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dmsage

William Brian Describes “Beautiful” Strike on Mittani

By | IC | No Comments

Reporter William Brian faced an immediate backlash late Thursday for repeatedly describing a Meridian military strike as “beautiful.” The journalist appeared unable to contain his wonder as he spoke about his personal experience witnessing a coastal bombardment of the White Sea city of Mitanni.

“I saw a beautiful scene that night from the deck of the Meridian vessel,” Brian said, continuing, “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.”

Brian went on to describe the “fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to the city.”

A Septentrion official has denounced the strike as “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.” Septentrion’s Defense Ministry said Friday that it plans to bolster and increase the effectiveness of White Sea defenses following the attack.

“In order to protect the most sensitive objects of the White Sea’s infrastructure, a system of measures to bolster and increase the effectiveness of their armed forces will be implemented,” the official said.

Owner of Greycott Hadakura billboard: It will stay up as long as Hadakura is King

By | IC | No Comments

A menacing King Hadakura is gazing down on Greycott’s Grand Avenue.

The King is flanked by bannered armies and magic sigils configured like currency signs.

“I think a lot of people are feeling this way and I’m just trying to express what I think is on a lot of people’s minds these days,” the billboard’s artist, Fiora Karentino, said in an interview from her Greycott home.

“Something that really concerned us was this idea of a dictatorship where things were going in a certain direction.”

But look closely at the soldiers in the army and you’ll see clown faces. There’s a Phoenix faction pin on Hadakura’s lapel.

“I tried to put a little bit of humor in things that are really dark and hard to take,” Karentino said.

The art was commissioned by the billboard owner, Beatrice Moore, a longtime patron of the arts on Grand Avenue.

“Some of these issues are so important you can’t not speak out,” Moore said in an interview.

The Hadakura billboard went up last week at 11th Avenue and Grand, to coincide with the start of the annual three-day Art Detour event in downtown Greycott. Moore said it would remain up as long as Hadakura is King.

This isn’t the first time Karentino and Moore put up controversial billboard art.

A decade ago, Karentino created a billboard of the Cleric Kade and top government officials for her master of fine arts thesis on political propaganda at Meridian University.

“Dear Meridia,” the billboard said, “we lied to you for your own good. Now trust us.”

Moore and Karentino do expect blowback from Hadakura supporters.

“I just hope that everyone involved in helping bring this message out is safe and that we all get through this unharmed,” Karentino said.

land-fisher

Land Fisher: Real or Myth?

By | IC | No Comments

“Huge apex predator, heavily armored and slow, it uses a luminescent orb that lulls its prey into a daze, ready to be consumed whole.” Such is the rumor that permeates the mythos of the native wood elves that inhabit the Moonrise Woodlands. Some claim to have seen the land fisher, its translucent skin offering an almost perfect camouflage in the dark forest. Tidebreak’s adventurers have tried thrice to bring this quarry home for the King’s glory, but they have as of yet been unsuccessful.

Whether or not the creature even exists is still hotly debated, with some elves steadfastly denying it. Meridia’s finest biologists, psychologists, and philosophers have argued at length about the topic in certain circles. A tome to the Land Fisher and associated stories and reports can be found in the King’s private library.

Biologists suggest that it could feasibly be a true story, perhaps reproducing asexually, as the population would necessarily be too small to support a social animal theory — there might even be only one or two in the world. Whether this is due to extinction or other causes is as of yet unknown. Psychologists, on the other hand, make a plausible argument that the land fisher is a cruel trick played on the naive as a rite of passage, or a tool used to keep elven children from straying into parts of the forest unknown. Sightings could be lies, they note, but equally likely, those who have not been able to successfully track the land fisher might be made to feel inadequate about their own poor tracking skill. In this case, both those who claim to have seen the land fisher, as well as those who claim that it does not exist, have their own psychoanalytic reasons for holding the positions that they do.

Will the adventurers of Tidebreak one day stumble upon the land fisher? Will they see a light in the forest and follow it to their death or glory? Or has Am’li’yah once again tricked our noble King?

Partial Wipe – Jan 1 – What You Need to Know

By | Game Content | No Comments

Hi all! First, thank you to all the players for the year for your support. I think the game has evolved into something I’m relatively happy with, and I want to start to solidify some of these changes into a new version of the game.

So first, here’s what we’re wiping:

  • Inventories
  • Maps
  • Lore
  • Character Names
  • Character Wealth

Here’s what we’re keeping:

  • Character Levels (2 chars per player can start the new campaign at an equal level)

Why wipe now?

Well, you guys earned the wipe when a wild magic sorcerer dropped a meteor on a nearby town and we rolled a 99 on a d100 to see how large the impact was. But unfortunately, I wasn’t quite ready with some of the playtesting to do a wipe then. We are now.

Here are some of the changes I’d like to roll out:

  • small changes to downtime that will all benefit players
  • small changes to available rumors. Rumors will be clearly marked as dungeon, exploration, or investigation.
  • big changes to night watches. there will be a maximum of one encounter, but the encounter chance, and difficulty, will depend on environmental factors to be discovered later.
  • big changes to wilderness travel. similar environmental factors as night watches. a level six party should very rarely encounter something on a road that could threaten them. lower level parties will meet small bands of goblins, bandits, etc.
  • small changes to perception and stealth with regard to random encounters. you’ll have a wider birth to avoid these encounters entirely.
  • big changes to rests. a long rest is a one-week period. a short rest is eight hours.
  • changes to magic items and loot. you will have roughly twice as much of both.
  • changes to schedules. instead of running a 9:30-2:30 and 3:00-8:00 game, we’ll run four games: 9:30-12:00, 12:30-3:00. 3:30-6:00. 6:30-9:00.
  • changes to twitch. I think you’ll really like this one. I’m not going to reveal it yet, but Twitch will play a larger role in player rewards.

