Expert DM Competition 32: Develop a Contact!

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XDMC 32: Develop a Contact!
Welcome to the thirty-second 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!

Informant

The topic for this competition is Contact. There is one treasure more valuable to adventurers than gold, magic items, and diamonds: information. Information tells adventurers where the treasure is hidden, what enemies seek to slit their throats, and where they can sell their loot without a lot of annoying questions being asked. This competition asks you to create an NPC whose primary purpose is to provide the heroes with information to aid them in their adventures.

Required Elements


In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:

  • Epithet: State the name by which the contact is most commonly known.

  • Expertise: Describe the subjects in which the contact is knowledgeable.

  • Ego: Describe the contact's personality.

  • Engagement: Describe one or more ways the heroes might locate the contact.


If you fail to include a required element, you will receive a score of zero in Themes.

Optional Elements


Each entry must include three of the following optional elements:

  1. Adversarial: The contact gives the heroes reliable information even though it wants to see them fail.

  2. Clandestine: The contact prefers not to meet directly with the heroes.

  3. Esoterica: The subjects in which the contact is knowledgeable are not covered by the Arcana, History, Religion, or Streetwise skills

  4. Guildmaster: The contact leads a powerful professional organization.

  5. Hobbyist: The contact has a full-time job unrelated to the subjects in which the contact is knowledgeable.

  6. Inside Man: The contact can influence one or more major political figures, but will not do so on the heroes' behalf.

  7. Millenarian: The contact is more than a thousand years old.

  8. Monstrous: The contact has the animate, beast, or magical beast type.

  9. Obsessed: The contact's obsession with one or more of the heroes may place the heroes in danger.

  10. Provocateur: The contact seeks to overthrow the current government.

  11. Rare Remuneration: For the information provided, the contact demands payment in a physical form other than coin, works of art, or magic items.

  12. Shapechanger: The contact has at least one alternate form, which may or may not be known to the heroes.

  13. Unreliable: The contact is a valuable informant even though it is known to occasionally give out inaccurate information.

Your entry should list the optional elements you intended to include. If you do not, you will be scored only for those elements the judges happen to notice.

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.

  • 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 Materials Prohibited. Your entry may not include material hosted on a website other than wizards.com and community.wizards.com. Images from your profile gallery may be used. The judges must ignore material hosted on other websites.

  • 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, November 18, 2011. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight at the end of that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are ChimericPhase, Exultation, and mccowen, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers

(questions posed by potential entrants and the coordinator's response)


Q. Can the "Adversarial" optional element be satisfied if the entry includes ways that a non-adversarial Contact can become adversarial, or an adversarial Contact can become non-adversarial?


A. Yes.  However (and this is important), the ease with which a Contact can be made adversarial (or non-adversarial) will affect how well the entry scores in Themes with respect to this optional element.  An entry with a Contact who can easily be changed from adversarial to non-adversarial will not score as highly as an entry with a Contact whose adversarial attitude towards the heroes is much harder or nearly impossible to change.




Q. Are the "Adversarial" and "Unreliable" optional elements mutually exclusive?


A. They appear to be as one requires the contact give out reliable information and the other requires the contact to give out ocasionally inaccurate information.  If you can figure out a way to reconcile the two, however, go for it!

Medalists and Scores

We are pleased to announce the winners of Expert Dungeon Master Competition 32!

The bronze medal goes to...


Lord_Ventnor
for
Vyserizax the Imperial Sage!



The silver medal goes to...


Frostpanner_19
for
Tamerlane Castle!!



and the gold medal goes to...


Wipxepitl
for
Mo!!!

No new judges this time, but Wipxepitl has a perfect winning streak with his second gold medal entry on his second competition!  (He is thus our newest Paragon Dungeon Master.)  Lord_Ventnor also wins his fourth medal, an amazing feat. Congratulations to all of the medalists and thanks to all who participated in this competition, but especially to the judges, ChimericPhase, Exultation, and mccowen, who had to judge an inrodinate number of competitions in a very short span.

Stay tuned while we plan Expert Dungeon Master Competition 33.  In the meantime, enjoy these carefully tabulated scores:  





































































































































































No.CreativityUsabilityThemesClarityBonusTotalEntrant's Entry
177 2/35 1/3525Alustaerial's Kahlis Ghalum
214 1/612 1/388 2/343 1/6Frostpanner_19's Tamerlane Castle
312 1/697 1/26 1/335Pelletse' Geunevrievre Corrival
413 1/611 1/35 2/37 1/2138 2/3Cassan's Namona
599 1/37 2/38 1/3135 1/3Hocus-Smokus' Grove
612 1/211 1/28840Tequilasaurus' Chot Tzukh
79 1/39 1/38834 2/3PowerAttackForTwenty's Vlad the Chained Drinker
85 1/212 1/66 1/37 1/231 1/2Geoffa's Captain Thaddeus Darke
98 1/29 1/26 5/6832 5/6Clan Battlerage's Jonah Wainwright
1014 2/312 1/69 1/69 2/3146 2/3Wipxepitl's Mo
114 2/311 5/67 2/38 1/332 1/2DontEatRawHagis' Alzer Keelhaul
1257 5/66 1/36 2/325 5/6Jaxom's Isten Lareth
1312 1/313 1/39 1/68 1/643Lord_Ventnor's Vyserizax the Imperial Sage
1412 1/312 1/27 1/38 2/340 5/6Fedosu's Koriatzu, Seer of Death
1512 2/311 5/686 1/638 2/3Devourerofpancakes' George
Oooh... I think I'll be able to get something done for this one
Ain't nothing that pleases like arbitrary assonance.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
This sounds like fun, I'm currently developing just such a character for my campaign
I take it the extent of the NPCs 'information' we include in the submission is the subjects i.e. you don't want plot hooks to be included with the NPC.
 
So no statblocks? Yes! Now I don' t need to rely on my shaky knowledge of 4e to produce an entry. 

Anyway, this seems a really cool idea. I'm going to give this one a swing later.
I take it the extent of the NPCs 'information' we include in the submission is the subjects i.e. you don't want plot hooks to be included with the NPC.
 


We don't require plot hooks.  But including them could help your Usability score.
Similarly, this contest doesn't require a stat block.  But including one can make your entry more Usable.

So, I guess I should post my entry here then?


