Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[D&D 4e PbP Eberron: Crime/Noir] The Long Way Down

srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Critical Failures
Death in the Streets: Symptom of Corruption or Disease itself?
by Perry Tsarpsil

Sharn is a hard place, and harder still if you're nothing more than a 4-foot spit of a human kid with no name, no house, and no schooling. Salis Tremfinnigan was just that sort of spit, so when a wealthy merchant tells him to get to the market for the kind of gold that'll win a poor homeless punk a warm bath, a meal, and a night or two with a roof over his head he jumped at the chance, and, evidence indicated, off a ledge.

Salis wound up dead on the street four hours after picking up a mysterious ledger that now has no bearing on who may have hired him. The only way this reporter can even bring you this sort of intringue is simple gumption and a long history with the urchins that call our more dilapidated streets home. These sources - and they can be thought to be as reliable as any story your hair, scale, or horn dresser weaves during your visit to the cosmetician - provided this newspaper with information that indicates Salis had been caught thieving from a market, but, instead of thumping him all the way to Watch the way the best merchants will or taking a digit in payment the way the worst are likely to, Salis was offered a chance at a simple job to recoup his err and make a nice penny on the side: Go to another store, make a purchase, and come back with the goods intact. Simple money. Easy-street money. A chance to get back on the right foot. The stuff dreams that die in Sharn are made of.

Four hours later, every bone in Salis' body was broken, and the blood stretched for a good four yards in every impossible direction in the uptown square where he landed. Good luck finding it out from the authorities, but sources in the Watch tell me a dragonmark that no House would admit to having ever seen was burned across his back.

As of this publishing, Watch investigators are stumped and considering it a case of Aberrant Forces or an Act of Gods.

To this reporter? It's another example of a fella in Sharn who dreamed of big city lights, gleaming towers of hope and promise, and found out the hard way that it's a Long Way Down from the Noble Houses.

[Continued on Page E4:Intrigue]

The detective folded the pamphlet and tossed it onto the desk, narrowing one eye thoughtfully and glancing out the window at the scenic view of Sharn's gleaming upper city towers. If Tsarpsil bothered to talk about it, there was more to this death than simple random arcana discharge: but that wasn't the Detective's business. Lost property and persons, found. Patrons and politicians, escorted. Murders were the Watch's job, and to the nine hells with 'em.

The office burned with the collected heat of the day, and the Detective wasn't getting any cooler. Donning hat and coat, the inquisitive stumbled down the three flights of stairs and into the warm glow of Sharn at dusk, heat rising off the cobblestone streets of the lower city, giving the air a shimmer that could give even a sober man the idea that the world just always wobbled, and, if the world was set to wobbling, it was as good a time as any to be drunk. The Detective couldn't help but agree. Holding up two fingers and whistling, the Detective waved down an elementaxi, flicking a silver piece through the front window before even setting his hand to the door handle and muttering a simple command. "Booze."

The detective didn't manage much more than that before a blood-curdling scream broke the comparative stillness of night settling in on Sharn. Impressive as that would be in a regular town, in a place that thrummed with the efforts of energy-eaters and arcana-twisters till all hours in the morning, it was worth the detective and the dwarven cabby tilting their heads ever so cautiously skyward, catching the vague outline of an airship on its way toward the posh Skyway districts.

And the source of the scream. The detective, gripping hat and armaments fiercely, dodged out of the way as the cabby scrambled away from his vehicle like a lobster caught in the pot. A sudden crash rang out and a flash of fire as the elemental spirit trapped in the taxi exploded, and then silence.

The detective eyed the scene carefully, the clockwork brain of an investigator working its way to the surface like a 12th-round fighter with no clue he's lost. A dead man - not a kid, not by a long shot. Bones at awkward, unnatural angles. Blood sprayed in a non-uniform but not wholly random pattern that could not have been possible from simple impact: crushed into the ground by an unseen force, elemental magic and gore sprayed about the street and wavering in the stuffy, punctuated air of a Sharn night like sparks from a forge smith's hammer ringing off hot iron.

Aberrant Forces? An Act of Gods?

Either way, it must have been quite a long way down, indeed.

"What in all the...Come on!" The cabby shouts, throwing his arms out and glaring skyward. He looks imploringly at the detective as the investigator approaches the wreck of the taxi. "I'm in 4,000 gold and gaining interest every day to Kundarak for that thing! And it was their collateral! Son of a bitch!" He runs over and boots the studded wheel of the cart, swearing deeply and raging alternatively at his bad luck and his latest customer's apparently worse luck. Checking the man's remaining pockets, the detective finds identifying papers: Baldrin Remstrin. No House affiliation, but a known name nonetheless. Outspoken. Political. Democratic, and, by any account of the Noble Houses, dangerous. But also wealthy. Stashed with the papers was something else:

A ledger of some sort. Simple piece of paper, likely a receipt, baring no marking of the merchant it originated with, but an incomplete list of a recent shopping trip. 3 Folding Knives. 5 Ink Bottles, Blue, Adamantine Edition. 2 Boxes Rat Poison: 5 pounds each arsenic, distilled. Residuu- (which the detective assumes to be Residuum), but no quantity or description. The bizarre shopping list continues, but the next entry only gets so far as "Tri-" before fate, Aberrant Forces, an Act of Gods, or some other horseshit tore the receipt, likely destroying evidence...or planting it.

"Call the Watch," the detective mutters, pocketing the list and wandering off into the night.

"Hey! Hey!" The dwarf calls. "You can't leave the scene! They're gonna ask me questions. I need to tell them your name, your business. I need a card or papers or something - mah insurance with Kundarak requires me to -- Oy! You even listenin'?!"

