admit that I nearly retched right there - the stench was overpowering.

    Brother Gentlefist raised his mace and opened his lips to begin a spell when the devil turned suddenly, rimmed in sickly red light that guttered and spat. The radiance leapt from her outstretched hand and impacted us, scrabbling at our minds and trying to freeze us in place. I barely fought it off, but was horrified to see that aside from myself, only Sir Jorin was staggering out of the light.

    "Come and get me," the devil hissed, and she spread her greasy wings wide and took to the air in a mighty leap, landing in the rafters of the cathedral.

    I began a spell as Sir Jorin sprinted past me, unsheating his sword to save the devil's latest victim. He cut her down just as I finished my magic, striking at the she-devil with an orb of shrieking sound. The impact made her ears bleed. I was repaid for my efforts with a flaming arrow to the shoulder, and the searing impact made my eyes water and a blossom of pain bloom in my flesh.

    Jorin began climbing the tapestries while I attempted another spell, but they tore beneath his fingers. My magics fizzled against some kind of protection on the she-witch, but I drank a potion and felt its power settle over me just before she loosed her second arrow, and it shattered against me. Jorin leapt onto the statue of Pelor and climbed grimly, sword in one hand and prayers on his lips.

    Spells and arrows flew and traded as the Erinyes and I jockeyed for advantage and Jorin ascended steadily. Just as he reached the rafters, the devil spared him a glance - and vanished as a cloud of darkness descended over the church, hovering just above my face and devouring all light.

    Wasting no time, I turned to the paralyzed form of Lady Wandholm and began rummaging through her scroll cases until I found what I was looking for - a scroll of banishment that would send the devil back to the Nine Hells. I looked up and waited for the darkness to vanish.

    And vanish it did. Jorin had not moved, not wanting to risk falling from the rafters, but the Erinyes had totally changed her position. Jorin sprinted after her, sword raised, and realized the trap far too late - he cut left in order to get a better approach on the devil and fell through an illusory wooden beam. It was thirty feet to the stone floor, and he landed with enough impact to shatter flagstones.

    I opened the scroll and read desperately, and the look of horror on the she-devil's face was beyond compare. Just as she opened her mouth to screech something, the spell was completed and she vanished with a small clap of displaced air.

    Jorin picked himself up, bleeding in several places. The holy symbol on his breastplate was scratched and marred, and his helmet was so badly dented that all he could do was throw it away, which he did. Before I could ask him how badly he was hurt, he seized the holy symbol from around his neck and threw it to the ground.

    Sir Jorin plunged his blade into the soft silver, and after the sword wedged between two flagstones, he snapped the blade in half.

    "What are you doing?" I cried out, shocked and stunned. Without a word, he began walking past me, stripping off parts of his armor as he went.

    "I'm done," he murmured as he strode past the group. "I quit. I'm tired of fighting evil with my hands tied behind my back, and I refuse to become like it in order to oppose it."

    "What about justice? What about your vows?"

    He turned on me, fire in his eyes, and snarled, "Tell my order that justice is dead."

    He walked out without a further word, and that's the last I ever saw of him.


    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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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Hey guess what? Guess who still hasn't managed to get his next chapter done! CORRECT, IT IS ME. YOU GET A CONGRATULATION. JUST ONE. Though in this case it's my beta's fault for being slow to edit (stupid lazy beta working 70 hours a week on things that aren't my snippets. Gawd). So while you all anxiously (lol) await my next chapter, here's a big pile of comments! Good to see everyone; keep giving me more stuff to read that isn't my own drivel, please!



    @SleepyShadow
    Glad you've returned! No more in Ravenloft? I suppose some things are too good to last.
    On to the comments!

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    "Black hair," Igmar listed off, "skanky dress. Big boobs."

    "I hate low level game play," Ree said. "If I survive past level five I'll bother with more detail."
    hehehehe. Awesome. Some things never change, do they--I'd missed your great semi-ooc characterization of these guys' actions. This is a great way to put together your introductions of the characters; I like it a lot(from an in-snippet and out-of-snippet perspective).

    "I cannot reveal that information to you," Igmar said cryptically.
    I feel like "cryptically" can't really be used this way effectively. If someone is being cryptic with their speech, it should be obvious from the things they are saying, not the manner in which they say it. Not a huge issue obviously, but it just stuck out a bit to me.

    "What's that?" Ree asked quietly.

    "It's like a big hammer, I think," Jerea whispered.
    hahaha. awesome. I like the picture of them conspiring about trivial things that should be obvious (asking for a maul when you don't know what it is; perfect) while Igmar is rummaging in the bag of holding for a Maul of some description.

    Igmar sighed and procured a long black knife from her bag.
    With Ree saying outright she doesn't plan to use it, I'm hoping this dagger is actually super gosu (or alternately cursed) and it takes them many levels to find out about it

    I liked this snippet quite a bit; glad to have you back! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in this campaign--and whose eyes we'll be viewing it through. It doesn't seem obvious where you'd get an NPC to stick with them--but then again, it's fun to see the one-off NPCs who live only long enough to tell the tales of the heroic adventurers destroying everything in their path, too


    @Kymme
    Welcome! I don't know if I've ever been what I'd call "brutal" in my critiques, but I certainly don't see any reason to start here! If you'd like me to focus my critique more or less on different aspects of your snippets (spelling/grammar, phrasing/clarity, or broader plot/thematic considerations), let me know!

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    It seemed another orc had rushed over its comrade and launched a blow at him. Instinctively, he eyes shifted to look up at it as he raised his shield and brought his Waraxe back over his shoulder.
    I have a couple things to mention here--first, I see what you're doing--the "seeming" serves to dismiss the importance of what comes next; that is, from Thorek's viewpoint, we get "oh, it seems someone else is attacking me. How droll." It reads a little awkwardly from the third-person narrator, though--this narrator shouldn't be so much affected by Thorek's thoughts, and knows exactly what's going on--so there's no reason for anything to "seem" to happen from this narrative viewpoint.

