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Alright guys, so it sounds like you all have a goal in mind which is a solid way to kick things off. I'm just looking for a plan at this point. Are you going to rest or head out at night? Where are you planning on heading?
The surrounding area is mostly rolling hills and farmland with several large forests that start nearby and extend off into other directions. The actual entrance to the dungeon is about 2 miles south of town, set in the ruins of the old castle that was torn down 100 years earlier. There also is a river that passes through town from the north west to the sound east.
The discussion is interrupted by a heavy rap on the door. The knock is firm enough to be heard throughout the house, and doesn't seem to have a great deal of patience behind it as it is repeated before one would even have time to get to the door.
When/If the door is opened.:
A tall man with a broad chest stands at the door, with short cropped brown hair and a scar across his jaw. He wears the badge of the sheriff on his heavy mail, an ornate long sword at his hip and a longbow and quiver over his shoulder. At his side sits a large wolf-hound whose ears lay back at the odd assemblage within the building.
He looks like he is about to barrel into a spiel, though if he notices those beyond Variel he catches himself and raises a brow before beginning, his voice a joking chide though the elf is certainly quite a bit older than the middle aged man. "Do your parents know you are throwing parties while they are out of town, Var?"
The man shakes his head and continues "There has been some trouble in some of the farms today so I was making my rounds a bit early this week. Seems likely the beasts are out, though it seems you know that. Whatever your business, I'd suggest none of you take to the roads alone this eve', damnable host are getting clever and poisoned the sentry before the raid so watch yourselves."
With that said, he takes a small step back, his eyes still studying anyone who came within view of the door. "I've got a lot of rounds tonight, you've been warned. Don't go stirring up trouble."
Common knowledge for those familiar with town:
The sheriff, Erro Mansan is well known and liked about town. He's skilled, having held his current position against whatever threats have crept out of the dungeon for nearly two decades now, and while people whisper his sword was enchanted by dwarves the real wow tends to come from his abilities with a bow.
He has several full time constables who work with him, along with a dozen or so on call deputies, but tends to leave his men to deal with drunks and trouble within town, handling the more dangerous outer patrols himself.
Knowledge Local: DC 15:
The Sheriff and Lord Mayor Anra Saddana work closely together and there have been ongoing rumors that they are a couple, though this has been something both have firmly denied.
Just a little note here as I am following along with the posts even there aren't any NPCs around for me to post back. It looks like everyone is ready to enter now, Variel was opening the door for Adrastia, Litonya and Orryn, but Xukari is within eyesight so can come inside as well.
I'm going to give you all a couple go-rounds to get to know each other before I interrupt with anything. Once I do, that is sort of my signal that we are ready to move forward whenever you all are. So for now, no order on posting, just a chance to get to know each other's(and your own) characters.
I took bobby's initial post and basically ran with that. Going over characters has taken longer than expected and I've had less time than expected so I'm not quite done yet, but they are mostly done. I haven't seen any notes I need to give you guys that would affect any sort of RP stuff, so lets get started over on the other thread!
I'm going to run with Bobby's note made on the other threat and setting this as a starting point. Feel free to post your arrivals, describe your characters and start to get accustomed to each other. This is a good chance to find out how everyone interacts and find your character's voices. I'll be moving us forward pretty soon.
The Lothloren House is a fancy stonework two story affair, just about a quarter of a mile south of town. The rock and design hold an age to it that isn't common in the rest of the village, indicating it likely dates back to before Chordille Keep originally fell.
There may be more reason than simply age for the family to keep its home slightly separated from the village proper. There is bad blood with the loggers guild, the largest consortium in town and those of elven heritage. The hostilities in town thus far have remained cold beyond the occasional drunken scuffle or bit of vandalism, but most elves with the means have either relocated or at least avoid the logging camp to the best of their ability.
Still, whatever may have led to its location, the house is welcoming to those who approach. Though it is mostly empty on the eve of your invitation, two torches burn outside and the door is opened to allow even the oddest visitor within for the impromptu gathering.
Alright, sorry guys, long weekend away and just getting new glasses now. I'm starting to build my way through characters now and make some notes. I'll have those up tonight, and I'm going to have a more official 'first post' that I can put over on the campaign board too. I figure that will let us get a little RP in while things get finalized. I don't see much in the way of changes needing to be done, just cleanup, so that won't take too long and we'll be off the the delve.
Sounds good to me. I should have a little quiet to look over the numbers for everyone pretty soon.
Once that starts to be done I think we are going to be ready to go.
Any thoughts on meeting up? You all have your own reasons for wanting to go into the dungeon, but I'm curious what you all think would bring this group together. Even just being outcasts might do that. Bobby is the only normal one, and he's set up to be a guide.
I went to lenscrafters and they sat me around for an hour talking about options and then said they would have to order the lenses I needed and it would take 10 business days.
The optometrist I found could get them in 3-5 business days, and gave me loaners which are as close as they could get to my prescription til then.
My big problem is that my eyes are way different and the loaners are the same, so it totally throws me off.
And I think paul got it since they had put up their chars before my post last night, that is why I didn't address it there. Herolab does have a really nice tool for exporting to bbform, it makes it pretty.
Here are a couple rumors for everyone. Remember, rumors may or may not be true. I gave everyone two, Paul and Monica share one because of their shared backstory.
The Bestial Host serve Lamashtu, known as the Beast God, a savage and terrible deity that demands blood and violence. The host has a strange fascination with Dragon's Delve
A paladin named Baine Strongbow was slain in Brindenford by assassins after driving off a powerful spellcasting hag that lives in Dragon's Delve. His potent sword, Grace, was stolen and now lies somewhere in the dungeon.
