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Blizzard at Revel's End (OOC, closed)

Story Thread (IC)
Rogue's Gallery

I've got a hankering to overwhelm myself with too many games again! Those who know me know that I run a consistent PBP game, and I will never ghost on it. If I end it, there will be discussion. I've been running PBP games here for a few years now, and we've managed to take a few all the way to their stories end. PBP can be very slow, and a mistake I've found that people make (including myself) in running 5e games, is to try to run one of those awesome hardcover adventures. The trouble with them is, by my best calculations, they'd take eight to ten YEARS to fully run at the rate PBP moves. (I've run about a third of Tomb of Annihilation in nearly three years). So, I figure that the smart thing to do here is to run something shorter.

The new "Rime of the Frostmaiden" adventure book has a lot of nice short stories and cool locations. I feel inspired to take one of those locations, and the general setting, and run something of my own there. This game should have a nice length that hopefully we can all get through. I call it "Blizzard at Revel's End" (as you can see in the title of the thread).

From the Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Adventure:

"Revel’s End is a panopticon, a prison configured in such a way that the activities of the prisoners can be closely monitored from a central location. Situated on the frigid, misty coast of the Sea of Moving Ice, the prison is a single-story structure topped with battlements. Rising from the core of the panopticon is a tower that holds the prison’s administrative offices and guard barracks. Both the prison and the tower are carved out of a tall, blade-shaped rock that rises high above the sea cliffs. This rock, called the Windbreak, shields the tower against the brutal winds that sweep down from the Reghed Glacier. "

This is a horror-themed game that will involve some scary stuff happening during a white-out blizzard at an extremely isolated prison in the dead of winter.

Your characters (This might be a bit ambitious of me):

As the adventure will all take place in a fixed location, I see no need to form a proper adventuring party. I'd like the group to be made up of three distinct groups: You can pick or roll randomly:

Prison Staff: You are a member of the Lord's Alliance and work at the prison (in what capacity will depend on what you make). Level 3 character. You get a bonus uncommon magic item, 500gp worth of equipment, and can use standard point-buy for your abilities. Cold-weather clothing is also free.

Prisoner: You are a prisoner here. You have no equipment (other than clothing). BUT you get a bonus feat, even though you're level 3. You can roll your stats with 4d6, drop lowest, and reroll your lowest rolled score.

Guest: You have recently arrived and are an ally/guest of the Warden. You are level 4, but you can't take a feat - just an ASI for you. You get the standard array for abilities and the starting packages of equipment for your class and background. You get cold-weather clothing for free too. Lucky you.

All of this is subject to approval (I don't know if I will have created a potential bad combo here - let me know if there's flaws). Oh! One more thing: No Unearthed Arcana. Otherwise, don't get carried away.

Lastly, if you're a prisoner, you might not want to make a spellcaster. The cells have antimagic fields. Still, if you DO make a prisoner who's s spellcaster, I will reward you for whatever hell you have to go through early on with stuff later. Ditto for fighters who put up without armour or weapons for the first bit. Obviously Monks (and maybe Rogues) will do best as prisoners. Eventually, I'm sure you can pick up some gear from the dead. AHEM. Did I spoil something? I bet you knew there'd be dead, didn't you?

Let me know what you think, and if you have any questions.
 
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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
So, the players will come from different groups if they want?

I am very tempted to make a Prisoner Fighter, as a re-imagining of one of my first characters ever. But I have to ask what kind of alignment we would be doing?
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
That sounds very interesting! I like the idea that there's basically three different groups working together, although it would take some RP-ing to get them all to cooperate, I think.

I'm going to think about a character. This could be a lot of fun!
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Definitely interested, if you have room for me! Will come up with a character idea sometime tomorrow.
Maybe a Goliath Ranger, or Druid that will eventually be able to turn into a polar bear?

Will think. Exciting!
 

So, the players will come from different groups if they want?

I am very tempted to make a Prisoner Fighter, as a re-imagining of one of my first characters ever. But I have to ask what kind of alignment we would be doing?

Ah. Good point. In my head it is a mix of all three groups and alignment is up to you. I don't mind evil characters, only disruptive players. If you want to be evil, just remember that your character is a person, not a caricature and that this is a cooperative game. Evil (IMO) should be a fun way to play someone who is deeply flawed, not a reason to derail the narrative.

