Nicodemus grows ever larger as his chant continues. The air ripples and wavers as if reality were nothing more than water around his form.
The blazing light emanating from his body suddenly flares and the entire horizon seems to melt away into it. All is quiet and still for a moment, as if the world itself waited with baited breath to see what transpired.
Words thunder from the radiant void, "BEFORE, I WAS NOTHING BUT WORDS... NOW I AM ALL THAT IS BELIEVED... I AM FAITH MADE FLESH... I AM FLESH MADE A GOD!",
The light surges brighter and then fades into darkness. Where once floated the form of Nicodemus is now a strange shape of silvery-white metal that stretches some three or four hundred feet high.
"I... AM... REBORN..." the voice states again.
The massive metal shape moves and six massive, gleaming wings unfurl from a perfectly sculpted body. Six blazing eyes of light stare down at you from an otherwise featureless face, crowned by horns of glowing metal that grow from Nicodemus' shoulders. His left arm, previously destroyed, is now a blade-shaped emanation of golden crystal surrounded by a wispy helix of energy.
Nicodemus raises his clawed right hand and five burning glyphs of light appear behind him, "DO YOU REMEMBER OUR FIRST ENCOUNTER ON CAULDRON HILL, AGENTS OF RISUR? WE SPOKE OF CHAOS AND ORDER, OF THE NATURE OF OUR WORLD. WE SPOKE OF HOW WE COULD MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE. YOU MAY HAVE BEEN OPPOSED TO MY METHODS, BUT WE ALWAYS SHARED THE SAME GOALS. DEEP WITHIN YOUR HEARTS, YOU KNOW THIS. ACCEPT THIS TRUTH, SURRENDER YOURSELF TO ME, AND I SHALL RAISE YOU UP INTO THE FIRMAMENT AND REMOLD YOU INTO PERFECTION."
Nicodemus then extends his hand towards the airship in an open gesture, "IF YOU STILL WOULD OPPOSE ME, I WILL GIVE YOU THE HONOR OF THE FIRST BLOW."
Nicodemus' Relevant Stats for Ease of Posting:
To keep combat flowing at a decent pace, I will post a few of Nicodemus' stats. These are for his base form ONLY. When he alters himself and the world with his Shifting Realities ability, these will likely change.
This will help you figure out how close you come to hitting the mark. As he has mythic power and the ability to spend it to increase his defenses, you are not guaranteed to have a confirm if you hit these numbers, to say nothing of any immunities that he may have.
Your attack strikes home on the ghostly body of Nicodemus, destroying part of his left arm.
His eyes shine with fury as he gathers an orb of energy in his right hand. "ENOUGH!" he yells as he slams the energy onto the airship that you are standing on. The shockwave flings all of you back and slams you against the wood with enough force to cause the wood to crack. You struggle to move as you recover from the blow.
You are all now 60' away from him but cannot do anything just yet as he finishes his dialogue.
He stoops as if in pain and clutches the nub of his left arm to try and stop the ectoplasm from bleeding out of him. "Just what are you hoping to accomplish? Our goals are one and the same, you fools! Order... justice... everlasting peace... these are what I am fighting for.
Don't you understand? In order to save this world, free will must be eliminated. Selfishness will no longer destroy what is good when free will is no more. People will be moral because they have no choice.
For a thousand years, society will prosper under my guidance. Chaos will be no more and, when the clock's hand winds down, I will give these wretched people their freedom back. But they won't know suffering... won't remember how to hate their brothers and sisters.
I will be their god, one who truly answers their prayers... and I won't let evil into the perfect world that I will create for them. I will correct the mistakes of the old divinities and make of this world a heaven where no man will need to fear tyranny or evil.
Whatever value you place on the misguided notion of 'free will' pales in comparison to the paradise this world will be!"
He releases his grip on his tattered arm and his lips form into a faint smile.
"Can you feel it? The faith of my worshippers surging in the air around us?
I will admit, I once feared that people would reject my grand design... but now I feel their faith. I have opened their eyes to the truth and they empower me, because they know that salvation is at hand. Now only one thing remains..."
He stretches his arms to the heavens and intones the final incantations of the Sacrament of Apotheosis used in the God Trials, (Celestial, but the party knows the translation from book 11,) "Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god!"
