New Tavern Thread: The Hanged Man - Page 17
  1. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeNotCharles View Post
    "Hello," the outlandish Dwarf says to Carolina. "My name is 7 Rabbit, in your tongue. I'm an astronomer. A few weeks ago I fought the mysterious echoes of the dead with these two. How do you know them?"

    "Oh!" he exclaims without waiting for her to respond, and turns to Raiyek. "That reminds me, I found out something about those scars we got... Oh, um, sorry, that was rude. We can talk about that later." He turns back to Carolina. "Sorry. What's your name?"
    Carolina smiles at the strange dwarf as she sips her ale, and then back to Raiyek. "Scars? Do tell," she says with a grin and another sip.

  2. #162
    The doors to the Hanged Man opened, and in strode a solid block of a man. His armor was well maintained but obviously old, possibly a family heirloom. Steely eyes gazed from worn sockets, and gray streaked through his copper hair.

    He took a moment to scan the bar, trying to get a read on the clientele and the atmosphere. Finally, he spoke. "I'm Captain Yurian of the Isle of Haurton. I've been told this is the place to hire for dangerous jobs. I have such a job."

    He walked across the bar and pulled out a small handbill. Looking for a moment for a way to pin it to the board, he finely shrugged and pulled a small dagger from his belt. He pinned the handbill with the dagger.

    Wanted: Investigators

    The Isle of Haurton has recently experienced an unexplained rash of violent behavior in its residents and wildlife. All efforts by the Isle Guard have failed to determine the source of this outbreak, and events are occuring with increasing regularity. We require investigators to find the source of this problem and to stop it.

    For their service, the investigators will be paid 125 gold pieces, 30 of which is in advance to pay for needed supplies. Transport to and from the Isle will be by way of a teleporting ritual, but we can only afford to bring one group to the Isle and back. Once on the Isle, the investigators should plan to stay for the duration.

    Interested parties should see Captain Daile Yurian of the Isle Guard.

    Yurian strode to a table in the corner and sat down, waiting to see what would happen next.

    Adventure Summary
    The Enemy Among Us will be a short adventure with anywhere from three to six combat encounters and one major skill challenge. There will be one major quest, with the possibility of minor quests depending on the PCs' decisions in the adventure. The adventure will take place on the Isle of Haurton, a small isle in the Near Lands.

    Animals on the Isle of Haurton have been acting strange in the past few months, being either very aggressive or obviously terrified. This has gotten worse as, in the last week, three people on the isle became aggressive as well, attacking without provocation and not stopping until they had to be killed. Each incident happened on a different part of the isle and there is no obvious connection between the three. When armed patrols went into the wilder parts of the isle, several of the men went missing. The isle government, a local council, has scraped together enough money to hire adventurers from Daunton to investigate the problem, as well as the one-time costs of round trip teleportation of these adventurers to and from the isle.

    The adventure has room for up to 6 PC.

    Priority will be given to players with no characters currently in adventures and then its first come first served. Below are some other details about the flow of the advneture and my own GM style.

    Captain Yurian will stay in the tavern for a bit to give anyone who wants to the opportunity to roleplay their joining, but for those that don't want to it's not necessary. The adventure will start the following morning, so it can always be handwaved that you talked to him off-camera.

    Skill Challenges
    Since this is an investigative adventure as much as a protection adventure, skill challenges play an integral role in the adventure. The main skill challenge will be, obviously, the investigation itself. Because the skill challenge envelops so much, it will run a bit differently than a standard skill challenge.

    This skill challenge will run in the background as the adventure goes on. To keep track of it, I'll have a spoiler box at the bottom of all GM posts (except those in combat) detailing your current progress on the skill challenge. The further into the investigation you get, the more options open up. To start, key skills are Arcana, Nature, and Diplomacy. I'll detail where or how you can use these skills when we reach that point. But this isn't the exhaustive lists! If you think of something else to use, use it and I'll work out how to reward/punish your rolls in it.

    Because of the more overarching nature of this skill challenge, there won't be rounds for the rolls. Instead, opportunities to roll will come in the course of the game, either through my efforts or yours. When they come, it will usually be after roleplaying in a scene. I will give bonuses/penalties to rolls based on the roleplay in the scene as a way to encourage more roleplay. I tend to like roleplaying, especially as a GM. I'll give an example.

    Let's say Tordek is talking with Old Man River, the resident old-timer with knowledge about the area's history. I've told Tordek that Old Man River may have information that will contribute to the skill challenge, and it takes Diplomacy to get it. If Tordek's player spends a few posts in back-and-forth conversation concerning the Mystical McGuffin, I'll give him a bonus on that eventual Diplomacy roll to get the old man to spill his guts on where the Mystical McGuffin can be found.