    There's also a bit of temporal confusion, or at least I'm confused. Thorek doesn't seem to raise his shield until after he's struck, but apparently he wasn't actually harmed--did the orc just attack his shield for some reason?

    Thorek sprang up, leaping up a full foot, rising to about eye level to the orc
    This feels a little overlong--you're saying "he jumped" in one form or another three times right in a row. I do love that you've got him jumping "a full foot!", which wouldn't be that impressive for a human, but as Thorek's a Dwarf... It might be clearer if you mention that fact before this sentence, though. As far as the repetetiveness goes, I think if you take out a few words and one of the commas, it'll read much more smoothly (something like "Thorek sprang up, leaping to nearly the orc's eye level.").

    Thorek went back into his combat stance
    This is a great opportunity to give some description of Thorek--so far all the reader knows is that he has a waraxe and a shield. A description of what this warrior looks like with his game face on (rather than just being "in his combat stance") will go a long way right here.

    What the orc warparty hadn’t counted on was
    This is a great phrase for this sort of expository paragraph, to make it more active. It'll be even more effective if you preface it with something that suggests what the warparty was expecting, especially since you've got an omniscient narrator. "...launch a surprise attack on the village of Screeside, Thorek’s home. They'd poured into the passes just before dawn, already savoring the cries of their enemies' women. What they hadn't counted on..."

    Thorek just managed to get his shield in the right place to soften the blow, but not by much. The sword slammed into his shoulder. Thorek’s chain shirt prevented it from actually cutting into him, but the force behind the blow was still there, and Thorek gritted his teeth and choked back a sob as he felt his collar bone break.
    This feels kind of mechanical--that is, my attention has suddenly been drawn to the mechanics driving the game, which breaks the story's feel a bit. This is, frankly, one of the hardest parts of writing these snippets--it is a game, but the less the reader knows about that, the better (though some people here *cough*sleepyshadow*cough* have taken it pretty far in the opposite direction, which is fun too). I think a bunch of this paragraph--the whole sentence with the chain shirt for sure--could be replaced with a more vivid description of the the blow to his shoulder; less the circumstances surrounding it (does that make sense?). We already know he kind of got his shield in there, and the fact that he didn't get cut is fairly inconsquential. What we need to know is that he screwed up and got hit really damn hard.

    ...Also, ow.

    a grotesque being stomped through their ranks.
    This is very good (personally I think it's never too cliche for the Big Super Monster to crush one of the normal mooks on its way toward the Hero, but maybe that's just me).

    The Ogre dwarfed the orcs around it, whom in turn dwarfed the Dwarves around them. It was a pale green color, with a heavily muscled frame. The Ogre wore nothing, save a loin cloth and two spiked shoulder plates held onto its torso by two straps. A massive club, covered in barbed hooks and jagged spikes, was clenched in the brute’s hands.
    Great description (also lol at "dwarfed the Dwarves"). The history segment at the start of this paragraph is a bit of an interrruption for me, though. I'm craving the description of the Ogre as soon as it's introduced, with a tag at the end about how orcs occasionally manage to capture them, rather than getting "Ogre-history lesson-remember the Ogre?"

    The Ogre spotted him, and swung his club in a downward arc, intersecting Thorek’s path. Thorek sprung to the side, spun around its legs, and, holding his Waraxe in both hands, planted it in the back of the Ogre’s knee.

    The brute let out a scream of pain and fell to his knees.

    Thorek, with a smirk, proceeded to remove his Waraxe, and then promptly lodge it in the Ogre's head.
    More! More! As much fun as two-shotting something massive like this is in-game, when reading about it it's much more fun if there's some suspense. Of course, now we're in the realm of your artistic lisence when snippetting your campaigns, but at least put in some more description here. After the great introduction, this fight is begging to be drawn out a bit--especially considering how the snippet ends. Dramatic reversals are more dramatic in direct proportion to how much effort went into the thing that's getting reversed.

    Overall, I enjoyed this snippet a lot! You set up and executed the ending very well; I'm definitely hooked. I hope my comments don't come off as too critical even though it turned out to be an awful lot of text; I thought this was a great piece and I want you to make many many many more.


    @Gareth
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    We'd tracked the Erinyes to the Cathedral of the Invincible Sun, in Shatterdown. There were five of us - Sir Jorin Shieldheart (a paladin in service to St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel), Brother Gentlefist (a cleric of Kord), the illustrious Lady Wandholm (a bard of noble birth and bearing), a nervous elf that gave his name only as Butterknife (with very little explanation thereof, though Sir Jorin seemed to know something about him that the rest of us did not) and myself, Koalin Indigo, a sorcerer of some small fame.

    We had no idea what we were in for when we opened the front door.
    Hell yes. Great opening (great names, too, holy cow).

    Pelorian
    I've always assumed it was Peloran. Then again, when Harry Potter first came out, I pronounced 'Hermione' as "her-mee-own" so...

    a dozen murdered priests.
    I'm assuming you can also see the dozen murdered priests, rather than just the blood--a brief mention of them would be nice (by which I mean, suitably horrible).

    impassively observing a lay member of the church that was strangling to death as she swung from a noose.
    Considering the richness of the preceding passage, this feels a little flat. The "that was" could be taken out altogether--I just think this phrase could be a bit tighter, a little more precise.

    The radiance leapt from her outstretched hand and impacted us
    I'm having a hard time picturing radiance "impacting" anything.

