Saturday, July 12, 2008

Delian's Letters -- 20 Lharvion, 998 YK

Greeting, father

I regret not writing you sooner, but I have been very busy since arriving in Sharn. I am doing well and plan to send you letters with greater regularity.

Sharn is big! It’s much larger than Flamekeep (which I didn’t think was possible!). The most notable difference is that Flamekeep grew out from the Cathedral whereas Sharn grew upwards.

There is little presence of the Silver Flame in Sharn. I’ve learned quickly that few Brelish hold the Flame in high regard. I think this is actually a distain for Thranes and the ignorant assume the two are one-in-the-same.

I have taken up residence in Coldflame Keep, the only temple dedicated to the Silver Flame in Sharn. It’s in an area of the city called High Hope in the Middle Ward. It’s not the largest or grandest temple in the district, but it provides me with a feeling of familiarity that I didn’t realize I was missing.

Coldflame Keep is in the care of Flamebearer Father Mazin Tana. He is a very nice, elderly human and he has been in Sharn more years than I have been alive. There is so much he could teach me if I had the time to dedicate myself to his tutelage. His good heart has somewhat restored my faith that Flamebearers can be truly good people and not get lost or corrupted by the politics of the Church. I fear that Father Tana’s advancement within the Church may have been stunted for precisely this reason.

Coldflame Keep is large enough to house over a hundred faithful servants and soldiers, but most of the temple is empty. There are two teenage acolytes and a scribe who assist Father Tana with his holy duties and up-keeping the temple. The scribe is a soldier who lost both of his legs during the war. I expected him to be bitter and distant, but he always seems very cheerful and upbeat. I have no doubt that he feels the presence of the Silver Flame in his heart. There are eight other Templars currently staying in Coldflame Keep. Some of them fought in the war, and all of them seem soft and out of place now. I pity them. Seeing what they have become has added to my drive to find a greater purpose.

I have found a job in Clifftop Adventurers Guildhall. The proprietor, a dwarf named Ragnolin Dourstone, was impressed with my knowledge of exotic teas. This and my social skills earned me a place as a server. It’s not glamorous, but it gives me a chance to meet new and interesting people every day.

The patrons come and go, but it is my co-workers whom I find most interesting.

  • Sterling, a Warforged and the bouncer, is a kindred soul. I am fascinated with his stories. I have come to learn more about Warforged history and their role in the war. I feel tremendous sympathy for their plight and regret the way these people are treated in Thrane.
  • Larien Felagund, a noble elf, works along side me waiting tables.She is truly battle hardened. She is beautiful, but all business. I’ve seen her prowess with a bow and envy her grace and dexterity. She seems to have tremendous pain in her heart and I hope that as our friendship grows she opens up to me, for I long to help her if I can.
  • Jonathon Piston, a human, is a cleric of the Dol Dorn. I respect his faith and found many similarities in the teaching of Dol Dorn as the Silver Flame, especially with respect to battle. Should I ever need to go into battle, I would be honoured to have Jon fighting at my side.
  • Ethan Dalruun, a human, is still a bit of a mystery. Although he spends his days lifting and sweeping, his body language screams for a greater purpose. He has overcome terrible obstacles to survive in Sharn as long as he has. I try to let him know that some people will offer friendship and expect nothing in return. But he is cautious and suspicious so I am taking it slowly.
That’s all for now, father. I promise to write soon. May the Silver Fame keep you safe.

Character Sheet

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ethan's Habit's & Observations

Working the early shift has some serious upsides. The streets are deserted when I head to work, which is a plus when you consider the distance I need to walk. Getting from Lower Menthis to Upper Dura takes some time. I move fast, sticking to the shadows, back alley's and where they exist the roofs. Lower Menthis is pretty dangerous and as it takes about an hour of solid hustling to get to work. I'm moving in the dead of night. Not that Sharn truly sleeps, but let's be honest. The last thing I need to be is dead in an alley. Even in Upper Dura I keep to the shadows, don't want the guard harassing me.

