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Eberron: The Mournlands November 10, 2009

Posted by elopingcamel in 3.5e, Eberron, Narrative, PC.
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Failan leaves the party at the edge of the Mournlands and refuses any offers for additional pay to carry them in. Lia suggests that the party holds hands as they enter the thick mists that lay heavy over and throughout the area. This turns out to be a brilliant idea, because as soon as we enter the noxious cloud, all of us except for Lia are disoriented and can hardly see a few feet in front of us. Lia is able to maintain a clear head and directional bearing, though so the party, continuing to hold hands, begins their trek through what Fetalus is calling the Mournfog.

Soon they come across an older model of a catapult that looks to have seen use recently, but the war has been over for 4 years. The party begins to investigate, until they notice the corpses of soldiers nearby that look fresh. They were killed by a hailstorm of arrows that littered their bodies and the ground nearby. They begin to search the horizon and see in the distance a battlefield filled with corpses. They decide that the time has come to move on, but not until they discover some goods in and near the bodies that lay close to the catapult.

The party finds some pretty useful loot. Ana finds a symbiont sword that is willing to bond with her due to her elf heritage. Lia (I think) finds a pretty sweet little boomerang that should provide some fun for her, and Fetalus discovers a wand of magic missile. He giggles excitedly in his youthful manner at this wonderful find.

They continue their trek across the wasteland, soon encountering some nasty little skeletons that fight like they have a reason to care. During or soon after dispatching these bony foes, a massive corpse crab surfaces from the sand, ready to lay a thorough beat down to the heroes. The fight rages on for some time before they finally injure the crab enough for it to decide that killing the party is not worth it if it costs him his own life as well. He flees and burrows himself into the sand.

Continuing their trek, the party soon finds the cave entrance for which they have been searching. Despite Ana’s best attempts to calm Wolfie, he is inconsolable and will not enter the dark and creepy cave. The party leaves him above ground, hoping for his safety as they descend into the darkness.

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Eberron: Useful Information November 10, 2009

Posted by elopingcamel in 3.5e, Eberron, Narrative, PC.
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This weekend we were able to play our Eberron campaign again. We ended last time right as Fetalus and crew were entering a large, glass-covered ruin to search for information on where to find the schema.

The Map Room

As soon as they enter they see a dwarf zombie, and two fighters (one of which is a female). Wolfie sprints into the melee, biting the dwarf zombie and tripping him to the ground.

Lia rains arrows onto the foes, dealing damage occasionally (her rolling was very hit and miss). Fetalus, thinking he understood flanking rules, decides to swing around the room to cast a spell at the female fighter, who it was becoming obvious was the leader of this little squad. The female fighter immediately sprints at Fetalus the first chance she gets and takes him on. He luckily escapes the initial melee without too much damage and begins to use fight and flight tactics, until Lia can manage to get in close enough to help out. Eventually, the zombie and male fighter are destroyed and the party takes the leader down–Fetalus happily dealing the final blow.

They find some excellent loot on the bodies of the room’s most recently dead persons. Then, the room itself is searched, where clues to the next schema are found. After understanding that the clues carved into the statues in the room relate to points on the giant map on the floor, the group discovers that it is in the foothills of Cyre that the schema will be found. They destroy the clue on the statue, to keep the Emerald Claw from following behind them, and leave the building. As soon as they step outside, they come across a vampiric-looking fellow who seems less than pleased to find adventurers exiting one of the buildings in his site (he is the head of the Emerald Claw crew). After some successful bluffing, Lia convinces him that the room was already destroyed when they went in and that they know nothing of a schema or whatever. A battle almost ensues, but instead the man disappears in a pissed-off flash, obviously intent on relaying information somewhere, despite his obvious desire to kill the annoying fools caught trespassing on his dig.

The party flees the scene and begins the trek to the foothills of Cyre (in the Mournlands). While traveling, Fetalus works with Prince Phillip (his familiar toad) to train him in a level of bard (it actually was just one bard-like ability: the Croak of Courage, which gives a slight bonus to Fetalus). This cost Fetalus some XP, but he was willing to pay it, because nothing sounded cooler to him at the time than Phillip belching out a Croak of Courage at some incredibly needed moment, when Fetalus has lost hope and is about to give up (you may be able to tell that this will not be a power or ability that gets too overused–it was a flavor thing, because Fetalus loves his little toad so much, that he is inspired to fight harder to protect him).