Part of the dungeon is actually a diamond mine still teeming with ore waiting to be discovered.
If one delves very deep into Dragon's Delve, one may discover the hidden tomb of the sorcerer-priest Orr, filled with great treasures but guarded by some of the deadliest traps ever devised.
Deep within Dragon's Delve lies a training dojo built by Master Mui Yan in his exile from his own far off homeland. Anyone finding it can still, to this day, learn otherwise forbidden fighting styles.
There is only so far down that a human can travel in Dragon's Delve before they die-only inhuman creatures can reach the bottom
In some of the deepest reaches of Dragon's Delve lies the Secret City, a place so ancient that Queen Ryssa's dwarves found it when they originally dug down to find the mystic stone that fell from the sky... and so bizarre that they fled when they discovered it
Throughout Dragon's Delve lie bluesteel doors, magical barriers created by the infamous Mages Four. These doors are almost indestructible, but each has a magical password unique to it that allow them to be easily opened.
Paul and Monica:
The infamous Mages Four controlled all of the dungeon at one time, using it for their strange experiments and to house their otherworldly allies and servitors. They created many strange creatures and during your slavery it was said that they created the elemental races.
Gio, that background works for me, though I would recommend a change of venue. Setting it to Daggermark(the largest city in the River Kingdoms) rather than Absalom. That would mean you trained under Jallor Clovesh- He probably would have seen you as a secret weapon, but would have kept you in seclusion with the temple you were left at still so everything else would be the same.
Doing that puts your backstory in a location that lets me play with it a little more as the story progresses, I have some ideas for your past tribe you probably wouldn't remember if you were a youngling.
And I just pointed it out to him on skype, but it looks like the party is actually going neutral. Paul is LG, Gio and Mon are CG, and if yoshi keeps the same he had when he made the char on the other pbp he will be LG as well. It sounds like some of you have a bit more of a 'good' leaning, but fall in the neutral camp.
Okay, here is what I'm looking at for you other two
Change Attributes to Flexible(drop the -2)
Energy resistance(electricity 5)
Storm in the blood(fast heal 2 for 1 round when you take electricity damage, up to max of 2hp/lvl per day)
Change attributes to flexible(drop the -2)
Energy resistance(acid 5)
Crystalline Form(+2 ac vs rays, 1/day deflect a single ray as if using deflect arrows
30ft instead of 20ft speed(standard instead of slow)
Also, Yoshi I figured out how I wanted to change the kobold for you to catch him up.
Shifting their ability score from Greater Weakness to 'Flexible' will get him out of the total suck category, but he's still got a few kicks in the gut so I'm going to give you a few more RP worth of abilities that seem to fit.
You can either have prehensile tail or one of the 1 or 2rp powers that relate to whatever color you are(focus on swim or hold breath if you are black scaled, for example). For a very rare bonus that fits your background, you can also add 'wyrmscourged'.
I'm going to have you guys make aliases for your characters and toss them up there as they are ready for me to go over them.
To make an alias, click on 'My Account' at the top of the screen.
There will be a section called 'Message Board Aliases'
At the bottom you 'Create a new Alias'
Toss in the name you want, find a pic you lick under avatar image. Pathfinder society doesn't matter for this game, so just click submit changes when you are one.
To add the info to your profile, you just click on your Aliases name(If you haven't posted as him yet, you can go back to the My Account page and he'll be under the Message Board Aliases section)
Once that is open, just hit 'Edit My Profile' on the right.
You can put the actual character in the About section at the bottom. It accepts all the same sort of formatting as the rest of the board, so you can make things pretty with bold, italics, ect.
To make things easier, Yoshi's character has a great example, filling out a couple of the sections with commonly used info about your character. For example putting a spoiler with your AC, hit points, saves, under the 'race' box, and one with skills under 'classes\levels'. This will let us pull up some of the info without actually having to open your character.
If you guys want to make your lives a lot easier and are using herolab to make your character, once the char is done, you can click-
File > Output Hero Statblock
One of the tabs at the top of the window that opens is 'BBCode' which will put your character into forum formatting for you, so everything will already be prettied up and readable.
From there you can just hit copy and paste it into your profile.
Having a 'leader' does definitely help just so we don't hit a snag point in the pbp by things being bogged down by indecision about which way to go or something.
I'm in temp glasses that have my head killing me when I'm reading too much, so I'm not being super productive in helping right now, but I'm going to try and come up with a little bump for the kobold in power tonight and am going to start considering rumors for you guys based on what I know of you so far.
And so right now its looking like the only thing the party is probably going to be a little short on is utility magic, so that is pretty good.
And it sounds like we are leaning towards the middle of the scale for alignments.
I was just popping on to do that summary and it looks like bobby covered that for me. That is looking to be a pretty balanced party which is definitely a boon, and I'm not seeing anything so far I'm red-flagging. We have a pretty wide swing in races, so I am probably going to look to give the kobold a little boost somewhere.
For alignment, I was going to go with the old video game standard to keep you guys somewhat together. Basically, have you guys pick a party alignment and then everyone be within one step of that. So if the party alignment is NG, have everyone be in the range of LG, NG, CG or NN. If you pick in the middle you'll end up with potentially bigger disparity, but hopefully that will keep you all fairly close without locking you down to a specific alignment. Probably the easiest route is to post what you are thinking for your alignment and we can see if you all already fall into a bracket or not.
Also, if you guys are starting to feel a little more sure about what you are going to play, drop a spoiler tag and throw a little bit of backstory into it for me including why you might be interested in the dungeon. Doesn't need to be set in stone yet or too detailed since we are still making characters, but I want to give out some rumors about the place and looking for who might have heard what.
