Page 4 of 20 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314 ... LastLast
Results 91 to 120 of 577
  1. - Top - End - #91
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Sinister Six??? Lol. I may argue with that :P

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

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Sibilant? Slobbering? Severe? Serious? Slacking? Savage?

    Salacious?

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I was thinking 'The Slick Six' if it'still going to be a Netflix original lol. Adam Sandler can play Sammael, Dwayne Johnston as Puck... so on and so forth.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    And on the Twelfth session of gaming, the GM did give to the party...

    More B.S monsters

    No Kiani player :( so she's tired and just hides in the background.

    Spoiler: Exploring the Melted Keep
    Show
    The Melted Keep isn't a particularly large castle, inside is only a small stable and a central building. The party is more than a little eager to make it to the Bonfire, and Talvosh tears an unlocked door off its hinges to get inside. Inside is indeed a Bonfire.

    BONFIRE ATTUNED: MELTED KEEP

    No one feels like exploring until they've slept at least 8 hours, and everyone passes out on the spot. The next morning they decide to check what's below this room, cautiously taking the stairs down...watch as the pack of PCs stays in tight formation for safety from predators :). On the landing partway down the stairs, everyone except for Talvosh passes their spot check to notice that one of the stones in the wall is off-center and loose. Sammael carefully examines it, noticing the corner of...paper? He fishes the pages out from behind the loose stone and takes a gander

    Spoiler: More excerpts from Vaughn of Esmerra, traveling scholar
    Show
    This “Wasteland” is miserable place. There’s nothing pleasant, it’s full of horrible monsters, cloying mist, and it’s grey. Giant automatons , bizarre clouds that are made of magic and try to kill you, and fiends! It doesn’t seem to make sense. From what I know of demons and devils, they shouldn’t be in each other’s company without attacking one another. But I’ve seen the two acting in concert with one another, attacking us. There were also some creatures that I did not recognize...I’m not sure which of these two things in Artaith are more unsettling. We’ve finally made it to this keep in the middle of absolutely nowhere, a haven of sorts among the mists. We’ve decided to spend a few days here recovering and planning what we’re going to do next.

    Even with part of the keep melted like some oversized candle, it’s in very good shape. There are some fascinating tapestries - they’re quite aged, but the images that are still visible seem to point to this place being some sort of monastery. Well, the catacombs below point to that as well. There’s some heavy warding magic down there - when we tried to go into the catacombs, everyone except Medea suffered horrible sunburns, Baltan worst of all. I didn’t get much time to explore, everyone was on edge and in a hurry to get back to the Bonfire, but there seemed to be several mausoleums chambers with no visible doors, and a very heavy and elaborate gate. I got the sensation of being watched down there…

    I swear there’s something at the bottom of the well, too. Before I could examine further though, once again my boorish companions yelled at me to hurry up and come back where I couldn’t get in trouble. You set off a few dozen traps examining secrets and treasures and they never let you live it down.

    I’m...worried about my companions. Ever since the temple in the canyons, Gweneyr and Baltan have been acting differently. They’ve been more aggressive, more...hungry. Gweneyr has always been more than willing to live up to her barbaric appearance, but Baltan had never been bloodthirsty before. We’re all on edge because of this place, but my gut says there’s something more. Medea died several times before we reached the keep, and she’s not doing well. She’s even more withdrawn than usual. I’ve been fortunate so far - I’ve managed not to die, nor have I partaken of this “Vitae.” Something that feels as good as Gweneyr and Baltan describe it has to have a catch of some sort.

    I hate this place.



    Continuing down the stairs, there is indeed a well in the center of the room, quite a large one (10 ft across). It's also nearly full, clear water visible only a few feet down, and quite deep, as the party cannot see to the bottom with 60 ft darkvision. Casting a light spell on the stone that was hiding Vaughn's journal entry, they toss it into the well and watch it go down...and down...until it reveals the bottom of the well and the large chest at said bottom. They nominate the guy who doesn't have to breathe, and tie a rope around Puck's waist before sending him to the watery depths below. It's around 100 ft to the bottom, and Puck very carefully lands off to the side of the chest before beginning a careful inspection.

    Now, Puck's player and I have played through both Dark Souls and Bloodborne together, so he is understandably worried that the chest is a Mimic. If you haven't seen or played Dark souls, Mimics are much scarier than the normal d&d beastie. This is a
    Spoiler: Mimic
    Show
    and if you open a Mimic chest, they grab you and chomp you, most likely killing you. So Puck very intensely studies the chest, circles it, checks the floor around it, very specifically does everything he can to inspect without touching the chest. He sees that there might be something very slight beneath the chest, and that the latch of the chest is sticking out. With extreme focus worthy of bomb disarming, Puck loops a length of rope around just the latch,plants against the wall, and then both him and Talvosh heave up in the hopes of ripping the lid open.

    The latch snaps clean off without anything else happening. So Puck decides on another tactic, and pushes off as hard as he possibly can, slamming into the chest from above! Strangely enough, it's not the splinter of wood or the squish of flesh, but the crunch of...stone? The illusion fades away to reveal that the chest is in fact a cunningly carved block of solid rock. The impact jarred the block a bit, so Puck is able to muscle the stone chest up and over. Beneath it is a large metallic key! And a trap. A bolt of lightning blasts down into the well and zorches Puck (and Talvosh through magic conductivity+I thought it was funny). Puck makes his way out of the well with key in hand, and they continue down the next flight of stairs.


    Spoiler: The Catacombs
    Show
    The stairs lead down to a LARGE chamber. Darkvision and an everburning torch reveals 2 massive pillars, 35 feet across, seemingly made of pink and white quartz, and a smaller one in between. Puck and Talvosh are the first down the stairs, and as soon as their feet touch the floor there's a flash of harsh sunlight, and they both take 12d6 damage to the face. Angelena, Sammael, and Sona put their heads together and figure out that the flash of light was from a Forbiddance. Sona and Angelena are next down the stairs, and Sona gets a lesser sizzle. Angelena walks through free as a jaybird, and then Sammael gets a supernatural sunburn as well. After they've made it past the base of the stairs, they start checking out these "pillars."

    Tapping the crystal and listening reveals that they seem to be hollow, and Puck makes his way around the closest one poking the key into it every couple seconds. On the one side, his hand disappears into the wall. After everyone else catches up, Puck and Talvosh step through. Inside the chamber are sarcophagi, stone carvings of armored warriors on the lids. There is a stylized sunburst on the wall, and the whole chamber shines with muted sunlight, as if partially obscured by something. Puck decides to shove one of the lids off in search of loot, and that's when the rest of the party hears HEAVY metallic footsteps coming towards them from the center of the room. Sammael rushes into the room to try and undo whatever just happened, and Puck and him hurriedly replace the lid. The footsteps tromp even closer however, and around the corner comes two 10 ft tall armored figures, each wielding very large greatswords. They in fact exactly resemble the golems standing guard outside the keep...

    Puck rushes out of the room and slams into the nearest Iron Guardian (which is an Awakened Iron Golem), hoping to knock both of them over preemptively. It stops him dead though...uh oh. Sammael drinks one of his tinctures, Sona greases the space between the two Guardians (and I begin my trend of rolling above 14 for most of the night) and they both save, and Talvosh zips up and gouges one with a frenzied-raging power attack. It retaliates with a max power attack full attack and nearly kills Talvosh outright. The next one steps up and whangs Puck for some damage as well. The two frontliners hack away again while Sammael continues to self-buff, and Sona sneaks up and Enlarges Talvosh. Angelena channels her god-given magic and tries to blast the Guardians with a Flame Strike, everyone forgetting that golems are immune to almost all magic, and that this style in fact (the same as the one they fought a while back in the Wasteland) is repaired by fire!

    Then the Guardian that Talvosh and Puck had full attacked and hurt uses Combat Expertise and continues to chop into Talvosh (who's past the point of reasonable rescue by healing).
    Spoiler: *Side note on Deathless Frenzy*
    Show
    I ruled that when Talvosh is below -10 hit points he is staggered, so no infinite full attacks

    With the Guardian's AC skyrocketing, the party begins to pull back, Puck and Angelena withdrawing. Sammael pulls back more slowly, firing ineffectual arrows. Sona re-checks her spell list, and lobs a Lesser Orb of Acid and deals some truly nasty damage. The first Guardian, after absorbing repeated blows from the party, slowly keels over. The second Guardian decides that since this pesky berserker won't fall down dead, it should take out the spellcaster, and jogs around the far side of the chamber to flank her. Talvosh limps after it, still flailing his axe while physically holding his body together (and still hitting due to his stupidly high strength). Sammael bravely tries to intercept the Guardian, and he and Talvosh manage to hold it in place while Sona keeps lobbing orbs of acid.

