Expert Dungeon Master Competition 19: Start a Business!

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XDMC 19: Start a Business!
Welcome to the nineteenth Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:
  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

Required Elements


The topic for this competition is "Business". The contest asks entrants to create an establishment that appears mundane from the outside, but is more than it first seems.  In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:
  • Name: Name the establishment.

  • Business: The establishment must offer goods or services for coin or barter.

  • Inventory: Describe any objects of value that might be found in the establishment.

  • Layout: Describe the physical layout of the establishment.

  • NPCs: Describe any NPCs (proprietors, staff, customers) who might be found in the premises and may be expected to interact with the PCs in a meaningful way.  Stat blocks (or reference to a stat block in a sourcebook or the Compendium) are required only if the adventurers are expected to fight the NPC.

  • Point of Light: The establishment must be located in a place the adventurers would not consider dangerous, such as a village or town.

Optional Elements


In addition, the entry must include at least two of the following optional elements:
  1. Enchanted: The establishment is under the effects of a ritual (whether beneficial or malicious) described in the entry.

  2. Haunted: The establishment is haunted by one or more undead.

  3. Lair: The establishment is home to a non-humanoid non-undead creature, or serves as the headquarters or meeting place of a secret organization described in the entry.

  4. Portal: The establishment contains a portal to another plane, a pocket dimension, or a remote location.

  5. Reliquary: The establishment houses an artifact described in the entry, or sufficient treasure to constitute an epic-tier treasure parcel.

  6. Repurposed: The establishment retains some of the flavor of the purpose for which the building had been used before its current purpose.

Please list the optional elements you are trying to meet in your entry.

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition.  The complete list of rules is in the  Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.
  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally. Once winners have been announced, entrants may edit their entries.

  • Images Allowed. If you want to use an image in your entry, you must first post it to your profile gallery.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. Each applicant may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted. Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but they will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Each entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Links Prohibited. Entries may not include material hosted on a website other than the post on which the entry appears.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries found to be copying the work of another, or that have been posted for review prior to the close of the competition, will be disqualified.

Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, June 11, 2010. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight on that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are ClanBattlerage, Fuka, and Johnathan_Vagabond, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers

(entrants' questions and the coordinator's answers)


Q. Can the business be a travelling merchant?

A. No.  This contest requires an establishment, which means the business must operate from a fixed location.


Q. Can multiple businesses operate out of a single establishment?

A. Yes.


Q. For purposes of the required element "Point of Light", can the establishment be located elsewhere, if there is a permanent portal from a Point of Light to it?

A. Yes.  The permanent portal would constitute the establishment for that purpose.


Q. For purposes of the optional element "Haunting", what does it mean for an undead to haunt an establishment?

A. An undead haunts an establishment by habitually visiting or appearing frequently in the establishment.
Medalists  and Scores
Looks like we have a tie for the silver medal, which means there will be no bronze medal awarded in this contest.

The silver medal goes to:


Goldomark for The Greenhouse!!


and


Qube for a Simple House in Grimmwell!!


The gold medal winner is...


LionLemur with the Little Zoo Tha Boo'd!!!
LionLemur wins bragging rights is entitled to be called a Heroic Dungeon Master, and is now eligible to begin judging future XDMCs!  Qube is also now a Heroic Dungeon Master and eligible to judge because this is his second medal!  Congratulations to both of you!

Thanks to ClanBattlerage, Fuka, and Johnathan_Vagabond for judging this contest.  We had a great crop of entries and the judges did a thorough but speedy job!  Stay tuned because in a few weeks, we will be announcing Expert Dungeon Master Competition 20!  In the meantime, enjoy the carefully tabulated scores below:
























































































































No.CreativityUsabilityThemeClarityBonusTotalEntrant's Entry
18 5/68 1/36 5/68 1/332 1/3Pluisjen's Deepshard Mines and Smithy
210 2/3117 1/28 1/337 1/2mccowen's Sunset Books
377 1/34 2/36 2/325 2/3Luexsc's Ilix's Unbelievable Arrows
4119 2/36 2/37 1/634 1/2Falstyr's House of Glass
5136 5/61 2/37 2/329 1/6Matthias_DM's Nibgit's Discout Emporium
613 1/311 1/39 1/67 1/341 1/6Goldomark's Greenhouse
77 1/310 1/35 2/3831 1/3thomas.j.theobald's Death's Head Distillery and Fine Fermentations
813 1/27 1/29 1/31040 1/3Koradzi's Ziggy Mart
911 1/37 2/34831cymbeline's KipKip's Mobile Executive Sauna
1012 5/610 1/37 1/68 1/638 1/2Monstro's Dirt Nap
1112137 1/38 5/641 1/6Qube's Simple House in Grimmwell
1211 1/2116 1/2938DonatelloDuros' Forgiven Sin
1310 5/6118 1/6636Matyr's Great Rings
1413 2/310 5/69 5/68 2/3245LionLemur's Little Zoo That Boo'd

First, I guess? I don't have a whole lot of time for this, so I figured I might as well get it over with quickly Wink


Figured I'd set the bar for the rest of you; now lets see those better entries.


Good luck everyone!


The Deepshard Mines and Smithy

HISTORY OF DEEPSHARD


Seventy years ago, a large gold vein was found in the Karunai Mountains by a group of Dwarven prospectors. It was deep, one of the deepest they'd found so far.
Within months, mining began and around the mines a town was built, under the name of Deepshard. Here, Dwarven Miners lived and worked, removing fabulous amounts of Gold from the ground.
However, due to the speed and skill of the Dwarves, within 50 years the mine was cleaned out and the town abandoned.

For almost 15 years, nobody came to Deepshard, and it was a ghost town. But then, a powerful Dwarven Mage under the name of Rangrim the Stonerender purchased the mines, and used his mystical might to dig deeper into the earth, far below even the deepest veins of gold. And there it was, that he found the greatest treasure ever... a mine full of Adamantium, larger then the world had ever seen.

The town sprang back to life, greater and more magical then ever, as Wizards arrived to design the special tools to cut the Adamantium to managable pieces, and the toughest Dwarven Miners arrived to hack it free and smelt it down for production.

But it is Rangrim who holds the deed to the mine, and he never sold the ore. Instead, he built an enormous smithy directly against the mines, and melted down the Adamantium for himself, and started accepting orders to produce any kind of Adamant item a wealthy enough buyer would commission. These days, when someone is looking for an unbreakable armor or weapon, the most expensive kind of wedding ring, fabulous jewelry, or anything else made from this once rarest of metals, they come to Deepshard.

Of course, being a greedy Dwarf, Rangrim is well aware of this, and hasn't lowered the old prices of Adamant by much, only just enough to put most of his competition out of business. He and his smiths do produce excellent quality wares, and most of the Material Plane has simply accepted that he is the one to go to for Adamantine gear.

THE DEEPSHARD SMITHY


The smithy that sells all these items is a majestic sight to behold; in order to evoke the awe Rangrim wants his smithy to have, the very doors and even most of the outer walls are crafted from Adamantine. Beautiful grafts in the traditional, blocky style of the dwarves surround it, most depicting either Dwarven Smiths at work, or various items the smithy produces.
It is a large structure with many chimneys from which smoke pours at all times, mostly black, but occasionaly in vibrant colors as the more magical commissioned goods are produced.
The rear side of the Smithy is built straight against the mountain wall, shielding off all access to the mines unless one goes through the smithy itself.

