Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Dragon Heist Session 4


Session 4

the Party:
Bronson Ford, fighter, mercenary
Travers Sløt, barbarian
Grelf, poet and burglar, and...
...Pickles! a VERY good dog
Tawny Thunderthicc, Drowned Wizard
Bromund Sowfield, philosopher & gentleman farmer
Old Nan, Thief, grandmother, bridge playe


Tain the 14th:

Grelf & Bronson are justifiably outraged when Volo confesses to them that the money he was going to pay them for rescuing Floon hasn't come through. Travers would likely be outraged as well, but he's still in the hospital having his wounds treated. Volo assures them however that he can offer something else 'which I'm sure will satisfy you as being worth far more indeed than a paltry 500 silver coins.' He presents them with the deed for a building, called Trollskull Manor.

They agree to take a look. They find the building run-down, but immediately get very excited, running around picking rooms for themselves. Volo is happy, assuming this means they'll accept his offer, however Tawny, introducing herself as their 'financial agent,' expresses their outrage. As a Drowned Wizard, she has the power to detect gold and other precious metals, and she can see Volo has a gold ring, and a shield-shaped broach of precious metals, and she demands these as part of the payment. After some back and forth with the group, it comes out that Travers lost a limb. Volo is aghast at this, and promptly offers up his ring as payment.

Satisfied with this deal, the team begins brainstorming business ideas for their new space. They quickly decide to rename the tavern 'the Unquenchable Thirst' and turn it into some kind of a sex club/hideout. Because of course they do.

They visit the magistrate to have the deal finalized. Renaer shows up, and pays the 20-gold worth of fees and taxes. Old Nana is surprised and somewhat disappointed to see him, as after the escapades the day before, she had stashed him on the Bridge Club's 'Party Boat' for safekeeping (and in juuuust in case there was some ransom money in it, maybe?) A constant touring around the bay had gotten too much for him, and at one point when they made a stop at shore to pick up more party supplies, he'd given the elderly ladies the slip.

Renaer, Floon, and Nalza come back to the Thirst for a proper thank-you party. Renaer says if there's ever anything he can do in retrun for rescuing him and Floon, he'll happily oblige. The party drinks the night away, along with Volo, who brings some wine ("Champagne du Corbeaux") to christian their new venture. Grelf seduces Floon and Nalxa into a threesome, which ends in a three-way argument, which each side thinks they decisively won

Travers is fitted with a proper pegleg, and some special salve for his burns. He won't be in fighting shape for awhile, but at least after a couple days he's able to move around. It's an expensive treatment, but the gold ring just about covers it.

While carting Travers back from the hospital to the party's new business venture, Old Nana decides to make a pit stop to raid the wine warehouse (the one she discovered next to the Zhentarim safe house where they rescued Renaer). On the wall, in large white letters: Stontie & (blank). Leaving Travers in the wheelbarrow, she takes her broom and nonchalantly sweeps her way down the front walk, and in through the door- where she is confronted by a now fully-awake dwarf, along with two drinking companions, staring at her bemusedly.

"Oh my!" cries Old Nana. "I must've been sweeping up the wrong yard, by mistake! Me in my old age..."

"That's quite alright, grandmother" says the handsome, colourfully-dressed stranger sitting at the table next to the barefoot dwarf. "Why don't you come in and have a spot of tea, and rest your old bones awhile?"

Alain, I've had it on my computer so long I have no idea the artist
Stonty, by Rémi Jacquot
"Oh no, I must be going, so much to do..."

"that's quite right" haruumphs the dwarf. "Get in a good day's work, and stop your walking in on other people's houses."

"I'll do that!" promises Nana, and she turns to leave.

"Lovely boots, by the way, Grandmother" Says the handsome stranger, sitting back in his chair and sipping his tea.

The dwarf shoots out of his chair, nearly spilling the teapot, which the stranger deftly rights. Outrage! Cries the dwarf. Scandal!

Nana tried to demure, but there is no placating the old hobnail. Apparently these sturdy dwarven made boots are an heirloom, passed down from his father. The young dwarf who has so far been sitting silently stands up, stretches, and cracks his stubby fingers. Relenting, Old Nana pulls off the now sewer-stained boots, and passes them back to Stonetie, who pulls them on with a bit of a squish.

"You came here to rob us again, didn't you!?" says the dwarf, as he struggles with the buckles.

"I never!" gasps Nana. "I'm a businesswoman, I am. Came here before to find the owner asleep, very unprofessional mind, but age is a burden as I says, and as my boot was giving me a blister I tried on this pair I found here by the door, and thought I would borrow them. I just come back to return 'em, and perchance to see if I could find some legitimate business in the wine-selling trade." She glares accusingly at the trio.

"Well, perhaps we can still talk business" says the man. "Alain Van York, at your service." (at this point several long-term players are freaking out, since this is, as they suspected, a PC from a recent campaign- and they have no idea how he got here, since last time he appeared he was several months distant by sea voyage on the Isle of Dread, exploring the city of Omu. For this campaign, I've given him part of the role of Captain Zord, as well as some other elements from the module.)

Nana stays and talks for awhile, and reveals she's just come in to property, Trollskull manor (now renamed). Alain has heard of it, and confesses he has been looking for investment opportunities since he arrived back in town. He invites her to bring her business partners to meet with him on his ship, the Eyecatcher, later that afternoon. She agrees, and before leaving, swipes a pair of unopened bottles, 'as a sample.' The label identifies this as a 'Caer Garrion white.'

Nana and Travers arrive back at the Thirst to find Davil Starsong chatting with Bronson. "I heard you sorted out your business with Volo rather nicely. I thought we could discuss our other opportunity." He lays out the problem: a series of killings, all targeting elves, all decapitations. "The Network feels the Watch could use a little help on this one." Upon finding out the job pays a hefty 1,000 silver, the group agrees. "Make the problem go away, however you can, and the money is yours." They find out that there have been four murders, that all the killing have been happening around the harbour, either in the Merchant District or in Shadowshore.

Davil also provides them a list of the names of the victims:

Before they start such an investigation, they make their business visit to the Sea Maiden's Faire. The carnival is set up on one of the piers, with two ships flanking it, and a third vessel anchored a short distance away out in the harbour. Various carnival workers are unloading the ships, setting up for the evening's performance.


C.M.O.T. Dibbler
Pickles, the indomitable hound, has his nose drawn to the scent of cooking sausages. Near the pier is a small man with a hot dog cart, selling to the passersby, and the small crowd come to gawk at the carnival. Pickles, his nose affirming for him that the sausages are 'definitely some kind of meat,' gets Grelf to buy him one- the seller manages to upsell them for 'three for a pair of coppers- and that's cutting me own throat, that is!'

Intrigued at the man's business acumen, Grelf asks for his name- "Dibbler, that's me!" - and tells him

Asking around, they discover that Alain spends most of his time on his private ship, the Eyecatcher, out in the harbour. "I've never seen him come or go on the water, though," comments the sailor they've accosted. "Just... appears. Always expecting him to walk up behind me out've nowhere, I am."
about their grand opening, being planned for during the Twin Parades, Grelf asks if he'll set up his food cart outside the venue, to which he agrees. Before they leave, Dibbler offers Pickles a bun to go with the sausage he just scarfed down, and while he's ruffling the dogs ears, whispers to him -"here boy, you bring me a couple've juicy rats, if you can catch 'em, and there's more where that came from, eh?"