His form burns with light as he floats to the middle of the sky above the city. Millions of radiant motes streak from the streets below and the horizon beyond and lance into him. He repeats the incantations again and again, his voice seeming to shake reality itself. Each time he finishes an incantation, a wave of golden energy emanates from him and washes over the world. As the waves wash over you, you feel more invigorated.
The waves of divine energy completely restore your HP, restore all spell slots, daily ability uses, and other limited resources. The same energy stripped away any magical effects, good or bad, from each of you as well. You have one round before the ritual is complete. Nicodemus is invincible until the ritual concludes.
I vote for the Japanese setting with Lovecraftian tones... and possibly some Fatal Frame ones!
Yep... I'm a rebel and combined two of your ideas, Mr.Blanc.
If you want to do the setting I proposed, I will literally buy you a copy of the Secrets of Japan book by Chaosium. It is intended for a more modern game but has a glut of Japanese customs, religions, Lovecraftian twists on the area throughout history, ect. Some fans didn't like it because it had more of a manga tone than a 'rocks fall, everyone dies or goes insane' one, but I enjoyed it.
Oh yes, that would be awesome! I'm a fan of the new corruptions system but was disappointed by the small number of them, although I could understand why as space was limited.
Heck, I might even try my hand at it as my first stab in the dark at publishing!
Before I do that though, I would need to finish on some material I promised the community.
Let me start by saying that I read about Russell's unfortunate passing and I offer sympathy to his family and the gaming community that he enriched.
I have tried crawling every forum possible to see if the 'Kaidan' kickstarter is still continuing and the projected ETA on it but have had no luck. I read updates for 'In the Company of Dragons' and a few other kickstarter projects, but have not seen any for Kaidan.
The setting is one of great interest to me because I am very much a Japanophile and a lover of horror stories in general, so I have been looking forward to the general release of this ever since I missed the kickstarter years ago.
So is the book still being worked on? If so, when might it be available for both backer and public release? If it is being discontinued, can I get an email of the notes and art? I would be willing to pay for even just a rough draft of the setting and the art, if I am being perfectly honest.
Thanks for any information on this that you can give!
PLAYERS, AVERT THINE EYES OR RISK THE GAZE OF THE UNDYING LORDS OF THE OUTER DARK UPON YE!!!
Here are a few cool ideas that I plan to implement in my game of Strange Aeons. I will probably add more as I think of them.
1.I didn't see anything like this in the PG or the actual AP book, so here's a suggestion: have your PCs list up to three 'pillars' of their former life. These were people, places, or events that they had a strong attachment to. They remember these things, although they are hazy and sometimes lacking in context.
Someone with a spouse as a pillar might for example have flashbacks of them sometimes and remember the way that person looked, the way they smiled, the sound of their voice, and the way that they felt about them, but not remember what their name is, how they met, ect.
This could help give rise to some excellent impromptu character building as they unearth more about the people they used to be.
2. Maybe give your characters the choice to begin with an insanity that they will have to deal with most the campaign and, in exchange, they get a feat for it.
Very little beats playing such a character... unless you happen to be on the DM side of the screen and you get to play as the monsters.
3. This is going to sound crazy but hear me out: this AP is perfect for antiheroes!
I know some of you are tearing at your clothes and wailing in terror at that one, but consider: The PCs are in a situation where banding together is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of survival.
After the initial need for survival, they all will be following the same path to find the answers to who they were and how they lost all their memories. Evil characters would realize that banding together would be the best way to find their answers.
Then comes what happens after they find out everything? They all stay banded together as they pursue their former benefactor, whether it be for revenge or to stop the coming doom. Even evil people should fear an apocalypse brought on by a Great Old One.
Now obviously this means that an evil PC should likely be lawful evil or neutral evil and should not be a devotee of something like a Great Old One, Rovagug, Groetus, one of the Four Horsemen, or other entities seeking an apocalypse. That's a given in most campaigns or, at least, I would hope so!
4. Dreamlands corruption!
That's right, maybe part of the Dreamlands wormed its way into the tabula rasas that are the PCs and is in them to stay. My thoughts on the matter are this.
Maybe if a PC needs to make a save or else risk dying/TPKing the group, you could whisper to them that if they push a little harder, dig a little deeper inside, they can succeed.
Well if choose to do so, they tap into that Dreamlands corruption. They succeed automatically but they begin to change and adopt one of the stage one corruptions listed in Horror Adventures. Further pushing of their limits would result in deeper corruption.
