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  • File : 1287808697.jpg-(127 KB, 640x557, 70.jpg)
    127 KB Dark Sun Campaign Report Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)00:38 No.12540811  
    Hey fa/tg/uys. Previous thread about my campaign here:


    All right, so my players are level 2 now. I ran some pretty great skill challenges for each one independently last session, and I wanted to share them with you. The campaign is off to a pretty great start; we finished up the first half of Betrayal at Altaruk and part of the Vault of Darom Madar adventure. The new Revenge of the Marauders adventure that went up on the Wizards site plays really well into my campaign, too, and I'm going to make Yarnath the Skull the campaign's BBEG (can't go wrong with liches).
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)00:47 No.12540911
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    My PCs are:

    A halfling rogue who changed his name to Belkar after I compared his brutal stabbings to Belkar's (his original name was Barrack, and I was like, "Obama?")

    A human infernal pact warlock

    A tiefling bard/psion whose songbow music is greatly enjoyed by thri-kreen but hated by everyone else

    A human shaman

    A thri-kreen archer ranger

    A thri-kreen brawler fighter

    They are a good well-rounded bunch and have handily defeated everything I've thrown at them so far, twice ending combat encounters in the surprise round. The rogue won initiative for Kaldras's betrayal and bloodied him with his first attack, which resulted in the town guards showing up to stop the fight.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)00:56 No.12540996
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    I ran an independent challenge for each player after they beat the Moonrunner elves in the "Coins in the Coffer" gladiatorial combat (Kaldras wound up getting eaten by a jhakaar).

    For the rogue, I had him notice that he was being scouted by both the Thieves' Guild and the Assassins' Guild after the fight with a Streetwise check, and each introduced themselves to him in turn.

    The Thieves offered him membership in their guild if he retrieved a certain steel dagger from a certain merchant's heavily-guarded home, but warned him not to kill the merchant, because they weren't murderers.

    The assassins then offered him membership in their guild if he killed a certain merchant (surprise, the same dude) but warned him not to steal his belongings, because they weren't petty criminals.

    Later that night, he crept down an alleyway toward the merchant's house...
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)01:12 No.12541137
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    A successful Stealth check put him at the base of a trellis on which a nasty-looking vine was growing, below a second-story window leading into the merchant's house, past the guards outside.

    He flubbed the Acrobatics check to get up the vine the first time, and so lost a healing surge from being lacerated by the razor-sharp thorns. He succeeded on his second try and climbed up into the merchant's bedroom, using a Thievery check to silently open the locked window. There was a portly man asleep in a bed and a locked chest on the other side of the room. I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said he wanted to creep over to the man without waking him up. A successful hard Stealth check and he was in melee range. Scratch one merchant. Looks like he made his choice.

    Then he said he wanted to open the chest. A successful hard Thievery check forced the lock, and he dug through the merchant's papers for a steel dagger the guy had been using as a letter opener. With the optional Weapon Breakage rules in effect, this dagger would be pretty useful, and Belkar pocketed it before slipping back out through the window, down the trellis again unharmed, and through the alley unseen.

    The next morning, when he arrived back at the tavern where the party was staying, the thieves registered their disappointment, and warned him to stay clear of their affairs in the future. The assassins welcomed him, but asked him about what happened to the dagger. "I dunno lol" (successful hard Bluff check) and the assassin leader said "hm, looks like it was pilfered by the household help, I suppose." I gave him the Connected feat (reroll Streetwise checks) and his choice of a combat style feat for joining the guild and training with them (he still hasn't picked the style feat). He also kept the nonmagical steel dagger, which is actually a pretty nice piece of equipment to have in Dark Sun.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)01:25 No.12541232
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    I had something pretty interesting planned for the warlock. After falling asleep at the tavern, he started to have terrible nightmares. Various Arcana and Perception checks allowed him to realize that the nightmares were visions sent from his patron, and he ultimately recognized them as a map of the town of Altaruk with a fiery dot just outside the walls. He awoke with a mission, and set off to seek the dot from his vision.

    When he arrived at the spot, he found a carriage and a couple of kanks hitched nearby. The door at the back of the carriage opened and a hand motioned for him to enter. The inside of the carriage held an arcane laboratory and a lovely tiefling lass (I don't recall what we wound up naming her, hmm) who identified herself as a fellow follower of the warlock's patron. She told him that he was to be tested and set out three cups in front of him, warning him only to drink from one (to drink from a second would be fatal).

    One cup held pure, cool water. One cup held warm human blood. One cup held a smoking, vile-smelling substance that the tiefling identified as devil blood.

    She told him that his patron would have him choose.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)01:40 No.12541371
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    After much consideration and conferring with the other players at the table, he decided to drink the human blood. The tiefling told him "a wise choice, my own in fact." His stomach churning, he stumbled back to the tavern and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

    I told him he suddenly acquired a new magical insight: infernal defiling. He could now pay for the cost of using arcane defiling by sacrificing any temporary hit points he had (normally acquired by infernal warlocks by slaying cursed enemies) instead of harming his allies and the environment. The defiling would now be powered by the souls of his defeated opponents.

