Sunday, 21 February 2016

Fighting Orcs in Neverwinter Wood

Battling orcs in Neverwinter Wood, with Klin (the druid) transformed in a huge-sized constrictor snake.
(The closest thing I could find in my Pathfinder Pawns collection for that size was a Behir)

Moments later, one unfortunate orog finds himself entrapped in Malak’s net.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Great Prison Break of Neverwinter

Walk with me, dear traveller, and I shall tell you about the greatest prison break in the history of Faerûn! It starts in the gleaming city of Neverwinter, amid its high temples and shady docks, follows through an island full of pirates, and ends exactly where it began! I promise excitement, awe and entertainment. Walk with me, and let me tell you of the days of high adventure! (Yes, I am copying Conan… Just shut up and read.)
- Bacardi Riga III, Gnome Extraordinaire

The Cast (D&D 5/LVL 5): Bacardi Riga III (flamboyant gnome illusionist), Gilthanas (playboy half-elf paladin), Klin (violent elf druid), Malak (professional half-orc rogue)

Previously: The party left the quiet town of Phandalin and went to the majestic Neverwinter, where they helped the Church of Selûne recover three shards that fell from the sky, believed to be tears of the goddess herself.

CHAPTER ONE: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Cockatrices, and Smugglers
The party’s stay in Neverwinter was prolonged, when a priestess of Selûne was gruesomely murdered by suspected members of the Zetas (anti-religious assassins). Being the theatre troupe that we are, we pretended to be gamblers and went searching for clues amid the gambling house near the docks, discovering that a guy named Gard, captain of the vessel “The Lantern”, was a big shot involved in illicit business with the Zetas.
Klin (the druid) disguised himself as a Jehovah’s Witness and went knocking on doors, preaching the word of Silvanus. We found some culprits in a warehouse, connected to the Zetas, and involved in illegal cockatrice trafficking. The druid got turned into stone, but I got myself a handful of cockatrice feathers! So, all-in-all, a profitable, honest, hard day’s work.
CHAPTER TWO: Pirates, Perfumes, and Never Split the Party (Part 1)
We had to wait by the prison that the cockatrice effect wore off from Klin. Also, we were hoping to question one of the captured culprits. Well, tough luck, he “hanged himself” in the cell during the night. Apparently the bastard Zetas’ reach is considerable.
The captain of the guard asked for our help in investigating the “suspicious exchange of merchandise” in a big warehouse by the docks. Knowing that “The Lantern” had sailed to Waterdeep a few days before, we had nothing better to do. Therefore, we did what we do best: disguised ourselves of exuberant specialists in exotic perfumes.
Inside the warehouse we stalled as long as we could, waiting to witness some shady business. After long hours of discussing fragrances among other “I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-talking-about” issues, a large boat docked in the warehouse’s peer, and a band led by a GREATAXE WIELDING OROG joined the camaraderie. We didn’t even have an opportunity to do our act, since they practically attacked us on sight. Needless to say that when a gnome wizard is corralled by a GREATAXE WIELDING OROG his hit point pool isn’t rather reassuring…
And so, the friendly GREATAXE WIELDING OROG picked the unconscious gnome, pressed the axe’s blade to his throat and boomed in a friendly voice “Either you drop your weapons and surrender, or the gnome loses his head.”
The rogue lowered his weapons. The druid surrendered. The paladin… Oh, the paladin said “Well, screw you! I’m a paladin, I ain’t gonna surrender!” With murder in our eyes we look to the guy. WHAT?! Dude, they’re dragging us into the boat! We are unarmed, the gnome is knocked-out, and they’re chaining us! “Oh, too bad. You’re my mates, and I’m fond of you, and all that, but… Screw you! Oh, look! There’s my mount! Best of luck! Toodeloo!”
And that is how the ship departed the city of Neverwinter, with three guys aboard in shackles and another one frolicking in his horse along the docks. Did he go straight to the authorities in order to launch an entire fleet in pursuit? Of course not! He went back to bitches and booze…