Khalis Ghalum

 


Khalis, commonly known as “Janus”, is a Female Changeling in the Artalis Protectorate. The Artalis Protectorate is a small city-state on the borders of the two larger countries, Hadak and Meta’an. Hadak and Meta’an have been at war for over 250 years. In an attempt to speed the end of the war, Khalis joined the Hadak military and rose through the ranks as Shadan, a human warlord, to the rank of Captain of the Phoenix Legion. As Captain, Shadan was privy to some of Hadak’s military secrets.


 


After several years, Shadan was told of a plan of the military that was almost guaranteed to end the war between Hadak and Meta’an, but it would cost the lives of everyone in the Artalis Protectorate. Over the years Khalis had developed a dozen or so other persona, with which she was able to pass information on to the Meta’ani forces as “Janus, the two faced”.


 


Khalis is very cautious, because she doesn’t want to be exposed as a traitor, but she believes that the information that she is passing will prevent the genocide of the people of the Artalis protectorate. She has found that she can on occasion manipulate adventurers into passing information for her, or feed them false information that will slow the military advance or save lives. Most of her messages are delivered personally “Care of Janus”


 


Additional Persona include (but not limited to)


 


1. Shadan: (Human Male, warlord) Captain of the Phoenix Legion


2. Axix: (Tiefling Female) Traveling cloth Merchant between Artalis Protectorate and Hadak


3. Mesan: (Half-elven Female Bard) Known to frequent many of the lower ward taverns in Artalis.


4. Fenstix: (Dragonborn Warlord) Assistant to the constable in Hadak’s capital of Haddansk. Scar across throat is reason given for dragon breath not working.


5. Khal: (Half-Orc Male) Rough and Tumble Warrior in Hadak


6. Zenim: (Deva Female) Cleric of Tyr (norse god) Meta’an contact


7. Pladum: (Human Male) Paladin of Thor (norse god) Meta’an contact


8. Valis: (Razorclaw shifter female) runs errands for the herbalist in Haddansk


9. Elustia: (Elven Female) contact in the Hadak/Artalis borderlands


10. Tanthus (Elven Male) spice Merchant that travels between the Artalis protectorate and Meta’an.


11. Tradam (Longtooth shifter male) Artalis Protectorate militiaman


12. Grond (Half-orc Male) former prisoner, has crime contacts.


 


Epithet: Janus, the two faced


Expertise: Military movements of the Hadakan military


Ego: Sneaky, devious, cautious


Engangement: listed under additional persona


 


Optional Elements: Inside Man, Provocateur, Shapechanger, Unreliable.

Alustaerial draws first blood!  Welcome to the XDMCs!!!
Ooh, I really like the idea of a sentient castle!  I'm going to have to bring my A-game to this XDMC, but I have some ideas coming together in my head . . .
I heard that they are making a new video game, where you control the Netherese flying citadel of Sakkors, raining death on your helpless enemies below. Working title: Mythal Command.
FYI: You don't have to put your entry in a spoiler block.  In fact, the Clarity rules discourage it. And welcome to the XDMCs, Frostpanner_19!
( This is my first time in a competition and English isn't my first language, be kind to me, please! )

 

REQUIRED ELEMENTS

 

Epitheth

Guenevrièvre Corrival is a Female Kalashtar who dwells in a small house, south of the Dreamlike Valley. All dreams who enters the Sphinx Kingdom passes through this valley, so, she sees them all and knows what dreams are in the Kingdom. She is also known as the "First Keeper of Dreams". Even if she's over a thousand years old, she looks like in her early 30s but her voice shows her wisdom...Her laugh is a music to mortal ears.

 

Expertise

Guenevrièvre Corrival knows all the secrets dreams hold in a chosen kingdom.

 

Ego

She is warm and calm. She greets people with an unforgetable smile and a hug which make the PC feel at home! The kalashtar loves to listen to people who tells her their dreams. While they do so, she looks them straight into the eyes but this won't makes you feel unconfortable, you will know that she listens to you...

 

Engagement

Guenevrièvre Corrival is always waiting for you and almost everyone knows, in the Sphinx Kingdom, that she exists. If you don't know her and it happens you speak about a weird dream you had, someone might tell you to go to the Dreamlike Valley to meet Guenevirèvre Corrival. But if you dream something weird and don't pay attention to this dream, she might call you during your sleep and ask you to come at her since she sees every dreams that enter the kingdom, and she might want to meet people who dreams such a unique dream.

 

OPTIONAL ELEMENTS

 

Esoterical

As previously said, Guenevrièvre Corrival is the First Keeper of Dreams. She knows little about magic and religion but her knowledge is about something normal people can't see, hear or feel!

 

Guildmaster

As the First Keeper of Dream, there are other Keeper of Dreams who don't have a "number". There are 10 ( including Guenevrièvre ) which each have their personnal kingdom. They gather once a decade but no one really knows what is spoken during this meeting.

 

Millenarian

All Keeper of Dreams don't age. As the First, she's the oldest but she still look young. Other, younger, Keepers of Dreams might look older.

 

PERSONNAL ELEMENTS

 

The Kingdom and the Dreams

As told above, all dreams enters the Sphinx Kingdom (Homebrew world I've created around 1995) via the Dreamlike Valley and they spread among the people of this region. While they sleeps, dreams enter their head and they dream this dream! When the dreamer wakes up, the dream leaves his head then fly in the kingdom for a while and might enters in the head of someone else who's going to bed. So, people might dream "used dream" but will act differently, according to their beliefs or will. A dream might die, which makes Guenevrièvre Corrival pretty sad, or he might leave the kingdom and fly somewhere else to find new people to meet!

Edit : Not Unforgivable but unforgetable smile! ( Sorry! hehe )
I'm playing: Abin Gadon, Halfling Bard Winston "Slurphnose", Gnome Sorcerer Pasiphaé, Minotaur Shaman Eglerion, Elf Ellyrian Reaver (Ranger) DMing: Le Trésor du Fluide (Treasure from the Fluid) Un Royaume d'une Grande Valeur (A Kingdom of Great Value) La Légende de Persitaa (Persitaa's Legend) Une Série de Petites Quêtes... (A serie of short quests) Playtesting: Caves of Chaos We're building the greatest adventure ever known to DnD players! Also playing Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer Fantasy. Sébastien, Beloeil, Qc. I am Neutral Good and 32 years old.

Epithet: Namona
Expertise: All things connected to the Royal family, personal or business related.
Ego: One more lonely girl. 
Engagement: Traverse the swamp maze. 


