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Episode 131: Wanted in Oranel Part 5 9-5 in Eel’s Snout

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/761899-episode-131-wanted-in-oranel-part-5-9-5-in-eel-s-snout

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The Aftermath of Brownleaf

Normally I don’t share fiction I write. The world has enough bad fantasy writers, but I was encouraged to share this piece I wrote after my dwarf ranger died. I really just wrote it as a cap to his story.

Deep in the jungle of Chult Brownleaf’s eye fluttered open as the pain washed over him like a tidal wave. His damaged mind tried to sort out where he was, and what had happened, but like a bird with a broken wing there was simply a flurry of activity with no result.

Bits of debris from the village and the jungle covered his body hiding his shattered form from view. Settling back into the darkness he wished for an end to the pain as a tear rolled down his cheek trailing through the dirt and blood.

Nothing in his life had been easy, so it appeared the same would be true of his death.

The snapping of twigs and the sharp sound of movement snapped Brownleaf to his senses. Something was moving through the bush towards him. Any number of predators would be looking to make a meal of the broken dwarf now.He clawed at the ground but he could do nothing.

A mass of blurry grey entered his field of vision and he felt warm breath blast over his face as something lipped at his collar.

“Ash…hello girl…”

Brownleaf could sense her terrible pain, and her step was wrong. Clearly she’d broken something in the fall. He ran his hands through the coarse hair on her head leaving stains of bright red.

He couldn’t remember his parents, or how he’d come to Chult, or the name that might once have been his. He remembered the lash and the drum that had been his lullabies. The first thing he remembered though was Ash.

She’d found him in the darkness and carried him out into the light. They’d escaped together. They’d learned to survive together. Now Brownleaf supposed they would die together.

A sudden cry, a baby wailing somewhere in the foliage roused him back to awareness and pain. He wasn’t sure how long he’d lain there unconscious. Ash had settled herself behind his head warming him like a great coarse pillow. The screeching baby continued crying and Brownleaf wished for an end to it all.

“Ash…girl…need you to help. Be a good mule for me…one more time girl. Please.”

The mule stood trembling violently on legs that threatened to betray her. Her dark eyes looked down on Brownleaf as she threatened to topple over. Slowly she teetered into the jungle. Shifting aside bits of debris.

After a few minutes flicking her ears she pulled aside a thick branch revealing a goblin baby. Picking up the baby as gently as she could she heaved it onto her back. Ashe looked back at the still form of Brownleaf, flicked her ears, and slowly began walking out of the jungle.

The first thing Brownleaf could remember was the last thing he saw as life left him. “Good girl Ash…loved you so much girl.”

Brownleaf, 14 times a slave finally free rests in the jungle that made him. Unmourned, unremarkable, and unremembered save for a donkey and a goblin girl who will grow up never knowing his name.

Dungeons & Dragons 5e Level 0 Playtest

An idea for running level 0 Dungeons & Dragons games occurred to me yesterday and I decided to give it a whirl to see how it would play out. The guidlelines for character creation are as follows:

  1. Choose your race & background but not a character class.
  2. Roll your stats or use a standard array.
  3. Your HP equals 1 + your constitution modifier (minimum of 1)

In this instance I decided to use four of the members of Vox Machina from Critical Role because I thought it would be interesting to see how they played out. Vax’ildan, Vex’ahlia, Percy, and Scanlan were my choices because I thought they’d work well together.

Deciding on a city-based game and looking over the characters I noticed all but one of them were completely broke at this point (Vex, Vax, and Percy having spent their funds on armor or weapons respectively.) With that in mind I decided that they’d all been staying in a local inn, but falling on hard time the twins and Percy were being thrown out on their ears by the owner. Bern had been willing to put up with them when they were paying customers, but now that they were out of funds he wanted nothing to do with them. Scanlan, using his Popular Demand entertainer feature and his swollen coin purse wasn’t in any danger of losing his private room.

Vax persuaded Bern to give them a chance to trade their services for a place to sleep, and with an impressive Charisma (Persuasion) roll he won the innkeeper over. Bern revealed he’d been losing a lot of business to another nearby establishment that had opened in the past few weeks. He offered them a few nights stay if they agreed to investigate the place then report back to him without stirring up any trouble.

Vex seeing the state of the group argued that they would need certain tools to carry out the job, and no straw bed was worth risking their lives. With another solid Charisma (Persuasion) roll Bern was convinced to advanced them 45 gold with a promise of reporting them to the watch if they failed to return.

At this point Scanlan noticed whispering and money trading hands, inserting himself into the equation he offered his services to aid the inexperienced group for a cut of the profits.

The club in question was a sizable structure with two entrances and exits. A quick search of the surroundings revealed a side entrance in an alleyway that was under guard, along with the main entrance. Outside of the club of throng of waiting revelers had formed and were being scrutinized by a tielfing bouncer flanked by two rough looking guards.

Scanlan tried to convince them he was with the band, but was rebuffed. Vex talked their way in arguing that their presence would enhance the club’s reputation. They entered together to find a massive dance floor with a live band performing, a large bar, a VIP area, and nearly a hundred people dancing and partying.