CHAPTER THREE: More Pirates, a Painting, and Sea Monsters
We woke up imprisoned with two other guys in the ship’s hold. One of them was a lunatic that wouldn’t stop screaming. Klin jumped on the guy and punched his face until it became pulp. We (the gnome and the half-orc) looked at him with surprise and shock. “Well, it says here in my character sheet that My Answer to Everything is Violence, so…” We continued to gaze upon him in utter awed silence, while the DM granted him Inspiration. Mental note: do not piss the druid.
With teamwork we were able to unchain ourselves and unlock the door (Mage Hand), and proceeded to slaughter pirates. Along the course we met a kitchen maid who gave us useful information, and discovered a painting by world-renowned gnomish painter Ipe. Almost simultaneously, something hit the ship hard.
We reached the deck in the middle of a ravaging storm, with a hydra attacking the pirates. This is our chance! Well, ok, but to do what? Join the hydra and attack the orog, or join the pirates and attack the hydra? Talk about getting out of the frying pan into the fire…
I use my illusions to distract the orog, making him believe a second hydra was attacking the ship, thus giving Malak and Klin enough leverage to finish our captor. We jump into a lifeboat, and row the hell out of there… with me holding tight to the gnomish painting!
CHAPTER FOUR: Ice, Ice, Baby, the Pirate Hideout, and Never Split the Party (Parts 2 and 3)
Lost at sea we stumble upon a female elf floating in a wooden board holding a pirate’s corpse by the head. “I am a priestess of Auril, and bring icy death to all who do not worship my deity!” I shit you not. By no means is this some gnomish wackadoodle story.
By some reason that absolutely fails logic we decide to give Juliana (she was from Brazil) a lift in our lifeboat. Well, you guessed it right: Gilthanas’ player needed a temporary character until the party got reunited, so he decided to respect the DM’s request for a “normal and peaceful character that could swiftly join the party”.
So, if this was a story to start in media res, it would go like this: Once upon a time there was a half-orc rowing a little boat in the middle of the ocean. For traveling companions he had a druid with anger management issues, a gnome holding tight to a painting twice his size, and an evil priestess wanting to submerge the world in an ice age, clutching the corpse of a pirate overboard. Oh, and let us not forget the kitchen maid that was also rescued from the sinking pirate ship.
Fortunately, this is Dungeons & Dragons, and no such nonsense could ever come to be.
The most improbable travel companions in the history of… well, pretty much any kind of history, ended up reaching the shore of an island. They decided it would be best if the half-orc stayed behind guarding the boat, the painting, and the kitchen maid (well… yes, obviously the half-orc’s player couldn’t make it to the session at the last minute), while the rest of the group went to explore the island.
Guess what? It was the pirate lair, with “The Lantern” anchored in a hidden bay! Bingo! Now we just needed a plan to deal with seventy or eighty pirates, and manage to sail a ship that required a crew of… hummm, seventy or eighty pirates!
The gnome, the druid, and the priestess infiltrated the hideout in search of anything helpful. We managed to catch a couple of pirates by surprise, and when the nice gnome was preparing to question one of them, the crazy ice bitch manacled the other to a table and went Hannibal Lecter on him, gutting the poor guy as a sacrificial honor to her goddess. My gnome looked agape to the man he was about to question, and watched him die from a heart attack!
By this time my gnome was really starting to feel tempted to abandon these murder hobos and join the pirates.
We kept exploring the lair, gathering several bits of useful information concerning the campaign background, until we finally reach a chamber which the DM described as “a room with three portals with magical runes inlaid”. At this moment I look at the DM with a very ominous stare. I pick my character sheet and remember him: “Huuum… The main trait of my gnome is Pathologically Curious/Acts Without Thinking... I jump into the first portal and activate the runes!” The DM looks at the other players. “Does any of you know Arcana in order to activate the runes?” No, says the druid. No, says the priestess. Oh shit, says the DM…
So, presently we have: the paladin walking the brothels of Neverwinter; the half-orc guarding the boat, the painting, and the wench, in the other side of the island; the druid alone with the crazy ice bitch inside the pirate lair; and the gnome in anyplace possible in the multiverse and beyond. At times like these, I almost feel sorry for our DM.
Naaaah! Just joking! I don’t feel sorry at all.