Eberron Continues July 21, 2009

Posted by elopingcamel in 3.5e, Eberron, Narrative, PC.
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Searching for Failan

After arriving in the destroyed kingdom of Cyre, which is now generally the Mournlands, and purchasing some gear and better weapons, we secure lodging in a small hotel/inn just outside of Blood Market. Then, we move on to the task of finding an information trafficker named Failan–Lady Eladrin’s note told us to seek him out. The owner of the tavern, a large and unpleasant bugbear, suggests that we head to the arena to find him. We ask directions to the arena, which he gives after a mocking laugh: “Listen for the crowd.”

Exiting the inn, it becomes obvious why he would have thought it unnecessary to spell it out for us; the arena is massive and the crowds are pumped for whatever form of entertainment they are about to get. As we approach we see huge stands on the outside of the arena where many many creatures of various races are being sold as slaves. The party briefly discusses how they might help but quickly decide that the task is more than they can take on and they need to stay on target to find the schema for Lady Eladrin. They pay to enter the arena–a small and easily frightened goblin is running the ticket counter/entrance. Rurick starts getting ideas about fighting in the gladiatorial arena (for the adventurers have now discovered that is what it is), but we quickly decide against this when, after asking the goblin where to find Failan, we learn that Failan is not at the arena today but is back in Blood Market. We intimidate the goblin into giving us our money back and head that way.

Entering the market, we spy another human–a rare sight in these goblinoid-infested lands–and make our way to him. He looks like a formidable opponent but is pleasant in his speech. He ask him where to find Failan, and he says that he just left the Red Hand Inn, where he saw Failan nursing a mug of ale. He also describes the wormy, balding man for us so we can recognize him. He declines our invitation/request to take us there and accompany us afterward, so we move on without him.

Failan is easily spotted once we enter the Red Hand, and Rurick immediately heads off to purchase ale. This causes Ana to grow angry at Rurick’s constant need for insobriety, but this turns out to be a great idea, because Failan is incredibly cold to us as we try to spark up conversation. It isn’t until Rurick comes back with some ale that Failan begins to talk and open up. Failan in a word: apathetic. This guy just does not seem to care about anything besides getting money with which to stay drunk. We hire him to drive us–we learn that he is also in that business–to the mines where Lady Eladrin believes some information can be found that will lead us to the location of the schema. He says he’ll pick us up in front of our hotel in the morning, which slightly unsettles the women in the party who are wondering how he knows where we are staying. His answer is to simply smile creepily and say, “I know lots of things.”

The next morning, as the party is loading into the obviously magical cart (there were no horses and the wheels were basically partway in the ground; they didn’t roll, instead they seemed to slide in the ground), a couple of bad-looking bugbears come turning around the corner of the building, screaming at Failan that he owes them money. They run toward the cart and Failan yells for us all to get in. Rurick had already entered the cart, so he climbs up on top of it in preparation to leap into the fray if needed. Lia takes a shot at the onrushing brutes. Fetalus also jumps into the cart (it is safer in there for a little guy like him and provides him better cover to cast spells on these attackers). The battle is over sooner than the party could have anticipated, when Wolfie bites and trips one, Lia deals out a few terrible blows with arrows, Ana slams a few magic pebbles into the foes, and Rurick leaps from the cart into a bugbear and begins a good old-fashioned pummeling. Some silver is looted from the bugbears and the party heads off.

The Mines

The mines are in an area that was decimated on the Day of Mourning and is now covered in a strange sheet of glass. Ruins dot the landscape, providing cover for the party while they spy out the area. A campfire is spotted a ways off, so Lia (easily our highest stealth check) sneaks over to learn what she may. She sees skeletons that appear to be standing guard and Emerald Claw soldiers talking relaxedly. She overhears them discussing their search efforts and lack of success, and Lia returns to the party to tell us what she has learned. We decide that the Emerald Claw has taken an interest in finding the schema and that we must find it before they do; we begin to search the ruins.

We are far enough away from the campfire to not worry about the guards hearing/seeing us, but we are careful to avoid being seen anyway. We move closer and closer in toward the campsite as our search of the outer edges yields no fruit. At one point, Rurick looks up in time to see two dwarves covered in a fairly smooth sheet of glass, carrying debris through the forest. It is the same glass layer that is over the ground and ruins. Unfortunately, the glass-covered dwarves also spot Rurick and rush toward him. He has time to position himself in the small of the entrance to a section of ruins (between two crumbled walls that are no more than a couple of feet high). Rurick takes some damage from the dwarves (who, now that they are closer, we realize are zombies), but slows down their rush, while the rest of the party tries to pepper them with arrows, stones, and spells. The glass covering staves off much of the damage from our attacks, until eventually we damage the glass enough to shatter it. One of the dwarves begins to amble over the wall toward us three that, up until now, have been held safely inside. This opens up attacks of opportunity and we take good advantage of the situation to destroy it, and then focus on the remaining zombie. We are all terrified that the guards will have heard the noise, but no help ever came to the zombies and all remains quiet.

