Tag Archives: eberron

Death in the hot hot sun

I killed my wife last night. Let me rephrase; in our D&D game, a giant jigsaw shark devoured her character Brienne as she tried to scramble aboard a shipwreck while tied to a dragonborn blackguard.

We haven’t had a PC death in a long time, and this has been a good reminder that D&D can still be deadly if the situation merits it. The encounter was ‘fair’ by the book. It was 400xp of monsters against 4 level 1 pcs. The difference was there were only two opponenets, both level 5. On it’s own that made them dangerous, but the thing that really swung it for the bad guys was the terrain. We had a pc in the sea, struggling to swim in chainmail. The others were tied up on a sinking ship, in difficult terrain, against a King Craud (think monstrous lobster). Brienne was in trouble already, and the giant shark critted her with an enormous bite attack that took her straight past minus bloodied (2d8+7 damage, maxed). Ouch.

Don’t worry, I think both the campaign and my marriage (!) will survive this blow. From my perspective, it’s good to see the party have a little more respect for the environment. With luckier prep, the battle might have swung another way, but it wasn’t supposed to be easy.   

I wonder if we’ll see the party back away from any encounters now?

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Five at the brink of Desolation

Tonight is a special game night. I get to play. I never get to play. Awesome.

Dan is DMing and we’re returning to his Eberron game. This will be the second session and it’s been ages since the first. I’m absolutely stoked at the prospect. My character is a human bard, and it’s going to be really interesting to play a leader with this group. Also cool is the fact that Matt is coming along too. He’s Dan’s brother and has never, ever roleplayed before this campaign, so it will literally be his second outing. Dan did his character for him, but you can tell Matt is loving it. He’s playing a wizard, and I think this is perhaps the best edition for letting newbies get away with that class.

It’s four years since the day of mourning, and we’re in Sharn. I can’t wait.

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Eberron Field Report

Here’s how Dan’s character saw our Eberron One shot last week. Awesome work as always!

Subject: Field Report: Kiera d’Lyrander

Spellshard #11563
Field Report: Kiera d’Lyrander
Confidential: Clearance Level 7 – Eyes of Aundir
#NOTES# added by The Eyes of Aundair.

15th Barrakas 1009YK I was on shore leave from ‘Arawai’s Honour’ and had been breakfasting with veterans at the #LOCATION CONFIDENTIAL# in Sharn . A messenger delivered a note to our table, it was signed V of the Dark Lanterns to meet him an unassuming location – The North-East stairs of the Myriad Tower. The letter also included four Platinum pieces, one of each kingdom except Breland. We went to the location and quickly identified the guard disguised as a beggar and gained access to the tower by handing over the coins. Inside we met with V and passed his ‘Interview’ by battling an Owlbear in a garden at the top of the tower. Upon completing the ‘Interview we were then commissioned by Brelish intelligence to track down a rogue agent Luccan Stellios and a sword he had stolen called the Soul Blade. #LOCATION SEARCHED – NO INDICATION OF V#

Provisioned with Magebred horses we pursued the rogue agent and caught up with his carriage approximately 10 leagues from Trollenport, Zilargo. At that point we hailed the rapidly moving coach which refused to stop so we boarded her, disabled the driver and proceded to apprehend Luccan, who was wielding a dagger with a ruby pommel. It was at this point that we discovered that Luccan was in fact a vampire. I heartened my allies with a prayer to Arawai and we pressed the attack however when Lo Kag #Lo-Kag VETERAN SLAVE CHAMPION# removed the roof of the carriage, Lucan turned to mist and escaped. We searched the area but could not find either Luccan or his red haired driver. We found Luccan’s coffin aboard the carriage, destroyed it and consecrated the earth knowing that he would not be able to recuperate without it for a few days. #ABANDONNED CARRIAGE LOCATED – APPEARS TO CORROBORATE REPORT#

We continued on to Trollenport and ascertained that Luccan planned to attend one of the dozen or so masked balls held each year, this one hosted by House Aundair, and that the red-haired woman was his sister Grilsha Stellos. We infiltrated the masquerade and using gnomish glamours to disguise our weapons and armour, discovered that he was there to contact #NAME WITHHELD#. I discovered Luccan after dancing with him, as he turned away I recognised his long, white hair. As Luccan and his sister went to leave the ball we moved to stop him, this time he was wielding a greatsword with a ruby pommel. With the aid of the Eyes of Aundair we apprehended Grilsha. Luccan escaped once again but was severely wounded. Grilsha appeared to be unaware of her brothers involvement with the Dark Lanterns or his Vampirism. #GRILSHA STELLOS IS CURRENTLY HELPING THE NATION OF AUNDAIR WITH THEIR ENQUIRIES#

#NAME WITHHELD# told us she had arranged passage to Karnath for Luccan on an Airship and we proceded to the docking spire. Upon our arrival we were confronted with a horde of zombies, dressed in Aundair Livery! After smiting the foul undead we boarded the airship. All hands had been put into an unnatural sleep, we awoke the captain and made a cursory search of the ship but there was no sign of Luccan. We had regathered on the deck when agents of the Emerald Claw rammed the airship and we moved quickly and decisively to repel them – boarding their skiff and attempting to apprehend their leader who was accidentally decapitated as he attempted to feather-fall to safety.