    Finally the Guardian has had enough and bull rushes Sammael 20 ft back and then kills him the next round. It's a five ft step away from introducing Sona to the edge of its blade when a combination of Talvosh, Puck rushing back into the fray (taking the Forbiddance damage again), and Sona burning through all of her 1st and most of her 2nd level spells puts it down. Talvosh's frenzy ends, and he pretty much falls apart like a sack of ground beef. After everyone is revived, they examine the rest of the chamber, discovering two more quartz room/pillars. Puck and Talvosh want to break and desecrate everything looking for treasure. Strangely, Angelena and Sammael have an issue with this plan, so it's tabled for later. All the chambers seem similar; sarcophagi with carvings of stone warriors, sunburst on the wall, and the strange fact that each room is lit with sunlight. One is bright and shining though, like a hot summer mid-day, and another is just the warm beginnings of the day. Right before they vote to retreat back to the Bonfire though, Talvosh makes it to the end of the catacombs and finds a heavy elaborate gate. Coincidentally, the key Talvosh found is just the perfect fit! On the other side is an armory of sorts. The group examines and plays with everything, so here is the list of treasure:

    Witchlight reservoir
    Mantle of second chances
    Expansion engine (a warforged component that allows use of the psionic power Expansion 2/day
    Runestaff of the Assassin
    Lesser metamagic rod of Extend
    +1 evil outsider bane Mace
    A vial of Uncanny ichor - concentrated magic, this will increase the enchantment value of a weapon or armor by +1
    scrolls of Holy Sword, Arcane Eye, Shrink item, and Identify

    The group doubletimes it back to the Bonfire, and keels over. Angelena decides to experiment a bit in an attempt to see if she can make the Fire help Puck heal. Cutting her hand and holding it above the flames, she mentally offers a sacrifice of her health. A point of her Vitae burns away, and the fire is Kindled. Everyone's healing is increased, and Puck does indeed heal some now. The next morning the party decides to check out the rest of the keep to see if there's anything else to find.


    Spoiler: The rest of the Keep
    Show
    In the stables they find a ripped saddlebag. I roll on the dreaded random loot chart, and they end up with a +1 throwing returning short sword, and a +2 buckler (cue unenthusiastic whoo). They also manage to work their way into the melted towers (Puck doing his impression of a meteor to divebomb into one). Inside the one they find the tapestries that Vaughn mentioned in his journal! There are 6 of said tapestries, and they seem to detail the birth, life, and death of a single individual. They are incredibly detailed despite their moderate size, and the position of the Sun features prominently in each. Angelena uses a Guidance of the Avatar plus aid from Sammael and Sona to realize that there are instructions hidden within. The four chambers in the Catacombs below correspond to a different position of the Sun - visiting them in order may reveal something.

    Angelena also feels that further study may reveal more information, but that will take time (i.e. the GM did not expect these to be found yet, and still needs to fully write the tapestries up). After bulling through the wards again, they visit each chamber - Dawn, Noon, Eclipse, Dusk. As they do so, there's a grating noise as the central chamber (where the Guardians were hidden) descends. What comes back up is a broad basin full of a glimmering golden liquid. Some high knowledge checks reveal it to be liquid Orichalchum, a magical metal associated with sunlight and magic. Puck and Sammael dip the blades of their weapons in, and both are infused with the metal, increasing their enchantment by +1 and increasing their hardness to 15. After another day of lazing about, they set out towards Logos once more.


    Spoiler: Leaving the Melted Keep
    Show
    There's a brief discussion here - I knew that I was being stingy with loot, but after having them total up, several members are WAY below the average level. So I whip together a random encounter with some choices from my book of beasties, and off we go! While travelling, Sammael hears a plaintive voice calling for help in the distance. The timing is horribly suspicious, but it sounds genuine. Creeping off, Sammael finds a young knight with a broken leg laying in an open cave. He doesn't register as evil, but the knight's reluctance to leave the area sets off alarm bells. After Sammael heals him enough to walk, he feels a foreign presence try to invade his mind. Initiative! The succubus manages to land a kiss (Sammael rolled a 2 on his grapple check), but after taking a flurry of blows, decides to teleport away. Sammael falls back just long enough for everyone to catch up, and they head back to the caverns. As Puck floats down to inspect, a group of menacing sorts confronts him! Fight time!

    A seemingly unarmed member disappears in a cloud of black smoke, and reappears right behind Puck! Suddenly claws of blazing light sprout from his hands, and the Nightcrawler (unofficial name) carves into Puck, then disappears only to reappear again and claw him twice more. Another unarmed member runs off to one side, while Sammael slow falls down right in front of the succubus and utterly DEMOLISHES it with two Smite evils (from snap kick). The Duskblade twins zip up and flank Sammael, one missing while the other lands a channeled Vampiric Touch. Talvosh does a flying leap to hack into the one Duskblade, more than willingly taking the falling damage in exchange for nearly killing the Duskblade (Talvosh rolls like me the whole night, very rarely rolling below 14). Puck is displeased by this strange man fading in and out around him, and crosschecks him into a stone outcropping for ugly damage. Wisely, Nightcrawler decides to go after another target, doing his teleport dance around Sona and slicing most of her mirror images to shreds (and a well timed wings of cover to prevent a critical Eldritch Claw). The other unarmed warrior takes a full round of attacks from Talvosh and a hit from Puck (deflecting one with a Wall of Blades) and then tears a hunk off of Puck with his bare hands (Rabid bear strike). Talvosh, Puck, and Sammael target the Warblade at that point, and Sammael tumbles in with a death touch once the Warblade is down to critical levels and finishes him. D'aww, no one-on-one unarmed duel. The remaining Duskblade goes out with a bang, burning an arcane strike+true strike+max power attack+stored shocking grasp in sword to try and kill Talvosh. It does a boatload of damage, but the orc has two boatloads of health or so.

    Nightcrawler carves into Angelena through her Righteous might after Sona falls back and goes invisible (much good natured teasing is thrown about due to her predilection for defending herself ), but finally he goes down as well. But is anyone truly dead in a place like this... :)?

    Bodies are looted, xps are handed out, and we finish up there.


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    Twofer night, so 12


    Spoiler: The Loot of considerable girth
    Show
    There is experimentation and testing, and I hereby decree the party figures out what this gear is:

    Two Spell storing +1 Greatswords
    Two sets of +2 breastplate
    One set of Dimension stride boots
    Amulet of mighty fists +2
    +2 nimble breastplate
    gloves of the balanced hand
    Ring of protection +2
    Belt of giant strength +4
    Chasuble of Greater fell power
    Cloak of resistance +3
    Bag of holding type 2
    Anklet of translocation
    Bolt shirt
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-02-01 at 01:08 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Pic of Kiani incoming!

    Spoiler: Kiani
    Show


    And new group shot!

    Spoiler: The Sinister Six
    Show
    Those are super spectacularly awesome.

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Glad you like em. I always enjoy painting up new random minis, that and it helps me keep everything straight for combat when the model actually looks like the character

  7. - Top - End - #97
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWink View Post
    Glad you like em. I always enjoy painting up new random minis, that and it helps me keep everything straight for combat when the model actually looks like the character
    *ahem* because tradition and a long standing premises has been established outside the forum that no one will understand, but I cannot let slide....

    Meh, they'll do. Painting isn't Mr. Wink's strong suit; there's no lines for him to colour inside. We had to burn the first abominations that came off his pallet.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    *ahem* because tradition and a long standing premises has been established outside the forum that no one will understand, but I cannot let slide....
    Picanet has sworn a solemn and sacred oath to never say anything nice about MrWink's painting. If she ever compliments it deliberately, her soul is forfeit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    We had to burn the first abominations that came off his pallet.
    That gives me a very nice mental image of painting via forklift :)

  9. - Top - End - #99
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I must say I am enjoying this read. I take it one of you all is a big fan of Warmachine?
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
    Pokemon Y, friend code 0146-9846-5809

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    A few us are definitally warmachine players mostly it was just that warmachine had models that best suited what I was looking for with the least amount of conversion. The other models are from reaper.

