IRON DM 2023 Tournament Thread


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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
StarRanger Issue #4: StarRanger and the Three-sided Coin!
A Modern(ish) Adventure

Ingredients:
  • Star Ranger
  • Purple Crayon
  • Ancient Satellite
  • Triple-sided Coin
  • Wooden Artifact
  • Sleeping Train
At the estate of an eccentric Uncle, the PCs look for a missing young nephew. Tracking him via crayon scribbles on walls leads to a comic book library. Across a coffee table spreads a limited-issue Golden Age comics series, each page and cover custom-laminated. Purple scribbles mar issue #4's cover.

The only evidence of the nephew: a spilled crayon box (missing purple) and his thick glasses.

StarRanger issues:
#1) Wallbreaker Mystery: StarRanger is established as a widely-popular, glamorous hero roaming far across the galaxy to recover ancient, corrupting Wallbreaker artifacts. Wallbreaker ruins litter the galaxy, their race mysteriously vanished long ago. Each ruin hosts statues lifting hockey-puck-shaped objects to press against the book's page. Where the objects are drawn, the paper's so thin it's nearly see-through.

#2) Relic Smugglers: StarRanger fights smugglers and recovers artifacts for The Museum. In the climax, the smuggler leader pleads for mercy. In the conclusion, the leader is "gone" and several of the artifacts are "unrecoverable."

#3) Wallbreaker Museum: StarRanger kills several guards while breaking into The Museum. Seeking the Wallbreaker homeworld's location, he notices disk-shaped robots rocketing away from each statue. Following in his starship leads him to a massive ring-shaped satellite orbiting a ruined world cooked by its red-giant sun.

#4) Three-Sided Coin: On page 1, StarRanger locks the nephew in a cage on the satellite's surface. StarRanger now wears all purple and carries a waxy purple rod with a squeegee embedded in the flat end. In this issue, he discovers a Wallbreaker machine pressing out a composite-wooden coin. When flipped while taking action, it creates success, failure, or a "3rd fate." He finds a sentient train, awakens it, learns of the "3rd wall" between the two-dimensional comic book world and reality, brutally kills hibernation-fugued Wallbreakers coming for the coin, and activates the satellite's lens to expand the coin's tiny portal.

Reaching the last page, PCs are sucked into page 1 of issue #4, sans belongings. They must follow comic book rules, acting through each frame in sequence. Draw out blank frames for each new page using the following table:

d6
Shape
Shot
Size
1
Round​
Close Up​
Tiny​
2
Parallelogram​
Angled Up​
Small​
3-4
Regular​
Side View​
Standard​
5
Polygon​
Angled Down​
Large​
6
Irregular​
Panoramic​
Full​
As PCs try to take the three-sided coin from the corrupted StarRanger then activate the satellite's lens to portal back to reality, many challenges and obstacles await:

1) StarRanger: clever, deadly, aware he's inside a comic.

If clashing with PCs and desperate, he'll flip the coin:
(1-2) critical success
(3-4) critical failure
(5-6) a small portal lets him grab a (mis-sized) belonging from the library to use against them.

The purple crayon (grabbed through a coin portal) allows him to scribble over frame borders then jet pack, climb, or dive into other frames depending on perspective and framing. This lets him run back 1 or ascend several frames up into the past, rush 1 or dive several frames into the future, then squeegie the markings off the page's lamination behind him. Only purple things can blend through.

Thanks to Golden Age comic conventions, he can also draw on anything green to transform objects, plants, creatures, and machines into green-purple evil versions.

Anyone taking the crayon or coin gains the same capabilities.

2) Fanboi minions: will do anything for StarRanger.

3) Ring satellite: baking on the sun side, frozen on the far. Full of strange creatures and plants engineered to survive the blasted environment. A solar-energy-pushed train endlessly rides the temperate terminus from light to dark. Falling off is bad.

4) Sentient, hibernating train: awakened by contact with the coin. Activates hidden tracks to the ring-lens control center. PCs befriending it may get it to tactically accelerate or stop suddenly.

5) Wallbreakers: Aboard the train, awaken simultaneously. Aware they're in a comic. They want the coin. Player interactions can turn them into relentless foes, competitors, or allies.

They explain that their statues stole slices of comic book paper whenever the comics were read. Their robots returned each razor-thin slice of world-bridging material to a machine designed to compress a wooden coin once it contained sufficient slices. Since centuries pass in the comic per day outside, they've slept ages - through their homeworld's death even - waiting for this.