    The impact made her ears bleed.
    Again, this is kind of gentle/tame for the scene you're describing. I'd probably tack it on to one of the sentences surrounding it, and amp up the language a notch or two.

    the searing impact made my eyes water and a blossom of pain bloom in my flesh.
    Same here--I think it's the "made" that's doing it. Let the reader make the connection between getting hit with an arrow and pain blooming in your chest; spelling it out just dilutes the prose.

    Jorin began climbing the tapestries while I attempted another spell, but they tore beneath his fingers.
    This is a little out-of-order; put Jorin's actions together rather than splitting them up with your spellcasting--keep them in the same sentence if you like, but don't change actors when you're going to be going back to the first one momentarily.

    It was thirty feet to the stone floor, and he landed with enough impact to shatter flagstones.
    Great trap, and ow. Also, you really like impacts in this snippet, don't you? I don't really think it's the right word here either, sadly (maybe "force", or if you're really wedded to it, "landed so hard the impact shattered the flagstones").

    his helmet was so badly dented that all he could do was throw it away, which he did.
    That's gonna make it really hard to remove--maybe give us that detail of his spending a minute or two (maybe even with help) to pry it off his head.

    Sir Jorin plunged his blade into the soft silver, and after the sword wedged between two flagstones, he snapped the blade in half.
    It seems likely that Koalin is attending to-trying to revive the others at this point--it's unclear if they ever get unheld. Whether they recover before the snippet ends or not, I think that's a loose end you should tie up before Sir Jorin forsakes his vows, because you certainly won't want to distract from that moment.

    The ending scene is very well written; the dialogue and actions are both fantastic. The only thing that bugs me is--why? There's no hint of his dissatisfaction; no action he clearly wanted to take but couldn't. Why was this the breaking point? What could he have done if he didn't have "[his] hands tied behind [his] back"? This is a really serious situation, but it loses something when the reader has to ask "what was so special about this fight?" Surely he's been hurt worse than this, so it's not that--why did this fight rob him of his conviction?

    Overall, fantastic work as usual. I'd complain that you don't post here enough, but given my own rate of production, I can hardly call you out on that. Very nice job; I really really hope there's more from this campaign. I think this was one of my favorite pieces of yours (I'm also still hoping for you to finish Host of a Thousand Princes and your promised Star Wars snippet )
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    @Kymme
    Welcome! I don't know if I've ever been what I'd call "brutal" in my critiques, but I certainly don't see any reason to start here! If you'd like me to focus my critique more or less on different aspects of your snippets (spelling/grammar, phrasing/clarity, or broader plot/thematic considerations), let me know!

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    *snipped for great justice*
    Thank you very much for your critique. It was very helpful in revising part 1. Also, here is the REVIZED Version of part one.


    The Traitior, Part 1
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    Thorek Hardstriker brought down his Waraxe heavily into the orc’s shoulder, and heard the satisfying crack of bone and squeal of pain as the orc fell to the churned sand. Just after, he felt a shockwave travel through his shield and up is arm. Another orc had rushed over its comrade and launched a blow at him. Instinctively, he eyes shifted to look up at it as he raised his shield and brought his Waraxe back over his shoulder. The orc growling at him looked indistinguishable from the other fifty or so attacking his platoon. It had a pig-like face hidden under a battered helmet, and menacingly brandished a wooden plank, driven through with rusty nails.

    Thorek sprang up, rising to about eye level to the orc before bringing his Waraxe down and hacking into the savage’s unprotected neck. The monster hit the ground dead. Thorek went back into his combat stance, gnashing his teeth and tensing every muscle of his stocky body to launch an attack at the next orc to step in front of him. Sweat beaded on his hard brow, and his short beard was splattered with several drops of blood. The small warband his platoon was fighting had tried to sneak through the southern passes to launch a surprise attack on the village of Screeside, Thorek’s home. Most of them could almost see the plunder and smell the food that their chief had promised them.

    What the orc warparty hadn’t counted on was that the barren passes were guarded by a platoon of Dwarven militiamen: a wall of sharp steel and stout hearts. The warband had decided to charge the Dwarven line, and the current melee was the result.

    Thorek sprang again, this time beheading an orc warrior. He slid his red stained axe blade through the soft sand, cleaning it. Then brought it back over his shoulder and tensed his body again. The next orc to charge him was carrying a rusting longsword, gripping it in two hands. He sprang up to chop into his new opponent, but as he brought down his Waraxe, the orc casually deflected it away and, while Thorek was off-balance, swung it’s sword down at him. Thorek just managed to get his shield in the right place to soften the blow, but not by much. The sword slammed into his shoulder. The sword hacked down, sparking off Thorek’s armor. The force behind the blow was still there, however, and Thorek gritted his teeth and choked back a sob as he felt his collar bone break.

    As the orc raised its sword back over its head, howling triumphantly, Thorek made his move. He ignored the searing pain in his shoulder and launched and uppercut at the orc’s unarmored armpit. He heard the satisfying sound of flesh tearing and stepped back as the orc crumpled to the ground.

    Then, Thorek heard a new sound over the raucous din of battle. An earsplitting roar echoed from the back of the orc ranks. The warriors facing him parted, and a grotesque being stomped through their ranks. An Ogre, Thorek thought. Figures.

    The Ogre dwarfed the orcs around it, whom in turn dwarfed the Dwarves around them. It was a pale green color, with a heavily muscled frame. The Ogre wore nothing, save a loin cloth and two spiked shoulder plates held onto its torso by two straps. A massive club, covered in barbed hooks and jagged spikes, was clenched in the brute’s hands. Ogres are savage creatures, living in small tribes in the flatlands. Occasionally, an orc tribe would capture an ogre and use it as a beast of war.