Namona, daughter of Evelyn is a Medusa who resides in the Darken Swamps, with the kingdom. Evelyn was a consort
to the king several hundered years past, a beautiful girl with fiery red hair as long as her arms. The queens
strictly enforced policy was that no child be born by a consort, lest the royal line be tainted. However Evelyn
became pregnant with the kings child and fled the castle to protect her daughter. Her escape was enabled by Kellone, the elderly court magistrate who felt sympathy for the girls plight.


The queen summoned the royal witch who cursed Evelyn with bearing a tainted child. Namona was born with snakes for hair and as her mother gazed upon her she was tragically turned to stone.


Inside Man


Kellone, checking upon Evelyn found her child Namona, crying in the swamp, cradled by a stone statue of her mother. Kellone, shocked by scene left the child to die. He came back a week later to bury the baby but was stunned to find the child still alive, still crying, apparently needing no sustenance to live. Kellone, taking care to never meet the childs eyes created a shelter and using wizardry raised tree roots out of the swamp to form an enormous maze to prevent strangers from entering the area. Over the years as Namona grew he cared for her, binding his eyes with cloth as he stayed with her and told her of the royal kingdom, the castle where he worked and the people in it. Kellone has great influence in the court but it is unlikely that Namona would ever use him to help anyone.


Obsessed


Namona is, above all else, lonely. She will easily fall in love with one of the party members. Of course love from a medusa can be a little awkward. She may follow the group, appear at in opportune moments desired to gaze upon her wannabe lovers eyes. Namona loves her maze, the reason she stays here. She will be enthralled with anyone that is able to complete the maze and reach her.




Esoterica


Namona has detailed knowledge of the royal ongoings. Kellone, having exhausted himself of all the old stories keeps her up to date with everything happening in the castle, the kings and queens business - not expecting that she would have anyone to talk to. She can certainly draw a detailed map of the palace.

 
 
Namona Stats



























































Namona, Medusa (Female)Level 18 Skirmisher
Medium natural humanoid2200

Initiative+18
Senses Perception +12; [special senses]
Aura Name([Keywords]) aura [range]; [effect]
HP 200; Bloodied 100
AC 34; Fortitude 30, Reflex 34, Will 31
Speed: 8
Short Sword ( [action], at-will )Acid, Poison, Weapon
+23 vs AC; 1d6+7 damage, and the target takes ongoing 10 acid and 15 poison damage (save ends).
Fangs of Death ( [action], recharge )[Power keywords, comma seperated]
Namona makes two basic melee attacks and can shift up to 3 squares between attacks
Snaky Hair ( [action], at-will )Acid, Poison
+23 vs AC; 1d6+7 damage, and the target takes ongoing 10 acid and 15 poison damage and takes a -4 penalty to Fortitude defense (save ends both).
Petrifying Gaze ( [action], at- will )Gaze, Petrification
Close blast 5; blind creatures are immune; +21 vs Fortitude; the target is slowed (save ends). First Failed Save: The target is immobilized instead of slowed (save ends). Second Failed Save: The target is petrified (no save).








Alignment NeutralLanguages Common

Skills Acrobatics +21, Bluff +20, Stealth +21















weight: bold;">Str 16 (+12)
Dex 24 (+16)Wis 17 (+12)

weight: bold;">Con 20 (+14)
Int 13 (+10)Cha 22 (+15)

Equipment black hooded cloak, shortsword x2.



 

It's great to see all these new faces!  Welcome to Cassan and Pelletse.  The entry list has been updated!
Hmm...four entries already?  I shall step up my efforts to ensure proper representation!

My sympathies to the judges for having to judge what appears likely to be many quality entries in this one.
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
No worries, I should have my entry in somewhere over the weekend. That'll at least make it easier to spot the gold medal winning entry Cool
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.
If only you were kidding haha

Epithet:
Grove
(Treant)


Expertise:
Grove knows the comings and going of all beings in and around the woodland area she happens to be in at the time. This power extends to all extreme ends of the woodland, as she is able to communicate with any tree that lies within any specific woodland area. This could be as small as an isolated thicket or as large as huge forest. Grove is able to recall any faces, clothing, transportation, or spoken words that are or were within her forested area for as long as she has been present there.


Ego:
Grove seldom interacts with living beings, choosing instead to maintain a silent vigil over the forest she currently inhabits. She will become hostile toward creatures who seek to intentionally harm the woodlands, however. Timber-cutters and harvesters quickly learn of her powerful presence whenever Grove is in the area, though they seldom learn her true nature. The usual reports range from a “haunted wood” to a “cursed forest”, as Grove is able to manipulate the trees around her to terrify and drive off any who would threaten the woodland.


Her only concerns are the peace and solitude of forests. While she is able to communicate with and recall information about mortals, she has little desire to interact with them, and is generally mistrusting of them. When Grove does speak, it is in deep, slow words that are familiar to anyone able to successfully communicate with fey creatures. If Grove finds a mortal worthy of her time, she will answer any questions she can, and will do so in a calm, peaceful manner. If at any time she decides she no longer trusts the mortal, she will remain silent and, if provoked, will try to drive them away.


Engagement:
As Grove moves about at infrequent and seemingly random intervals, she can be difficult to locate from day to day. However, if Grove has just entered a forested area, she is likely to stay at least a few months while she bonds with the surrounding trees. The easiest way to learn of Grove's presence in an area is through the stories of local lumberjacks and woodcutters. Some stories might include tales about an area once safe to harvest suddenly becoming hazardous, or accidents becoming much more frequent during harvests in the woods. Grove is much more likely to entertain communication with beings more closely attuned to forested areas, such as those with Fey lineage or those that help protect forested areas. Once communication is established and Grove deems the being worthy to speak with, she is much more easily located. Once the trusted being enters the forest that Grove inhabits, she will know about it through the trees near that being and will make her way to them.



Optional Elements:


Esoterica:
The information Grove can supply cannot be divined through the use of the Arcana, History, Religion, or Streetwise skills. Her knowledge is gleaned through her link with surrounding trees.


Millenarian:
Grove is well over 1,000 years old, and is likely closer to 2,000 years of age. Even Grove, herself, is unaware of her actual age. If questioned about the subject she replies with cryptic answers or simply attempts to avoid the question.


Monstrous:
Grove has the Magical Beast-type keyword.


Rare Remuneration:
Grove asks little of those she deems trustworthy. All she requests is that the individuals do no harm to the plants of the forest, and to dissuade others from doing so, though she knows that the ever-encroaching nature of mortals makes this request unlikely to succeed.


Unreliable:
Though Grove can recall with 100% accuracy the voices, clothing, and appearance of any mortals who have traveled through her forest, creatures such as shape-changers and doppelgangers can make this information unreliable.