Once you enter the smithy through the massive doors (that are always open), you enter the welcoming hall, which is massive, with a beautiful tiled mosaic floor in red, gold, and blue, filled with exotic plants, comfortable benches, and always full of people, both buyers (often nobles or other wealthy folks, adventurers in mystical armor, but also otherwordly creatures such as Genies, Angels and sometimes even Devils; the smithy caters to anyone willing to pay) and workfolk (lots of smiths and miners, the occasional mage). In the center of the welcoming hall stands a statue of Rangrim, 30 foot high, and cast fully from Adamantine.
Various greeters will offer the customers a seat, a drink (good wines and great dwarven beers, as well as other exotic beverages, all on the house) while they wait for one of the master smiths that will help them with their order.
There are three doors in this hall. One leads to the furnaces, that opens with a roar and blast of heat whenever a smith enters or leaves. A second door leads to the mines itself, the only thing visible is a short hallway that ends in another Adamantine door, like an airlock.
The third door leads to the commissioning rooms, where the smith will take the new customers to discuss their purchase.

The commissioning rooms are as luxurious as the welcoming hall, and the smith will guide the purchasers through the whole process in a friendly manner, garuanteeing that the smithy can produce anything they want at a fair price. He will offer the buyers more drink, various exotic snacks, and even take them to dinner in the better restaurants in the small town if he think it'll help settle a good deal.
The rooms are decorated with the same dwarven grafts, and contain various example objects the Dwarves can make, including various sets of jewelry, magic arms and armor, basic tools, small statues, implements, and relief paintings.

The smithy is usually off-limits to visitors, although those placing very expensive orders might be granted a short tour if they request it. It contains 12 furnaces, each the size of a small house, that are operated by a dozen smiths each, melting down Adamantium ores and pounding on the metal to complete their orders. Near the rear is another door through which carts full of ore are carried in and brought to the smelters.
Near the corners of the building, four large Golems can be seen, standing motionless, and like most things here, cast from Adamantine.

The mines are strictly off limits to visitors. In the airlock that leads from the smithy to the mine shafts, two more Adamantine Golems stand, out of sight from the smithy, but ever watchful of trespassers. When the second door opens, things become very much different. Behind this door, the old mines lie, and Rangrim hasn't yet invested much time in changing them. Old elevators lead down the mine tracks, and the rail used by the carts of ore is a bit rusty at spots. They go down for roughly a mile and a half through the old mineshaft, before the bottom is reached.

There, the old shafts end and the new shafts begin, which lead straight down into the earth at a roughly 45 degree angle, until they end in a flat stretch.
The shafts have rails placed on the slopes, with stairs next to them for the miners to use. The carts can be pulled up magically, and miners simply have to walk next to them.

The flat stretch is dark, and goes from normal rock one minute, to being adamantium ore the next; the ore is so concetrated that it shines and reflects any light, giving the viewers an awesome spectacle. Here, the miners are busy digging new paths and tunnels, but the ore is everywhere and they seem to be taking a mostly random approach to the whole thing; simply cutting in all directions and sending the tunnel section back up, due to the overwhelming amount of Adamantium ore available.

OWNER OF THE DEEPSHARD SMITHY


Rangrim the Stonerender is an old Dwarf, approaching his 150th birthday. He spent much of his younger years researching and learning at various Arcane institutes througout the land, picking up knowledge of the Arcane Arts. His wealthy family supported and paid for his education, and he never knew being poor.

Rangrim's main interests, like that of many Dwarves, were making money and geology. He is a well known name in that field, and many a mystic tome on the properties of minerals bears his name. He has a copy of most of them in his private office in Deepshard.

When Rangrim finished his studies, he focussed on the worlds beyond, and started researching ways to prospect outer realms for valuables. How he eventually came to buying Deepshard, nobody knows, but he must've been on to something, considering the success he had there.

Rangrim is a greedy man, and making money is his only goal. However, he understands business well, and knows that one must spend money to make money. So, everything he does and has is lavish and luxurious, he dresses in the finest garbs, is easy with gifts and never forgets to offer fine foods when he discusses business. He is also a firm believer in the Dwarven values of family and clan, and sends many gifts to them; the easiest way to spot a Stonerender Dwarf is because he's probably carrying at least one thing made from Adamantine.

Nevertheless; Rangrim would never allow anything to hurt his operations in Deepshard, since they'll make him the wealthiest man on the Plane. He deals with competitors, industrial spies and thieves in the same, ruthless manner. He has hired various private investigators, and not every miner is really a miner.

Rangrim knows he has secrets that have to be kept at all costs, and he will stop at nothing to keep them.

When he meets visitors, he is open and friendly, assisting them always in what they want to have produced. However, he only meets the wealthiest of clients, and is so busy he usually ignores the lower ones, bordering on the rude when they're keeping him busy for more then a few moments. He ha a dislike for other Wizards, mostly because of his secrets he doesn't want out.

OTHER IMPORTANT FIGURES AROUND THE DEEPSHARD SMITHY


Thorfin Deepdigger
Many years ago, it was Thorfin Deepdigger who first found the Gold veins in the Karunai Mountainrange. These days, he has returned to Deepshard to see for himself what Rangrim was up to. After seeing firsthand the enormous amounts of wealth Rangrim is generating, he broke down a bit. These days, he can mostly be found in the Nugget, a small bar in Deepshard, drinking away his sorrows.

Anyone talking to him will hear the stories of how the mine was empty and how nothing was left in the hills, and how he hates himself for missing this Adamantium. If they keep pushing a bit, he'll start telling of how the Adamantium couldn't even be there, and how it's all a sham, before breaking down in tears.

He also works as one of the miners for Rangrim, although not a very good one. The main reason Rangrim keeps him around, is because Thorfin is closer to the truth then he knows, and Rangrim wants to keep an eye on him.

Nobei Veiruth
This Gnome, who is actually a Rakshasa, is one of Rangrim's greeters, welcoming new visitors to the smithy. He is friendly and willing, like most greeters, and quick to have a chat with new buyers about Rangrim and the smithy. He is curious about visitors, mostly because he's trying to figure out who could help him take over the mines.
Nobei works for a large otherwordly organisation and is looking to "relieve" Rangrim of his operation, but Rangrim is good at the legal business and his security is top notch.
So Nobei mostly looks for people that might be willing to overpower the security without drawing attention to him and his organisation, for a share in the (immense) profits the Smithy generates.

Grix Brislow
One of the smiths for Rangrim, Grix is the expert on the field of weapons and armor, and most likely to be called out if a PC wants to purchase a powerful weapon from the smithy. He is still young for a Dwarf, not even 70 years old, but has made a big name for himself, having crafted more then one weapon of (local) legend.

He has a long, black beard adorned with fake skulls, and wears a short sword in addition to his smithing tools. Whenever someone wants to purchase a weapon that looks like he knows how to use it, Grix will ask a thousand questions about what they need it for, what they've done so far and how many Orcs they killed.

His dream is to be an adventurer, but he needs the money he's making working for Rangrim to support his fairly poor own clan, who have few people with the talent to make a name for themselves. So, he stays in the smithy to work, cherishing his dreams of one day becoming a real adventurer.

