Gnomefinger (LFP)

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Serial Hero, Episode 6: GNOMEFINGER


Shortly after the trio of hags known as the Daughters of Sora Kell declared the sovereignty of the nation of Droaam in 987 YK, a star known by scholars as “The Eye of Hadar” fell from the sky and plummeted into a valley deep in the Graywall Mountains. Monstrous servants of the three hags as well as agents of the Citadel were dispatched to investigate, racing to be the first to claim whatever it was that was visited upon the new border between the two nations. The Citadel got there first. What they found was so strange and dangerous that the event was quietly swept under the rug…


Years pass.


“Get off my boat!” a grizzled gnome shouts at you in a high-pitched squeal. You nearly capsize the vessel as you leap off its prow and onto the cobblestone street that abuts the canal. You stuck the landing – this time. As you dart into an alleyway, you can see the man you are pursuing speaking into a stone that he holds close to his mouth. His other hand is manacled to an ornate metal case, his knuckles white, holding onto the thing as if his life depended on it. It’s a shame you got made. Running down a former House Orien courier – and a good one at that – is no easy task.


You are chasing The Edge through the streets and canals of Trolanport, the capital city of the gnomish nation of Zilargo. Once known as Sylvestre d’Orien, The Edge was excoriated from his house two years ago after it was revealed he was smuggling weapons to Aundairian resistance fighters in Thaliost. Right about the time the Treaty of Thronehold was being finalized, a major heist was pulled off in the vaults of The Citadel itself. Artifacts and dragonshards unlike anything artificers have ever seen were taken, all of them recovered from the site where the Eye of Hadar fell. You believe that The Edge may be transporting one of these dragonshards to or on the behalf of a mysterious patron. Needless to say, it and the other dragonshards must be recovered and brought back under the protection of King Boranel.

That’s where you come in: You are agents of The Citadel or experts hired by the King’s Dark Lanterns to recover three specific dragonshards that were stolen. You don’t know why these three dragonshards – of all the purloined artifacts – are so important, but you do know that you have been working on this case for over a year and this is as close as you have gotten to solving it. Before you were made, The Edge was on his way to meet a contact named Honey Rider at Miser’s Palace in Trolanport. Now, you are trying to intercept and question him before he – and your hopes of solving this crime – disappears without a trace.


Oh, and don’t forget about The Trust. Because they certainly won’t forget about you.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2011, 8 PM EASTERN... Centauri, Plaguescarred, and warrl will be playing in the above adventure written and run by yours truly online. I expect the play experience to run 4 hours. We are in need of a 4th player to round out the party. Additionally, some alternates on stand-by would be ideal just in case one of the players must unexpectedly drop.


THE GOALS:


1. Have fun and play some D&D (4e).


2. Gather together experienced players and Dungeon Masters that have demonstrated a commitment to the "What's a DM to Do?" forums in an effort to try out new concepts and styles.


3. Give good feedback and discuss the game here afterward, providing constructive criticism of DMing and playing techniques that will benefit both those who gamed and the community.


THE CHARACTERS (SO FAR):


Zelle, a gnomish bard with hypnotic hair, unknowing scion of a powerful family with strong ties to The Aurum conspiracy and specialist under contract with The Citadel to recover the stolen artifacts and dragonshards;


Dozer, a dwarven fighter with a drug habit, drummed out of the Iron Gatekeepers for failing to stop the heist that saw the artifacts from the Eye of Hadar crash site absconded and now working for the old Duke of Korranberg to keep Zelle out of trouble;


Grin, a goliath brawler with an impressive smile, formerly working against Zelle and Dozer during a failed mission in Darguun which saw The Aurum play all sides against the middle to win the day, but now fast friends and using his unique talents (read: fists) to solve this crime.


(Additional details regarding the characters' backgrounds and a good example of players working together to weave their backstories to each other and the overarching plot can be found in community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758..., more or less posts 32 through 80.)


Character Creation Guidelines: I recommend you go full Eberron.  Eberron races or classes, Houses, backgrounds, weapons, items, the lot. You'll have more fun with the immersion. Otherwise, 6th-level standard build. Inherent bonuses will be used. This isn't the place to try out optimizations or the like. You're better off with a concept character that you can have fun playing in the context of an Eberron/James Bond parody. Try to come up with something that fits with the backstories above. Draw heavily upon the tropes and cliches of James Bond movies and novels and you can't go wrong. Note also that this is a fairly light-hearted game.


Software Being Used:


GameTable (OSU-GT Project)
Hamachi (VPN)
Ventrilo (voicechat)


Download details and connection info will be provided when you're committed.


If you are interested in joining, please indicate as such in this thread by posting a character concept. I will leave it up to Centauri, Plaguescarred, and warrl to choose their favorite (with me breaking any deadlocks). I look forward to running this game and I know it will be both a great deal of fun and an excellent opportunity to create a discussion from which the rest of the community will benefit. And who knows, maybe we'll start a trend.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

A fourth (or fifth) PC that would be great for Zelle would probably be a melee striker.

Possible meeting scenario: a couple years ago, back when Zelle was level 1-2, one of them (Zelle, or the putative melee striker) was in a bit of trouble, and the other one came along and helped - and got in a jam in consequence, so the original combatant had to bail out the rescuer. They talked a while and found that their long-term goals and immediate missions were compatible, and they seemed to get along, so they teamed up and have since proceeded to rescue each other 2-8 times per combat encounter.

Details to be determined as needed, desired, or convenient.

Note: Romantic prospects = 0.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose

Note: Romantic prospects = 0.



Well, so much for the awkward love scene I wrote between Zelle and another PC. Back to the drawing board...

About 2 weeks now to the game. I know there are some What's a DM to Do? regulars who would get down on this game and enjoy it.

Who's the fourth victim of Gnomefinger? 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith


Note: Romantic prospects = 0.

Well, so much for the awkward love scene I wrote between Zelle and another PC. Back to the drawing board...

Attempts at romantic prospects would probably be fairly routine - she's a hot 20-year-old girl with 21 Charisma and hair to die for (or be killed by). But she is not ready to settle down and promptly steers herself off that path. If the attempts get excessively persistent and annoying... she does something about it. 
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
If the attempts get excessively persistent and annoying... she does something about it. 