Following this latest ambush the Captain suggested that maybe Luccan had stowed his coffin in the Locker of Holding below-decks. We duly retrieved the coffin and opened it on deck. Luccan was at repose within the coffin and lauched out to attack us. A brief battle ensued on deck and we subdued him, at which point the body of Luccan Stellos crumbled away to dust.

#The Soul blade has been requisitioned by The Eyes of Aundair and is currently being researched. Kiera d’Lyrander and her associates were rewarded by Audair and Kiera has returned to her unit. She shows discretion and valour and may be a useful asset to Aundair and House Lyrander. Breland are still searching for The Soul Blade but have been diverted for the time being#

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LemurCon report II

So, where was I?

The masked ball was a great chance for the players to show  their socialising chops. I wanted to see this kind of scene as it’s seriously missing from the official adventures. I was also well aware that my regular group has been having a blast with those games, where it’s almost exclusively played by the initiative count. So, when the story merited it, guys with crossbows burst in.

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Let me tell you about my character

Well, I’ll let Dan tell you about his anyway. This is his backstory for the character he used at the big one off Eberron game last weekend.

Aundair Gazetteer
18 Zarantyr 998YK


‘After the Mourning’ Where are they now?

In this regular article we catch up with some of the heroes of the great war and find out what they are doing now hostilities are over.

Kiera d’Lyrandar, youngest child of Brandon and Elahara Jean-Gris d’Lyrander grew up in the Jean-Gris family home in Aundair. At age 9 she had her first communion with one of the Sovereign Host, Arawai, and joined the monastery on her 13th birthday. At 16 she was sent to train with the “Flying Templars” on the island of Stormhome amongst rumours of unruly behaviour.
She’s grown into an attractive young woman and has joined us fresh from a training exercise aboard the Sky-galleon ‘Arawai’s Honour’, fully armed and armoured.

AG: Thanks for joining us, Miss d’Lyrander. You grew up in Aundair with five older brothers, how was it being the youngest and a girl?
KdL: It was great really. My brothers teased me something awful sometimes, hiding my dolls and pulling my hair, that sort of stuff, but they looked out for me too. Mother was always dressing my up in these little dresses and things but they’d always ended up torn and muddy, I was a bit of a tom-boy and much preferred Tabard and Trews and a pair of sturdy boots.
AG: Speaking of which, can you tell us about what you are currently wearing?
KdL: Of course, this is ‘Sky-Silver’ layered plate forged in Cyre, made for me by Elgrim d’Cannith and is enchanted for mobility. I’ve accessorised with this light jousting shield and matching tabard. As usual I am carrying my lightning sword ‘Ampere’, gifted to me by father when I went to study on storm-home. Last, and most precious to me is this (Kiera lifts her arm to show the rosary wrapped around her gauntlet and the delicate wheatsheaf hanging from it). Arawai is always by my side, but this makes that connection stronger.
AG: We know you first communed with Arawai when you were nine, pur readers would like to know how you got the honour of serving with the third wing of Arawai’s Templars AKA The Flying Templars. Any truth to the rumours?
KdL: (sighs) Well, it seems such a long time ago now, there was this beautiful young elf working the local orchard, all tanned and, ooh, wild. By the five, I can’t even remember his name, anyway, I’d just turned 16 and was rather naive. Sister Morodale caught us in the hayloft with a bottle of scrumpy, as you can imagine, as an earthly representative for one of the Sovereign Host and a Lyrander, such behaviour was deemed unseemly. We had a huge argument. The next day I received travel papers with a note from father just saying I was to travel to Stormhome to learn some discipline.
AG: Some would consider that an honour, rather than a punishment.
KdL: (shrugs) It’s been hard work.
AG: Moving on, what’s the political climate like on Stormhome? Is it true house Lyrander is mobilising troops to invade the Eldeen reaches?
KdL: I cannot comment on the policies of house Lyrander, I am Arawai’s vessel and storm-bringer.
AG: You served for three years during the war, you were honoured for your actions on the day of Mourning, can you tell us about that?
KdL: We’d been re-provisioning at the border keeps and were flying back abourd ‘Arawai’s Hope’ to support the Cyran troops against the invading forces. Our orders were to strike the Zelish wands at sunset but when we arrived the Brelish army was scattered. We weighed anchor and worked all night trying to help the refugees, most were sick from the mourning, whatever we did, even Arawai’s blessings, it wasn’t enough. Most of those few that walked out of the wasteland died within hours. It was dreadful.
AG: What’s next for Kiere d’Lyrander?
KdL: I’ve ten days leave so I plan to take passage on a sky-ship back home to see mother and father and then to volunteer at one of the refugee camps in Breland. I always try to return to that site we landed at once a year to pay my respects and do what I can.
AG: Thank-you for your time.
KdL: Arawai’s blessings be with you.

