DMDM's Way of the Wicked, Part II: The Dark Tower

Game Master Douglas Muir 406

Villains! You've committed acts of great and terrible evil. But now comes your greatest challenge yet. You must find and take control of the Dark Tower, and unleash horror upon the Kingdom of Talingarde.


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Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

for the record that would have been so horrifying if you made that save

Never call me lizard.. Ulp says quietly and seriously


Brink speaks. "Heuch," it says in its humming metallic voice, "that'll lesson yon wee daft gleet to fash wi' us. He's singin' a different tune now, the little -- " It stops abruptly.

Several moments later, it murmurs, "That was interesting. But that's probably enough of those for now."


Grumblejack looks at the dead and headless bodies, his big face crumpled in dismay, and shakes his head. "Told you! Those things... bad news!"


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

Ulp creeps down into the hovel, the now open air hovel and searches it for traps, taking 20 then for loot!


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

I am afraid there is nothing I can do for them...they are both dead....pity, they had their use.
Perhaps we should retreat back to the town for the moment?


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

See if the stupid critter had any magic on him, I am searching his hole!

Perhaps we should get them resurrected. Do we think they would want to?


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

I don't know...maybe the other group has a cleric with them...they can cast speak with dead on the bodies to be certain.
Do you have the 8000gp required Ulp? Maybe it will have enough magic to pay for one of them.


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

I have no gold. We would be selling their fear. But perhaps the other knot has the ability. Anything on the booger?.


He's not the booger. "Booger" seems to be his more powerful friend and partner, who is fortunately absent at the moment.


A quick word on design.

This campaign has a number of sandbox-y elements that can be played in a variety of ways, some from Gary, some of my own design. So with the redcap. You could ignore him -- that would be a totally valid play. Unlikely, given the PC penchant to push every button and pull every lever, but it wouldn't hurt you in any way. Or, you could use him as a source of information. PCs tend to view informational NPCs as vending machines to be kicked until they disgorge some useful nuggets, so I complicated this by making him not answer direct questions. Jax had exactly the right idea: correct play here was to engage indirectly and tease information out of him without actually asking.

Third, you could seek to ally with him. He's a deeply evil creature and a bloodthirsty sadist with a hair trigger temper, so you'd have a lot in common. He can't be made more than Neutral towards you, but that's good enough to strike simple deals -- "watch our backs and report who comes past", "kill anyone you see who looks like this", etc. For a price, naturally.

(Actually, it was theoretically possible to make him friendly. With a high enough Bluff, you could convince him that you're a fellow football fan. This would require a great deal of chanting and the consuming of vile, unspeakable liquors, but it could be done.)

Fourth, you could steal from him. Wis was his dump stat, and he's not that hard to distract. Get him talking while someone slinks past him into the rockpile. Of course, you don't have a dedicated rogue type.

Finally, you could fight him. Easy to do, since he's a truculent little bastard. In fighting him, best play would be a sudden mass attack, ideally with spells targeting his weakish Will save. Second best would be enraging him into charging into the middle of the party. He has a highish Int, but not great Wis. The easiest way to do this would be, of course, to insult his team. Letting him get away and buff up and then attack you on his own terms... well, less good.

In terms of build, he's a redcap with PC levels to make him deadlier in combat. Simple enough. High DR, lots of hit points, good AC, lots of damage, fast healing, and some good Stealth and combat feats. Redcaps start with good stats, so giving them PC stat adjustments can make them very tough indeed. No SR, so his glass jaw was supposed to be that Will save -- his Fort is actually quite high -- but you got lucky with the dart, fair enough.


Meanwhile: loot!

-- His scythe was indeed magical! It's a +1 cold iron scythe. (Yes, fey hate cold iron. But redcaps are fey that hate other fey even more.) Unfortunately, it's also an obviously evil weapon: the handle is made of some sort of humanoid bone and there are curses written in Fey engraved all up and down the blade. This makes its resale value in Lawful Good Talingarde a bit iffy.

-- He had two potions on him: Bulls' Strength and another Haste. They're in flat glass bottles. The faint tinkle of glass you heard a while back? Was him swigging a potion and throwing the bottle away to shatter. (A couple of potions, actually. There's a lot of broken glass around... he liked drinking a potion or two before ambushing passers by.)

-- He had several gems in a pouch. A trick he'd occasionally play would be leaving a gem in plain sight to attract the foolhardy. There are four little garnets worth 50 gp each, and a lovely sparkly opal worth another 200.

-- Stuck in the pouch with the gems, there's also an odd dark-green disk-shaped crystal that radiates moderate transmutation.


Ulp flutters down and pokes his nose cautiously into the hole. Step by careful step, he advances. "Mm hm... mm hm..." he mutters to himself. And then, "Ah hah."

I kinda hate the rule that allows taking 20 for traps, but there it is.