Jetthrow Jubilas
Another one of Rangrim's greeters, Jetthrow is a Human who works as a spy for Rangrim and keeps an eye on adventurers that enter the smithy, to make sure they aren't going to try anything foolish. He's a young, charming fellow that's quick to try and seduce any females or tell a tale of daring, to see what he's up against.
He is very loyal to Rangrim, and well payed, and will report all his findings.

RANGRIM'S SECRET


The whole mining operation Rangrim is running, is actually a big charade. While the Adamantium is all real, none of it is coming from the Deepshard Mines.

Instead, Rangrim has built a permanent portal to a small section of the Astral Sea that is made almost completely of Adamantium.
He has built this portal and hidden it in the mine to keep it all for himself; after all, one can buy a Prime Material mine, but not claim a section of the Astral Sea.

After creating the portal, Rangrim created a Ritual to hide the whole area from prying eyes; despite already being remote and unknown, he didn't want the people he moved there to mine the area to be detectable. As a result, a mileswide area around the mine is warded by a massive Forbiddance ritual to keep out spying eyes.

Around the portal, Rangrim has taken steps to hide the transmission, so even the miners don't know that they're not mining the Prime Material; the portal is a nearly hidden shimmer (DC 28 Perception to notice) covering a hallway with specks of fake Adamantium (1 minute of handling and DC 24 Dungeoneering to realise they are fake) that moves anything walking in across the planes to the Astral Sea (DC 28 Arcana check to notice the shift at all)

Rangrim will protect his secret to the very end, convinced that if anybody finds out they could just go to the Astral sea to get as much Adamantium as they wanted that his whole operation would be lost.

THE EVEN GREATER SECRET


The Astral Dominion that Rangrim has plugged into isn't just a massive random hunk of Adamantium floating through the Astral Sea. In his lust for wealth, Rangrim is blind to what he's actually digging through; a massive prison area. Contained within the prison is something that could be a threat to all of creation if released (a Primordial, a Deity, or perhaps a Far Realm Cosmic Horror) that is anxiously awaiting to be freed.

Of course, Rangrim would most likely call this nonsense, attempts of people to steal his mine and money from him, if anybody told him.

FIGHTING IN THE DEEPSHARD


In addition to being able to run into nearly anything or anyone as a customer here, ranging from simple bystanders to Pit Fiends, the security system is most likely the greatest threat (most others would rather leave instead of fight, unless provoked)
The most powerful security system is the statue of Rangrim in the welcoming hall, which fights as a Godforged Collussus (Monster Manual I)

In addition, there are a series of powerful Adamantine Golems that serve as defense; four of them in the Furnace rooms and 2 more in the hall that leads from the welcoming room to the mines. Use the stats for an Iron Golem Juggernaut (Monster Manual II) for these.

There is also Rangrim himself, who is a powerful mage and a dangerous foe when provoked. His stat block is provided with this entry.

PLACING THE DEEPSHARD SMITHY IN YOUR SETTING


Placing the town of Deepshard is best done in a somewhat remote but easily reachable area near mountains. Rangrim wants to be away from prying eyes with room

to expand, but not so far that it gets dangerous for people to travel to and from the town.
You could always place it near a simple hill instead, if the mines go down into the ground (like a pit) if you don't have a mountainrange handy.

OPTIONAL ELEMENTS:


Main elements:
Portal: The Deepshard Mines contain a (hidden) portal to the Astral Sea
Reliquary: The Deepshard Smithy contains enough Adamantine items and ores to fulfill ALL epic level parcels, if need be.

Minor elements:
Enchanted: Most of the Deepshard Mines is under the effect of a permanent Forbiddance ritual to prevent scrying eyes.
Repurposed: The old mine shafts still exist, and haven't changed function or purpose
























Rangrim the StonerenderLevel 28 Elite Artillery
Medium Natural Humanoid (Dwarf)26.000
Initiative+22
Senses Perception +22; Low-light vision
HP 402; Bloodied 201
AC 40; Fortitude 39, Reflex 40, Will 41
Speed: 5
Action points: 1
Saving throws: +2
Saves vs Poison: +5
Staff of the Earth ( Standard, at-will )Weapon
Melee 1, +35 vs AC, 3d8+10 damage, the target is pushed 4 squares and slowed (save ends)
Earthen Grasp ( Minor, at-will )
Ranged 10, +33 vs Fortitude, 4d8+10 damage and the target is restrained (save ends)
Rumbling Teleport ( Standard, recharge )Teleport
Close burst 2, +33 vs Reflex, 3d8+10 damage and the target is knocked prone. Effect: Rangrim teleports 7 squares.
Rain of Destruction ( Standard, recharge )
Area burst 2 within 20, +33 vs Reflex, 5d10+9 damage and the area of the attack is difficult terrain until the end of the encounter.
Open the Gap ( Standard, encounter )
Area burst 2 within 20. A 100ft deep pit opens in this area. Characters in the area can make a saving throw to be moved to the edge of the area, failing the save means they fall down the pit. The pit is permanent.



Alignment UnalignedLanguages Common, Dwarven
Skills Arcana +29, Diplomacy +30, Dungeoneering +27, Nature +27







Str 21 (+19)Dex 27 (+22)Wis 27 (+22)
Con 27 (+22)Int 30 (+24)Cha 33 (+25)
Equipment Robes, Staff

Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Wow this is seriously the first XDMC I've seen that started with an entry right after the first post. 
To quote Jonathan_Vagabond from the previous thread.

Pluisjen, warms up his air canon and fires his hat squarely into the ring.

I hope to put something together as well for this one, good luck all and I like the premises. 
I haven't been involved in the last few ones, but this I could do, and could probably use in a game. Note to self: I will write something!
Take a look at my Handbook: The Pet Store: A Familiar Keeper's Handbook Nacht: "Vecna can do ANYTHING given preptime. He's like an undead lich god Batman."
Looks interesting enough. Have been out of the game for a few months and this might just get me back on the horse ;)
oh, also note for those who want to create monster/item/powerblocks: feel free to try out the alpha version of the block builder.
(for an example of the result: Pluisjens powerblock is made with it)
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
It is indeed. I wouldn't have known what to do without it Wink
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
I also don't have a lot of spare time, and figured I'd dash this off while I had the chance.  Curses be on  Pluisjen for beating me to the punch... but good luck to everyone.  Laughing

Sunset Books


Introduction


Sunset Books is a venerable but unprepossessing bookstore, at or near the top of a small hill on a well-traveled street in a city large enough to support its business.  A simple symbol hangs over the door: a circle of wood, painted red.  The sign and door are clearly old, but well-maintained.  The storefront faces west, and the store is named for the view from the three narrow front windows.


Upon first entering Sunset Books, visitors are usually struck by two facts.  First, the interior is crowded with books, which are crammed into shelves and frequently overflow to piles on the floor.  (However, the piles are all neat and orderly, with each book smaller than the one below it, and each pile is firmly against the adjoining shelf or wall.)  Second, the building smells overwhelmingly of the musty, dry odor of old books.


Layout


The front door opens into a narrow hallway, with a small closet for visitors' coats.  The hall leads into a small open space, which contains a neat desk and worn wooden chair for the proprietor, as well as a narrow stone stairway (lined with bookshelves, of course) which leads to the basement level.  The wall facing the desk is a floor-to-ceiling shelf containing periodicals--folios, broadsheets, gazettes, and bulletins.  Most are free for the taking, and as a result this area receives considerably more traffic than the rest of the store.