On queue, Alain saunters over, and the startled sailor makes his exit. Alain is accompanied by a short, blonde woman with an enormous brass pistol holstered at her waist. "My lieutenant" he explains, "Someone needs to take care of the whole 'sailing a ship' thing."

He invites them to follow, and stepping into the shadows cast by a pile of crates, the party finds themselves in a richly appointed ship's interior. Tawny, near the rear of the group, can just about make out a shape like a door in space, framing the shadows- being a wizard, she knows where to look.


Once comfortably settled, they get down to business. They are initially just looking for someone to supply them with wine, but Alain offers them something more-25% if the business, in return for providing 1,000 silver in investment up front. They agree, as long as he doesn't mind being a silent partner, which he says he actually prefers, being occupied with "the affairs of running a successful circus, and other ventures."

He also offers to provide wine for the opening, so long as the profits for those sales go to him, and if the opening can take place during the Twin Parades that kick off the festival season. They agree, after making sure they can still sell hard alcohol themselves- visions flash through Tawny's head of using her desiccate spell to turn a quantity of the wine into brandy, ripping Alain off while still technically keeping up the deal.

Leaving the ship, this time by rowboat, they note that the figurehead is shaped like a fox- (something which causes several players to freak out again, because of Alan's close association with Foxes, as a servant of Sageshi, the God of No Foxes. At this point they're trying to estimate the time it would take to sail back from the Isle of Dread, and trying to decide how possible it could actually be Alain, and how that would work--for some context, the character had an interaction with the Deck of Many Things which ruined all his wealth and potentially added a powerful unpredictable magic factor, so players are also speculating about that)

the Docks of the Merchant District

Since they're down at the harbour anyway, they decide to start looking into the whole 'serial killer' situation- avoiding Shadowshore for now, because it sounds like a real rough neighbourhood. They split up- Bronson and Tawny head to 'the fanciest bar where elves hang out,' a green, triangular building called the Zondervoze. Travers takes Pickles the dog to scope out some slummy bars, looking for anything suspicious, or maybe drunk elves they can question, and end up back at the Skewered Dragon. Nana and Bromund head to the the Pikers, the local Watch detachment, to see if they can shakedown any leads.
Brian Blood (I think)

At the Zondervose they find the menu to be less expensive than they feared, and order a couple of coffees. They strike up a conversation with an elderly gentleman sitting next to them at the bar drinking absinthe, who introduces himself as Sir Ambrose Everdawn.

Tawny gives a bit of a sob story about having lost a dear friend, Rilxxxx, to the spat of murders. Ambrose says he's been patrolling the graveyard, after a spat of 'necromancer activity,' and that he saw several of the funerals, if they want to know where their friend was buried. Upon their request, he tells them of some of his experience of elves, encountered in his many adventures, including tales of the Drow ('roses. Always, the smell of roses' and Sir Ambrose shudders), and the Bone Elves, who appear alive but have a skull for a face.

Sir Ambrose encourages them to join him at Ancestor Island one of these nights, to aid him in his vigil.

Vajra Sahfar
Meanwhile, Travers has been eavesdropping on conversations at the Skewered Dragon, and overheard a conversation about (something or other) between a woman, obviously a mage, and a rather muscular elf. Travers inserts himself in the conversation, and is introduced to Vajra, the mage, and Heldar, the elf. He rather clumsily tries to hit on Vajra, mostly by flexing his well-oiled muscled, but she is unimpressed, and leaves Heldar to talk with Travers, since they're "about an equal level of drunk."

Heldar doesn't seem to concerned about the spat of murders, but he admits he'll feel more comfortable walking around with Travers by his side, and agrees to come back for another drink at the Thirst.

Nana and Bromund find a watchman, half-asleep leaning on his pike outside the garrison. Nana does her tried-and-true sweeping routine, and tries to sweep right passed him into the courtyard, but he wakes up and hails her. After an intervention by Bromund, however, they are invited in.

They meet the sergeant on duty, named Pynia, and although she seems reluctant to help she invites Bromund to speak in her office. In the hall, they overhear a loud, muffled argument coming from behind a door at the far end of the passage- the door is marked 'Captain Staget.' Bromund is ushered into the office, but Nana, quite overcome with tears, elects to wait outside and collect herself on a bench- and coincidentally she overhears some of the argument.

Inside the office, Bromund is somewhat stonewalled by the sergeant, who refuses to give them much information on an active investigation. Bromund brings up an old law, which allows for citizenry to be deputized in times of need- "indeed" he expounds "this is where the original charters for the various district Watches largely came from!"- but Sergeant Pynia points out that they have not been deputized in such a way.

Outside, the argument has grown louder, and all of a sudden the door to the captain's office is thrown open. The opener pauses to shout back- "Your methods are as archaic as your necktie, Staget!"- and then he sweeps down the hall and almost passes Nana, before something in her countenance makes him pause in his step.
Victor Saint-Demain

"Can you help me, dear boy?" she croaks through her tears.

A handkerchief is produced, and the whole story is brought out. Not the real story of course, but a whole one! Victor Saint-Demain, for that is the investigator's name, explains that he has been looking into the murders, and promises to visit Nana as soon as he has any leads.

When Heldar, Travers, and Pickles arrive back at the Thirst before anyone else- and they find the place trashed. The tables and chairs they had lovingly assembled are scattered around, bottles are smashed, and written on the floor, the wine stains form the words 'CLOSING TIME'

"Hey Heldar, buddy" says Travers. "You're an elf, right? Can you tell if there's some magic shit here?"

Heldar closes his eyes, and when he opens them again they are glowing white. "Yes. I sense a presence. A restless spirit. Great anger at your presence." He snaps out of it again, and stops the very slight floating. "Ah well, that's unfortunate, isn't it? Now where's that drink I was promised?"

Thursday, 18 April 2019

the Muse (GLOG Class)

Another GLOG class! This is my rework of the Muse class, with a bit of the Divine Concubine mixed in to give them some more active buffing/investigation type abilities ('Intimacy'), and survivability ('Beautiful'). The charmed life table is also re-appropriated, but honestly I feel it belongs to the community.

The 'starting skills' refer to the skills & backstory prompts found in Skerples various classes. I've put together an edited document for my own games, which I'll probably post at some point, but I also link to the appropriate post and class for each skill.

The 'starting save' refers to Ten Foot Polemic's saving throw system. Rather than having a whole table of different saves, I just use Charisma as 'the saving throw ability score,' like most GLOG-like systems, plus 'proficiency' lifted off 5e (1d4 at 1st level, 1d6 at 4th). The saves are Death, Doom, Destruction, Chaos, Law, and Poison.

I kinda want to go all in, and make it Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium, but I haven't quite figured that out yet. Fodder for a future post.

A few times, the class references specific spells. I've included GLOG versions of those spells at the end of the post.