The detective, of course, was not listening. There were bigger questions to answer and, in spite of all experience shouting to avoid even asking those sort of questions - because they've never won you a damn sight anything more than trouble - the detective was determined to find the answers.



Background

We'll be playing a noir game in a setting that's as close to Eberron as I feel like sticking. We'll use talking points from Eberron (dragonmarks, Noble Houses, cities, cold-war-era paranoia, that sort of thing), but I'm not afraid about branching out and looking into other things. I have a couple of particulars to address before we get started.

Eberron is not a happy or simple place. I know why it's not in the campaign guide or any of the handbooks, but it seems timely enough given the current (07/31/2010) story arch going down with our generous hosts' comic (Automata), so I'll just say it plain and simple: Nobody in my concept of Eberron trusts warforged. They are repressed, oppressed, and generally frowned upon. They're dangerous, magically-animated clockwork men that were originally built for war and destruction. No one knows precisely how they have "free will" or anything like that, so most people in Sharn distrust them and are openly xenophobic about construct-based lifeforms. To most folks, a warforged isn't anything more impressively alive or significant than their elemental land cart (which I'm just going to call "arcanamobiles") or lightning rail. So, warfroged racism exists.

Next up: Primal and Psionic magics. Eberron is a world literally powered by arcane magic and deeply connected to Divine magic. More on the latter in a second, but I like to think of the different nations in Eberron as vying for greater control over magic, and Primal and Psionics are just the sort of thing they're after. In the concept for our game, primal and psionic magic users are thought to be scary and unknowable, mystics and heretics from the distant lands with strange power that seems to defy the carefully crafted sciences of the nations from Khorvaire. Shadow users are even worse, because no one can begin to guess where in every hell they got their power from.

Divine magic: D&D traditionally presents a template where gods, demons, and devils directly and corporeally affect the world as we know it. This is fine. I don't like it, personally. I like the idea that whatever power source a Divine class draws on seems to be without solid direction. It's undeniable that it's there, but it's confusing because two worshipers of Avandra can slap each other around while calling the other a heretic. How does that jive? If Avandra's really out there, wouldn't she just favor her true champion and call it quits on the other one?

So, rather than straight "Gods exist, are real, and you can use their powers," gods in our modified Eberron are more unknowable. People choose to see signs of their power everywhere, and often differ and dither on what god is connected to what. It's more like if I could shoot someone with a ray of pure white light and burn their face off in the real world. Some people would say that I have a gift from god. Others would say I'm a demon or that I'm possessed. No one would be able to know for sure, least of all me.

I'm not saying that there aren't gods in my D&D world, but I'm also not saying there are. Divine power exists and is accessible to those who study it, but I'm sure there's debate over whether it's just not arcane magic in a different guise or whether there's any intelligence behind those powers. I'm saying that belief is important. Too many characters and creatures in D&D simply know their gods have their backs, and so don't have cause to truly believe in them, which makes them less scary. If a being is committed to a belief whole-heartedly, they can do terrible or great things in the name of something they believe in.

Character Creation

Was accepting submissions for 1 Level 5 Detective + 5 Level 5 characters, max two submissions per player. Special rules were as follows:
  • 22-point buy-in. Any class is acceptable. Any race is fine with three exceptions: Revenant, Wilden, and Shardmind. If you want to do one of those three, expect to have to sell me on the concept. You can do this openly, so as to enable discussion with everyone, or via private message. The reason for the first two is pretty apparent - they're extra weird. What would a Wilden be doing in a city? And Revenant aren't extant in my little world here. Shardminds may be an easier sell, but you'd have to fudge the history pretty aggressively away from what's proposed in PHB3.
  • Be considerate of the Divine, Primal, and Psionic stuff I've talked about. If you can sell me on how your character is connected to the world in relation to that, I'll be super into it. Monks, Barbarians, and Avengers are easy Psionic, Primal, and Divine sells respectively because they're not as magic focused.
  • One 7th-level item, one 6th-level item, 1,000gp shopping spree. That's pretty generous, so don't look a gift horse in the mouth too badly.
  • Most people give you Versatile Expertise for free; I say pick any bonus feat you want. Make sure it's otherwise legal for your character though (i.e. Avengers can't go taking Ranger feats, though why you would, I can't imagine, and don't use Versatile Expertise to give yourself a houseruled class feature.)
  • As an addendum and exception to the rules above, I love Hybrid characters. If you can sell me on an awesome concept for a hybrid-class character, I'll probably let you get away with awesome stuff, but I need to know that you're accepting a downside somewhere else.
  • There is a lead role, The Detective. You should specify if you're applying to be our detective in your post. Also, I'd recommend the Mark of Finding or the Mark of Detection for the Detective to be your free feat. Just a recommendation, though, not a requirement. The detective's gender was purposefully left unknown.
  • When making your characters, think outside of simple class and race choices and tell me about their professions and how they relate to the detective. Are they cops? Aspiring Journalists? Femme Fatales? Thieves? There are a lot of Noir Tropes that work really well in these settings. If submitted characters are well tied-in, it makes for a more interesting group that can move the story.
  • Feel free to submit a Token. I'm going to be using MapTools to set up our maps and track things like initiative, ongoing damage, states, and all that stuff. Makes my life easier.

The Cast:
The Detective
  • Dwight Hartigan - The Detective (Rogue, Striker)
The Crew:
  • Mos Nassam - The Foreigner (Psion, Controller)
  • Sterling - The Lady Killer (Swordmage, Defender) [also, humorous wordplay]
  • Madam Rievakari - The Mystic (Sorcerer, Striker)
  • Clank - The Machine (Fighter, Defender)
  • Vered "Mr. Kaboom" Tavar - The Merchant of Death (Artificer, Leader)

Crimson, Wassermole, interrobang, Dark080matter, hotran, and The Ender, respectively.

