D&D 5E Out of the Abyss OOC


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Captured by the drow! You wouldn’t wish this fate upon anyone, yet here you are—locked in a dark cave, the cold weight of metal heavy in a tight ring around your throat and wrists. You are not alone. Other prisoners are trapped in here with you, in an underground outpost far from the light of the sun.

Your captors include a drow priestess who the others call Mistress Ilvara. Over the past several days, you’ve had the misfortune to meet her several times. She favors the whip, does Mistress Ilvara. Robed in silken garments and flanked by two male drow—one who whom is sullen and has a mass of scars mapping his face and neck—Ilvara is not to be trifled with. Just yesterday, she and her consort—a younger male drow—enjoyed dinner theater that included the flaying of a deep gnome prisoner. The gnome hadn’t displeased Mistress; rather, he was plucked at random from the cell you share and used for sport.

Mistress Ilvara likes to impress her will with scourge in hand. Your life belongs to her. "Accept your fate," you have heard her say between lashings of the scourge, "learn to obey, and you may survive." Her words linger, even as you plot escape.

Setting: Forgotten Realms, Underdark Click here for the Forgotten Realms Wiki
Level: 3rd
Ability Scores: 27 point buy (see "5e Point Buy System," below)
hp: Max at 1st lvl, PHB average for your class for 2nd and 3rd level (see "5e Average hp," below)
Feats: Yes
Multiclassing: Yes
Variant Human: Yes
Variant Equipment Sizes: We will be employing the "Variant: Equipment Sizes" option, PHB 144. At DM discretion, not all the worn items you find will automatically fit all characters (a non-exhaustive list of relevant factors includes size and race).
Race: PHB, EEPC, SCAG, select UA articles, and select monstrous races (see "Approved Source Material," and "On Monstrous Races," both below). The list of select monstrous races contains: bullywug, gnoll, goblin, kenku, kobold, lizardfolk, and orc.
[sblock=On Monstrous Races]If you opt for one of the monstrous races (and it would be fun if someone did), be advised you and I will have a discussion about what class you seek to pair it with, and how you’ll equip it. I reserve the right to veto class or equipment selections that, when paired with a monstrous race, would lead to unreasonable game results. We’ll be using class hit dice, NOT racial hit dice (so no multiattack, for example, but anything the relevant entry on the chart in the DMG 282 says, you get). If you do not have the DMG, no problem, please see the sblocked material listed below.

If Common isn’t listed as a known language either in the description for each race (below), or on DMG 282, please note that absent you selecting Common as a known language, your character will have limited means of communication. Also, please note that we’ll be employing the “Variant: Equipment Sizes” option, PHB 144; if you elect to play a monstrous race, there’s a better than decent chance any worn items the group finds will have to be custom altered before becoming wearable.