    Then, another roar ripped out of the beast’s throat. With one swing of its mighty warclub, it cleaved a semi-circle out of the Dwarven line, sending the poor souls, screaming, into the air. Thorek stood, appalled. Then, with hatred for the Ogre burning in his eyes, he charged.

    The Ogre spotted him, and swung his club in a downward arc, intersecting Thorek’s path. Thorek sprung to the side, barely dodging the brutal attack. Showered with sand, Thorek spun around the Ogre’s pillar like legs. The Ogre began to turn around, roaring in frustration.

    Thorek had just managed to get in the right spot, the Ogre lifted its foot up, and stomped downward. Thorek leapt back, tossing his shield under the Ogre’s foot. The Ogre stomped down, crushing the shield, and also sending ragged splinters deep into its heel. The Ogre roared in pain, and Thorek made his move. Holding his Waraxe in both hands, he planted it in the back of the Ogre’s knee.

    The brute let out a scream of pain and fell to his knees.

    Thorek, with a smirk, proceeded to remove his Waraxe, and then promptly lodged it in the Ogres head. He smiled as he looked upon his fallen foe. Then, he felt a burning pain in his chest. Thorek stared, confused, at the blade that had seemingly sprouted from right where his heart should be. Then, the world went dark.
    We were sailing on waves of silver,
    There were echoes in the wind.
    When we raised our sails to capture them
    Our ship was lifted up and in and we sang:


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    Sasha Terthian - Celestial Spheres
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Oh, nice updates. I will comment when i have more time.

    In the meantime ...


    The price of failure
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    "You... did.... WHAT?"

    The final word of the question quickly devolved into a roar that echoed around the audience chamber with a force that shook the stomachs of those witnessing the outburst. The bestial sound was accompanied by a crushing blow that sent Raziel toppling backwards head over heel through the air like a rag doll. With a sickening crack the half fiend landed on the hot stone floor and skidded several more feet before finally coming to rest in a crumpled heap of armour and flesh.

    Vast, iron hard muscles rippled in the hind legs of the Wyrm as his great pinions beat once to help him make a short hop that covered the distance between him and the battered warlock. The colossal bulk of the dragon crashed back down to the ground, sending a shockwave through the cavern that shook smaller stalactites loose and brought most of the assembled humanoids to their knees.

    Khelendros sat back on his haunches, looking down directly over the dazed form of Raziel. One great claw moved to pin his helpless minion firmly to the ground.

    "All I need do, Raziel... is exert a small amount of pressure, and I would no doubt derive a certain amount of satisfaction from watching as your insides spill out through the various openings in your pitifully weak frame. So then... explain to me, insect. Why I should not crush the life from your frail, fleshy body, in order to slightly appease the overwhelming displeasure I currently feel" The measured, low rumble of the dragon's voice had now returned and the statement was delivered in a tone that suggested the answer might not even matter.

    Raziel gasped for breath though lightning stabs of pain as Khelendros, in order to reinforce the point, shifted his weight slightly to compress the warlocks already broken body a little further.

    "Forgive me... most... glorious and... ancient one... I... wished... only... to please.. you.. my lord of... lords." The bloody words were barely a whisper, spat out through cracked ribs and shattered torso.

    "And yet... here we are, worm. My displeasure is clearly evident... and your limp struggles send enticing vibrations up my arm. They stir a hunger in me, Raziel, I feel prey writhe helplessly under my grasp and I begin to wonder what you would taste like... I can always find a new steward... no?" Strings of draconic drool dripped down from his jaws as the lord of the south brought his nose down to sniff lightly at his victim.

    "P... please... oh terror... of... the south... I beg.. you... my master." Words were forming slightly easier now, as the Half fiend's body finally began to repair itself. Broken whispers were replaced by short grunts of barely supressed agony as flesh and bone forged new paths through the warlock's broken frame. "My... intent... was not to ... offend the raging... flame... of Tiamat. But merely to... resolve the situation... as quickly as... possible in order... to save your most magnificent... concern" The dragon's head was now dangerously close to Raziel's face. He was beginning to panic as his master's scorching, sulphur smelling breath distorted the terrifying visage through a shimmering haze of heat. Raziel shuddered involuntarily as the great orbs of molten lava that were Khelendros' eyes gazed down upon him hungrily.

    The dragon raised his head back up, and with a snort, removed his clawed foot before turning away and walking slowly back to his throne mound. Raziel relaxed slightly and slowly tried to bring his erratic breathing under control whilst keeping the gasps of shock from escaping his lips as his bones continued to rearanged themselves into some semblence of order.

    "Make no mistake, vermin" Khelendros began as he paused his progress to snake his head around over his vast fore shoulder. "This is not mercy... nor was i swayed by your pathetic words. This is pragmatism, nothing more... defy me again, and despite your use as a steward, I will be far less restrained. Then you will know the real extent of a dragon's wrath!"
    Last edited by SanguisAevum; 2012-07-11 at 12:17 PM. Reason: corrections / suggestions

  23. - Top - End - #143
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    @Bwaa - That game (I was the paladin) was the first one in which the balance issues in 3.5 really struck home for me. The DM wasn't trying to do it - it happened on accident - but our enemies were wizards and clerics, lesser demons and devils, gargoyles, and their ilk. The inability to fly or counter battlefield control persisted for me until that last fight with the Erinyes - a physically weak combatant that was two levels below the party's CR - finally clinched that Paladins couldn't be champions of Good because they sucked too much. I retired the character and made a new one.