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 14 + 2 = 31 disable

. Wow terrible editing on my post. I meant to say that I will endeavor to roll more in te future for searching for traps.


There's a nasty blade trap on the passage going into his front door, and an even nastier deadfall/collapse trap on his emergency escape passage. (So that in a pinch, he could zoom out that way and crash it on any pursuers.)

Taking 20 to find these means you're going to be in there for a while, which is a remarkably unpleasant experience... his lair is full of broken glass, garbage, and gnawed bones with bits of rotting meat on it. It stinks of nameless filth, stale beer and old, crusted blood.


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

That's ok ulp is a kobold and has been smellier places and packing up out lovely corpses will take time


Vitals:
LD14, Cav 1 INIT:+4, AC:34 (39)/FF:33/T:16, HP:283/216, F:+24 R:+14 W:+17, P: 10
Skills:
Bluff+8,Climb+12,Dip+8,Disg+8,Han An+9,Intim+30,Kn(Nobil)+18,Kn(relig)+8,Perc+10,Ride+10,Spellc+4,Surv+6,Stea lth+8

Not like I am going any where.


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

Jax will try identifying the disk-shaped crystal. Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10 Bollacks..

Having no idea what the thing is, he'll help pack up the items from the bodies.

"Yes, returning to town is a good idea." Glancing over at Grumblejack and poking one of the headless corpses, Jax sighs. "I know, Grumbles. At least I listened to you...never mess with fey."

Jax will also help pack up the corpses for..resurrection purposes. He'll additionally go into the redcap's lair looking for fey-brewed liquor with an evil smile on his face. Irin did, after all, request "exotic."


Jax and Ulp, please roll a d20.

In addition to a couple of nasty traps, his squalid, stinking lair contains the following:

-- something more than 1,000 gp worth of cash in various coins scattered around the place. (It will take some time to clean, sort and count the various coins. You tell me if you want to do it here.)

-- A lovely sharp set of surgeon's tools, obviously maintained with care.

-- A masterwork set of barbed manacles.

-- A pair of very nice gloves... that radiate faint magic!

-- A spellbook! Unfortunately, he's been using it for kindling. It looks like only a few pages are intact.

-- Weapons! A bunch of them, tossed into a corner. Unfortunately, most of them have been allowed to rust to the point where they're useless. A longsword and a masterwork light mace seem to be the only ones still more or less intact and usable.

-- Odds and ends of adventurers' gear... some rope, pitons, flint and steell, sacks, and the like. If you take the time to rummage, you could put together two basic dungeoneer's kits and a fighter's kit if you want to.

-- A collection of bizarre fey-themed sports memorabilia. Most are worthless but there is a nice silver chased mug made (of course) from the skull of some unknown, vaguely humanoid creature.

-- A well-stocked liquor cabinet. All of the bottles are of hard liquor of types unknown to you. Most of them smell pretty nasty, but a few are just odd; there's one that smells like ginger, and another like a mixture of toffee and hair cream.

-- several of what appear to be crumpled, torn, and blood-spattered betting sheets for football teams.

-- a well-thumbed little booklet whose revolting contents are not appropriate for discussion on this, a family oriented gaming forum. It is not magical and is probably too grimy and used to have any resale value.


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

1d20 ⇒ 19

want my potion to help you figure out what the magics do?[/dice]. [ooc] potion of identify

Ulp will just collect the coins not sort yet


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

Ulp also collects all the liquor a even the narsty ones. Maybe he can make a fun poison out of them. He will take the time to collect the Dungeoneering kits and will take the spell book for zimu and the dirty book for himself


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

"Keep some of that liquor. If any of it is good, I'll want it for my flask. Although I doubt it with the kind of things our departed 'friend' was into."

"Sure, Ulp. I can't tell what these are.."
Jax will try identifying the crystal and the gloves using the potion. Spellcraft: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (11) + 19 = 30[/ooc]

Unknown d20: 1d20 ⇒ 1 Jax won't bother sorting the coinage now, but will pack all of it up for later cleaning. He'll ransack the place for anything of use, including taking the longsword, masterwork light mace, and salvaging the dungeering and fighter's kits.

"With us down two members, we'll need every advantage we can find and every coin we can gather."


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

Dren asks for a few rusty weapons to be brought up from the lair. He then asks for grumbles help arranging the body.

He has it pinned to a nearby tree. That is followed by a request from Zimu or Jax for quill, ink, and parchment. It will be worth it...I hope.

He then writes a fluid note, Evil doers be ware, this black hearted Fey was killed by Mitra's holy light. Be wary those that follow the path of the dark ways for we will come for you!

He then pins the note to him with a rusty dagger.

I think that makes our point...little bastard...and hopefully his "friend" will be looking for a bunch of Mitran scum to take revenge on.