[sblock=Bullywug]-2 Int, -2 Cha
Amphibious: The bullywug can breathe air and water.
Speak with frogs and toads: The bullywug can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.
Swamp Camouflage: The bullywug has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy water.
Standing Leap: The bullywug’s long jump is up to 20’ and its high jump is up to 10’, with or without a running start.
Speed 20’
Swim 40’
Language: Bullywug[/sblock]
[sblock=Gnoll]+2 Str, -2 Int
Rampage: When the gnoll reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack on its turn, the gnoll can take a bonus action to move up to half its speed and make a bite attack. The gnoll’s bite attack is a melee weapon attack that uses 1d20 + the gnoll’s strength modifier + the gnoll’s class proficiency bonus as the attack roll, and 1d4 + the gnoll’s strength modifier as the damage roll.
Darkvision 60’
Language: Gnoll[/sblock]
[sblock=Goblin]-2 Str, +2 Dex
Nimble Escape: The goblin can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.
Size small
Speed 30’
Darkvision 60’
Languages: Common and Goblin[/sblock]
[sblock=Kenku]+2 Dex
Ambusher: The kenku has advantage on attack rolls against any creature it has surprised.
Mimicry: The kenku can mimic any sounds it has heard, including voices. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Insight) check.
Languages: Understands Common and Auran, but speaks only through the use of its Mimicry trait.[/sblock]
[sblock=Kobold]-4 Str, +2 Dex
Pack Tactics: The kobold has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the kobold’s allies is within 5’ of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Sunlight Sensitivity: While in sunlight, the kobold has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Size small
Speed 30’
Darkvision 60’
Languages: Common and Draconic[/sblock]
[sblock=Lizardfolk]+2 Str, -2 Int
Hold Breath: The lizardfolk can hold its breath for 15 minutes.
Natural Armor +3
Speed 30’
Swim 30’
Language: Draconic[/sblock]
[sblock=Orc]+2 Str, -2 Int
Aggressive: As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.
Darkvision 60’
Languages: Common and Orc[/sblock]
Class: PHB, EEPC, SCAG, select UA articles (see "Approved Source Material," below)
Equipment: Per your Class and Background
Trinket: Yes. You may select one trinket of your choice, or provide a d100 roll, or ask the DM to select a trinket for you.
Alignment: Any
Deity: Any, including non-FR
Background: Yes. By "background" I mean both the PHB Backgrounds, as well as no more than two paragraphs relaying what will inform your roleplay of your character. Things that particularly attract my attention include a character's motivations and relationships to: individuals, organizations, and environment (for example). If you can, please include material that is prospective (forward-looking) or that provides a potential plot hook. For a list of Bonds custom-tailored to this adventure, see "Out of the Abyss Bonds," below.
Inspiration: Yes. Two paragraphs of written background (see "Background," above) earn you Inspiration at the start of play.
Traits: 2
Ideal: 1
Bond: 1
Flaw: 1
Madness: Yes
[sblock=Madness]"At the best of times, the Underdark is a bizarre, alien, and inhospitable world, but certain influences have transformed it into a domain of madness and chaos. Faerzress acts as a catalyst, spreading this influence throughout the Underdark. At various times, characters will be called upon to make a saving throw to resist some madness-inducing effect." In OotA, "madness is measured in three levels:

Level 1: Bout of short-term madness (lasts 1d10 minutes)
Level 2: Bout of long-term madness (lasts 1d10 x 10 hours)
Level 3: Bout of indefinite madness (lasts until cured)"

Credit: Wizards of the Coast and Green Ronin Publishing

We will additionally be employing the tables in the "Madness Effects"section of the DMG, pp 259-260:

"A calm emotions spell can suppress the effects of madness, while a lesser restoration spell can rid a character of a short-term or long-term madness. Depending on the source of the madness, remove curse or dispel evil might also prove effective. A greater restoration spell or more powerful magic is required to rid a character of indefinite madness."

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Neither the module nor the DMG specify what the Wisdom saving throw DC shall be. I've set the base at Wisdom saving throw DC 10, to be modified in difficulty according to the situation.
Approved Source Material:

Schtick: Not everyone has a "schtick," but if your character does, I want to know about it so I don’t overlook it during play. Examples: 1) my character is super observant (has Passive Perception 21); 2) my character is noble-born and well-networked; or 3) my character will always try to shove enemies prone (Shield Master feat).

NOTE FROM THE DM: Having read the adventure, I posit that players who select a non-Underdark race are more likely to get more enjoyment out of this campaign. Chaos, wonder, whimsy, and horror feature in this adventure, and are more likely to shine for non-Underdark races. That said, I can work with whatever you derive!

[sblock=5e Point Buy System]
[U][B]Score[/B][/U]     [B][U]Cost[/U][/B]

[sblock=5e Average hp]
1d4 = 3 hit points
1d6 = 4 hit points
1d8 = 5 hit points
1d10 = 6 hit points
1d12 = 7 hit points

[sblock=Online Dice Rollers]If you haven't done PbP before, the custom for using dice is to either use the EN World dice roller, or use a third-party online dice roller and post a link to your roll. If you opt for the EN World roller, this is the nomenclature you use:

{rollv}2d6{/rollv} -- displays each roll separately

You replace the { } with [ ]. You can name your dice rolls, too. This:


will yield this result:


Sometimes, however, the EN World dice roller misfires when one attempts to name multiple rolls in the same post. That's why a lot of us don't use the naming feature.

Also, editing posts with a die roll can be tricky. You can edit text in a post that includes a roll, but you cannot: 1) edit a roll; or 2) edit in a roll after a post has been submitted. This comes up, for example, when you roll a natural 20 and need to roll critical hit damage; if that happens, just post a second time with a die roll for your crit. If you have the Great Weapon Fighting style and a greatsword, either use the [rollv] convention, or include two separate rolls for each d6 of the greatsword's 2d6 damage.