Alright folks, I created this thread for planning out the team and character creation, I might use it as a spot to kick off a bit of fluff RP as well while people are still finalizing.
But for now, I'm going to give total information overload. I've got a ton of details below, so I'm trying to break it up into more manageable sections.
Alright, this one is going to be pretty easy. People come from far and wide to this dungeon and its known to be dangerous, so I'm going be fairly lax. Try not to go too wild, but this will be a good run for your weirder ideas.
Once I know a bit more about your background, I'll give you a rumor or two, not all true, that may have helped draw you to the dungeon.
Tenets of Dungeon Design:
This isn't a strict 'must read and memorize' section. The designer of the delve wrote this up to describe his views on standards and assumptions that come from this kind of adventure. I think it can give a lot of insight into what you might expect.
1. Things get more dangerous as you go deeper. This is perhaps the keystone of old school dungeon design. As you get farther from civilization and into the wilderness, the more dangerous things get. So then, it just makes sense that the farther you get from the surface, the deadlier and stranger things get. In both cases, the farther you travel from the known to the unknown, the greater risk you take.
3rd Edition created a system that used Challenge Ratings to match relatively appropriate encounters to a given group of player characters (the key word being "relatively"). Matching monster toughness with PC toughness has always been in the game in one form or another, of course. But in dungeon design, this isn't that important, because the dungeon level dictates (or at least suggests) the difficulty of the encounters. Things too easy? Go down. Things getting pretty dicey? Go back up. Of course, finding the way up or down isn't always easy, but that's what makes it fun.
2. Treasure and other rewards are based on challenges overcome, not PC level. Again, 3rd Edition created a gauge to determine appropriate wealth for PCs of a given level. But if the challenge determines the rewards (either based on how hard it was to get to the treasure, or the guardians that must be defeated to obtain it), then this should take care of itself. It does mean that skillful--or perhaps lucky--player characters will be able to get more treasure than average ones, but that's a good thing, if you ask me.
Let's look at points 1 and 2 together for a moment. Basically, the assumption here is that players will need to manage risk versus reward. In a standard campaign, the DM controls the level of challenge for the players. But in a dungeon like this, the players can choose to seek encounters that might be too challenging for them in order to get bigger rewards, or stay and face easy challenges for low rewards. This is sometimes referred to as a "sandbox dungeon," because the DM just presents a sandbox in which the PCs to do whatever they want, and go wherever they want.
3. There's a happy medium that embraces both realism and fun. When discussing dungeons with people, you hear all kinds of things:
Somewhere between the people who want realism (or at least, believability) and those who want wa-hoo fun, there is a broad middle ground where most people can find something to enjoy. That means neither a careful and detailed study of the dungeon's ecological balance nor a 30 foot long dragon in a 20-foot by 20-foot room with no way for it to exit. The dungeon's got to avoid obvious, glaring challenges to a player's suspension of disbelief while not bogging the text down in details that no one will pay any attention to anyway.
4. The dungeon is dynamic and huge--there's no clearing out the dungeon. This gets to the heart of the difference between what I call a megadungeon and a regular dungeon. (Some might call the former a dungeon and the latter a lair.) The point here is that regular dungeons are small--5, 10, even 30 rooms--and megadungeons are vast, with hundreds of rooms. The megadungeon is an environment, not just a locale. In many ways, it's like many joined dungeons, connected lairs, and so on. Kill a monster and another might wander in and take its place. The dungeon detailed here--called Dragon's Delve--is a megadungeon.
There's another point to be made here: the megadungeon may be more than just an underground complex. The megadungeon adventure might include a side trip to a wilderness locale, a gate to another plane, a teleporter to a mystical forest far away, and so on. It's all a part of the megadungeon, even when it's not entirely underground.
5. The player characters are not the first adventurers to explore this place, and they won't be the last. As they explore, your PCs will find the remains of previous adventurers. They will hear about other parties coming to the dungeon to test their own mettle. They may even encounter them while delving into the depths themselves. This contributes to the dynamism of the dungeon environment.
6. Although there are many entrances, and many ways to get from level to level, this dungeon is being presented so that the PCs are unlikely to get ahead of the design. This doesn't mean things are linear (because linear dungeons are bad dungeons). It just means that sometimes access to certain areas will be temporarily blocked. For example, a secret door may pass from one level to the next but be hidden in a way that makes it much more difficult to find on the higher floor.
7. The rules exist to facilitate the dungeon, not the other way around. Basically, what this means is, if I have a cool idea for an encounter and present it in a way that forces me to bend the rules, I'll do it. If a monster needs an extra feat in order to fulfill its role, I'll just give it the feat.
I know that the rules were designed the way they were for good reasons. (I mean, c'mon. Consider my design credits.) One of those reasons, of course, is consistency. So I'm not going to throw the rulebook out. But I also know that the rules can't be expected to work in every situation. Rather than resign myself to accepting the occasional Encounter Level based on the formula that doesn't feel quite right, the value of a treasure that seems inappropriate to the specific situation, or the monster whose stats don't allow him to do what he needs to do in a given encounter, I'm going to change them. The key here is that the design needs to fit the specific situation, and the rules were written with general situations in mind. In this dungeon, DCs will fit the situation, even if they don't match the book 100% every time. Encounters will be designed to work the way they need to work for the most fun for all. This is why an actual human being serves as a game designer (or a DM) rather than a computer.