Muse
Starting Equipment: Fancy clothes, concealed dagger, sword OR pistol and 6 charges OR dagger
Starting Skill Artistry, plus (1d8 ): 1 = Dregs, 2 =  Farmer, 3 = Noble, 4 = Religion, 5 = Music, 6 = Medicine, 7 = Literature, 8 = History
Starting Save: Doom

A: Obsession, Rejection
B: Charmed Life, Beautiful
C: Intimacy, Suitor
D: Redemption, Fury


Obsession: For each Muse template you have,
you may have 1 character Obsessed with you. Obsessed characters are in love, pining hopelessly for your recognition. This does not necessarily change their overall motives; however, it does change their attitude towards you in particular. You can attempt to Obsess a character at will, the act needing nothing more than a wink, a smile, or perhaps just the light hitting your perfect skin just so. Targets must be capable of something at least akin to love (so a dog may be targeted, but a zombie may not). The target may Save to resist this effect. However, you can only have as many Obsessed characters as you have Muse templates, and the only way to end an obsession is for the character to die, or for you to Reject them (see below).

Rejection: Ending an Obsession requires an act of cruelty, performed upon an Obsessed party - something that utterly ruins you in their esteem, and poisons their heart with regret. Their Conviction to protect you becomes a Conviction to destroy you.. You may not replace this Obsession with a new one until you've had a full night's rest to process the ugly breakup.
Charmed Life: Even the fortunes love you. Whenever you roll a d20, roll a second one, making sure it is easily distinguishable from the first. Call this your Happenstance die. Whenever it shows the same number as the d20, something strange happens. This occurrence does not change whether you succeed, but brings some strange magical occurence into the mix. In addition, you can invoke this happenstance once per hour of playing (IRL), by saying something like ‘"Oh I can't conceive how I ever fell into this deplorable circumstance," or "We are indeed doomed and now birds will gnaw our eyes.” Times of great stress are of more interest to the gods, fates, or dark powers. See the Charmed Life table, below.

Beautiful: Anyone that damages the Muse must make a save at the beginning of their next turn. If they fail, they are unwilling to attack the Muse for one round. If the Muse or their allies are being aggressive, the target gets a +4 bonus on this save.


Intimacy: Yes, this includes sex, but it includes any activity that meets the following criteria: Peaceful. (Everyone must be non-aggressive and receptive), Vulnerable Everyone must be unarmed and unarmored (This includes magical protections), Willing (You cannot coerce someone into intimacy with threats/promises to ulterior motives), At least one hour of talking (Though the total activity can take longer).

Intimacy can have one of the following effects. Once per day the muse can choose, otherwise they roll 1d6.
1: Target receives the results of a commune spell (once per day.)
2: Remove 1d3 Insanity Points (once per adventure.)
3: Target gets a new save against an ongoing curse.
4: Plant a suggestion (with disadvantage on the save.)
5: Muse learns a secret desire of the target.
6: Muse learns a secret weakness of the target.


Depending on circumstances, you possibly have to roll on the Seduction Side Effects table.

Suitor: Once per adventure, at the player's will (but certainly not the Muse's), an ex-lover, former fling, or spurned admirer will appear to woo the Muse. This NPC acts as a 1HD follower with maximum Loyalty, and arrives minimally if poorly equipped for whatever task is at hand. They are clingy, annoying, and utterly devoted, but will leave in frustration at the end of what they judge to be the current adventure (unless the Muse returns their love, in which case they will run off to slay a dragon in your name or something and surely perish).


Redemption: The Muse can peacefully end an Obsession with several hours' tearful conversation. At the end of this, the Muse makes a Charisma check. If they succeed, they may attempt to Obsess the target again in future. If they fail, the target is utterly immune to the Muse's charms and special abilities.

Fury: The Muse may opt to deal 4d6 damage to an Obsessor they break up with. If reduced to 0 hp they are despondent, and Save or die from their grief. If they survive, they are immune to the Muse's abilities


Charmed Life Table
by Jeremiah Morelli

1: A secret door is revealed. If the DM has made no provision for a secret door, it leads to the nearest unexplored area.
2: The muse realizes they have something on their person- it can be any non-magical and generic item (a key, not the key) and that is small enough that the muse could have reasonably hidden it on her person at the time.
3: an ordinary animal- cat sized or smaller- appears. The muse cannot directly control it, but it will not under any circumstances hurt the muse.
4: A fact about the situation at hand occurs to the muse- a piece of local or monster lore, for example. 
5: someone of the player's choice falls down (line of sight)
6: The weather in the immediate area changes in a way decided by the muse’s player- the change is general not targeted (no aimed lightning bolts or gusts of wind)
7: a nearby creature is charmed by the muse for an hour (line of sight)
8: and inorganic device or object of the muse’s choice breaks (line of sight)
9: something not ordinarily able to talk (DM’s choice) begins speaking to the muse, and is generally sympathetic
10: creature’s present completely forget the muse is there for ten seconds, and then for as long as the muse keeps making saves vs. magic (roll whenever it comes up)
11: Someone is sent to fetch the muse out of their current predicament. If there is an obvious candidate from among the local NPCs (giant eagles, a friendly knight), that’s who it is. Otherwise the DM makes up a weirdo with d10 HD. The NPC doesn’t automatically have the ability to extricate the muse from the situation, they merely appear as close as possible and attempt to do so.
12: someone or something of the player's choice begins to shrink at 1 foot per round down to playing-card size (line of sight). The player can have the shrinking stop sooner, if they wish.




Related Spells:
Note on spell-like abilities: Roll 1 Magic Dice for each template you have of that class, ignoring doubles and triples unless otherwise indicated. The dice also aren't used up unless otherwise indicated, and they can't be combined with Magic Dice from other sources.


Adapted from Buildings are People
Commune
R: Region of Deity   T: A deity you have met   D: Special

Contact a deity you've met and ask [dice] yes/no questions. If [sum] is 10 or greater, you may ask any question using [dice] words. For a single yes/no question this takes but a moment, arriving in a flash of insight, but longer exchanges require at least [dice] minutes of meditation. You need incense or drugs to cast this spell: DMs, this is a spell component you should actually enforce. 

for the Muse, the casting time is rolled in with their class ability, and they probably get to pick the deity in question.
Suggestion
R: 30 ft   T: One creature with which you share a language   D: Special

The target is hypnotized into doing something or believing something, either immediately or based on a specified trigger before the duration ends. The spell lasts [best] minutes (1 MD), Hours [2 MD], Weeks [3 MD], or Months [4 MD]. The target will refuse obviously self-destructive actions.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Dragon Heist Session 1-3: Wake up Sneeple!

I'm running Dragon Heist in the GLOG, using the remix notes from over here at the Alexandrian (My players: don't read the stuff on that blog, but the rest of this post is fine). Three sessions in and it's going great! I think the GLOG's streamlined mechanics really lend themselves to the problem-solving necessary for players to engage in the heist-structure material.