Past Submissions:

Crimson, Wassermole, interrobang, Dark080matter, hotran, and The Ender, congratulations.

For the rest:

If your character is still in the "Past Submission" box, I'm sorry. I have my reasons for my choices, and I hope nobody feels too slighted to the point where they just want to take their ball and go home. If I were a touch more ambitious and insane, I would suggest that I can run two of these at once and collect those left out into another group with another storyline running parallel and occasionally overlapping.

Which is my way of proposing this crazy-ass idea:

If there's continued interest in the concept with the Away Team, I would like someone to step up to run and do the posting on a parallel but separate storyline occurring in the same world. I would write the encounters, handle the gear wishlists (I operate on wishlists, btw. I hate loot parcels), and collaboratively write the interstitial stuff with Alter DM, but Alter DM would do the posting, make the maps, and actually run the monsters for the Away Team, freeing me up to concentrate on the stuff I like about running a game, x2. Alter DM would probably have to have access to D&D Insider to make the most of their alternate role. If this interest exists, whether as Away Team players or as Alter DM, please send me a PM indicating that.

Playing:

I think it helps to clear this up right now. I've been watching God Is Dead, and I like how those cats are rolling, so I'm going to ape their style (imitation is the highest form of flattery, hippofant). Throw your sheets up on Orokos. If you don't have access to the Character Builder, you can throw your decisions my way via PM and I'll generate the character for you. Yeah, I'm that nice (for now. Mua, ha, ha). Do your in-character writing and narration in standard white, but feel free to get spiffy with the formatting dialog (so that it's easier to differentiate).

Hide your actions in a Spoiler block.

Post status of everyone in combat in a Spoiler block

Give us an indication of who's up next like that. You can make it red or orange if it's bad guys, I don't care, but it should be the last thing in your post.

OOC stuff relevant to the game once we kick off should be Dim Gray. I don't know about an OOC thread yet, but we'll see how we do.

I should hope that everyone can try to post daily. If you can't manage it, please let us know in advance and, if it's going to be a lengthy absence, delegate someone to stand in for you so the group doesn't need to sit here picking our noses.

A note about my style:

I have never run a Play-By-Post game before, so this is new territory. I'm somewhat experienced in DMing both digitally through MapTools and E-mails, but my forte has always been table-based play, so bear with me if I try stuff that doesn't work all that well in PbP.

I'm new-school to the bones in many ways, but I am, as they say, an adversarial GM. My monsters' goals are normally fairly transparent in combat: don't let the heroes kill you (except in some cases). To that effect, I don't pull punches, and I have a tendency to make hard encounters. This is balanced slightly by the fact that you guys get to be a tiny bit OP for free if you can sell me on it for story conditions. I've never aimed for a TPK, but it has happened in my lifetime (I'll try to avoid that here).

I'm also not a purely combat-focused DM. I like RP and skill challenges, and I often use them to set adventures up so that they have "win" conditions and "lose" conditions other than "We win! We killed all the bad guys" or "The bad guys killed us all. Poop. We lost." I like to use time limits to keep you from just sleeping your wounds away all the time, because urgency adds tension in my view. I have no qualms about stunned or dominated conditions, though they don't show up very often in my fights.

Feel free to run away from a fight - I won't think less of you. Sometimes it's important enough that you get a piece of information than Kill All Monsters (TM). Feel free to pull your punches and intimidate characters into surrender - you might learn a lot more from the living than from the dead. Also, bodies attract attention. You're investigators in a hardboiled crime fantasy noir, so there will be violence and darkness. It comes with the territory. I hope there will also be humor and elation to balance it out.

Once we have the characters selected (deadline will be Wednesday, August 4, 2010 [4 August, 2010 if it's your preference]), I'll introduce a tiny bit of interstitial story to get us to where we're heading. The assumption is that, the inquisitive nature of the detective overpowering common sense, the investigation begins with the detective gathering his usual suspects when it comes to a case of building a small team. Unfortunately, there's no paid gig yet, so there may be some light deception (depending on the type of detective we have) as to the nature of the job...but maybe a paying gig will rear its head. Maybe we'll have two cases at once that are seemingly unconnected, or three. Who knows?

I do. But you'll find out soon.


P.S. This was inspired by and owes its genesis to Scribe's remarkably neat idea The Unfortunate Wizard of Sharn, but it never got off the ground. I'm stepping in to fulfill an opportunity for fantasy noir roleplaying using D&D 4E's game system. I'm not trying to rip Scribe off. I want to transparently acknowledge, however, that his game (which apparently and sadly became defunct before even launching) directly inspired my own proposition.

P.P.S. If you feel the need to address me via forum name, "boyce" does the trick 'cause it catches my eye. It's easiest for me to notice when reading. Sometimes I miss "sirboyce" or "srboy" or stuff like that. Just sayin'.

P.P.P.S. Submissions officially close 3am ET 08/05, 12:00am PT 08/05. If you get it in before then, you'll be considered for the final cast. If you missed out on submissions and are sour about it, your submitted character wasn't chosen, or you just like what we're doing here, stick around and read the thread. Actually some decent character-building discussion and cool ideas given the setting, plus maybe all hope is not lost.

srboyceboat on
Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
«13456789

Posts

  • licwidcakelicwidcake Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I will try to make something up for submission tomorrow. This sounds really cool. I think I will resubmit my half orc ex con monk with some tweaks. Does punching monsters in the face really count as psionic?

