Rel's Faded Glory III: Glory Reborn (FINAL UPDATE 6/22 - SHE'S DONE, BABY!!)

Rel, thank you very much for a highly entertaining storyhour, which you topped off with an excellent climax and a beautifully crafted epilogue.

Throughout, I have been impressed with your skill both as a DM and as a writer - I hope you do take up the storyhour "pen" once again for some future campaign.

Rel said:
Lazarius of Aquae Sulis was seen sporadically in the weeks after they returned from the City of Endless Summer. People say that he would appear every few days with bulging sacks of coins from all over the world, some of them dating back centuries. He shared this wealth with the other Heroes though he also spent princely sums on ale and whor…um, entertainment.

I'm very glad to hear it ... Heroes should always get there rewards! :D

One final (probably) question: mechanically, what was it that caused the Bloodstome blade to finally hit stone and do its work when it did? A critical? Cumulative damage? Or ... umm ... dramatic licence?
 

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Rel

Liquid Awesome
HalfOrc HalfBiscuit said:
Rel, thank you very much for a highly entertaining storyhour, which you topped off with an excellent climax and a beautifully crafted epilogue.

Throughout, I have been impressed with your skill both as a DM and as a writer - I hope you do take up the storyhour "pen" once again for some future campaign.

Thank you (and the rest of you who have posted) for the compliments. I'm sure that my haitus from starting a new story hour will run for at least a couple more months or so unless my Eberron campaign comes to a crashing halt. But in the mean time I intend to finish writing up a couple more of the adventures I've done for my little girl and you can read about those in my Samantha the Red story hour. Samantha the Red is turning 4 in July and growing more sophistocated all the time, so making adventures for her is becoming more challenging and more fun. I also just recently introduced her to some new movies that are providing a lot of fuel for her adventuring fires, those being Willow and The Princess Bride. She loves em'.


I'm very glad to hear it ... Heroes should always get there rewards! :D

That first bit is something that I'm not sure came out in the Story Hour. The Dragon Hoard was so huge that there was no way that the PC's could haul it out when they departed to go fight Bale. They picked up most of the magic items including those that would prove most critical in the upcoming battle (notably the Necklace of Iron Body, the Figurine of the Hippogriff, the Belt of the Suevi, the Lucky Rabbits Foot and of course the Bloodstone Blade). But some of the bulkier magic items like the Floating Throne and the huge mounds of coins simply had to wait.

So Lazarius made a point of returning to he hoard to slowly bring out all the loot to share with the party members and others. As I recall, some of the copper was handed over to the Fodor Tribes to facilitate them getting trade going with the Empire as soon as possible. As a funny aside, they immediately paid over a goodly chunk of this to Tadius Silvanus in payment for some of the magic he had given them as "Emergency War Supplies" and he immediately paid it back to secure the land upon which he intended to start his academy.

Lazarius had been eyeing the Tower of Aquae Sulis, once owned by one of the Dragon's victims, since they first saw it. But Nacalius, one of the Glynden Council members had moved in and was setting himself up as the de facto Mayor of Aquae Sulis. Nacalius had been a pain in their collective ass since the very first night of the whole campaign and it gave Lazarius no small measure of enjoyment to buy the property from beneath him under threat of Lightning Bolt.


One final (probably) question: mechanically, what was it that caused the Bloodstome blade to finally hit stone and do its work when it did? A critical? Cumulative damage? Or ... umm ... dramatic licence?

Interestingly enough, Cathal actually rolled an inordinately large number of criticals agains Bale. At least three including that final blow. But that was not what triggered the magic of the Bloodstone Blade. Bale was getting a Fort save against it every time it struck and only had to roll above a 3 to make it. Since I roll in the open, the players waited with bated breath at each save and each time were disappointed. When it got down to Cathal's last critical I think that Bale made that save as well. BUT, I give out these "Fate Chips" that you can use to re-roll any d20 roll. The players usually kept these in reserve to save thier own characters and had already burned quite a few avoiding the Meteor Swarms and so forth during this encounter. But they also knew that one more Full Attack by Bale and Cathal and probably Marcus were going to be dead. So, they spent a Fate Chip to make Bale re-roll his save and I rolled a 2. Bale gets stoned.

This is one way in which I seem to get lucky over and over again. Rolling in the open is a blessing and a hazard because it provides a lot of tension but things can easily end in disaster. But somehow, some way, the players in my games (including my one-shot Game Day games) always seem to pull out that critical roll or cause an essential failure on a save that ends things in dramatic victory. It is fairly uncanny and probably accounts for a sizeable chunk of my reputation as a good (but Rat-Bastard) GM. If the dice fell just a bit differently then I would likely be regarded as a Killer GM.
 

Funeris

First Post
Well Rel, I'm sad to see it end. But glad it ended so very well.
It was a great story. I'll now lift a drink to you and your tortured victims...er...i mean players....yeah, that's the word...that made this magnificent. When next you write, I'll be there.
 