If you opt to use a third-party online dice roller, please do NOT use Invisible Castle; that site functions irregularly. Reliable easy-to-use online die rolling sites I like include: coyotecode.net, and orokos.com. Orokos.com requires a (free) user account. Coyotecode.net does not. You will very often see me link to dice rolls on coyotecode.net. There are other online dice rollers, and you are welcome to use any of them that appeal to you.[/sblock]

[sblock=Out of the Abyss Bonds]This section appears in Appendix A of OotA, and provides alternative bonds that characters may select in lieu of the bonds from Backgrounds.

  • You were once lost in the Underdark, and a group of kuo-toa helped you find your way out. You learned that there are kindly folk even among that otherwise mad race, and remain indebted to them for their aid.
  • You once had the opportunity to meet a circle of myconids—the mushroom folk of the Underdark. They offered you shelter and a chance to "meld" using their telepathic spores, and you have yearned ever since to repeat that experience.
  • One of your best friends in your youth was Morista Malkin, a shield dwarf and member of the Emerald Enclave. Though you haven’t seen her in years, you heard she found her way to the reclaimed dwarf hold of Guantlgrym.
  • You once worked for Davra Jassur, a Zhentarim "troubleshooter" recruiting promising new talent for the Black Network. She helped you get your start as an ______________, and you owe her for that.
  • You have long had a curious recurring dream about visiting a vaulted stone library in the depths of the Underdark, and becoming lost in the endless lore it holds.
  • You studied with a deep gnome alchemist and miner named Kazook Pickshine, who saved your life once when a magical experiment went awry. Last you heard, his family controlled some of the largest mines in the deep gnome settlement of Blingdenstone.
  • What little you know about the Underdark, you learned from living and fighting alongside the Feldrun clan of dwarves. You swore and honor debt to the clan before they joined the forces retaking Gauntlgrym and established themselves there.
  • Years ago, a vicious noble named Ghazrim DuLoc was implicated in the death of someone you cared about. The crime was covered up, though, and DuLoc disappeared. Rumor has it the Zhentarim aided his escape, but you’ve sworn to find him one day.
  • Years ago, you lost people you loved in a raid by creatures from the Underdark. They disappeared without a trace, either slain or taken into the depths, and you've always wondered whether they might still be alive and held as prisoners.
  • You know the dwarf hold of Gauntlgrym well, having fought alongside the dwarves to help reclaim it. King Bruenor Battlehammer contratulated you on your valor, and you know the price the dwarves paid in blood to regain their home.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast and Green Ronin Publishing

[sblock=Faerzress]The following information may be relied on only by a character intimately familiar with the Underdark.

"An unusual magical energy the drow call faerzress pervades much of the Underdark. The origin of this mysterious arcane power is unknown. Legend—for those who know anything at all of the Underdark—claims it is an ancient elven magic dating back to the time when the dark elves were first exiled from the world above. The drow and other Underdark creatures use the properties of areas suffused with faerzress to protect their settlements.

Areas suffused with faerzress range in size from a few dozen feet to several miles in diameter, and feature the following effects:

  • Areas suffused with faerzress are always filled with dim light.
  • A creature in an area suffused with faerzress has advantage on saving throws against any divination spells. If a divination spell doesn’t allow a saving throw, the caster must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw to cast the spell. Failing this save means the spell is wasted and has no effect.
  • Any creature attempting to teleport into, within, or out of a faerzress-suffused area must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 1d10 force damage and the teleportation attempt fails. Even if the save succeeds, the teleportation attempt can suffer a mishap as if the destination was known only by description, regardless of how familiar the destination is.
  • Areas suffused with faerzress have become tainted by chaos. When a spell is cast in a faerzress-suffused area, the caster rolls a d20. On a roll of 1, the spell has an additional effect, determined by rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table in chapter 3, 'Classes,' of the PHB.

Though faerzress can’t be dispelled, its effects are temporarily suppressed in the area of an antimagic field."