Next Week: Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden of house Medani talks to us about the Vital role of the Brelish Intelligence corps in bringing about the Treaty of Thronehold.

Awesome.

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Eberron and on

Converting 3e to 4e in a million complex steps, using Whispers of the Vampires Blade

 

First, I wanted to read the adventure front to back. I got halfway and decided to convert as I went. Couldn’t wait. I knew my party was level 7 so that meant a standard encounter budget was 1200 xp. I had the monster builder loaded up, I’ve got both Monster Manuals and both Eberron books, I have DDI compendium and the encounter builder, so it should be straightforward. The first thing I noticed was that all these tools still don’t actually allow a DM to pull together an adventure easily (yet). The statblocks don’t copy/paste perfectly into my word processor and I still can’t add in skill challenges. Also, the compendium is superb for finding relevelled beasties, but they’re not allin the monster builder. So I had to manipulate a few things in the builder to make them right. I know that’s exactly the point of the builder but really it became a distraction (for a while I couldn’t figure out how to copy a monster I’d been working on). Eventually I got something working to my satisfaction and had a level 11 vampire lord rogue as my main villain, Lucan Stellos, rogue agent of the Kings Dark Lanterns.

I was busily statting up the other encounters with their closest analogue between editions. In Whispers, the very first combat is with a dire ape. I entered it into the compendium and hit search. Nothing. I tried various combinations of ape, dire and giant, still nothing. That can’t be right I thought, but it was. They just don’t exist in 4e. Weird. Still, with a monster builder that shouldn’t be an issue. Then I realised I didn’t have a mini for a big ape anyway so the point was moot. What I did have was an owlbear mini, and the compendium had a feyborn one ready to rock. Done.

One of the big differences between the editions is the presumption that in 4e you’ll be fighting groups, whereas in 3e the combats are often against a single foe. In 4e that situation is resolved by using a solo, a creature worth approx 5 normal creatures on it’s own. The vampire lord is actually statted as an elite, which is only worth 2 creatures. I was cool with that, he’s already 4 levels higher than the party and he’d have his sister nearby too. She’s called Grilsha and is presented as a sorcerer in the adventure. I went simple and did her as a human mage, 5th level. I figured this felt about right. You could drive yourself mad getting these encounters perfectly balanced, I deliberately wanted to keep it loose and just go with gut feel.

The other encounters were pretty simple to pull together. I had fun with the Aundair agents, there’s a perfect level 7 one waiting in the builder. The adventure is very humanocentric, most of the foes are human or half elf at a push. That’s a shame as Eberron has a broad spectrum of races available to play with and against. I wish humanoidwas a viable search term, I’d have liked to mix it up a bit. Warforged fell right on the level for me, though halflings were too weak by the book. Take a look at the picture in this post, the glidewing is level 7, the rider level 4 at a push. Still, that’s what the builder is for.

The most problematic piece was the final encounters in the ziggurat. This is really a mini dungeon at the end of the adventure. There are about 6 discreet chambers to traverse with either a trap or a monster in each. Taking the advice from 4e I wanted to blend that together. I squished all the chambers together and made one big encounter out of it. I pulled the poster map from Seekers of the Ashen Crown and put the entire fight on that. I though that would make for a decent finale.

 I made sure to print off all the art from the scenario too, I always find visual references invaluable at the table. They’re still available from the WotC art galleries and actually there’s more images on there than are present in the physical copy. I was left with about 10 encounters, 4 absolute musts and the rest I could stretch or lose as appropriate. I didn’t have time to stat up the potential skill challenges, so I went with single rolls against the DCs in the book. All in all, the encounters were good fun to put together, but I didn’t really leave myself enough time to make the best of them.  Still, not a bad job for a couple of hours.

Next time: The session itself.

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Eberron at LemurCon 2009

Every year we have a bit of a reunion. Most of our gaming group met at university back in the early nineties. Since then we’ve spread out across the country and obviously we can’t all get together every week. So instead we try to have a full weekend of gaming every now and then, once or twice a year.  Usually we meet up at Pete’s and we must be on about our 14th or 15th mini Con by now. This year we were down on numbers, and we played at Julio’s for once, so we tried something new. Usually we play 4 or 5 different games over the weekend, plus board games etc, and have rotating GMs. This time we devoted the whole of Saturday to D&D 4e.

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