Proceeding into the store, describing the floor plan becomes more difficult.  Both the main floor and basement are filled with row upon row of bookshelves, with narrow passages (no more than four to five feet wide) leading between them.  The passages also change slowly, as new shelves are added and others are removed to provide access to other rows; if weeks or months pass between visits to the store, PCs might find the internal arrangement of the store drastically different.


The basement area is similarly dense and crowded with books.  However, it does have one unusual feature: a corner of the basement is empty of shelves, and contains a small, five-foot-high arched alcove.  A fist-sized sphere of water floats in mid-air in the alcove; an enchantment laid on the basement generations ago draws moisture from the air here and condenses it.


Inventory


Sunset Books sells nearly every kind of object which is written and bound.  Its shelves contain novels, plays (tragedies and comedies each in their own section), histories both scholarly and popular, treatises on magical theory and divine philosophy, volumes of songs and poetry ,training manuals for the soldier, and other categories too many to mention.


By virtue of its focus on the written word, the store attracts a number of wizards, bards, and other arcanists.  Many of these wish to purchase or trade ritual scrolls and spellbooks, and over the years the store has amassed a significant inventory.  Scrolls and books of nearly any ritual of 10th level or below can be found here, and a scattering of higher-level rituals may also be available (at the DM's discretion).


Proprietor


The current owner and proprietor of Sunset Books is a polite, aging human man named Caspian Hargrave.  He inherited the store from his father, the wizard Talar the Stout, who in turn inherited the store from his father.  Caspian is himself not a spellcaster, although he has significantly more than a passing knowledge of magic, and if friendly to the PCs might function as as expert in Arcana or History.


Caspian Hargrave is stooped with age, and walks with a cane.  He was once quite tall, and even bent is nearly six feet.  He is clean-shaven, with white hair and bushy salt-and-pepper eyebrows.  Caspian is clear-voiced, patient, and kind with customers or potential customers, although he rarely gives away details about his personal life.  He is adept at changing the subject to the shop, an exciting new book or broadsheet rumor, or to some tidbit of local history.


In honor of his father and uncle, and in spite of his own lack of magical talent, Caspian still leads meetings of the Society of the Broken Sword (see below).


Clientele


Most people, even in the greatest remnants of civilization, lack the ability to read.  Sunset Books therefore caters heavily to the upper class and to adventurers, both of whom are likely to have the education and the ready cash to purchase books or scrolls.


PCs who visit the store might run into a past or potential future patron, or possibly other adventurers with whom they have crossed paths.  For a small fee, Hargrave will also post notices of interest to the local community, and PCs wishing to recruit new party members might be directed to Sunset Books in order to advertise their needs.


Patten


One of the most important residents of Sunset Books is one of the least noticed, and certainly the least advertised.  Patten is a poltergeist of sorts, the spiritual remains of the store's first owner.  Unlike most poltergeists, however, Patten is compulsively organized and well behaved.  In life, he was drawn to collect and catalog the books he loved, and even in death his spirit remained drawn to the bookstore.


Patten is the reason that Sunset Books is so well kept, and is the principal reason that Caspian Hargrave is able to continue running the store despite his increasing physical frailty.  Although the ghost rarely stirs during the day, each night Patten straightens piles, alphabetizes titles, organizes sales records, and sweeps every corner of the floor.


Patten is somewhat shy and generally does not appear in front of visitors.  The exception is if someone starts vandalizing the store or its contents, in which case he brings his considerable powers to bear.  Treat him as a standard poltergeist (Open Grave, page 150), except that instead of striking his foes directly, Patten wields the store's contents as weapons.  Instead of using Hurl Away, Patten might hurl a heavy encyclopedia volume at his target before it curves back to land neatly back in its place; likewise, in place of Kinetic Claw, Patten might cause an avalanche of books to push the target back and pin him or her against a nearby shelf.


The Society of the Broken Sword


In addition to the store, Caspian Hargrave also inherited a secret society from his father.  The Society of the Broken Sword is committed to the causes of liberty and nonviolence, and due to the influence and inclination of the Society's founder, Talar Hargrave, nearly all the Society's members are divine casters or arcane practitioners of some kind.


Depending on the party and the setting, the PCs might interact with the Society in a number of ways.  If the government is strong and not particularly dedicated to the welfare of its citizens, the Society might be allied with the PCs in defending against the abuses of guardsmen and corrupt nobles.  However, if the PCs are themselves prone to violence, and find themselves engaged in brawls or full-scale battles inside the city walls, the Society might instead work against the party's goals.  The Broken Sword does not kill its foes, and prefers not to work openly, but the PCs might find life very difficult if this shadow network becomes determined to drive them from the city.


Regardless of their role in the campaign, the Society meets in a secret, extradimensional chamber which can only be reached from the basement of Sunset Books.  The chamber was constructed by Caspian Hargrave's grandfather in order to conduct magical experiments safely and in solitude; in order to reach it, visitors must simply wet a finger in the sphere of water in the basement alcove and trace an archway on the adjacent wall.  The portal is open for only a few seconds after each activation (that is, until the end of the activator's turn), so each visitor must either step quickly or wait to create their own portal.


The chamber itself is not large, with just enough room for a large meeting table, a dozen comfortable chairs, a well-stocked buffet, and a deep hearth which burns continuously with arcane fire.  Over the hearth hangs a plaque with two pieces of a sword, shattered just above the forte.  The Society traditionally toasts the sword at the beginning of each meeting, taking it as both a goal and a warning.


*******************


Elements


This entry fulfills the following optional elements:


2. Haunted: Patten the obsessive poltergeist haunts the bookstore, although he harms only those who would seek to harm the store.

3. Lair: Sunset Books serves as both the headquarters and meeting place of the Society of the Broken Sword.

4. Portal: The basement of Sunset Books contains a portal to the Society's extradimensional meeting chamber.


Acknowledgments


Thanks certainly go to Wrecan and the judges for agreeing to help; the XDMC can be fun but time-consuming, and I definitely appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in organizing it.


I should also give a nod to Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, MI for inspiration.  I'm fairly sure there's no portal in the basement, but I'm fairly sure their shelves are actually endless.

here is my contribution. i just hope people enjoy it!

Ilix’s Unbelievable Arrows

History



The Small store known as Ilix’s Unbelievable Arrows is currently not a worldwide phenomena but if word spreads like it did in the surrounding area, the shop will be overrun by people from the most experienced marksmen to the hunters apprentice.

The store was made 2 years ago but had almost nonexistent customers until the owner, Ilix decided to make his store unique by making the strangest magically enhanced arrows the world had ever seen.

Tested by himself Ilix had been injured of deformed in so many ways that Ilix knew all the clerics of the town of Hawksong by name.

Layout



The store is a group of three circular rooms all connected by a door. The first room, the lobby, is adorned with models and labels to every type of arrow the store has to offer and in the back of the room opposite the door is Ilix behind a counter ready to serve customers. The room to the left of the lobby is the supply room where Ilix keeps all his arrows organized by their effects in large chests. The room east f the lobby is the workshop where Ilix works making arrows to sell in his shop. The arrows he makes daily are always more than the amount bought so he always has a large stock.

