[5e] Courts of the Shadow Fey

Game Master mishima


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Some say the world is white and featureless. Others say the world is a black abyss.

Half black, half white. Half sorrow, half joy. Half living, half a ghost. The Realm of Shadow is neither one thing nor another; it is a place of halves. One might think of it as half regret, half done, half dead. But it is just as fair to say half rich, half cured, half won. The shadows are a place of neither pure evil nor pure good, but only that muddle where true balance lies, where lives are rich and sad and complicated. Half villains and half heroes, who strive but never win. But who never quite lose.

In the Summer Court she sits on a mirrored throne within her palace of glass and dreams, attended by 1,000 lords and ladies with alabaster skin and hearts of ice.

But there is another world where the last colors of autumn fall, and the first true chill of the year bites at free men...strange rumors tell of elves hunting openly in the streets. With Zobeck's Trade Fair closed for the year, and the caravans all gone, bards fight to secure their winter with melancholic songs and oratory by the fire.

Adventure Types:
Intrigue, Interdimensional Exploration (planar adventure)

Setting:
Kobold Press' Midgard setting. We will start at an indoor theater in Zobeck, where you could be in the audience, a worker, distinguished guest, guard, player, pickpocket, etc...

Zobeck is similar to PF's Absolom or really any big city from any setting, a crossroads and cultural melting pot. Later and for the majority of the adventure we will be in the Shadow Realm, which is Midgard's Shadow plane (but much more interesting imo).

In general, the Midgard setting takes a lot of European/Middle East folklore and jams it all together along with regular d&d stuff. So its Loki and Thor next to Hades and Hermes with Baba Yaga and Tensor's Floating Disk. But of course the setting has been around for more than a decade so the countries have all developed an organic history.

You really don't need to know anything about Midgard to play, but its good stuff if you like to read and imagine.

Combat:
Theater of Mind. In the past Ive used elaborate battle grids, but I think I can post faster and with higher quality without them this time around.

Creation:
You have a place in the world. You could be a knight, notorious thief or guildmaster...people depend on you or fear you. Status will become important later in the adventure.

7th level, 27 pt buy. Feats and variant humans in play.

Midgard has some fairly extreme twists on the traditional races, as well as a vast array of non-traditional options. Ill list the non-traditional ones: bearfolk, centaurs, dhampir, gearforged, kobolds, minotaurs, ravenfolk, shadow fey, and trollkin. Even these might be different than you think, for example the gearforged are actual people's consciousness implanted into the construct.

Wealth:

500gp + (1d10*25)gp + normal starting equipment.

Potions of healing, climbing, animal friendship, greater healing, and water breathing are available for 50, 75, 100, 100, and 100 respectively.

Scrolls of 0th, 1st, 2nd are available for 25, 75, and 150 plus component costs. Spells scribed after 1st level must be accounted for.

Sources:
PHB, XGE, Midgard Heroes Handbook (MHH) only. No UA this time.

Background:
I like bulleted lists as a player and DM, but don't let me limit your creativity. I'm more interested in character than history. Dirty Harry is an awesome character and no one knows/cares about his parents or early life.

House Rules/Variants:

Skills with Different Abilities: Rarely I might have you use a non-standard ability for a proficiency check. For example a constitution athletics check for a long run. These are typically helpful and not trying to be 'gotchas'.

Slow Natural Healing: Party needs a healer's kit (or at least something to approximate kitchen sink surgery) to regain hp at all, and must spend HD. Basically, you don't just automatically get all hp back after a long rest. Instead you regain half your HD after a long rest (as usual). I've been interested in this rule both as player and DM, but not played a higher level game with it yet (at lower levels I've never even noticed it).

Post Frequency/Game Duration:
Once per day from all players. I work a 4 day week and will not post at work, but when I'm home can post all night. I've had 40 post bursts in some games before, my activity just depends on your activity really. I will always try to advance things with my posts, or offer something new.

The game could easily go more than a year, it is roughly 4 module length adventures in one. We might complete the first 'Act' and take a week or two breather.

Recruitment:
Looking for 4-6 players and taking applicants until October 5th. Please fire away with any questions or clarifications needed.


Definitely still interested - will put together a Human Mazeborn (Minotaur Bloodline) Sorcerer.

Will get something up for consideration o'er the weekend.