  11. - Top - End - #101
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Also means a lot of the time the players face off against warbeasts and warjacks when they're the right size. Glad you're enjoying the read, jguy!

  12. - Top - End - #102
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    So was the Iron Golem a Khador Juggernaut?
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
    Pokemon Y, friend code 0146-9846-5809

  13. - Top - End - #103
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    They ended up being a Seether and Lich Lord Venethrax actually, as they were the closest models that were roughly the right size

  14. - Top - End - #104
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    It's later than usual, blame replaying Dark Souls 2 and Deadpool...

    The thirteenth session! On the thirteenth of the month! *Krakoom* Mwoo haa haa haa haa

    Just as planned Nah, amusing coincidence. Bad news, though - No more Kiani . Her player unfortunately doesn't have the free time to play anymore, so no more Malconvoker.



    Spoiler: Continuing through the Fog
    Show
    The party decides that there shouldn't be too much risk of being ambushed, and rest in the caverns, burning all of their spells to heal up as much as they can before resting. Awakening to yet another fog-shrouded morning, the party continues onwards! Talvosh attempts to pick the correct direction with a Survival check of -1! And rolls a 4. Mercifully, Sammael corrects him so they don't get horrifically lost. Huzzah!

    Partway through the day, Puck and Sona hear a faint roaring in the distance, like a massive fire. Son after, everyone can hear it, and the fog to the north of them is darker, like there's smoke mingled with it. After traveling towards it for a bit longer, the all-too familiar walls of the eerie town come into view. However, numerous flames rise above the walls, and the gates lay broken and burning on the ground! There's a bit of hesitation, but the sound of numerous screams mingling with the rush of the flames pushes the group to advance.

    The town is indeed ablaze; every building in sight is burning, collapsed, or both. There's also people running for their lives, screaming and panicking. But when one comes near, they fade to intangibility and then just a shadowy silhouette - it seems they're possibly an illusion of sorts. While Sona disbelieves the flames to look for the Arcane Mark she placed last time, Puck advances up to what seems to be an average looking human running towards them. An unseen being drags the hapless peasant to the ground as Puck walks up, and horrible rents and gashes tear across his back. Puck cautiously prods towards it...and turns out this isn't an illusion.

    Initiative!

    The Hellcat that Puck poked at goes first and rips into poor Puck, and then two creatures scuttle into view further down the road. The two Mezzoloths both drop Cloudkills into the middle of the group. Pretty much everyone saves, but that just means half damage. Another Hellcat bursts out of a nearby building and pounces onto Talvosh for a bunch of damage, and then it's Sammael's turn. He strides forward, and lands a critical Smite Evil with his scythe on the unsuspecting Hellcat attacking Puck. A critical smite, by the way, that completely obliterates the beastie in one blow. Sona flies up out of the cloud for fresh air...which makes her an easy target for the third Mezzoloth to engulf her in another Cloudkill. Puck cleverly tosses his Rod of Escape to Sammael to activate, which creates a nice bubble of air for the others to take refuge in (since he's enlarged). The rest of the fight doesn't go so well for the fiends; Puck and Angelena get stabbed with tridents, Talvosh takes more con damage (he's the furthest back in the group, so the cloud surrounds him the longest) and gets mauled more, one mezzoloth gets pulverized into a burning building, another gets axed to pieces, and the final one gets combo-charged after it fails to dispel the rod of escape.

    The group decides to head straight for the town square rather than checking if the Rakshasha is still lurking about (disappointing). There are many other disturbing images and scenes on the way, but none become more than shadows. Mezzoloths running down and impaling people, Hellcats mauling victims, and disturbingly, people dying and turning Hollow before attacking others. A Nycaloth swoops by at one point, hurling dismembered limbs about in a horrible rain. Luckily for the group, I don't roll the required % for any of these horrible things and creatures to be anything other than visions. Soon the group makes it back to the town square with the fountain (which is on fire too). As they're moving through the square, all the flames suddenly flare up and burn bright, colors melding to a bloody red. A mocking female voice rings out of the sky.

    "Finally, I found you all!"

    It's Jezelle.



    Spoiler: Red
    Show
    Jezelle taunts the group a little, sounding quite smug and assured. Talvosh makes a crude sexual offer, which Jezelle mostly ignores with only a slight mention of him being rude. When asked her intentions, Jezelle assures the group that if they leave Sona behind, she'll leave them be. Her monologue is interrupted by Sona verbally tearing her a new one, mocking her on several levels. Jezelle loses her temper, and lobs a Fireball. Sammael and Sona made their Listen checks to pinpoint where the voice was coming from, and the Will save to realize that it was being disguised by a Ventriloquism spell, but Sona doesn't react in time.

    The blast of supernatural flame hurts Sona, and flat out kills the con-damaged Angelena and Kiani instantly. As Angelena dies, she feels the connection between her and Kiani ignite and burn away (not out of Vitae, but Kiani is out of the picture until whenever her player can make time to game again). Fight Time!

    Jezelle is visible now, sitting side saddle on an eerie horse with a smoldering mane and tail...150 feet in the air. Puck grabs his bow and takes a shot that ricochets off arcane protections. Sammael does some quick thinking...and shoots at the horse instead and deals some damage to the Nightmare. Jezelle snaps her fingers, and two Nycaloths ripple into existence. The giant multilimbed flying tiger-monster men swoop in for the attack! One charges Puck and deals some damage, the other swoops at Sammael and crits with his big axe, dropping him to 6 hp off the bat. Talvosh rages and runs over to assist Sammael! Puck cuts the Nycaloth in front of him once, and then crits. I mark the damage and am about to continue when his player reminds me that he dealt enough damage to need a massive damage save. I roll...a 1. The Nycaloth takes a step, and promptly has its insides become outsides. Jezelle cries foul at that, frustration letting her natural brogue slip out. Sammael lands some blows, as does Talvosh, but the Nycaloth finishes Sammael off with another axeblow. Sona lobs a Great Thunderclap at Jezelle and her horse, but I continue my habit of rolling 13+ all the time on saves. The battle between the Nycaloth and Talvosh continues, but the orc's damage output while frenzy-raging is insane, and the Nycaloth gets hacked apart.

    Jezelle is quite unhappy at this turn of events, and casts Arcane Spellsurge. The air around her shimmers and ripples, and her bright red locks flutter as if in a hot breeze. She starts hurling spells at an alarming rate, scorching Talvosh and Puck. Sona goes invisible and keeps moving, Puck keeps shooting at the Nightmare (which Jezelle doesn't defend), and Talvosh...waves his axe menacingly. Jezelle is still focused on Talvosh, and hits him with a critical Disintegrate (I had forgotten my dice and borrowed some which were apparently imbued with malice and hatred towards all PCs). Even a succesful save doesn't keep him from being reduced to below 0 by the green ray, so he uses Mad Foam Rager to delay his death. Jezelle is right pissed at that, and uses her second spell to hit him with another Disintegrate rather than choosing a target that's actually threatening her. Talvosh obligingly turns to dust.

    Sona hits the Nightmare with a Sound Lance, and it explodes. Jezelle is left sitting in the air, looking quite unhappy, and then a shimmering silver cord appears behind her before the foul-mouthed sorcereress is yanked away with a shimmer of magic (spellcraft reveals that she was Astrally projecting via the Nightmare, and couldn't maintain the spell when it died. Sona and Puck loot the piles of daemonflesh, and Sona convinces Puck that they shouldn't rest in the partially illusory town of intense creepiness (and now fiendish pillaging and plundering), and they retreat out of the city and make camp a ways away on the road.

    Angelena, Talvosh, and Puck awaken back at the Bonfire located in the Melting Keep, several days back. That night, the moon is in full view, and its sullen flames are bright enough to read by, contributing to an uneasy night's sleep for all. Sona especially! She "awakens" to Jezelle pinning her down with both hands wrapped around her throat and squeezing.

    "I hate being interrupted." Her tone is almost friendly. "It's rude, and being rude upsets me. I'm finding it harder and harder to tolerate things that upset me lately. Like you, and your friends." Sona manages to gasp in enough air to spit. Jezelle thunks her head against the ground. "I'm going to find you and your friends again. I'm going to kill them again. I'm going to burn you all until there's nothing left." She raises a finger above Sona's eyes, a finger that sprouts a flame at the end. Slowly, the fire descends towards Sona's eyes.