6) Nephew: whiny, mischievous, wandering.

After the first two age-glitched, miscalibrated portals pulling in, the ringworld satellite's lens now projects the coin's much-enlarged portal back to reality, hurling out anyone who makes it to the last frame.
 



Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Judgment for Round 1 Match 4: @loverdrive vs @Iron Sky

Rules and Readability


Both Jazz, Tuxedos, and Inevitable Nuclear Annihilation (hereafter referred to as "Jazz") and StarRanger Issue #4: StarRanger and the Three-Sided Coin! ("Issue #4") were turned in on time. There are some minor rules issues I would like to address, however, with regards to both entries. Issue #4 comes in at technically 752 words, 2 over the threshold. Three of those words, however, are related to the sub-title ("A Modern-ish Adventure"), which have always been a bit of a gray area in terms of whether they count or not. I'm inclined to let it slide, and I've certainly been on the receiving end of such friendly rulings in the past. As it is, the subtitle doesn't communicate anything that we can't pickup from, honestly, the first paragraph of the adventure.

A bit more egregious is the posting of "Jazz". What appears to have happened is that the entry was posted without the ingredient list, caught immediately and erased, and re-posted in a new post with the ingredient list attached. This leaves us with an entry that technically wasn't edited (which we explicitly call out as against the rules) but still goes against the spirit of the rule. Again, I'm inclined to not penalize this too harshly; a missing ingredient list is something I called out in my judgment for Match #1 as barely worth weighing in on the final judgment, and I'm sure that this wasn't done out of any malicious intent. But let this be a lesson going forward: erasing an entry fast enough to dodge the "last edited by" tagline and re-posting your entry in a new post will be treated exactly as if the original entry were edited, which is something we judges definitely frown upon.

Both entries were perfectly readable. I could give a few quibbles to both; the headings of "Jazz" are a bit awkward, but they don't feel out of place with the tone of the adventure, and with "Issue #4"s panel drawing table, I'm not sure if I'm meant to roll a single d6 and draw each panel according to the whole role, or roll 3d6 per panel to mix and match shape, shot, and size. I'd personally be inclined to go with the latter, with I'd guess is the intention, but a little extra clarification would've helped here.

Adventure Flow & Potential
This is my subjective "what did I generally like/dislike about the adventures" section of the judgment. In the Match #1 I judged, both entries were dark, somber, and tragic. Here, both entries are goofy genre jaunts, full of meta-commentary. A very fun switch!

Both entries are choc-a-bloc with setup. "Jazz" doesn't hit the "During the Game" heading until 81% of the way through the document. In "Issue #4", the PCs don't get sucked into the comic book until nearly the halfway point of the word count. In both cases, however, the setup is highly flavorful and remains relevant throughout the course of the adventure. Both adventures take a similar approach as well: provide a setting full of genre conventions, provide the major players, the goals, the obstacles, and the allies (and in the case of "Jazz", the PCs themselves), and turn the party loose on the scenario. In both cases I can see these being not only incredibly wild and frantic to play, but also imminently replayable, even with the pre-established PCs in the case of "Jazz".

I've gotta say, I'm a huge fan of both of these adventures, and I hope that this shows through, because I'm going to be a bit more critical about the ingredient use as a result.

The Ingredients
This is a match that is definitely going to come down to the ingredients. Let's begin.

Star Ranger
Amusingly, this ingredient put both contestants in the mindframe of comic books, though I can't say that this is too surprising. In "Jazz", the use here is rather disappointment; one of the PCs, "Tank", is a fan of the comics, but this fact never seems relevant again throughout the adventure. It definitely makes sense, given the rest we are told about this character, but I don't feel that it adds anything to the adventure that isn't already there, and what's worse, I don't even get the sense of what the comic book even entails in the first place. Not to be too harsh, but this is exactly the kind of ingredient usage we as judges don't want to see; an ingredient used as a proper noun for a replaceable and largely irrelevant concept. "Issue #4" makes its StarRanger a much more relevant comic book hero (and now, supervillain) that helps set the stage for the sci-fi comic book shenanigans that follow. This is a much stronger ingredient use in general.