You're going to love the scene in Miser's Palace (a casino) then. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

How about a technology test on Wednesday, October 5th, guys?

I'll sit in Ventrilo and host GameTable from 8 pm Eastern till midnight. If you're able to jump on and test your might, we'll be certain to fix any issues before gameday on the 12th.

I'm generally available in the evenings this week if Wednesday doesn't work for you. Just PM me.

I've got a player on standby to take the 4th slot. But I'd sure like a regular contributor to the What's a DM to Do? forum to join us.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

If the attempts get excessively persistent and annoying... she does something about it. 

You're going to love the scene in Miser's Palace (a casino) then. 

Okay, I'm imagining possible scenes and how I can make you groan... 

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
How about a technology test on Wednesday, October 5th, guys?

I'll sit in Ventrilo and host GameTable from 8 pm Eastern till midnight. If you're able to jump on and test your might, we'll be certain to fix any issues before gameday on the 12th.

I'm generally available in the evenings this week if Wednesday doesn't work for you. Just PM me.

I've got a player on standby to take the 4th slot. But I'd sure like a regular contributor to the What's a DM to Do? forum to join us.



OK Will try hop in wednesday evening because i want to test too. Thanks for setting this up Iserith. I don't even know how to use Vebntrilo. Also i am glad to be part of this cool game because i don't consider myself a big regular contributor of  the What's a DM to Do? forum ;)
No problem, happy to do it. I've been yearning to try out my skills on people other than the same players I've had for the last 10 years. The last time I put out a call to form a gaming group was like 2003 when I formed a second group to do a weeknight game. Since that time, I have a pool of around 12 players ready to play (just not online for some reason even though I find I actually enjoy it more). There's something to be said about getting some fresh perspective to broaden one's DM horizons. It's not easy for me to find groups now as I'm living in South America.

As far as contributions, I don't want it to seem like I'm trying to exclude anyone. And 7600+ posts is definitely contributing to the community, even if they are not all in What's a DM to Do? If anyone out there can play on the day and time I mentioned, sign up on this thread regardless of your past contributions. Provided you can come here and post a critique/review/recap of the game in these forums in a reasonable time after the game, I'm satisfied with that. That should be good fodder for discussion and will no doubt benefit the community.

In fact, I've been thinking since the four of us are pretty seasoned gamers, maybe we should get someone fairly new to D&D for that person's unique perspective. Hmm... 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I'd like to throw my hat into this adventure. My character is Boros "Swiftblade", the son of a minor Brelish noble who grew up as a hellion on the mean streets of Sharn, got into some trouble with the law, and was recruited in to the Dark Lanterns as a freelance operative. He is a human artful dodger rogue, a rapier in one hand and a crossbow in the other...and equally proficient in both. He is quite mobile, has a good array of skills, and does decent sneak attack damage. He is brought in on jobs that require a bit of finesse, discretion, and expertise.

He met Zelle a while ago when she helped him get out of a jam with some Karnaathi Emerald Claw agents (I hate those guys!). Later on, he repaid the favor and the two have been contacts ever since. He has squandered much of his father's fortune to dice, vice and women and needs some income to pay back some particularly nasty members of the Boromar Clan who he recently lost a big bet to (I'm sure it was rigged!). He figures a cushy job in Zilargo should be an easy way to make some extra coin and lay low for a while...or so he thought...
I'd like to throw my hat into this adventure. My character is Boros "Swiftblade", the son of a minor Brelish noble who grew up as a hellion on the mean streets of Sharn, got into some trouble with the law, and was recruited in to the Dark Lanterns as a freelance operative. He is a human artful dodger rogue, a rapier in one hand and a crossbow in the other...and equally proficient in both. He is quite mobile, has a good array of skills, and does decent sneak attack damage. He is brought in on jobs that require a bit of finesse, discretion, and expertise.

He met Zelle a while ago when she helped him get out of a jam with some Karnaathi Emerald Claw agents (I hate those guys!). Later on, he repaid the favor and the two have been contacts ever since. He has squandered much of his father's fortune to dice, vice and women and needs some income to pay back some particularly nasty members of the Boromar Clan who he recently lost a big bet to (I'm sure it was rigged!). He figures a cushy job in Zilargo should be an easy way to make some extra coin and lay low for a while...or so he thought...



Great! Thanks for posting. What do you think, guys? Does Boros Swiftblade fit the bill?

Also, I'm extending an invitation to lurkers who want to be a fly on the wall for the session. I know there was some interest in that in the previous thread. As such, if you want to lurk, PM me and I'll give you the Ventrilo instructions. Unfortunately, I don't want to have any additional people connecting to the actual game interface, so you won't see any maps, pogs, or artwork. But I don't mind if you listen in if you don't mind providing some feedback when we're done. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Great! Thanks for posting. What do you think, guys? Does Boros Swiftblade fit the bill?

Fine by me.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Great! Thanks for posting. What do you think, guys? Does Boros Swiftblade fit the bill ? 


I say WELCOME ABOARD ! Wink
Alright, quick update:

Plaguescarred.... CHECK!
Wraithgnome.... CHECK!
warrl....     CHECK - with minor connection difficulties due to location (which will improve)

And hopefully we'll hear from Centauri around 10 pm. 

I see green lights in our near future...

EDIT: Centauri is up and running. We are a go for takeoff next Wednesday, 10/12 at 8 pm Eastern!

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Per Centauri's suggestion, I knocked this together quickly to get your opinion. As I showed you guys last night, I tend to post skill challenges, general notes, and features of the area in chat "for the record" and so you guys can refer back to the information therein. Centauri suggested instead of putting that in chat (and having to scroll if people are chatting in text and moving the scene info up), we should have it open up in a separate window like so:

dl.dropbox.com/u/21183016/gnomefinger_sc...

Will this make it better for you guys? It's really no additional work on my part, so it's up to your preference.     

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Yes i really like Centauri's suggestion 
Yes i really like Centauri's suggestion 



Okay, I'll endeavor to do that then. I actually publish save my notes in Word as a webpage and then bring it up in IE when playing because Gametable's tricky about what it lets be pasted into chat. HTML I guess is one fo the things it accepts. So I'll just clip out the parts you shouldn't see and post the rest in links that I can paste into text as we go.