Percy spotted a dwarf and what appeared to be some type of demon conversing in the VIP area, but when he approached his lack of ability to understand abyssal worked against him. He spent the rest of the session being scrutinized by the pair as he tried to look nonchalant.  Scanlan made his way to the bar and started chatting up the crowd for information. The twins did a quick scout of the interior spotting an office in the rear of the building. Signaling Scanlan to make a distraction he did what he does best jumped onto the bar, and started playing his flute. Natural 20. The band died down as everyone turned to listen to the gnome’s stunning performance.

Slipping inside of the office Vax found a small room occupied by a floating sickly green creature with eyestalks, a gazer. Vax attacked it missing with his knife and combat began. After the first round Vax had fallen with an arm lacerated by gazer teeth, and the rest of the party had joined the fray.

Scanlan screamed “Holy shit a monster!” when he saw the gazer sending the crowd into a blind panic as they fled to the exit. Vex kept the creature busy attacking it with her staff until Percy swept in to finish it off with his rapier. As the gazer fell to the floor dead with a rapier protruding from its eye the guards from outside began rushing in finally having fought their way through the retreating crowd.

Percy and Scanlan did a quick search of the office to look for anything valuable while Vex came to Vax’s aid. Searching the desk Scanlan turned up a few papers and a ring made of pure electrum. Seeing the safe in the corner Percy attempted to open it. Natural 20. Spinning tumblers like a madman he opened the safe to find a magic dagger, numerous ledgers and papers, and a bag filled with 100 gold.

Carrying Vax out of the office they were confronted by the club’s security who were intent on ensuring they did not leave. Scanlan used Minor Illusion to make the sound of weapons being drawn behind them and threw his voice to make it sound like the watch had arrived. The trick worked and the fled through the side exit throttling the guards outside before fleeing into the night.

Percy looked over the papers to find that the club had clearly been a front for some sort of intelligence operation that was gathering information for another organization. The session ended with them dividing up their gold and debating on whether or not to return to Bern with what they’d found.

In all I think the session what incredibly well and proved, at least in my mind, the idea has merit. Combat was super quick and brutal, but still full. The things that went well went extremely well, and the things that went badly served to enhance the story. If I were running this with a group I’d say you need 4 at minimum, and I’d probably do 2-3 more sessions before bumping them up to level 1. I think it works really well for groups that want to focus on roleplay and character development for their first sessions rather the jumping straight killing everything. I will say that it is going to frustrate some players who want to feel super powerful right away.

I imagined this as a sort of alternate way for some members of the group to have met for the first time, but obviously this isn’t how they met.

Episode 128: Knowing Oranel Creation & Deities

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/739943-episode-128-knowing-oranel-creation-deities

Episode 130: Enlarge/Reduce

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/751194-episode-130-enlarge-reduce

Pokemon #143 Snorlax

For our next entry in the Pokedex and the first Normal-type Pokemon I wanted to go with one of the most recognizable, and arguably most difficult Pokemon to train. Snorlax is a major powerhouse that can go toe to toe with most any opponent, but they have some disadvantages. Trainers my find themselves going bankrupt just trying to keep their Pokemon fed, and it has a habit of dozing off at inopportune times. Snorlax is also the first Pokemon that I’ve armed with hyper-beam which to my mind should be a devastating move.

For a the right trainer Snorlax could be a great companion, for the wrong one it is sure to be a nightmare. With a massive pool of hp Snorlax is more likely to fall asleep than it is to be knocked out by an opponent.

Snorlax

Large beast, neutral

Armor Class 12

Hit Points 402

Speed 20 ft.

Str 20 (+5) Dex 8 (-1) Con 20 (+5)  Int 10 (+0) Wis 8 (-1)  Cha 10 (+0)

Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning damage dealt by Fighting-type Pokemon.

Skills Athletics +10

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages Pokemon, understands Common but can’t speak

Challenge  10 (5,900 XP)

Chow-Hound: Snorlax has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks relying on smell to detect food nearby.

Drowsy. During the first round of battle Snorlax suffers disadvantage on attack rolls. It must also make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to avoid falling asleep on its first turn.

Normal-type. When leveling up Snorlas’s HP the trainer can roll twice taking the better of two rolls.

Pokemon. Snorlax can be captured in a Pokeball, from that point on it will act as a companion to its new trainer.

Ravenous. Snorlax requires a massive amount of food every day. Snorlax must consume up to 900 lbs (200 gp vlaue). of food a day to maintain a healthy weight.

Sleeping Pokemon. Snorlax has disadvantage on saving throws made to resist Sleep effects. If Snorlax is the sole target of the Sleep spell it automatically falls asleep disregarding hp totals.

Thick Body. Snorlax has resistance to all types of damage, except bludgeoing damage dealt by Fighting-type Pokemon.

Throws its Weight Around. Snorlax cannot be pushed, pulled, or moved against its will unless it is unconscious or disabled. Magical effects that would move Snorlax effect it normally. Flight spells allow Snorlax half their normal movement speed.