The cast of characters so far:
Bronson Ford, fighter, mercenary
Travers Sløt, barbarian
Grelf, poet and burglar, and...
...Pickles! A really good dog.
Tawny Thunderthicc, Drowned Wizard
Bromund Sowfield, philosopher & gentleman farmer
Old Nan, Thief, grandmother, bridge player
Dunk, philosopher & psychiatrist

And the urchin follower of Bronson, known only as Lantern Boy


Session One: Bronson, Grelf, Dunk, and Travers meet up with their contact Jalester Silvermane, who has a job offer for them. Grelf and Travers are drinking buddies who met in the last few weeks since Travers rolled into town. Pickles is 'Grelf's' dog, although ownership is uncertain, since they are both vicious curs dredged from the meanest of gutters (although Pickles is, nonetheless, a very good boy). Bronson has been drifting south looking for work since the War ended, and Bronson introduced himself to Grelf, since the poet is something of an urban legend among the underclasses, both for . Dunk, a student of human nature, has been hanging around taking notes, hoping to learn something about the 'madness' that takes hold of adventurers, and the 100 silver pieces offered sound like they would go a long way towards funding his studies.

The Yawning Portal, a place of some renown in Sasserine, features in it's centre a stone-mortared well, beneath which lies an open pit to the underworld. Around this well, people meet, and drink, and make merry.

Once they meet up, Jalester informs them their contact is late, however. He offers to buy a round of drinks while they wait.

"Bonnie! Some buskum for my friends, please. Bring the bottle."

They've scarce finished their first round before a scuffle breaks out.

"Ya pig! Like killin' me mates, does ya?" Shouts a burly man with eye-like tattoos all over his shaved head. He and half a dozen other brutes menace a lone green-skinned woman who stands half a head taller than the tallest of them. She sneers at his attempt to shove her, revealing sharp tusks.

"Teach ya to mess with me'n my friends." She ducks his wild punch, roars, and tackles him to the floor in the midst of his friends, who pile in around her, pummeling her and trying to pull her off the death-grip on their comrade.

Never one to turn down the opportunity for a rumble, (and with somewhat of a weakness for orcish ladies), Travers thunders towards the fight. The rest of the group watches with some interest in the proceeding, while the dog, Pickles, takes advantage of an overturned table to gobble up some of the stew and beans.

Travers grabs one of the goons by the shoulder, and with one punch knocks him cold. His compatriots turn on Travers, and their wild swings, while mostly glancing, send him staggering back against the bar from the sheer onslaught. Grabbing a half-drunk bottle from where it sits, he downs the remainder and staggers back into the fray. (Mechanics note: Travers now had 2 points of Drunk)

Durnan, the barkeep, reaches under the bar for a large wooden bat. "No fightin' inside, ya degens" he bellows. "Keep yer damn war to the streets, ya hear?"

Grelf, meanwhile, leans over to a scruffy-bearded blonde at the nearby table. With a few choice words, the poet appeals to the warriors sense of honour. "Durnan's a good man, he shouldn't have to deal with this alone." The man sighs in agreement, and stands, finishing his tankard.

"I'll take care of this, Durnan" he shouts. "You can buy me a drink after"

The fray is soon scattered, and the grapplers on the floor pulled apart with the aid of Travers and the blonde man. The tattooed fellow is nearly unconscious, but the half-orc is none the worse for wear. Helped to his feet, he gives and evil look as he;s helped away.

"You Zhent bastards haven't heard the last of the Xanathar Guild!"

The orc introduces herself as Yagra, and offers to buy Travers a drink for his trouble (3 points of drunk). Travers notices the distinctive tattoo of a winged black snake Yagra has on her neck.

Bronson and Grelf strike up a conversation with the bearded man, who turns out to be named Meloon Wardragon. He pontificates, when prompted, about the recent gang war- "a power vacuum created when Rowyn Kellani fled the city- they've been at each other's throats"- and mentions the need for sword arms to keep the peace. "Maybe you'll end up joining Force Grey"

They are interrupted (again) as a new commotion breaks out, this one festive and raucous.

"Dip! Dip! Dip! Dip!" The chanting begins in one corner and grows in volume as it spreads around the room.

A young man with tousled sand-coloured hair stands up, goes to the bar, and slaps down a silver piece. Durnan nods, slides the coin off the bar, and then gives him a wooden cup and a silver bell.
The young man strips down to his underwear as the dipping song begins:

Deep and dark down below,
where only fools and braggarts go,
O monstrous doom and danger mortal,
few survive the Yawning Portal,
So stand your ground or ring the bell,
and hope you make it up the well!


The young man goes over to the portal. At the edge of the portal he quaffs his beer, throws the cup down the portal, and grabs the rope. His friends begin lowering him.

After a round of betting on how long he'll stay down, whether he'll survive at all (Grelf tries to make a bet with Meloon that he'll survive, but Meloon says he 'never bets against a fellow adventurer'), the lad returns up, full cup dripping with well water. He makes it a dozen metres before a great, beclawed hand emerges, grasping the side of the well, and heaving the massive bulk of the troll up behind it.

After mentioning it's nudity, and the writhing hair atop it's head, my player's inquired about it's genitals. Because of course they did. I told them it was just an awful tangled mess down there, and it wasn't clear what was hair, or organ, or just swamp gunk growing on there. As all troll junk should be, tbh.

Once again, Travers leaps into the fray- but this time joined by Bronson Ford, Meloon, Yagra, Durnan the bartender who grabs a greatsword that's hanging behind the bar, and Pickles. Yagra and Travers were still over by the bar flirting and getting a drink, so they quickly have the troll surrounded on three sides, with it's back to the well it crawled out of. The hapless, half-naked 'dipper' manages to scramble out of the way of the claws as Bronson moves in to cover his retreat.

The battle goes as well as can be expected, against such a fearsome foe. Travers tanking a big hit that puts him down to 3 hit points. Dousing the troll with grain alcohol from the bar, Bronson attempts to light it on fire with a thrown torch grabbed off the wall, but it goes wide. Pickles, seeing a thrown stick, goes chasing it, and the troll smashes him with it's fist, sending him flying and breaking his leg. The torch goes spinning and lands near Travers, who picks it up and drives it into the troll, lighting it on fire. Durnan, wielding his greatsword to keep the troll at a safe distance, pushes it back to the very edge of the pit. Yagra and Travers, together, charge in, and with their combined strength, the troll trips backward over the edge, and falls smoldering and screaming into the blackness.

Volothamp Geddarm approaches, applauding profusely. "You bested that beastie, I have no doubt you'll have no trouble finding my dear friend!" He explains that, the previous night, he retired early to work on his book, leaving his drinking buddy Floon Blagmaar at the pub known as the Skewered Dragon.

"He hasn't been heard from since! His wife tracked me down here in the Yawning Portal around midday and told me that Floon never came home last night. This was doubly surprising, as I had not previously been aware that he was married. And what with all the violence in the streets these days, I'm worried something unfortunate has happened to him."

The group accepts the job, and after a few more questions, and Volo agreeing to pay an equal share to the dog, they resolve to start their search in the morning. Grelf and Pickles go off to wake up a veterinarian who owes them a favour, and Travers likewise retires early to heal up his bruises after his pummeling by the troll.

