Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hall of Harsh Reflections part 1

Wow. It has been a long time since we were able to sit down and actually play a game. Scheduling had not worked out at all. Since our last game, we did rework a few of the characters.  Two were created when the kids were new to D&D, and I was new to 5e.  The third was a henchman that became a PC.  None of them fit how the players wanted to play their characters, so we switched them up.

Our cast of characters is now:

Lylas, level 6 drow rogue thief
Third, level 5 human fighter champion (formerly a sentinel)
Narcisso, level 6 half elf war domain cleric (formerly life domain)
Dravin, level 5 human circle of the moon druid
Jackson, level 6 human fire sorcerer.  A homebrew mashup of a couple origins from Enworld that I'll post later.  (formerly a earth wizard)
Kargash, level 5 half orc hunter ranger.

The Encounter at Blackwell Keep/Tomb of the Lizard King mashup raised more questions than it answered.  Finding Sakatha infected with the green worms was definitely a negative result.  Allustran, their patron helped them compile their notes and what they did know about the Ebon Triad and this so called Age of Worms.  They were to take these notes to a sage in the Free City of Greyhawk, named Eligos.

The road to Greyhawk was crowded.  People were coming from all around to witness the annual Champion Games.  A two hour line to get into the city was unbearable, and they ended up bribing the gate guards to let them take all of their stuff in.  The vial with the green worm and a few other items they had were "suspicious".

After entry to the city, they made their way straight to Eligos, who lives in the opulent Garden District.  Making their way through the crowd, they stopped to listen to a mad street prophet preaching about the Age of Worms to a disinterested crowd.  After meeting Eligos, they learned that he would need about a week to fully look into this matter.  He recommended that they stay at The Crooked House in the Foreign Quarter.

The streets of the Foreign Quarter are packed.  A parade is passing through, part of the excitement surrounding the Champion Games.  Performers and monsters and beasts in cages pass by.  Screams erupt from the crowd as a chimera with a blue dragon head bursts out of its cage.  People scatter in every direction, but a child stands petrified, with the chimera bearing down on the small target. Third leaps forward, putting herself between the child and the monstrosity.  Lylas shouts out to her companions to capture the creature.  She pulls out a length of rope and lassos the dragon head.  Jackson, Third and Narcisso lasso other parts and bring the chimera to the ground.  Dravin casts entangle, and Kargash fires off an ensnaring strike. Even with its great strength, the chimera quickly finds itself unable to break free from the fast acting group.  Other members of the parade move in and take over, grabbing the ropes as others bring it nets and subdue it.  Grateful that their attraction was not slain, they reward the party with two potions of lightning resistance.

They finally make their way to the Crooked House, finding the innkeeper, a gnome by the name of Torquin busy serving the dinner meal to a crowded room.  They mention that Eligos sent them, and Torquin makes them a good deal on rooms. Lylas notices the decor of the place, lots of taxidermy, with  abundance of owlbears.  Keeping the rescued owlbear from back in the Whispering Cairn adventure, she has a fondness for the creatures. She discretely asks Torquin about procuring some live owlbears, and he tells her that he has come connections...

Since they have time to kill, the group splits up and explores the fabulous city of Greyhawk.  Narcisso and Lylas make a few extra gold performing in the taproom of the Crooked House, while Jackson does some research of his own in the Great Library, occasionally checking in with Eligos.

It was one night, after returning from the library, that Jackson decides to turn in early.  Shorty after going upstairs, though, Jackson comes back down, steps behind the bar and stabs Torquin in the chest before fleeing back upstairs.  The crowd erupts, accusing the whole group of being in on it.  Lylas and Third work on calming the crowd, while Narcisso runs upstairs to get Jackson, who was asleep in bed the whole time.  The city watch shows up and arrests the party, stripping them of weapons and armor, and throwing them into the back of a paddy wagon.

Strangely enough, the paddy wagon took them out of the city walls, to a warehouse district along the Selintan River.  They are drug into a warehouse and thrown into cells.  A few other prisoners are also present.  A raving madman, Ilya a young elven noble, and a couple of town guards, Martal and Regim, who were quickly renamed Marty and Reggie. Most of the group was trying to make escape plans, but Lylas would keep shooting them down.  Each night, a couple of guards would come in, beat one of the party unconscious, and drag them off, only to return them hours later, still unconscious.

This went on for several nights until they finally went for an escape.  Jackson used acid splash on the cell doors, letting everyone free. As they were leaving the cell block, Marty and Reggie pulled out hidden longswords and successfully sneak attacked Dravin and Jackson.  Unarmed, Third moves in and grabs Marty.  Narcisso steps on to do the same on Reggie and rolls a natural 20!  He not only grappled Reggie, but got the sword from him as well!  Putting the sword to Reggie's throat, Narcisso tells Marty to drop it, or his friend gets it.  He complies, but the party kills them both anyway.  To their surprise, as they dropped they each changed form, revealing their true nature as dopplegangers.

A quick search through a couple rooms found their gear, including they stuff they had in their rooms at the Crooked House.  Some further investigation they found a room with the floor mostly collapsed, open to the water below.  Some beams and planks remained, providing a perilous way across.  The water below filled with old spears and swords, pointed up.  Everyone rolled well and made their way across, except for Kargash, who fell in.  Amazingly, he avoided all the blades in the water.  Narcisso moved back to him and used the rope of climbing to extract the half orc.

With that our time was almost up, and that was a good place to stop, so we called it a game.  No conversion notes. Both the chimera and dopplegangers are in the Monster Manual.  It was interesting to note that we didn't have a true combat, though.  The grappling rules were in the forefront, though.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Elves are Immortal

On Eska, the gray elves created the hobgoblins and the wood elves created the huan'apan (dog men), to fight in the Kinslayer Wars against the dark elves.  In my lore, I've written that they did this to preserve elven life, since their numbers were so low to begin with.  Also, before the schism, the dark elves were traditionally the warrior class.

Recently this has been gnawing at the back of my mind.  Were the dark elves so much more numerous to begin with?  I didn't have them creating a new race to fight for them, so what's the deal there?

Then, Jens D. over at the Disoriented Ranger gave me the answer I needed (buried in an old post).  Elves are immortal!

All elves are immortal.  "Ethereal and immortal beings with only one foot in reality", the other in the Feywild.  They don't get sick, age, or die.

On the other hand, they don't reproduce or advance in level, either.  To do these things, they must give up their immortality.

Most gray and wood elves never do, choosing to stay as your standard immortal elf.  A few do.  Sometimes to reproduce.  Others choose to study as wizards, feel a calling of the gods, or have a need to adventure.

The neat trick is, they can always regain their immortality, but only once.  So a gray elf wizard could advance to, say, 13th level, then "retire", become immortal again and not advance anymore.

The dark elves do it differently.  Being the warrior class, most of them are not immortal, just merely long-lived.  They breed, and are much more numerous.  Araushnee, being a goddess of fate, has her dark elf worshippers have to pass a test to prove they are worthy of becoming immortal.  Many of the generals and upper command have proven themselves, and are immortal.

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