CHAPTER FIVE: Lies, Deception, Illusions, and The Greatest Escape Ever
With the entire party scattered to the seven winds, the “island faction” decided to flee the pirates, and risk sailing the waves in the little boat. Eventually, they arrived on Neverwinter. Grave news awaited them. Bacardi Riga III, gnome extraordinaire, had been detained, charged with attempt on the life of one of Neverwinter’s Nobles. The news were brought by none other than Gilthanas himself, who rejoined the party. The crazy ice bitch thus went home, and there was much rejoice.
The group rushes to the jail, demanding to see Riga and claiming there must be some misunderstanding. But the captain of the guard refuses access to the prisoner. With no other option, the druid shapechanges into a cockroach and walks inside the prison. The DM decides it’s time for payback, so he has all the rats in the place chasing the cockroach. The druid shapechanges into a rat, and browses the cells until he finds me. He removes the shackles and the gag. “Riga! You’re alive! We’ve come to rescue you!”
Gnome Player (aka me): “HOORAY! Let’s get out of here! Do I have my equipment with me?”
DM: “Hummm… No!”
Gnome: “Bugger! Ok, no problem. I still have my spells memorized, right?”
DM: “Hummm… Actually you got beaten up pretty bad by the guards, so I’m going to say you lost all your spells.”
Gnome: “WHAT?!?! Are you joking with me?!?!?!?!??!”
DM: “Hummm… Ok, I’ll let you have ONE spell.”
Gnome: “One spell? ONE SPELL???? What am I going to do with only one spell? Besides, if I don’t have my equipment with me, I can’t even work the material components!”
DM: “Hu-hu. Well, that’s too bad…”
Gnome: “Ok, druid, shapechange again into a rat and go tell the other guys I can’t get out of here without help!”
Druid: “Errr… Actually I’ve already used all my shapechanges for the day…”
Gnome: “Oh, this is just great! Now we have TWO characters jailed… We are the worst adventuring party of all times! I don’t even know how we survived the first level goblins! Also, we have AGAIN split the party…”
And so, there we were. The paladin and the rogue unable to enter the prison. The mage and the druid unable to exit from it. Time for a cunning plan!
Gnome: “Can I at least use my cantrips?”
DM: “Hummm… Yeah, sure.”
Gnome: “Wunderbar! Ok, we’ll sleep for a few hours so that the druid can restore his shapechanging ability. Done? Ok, shapechange into a cockroach and I’ll hold you in my hand. I use Mage Hand and knock on the door from the inside. That’ll startle the guard, he’ll come to investigate, and I’ll cast Charm Person, which is the only spell in my list that doesn’t require material components! WOOHOO!
DM: “Hummm… Well, the door is at a curve and you don’t have line of sight to guide the Mage Hand.”
Gnome: “WHAT? Are you serious? Dude, I’m going to kill you! I’m this close to breaking your neck!”
Druid: “I can summon a bear and have it knock on the door.”
Gnome: “…”
DM: “…”
And so he did. The bear knocked at the door, the druid unsummoned it, and when the guard opened the main door I cast a Minor Illusion to mimic a gold ring rolling on the floor, and when he was in front of my cell I was able to see him and cast Charm Person. Besides, having leveled to level six before the session, my gnome illusionist now had “Malleable Illusions”, which allows me to manipulate any illusion within reasonable limits.
Gnome: “Great, he failed the save! Ok, guard, you’re my best friend; there has been a terrible misunderstanding, open the lock! Thanks. Now, I’ll hold the druid-cockroach in my hand, grapple to the guard’s back, make an illusion of a cloak hanging from his shoulders, tell him to go outside… and voilà!”