I try to arrive to work about an hour early. I use the time to train. The stables have lots of bars to hang from and practice my acrobatics. If I'm going to have a shot in hell at qualifying for the Wroat Annual Competition I need this time and more if I can get it. After that it's work, clean the stables, unload the ships. It's rather repetitive, but I'm good at it. I keep the area clean and organized. No time for slacking, I can't afford to loose the job. I work late, much longer than the 10 hour shift demands. Guess it just feels right and I don't want to be replaced.

The Guild is full of characters as is to be expected. I know there are several others like me, hoping to make it into full membership. Sterling the guard comes to mind. Boy is that forged aptly named, he practically glows. It's odd, but every once in awhile I see him looking at me. It's like he can see right into me. Creepy, yet when I notice and meet his gaze he just nods. Del is another one. He's a follower of the Flame, I don't know much about it, except he's out to do good. Which is alright I suppose. It's funny, he keeps trying to talk to me. Which is weird, I haven't figured out if he's trying to convert me or be a friend. I've never had much use for friends, I'll have to figure him out. Jon's more my speed as a holy guy, he follows the host. Word is he grew up with a clan of dwarfs which has got to be odd. He's alright, and I'll have to talk to him more about Olladara. Maybe he can help enlighten my path. Now Larien, wow, she's a looker. Carries herself proud too. Must be the elven blood. I think I'll keep clear of her for now though. Can't imagine she'd want much to do with one of my status.

After work I maybe have the odd drink in the pub. See if I can pick up on any rumours, maybe grab the odd delivery job to supplement the income. I've managed to put some coin away since gaining this job, but it still isn't much. Can't afford to replace my armour so it's still patchwork and odd parts. Heck it works though. The rest of my equipment is about the same. Bits and pieces that I've picked up here and there. I try to keep it in working order, but truth be told I can't afford the tools to do that. Not that I really know how to use them either.

So that's me in a nutshell. I tend to be a loner, self sufficient. I haven't had much need of anyone in life so far and don't know that things will change much in the future.

Ethan's Stat Block
Ehtan's Backstory


I'm not sure how much of our game will take place in Sharn, but this could prove to be a useful post to the blog if we spend any significant amount of time there.

Below are two links. The first is to the Sharn entry on the Eberron Wiki. The second is to the Sharn: City of Towers map gallery on the Wizards site. This should be helpful for anyone who doesn't have the Sharn book or PDF. It should also be helpful if you need to look something up quickly at work.

Sharn (Eberron Wiki)

Sharn (Map Gallery)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Preparing your character sheet

I assume that everyone will have their character ready and all relevant information recorded on their character sheet by Sunday. If you’re anything like me you’ll have all of your weapons listed, including relevant hit and damage modifiers.

One detail that you might have overlooked is unarmed combat. Since we’ve already been told that the game will start as we arrive to work early one morning, it’s reasonable to assume that if combat breaks out we’ll be unarmed.

I have added Fists to my list of weapons and know exactly what my hit and damage modifiers are, should it come to that. I encourage everyone else to do the same before Sunday. Let’s do what we can to avoid slowing the game down to look up numbers that we can (and probably should) already have recorded on our character sheets.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dwarf Name: Torak Nor / Human Name: Jonathon Piston

Human Cleric - Level 1
Init +0
Speed: 5
STR 18 +4
CON 12 +1
DEX 11 +0
INT 8 -1
WIS 14 +2
CHA 14 +2

Hit Points = 24
Bloodied = 12
Healing Surge = 6
Surges/Day = 8

AC = 20 = 10 +8[Plate] +2[Shield]

Fort = 15 = 10 +4[Str] +1[Human]
Ref = 13 = 10 +0[Dex] +1[Human] +2[Shield]
Will = 15 = 10 +2[Wis] +1[Human] +2[Class]

Senses: Passive Insight: +17 Passive Perception: +0

Skills: Arcana +4 Diplomacy +7 Heal +7 Insight +7 Religion +4

Class Features: Channel Divinity, Healer’s Lore, Healing Word

Ritual Book: Gentle Repose, Make Whole

Feats: Armor Proficiency Scale, Armor Proficiency Plate

At Will Powers: Priest Shield, Righteous Brand, Sacred Flame
Encounter Powers: Wrathful Thunder
Daily Powers: Avenging Flame

Attack: Mace +6 (+4 STR, +2 Prof)Damage: 1d8 +4, Versatile

Plate Armor, 50 gp
Heavy Shield , 10 gp
Mace, 5 gp
Standard Adventurer’s Kit, 15 gp
Lantern, 7 gp

Money Left: 13 gp

My father Benjomin Odonald was a popular adventurer and a very capable fighter. He was well liked in the area and adventured often with Kathra Korranor, niece of the late Shekkal Korranor, who established the guild for explorers and wanderers.

My father joined by dwarven priest Shekkal for many raids against members of the dark Six. Twenties years ago, he retired from adventuring to settle down with a new wife. However, a few members of the dark six were plotting their revenge and made plans to kill my father, slay his wife and sacrifice their unborn child to their gods to make an example of those that disrupt there evil plans.

One evening more than 19 years ago a number of Dark Six clerics were able to sneak into town and murder both my parents. Cutting me from the womb of my mother, miraculously, I survived. Just as the clerics thought they were getting away the guards arrived and thwarted their plans. After a short skirmish with the guards the surviving clerics fled leaving me behind. A short time later good friend Shekkal arrived. Realizing that Benjomin’s child may still be in jeopardy she secretly called in favors among the local politicians. They spread rumours of the child’s death and sent me to live with relatives from a Dwarven clan, where I would be safe.

Fast forward 19 years…. My character has both a human and dwarven name. Torak Nor and Jonathon Piston. He has dropped his last name to keep his past secret for now. One day when he is powerful enough he’ll have his revenge on the dark six and reclaim his family name.I speak a number of dwarven dialects with absolutely no accent. It is noticeable and very rare for a human to master the dwarf’s language so well, so it is obvious to most that I grew up among them.

For the past few years Kathra has been helping by hooking me up with odd jobs at the guild for explorers and wanderers. She says that I’ll be experienced enough one day to become a member. She is careful not too give lots of space to learn, grow and make mistakes on my own.

I don’t know if this will work as a background but it’s the best I could come up with since I still don’t know eberron that well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Delian Tra'dal – A brief history in his own words

My Mantra

Some people see the world as black and white. Others see it as shades of gray. What most people don’t realize is that the shades of gray are actually shades of silver. And all those shades are found in the Silver Flame.

My Father

My father, Zhaff (called Jeff by most), is the owner and proprietor of the Drowsy Sage Teahouse in Sigilstar. My father is a people-person in every sense imaginable. He has a positive attitude, a boyish face, and a memorable smile. He knows how to relate to people and he knows how to tell a good story (even though many of the facts continue to get exaggerated in the retelling).

In a city and country predominantly Human, it made perfect sense that my father would have many half-elven friends. The half-elves of Sigilstar took great pride in their heritage and often did things as a collective. So it puzzled me for many years that a few of my father’s closest friends, men and women who visited often, did what they could to keep their identities and even their presence shrouded from the half-elves of my community. It wasn’t until recently that I learned what dragonmarks looked like that I remembered seeing these magical tattoos on the arms, necks, and legs of many of these mystery guests. I know for certain that my father has no such mark on his body, and I often wonder about the exact nature of his relationship with House Medani.

My Mother

My mother, Drianna, was a great warrior who defended Thrane during the war. She wasn’t originally from Thrane, but settled down in Sigilstar when here injuries forced her to take some down-time. I’ve often wondered if her decision to settle down and have a family should be seen as the noble sacrifice or an act of cowardice. She deprived Thrane of her sword when it needed strong warriors, but by settling down and bearing a son, Thrane has me to defender her through the next generation. My opinion on this is clearly not a black and white issue. I never knew my mother as she died during child-birth. But I know that she was from Breland (Wroat, so I’m told) and that she was a fierce warrior. I learned to use the hand-and-a-half sword as a tribute to her legacy.

My Childhood

My father raised me and in many ways I am just like him. If the Silver Flame hadn’t called to me, I have no doubt that I would still be working right beside him. I get along very well with people and thrive in public settings. Working in my father’s Teahouse gave me plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with a wide variety of people over the years. Although I’m small, even by half-elven standards, people quickly look past that and focus on my smile and charm.

My Calling

I was 14 when I first felt the presence of the Silver Flame. It was the same day that a group of teenagers from Flamekeep taunted and teased me for no other reason than I was not human. Up until that day I had unknowingly lead a somewhat sheltered existence, thanks mostly to the fact that my father was known and well liked by many in the community. But these kids beat me and ridiculed me for being impure and none of the passers-by felt the need to stop it. Eventually my tormentors stopped, but it was that day that I learned of the bigotry in the hearts of my fellow countrymen. That evening I dreamt of the Silver Flame becoming part of me and giving me the strength and understanding to forgive those who bade me such ill will. When I awoke, much to my surprise, the warmth of the Silver Flame was still inside of me. Form that day it has been a part of me.

I explained to my father that the Silver Flame had become a part of me and he encouraged me to travel to Flamekeep and learn more about it. During my time in Flamekeep I was taught about the history of the Silver Flame and its place in the world. I was taught to fight and become a warrior in the name of the Silver Flame.

On the Day of Mourning, mere days before I was to be sent to Cyre to fight for Thrane, I had another dream of the Silver Flame. It opened my eyes to the true meaning behind my original vision. The Silver Flame was not trying to teach me to forgive my tormentors. It was not teaching me to be passive. It was helping me understand that victory comes through patience, planning, and thinking. If I had tried to take revenge on those bullies when I was 14, I would have failed. But by learning how to fight and how to think, I was now better prepared to succeed in future conflicts.

This revelation forced me to reexamine my outlook on many things. I was no longer willing to accept anything on blind faith. And it was in the months to come that I witnessed first-hand the corruption within Flamekeep covered behind the veil of the Church of the Silver Flame. It was also during this time that being half-elven in a nation predominantly human taught me a lot about tolerance and prejudice. The world was changing quickly and I felt the need to change with it.

My Current Situation

I left Flamekeep determined to go where real change was happening every day. I traveled by lightning rail to Sharn and arrived with only a few coins in my pocket. I needed to learn about this city, this country, and the many different people who call Sharn home. The best way to do this was to rely on the skills I learned from my father. I looked for a place where people gathered to eat, drink, and trade stories. But I needed more than just a tavern. I needed a place where the seeds of adventure can grow and where I feel the Silver Flame can let me do the most good.

I've met a dwarf named Shekkal Korranor who seems impressed with my knowledge of rare teas. He's offered me a job waiting tables in the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guildhouse. I've never seen or met such a wide variety of people. This seems to be as good a place as any to get to know what the world is really like.

Character Sheet

Critical Hits

Neil had a (good) question about critical hits and sneak attack damage. He wished to clarify if the sneak dice were maximized on a successful crit. After doing some digging in the books and online I have deduced that it is indeed maximized. Here is my take on it:
  • Pg 117 of the PHB describes Sneak Attack damage as extra damage caused by a successful attack under the proper conditions. (under S.A. description).
  • Pg 278 of the PHB talks about crit damage and states:

    Extra Damage:
    Magic weapons and implements, as well as high crit weapons, can increase the damage you deal when you score a critical hit. If this extra damage is a die roll, it's not automatically maximum damage; you add the result of the roll.

The only damage not maximized is extra damage that are caused by actually scoring a critical hit. Sneak Attack, Hunter's Quarry, and Warlock's Curse are not caused by critical hits. Thus, they are maximized.

There you go! Of course.. this works both ways! Mwahahah!

Unless someone finds somethings very specific somewhere regarding this I plan on playing this way.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Larien Felagund - Background

When I was born, the Keepers of the Past had proclaimed from the signs that my patron ancestor was Rolen Varalos, and that he would be my guide through life and beyond. Rolen Varalos, a legendary archer, was key in the Dhakaani-Tairn War as he singlehandedly turned the tide of a battle with his bow. His most renown battles were during the defense against the Dhakaani Kech Volaar clan. Rolen valiantly fought on the front lines, maiming and killing several hundred Dhakaani in defense of his homeland – up until the attack of the dragons. He fearlessly fought and was slain by a one-eyed dragon, a dragon which he had fought previously and had deftly shot in one of its two good eyes.

Through the years I have lived my life as a warrior. I know not where my blood family is. I vaguely remember their faces. My first charge is to my patron ancestor, and next to my warband. My blood family has almost been forgotten.
I am a warrior.

The only friend on my journey is my bow.

I cannot heal.

I cannot cast spells.

I cannot pray to the gods and have them answered.

Death is my business.

Be it your death, or be it mine.

Should our weapons cross and our wills collide, may the better warrior win.
I took leave of my military warband, Amap'Ceo, in order to follow my patron ancestor's guidance to achieve greatness in this world through battles and adventure. I find myself in Sharn at the Clifftop Adventurers' Guild, waking up for the early shift to bake bread and then to assist with meals in the Guildhouse at breakfast. I make acquaintances quickly and easily. Being a woman breaks down some barriers easily put up by the strongest and fiercest of men. I'm seen to all as a "pretty face" and the experienced Guild members take pride in trying to show me the ropes so to speak. At times I use this to my advantage where possible – my body serves its purpose, my mind always focused on combat.

This is only a means to the end – glorious battles in the name of Rolen Varalos.

Larien Felagund - Ranger (level 2)

Female Elf Ranger

STR 12 +1
CON 10
DEX 20 +5
INT 10
WIS 14 +2
CHA 10

HP 27
Bloodied 13
Surges/Day 6
Surge Value 6

AC 19 = 10 +5[DEX] +2[Darkleaf Leather Armor +1]
FORT 13 = 10 +1[STR] +1[class] +1[1/2 lvl]
REF 17 = 10 +5[DEX] +1[class] +1[1/2 lvl]
WILL 13 = 10 +2[WIS] +1[1/2 lvl]

Initiative +6 = 5[DEX] +1[1/2 lvl]

Skills: Acrobatics +11, Athletics +1, Dungeoneering +2, Heal +8, Insight +2, Nature +10, Perception +10, Stealth +11, Thievery +8

Feats: Lethal Hunter, Elven Precision

Racial Features: Low-Light Vision, Longbow/Shortbow Proficiency, Fey Origin, Group Awareness, Wild Step

Class Features: Archer Fighting Style, Hunter’s Quarry, Prime Shot

At-Will Powers: Nimble Strike, Careful Attack

Encounter Power: Evasive Strike, Elven Accuracy

Daily Power: Split the Tree

Basic Adventurer's Kit, 15gp
Darkleaf Leather Armor +1
Dagger x1, 1gp
Longbow, 30gp
Shortbow, xxgp
Arrows 2x30, 2gp

4.0 Player's Handbook Online

So here's a link to a "preview" of the 4.0 PHB. It's a pretty good web-based rendering of the PHB. I've taken a quick look at it and most of the details seems to be correct. However, I have found a few things that are different in the actual book. So I'd recommend that you use this as a guideline only and not gospel.