Refluff certain corruptions as thematically appropriate. Maybe the werewolf corruption does not turn them into a werewolf insomuch as it starts mutating them into a squamous predatory beast with thin, fleshy tendrils in place of fur and a face that is primarily a gaping, toothy maw.
Few things could be more terrifying than slowly losing oneself and turning into a monster. It would also make for poignant tales of self-sacrifice.
And yeah, it could be a secret 'get out of jail' card, although one with a heck of a caveat. This could be especially worth it in PBP where no PC wants to lose a character they spent years playing.
@The Pale King
Are you DMing or going for a PC role? I'm opening up an advice thread under Strange Aeons and if you are running it, you should check it out. Got some crazy, nay maaaaaaaaaaad, ideas!
Got an ETA on that, good sir? I am looking forward to adding 'The Blight' to the horror gaming section of my bookshelf.
Since you mentioned that you based it thematically on 'The Styes', which was one of my favorite adventuring locales from the days of Dungeon, I am interested in seeing how it turns out.
Had some troubles with 'video_dxgkrnl_fatal_error' and the resulting blue screen-restart loops.
I use a fairly new video driver and neither I nor the computer repair tech could diagnose the problem, so we stripped Windows 10 and reinstalled my previous OS.
Fairly butthurt about the days I lost from WoW and the messageboards because of that.
Currently waiting to hear from a person or two who expressed interest. If no one else comes forward in a day or two, I will open gameplay up for those finished and add in NPCs for the spots not occupied.
I have been Raging Against the Machine <bonus points for the reference> for the last few days, so I hope people have not been discouraged by the lack of updates.
Been getting 'video_dxgkrnl_fatal_error', blue screens, and almost continuous restarts of my Acer ever since I installed that blasted Window 10 about six or seven days ago.
The good news: I managed to find a computer repair tech to revert it to before the Windows 10 update.
The bad news: my WotW game on the forums died before the first real post because of my absence. :(
The semi-good news: Not having to prep and monitor my WotW game will likely give me more time to work on the PDFs.
So I'm a little butthurt and a tad bit salty logging back on to the messageboards but that shouldn't impact my little labor of love for you ladies and gentlemen.
Thanks for all the support you guys have shown me for working on this! It really means a lot to this gal that people are as interested in seeing my campaign material as you all are. <3
I am actually compiling all the notes from my game and putting together a rough outline of the rest of the campaign, as I see it. Statblocks, story, my graph paper maps, and all that. All my own creations but it all was originally intended for my home game to continue the existing ToN game.
I got paranoid after an earlier comment that I read and researched it and publishers actually can go after people who use even a single character or locale from their story in things like 4chan fanfiction threads. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
So if I use the actual word Dammerhall in my fan material that people can see, that actually, somehow, infringes on IP despite it only being the name and no one knowing any real specifics about McBride's Dammerhall.
The only way that I could put these things in something to be distributed, even for free, is to get McBride's permission. Since he has not responded to anyone's emails in... how long... that is impossible. So I will scrub the entire thing clean of any official references and format the adventures as if they happen in a vacuum.
If you really get into copyright law and do some heavy research into it, it will make you paranoid and probably tick you off at how ridiculous it is. As it stands right now, the only lawsuit-free legal right people have to fan fiction is in their heads.
I am about to post an update and probably launch into a small diatribe. As usual, my fan work spoilers will be in a spoiler tag and I will do the same for my diatribe.
Before launching into my diatribe let me say that I did some research on copyright laws for fan fiction and that to avoid messy legal entanglements I will use generic terms for things that already exist in the AP, at least the ten or so NPCs I got ideas from by looking at the pictures and their captions. and the existing locales in the game.
So, instead of 'Dammerhall', it will be listed for DMs as <Dwarven Kingdom>. It's a small but obnoxious concession that has to be made. Instead of 'Vothis', it will be <Drow Outpost>. I'm sure that everyone here is reasonably intelligent and can fill in the blanks.
This is going to mean that the adventures will take some extra time to complete while I scrub every potential IP-infringing name out of them.
I will be on World of Warcraft testing out my new Demon Hunter later today, so that will set back things a day as well.
Diatribe about fanfiction copyright:
It is apparently illegal to produce FREE FAN FICTION USING OFFICIAL CHARACTERS HERE IN AMERICA! What kind of stick-up-the-sphincter nonsense is that?