That’s about the long and short of it. New world, new monsters, new things and places to discover. More magical items, probably significantly less character death.

What’s happening between now and Jan 1?

  • In The Phandalin Experience, we’ll start to explore some darker themes as the world creeps towards its end.
  • We’ll take most of the month of December off. You’ll all be doing family stuff anyway.
  • We’ll do one giant send-off game sometime in early December, and one giant kick-off game sometime in early January.

Little spoiler/hype for you here:

Fancy Macros for Roll20 5e Character Sheets

By | Roll20 | No Comments

fighter-second-wind

There’s nothing I love more than sheets that automagically calculate things that matter. Copy and paste some of these into YOUR sheets for maximum badassery.

  • Fighter’s Second Wind: Use a bonus action to regain [[d10+@{fighter_level}]] hit points
  • Dragonborn Dragon’s Breath: All creatures in a 5 by 30ft line must save with Dex vs DC [[8+ @{constitution_mod} + (@{pb})]], taking [[2d6]] fire damage on a failed save and 1/2 on a success.
  • Cleric’s Preserve Life: Restores [[@{cleric_level}}*5]] hit points divided between creatures within 30ft up to half their hitpoints rounded down
  • Goliath’s Stone’s Endurance: Reduces damage by [[1d12+@{constitution_mod}]] once per short rest.
  • Fighter’s Great Weapon Fighting Style: To automatically reroll 1s and 2s on damage dice, use the following weapon damage roll (example greatsword, normally 2d6): 2d6ro<2

More to come as I think of them, I’m sure.

Building a D&D 5e Character in Roll20

By | Roll20 | No Comments

Do you need some help building a character? This will help you make sure all your data goes in the right spot.

First, check the Journal tab for a blank character sheet. Click the Blank Character Sheet to open it. Do not open a character sheet that has already been given a name!

Click on the Character Sheet tab and Give Your Character A Name!

The first screen you see is the Core Stats page. We need to fill this out. To do this, we’ll need our trusty D&D 5e Player’s Handbook!

Pick a class and race. Add them to your character sheet.

Pick your ability scores.

In The Phandalin Experience, we use the Point Buy system to assign ability scores. Use this calculator to allocate your stats however you’d like. Once you’ve found ability scores you like, add the column titled Score (it has a red outline) to the Character Sheet under the Score column.

Add your save proficiencies. You can find these under the Class section of the PHB.

Set your hit points – the PHB tells you what they will be (Hit Points at 1st Level). Set both current & max.

Set your speed. This is in the PHB.

Move to the Skills tab. Set your Skills — you can pick two from the list provided at the bottom of the Class Features section in the PHB — by changing the dropdown under “Proficient” to “yes” for two skills.

Move to the Background tab and start describing your character. The majority of this page is dictated only by your own imagination.

“Known Languages” — your class will define how many languages you know

Racial traits — this is where you can set any traits that your race grants you. For example, dwarves have Stonecunning, and halflings have Luck.

Go to the Class tab. Add 1 Class Level for the class of your choice.

You can also opt to take notes in this tab or implement Class Actions. For example, Fighters have a Class Action called Second Wind. You can add this by naming it “Second Wind” and in the Output, typing [[d10+1]], as the Second Wind skill allows you to recover hit points equal to d10 plus your class level. When you reach second level, you’ll have to remember to increase this to [[d10+2]]!

Go to the Weapons tab. The PHB will tell you your starting weapons. You can add those here.

The screenshot shows an example weapon list for a cleric who carries a Mace and also has access to the 1st level spell Spiritual Weapon, which attacks with the WIS modifier, rather than STR. The PHB’s Equipment section (Chapter 5) will provide the necessary stats to fill this out. Be sure to include the damage type. Your crit damage is equal to your weapon damage dice (if you roll a d8, your crit is a d8)

Go to the Spells tab. If you are a spellcaster, you’ll probably spend a lot of time here!

Most spells will either be a touch/ranged spell attack (in which case you want to tick the Attack roll and 2nd Attack roll buttons) or a Saving Throw (in which case you want to tick the Saving Throw button). Most spells also do damage, or have healing, or other effects. Tick the necessary boxes. You can then click on the appropriate buttons like “Attack” or “Save” and configure exactly how your spells will calculate things like attack rolls and Save DCs. In the example, we are casting a cleric spell, so we use the Cleric Save DC, against a Dex save. It rolls a d8 on a failed save, so that goes in the Damage Dice box.

Click the Armor tab. Though it looks simple, this is one of the more complicated tabs. Set your armor’s base AC to the base AC described in the PHB Equipment Section. Set your armor type and whether or not you have a stealth penalty.

Move to the Inventory tab and add your inventory items.

These starting items usually come from two places: your class equipment list and your background. Which means it’s time to pick a background!

The full list of approved backgrounds can be found on Chapter 4 of the PHB. Each background will grant skill proficiencies (add these in the Skills tab like you did with your class skills), some tool proficiencies, languages, equipment, and an amount of starting gold. Add your starting gold from your background to your character sheet in the Inventory section as well.

Almost done!

Click the big Edit button at the top right of the screen. You’ll have the ability to upload an Avatar. This should be a picture that looks like you imagine your character to look.

That’s it! We expect brand new characters to be ready thirty minutes before your game is scheduled to start.