Grelf takes the time to visit Floon's home, and met Floon's wife, Nalza. Extremely worried, she gave Grelf one of Floon's shirts, so that Pickles the dog might be able to track him by smell. Grelf also inquired about Nalza's and Floon's relationship, which Nalza assured him was very loving- 'Floon's always been a bit of an idiot, but he's never gotten in trouble like this before. I wouldn't be as worried as I am, except Volo seems to think something must've happened...'


Session Two: 'Fowl Play' Note: several of the players couldn't make this one, so I chalked up their absence to some hard partying the night before. 

In the morning, Bronson, accompanied by Pickles, leave their hungover and/or still drunk friends at the Yawning Portal, and head out to start investigating. On the way to the Skewered Dragon, they come across the scene of a fight: eight corpses being lined up against one wall by the town watch, two of them clad in distinctive black, with three more black-clad figures in manacles and surrounded by watchmen. Travers recognizes one of the dead men as the eyeball-tattooed bald man from the brawl the night before. Pickles uses his sensitive nose, and notes that a few of the dead have the distinctive whiff of sewer clinging to them. They're moved along by the watch, but not before they confirm that the casualties are the latest in the escalating gang war, and noting the black snake tattoos on the black-clad men's arms- the same winged snake Yagra had, from the night before.

The Skewered Dragon is a sagging wreck, all the glass in the windows broken out ages ago. A few regulars are passed out on benches, or playing poker veeerry slowly in the corner, and a handful of elderly women playing bridge.

Some questions, and a small bribe to the bartender Berca, reveal that Floon was met by another friend after Volo left: Renaer Kellani, a 'snooty-nosed noble who likes slumming it,' and brother to the disgraced Rowyn Kellani. 'These gangs are just children fighting for the scraps she left behind- yeh, she fled town, but don't think fer a minute that she lost...' Berca also includes the information that as the pair were leaving, a few black-clad men followed them out- 'no doubt to make good friends of 'em, and join in their merriment and all'

Davil Starsong, by Sara Morello.
Also check out this illustration by.
Unfortunately, Pickles is unable to track Floon from the tavern- the trail is cold, and the streets extremely smelly. However, seeing their efforts, Old Nan offers her assistance. She explains that through her little bridge club at the Skewered Dragon, she's met numerous 'nice young people' in the criminal underworld, and in exchange for being cut in on future jobs she could offer an introduction. Agreeing, the now trio head off to meet Davil Starsong, a Zhentarim recruiter, at the Yawning Portal.

They explain their situation, and how they suspect that it might have been Zhentarim who kidnapped their client's friend. Davil explains that the local Black Network has been fractured, since the wizard Bargle moved into town and cleaved off a large chunk of their operation for himself. Davil's group, the Doom Raiders, have been trying to go more legit, and the recent gang war has been causing them problems.

Davil drops hints that he might have some idea where Floon could be, but that he can't really share that information with anyone outside the Zhentarim, since even though there's a schism, they still have a code against ratting to outsiders. "We do have an open recruitment policy, however..." To entice them, he describes a job they could help him with. There have been a series of murders, all elves, all beheaded. The Watch is in over it's head, and stretched thin with the gang war, so certain parties have reached out to the Zhentarim for aid. "This might be something you could look into, if you prove adept at finding people. But you'll have to take care of your current business first."

Bronson agrees to join, after being assured that the snake tattoos are optional (Old Nan already has one, gleefully displayed on her calf- of course, on the other leg she has the Xanathar Guild sign...) Davil also tells them that leaving the guild is very simple - 'we're in this to make money, and it wouldn't do if our successful members couldn't retire in comfort... all we ask is, when you leave, you cannot take any Zhentarim jobs or contracts with you- you must hand them off to us. And you can never share sensitive information about the Network, retired or no.' Instead of a tattoo, for now, Bronson gets a coin with the winged snake sigil on it, and directions to a warehouse where the Zhents aligned with Bargle would likely have taken Floon.

The warehouse is easy to identify, once they find the correct street, as the door has a winged black snake painted under the handle. A dead winged snake also lies in the muddy yard- pierced by an arrow and trampled by heavy boots. They walk around the building and find no other doors (other than the large freight door, also in the front of the building), and a back alley strewn with rubbish.

Noting that the warehouse they were investigating shares a wall with another warehouse to the left. On the wall of this building are the words 'Stonetie & ----' but the second name is faded and washed out (a call-back to an earlier campaign, which I thought might be a throw-away when I incorporated it, but turned out to be much more integral to the plot, and we'll see later.) Old Nan decides to pick the lock and see if there's a way to sneak in from one building to the other.

Bronson stays back to keep watch. From an upper story window of the Zhent warehouse he sees a dark round eye, like a bird or a lizard, it's face lost in the darkness, peer down at him, then disappear. He waits apprehensively, as the door to the other warehouse is finally opened and Old Nan goes in to investigate.

Inside are wine barrels, bottles, cups on tables, the signs of a party. Also the sound of snoring. Investigating, Nan finds a pair of boots sticking out from behind the barrels, and at the end of the boots, the dwarf they belong to. Still clutching a wine bottle, Nan decides he's out cold, and carefully removes his sturdy boots, replacing her own rather worn-out shoes. She also fills up a tankard with wine to take with her.

A quiet, but thorough, investigation of the warehouse reveals no means to move between the two buildings, short of breaking through a seemingly thin section of wall. They decide this would be too noisy. Pickles, sniffing around, is able to detect the smell of vinegar or perhaps, appropriately, pickles, on the other side of the wall.

Having exhausted other option, the three of them approach the main door of the Zhent warehouse. Noting that the door has been crowbarred open, Bronson gives it a push. It opens silently, having been recently greased. Bronson ventures cautiously into the darkened room.

As his eyes adjust, he sees blood on the floor, and a dozen corpses lined up against the wall, their weapons arranged by type and size on the floor nearby.

Kenku - illustration by Jonathan Elliott
All around him, swelling from the corners of the room, comes the sound of the ocean: crashing waves, heaving surf. And buried within it, but growing, a wailing keen, like an air raid siren, slowly growing louder and louder. Pickles hides behind Old Nan, whimpering, while Bronson backs up a few steps towards the light of the door.

Ever prepared, Old Nan fishes a torch from her bag, and lights it. The illumination reveals small scruffy black shapes, some already charging towards the party, leaping down from atop crates and boxes to attack the intruders.

One of the ravenfolk, standing on the balcony above, growls in an orc-like voice: "the Xanathar sends it's regards"

One of them lands on Bronsons back, and begins laying in with it's dagger (it hit once, and I told the players it would get to attack again at initiative 0- and keep attacking until it missed). The first blow was but a scratch, and before it could do more Nan smashes it off with her broom, and Pickles pounces on the creature to finish it off.

Their dirks and daggers of the remaining half-dozen crow people prove no match for Bronson, who cuts through several of them, as they harry him and hop around, trying to get close enough for a meaningful bit of blood. Still, he's beginning to wear down, when the sixth kenku on the balcony above fires a crossbow bolt into the shoulder of his armour. Wincing, he cuts through another of his assailants, and takes cover behind a number of crates, joined by Pickles, who is limping around on his broken leg.