8. Magic gets stronger the deeper you go. This is related to point #1, but it's worth mentioning again. The farther you get from the surface, the more mysterious and strange things become. This means that magical tricks and traps get more powerful, encounter areas get weirder and wilder, ancient treasures are better preserved, and sorcerous and otherworldly creatures are more at home. Basically, the deeper you go, the less the place seems like the undercroft of some quasi-medieval keep and more like a unique, subterranean fantasy environment all its own. And the best part? This doesn't just fit with dungeon design philosophy, but also with the backstory behind Dragon's Delve. There's a reason why there are weird and challenging magical phenomena in the dungeon, and why they occur in greater numbers the farther down you delve.
9. Food is fairly abundant in the dungeon. If you don't mind the taste of rat. The point here is that the dungeon's full of life--rats, bats, insects, and so on. Just because it's not given stats and isn't a threat to the PCs doesn't mean it's not there. And so all the carnivores in the dungeon have enough to get by. Not that they wouldn't mind a tasty treat in the form of an adventurer or two.
10. Every level or sublevel has its own unique character. This is another old school trope and, I must admit, one that I love. The level's character might be expressed in similar inhabitants, a related purpose for the chambers, or a theme of some kind. The prison level. The submerged level. The demon lord's level.
Players Intro to the Dungeon:
Maybe you first heard the name in a tavern well after closing time, as two old adventurers, well past their prime, spoke of it in hushed tones. Maybe it was from your own mother, who swore she'd send you there when you misbehaved. Perhaps you read the name in an ancient tome of history and lore illuminated by flickering candlelight late at night as the wind howled outside. Wherever you first heard of the place, you have long heard tales of Dragon's Delve.
A vast underground dungeon of labyrinths and catacombs, built perhaps by dwarves or perhaps by wizards--or maybe even dragons--Dragon's Delve is infamous among treasure-hunters and monster-slayers. Filled with deadly danger and ancient treasures, the dungeon offers both risk and reward in equal amounts, each growing more intense the deeper one goes. How much peril is worth risking for how much return? It's all up to those brave enough to try.
The tales of Dragon's Delve teem with contradictions and unbelievable anecdotes of impossible encounters and bizarre monstrosities. And yet, some of it all must be true. Do demonic cultists really use Dragon's Delve as a secret base? Is there truly some kind of ambient magic seeping up through the place? Did wizards of old hoard away powerful artifacts in the dungeon's vaults? Do gateways to remote lands and even other planes of existence really lie somewhere in Dragon's Delve? Does the prince of all dragonkind really hold court in the deepest reaches of the subterranean stronghold? No one knows for certain, but those that could find the answers to even some of these questions, or learn even a few of the dungeon's other secrets, might earn for themselves notoriety and wealth beyond imagining.
If they survive.
Dragon's Delve lies in a remote corner of Mivon in the River Kingdoms, that people once called the Duchy of Chordille. Yet a hundred years ago or so, the folk of the surrounding lands took up arms against Chordille. They razed the keep and slew the duke. It's hard now to find someone who knows the real reason why this happened. A few speak of evil intent on the part of the duke, who had plans for conquest. Others, however, say that the duke's actions were always benevolent, and that the conflict arose from misunderstanding, or perhaps deception on the part of some mysterious third party.
All that is known for certain is that folks call that remote area the Fallen Duchy. It boasts no ruler and little population. Wilderness reclaimed Chordille, and it is now a land of dangers.
People in Brindenford, a small town just two miles to the north of Dragon’s Delve, claim that murderous humanoid creatures prowl those ruins. Goblins? Orcs? Worse? No one seems to know for sure, and eyewitness accounts are few, and always contradictory. They also claim that the place is both haunted and cursed.
So many questions. So many secrets.
If you dare to brave this ancient dungeon, go well equipped. Be ready for anything. Keep your eyes open, and search everywhere. Any passage or door you find could lead to wealth enough for you to retire. Or it could lead to certain doom.
But that's what being an adventurer is all about, right? This isn't an undertaking that you'll finish in one foray or even a dozen. This is the challenge of a lifetime. As someone thrilled at the prospect of exploring the unknown, incredible challenges, and the promise of gold and magic, Dragon's Delve is exactly where you've always wanted to go.
Location of the Delve:
The area surrounding the Dragon’s Delve is known as the Fallen Dutchy, named for the duke who was killed as it was released to its independence. It is a sparsely populated wilderness, primarily forest though with areas of rolling hill grassland that are able to hold a crop.
The lone nearby city is the small town of Brindenford which only holds on in this area due to being positioned on a major trade road known as the Queens Road and just downstream from where two large rivers combine, making the town’s survival strongly in the interest of the lumber consortium. This trade is supplemented by a regular influx of adventurers, purchasing supplies for excursions into the Delve and somewhat more rarely returning with treasures to sell and trade.
The town itself has a population of about one thousand people, most of whom are human. While the Mayor Saddanna is technically the law of the city, no one questions Sherrif Mansan’s judgement and he makes many of the day to day decisions in the town and has recently taken over the gathering hall in town to serve as a barracks for a growing constabulary.
Brindenford boasts three taverns to serve both the locals and the frequent travelers that pass through. The Lost Shepherd is the most famous of the inns in town as the most frequented by adventurers prepared to set out to the nearby dungeon. The Bridgeman is the fanciest inn in town, popular among merchants passing through town and anyone in town with the coin for a good meal. The Water Stone could be considered a ‘dive bar’ in the town. Its usual clientele are the local miscreants as well as the poor loggers.