Merchandise



 The arrows Ilix makes range in verity form arrows that cause vines to grow from them entangling the object hit by the arrow to arrows that make a loud exploding sound when they hit a solid surface. Ilix’s most popular arrows are the phasing arrow that moves through the first solid object it hits, the multiplying arrow that multiplies into three before it hit’s the target, the boulder arrow that before hitting the target turns into a small boulder and the bubble arrow that traps the target in a unbreakable bubble for a short time on impact.

Ilix



Ilix was a fletcher from birth his father, a smith, encouraged him to make arrows and soon became the families constant supply of hunted food. Trained by the local fletcher Ilix became bored with fletching and decided to get some skill in alchemy. Ilix spent a time entranced by his new love of alchemy but finally gave it up to start an arrow shop. Shortly after Ilix was losing money due to his competition, The Golden Arrow, the other local shop he decided to use his skill with alchemy to make his amazing arrows.

Yatey



The secret to Ilix’s success is that when he bought the shop it used to be the home of a powerful wizard, Yatey, who had gone elsewhere. When Ilix was looking through the place he found a trap door under a rug in what is now his workshop that lead into a room wit ha portal to the elemental chaos. Curios Ilix had explored it and had met with a primordial entity that offered to give him some of their strange substances from one of their mines in exchange for some of Ilix’s powerful arrows. And it is with these otherworldly compounds that Ilix makes the arrowheads of his arrows to do their amazing effects. But to protect himself from anything in the elemental chaos with the desire to come in the portal Ilix had himself preformed a ritual to have anything coming from the elemental chaos to the material plane only be able to stay for five minutes before being returned to the portal.

Elemental Conspiracy



What Ilix doesn’t know is that the primordial that he made the deal with is raising and army with highly trained archers that wield his arrows and are planning once they have enough arrows to user the primordial’s power to destroy the ritual and break into the material world through the portal in Ilix’s secret room.
The list is updated!

Comments on Pluisjen's entry

Let me start by saying I like the direction you took with this. My initial reaction to the dwarven mine was, aah they probably dug to deep and bumped into things better left alone. You kept to this ancient dogma but gave it a nice twist.

I like the detailing of the owner and some of his associates/enemies and the description of the facility. The overabundant use of Adamantine is tacky but suitable for the main character. 

Rangrim's stats are okay but I think the damage expression may be a tad bit on the high side, however my experience with epic is limited to two sessions so not much to go on. His Open the Gap power is wrong to me and goes against 4th edition design philosophy. It is in the line of save or suck/die and since it doesn't attack a defense it might be even more so. 

There are some minor typing errors in the statblock (forgot xp at the top, all the saves go on one line) but those are probably from Qube's (excellent) HTML editor. 

All in all a solid entry especially considering the time needed to deliver it.


I hope to also throw my hat in this time but until I have worked on my concept some more I will start by commenting on others. Comments on the other entries will follow.
Comments on Pluisjen's entry
There are some minor typing errors in the statblock (forgot xp at the top, all the saves go on one line) but those are probably from Qube's (excellent) HTML editor.

Show
my editor is a fill in template. Granted, the XP was my ... limitation; I'll add it to the buglist. The saves on one line thing isn't my fault: as monsters have a variable number of additional lines, I can't really predict them (whithout creating a huge template) - so that's the choice of the writer ...

However, the fact that these are the only problems you have is a very good editor. Without it, I recon that some people would just use plain text (which most likely contains more discrepencies then 'saves on one line' or 'you forgot "XP" ')


Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
it is funny. Idea is alsways simple to start with, but when working it out in details...well...it always consumes a lot of time hehe :P
Comments on Pluisjen's entry
There are some minor typing errors in the statblock (forgot xp at the top, all the saves go on one line) but those are probably from Qube's (excellent) HTML editor.

Show
my editor is a fill in template. Granted, the XP was my ... limitation; I'll add it to the buglist. The saves on one line thing isn't my fault: as monsters have a variable number of additional lines, I can't really predict them (whithout creating a huge template) - so that's the choice of the writer ...

However, the fact that these are the only problems you have is a very good editor. Without it, I recon that some people would just use plain text (which most likely contains more discrepencies then 'saves on one line' or 'you forgot "XP" ')





Absolutely true. I believe it is a great tool and will use it when I come round posting my own entry. It's probably that I edit adventures sometimes so I'm very nitpicky on those little things.

Thanks for the comments Magicstar.

short response

I've never played Epic myself, so I basically copied the damage expressions from the Monster Builder, I can't really playtest it... just hope it'll be ok.

As for the pit; I found it thematic for the character, and I expect an Epic Character to be able deal with the simple setback of being in a pit. At worst, he'll have to climb back up... if they can't deal with it, then should've probably made a more balanced character Tongue out

I'm glad you liked the idea of the dwarven mine with a spin on it; I was hoping it wouldn't be too cliche'd.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Chosen Elements
Enchanted: The establishment is under the effects of a ritual (whether beneficial or malicious)
described in the entry.
Lair: The establishment is serves as the headquarters or meeting place of a secret organization described in the entry.
Haunted: The establishment is haunted by one or more undead.

Short Explanation
I kept it as basic and general as possible so that it can be used in any way people see fit and make adjustments if they need to. The enchantment in the shop is that of gravity making objects float in place. The haunting are the ones captured in the basement. Not sure of it counts as haunted though.


 


House of Glass

Business: History tells a tale of a dreadful attack on the region. A dark wizard had managed to create a rift which allowed zombies, ghouls, specters, demons and more to enter this world. For years there were conflicts between those aggressors and the original inhabitants of the region. Eventually a secretly and highly trained group tipped the scales against those horrors. Under the guidance of the Black Hope Tigers the region was slowly cleared of undead and demonic influences. This group couldn't kill everything and devised a way to capture and contain the foulest within the ranks of the dead. Centuries went by and history turned into an old wives tale for the current generation. Tales that have now been forgotten by most.


The Black Hope Tigers now operate from within a wide variety of shops. These shops are operated by their own operatives in order to buy and sell goods they need without attracting any attention to themselves. This way they also keep an unseen eye on the communities within the region looking for signs of lingering undead and demonic situations. Now a days they mostly deal with the occasional undead and paranormal activity while guarding several relics that contain the powerful demons and undead of old times.


One of the shops is called The House of Glass. It can be found in the capital of the region where their business can flourish. The glass figurines, decorations and objects created by this shop are of such high quality that only a few can afford it. This shop is run by a brother and a sister accompanied by a renowned tinkerer. On special request passing adventurers can request small glass orbs containing a wide variety of effects. Think of gas bombs, elemental bombs, a glass orb containing illusions, throwing traps and much more.


Inventory: The inventory has mundane glass figurines with the most amazing decorative enchantments, drinking glasses, mirrors in all sorts and sizes, glass tables and storage cases. On special request it is possible to buy glass orbs with a wide variety of enchantments. Enchantments such as orbs of fire, orbs of gas, orbs of poison, orbs of lightning, orbs of illusions and much more.


Layout: When entering the store you'll find a minimalistic and stylish decoration. A few see through cases which contain the more mundane objects such as drinking glasses and the likes. Along the sides of the shop are floating glass decorative statuettes and a few standing mirrors. The floating figurines catch the incoming light and breaks it so that the shop is filled with a beautiful array of colours. In the back of the shop there is a man standing behind a desk and occasionally walking through the shop talking with people.