So, I got my bottle of Jack Daniels, my old Flock of Seagulls vinyls, my 1940's style typewriter with only the red ribbon, and a single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling - it's time to finish writing this adventure.

See you guys on Wednesday. Prepare to sniff Gnomefinger. 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

The Long Wait is Over...

GNOMEFINGER is here.

Tonight, 8 pm.   

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I just want to say again that this game sounds like it would be a lot of fun, and I wish I could join in. 

I just don't have a predictable enough schedule that I could commit to any specific time for it

I hope you guys don't mind me lurking in this thread to read the campaign notes and other updates, though - they are excellent reading
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Well, we didn't finish tonight - way too much content to play around with for this group of roleplayers.

I have to say, I was extremely impressed with how much you guys latched onto things and really made each scene come to life. Really stellar. The battle in the beginning was ridiculous. Dozer - WTF? I didn't expect anything that you did and it all worked out perfectly. What kind of defender jumps off a bridge onto a boat, beats up the driver, and rams it into a store? Grin played a great henchmen, ignoring punishment and trudging on relentlessly. Zelle and Boros also played excellent spy motifs, interacting with everyone and playing coy when needed. Too bad Stern caught you trying to sneak a crossbow into the high roller room, Boros... awesome job thinking outside the box. I love when players do that. Keeps me on my toes.

The roleplaying with Roxana Hardplace and with the NPCs in Miser's Palace was epic. I was able to use what you gave me to reveal some depth to the story and I felt the split party went well even though I don't normally like to do that. I hope it was entertaining to hear your comrades doing their own thing while you were "off camera."

There's basically two scenes remaining, the rest of Miser's Palace high roller room notwithstanding which could be another hour of roleplaying, easily, now that I see how you guys play. Unfortunately, our bard Zelle had some voicechat issues so that hindered us a bit, especially since this is an adventure in which a gnome bard would absolutely shine. I'll work on that with warrl before the next game and come up with a solution.

I'm looking forward to finishing up the adventure with you guys. I'd definitely like to hear your feedback so that I can incorporate that into the conclusion. Be honest. What worked for you, what didn't, and what you'd do differently if you were DM. That's my main goal in this game outside of just having some fun.

And Yronimos, lurk as much as you want. You're a real asset to the community and welcome to lurk on voicechat or in Gametable and see the conclusion if you like. I'd definitely like to game with you sometime.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Id like to thank you again Iserith for this AWESOME adventure. And everyone else, gnomewraith, warrl and Centauri had a blast last night !

Iserith you're a talented DM and you made cool Skill Challenge and sculpted a story with a certain complexity that is filled with Epic action, Roleplay, investigation, impersonification etc...The only thing i would say is that the Skill Challenge required standard action and i generally perfer Minor action for them and some DC were a bit high for level 6 PC (DC 23). But you made it clear the Skill Challenge was optional, so we tried but failed. Otherwise, being not english native, i often struggled with the story when things goes too fast or words i am not familiar with land on the table but overall it was ok. Like the casino, i am not full clear whats going on...but i didnt want to bug the game down with more question that wasnt happening to me. I liked that you seperated us in chapter, since we were in different rooms , each one getting their spotlight, like some TV shows handles it. Really nice episodic feel brother !

Just to let everyone know, as we speak Dozer, my Dwarf, sits in a Lounge of Miser's Casino, dressed in a PIMP like pure white suit, tie and shirt, with a Hat tippped on the side and a pair of white shoes, passing himself off as a rich Mror Hold high roller.   Isn't this cool ?

Right from the get go, the game started in an action packed scene that will be memorable for me in my collection of best D&D souvenirs i can tell you. My character went toe to toe with a large aberrant creature on a bridge,, that was blocking the way to reach The Edge, the Gnome we were pursuing that had the metal case attached to his wrist while my companions where fighting with Sahaguins on the docks on either side of the river. Grin was holding off many Sahaguins on one side while Zelle and Boros Swiftblade were taking care of the others on the other side of the water canal. After a swing of my Waraxe that pushed the creature back of a few feet, i went and Bullrushed it into the river (using an AP), despite being probably not the best outcome damage-wise, it was ''wowing''. DM helped by letting the creature loose a turn coming out of the water, since the Fall by the Bullrush didn't cause damage. Then next round seeing that the Gnome's boat was arriving fast and that he would escape, i stood on top of the bridge and Readied An Action to Jump in the boat as it would pass by. The action was performed epicly so much that in the momentum, i was able to drive my fist through the Elemental Speedboat's windshield to break the driver's nose and swing him overboard. I had control of the boat. Isn't it cool ?

Zelle Pulled the Gnome into the river with her magic and as i was racing full speed i could see the Gnome struggling in the water not knowing how to swim. So i jumped off the Speedboat running at full speed onto the Gnome in the water and dragged him outside of the river and into a nearby building in construction, all while the boat continued its path (Dozer says his boot must have hit the gearbox shiftstick :P) and jumped spectacularly into a store farther down the canal, creating a massive explosion. We took this opportunity to escape in the chaos after failing to calm the passersby and claim innocence. Isn't that cool ? 

I almost forget, remember when i said the the Gnome had a case manacled to his wrist and that i was welding a Waraxe ? Yeah that's right, in a accessive burst of force and lack of precision, Dozer chopped the Gnome's wrist to take the case, severing his Dragonmarked Tattoo along the way. He says he was aiming at the chain tied to the manacle.....

We fled and met Roxana at the Safehouse, this Dark Lantern secret agent that i don't fully trust, but after the big comotion we just created in the quiet city of Trolanport, any help to lay low was welcome. Afterall, we had recovered one of the Shards and escaped the Trust, Zilargo's secret police.

We are at the casino now, Zelle has been dealing in a room with some people, and now there's one thing Dozer need to calm the game, stay cool and chill out, is some Rootkai. I was just told that a guy know a guy...that has some  Wink   

Looking forward to continue this great Eberron game, and to play with you guys on the D&D VT as well....
Id like to thank you again Iserith for this AWESOME adventure. And everyone else, gnomewraith, warrl and Centauri had a blast last night !