    If he had drank the water, I would have taken his ability to defile (not that useful anyway because he was part of the Veiled Alliance) and told him that his pact boon would also restore the landscape around where it was used. His patron wants to come take possession of Athas eventually and wants it cleaned up before he gets there, so he is setting some of his agents to fixing the place.

    Drinking the devil's blood would have made him follow in the footsteps of the ancient nobles of Bael Turath and begin the transformation to another race. He would have grown horns and acquired the tiefling race for the purposes of feats & paragon paths, and also the tiefling racial power. Any children he would have had after that drink would have been full-blooded tieflings.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)01:42 No.12541385
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    So hey is anybody reading this or what? If no one is interested I'll post it some other time.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)01:56 No.12541497
    I'm reading it! Very awesome so far.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)02:22 No.12541677
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    Cool, I'll tell you about the stuff I did for the other four players.

    The one I wound up spending the most prep time on was actually pretty simple: the two thri-kreen were approached after their victory in the arena by a bookie who wanted to know if they'd fight as a team in an exotic matched-pairs battle, against another team of two, for a cut of the wagers. The players agreed that they liked money ("I like money" "I like money too, we should hang out") and so they prepared for a second arena battle that afternoon. Their opponents were a couple of well-muscled gith, heavily-scarred veterans of the arena, in some heavy, heavy carapace armor. I told them they had little chance of winning if they fought them head-on but they would tire quickly in their heavy armor during the hottest part of the day.

    I actually ran it as a complex skill challenge instead of a combat encounter. I gave them three options to evade, parry or block attacks: Athletics, Endurance, and Acrobatics. The DC increased with each success in a particular skill as the gith got wise to their tricks. I also gave them a few chances to try secondary skills like Intimidate and Perception to sway the battle, and let them make Insight checks once apiece to erase a primary skill check failure ("You see the blow coming and duck at the last moment," etc).

    The brawler rolled a lot better than the ranger and wound up with no failures. The ranger had to use her insight check to erase a failure but still took another ("the gith connects with you...you can't take many more blows like that!"). After the skill challenge, I said that it all came down to a standoff, and that passing the challenge with no failures gave you combat advantage and a guaranteed win on initiative for the final strike (one failure loses you CA, two loses you guaranteed initiative, three gets you carried out of the arena on a stretcher to get healed).
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)02:23 No.12541684
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    Again, the brawler rolled really well, and grabbed his exhausted opponent with his lower set of arms, and beat him with his upper set of arms until he gave in (I really like thri-kreen).

    The ranger, without combat advantage, missed her first attack, and took a hard hit from the gith again (losing a healing surge for the next day each time). Finally she rolled a crit, which I ruled as her doing a flying backflip into the air and putting two arrows into the gith's eyes before she landed (thri-kreen reload really quickly).

    The brawler got a "glory boon" that added +1 to his healing surge value and the ranger got an inevitable +1 longbow. And they both got a pile of money. And the cheers of the crowd.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)02:30 No.12541732
    :D go kreen!
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)02:33 No.12541759
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    The shaman, instead of retiring to the tavern with the others after the last group encounter, heard a mystical call from somewhere in the desert. The Land Within the Wind was calling him. He tackled one of the "crossing the desert" challenges from the Bloodsand Arena book, but solo. He had something like +12 to his Nature and Perception, though, and almost as much to his Endurance, so he just waltzed right through it. Another Nature check and he found a hidden oasis in the land of broken stone outside Altaruk, one of the few ever-shifting entrances to the Land Within the Wind still around. He sat and meditated there all night with his mace across his lap, smoked some mystic herbs, ate some magic mushrooms, and just communed with the spirits, man. He walked back in the morning with a much-improved mace that allowed him to cast spirit powers from his own square instead of his spirit's.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)02:57 No.12541917
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    The lone party member who actually stayed in the tavern all night (and also kind of the comic relief of the party) was the tiefling bard/psion, Sim Salabim. Earlier, in the arena, he had used his songbow (aka, the one-stringed harp) to play discordant music and distract the ferocious jhakaar (think crocodile wolves), winning much acclaim from the few thri-kreen in the crowd but hurting everyone else's ears.

    Like the rogue, he was visited by a guild. But this was the local Musicians' Guild. He had put on an unlicensed performance in the arena. And so, to shame him out of town, their top performers came to challenge him to a rock-off. First I had them come up and start doing a freestyle rap battle, and I even came up with some rhymes on the spot - his Bluff check beat theirs, though, so they moved on to trying to get the crowd back on their side. Again, their Diplomacy check was beaten. Then their guitarist challenged him to a dueling-banjos-style instrumental battle, where Sim had to use Insight checks to keep up with the guy's playing. I was pretty sure he'd lose that one with his 8 Wisdom but IIRC he rolled an 20. Finally the whole band, together, tried to out-rock him as a group, but he beat their hard Diplomacy check and got the entire crowd on his side.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)02:58 No.12541933
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    The Altaruk Musicians' Guild (all three of them) were shamed by having their socks rocked off by this outsider and so they became his band (and general-purpose hirelings/kank handlers/etc.). Sim Salabim also got the "Beloved Performer" glory boon, giving him +1 to Acrobatics and Bluff (like he needed more Bluff).