DM: “Hummm… You still need to convince him to do that.”
Gnome: “But… I cast Charm Person! I am his best friend!”
DM: “Ok, but you still need to Persuade him to leave his post.”
Gnome: “SHEISSE!”
Yes, my gnome is acquainted with several languages. Unfortunately, I rolled miserably in Persuasion, so the guard wasn’t too keen in doing what I suggested.
Gnome: “Damn! Ok, new plan! I’m a small forest gnome, so I’ll hold hands with the guard and ask him to go with me talk to the captain and explain this misunderstanding. I’m still holding the cockroach in my hand.”
DM: “Ok. He sees no problem with that. He walks along the corridor, goes up the stairs, and starts to open the door to the main hall. What do you do?”
Gnome: “Ok, it’s all or nothing! I’m going to do a Minor Illusion, so that the thing hanging from his hand is not me… but a large handkerchief dripping snot!”
DM: “…”
Druid: “…”
Paladin (outside the prison): “…”
Rogue (also outside the prison): “…”
DM: “Hummm… Ok, he tells the captain: «Sir, there has been a terrible mistake! This is my friend Bacardi Riga!» And he raises your arm slightly. Well, he is interacting with the illusion, so he is entitled a Will saving throw. He failed. He is absolutely convinced that he is holding a large handkerchief dripping snot.”
Gnome: “Excellent! I let go of his hand, and have the handkerchief gently fall into the corner.”
DM: “The captain is baffled by the guard’s idiocy, and tells him to stop drinking. He accompanies him to the cells underground. You’re in the main hall. There are four guards in the room, all looking at the handkerchief.”
Gnome: “Shit! Huuuuu… Ok, I use another cantrip and make an air draft blow the handkerchief into the captain’s office. I crawl bellow the illusion. Do I see my equipment anywhere?”
DM: “Yes. It is in a small cabinet.”
Gnome: “FABULOUS! I pick it up quickly. Ok, druid, shapechange into a Chihuahua, I’ll place my hand above your neck, and we’ll pretend that a Chihuahua walks out of nowhere with the snotty handkerchief in its mouth, and get past the guards! We have to be fast, before the captain finds I’ve escaped the cell.”
DM: “The captain finds that you have escaped the cell. He is shouting for the guards to close all doors.”
Druid: “Dude, we’re never going to pass through the guards!”
Gnome: “Never mind that! Just run! The alternative is having you shapechange from Chihuahua to a polar bear and run to the exit, with me on your shoulders shooting Fire Bolts! Actually… THAT WOULD BE AN AWESOME IDEA! Damn! Just forget about it! Run to the door!”
DM: “One of the guards catches the dog.”
Gnome: “I keep running, with the illusion-handkerchief over me! Do I manage to get outside?”
DM: “Yes. But the door closes, and the druid is still inside.”
Half-orc (bashing savagely at the door): “I WANT MY DOG! I WANT MY DOG! GIVE ME MY DOG!”
DM: “They take the dog and put it in a cell.”
Party: “But it’s a very small Chihuahua! He’ll pass through the bars!”
DM: “They… lock a very tiny chain around the dog’s neck.”
Party: “Why the hell are they chaining a Chihuahua?!?!?!!?!?!?! What his he accused of?”
DM: “Becauuuuuse… reasons!”
Paladin and Rogue: “We force the door open and go searching for the dog.”
Gnome: “I’ve got my equipment! I peek inside and use my spider staff to cast Web, in order to entangle the guards in countless cobwebs!”
Before the befuddled guards, the half-orc rogue enters the cell, breaks the chain holding the Chihuahua, holds it close to his chest, gives a disapproving look at the guards, and proclaims: “No one takes my dog from me!”
We proceed to evacuate the prison in an orderly fashion.