Credit: Wizards of the Coast and Green Ronin Publishing

  • How long does it take to scribe spells at level up? 1 hour, at a cost of zero gp.
  • How long does it take to scribe spells discovered as loot during adventuring? 2 hours and 50 gp, per spell level.
  • How do I do hp at level ups? Average per 5e PHB (e.g., 1d8 = 5 hp).
  • How do I identify spells as they are being cast or as I encounter them? If identify, detect magic, or its ilk don't apply, then you either automatically know the spell or will need to roll an Intelligence (Arcana) or Intelligence (Religion) DC 12 + spell level check.
[sblock=Identifying spells as they are cast]If the spell is a racial cantrip/spell, or is a spell that appears on your spell list, and is of a level you can cast, you automatically identify the spell. E.g., a drow would automatically recognize dancing lights; a 3rd-level cleric would automatically recognize silence (but not feign death, because feign death is a 3rd-level cleric spell; a 2nd level sorcerer who knows detect magic, expeditious retreat, and sleep would automatically recognize color spray but not darkness, since color spray is a 1st-level spell but darkness is a 2nd-level spell). One time this gets sketchy is, for example, whether a rock gnome would automatically know minor illusion without even having to interact with the illusion. Happily, at the moment that's a moot point since we neither have a rock gnome nor have encountered one. If we ever encounter one, I reserve the right to adjudicate on a case-by-case basis whether an Intelligence check applies for such identification (leaning heavily toward yes since otherwise would seriously nerf the minor illusion spell).

Absent a spell being a racial cantrip/spell, or the spell appearing on your spell list of a level you can cast, spellcasters may make either an Intelligence (Arcana) or Intelligence (Religion) check, DC 12 + spell level, to identify the spell. Additionally, non-spellcasters generally may not make a roll to identify a spell (I won't say never, because in rare circumstances I can envision it being reasonable for a fighter or rogue, for example, to get such a roll).[/sblock]​
  • Kamael: Shield spell automatically activates if more than five (5) points of damage would occur and casting shield would prevent said damage entirely. The spell will not activate if, even after casting, the attack would still be a hit. When fighting ghouls or monsters with poison or when Kamael is concentrating, the burden to lower the threshold at which shield auto-activates shall be Yavathol's to declare on a per-round basis.
  • Brinn: Deflect Missiles activates as a reaction to deflect or catch a missile when Brinn is hit by a ranged weapon attack. Brinn may reduce the damage from such an attack by 1d10 + monk level + Dexterity modifier (1d10+6 at 3rd level monk). Catching the projectile does not incur a ki cost. If Brinn wishes to use the caught projectile as part of his reaction to make a ranged attack, he may do so but must pay 1 ki point. PHB 78.
  • Vision and Light: In lightly obscured areas such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, Wisdom (Perception) that rely on sight suffer disadvantage. In heavily obscured areas such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage, vision is blocked entirely and creatures effectively suffer from the blinded condition. PHB 183.
  • Blinded: A blinded creature can't see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage and the creature's attack rolls have disadvantage. PHB 290

[sblock=Default Marching Order]FAST, single-file: Kago << Shuushar << Solace << Turvey << Kamael << Raza << Jimjar << Stool << Brinn
FAST, two-abreast: Kago + Shuushar << Solace + Turvey << Kamael << Raza + Jimjar << Stool + Brinn
SLOW, single-file: Solace << Turvey << [space] << Kago (navigating) << Shuushar << Kamael (mapping) << Raza << Jimjar << Stool << Brinn
SLOW, two-abreast: Solace + Turvey << [space] << Kago + Shuushar << Kamael << Raza + Jimjar << Stool + Brinn

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?473086-Out-of-the-Abyss-OOC/page26#ixzz3xRj6Bj00 [/sblock]

[sblock=Default Watch Order]
Kamael & Shuushar >> Brinn, Stool & Jimjar >> Solace & Turvey >> Kago & Raza

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?473086-Out-of-the-Abyss-OOC/page30#ixzz3zGL8qMzH[/sblock]

[MENTION=23484]Kobold Stew[/MENTION]
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I'd planned to post this promptly on December 1, but decided on a whim to get rolling on character generation a bit early. I still have roughly seven more days to go before I wrap up my two existing PbP games, but we're close enough to a close in both that I feel confident in moving forward with OotA. With American Thanksgiving this Thursday, I'm betting some of you will be around with a little bit of spare time to dream up characters. Have fun!

Quickleaf will be joining us intermittently in the role of an NPC.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, KS. :)
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Ok, really excited!!

I'd like to hear from the other players before deciding anything, but I'm currently leaning towards a skirmisher-type character, like a Deep Stalker Ranger, or possibly an Undying Warlock with some of the new SCAG cantrips like Greenflame Blade & Booming blade. I have lots of things I'd like to try, but as I said, nothing finalised until everyone else has commented, so that we can get some interesting inter-party connections going..:)

CB, since you mentioned Wild Magic, what are you thoughts on Wild Magic sorceror PCs and the frequency of triggering their wild surges? (Just out of interest, not sure if I want to be tied to having access to the table when I might be on the move)

Ok, really excited!!
Yay! First player to post!