    She wakes up with a gasp, and a brand new set of hand-shaped bruises around her throat.


    Spoiler: Continuing on
    Show
    Angelena prepares several Sending spells in the morning, a wise decision. A less wise decision is to try and contact Puck with the spell...

    Angelena: "At the Melted Keep. Is anyone hurt? Where are you? If you can, stay where you are and we will come to you."

    Puck: "Not really. On the road."

    Angelena:"..."

    Puck starts speaking to Sona, his words still part of the response: "We heard a voice like Angelena's. No, it stopped. Asked where we were. I should say we will wait for" SPELL ENDS. Another Sending spell straightens things out, though. Angelena, Talvosh, and Sammael hustle towards Sona and Puck, and Sona and Puck stay right in place. The city seems to have faded, and Puck busies himself with attempting to create a smal stone fortress from nearby loose rocks. It...doesn't go so well. I roll absolutely no encounters for everyone, so no deaths due to party splitting. After a couple days, the party is reunited! They continue further north. A couple evenings later, their path dips into a steep valley, and what seems to be numerous tall walls, or a structure of sorts. In the morning, they check it out. It seems to be a large maze of some sorts, numerous tall walls of gleaming black stone visible through pieces of the fog. Walking closer reveals an entrance in the 20 ft tall walls (which are made of obsidian and seem to have numerous razor sharp edges). There is writing on the outside of the walls, first in Infernal, then Abyssal, then in more recognizable languages.
    Spoiler: The Message
    Show
    ALL PATHS LEAD TO THE LABYRINTH


    Sona tests flying up over the walls. Nothing happens, she can see that the path seems to be 10 ft across, and the walls are jagged and sharp on top also. Flying back and forth doesn't seem to trigger anything, so the party decides to advance into the Labyrinth. The mood is tense, everyone creeping ahead slowly. The path goes round and round, but seems to be one uninterrupted route, no branches. Then they come across a thick wall of ice spread between the walls, which Puck and Talvosh break. The supernaturally cold fog hurts, though. Then another. And another set. Then the invisible flying Bone Devils strike! They hang like grotesque bony arachnids, hovering just close enough to reach the party without fear of easy retaliation. After some bowshots and magic (and Sona and Angelena getting poisoned), Sammael takes some damage using his spider-climb slippers to walk up the sharp walls to try and smite the devils. After some heavy blows, the fiends vanish. They come back a little later, the party leaving a bit too much space between their members. Again they are separated by ice and whittled away at. The Bone devils don't hit extra hard, but they are hard to reach, and highly mobile, and really frustrating. A quick Benign Transposition allows Puck to dive down from where Sammael once was and body slam the Bone devil that Sammael had previously wounded into a Broken-Bone devil and kill it.

    Further down, there's a Third ambush, and the party keeps bleeding. A second devil finally manages to get squished, but at this point it's 1:30 in the morning and we pause it there until next session. I am a cruel and vindictive GM, and I don't give out xp seeing as they're technically mid-encounter.


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    15 (technically 16, but I'm not counting Kiani)! 3 in one night!
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-02-15 at 08:36 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #105
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Ah, I'd thought about suggesting Nycaloths. People act like dragons are scary, Nyc's eat them for breakfast. And fireballs following stinking clouds, also quite effective. If not for that axe crit into massive damage fail (that's a 20+confirm followed by a 1) none of them should have lived. Did you try using any of their SLAs, or did they count as being summoned/called mid-combat and thus without their at-will invisbility and mirror image? Swap some feats into Improved Grapple and they might be able to pin the barbarian though I'd personally just fly away in response to frenzy, possibly after flyby grabbing a caster on the way.
    Attention Imgur Users! Imgur apparently doesn't like hosting images anymore and only works in certain places or for people who already have the image cached: No one can see your avatars or images!

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Yeah, that natural one made me sad, but the timing made for a pretty hilarious, "You are already dead" moment. As for their spell-likes, partially it was because they weren't around long enough, but mostly it was an in-game reason. Being in prolonged close contact with that NPC tends to do…things to your ability to think rationally and not give in to bloodlust.

    But no, that will not be the last time Nycaloths show up (and there's the commander as well). Heh heh heh...

  17. - Top - End - #107
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Found and started reading this thread a few days ago and I have to say I'm enjoying it immensely. Thanks you posting!

  18. - Top - End - #108
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks, Dromuthra! Happy to hear you're enjoying it!

  19. - Top - End - #109
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    And I finally remembered to write up some more information on the unusual banners the party found in the Melted Keep! In depth study may reveal secrets...

    All of the banners use stylized, almost simplistic images that somehow convey more information and details than they rightly should. Magic was most likely involved in their creation.

    Spoiler: The First Banner
    Show
    Beams of light shine down from a rising sun onto towers of gleaming white stone. Within a tower, an infant stretches its arms upwards, held upward by a maternal figure. Below, armored knights raise their blades in a salute towards the sun. Knights and towers alike sit upon a green island.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: As your spark ignites, so too does the light of the Dawn


    Spoiler: The Second Banner
    Show
    A girl trains with the armored knights under a midmorning sun. Arcane runes circle the youth's forehead, hadns, and sword. The knights seem even greater in number, and are loading themselves into boats that depart from the island towards shadowed shores.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Your light grows ever stronger, basking in mine


    Spoiler: The Third Banner
    Show
    The girl, now a woman, leads the charge against a horde of hideous monstrosities. The noonday sun gleams above her, and an army of knights surges behind her, crashing into the terrible creatures emerging from all directions

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Your glory will burn bright in its zenith


    Spoiler: The Fourth Banner
    Show
    This banner seems more grim than the others; the charging army falls into a yawning crevasse, monsters slaughtering and destroying knights in splashes of crimson. The woman, the general, falls to the bottom of the pit, alone except for the creatures circling her, and the Sun is obscured by a black circle.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Do not despair. I am with you even when my light does not fall upon you


    Spoiler: The Fifth Banner
    Show
    The sun bursts through the darkness in this banner, a thick beam shining down upon the general. Still alone in the pit, now it is the monsters that are torn asunder and cut down by a blade of blazing light.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: For none can stand against the might of your soul, as long as the sun still burns


    Spoiler: The Sixth Banner
    Show
    A tomb emblazoned with the image of the woman is in the center of this banner. Countless figures bow their heads and kneel before the tomb as the last rays of the setting sun spread across the cloth.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Though the Sun must always set, so too does the Dawn come again


    Hopefully this isn't too cheesy

  20. - Top - End - #110
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Orion Hamby's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    And I finally remembered to write up some more information on the unusual banners the party found in the Melted Keep! In depth study may reveal secrets...

    All of the banners use stylized, almost simplistic images that somehow convey more information and details than they rightly should. Magic was most likely involved in their creation.

    Spoiler: The First Banner
    Show
    Beams of light shine down from a rising sun onto towers of gleaming white stone. Within a tower, an infant stretches its arms upwards, held upward by a maternal figure. Below, armored knights raise their blades in a salute towards the sun. Knights and towers alike sit upon a green island.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: As your spark ignites, so too does the light of the Dawn


    Spoiler: The Second Banner
    Show
    A girl trains with the armored knights under a midmorning sun. Arcane runes circle the youth's forehead, hadns, and sword. The knights seem even greater in number, and are loading themselves into boats that depart from the island towards shadowed shores.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Your light grows ever stronger, basking in mine


    Spoiler: The Third Banner
    Show
    The girl, now a woman, leads the charge against a horde of hideous monstrosities. The noonday sun gleams above her, and an army of knights surges behind her, crashing into the terrible creatures emerging from all directions

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Your glory will burn bright in its zenith


    Spoiler: The Fourth Banner
    Show
    This banner seems more grim than the others; the charging army falls into a yawning crevasse, monsters slaughtering and destroying knights in splashes of crimson. The woman, the general, falls to the bottom of the pit, alone except for the creatures circling her, and the Sun is obscured by a black circle.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Do not despair. I am with you even when my light does not fall upon you


    Spoiler: The Fifth Banner
    Show
    The sun bursts through the darkness in this banner, a thick beam shining down upon the general. Still alone in the pit, now it is the monsters that are torn asunder and cut down by a blade of blazing light.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: For none can stand against the might of your soul, as long as the sun still burns


    Spoiler: The Sixth Banner
    Show
    A tomb emblazoned with the image of the woman is in the center of this banner. Countless figures bow their heads and kneel before the tomb as the last rays of the setting sun spread across the cloth.