Appearance:
Grove is a huge, ancient treant that has long since lost the ability to bud or flower. Her long limbs are bare, dark, and splintery. She has eyes of deep amber and a thick-set, small mouth, all of which are entirely invisible when she does not wish them to be seen. Her roots are very thick and knobby, stretching in all directions from her massive base. To the unsuspecting eye, Grove appears to be no more than an old, dead, large tree.



The list is updated.  Is this your first tiem in the XDMCs. Hocus?  Either way, welcome to the madhouse!
The list is updated.  Is this your first tiem in the XDMCs. Hocus?  Either way, welcome to the madhouse!



Yes it is. Why, did I do something wrong?
Always looked in over the past several competitions, but actually had the time to submit this time.
You didn't do anything wrong at all.  I just realized that in all the time you've been aorund the forums, I couldn't remeber you submitting an entry.  I'm glad you did!
Epithet:
Chot Tzukh
(Beholder Monk)

Expertise:
Chot Tzukh's knowledge is sought by many, but few have the dedication to earn it. Scholars, wizards, thieves, and kings have all tried to pry information from the beholder's monastery for one reason; Chot Tzuhk has the ability to see the distant future with perfect clarity. What many of these figures do not know, is that his knowledge is limited to events 100 years into the future and beyond.


Ego:
Chot Tzuhk is highly disinterested in the affairs of other creatures. Any questions presented to him are answered with another question, often a request. Many persistent individuals complete these random tasks expecting answers, but are met with indifference. Any coercive attempts are met with Chot Tzuhk's seemingly infinite patience.


Chot Tzuhk's prime concern is running his monastery, where he trains dozens of powerful humanoids in the ways of the monk. Despite not having limbs of his own, Chot Tzuhk diligently corrects his students' movements with his telekinesis. Even his own students are unaware of his true motivations behind running the monastery; preparing paragons of law to fight in the final battles of the apocalypse.


Engagement:
The PC's may be seeking information regarding any number of pieces of history the future may hold. A villain's legacy, a kingdom's future, the outcome of a war, their own grandchildren, or perhaps they're seeking answers from the more immediate future, but are unaware of the beholder's limitations.


The monastery may be anywhere deeply secluded. Preferably at least a week's journey from civilization. It could be in a forest, atop a mountain, on an island, or even underground.


Should be PC's decide to try to garner information from him, they must work very hard to earn his trust. Initially, they may believe the best way to do this is through the tasks Chot Tzuhk offers them, but after repeated quests to fetch river rocks from miles away, or watching the sunrise every day for a week, they may start to doubt it.


If the heroes spend enough time at the monastery without asking questions, Chot Tzuhk may ask them to bring him timepieces. Sundials, hourglasses, and water clocks, anything that can keep time, and lots of them. For every three pieces they bring, Chot Tzuhk will either reveal a piece of information, or explain why he cannot.



Optional Elements:




Esoterica:
The information Chot Tzuhk can supply cannot be divined through the use of the Arcana, History, Religion, or Streetwise skills.




Millenarian:
Chot Tzuhk is well over 1,000 years old. His exact age, if it ever mattered, is 3,246



Rare Remuneration:
Chot Tzuhk collects thousands upon thousands of timepieces, and uses them to track the days to the final battle.




Guildmaster: Chot Tzuhk runs a monestary of powerful monks.



Appearance:
Chot Tzuhk is a large eye tyrant beholder of no extraordinary physical discription.

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the Dish ran away with the Spoon. He ran from conviction, and fed his addiction as the Dish heated the Spoon... The Spoon begged to go, but the Dish shouted : "NO!!" "The heroin will be ready soon!" "Any time doing the right thing is funny as hell, it's probably Chaotic Good." IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2jcu9fs.png)
The list is updated!  Welcome to the XDMCs, Tequilasaurus!
When the agent is first encountered by the PCs, he/she is an ally and gives reliable info.  But through the course of events, the PCs wrong the agent in some way, causing the agent to turn against them.  The agent still gives reliable info (to maintain his/her reputation as an informant), but wants the PCs to fail and thus tells the truth "from a certain point of view."

In this case, would "Adversarial" still be satisfied?

In other words, is an agent's satisfying of an optional based upon the PCs' first experience with the agent, any experience with the agent, or the agent's overall presence/function in the campaign? 
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
In other words, is an agent's satisfying of an optional based upon the PCs' first experience with the agent, any experience with the agent, or the agent's overall presence/function in the campaign? 


I think that's going to depend on how it is presented.  Obviously, adversarialness is an attitude, and attitudes can be changed.  If the adversarialness is easy to overcome, I doubt the judges will score it as highly for purposes of Themes than adversarialness that is difficult or nearly impossible to overcome.
Just poking my head in to say that I'm currently doing some long-range prep work for a campaign, and practically giddy that I get to judge this contest... there's just so many good ideas to steal. Laughing

Congrats to everyone whose work is already represented, and I'd encourage anyone who's wandering past to compose an entry and toss your hat into the ring!

Epithet: Vlad The Chained Drinker


Vladmir Dragonis was born exactly one thousand three hundred and seventy-five years ago this coming Winter Solstice. He achieved his life goal at the ripe old age of seventy-five, when he was turned. Now, the gift of vampirism was not enough to replenish Vlad’s youth or his physical strength, but what it did do was strengthen his mind. Within a few years of his new life, Vladmir discovered that his mental abilities were constantly growing, in a way quite unusually for even a vampire. By the time of his three hundredth birthday, Vladmir could read minds, implant ideas, erase memories, and was even beginning to see the future. In fact, on the day of his three hundredth birthday, Vlad received his first prophecy. The very same day, Vlad was chained.


A convent of incredibly skilled witches found Vladmir, and after discovering that they could not slay him, used their magic imprisoned him deep underground with chains. They also attempted to seal his powers away, at which they were only partially successful. Because although the witches managed to block his powers to their extent at the time, Vlad’s powers have continued to increase every day of his imprisonment, which has lasted exactly a thousand years.


In those years, much has changed in the world, and in Vlad. Deprived of blood for a millennium, Vlad’s body has wasted away nearly completely, and even his mind has begun to go. Meanwhile, only a mile above him, a land has blossomed, going from an empty plain to a massive city. The very city at which the party has just arrived.



Expertise


Despite his decayed appearance, Vlad’s mind has remained sharp, more or less. His memory remains sharp, and centuries of reading the minds above him have filled him with the knowledge of dozens of lifetimes. If the party has questions of local history, current gossip, or political intrigue, Vlad can almost certainly supply it. However, his mental range barely extends beyond the city gates, so the outside world remains an almost complete mystery.