And that, dear traveler, is the tale of my escape from Neverwinter’s prison. It has been a pleasure entertaining you.
Until we meet again!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Khan’s Report: Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle

Tyranny of Dragons Storyline Season – Expedition 11: Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle
[Heart of Platinum]
Khan (dwarf cleric), Lanza (elf bard), Sasha (human ranger), Septimus (tiefling warlock)

Previously: The City of Phlan has fallen captive to the Cult of the Dragon, led by the elder green dragon known as The Maimed Virulence. The heroes were forced to flee the city, and await the right time to take it back. But a pressing situation is laid before them, when the dark powers of a long forgotten pyramid threaten the landscape around Phlan…

Sooooooo, this is going to be the LEAST EPIC adventure log... ever!
The party was invited by "generic important NPCs" to investigate the origins of an act of corruption/defiling towards Nature. An ancient pyramid had been spilling a foul liquid into the river that serves the city of Phlan (DAMN YOU, MR. BURNS!!!), causing the fish, other animals, and plants to mutate into hideous things. Even more hideous than Septimus, our fellow tiefling...

Death by Sardines
The group travelled through the forest, encountering several abhorrent fauna and flora. Eventually, a raft was used to take the heroes to the pyramid’s island. That’s where our epicness began. The raft was attacked by tentacles, causing the warlock to fall overboard, whom was in turn attacked by a shoal of mutant sardines, going below zero hit points. The bard bended towards the water to catch the unconscious tiefling… and was also attacked by the sardines! Also becoming knocked-out! So, we have an unconscious tiefling floating in the water, with a bard grabbing his legs, who in turn is ALSO unconscious, with the ranger ALSO holding his legs, while half the party is getting its ass kicked… by sardines!
Yes, we are supposed to be the epic heroes of Phlan, saving the world from the Cult of the Dragon.

Death by Ale Mugs
We enter the pyramid, where several tests are presented to us (which I will not reveal, in order to avoid spoilers), and pass through several encounters and traps, finding out that the pyramid’s corridors and rooms are shifting and have some interdimensional weirdness occurring.
Perhaps now would be a good time to say that I ABSOLUTELY HATE DUNGEON CRAWLING! I mean, I hate it more than I hate elves! If it were up to me, this game would be called Dragons & Dragons.

At a given point in time & space we arrive at a room where a new totally epic scene awaits us. The room if full of… kitchen utensils. Ale mugs, an iron pot, a scale, and a couple of old armors. Praise Bahamut that they were animated armors, and not animated aprons! At least what followed can be a little less humiliating… Well, actually it can’t!
We were attacked by the aforementioned kitchen tools. I am supposed to be a heroic level five cleric of Bahamut, yet I find myself exchanging blows with two animated ale mugs, while my fellow comrades have their asses whooped by the same iron pot where Samwise Gamgee cooked rabbits for Frodo, and a pair of scales. Allow me to be 100% clear: when I say “scales” I’m not mentioning some sort of magical enhanced dragon scales. I’m mentioning the stuff you use to weigh PO-TA-TOES! Yes, the same potatoes that Sam wanted to cook the rabbits with.
The only good thing coming out of this encounter was having the imp killed by the cooking pot. It is impossible to have a more idiotic death in D&D. One can almost think about its tombstone: “Here lies Generic Evil Imp. Killed by a cooking pot. He will not be missed”

Death by George R R Martin
So, our D&D group (with D&D standing for Dumb & Dumber) continued its epic walk along the pyramid, until an encounter with a Red Wizard and his friends occurred. We managed to enter the room by surprise, and assaulted the fighter that was near the door. Then, out of nowhere, behind door number five, a wild Generic Red Wizard of Thay appears. Aaaaand, Ice Storm, Fireball, you’re all dead by A Song of Ice and Fire.
It ended up not being a TPK because… well, because the DM didn’t want to wait for us to roll new characters!
Thus, we were released by the ranger (who had missed the session), went after the Generic Red Wizard of Thay… and allowed him to flee the pyramid. Yes, that’s it. We suck so much that we couldn’t even kill the bad guy. When the DM asked us “But, aren’t you going to look for the Cult of the Dragon members that entered the pyramid?” we answered with a collective “Screw this shit, we’re going home!”