    Likewise, if you're using Acrobatics to move across the rooftops, detailing your character's path will give you a bonus because you're doing more than just rolling and moving on, you're actually telling the story. Just don't let this become overkill; we really don't need four paragraphs describing how you opened a simple wooden door.

    When the rolls come, I'll usually ask for a roll if the situation warrants it. You don't have to wait for me to ask, though. I'm pretty flexible with using rolls and roleplaying together to drive the skill challenge, rather than using the skill challenge to draw out the rolls and roleplaying. If you really knock things out of the park, I've even given auto-successes.

    For instance, one party needed to get a family of four out of their house before it was sucked into another dimension, but the family didn't believe that's what would happen and wanted to stay. I'd expected things like Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate here. Instead, the wizard set the house on fire. That was an auto-success on the skill challenge to get them out, as well as a small bonus on Diplomacy ("Well, it's burning down anyway") and a large bonus on Intimidate ("Did you see what I did there? Would you like me to do it again? Then get moving!").

    The main thing that drives my skill challenges is the question, is this fun? If you think of something that works in the context and that's fun, even if it wasn't a method I had expected I'll usually work with it.

    Material Gains

    In addition to the payout from the isle council for solving their problem, there is the opportunity to acquire other treasures in the course of the adventure. I will say that the treasure is still a bit light for my tastes, so I'm hoping to be able to fit a bit more in as the adventure unfolds. When it comes to splitting the treasure, I let the party do that. In my experience, things usually shake out fairly. If I see someone being shafted, I'll probably give you a nudge in his direction. I've always hated forcing items on players, as treasure splitting rightfully belongs in the hands of the party. Just use common sense and courtesy, for my sake.

    That said, I'm going to weight the magical items towards those players who need more to catch up with the group in terms of magical might. So if everyone but Tordek has a magical weapon and he's stuck with a simple axe, I'm going to throw an axe out there for the party to find.


    For rewarding xp, I wait for lulls in the storm to do that. This is also when you would be able to level up if you've hit the needed value for the next level. Usually, this happens the morning after a few night's sleep, or similar times. I don't know how often this will come up in this adventure, since it is a shorter one, but if it does I wanted you to be forewarned.

    For combat, I'll be using Mal Malenkirk's combat rules to streamline things. I've been through a few fights with it now, and it really helps things along, I think.Here are the rules, stolen from Mal himself.

    "1 - I roll all initiatives. Waiting two days before everyone has had the chance to roll theirs is a waste of time.

    2 - I roll a single initiative for my bad guys and play them all in the same turn. It loses some of the tabletop experience but it plays a lot faster than individual initiative.

    3 - If you haven't posted your PC's action in three days, I usually run your PC at some point late in the fourth day of inactivity. Warn me in advance if you don't believe you can post for more than three days.

    And the biggest...

    4 - I don't care in what initiative order you post; your action takes place at exactly the moment you post and as long as you only act once per round, it's all good.

    The initiative in practice is only relevant once; the very first round.

    Let's say initiative is:

    Mesa 22
    Matlal 17
    BAD GUYS 16
    Tor 12
    Montroya 9
    Andrec 8
    Jarel Karn 5

    That means Mesa and Matlal get to act before the BGs. I don't care in what order! If Matlal log in the thread before Mesa, don't wait, act first!

    Once they have both acted, I play all of the Bad Guys.

    Then everyone act, in whatever order.

    It is possible that Mesa and Matlal will log on the thread before Tor, Montroya, Andrec and Jarel Karn have all acted. It doesn't matter, they can act! Once all 6 of PCs have acted (and acted only once, of course!), I run bad guys and then it's once more your turn. That simple.

    I repeat; your actions take place when you post. Should you want to delay, then simply wait for the others to post.

    It is very common when you play that way for a player to log last in a turn and then be the first to log back after I have updated the fight and played the BGs. This leads to a PC acting almost back to back. It matters little; in the end he still has acted only once in either round.

    This saves a lot of time especially because most players can't log on the thread thrice a day to see if it's their turn yet. If you log on at any time after I have run the BGs turn you are free to post without waiting for your buddies to act in order.

    Two frequent rules issues arise from this practice:

    1 - What about effects that last 'until the end of PC's X turn'?