Before his imprisonment, Vlad was also a dabbler in both the arcane and the sacred, so if the party has questions of ancient spells or lost religions, Vlad may be able to assist.



Ego


A millennium of imprisonment has left Vlad with a rather single-minded goal: Freedom. Vlad will assist the party in any way he can, if it will help him escape his bonds. Luckily for Vlad, he knows exactly how he can be freed. Or, at least he thinks he does.


You see, the prophecy that Vlad had minutes before his defeat and imprisonment, was of his escape. Vlad is convinced that the key to his freedom is one of the PCs, or more specifically, his/her blood. Vlad believes that this blood will reinvigorate his body beyond what it once was, and enable him to break the magical chains that no modern weapon or spell can. Whether or not this is true is up to the DM.




Engagement


Because his existence remains a secret from the city above him and from the world as a whole, the party cannot contact Vlad on their own. Vlad needs to contact the party himself, which he will psychically do once he believes he can offer them the assistance they need. After guiding the party to his location, Vlad will introduced himself as the Chained Drinker, and offer his aid, in exchange for a small amount of blood to drink.


If the PCs hesitate, Vlad will lie and assure them that no amount of blood can free him and he simply wants to lessen his insatiable hunger. Should the party refuse Vlad’s offer, he will seek another way to get what he wants, whether through contacting another group for the job or a mental assault on his own.


Whether or not the blood actually frees Vlad, and what he does afterwards, remain up to the DM.



Optional Elements


Millenarian: Vlad is over 1300 years old, and has been imprisoned for exactly one thousand of those years.


Obsessed: Vlad will go to any length to get the blood of his target, including bribing or forcing a third party to attack them.


Rare Remuneration: Vlad’s only request for compensation is a drink of blood


The list is updated.  Welcome to the XDMCs, PowerAttackForTwenty!

Spoiler Alert: If you are part of my gaming group in Greensburg, PA, you will encounter this character in my upcoming campaign.  You have several options.



  1. Stop reading.

  2. Don't use information your character doesn't know when you get to this part of my game.

  3. Receive repeated blows to the head from my DMG if and when you blurt out important information that your character shouldn't know yet, and spoil the game for everyone else.


You have been warned!

 

Captain Thaddeus Darke


Optional Elements:


Inside Man – as a Netherese agent, Darke can influence the behavior of the Netherese military with the information he sends in his reports.


Provocateur – although he has some plans of his own, Darke is a Netherese agent operating in enemy territory, and one of his goals is trying to bring down the government.


Unreliable – as it becomes more and more evident that Darke is working towards his own goals, the information he receives from the Netherese high command becomes sporadic and outdated.


Background:


I’m planning on using Captain Darke in a specific campaign that I’m about to start in a couple of weeks.  I think it would be relatively easy to insert him into any campaign that has the following elements:



  • A small independent state on the edge of the Netheril Empire (or some other big bad evil country looking to expand)

  • Impending attack from the Netherese (presumably the PCs are opposed to this)

  • A love interest of significant social standing to bring out Darke’s conflicted loyalties


The Duchy of Greenfield is located on the border of the Netheril Empire, and has long lived in fear of its neighbor.  Sinister shadow creatures and Shadovar agents occasionally cross the border and stir up trouble but Duke Charles is a shrewd ruler.  Through careful politicking, and some timely intervention from allies in Cormyr and the Dalelands he has manage to preserve his land’s independence.


In recent times, the Netherese appear to have been gathering their forces for a major offensive against Greenfield and Duke Charles is once again looking for allies.  In addition to the PCs, Captain Darke and his mercenary band, Darke’s Marauders, have also arrived to bolster the Duchy’s defenses.


Captain Darke cuts a dashing figure.  He spends a lot of time on his horse (his entire unit is light cavalry), gesturing dramatically with his sword while his cloak swirls around him.   This sort of behavior has caught the eye of the Duke’s daughter, Helene, and Duke Charles has encouraged the romance, hoping that it will secure his mercenary allies through what will likely be a long and dangerous fight.  Unfortunately, Darke is actually a Netherese agent who has been dispatched to Greenfield in order to help ensure a victory for the Netherese forces.


Now Darke is torn between two loyalties.  He wants to complete his mission for the Netherese, but he is also truly in love with Helene and does not want to see her come to any harm when her land is overrun by an invading army.  In order to save Helene, he is willing to cooperate with the PCs, feeding them valuable information about other secret agents and the Netherese military.


Epithet:


Captain Darke.  Only the Helene is permitted to call him Thaddeus.  Any soldier who uses his first name will be reprimanded, and anyone else will be met with a stern glare. 


Expertise:


As a senior Netherese agent, Darke knows a great deal of useful information about other agents working in Greenfield.  He also knows about the movements of the Netherese military so, for example, he could warn the PCs of an upcoming attack.  By withholding, or falsifying, information about the Duchy’s defenses he has the ability to influence the decisions of the Netherese high command, though he will not use this power at the PCs request.   He is hesitant to send too many false reports for fear his superiors will realize that he is working on his own agenda.


Ego:


Captain Darke carries himself with a lot of arrogance and swagger.  There is no doubt in his mind that is smart enough to play both sides and get exactly what he wants – Greenfield will fall to the Netherese, but he will escape with Helene and live happily ever after.  Any bothersome evidence or witnesses can be conveniently lost in the chaos of wartime.  Even as his plans start to fall apart, he is confident in his own abilities to cut a deal and get what he wants.


Certain DMs may have issues dissuading their PCs from killing Darke as soon as they find out that he is associated with the Netherese.  I can see several solutions to this problem.  First, limit the opportunities for the PCs to get him alone and push him down the stairs when no one is looking.  He is always accompanied by several of his mercenaries, or the Duke is patting him on the back and congratulating him on his recent victory, or Helene is hanging on his arm.  Second, play up the deal maker element of Darke’s character.  He always has an angle, or some new plan of how he can collaborate with the PCs.  He knows they want to kill him, and might even acknowledge that fact to their faces, but he has a great idea so they should at least refrain from killing him right now.  Third, emphasize his attachment to Helene.  He has already had chances to kill her (as his Netherese masters have ordered) but he has not done so, and he is quick to point this out as proof of his trustworthiness.