We begin again to move closer and eventually see a large building (similarly covered in glass)–and are about to head in–when we hear two zombies scraping along the ground. They are obviously about to leave the building through the very door that we are about to go in, so we sprint around the corner of the building and hide. The zombies do not spot us and move about their business.

We enter the building and see…

(continued next time, because both of our wives were getting sleepy and not caring about the game anymore and frankly this post is already plenty long as it is)

Eberron Begins July 10, 2009

Posted by elopingcamel in 3.5e, Eberron, Narrative, PC.
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The adventure began with the boat carrying the dwarf fighter, Rurick D’Kandaran, and the elf druid, Anastrianna (Ana) Lorian, pulling out of port. Fetalus and Lia come sprinting to the boat, arriving just in time to board and leave behind whatever it was they fled. Once they board, things calm down, but Fetalus seems almost suspiciously intent on purchasing a wand of healing. He asks a couple of patrons on the boat about getting a wand and eventually gets in touch with a wandmaker who can help him out (for the right price of course). Lia begins her bartering with the wandmaker, finding some success, but not coming to a price that pleases her. Nearby, Rurick and Ana sit and overhear the conversation/bartering taking place, eventually joining in. Some introductions ensue, followed by a more secretive conversation (having left the wandmaker behind momentarily) in a more private section of the boat.

Eventually these four adventurers come to terms with a tentative agreement to work together–Rurick can help purchase the wand and provide some funds to Fetalus and Lia. They head back to the wandmaker, talk him into lowering his price, and head off to find the captain to ask for a larger and more private cabin to share (where they can discuss what they are getting themselves into, and who is backing them). The Captain does not allow them better conditions (I can’t remember why, but he did not seem too pleasant a fellow).

That night Rurick takes Prince Phillip to get plastered. Not too long after, the heroes wake up and hear noises from the deck. They run out to find skeletons attacking and begin to fight back. The drunken Rurick makes it difficult however, as he places himself directly in the doorway, where he ineffectively tries to kill skeletons (his lack of sobriety gives him plenty of penalties to limit his ability to be useful). He is also making it harder for the rest of the party to make their attacks, because they have to be careful while they are shooting arrows and casting spells with him in the doorway. At least Phillip was safely in the room. Ana however was the only hero out on the deck, and was getting surrounded by skeletons. Things were not looking good, but then the Captain and some of the sailors showed up to help out. Many lost their lives, but all of the skeletons eventually were killed.

After a few days they arrive in port and go searching for supplies. Lia shows herself to be a shrewd trader once again, after failing to seduce the first blacksmith she comes across; she had much more success with the second.

Eberron Campaign July 10, 2009

Posted by elopingcamel in 3.5e, Eberron, PC.
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As I mentioned, my wife and I began playing a game with some friends of ours. I am not DMing this game, and it has been so helpful to see a game run by someone experienced with the game and DMing (as well as incredibly fun to play–it is my first time not DMing). The campaign is set in Eberron and we are using 3.5 rules.

The other couple had already played to 2nd level when we joined, so we rolled up lvl 2 characters to accompany them. There was already a dwarf fighter and an elf druid, so my wife made an elf ranger and I made a human sorcerer. When we rolled up characters, I was not having much luck with the dice, so my character ended up being a rather small, sixteen-year-old weakling. I hadn’t seen the rule in the corebooks that says you can re-roll if none of your stats are above a 13, so that is exactly where my character is; no stat is above a 13. I haven’t decided if I want to do anything about that, yet. The metagamer in me wants a more powerful character, but the role-player in me wants the challenge of being severely limited (although if 10 means common/average, then my human sorcerer is still above average in most categories and not below average in any). Another option could be to say that his stats go up more rapidly than the other characters because he is still so young–a sort of puberty bonus as it were. That is the option I find myself leaning toward the most, but I will need to talk to the DM and see how he feels about it.

My wife’s ranger is named Lia, and my young sorcerer is named Fetalus (it just seemed fitting). He chose a toad as his familiar–a toad he named Prince Phillip. I will write more about what happens in this campaign (both story wise and what I learn) as we go along, so look forward to meeting the dashing, daring, just-a-little-too-ordinary Fetalus.