Enemy Among Us (DM: Stringbean2142, Judge: TwoHeadsBarking)




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  1. #1

    Enemy Among Us (DM: Stringbean2142, Judge: TwoHeadsBarking)

    An Hour Past Dawn, Morning
    Captain Yurian moves slowly through the alleys, head lost in the ritual scroll he would be using to transport his team of investigators to the Isle of Haurton. In a bag on his hip, a quantity of magical residuum needed to complete the circle swings softly in the morning breeze.

    Reaching the rear of the tavern, he finds the circle he had carefully prepared in the glow of the predawn morning. At the four cardinal corners, he had placed small glass beads, and a larger one lay in the direction of Haurton, just as he left it.

    The emptied chamberpot in the center of the circle was new. Sighing, he kicked it aside, scowling at the sodden mess it left behind. Knowing his luck, the magics of the ritual would bring that with them as well.

    Thus Far...
    Feel free to post your characters here, in whatever way you think is best. Right now, we have at least two spots still open. Anyone who wants in that hasn't been approved yet, feel free to post an OOC request and, if your character fits we'll get you in. Looking forward to getting to the Isle with you, mates!


    Copy of Game Informtaion from The Hanged Man thread
    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.

    Rewards
    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.

    XP

    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.

    Combat
    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."
    Last edited by Stringbean2142; Wednesday, 23rd September, 2009 at 04:54 AM.
    Current Characters
    Mesa, Razorclaw Shifter Druid 2

    Current Games as DM
    Enemy Among Us - L4W

 

  • #2
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    The smoky pink and orchid robes step out from a shadow, actual pink smoke surrounding the head of the clothing.
    That won't do.

    The nasty mess in the middle of the circle begins pooling together, forming into a fist sized ball of excrement, which promptly rolls out of the ritual circle.

    We'll need to redraw this... The hood drops off the head of the eladrin, arcane tattoos circle around his face, purple ink highlights the magenta of his orb like eyes. He moves to the circle and holds his hand out as if waiting for the chalk.

    well...


    OOC


    well now that the chaos has died down a bit, Veruzak looks like he'll be traveling with this group.

    Let me know if someone else gets priority and he needs to gracefully exit.


    Prestidigitation on the chamber-pot mess

    Move to stand near Yurian

    Minor to take chalk if offered.
    MAGIC!

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    After hitting the shops and picking up a few additional supplies, Bell headed back to the Monastery to get a jump on the next days chores and a short rest. She was sure be up bright and early to catch her ride to adventure.

    She strolled into the alley smiling picking up quickly on the situation. Stepping up, just behind Veruzak she looked at the circle, closely.

    "If you draw that Axis with Mathric style runes it would probably be more accurate."


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  • #4
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    Ignore Mal Malenkirk
    Kendrick looks at the mess caused by the chamber pot. He ponders the laws of karma. At first it seemed like throwing his chamber pot through his room's window to get rid of the smell had just come back to bite him in the ass. But hey, look at that: one of his new partners is a ressourceful mage who got rid of the mess handily enough. No harm's done. Yep, that was a freebie from lady luck.

    Kendrick smiles widely.

    -''This is going to be fun, I just know it.''

  • #5
    Yurian looks at the others, a smile of relief on his face. "Ah, excellent timing. I think I will let the professionals handle this one." He hands over a small length of chalk to Veruzak. "I hope you didn't have trouble getting those papers filed last night; it may be some time before you return to Daunton. Unfortunately, the ritual to move to the Isle and back is a bit costly, so we only have the one round trip."

    He nods at the others. "Mr. Kent, Ms. Jabson. Ready for our trip, I hope? When we get to Haurton, I'm to take you to a meeting with the Isle Council. They'll bring you up to speed on everything we know about the disturbances. Also, they'll swear you in as Council Agents, a rather grandiose term that they're using to let everyone know you're operating under their authority."

    Bell
    So, I have no idea why I thought your character was named Jacobson, so sorry about before! I considered keeping it for Yurian to constantly get your name wrong, but it seemed too much like a gag for gags sake so I decided no.
    Current Characters
    Mesa, Razorclaw Shifter Druid 2

    Current Games as DM
    Enemy Among Us - L4W

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    The eladrin clasps the chalk, and before starting, takes two long draws on his pipe, staring at Bell. The pause lasts for a full minute and a half, silence save for the low crackle of herbs as they heat to a cherry red. The stone-faced-stare obscured by a pink hued exhalation, Veruzak took a deep breath, and began You look familiar for some reason, he considers her features in earnest, Something about you makes me feel, at home... the eladrin bows, and an illusory hand materializes for the shaking. Veruzak. he gives the name as if it's already known. Mathric for accuracy, Mordenkainen for distance, thats some impressive knowledge for such a young lass. Veruzak can't exactly pin it down, but he's almost positive he could be related to this girl... somehow.

    Spinning back on Yurian, Veruzak snaps, Well... thank the girl, she just saved you in component costs, and embarrassment! a shake, as if he was cold runs down the eladrin, and he calms visibly, What leads do we have thus far?

    as he speaks his hands trace intricate runes from muscle memory, each glyph more perfect than the last. When he is finished he steps to the side and taps out his pipe with a *tink* *tink* *tink* sound. Then Veruzak reaches into his robe and pulls a fresh pinch of herbs, lighting the new mixture for a long draw before exhaling a purple plume from his nostrils.

    OOC


    Arcana check to identify shadow origin in Bell 17

    (Veruzak was raised by Shadar-kai, but is fey. He happens to know he's eladrin though.