Engagement:


I have outlined how I plan to use Darke in my campaign below.  You are welcome to use as many or as few of those ideas as you wish but the general flow should go something like this:



  • Darke is just some flashy mercenary who has attracted the attention of the Duke’s daughter

  • General suspicion that there is an enemy agent in Greenfield, leading up to the discovery that that person is Darke

  • Initially Darke’s information lets the PCs win some surprise victories over the Netherese

  • As time goes by, Darke’s information gets less reliable and the war starts to swing in Netheril’s favor

  • The ending is pretty open ended.  I’m going with a dramatic escape as the Netherese roll in with overwhelming force, but you could give the story a happy ending.  Perhaps Darke’s knowledge is able to turn the tide of the war and he becomes the new Duke, with Helene as his bride.  


More detailed encounters:


  1. An Assassination Thwarted – The Duke rides out to inspect some of the border defenses, and is ambushed by a group of Netherese soldiers.  Captain Darke and his mercenaries join in the defense of the Duke.  Darke rides around on his horse, looking dramatic.  It’s really just an introduction to the character, without laying any suspicion on him.

  2. A Successful Assassination – Netherese agents attack the Duke in his castle, and succeed in killing all of his heirs except for Helene.  As the PCs are chasing assassins around the castle, or interrogating the attackers afterwards, it comes out that there was another agent who was supposed to kill Helene but did not do his job properly.  This encounter should plant the idea that there is a Netherese agent in Greenfield who is not following the plan.

  3. The Big Reveal – A third assassination attempt takes place while Darke and Helene are in Helene’s bedroom.  The PCs arrive in time to stop the attack, but Darke takes them aside afterwards and explains the situation.  He carries a medallion that confirms his identity to other Netherese agents but that same medallion allows the Netherese to teleport to his position.  He is distraught that he has nearly caused Helene’s death because he forgot about this detail and asks for the PCs to help him keep Helene safe and not reveal his secret identity.

  4. Laying a Trap – Darke proposes that the PCs should take his medallion and lay an ambush for the next set of attackers who will probably try to teleport into the castle.  Unless the PCs plan this very poorly, it should be an easy fight and help establish Darke’s value as a source of information. 

  5. Using Darke’s Information – War breaks out between Netheril and Greenfield.  There is ongoing negotiation between Darke and the PCs.  How much are they willing to help him?  How much is he willing to help them.  Using his information the PCs are able to thwart some Netherese spies or win some minor victories in the field, but in the long term the war starts to go badly for Greenfield.  The PCs may realize that Darke has fallen out of favor with his superiors and is no longer receiving the most current information about the Netherese forces.

  6. The Daring Escape – Darke warns the PCs that a big push is coming from the Netherese military, and he wants to make his escape with Helene.  The attack comes before anyone is ready, and the PCs are forced to flee the castle along with Darke and Helene.  The ending depends a great deal on the choices made by the players.  Will they help Darke escape with his love?  Will they sell him out to his Netherese masters, or kill him once they have successfully escaped from Greenfield?  Will they turn him to become an agent against the Netherese, helping Helene lead a resistance movement? 

I heard that they are making a new video game, where you control the Netherese flying citadel of Sakkors, raining death on your helpless enemies below. Working title: Mythal Command.
The list is updated!
Spoiler Alert:If you are part of my gaming group in Greensburg, PA, you will encounter this character in my upcoming campaign.  You have several options.

  1. Stop reading.

  2. Don't use information your character doesn't know when you get to this part of my game.

  3. Receive repeated blows to the head from my DMG if and when you blurt out important information that your character shouldn't know yet, and spoil the game for everyone else.


You have been warned!
That's about the most awesome thing I've read on a message forum in a very long time!  L.O.L. 
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
All of you are making my contacts resource file swell with joy.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Knowing that I have helped to make something of Seeker's swell with joy leaves me both confused and concerned. Wink
Here we go then

Kivernus the Chaotic 

Epithet: Kivernus is the name this creature commonly goes by. Its real name is unpronouncable, as befitting of a creature of chaos. Kivernus is also commonly referred to as "the loon".

Expertise: Kivernus is a master at analysing the mind of others. He can figure out plans on a whim, reveal someone's deepest secret, and analyse their entire personality in minutes. Kivernus is the creature you need when someone is holding back information, when their plans are hidden and you don't know where to go, when they ran off and you want to find out where to, or when you otherwise need to unlock the secrets hidden in a creature's skull.

Ego: Kivernus is a Slaad (whichever color is appropriate) in disguise. As one of the smarter members of his kind, Kivernus has decided to study the enemy in order to better understand what the forces of Chaos are dealing with in the mortal world. Kivernus thus travels from city to city, learning what he can about the way mortals think, act, organise, fight, plan, scheme and live their lives.
Having spent decades doing so, putting his considerable intellect to good use, as well as studying with prestigious mage colleges and learning the subtle art of psionics and mind reading has made him extremely good at it, too. Despite being an unpredictable creature of chaos, Kivernus understand the humanoid mind and the concept of society better then any scholar.

Unfortunately, Kivernus has stumbled on an annoying side-effect and possible explanation for the limited intellect of his chaotic brethren. Remembering and understanding enourmous amounts of information requires a structured mind. As such, Kivernus himself is slowly becoming the thing he wishes to destroy; a creature of order. This has thrown him into a bit of a conflict with himself. On one hand, he realises that his actions are only working towards the ultimate goal. On the other hand, he is what he hates with such a passion. This revelation has filled him with self-loathing.

In order to diminish these feelings, Kivernus has decided to go to market with his abilities, as long as those that make use of his knowledge of law and order pay the price in chaos and disarray. Known as "the loon" by those that use his services, Kivernus will help analyse plans and plots, extracts secrets, psycho-analyses creatures, helps people deal with mental sickness, etc.

When dealing with Kivernus, the PCs will soon find that he tends to shift personality a lot, going from a reasonable, rational, analysing person to a rambling, chaotic, emotional creature. This is his two sides struggling with each other. The rational personality is generally glum, self-loathing and extremely sarcastic. The chaotic personality has a bit of an evil streak, makes jokes about destroying things, but is otherwise quite cheerful. He also constantly displays various ticks (see below)

As a reward for his services, Kivernus always seems to ask for something entirely pointless, needlessly vandalistic, uselessly illegal and humorously nonsensical. Such things include replacing the head of a town statue with a pumpkin, painting "I have no idea why I'm doing this" across a castle wall, putting all of a merchant's carts upside down, swapping the furniture in two neighbouring buildings, replacing someone's clothes with an identical set two sizes smaller, etc. None of these acts are neccesarily harmful (though some could be) nor seem to make any sense, but they help Kivernus deal with the schism in his mind. He is always in a cheerful mood when the PCs return from another pointless task.