Cathal

First Post
First off, I'd like to take a second to thank Rel for running this Faded Glory campaign for us--and to thank the other players...I really love playing with these guys--Rel's got a way of keeping things interesting...to wit:

Rel said:
So, they spent a Fate Chip to make Bale re-roll his save and I rolled a 2. Bale gets stoned.

This is one way in which I seem to get lucky over and over again. Rolling in the open is a blessing and a hazard because it provides a lot of tension but things can easily end in disaster. But somehow, some way, the players in my games (including my one-shot Game Day games) always seem to pull out that critical roll or cause an essential failure on a save that ends things in dramatic victory. It is fairly uncanny and probably accounts for a sizeable chunk of my reputation as a good (but Rat-Bastard) GM. If the dice fell just a bit differently then I would likely be regarded as a Killer GM.

I was just telling PO:Marius the other day that there're few significant combats that go by in which I don't feel (and frequently say) "well, this one's a TPK for sure"...and yet, at the end, almost all of us are able to get back up and carry on. I also appreciate that the threat is real--Rel doesn't pull punches (much?), so if the dice are out to get you, you're done.

And, it's not just the combats...the plotlines are well-conceived, the characters are deep, and there's not much that we can do to throw Rel off--and we try, believe me, we try. If you get a chance, either at an NC Games Day or at the upcoming GenCon'05, play with Rel.


But, back to the teary kissing-up... This campaign was a blast (thanks, too, to Old One!), and while I'm glad to finally be able to see all 600+ pages together, it's a little sad to see 'the end' written.

Keep 'em coming, Rel...
 

I'm going to miss Speaks. I played Druids a lot in the 1E days, and was not too happy with the direction they went subsequently, but, in spite of that, I found Speaks to be a well-played and interesting example of the class.
 

Belen

Adventurer
Very well done! It has been a great ride. Both the writing style and utter shock at what Rel is capable of doing to his players has made for an addicitve story. I will be sad to see that is has come to a close.

Kudos to all of you!
 

Fimmtiu

First Post
I just finished reading all three installments at once, and boy are my eyes sore. Couldn't stop reading once I got started, though. Beautifully done! I admire the tenacity with which you kept working on your Story Hour.

Question: So if Bale wasn't present for the Pact, and is therefore mortal and can be killed... why are they leaving him there as a big statue with the key still in the lock, so to speak? You'd think the gods could come up with a more permanent solution than that.

Other question: Did they ever find out what happened to Titus Pontius Macer?

Love the way you used Scipio. Hmm, I wonder what the ECLs for various Awakened animals would be...
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Fimmtiu said:
I just finished reading all three installments at once, and boy are my eyes sore. Couldn't stop reading once I got started, though. Beautifully done! I admire the tenacity with which you kept working on your Story Hour.

Question: So if Bale wasn't present for the Pact, and is therefore mortal and can be killed... why are they leaving him there as a big statue with the key still in the lock, so to speak? You'd think the gods could come up with a more permanent solution than that.

Other question: Did they ever find out what happened to Titus Pontius Macer?

Love the way you used Scipio. Hmm, I wonder what the ECLs for various Awakened animals would be...

Here I am posting WAY too late at night after a game session. I came down to the computer to hook up my substitute mouse after the old one crapped out (thanks Cathal for the mouse).

So anyway, thanks for the kudos, Fimmtiu. To answer your questions:

The gods can't interfere in the mortal realm precisely because of the pact. They can only act through intermediaries like the Celestials or Demons. It could be that there are relatively good ways to have Bale destroyed for good. But they'd probably have to take out the sword and let him momentarily return to life to execute them. For now it seems well enough to simply leave him as a big hunk of well guarded stone.

They never did discover the fate of Macer. He accompanied the Orc Army on the invasion of Emor but his fate during the war was never revealed.

And lastly as a general note that is particularly ironic in light of me mentioning how many close scrapes my player have been through...tonight I had my first TPK ever. :p I'll give some more details tomorrow after I'm home from work. I'll only say that the guys were all good sports about it and the Eberron campaign will continue on, almost without a pause.
 

Cathal

First Post
Rel said:
And lastly as a general note that is particularly ironic in light of me mentioning how many close scrapes my player have been through...tonight I had my first TPK ever. :p I'll give some more details tomorrow after I'm home from work. I'll only say that the guys were all good sports about it and the Eberron campaign will continue on, almost without a pause.


Yep, TPK. ;)

I think that the bad luck just got all piled up in one corner over the years and finally toppled over onto the table last night! We've lived on the breathless edge of disaster for so long that it was bound to happen at some point, and this one was a doozy.
 

Belen

Adventurer
Cathal said:
Yep, TPK. ;)

I think that the bad luck just got all piled up in one corner over the years and finally toppled over onto the table last night! We've lived on the breathless edge of disaster for so long that it was bound to happen at some point, and this one was a doozy.

TPKs are never pretty. I have never had one myself, but I have suffered that fate twice as a player. The first time, the party disintegrated and we ran afoul of the authorities in Sigil. You never want to want to be a stupid berk.