As well as taverns, Brindenford has several shops that are well stocked for a town its size. Fascher’s Supply is a general adventurers store, run by a would be explorer to keep those wishing to face the Delve stocked. Leaving the fixing of plows and shoeing of horses to several less skilled metal workers, Aesa’s Smithy covers the weapon and armor needs of anyone who needs a good defense. Finally, Queens Crafts is a large communal shop run by a number of craftsmen as well as their apprentices. Functioning much like a in-building bazaar, nearly any sort of worked or trade good can be found here.
There are a number of temples in the town, while Brindenford isn’t a deeply religious community, their rough history and dangerous surroundings has led to nearly all its citizens paying some service to various gods. Nearly everyone respects Sarenrae and her clerics, the Temple of Sarenrae is easily the largest in town. Following it is the Temple of the River gods, a multi-god shrine where worshippers have tied their own pantheon of deities to the aspects of the river that provides them much of their livelihood. Kurgess holds a small shrine in the city, the loggers respecting his strength and competitions. Finally there is a crumbled shrine to the demi-goddess Glarias who has lost worship here since the duke was killed a century before.
The town doesn’t have a library to speak of, but it is home to a sage named Felstor who is known to be a great mind throughout the River Kingdoms and is considered to be the most knowledgeable man alive about the history of the region and the dungeon itself.
Gods and Traditions:
The local area holds belief for all the gods of Golarion but a number of gods hold specific sway in the region or are perceived in an unusual way.
Lamastu has a great deal of power in the region outside of the civilization of town. A powerful cult of monstrous humanoids and deformed humans known as the bestial horde worship her and often lead attacks on travelers or the town itself.
Kurgess is a minor god elsewhere in the world but his portfolio of strength and competition and freedom suit the local loggers very well. Most locals who worship him believe that he is the son of Cayden Cailen and Desna and the two greater deities are worshiped at his shrine as well.
Glarias is a minor diety who has fallen out of favor in the region since the fall of the Duke of Chordille a century before. She is thought to be a herald of Desna and represents the moon.
Sarenrae holds the largest following in the region with her primary clerics all being female, though there is a small sect of men in her service known as the Brothers of Charity. The proximity of the dungeon and frequency of adventurers has colored the cleric’s views in some ways. While they give freely to the townsfolk and loggers in need, offering food and healing to those without, the church has a strict policy of using explorers ill gotten gains to fund their other charity works. Any strangers are charged fully for the church's wide variety of services.
The River Gods- A popular local belief system that is at least given lip service by most of those who work on the water in some way. Rather than finding new gods to worship, instead it is a different way of viewing a number of the greater gods that ties them to the river which provides their livelihood.
Nethys- Thought to be the source of the celestial river, Nethys is worshipped for his aspect as the creator. He is the patron of crafters as well as local mages and sages.
Gozreh- Worshipped for the chaotic nature and rapids of the water, Gozreh is worshipped for the clash of elements he represents.
Abadar and Erastil- According to the River Gods belief system, these two gods are thought to be twins, a reflection of each other from the surface of the river casting its opposite.
Norgorber- Serving as a warning in the pantheon as well as the patron of more unscrupulous followers, Norgorger represents the treachery of a rivers ability to be a slow flowing stream one moment and dangerous rapids the next.
Torag- The source of industry among the River Gods. Torag uses the strength of the river for his own ends, spinning mills and shapping steel and stone.
Well Known History:
The dungeon near Brindenford is thought to have been originally created by a group of dwarves near the time of Thassilon. Its unknown what brought them to this area, why they built such a dungeon or what caused them to leave.
Millennia passed with the unnamed dungeon being regularly occupied and expanded as one set of inhabitants was either driven out by the next or simply vanished before the new occupants moved in.
Several thousand years ago the dungeon gained its name as Metterak settled within. Known as the Prince of Dragons, Metterak is thought to be a spawn of Dahak himself. The dragon ravaged a wide area around the dungeon for centuries before suddenly going silent, its unknown if he is sleeping, has left the region or was finally slain by one of the many adventurers who hunted for him over the years. Legends persist that whatever his fate, he remains at the bottom of the dungeon. From his first appearance the dungeon has taken on his namesake, being referred to as the Dragon’s Delve.
About a millennia ago a coalition of some of the most powerful spellcasters in the world known as the Mages Four set up their home within the dungeon, using it as a fortress and a laboratory. People often speak of the wondrous items that were produced from the dungeon at this time, whether found or created.
Five hundred years ago, an adventuring party gathered an army of displaced Aldori, leading them to clear out the dungeon. Somehow their plans were altered and rather than clearing the area, a fortified tower was erected nearby and they began to conquer the local populace, enforcing a cruel reign. A powerful cleric of Sarenrae known as The Red Saint rose up and struck down the leader of the adventurers and squashed the army, securing the worship of the goddess in the region and leading to the local practice of her clerics being almost exclusively female.
Four hundred years ago a large red dragon begins to terrorize the region. After nearly fifty years a gold dragon is spotted circling nearby and is assumed to have driven him off as he isn’t seen again.
Finally, just over a century ago the lands around the Dragon’s Delve are granted to duke Chordille and his followers. Chordille Keep is erected over the site of the dungeon itself. The Duke is well liked by the locals but his reign is less than 30 years when troops from surrounding lands invade, killing the Duke and Duchess and razing the keep. No troops or ruler are left to maintain the area, leaving Brindenford and the surrounding area uncontested and referred to as ‘The Fallen Dutchy.’
Finally, I know most of us aren't used to Play-by-Post, and even those that are have them follow different standards. I thought standardizing that would help.
For RP posts it tends to be easy to follow certain patterns to make things easier to read.
*Dialogue should be bolded.