Purple Crayon
This is a better ingredient in for "Jazz"; the color-blind superspy with the pack of crayons; presumably each one a different tool (this would've been nice to call out in the text) with the purple crayon as the mini-nuke. This is something out of Get Smart. Or Spy vs Spy. Very fun, and hampered only by the fact I'm not sure why the crayon in question has to be purple. This is what makes ingredients with a color-based adjective so difficult; I get why they need to be crayons, but what makes the purple one special? This is a similar issue to the one found in "Issue #4", where the crayon object makes perfect sense but the color purple seems less necessary. There's a bit where coloring green things purple turns them evil, but none of my color theory lessons are helping me come to an answer as to why that would be how it works. It might be nod to the whole "Green Lantern vs Yellow" concept from the DC comics, but it would've helped if the colors had had more relevance to the StarRanger canon prior to crayon's appearance.

Ancient Satellite
Solidly used in both adventures. "Issue #4" gives the genre trappings of the sci-fi precursors and their relics being an important aspect of comic itself but also the plight of the Wallbreakers. In "Jazz", the "ancient" Soviet satellite that also happens to be from the future is the sort of oxymoronic element that spy spoofs are often full of. In both cases they are highly relevant to their respective adventures as well as highly demonstrative of their respective genres. Well done.

Triple-Sided Coin
Once again, both entries use this ingredient well in terms of the genre trappings of their respective adventures. The problem comes, in "Jazz", that the Triple-Sided Coin is basically a MacGuffin. In "Issue #4" it's place in the story is pretty relevant; it's something that the super-villain has and can use, but that the PCs can also potentially get their hands on. It has a purpose and role to play and that makes it an inherently stronger ingredient.

Wooden Artifact
"Issue #4" combines this ingredient with the Triple-Sided Coin above. I'm usually a fan of combining ingredients, and while I thought that the coin itself was a great ingredient, I'm less sold on this. again, the thing about an ingredient is that the whole ingredient should be relevant and important. In this case, while I get why the coin has to be a coin, and why the coin has to be three-sided, I don't get much of any reason why it must be wooden.
In "Jazz", we have the fungus-riddled, hybrid radiowave actual body(?) of Vladimir Lenin. This is hilarious and, once again, perfectly representative of the genre. What it's not, unfortunately, is really a Wooden Artifact. It looks like both... a fully wooden statue, but it's not actually either.

Sleeping Train
And here is where I fall off the train* quite a bit on "Issue #4". The train seems to be come out of nowhere, is already sentient for reasons... was originally hibernating but is awakened just in time to be relevant for the players... so it's no longer a sleeping train. Don't get me wrong; it's an actually fun wrinkle to the adventure, but it not only doesn't meet the brief, but it also could removed entirely without any real impact on the adventure.
Meanwhile, the entirety of "Jazz" more or less takes place on a train, perfect for the soviet-era spy trappings, and one of the PCs has a frankly unnerving* amount of sleeping gas that will almost certainly be used on some or all of the train's passengers/the PCs, because that's how things go in spy spoofs. It's not the strongest use, necessarily, but it gets the job done and that gives an edge of the ingredient for "Issue #4".

In Conclusion

So the last match I judged ended up being less close than my initial readings might've suggested, and in this case it was the opposite; the match ended up much closer than I had imagined it being. Both entries are incredibly fun adventures that, all told, do a pretty good job incorporating the ingredients.

But in the end, StarRanger Issue #4: StarRanger and the Three-Sided Coin! has the better overall ingredient usage, if not by the greatest of margins, and thus, @Iron Sky moves on to the next round!

@loverdrive, you've shown yourself to be an excellent writer, and have created a really fun and clever scenario here. Making sure that more of your ingredients are more central and relevant over the course of the adventure (as opposed to mere background elements) will help push you to the next level. I'm excited to see what you'll bring back to us in future years!

But congratulations are in order for @Iron Sky! I'll see you in the second round!


Time for Round 2!
 

loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
Amusingly, this ingredient put both contestants in the mindframe of comic books, though I can't say that this is too surprising. In "Jazz", the use here is rather disappointment; one of the PCs, "Tank", is a fan of the comics, but this fact never seems relevant again throughout the adventure.
It was intended as a way to "solve" the challenge with security codes.
He has a very strict upbringing and can barely imagine an illustrated book, yet alone a book that is nothing but flashy pictures!
but I probably should've emphasized it more clearly

And I realized too late that Lenin being a mushroom-radiowave hybrid is way too obscure of a reference.

@Iron Sky this was a nice match! I really liked wall-breaking adventure you've come up with!
 

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Well done Gradine with a judgement that kept me guessing until the final spoiler block.