When Kivernus gives the PCs information, he will generally nudge them subtely down the path of geatest chaos. If there are two copies of a book, he will send them to steal the prince's copy rather then pointing out the one in the library. If someone would be willing to come peacefully for questioning, he will make sure they find him surrounded by as much town guard as possible and cornvince the PCs that the only way to bring him is to knock him out first.


Engagement: 
If the PCs know of Kivernus (which is likely considering he is very well known both for his skill as for his eccentric behaviour) they can usually trace him fairly easily. Kivernus travels a lot, but by asking local townsfolk about "that loon" they can usually figure out where he went and where he is.

Kivernus might also approach the PCs himself if they have a particularly devout and orderly fellow in their ranks. This, mostly, because he can try to learn from that member and in an attempt to corrupt him further towards chaos as a test of his skills and knowledge.

Combat:
If you want to use Kivernus in combat, he should probably be at least mid-Paragon, possibly low Epic. The best way to model him is to take a Slaad statblock (there's plenty around) and add to it the Sorceror or Psion class (to push him to Elite). Also add to it the Changelings shapeshifting power. His allies would include other Slaad, summoned Elementals, Archons, and maybe an oblivious fellow mage.

Roleplaying:
When roleplaying Kivernus, here's a few things to keep in mind. First off, he's the best psycho-analyst in the world. Metagame heavily. Within minutes of meeting them, Kivernus will figure out each PCs desires, expected behaviour, mental ticks, their relation to one another, etc. Make lots of references to things he shouldn't be able to know to show off his skills.
Second, being a Slaad he's extremely chaotic and random. While his ordered mind keeps him somewhat sane (if glum), he will still display some of his race's inherent traits. Pick any two random ticks from the list below at the start of each encounter with Kivernus, and use those for him. If you talk with an accent, use a different accent each time. If you can, try to change the kind of words he uses from encounter to encounter as well. Make him switch from rational to chaotic and back every few minutes (but use the ticks constantly, just alter the rest of his behaviour)

1) blinks excesively
2) scratches all manner of places
3) jumps from one foot to the other
4) wrings hands constantly
5) nods head a lot
6) sticks out tongue, lips licks
7) doesn't talk or listen to a certain (random) character
8) grins constantly
9) randomly goes cross-eyed and back to normal
10) sniffs people while talking to them

Optionals:
Major:
Adversarial: Kivernus' ultimate agenda is chaos. He is a direct opponent of the PCs in that regard, and only helps them to learn from them and corrupt them to chaos.
Esoterica: Kivernus' expertise would probably fall under Insight mostly.
Rare Remuneration: Kivernus only wishes to be paid in chaos, and will ask the PCs to perform random acts that interfere with the common order of things, generally illegal activities as well.
Minor:
Provocateur:
Technically Kivernus seeks to overthrow all government.
Shapechanger: Kivernus is a shapeshifting Slaad who generally goes around in his 'icky' human form.
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 knew it - its a winner.
I knew it - its a winner.

Don't worry. The judge's won't be able to understand it. He wrote it in British.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Worse, I wrote it in Dutch British. Lets hope I don't lose too many points in clarity due to spelling errors and grammar mistakes Frown
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.
Jonah Wainwright

Jonah Wainwright is a male changling. He is a stocky, late-middle-aged human baker who keeps to himself and doesn't bother others. He is rather surly and moody and wears a somewhat haunted expression much of the time. He avoids extensive conversation with those he doesn't know well. He has been known to abruptly leave a room and not come back, even while in the midst of a conversation.

Jonah is so anti-social because he has a secret: he is a schizophrenic, which manifests in four other distinct personalities. For Jonah, this presents unique complications for him, for each personality living within Jonah's mind causes him to not only manifest the personality, but also causes him to shapeshift into a physical form complementing the new persona.


Jonah's History:


The region in which Jonah lives is ruled by a noble family. Five years ago, the government was infiltrated by doppelgangers as the vanguard for a group of mind flayers who sought to covertly take over the region. The entire royal family was captured and replaced by shapeshifters posing in their stead. Fortunately, a group of adventurers well-known to the royal family discovered the ruse and exposed the doppelgangers for what they were. Jonah was an artificer in that group of adventurers.


In the climactic battle, the mind flayers ripped open gates to the Far Realm to bring in reinforcements. Jonah possessed a device which would close the rifts, but it required that the device be placed in the Far Realm before being triggered. Before his companions could stop him, Jonah dove through one of the gates and activated the device. It was mere minutes before his companions were able to rescue him from the Far Realm, but the damage had been done. Jonah's changeling mind was completely altered and his personality fragmented into pieces.  An unusual side-effect of his exposure was that his shapechanging abilities were expanded to allow him greater flexibility in his transformations.


The royal family was horrified at the cost of repelling the invaders and promised to care for Jonah for the rest of his days. Alas, the people of the region are now extremely xenophobic concerning shapeshifters in general, and if it became common knowledge that Jonah was a changeling and under the protection of the royal family, the political backlash would be catastrophic. To that end, the surviving members of the adventuring group have taken up residence in the town and watch out for Jonah.


Jonah's Personalities:


Jonah is terrified that the secret of his changling nature will be discovered if he were to abruptly switch personalities in public. Hence, whenever he feels like he's losing his mental control, he abruptly leaves the room, where he can safely change shape without drawing attention to himself. To facilitate these sudden changes, he has built a Hat of Disguise and constantly wears it so that he may quickly adjust his attire to that of his new personality.


Jonah's other personalities know of the existance of the others, but only as one would know of a neighbor or co-worker. They are completely unaware that they all co-exist within the same mind. Jonah knows the identities of all four of his alternates, of course, but knows nothing of what they know or how they've acted while his ego been supplanted. Each alter-ego retains its own set of memories, personality, knowledge, skills and ambitions. Interacting with a specific personality is just like meeting a brand new NPC. Determining motives and interests will help the PCs get into good graces with the new persona and will allow them to use the persona as an information resource.


If the PCs befriend Jonah and learn of his condition, they can request that he surrender to any other personality at will. Otherwise, any specific personality must be brought to the fore by succeeding on a Complexity 2 Skill Challenge equal to the PCs' level (6 successes before 3 failures). Primary skills are Diplomacy (Hard DC), Bluff (Mod DC), Intimidation (Hard DC), and Insight (Mod DC). Additionally, the PCs can use the skill which applies to the personality they wish to draw forth as a bonus skill (Mod DC). There is no limit to the number of successes which can be gained by using any of the primary skills.