*Any out of character commentary using the ooc tags.
*Information for just specifc people, or the results of skill checks will be hidden in spoilers. We operate on the honor system with those.
If you aren't sure how to do any of those things, click on the 'how to format your text' show button underneath where you enter text and it will let you know, or just ask.
An example of the information given above. I can't embed spoilers in a spoiler, so I just put those in brackets
The vampire crept slowly into the room, considering his victim. Or more accurately his victim's throat. His mind seemed to echo every pulse within calling to his hunger. Finally my thirst will be slaked... Yes, you will do nicely. Leaning over the prone victim, his voice comes out in a low almost soothing whisper "Sleep now, embrace being mine...
<spoiler=Perception DC 20> You wake feeling a presence looming over you.You may act in the surprise round.</spoiler>
Hopefully that gives a fair idea of how posting should be formatted so that everyone can communicate effectively.
I try and be a very responsive and flavorful DM for combat situations, taking your rolls and giving a little fluff to them to add to the dynamics of the situation. When we are on initiative count, I find it easiest to post in any order with any applicable rolls(attack and damage, even if you don't know if you hit for instance) as well as a backup plan if there is any chance of your main one getting disrupted. Ex: I strike the goblin next to me, if it is already dead then I charge the bugbear.
Once the next person in initiative has posted, I will create a combat post of fluff and results for him and anyone else who has already put up their actions who goes after him. Basically, combat in play by posts already take time, so I am looking to avoid any extra holdups because the person who goes second happened to be on an hour before the guy who goes first, and now we are waiting another full day for his post. Obviously when a surprise event happens in combat I will pause to let anyone who has already posted modify their actions, but it should make normal round by round combat go faster.
I just typed a better answer to this and the net ate it. I had been thinking about a message like this before I saw this is what the new post was.
This is an inredible group and easily one of the most memorable games I have played. Between the time and all the life changes in lives it doesnt seem we can capture that momentum again. Im happy to listen to everyones opinion, but Im feeling likethere is a sense of having wanted the game back from us all even when that made it a burden in some ways.
You guys are all great and I think that friendship will remain even if we decide to let it lie.
Apple raises a brow at the drow, a slight smirk crossing her saddened face. "Come and tell me an army is going to come, overrun my village, probably kill most of us, and we'd better send those what can't fight and die running quick to get away. -But-, I'd better have a bodyguard to go wandering among the farm, make sure folks got home safe and no ones stirring up mischief?"
Shaking her head slightly she gives a little chuckle. "I'm not going to argue it. I could use a better read on you folks I suspect. If any of you folks aren't too tuckered, you're welcome."
You have about a days travel to the next real town, then another days ride to Saragost if you push straight through, but there will be two more towns crossed that last day. So a lot of the travel time depends on how many distractions you all get into and what may slow you down.
This is a good point of discussion though, its pretty simple as far as big decisions go in this adventure, but there is an awful lot that is driven by your own decisions and is player driven. Getting accustomed to plotting your destiny can be helpful.
The council is busy enough talking among themselves that they don't give much attention as the group begins to shuffle out. Apple on the other hand hops up to her feet and walks with you, the halfling definitely more subdued than she has been earlier, eyes flicking from one to the other as she studies you.
With a silent wave of her arm she leads you across the large market square to a quaint inn, with a sign over the door 'The Farmers Rest'. Through the doorway you can see a tiny tavern, pretty empty, likely just used for dinner, the larger structure is probably filled with rooms for farmers who were at the market too late to return home.
Shrugging her shoulders slightly, the halfling looks up to the group again. "Well, I can't say that I am happy to have met you, but if what you said was true I think this town owes you a debt. Cassie inside will set you up with a room and food if you need it nice and reasonable. I don't think I'll be sleeping much myself, might run a circuit through some of the farms that have had some trouble lately and make sure its all settled down so the people are ready to go if need be. I don't know if I'll see you in the morning, or if you'll peek back in to say something to the council before you set off, but I'll say it now since they probably won't. Thanks, travelers."
Assuming you don't have something you want to do or anything to say to apple, assuming to get fed and a room for the night is easy and 5gp. Then its just whether you continue on first thing in the morning, visiting the council again, or if there is something else in mind. It looks like you guys are pushing forward instead of investigating anything around, so we can keep advancing, but if something catches your interest let me know so we can flesh it out.
The council sits and listens to the spirited retorts, passing gazes between each other. Even the much rougher spoken leader seems a bit taken aback by this. Rather than lean towards the room they form a bit of a huddle towards the center, speaking in whispers for long minutes. Finally, the old woman of the group turns and faces the group, her voice slow.
"You ask... Much of us. Our people are far flung, only here for market. We have little real defense. Miss Merrywind here leads our militia and I often think it is only by her hand that we stave off what bandit raids we do. Our people are not warriors. And yet you seek that we not only believe you, but give up our town as lost. Send the infirm to hide behind Saragosts walls, and if this army is true, leave our men to die to make their conquest more challenging. Perhaps save a few in villages we don't know."[b]
Pausing, she shakes her head a bit, sadly. [b]"We need to consider your words and what we will do should we believe them. We will aid others if we are able, but we have to think of the safety of our people. They have no hope of stopping an army such as you depict and throwing away their lives to hope the enemy's sword arm is tired by the time they reach real troops does not honor our village."
The four councilmembers listen to the story with hardly disguised disbelief as the story is run through. As it finishes, they look back and forth at one another and finally the man reprimanded by the sheriff leans forward. "I should hope that you have some evidence to back up this fantastical story. If not, this may be the most inspired banditry I've ever heard of. Clever, certainly. Come to town, not just drive the folks from their homes but actually have them leave willingly, and then you're free to loot at will."