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

"Dren..brilliant...simply brilliant."


Niiiice.


Okay, then -- you're packing up the bodies (how, exactly?) and heading back to town. Any final preparations before you leave this charming, sunny little meadow?

Revised party marching order?


Ragnar has been savaging the redcap's body. By the time he's done, there's nothing left but bloody bones and shreds and gobbets of meat scattered over several square yards.

He leaves the creature's red woolen cap untouched. When he is done, he picks it up in his bloody jaws and carries it to Edmin's corpes. He drops it on the ground beside the headless body, and then leans back on his haunches and howls.

"AWWOOOOOOOOOOO!" Three times he howls, each longer and more full of grief and rage then the last. And then --

FWOOOMPH. There is a blast of flame and a puff of brimstone. You leap backwards from the sudden wave of heat.

Ragnar the dog is gone.


Male Vampire(former Dhampir) Bard(Negotiator) 13/Anti-Paladin/2 - [HP 209/231; AC43,FF36,T22; CMD32; DR/10 magic+silver; F+28,R+29,W+26; Per+31; Init +12]

I have a Bag of Holding Type II with a coffin in it, that should have more than enough carrying capacity for both bodies and equipment (except the haversacks, definitely do not want to put the haversacks in the bag of holding).


Judge Tohram Quasangi wrote:
(except the haversacks, definitely do not want to put the haversacks in the bag of holding).

A less kindly DM would have you make a Knowledge [arcana] roll to avoid doing that.


Male Vampire(former Dhampir) Bard(Negotiator) 13/Anti-Paladin/2 - [HP 209/231; AC43,FF36,T22; CMD32; DR/10 magic+silver; F+28,R+29,W+26; Per+31; Init +12]

Actually, the Bag of Holding describes what happens if a BoH is put in a portable hole and vice versa, nothing about what happens when a BoH is put in a BoH. A haversack is apparently like a BoH for this analysis.


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

1d20 + 13 ⇒ (19) + 13 = 32 arcana


Ulp makes a sound like an overheated teakettle. "SSSS! Don't touch that! Careful, careful!"

Awww.


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

Slight adjustment to the plan. We will quickly gather what is left of his remains and bury it in a shallow grave so it is not quite so gory.
We will then place a cross over it with the note and his hat draped over it.

Do we know the name of the local commander left in the town, we should add it to the note. Always need someone to pin it on.

Evil doers be ware, this black hearted Fey was killed by Mitra's holy light. Be wary those that follow the path of the dark ways for we will come for you! Turn from your ways now before it is too late.

Will sign it with that commanders name.


Ulp's Identify:

The gem is a mossy green disc ioun stone. Hold it in your hand for a round and it will begin orbiting your head, giving you +5 on Knowledge [planes] checks. Note that ioun stones are really obvious and there's no way to conceal them.

The gloves are Gauntlets of the War Mage.

Aura: Faint conjuration; CL 3rd
Slot: hands; Price: 2,500 gp, Weight: 1 lb.

These gloves are made of supple black leather, with thicker hard leather plates bolted onto the backs of the wrist and along the tops of the fingers. The thicker leather is skillfully articulated, allowing the fingers a full range of motion. Small runes of silver have been worked into all the leather plates.

These gauntlets grant you a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls with spells, and +1 to hp damage rolls with spells that require attack rolls. These bonuses cannot be used with spells delivered through weapon attacks or combined with weapon attacks in any way, nor do the
damage bonuses apply to any spell that does not require an attack roll. If a spell can affect multiple targets, only a single point of additional damage is done (select one target).


I'll assume party marching order is Jax, Dren, Ulp, Zimu, Grumblejack -- your two remaining melee types at front and back, squishier characters in the middle. Fair enough?


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

yes, though while in the woods, Ulp would skulk in the bushes, off to the side taking 10 on stealth

J D Z G
U

something like that


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

After consulting with Jax and Dren.

These gloves make spells more powerful. I believe our witch should use them. until Zimu confirms I have them on the loot sheet.

Who has an understanding about beings of the outer planes? You should use this disc.


It's interesting having a smaller party for a while! Just the four of you and Grumblejack. Cozy.


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

Nice of them to make gloves specifically for boosting evocation, and then make them useless for the class most likely to use evocation (magus). :(

"I do, Ulp, although that may be something we can sell. And yes, those gloves are useless for my combat style..unfortunately." Jax wriggles the thin black gloves he already wears. "That, and I fear I already have much more useful equipment."

Jax will help break bones so the b odies can be carefully packed up and shoved together into the coffin in one go. He makes sure to talk cheerfully to his dear, departed companions as he does so. "A few extra breaks won't matter much.." He leaves the heads until last, having them propped up nearby watching as he breaks limbs and folds them in on one another.