  • hotranhotran Registered User
    edited August 2010
    I was quite unhappy about missing the Sharn game while I was in Exam Hell, so I'm definitely interested in this. I'm traveling away from the books for the next day or so, but I'll likely submit a Fighter, probably a Warforged, in the on-and-off employ of a gangster of some sort. Stay tuned....


    EDIT
    EDIT
    EDIT

    Here he is, Clank, the Warforged bouncer/guard/ass-whuppin' lackey type.

    Background
    Spoiler:

    I played around with a few concepts, but it a Guardian fighter seemed to best fit the idea of a bash-'em-in-the-face enforcer. If we last that long, I'd probably go for a Pit-Fighter type of paragon path. Basically, Clank has a somewhat narrow skill set, but he's good at what he does, and heavens forbid you ask him to prove it.

    If I end up getting in, I'm more than open to tweaking the background to link in other party members or NPC''s. This being the first time I've made a 5th level character from the start, I wasn't really sure where to spend my piles and piles of coin, so suggestions in that regard are more than welcome.

    The Long Way Down: Clank, Warforged Fighter
  • licwidcakelicwidcake Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Lifted almost directly from before:

    Korgul Half Orc Monk and Ex-con
    http://4e.orokos.com/sheets/2320

    Background:
    Spoiler:

    Personality:
    Spoiler:

    How he knows the detective:
    Spoiler:

    Token:
    Spoiler:

    On being psionic, I would think that given Korgul's previous rough reputation, most people wouldn't believe that he had psionic powers but instead just learned some new fighting tricks in prison. Plus being a former crime boss and a rather imposing figure in his own right, most people wouldn't look that close anyway.

    Second submission to come later.

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Awesome job Sirboyce!

    So for now, I will post the goliath unionist I had posted in the last thread because I still think he fits. He would have some interesting views on Warforged. On one hand he might sympathize with the warforged as downtrodden as they are in your write up, but on the other hand, one Warforged working might mean the loss of four jobs for those he wants to protect. I'll post another, new concept tomorrow!

    *edit: Alright, character updated

    Simon the Unionist - Goliath Runepriest
    "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but a large halberd and magically inscribed Words will break them even harder"

    Quickie background: He strongly believes in the organization of the workers and the people. He has been fighting ever since he came to Sharn, but now he knows words are more important. He uses the runic abilities he discovered to inspire, protect, and fight on the front lines against the union breakers that defend unsafe working conditions and those that would oppress their laborers. Deadly apothecaries, enslaved familiars, maltreated Warforged and so on - its a part of Sharn that must end.

    Full Background:
    Spoiler:

  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Oh, both characters are still totally legitimate. When I was thinking of the ways I could limit/expand what we're doing with the setting, I wanted to avoid excluding anyone who expressed interest in the last one. I think Simon and Korgul work just as well. How are you handling the religious aspect of the runepriest? Or are you ignoring it? I'm cool with either, I just don't see a socialist activist as overly...faithful.

    Sorry about the level change...I kind of got it in my head that, if Scribe showed up and wanted his submitted characters back, we could operate out of the same world. Like, if TUWoS could get off the ground agian, what we do could have been an earlier adventure within the same world. That way I don't feel like I've completely bojangled his mojo. (there are verbs and terms in that sentence that are likely wholly inappropriate)

    Korgul is safe as a psionic submission without too much cajoling. It could be that he doesn't know he's psionic? That's something interesting to think about exploring. He's learned this discipline and focus from these other inmates, but he doesn't realize that he's tapping into a psychic acumen? Or maybe he's got the idea that it's something off and doesn't want the law coming down on him or those who trained him? There are a lot of questions about motivation for him.

    I like to bounce ideas for their characters off my players, so don't feel like you have to take my suggestions. I just want to recreate the sense of a character-creation session from a table-run game. I don't think I've ever run a game where I didn't reward a player with free s*** (feats, rituals, that sort of thing) for committing their dudes to the story. Oh, I ramp up the difficulty to match, though, so...just more insight into what y'all would be getting yourselves into.

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • KamikazeCommunistKamikazeCommunist Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Edit: Character info up.

    Here he is, Viktor, the Warforged Paladin!


    Background:
    Having been created to fight crime and enforce the law, he does so to the greatest extent. Relentless in his execution, no law breaking citizen has managed to escape his pursuit of justice. Throughout the past he has had run-ins with the detective, whether it be securing a crime scene, pursuing a suspect, or playing the roll of the "bad cop" if the situation arises. However, even with all the success he has had in the apprehension of wanted criminals, he is still unable to earn the respect of those he works with. While he might not have the trust of the general populace as well, his pursuit of justice is what carries him through, knowing that he alone is making the world a better place to live.


    Image:
    Spoiler:

  • interrobanginterrobang kawaii as  hellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Blue-dotting this; I've got my character sheet worked up, now I just gotta do a background for the Detective!

  • TeyarTeyar Registered User
    edited August 2010
    The city seethed with oppourtunity. For an enterprising, angry young gnomeling, it was more than simply marks to hit, or money to take.

    It was about making a name.
    He'd watched his Da's hard work go down the tubes, the clever old gnome's work-shop just another House owned sweatshop. The Jewlery district ran on pure greed, contracts and houses marques and merchant princes taking the hours and hours of toil and skill, just enough coin thrown their way to make sure the rent got paid, there was a little food on the table. Ma always said it was a good enough life, with that tired sunshine smile. But year by year, that smile got dimmer. The city kept clouding it. Country halflings didnt do to well in this city, after all.
    The belts got tighter. The whispered arguments got quieter.