Death by Imp
The last (?) room of the pyramid (where we confronted the Generic Red Wizard of Thay), had a set of alien machinery operated by enthralled lizardmen, connected via pipes to an extradimensional breach from where the generic evil black goo was being fueled. With a lot of precision, expertise, and knowledge about engineering, we smashed everything to smithereens.
Was it over? Noooooo, because, meanwhile, the bloody imp had returned to life. The machines’ room was guarded by red slaad (evil frogs of Hell), which had several eggs (note: I wish autocorrect would stop correcting “slaad” to “salad”, because it would be awkward to have a room guarded by “red salad”… Well, in due honesty, in this quest in particular I guess it wouldn’t be that awkward.). My dwarf noticed Septimus, the tiefling warlock, attempting to steal one of the eggs. When I insisted that he returned it to be smashed-by-the-boot-of-the-dwarf, the bitchy imp attacked me from behind. After the final fight I was at 9 hp. I went to the floor…

If the mood between Khan and Septimus wasn’t good until now, one can imagine how it will be in the future… One thing is to have a good-aligned cleric trying to ignore a pestering, yet majorly harmless, imp. Another is to have that imp betray the party and attack one of its members when he is vulnerable.
One thing’s for sure: something will change, for worse, amid the party. But that is what you get when you mix a holy servitor of Bahamut, god of good dragons, and a servitor of Mephistopheles, archdevil of the nine hells…

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Check for Insanity / Roll for Madness

[Pendants of Tor-Logos]

Pathfinder RPG
Achaerbas, the chaotic wizard, returns do the capital to make a claim for the throne, exhibiting a show of force to support his intent. The PCs drive him away, and go to the imprisoned devil Kyros Vidar to try to discover the location of the captives. Meanwhile, with the death of the Agatarkion V, the kingdom is left without rulership. Can the PCs’ suggestion of a joint theocracy be the solution?

Barion (rogue), Bellerophon (paladin), Thorkron (cleric/wizard/mystic theurge)

When you spend a four hour session roleplaying:
- a chaotic-insane all powerful wizard riding a tsunami, followed by elder water elementals that carry ships on their shoulders;
- a chaotic-insane former PC cleric, devoted to the god of madness, unwilling to commune with his god because "the dice told him so";
- an arrogant commander that hates one of the PCs so much that he refuses to act with minimal logic, because the PC took his favorite toy;
- an imprisoned erinyes hit by a Geas that tries in every way to refuse to speak, twisting, growling, biting his tongue, and so on.

You know two things:
1st: You must schedule an appointment with a  psychiatrist to check your sanity.
2nd: You're having a great time playing D&D!