    Their drummer was nicknamed 'Bebop,' the bass player was nicknamed 'Rocksteady,' and the rhythm guitarist was nicknamed 'the Shredder.'

    I improv'd that entire thing, by the way. The table was cracking up the whole time, especially while Sim's player and I were having an impromptu freestyle rap insult battle.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)03:03 No.12541981
    >Their drummer was nicknamed 'Bebop,' the bass player was nicknamed 'Rocksteady,' and the rhythm guitarist was nicknamed 'the Shredder.'

    >> DatFrigginGoomba !ikPvLvYZGU 10/23/10(Sat)03:03 No.12541982
    I fuck yea'd inside.
    OP, I wish my DM was as awesome as you.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)03:04 No.12541993
    you are the best DM ever

    >gisherro hospital,

    s'where I'll be, when I have an heart attack from the awesome.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)03:22 No.12542167
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    Thank you all. I'm going to try to put as many crowning moments of awesome in my campaign as possible and put them up here.

    Alright, so next up for the campaign this Sunday is the adventure Veiled Threat, in which they investigate the murder of a guard captain who was kind of a dick to them in the last one they played and get in touch with the local Veiled Alliance cell, which includes Altaruk's governor (I explained their meeting by saying that they were all members of the Veiled Alliance, so that could be a good contact for them). Then I'll have them do the rest of the Vault of Darom Madar adventure and go into the vault itself, where they will find a certain small but extremely important anachronism: a gold pocketwatch.

    This pocketwatch is actually an artifact. Well, it's more like a god itself. The idea is, this is not the first time the gods have created the world. They keep fucking it up every time. This pocketwatch is like a reset button or quicksave feature - it lets its user go back in time, back to when they can still fix their mistakes. The god of time (I'm thinking of just calling him Crono because of the obvious influence) put all of his power into this artifact. But the gods somehow lost it and then couldn't stop the world from getting completely ruined.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)03:32 No.12542256
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    Traveling in time will bring the party to the standard Nentir Vale 4e setting, Eberron, and possibly Gamma World and the Forgotten Realms (I just kinda don't like the Forgotten Realms, frankly).

    But before they can time-travel, they'll need a powerful primordial power source. Like how the gods formed the world from the stuff primordials created, their time machine needs the power of both.

    In Marauders of the Dune Sea, a primordial artifact called the Crown of Dust is introduced. Uniting all three fragments of the Crown of Dust along with the Blood Jewel from Revenge of the Marauders could produce enough power to make the pocketwatch do its thing.

    The only problem is, there's this lich called Yarnath the Skull. And his phylactery happens to be a certain Blood Jewel. So, wherever they travel in time, Yarnath's physical form will be recreated in a matter of days.

    I finally figured out how a BBEG can follow a time-traveling party! Fuck yeah!
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)03:39 No.12542297
    Make me your woman, OP. This shit is fantastic.

    >>clergy thiesto
    Let The Clergy of Thiesto bless our union.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)03:57 No.12542410
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    Hey, if you like it, get it archived.

    Anyway, I'm going to try to get them ready to go time-traveling by Christmas break, hopefully with them right about to hit 88 miles per hour and see some serious shit at the very end of our last session this year (I will be on the other side of the country for about a month then and I want the anticipation to build until their eyes start bleeding).

    Oh shit, I should actually have their time machine have to be traveling at 88 miles per hour to work. How do you get something in Dark Sun to 88 miles per hour? Shit...I guess I'll let them come up with ideas.

    Cloud rays? Hell yes, cloud rays.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)04:15 No.12542510
    To get 88 Mph you could use wind in a bottle or some other low magic item used in an interesting way.
    >> Anonymous 10/23/10(Sat)04:22 No.12542540
    "Speed record:
    The world land speed record for a wind powered vehicle was broken on 26 March 2009 by Richard Jenkins in his yacht Greenbird with a speed of 126.1 mph (202.9 km/h). Wind speeds were fluctuating between 30–50 mph (48–80 km/h) at that time."

    It's certainly possible to get involved in some crazy-ass primal magic windstorm and go rocketing around the dunes. Maybe you have to piss off something big enough first.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)04:28 No.12542568
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    Like half of Dark Sun is salt flats, too. Perfect for breaking land speed records. And they already build sail-powered land vehicles.

    Okay, so for time travel they need:

    Artifact that is basically a god
    Three-part extremely powerful primordial artifact
    Extremely powerful magic item that is also a lich's phylactery
    Extremely fast, well-built sand skiff
    The biggest dust storm anybody has seen in ages

    This reminds me of something they'd do in Gurren Lagann. Fucking yes, it's going in my campaign.
    >> OP 10/23/10(Sat)05:04 No.12542753
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    Thread archived. Next session is Sunday evening. Will update sometime next week. Thanks for reading.

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