--------------
IN THE TOWN
--------------

Spoiler:

The door to Cladius' Wand Shoppe slams open and two (possibly five) figures walk in. The door is quickly closed behind them and the lock turned. Jax, in the guise of a soft-eyed human male, closes the dusty window curtains and calls out over one shoulder.

"Zoren! I hope you're here and not falling over yourself drunk or holed up with some new woman.."

No response answers the tiefling who sighs and gestures to the back room. "Let's put all of the gear back here. I'll wait until my...associate returns from wherever he is"

Zoren doesn't show up until at least one, possibly two, days have passed. When he does, he's red-nosed with a rolled tobacco cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth. He blinks confusedly at seeing Jax in his human form.

"Who're you and what are you doing in my locked shop?" As he asks the question, one hand rises and smoke wisps up from it as a spell is prepared. The wizard drops his hand when Jax raises the circlet and reveals his bedeviled self.

"We have an emergency. Where have you been--nevermind, I can assume the answer. Remember my associates? Well, they made the fool-hardy decision to f!@+ with a redcap and lost their heads. Literally. We struck down the bloody fey and raided his home, but he has a friend called Booger. Anyway! We have this giant evil scythe that we need to find a buyer for. Think you can handle that?"


Male Human Wiz5/Nin1/Asn1/AT5
Spoiler:
HP 82/82+18, AC: 15/11/14; Saves: +9/+13/+11; Init +11; Per +17
Buffs:
Telepathic Bond, Overland Flight 40', Resist Cold 30

"I..may be able to do that." Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17


It's going to take you about a day to hike back, with another overnight stay in the forest. So, unless anyone has anything to add, I'll start firing up the encounter dice.


Following your own backtrail gives you +4 on the DC 15 Survival check to not be lost. Since Zimu has +11 Survival, she'll guide you back on anything but a 1. I'll roll for her: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24


You turn your back on the Dark Tower and begin trudging back towards the stairs. This first attempt has met with defeat... but you will be back.

[roll roll roll]


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

Jax looks over his shoulder as the ruins fade between trees. He shakes his head sadly, one hand clasping Brink's handle.

So much for a simple scouting mission...and next time we come back we'll have to deal with this Booger fellow.


To your annoyance, as soon as you turn around the clouds part and the sun rolls up into a clear blue sky. Birds are singing and a fresh breeze blows. It's almost as if the forest is mocking you.

A couple of hours hike bring you to the stairs. The corpse of the treant is still smoldering but otherwise all is as you left it.


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

On the road back, speaking with the others...Perhaps we should be thinking more long term about our colleagues. Their deaths endanger the mission. We should consider trying to find out if we can raise one or both of them.
Although I won't weaken myself for their benefit I do have some excess gold. Also our "lord" helper can assist in getting rid of what we have found to get additional cash and what is left we can salvage from their bodies.
I think we should be pragmatic about them.

Dren is tempted to cast darkness around them...he doesn't particularly care for the bright sun...

Maybe we can throw off "Booger" a little with my ruse.


You descend the stairs and move on. The afternoon begins deepening into evening; somewhere beyond the trees, the Sun is setting.

Camp for the night, or push on through the dark?


Male Human Oracle (FC) 15 Init: +8 Perc: +0 AC:24/14/20 F:+13 R:+14 W:+15 HP:124/124 Freedom of movement, Resist Cold/30, Air Walk 30'

How much longer do we guess it is to push on? All of us have Darkvision and can continue on.


M Tiefling Magus/Rogue;
Statistics:
HP 169/169; AC:37/21/29; Saves: +22/+23/+20; Init +10; Per +28(See Invisibility), CMD 42
Misc:
Effects: Resist Cold 30, Fly 30', Telepathic Bond

"Push on. We can sleep when we reach town."


Acid res 30 , Heroism, Sacred Bond, Telepathy, Shield Shield, Invisible, Undetectable
Vital:
HP 99(-)/99; AC 30(38)/tch 20(22)/FF 24(32); CMD 26 (28); F+15 (-)(+4 dis imm Pois, +2 ongoing eff) R +22 (26)W +12(13)(+4 slp/par) Res Elec 5; Init+6(8); Bmbs 3/38 Breath 2/2 Fly 11/15 60ft FF 0/9, Surge 4/5 Leg Surge 2/2
Skills:
Craft: Trap+29 Stealth+26(28) Wind+1 Perc +19 (18) Alchemy+38 DD +23 Spellcraft+24 Arcana+24Nature+24 Rel +24 Fly+22 UMD+16 Surv+23

Ulp nods in agreement


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Male Vampire(former Dhampir) Bard(Negotiator) 13/Anti-Paladin/2 - [HP 209/231; AC43,FF36,T22; CMD32; DR/10 magic+silver; F+28,R+29,W+26; Per+31; Init +12]

The Judge nods. Oh, damn, his head fell off again.

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