I'm risking becoming a more efficient kingslayer than Jaime Lannister, since I've already killed two kings in the present campaign (as DM).
The all-mighty-crazy-magician returns to the city riding a tsunami, followed by a mythological gargantuan sea monster (Charybdis), and two elder water elementals carrying ships over their shoulders. He starts speaking to the populace, announcing that he has blood bonds to the former kings. Now try to imagine doing this epic speech with the three PCs trying to hit him while charging on a pegasus, with a magical spear, throwing all sort of spells against him, or trying to backstab him with daggers containing Touch of Idiocy!!!!
If the PCs seem edgy... maybe it's the DM's fault given the amount of EVERYTHING AND THEN SOME MORE that seems to hit them simultaneously. Never a dull day in the kingdom!
Following that encounter we had another one that made us laugh to tears, but at the same time made me hate even more the spell system of D&D (3.5/Pathfinder for reference).
So, a lot of important people have been disappearing, captured by devils, and taken to an unknown place. One of the devils (an erinyes) was captured, and the PCs decided to question him. He proposed a deal: he was willing to share the information if he was freed from captivity and given some land to claim as his own where he would be left in peace. The players wrinkled their noses, twisted in the chair, and grumbled, and for some reason did not embrace this generous offering from the DM (I wonder why...).
That's when high level magic enters play. The mage/cleric/mystic theurge/generic-guy-that-makes-the-DM-curse-every-spell-in-the-game, which is for some reason the most hated man in the kingdom (and beyond it), provokes an intense debate around the possibilities of the Geas spell. While I believe the spell to work only in the way that you can order a specific ACTION to be performed by the target, the bastard twisted the phrasing of the spell defending that "ordering the guy to tell us all that he knows is an action".
Since I am a very generous DM (and the campaign is nearing its end), I decided to give him a free pass.
Nonetheless, I made them fight for every answer, using all possible evasive actions, from speaking Infernal, to mumbling and gabbling, even having the devil rip its tongue so that he couldn't speak. When they presented him with a map and said "point where they are being held", I just couldn't stop laughing and had the devil bite his fingers off!!!!!
Eventually they discovered everything needed to get to the desired location, but I couldn't help but regret that the impact of high level magic is such in the game, that it shuts down roleplay. Why use diplomacy, negotiation, intimidation, or search for info in any "roleplayesque" way, when you can simply use spells that pinpoint the location of what you want to find? Or supply divine answers that solve any doubt?

Session Chronicle and Epilogue (Portuguese): link

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Death and Rebirth

[Pendants of Tor-Logos]

Pathfinder RPG
Following the deaths of Bellerophon and Taurus, the combat continues in order to kill Agnes, the succubus, carrying the child of Taurus McKymera whose birth will breach the Planes and allow an army of demons to enter Chimaera Island. After the combat, the Archangel Efialtes brings the paladin back to life. But the heroes of Agatarkion's Kingdom are now faced with the forced exodus from the lands of the Great Druid...

Barion (rogue), Bellerophon (paladin), Thorkron (cleric/wizard/mystic theurge)

The fight with the succubus and Taurus was supposed to be "just a tough fight". The expected outcome would be to have both the succubus and Taurus killed (eventually captured alive, as a courtesy to his cousin, Claudius). But along the way our brave paladin fell, and the succubus was still waiting to be dealt with.
The easy and normal outcome? Kill the succubus.
My players’ outcome? Leave her alive and have her miscarry.
Thorkron’s player called me aside in the middle of the combat and whispered: “Hey, Bestow Curse allows the caster to create his own curse... Can I simply touch the succubus and provoke an immediate abortion?”
I love my players. They always beat me in degrees of evilness.

The campaign is drawing to its conclusion. Will Barion, Bellerophon and Thorkron be able to:
- prevent Queen Hybris' plan to Trap the Soul the 10 most powerful sons of Tyrian Murex;
- guarantee that Thorkron becomes the first mortal to do 8th level arcane magic;
- stop the draconic invasion already underway;
- defeat the powerful dragons Isospora and Ascaris;
- stop the war with the dwarves of Tor-Logos;
- guarantee that the kingdom will have a steady rule after all the recent events;
- define the kingdom's role and relations with all its powerful neighbors;
- survive the gazillion thunderstorms that the DM will still unleash upon them?

Sometimes I wonder if I don't bombard my players with too many plot branches. I have a big phobia to railroading, so I'm continuously opening new paths and possibilities that sprang by each of the PCs' actions
For now, something major has been achieved: the balor Kelsier's intention of entering the realm with a demon army has been stopped. But in doing so, a vengeful succubus has been left on the loose, and who knows what can come out of this...

Session Chronicle and Epilogue (Portuguese): link

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Khan’s Report: Tyranny in Phlan – Part 2

Tyranny of Dragons Storyline Season – Expedition 10: Tyranny in Phlan
[Heart of Platinum]
Khan (dwarf cleric), Lanza (elf bard), Sasha (human ranger), Septimus (tiefling warlock)

Previously: The city of Phlan fell victim to a sudden attack from the Cult of the Dragon, led by the impressive green dragon known as Maimed Virulence. Amidst the chaos, the four “not-exactly-heroes” of Phlan ready themselves to storm the Castle, while their brave ally, Lieutenant Aelid, prepares a diversion.