Some of the other members look concerned, but as the man looks for support of his theory a couple nod and they begin to talk amongst each other in whispered tones.
Apple on the other hand at least appears to be paying quite a bit of attention to your story.
The halfling looks between you all with a raised brow and a small smirk. "I'd call you all the oddities of the year, but that might be understating things a bit. Trying to start a big bug collection, all this talk of an army underfoot but worrying about some sheep rather than farm raids or robberies. Odd indeed." She gives another shake of her head but doesn't have further time to continue before the door opens and a small troop enters.
She didn't seem to be joking completely about the meetings being wars against time as the councilmembers enter, three men and a woman, it appears that their place on the council is likely secured simply by being the eldest of the village. As they make their way up to the chairs, Merry tosses the boy who had fetched them a coin and he scampers on.
Sitting, slightly elevated above the rest of you the four remain silent for a moment before one of them finally leans forward and peers. "Whats all the fuss, Apple? I had a nice mug of mulled cider I was quite pleased to be enjoying. I heard there was a ruckus up north. A trial can wait til morning though."
Shrugging her shoulders, the halfling gives a shake of her head "Not a trial, sir. Least not one I could make any sense out of. These folk claim to have brought news of some sort, invasion or the like. Was told it was urgent. Wouldn't do to let such troubling messages pass over a drink, hm?"
Merrywind's less than formal tone and light jab causes the council to grumble before one of the other members takes his turn to lean forward, inspecting the group. "Out with it then. What is this news you bring."
Sorry guys, I know we are still looking to find our pace again. I have been trying to give more than just one or two a chance to respond before I put up a post but I'm not sure if you all are waiting for me to push forward.
Merry gives the dwarf a look that doesn't hide the fact that she suspects he might be out of his beard, and gives a small shake of her head. "If you are looking for an in and out council session, good luck. I'm certainly be dammably impressed."
Pulling up outside of a large wooden building, complete with bell tower, she hops from her mount and motions you inside. Within there are several rows of benches, almost like pews, likely for spectators during town meetings. Spaced out in front of them on a slightly raised platform are four chairs and a podium.
Moving towards the front and sliding onto a bench to wait for the council members to arrive, Merry answers the dwarves questions. "Nothing too odd, no. One of the farm folk just outside of town proper has been turning up quite a few missing sheep lately, few a night. Not enough all at once that they likely wandered off in a pack, but steady enough it ain't like some wolf up and got them. We got troubles now and again with gobs, had a few ogres cause a stir last year, and the like. Plenty to leave a ruckus and dead sheep in their wake. Just got to get my eye on it so we can militia properly. A need for steady supply makes me a bit wary that trouble may not just be passing through and may need to get rousted rather than just showing we ain't such an easy target."
To the rest she shrugs slightly "My job is to deal with the weird in the area, you know? Nothing too out of place, least beyond your bug friend back there. Been some muggings on the road, but that comes and goes anyway. Few bandits been getting brave and hitting farm houses recently haven't got dealt with yet. Nothing quite like the pitter patter of feet beneath us."
It will take 15 minutes or so before the council arrives so feel free to say anything you might want to merry if you have any questions or responses. Otherwise, I'll get a pose up with the council's arrival tomorrow afternoon.
Riding forward, you begin to see a number of buildings on the horizon. The village looks quite sizable, for not having any sort of walls or proper barricades around it, though as you approach it becomes clear that its built in a ring with a large open area in the center.
With dusk falling, the central area is clear, but it looks like it is set to be a pretty massive marketplace. The town itself has enough buildings to hold hundreds of people anyway, and with the surrounding farms it may crest a thousand, but for a marketplace of this size it likely has quite a bit of travel.
Aside from the marketplace, the town looks almost remarkably unremarkable. Quiet and well tended, but there are a few taverns around just beginning their nightly runs that shake off any sort of 'too perfect' feeling. Several straggling wagons are just making their way from the central square, and you can see a few people hurrying home as a lamp lighter patrols around with a torch to give the main streets a glow. For the ominous name of lichgate, the city doesn't seem to deserve it.
Merry seems jovial enough on her trip, though she doesn't speak too much beyond to comment that hopefully we'll have a few less sheep missing now that the beast is gone. As you enter the town proper, she'll call over to a passing family for them to have their boy gather the council and there will be a coin in it for him, then looks over with a slight smirk, adding to the group.
"I hope you all are good listeners and don't mind sitting for a spell. Most of our votes get resolved through elder attrition. Sort of a trial by ordeal, but against the hands of time rather than a savage creature."
No problem at all, we have noticed your absence Mogwai, but I don't think there was any grumpiness about it, we all understand that real-life peeks in. Especially with such a major event, family has to come first. Take good care of him, get settled in your job and we'll be here crushing your goblin spirits when your world is more normal again.
Man, if I had my appendix taken out I wouldn't be able to give you guys info on any of the countries or anything.
Glad to have you back and that you recovering and starting to bounce back, that is by far the most important.
We had a bit of a quiet week, so you didn't miss too much on that front. We were letting Mogwai take the lead a bit since he was in savior mode and I know his player is getting swamped with the real world as well, so we are giving that a more gentle pace.
Get yourself rested and feeling alright and know you are welcome whenever you are able to dive in with us again.
I was trying to give people a little more leeway to get in any comments they wanted to, but I have a feeling they might be waiting for the halflings response and I know Mogwais' player is pretty held up at the moment.