I don't believe that an evil character can't get along with a good one (even be friends) if their goals are in line. I also believe that good players can play characters that don't get along (regardless of alignment) while the players themselves remain free of conflict. It just takes good communication (like all things in life).

Long way of saying "up to you."

(I do expect you to make a character who will be motivated to work together with other people in order to survive a hostile event. One that is capable of making friends and allies (even if reluctant).

Oh, and if you want to make a prisoner, we need to discuss your crime!
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Right, evil in the sense of being motivated to achieve selfish goals and being willing to do questionable things to that end. Not in the "I must destroy all goodness and life" sense of evil.

As for the crime, I'm thinking a botched robbery at a noble's manor, that ended up with too much collateral damage as a result. There were gems and gold obviously, but the paperwork uncovered was far more valuable and dangerous. Getting sent to the max security prison was two parts keeping him locked up, and one part keeping him hidden and alive because he might be useful later.
 

Right, evil in the sense of being motivated to achieve selfish goals and being willing to do questionable things to that end. Not in the "I must destroy all goodness and life" sense of evil.

As for the crime, I'm thinking a botched robbery at a noble's manor, that ended up with too much collateral damage as a result. There were gems and gold obviously, but the paperwork uncovered was far more valuable and dangerous. Getting sent to the max security prison was two parts keeping him locked up, and one part keeping him hidden and alive because he might be useful later.

Yeah exactly!

Sounds like something that could happen if you robbed a Whterdhavian noble... or worse, a noble in Baldur's Gate. There's a lot of corruption in both those cities. Depending on how you want to play it - a lot of the collateral damage could have been not actually your fault.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
I’m playing around with the concept of a Waterdhavian noble, probably a minor one in the family such as a bastard son, and he’s an arrogant fellow who got into a lot of trouble.

Could be the same trouble as @Leatherhead’s character? A different family, perhaps?

Either way, I’m condering a v-human eldritch knight fighter. And a prisoner, because executing a member of the Waterdeep nobility is not usually a good career move.
 

I’m playing around with the concept of a Waterdhavian noble, probably a minor one in the family such as a bastard son, and he’s an arrogant fellow who got into a lot of trouble.

Could be the same trouble as @Leatherhead’s character? A different family, perhaps?

Either way, I’m condering a v-human eldritch knight fighter. And a prisoner, because executing a member of the Waterdeep nobility is not usually a good career move.

Could have been the inside-man in the heist-gone-wrong, if you both like. You can also work out if that means that you're allies, or hold a grudge. (That you can drop to work together again as the game moves forward).
 


Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Could be the same trouble as @Leatherhead’s character?
Could have been the inside-man in the heist-gone-wrong, if you both like. You can also work out if that means that you're allies, or hold a grudge. (That you can drop to work together again as the game moves forward).
Inside man sounds fun.
Maybe not a big grudge, but a minor one can lead to some fun roleplaying if Leatherhead is down.

Sure, I can go with that. Maybe a schedule conflict? You were supposed to make sure that someone was away from the scene, but they showed up despite the plans anyway?

I was thinking of an Echo Knight myself, the anti-magic and remote location being more justified against someone who can slip though cracks.
 

Echo Knight seems neat. Haven't seen one in play yet.

I've been thinking about how I want to run combat. For those who haven't played my games, I have a few things I do maybe differently than most (I'll describe what I usually do, then tell you if I'm going to try something different here):

1) I don't use initiative. I just resolve stuff in order of the posting, and post a "round-roller" when everyone and all the bad-guys have gone. I'll do that here as usual, because it works well for PBP. Just imagine that everything is happening simultaneously, but that you can quickly glance around to see what's going on with anyone who's posted already (assuming you can see them).

2) I like to make maps. Now, I think I might not do it with this game for two reasons: a) it takes a lot of my time; b) I'm going for a moody thriller-vibe. I want you to have a view from your character's eyes, not a top-down view. That said, I'll probably make a map for myself to keep track of where everyone is, so if you really want a peek at it (if you're having trouble imagining where everyone is at) then just ask me, and I'll post it here in the OOC thread on a case-by-case basis. Also, feel free to ask for any further descripition, and we'll solve whatever we can using narrative.

3) I usually make two posts between rounds - one that recognizes and resolves what everyone did, and one that rolls the round (and shows where everyone is at). I think that I'm not going to do that in this game. I want to try something new. My thinking right now (it might change as the game gets going) is that I will simply reply to each person's post (or a few at a time) and add in some bad guy's turns. I'll tick everyone off in my notes, and when everyone is done and everything is resolved, I'll post a "Go for round X" to let you know you can take another turn. It'll be a little more conversational, in some ways at least, than I currently do, and maybe will prevent me from getting overwhelmed (as I have lately) when I have 8 or so turns to resolve all at once. We'll see if it works.

4) I don't like OOC chat in my IC thread, but being a "Yes!"-style DM, I don't give anyone trouble for it. That said, please use THIS thread for questions, clarifications, and any other OOC chat, as often as possible. An ooc comment here-and-there in the IC is fine, I guess, but keep it to a minimum, please.
 

Oh - here's another thing for you to think about as you make your character: Regardless of which of the 3 groups you're from, you can be either Newly Arrived (at the start of the game; Been There Awhile (months or more); or Part of the Place (been there for years and years).

That choice will make a difference as to what information I feed you as things occur. (Stuff you should "already know".
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Sure, I can go with that. Maybe a schedule conflict? You were supposed to make sure that someone was away from the scene, but they showed up despite the plans anyway?

I was thinking of an Echo Knight myself, the anti-magic and remote location being more justified against someone who can slip though cracks.

That sounds good! Let me think a bit about why my character would do this to another important family, but I think that could be the backbone of our common story.

I am also eager to see an echo knight and an eldritch knight in combat together. Could be devastating.

Any other potential players interested in common ground?
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
So I have two ideas:

a. Goliath Druid. Once a guard or medic of the place, but now incarcerated because he was offering heals and goodberries, without authorization. (This assumes there is corruption in the administration of the prison against which he had to fight). I'd say he's been in this situation a long time, just because that would frustrate a goliath. (Does the prison want al the prisoners sated? Would goodberries be a boring but welcome means of sustenance? I presume frostbitten fingers and toes would get cured by lesser restoration).

b. If permitted, an orc (or hobgoblin) war wizard. I envisage an orc who has killed a wizard, taken his book, and spent time with it. It only makes a kind of half-sense to him, but he's getting better. (If an orc, I'd roll into the intelligence penalty for the wizard; hobgoblin would actually be quite effective, I think. It strikes me that this is a game were a monstrous PC would fit comfortably.). Possibly his familiar is dismissed and is holding the book for him in the pocket dimension, either unknown to the guards or in definace of the authorities.

I'm open to having either of these as a guard or visitor to mix it up, if you want the mix I think everyone wants to be a prisoner just so they can roll, and I want (as clearly do others) to take up the spellcaster challenge... :D
 
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@Kobold Stew - While I'm not against your orc or hobgoblin, I'd rather you go for the Goliath. Rather than a prisoner... ooh! (An idea just struck me) - what if he (or she's) a "guest" who has for many many years, stayed at the prison in the winter to help the staff and the prisoners SURVIVE. Depending on the current Warden, it's done publicly or secretly. Perhaps the Goliath had been a prisoner, many years before, and watched many prisoners not make it through the winter, and so returns every year (or at least every bad year) to do what he can. The wardens have always put up with him (because they like to survive too) and now it's tradition, expected. Maybe officially he just helps out the staff, but secretly also helps out the prisoners. (Again, depends on the internal politics of the prison at the time). In this way, you'll be BOTH "newly arrived" (for the season) AND "part of the place".

@jmucchiello - a staff wizard would be welcome. If you want to be "newly arrived", I've got a few interesting ideas for that as well.

It's shaping up!
 



(sorry - "Guest" = standard array? Fine if so.)

Yes, but you get to be level FOUR. (Everyone else is level 3). Prisoners get to roll their stats and a bonus feat, Staff get an uncommon magic item and use point-buy. I'm just playing with the concept of balance, for my own amusement.
 

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