Actions

Body Slam: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 56 (6d12+10) bludgeoning damage. All creatures within 30 ft. of the target except for Snorlax must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save they are knocked prone and take 5 bludgeoning damage.

Hyper-beam: Range Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 100 ft., one target. Hit: 106 (10d10+10) radiant damage. If the target is reduced below 100 hit points by this attack they are killed. Each time Snorlax uses Hyper-beam it suffers one level of exhaustion.

Rest: Snorlax immediately falls asleep regaining 1d20 + its Constitution modifier HP per round. Snoralx can attempt a DC 12 Constitution saving throw to awaken on its turn.

Snore: While asleep Snorlax is capable of using a powerful snore. All creatures within 30 ft. of Snorlax on its turn take 15 (2d8+3) thunder damage.

Pokemon 5e Update

So, just a quick update on the 5e Pokedex. I’ve been working on this project for a long time now, and it is not yet where I want it to be. We’re not even through the original 150 Pokemon, much less the more recent additions to the Pokedex.

Part of that is because I honestly didn’t expect there to be so much interest in the project, so I’ve set it aside after a few weeks more than once only to be hit with emails from folks looking for more (which is amazing). So I’m going to buckled down and push out the rest of the original 150 by the end of the year. Give yourselves a round of applause because without folks saying they liked it/wanted it this would probably never happen.

I’m also going to try and expand the types to include more recent additions soon too.

Pokemon #123

Our first Bug-type Pokemon is the bladed Scyther! This is one of those super aggressive Pokemon whose style of combat I really wanted to favor. Scyther is not a cautious Pokemon, it favors aggressive combat and puts down opponents with rapid powerful attacks. I really like Sychter for a player’s powerhouse since it can do a little bit of everything. Flight, serious combat prowess, and a fast style of fighting make it a nice fit for Pokemon trainers with a wide variety of styles.

Scyther

Medium beast, neutral

Armor Class  16 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 72

Speed 50 ft., fly 35 ft.

Str 14 (+2)  Dex  16 (+3) Con 12 (+1)  Int 8 (-1) Wis 12 (+1)  Cha 14 (+2)

Damage Vulnerabilities fire, ice

Skills Acrobatics +6, Athletics +5, Intimidation +5

Senses passive Perception 13

Languages Pokemon, understands Common but can’t speak.

Challenge 7

Aggressive. Scyther can add +10 to its Initiative roll, but attacks made against it during the first round have advantage.

Bug-type. All Bug-type Pokemon are especially adept at sensing their surroundings, Scyther has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.

Enraged. At the sight of the color red Scyther flies into a violent rage. Scyther will attack the source of the color disregarding its trainer’s commands.

Pokemon. Scyther can be captured in a Pokeball, from that point on it will act as a companion to its new trainer.

Willful. Scyther has advantage on Charisma saving throws. Scyther will not obey commands from a trainer whose level is lower than its own. If used during a Pokemon battle the GM determines Scyther’s actions if it will not obey its trainer.

Actions

Agility. After using Agility Scyther can select one of the following effects:

*Attack rolls made against Sycther have disadvantage for the rest of this round.

*Scyther gains advantage on Dexterity saving throws for the rest of this round.

*Double Scyther’smovement speed for the rest of this round.

SlashMelee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. , one target. Hit:  24 (3d10+6) slashing damage.

Swords Dance. Performing this action allows grants Scyther advantage to its next attack roll, and increases the damage dealt by 1d6.

Pokemon #119 Seaking

When the base evolution of a Pokemon is already as great as Goldeen there’s not much room for improvement, so I found myself in a difficult position with Seaking. Mostly I focused on beefing up the stats a bit, but I also incorporated increasing perception to reflect their behavior of guarding their eggs far more protectively than Goldeen. In general if you liked Goldeen you’ll probably love Seaking.

Seaking

Medium beast, neutral

Armor Class  15 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 84

Speed Swim 100 ft.

Str  18 (+4) Dex 12 (+1)  Con 16 (+3) Int 10 (+0) Wis 12 (+1)  Cha 10 (+0)

Damage Resistances fire, ice

Damage Vulnerabilities lightning, thunder

Skills Athletics (+10), Perception (+4)

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages Pokemon, understands Common but can’t speak.

Challenge 6

Water-type. Seaking has a swim speed and advantage on Athletics checks related to swimming. Seaking also has advantage on attack rolls made in or around an abundant source of water such as a river, lake, or the ocean. Seaking is able to breathe underwater and will not suffer the effects of drowning.

Pokemon. Seaking can be captured in a Pokeball, from that point on it will act as a companion to its new trainer.

Actions

Horn AttackMelee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft. , one target. Hit: 20 (2d10+8) piercing damage.

Waterfall. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 60 ft., one target. When using Waterfall Seaking can soar up to 60 ft. into the air to strike a target. After using this attack all attack rolls against Seaking have advantage for the rest of the round. Hit: 30 (3d12+8) bludgeoning damage.

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