    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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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Kymme
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    Good revisions (the first paragraph is still giving me some confusion in the sequence of events though, and there are a couple of typos sprinkled about)! Two things (well one thing, then a question):

    First, in the future, it'll be easier for me if you make edits right in the original, then drop a quick post to let people know that you've made changes if you want people to go back and reread. That way I don't have to update the link on the front page every time someone posts a new draft (and it keeps the thread cleaner). Or if you don't care about where the archive link goes, edit however you please, and maybe I'll catch it and change the link, and maybe I won't For the record, this one I did (so the link on the front page points to this REVIZED version).

    Second, the question: would you like me to continue dumping detailed comments on revised drafts, or no? My default is to give revisions another read and comment with general impressions rather than details like I do on a first reading, but if you'd prefer in-depth critique let me know.


    @SanguisAevun
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    The bestial sound was also accompanied by a crushing back handed blow that sent Raziel toppling backwards head over heal through the air like a rag doll.
    A couple comments/nitpicks about this sentence. First, I don't think the "also" is needed; it just slows the sentence down, which is not what you want to do when describing something violent. Second & third, "backhanded" is one word, and "heal" should be "heel"

    Vast, iron hard muscled, bulged and rippled in the hind legs of the Wyrm
    Woah, slow down a bit. This is too much; too many conflicting descriptions and commas and things and no subject (unless it's a typoed "muscles"). Simplify this sentence a bit for clarity: eg. "Vast iron muscles bugled and rippled in the Wyrm's legs"

    The measured, low rumble of the dragon's voice was now returned. And the statement was delivered in a tone that suggested the answer might not even matter.
    "had now returned" would be more correct grammatically, I think. And "And" should never be the first word in a sentence

    ...spat out through cracked ribs and mixed with black, coughed up blood.
    We can get that he's coughing up the blood from context (if he's talking "through" the blood, there's pretty much only one reason for that), so rather than describing the blood directly like that, it's cleaner (and dramatic scenes are all about scarcity of prose) to just drop the blood in someplace: "The words were a bloody whisper", etc.

    Strings of drool
    First: yes, awesome (Khelendros himself is great as well). Second: this is Dragon Drool (TM)! Make it interesting!

    This is a great scene; it does justice to how Encounters With Dragons should go. Khelendros is suitably overbearing, arrogant, etc, although I think Raziel could do with more description of the (presumably) painful process of regrowing bones, as well as more continuity--if I remember corrently, when he was talking with his fiendfriend, they used each others' names in basically every sentence. Grovelling before a Dragon (especially one you serve in some capacity) ought to bring out the most impossibly evocative, elaborate praise-names, even--nay, especially when pleading for your life. I'd love to see some "Most Wise and Powerful One" titles thrown around; even better if they end up comprising more of Raziel's speech than what he actually has to say


    @Gareth
    Ah yes, I know that feeling. I did that to a group once; there were only two PCs (D&D 3.5), a Scout and a Ninja, and I completely accidentally threw four or five consecutive encounters at them full of nothing but oozes, undead, and constructs. And I'm familiar with the other end of it--Claaus is a Fighter/Devoted Defender (bodyguard-type PrC who can defend allies as long as he's within five feet) in a campaign where we mostly fight Wizards and only have access to certain legendary magic items, none of which give him the ability to fly. So he's great at defending the party, as long as there's no battlefield control or arial combat of any sort, at which point he instantly becomes a worthless meatstick. And again, we pretty much only fight Wizards.

    For your snippet, though, I think some foreshadowing of Jorin's decision would make it hit home that much harder, even if you had to tweak the actual fight a touch.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-07-10 at 04:53 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Kymme
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    Good revisions (the first paragraph is still giving me some confusion in the sequence of events though, and there are a couple of typos sprinkled about)! Two things (well one thing, then a question):

    First, in the future, it'll be easier for me if you make edits right in the original, then drop a quick post to let people know that you've made changes if you want people to go back and reread. That way I don't have to update the link on the front page every time someone posts a new draft (and it keeps the thread cleaner). Or if you don't care about where the archive link goes, edit however you please, and maybe I'll catch it and change the link, and maybe I won't For the record, this one I did (so the link on the front page points to this REVIZED version).

    Second, the question: would you like me to continue dumping detailed comments on revised drafts, or no? My default is to give revisions another read and comment with general impressions rather than details like I do on a first reading, but if you'd prefer in-depth critique let me know.
    Edit the origional, got it!
    Thanks for the feedback, as always.
    To answer your question, I like the idea of just general impressions after the first draft. So yeah, lets go with that.

    EDIT: I got a new snippet for everyone! I wrote this a while ago, and I'd like to know what other people think about it.

    The Tale of Daniel the Quick


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    Alright then, lads, settle down. You’ve all had enough to drink, now go home. What? You want to hear a story? Well then, I’ll tell you a story. This is the tale of the origin of one of the Six Lionhearts, the legendary rogue Daniel the Quick.

    Legend has it that the boy who would become Daniel was born an only child to a small family in the harsh wilderness we know as the Giant Downs. He was a small, weak boy, not befitting of a resident of the Downs. Through his childhood, he was bullied and tortured by the other children. His torment ended when he met another boy, named Vhan.

    Vhan was an orphan, raised by a harsh master of a fighting style we now know as the Ninefold Way. But I digress, as the story of Vhan is best saved for another time.

    Now then, in the Downs, there is a special ritual a child must undertake to pass into adulthood. Daniel, now sixteen, did not go on his journey alone. Instead, he was joined by friends he had made during his childhood: Vhan, his savior from the bullies of his youth; Claire, Vhan’s beautiful paramour, and a cleric of the Water God, Shellissias; and Rosko Eltor, a Halfling magician and talented bard. The four of them set out to fulfill the ritual: spending the whole of ten days within the untamed wilderness of the Giant Downs.