I can certainly see not being allowed to use official characters in a way that generates profit, but NONPROFIT works of imagination possibly carrying a fine? Abso-freaking-lutely ridiculous!
I read that Anne Rice literally was able to shut down free fanfiction sites and file legal suits against people who wrote 'Interview with a Vampire' fan fiction on the internet! She was brilliant writing that story but that is pure, unadultered lunacy trying to shut down fans creating their own fanverses.
Whatever happened to freedom of speech and expression? It's honestly revolting that in what is, ostensibly, a sane and reasonable society that copyright law can even extend into the nonprofit domain of fan fiction.
But enough ranting. I just wanted to say how much I am annoyed by that particular slice of BS.
Ruined Kingdom spoilers, DM-only:
- The cosmic horror that I mentioned is a unique creature that is similar to both a Doppelganger and a Devourer but has its own suite of powers including powerful psychic magic, a shifting corporeality, and an aura of maddening whispers.
Since I now have access to Horror Adventures, I am going to put annotations for how to adjust the encounter if you are using the new sanity sanity system.
Been a tad bit busy with stuff lately, but here's the promised spoilers in a bundle.
I decided to reveal things that could be drastically different depending on whether you or Explorer or Tyrant, or even whether your Explorers are evil/morally gray.
It may be seen that Drow have a little bit harder time of it in this adventure but that is by design. For one, they are a much more powerful race than Dwarves. For another, Dammerhall was the Dwarven capital and so it makes sense that Dwarves would be more able to handle the stuff than Drow. Stay calm, Drow have an easier go of things when it is time for their capital to pop up in a later book.
Spoilers for Book 3:
A Dwarven defender who was willing to sacrifice everything for her people and is remembered to this day as one of the greatest heroes of the age. The pact that she secretly swore in desperation to help her aid the Dwarven people in their escape has taken its toll on her and exists now a dark shadow of what she once was. Can you strike down the hero of your people to free her from the curse that consumes her mind, body, and soul? Or do you see her as a tool that can be molded into the perfect servant?
A crown in the form of a Cassisian. Are you worthy to take up the Crown of Yore and begin a new chapter for the Dwarven people? Or will you twist and break the creature to serve as the instrument of tyrants?
A colossal-sized golem... no, I'm not joking. While it was heavily damaged and is near destroyed, it is a formidable opponent. Dwarves might recall the phrase used to bypass the golem but the magic sustaining the golem is haywire and all the phrase manages to do is just make it behave erratically instead of being COMPLETELY focused on murdering them. Drow, well, they'll just have to improvise.
I have no problems with an average character.
The AP is built to handle a combination of skill and power levels and this boss fight that I made is no different.
Monster cohorts are acceptable. In fact, there are already some 'monstrous' races allowed in society. This AP exists in an enlightened age where race is not so much an issue as social class
Building cohorts: maximum HP every level, standard NPC ability scores plus level bonuses, two traits, alignment does not need to match.
Remember, this list is for the classes themselves without archetypes.
In no order, they are...
2. Bard- Pretty scary in combat if you build one right and exceptional in
3. Wizard- The cheap way to god-mod a game.
4. Oracle- The REAL way to god-mod a game!
5. Paladin- What's not to like? Awesome combat, awesome concept, fun to see
6. Druid- Wild Shaping, cool thematic spells, and a lot of utility in combat.
7. Brawler- Pimp slap a dragon down... now with 50% less stick-up-the-arse than the leading Monk!
8. Occultist- Seriously, this is a cool class for anyone with real occult knowledge.
9. Spiritualist- It's a summoner, but cooler and creepier. Quite thematic too.
10. Vigilante- BE THE BATMAN!
2. Antipaladin- Nothing says suck like a code of conduct that basically forces you into the old, boring stereotypes of evil. Apart from that, it's a paladin clone. Make it more distinct!
3. Cavalier- Bland and horses don't fit in all locations.
4. Samurai- Same reasons as cavalier, but it also feels like a very poor representation of a samurai, at least in how iconic it is. Perhaps more historically accurate but it violates the rule of cool.
5. Witch- While it's cool, they are either too weak or too busted to play unless you gain levels fast and the DM adds some nerfs to some abilities.
6. Gunslinger- I love the concept of the gunslinger but I am not fond of it. I know it had to be balanced but it feels crippled compared to some other classes.