    The phrase across the bottom reads: Though the Sun must always set, so too does the Dawn come again


    Hopefully this isn't too cheesy
    But cheese is only bad when used to break a game

  21. - Top - End - #111
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Fourteen sessions, and here I am without a joke or reference related to 14. So...*awkward silence*...how bout those local sports teams?

    Spoiler: Back in the Labyrinth
    Show
    Cutting back to the action, the party continues ahead with a bit of trepidation...their resources are running a little low. Then the sound of eerie screams and running feet echoes about the stone walls. Our heroes tense, but continue moving forward slowly...which leaves them all a little surprised as 5 bearded devils bamf into the middle of the group!

    Bearded devils aren't super scary to the group at their level, but there are several nasty cuts landed, leaving Talvosh and Sona bleeding from the infernal wounds (to make it nastier, I let the effect stack, so both Sona and Talvosh are losing 4 hp / round). The devils are crushed, sliced, and mashed pretty quickly, but that just ensures everyone is in a nice line for the Ice Devil to reveal himself with a Cone of Cold that does some serious damage. The Gelugon then vanishes behind a wall of rapidly forming ice, probably from an unseen Bone devil. On the party's other flank, Sona tries to step around the corner for cover, only to be attacked by a Bone devil!

    Angelena Shatters the icewall blocking the Gelugon, allowing Sammael, Talvosh, and Puck to go after the Gelugon. They attack, landing some solid blows, but the Gelugon's retaliatory full attack nearly kills Puck. Sammael also gets stabbed with an AoO as he tries to tumble to flank, and the slowing effect causes him to fail. Sona is still hurling out spells, but the fact that she is still bleeding out has her a little concerned. Angelena manages to block the Bone devil off with a Wall of Stone, which gives them at least a moment to breathe. Sammael squeezes between Puck and Talvosh to use his Death touch on the Gelugon! But it has just enough hit points to not die on the spot (he rolled a 42 - it had 48 hp). The Gelugon teleports away to regroup, and the Bone devil reappears to corner the two spellcasters...and receives a Talvosh and Puck charge for his troubles. Surviving but being on his keister and surrounded by the party, he decides to teleport away as well. Everyone is in rough shape, either low health, low resources, or both remaining, so they decide to make a run for it out of the maze. Puck has fly going, so he flies above the party as they hustle through the corridors. As they run, the Ice devil's harsh and cruel laughter scrapes in their minds. Then it starts lobbing Ice storms as they scurry away. Talvosh drops to negatives, but a quick cure and mass aid wakes him up to keep running. Right at the exit, another rain of brutal hailstones drops Angelena to -4 right as she dispels the wall of Ice preventing their escape. They limp back up the hill and out of sight as the Ice devil floats above the obsidian walls, still laughing and mocking them as they flee.



    The party is wise enough at least to not camp right outside the black labyrinth's walls, but they don't go that far away. Every single spell that can be cast is cast for healing, and the group settles down painfully to rest and recover. In the morning, VENGEANCE!


    Spoiler: Try, try again
    Show
    The morning is a flurry of planning and preparation. Spell lists are tailored to resist cold, prevent teleportation, possibly flat out eject fiends from this plane of existence. There is also careful discussion of how this will be a battle of attrition, of resource management, to prevent them from being bled out.

    It's an impressive setup and example of preparation. Unfortunately, they're close enough to the labyrinth that the invisible flying Bone devil in the air hears every word and teleports back to report back before the party leaves.

    So when the party descends the hill to attempt entering the labyrinth, the entrance is blocked by a roaring wall of flame. There is speculation that suddenly all the monsters within will be fire themed (and I get a couple glares for it), but Sammael and Puck manage to disbelieve the illusion. Talvosh nat-1s his roll, so it takes a while of convincing that the flames are fake before everyone enters. Once again, they shuffle their way around, between the jagged stone walls. Before they get back to where they had fled, the Ice Devil welcomes his returning guests back with an Ice storm.

    -Your blood will feed the Labyrinth- it hisses in their minds. Initiative!

    The fight starts off with a group of horrific looking creatures burbling their way down the hall towards the party. They look like half-melted people, sludging their way forwards with piteous moans and wails. Talvosh and Puck advance, and that's when the Ice walls start appearing to split the party again. The Ice devil concentrates, and inky black shadows swell and swirl about. Sona recognizes it as an Unholy Aura. Uh oh...

    Sammael's arrows bounce off, and the ice devil leisurely flies towards the party, at a comfortable 100 feet in the air. The Lemures get shredded by the two maniacal lumberjacks of the group, but that was the whole point of them; split the party. This fight takes up pretty much the whole evening, with ice walls shooting up, being broken, illusions of bone devils appearing and being banished, the Ice devil blasting down with cones of cold, and all in all difficulty in reaching the actual devils. Angelena goes for the tactical approach of trying to Dispel the Ice devil's magic, but rolls below six on both spells on the gelugon (fly and unholy aura). Sona and Angelena then get cordoned off with icewalls, and the Ice devil teleports in right in their faces. Sona passes her fear check, but Angelena fails! I prepare to cackle triumphantly and describe how she is stricken with terror...when she remembers about the bonus from Sona's persisted circle vs evil. D'aww Angelena reaches out with a Dispel Evil! She shatters the Unholy Aura, dropping the Gelugon's ac from ridiculous to simply high, but fails to penetrate its natural SR to attempt to banish it. The Gelugon teleports back in the air after Sona swaps herself with Talvosh, and Sammael ninja leap/climbs the wall to enter the fray as well. The battle rages on, with the Bone devils chipping away at the party while endeavoring to stay out of the reach of the melee beasts.


    Finally, the pivotal moment occurs. Angelena is below 30 hp, and the Ice devil decides to finish her before she tries banishing him again or healing the party (who except for Puck is starting to look beat up). It charges straight down with its spear, with enough Power attack that a high damage roll could outright slay Angelena!

    And I roll a 1. Half jokingly, I roll a dex save for the devil to not fumble.

    And roll another one. The spear embeds into the wall, it'll take a move action to wrench free. The party goes berserk at this opportunity. Puck (who Sona had manuevered close enough to to cast Fly on) launches his enlarged self straight at the Gelugon, mashing it into the wall and pushing it just far enough down to be in everyone's reach. Talvosh gets warped in, Sammael burns as many smite evils and stunning blows as he can in a turn, Angelena tries another spell (but she cannot roll above a 6 the entire night for spell penetration...she needs new dice). After the concentrated onslaught, the surrounded Gelugon falls. But it's not dead, the wounds rapidly closing...until Sammael blesses his weapon and manages a coup de grâce. The labyrinth is eerily silent after the sounds of battle.


    Spoiler: Time and space are relative
    Show
    The party picks itself together, and trudges forward, following the labyrinth in its entirety. There are no more creepy messages on the walls, but things are unusual. A length of hallway that everyone knows is shorter than the previous one takes a full minute longer to traverse. The lighting changes, and everyone's sense of distance is messed up. Finally they reach the center, which seems to be a featureless wall. However, there is a rumble, and the ground bulges beneath their feet. Glittering black liquid flows out of the crack in the dirt, and six crystals of Vitae force their way upwards.

    No one really asks questions, and they rapidly split the delicious soulstuff amongst themselves. After, they traverse the labyrinth again, but in reverse. There is talk that when they exit, they're expecting to be elsewhere. No such wondrous magic occurs, though. Back at the entrance, Sona has enough and casts Fly on everyone. They fly over the Labyrinth...and pick up traces of the Old Road again. I end it there, as the devil battle took pretty much all night. Everyone but Sammael and Angelena level, and they're about 1000 xp short.


    Sorry for a shorter entry this time, but I really didn't want to just bog it down with step by step accounts. So if there are any requests for random triva, more detailed descriptions of what have you, or fluff entries, knock yourselves out and I will strive to entertain!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    Still at 15, but I'm happy knowing that three of them were at death's door tonight
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-02-29 at 09:35 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    DFW, TX

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Still love it! I'm constantly checking back, hoping for updates.
    Sent you a pm.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks again, Prismcat21!

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    This has been the best Campaign Journal I have ever read. I envy your skills at DMing, and applaud your players for such dedication to character development.