Nan cudgels the last of them with her broom, and dashes towards the stairs, intending to take the kenku while it reloads. But it flees when it sees her coming, and she hears it slam a door, and then another, as it retreats.

At the top of the stairs is a door labelled 'Office.' Cautiously Nan makes her way over and opens it- only to be confronted by the kenku's crossbow, the creature having taken cover behind the desk. It makes another 'door slamming' noise as she ducks back out of it's line of sight.

Negotiating through the door, Nan agrees to let the kenku go without a fight if it tells them what happened to Floon. In the same borrowed orcish voice as before, it says "No time to search the place! Grab the prisoner and let's get out of here" and then in a nasally drawl "Follow da yellow marks in the sewers."

When Nan tries to question it more, it makes a 'clunkety-clunkety-clunk' sound, like a winch. Then it makes a sound like a fist pounding on a door, and says "Open up in there! This is the watch!"

Meanwhile, downstairs, Pickles has followed the smell of pickles to a storage closet under the stairs. Brine has spilled all over the floor, and ragged breathing can be heard from inside a barrel against the far wall. Peering under the tarp covering the barrel, Bronson discovers a young man, who sheepishly climbs out of his hiding place. He introduces himself and Renaer Kellani, and explains that when the Xanathar guild attacked the warehouse, he took advantage of the confusion to slip his bonds and hide.

"They must have been looking for me" he explains. "My sister embezzled an enormous amount of money when she was on the Dawn Council, and hid it somewhere in the city. People are looking for it. My captors must have thought I knew something about where she hid the money, but I don't. My sister and I haven't spoken in years."

Renaer is surprised that the group didn't actually come to rescue him, but rather, Floon. "I suppose that's justice" he muses "It's my fault Floon got caught up in this mess. When the other gang attacked the Zhents, he was upstairs in the office being questioned. They must've mistaken him for me."

Renaer Kellani & Floon Blagmaar.
A passing resemblance
by Stian Wegelmoed   &   'unattributed' 
Nan comes downstairs to see what the fuss is about, and when she returns to the office the kenku is gone- the window hanging ajar. As she's inspecting the room, a heavy knock comes on the door downstairs. "Open up in there! This is the watch!" The voice sounds very similar to the one the kenku used earlier.

Everyone flees up the stairs, and Nan pulls a rope from her bag and ties it around the desk leg. Bronson puts Pickles under his arm and scoots down the rope. Renaer pauses to grab something from the desk, and hastens out the window as well, as the sound of heavy boots comes up the stairs.

Pickles quickly finds the scent of the kenku, and they flee down the alley before the watch can get a good look at them from the window. The kenku's trail leads to a half-open sewer grate, which leads to a ladder. Everyone piles into the tunnel, except lantern boy who is sent to get the rest of the group to come provide reinforcements.

There's a yellow circle, like an eye with ten points coming off it. The eye is looking left, so they go left. This leads to another eye at the next intersection, and so on.

The 'sewers' under Sasserine is a bit of a misnomer. Half of the tunnels are sewers, half are smugglers' tunnels or storage areas or access ways. The city is built on an island system, predominantly, and it needs a lot of storm drains. As the party walks, they can hear the occasional sounds drifting down from the street overhead: they are in the very shallowest part of the underworld, just under it's skin.

My concept for the gazer
Eventually, they catch one of the chalk yellow eyes watching them. Offended by this, Nan tries to sweep the chalk off the wall with her broom: the bristles turn icy, and the water at the base of the wall begins to freeze up, as the eye defends itself. Now it's a biological lump, in the middle of the criss-crossing chalk lines. Old Nan takes her torch and burns the eye out of the wall: it slides down the stone, a slurry of vitrious fluid and limestone.

Not much further on, they spy a door, painted with the same yellow eye. Arrowslits guard either side of the passage on the approach. Bronson goes first, and when he isn't peppered with arrows, the others follow.
Down the passage on the other side of the door they discover a kind of jumbled coatroom, strewn with gear and purple cloaks. They each take one. In another room, they discover a blue-furred goblin, asleep at the arrow slit they had snuck passed. Nan slips closer to eliminate him, but her toe hits a cup where it had been carelessly placed on the floor, and the goblin wakens- getting in one high-pitched scream before it dies.



Session Three:
The scream helps Grelf, Travers, and Lantern Boy, who are sloshing around unhappily in the sewers, to finally find the rest of the team. They've brought with them rather fishy-looking wizard, Tawny Thunderthicc.

Taking advantage of the pause as the two groups reunite (and introductions are made), Renaer pauses to examine the locket he swiped off the office table in the warehouse. "This was mine. My sister gave it to me" He shows it to the others. It has been pried open, to reveal a secret compartment inside. "I didn't know this was there" says Renaer.

Exploring more of the area, they hear the sound of voices, and people dragging furniture around the next room. Listening at the door, Nan hears two people arguing: 'no no Zemko, a barricade's not going to stop it! We have to plug the bottom of the door with something'

Nan, Grelf, and Tawny sweep into the room. "You boys need a fixer? Xanathar sends his regards." It doesn't take much to convince the desperate guards to accept the offer of help. A grey ooze as slithered up from the privy, and while the door is shut fast, it is not-so-slowly eating it's way through the wood at the bottom.

One of the men, Krezko, has a purple Xanathar circle-eye tattooed right on the crown of his head.  Grelf recognizes him one of the thugs who got in a brawl with Yagra and Travers back at the Yawning Portal. The other, Zemk, is an older fellow with a bristling mustache an tattered yellow shoulder pads.

the players decided they were too adorable to just murder

Tawny declares that the only way to neutralize the slime's acid is with a large quantity of milk. With a bit of coaxing from Tawny and Grelf, Zemk goes hurrying off to get some. This takes some time, as he seems to have a bit of a bum leg, and the passageway is rather long. The others pass the time feeding blankets and other organic materials from around the room to the slime (Grelf taking advantage of the opportunity to see if there's anything worth looting.) Bronson, Travers, Renaer, and Pickles continue to lurk in the next room, in the darkness.

When the door opens upon Zemk's return, they can hear the distant but distinct sound of screaming. Zemk wipes the sweat off his brow and hands over the large jar of milk.

"Wow, yeah, they're really torturing the prisoner" he says. "Like, just going to town."

"Grum'shar must be feeling inspired by the presence of our guest." Speculates Krezko.

"Ya mean Nihiloor? That thing gives me the creeps." Zemk says in an almost-whipser. "It's just standing there... watching"

Concerned by this, Old Nan springs into action. She seizes the milk and dumps it all over the slime, which bubbles and froths happily as it begins to digest the offering.

"It's beginning to work!" she lies. "Now all we need is an alchemical regent! One of you, quick, head up to the city and go to Weirdbottle's potion shop! He'll know what to do!"

Since Zemk went on the last errand, and since the old man's leg is even worse now, Krezko hurries off, into the darkness of the adjacent room, where he is knocked over the head by a waiting Travers. Luckily, Zemk is hard of hearing, and doesn't hear the thud.

"Actually, he might need help!" Says Nan to Zemk. "What with all those Zhent bastards out there!"