Iserith you're a talented DM and you made cool Skill Challenge and sculpted a story with a certain complexity that is filled with Epic action, Roleplay, investigation, impersonification etc...The only thing i would say is that the Skill Challenge required standard action and i generally perfer Minor action for them and some DC were a bit high for level 6 PC (DC 23). But you made it clear the Skill Challenge was optional, so we tried but failed. Otherwise, being not english native, i often struggled with the story when things goes too fast or words i am not familiar with land on the table but overall it was ok. Like the casino, i am not full clear whats going on...but i didnt want to bug the game down with more question that wasnt happening to me. I liked that you seperated us in chapter, since we were in different rooms , each one getting their spotlight, like some TV shows handles it. Really nice episodic feel brother !

Just to let everyone know, as we speak Dozer, my Dwarf, sits in a Lounge of Miser's Casino, dressed in a PIMP like pure white suit, tie and shirt, with a Hat tippped on the side and a pair of white shoes, passing himself off as a rich Mror Hold high roller.   Isn't this cool ?

Right from the get go, the game started in an action packed scene that will be memorable for me in my collection of best D&D souvenirs i can tell you. My character went toe to toe with a large aberrant creature on a bridge,, that was blocking the way to reach The Edge, the Gnome we were pursuing that had the metal case attached to his wrist while my companions where fighting with Sahaguins on the docks on either side of the river. Grin was holding off many Sahaguins on one side while Zelle and Boros Swiftblade were taking care of the others on the other side of the water canal. After a swing of my Waraxe that pushed the creature back of a few feet, i went and Bullrushed it into the river (using an AP), despite being probably not the best outcome damage-wise, it was ''wowing''. DM helped by letting the creature loose a turn coming out of the water, since the Fall by the Bullrush didn't cause damage. Then next round seeing that the Gnome's boat was arriving fast and that he would escape, i stood on top of the bridge and Readied An Action to Jump in the boat as it would pass by. The action was performed epicly so much that in the momentum, i was able to drive my fist through the Elemental Speedboat's windshield to break the driver's nose and swing him overboard. I had control of the boat. Isn't it cool ?

Zelle Pulled the Gnome into the river with her magic and as i was racing full speed i could see the Gnome struggling in the water not knowing how to swim. So i jumped off the Speedboat running at full speed onto the Gnome in the water and dragged him outside of the river and into a nearby building in construction, all while the boat continued its path (Dozer says his boot must have hit the gearbox shiftstick :P) and jumped spectacularly into a store farther down the canal, creating a massive explosion. We took this opportunity to escape in the chaos after failing to calm the passersby and claim innocence. Isn't that cool ? 

I almost forget, remember when i said the the Gnome had a case manacled to his wrist and that i was welding a Waraxe ? Yeah that's right, in a accessive burst of force and lack of precision, Dozer chopped the Gnome's wrist to take the case, severing his Dragonmarked Tattoo along the way. He says he was aiming at the chain tied to the manacle.....

We fled and met Roxana at the Safehouse, this Dark Lantern secret agent that i don't fully trust, but after the big comotion we just created in the quiet city of Trolanport, any help to lay low was welcome. Afterall, we had recovered one of the Shards and escaped the Trust, Zilargo's secret police.

We are at the casino now, Zelle has been dealing in a room with some people, and now there's one thing Dozer need to calm the game, stay cool and chill out, is some Rootkai. I was just told that a guy know a guy...that has some     

Looking forward to continue this great Eberron game, and to play with you guys on the D&D VT as well....



Thanks for the review and recap, Plaguescarred. I had a lot of fun, too. Dozer was just great in all three scenes we played. You see a dwarf defender and you think "Bor-ing..." but then you did some crazy stuff in combat and interacted without reserve with a number of NPCs, often unprovoked. Minor correction though: The Edge was a human, excoriated from House Orien. Either way, you did chop off his dragonmarked hand and ruin his livelihood and sex life in one fell swoop.

You're right about the minor action skill challenge thing. I normally would make it a minor action. It was something of a stylistic choice to go with standard actions on that because it was in a sense optional and meant to come with a cost (in this case, a valuable action) due to the complexity of the activity. The theory being - it takes more than a minor to tell the gnomish bystanders that it wasn't in fact you that pointed the boat toward a storefront and let 'er rip! The DCs were moderate to hard, but appropriate for 6th-level characters. The Trust is talented and relentless, so staying one step ahead requires diligence (standard action) and expertise (high DCs). Or so went my thinking. Something will happen in the Miser's Palace scene based upon that failure in the first scene...

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I have to agree it was an awesome session, and I'm really looking forward to finishing the mission. I'll post my recap as well, from my character's point of view. Boros Swiftblade is a human rogue, and a freelance operative working for the Dark Lantern's. The session started with action, as we were in the middle of a chase scene. We all rolled for initiative and Grin the goliath brawler went first. I thought he would fight the large aberant sahuagin that was blocking the bridge but he decided to run and jump across the canal (rolls twice on athletics) and charge down The Edge, who we were pursuing. I didn't think anyone could get across that canal in one turn. Very cool. It was my turn next but I decided to delay (my mistake) until the dwarf fighter went so that I knew who the primary target was. The problem was that all the monsters went next and we sort of got jacked. I should have taken a shot at one of the monsters before it acted to get my sneak attack damage. I haven't played a rogue in a while and I forgot how precious combat advantage is.

Zelle, our gnome bard, and I took care of the sahuagin minions on our side of the river while Dozer the dwarf kicked ass on the bridge and comandeered the speedboat. I got to say seeing that crazy dwarf in action was pretty cool. He get's my MVP vote for the night. It seemed like everything he wanted to do came out right. I looked across the canal to see Grin taking on 3 sahuagin. He was bloodied, but he used his second wind and stone's endurance to withstand the assault. I really thought he was going to go down. Those goliaths are pretty tough. Once we had The Edge captured I thought the battle was over, since the sahuagin were retreating up the canal. But a sneaky little mutated gnome in a jester outfit jumped out of the speedboat and charged me down and dazed me. Well, I showed him what Boros Swiftblade can do. I hit him with a dazing strike, then spent an action point to hit him again this time with CA for sneak attack damage and then knocked him prone as a free action. He was bloodied by then and tried to teleport away but on the next round we got him for non-lethal damage and knocked him out.