    One question, would you consider sharing your setting specifics? Like stuff about how Vitae, Bonfires, and whatnot works? My group loves Dark Souls, but I could never figure out how to do a D&D games based on it. If you are ok with it, I would love to borrow your rules and then design my own version of the world around it.
    I Am A: Neutral Good Half-Orc Fighter/Barbarian (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength-16
    Dexterity-16
    Constitution-17
    Intelligence-17
    Wisdom-16
    Charisma-13

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongobear View Post
    This has been the best Campaign Journal I have ever read. I envy your skills at DMing, and applaud your players for such dedication to character development.

    One question, would you consider sharing your setting specifics? Like stuff about how Vitae, Bonfires, and whatnot works? My group loves Dark Souls, but I could never figure out how to do a D&D games based on it. If you are ok with it, I would love to borrow your rules and then design my own version of the world around it.
    Should have seen the smug grin on birthday boy's face when I read your post out to him lol. I'm sure he'd be glad to share once he finally gets online lol.

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    Should have seen the smug grin on birthday boy's face when I read your post out to him lol. I'm sure he'd be glad to share once he finally gets online lol.
    Lol, glad I could be of service to the ego! :D
    I Am A: Neutral Good Half-Orc Fighter/Barbarian (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength-16
    Dexterity-16
    Constitution-17
    Intelligence-17
    Wisdom-16
    Charisma-13

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Wow, thanks, Mongobear! I think there are better journals out there, but I'm glad that you're enjoying the read. I have the rules for Vitae up already, but give me a little bit and I'll compile it all into a new and shiny post.

  28. - Top - End - #118
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Session 15! Means my campaign has a +2 bonus to...things! No Angelena this time, she was wiped and had an early day the next morning. Everyone else was understandably a little worried (or as they put it, "we showed up to raid without a healer")

    We join our heroes the morning after traversing the black stone labyrinth:

    Spoiler: This Wasteland seems never ending
    Show

    Sona starts the day with attempting her second dragon pact (she's just entered her final level of Pact adept), this one with her Gold dragon teacher. After assembling the offered treasure and concentrating, her attempted magical phone call is interrupted by a...presence. Now, Sona's character has been in the presence of her "Grandmother," a Wyrm blue dragon matriarch. That feeling of awe is a foothill compared to the absolute MOUNTAIN of power that her mind brushes against. The Presence seems to consider her request and is amused, then fades away and the pact attempt succeeds with Kultainen (the before-mentioned Gold dragon). Nothing like a bit of existential terror to start the day!

    The fog seems to have actually lifted this morning...Sammael's player immediately declares that I'm lying and disbelieves. Funny he should say that...

    The path leads to foothills, and beyond that, mountains. It switches back and forth, but it's a path out of this blasted place! Everyone is super excited...until they notice that the hills seem rrrrreeeeaaaaallllyyy similar. Like they've seen them before...It's the path they took to enter the Wasteland originally

    I was out! I WAS OUT!

    Sammael and Talvosh make their Will saves to disbelieve, and manage to help the others to save before they walk off the sheer drop. Puck manages to roll three 5s in a row, but Sona manages to touch him with a fly spell just in time. The fog has lifted, but instead of a nightmare loop, in front of the party is a 100 ft drop straight down. Puck floats down, Talvosh holds the rope while Sammael climbs down, and then things go a little sideways. Talvosh is either a little distracted or a little silly, so he throws the top of the rope at Sona as he dives off the cliff to do some Australian rappelling! He does this fast enough that Sona doesn't catch the rope, and no-one else has time to react...so he kisses the dirt, frenzies, and then collects himself so everyone else can approach safely again.

    About an hour of travel later they reach the edge of this shelf and another cliff drop. Talvosh seems to be attempting to break free of the Matrix, and dives off this one too.

    ...*shrug*. I like rolling lots of damage dice, doesn't bother me.

    After that, they continue onwards towards the edge of this giant shelf of land, travelling until near dark. The sky is starting to cloud over ominously; Sammael can see a thunderstorm coming, and tries to find anything resembling shelter. He can just see some small rock formations up ahead, so they press forward through the rain. As they approach, it's evident that these aren't just rocks...it's the worn and battered remnants of a gate, jutting up about waist height. Beyond are lumps and piles of rubble in somewhat regular spacing. As the group continues towards what seems to be a larger structure up ahead and the rain thickens into sheets, the layout of the building remnants seems awfully familiar. Some intelligence checks are made, and it's clear that they've once again returned to the City in the wasteland. The large structure turns out to be the keep, which is balanced precariously on the cliff edge. Part of the keep in fact is just hanging off into space. Alas, no-one decides to check out the inside of the keep, and they instead huddle up on one side of the building to get a bit of shelter from the rain.

    No-one gets any rest, however. Shortly after everyone settles, the noise of horses rings out through the dark. Sammael is the only one who makes his Spot check through the flashes of lightning and pouring rain. Four armored horsemen and mounts (nightmares), floating motionless above the cliff drop. As he spots them, one raises a lance in a grim salute, and all 4 ripple away into nothingness. The sound of hoofbeats echoes all about shortly after.

    Airborne equine enthusiasts of a spectral nature!

    The party circles their wagons and readies actions - visibility is pretty short, even with most of the party possessing darkvision. The riders strike! Only Sammael's action of shooting an arrow works, as the riders charge up in the air out of reach, attempting to skewer the party with lances as they charge back and forth! Puck, Each member of the party takes a lance hit as the riders swoop and weave in and out of the darkness, even picking the lucky number 7 to hit Sona without even brushing one of her duplicates! Sammael bounds upwards like some demented rabbit of inevitable doom and slaps one of the nightmares with his death touch, confident that it will fall. Except these are not garden variety hell-horsies, and it survives the premature termination. However, then Sona steps up and slaps the two riders/horses that are within range with a Wings of Flurry. It bounces off one rider because of SR, and his mount makes the save, but the other rider's nightmare fails the save and explodes, leaving the rider to tumble to the ground. His visor bounces open though, and everyone needs to make will saves vs Phantasmal Killer!. Except Puck. And Sammael. And the other two are close enough to get the bonus from Sammael, so everyone is okay *shakes fist*. Talvosh makes a stupid jump check to hack into one nightmare, and then Sona puts up a Wall of Fire around everyone to block line of sight while Puck and Sammael hack/slash the dismounted rider to the afterlife (he valiantly stabs Puck a couple times, but that's about it). The other riders wheel off into the darkness after an attempted Unholy Smite does 8 damage to the group. Talvosh burns a Vitae as he's down to critically low health, and Sammael and Puck prepare to buff/transform and roll out.

    The moment the Wall of flames flickers and dies, though, the sounds of terrifying whinnies and screams starts up again! Except I completely bomb the 3 remaining rider initiatives, so the heroes are all prepped and ready. Sona puts out a Major Image of a wall of Blades, and all three completely bomb their Spellcraft rolls to try and catch that her motions don't match up. The illusion delays the riders long enough that Sammael is buffed, Talvosh is Enlarged, and Puck is transformed into Devastator Expanded. Talvosh takes more charges, Sammael dodges several stabs of opportunity, Sona blasts with more Wings of Flurry whenever the riders stop close enough, and Puck grabs one right out of the air and holds him while Talvosh cuts into him for most of his health. The riders fall, one teleporting away with 3 hit points, and I rule that he commits ritual suicide from the shame of being defeated and fleeing the field of battle.

    Spoiler: GM sidenote
    Show
    I was a little disappointed with these monsters. I used these guys, and really liked them...they were super mobile, had some neat abilities, and decent defenses. Unfortunately, their damage was just not enough to be threatening, even with a Spirited charge. Serves me right for using them as is and not customizing them (namely, giving them Power attack would have improved them immensely I think)


    After defeating the riders, the party decides to (very carefully) check out the ruined half-keep. Peering inside reveals that most of it has been crumbled/broken away, except for part of a tower jutting out past the cliff. Talvosh and Puck just step in to the edge, and talk about using their weight to counterbalance the building while Sona searches it. However a nat 1 causes them to hastily jump backwards as the rest of the keep slides into the chasm with an absolutely horrific CRASH!


    Spoiler: Leaving the Wasteland??
    Show
    The night is wet, miserable, and not particularly restful, but it passes. Burning a couple Fly spells to traverse the chasm, the party continues and is thrilled to spot hints of green vegetation. Indeed, by the end of the day, they've actually descended down into the beginnings of a forest! They've made it across the Wasteland! There's only one or two attempts to disbelieve, and I'm only briefly tempted to Shyamalan-twist the party by declaring that everything has been an illusion, they're still in the dungeon from the first session.