A few notes:

It was meant to be d6 3 times to make the frames, but didn't have enough words to say that.

In Golden Age comics they could only print in a few colors. Heroes generally had the brighter, primary colors like yellow, red, and blue (or all three) leaving magenta, cyan, green, and purple for... everything else. A convention arose where purple and green were the colors of bad guys.

A side note, the train is also containing sleeping Wallbreakers so it's a sleeping sleeping train.

Those notes aside, absolutely agree with the judgement. Round 1's word limitations are hard.

Clarifications aside, having played TF2, I immediately grokked and loved your heroes, @loverdrive. Adventure seems like it would be a blast to play and after reading it really had no idea who might win the round. Excellent work!
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Apologies, I have had a last minute change of plans that has required to put the ingredients out a little early. This will have no effect on your due date: entries will still be due by 6:00 pm EST on Tuesday.


IRON DM 2023: Round 2, Match 1, FitzTheRuke and Whizbang Dustyboots
@FitzTheRuke and @Whizbang Dustyboots, you have 49ish hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 1500 additional words. Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so.

Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 1350. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 1050. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 750. In addition, entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; I will ignore everything after.

Your ingredients are:
Ruined Monastery
Silent Chime
Face Blindness
Fighting Words
Extradimensional Arachnid
The Hanged Elf
Reality Show

Happy writing!
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Whose Turn Is It, Anyway?
Iron DM 2023 Round 2

Ruined Monastery
Silent Chime
Face Blindness
Fighting Words
Extradimensional Arachnid
The Hanged Elf
Reality Show


The Game’s Strange Conceit
This game is a comedic send-up of reality TV, geek culture, celebrity antics, and TTRPGs. The players are encouraged to play analogues of their favorite (or least favorite) comedian, celebrity, or internet personality, dialed to 11.

The game starts with the PCs competing in a top-rated Reality Show wherein famous people play Dungeons & Dragons to comedic effect entitled “Whose Turn Is It, Anyway?”

The Host (and Dungeon Master) of the show is Chris Rock. Ever since “the Slap”, Chris has had trouble remembering faces and telling folks apart. His Face Blindness causes problems in the show, but his attempts to cover it up are comedy gold, and work in tandem with the title of the show. In addition, his initiative-dropping catchphrase, “Them’s Fighting Words!” has become a popular meme, even among people who don’t watch the show.

The Adventure Background
There is the Weave – the intricate pattern of Threads that connect all things to the original source of Magic in the Multiverse. The Threads are said to reach all planes of existence – all of Reality. However, there is also the Tangle – a group of Threads that should be part of the Weave but have been discarded. Worlds where magic has almost died out (such as ours) are part of the Tangle.

Gythyanki raiders have captured a Spinner – a type of magical Spider that lives in the strands of the Weave. In desperation, the Spinner cast its web into the Weave, hoping to capture creatures that she could convince to help her in exchange for their freedom. The gythyanki threw off her aim, and the web found its way into the Tangle, capturing our PCs by mistake.

Now, our celebrity gamers have been pulled through the Weave, mixing themselves with their characters. They have modern, “real”-world personalities, with the physical forms and abilities of D&D characters.

Their DM, Chris Rock, has become a disembodied voice-over that describes what they’re seeing with his characteristic sarcastic wit. In addition, his face-blindness mixes them up, sometimes calling for turns out of proper initiative order. The threats they face would likely be too much for the characters to handle, were it not for them sometimes getting an extra turn or taking their turns in a convenient order. Ambushes against the characters are also avoided, due to them being able to hear his voice-over catchphrase at the start of any battle, “Them’s Fighting Words!”

How to Begin
After running some antics with the celebrities on the set of the TV show, there is a sudden blackout. The producers tell the celebrities to remain calm, before bright lines of impossible colors shoot through the darkness. The world lurches and spins. There is a moment where time stands still and yet many things appear to be happening at once. Confusion ensues.

Then, the characters come to themselves on a rocky bluff overlooking a Ruined Monastery. Chris Rock’s disembodied voice tells them, “Y’all find yourselves overlooking the once-proud Abbey of Ysukka. Hundreds of years have past since its glory days – when the place was crackalakin’ – and now it floats in the Astral Sea, infested with vermin, undead, and worse. Recently it’s been occupied by Githyanki – the worst kind of Yankee! You can’t shake the feeling that you’re here to rescue someone.”