What pray tell is XGE? :)


Xanathar's Guide to Everything mate :)


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Of course...<smacks forehead>


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Yay! I'm thinking maybe a Bard of some sort... just got to decide... Dhampir, Ravenfolk, Gearforged (Jukebox)


Interested, as stated in the interest thread. The perfect opportunity to try something different, I've had an eye over the Elemental Wizard and liked it enough to maybe build a kind of Lord of Thunder (even more cool if playing a Hunning, The Thundercrow!). Or maybe something more martial if we keep on getting interest in bards, sorcerers and the like. It doesn't matter, everything I'm reading seems cool!


Or after reading a bit of Midgard maybe A Dhampir Fighter / Sword Dancer (Dhampir of MORGAU)

Hit points after level 1?


Interested. Learning about Midgard.

I'm thinking of an entertainer (dancer/singer). Stat-wise would be a bard of some sort.

I'm thinking human but didn't know that dhampir was an option...


Quote:
Hit points after level 1?

Roll or average rounded up, whichever better.


Cash: 1d10 ⇒ 2

Okay, so that's 550 gp + 10 gp from the Fey-touched background for 560 gp. I'm guessing we can use that on mundane gear, but not on magic items unless its the potions or scrolls listed above.


Where can we find the info on the non-traditional races and the twists you mentioned? MHH?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dotting.

Cash: 1d10 ⇒ 4

Alright, I've got 600 GP.


Quote:
I'm guessing we can use that on mundane gear, but not on magic items unless its the potions or scrolls listed above.

Right. Some classes (ex wizards) need gold much more than others. But you could also buy the deed to a small estate for as little as 100gp. You could invest in a local business or be involved in running one yourself. It might be a priceless piece of art you have hidden in a warehouse somewhere. We can talk about that sort of thing after selection.

Quote:
Where can we find the info on the non-traditional races and the twists you mentioned? MHH?

That's correct. Kobold Press took all their little splat books over the years, updated to 5e, and crammed it all into the MHH. It is 200 pages and 100% packed with player options. My only qualm is the spell reference, which is super inconvenient to use (dndbeyond has spoiled me forever).

Liberty's Edge

Looking forward to this. Just away at the moment but I will try to get my submission up ASAP!!


1d10 ⇒ 9 Money 725 GP

1d10 ⇒ 6 HP2 6
1d10 ⇒ 3 HP3 6
1d10 ⇒ 4 HP4 6
1d10 ⇒ 10 HP5 10
1d10 ⇒ 4 HP6 6
1d10 ⇒ 9 HP7 9

Still have to shop, work on background, and some other tidbits, but here are the basics of:

Constantin Dogaru

Spoiler:

Constantin Dogaru
Male Dhampir Fighter 7
Medium humanoid, neutral good

--------------------
Armor Class 18 (leather armor)
Hit Points 67 (7d10+14)
Speed 30 ft.
--------------------
STR 10 (+0), DEX 19 (+4), CON 14 (+2), INT 10 (+0), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 16 (+3)
--------------------
Saving Throws Str +3, Con +5
Skills Acrobatics +7, Intimidation +6, Perception +3, Performance +6, Persuasion +6
Damage Resistances necrotic
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Elvish

Actions
--------------------

Handaxe. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20 ft./60 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d6 slashing damage.

Handaxe. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20 ft./60 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d6 slashing damage.

Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 150 ft./600 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d8+4 piercing damage.

Rapier. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d8+4 piercing damage.

Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1d6+4 piercing damage.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage.
--------------------
FIGHTER: SWORD DANCER (Archetype)
Sword-dancers blur the line between warrior and courtier. The first sword-dancers hailed from the sultan’s court in the city of Siwal in the Southlands. Sword-dancers are graceful and charming, with wits as sharp as their flashing blades. Fighters who follow the sword-dancer archetype often attach themselves to powerful lords as bodyguards, spies, and diplomats.

BONUS PROFICIENCY:
Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Performance and
Persuasion skills.

LIGHT ON YOUR FEET:
Also at 3rd level, while wearing light or no armor, you can add your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1) to your armor class, and you ignore difficult terrain.

DUST ON THE WIND:
Starting at 7th level, when you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature until the start of your next turn.

DEADLY ARTISTRY::
At 10th level, after you move at least 10 feet, your melee attacks deal an additional 1d8 damage until the start of your next turn.

HOWLING EDGE OF THE RAZOR:
Starting at 15th level, as a reaction when you take damage from a creature within 5 feet of you, you can make one melee weapon attack against that creature.

TEETH OF KHAMSIN:
At 18th level, when you take the Attack action, you can use the Dash action as a bonus action. When you Dash in this way, attack rolls made against you have disadvantage until the start of your next turn.

Equipment Handaxe, Handaxe, leather armor, Longbow, Rapier, Shortsword, arrows (20), backpack, bedroll, clothes, fine, lyre, mess kit, pouch, rations (8), rations (2), rope, hempen (50 feet), signet ring, tinderbox, torch (10), waterskin, 735 gp

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at https://www.wolflair.com
System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Background is done but Hero Lab doesn't output it so I'll have to put it in manually later. Dhampir of Morgau is the background.


Going for a Criminal background for my Mazeborn Sorcerer. Reading into Zobeck's gangs as we speak. Makes for interesting reading...

Given his unlawful profession am mulling a likely level dip into Rogue.


Wealth: 1d10 ⇒ 4
HP: 6d10 ⇒ (5, 2, 8, 1, 4, 1) = 21

Dhampir Ghost Knight of Morgau

Profile Work In Progress (WIP)

Hope Lawful Evil will be alright. Lawful for his code of conduct. I could dial it back to Lawful Neutral, if it would be better for the party.

I'll post again to let you know when to review.

Cheers


Let's see about dinero, amigo! 1d10 ⇒ 7

So yeah, I think I'm set on a Wizard welding the power of lightning, a northerner which has studied the elements face to face, staying alone in the wilds and living off the land.

Are we allowed to alter the backgrounds / create or own, as per the optional rules in the rulebook? All I need is Outlander to give Nature instead of Athletics (I've always thought someone living in the wilds would know about the wilds).


Yes, those 5e backgrounds are completely customizable as per normal rules. "you can replace one feature with any other one, choose any two skills, and choose a total of two tool proficiencies or languages from the sample backgrounds."


Hmm, Ithought I knew what I wanted to play, but I'm starting to see a lot of possibilities. I'm kinda leaning towards either a Paladin or a Cleric. I am going for a fey-touched background though. Should be fun.


Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 9
Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 6
Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 1 6
Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 3 6
Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 9
Fighter HP: 1d10 ⇒ 2 6

Money: 1d10 ⇒ 4x25=100

Dotting for a shield bashing hero.


Will you allow me to use the revised ranger?


Vrog, sorry man, no UA this time around. I know you can do a killer character regardless.


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A great GM, so definitely interested. Still thinking up a character though.

Anyone have a link to the campaign setting info?


Grum, there really isn't a good free/legal source on the web for it unfortunately.

KPOGL has most of the races at least (just bare minimal crunch).


Player: Grumbaki
Race: Mountain Dwarf
Class: Forge Cleric with lvl4 feat magic initiate
Wealth: 1d10 ⇒ 10
HP: 8 + 14 + 6d8 + 6 ⇒ 8 + 14 + (5, 6, 6, 7, 2, 2) + 6 = 56
Crunch to come

Background

Hrungnir walked through the streets of Zobeck, oblivious to the world around him. The dwarf had come all the way from the Notands because...of her.

Are you going to Zobeck Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
For you were once a true love of mine.

Her voice haunted him. It drove him to madness. A deep, longing ache was in his soul.

Have you made me a mail shirt
From Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor twist of work
And then you’ll be a true love of mine

He pulled on his beard unhappily. It was impossible. Even the greatest smiths couldn’t do that. But...her eyes. They were like no mortal’s. He couldn’t forget them. Not while he walked. Certainly not while he slept.

Tell you forged it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then you’ll be a true love of mine

Impossible! He had tried to find a way. But to no avail. It was beyond mortal hands to do so. His kin thought him insane when he left. Maybe they were right?

Have you found me on an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the sea foam and over the sand
And then you’ll be a true love of mine

He stopped at an indoor theatre. He went inside, eager to get his mind off of her.

Love imposes impossible tasks
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Though not more than any heart asks...

Her song had ended, and she spoke to him. It was his last memory of her.

And I must know, are you a true love of mine?

————

Summary: A dwarf who chanced upon a fey of the summer court, and who is enraptured with her song. After trying and failing to complete his task with mortal hands, he has abandoned everything to come to Zobeck. For now all that he has is to wander in the hopes of finding her once more.


Crunch:

Str (20) Dex (8) Con (16) Int (14) Wis (12) Cha (10)
Class: Eldritch Knight Fighter

Race: Northerner Dwarf
* Speed; Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
* Darkvision: Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
* Dwarven Resilience: You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage (explained in the “Combat” section).
* Dwarven Combat Training: You have proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer, and warhammer.
* Tool Proficiency You gain proficiency with smith’s tools
* Stonecunning: Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Background: Sage
So dedicated is Hrungnir to finding a way to earn the love of his fey goddess, that he has dedicated himself to researching a way to fulfill her conditions. This has, through persistence and dedication rather than raw skill, made him into an efficient researcher.
* When you attempt to learn or recall a piece of lore, if you do not know that information, you often know where and from whom you can obtain it. Usually, this information comes from a library, scriptorium, university, or a sage or other learned person or creature. Your DM might rule that the knowledge you seek is secreted away in an almost inaccessible place, or that it simply cannot be found. Unearthing the deepest secrets of the multiverse can require an adventure or even a whole campaign.

Skills
* Athletics (+8)
* Arcana, History (+5)
* Perception (+4)

Equipment
* Splint Armor, Shield, Warhammer, 2x Hand Axes, Explorer’s Pack, 2x Health Potions, 2x Greater Health Potions, 285 gold

Eldritch Knight (7)
* Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon
* Second Wind: You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.
* Action Surge: Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn
* Weapon Bond: At 3rd level, you learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and one weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the weapon and forge the bond. Once you have bonded a weapon to yourself, you can't be disarmed of that weapon unless you are incapacitated. If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that weapon as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand. You can have up to two bonded weapons, but can summon only one at a time with your bonus action. If you attempt to bond with a third weapon, you must break the bond with one of the other two.
* Extra Attack: Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class and to four when you reach 20th level in this class.

Cantrips
* Prestidigitation, Firebolt

Spells Known
* Absorb Elements (lvl1), Shield (lvl1), Magic Missile (lvl1), Chromatic Orb (lvl1), Scorching Ray (lvl2)

Spell slots
4x lvl1
2x lvl2


Jubal asked about evil, I'm fine with that unless its against the party.


I am very interested and working on an application. My mind is spinning though with many possibilities. That being said, at this time, I'm thinking of putting together a former kobold activist and community pillar whose soul was saved to a gearforged body after his brutal assassination.

So, gearforged bard (glamour or lore, most likely), but with a kobold background, and deeply involved in city politics and the kobold cause in Zobeck.


The crunch is done, but I'm working on the character's story and idea. I think he's finally going to be an elfmarked, it sounds more... marginal, mestizo, castaway... and I have a nice element in mind that will give him a distinct look and personality. I just need some time to put it in words, though, and to read more about the world.


This sounds great!

I'm still working on her, but I'll be submitting Braka Stoutwort, Cleric of Ninkash, and getting to try out Midgard's Beer Domain! She's a Cantonal (Hill) Dwarf, from the Canton of of Kubourg. Reference Image.

More to come!


HP: 10 + 21 + 6d10 + 10 ⇒ 10 + 21 + (10, 4, 2, 2, 10, 6) + 10 = 75


Okay, no worries. I'll kick something else together and get it posted shortly!


HP: 8 + 6d8 ⇒ 8 + (1, 3, 6, 2, 7, 2) = 29

Coins: 1d10 ⇒ 9


I only wish there's an elf avatar with pink clothes... xD


@GM, would you allow the Changeling from Wayfinders? It looks like Midgard might have a "Mirror Folk" analogue in-setting, if I'm reading the references correctly.

I'd love to play a Hexblade Warlock; I was running a first level one in a game recently that got let go by the GM.

Edit: The changeling idea would likely be creating a position of influence within the Zobeck movers and shakers. If Changeling is a no-go, I'll probably go for something like a Soldier Dragonkin with the Fiend Patron with a level of multiclassed fighter at first for a dueling style and extra HP, and he would be the magical adjunct to the city guard or something similar.


While it might not be the most optimal thing...taking the Feat Rune Knowledge. It just fits the setting too well not to. Also, on the plus side, this Fighter is now proficient in Persuasion, Insight, Perception, Arcana, History And Athletics. Pretty well rounded for social situations and adventuring.

And looking forward to seeing some more builds and backgrounds. :)


Hrungnir wrote:

While it might not be the most optimal thing...taking the Feat Rune Knowledge. It just fits the setting too well not to. Also, on the plus side, this Fighter is now proficient in Persuasion, Insight, Perception, Arcana, History And Athletics. Pretty well rounded for social situations and adventuring.

And looking forward to seeing some more builds and backgrounds. :)

Show off! ;D

Cheers


Persuasion: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18

Showing off quite well too! :D


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My current build is a minotaur barbarian with the Path of the Storm Herald. I’ll have my background up soon.


River of Sticks, Ill have to say no on the changeling. While that would be interesting for an adventure so full of courtly intrigue, I just want to stick with XGE and MHH as supplements.


Hey GM (or other experienced 5e players), the Beer domain grants proficiency with brewer's supplies, and then says "Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses those supplies."

From what I've found in the PHB, I don't see any mention of making ability checks to craft at all. Is there anything I can read (or one of you can explain) about when I'd need to make a brewing check, and what ability score it's based off of? (I'm 100% fine if brewing beer is mostly about flavor and RP...but the language about doubling my proficiency bonus on checks makes me think perhaps there's more as well.)

Thanks!


The site's downtime threw off my character updates. I'll get it finished up by tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. On a business trip, and feel handcuffed without my dual monitor set up to drag and drop :-).


@gyrfalcon

Read Crafting under Downtime activities on PHB pg 187. Basically, you can make beer/ale (prices on PHB pg 158) at half cost. Flavor to taste!

cheers


A truly noble profession. A party healer is *almost* as important.


gyrfalcon, yeah that oddity is likely a holdover from PF being converted into 5e. But I use the XGE tool rules so there would indeed be more:

XGE Brewer's:

Brewing is the art of producing beer. Not only does beer serve as an alcoholic beverage, but the process of brewing purifies water. Crafting beer takes weeks of fermentation, but only a few hours of work.

Components. Brewer’s supplies include a large glass jug, a quantity of hops, a siphon, and several feet of tubing.

History. Proficiency with brewer’s supplies gives you additional insight on Intelligence (History) checks concerning events that involve alcohol as a significant element.

Medicine. This tool proficiency grants additional insight when you treat anyone suffering from alcohol poisoning or when you can use alcohol to dull pain.

Persuasion. A stiff drink can help soften the hardest heart. Your proficiency with brewer’s supplies can help you ply someone with drink, giving them just enough alcohol to mellow their mood.

Potable Water. Your knowledge of brewing enables you to purify water that would otherwise be undrinkable. As part of a long rest, you can purify up to 6 gallons of water, or 1 gallon as part of a short rest.

Brewer’s Supplies
Activity DC
Detect poison or impurities in a drink 10
Identify alcohol 15
Ignore effects of alcohol 20

So the actual ability depends on what you are doing. If it is just brewing beer, no roll is needed but you need half the cost of what you are trying to make. A full keg of ale is 15.5 gallons so would be about 3.1 gp, since a gallon of ale is 0.2 gp. So you would pay 1.55 gp (half price) and just auto-succeed absent extreme circumstances (like someone raiding your brewery or something).

For time cost just browsing the internet it seems doable in 20 days, but if you are up and running already (by investing some starting gold) you likely already have production at 1 keg/day or more. If there is divinity helping the work, maybe we could say a Wisdom (Brewers) check could accelerate the process even more.

Man, 15.5 gallons of ale sounds delicious.

Anyone who hasn't read the tool rules in XGE should do so, they are pure gold.


Thanks for the detailed answer. I guess I better find myself a copy of XGE!

To clarify, does

Quote:
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses those supplies.

mean that (in circumstances where you (DM) say it makes sense) I can apply 2x my proficiency bonus when, say, sharing some of my *really special* ale while Persuading someone, or using my *very pure* alcohol to disinfect a wound?

If so, that seems like some beer any dwarf would be proud to brew!


Yes, you get double proficiency bonus and advantage on skill checks like that. A normal brewer without the beer domain would only get advantage. The advantage for synergistic tools is the XGE part.


Need to read that XGE. Sounds cool.

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