I tried to participate in the skill challenge to calm the crowd so that we didn't alert the Trust, but I rolled terrible on my streetwise check so I guess the gnome citizens didn't really believe me. We all went to a safehouse with Roxana, who claims to be a Dark Lantern like me. But I've never seen her at the meetings so i'm not sure how much I trust her. In her safehouse she had a forge that looked like it was more advanced than anything House Cannith ever had. How did she get something like that? She told us she was an artificer and was tracking the dragonshards just like us. She told us that The Edge was going to the casino to meet Honey Rider, a lounge singer.

Now we are at the casino, Dozer is looking to score some dope, Grin is visiting with some hobgoblins in in of the card rooms, and Zelle is sweet talking a gnome in a wheelchair by the name of Auric Gnomefinger. Using my meta-game talents I beleive he may be important as the adventure is called Gnomefinger. Now if I can just figure out how to get past his large owlman bodyguard, Hootsworth. It looks like we will be continuing next time with some interaction in the casino and try to figure out where to go next.

We could, if you guys want, play out the scene in the casino over email so that next session we can go straight to the next scene. Just a suggestion. Anyway, it looks to be intersting from here on out.
Thanks for the recap, Wraithgnome. Good perspective!

Here's a screen cap of that opening fight scene, taken as Dozer was barreling down the canal in an elemental speedboat and about to jump out to save The Edge. Zelle had just flipped her hair and looked all pretty, compelling the courier to swim across the water to meet her - only he can't swim. Grin's on the west bank of the canal fighting off sahuagin sprats and getting stared down by their much bigger leader, Baron Helmut Von Kelprot who had jacked Grin for 30 damage with a laser beam from his helmet in the first round but got subsequently knocked off the bridge by Dozer just before he hijacked the boat. Boros and a strange, mutated fish-gnome, Harlos the Jester, are going toe-to-toe on the east bank, protecting Zelle...

dl.dropbox.com/u/21183016/scene1_therund...

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Thought you guys might like an NPC recap, especially since Zelle might have missed a thing here or there. It looks like a lot now that I see it in a list, heh.

The Cast (In Order of Appearance):

Sylvestre “The Edge” d’Orien: an excoriated House Orien dragonmarked courier carrying a purloined dragonshard to a contact named Honey Rider at Miser’s Palace. Status: Could use a hand.

Baron Helmut von Kelprot: leader of a pod of sahuagin that tried to keep you from capturing The Edge. He had weird devices including a flying trident and a headdress that shot lasers. Status: Down one helmet and lurking somewhere in Trolanport, waiting to strike again.

Harlos the Jester: a gnome partially transmuted to appear as a gnome-fish hybrid and a rogue Trust agent that tried to save The Edge from being captured. He also had some strange devices such as an energy pistol and a personal teleportation device. Status: Turning into ash in Roxana Hardplace’s forge.

Roxana Hardplace: an artificer and agent of the King’s Dark Lanterns, fixer for other operatives in Trolanport. She, too, is after the stolen artifacts on behalf of the Crown. Told you guys that she believes one of the three hags of Droaam – Sora Teraza – has cast a spell over Trolanport to confuse divinations for reasons unknown. Status: Covert.

Stern Hardass: the observant gnome doorman of Miser’s Palace. Status: In possession of a lot of your stuff.

Honey Rider: fantastically beautiful and talented half-elf lounge singer and paramour to Auric Gnomefinger. Status: In her dressing room.

Sonny & Miley d'Ghallanda: dragonmarked halfling proprietors of the High Roller Room who see to the guests’ needs. Status: Helpful and knowledgeable about local events.

Auric Gnomefinger: a famous gnomish artificer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, head of Gnomefinger Creations. He is badly crippled – missing one leg, the other lame, one of his hands replaced by a golden prosthesis, scars and disfigurations in his face barely covered by illusory magic. He appears to hail from an area of Zilargo that borders Darguun and is not quiet about his disdain for all goblinoids. Status: Enraptured in a game of baccarat with Zelle.

Mister Fifi: Gnomefinger’s fluffy white hermaphroditic elven cat with one green eye and one blue eye. Status: Rubbing on Zelle’s leg.

Hootsworth: Gnomefinger’s very large, very menacing-looking, tuxedo-wearing owlbear/human majordomo. Hootsworth’s eyes and swiveling head never miss a beat. Status: Giving Grin the stink-eye.

Ambassador Guile: the chief hobgoblin diplomat from Rhukaan Draal in Darguun, a previous employer of Grin’s. Gnomefinger sent the Ambassador a bag of his own feces. Guile lamented the difficulty in preserving the peace with Zilargo. He offered Grin a job when he’s available to look into reports of owlbear/human hybrids like Hootsworth raiding the mountain tribes in the Seawall Mountains. He also mentioned seeing strange lights hovering over Trolanport recently. Status: Hanging out with Grin in the lounge.

Stas ir’Sigmund: a Karrnathi noble in from Korth. You don’t know much about him. Status: Drunk.

Stew Tendermeat: the gnomish chef for the High Roller Room. He tried to offer Boros some delicious canapés but was rebuked. Status: In the kitchen.

Doubledown: a gnome barfly and apparent employee of Gnomefinger as well as an associate of Hash Kindbud, someone from Dozer’s past. He thinks that Dozer is a pimp for Zelle who he believes is a high-class call girl. He gave Dozer his personal stash to introduce him to her. Status: Hoping to get lucky with Zelle.

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Yes, a very enjoyable game. Thanks for running it, and I hope we have a chance to finish it.

Ideally for me, we would get together for shorter sessions more often, but I know that the intention was for us to finish the adventure in one go.

I agree with skill challenge actions as standard actions. Some DMs will never require standard actions on them because that tends to be too much for a player to give up and so the PCs don't work on the skill challenge. For one thing, as both a player and a DM, I'm okay with players not working on skill challenges. Second of all, I feel like using a standard action makes the skill challenge feel weightier, though it's best if that pan out in the actual consequences as well. As a DM, when I use a skill challenge in combat, I want there to be a serious choice about who works on the challenge and who fights. That can be done with positioning and other factors, but making it a standard action will often give the person with the best skill pause and maybe provide a reason for the second-stringer to take a whack at it.