7. Summoner- I would have preferred a class similar to the Final Fantasy summoners, with a little bit of 'white magic' to go with a powerful being that they summon. Being able to choose from a few types, some more iconic/unique evolutions, and have a finishing move would have been awesome.
8. Unchained Summoner- It's the summoner, but more restrictive... enough said.
9. Fighter- Still too bland without archetypes. It's pretty much just passive benefits. Ever since the Tome of Nine Swords in 3.5 and Path of War from Dreamscarred Press, I would venture to say that fighters are just lame.
10. Warpriest- Meh. Atlas shrugs.
I am posting a few teasers for people interested in the upcoming fan material that I made.
I'm only adding some juicy highlights here to keep you all occupied while I work on formatting everything for the PDFs.
These are in no order whatsoever and are just things I am putting down to pique interest.
Fan-Made Book Three Spoilers, DMs ONLY!:
- An iron golem inhabited by the spirit of its maker, a master smith, who could end up serving the PCs.
- A Morrigna who has shown up to determine the fate of Dammerhall's inhabitants, as few souls have escaped the mountain, and find the source of a growing evil within the ruined kingdom.
- A ghostly legion of Dwarven warriors who swore their eternal souls to guard their king... who later killed himself when the kingdom was under siege. Their souls still haunt the ruins of the throne room and await someone worthy of wearing the crown. The legion won't recognize just any ruler though and the PCs must prove themselves worthy of the crown and the legion's service or else enlist the Morrigna's help in ousting them in order to claim Dammerhall.
- The undead remains of the dragon who was instrumental in destroying the nation of Dammerhall... along with its Arkenstone-like cursed hoard.
- The mad son of the former High King of the Dwarves, whose mastery of Dwarven rune magic carried over beyond the grave.
- Kobold squatters and their devious traps for that classic, old-school feel. Beware, these Kobolds are far more cunning than most!
- A vat of sentient liquid mithril that housed the Dwarven people's entire history. Let your imagination figure out the rest.
- Rules for kingdom-building in Dammerhall and what you can expect from a city ruled by either the Explorers or Tyrants side of the campaign. Both have different unique kingdom events, groups who wish to curry their favor, and more.
- A soul-eating horror whose presence foreshadows the cosmic horrors coming in later books.
So while book one's theme was underground civilizations and book two's themes were primeval life and furious elementals, my version of book three's themes are undead ruins and lost relics.
I think I will tease one more cool thing in the book every day until I release the first first PDF.
Sound like it's all biscuits and gravy?
I agree, Zeitgeist is looking more amazing the more that I read it.
It's not just a really good AP either... it has some really good philosophical questions that pop up and really make you think about things.
That and the game has an endgame more epic and multiverse-changing than any that I have ever seen.
Agreed. A complete project would be wonders, even if he did steal my fan material to do so.
The kickstarter has went on far too long and even I lost my patience with it. That's sad, because I'm usually a patient person and try to be as understanding as possible.
At this point, I would hand him the script if it meant we get our books in the next few months.
Can anyone list the Corruptions, please? Just the name and a short description.
SO EXCITED FOR HORROR ADVENTURES! HYPE TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No need for emails!
I'm probably going to just put a link to the fan material I made on this thread or possibly a new one.
Much easier on me not having to put around three hundred emails down as recipients and much safer for people not having their email address floating around the internet for whoever to see.
My material was written from the standpoint of a person with players with 25 point buys and 2 extra skill points per level, so it may need a very slight amount of adjusting.
I'll get on converting everything over to PDFs Saturday. Tomorrow and Friday are raid days and tomorrow is also the Horror Adventures PDF release date. No self-respecting Ravenloft fan would miss a chance to rip into that book like a honey badger into, well, anything.
The PDFs won't look pretty and there will not be much in the way of editing but if someone wants to spruce them up after reading with backgrounds and all, I will have them up on Gdrive so I can grant editing privileges on request.
Expect them in a few weeks.
Cohorts have to be armed with your gold.
VMC is Variant Multiclassing, right? If so, yeah, it's cool with me.
Hmmm... good point. I will just put everything in PDFs and put it on the forums as free 'fan material'.
I do remember the ill-will thrown at Frog God Games when they took over the Razor Coast project about 500 years ago, exaggeration noted, even though they were a lot more timely with updates and finishing the project.
People probably aren't going to get any resolution from Gary, so maybe they can at least get something to help them finish the campaigns that are probably near the book three point by now.