CB, since you mentioned Wild Magic, what are you thoughts on Wild Magic sorceror PCs and the frequency of triggering their wild surges? (Just out of interest, not sure if I want to be tied to having access to the table when I might be on the move)
I've not DMed a wild magic sorcerer yet, but I think the wild magic surge table is invoked on a natural 1 on a d20 roll made for each casting of a non-cantrip, yes? I remember reading that and thinking "geez, that's not very often." But don't forget, we'll also be coping with madness, and the two of those combined ought to make for FUN.

Were you thinking you want to up the wild magic surge frequency?

I've seen this:

We did, however, find that wild magic doesn't go off often enough for our liking. So we house ruled that every time it doesn't go off, we increase the number. So the second time, it goes off on a '1 or 2'. Then '1-3'. And so on, so forth. The number resets at a long rest or when the wild surge goes off.
Credit: EN Worlder MortalPlague

Seems neat, but also seems like extra to have to track. I like a streamlined set of rules. I do better when I have fewer fiddly bits to remember as I adjudicate. If you took wild magic sorcerer and want increased frequency of wild surges, are you willing to do the work tracking such a thing?


Ah, I was confusing the Wild Surge with Tides of Chaos ability. Wild Surge is the natural 1 ability, which isn't very often. However Tides of Chaos gives advantage on a roll, once per long rest. Any time after you cast a sorceror spell (except cantrips) the DM can choose to have a Wild Surge, which re-charges the Tides of Chaos ability, no need for a long rest.

This is a unique mechanism in 5e, since the DM might choose never to use this, or might always do so every time (which would give the PC a power boost). I'm guessing with most DMs that they would use this, if reminded, when they think it dramatically appropriate. As a player, its a pretty cool ability (both the advantage and the Surge!) that I'd like more often than once/day but it is indeed another thing to remember. I guess if the player remembers the criteria and gently prompts the DM then that takes some of the work off of you (without having to track an incrementing number). Or you could replace the DM call with a random roll?


My standard go-to is a dwarf of some sort, usually a fighter or cleric. But the idea of a goblin rogue is intriguing as well. I'm also fond of the prospect of an orc brute, struggling not only with his captors, but with his own morality in fighting alongside "the good guys," rather than just killing them.

I am currently in New Orleans for the holiday, so I don't have access to my books, but I can still go and find a wall to beat my head against while I ponder.



Hey all! I wanted to drop in so you all know I'm here. I don't have any strong, must-play ideas so I'll be thinking things over the next few days. Just so you know, I'm taking off for holiday with family soon as I post this and probably won't be posting much until I return Saturday or Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate it!

I'm guessing with most DMs that they would use this, if reminded, when they think it dramatically appropriate. As a player, its a pretty cool ability (both the advantage and the Surge!) that I'd like more often than once/day but it is indeed another thing to remember. I guess if the player remembers the criteria and gently prompts the DM then that takes some of the work off of you (without having to track an incrementing number). Or you could replace the DM call with a random roll?
OK, now I'm tracking with what you meant re: the interplay of Tides of Chaos and Wild Surge. I like collaboration. I also like control. I wouldn't want to cede control of the DM's ability to call for a Wild Magic surge roll, because FUN! Calling for such a roll after a use of Tides of Chaos very much appeals to my desire to capitalize upon in-game dramatic tension. But I also like the idea of the player making meaningful contribution to the awesome cool theater that is gaming. In other words, it's not just *my* game, it's *our* game, and players should be invited to contribute in meaningful ways whenever possible. This strikes me as one such way.

So let's split the baby--to borrow a biblical quasi-legal term. If you (or anyone else) ends up playing a sorcerer, I'll call for Wild Magic surges following reliance on Tides of Chaos when I think it's cinematic, appropriate, and/or fun to do so, and you feel free to anticipate and provide a roll on the Wild Magic surge table when you feel similarly. If you're asking me whether you can constantly gain advantage by going this route, the answer is an emphatic no. You won't be able to do that. But I think more than one use per long rest of Tides of Chaos is no problem. I won't peg a black-letter number on how many times per long rest I'd call for a Wild Magic roll following invocation of Tides of Chaos, but I can see that using both during play would lead to fun, and that's all I really need to know to want to do it.