"But my leg..."

"Well, I suppose you could stay here and deal with the slime..."

Zemk grimaces, and hurries off after Krezko, into the darkness, where he is knocked over the head by a waiting Travers. But he's wearing a helmet! A brief struggle ensues, but he is restrained before he can get out his sword. They question him briefly, but then on Renaer's urging decide it's taking too long and manacle him to the wall instead.

They hurry down the long corridor towards the screams. All pretense of stealth is thrown aside as they rush into the room. Inside, they see a large green-skinned man, flames wreathing his fists, as he stands with his boot on the chest of a bound prisoner. "Floon!' cries Renaer.

At the end of the room is a dias, upon which sits a tall figure, with bulging white eyes, and four tentacles in place of it's mouth. It rises, floating in the air, at the interruption.

*I have seen enough, Grum'shar* The voice seems to come from inside your own head. *The prisoner knows nothing. Take care of this interruption, then report to me* The figure floats through a set of double doors, which open on their own as it approaches, and then close behind it. As it leaves, it drops what looks like a tentacled brain, which scuttles into the shadows at the corner of the room.

These were 'confused skeletons' contributed by a players
who couldn't make it to the game...
What follows is a desperate battle. The muscled wizard Grum'Shar summons six skeletons from thin air to aid him. Bronson and Travers are able to force their way through them, taking the fight to Grum'shar. Pickles, delighted at the presence of all these delicious bones, steals one of the skeletons legs and runs away with it. When it tries to give a hopping chase, it slips and shatters into disparate bones upon the floor.


... but was following some of the action via the FB chat
Taking advantage of the confusion, Bromund Sowfield, who is being held prisoner in one of the antechambers of the room, slips free of his bonds and joins the fray. At his instruction (using the Philosopher class's 'obscure knowledge' ability) , the party begins knocking skeletons into one another, trying to bait them into fighting each other. Their clawing at each other doesn't seem to harm them much, but keeps some of them distracted.

The slinking brain creature in the corner gets hit by Tawny's dessicate spell, and beats a hasty retreat. Renaer fights his way over to Floon, and keeps the skeletons away from his friend.

Bronson is brought to his knees by the wizard's emperor palpatine-like lightning. As Pickles and Grelf pull him to relative safety, and more of the skeletons are destroyed, Grum'shar attempts a desperate spell. Flames erupt from his hands, scorching Nan and blasting Traver's leg off above the knee. The backlash from the flames blinds him however, and he staggers into a cluster of his remaining skeletons, who claw at him reflexively before he orders them to cover his retreat. With the wizard crawling away in a daze, the party takes the opportunity to collect their wounded and beat a hasty retreat of their own- or as hasty as can be expected, carrying their wounded as they are.

They almost get lost in the sewers, but find an exit, and come out in the basement of a tavern, to the astonishment of the mostly-Fafren patrons. They get directions to the nearest hospital for Travers from a bartender with thick bushed of ginger hair sprouting from his nostrils.

In the street, Bromund is accosted by a beggar, who clutches his arm, shouting a desperate warning. "Deep beneath the forbidden city, the ancient one gives birth to a terrible new god! The snake-people know! They KNOW!!" (this was a reference to Tomb of Annhilation, which is part of the other campaign I'm running with some of the same players. They were suitably creeped out). Tawny tries to grab the beggars arm as he flees, but she slips in a puddle of mud, and the mad prophet dashes away into the crowd.

Another man helps Bromund to his feet. "Don't worry about old XXX" he says. "His predictions are wrong most of the time." Bromund recognizes the wren tattoo under the mans' eye as a trade-mark of a nurse, and gets the man's help carting Travers to the doctor's.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Magpie World Map

I, like many DM's, steal ... collect things. Take this map for example. This is the continent-sized world map of the setting I've been running various campaigns since I was, I don't know, 13?



Let's see, what are the different elements in there? the lake name 'Nyr Dyv' is from Greyhawk, the 'Sea of Fallen Stars' is from Forgotten Realms, and Wayreth forest is from Dragonlance. There was an entire apocolyptic event that was very much modeled after the Night of the Eye Dragonlance novel.

Blacksand, Darkmoon, and Fire Island are from the old Fighting Fantasy books (the choose-your-own adventure, but they also put out a roleplaying game based off that which I actually liked a lot for it's simplicity. My first homebrew ruleset was mashing up that and B/X D&D- I just had the red 'basic rulebook' I found in a secondhand bookstore, but I wanted to add a few more options, so...)

The Fenglades and the Mountains of the Morning were from some weird two-player choose-your-own adventure thing. Same with the Bone Hills.

I've added on elements from the blogosphere. The Frogstar penninsula hasn't been explored yet by players, but the name was evocative enough I had to put it in. The Abominable Island, also from Goblin Punch, is in there, but I have to take it out actually because I used a lot of the material as a location for my Isle of Dread hexcrawl.

I did mash up the 'sea of fallen stars' and 'frogstar pennisula' idea, along with Elturgard from the sword coast adventurers guide to make a region studded with these low-hanging stars, miniature suns in different colours. Most of the cities in that region have their own. So I think that's a good collision of ideas.

I have a plan to add Lankhmar and a new continent in the near west, and I've mapped out the coastline to the south, although it's deliberately a rough sketch so that it's mysterious. Players can fill it in by exploring- the areas that do exist borrow heavily from Dragon Magazine's Savage Tide adventure path coastline-crawl. Tamoachan is an expanded locale, with from various adventures clustered close together and glued on.

The crow's wood/border baronies stuff I actually before i read Game of Thrones, but it's very on-theme. They don't have a wall, they have a river, and the crows are the barbarians, not the guards. I did steal Bear Island directly, but that was before it got any real mention in the books- I just liked the name. Needless to say tho I'll steal as much as fits, post hoc, cuz Lady Mormont is badass. And I changed the mountain range to the 'Ice Wall' mountains as a nod. I think they were just 'the mountains of ice' before- probably sounds better in Dwarvish.

Oh no, I think at one point they were called The Roof of the World, which is great and which I got from Tamora Pierce's books. They should probably just use both names for different sections of it

The Chalk is stolen from Terry Pratchett, Koge is inspired by David Eddings, and the Circle Wastes are basically the Scar from China Mieville.

There's so much more. You can probably identify half a dozen at just a glance, and let me assure you that all the stuff you don't recognize I almost definitely also stole from somewhere.

Even the name for the continent, 'Karn', was swiped from some White Wolf thing.

At some point I'll probably add in some original content, but it's getting a little bit crowded at this point tbh.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

the Poet (GLOG class)

This class is a combination of Coins and Scrolls 'Fast Talker' and 'Goliard,' Goblin Punch's 'Poet,' and a few other sources from around the web. As always I am an inveterate magpie. I changed some of the 'inspiration' results to ones based on my re-contextualizing 5e Bard spells from a few weeks ago. I also changed the Goliard-derived 'Fortune's Wheel' ability in a key way: when you roll the dice up, you don't get to decide the order. You just get to know in advance. My hope is that this will lead to poets doing silly things in the middle of combat in order to burn off their crappy dice.
by Le Vuong

Poet


Starting Equipment: robes, walking stick (as quarterstaff), wineskin full of cheap wine.
Starting Skill: 1 =  Dregs, 2 = Farmer, 3 = Noble, 4 = Religion, 5 = Literature
Starting Save: Law


A: Poetry, Winning Smile, Dissolute
B: History of Seduction, Fortune's Wheel
C: Fast Talk, Flighty
D: Heartfelt Sorrow, Poetic License


Compositions
You can compose poems / stories.  These are sort of analogous to spells.  You can have a maximum of two poems composed for each poet template you have.