    The forest is a lot more deciduous trees and bushes compared to the jungle they first went through, but spirits are high. After a couple days of smooth travel (no one notices their observant little shadows in the woods), the party notices a large outline on the horizon. Finally, they break out of the woods and see that said shape are walls. Big walls, 60 feet high at least and curving out of sight in either direction. The road leads towards a set of gigantic gates, flanked by Warforged Titans. These ones are a little bigger, though, and have actual hands rather than cleavers. Talvosh wants to fight them just because, but Puck and Sona convince/tell him that senseless violence may not be the best course of action. As the party approaches, the warforged titans sit up, flames flickering in their eyes. Each turns and grabs a humongous chain, and with the deafening scrape of stone on steel, pull open the 5-storey tall gates into Logos. The gates open, the constructs drop to a knee and wait. The party walks through cautiously...it's like I've made them paranoid or something. Their first visual impression of Logos is the sheer scale. Every building they can see (and there are dozens) is at least 3 stories tall, all a combination of steel and stone. However, all of the buildings look...worn, rusted, starting to crack. Everything seems a little desolate, a little beaten down.

    The closest visual impression I could find easily was similar to the cities in The Last of Us (the game). Not quite as destroyed as that, but not too far behind.

    A crowd of several dozen has gathered on the other side of the gates by the time the party walks through, and there is audible murmuring and speculation. "Pilgrims." "Cursed." "Saviours." "Strangers." Everyone the group can see is in pretty rough-looking shape, most looking very close to Hollowed. Threadbare robes and scraps of once-fine clothing seems to be in vogue, as are swathes of dead-looking flesh and skin. Finally, a pair of metallic figures step through the crowd - Two Forged. But while they seem more nimble and lithe than Puck, their armor plating is scarred, dented, and worn to a flat dullness.

    "Welcome, pilgrims, to Logos. If you mean no harm to the city, you are welcome indeed." There's a bit of talking back and forth (the Forged are a little interested in the black arrow Spotter gave the group, and VERY interested in what seems to be a wayward brother of theirs), and the party is directed towards an inn (about an hour down that westwards road) and a Bonfire (about half an hour straight down the main road). No-one in the group was aware that a construct could sound so sarcastic and bitter as when the one mentions that the Bonfire is in the Church of the Flame. The group decides to head for the Bonfire first, and the Forged nod and bow.

    "Again, welcome to the City of 15 Nights."

    Wait, Church of the what now?! There's suddenly a bit of concern as the group remembers that Jezelle seemed to have connections to a religious following involving Fire...too late now I suppose.

    Walking the streets of Logos is...interesting. All of the buildings are gigantic, and all seem built to last. Regardless, everything is in dire need of repair and maintenance. There are numerous flickers of movement in allies and at windows, but the city still seems sorely underpopulated for its size. The one Forged said this section was called Greenwall, and the name is apt; plants and trees are seemingly attempting to reclaim the city. Green crawls all over the walls, but the stone and steel is still holding out. After around 30 minutes down the arrow-straight street, a structure visibly newer than the others comes into view. It is in that cliched church-y/temple-y shape, and a stylized flame is painted across the stones (which are obviously scavenged from other buildings). Everyone feels that soul-deep tug, and they hurry inside.

    It's obvious what the point of this building is; the circular chamber is plain and empty except for the large Bonfire in the centre of the room. There are several Hollow inside (and a dozen or so outside), but they were all standing, sitting or kneeling towards the fire, doing nothing but rocking back and forth slightly. After a couple moments, a figure sways into the building. It's a mix of comical and grotesque - he's dressed in clean, nice robes, but the man is painfully thin and obviously nearly completely Hollowed. The fact his face is painted with white ash makes it even stranger. At the sight of the party, the man lets out an ecstatic cry and prostrates himself so suddenly there's an audible SMACK.

    "Pilgrims! Saviours! You have completed the Pilgrimage and arrived at Logos! Welcome!"

    There's a beat of awkward silence, then Puck tugs the man up, and the questions begin. The ash-painted man is the Keeper of the Southward Flame, an adherent of the Church of the Flame...and being so nearly Hollowed seems to affected his mind badly. The party does get some information in between the praises and awkward stares. The belief (and whole thing about pilgrimage) is that Cursed individuals walk the path to the central fire in the middle of Logos, receive enlightenment, and then save the poor inhabitants of this world. All the Keeper can say about that thought is something about Linking with the Fire...(tee hee hee). The head of his order would be able to give more information, as would the Pure.

    The Pure, you say? Those turn out to be the Uncursed, apparently people that have escaped the Curse the party labors under. Puck asks the Keeper if he has anything that could aid the party, and he happily scurries off and returns with a small chest. Whatever is inside might have been valuable once, but now it's just rotted silk and mildew. The Keeper sheepishly mentions that he has been unable to find new gifts for pilgrims in some time. After attuning to the fire and asking some more questions, the party decides to head for the inn the Forged mention, as hot food and hot water are an irresistible siren call to Sona. On their way out, the Keeper begs for the party to not let the Fire go out. He's unable to explain or elaborate, though.

    Sona wants to take the straight road back to the inn. Puck and Talvosh want to go down a random sidestreet cause the players want to pick random fights and get loot/xp. Time for a wacky adventure! A natural 20 on a survival/gather information means they actually find the inn using side streets, and since there's only 3 players at this point (Sammael's player worked early the next morning so he turned in earlier) I can't spring my planned encounter on them yet. It just takes 4 hours of Sona trying to herd the bloodthirsty Talvosh, and convincing Puck not to just run through the buildings, before they find the Knot&Bole inn.

    It's a BIG building (4 stories tall), and the common room is the size of what would be a very large restaurant today. There's a couple dozen people sitting about, and everyone does the quiet stare as the group enters. Finally a ridiculously buff hobgoblin with a a braided beard& moustache waves them to a table and takes food&drink orders while asking questions. While negotiating the price of chicken, pies, beer, and rooms, the hobgoblin also calls Logos the "city of 15 nights."

    "What Knights?" Asks Sona.

    "No, no, nights, as in it takes 15 nights to travel from one end of the city to the other."

    Sona is displeased at the thought of walking for a week to get to the center of the city.

    We leave it at that! I suspect there will be many more questions.


    Holy crap, story progress!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    Still at 15, but making Talvosh burn a Vitae is a moral victory

  29. - Top - End - #119
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    And I didn't forget, Mongobear! I was just lazyassembling warmachine minisprocrastinating

    ...distracted. Let's go with distracted.

    Spoiler: Vitae, the currency of the soul
    Show
    -Vitae:The essence of your character’s identity, quite possibly their soul. The Curse consumes Vitae, eventually reducing its victims to empty, Hollow shells.
    -Choose an attribute that you feel is a defining one for your character (Intelligence for a wizard, Strength or Constitution for a barbarian as an example, you should probably pick your highest one). Your Vitae total is equal to half this attribute, rounded down. All characters begin with a Vitae score equal to their total
    -When you die, 1 minute later (combat delays this - should be one minute of peace) you are reborn at the last Bonfire you attuned yourself to (or next to the Torchbearer you have attuned yourself to after they have rested for a minute) with full hit points and all of your gear, but daily abilities/spells/powers are NOT refreshed. Some creatures might be able to interfere with this, causing you to lose equipment or not be reborn with full hit points
    -You lose one Vitae point when you are reborn
    -As you lose Vitae, your body and mind begin to degrade and break down. You look more and more like a walking (burnt) corpse, and you lose your memory and identity. Eventually, everything that made you, you, is burnt away. This is a subjective level, but I'm aiming around half your vitae score is when it goes from superficial to serious mechanical penalties (such as losing the ability to benefit from morale bonuses and a scaling penalty to social skills). All Int/Wis/Cha skills should take increasing penalties as well (spellcasters might be able to avoid this, but I leave that up to individual GMs)
    -When you reach 0 Vitae, you are nearly Hollow. You gain the undead subtype, but none of your other statistics change. If you die while in this state, your character has gone completely Hollow, and is gone forever, now a mindless soulless killing machine under the GM’s control.
    -You can regain Vitae through defeating powerful monsters, other Cursed individuals, or sometimes find it in a rare crystallized form
    -There may be side effects to having too much Vitae…This one I can't go into a ton of detail as my PCs haven't done too much research yet, but
    Spoiler: Players no spoiling
    Show
    if your Vitae total reaches twice your original score, your body and soul are overwhelmed and corrupted into a daemonic monstrosity, and your character is forever gone, a psychotic NPC/monster under the GM's control. As your score goes over your total, your emotions run hotter and more intense, especially related to the character's chosen sin. Your hunger for Vitae also begins to overwhelm your reason - when presented with an opportunity to claim Vitae, actions not related to killing and taking it suffer hefty penalties (such as equal to the character's current vitae total).
    The villain Jezelle (as she shows up more) will be a good example of what I have in mind, as she is a sorcerer consumed by her sin of Wrath.