As a player, I like to have a compelling reason for my character to take an action toward a skill challenge. When I really understand the challenge, I can sometimes come up with that reason myself. Last night, I was relying on the DM to make it clear what was at stake and what our failures were looking like. I felt like the checks we made were primarily for their own sake, though a tad more imagination on my part would have taken care of that; it's okay for characters and players to have different reasons for doing things.

Severe consequences for failing a challenge, even if they're interesting and appropriate, can be a compelling reason for taking action in the next challenge....

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Yes, a very enjoyable game. Thanks for running it, and I hope we have a chance to finish it.

Ideally for me, we would get together for shorter sessions more often, but I know that the intention was for us to finish the adventure in one go.

I agree with skill challenge actions as standard actions. Some DMs will never require standard actions on them because that tends to be too much for a player to give up and so the PCs don't work on the skill challenge. For one thing, as both a player and a DM, I'm okay with players not working on skill challenges. Second of all, I feel like using a standard action makes the skill challenge feel weightier, though it's best if that pan out in the actual consequences as well. As a DM, when I use a skill challenge in combat, I want there to be a serious choice about who works on the challenge and who fights. That can be done with positioning and other factors, but making it a standard action will often give the person with the best skill pause and maybe provide a reason for the second-stringer to take a whack at it.

As a player, I like to have a compelling reason for my character to take an action toward a skill challenge. When I really understand the challenge, I can sometimes come up with that reason myself. Last night, I was relying on the DM to make it clear what was at stake and what our failures were looking like. I felt like the checks we made were primarily for their own sake, though a tad more imagination on my part would have taken care of that; it's okay for characters and players to have different reasons for doing things.

Severe consequences for failing a challenge, even if they're interesting and appropriate, can be a compelling reason for taking action in the next challenge....



That's pretty much how I see it, especially in regards to this particular skill challenge. The reason why it may have felt the checks were for their own sake is because failure is not immediately apparent. It comes up later. We just didn't get to that part. It's a change to the story rather than a loss of a healing surge or not getting surprise in the next battle. (You'll see.)

I probably should have made it more apparent as we kicked off the fight what the purpose of the running challenge was, why and how it was optional, more emphasis on the stakes, and my design philosophy (if you will) on why it had a higher action cost. The point is it that it's part of your job to stay ahead of other intelligence operatives; if you don't do it, forget to do it, or fail in doing it, there are consequences. Essentially what you were doing were group checks. Two out of 4 of you have to succeed to pass that group check. I have it set where if you fail a group check in a particular scene, it creates a twist in the story. If you fail three group checks, The Trust come get you and there's a whole scene for that (which may never come up, depending).

To recap: You guys failed the first group check in the first scene - people got a good look at you and authorities are taking statements as to your involvement in the chaos earlier in the day. The second group check - going to Roxana's safehouse - was a success. You got there and managed to lay low while some of the heat died down, allowing you to maintain the site's secrecy. It might otherwise have been compromised and raided. The third one is a group check that I'm leaving hidden because it depends on how you interact with the people in the High Roller Room. The fourth and final one is in the next scene.

I'm up for shorter sessions like a two-hour block or what have you. I'm also okay with doing the interactions in Miser's Palace as forum posts ahead of the next game. Let me know if the rest of you would want to do something like that. 

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My one regret from that game was that Grin didn't bring the necrotic projector with him. It probably would have been discovered and checked at the door, but it needs to stay in play because it really needs to see use, especially by an unsuspecting enemy turning it on us. And if it hadn't been discovered, he could have asked Guile about it. I guess he still could.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

My one regret from that game was that Grin didn't bring the necrotic projector with him. It probably would have been discovered and checked at the door, but it needs to stay in play because it really needs to see use, especially by an unsuspecting enemy turning it on us. And if it hadn't been discovered, he could have asked Guile about it. I guess he still could.



Yeah, I'm actually curious about that because I didn't write it down... what did you guys do with the Baron Helmut von Kelprot's headdress and the lead case containing the dragonshard from the Eye of Hadar crash site? I gather Grin left Harlos's cracked pistola at the safehouse with Roxana Hardplace. Given your size though, Grin, you might have been able to keester that little gun. Opposed Grin's Endurance vs. Stern Hardass's Perception?  

Do you think you guys have figured out the story yet?

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The headdress was being worn by a Large creature; I would guess that it would be a bit too conspicuous in Zelle's shopping bags. Particularly considering that she's Small. So, unless someone has a better idea, the headdress is at the safehouse. Hidden in the hidden closet.

The shard in its capsule fits in the shopping bags. Along with Zelle's scimitar (which is refluffed as a frying pan). She is using several ornate small sticks as hair ornaments, and one of them is her wand.

I really wish my network connection had been stable & fast enough on Wednesday. I wanted to do my own refluffing of Zelle's moves, but didn't want to bog everyone down waiting for me to type stuff.

What was supposed to happen, after refluffing:
1) She bonked the sahuagin sprat on the head with her cast-iron frying pan.
2) She whipped her hair across the canal, whacking The Edge and also engulfing and entangling him so badly that he couldn't get a move action until he managed to untangle himself; and then she pulled on the hair to slide him into the canal. 
3) Before she left the back of the house to go get the headdress, she whipped her hair around The Edge's arm - just above the severed wrist - and sang a couple lines of a healing song.

----------------------

I think I've found where to put my wifi-cellular device to get a stable connection. Which I most definitely wasn't getting out of the RV park's extra-cost service.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
The headdress was being worn by a Large creature; I would guess that it would be a bit too conspicuous in Zelle's shopping bags. Particularly considering that she's Small. So, unless someone has a better idea, the headdress is at the safehouse. Hidden in the hidden closet.



Yeah, it's a little big. You'd probably look like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs if you wore it. But just so you guys know, whether it fits or not has nothing to do with whether it works... so feel free to blast your enemies with laser beams.