To compose a poem / story, a significant event must first happen in the game.  The term "significant" is left to the DM's discretion, but any large obstacle, life-threatening event, or notablemilestone counts. Odds are, there will be several significant events each session.  After the significant event, the poet or storyteller announces that they will be composing something, then roll on the Inspiration table to see what sort of inspiration they get (analogous to a wizard rolling to see what spell they will prepare). Part of composing may be telling it out loud or writing it down. It takes you 10 minutes to perform a poem.


Winning Smile: As long as no bloodshed has taken place, you get a +1 bonus to all reaction rolls as long as you are the one doing the talking.


Dissolute: If you ever have more than 50gp on your person and are able to spend it, you must Save or spend it within 24hrs. Save a second time, and if you fail that, half the money you spend is lost and provides no benefit whatsoever. The second Save may not be required if your spending habits are sufficiently profligate already- such as spending all of your money Carousing.


History of Seduction: If left alone with a willing, interested, or corruptible person for 1d4 - [the number of Poet templates you have] hours, to a minimum of 1 hour, you can seduce them. You need to be able to carry on a conversation without anyone overhearing. A soft horizontal surface also helps but is not required. Roll on the Seduction Side Effects table. Targets who have taken vows or whose preferences do not match yours get a Save to have second thoughts. Targets are aware you are trying to seduce them and will act accordingly (including throwing you out, kicking you in the face, etc.). PCs are not affected unless they choose to be affected.


Fortune's Wheel: You are resigned to the whims of fate. When combat begins, before Initiative is rolled, you may roll a number of d20s equal to two times the number of Poet templates you have. Write down the numbers and the order they are rolled. Any time you would roll a d20 (for Initative, Attacks, Saves, etc.) use the top result from the list instead and cross it off. Once you use up all the results you listed, roll normally.

You can also use this ability in a stressful, multi-check situation such as a chase, a prolonged espionage attempt, etc. Ask the DM.


Fast Talk: You are an expert blatherer, liar, punster, and trickster. You can persuade any number of people of that whatever you are saying is true for 1d6 minutes, provided it is not immediately and obviously untrue. Sober, angry, and intelligent people may get a Save to negate. When the effect ends, they realize whatever you've been saying is utter nonsense. They'll be very angry with you and immune to any future use of your Fast Talk ability, at least until you level up and they forget about the whole thing.


Flighty: If you choose not to attack in a round your armour counts as Plate (16 Defense). This only applies if you can see your enemies.


Heartfelt Sorrow: If you roll a critical failure or fail a saving throw, you may reroll the result by dropping to 0 HP. If you were at negative HP, you instead heal to 1 hp. This does not remove wounds, etc, only restores HP.


Poetic License
Choose a poem between 1-20 on the list below. Henceforth, when you compose a poem, you can choose between composing the favored poem, or a random poem.




Types of Poems
They all take 10 minutes to compose or perform (but only a single action to invoke).

Simple Poems: These are most like spells.  You "prepare" them by composing them and "cast" them when you read them.  They are sort of like scrolls that you scribe, that no one else can cast except for you.

Glyph Poems: You create a poem or work of art. You need to provide your own pen and ink or other materials. The poem is triggered the first time it is read, affecting the reader. Assume any aware person walking by will read the poem, if it’s out in the open.

Destiny Poems: Fate favors a poet.  After this poem is performed, a certain fate is created.  Later, any one of the people who heard the poem can invoke it, which then causes the intended effect to materialize. Once a poem is performed, it must be invoked before the day is over, or it is lost.

Inspiration Table 1d20
1. Simple: Command the Word - Create, destroy, rearrange, hide, or reveal any text within line of sight.
2. Simple: Tongues - through gestures, expressions, etc, you are able to communicate pretty well with any creature.
3. Simple: Detect Magic. 'I got a feeling something weird is going on' - plus instead of school of magic, they'll know genre of story- horror, fairy, religious, epic, etc
4. Simple: Universal Forgery - You create a perfect forgery of any written object, even if you don't know exactly what the original document looks like.
5. Simple: Suggestion - As suggestion.
6. Simple: Love - Two targets compare to see who has the better save vs charm person.  Whichever one has the better save makes a save against charm person. If they fail the save, they both fall in love with each other, permanently.
7. Simple: Commune - One question per template, yes/no answers.
8. Glyph: Curse of No Poetry - Target loses all language (spoken, written, understood) and can only communicate by representations (drawing of an apple) and not symbols (words for apple).  They have a 25% chance to fumble any spellcasting. Save negates.
9. Glyph: Weakness - Target gets -2 attack and AC until the end of the day.  Save negates.
10 Glyph: Paralyzation - Target is paralyzed for 1d6 rounds (as ghoul ability).  Save negates.
11.  Destiny: Disguise Self. Poorly-improvised disguise works unrealistically well.
12. Destiny: Sleep. Can't be cast in combat, but basically works retroactively- for example, guards have a better-than-average chance of being asleep ALREADY when you try to sneak by. Save negates.
13. Destiny: Aggression - Free action.  Invoke when you hit someone in combat.  The hit turns into a critical hit.
14. Destiny: Fool. Invoke when you have disadvantage on a roll: you have advantage instead.
15. Destiny: Spite. Turn someone’s critical success into a critical failure.
16. Destiny: Survival - Free action.  Invoke to succeed a single save, before you roll, or to negate all falling damage. You fall at normal speed, but something miraculously breaks your fall- water, a pile of hay, etc. Somehow, you take NO damage, even if the thing breaking your fall should only, at best, cushion it. On falls over a hundred feet, make a save to avoid being knocked unconscious. Maybe you land on a ledge?
17. Destiny: Escape - Invoke to automatically escape from a grapple or bindings, have a door be left unlocked, etc. To escape grapple, you may have to leave them holding a piece of your clothing.
18. Destiny: Health - “Awww, see? Just a scratch! You'll live to fight another day old chap!” 1d8 for each poet template.
19. Destiny: Lucky Find - You find some minor item in some feasible location.  For example, you could declare that you are going to find a rope in the next room, and unless the next room is actually a portal to the tentacle dimension, you will.
20. Destiny: Rat - A rat approaches from someplace not infeasible. (A rat could come out of a bush, or from a crack in the wall.) The rat does one round of actions that the invoker chooses (such as chew through a rope or bite someone) then behaves exactly as a wild rat would.

Dragon Heist Session 4

Session 4 the Party: Bronson Ford, fighter, mercenary Travers Sløt, barbarian Grelf, poet and burglar, and... ...Pickles! a VERY good...