The small woman raises a brow at the discussion, moving over on her canine in a smooth motion to get a better view of the arrow. "My, you folks are full of madness, aren't you?"
The dog starts to paw towards the arrow, and she pulls him back as she thinks. "So now, you say that something drove this beast aground to cause trouble, you've seen this something before, and you can prove this? Clearing the farms seems a wild notion, but if something is stirring up trouble around here, the elders should know about it. Come. We should hurry."
Pulling at her reins to about-face towards the town she nods back towards the group. "Apple Merrywind at your service. Sheriff in these parts. Now, lets go warn the others and find out what you know and hurry before we go spooking too many more folk."
Also, for your question Aetherni, the member of Jim's team who died was Hal.
Whatever is slowing it doesn't seem to be stopping the angry creature, at least not yet. It snaps forward at the dwarf, but it seems to have tired itself in its burst of energy a moment before and Aetherni is easily able to avoid its lunge, even mid-conversation.
While the party is at least keeping the creature distracted and giving the farmers time to get farther away the halfling seems at least amused by their odd debate over their odd debate on what to do with it while it tries to tear them apart. Drombar's commentary interrupts that however.
"Abandon the farms? Bloody hell, its one ankheg and a sick one that has already been dinged up at that. Nobody is abandoning anything, you hear? Look..." She draws back her arm and lets the handaxe fly, striking the creature squarely between its plates just as it extends itself for another bite at the dwarf. The blow is apparently successful as it shudders and collapses.
"Problem solved. Now, I'd appreciate that you don't go stirring up folks more than necessary. We've got plenty of messes around here on our own without needing passer throughs telling folks that they have to leave their homes cause of some little..." She pauses at that and eyes over at the ankheg "Well moderately sized bug problem."
And of course she rolls a natural 20 and back it with a natural 20 while trying to prove a point with a weapon that isn't made for throwing.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Sounds great, Brutus and welcome back!
Right now I've just been having you be a bit quiet after the business with the goblins. Things have gotten started, but nothing too heavy has occurred in the gameplay thread, just a bit of an encounter to get back into things.
You are more than welcome to pop in how you can, and I know there have been lots of changes, so if things are a bit slower for you, that is totally understandable. Can't wait to see you back among us.
The halfling raises a brow slightly at that, letting her eyes flick from the drow who seemed to be offering to heal the ankheg to the goblin who was chasing away the farmers. Still, her body language does relax slightly, even as the Ankheg lashes out again and nearly catches the distracted dwarf.
"I see that. So lets say I believe this isn't your pet and the bearded fella is just hard up for a dance. I don't know that it rightly matters, where the Ankheg is served. Simple folk might take their wounded and get away, maybe we trick it and get off ourselves. But its on the surface now and had a taste of someone. We ride off and its just going to wander til it runs into more folk, and then it will be hunting. Big guy looks right spent now, sure, but run off, give him a few hours to find himself and he'll be dangerous."
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Making a few die rolls on this one since with Aetherni's AC he is pretty hard to hit and we can probably drop out of combat rounds.
The dwarf proves to be a good distraction, ducking and parrying the powerful but ungainly jaws of the enormous insect while the others help(or chase) the farmers to safety. Once out of immediate range of the creature some of the others help the man with the badly wounded leg onto a cart to help distance him further.
The figure in the distance rapidly grows larger, relatively, until you can make out a halfling on a riding dog rushing forward at full speed. As she gets within about 50 feet she pulls up in a stop, her brow furrowing, trying to take it all in. "What the devil is this? You are on the lands of Lichgate and those people you are terrorizing and your beast has attacked are its people. Disperse your pet and surrender for questioning or there will be consequences."
The halfling is middle aged, by her races standards and looks comfortable in the saddle. She's wearing studded leather and carries a rapier and handaxe.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
That does sound pretty accurate(at least that we are holding waiting for Mogwai since everyone seems to be listening to him), but the assumptions are pretty solid too.
Saving the creature is going to be much harder and definitely harder to explain to the villagers than killing it, but if you are able to do it without more injury, that may bode better to your morale compass
Vorik, you can. The farmer got as far away as he could(about 10 feet) so you could slip in between. With the pain of the arrows striking it, the Ankheg looks a bit more interested in you guys at the moment anyway as it tries to figure out why its hurting.
As the Goblin and Drow both get in close, doing plenty to distract the creature from the wounded man, the Ankheg rears up. It's mandibles part for a moment as if it were trying to spray its acid upon the drow, though clearly none remains. Then, with a lurch, it crashes back down, snapping forward to try and bite the paladin, though the bite seems almost staggered and is easily avoided.
Most of the farmers are sprinting away by now. The wounded one doesn't seem to have use of his leg and scrambles the best he can, managing to get another 10 feet from the creature in his panic.
Perception DC 15:
Coming up the road from the south you do catch a glimpse of something approaching(rather than fleeing like the others) rather rapidly. It is difficult to distinguish in the light, but appears to be small and mounted.
Alright, back to the players side. The thing is swinging wild, but obviously still has a lot of power behind its swings. I'm interested to see what you guys come up with if you are looking to do this without killing.
1d2 ⇒ 2
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Mogwai, the source of the poison is hard to spot. That was the initial perception check in the encounter and unfortunately you didnt spot it there.
With your nature check, however, you would realize that while ankhegs arent simply vermin, they are barely more intelligent than such. Take away a source of pain and calm an animal and they may well retreat. Something like this relies so much on instinct it will probably keep attacking as long as there is a target. If everyone falls out of its awareness it will likely continue just trying to get away from what hurt it rather than pursuing, but that may prove hard to do with the wounded farmer slowing you down.