    Old one, you may ask, how could Daniel have ever matched up to the group he now traveled with? Make no mistake, young ones, for what Daniel lacked in strength and magical potential, he made up for is speed and cunning. He wielded the weapon of his family: the epee, with great precision and finesse. While Vhan would simply go flailing away with punches and sword-trusts (befitting an apprentice of The Way), Daniel would tumble past the enemy, and deftly stab them from behind.

    Anyway, the four of them wandered on for three days before coming to rest at a shallow cave on a hillside, surrounded by bog. The four then bedded down and slept. Then, in the night, a group of the vile Troglodytes emerged from a secret entrance within the cave and attacked!

    Now, Troglodytes: they’re some ugly folk, like a lizard crossed with a man, crossed with a skunk. The mere stench of ‘um can reduce a noble warrior to a sickly wreak. Daniel, however, wasn’t a noble warrior. He caught the first whiff of the Trogs, and he quickly tied a scrap of cloth around his face, to muffle the scent. Then he went at the filth things. He ducked around the Trogs’ clumsy swings, and his blade gracefully cut through their scaly hides.

    Just as the fight seemed won, one of the braver Trogs grabbed Daniel in a bear hug. Unfortunately, Daniel wasn’t the strongest guy, and he failed to break the Trog’s hold. The beast, sensing victory, sunk its rancid teeth into Daniels shoulder. Then, a heavy, swift punch from Vhan sent the beast to join its brothers in the afterlife.

    After the battle, the group explored the complex, and found it to be a long forgotten way station, of sorts. They agreed to stay there until their ten days were up.

    Unfortunately, they soon caught wind of something big going on in the swamps around their hill. A veritable horde of foul monsters soon marched through the area, oblivious to Daniel and his company within the hidden way station. The horde had monsters of all kinds among its ranks. Hyena-like Gnolls marched shoulder-to-shoulder with Minotaur and Goblins. Rosko’s keen eyes soon found that a small detachment of the horde, with prisoner in tow, had taken shelter within a nearby ruin. The group promptly investigated.

    The entryway was pitch black, so dark that I bet even a ‘Flayer couldn’t see its tentacles in front of its own face. The group soldiered on, though, sending Daniel out ahead. Daniels sharp ears alerted him that some beast was near, and he hugged the wall and waited. Then, just as the creature seemed to slow down, he struck a torch against the stone wall, igniting it. He then threw the torch to the spot where he thought the creature was!

    The torch illuminated a burly Goblin, momentarily stunned by the torch’s light. Seeing an opportunity, Vhan, who had been leading the other two, charged forward and snuffed the Goblin out before it could so much as utter a whimper.

    The four then came to a sturdy oaken door. Daniel put his ear to it, listening. He heard the voices of Goblins. Several, in fact. One voice sounded in charge, and it seemed to be having a conversation with several others. Daniel didn’t understand Goblin jibber-jabber, but he got the gist. The leader wanted the others to go down and secure the prisoner. The rabble were afraid of the prisoner, for some reason, and didn’t want to go. The leader eventually shouted down the cowards, and Daniel heard another door slam.

    Then, in a split second, Vhan rushed through the door, nearly knocking it off it’s hinges. His look of confidence immediately changed into a grimace of pain as a sharp blade sliced into his bare chest. He staggered. Then Claire rushed up, blocking another sword thrust with her shield, and put her hand on his back, while whispering a soft prayer. Instantly, the deep cut began to close, and Vhan tacked the larger Goblin.

    The Goblin blocked Vhan’s tackle, but wasn’t fast enough to parry the right hook angled for his face. Vhan’s fist connected, and there was a crack and the Goblins nose was crushed against its slimy face. Seizing the advantage, Daniel deftly tumbled around the Goblin, and then sprang up behind it, his epee at the ready.

    Now then, time for some background. The Goblin that Daniel and Co. were currently fighting went by the name of Cullen. Cullen was a nasty fellow, even by Goblin standards. One reason Cullen was particularly disliked for was his use of a particularly nasty poison, called Bloodrot. Bloodrot was called that because it was pestilence, in liquid form. Just a tiny bit of exposure to Bloodrot would kill you in seconds.

    Daniel, from his vantage behind Cullen, saw the Goblin pull out a vial of from his pouch. While the Goblin was swinging madly at Vhan with a sword clenched in his other hand, Daniel made his move.

    He lunged forward, upper cutting with his epee, and the speed of his swipe was so great that it neatly cleaved the Goblins had from its wrist. Then, still with super human speed, he did a quick flourish with his blade, and drove it into Cullen’s back. The blade emerged out from Cullen’s chest, and the Goblin stared, transfixed, at his own heartblood on the blade. Then, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell forward, as Daniel pulled his sword from Cullen’s back.

    And that, young lads, is the story of how Daniel gained his title. Now, be good and buy an old salt a drink, eh?
    Last edited by Kymme; 2012-07-10 at 07:19 PM.
    We were sailing on waves of silver,
    There were echoes in the wind.
    When we raised our sails to capture them
    Our ship was lifted up and in and we sang:


    Tatzlwyrm Avatar by me.

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    Sasha Terthian - Celestial Spheres
    Huxley d'Argeant - The Brimstone Collective
    Calliope Everlost - Elselund
    William the Outcast - The Life in Your Stories

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    As usual, thankyou for the excellent feedback. It has been noted, and some revisions made.

    hopefully will have time to comment on others this evening.

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    SleepyShadow's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa: Nope, no more Ravenloft. Maybe someday we'll get back to it, but for now it's been shelved.

    hehehehe. Awesome. Some things never change, do they--I'd missed your great semi-ooc characterization of these guys' actions. This is a great way to put together your introductions of the characters; I like it a lot(from an in-snippet and out-of-snippet perspective).
    Thanks, glad you liked it. The session was pretty short just due to the high amount of BS'ing that took place coupled with time spent on making new characters.