    He'd had enough. So what if he was too young to work, proper. There were other ways.
    A discarded mask in an alleyway had been the inspiration... The grappling hook and the calling card seemed to come natural, after that. It wasnt much. But it was enough to start....
    Thats how he began, a year ago. And now? The Smiling Mask was one of the most notorious cat burgalurs in the city. Voice like a cherub. Eyes like hell itself. Had to be a demon, or a vampire, or something unholy, most of the city guard thought. The ones who believed he existed at least. Harmless, smiling little Innis Sparklight had a knack for this kind of work, it turned out.

    Then he stole something he shouldnt have.
    ====
    So, usable character? The mask would be some kind of intimidation themed item, ghost sound and a bit of illusion is a hell of a useful trick, in the right hands. A grappling hook-shot, or just somthing more useful like armor / weapon if thats too far out of the usual magic item for you. Should I stat him up?

    Kick At The Darkness Until It Bleeds Daylight
  • squishy-blobsquishy-blob Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Sounds interesting. Right now I'm think I'll submit a Femme Fatale bard or fey pact warlock who uses magic and honeyed words to twist people to her will.

    One thing though. How much are we supposed to tie our characters to the detective? because until you choose the detective we've very little information about her, and anything we do specify may conflict with the background of the chosen detective.

  • TeyarTeyar Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Yeah, my exact thoughts, Blob. Its why I wrote Innis up in the "Oh, just have guys break into the room as their introduction" style.

    Kick At The Darkness Until It Bleeds Daylight
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Noir? Fuck yeah! Time to grab a fedora, vest, trenchcoat and fire-up Character Builder...

    Vered "Mr. Kaboom" Tavar

    Deva Artificer


    Background:
    Spoiler:


    Character Sheet:

    New foreign policy strategy:

    Obama and Merkel to call Putin a "coward noob" and "lucky bullshit noob only won lane because Ukraine went afk and Crimea fed" in all chat, demand 1v1 at Baron Pit.
  • Fondor_YardsFondor_Yards Elite Four Member: Hydra Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Not sure if I'll put my entry from the Wizard in here, but for now I have another.

    Isabella, Avenger of Dol Arrah

    Born in the kingdom of Thrane, Isabella lived a normal life growing up. She was born into a small village, or at very least that is where her parents left her. Raised in an orphanage run by the church, she joined it having no where else to go. But even there life was a fight, as no one wanted some 'devil spawn' teaching and looking after their kids. After a few years, pretty much everyone accepted her and moved on with theirs lives to worry about some other minor detail. Until one night.

    Searry Carter was the mayor of the town, and it was well known that he was corrupt. Like many things in Thrane as long as you went about it the right away no one would say a word about it. No one was close enough to hear exactly what the pair was talking about, but it was known he had tried to get the eldar running the church to 'donate' funds to the town and was having none of it. Maybe he was simply trying to work the new girl, thinking she would be easier to convince. Maybe he was there for something more personally. The exactly words turned out to not matter very much, after Isabella blew him apart with a blast of light.

    The townsfolk, fearing the worst, quickly ran her out of town. Confused and afraid, she fled town, wandering the countryside. At first she thought it was as the townsfolk said, an evil curse. But the more she thought about it, and the more she used it, the more it felt right. It didn't feel evil, it felt warm, good, and right. She made up her mind to try and learn what her power was, and how to use it correctly. And where else to learn about magic then Sharn?

    Flash forward 4 years later. At first glance, she looks nothing like the humble church girl was once was. Years on the road and working for a living have changed her. On the outside, people see a mean sarcastic woman doing whatever she can to get by. But the few who truely get to know her can she see still has her good, caring streak inside of her.

    Secrets, lies, and tragedy. The trifecta.
    3DS Code: 5043-2172-1361
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    How are you handling the religious aspect of the runepriest? Or are you ignoring it? I'm cool with either, I just don't see a socialist activist as overly...faithful.

    Sorry about the level change...I kind of got it in my head that, if Scribe showed up and wanted his submitted characters back, we could operate out of the same world. Like, if TUWoS could get off the ground agian, what we do could have been an earlier adventure within the same world. That way I don't feel like I've completely bojangled his mojo. (there are verbs and terms in that sentence that are likely wholly inappropriate)

    I was actually thinking about the religious aspect last night. I think what he worships or reveres are the power of the Runes/words themselves. Divine, but a more basic religion, and hes less conscious of his reverence. Hes not really sure entirely about it, and doesn't really want to put a name to it. Sort of like really early religions where they didn't have things like Bast, the god of cats, but they worshiped the spirit of cats. But instead of cats, his god is the words of creation, language and writing.

    I think it would make for some interesting roleplay when/if he comes across another divine/religious character or npc who worships one of the specific host of gods. I think he would baffle them.

    (Actually I don't think this is without precedence - the Runepriest class' description doesn't say anything about specific worship nor do you have the option to choose a god unlike other divine classes)

  • 3clipse3clipse Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Blue dot!

    Probably going to submit a very similar character that I did to the other Sharn game.

    C2hmw6F.png
  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Sounds interesting. Right now I'm think I'll submit a Femme Fatale bard or fey pact warlock who uses magic and honeyed words to twist people to her will.

    One thing though. How much are we supposed to tie our characters to the detective? because until you choose the detective we've very little information about her, and anything we do specify may conflict with the background of the chosen detective.

    You make an excellent point. In our last effort, there were detective submissions on the double quick, so I thought that's what we'd see here, too, but that has not been the case. There are other detective (Eberron calls them "inquisitive") agencies in Sharn as it stands written in the text of the original Campaign guide, so maybe the character has a past relationship with other detectives? Maybe they're trying to branch into investigation for themselves? Maybe you write a background that's completely separate, like Korgul's or Simon's, and we can fluff their way in during the opening RP parts. I mean, the story is going to open with the Detective building his/her crew, so we can handle "Looking For Drummer" stuff in-character.

    Also, if you just want to show me samples of how you'd like to tie in on the detective, it doesn't have to be "canon" per se. Once we know the party's make-up, we can finagle weaving backstories in and around each other. That takes a certain amount of willing flexibility from players to have me up in their story sauce (is that super inappropriate?), but I think it would make for a decent way of solving that problem.

    (Now that there are already like five submissions, I'm scared I'm going to actually have to make choices and leave people out. :v: You don't have to do that at the table...though, with some players/friends, it would make a DM's life easier if you could just go "No, that character is worse than useless. A narcoleptic changeling barbarian-artificer hybrid? The f* is wrong with you." But then, if you let them go for it, and their character passes out and dies in the first encounter, it's all cry face and "you were gunning for Pookems. Waah." And you know? Maybe I was.

    /embittered DMing experience...)

    Teyar wrote: »
    So, usable character? The mask would be some kind of intimidation themed item, ghost sound and a bit of illusion is a hell of a useful trick, in the right hands. A grappling hook-shot, or just somthing more useful like armor / weapon if thats too far out of the usual magic item for you. Should I stat him up?

    Gnomeling - So forgive me for being dim, but is Innis a halfling or a gnome? Or just a gnome born of a halfling mother? Is that possible? *Consults PHB2*

    The mask basically sounds like a Skull Mask (heoric tier, level 5 head slot), but if you want to trade the 5 necrotic resist for a total of +2 to intimidate, I'm fine with it.

    As for the grappling hook, that would take some discussion. If you're looking to use it heavily in combat, Batman-style, I have qualms about that. In my mind, that request is like basically asking me to give you Whip Multiclass + Whip Snare and make it a weapon power. If we're talking about something less combat-focused, pick up the Alchemical Launcher and for fluff you can say you shoot your grappling hook out of that.

    Though, I'll be honest, for this character, some old school pulp comic book-type whip multiclass stuff would be kind of cool.

    I'm going to update the original post a bit.

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'm defiantly going to be submitting a character tomorrow. Can we submit 2 characters or only one?

    Spoiler:
  • TeyarTeyar Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Thats actually the EXACT ideal, chief. More of a Zelda style hookshot, than a Batman, due to the scale of the cities of the day. You dont have DnD skyscrapers, unless you do?

    And frankly, I say pooh on book-based gear, especially for personality styled stuff. The idea is the mask is creepy as all screaming fuck, and has powers to make it creepier. A power of Ghost Sound or something shadowy is sort of what I'm angling for, but if its going to be just magic-item stats, then its intimidate factor should be noticeably high. I'm not sure of what the balance is, statwise, sorry, 4th ed's still a bit of a new beast for me.. I know 4th ed has real issues with personality or non-combat gear and statuses.

    We've got half orcs, half elves, why do the halfs have to be human? :P A bit of earth from the mom, the fey oddness from Dad, and you've got a bonafide creepy child archetype who most people presume is a human kid when they first get a look at him, sans mask and scary gear.
    Its pretty easy to split the stats, and I cant remember if either of them get racepowers in 4th.
    And yeah, whips as a central combat weapon is infact my ideal. He's a cat burglar in his mind, first and foremost, with creepy pseudo-mojo as his central 'shtick'.

    Whatever class works for a mobility-focused crowd-controller / backstabber.

    Kick At The Darkness Until It Bleeds Daylight
  • licwidcakelicwidcake Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Korgul is safe as a psionic submission without too much cajoling. It could be that he doesn't know he's psionic? That's something interesting to think about exploring. He's learned this discipline and focus from these other inmates, but he doesn't realize that he's tapping into a psychic acumen? Or maybe he's got the idea that it's something off and doesn't want the law coming down on him or those who trained him? There are a lot of questions about motivation for him.

    The way I saw it was that Korgul initially just saw one of the monks take down an attacker in prison and wanted to learn those techniques. He eventually was won over by the monks philosophies but never asked how they did what they did. He has his suspicions but is smart enough to realize there are some things he is better off not knowing because he could possibly endanger himself or his new friends.

  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    This submission is for the detective!

    Dwight "Smokey" Hartigan

    Image:
    Spoiler:

    Background:
    Spoiler:

    Edit: What is the deadline for submitting characters?

    Spoiler:
  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'll be posting a sub either today or tomorrow

  • interrobanginterrobang kawaii as  hellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I said I was gonna submit something for the detective but I'm a filthy liar and have something else I'm gonna submit instead

    Do you care if we give dragonmarks to characters that are a race that normally can't bear them? Like if I wanted to give a human the Mark of Warding, which is typically a mark that only dwarves can possess

  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yea, I was thinking of changing my mark to the shadow. Think reformed theif turns detective, nice hooks n' all that. Is it ok that our detective doesn't have the mark of finding, or of detection?

    Spoiler:
  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'm not too worried about the Marks. The Dragonmarked Houses are present in our story though, so if you're racially or familial-ly disconnected from a given House, you may want to have it concealed magically, lest someone, somewhere catch wind of it and wonder precisely how that sort of thing happened.

    Mark of Shadow is fine, but think about the fact that, as an investigator/detective, you're going to have to be looking for things. You're going to want aggressively high Perception and Arcana skills. Mark of Detection lets you spread your skill training out a little more by combining that into one skill and gives a not insignificant ability in the re-roll department.

    I mean, if you want to be a not-very-good detective, be my guest. :) I don't mind suboptimal characters. But if you wind up in suboptimal situations because of it...well...there it is, you know?

    This isn't me saying "Min-Max or die" because that's not how the game works. But when I write a challenge (encounter or otherwise), I play it as-is. I won't fudge a check because someone opted for sub-prime real-estate on their character sheet.

    ...on the other hand, I may find ways to play to those other strengths to make up for it.

    Updating original post with new infromation, and you may have noticed a pattern in that I like to talk about submitted characters a lot so I can get a feel for everyone, even ones who may not make it. To that end, don't think anyone's been forgotten:

    I have character-discussion posts coming for Phantom's Hartigan, and Fondor_Yards' lady avenger, who I'm quite sad that I hadn't noticed, Kamikaze's Viktor Robocop -er- warforged paladin, and a continuance of exploring Teyar's submission. I like each of them in their own way, but unanswered questions about backgrounds intrigue me, so I like to make sure I can safely build hooks without stepping on toes.

    (Being the rather distinct lack of true controller submissions and my inability to, as yet, satisfactorily affix an adventure to the first story arch, the deadline is going to get knocked back to Thursday evening. A party of 5 in my mind shouldn't have a triple-up on a roll, but we'll take what we can get if we must.)

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I plan on submitting another character, probably gonna be a fighter. Someone who can just get into the thick of things and wail on people. I've noticed we don't have too many characters like that, probably gonna go with the bouncer/bodyguard hook. Those are always fun, you get to meet lots of nasty people that way.

    Spoiler:
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    (Being the rather distinct lack of true controller submissions and my inability to, as yet, satisfactorily affix an adventure to the first story arch, the deadline is going to get knocked back to Thursday evening. A party of 5 in my mind shouldn't have a triple-up on a roll, but we'll take what we can get if we must.)

    ...I submitted a 'troller.

    No love for Mr. Kaboom? ;.;

    New foreign policy strategy:

    Obama and Merkel to call Putin a "coward noob" and "lucky bullshit noob only won lane because Ukraine went afk and Crimea fed" in all chat, demand 1v1 at Baron Pit.
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The Ender wrote: »
    (Being the rather distinct lack of true controller submissions and my inability to, as yet, satisfactorily affix an adventure to the first story arch, the deadline is going to get knocked back to Thursday evening. A party of 5 in my mind shouldn't have a triple-up on a roll, but we'll take what we can get if we must.)

    ...I submitted a 'troller.

    No love for Mr. Kaboom? ;.;

    Sorry Ender, but Artificers are Leaders that second as Controllers

    Spoiler:
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    They are?

    *Checks*

    Oh, they are. Weird. All the while I was building him I thought he was a Controller. D'oh.

    New foreign policy strategy:

    Obama and Merkel to call Putin a "coward noob" and "lucky bullshit noob only won lane because Ukraine went afk and Crimea fed" in all chat, demand 1v1 at Baron Pit.
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    lol it's ok, they double as very good controllers

    edit: besides you can't get more eberron than an artificer

    Spoiler:
  • interrobanginterrobang kawaii as  hellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I have a bitchin' idea for a swordmage I want to submit but it works best as a character that has a pre-established relationship with the Detective and that I dunno if most people would be down for that

  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    lol well seeing as how i'm the only person who has submitted a detective i'm always down for cool backstories. After all the worst that can happen is the DM says no, so go for it!

    Spoiler:
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So, finally got around to reading the final comic in this series...I think I may have to be nice to the warforged. It was a sweet ending to a usually not so sweet series.

    Spoiler:
  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You never have to be nice to warforged. They're things.

    ...that's what people would think. Bad people. One of which, I am not. Mostly.

    Double down on interconnected backstories. Just go for it. The worst that can happen is I ask if we fudge it left or right of where it is to flow better once the final party composition is decided. If it's good, I probably won't even do that.

    Man, I really have to update the original post with these new submissions.

    Bring on the defenders. I want to see some mages with swords.

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So srboy you said something about having character discussion posts for Hartigan...what do you mean by that?

    Spoiler:
  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Oh, well, you know how I asked everyone else questions about their characters? Just the same questions, really. I'd like to know more about them. Talk about anything odd you might come up with so that I can fit it into hooks and stuff. Like I said, my goal is to recreate the table environment of a character-creation session, as that's something I always do with my guys. We talk out our characters so that the world gels together and it's less of a hassle working everyone's stuff in from a story standpoint. Plus, gives me an idea of the kind of adventure I can put them into. Also, if you were going to do something with Dragonmarks or other odd things mechanically, we can talk about what I'd be willing to let you get away with. A good example is Teyar's character idea. Right now, it doesn't even have a class, but he's got this idea bout half-gnome half...half-ling.. that's hard to construct... which requires a decent amount of discussion so that I understand what the goal is. If it's just reskinning, that's fine. If you want something more substantial, I generally ask for a sacrifice somewhere else.

    Hartigan doesn't have a lot of those problems because he's very neatly executed within the confines of the game. You're not trying to do crazy-ass shit that you need to sell me on (Lookin' at you, Teyar! I kid. I kid.).

    I'm a little surprised no one has said "Can I re-skin slings or wands as simple firearms?" because my answer would have totally been yes, absolutely.

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I think you might be able to easily convince the artificer to do that.

    Edit: Although I kinda like that too...maybe a wizard who channels his powers through a magicly powered flint-lock(esque) pistol. Kinda hot

    Spoiler:
  • srboyceboatsrboyceboat Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    To be clear, nobody has to answer my questions at any point. I just enjoy this kind of discussion, and I think it leads to more interesting characters. If you want to send me PMs with answers, that's fine, too. Also, "That would be cool to find out in-game" is a totally acceptable and awesome answer.


    Teyar
    Spoiler:


    KamikazeCommunist
    Spoiler:

    Fondor_Yards
    Spoiler:

    Crimson Phnatom

    Just a couple of background questions about Dwight:
    Spoiler:

    On Hybrids:
    Spoiler:

    Picture is Dave Dorman's (http://www.davedorman.com/)
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I'm a little surprised no one has said "Can I re-skin slings or wands as simple firearms?" because my answer would have totally been yes, absolutely.

    Mister DM man, can I re-skin my repeating crossbow as a (magical) Thompson sub-machine gun?

    It's just not quite prohibition-era Noir without a good 'ol Chicago Typewriter.

    New foreign policy strategy:

    Obama and Merkel to call Putin a "coward noob" and "lucky bullshit noob only won lane because Ukraine went afk and Crimea fed" in all chat, demand 1v1 at Baron Pit.
  • Crimson PhantomCrimson Phantom Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I won't lie, Dwight is a bit of a grumpy guss, he's 45 years old...which is'nt bad for an elf or a drow. But he's seen his fair share of people grow up and retire from the investigation busniess. He isn't that silver tounged, but he has made a lot of contacts throughout his time as a detective and he's got a fair share of people who owe him favors. Thanks to that he has a good ability to find things.
    He hasn't always been a detective, when he was younger he fancied himself a thief, even still got the tools for the job. After all everybody knows a detective has to break the rules once in a while. You could say something went wrong, back when he was a young teen he got caught stealing and was sentected to do hard labor on a mining craft. They needed someone who could climb up the crows nest and was able to get around well enough that heights wouldn't be a problem. After that Hartigan went straight (mostly).
    The money isn't the only thing that matters, it's more a means to an end. He knows he needs the money to keep his busniess open, and he needs money if he wants to retire...hell he needs money if he even wants to get a bigger office in a better place.
    He hasn't left the city not because he doesn't mind sleeping outside, it's because once you've lived in Sharn long enough it's like a drug. You can find anything here and while he has spent some of his life outside the walls, thinking about leaving now...the rest of the world just seems dull by comparison.
    As for why this case interests him, even the most money-grubbing detective (who Hartigan is not) got into the business at one point or another to do something good, to make a positive influence on the city. Hartigan still wants that, and he feels he hasn't gotten it yet. Sure he's found family heirloms, and jewels for rich people, even found cheating husbands and wives, or missing persons...but nothing big enough that says, "you did good, now take a break".

    He thinks about retirement all the time, but most PI's do. Whether or not he will actually retire is a different story...that all depends on how he's doing at the time. More likely than not he wont retire, he mainly uses it as an excuse to keep on doing what he's doing.

    Spoiler:
  • interrobanginterrobang kawaii as  hellRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010

    Alright, let's start with the basics. What's her name? Age? All that good stuff.

    Sterling. It isn't her birth name, but don't ask her what that is - she won't tell you and there's honestly no quicker way to make her mad. Just leave it at Sterling. She says she's about twenty-seven but... hell, that's probably not true either. Better to just take her word for it. No idea where she's from. I've heard all kinds of crazy stories about that - craziest one I heard is that someone heard that someone else saw her crawl out of some tomb in Xen'drik - but she's definitely not Sharn... not with an accent like that.

    Fair enough. What's her story?

    Hard to say. There isn't any record of her ever being at any school around here, so I've got no idea where she picked up her trade. Morgrave and Rekkenmark had no idea who she was. She's never talked about her parents or her family much, and I don't intend to go digging around to find out - the last guy who got pushy about it lost three fingers. The way she tells it, she's a bodyguard-for-hire who runs her business out of this little hovel in Tavick's Landing. Now, the bodyguard part is probably true... she's got the blade and the dragonmark to prove that much.

    Dragonmark? Get outta here. She's got a dragonmark and she operates out of some hole in the wall?

    Funny thing about that. Now you didn't hear this from me, but... you know how the Houses only take certain races of folk, right? 'course you do, everyone knows that. House Sivis only takes gnomes, that whole thing. The House that her mark belongs to won't accept her because she's a human. Ha! Gal can't rake in the benefits because they won't accept her, so she's gotta work freelance. Damn shame. Saddest thing I ever heard.

    That's a real cock and bull story if I've ever heard one, but whatever. So... what's she doing now?

    My guy says she's been under contract by some detective for... half a year now? Something like that. Apparently she's working for some nosy inquisitive. Probably some bitter old sod that the Watch didn't want who's always sticking their fingers in everything. Guess this detective's got a real knack for pissing people off, otherwise they wouldn't need her around... but that's just me speculating, right?
    Spoiler:

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Pulp noir often seems to include the inscrutable, strange foreigner (who seems to always wear a fez, but maybe I can leave that out :P ) from arid lands a world away. Their purposes are unknown and their culture is bizarre and unknowable. So this guy is based on that idea - that he is very 'other' and somewhat frightening to the peoples of Sharn. It is disturbing on its appearance alone, and the idea that it can use strange 'mind magics' and plant infectious and painful ideas directly into your thoughts is absolutely terrifying

    Mos Nasam - The Foreigner
    The Shardmind* Psion

    Background:
    Mos Nasam is a walking, intelligent being. A living crystal. A construction of ancient dragon magics. Property. He doesn't mind -- being owned by a good family is an honor! And it was one of only three Shards brought here to the barbaric Occidental continents and ... it was owned by the assistant family to the Argonnessen diplomat himself! Mos Nasam is not quite sure why it was turned out onto the streets of Sharn, but it was given a task. A minor official had handed him a piece of thin pulpy piece of paper the official called a 'newspaper'. An article about a dead boy.

    'The mark. Find where it came from."

    shardsketch.jpg

    *I'm not a fan of Shardminds from the book itself. But I feel it actually rather fit the concept. Ha!

Sign In or Register to comment.