Behind the desk is a stair case going up to the living quarters of the proprietors. There is also a staircase going down towards a small room. Within sits a woman working the glass in a large furnace. This furnace keeps its flames burning, because a fire elemental is chained to it. In the back of this small room is a covered entrance to the basement below where they store sacks of sand and other equipment and materials to make glass objects with.


In the back of the basement is a tall standing mirror surrounded by occult markings on the floor and covered with a large red piece of cloth. The wall surrounding the mirror contains a few smaller hanging mirrors also covered by pieces of cloth. Each small mirror containing demons, specters, reapers, wraiths, lord vampires, skeleton kings, liche kings and the likes which could not be easily killed.


NPC's:


Devil in the large mirror (Prisoner of the tigers) War Devil of Orcus p67 of MM1


The mirror stands in a circle of occult markings and covered in a red shroud. When getting near the markings a trap triggers. Flame Jet (p90 DMG1) accompanied by Magic Crossbow Turrets that appear in the corners of the ceiling (p88 DMG1 increase level to 8). After this a skill challenge is required to de-activate the occult glyphs/symbols on the ground. Set it to really hard for the level of your players. Your players are not the ones who should set this devil free unless they were tricked into doing so during the Heroic Tier. In that case set the difficulty of the skill challenge to one that the players can deal with.


Reynard Sabrata (member of the tigers); Warlord (Elite Leader)


He is is an experienced Warlord. Even though Reynard finds his position as shopkeeper underneath his stature he still takes it seriously. He knows what happens if the horror in the basement is set free. Reynard is a friendly man of average age and doesn't show any sign of his battle experience. Therefore the entire city sees him and his sister as regular nice and helpful people. He is calm and collected making small conversation with any who visits his shop. Always neatly dressed and using poet choices of words when trying to sell some of his inventory


Renata Sabrata (member of the tigers); Rogue (artillery)


Takes pride in her job as glassblower since it was her hobby before joining the Tigers. Now she can combine that with keeping an eye on the devil down stairs. She has a lot of fiery blisters on her hands, but other then that she looks like any other attractive young woman in the city. Renata doesn't talk much in public and twirls strings of her hair when she gets in uncomfortable social interactions.


Migrasz Firebeard (member of the tigers); artificer/wizard (Controller)


Migrasz is another member of the Tigers. He has a strong, proud and tall stature. A bald head with a long red beard and bushy red eyebrows. He enchants the objects Renata creates. Migrasz can give a real finishing touch to the already beautiful objects. The mundane objects can get a little red flame inside or a little illusionairy scene inside the object. Objects for combat get enchanted with a wide variety of effects such as glue, gas, explosions and more.


A varying "shopper"/informant (member of the tigers); Fighter (Soldier) or (Brute)


Regularly there is an individual in the store whom is also a member of the Tigers. He or she relays messages between shops and operatives. This individual varies as to not to create suspicion.


2 Glass Gargoyles; p115 (lurker lvl 9) with some adjustments to Glass form. They are placed next to the entrance in the top corner of the shop. They appear to be like all the other glass figurines. But they come alive when the proprietors command them. This surprise allows the others to quickly get their weapons to fend of the aggressors.


The shop as encounter is a lvl 11 encounter (3000xp)
2 Glass Gargoyles (lvl 9 lurker = 800xp)
1 Shopper (Brute minion lvl6 63XP )
Migrasz Firebeard (Controller lvl 9 = 400xp)
Renata Sabrata (Artillery lvl 8 = 350xp)
Reynald Sabrata (Soldier Elite lvl 12 = 1400XP)


Use basic templates, with basic attacks. Just add throwing weaponry in the form of enchanted glass orbs.



Quest Line:


Paragon Tier (11-20) (use Red Hand of Doom as a guide of ideas for this tier)


*During the beginning of the Paragon stage the demon in the mirror is released by a branch of orcus cult followers that worked behind the scenes of the events during Heroic Tier. Manipulating, plotting and awaiting the right moment in time to strike the House of Glass and release the devil.


*During Paragon this demon will re-build his army and works his way towards wrecking havoc in the region. The heroes will have to fend of small groups of his forces and protect the region while trying to find this demon and stop him in his tracks.


*The end of Paragon the demon regained his full strength and opens a portal similar to what the wizard in old times did. This portal is connected to one of the astral plains. The demon opens it to release more evil on the entire world and allow his master to enter the world as well.


*The heroes will encounter the Aspect of Orcus at the end of this tier right after they have fought of the War Devil and a few of his right hand officers.


Epic Tier (21-30) (use City of the Spiderqueen as a guide for ideas)


*The heroes will get acquainted with more members of the Black Hope Tigers across the region. Some might accompany the heroes into the Abyss to honor their vows to the Tigers and deal with the undead once more.


*The heroes enter the Abyss. There they have to fight of the undead of Orcus's Realm all the way up to the exarchs. They learn that he wants to destroy the mortals so that there is no one left to worship the gods. Instead those people will become part of his undead army. Bolstering his ranks until enough power is gained to strike at the hard of the gods.


*The heroes will have to deal with the Raven Queen and try to turn her into an ally against Orcus. She'll send them on a quest to find an artifact to might make Orcus easier to defeat.

The list is updated!  Welcome, Falstyr!
Five entries in the first three days is no excuse for the rest of you.  Back on the 1st page!
Resident Shakespeare
I'm more impressed that we've had absolutely no questions about any of the elements!
I'm more impressed that we've had absolutely no questions about any of the elements!



Ermf.  Okay, someone has to try then....what is Earth?

(Oh, sorry, that wasn't what you meant? *runs away**giggle*)
What Would Galstaff Do? Random GM Tips: Three Clue Rule http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html
No questions, no new entries... nothing?  This place is quiet as the grave, the last couple of days.
No questions, no new entries... nothing?  This place is quiet as the grave, the last couple of days.



Well I've got one I'm working on, but both due to real life, and wanting to work on my ideas, I'm taking my time.  We do have till the 11th, right? 

LOL but I agree - I'm dying to see more entries.

What Would Galstaff Do? Random GM Tips: Three Clue Rule http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html
Okay I'm going to make Mccowen happy and post a question:  What is the judging criteria on this one?  If I'm correct, those are usually posted along with the challenge.  I would assume creativity and following the rules (using optional elements, etc).  What else?
What Would Galstaff Do? Random GM Tips: Three Clue Rule http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html
Okay I'm going to make Mccowen happy and post a question:  What is the judging criteria on this one?  If I'm correct, those are usually posted along with the challenge.  I would assume creativity and following the rules (using optional elements, etc).  What else?

I'm not a judge this time, but I can definitely point you to the contest wiki, which contains a page that specifically addresses your question. 

Okay I'm going to make Mccowen happy and post a question:  What is the judging criteria on this one?  If I'm correct, those are usually posted along with the challenge.  I would assume creativity and following the rules (using optional elements, etc).  What else?

I'm not a judge this time, but I can definitely point you to the contest wiki, which contains a page that specifically addresses your question. 




TY
Well at least we bumped the thread. Wink
What Would Galstaff Do? Random GM Tips: Three Clue Rule http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html
in that case i'll ask a question as well.

What is counted as a true haunting? Does it need to be free to move around?
What is counted as a true haunting?


Good question!