    Arcana check to help with ritual (!!!CRITICAL!!!) 32

    Mage hand to shake, as Veruzak isn't a big fan of getting touchy...

    I love Bell's story, it's great that Veruzak is getting exposed to the girl-prodigy before she gets enough sense to avoid creepy wizards!
    Last edited by CaBaNa; Wednesday, 9th September, 2009 at 07:34 AM.
    MAGIC!

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    Bell just beams as Kendrick mentions the fun they're about to have. She looks at him for an instant but returns her attention forward excited to see the wizard at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yurian View Post
    "Mr. Kent, Ms. Jabson. Ready for our trip, I hope? When we get to Haurton, I'm to take you to a meeting with the Isle Council. They'll bring you up to speed on everything we know about the disturbances. Also, they'll swear you in as Council Agents, a rather grandiose term that they're using to let everyone know you're operating under their authority."
    "Quite ready sir. I bought the book and everything!" She says proudly not realizing people would most likely not know what she meant. Council Agents! Already I have an official position. I'm so good at this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Veruzak View Post
    You look familiar for some reason, Something about you makes me feel, at home... the eladrin bows, and an illusory hand materializes for the shaking. Veruzak. Mathric for accuracy, Mordenkainen for distance, thats some impressive knowledge for such a young lass.

    Spinning back on Yurian, Veruzak snaps, Well... thank the girl, she just saved you in component costs, and embarrassment! a shake, as if he was cold runs down the eladrin, and he calms visibly, What leads do we have thus far?

    as he speaks his hands trace intricate runes from muscle memory, each glyph more perfect than the last. When he is finished he steps to the side and taps out his pipe with a *tink* *tink* *tink* sound. Then Veruzak reaches into his robe and pulls a fresh pinch of herbs, lighting the new mixture for a long draw before exhaling a purple plume from his nostrils.
    Bell happily shaked the hand and reminded herself that she wanted to learn how to do that at some point. It's just too awesome. "Bell the Point sirs." She pulled her dagger from her boot as if to emphasize the point. "I like to learn things, and I have some fey blood." Was her simple explanation, though she blushed with pride when the wizard told the captain that she should be thanked!

    Maybe I should take up smoking. . .

    OOC
    Now worries on the name. It was very chaotic in the tavern and I though you had done so on purpose!

    And Veruzak, I looked up you're character sheet last name and you should have seen my face. People may think we worked together on creating these two!
    Last edited by ScorpiusRisk; Wednesday, 9th September, 2009 at 03:07 PM.
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    Are you still recruiting? I'm not approved yet, but I believe everything is in order.
    You can check at sandbox:
    Half-elf star pact warlock 1st level - Martelai Luinil (Unifinished star by Elven dictionary)

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    Ghost Sound Whisper
    The Point... Veruzak made a mental note to never show this unusually talented girl his back. Bell could I interest you in joining Daunton's premier arcane secret society? The Institute for Arcane Ciphers.


    Veruzak pauses, and looks at Yurian, The paperwork went as all bureaucracy goes, red tape, notarized five times, and filled out in septuple... However members now have authority to claim arcane sites for research purposes, something that may be useful during our trek. The length of time isn't a concern, The Institute for Arcane Ciphers gets the job done sir. The light comes on as Veruzak realizes that last sentence, Who exactly will have authority over me?


    OOC


    Is that holy symbol of Mireva exposed? Veruzak's went missing while he was in the Temple of Mireva, and Bell's looks a lot like it... Is this the vandal that woke up the Temple of Open Hands, Eyes, and Minds?

    Your character has a lot of coincidental common with mine!

    They both worship Mireva (heretical normally)...

    One is fey raised by shadow...

    One is shadow believes they are fey...
    EDIT


    I'll extend the same invite to the people in this group as in Kamotz' group, I'm a character checker (albeit a lazy one) so if you would like your character checked for approval let me know.

    P.s. I need a character checker and judge on Veruzak still...

    Added the ghost sound block, and Veruzak officially used ghost sound...


    Last edited by CaBaNa; Thursday, 10th September, 2009 at 12:09 AM.
    MAGIC!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaBaNa View Post
    The Point... Veruzak made a mental note to never show this unusually talented girl his back. Bell could I interest you in joining Daunton's premier arcane secret society? The Institute for Arcane Ciphers.
    Bell looked over at the other two members with them and then starred oddly at Veruzak. Did he just cast a spell so only I could hear? Wow, I didn't even notice him doing that! He must be so disciplined, and he wants me to be in his secret club!

    She looked at the other two again and tried to decide how to respond. I don't know how to pitch my voice just at him without doing damage. He's going to think I'm not talented. . . I just need to choose my words carefully.

    "Well as far as that is concerned, I would say Yes, we do need to find more leads. But I imagine we'll get a few when We Agree To Join, as council agents."

    Bell gave the wizard a knowing wink.

    OOC

    No I didn't steal this particular holy symbol. . . or at least I hadn't intended to. . . The monks that Bell lives with, who I need to write up, worship all gods. Considering the nature of their work it's obvious why they might revere Mireva a little more often.

    However, I have no problem changing my plans so that she did lift the symbol, perhaps thinking that the monks of the Open Hand had plenty and wouldn't really miss one. If it would create future fun I'm all for it.

    Bell wears her holy symbol under her shirt. I have updated my description to reflect that.

    Oh yes. I wouldn't mind a character approval.

    Neurotic, last I checked Stringbean was still recruiting for this, and we could probably use the help.
    Last edited by ScorpiusRisk; Wednesday, 9th September, 2009 at 08:04 PM.
    Current Work: http://stuffershack.com/tag/brian-liberge/

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