Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This is really cool
The Calendar Utility will let you scroll through the Eberron calendar and determin the phases of the moon and what planes are closest to Eberron. Yet another way we can add flavour to the journal entries.
Eberron World and Planar Calendar Utility
I am finally getting chances to put my combat training to good use. I’ve battled humans, elves, and strange lizard creatures. I’ve battled goblins and constructs. And although I’m confident of my abilities, it is a new challenge to fight along side companions who are trained in so many different disciplines. Most of my combat training assumed that I would be fighting alone or along side lines of soldiers with similar training to my own. This haphazard approach to fighting is opening my eyes to the endless possibilities in fighting styles.
Take Ethan, for example. He’s self taught and wields small blades. He looks for any opening in an opponent’s defenses and strikes quickly. It doesn’t appear that he’s doing a lot of damage at first, but I’ve quickly learned that he knows were to strike his foe to hurt them the most. He fights dirty and without rules. It may not seem honorable, but so far I haven’t fought an opponent deserving of honorable tactics. If this approach works for Ethan, I’m not going to judge him. If anything I admire his will to do whatever it takes to be victorious.
Larien approaches a fight very differently. She uses a longbow with unbelievable accuracy. She uses stealth and distance to her advantage. She quietly moves through the shadows and when she spots her target she overwhelms them with missile fire before they even realize she’s a threat. Most of her foes never even see the person who killed them. I have great admiration for her since I have never been able to display any real proficiency with a bow myself. Her skill has come from countless shots. It’s both sad and awe inspiring.
Each of the members of our group has their own strengths and until we learn what those are and how best to use them in tandem we will not be as great as I know we can be. I continue to observe this party and hope that my wisdom will provide me with insight to guide them in the days to come, both on and off of the battlefield.
Good day, father. May the Silver Flame keep you safe.
We arrived in the mining village last night. It’s pretty bad here. The owner of the local tavern and two serving girls are the only townsfolk not forced to work the mines. Four thugs were left behind to keep things orderly. It didn’t take long to realize that these four were remorseless. As long as they remained in power the townsfolk would never be free. We drew steel on these men and killed them. The flame burned within me and blessed my companions. We were victorious.
We are heading for the mines in the next hour. I have no doubt that I will need to call upon the blessings of the Silver Flame when we get there. I’m sure my steel and my faith will be needed to free the townsfolk and punish their captures.
When next I write you, I will tell you how we freed these people. Until then, may the Silver Flame keep you safe.
I’m writing this while traveling away from Sharn on horseback. Much has happened since my last letter.
I was forced to draw steel on the streets of Sharn to defend a helpless man. He was being assaulted by five armed men. The friends I wrote about in my last letter fought by my side and we were victorious. Unfortunately two of the villains were killed during the combat and the local lawmen did not look favorably on this needless loss of life. Fortunately the circumstances supported our need for brute force, and the city watch agreed. But the taking of a life, no matter what the circumstances, cannot go unchecked. As such we were fined 200 gp.
The man being accosted was named Earnin. He came to Sharn seeking help. His village, a small mining town in the Blackcaps, has been taken over by thugs. The local townsfolk had all been killed or forced to work in the mine. Earnin offered us 200 gp to help him. This reward offset our fine to the copper. The Flame clearly wanted me to follow this path.
We left Sharn the next day and began the long trek to the Backcaps on horseback. I was pleased to have a chance to see Wroat along the way. Even though we didn’t stop within the city limits, I can see why it is the capital of Breland. I look forward to visiting Wroat some day soon.
I’ll write more as my journey continues. May the Silve Flame keep you safe.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I am a warrior.
This victory is mine.
I had awoke this morning with Rolen Varalos on my mind. My patron ancestor had guided me on this path -- a questionable path. I find myself associating with men that don't think twice to kill someone in their sleep, or someone who is unarmed.
As we proceeded towards the mine, we came across a wagon that was being attacked by spitting Drakes and Needlefang Swarms. I easily slayed the drakes while my counterparts took care of the swarms. This was a good warmup to what was to come.
At the mine, we noticed two guard towers as we approached. Ethan and myself proceeded forth to scout the area. Little did we know that some foul goblins were going to attack at the same time as we were. I could not help but shoot at them. My hatred for them burns deep -- the history of my people and my ancestors will never let me to forget these wretched vermin.
I could not help but to shoot.
None of us died.
Death is my business.
I was very busy at work today.
The hills are quiet, the sounds of combat faded. A hush has descended back upon the mountains. Soft voices are heard from a tent, gently probing for information. The mine entrance looms ominously in the distance; A black hole offset by the granite rock. Squatting by the palisade wall is Ethan, a small book in his hand in which he is writing furiously.
We left town early this morning intent on intercepting the ore shipment. As we approached a bend in the path the sound of battle rose up before us. I was out of my saddle in seconds, instincts I didn't know I had kicking in. I sprinted towards an old tower wall, intending to move behind and flank the enemy. My muscles felt good to be stretched and challenged. I leaped up and vaulted the five foot wall with ease, landing lightly on my feet. The foe were lizard creatures and though I once again found myself separated from my companions we managed to dispatch the enemy and live to tell the tale. I need to be more mindful of my surroundings, if I continue on this path of separation in combat I'm likely to be killed.
After more travelling we arrived at the mine entrance. Smoke is seen in the distance indicating that someone is present. I did some initial scouting, scaling a nearby cliff and taking in the land. A pool of water is to the west, the mine to the north. Larien and I scout ahead. We observe two watch towers, with archers standing guard. To the west I see movement in the trees but I'm unable to distinguish what is there. Larien suggests that we send a message via her bow to our companions to move up and join us. Her shot is off and I see the anger well up in her. I quickly look away, I don't want her to know that I've seen her miss. I'm unsure what to say, so I say nothing. I begin to realize that perhaps I'm not as inexperienced as I thought. I've decided not to tell the others about Larien's miss with the bow, I don't want to erode their confidence in her.
The combat didn't unravel the way I imagined. Once again I found myself alone, this time by design. My job was to take the archer in the eastern tower down. I don't know what happened with Larien, but apparently she saw goblins and an ancient blood feud took over. Either way it's irrelevant as we were victorious.
I fired my crossbow at the archer and quickly hid amongst the rocks and trees. Unfortunately, I didn't kill him and he raised a general alarm. I moved forward deftly, seeing my target had taken cover in the tower. I aimed, squeezed the trigger and was rewarded with the archer falling from his perch. One foe down, time to move forward. I scaled the rocks and looked down at the camp, a human and an elf were off in the distance. I figured I could move around and get behind them, using some structures as cover. Before I could move into position I was ambushed by a goblin. I still can't believe I let one of those dirty bastards sneak up on me. Ogre's blood I was mad! I attempted to feint him, but he read my intentions. Fortunately, Olladra cursed with a weak sword arm. Once again, I feinted him then called upon my reserves to strike him. I felt my dagger sink into the exposed flesh under his ribs, a look of panic in its beady eyes. He swung at me, but I riposted his strike cutting tendons in his arm. I could tell his spirit was broken and as he turned to flee I planted my dagger into the base of his neck and watched him die. My movements were cold and calculated. It reminded me of my encounter with Mikal.
Two foes down, solo. It wasn't without sacrifice, I was sorely wounded and in dire need of healing if I was going to continue. Fortunately, I saw Del ahead of me. I quickly covered the ground between us and shouted for aid. Del called on the inner reserves that the Flame blesses him with and I felt a healing wave hit me.
The battle ended shortly afterwards. Now I await the information the others have learned from the slave Bart. I'm eager to see what challenges will await and how I will fare. I must make an effort to work closer with the team, I feel if I keep pushing the envelope, eventually my luck won't hold. Until then Olladra keep me and guide me.
When does the +1/2 level modifier apply?
Gaining Levels: Level Modifier
“…everything that’s based on your level becomes one-half better – your attacks, defenses, initiative, and ability checks.”
“An attack modifier is a bonus or penalty that applies to your attack roll. Add the modifier to your base attack bonus when you make an attack.”
Making Checks: Ability Checks
“Sometimes you’re not making an attack or a skill check, but trying to accomplish a task that doesn’t fall into either category. You make an ability check.”
Based on the above I'd say that it does not apply to damage or any other variable listed as the result of a power. For example the Paladin can Lay on Hands a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier. So a Paladin with a 17 Wisdom can use Lay on Hands 3 times/day regardless of his level. But if his wisdom increases from 17 to 18 then he will be able to use Lay on Hands 4 times/day.
Do you agree or disagree with my interpretation?
Level 1 - Magic Longbow [360gp]
Level 3 - Flameburst +1 Longbow [680gp]
Level 4 - Thunderburst +1 Longbow [840gp]
Level 8 - Flameburst +2 Longbow [3400gp]
Level 1 - Magic Leather +1 [360gp]
Level 4 - Darkleaf Leather +1 [840gp]
Level 8 - Elven Battle Leather +2 [3400gp]
Level 3 - Bracers of the Perfect Shot [680gp]
Level 1 - Amulet of Protection +1 [360gp]
Level 3 - Amulet of Health +1 [680gp]
Level 5 - Boots of Spider Climbing [1000gp]
Level 3 - Gloves of Piercing [680gp]
 Stormlord Armor +3 (25,000 gp) AV Resist 10 Lightning & Thunder
 Pelarum Armor +3 (21,000 gp) AV Resist 10 Fire & Radiant
 Frostburn Armor +3 (21,000 gp) AV Resist 5 Fire & Cold
 Black Iron Armor +3 (21,000 gp) PHB Resist 10 Fire & Necrotic
 Imposter's Armor +3 (9,000 gp) AV
 Symbol of Censure +3 (21,000 gp) AV Crits daze
 Icon of the Silver Flame +3 (21,000 gp) EPG
 Magic Holy Symbol +3 (9,000 gp) PHB
 Winged Boots (17,000 gp) PHB No damage from falling
 Battlestrider Greaves (13,000 gp) PHB +1 speed
 Girdle of the Unber Hulk (25,000 gp) AV +1 Fort
 Cord of Divine Favor (17,000 gp) AV Encounter: HS when allies are healed.
 Iron Armbands of Power (1,800 gp) AV +2 melee damage
 Gloves of the Healer (13,000 gp) AV +1d6 healing; Daily: heal an ally
 Luckbender Gloves (1,800 gp) AV Encounter: reroll damage
 Stormwalker's Cloak +3 (25,000 gp) PHB Resist 10 Lightning & Thunder
 Brooch of vitality +3 (25,000 gp) AV +5 hp
 Cloak of the Walking Wounded +3 (21,000 gp) Spend 2 HS when bloodied
 Cloak of Survival (21,000 gp) Resist 5 Cold & Fire
cloak +2 = 4,200 gp, improve to cloak +3 = 16,800 gp [13th level item]
 Cloak of Distortion +3 (21,000 gp) +5 AC vs ranged 5+
 Choker of Eloquence +3 (17,000 gp) +3 Bluff & Diplomacy
 Brooch of Shielding +3 (17,000 gp) Resist 15 Force
 Holy Avenger +5 (625,000 gp) PHB
 Lightning Weapon +3 (25,000 gp) PHB
 Sunblade +3 (21,000 gp) AV
Updated on July 22.
Monday, July 21, 2008
* Updated July 26, 2009
Addergrease Armour +3 - Level 13
Cat Tabi Shoes - Level 18
Dynamic Belt - Level 9
Survivor's Belt - Level 11
Belt of Vigor - Level 12
Belt of Giant Strength - Level 15
Antipathy Gloves - Level 10
Rogue's Gloves - Level 12
*** Goggles of the Night - Level 14 ***
Watchers Ring - 11
Ring of Fury - Level 14
The group has just defeated the 4 humans in the Crooked Inn. After a few moments taken to catch their breath the group springs into action.
After Jonathon quickly performs last rites for the fallen he assists Delia with getting Sophie settled down and into her room for the night. Sterling, Ethan, and Braddoc help Joseph strip down and bury the dead in a nearby refuse heap. Delian checks out the rundown law building and decides it is safe to hide the gear that was gleaned from the guards there as no one has been in the building for months.
After a few moments Delia returns with Jonathon and she proceeds to begin cleaning up the blood that pooled on the floor. Delian returns settles in to try and make sure everything looks "normal" should any other surprise visitors arrive. 20 minutes later the rest of the group returns and the planning starts in earnest.
Unsure of how to approach the situation some heated discussion arises. It is quickly evident that they have much to learn in deciding plans of action but what can be expected when this was really only their second engagement together.
It finally dawned on them to ask the silent locals as to what events have brought such misery to the shanty town.
Joseph briefly described the situation: about a year earlier a large group of men and elves arrived with free-flowing pockets and grand plans for the town. They quickly settled into the mining operations and slowly filtered in more of their own men as "employees". However it only took a couple months for the trouble to start. First they let the local law officer (Earnin's brother Cerf) know that they had no use for his rules and authority and that they now considered themselves as the leaders of this locale. Cerf tried to uphold his duties but "mysteriously" turned up dead in the nearby woods one morning. The hooligans then instructed the 30 townsfolk that they could choose to work in the mines or die here in town. A number of the people immediately fought back but were quickly overwhelmed by superior numbers and gear. Most of the rest were sent to the mines and not heard from again. Joseph, 3 serving girls, and Earnin were left in town to run the Inn and perform duties as required. Since then there have been very few travellers. Any that did arrive were given the same choice as the townsfolk.
3 months ago Earnin stole a payroll bag from a supply shipment to the mine and left town for help. Joseph and the girls had long given up hope of every seeing him alive again so when he walked through the door they could hardly believe their eyes.
Joseph then described the general routine of their captures. The four humans in the bar were stationed here. It was their job to deal with travellers and to coordinate shipments of ore coming from the mine and supplies going to the mine. Once a week a scout would arrive from the mine with instructions for the week and the town leader Ril would ensure they were obeyed. Ore arrived in town once or twice a week. The wagon was unhitched and immediately returned north with either an empty cart or supplies. The next day a group would arrive from the south to pick up the ore and orders for future supplies.
While this was going on Delia was surprised to find a crumpled note on the floor near the fireplace. It read:
Ore arriving 9 Rhaan. Pay your men with payroll bag on board. Ore crew to return with empty wagon. Order 2 barrels of apples, 1 barrel of flour, 3 crates of salted meats and other usual supplies. Also need 3 new buckets, 12 pick axes, 6 shovels, and a spare axle assembly for mine cart. An old farm animal or two could also be of use to feed the pet. We are running low on up-ity workers here.
With this news the party decided they would rest up and head north at first light in order to ambush the incoming ore cart. The idea was to try and subdue at least one of the drivers in order to interrogate him for information on the operation. However it didn't go exactly as planned.
2 hours into the 6 hour journey they came across the ore cart as it was being attacked by some Needlefang swarms and spitting drakes. The drivers were quickly killed by the ore-men (?) and the reptiles turned their attention to the group. The group nearly met with disaster as they underestimated the tiny swarms. I am sure they will not treat them so lightly if they ever meet them again.
The group discovered that the ore was plain old iron. A wagon load of it. Why all the fuss for iron? They also claimed the payroll bag containing 20 gp and a beautiful gem worth an estimated 100 gp.
Proceeding North they eventually arrived on the outskirts of the mining camp - seemingly at the same time a goblin raiding band did! Larien was unable to control her hatred of the beasts and instead of letting the goblins and the hooligans weaken each other it turned into a 3 way battle. Most of the goblins quickly fell to the group and - forgetting that an elven archer had warned his comrades of the approaching goblin/warforged raid - the group thought they could bluff their way into the camp as allies and simply started walking in. A crossbow bolt from the a human guard exposed their folly.
The battle raged on - and was joined by a clay scout that burst from the door of one of the building. It seems that Braddoc has discovered a new fear of flying clay creatures!
All in all the party was victorious after an epic battle. (Although the paladin many very well actually be a rogue in disguise based on his actions!) The next session will begin shortly after the fight ended. A cry from inside the palisade reveals a near-starved slave named Bart who falls to the ground in gratitude and begs the group to also save his friends from inside the mine.
Any questions should follow in the comments...
I've only included items in the level range of Lvl 3 to Lvl 7
- Deathcut Armour +1 (Lvl 5)
- Bloodcut Armour +1 (Lvl 4)
- Viscous Longsword +2 (Lvl 7)
- Bashing Shield (Lvl5)
- Shield of Protection (Lvl 3)
- Dwarven Greaves (Lvl 7)
- Gauntlets of Ogre Power (Lvl 5)
- Circlet of Authority (Lvl 7)
- Ironskin Belt (lvl5)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
My body has become accustomed to the aches and pains associated with travel by horseback. The day's are routine, we wake to Sterling brewing tea. The brew instantly revives our mental faculties. We break our fast with bread, cheese and some dried meats. We saddle our horses and ride all day. Most day we have our mid-day meal in the saddle. As the afternoon drags on we search for a safe place to camp. We sup and then sleep while Sterling stands watch. We are fortunate to have him. His constant vigilance is a comfort in these unknown lands.
Though I suppose they are only unknown to me. I've lived my whole life in Sharn and only dreamed at a chance of life beyond the towers. All the others have travelled the world. I marvel at the size of it all. We've been travelling nearly a month and we're still in Breland. One of my companions will occasionally point to the horizon and relate an old story. I have no such experiences to share.
Truth is the only time of day I feel of much use is when we make camp. I set the horses to graze and with the assistance of Larien rub them down. I suppose I kid myself as it is I who assist her. She is a warrior to the bone. The way she moves and holds herself, everything has a purpose and her bow is always at her side.
I'm not sure whose idea it was, but someone suggested we use the stream by the camp to bathe. I was nervous at first as I don't have much experience in water. However the gentle current was soothing on travel weary muscles. Then Larien entered the stream. Olladra save me, but I couldn't look away. I feel as though she were taunting me to look at her. But it's not appropriate, I've no right, though the Six take me if I've met someone more beautiful.
Afterwards I lucked upon some goose for dinner. The warm meal helped as Earnin advised us we'd arrive in Black Pit tomorrow. His words were sobering as it's easy to forget why we're out here. I feel alone at times. I have no experience in the life I've been forced upon. Surrounded by soldiers and men of faith. I fear my lack of experience may get myself or one of my companions killed.
As the morning broke there was a quiet energy between everyone. Last night Earnin informed us that we'd make Black Pit by dusk tomorrow and we should prepare ourselves for anything. I believe he meant armed conflict, however his voice carried subtle overtones of something else, something darker.
Delia Cleans Up
The Crooked Inn was silent. The destruction wrought by the evening’s earlier violence repaired. Tables and chairs were cobbled together. Even the participants had dispersed. The corpses, stripped of armour and possessions, were buried in a field not far from the inn. The newcomers her beloved Earnin had returned with were now preparing a strategy of what to do next. All that remained was the blood. To that end Delia scrubbed the floor, her fingers raw in an attempt to hide the fresh blood. She knew that if she wasn’t diligent in the task that more than serving some thugs breakfast or a quick violation would await her.
As she continued to scrub the stains her mind wandered back to the night’s events. It’s true that between Joseph and her they had invited the newcomers to the violence. The return of Earnin in their company had been a huge lift. It seemed he had found the help the village so desperately needed. It was odd to see one of the Warforged with him. Delia hadn’t expected this. She’d never seen one before; she’d always thought they were alien looking. Like a monstrosity from Dolurahh. But this one moved with a fluid grace, and it carried with it an aura of command.
Everything had started with a note under the half-elf Delian's stew . Delia recalled how her heart pounded as she scribbled the note, fear of being found out causing her hands to shake. With the idea of the fight planted she wondered how it would begin. Would the half-elf, who look like a knight of the Flame, challenge the thugs? She had no use for the gods. They certainly hadn’t spared any of them from the assaults of the thugs. My heart still breaks when I think of poor Tabitha. Her body so abused, her mind warped, she had taken her own life. Delia still remembered the day she walked in to see Tabitha hanging from the rafters. Some of the thugs had taken additional pleasure on her corpse, not even death had saved her from indignity. No, gods didn’t care what happened to Delia or the others of the Pit. Maybe, just maybe this knight of the Flame could make a difference. She’d heard that the Silver Flame didn’t tolerate evil, that it destroyed it where ever it was found. Well surely this was such a place.
It was all too much to hope. She had overheard one of the newcomers, his leather armour dirty and rotting, speak quietly “You want me to start a fight?” The other’s had only nodded assent. So this was how it happened. Some dirty, poor boy, who likely hadn’t bathed in weeks by the smell of him, was going to save them? Delia had watched him rise from the table, his hands trembling. This boy is a fool she had thought, we are all dead. Look at him stumble toward them, he doesn’t stand a chance.
Delia allowed herself a brief smile. These newcomers were more than they appeared, and the boy had held his own though his mannerisms showed he was clearly no hero. The half-elf though, he was impressive fighting one of the thugs single handed until Joseph joined the fray. The fight hadn’t been without cost; Sonya had almost lost her life when she got involved. Humph, it has been the priest of the Host that had saved her. Perhaps they weren’t all bad; maybe the gods were even paying attention after all. Still, there was so much blood and it needed to go. Perhaps staining the floor with some soot and ash.
As Delia moved to the hearth her eye was drawn towards a crumpled and burnt piece of parchment. What’s this she wondered…