    -As characters become more powerful and learn more of Artaith and the Curse, new abilities involving Vitae may be revealed…
    -Known abilities of Vitae:
    Spend one to regain all of your hp
    -Sacrifice one to a Bonfire to kindle it, increasing its healing ability
    -"Supercharge" magic, allowing vitae to serve as extra levels for the purposes of metamagic


    Spoiler: Bonfires
    Show
    Repositories of Vitae, these flames heal and soothe the Cursed in their struggles. As a full round action, a Cursed individual can attune themselves to a Bonfire. If they die, they will be reborn at this location. A Torchbearer attunement overrides a Bonfire attunement: For example, the Torchbearer is attuned to Bonfire A. A hero is attuned to Bonfire B, but completes the ritual with the Torchbearer. If the hero dies, they will be reborn by the Torchbearer's side, not the Bonfire.

    Speaking of that, the Torchbearer! By collecting a drop of blood and a piece of hair/skin from other Cursed (WILLINGLY - can't shanghai people), a person can act as a mobile Bonfire of sorts. Instead of being reborn at a Bonfire, the members of the group will instead be reborn by the Torchbearer's side. This ritual takes 10 minutes, and is completed by casting the collected blood and hair/skin into a Bonfire, and reducing your Vitae score by one. You cannot regain this point while you are still the Torchbearer.

    Sleeping within 30 feet of a Bonfire is incredibly restful for a Cursed, they heal double the amount of hit points for resting 8 hours (so character level + CON mod)x2. You do not have to be attuned to a Bonfire to benefit from this. This is just the benefit of a basic Bonfire, they can be kindled to greater power by offering Vitae. If a Bonfire is kindled with 1 Vitae, it then fully heals Cursed who rest at it. Further kindling should begin to do things such as heal more ability damage, cure disease, neutralize poison, and perhaps even break curses.

    The almost hypnotic flames also hinder violent action about them. The Bonfires radiate a 30ft Sanctuary effect, with a heightened save. It depends on how inviolate you want the Bonfires to be, but always at least DC 20 (I would think higher), and the possibility of Cursed receiving a penalty against this save. How harshly you want to enforce this depends on how much you mind the risk of spawn-camping.


    I hope this is enough info for you - let me know if you have any more questions.

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    And I didn't forget, Mongobear! I was just lazyassembling warmachine minisprocrastinating

    ...distracted. Let's go with distracted.

    Spoiler: Vitae, the currency of the soul
    Show
    -Vitae:The essence of your character’s identity, quite possibly their soul. The Curse consumes Vitae, eventually reducing its victims to empty, Hollow shells.
    -Choose an attribute that you feel is a defining one for your character (Intelligence for a wizard, Strength or Constitution for a barbarian as an example, you should probably pick your highest one). Your Vitae total is equal to half this attribute, rounded down. All characters begin with a Vitae score equal to their total
    -When you die, 1 minute later (combat delays this - should be one minute of peace) you are reborn at the last Bonfire you attuned yourself to (or next to the Torchbearer you have attuned yourself to after they have rested for a minute) with full hit points and all of your gear, but daily abilities/spells/powers are NOT refreshed. Some creatures might be able to interfere with this, causing you to lose equipment or not be reborn with full hit points
    -You lose one Vitae point when you are reborn
    -As you lose Vitae, your body and mind begin to degrade and break down. You look more and more like a walking (burnt) corpse, and you lose your memory and identity. Eventually, everything that made you, you, is burnt away. This is a subjective level, but I'm aiming around half your vitae score is when it goes from superficial to serious mechanical penalties (such as losing the ability to benefit from morale bonuses and a scaling penalty to social skills). All Int/Wis/Cha skills should take increasing penalties as well (spellcasters might be able to avoid this, but I leave that up to individual GMs)
    -When you reach 0 Vitae, you are nearly Hollow. You gain the undead subtype, but none of your other statistics change. If you die while in this state, your character has gone completely Hollow, and is gone forever, now a mindless soulless killing machine under the GM’s control.
    -You can regain Vitae through defeating powerful monsters, other Cursed individuals, or sometimes find it in a rare crystallized form
    -There may be side effects to having too much Vitae…This one I can't go into a ton of detail as my PCs haven't done too much research yet, but
    Spoiler: Players no spoiling
    Show
    if your Vitae total reaches twice your original score, your body and soul are overwhelmed and corrupted into a daemonic monstrosity, and your character is forever gone, a psychotic NPC/monster under the GM's control. As your score goes over your total, your emotions run hotter and more intense, especially related to the character's chosen sin. Your hunger for Vitae also begins to overwhelm your reason - when presented with an opportunity to claim Vitae, actions not related to killing and taking it suffer hefty penalties (such as equal to the character's current vitae total).
    The villain Jezelle (as she shows up more) will be a good example of what I have in mind, as she is a sorcerer consumed by her sin of Wrath.

    -As characters become more powerful and learn more of Artaith and the Curse, new abilities involving Vitae may be revealed…
    -Known abilities of Vitae:
    Spend one to regain all of your hp
    -Sacrifice one to a Bonfire to kindle it, increasing its healing ability
    -"Supercharge" magic, allowing vitae to serve as extra levels for the purposes of metamagic


    Spoiler: Bonfires
    Show
    Repositories of Vitae, these flames heal and soothe the Cursed in their struggles. As a full round action, a Cursed individual can attune themselves to a Bonfire. If they die, they will be reborn at this location. A Torchbearer attunement overrides a Bonfire attunement: For example, the Torchbearer is attuned to Bonfire A. A hero is attuned to Bonfire B, but completes the ritual with the Torchbearer. If the hero dies, they will be reborn by the Torchbearer's side, not the Bonfire.

    Speaking of that, the Torchbearer! By collecting a drop of blood and a piece of hair/skin from other Cursed (WILLINGLY - can't shanghai people), a person can act as a mobile Bonfire of sorts. Instead of being reborn at a Bonfire, the members of the group will instead be reborn by the Torchbearer's side. This ritual takes 10 minutes, and is completed by casting the collected blood and hair/skin into a Bonfire, and reducing your Vitae score by one. You cannot regain this point while you are still the Torchbearer.

    Sleeping within 30 feet of a Bonfire is incredibly restful for a Cursed, they heal double the amount of hit points for resting 8 hours (so character level + CON mod)x2. You do not have to be attuned to a Bonfire to benefit from this. This is just the benefit of a basic Bonfire, they can be kindled to greater power by offering Vitae. If a Bonfire is kindled with 1 Vitae, it then fully heals Cursed who rest at it. Further kindling should begin to do things such as heal more ability damage, cure disease, neutralize poison, and perhaps even break curses.

    The almost hypnotic flames also hinder violent action about them. The Bonfires radiate a 30ft Sanctuary effect, with a heightened save. It depends on how inviolate you want the Bonfires to be, but always at least DC 20 (I would think higher), and the possibility of Cursed receiving a penalty against this save. How harshly you want to enforce this depends on how much you mind the risk of spawn-camping.


    I hope this is enough info for you - let me know if you have any more questions.
    Yay! I have been waiting here patiently twitching uncontrollably hoping you'd link the Bonfire/Vitae rules.

    Thank you very much, I am sure my group shall equally hate me once I unleash this upon them.

    One question about the Vitae rules, what is your opinion on making it a 7th ability score, which would be rolled for just like the others, instead of basing it off of the main stat for a player?
    I Am A: Neutral Good Half-Orc Fighter/Barbarian (2nd/1st Level)

    Ability Scores:
    Strength-16
    Dexterity-16
    Constitution-17
    Intelligence-17
    Wisdom-16
    Charisma-13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •