[5e] Descent into Avernus

Game Master mishima

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Welcome to Baldur’s Gate, a veritable nest of rats and vipers clinging to the rocky slopes overlooking the Chionthar River. From their high perches in the Upper City, the local nobles — known as patriars — gaze down with veiled contempt upon the common rabble in the grimy Lower City, which hugs the foggy harbor. The whole of Baldur’s Gate reeks of blood, crime, and opportunity. One can easily fathom why pirates and traders are drawn to this place like flies to a carcass.

Following the river farther east would eventually lead you to Elturel, capital of the holy land of Elturgard — or at least that was the case until a few days ago. The flood of refugees from Elturel has gotten worse since news first arrived that the city has fallen. Everyone is saying Baldur’s Gate is next, but no one truly knows who or what has claimed Elturel.

The patriars pay a mercenary army called the Flaming Fist to protect their interests in Baldur’s Gate, and by extension, the city itself. The Flaming Fist has gained even more power since their charismatic leader, Ulder Ravengard, claimed the title of Grand Duke a few years ago. Apparently, Ravengard is missing. In his absence, the Flaming Fist has sealed the city’s gates to staunch the flow of refugees. No one is allowed in or out.

Unfortunately for you, times like these give the Fist the authority to draft adventurers...

I'm committed to running the full chapter 1 from Descent into Avernus, which takes place mainly in Baldur's Gate. I find it an interesting urban adventure with a good mix of intrigue and action.

I've been away from the boards and pen and paper RPGs for a year...but its time to return and game on. I may be a little rules rusty but don't hold it against me. Check out some of my previous games for a sense of my style. Briefly, I like humor in the form of wordplay and exaggeration. Imaginative solutions and quality over quantity in creative writing are what really wow me, and are the reason I do this.

★ For backgrounds, I like bulleted lists as a player and DM, but don't let me limit your creativity. But 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.

★ Combat will be gridless.

★ My games are usually pretty fast paced, I expect 1 post per day from players. During the summer, my work is much less (if nonexistent) and I can post every 10 minutes...but come mid-August it will become 1 per day on weekdays.

★ 27 pt buy, Level 1

★ Sources: PHB, SCAG, Volos, Mords, Xans, TCoE (warning I am pretty unfamiliar with TCoE except for stuff that was popular in Unearthed Arcana before publication). No UA.

★ Variants: variant humans yes, feats during ABI yes, inspiration yes, modified initiative for pbp

★ Having some sort of connection to the Hellriders or Elturgard might be helpful if your own character's motivations aren't enough. You've been 'drafted' by the Flaming Fist for reasons that aren't yet clear.

★ The party will share a 'Dark Secret' (either conspiracy, murder, theft, or a failed coup). We will craft this together after selection, but feel free to get the thoughts flowing now.

I like nerding out on FR lore while rolling nat 20s. Join me.

1 week until recruitment is closed and players selected. Probably a year to finish.


Definitely interested!

Silver Crusade


I've got a High Elf Fighter headed for Eldritch Knight, that has the "Sage of Baldurs Gate" background eager to adventure. And not DEX based... I know... Weird for an Elf.

My original idea is that "She" was found in a burned out area as an infant, and grew up in the company of Flaming Fist followers. As soon as she was old enough, she joined, and holds a bit of a grudge that she's always the last picked for missions... just because she's a girl.

But her Double Bladed Scimitar is sharp and she's always eager to try it out.

Nice. A Flaming Fist connection could be interesting. Their leader, some say the only good man in the organization, has gone missing recently (he is also the Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate, highest official). So without him the Fist have devolved into an even more thuggish lot, taking advantage of citizens however they can.

They are basically using the refugee 'crisis' to become more authoritarian and lock the city down etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Interesting. Might be just the thing to get me out of my PF1 comfort zone and find a use for that 5e PHB gathering dust on my gamebook shelf.

Oh, and hi Markofbane, long time no see *waves*

Silver Crusade

I'm thinking a sorcerer or wizard. That or perhaps even a storm cleric, I have a fun, unorthodox idea for one...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I’ve got the beginnings of a half-elf warlock whirling around in my head. Bit of a furious goth chick vibe. Let’s see where this leads.

Grand Lodge

I have a Champion Fighter that I was using for the modules. I can bump him down to 1st level!

Grand Lodge

Quick question, would we be doing starting gold or starting equipment?

Grand Lodge

Here is the link for the character sheet busted back down to 1st level. Feel free to give me some feedback, and some things can be adjusted to do the whole group secret thing. The background could build off what I have (if that is a good jumping off point for others)...

I hope this is pleasing for y'all!

Player's choice to either do rolled gold or the standard equipment lists, its customization vs convenience. If you want rolled gold, roll here.

Grand Lodge

GM Infinity wrote:
Player's choice to either do rolled gold or the standard equipment lists, its customization vs convenience. If you want rolled gold, roll here.

No worries, I ended up doing starting equipment and selling off equipment to buy others. I figure if we are rolling with the Hellriders, I should keep the chainmail... ;)

Character look good? I am pretty happy with the commissioned art piece and would like to use this character again. The AL DM that we were playing with, lost interest in AL and so the character was again in Limbo... :p

Liberty's Edge

Dotting for interest. I have a couple of ideas to refine

Aesh, looks good. We could flesh out what happened in Elturel and the Lord Protectors mission.

Also, the campaign book has some alternative background features for the common backgrounds and acolyte is included. This is totally optional and at a glance might not make sense for your specific character, but just FYI:

It’s said that every faith in the world has a believer in Baldur’s Gate. Not only are most established faiths tolerated — even if some of them, including most of the openly evil faiths, are relegated to the Outer City’s Twin Songs neighborhood — but new ones arrive constantly, carried by travelers and proselytizers from far-flung lands. A character with this background might aspire to greater things, not for themselves, but for their faith.

Baldur’s Gate Feature: Religious Community
You’re tightly connected with the religious community of Baldur’s Gate. You know if a deity has a following in the city and any places that faith openly congregates and the neighborhoods those faithful typically inhabit. While this isn’t remarkable for most of the city’s larger faiths, keeping track of the hundreds of religions newcomers bring with them is no mean feat.

This sounds fun. What character types are you missing? I was thinking of a fiend slayer tiefling (like Magik from the New Mutants/X-Men) probably a warlock?

Here is a link to the character. He was raised among a good temple (not sure which one) but still has a connection to Mephistophles.

If not maybe a wizard?


Rod, that crunch looks fine at a glance. What kind of character is he/she? Why does he/she slay fiends?

Grand Lodge

I think you are right, I will keep the standard Acolyte feature, though I doubt I will be able to use it much.

I was thinking that maybe the Lord Protector brought me in to investigate the return of agents of the Three? Or to subvert them?

Hi GM Infinity! I've played the AP, but frankly have forgotten much of it. And your games are awesome, so I would love to join your game.

My candidate is Mal, a Lightfoot halfling Rogue going to become a Shadow Sorcerer at 2nd level.

Malaric grew up in the mean streets of Baldur's Gate. Since Mal was one of many in a litter of a pair of halfling servants, he was often overlooked and neglected. He learned his skills of a scoundrel from his older siblings.

Several years ago, he was caught in the act of burglary by a recluse book-seller who turned out to be a priest of Shar. The priest captured him and eventually convinced Mal in the power of Shar. He became an apprentice of the priest. At second level, he will become a Shadow Sorcerer when his learnings of Shar become effective.

"Mal" Malaric
Halfling (lightfoot) Rogue 1 / Sorcerer X NE

AC 14 HP 9 Speed 25 ft

Str 8 (-1) Dex 16 (+3) Con 13 (+1) Wis 12 (+1) Int 10 (+0) Cha 16 (+3)

Shortsword (P) +5, 1d6+3
Dagger (P: 20/60 ft) +5, 1d4+3

Ability Scores: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

Halfling (Lightfoot)
Ability Scores: Dex +2; Cha +1
Size: Small
Speed: 25 ft.
Lucky. When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Halfling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Halfling. The Halfling language isn't secret, but halflings are loath to share it with others. They write very little, so they don't have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition, however, is very strong. Almost all halflings speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they are traveling.
Naturally Stealthy. You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.

Baldur's Gate Sage
Skill Proficiencies. Arcana, History
Languages. Two of your choice (Infernal & Undercommon)
Equipment. A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: 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.
Baldur's Gate Feature: Rumor Monger. The effects of a Baldur's Gate feature can be used only while the character is in Baldur's Gate—though, at the DM's discretion, they might have applicable effects in situations similar to those in Baldur's Gate. Via your personal rumor mill and articles published in Baldur's Mouth, you can surmise a great deal about Baldurians' secrets—who's practicing necromancy, who's involved in spying or smuggling, who would purchase or craft dangerous magical wares without batting an eyelash. Whenever a noteworthy crime or mysterious happening occurs in the city, you immediately have a list of 1d4 suspects who, if they aren't involved, have a strong chance of knowing who is.

Rogue Proficiencies
Armor: light armor
Weapons: simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: thieves' tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose 4 from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Expertise. At 1st level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves' tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies. (Deception & Perception)

Sneak Attack. Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon. You don't need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn't incapacitated, and you don't have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Thieves' Cant. During your rogue training you learned thieves' cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves' cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly. In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves' guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.

I am thinking maybe ahe looks more drow, or even make her a drow and a follower of Eikistree.

Grand Lodge

I was looking at the spells for cleric, because I want to eventually take Magic Initiate, and I am sad that they do not gain access to magic stone... It would be iconic to use it for a sling like David! Oh well...

I liken Donal to the Agent (the Believer) from the Serenity movie.

YouTube clip

Jubal, heya and character looks good. We might brainstorm a connection between your bookseller and Candlekeep for plot purposes.

Rod, drow follower of Eilistraee would be fine.

Aesh, that would definitely make for an interesting/non-cliche PC!

Grand Lodge

I figure that would be the most likely PC that would work willingly with evil-aligned PCs and even NPCs... Of course, endgame, he may try to kill evil-PCs, but I'd expect them to do the same to me. ;)



Silver Crusade

I believe I will submit a sorcerer. Either human, dwarven, or draconic ancestry.

Grand Lodge

scranford wrote:



You are planning Eldritch Knight, correct? I am planning Champion... Good mix...

Grand Lodge

In the previous incarnation of this character, he was assembling a Dirty Dozen type group to get this done... If you all are cool with that, Donal could have recruited each of you...

She would be neat maybe have her wizard and then soelkslinger or stay warlock

Dark Archive

Hi there!

Ooo! I've got an idea.

Well, two ideas.

With this being a balanced adventure the obvious choice is bard. A little fight, a little talky, good times all around.

But...but I've got this idea in my head and I just can't stop thinking about how much FUN it would be to play!

Also, I've been doing a lot of cerebral characters, so just getting down and focusing on personality and the character is really starting to grow on me.


Gorn Steelbreaker is a big man.

That is a vast understatement.

His father, Roland, rescued his mother, an ogre (though diminutive, by ogre standards) from a Chill warband, and the two found an unlikely, but symbiotic, attraction.

Gorn, though of course strong for a human, had no knack for his father's trade of blacksmithing. He could fight, of course, but what he really wanted to do...was cook.

He could make a handful of wild roots and some dead bugs into a five-course meal fit for the mayor. He could smash apart a ripper-vine with his bare hands and mash the leavings into an ersatz tea fine enough to impress even the sternest aunt.

But he couldn't take the stares and the constant feelings of disappointment from his family, so he caught the first caravan going to Nashkel and set up in the Nashkel Inn as a cook.

And he was happy.

Alas, you can never run away from yourself.

One evening, while serving a rare fillet de striation, a flying mug from a brewing barfight caught his tray and he dumped the entire thing onto a dining Flaming Fist sergeant. After a brief but invigorating scuffle, he found himself holding onto a bruised and fuming (but -delicious- smelling) sergeant that gave him a choice. He could either enlist his considerable talents in their ranks, or there would be hefty fines and jailtimes upon not only his person, but upon the Inn itself.

And so Gorn sighed heavily, and resigned himself to live in interesting times.


I've never played a barbarian before, and this seems a good time. Human. Much str and con, with whatever left over going to Wis. Dip in fighter, probably.

But he's human, so he gets a feat. And that feat is.............Chef!

This is such a hilariously brilliant feat I can't believe I never played with it before. The very image of this great, hulking hulk of a man constantly interrupting his baritone intonations of death and glory to stop and pick up a handful of wild thyme has literally infinite amusement value. Or him wading into GLORIOUS COMBAT but first pausing to stuff his face with fresh-baked raisin-oatmeal cookies. The character writes itself!

Also, we're gonna go Path of Wild Magic so things are gonna be nuts.

Whadaya say? =)

Interested, though not sure what I want to play yet.

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Gorn wrote:
...ersatz tea fine enough to impress even the sternest aunt...

Had me laughing out loud, thanks. XD Overall I concur, sounds like an amazing character.


Looks like we're getting there. You guys still have until Monday to polish off crunch and/or get a personality together.

Here is my draconic storm sorcerer.

He comes from a red and blue ancestry, and will focus primarily on damage and either control or buff spells. (auto-passing black tentacles? double haste?)

Thematically he is a mixture of draconic ancestry, being blue and red. However mechanically his ancestry is red.

Liberty's Edge

Since TCoE was included, I'll bring an Artificer to the play.

Malecus Woesmith
Tiefling Artificer
Planning to go Battle Smith, so melee / magic support role to the party.

Crunch sheet

Bullet point background:

  • * Very early in his sorry life, Malecus found out he had a gift for making and fixing things.
  • * Unfortunately, the town's blacksmith would rather eat his hammer than let a hell-spawn work on his forge
  • * For a way out, he joined a mercenary company**. He could pull his weight in battle, and there was plenty of work for a smith. And best of all, the company didn't care what he was
  • * So, he wears the uniform, works for coin, and looks for ever hotter fires and forges to master his art.
  • * Now, he makes his way to Baldur's Gate, having heard the Flaming Fist is recruiting

** Maybe this could be Flaming Fist already?

Grand Lodge

Posting tomorrow... this will be fun.

Would a hexblade or a bladesinger be more appropriate for a followe of Eilistraee? I am kinda leaning more towards the bladesinger since she would be a drow elf and also seems more inline with the elven goddess and her dancing in the Moon light.

Grand Lodge

Starting Gold: 5d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 5, 5, 5) = 20

Very promising... standby

Grand Lodge

Rodalas Windrace wrote:
Would a hexblade or a bladesinger be more appropriate for a followe of Eilistraee? I am kinda leaning more towards the bladesinger since she would be a drow elf and also seems more inline with the elven goddess and her dancing in the Moon light.

I would say bladesinger if you are looking for a lore connection. But it is just as easy to say that you have a relic weapon that is believed to have been a shard of Elistree that can be your hexblade patron. I think it depends on what you want to play and we can make it work in game.

Here is Aesh's submission!

Here is Helamans submission. A finesse fighter with a criminal background (sorta ex burglar) who knows his way around a set of lockpicks.

Updating his background on this profile in a few hours when I have meal break

Rafferty "Raff" Evenhand wrote:

Here is Helamans submission. A finesse fighter with a criminal background (sorta ex burglar) who knows his way around a set of lockpicks.

Updating his background on this profile in a few hours when I have meal break

The Evenhand family have been offering banking and money changing services in Elturel for over 70 years now. Rafferty, being the fifth child and third son of the well to do family, was given an easy life and largely left to run free by his busy family. He was handed over to several tutors, each in turn before he bonded with a Sembian 'Swordsmaster'. Miklos was a poor tutor but an excellent liar who had exaggerated his expertise and qualifications. When not training him for "a life in the army" (Fathers preferred back up profession) Miklos found it easy to coast on entertaining Rafferty with stories of daring-do, teaching the lad to play cards and sneaking him into inappropriate establishments.

One thing led to another and, weeeeel, a bit of gutter side knife play went too far and ooops, there's a dead body to account for. Instead facing the music the pair left the city as fast as the stolen horses would carry them. The young teen "Raff" sort of tripped, fell, and ultimately leapt into a life of crime. He was quick, nimble and athletic, and thus specialised in 'second story work', while the aging Miklos and other criminals arranged the jobs, kept look outs and fenced the valuables while teaching him the necessary skills.

He's now in Baldurs Gate, having outworn his welcome in his last city (Miklos decided that he was best off remaining and retiring). The Flaming Fists manning the city entrance of Baldurs Gate are not exactly known for their warm welcome or tolerance of criminals, leaving the unwitting Raff to declare his occupation as "Adventurer" when challenged at the city gates. With a malicious grin, the gate guards drafted Raff into military service.

Being young and having poor impulse control (a childhood trait that was worsened by his adopted father figure) he has a weakness for pretty girls and card games. Miklos was at least a talented teacher when it came to that. Military service grates on his free spirit but better that than several other nastier alternatives. While a free spirit who enjoys the thrill of walking a path of crime, he still maintains his childhood worship of Waukeen, and even preaches that coins roiling back and forth across a card table are a prayer to The Golden Lady...

Rafferty "Raff" Evenhand wrote:

Here is Helamans submission. A finesse fighter with a criminal background (sorta ex burglar) who knows his way around a set of lockpicks.

Updating his background on this profile in a few hours when I have meal break

Incidentally if a rogue rather than a roguish flavoured fighter is preferred, it's a very easy swap of classes,

Silver Crusade

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Let us all begin out butt kicking for goodness! (Go for the eyes, Boo!)

"I shall RIP the flesh from your BONES! I will CRUSH your puny bodies and TEAR your limbs from their SOCKETS! You will LONG for something as sweet as PAIN when I--ooo! Are those some bellendecker mushrooms over there? Man I really need those for my quail eggs soufflé. Hey guys, remind me to get those before we leave, okay?"


My character is taking the first level of rogue, then sorcerer. So, don't feel obliged to go rogue. Your "roguish flavoured fighter" would be probably more combat effective, if that factors into your thinking.


Silver Crusade

alternatively, starting as rogue, then going into fighter would net you most things you would want, and a lot more skills.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Cool, lets see what we have here at the moment...

Mylivanni - High Elf Eknight (scranford)
Donal - Human Champion (Aesh)
Gorn - Human Barbarian Chef (Atlas2112)
Malaric - Halfling Rogue/Sorc (Jubal)
Tiberius - Dragonborn Sorc (rorek55)
Malecus - Tiefling Artificer (-Karma-)
Raff - Human roguish Fighter (Helaman)
DarkChyld - drow Warlock? (Rodalas)

Did I miss anyone? A few others were interested.

I will pick 6 early Monday.

Me! ME!

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