Jonah's personalities manifest randomly from day to day. To determine which personality Jonah currently manifests, roll 2d6 and consult the following table:


2 - Lerna
3 - Iolaus
4 - Corvus
5 - Alphard
6 - Jonah
7 - Jonah
8 - Jonah
9 - Alphard
10 - Corvus
11 - Iolaus
12 - Lerna


The other surviving members of the adventuring group are: Wyen Oress, the Captain of the Guard, and Faler Kiming, the local innkeeper. The two men are pledged to keep an eye on Jonah and protect him to the best of their abilities. They are extremely protective of him and will react unfavorably to anyone mistreating the man.


Jonah's additional personalities are:


Lerna Amymone, a young, anarchic, female halfling cutpurse and cat-burgler. She wears mottled grey and black leathers with equally dark silk clothing over them and a black silk bandanna on her head. Her specialty is Streetwise information. She can supply information concerning the city, its residents, politics, and the criminal underworld. She is nervous, distrusting and can't abide authority. She actively seeks to undermine the government, but does so through stealth, subterfuge and misdirection.

She is manipulative and more than willing to sell someone out if it benefits her. She is a wanted criminal and has been caught by the constabulary several times. Amazingly, each time she has managed to escape confinement by apparently vanishing into thin air. She has a high reputation among the city thieves for her escape talents, though some believe that she's in league with the city guard somehow.


Iolaus Echidna, an early middle-aged, male half-elf ranger. He wears forest-colored leathers over muted cotton clothing and a dark green veil over the lower half of his face. Iolaus is a master of Nature lore and knows the lands outside the city intimately. He is good-natured and helpful, but is tremendously agoraphobic (fear of confined spaces/crowds). As such, he cannot abide being in the city proper. If he stays in the city for more than a few minutes, he gets light-headed and nauseated, at which time he will immediately attempt to leave the city.

He is at home in the wilds, where the closeness of the trees doesn't bother him, for he knows they mean him no harm. Indeed, he can disappear into the forest as skillfully as any shadow. He disapproves of the local government's policies regarding logging the nearby forests and actively attempts to disrupt the lumberjacks as they work. He also vehemently hates orcs and goblins of all kinds and will attack them on sight.


Corvus Crater, a young human female priestess of the Raven Queen. She wears deep indigo robes and wears a small, miter-like headdress. She is outspoken, opinionated and righteously zealous concerning her faith. Unfortunately for her, her faith is not as zealous of her. She has been officially ex-communicated from the church for arguing blasphemous ideas to the high-ranking clergy members, then attempting to convince their followers of "her truth".

Her perceptions and opinions regarding religion, the gods and life after death are many and varied, but also highly educated and insightful. Indeed, she is more knowledgeable concerning their religions than are many of the clergy of other faiths. She loves to argue and will happily engage in conversation with anyone willing to stand still long enough. Her most fervent wish is to educate the Raven Queen's clergy of the errors of their beliefs and get them to see "the truth".


Alphard Heracles, an old gnome male arcane dabbler, librarian and artificer. He wears voluminous robes of loud, clashing colors, enormous spectacles, and a pointed wizard's hat with a tassel on top which ends in a strange metal arcane symbol. He is very quiet and introspective, preferring to study his books than engage in extended conversation. He is also extraordinarily absent-minded. If it doesn't concern his current interest of study, then he generally forgets about it. He has gotten so involved in his studies that he has forgotten to eat on several occasions and occasionally can be found wandering the streets tinkering with gadgets or reading books, oblivious to passersby.

Alphard is extremely knowledgeable concerning all things arcane. He is equally eager to talk about magic as he is to avoid more "mundane" conversations with those less learned than he. His primary motivation is learning new and interesting things regarding magic, the planes, extra-planar and aberrant creatures, and inventions.


Engagement:



  • There is a band of goblins raiding the road which passes through the nearby forest. Iolaus Echidna has attempted to chase them away, but their band is too strong for him. He enlists the aid of the PCs and promises them a valuable reward; assuming he's still around when they get back...

  • Lerna Amymone seeks to use the PCs as agents of chaos. Disguised as a poor young child, she attempts to lift the purse of a rival thief but deliberately fumbles and is caught. When the thief tries to punish her, she begs the PCs for aid. She then requests their aid in reacquiring a locket that the thief's companions "stole" from her. The locket is a magical amulet which Lerna was commissioned to steal, but was stolen by the rival thieves instead. She tries to manipulate the PCs into getting the amulet for her, then "disappears" when it's time to pay up.

  • Corvus Crater stands on the street corner, haranguing passersby that they don't know the truth about the gods. Should the PCs give her their ear, she tells them of events in their past (past adventures, or PC background info) and warns them about a future event. The event should take place in the near future to prove her precience. When the PCs come back to her for more information, she attempts to use them to get her back into the good graces of the Raven Queen's church.

  • Faler Kiming learns that the PCs need magical help of some kind, so he arranges a meeting with Alphard Heracles. The innkeeper never lets them contact Alphard directly, insisting that he be the middle man in the arrangements. Wyen Oress may also arrange similar meetings between the PCs and Iolaus Echidna (though outside the city).

  • The PCs encounter Jonah being waylaid by local ruffians because he refused to pay "protection" money to them. When the PCs save him, he offers to arrange a meeting between them and "a friend" to provide them with useful information.


Optional Elements:


Adversarial: Lerna Amymone is selfish and conniving; she is perfectly willing to give PCs information that they require, but in such a way as to cause them additional complications or problems while simultaneously furthering her own goals.
Clandestine: Jonah has no desire to be used as an information resource and just wants to be left alone. His friends may arrange for his alter-egos to meet with the PCs if they feel his knowledge would be of use.
Esoterica: Iolaus Echidna is quite knowledgeable of Nature.
Hobbyist: Jonah is a baker and has no knowledge regarding the other personalities' specialties.
Inside Man: Jonah is very well-liked and respected by the royal family, but he refuses to use that familiarity for the benefit of others for fear of causing problems for the family.
Provocateur: Lerna Amymone is an anarchist who would like nothing more than to overthrow the government.
Shapechanger: Jonah is a changeling.
Unreliable: Each of Jonah's other personalities has their own agendas and if the PCs run afoul of those personae, they may provide false information out of spite or out of a desire to be rid of them. Jonah himself may attempt to mislead the PCs to prevent them from using him as a resource or worse, learning his secret.

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