    Often a leader will grant a bonus to someone else 'until the end of the leader's turn'. This will usually be interpreted as 'Until the end of the target's turn' instead. Good old common sense. The target doesn't lose the bonus if the leader act before him and doesn't gain TWO turns of using the bonus if he manages to act twice before the leader acts again.

    2 - What about PCs who purposefully delay taking their turn in order to give a chance to their allies to grant them a free save?

    Ongoing damage and others conditions effect occurs at the beginning of your turn. If you know someone might grant you a free save (leaders can often do that) before you act, it may save you damage or avoid a stun effect to purposefully delay taking your turn, giving a chance for the other PCs to help you... That's cool. I don't mind. It just increases the value of team work which is a good thing.

    Everything else, I play by ear."

  3. #163
    Hacker downs the contents of his third whiskey bottle, lights a new cigarette, and strides over to the Captain's table.

    "I'm here for the job, pardner. Don't rightly give a damn what it is or how much it pays, as I've noticed that impartial and invisible cosmic forces far beyond my control seem to place challenges before me that are exactly commensurate with my abilities and likewise place arbitrary limits on my gross and net assets, causing my wealth to maintain an equilibrium despite any efforts on my part. So, sign Hacker ***** Brass gawds-***** up."

  4. #164
    Captain Yurian stared at the gnome, unsure what to make of him. No hair, the sharp features and scars everywhere, Hacker looks like life has not been kind to him. Oh gods, why are you hitting me not kind. And "impartial and invisible cosmic forces?"

    Eventually, he said, "I hope you're right, Mr. Brass. Someone needs to solve the problems on our isle. We'll be leaving in the morning, teleporting directly to the isle itself. Take care of any business in Daunton you need to before then, and meet behind the tavern an hour after dawn."

  5. #165
    "*****-a," says Hacker, "I'll meet you there. Look for an unconscious drunk lying in the alley in a puddle of his own vomit."

    Hacker snaps off a salute and departs, stopping only to hop behind the bar and take two jugs of Moonshine (actual distilled radiance of the lunar body) from the unprotesting barkeep.

  6. #166
    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    Block dimsdale

    Moments after the gnome departs, a menacing looking goliath enters the tavern, carrying an equally menacing jagged edged greatsword over his shoulder. One can see the scars of battle all over his body, some recently applied. He pauses at the enterence and surveys the crowd. His gaze stops as he notices Kamotz in the corner. He nods his head as all goliaths do when the greet a friend. He strides over to the cleric and grabs a chair to sit down. "I've been away for a couple of days practicing training with my new blade. I'm looking forward to testing it out in battle. Any word from the Temple of Lauto?"

  7. #167
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Nothing yet, the little halfling was nasty, so I went back to my place... I'm picking up supplies later, care to spar after? Magenta smoke rolls from the shifters mouth, as he speaks the hood falls back, and an elongated snout protrudes. Depending on what I buy, the practice may do us both well...


    Dimsdale, I can't decide what to do with Kamotz at all... It's killing my level up process...

  8. #168
    Scout (Lvl 6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by industrygothica View Post
    Carolina smiles at the strange dwarf as she sips her ale, and then back to Raiyek. "Scars? Do tell," she says with a grin and another sip.
    Raiyek introduces the dwarf and the halfling to each other before replying. "Seven Rabbit, Carolina. Carolina, Seven Rabbit."

    Turning back to Carolina he answers her question. "That would be from the battle Kruk, Rabbit, and I were in just before we met you." Raiyek pauses and seems to concentrate hard for a moment, and then his armor simply ... disappears. "There. Getting the hang of that," he mutters under his breath.

    Rolling up his right sleeve he shows Carolina the blue mark on his bicep. "This is mine. Each of us got their scar in a different location. I think they were a result of that magic ... foul magic." The paladin grimaces in recollection, then rolls his sleeve down and concentrates for a moment and his armor suddenly appears on him again, properly fitted.

    "You say you learned that they can do something, Rabbit?"

  9. #169
    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    Block dimsdale

    Kruk watches in awe as Raiyek does the trick with his armor. He then snaps back and states to Carolina "Yes, and my scar is located just to the right of my right hip. Here, I'll show ya." Kruk procedes to start to take his armor off below his waist and then stops as Raiyek, Carolina, and 7-Rabbitt shake their heads as if to say "NOOOO!" Kruk stops, obviously disappointed that he couldn't show off his scar. After adjusting straps, he mutters something about going up to the bar for another ale.
    Last edited by dimsdale; Monday, 31st August, 2009 at 02:36 AM.

  10. #170
    "Hmm," Carolina mutters before pouring another fount of the ale into her mouth. "Neat trick."

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