I really wish my network connection had been stable & fast enough on Wednesday. I wanted to do my own refluffing of Zelle's moves, but didn't want to bog everyone down waiting for me to type stuff.



That was unfortunate. You must have been squirming in your seat at all the things that would have been perfect for you to jump in and do had the connection been more stable. I really think it's your upload. One of my regular players used to connect via cell phone and there were always problems cropping up. We moved to Teamspeak which uses less bandwidth and iirc allows the user to adjust their own bandwidth usage. Quality goes down, stability goes up. Let's you and I get together this weekend maybe and see if it works better for you. Email me if you want to give it a shot. 

What was supposed to happen, after refluffing:
1) She bonked the sahuagin sprat on the head with her cast-iron frying pan.
2) She whipped her hair across the canal, whacking The Edge and also engulfing and entangling him so badly that he couldn't get a move action until he managed to untangle himself; and then she pulled on the hair to slide him into the canal. 
3) Before she left the back of the house to go get the headdress, she whipped her hair around The Edge's arm - just above the severed wrist - and sang a couple lines of a healing song.



That would have been cool, but I submit that your actions even without the fluff were critical in that first encounter. Poor Grin was getting swarmed and he couldn't get hold of The Edge who was very slippery. Of course, The Edge couldn't hit him either, dammit. When you pulled him into the water and I rolled a nat 1 on Athletics to swim, it made sense that, well, maybe he can't swim. By that time, Dozer had already hipchecked Baron Helmut off the bridge and commandeered the boat, steering it toward The Edge. Three out of four of you were closing in. The sahuagin saw a lost cause and left.

Incidentally, I wrote the story both ways - you catch him or you don't. Wraithgnome (Boros) was making fun of me from the other room - "Haha, these guys ruined your mod." Not a chance.    

I think I've found where to put my wifi-cellular device to get a stable connection. Which I most definitely wasn't getting out of the RV park's extra-cost service.



Let me know if you want to fiddle with this over the weekend. I'm going to be around.

Meantime, do you guys want to shoot for this upcoming Wednesday again? Say, 8 pm Eastern till 10 pm? What about doing forum posts for the rest of Miser's Palace and then we'll jump in to some action come Wednesday? (Either way is fine by me, but with shorter sessions, it will take more to complete it.) To give you a sneak peek - there's two, maybe three scenes after Miser's Palace (depending on your actions) and at least two of those are combat. One of those combats will have an element of planning in it for you guys to tackle if you want - like planning something out of Mission Impossible.

Please advise when you get a chance.     

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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This Wednesday won't work for me. I'd very much prefer to handle the Miser's Palace scenes via forum posts or email than live.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

This Wednesday won't work for me. I'd very much prefer to handle the Miser's Palace scenes via forum posts or email than live.



Okay, I'll send out emails this weekend to work on scheduling so we don't clog the thread. I'll include the topic of getting some roleplaying and conniving done on the forums so that people can read them and follow along. Worst case scenario, even if we don't get it "done" before the next game, we'll have gotten most of it done and can jump into some different action come gametime.

Of course, playing by forum post comes with its own issues. Hopefully we can get everyone on board to move things along.   

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Hey, everyone did good in that encounter. Everyone did their jobs.

One defender (Grin) locked down the target until others could come take care of him, and kept three minions away from everyone else. Then at the end he finished off a disruptive intruder.

The other defender (Dozer) locked down the biggest threat in the encounter and took him out of action, dealt with a (different) disruptive intruder, and was instrumental in the final step of capturing the target.

The leader (Zelle) helped the striker deal with three minions, until she could get good line of effect to the target. Then she disabled the target and did most of the work of capturing him.

The striker (Boros) took care of those minions and then held off the disruptive intruder so Zelle could deal with the target. 

Some of the later stuff though... Dozer is going to be reminded that Zelle can pull on other people's hair too.  

(And it's all good in-character roleplay.) 
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Hey, everyone did good in that encounter. Everyone did their jobs.

One defender (Grin) locked down the target until others could come take care of him, and kept three minions away from everyone else. Then at the end he finished off a disruptive intruder.

The other defender (Dozer) locked down the biggest threat in the encounter and took him out of action, dealt with a (different) disruptive intruder, and was instrumental in the final step of capturing the target.

The leader (Zelle) helped the striker deal with three minions, until she could get good line of effect to the target. Then she disabled the target and did most of the work of capturing him.

The striker (Boros) took care of those minions and then held off the disruptive intruder so Zelle could deal with the target. 

Some of the later stuff though... Dozer is going to be reminded that Zelle can pull on other people's hair too.  

(And it's all good in-character roleplay.) 



For sure. I was very much surprised in how you guys handled the encounter. I rather expected a slog on the bridge with the Baron or a rush to the other side via the bridge after you blundered The Baron off. Initiative is king though and it changed up everything. Also, I randomized when the boat would show up. In theory, it could have shown up after the first round. (It was basically an escalating chance - 6 on d6 this round, 5-6 on d6 next round, 4-5-6 on d6 the round after that and so on.)

What I found more surprising was the lack of "kill everything" approach that I saw. Grin kept going after The Edge even as he kept slipping out of his grasp repeatedly and while taking punishment from the sahuagin. Boros and Zelle both provoked OAs just to move a few squares to be on the parallel with The Edge. Everyone locked into the "Get The Edge" tactic rather than "Kill Everything, Then Get The Edge" that I would have expected from... well, I guess there's no better way to put it... "normal" players, heh.  

I can't wait to see what you do with the next encounter. I set it up to be one of those "here's everything, now plan the operation" like you might catch in the montage scene of any good action flick. Or you can kick down the door and try to waste everyone. Your choice.

Emails going out shortly to schedule next game and discuss the Miser's Palace interaction going forward.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Zelle is giving me a stare in the Lounge and i can feel the weight of it....Wink 


Its true that everyone did their job. Things i forgot to say, i liked how Boros took his time like a patient Thief and asked Dozer what we were up to before clashing...and Grin fantastic jump over the canal to catch The Edge. He locked them down. And Zelle did her trick from a distance and also Pulled The Edge in the river . Everyone contributed to intercept The Edge and its true that Kill'em All wasn't our first mandate.