    I liked this snippet quite a bit; glad to have you back! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in this campaign--and whose eyes we'll be viewing it through. It doesn't seem obvious where you'd get an NPC to stick with them--but then again, it's fun to see the one-off NPCs who live only long enough to tell the tales of the heroic adventurers destroying everything in their path, too
    Well, so far they've managed not to kill off the NPC, though we'll see how long that lasts.

    Anyway, onto the snippet!

    Fiendish Fowls and Distressing Damsels
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    The hill was steep, but Saitomi managed to drag Jerea and Ree all the way to the top. At the top of the hill was the ruined remains of a stone tower, most of which had fallen and crumbled away.

    "Hey, look there," Jerea said as she pointed down the other side of the hill.

    A young elf woman garbed in loose white and green robes was perched in the upper branches of a tree at the base of the hill. She had tan skin, blonde hair, and a terrified look on her face as she struggled to stay out of reach of the creatures that circled the tree.

    Three black-feathered birds, each fully the size of a mastiff, circled the tree that the elf girl took refuge in. Their long legs allowed them to jump and snap at the girl's legs with their sharp beaks, and they squawked hungrily up at her. However, their wings seemed too small to provide the birds with flight.

    "Chickens?" Ree asked incredulously. "We have to kill chickens?!"

    "They look like chocobos," Saitomi said excitedly. "Can we ride them?"

    "Chickens!" Ree repeated angrily.

    "According to my knowledge, they appear to be fiendish dire chickens," Jerea informed the group as she nodded sagely.

    "They're still chickens," Ree pointed out. "This is exactly why I hate low level play."

    "Help me, please!" the elf girl shrieked.

    "Oh no! The lady!" Saitomi cried out as he rushed down the hill with his sword drawn.

    "If we die to chickens, I quit," Ree grumbled.

    ***

    "Thank you ever so much for saving me," the elf girl said as Saitomi helped her down from the tree.

    "We were happy to help," Jerea said, wiping poultry blood from her maul.

    "I wish you two were casters," Ree muttered. "I could've killed all of them with one spell, but because you guys were in melee I had to blow all my spells on Magic Missile."

    "What would you have done instead?" Jerea asked.

    "Cast Grease, set it on fire," Ree answered. "Precooked our meals."

    "But that could have caught fire to the tree I was in," the elf girl said, appalled. "I would have perished in the blaze along with those foul fowls."

    "You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet," Ree replied.

    "It's funny 'cause we were fighting chickens," Saitomi laughed.

    "Shut up," Ree groaned.

    "So who are you, miss?" Jerea asked the elf.

    "My name is Aerye," she replied, bowing low to the group. "I am forever in your debt for saving my life."

    "Great, fine, so what do you do?" Ree asked.

    "I'm a practitioner of the healing arts," Aerye answered as she smiled sweetly.

    "That's nice, but how do you do it?" Ree questioned, growing impatient.

    "Um, with healing magic," Aerye replied.

    She muttered a few softly spoken words as she passed her hands over Saitomi, healing his wounds.

    "Thanks," the rogue said with a smile.

    "That's not what I meant," Ree grumbled. "Aerye, what is your profession?"

    "I'm a healer!" Aerye insisted. "Why is that so hard to understand?"

    "Goddammit, what class are you?!" Ree shouted.

    "I've graduated already," Aerye said quietly as she cowered from the angry woman.

    Ree reached toward the elf as if to throttle her, but Jerea quickly placed a hand on the sorcerer's shoulder and pulled her away.

    "I think she's being straight with you," Jerea said. "Do you remember the Miniature's Handbook?"

    "Of course," Ree scoffed. "It has the War Hulk in it."

    "There's also a couple base classes in it," Jerea reminded her. "One of them is the Healer. See?"

    Ree muttered to herself for a few moments, then turned her furious gaze back to Aerye.

    "Why?" Ree shouted at the trembling elf. "Why are you so useless?!"

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Oh...SleepyShadow's party...such fun not-quite IC antics...

    I have been unable to use my computer...I need to write! So, have something I wrote ages ago.

    In this episode, the Deck of Many Things nearly wipes out the party. Note that the next few snippets will be much more serious.


    A new problem

    Spoiler
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    In the pedestal room, we found an overwhelmingly powerful deck of magic cards. With an instruction book telling me that several of them would be a bad thing when we're fighting the full might of the Nine.

    I was stupid enough to draw first. The card was black. The Void. My soul was ripped free of my body...and caught.

    I found myself before the fiend-dragon that I made the pact with. It...changed. Into Asmodeus.


    I think my pact may have been bought out after I got involved in this. I was hardly worth the effort before then.

    That was...months ago, it seems like. Time flows differently in the Nine, so it can't have been long...though long enough for the same thing to happen to Logrim. So...he could take hold of a warrior of Tempus? That means he's more powerful than I thought...but it also means he doesn't hold any power over me due to the pact. The other card is my only chance...'writing' this in my mind is just a stopgap effort. If the other card from the deck doesn't save me soon, I'll go insane. Eventually.

    There. The force that took hold of me is back. I feel...disappointment? ...Weighed in the balance.


    Ah. I understand. I was tricked into a devilish pact when I thought I had approached a dragon...If I'm going to win free, I need to understand devils. Beat them at their own game.

    Heh heh heh heh heh. I can do that. My erstwhile warden has noticed a change in me. I am offered a deal...I will be returned to my body, empowered to match my companions new strength. In exchange, I am to...continue just as before? That...helped him? Hm.

    All right then. Back to my body, with new powers and gear. And all I have to do is best the Nine Hells themselves in a game of intrigue.