I'm going with the dictionary definition of "haunt":
"to visit habitually or appear to frequently"

So the undead needs to habitually visit or appear frequently in the establishment. 
Before I get too far into either of my ideas I have to ask:
  • Point of Light: The establishment must be located in a place the adventurers would not consider dangerous, such as a village or town.



 Does this require that the establishment is permanently located in a "point of light", or just that it can be regularly accessed from there?  For example, would a traveling merchant qualify?  Might an extraplanar business with permanent 'worldfall' doorways into the establishment qualify?  


Before I get too far into either of my ideas I have to ask:
  • Point of Light: The establishment must be located in a place the adventurers would not consider dangerous, such as a village or town.



 Does this require that the establishment is permanently located in a "point of light", or just that it can be regularly accessed from there?  For example, would a traveling merchant qualify?  Might an extraplanar business with permanent 'worldfall' doorways into the establishment qualify?  





Excellent question - I'd been curious regarding the traveling merchant.
What Would Galstaff Do? Random GM Tips: Three Clue Rule http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html
The word "establishment" is intended to connote a permanent edifice where the business is located.  I beliebe the extraplanar shop with a permanent doorway into a Point of Light would qualify, however, unless the judges disagree.
I beliebe that's a great idea! And to me 'establishment' means 'bricks and mortar shop' more-or-less.

(Or adamantine and duct tape - but somewhat stationary, yes)
Thanks for that, it scraps two of my three ideas (or at least, sufficiently changes as to become less awesome).  I'll brainstorm a few more and see where I end up now that my primary focus is gone. 

Nibgit's Discount Emporium

Outside
The store was built in the extra space between two larger buildings.  It's approximately 5 ft wide x 12 ft tall x 40 ft long.  There is an elderly woman (Half Orc) playing a tiny drum outside, panhandling for money.  There is no sign, nor is there a door.  In order to see the door, you must tip the old woman outside.  She will then give you one of the wristbands she has in front of her causing you to reduce  in size (as though effected TWICE by the spell Reduce Person).  A small, 3 ft door can be spotted behind all her stuff and she will gladly move out of your way.

The Shop Floor
Upon entering the door you see that the shop is extremely small and cramped, being only 5ft high.  A goblin, Nibgit, sits behind a podium on the right as you enter.  The inside of the shop is only tall enough for small characters to stand up, medium/large characters should thus keep the bracelet on while in the shop.  Those characters who bump into the items within the shop will certainly be sorry that they did so.

There are many small shelves on the left and right of a thin walkway, which leads down the center of the store.  There is no back entrance to the building, though there is a small spiral staircase leading upstairs.  You will find a trap door in the middle leading down.  Small glass jars filled with glowing maggots create sparse light every 10 feet.

Upstairs
The upstairs mimics the downstairs, except it is completely barren.  There are two very small windows at either end and an empty crate or two, covered in cobwebs.




Nibgit's Room



If you lift the trapdoor in the center of the room it leads down a ladder about 10 feet to a small room 5 x 10 x 7 ft with a pipe sticking out into one end.  The pipe has been fitted with a makeshift, wooden door that leads out into the sewers.  The close proximity of the sewers creates a bit of a smell in this room.  Small creatures may enter the pipe, medium creatures must crawl.  Characters who have food anywhere on them will be attacked by a swarm of rats while in the pipe.  The floor has a couple dead rats (Heal checks will notice they've had the blood removed from them and bite marks).



 



Nibgit the Wizard  (Neutral)



Nibgit is a goblin who wears ragged dress pants, suspenders and a pair of glasses over his long, pointy nose.  As far as goblins go, he is fairly logical and honest.  He obeys the laws, doesn't steal, and is somewhat of a recluse.  He is often the subject of investigations after items he sells go haywire or lead to deaths/injuries.  He honestly does feel bad about that and always encourages shoppers to only buy something they can "handle".



 



Nibgit is extremely sensitive to his size in relation to others and feels that he should own a shop that HE is comfortable in.  He also feels that his presence over previously larger characters to be funny and intimidating, giving him a little bit of an edge if something were to go wrong in his store.



 



The Store



The store itself has its walls filled with many different items; wondrous items, weapons, armor/shields, and potions.  All of these items are marked down (from book prices) by at least 50%.  He is able to do this because all of the items in the store are either broken, cursed, or dangerous.



 



Potions might cause a character to age 10 years... in addition to normal effects.



A sword might be in 10 pieces, but still hold its +3 enchantment.



A bag of holding might  suck the magic out of other items, making them mundane when you remove them.



 



Who knows what wild effects are going on within these items.  Wizards often come into the store looking to find "gems".




Items of note:



Ilmaterian Puzzle Cube (Relic)



This small cube dangles from 4 chains.  There appears to be script written over every inch of the cube itself in celestial.  The puzzle itself seems to always find it's way into lawful good hands.



Light at will



Cure Minor Wounds (1d8+5) 3/day



Restoration 1/day



Special:  Players who know celestial can attempt a DC 21 Intelligence check to solve the puzzle.  Doing so takes 3 rounds of concentration.  Afterwards, the characters body will begin bleeding through every orifice causing instantaneous death.  All allies within 100 ft will be healed full and all ongoing effects will be removed from them.  The puzzle does not need to be solved all at once, you can do it part way and finish later (for instance... if you wanted to ready it for battle).



William's Portrait



This painting is an impressionist paintingof a balding old man with a dress shirt, a hat, and the look of disappointment on his face.  The eyes seem to follow you as you pass.  The painting doesn't have intelligence, but characters must make a will save DC 14 or begin to hear the voice of their father/mother telling them how much of a failure they are.



Backwards Vampiric Dagger +1



Whenever this dagger hits it transfers 1d4 health from the weilder to the person being hit.



Broken Wand of Summoning



This wand summons 1st level creatures with one exception.... they're always DEAD.  Players may cook them for sustenance or use them to lure animals.



 
Nibgit's Secret
First and foremost, Nibgit has fallen under the influence of a powerful, cursed ring of sustenance.  On a new moon he will undergo a vampiric transformation, causing him to steal out into the night and drink to his insatiable thirsts.  He is unconscious of this happening and often attacks animals, heards, sheep, or chickens around nearby farms.

There are signs around town, posted by farmers, which picture a bat-like, horned beast with a tail, locally known as "Night Drinker".  The reward for it's capture or death is 1,000gp.  Recently, a local wizard has been angrily looking into this matter, after his familiar was killed in this way.
NOTE: Nibgit looks nothing like the wanted posters pictures during his transformation.



I made this 3.5ish... but it's relatively easy to translate I think.
The list is updated!  Welcome, Matthias_DM!
Hardly any Point of Light cities have a name, so I wouldn't count on it. In fact, a short description of where one might insert the shop is much more useful (ie; "this shop will work in any moderately sized city with a lot of Elves") as it allows DMs to use it anywhere, which is good for your Usability.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Hardly any Point of Light cities have a name, so I wouldn't count on it. In fact, a short description of where one might insert the shop is much more useful (ie; "this shop will work in any moderately sized city with a lot of Elves") as it allows DMs to use it anywhere, which is good for your Usability.

In addition, restricting the locale to a specific place would seriously affect the ability of other DMs to use it in their campaign.  You could still name it and place it somewhere if you want to for flavor purposes, of course...
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
The list is updated!  Welcome, goldomark!
Oh wow, it's like you knew I'd already done this.