TLDR: Tides of Chaos is likely to get more use than just one time per long rest.

First, this is my first PbP. So please be kind!
Silly. Of course. Everyone here is a friend. You wait, I'd lay money that after a little while of gaming together you'll call some of us good friends, even. My bad about several of you taking off for Thanksgiving without bringing a PHB; I said I'd post this bad boy on Dec 1, then got hot under the collar to get it rolling early. Ya'll can be reading along here and there and mulling over concepts in your heads until your return. For my part, I will be here and present to answer questions. My spouse is a pastor, so Thanksgiving and Christmas are high holy work weeks in this house; we don't travel anywhere. Our home is where others congregate, and I'm the primary chef, but other than that, I'll be kicking around the site for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Don't try to find me the second week in June, though. That's beach time, baby.

Moving on ... my preference is to play a non-spellcaster.
So far, no one has definitively spoken up for a caster roll. One person made mention to me via PM about possibly playing a caster, but hasn't decided yet what route to take. If we wind up without a spellcaster, that'll be fun. I can make anything work. You guys' job in the here and now is to draft the character that you most want to play. This is to be a long-running game, so it's important to me that everyone have the character they most want.

blah blah blah Haruchai Bloodguard from the Land (Donaldson, if you're familiar with it). blah blah blah
First, I'm kidding about the blahs. Second, I'm thinking about all the games I've DMed, both tabletop and PbP, and I can think of only one monk I've ever seen. And that was for 3.0, The Sunless Citadel. So, yeah, Monk sounds cool. Also, I confess I had to look up Haruchai Bloodguard. And Donaldson. But then I saw Thomas Covenant, and was all, like, ok, I've heard of that. Super grim and gritty, right? Sounds perfect for OotA.

I'll have to start looking at some Forgotten Realms info to better place him in the campaign world.
So this is where I interject that I really don't know squat about the Realms, and Realms knowledge won't feature very often in my game. I mean, I have that big fancy 3.0 FRCS book that many of us have, but I've only ever skimmed a few sections. I certainly never read anything close to even a complete chapter in that bad boy. If anyone's a Realms lover, you're absolutely welcome to draw on your love for and knowledge of the Realms as you draft your character and as we play. I won't be able to keep up with you, and I won't try to do so, but I'm sure I'll benefit from and enjoy your knowledge, particularly if it means it helps you finetune your roleplay. I provide the link to the Realms wiki because it's a resource I occasionally use in-game, and I like the idea of providing as much support to players as possible. I'm certainly no Realms-lore treasure trove, though.

I've never played a monk class in my many years, so I'm fairly excited about this.
Brilliant. This is exactly what I hope to hear at this stage; players who have an idea forming on the fringe of their mind that they're not quite sure how to realize but are stoked about seeing coming to life.
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My standard go-to is a dwarf of some sort, usually a fighter or cleric. But the idea of a goblin rogue is intriguing as well. I'm also fond of the prospect of an orc brute, struggling not only with his captors, but with his own morality in fighting alongside "the good guys," rather than just killing them.
Just giving the official stamp of approval to your tentative thoughts (not that you need it at this early stage!)...dwarves always welcome, and the 60' darkvision would be useful in the Underdark. I've already been busy dreaming up ways to riff on and/or play with a party of "I-can-haz-darkvishun" characters.

Love the idea of the orc brute. Morally grey internal struggle? Yes, please. Also, it's super cool to see someone picking up and potentially running with my offer to play a monstrous race. I was hoping at least one of you would bite at that.
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For the record, I was sincere when I stipulated that any alignment, even evil, is acceptable. Everyone here is brilliant, interested in roleplay and backstory, and in having fun. You're all emotionally intelligent peeps, and I for one am stoked to see all manner of delicious characters artfully drawn and skillfully brought to life in the IC.
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If you (or anyone else) ends up playing a sorcerer, I'll call for Wild Magic surges following reliance on Tides of Chaos when I think it's cinematic, appropriate, and/or fun to do so, and you feel free to anticipate and provide a roll on the Wild Magic surge table when you feel similarly. If you're asking me whether you can constantly gain advantage by going this route, the answer is an emphatic no. You won't be able to do that. But I think more than one use per long rest of Tides of Chaos is no problem.