Ecce Deo!
Lieutenant Aelid died a horrible death in front of the gates. Period. And that’s just it. This is how I inform the world of the death of the only non-chaotic-evil NPC in the campaign. The only NPC which I didn’t have an immediate urge to “Hammer to Fall”. Alas! That is life as a D&D player. Everything dies around yourself. Sometimes you die yourself. And then come back to life. And then die again. And then come back to life again. And that is the meaning of life.
IN D&D!!!!! Kids, do not try this at home!!!!
Stonejaw Gate closes behind the heroes. Countless "true" guards are tied in courtyard. Actually, this information in inaccurate, since the DM told us that there were EXACTLY 124 guards in chains. The berserkers from the Cult of the Dragon focused on us. Swords were drawn... And Septimus disappears after one of the guards. Yeah, his player had a last minute problem and couldn't attend the session, so the tiefling started running after the guard, and went M.I.A.
But, I digress. Let me remind you, dear reader, that the characters, at this point, were rather beaten. My brave cleric didn't have a single spell slot available, the quantity of healing potions was quite reduced, and our hit points weren't exactly maximized, and the horned-guy-that-shoots-eldritch-blasts had just ran off-screen.
So... Long story short, Sasha fell to the repeated beating of one of the evil guys' TWO-HANDED-GREATSWORD (thanks a lot, dear beloved DM; may you rot in hell, and the abyss, and so on, and on...), while Lanza used his magic to crowd-control the other evil guys with some fear effect. The problem was a minor detail called cambion. After he mind-controlled Khan, things were looking pretty towards the "it was a good ride, guys, but the campaign comes to an early end".

Septimus! Or possibly the cambion... I'm always confused!

But, apparently, the party didn't have its demise scheduled for this particular moment. Hidden among the captives was Lord Hector Brahms, who jumped after the cambion, forcing him to leave the scene. Simultaneously, Lanza managed somehow to withstand the hits from the last standing guard. Meanwhile, Khan was unconscious, slipping into the long night. At that moment, a booming voice manifested itself in the cleric's mind.
Khan was overwhelmed. His link with Marthammor Duin had been faltering in recent times, and a direct contact from "a god of dragons" was the last thing he was expecting.
Joining forces, the two last remaining heroes manage to clear the board and free the guards. But the cost was too high. Sasha's body lays lifeless on the floor of the courtyard. Khan walks towards the fallen comrade, takes her body in his arms and raises it towards the heavens. "Hear me, oh Bahamut, Lord of Dragons! If you'll accept me as your loyal, unflinching servant, I pledge my life to your cause, vowing to abandon everything behind me. I ask thee only to restitute the Breath of Life to my brave companion!"
The dwarven cleric's right arm points at the sky, and a flash of platinum descends towards it. His hand touches Sasha's forehead, and the ranger comes back to life.
Khan experiences an awakening. He drops his magical warhammer, tears his vest apart, and joins the escaping prisoners.
Wow! How's that for "a stupid game where you only roll dice and kill stuff"? In thy face, haters!
Gathering what remains of the captives we RUUUUUN TOOOOO THE... SEWERS (hmmm, not exactly the same as Iron Maiden), where a rotting, stinking, bitch drow asks us 250 gp to take us safely out of the city, along with the survivors. So, yes, the bastard DM refuses to give us treasure, AND keeps the day emptying our pockets! Where's the Complaint Form Nº 174-A/2580 to send to WotC?
We board a boat, and under the cover of night flee to Mulmaster, across the Moonsea…

The Tyranny of Dragons has arrived. May Bahamut guide our steps, and Tiamat use the DM as a backscratcher.