Sure enough, after a moment of initial panic and confusion, the PCs can make their way through the Monastery, its outbuildings, and its cemetery, encountering swarms of vermin, skeletons, and the occasional gythyanki patrol. Whenever an encounter turns into combat, Chris Rock’s voice announces, “Them’s Fighting Words!” Oddly enough, the monsters can hear it too. To make matters stranger, everyone (NPCs and Monsters included) is aware of time passing while they are waiting for their turn, and when Chris Rock messes up the initiative order, they are aware of that too. Intelligent creatures will comment on it, often complaining that it should be their turn to go, or that the situation is unfair.

Boss Battle
Eventually, the PCs will make it to the Cloister, where the Githyanki commander was made aware of their presence by the Silent Chime of a magical alarm ward. She has prepared for them by summoning three Giant Fungal Wretches. Chris Rock makes many jokes and messes up the initiative order, much to the commander’s frustration.

The Rescue
Behind the cloister, the Spinner has been imprisoned, where Githyanki have been extracting her webs (for their various magical properties, including their ability to move through dimensions.) If the PCs can solve the puzzle of the magical wards, the Spinner can return herself and them to her home in a cavern near the Tangle.

The Journey Home
To get home, the PCs need to find the Hanged Elf – a Planeswalker who, while searching for magical secrets of the Multiverse, fell into The Tangle and was trapped in Threads. Arms, legs, and neck are now wrapped in reality-threads, and he dangles there, stuck for all eternity. He would have died – choked on threads – but for his many years of studying ancient elven protection magics before he began his expedition. But now, the very magic that keeps him alive makes it impossible for him to free himself from the Tangle. At any rate, he can locate and pull the right thread to send the PCs home. For a price of knowledge, which he still craves.

Afterward
Somehow, magically, the entire scenario was still recorded by the cameras at home, and this episode of “Whose Turn Is It, Anyway?” becomes a top-rated phenomenon, further expanding the reach of D&D and other TTRPGs into the mainstream zeitgeist.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Traitor’s Ruin, a 5E dungeon for any tier of play

Ingredients:
  • Ruined Monastery
  • Silent Chime
  • Face Blindness
  • Fighting Words
  • Extradimensional Arachnid
  • The Hanged Elf
  • Reality Show
The ruined monastery of Mainistir Fheallaire looms on the edge of a sea cliff, lashed by storms and surf. It was once the home of an order of elven clerics. They were betrayed from within, leading to the complete slaughter of the faithful in a single blood-soaked night. Mainistir Fheallaire is said to be cursed and is avoided by all. But recently, a woman has appeared in the characters’ dreams, wordlessly urging them to enter the monastery to compete for untold riches within.

Entrance

The area around Mainistir Fheallaire is now overgrown with cruel brambles. But the path to the front entrance can be easily located, even if picking one’s way up it is a slow and difficult process. Hard to spot without looking for it (DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check), are an unusual number of spiderwebs amongst the brambles, despite a lack of insects that the spiders would prey upon.

The entrance of the monastery is at the base of a partially ruined bell tower. Even from the ground, it’s clear that the bell is no longer in the tower.

The heavy double doors have been smashed in by fallen stones. There also appear to be barricades on the inside of the doors that remain somewhat intact. The entire mess is held together by thick brambles, sealing the entrance. There does not appear to be any other way in or out of the ruined monastery, other than climbing the walls and roof to get into courtyard. (A successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check is required to do so.)

The keystone above the doors is clear of grime. A message has been carved into the stone in Elvish, which is clearly legible, even in the worst weather or at night, because someone -- or something — wants the message to be read: “Let neither friend nor foe stand between me and my prize.”

Any who read the message aloud vanish, and are teleported to a random room inside (roll 1d4 for the room). The spell shroud identity is cast on them (DC 24 WIS save to resist.) using a ninth level spell slot as they arrive. Those teleported inside will not recognize even lifelong companions shrouded by the spell.

1. Beneath the bell tower

The ruined main door is just as impassible from the inside. The other exit from the room leads to the central courtyard of the monastery. Pinned to the door with a rusted sword is the skeletal corpse of an elf.

The bell that once hung in the tower has fallen here, now cracked and bent. Any who stand in the tower can feel the vibration of a great bell ringing in panicked alarm, even though no sound can be heard.

Any puddle or other reflective surface within the monastery doesn’t reflect what it ought to, something that it takes a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to realize. Instead, the reflections are a window into another dimension: On the far side, a dark-skinned woman with six arms and the head of a spider leans on a throne dangling from spiderwebs stretched across an infinite void, watching those within the monastery. Around her, dangling from webs of their own, are dozens of other fiends, each whispering to themselves as they watch those within the monastery, seemingly enjoying their struggles.

2. Courtyard

The puddle-filled courtyard has exits leading to the bell tower, the cells and the abbot’s chambers. Other exits are blocked by collapsed rubble.

In the center of the courtyard, growing up from the earth where a garden once grew is a black metal limb, ending in an arthropod’s claw clutching an enormous ruby. The ruby is equal in value to the group’s average level in thousands of gold. A message on the stone circle circling the limb on the ground reads, in Elvish, “to the victor go the spoils.”

Any time a shrouded figure, including a PC, dies in the monastery, the ruby grows in size. It increases in value by thousands of gold equal to the level of the slain figure.

The claw refuses to release the gem. Forcing the claw open requires a successful DC 30 Strength check. Destroying the limb is likewise almost impossible, with damage resistance 50 to all damage types and it requires 100 hit points of damage to break. In either case, the stolen ruby dissolves into a mass of spiders once it’s been seized.

Once all other figures in the monastery are dead, the claw opens. It releases the ruby for the survivor to take and teleports them back to the entrance outside the belltower.

A minute after someone arrives in the courtyard, another shrouded figure steps out of the shadows and attacks. They have identical stats as the player character. If they’re killed, the cobwebs fall away from their face, revealing the face of the player character they’ve duplicated before they and their belongings collapse into cobwebs. Should they kill the player character, the shrouded figure slips back into the shadows and vanishes.

This scenario repeats once for each player character, the first time they arrive in the courtyard.

3. The cells

Exits from this area lead to the courtyard and to the abbot’s chamber.

Most of the cells where the monks lived in life are now in ruins, spiderwebs filling the gaps between fallen stones. The cells that are passable have long-ago bloodstains on the floors and walls and most have the bones of slain clerics.

The last cell has been barricaded from the inside, although not well: It only takes a successful DC 15 Strength check to force one’s way into the room. Inside, there are no figures or corpses, but written on the wall in dried blood is the message “I QUI-.” The last letter of “quit” is missing, as the writer vanished before finishing the word.

Anyone saying “I quit” out loud is telepathically contacted by a female presence. She doesn’t speak in words, but asks if the speaker is really giving up the treasure by leaving. Anyone who agrees is teleported back outside the monastery, finding themselves standing before the bell tower once again, the shroud dispelled off them.

4. The abbot’s chamber

Exits from the abbot’s chamber lead to the courtyard and to the cells.

The chamber is in ruins, but in better shape than the rest of the monastery. Religious icons around the walls of the room have all been defaced and the large mirrors on two walls have had most of their glass smashed out.

In the center of the room, a ghostly elf cleric struggles at the end of a noose, kicking frantically, hands bound behind their back, clearly unable to save themselves. A sign around their neck reads “BETRAYER.”

The rope the elf dangles from is solid enough to sever or otherwise pull down, freeing the ghost from its torment.

The grateful and silent ghost of the elf casts two spells on those who cut them down before departing for their afterlife: cure wounds and aid, both cast with a third level spell slot.

Shroud Identity
1st-level illusion
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a fistful of spider webs)
Duration: 1 hour
You conceal one creature – including their voice, body language, clothing, armor, weapons, and other belongings on their person – by shrouding them with an illusory shroud of thick spiderwebs crawling with spiders. The target’s voice is muffled and wobbles up and down in pitch, making it impossible to identify their regular voice.

If cast on an unwilling subject, the creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw to resist being shrouded.

The effect lasts until you use your action to dismiss it. The shrouds disguise the subject’s height and weight, making them seem potentially 1 foot shorter or taller and disguising whether they are naturally thin, fat, or in between. The spell can’t change body type, so the shrouded target still has a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs.

The changes wrought by this spell fail to hold up to physical inspection. To see through the shroud and discern who is concealed within, a creature can use its action to inspect the subject’s appearance and must succeed on an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC.

At Higher Levels
. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd or 4th level, it lasts for 8 hours. When you use a spell slot of 5th or 6th level, it lasts for up to 24 hours. When you use a spell slot of 7th or 8th level, it lasts for up to 7 days. When you use a spell slot of 9th level, it lasts until dispelled.

Spell Lists. Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard
 

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