Great, that helps, in that it clarifies things. Now really torn between an Aasimar Wild Sorceror and an Air Genasi or Human Deep Stalker Ranger though! If any of the other players have any thoughts or any reservations about wild surges potentially affecting their character, please let me know:) It occurs to me that at the moment we don't seem to have any healer types, so taking the ranger would at least allow the group access to Cure Wounds..

Aasimar Wild Sorceror
I'm tempted to do something wicked with the wings.

Should developing the character be a PM thing, on this thread, or elsewhere? For example, I am debating between making the "Haruchai" a standard human, a "variant human" (per the variant human rules) or making it a variant race (per prior builds I found for d20 and 1e, and adapting it pursuant to the alternate races section).
Character development will occur here in the OOC. PM me if you have a particular need for secrecy (because, again, sometimes that's uber fun), but otherwise just plunk down your thoughts here. There are lots of compelling reasons to work collaboratively during character generation (first and foremost, it's awesome fun...a distant second is that it helps players fill in party composition gaps).

Regarding race and class builds, my strong preference is that players stick to the approved source material I've already vetted and listed in the originating post (OP) in this thread. Hunt through that to see if something accommodates your character concept. If, after you've hunted, there is truly nothing that can be made to fit, then we can talk about homebrewing a race or class. I've chosen the approved source material very carefully to ensure it's a reasonably good fit with the campaign.


I have no need for secrecy- I am an open book! So, here's my initial sketch.

The Haruchai are a proud people, strong of mind and body, incredibly fast. (Insert longer history here). Due to that deal, a single child who wins the combat at age 12 gets sent to the Lords once every 3 years. From then on, he is bound to service. This is the greatest honor for any Haruchai. They serve the Lords completely, training their minds and bodies to be of service, in devotion, and complete warriors. No Haruchai guard has ever failed in service to the lords (etc.)

Brinn (name may change) is a young Haruchai guard (note- original name is Bloodguard) who was attached to a routine guard duty for the High Lord Kelvin. During the hunting expedition-
a. A portal opened from the FR, drawing them in (normally, this plane, like Dark Sun, is removed); or
b. A drow raiding party ambushed them (I couldn't find a FR-similar setting, but if someone else can point me in the right direction, I'll take it, because portals is kind of hand-wavey).

The drow killed off the other Bloodguard with their magic as well as Lord Kelvin, but Brinn was captured as he fell victim to a incapacitating spell.

So ... brief notes from this-

1. Brinn is a LN Monk (moving to the Open Hand selection).
2. Brinn will not use any weapons, including monk weapons. He has been trained to believe in his inherent superiority, and that his body is the only weapon he needs. He may use a weapon in a combat that is lying around as needed, but he will never carry a weapon.
3. Brinn does not like magic. In his homeland/homeplane, natural magic (druids, rangers, hippies) are respected, "god" magic (clerics etc.) is also fine (Lords) but other spell casters are almost always using it for evil or, perhaps, for not good. This has been exacerbated by his capture. He will be suspicious of other spell casters in the group (that's not a veto! just saying he has issues ;) ). The one exception is wild magic, which was revered in his land (I'm borrowing that from the source material). One effect from this is that I will have to work out how he feels about magic items- but his default is to say "no" for his own use.
4. Brinn does not care about material items. Again, if there is a particular goal in mind, he will acquire the money necessary for that particular goal. But otherwise, he has no desire for money other than basic needs.
5. Brinn is fundamentally broken. I will work this into flaws, etc., but the basic issue is that he has been trained to never fail, to give his own life for the Lords, and to follow his own code. He has failed in his duty, he was captured, and he is alone. He continues to follow his oath of service, he continues to be the same stoic jerk, he continues to view everyone else as less than him, but there is an essential rot at his core from that failure (this might be where the portal idea is useful- because if it was a one-time thing, and he is forever cut off, then he will struggle to replace that).

How's that for a start?

... and here I am still trying to decide between dwarf and orc. I suddenly feel like an underachiever. :)

But yeah... dwarf cleric or orc fighter (or barbarian, depending on my mood when I start counting points).



I love point buy. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. Much more balancing than rolling for stats, IMO. I've never played with feats in 5e either, so I guess I need to do some reading on that. They're optional if I'm not mistaken, correct?

As for monks... Heh, I skipped that chapter. But now I kinda want to play a mage just to piss off your guy! ;)


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