The second time, the GM caught us between a group of nightstalkers, and a 22 level cleric with timestop for a domain spell!
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Cathal said:
Yep, TPK. ;)

I think that the bad luck just got all piled up in one corner over the years and finally toppled over onto the table last night! We've lived on the breathless edge of disaster for so long that it was bound to happen at some point, and this one was a doozy.

Well, technically it wasn't a TPK because Cathal's Warforged was not destroyed, merely rendered inert while the rest of the party was killed. But we'll call it "close enough".
 

Riggs

First Post
Rel said:
Well, technically it wasn't a TPK because Cathal's Warforged was not destroyed, merely rendered inert while the rest of the party was killed. But we'll call it "close enough".

Two statues on the island of Krapa-ptui...motionless and timeless but undying except for the frailty of the artificer. One dies and truly is an statue and the other awaits help forever.


Sorry Ravage, I only had 23 hit points :\ ;)
 

Jon Potter

First Post
Rel said:
Well, technically it wasn't a TPK because Cathal's Warforged was not destroyed, merely rendered inert while the rest of the party was killed. But we'll call it "close enough".

So... are you going to enlighten us? What happened? One last bit of daring-do recapped for the old FG audience before this thread is lost to the netherpages?

And I'm not very familiar with Eberron, so forgive me. But when I saw the name of the island mentioned in Riggs' post I couldn't help but think: "I'd be going "PTUI!" too if I was on an island of Krapa!" :p


Hey! Keep it down. I can hear the groaning from way over here!
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Jon Potter said:
So... are you going to enlighten us? What happened? One last bit of daring-do recapped for the old FG audience before this thread is lost to the netherpages?

You can read all about it here.

And Riggs was just making up the name of the island. It never had a name that the PC's knew of except "The Island Where We All Got Killed".
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
For those of you playing along at home, you might wish to revisit the link in my previous post about the TPK thread. It seems that some of my players have exacted a sort of "revenge" if you will. ;)

Look for Cathal's post #30.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
At the request of BardStephenFox in another thread, I thought I'd post the current XP system that we're using as opposed to the system that I long touted in many a thread here. For the record, I still like that system in some respects but I understand now that it has some areas where it falls short for our current group. We've been using this new system for 2-3 months now and it seems to be working well.

Rel's NEW XP System

The mission statement of this XP system is to award XP for a wide array of situations (from RP heavy to Combat Heavy) with minimal fuss and on a sliding scale based on PC level. It is also designed to fit in well with the vaguely cinematic flavor I'm trying to achieve in my current (Eberron) campaign.

At the end of the session, the DM divides the events that took place into "scenes". Each of these scenes is designated as having been "Minor", "Average" or "Major" based on the events that took place therein. I call this the "degree" of the scene. Then I look at a spreadsheet I've made and award XP for each scene based on the degree of the scene, cross referenced with the average PC level in the party. Each PC involved gets that much XP for that scene.

For very general guidelines I use the following:

For combat, foes with an EL below the average party level count as a "Minor" scene. Those of approximately the same EL as the party level are "Average" and those above are "Major".

For roleplaying encounters, I base the degree of the scene on the length of the interaction and the usefulness/relevance to the PC's current situation. For a very brief exchange with someone of little real relevance to the ongoing plot (like a brief haggle with a merchant) I won't consider that a "scene" at all. For short conversations with important NPC's about topics relevant to the PC's, I'll award a "Minor" scene. For similar conversations of a longer nature or ones that are vital to the current plotline I'd award an "Average" scene. For lengthy interactions with NPC's that are detailed and of a critical nature to the PC's, I'll award a "Major" scene.

As an example of how this works, a couple sessions ago the PCs did the following:

1) They were attacked by Sahuagin on their ship headed to Saltmarsh.
2) The arrived in Saltmarsh and got into a drinking contest with some locals that resulted in one PC going unconscious and another becoming a "local hero" within the bar.
3) Chatted briefly with 3-4 NPC's about their plans to hunt Lizardfolk for a bounty.

I awarded an Average scene for the Sahuagin attack based on their numbers and the numbers of the PC's and their level. I awarded an Average scene for the drinking contest (which was quite lengthy and funny in nature). I awarded a Minor scene for talking to the NPC's.

Checking the chart I've made (and I'll attach it if anybody is interested), I noted that an Average scene for 4th level characters is worth 210 XP and a Minor scene is worth 120. Each party member got 540XP except for one character because his player had to leave early and missed the part where the rest of the group asked around town about the bounty hunting.

So there you have it. As always I'm happy to answer any questions.
 

Funeris

First Post
If you would, please post the spreadsheet :)
I'm always looking into different ways to award experience...I hate the standard system....

:D
 


Darklone

Registered User
Greetings ;)

Nice piccies btw, Rel... and grats to your first TPK, I'm still waiting for my first one (my players learn to run fast and it's really hard to catch a halfling riding on a cheetah even if you're a dragon ;)).
 

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