    Let the games begin.

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I just wrote up about half a brief snippet based on a session from yesterday, then realized it was absolute trash, so you don't get to see it. Maybe some other time. Also I promise I have more snippets coming, whenever my beta gets them back to me. Instead, comments!


    @Kymme
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    Unfortunately, Daniel wasn’t the strongest guy, and he failed to break the Trog’s hold.
    This is the first time I've sensed combat mechanics show through the prose, and I think it's just because this sentence is a little bland. If you spiced it up a bit you'd mask the mechanics better, I think. Something like "...grabbed Daniel in a bear hug. In an echo of his youth, Daniel found himself powerless to escape the beast's fearsome grip, and felt its rancid teeth sink deep into his shoulder."

    The torch illuminated a burly Goblin, momentarily stunned by the torch’s light.
    You've already got the torch as the subject of the sentence; referencing it again is a big clunky. "...stunned by the light" or something similar is just fine here.

    Now then, time for some background.
    Ahh! The narrative has been strong up to this point, but it's been four paragraphs since we've actually heard the storyteller's "voice" and this is a bit jarring. I don't think you should take it out, but try to work some idioms or narrative bias into the preceding fight scene, to remind us that we're being told this tale in a tavern after last call.

    Overall I liked this a bunch; the framework was very good and the only problem I have with the storyteller is wanting more of him. There are a fair few missing apostrophes and so on, but altogether very enjoyable


    @SleepyShadow
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    "According to my knowledge, they appear to be fiendish dire chickens," Jerea informed the group as she nodded sagely.
    LOL. I do think you're overusing the "'blah blah' said Someone as they did something" construction, though. Rearrange it occasionally to keep things fresh: "Jerea nodded sagely. 'According to my research...'"

    "We were happy to help," Jerea said, wiping poultry blood from her maul.
    D: For some reason the picture of happy Jerea smiling at the new girl and cleaning chicken gore off an oversized maul is just horrifying to me. But I love it.

    "Aerye, what is your profession?"

    "I'm a healer!" Aerye insisted. "Why is that so hard to understand?"

    "Goddammit, what class are you?!" Ree shouted.

    "I've graduated already," Aerye said quietly as she cowered from the angry woman.
    Fantastic. I'm trying to picture your players (specifically Ree's/Fluffy's player because I picture them as the same person ) in a campaign of mine where the ruling caste is the druids. The problem being that Druids, Clerics, and Bards are all considered druids.

    Anyway I love your confrontations between this player and your NPCs. Good stuff as always; definitely a fun snippet (you really have it out for the good-aligned, kindhearted NPCs, don't you? I'd be interested to see if you can craft one at some point that Ree's player wants in the party, but the other two don't


    @Winds
    Okay, so first of all let's set one thing straight.

    In this episode, the Deck of Many Things nearly wipes out the party.
    Deck of Many Things nearly wipes out
    nearly
    I am very intrigued to see how your campaign survived its encounter with the Deck. We had one very fun, very high-powered campaign that instantly ground to a halt when we found the Deck, every character got 50,000XP and/or "body functions but soul is trapped elsewhere", someone became an Avatar of Bane, and so on... Everyone learns that lesson eventually, I suppose.

    Spoiler
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    Hmmmm, interesting. The middle section was a little confusing; part of that seems to be intentional with the weird flow of time and so for, which I get. But I'm a bit lost as to who is being referred to; there's an awful lot of "he" floating around without much to attach to. Are we still talking about Asmodeus here?

    empowered to match my companions new strength.
    Who? Logrim? It's not at all clear who has new strength, or how Kalach would know about it, for that matter.

    This is definitely an interesting revelation (for Kalach as well, seemingly) as to his power source. This also seems to be occurring just after your previous snippet, despite you writing it "ages ago"--is that true? I just don't want to screw up my chronology Your DM is pretty damn brave putting the Deck in a serious campaign, I'll give him/her that much!
    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

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    I am very intrigued to see how your campaign survived its encounter with the Deck.
    Well, let's see.

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    Kalach drew Void, and got grabbed by Asmodeus, then Balance made him LE (from CN), giving a reason to put him back in play. Logrim got balance and became LG (also from CN, I think), then Donjon and Asmodeus grabbed him. Then his player's backup, a hellbred paladin, drew Balance. The DM said no, we will not lose three characters this way, redraw that card.


    And yes, I did learn my lesson. The first time I encountered it went well-ish, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Hmmmm, interesting. The middle section was a little confusing; part of that seems to be intentional with the weird flow of time and so for, which I get. But I'm a bit lost as to who is being referred to; there's an awful lot of "he" floating around without much to attach to. Are we still talking about Asmodeus here?
    Yes, it was intentional, yes that's whose he's usually referring to. Most of the odd is meant to be because he's in a lot of pain, and the entry only exists in his head anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Who? Logrim? It's not at all clear who has new strength, or how Kalach would know about it, for that matter.
    Logrim stayed where he was. The rest of the party gained levels by the Deck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This is definitely an interesting revelation (for Kalach as well, seemingly) as to his power source.
    Annoyingly, yes. I wanted him to have a draconic source. DM said make it a fiendish dragon, and okay. I thought it a decent compromise. Then this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This also seems to be occurring just after your previous snippet, despite you writing it "ages ago"--is that true?
    They're all posted in chronological order, but I'm serious about being behind. We're level 17, and fighting epic CRs for all of our remaining planned encounters. Yeah. I got stuff to write.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Your DM is pretty damn brave putting the Deck in a serious campaign, I'll give him/her that much!
    You think that? Then here's the mindblowing part: he has it show up in every campaign, and does all he can to encourage us to use it.
    Last edited by Winds; 2012-07-17 at 09:43 AM.

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