Death's Head Distillery and Fine Fermentations 

Enjoy ).

  T

Edit:  C&P from the link:

Death's Head Distillery and Fine Fermentations

This is actually my old hang-out in Oxford, but it'll do ). The front of Death's Head Inn



Occupying a large tract of the hillsides to the Northeast of Al'Veydra, the Death's Head distillery has opened a complex of distilling and brewing facilities which include a set of pot stills, large-scale brew-kettles, and multiple primary fermentation tanks.  The hills themselves have been ploughed and planted with vines, but those aren't expected to bear fruit for another four years.  Adjacent to the nascent vines, a large hop-vine orchard grows a variety of hops for the Death's-Head brewery operations.



The primary building itself, a renovated and expanded farm-house at the shore of the Manatoc creek, employs almost a dozen individuals ranging from a master brewer, to basic labor and cleaning staff.  The creek has been partially diverted into a small pond before it reaches the river, and drives a mill-wheel, and several large barns have been erected for storage of gear and working livestock.

A short way from the production house and its satellite boarding-house and barns, a large inn has been constructed, complete with guest rooms, cooking facilities, all done up in a hunting-lodge style.  The highlight:  the inn is also connected to the cellars, enabling tours of the champagne, wine, and distillery cellars (naturual limestone caves that run deep in the hillside), where the various beverages will make their homes for what is likely to be years of time.  Local monster-hunters are also encouraged to bring their trophies to be hung in the lodge (though each is subject to approval by the distillery's mysterious master).





The first benefits of the new business have already begun to filter into the community, as "Wrong-Tail Ale" (a fine beer made from surplus barley, grown for cattle and purchased from local farmers), 
is becoming a staple throughout the town.  Whether that has to do with the beer's actual quality or with the label (showing on one side a scantily-clad barmaid with a pleasantly generous rear, and underpinned by what appears to be a spiked dragon's tail) has yet to be determined.  The town cooper has found himself awash with orders for new barrels and has enlisted three apprentices for the task, woodcutters are queuing up to supply him, and day-laborers make their own living with the morning walk up to the vineyard to help keep the vines free of weeds, harvest the hops, and bring home their wage - as well as tales of the strange master, hooded and cloaked, whose appearances are seldom but often remarkable. 

The Distillery

The Distillery
 

 



Talk goes on of orders of juice from the southern regions of Nentir, which will be used in the creation of a variety of exotic wines.  The resident head brewer also has been making arrangements with the local apple-growers to establish a cider harvest late in the coming fall.  She has been found a shrewd dealer, and when found relaxing in her off-hours talks incessantly of whiskey, and a strange liquor whose nature remains unknown - she calls it brevare.




 



Death's Head Inn Menu:



Evening Menu



 



Starters 



Homemade Soup of the Day (v), served with crusty bread and butter



Homemade Chicken Liver served with an apple chutney and toast



Smoked Trout & Spring Onion Fishcake with dressed leaves and homamde tartare sauce



Roast Pork Knuckle with a garlic mayonnaise, dressed leaves and crusty bread



 



Starters to Share



Whole Baked Camembert (v), served with crusty bread and chutney



Charcuterie: Selection Of Cured Meats & Pate, served with crusty bread and chutney



Smoke Fish Selection -  trout, mackerel and salmon with crusty bread and pickles



 



Mains



Generous Rump Steak of Beef, served with confit tomato, mushrooms & caramelised onions, with sauteed potatoes



Baked Fillet Of Pickerel with lemon and thyme, sauteed sweet potato and wilted greens



Pan Fried Chicken Breast set on creamy mashed potato, mushrooms and greens with a rich tomato sauce



Roasted Vegetable & Spiced Potato Crumble, finished with rocket leaves and shaved parmesan



Seared Generous Pork Steak with baked apple, mustard mashed potato and thyme gravy



Steak & Stout Pie served with wilted spinach and sauteed potatoes



 



Sides

Sauteed Potatoes



Fresh Vegetables



Side Salad



Crusty Baguette and Butter



 



Puddings



Malitz' Chcoclate Cake with Chocolate Sauce



Sticky Toffee Pudding



Lemon Posset with Shortbread



The above are served with either custard or cream



Creme Brulee & Shortbread



Cheese Selection with Biscuits & Apple Chutney



 



Hot Drinks



All coffees are freshly ground and roasted daily



Black Coffee, Espresso



Cappuccino, Latte



Double Espresso



Luxury Hot Elvish Chocolate



Pot of Tea for One - Traditional, Earl Grey, Peppermint or Chamomile



 



All of our food is homemade and made to order



please be patient during busy periods.



We cannot guarantee any of our foods as gnome free.



If you have a special dietary requirement please speak to a member of staff.


A little of the Wrong Tail, anyone?



Ales and Lagers:



Death's Head Wrong-Tail Ale (a traditional 6x 4.3%)



Duchan's Illness (Porter 5.8%)



Dwarven Sack-Mead (16% honey wine, champagne style)



Stonekeep Metheglin (14% honey wine, uses rosemary and mint)



We are proud to offer for your enjoyment, our exclusive collection of Death's Head Distillery Spirits:



"Winter's Fall" Whiskey - if you're going to fall, do it like a professional!



"Devil May Care" Vodka - when you're done with this, the Devil might take you!



"Medusa's Glare" Whiskey - because when you have to get stoned, this is the way to do it



"Fomorian's Folley" Rum - two slugs of FF Rum will make a Fomorian sound sane



 



Game notes:



Distillery and Brewery operations consist of 1 medium building outside the walls, plus 1 small building outside the walls ("small" being a measure of effort - it is a barn, so technically larger than the primary operations building, but simpler, as there are few/no partitions in it).  Inside the operations building are the dual mash tun, boilers, fermenters, and still/coil setups.  A Banish Vermin ritual is used on a weekly basis (as well as more natural, feline methods) to "clear out" intruding rodent and insect life and help maintain a sanitary facility.



The master brewer, Ysmilde Fairowen, is a full human who hails from a city far to the south and of which she doesn't speak much.  She has a staff of four full-time assistants / apprentices, and up to eight seasonal laborers.  Ysmilde has permanent quarters at the Death's Head Inn, while her four full-timers live in the upper floor of the operations building.  Seasonals generally are given the barn loft or the common room of the Inn at no charge.



The Death's Head Inn is a large building inside the town wall, with a barn for horses and mounts (small building) adjacent.  The proprietor, Duchan Renovo (pronounced "doo-shan"), is a slightly-overweight dwarf who also brews ales as part of the Inn's day-to-day business.  (As most inns do, Death's Head could supply itself ales and the occasional lager without the input of the distillery.)  He and his wife Malitz both came to Al'Veydra seeking to make their own way after they gave up the military life and retired from their posts.  Taking to the town, they accepted work with the Inn as a chance to live a peaceful life and make extra money in addition to their savings.  Both live in a well-appointed house a short distance outside the walls.  The Inn also employs daily between two and seven (depending on time of day) serving staff, cooks, dish-cleaners, and maids. 



Edit 2:  credit where it's due, those photos are linked from outside, and although I've been to all the places in them, they aren't my shots.  T

Edit 3:  replaced photos with my own.  Plus, a nicer shot of the master brewer ). 


Yeah. I did just kill your BBEG with a vorpal frisbee. Problem?
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