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Quizzes are Fun!

Though I had hoped for something a little more inspiring or interesting, there’s nothing wrong with this:

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Druid/Cleric (2nd/1st Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-12
Dexterity-14
Constitution-13
Intelligence-14
Wisdom-14
Charisma-13

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. They hate the unnatural, including aberrations or undead, and destroy them where possible. Druids receive divine spells from nature, not the gods, and can gain an array of powers as they gain experience, including the ability to take the shapes of animals. The weapons and armor of a druid are restricted by their traditional oaths, not simply training. A druid’s Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast.

Secondary Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

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Prologue

Threonax, the great elder dragon was the last of the polychromatics.  She was in her prime when  the Living Gate first shimmered in the heavens.  Her wings stretched taught, iridescent chest heaving with the strain of sucking in enough air to breathe in the thin upper reaches of the atmosphere.  She was perhaps the first to notice the fiery haze in the reaches of space that would spell doom for so many.  Instinctively she pulled her wings tight against her body, racing back to the surface, planning already how she would address her kin once she had gathered them.  Now speeding full force she began to shift her body to slow the fall, gradually flattening parallel to the ground then a wingtip, and whoosh!  Wings instantly unfurled she climbed briefly to dissipate the force of the stop, then tucked wings gently for her final falcon-like drop.  The ground, her prey rushing ever closer, and a final flap to bring her to a gentle perch.  Craning her neck back she let out a mighty signal roar to signal all the dragons who could hear, to be passed along.  Then as soon as she alighted Threonax was off again to prepare the ceremonial meeting ground for the greatest gathering  since the third council of all dragons…


Treasure and rewards

Does anyone else have a hard time giving their players loot? I always feel a little awkward about giving monsters a stack of coins or something like that, in fact I’d like to keep gold as a reward quite rare in my campaign.

Last session I did spontaneously decide on a longsword with a jeweled hilt from some skeletons ripped out of the shadowfell, and I’m aiming for this to be quite a valuable item so I don’t have to give out too much at other times if I don’t feel it’s appropriate. I guess that’s a cost for picking a bunch of wilderness encounters.

My main feeling is that I should give any reward at least a chance of being significant. The sword they picked up doesn’t have any magic, but I am prepared to give it some backstory and drive into the plot if the players choose to investigate.

I also want to keep magic items kind of tight in hand, and have opted for the inherent bonuses described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2. I like the idea of characters holding up against the monster curve regardless of equipment they have; This leaves me the power to introduce more strategic items like the bag of holding.

I also like the idea of boons and grandmaster training… perhaps I should even drop hooks for players take training and gain boons that are their speed. Magic items are supposed to give players customization, but it’s no stretch to imagine meaningful story customization if they seek the favour of a particular god, or weapon training, or poison endurance strategies. The party has set themselves up for a clerical blessing against undead, and I’ll include a couple other boon hooks next session. I can really see this as path to character development; many trainers ask taxing tasks of their trainees, and a hunt for rare reagents puts story investment in that bonus! If the characters really dig it, you could find enough material and hooks to constantly be questing for development!


A Brief Brainstorm

I do my best to read just a little about DMing every day to keep the new ideas and strategies flowing. Just yesterday I stumbled upon the idea that when preparing extra encounters to use when players go off the path, to use places like cellars. I guess some of the civilization related dungeons were off my radar. To the point: I want to brainstorm some appropriate ideas for Trillia.

-The cellar seems like a good one… I imagined most of the houses to be built quite low, so they might often need cellars for storage space.

-Warehouse: this one can be good in a big city, if there are corrupt leaders, or a local gang. A food warehouse in a small settlement could suffer a strange infestation.

-Ruins: Out of town, in town, I want these things everywhere for the flavour of my world.

-Rivers: We’ve had a river encounter already, but perhaps the rivers serve as an important trackway into the mountains. Rivers often mean reasonable terrain, and fresh water is right there, so who needs to build more roads?

-Marshes: We’ve had one of these too. Perhaps another peat bog, more of a skill challenge, where crossing risks the chance of instantly being swallowed up.

-Thickets: Perhaps an animal den or in use as a hideout for bandits.

-Caves: The current setting features coastline, foothills and mountains… it’s a wonder they haven’t found a cave yet. I’ve stated sea travel is rare, but a secret group of sailors who make use of some sea caves could be cool.

Deep forest: This could serve as a navigation challenge, a tracking challenge, or home to some mysterious beast.

Town hall: Or a higher political power… I haven’t really thrown the players any political encounters yet, so it would be fun to try something new.

That’s all I’ve got for now… suggestions welcome!


Narration…

I feel like this is my greatest area of challenge. Reviewing the DM guide reminded me to engage multiple senses, and use descriptions for foreshadowing and to build tension… I guess short term foreshadowing is the best case scenario… bring up a particular smell or sound associated with a particular monster early in a dungeon, then bring it back again later, like as a climax or anticlimax.


Sleeping Dragons

Just a quick sketch for the day, a white dragon sleeping in a cave.