Will give availabilities in E-mail with my schedule and continue at the Casino a la Ocean Eleven.
For sure. I was very much surprised in how you guys handled the encounter. I rather expected a slog on the bridge with the Baron or a rush to the other side via the bridge after you blundered The Baron off.

That was on the list of options I had considered. But it was third, and one of the top two was under the assumption that the Baron was non-hostile and could be persuaded to clear a path for us. Even under that assumption it would take at least a full round just to get everyone across the bridge.

Everyone locked into the "Get The Edge" tactic rather than "Kill Everything, Then Get The Edge" that I would have expected from... well, I guess there's no better way to put it... "normal" players, heh.

But The Edge's immediate goal was to get away from us. If he pursued that goal while we stopped to deal with his friends, we wouldn't catch him. If we weren't going to follow the tactic best suited to catching him, we had no reason to fight the sahuagin and should have just walked away.

It suddenly occurred to me that I think Dozer was the only one to attack an individual sahuagin who had not attacked us first. And I'm not sure that the Baron didn't attack before Dozer got to him.

Zelle is giving me a stare in the Lounge and i can feel the weight of it.... 

No, Plaguescarred, Zelle is calm and cool.

Too calm and cool. If Dozer has a lick of sense (which is questionable), he's probably getting nervous.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
But The Edge's immediate goal was to get away from us. If he pursued that goal while we stopped to deal with his friends, we wouldn't catch him. If we weren't going to follow the tactic best suited to catching him, we had no reason to fight the sahuagin and should have just walked away.

Right. If there was ever an encounter in which engaging with the monsters was not the point, it was that one.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Right. If there was ever an encounter in which engaging with the monsters was not the point, it was that one.



Speaking of which, I promised Arbanax I'd post my notes on this one.

Whole Map:
dl.dropbox.com/u/21183016/01%20-%20The%2...
 
Lower Half of Map with PCs Engaged:
dl.dropbox.com/u/21183016/scene1_therund...

Features of the Area


Buildings: The three buildings with roofs have two stories, but since they are made for gnomes, they are only about 10 feet tall. You can move through these buildings as if they were difficult terrain, but you must first make a DC 23 Bluff, Stealth, or Thievery check as a minor action.
          The building without a roof is currently under construction. It has no doors and there are no panes of glass in its windows. Its walls are 15 feet tall. The north wall of the structure is unfinished and not stable – you may be able to topple it onto unsuspecting enemies. Or they may be able to topple it onto you!
          You can climb the walls of any building with a DC 20 Athletics check.


          Unfinished Masonry
          Not all the mortar has been set in this wall. It could be toppled with only a little effort.
          Standard Action
          Requirement: You must be adjacent to the wall
          Check: Athletics check (DC 23) to topple the wall.
          Success: The wall collapses
          Target: Each creature in a close blast 3 in the direction the wall fell (to the north or south)
          Attack: +9 vs. Reflex
          Hit: 1d10+3 damage, and the target is knocked prone.
          Miss: Half damage.
          Effect: The area of the blast becomes difficult terrain.


Canal: The canal is roughly 40 feet deep. The water is calm, only requiring a DC 10 Athletics check to swim.


Kelp: The kelp is difficult terrain and firm enough to stand on for short periods of time. If you end your turn on a square containing kelp, you fall into the water. Athletics checks made to swim suffer a -2 penalty in squares containing kelp.


Pylons: Small creatures adjacent to a pylon have cover.


Stairs: The stairs on the bridge are difficult terrain for Small creatures.


Statue: This is a well-worn but well-crafted statue of Kol Korran, the son of Onatar and Olladra, and twin brother of The Keeper. He is the deity of trade and money. Under the resourceful eye of Kol Korran, no healing is wasted. If you use a healing power within 5 squares of the statue and you restore the target to his or her maximum hit points, make a DC 15 Religion check as a free action. If you succeed, the target gains temporary hit points equal to any hit points the triggering power restored in excess of the target’s maximum number of hit points (up to the target’s healing surge value).

And the optional skill challenge (read: Stay one step ahead of local intelligence agents) that was attached to the scene...


The Trust, Part 1
Group Check
A thrilling chase through the streets and canals of Trolanport led you to a battle against ill-tempered fish-men with frickin’ lasers beams on their heads. This could draw some unwanted attention.


It’s What You Can Prove (DC 19): A little disinformation campaign on the locals might see The Trust chasing false leads. That could buy you some time. Make a Bluff, History, or Streetwise check as a standard action (or as a minor action to aid an ally with a DC of 13).


The Price of Freedom (DC 23): Canny vigilance could reveal potential Trust agents or informants. Make an Insight or Perception check as a standard action (or as a minor action to aid an ally with a DC of 13).


The Better Part of Valor (DC 19): You do your best to keep your presence amidst the chaos as minimal as possible. Make an Arcana, Stealth, or Thievery check as a standard action (or as a minor action to aid an ally with a DC of 13).


What Else You Got? (DC varies): Describe an action and use a skill that fits the scene as a standard action.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I bring this up because of a recent spate of posts related to encounter design and difficulty. Part of my reasoning for running this game was to analyze things and discuss openly for the benefit of the community (and for improving my own DMing). So, be honest:

1. Was the one encounter we played in Gnomefinger difficult? Were you in fear of your characters' lives?

2. Was it fun? If so, what made it fun?

3. What would you have changed?

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  Structure First, Story Last  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I was also reading the thread where they talk about encounter design and how difficult it is in 4e to kill players. But I dont think the goal of the encounter should always be to kill the players. The goal is to have a challenging encounter and tell or advance the storyline. Sometimes there are different factors to consider. I dont thinkt the first Gnomefinger encounter was difficult because the NPC's were not really out to kill or defeat us...they just needed to slow us down enough for The Edge to escape. I was never really in fear for my character's life but I was in fear of letting The Edge get away with the dragonshard or of getting caught by the authorities. The encounter was fun because there were so many different things that the characters could do. There were various different enemies to engage, terrain to overcome, an NPC that was very adept at getting away from the PC's, the threat of being discovered by the Trust. I dont think I would have changed anything...but then again I'm not a very experienced DM, I'm more of a player.
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