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[Dnd 4E] May We Die in the Forest (Discussion Thread)

DenadaDenada Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in Critical Failures
May We Die in the Forest
A Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition adventure for five 0th Level Characters

We are few here, and the forest is many. We are young, and the forest is old. There is a way to the Eyrewood. A way that everyone must learn. Learn it well, that you may call this place home.

Have you learned what all men must know? Your training is finished, and the time has come to find out. This is your final test as Lookouts. This is a day of hope and fear. Of excitement and dread. This is the time to ascend into adulthood.

Your task is this: Make your way to the King’s Grove, find the Winter King, and return to the village of Armond with one of his feathers.

So, Lookouts. This is a world that I’ve wanted to explore since the first comic, but I’ve never felt that 4E was the right system for it. That changed when rules for Level 0 characters were released in Dragon 403. The power level is right, the themes are right, and I want to give it a try.

Thus, we have this recruitment post. Would you like to explore the dangers of the Eyrewood as a child on the cusp of adulthood? Then read the character creation rules below, and submit a character. I’m looking for five PCs, and behind them five players that can keep up with the thread, post consistently, and enjoy a short PbP adventure in the world of the Lookouts.

In your submission, give me your character’s name, a physical description and/or a picture, your personality, and a link to a myth-weavers sheet. Orokos isn’t going to work for this, for what I hope are obvious reasons (or reasons that will be obvious once you read through the character creation rules).

I’ll be keeping recruitment open until Friday, 10/28. I might keep it open longer, depending on the quality and quantity of subs.

Character Creation
Before getting into the mechanics, consider the following questions:
  • Where are you from? Are you from Armond, or another village? Or do you come from the settlement of another race?
  • How do you feel about being a Lookout? If you’re from another race, why did you come to join the humans in their mission?

Step One – Choose Power Source
The first step is to choose your power source. This is essentially your class for Level 0. You get one at-will power from your power source, and one skill training, which will be covered in Step Four.

At-Will Power: Arcane Missile

Arcane Missile - Level 0 Attack
At Will - Arcane, Force, Varies
Standard Action - Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Effect: 3 force damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: One all of yours adjacent to the target gains a +2 power bonus to AC until the start of your next turn.
  • Controller: You slide the target up to 2 squares.
  • Striker: Choose cold, fire, or lightning. You deal 3 extra damage of that type to the target.
  • Defender: You teleport an ally of yours who is adjacent to the target up to 2 squares.

At-Will Power: Faith Strike

Faith Strike - Level 0 Attack
At-Will - Divine, Varies, Weapon
Standard Action - Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength + 2 or Wisdom + 2 vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Strength or Wisdom modifier damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: An ally adjacent to you can spend a healing surge and regain 5 additional hit points.
  • Controller: You push the target up to 2 squares.
  • Striker: You deal 1 radiant damage to each enemy adjacent to the target.
  • Defender: If the target moves before the start of your next turn, it takes 3 radiant damage.

At-Will Power: Sparring Thrust

Sparring Thrust - Level 0 Attack
At-Will - Martial, Weapon
Standard Action - Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength + 2 or Dexterity + 2 vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Strength or Dexterity modifier damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: An ally of yours who is adjacent to the target can shift 1 square as a free action.
  • Controller: The target falls prone.
  • Striker: You deal 1d6 extra damage to the target.
  • Defender: You mark the target until the end of your next turn.

At-Will Power: Quaking Stomp

Quaking Stomp - Level 0 Attack
At-Will - Primal, Weapon
Standard Action - Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Wisdom vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: One ally of yours who is adjacent to the target gains 3 temporary hit points.
  • Controller: The target is immobilized until the end of its next turn.
  • Striker: You deal 2 extra damage to the target, or 3 if it is prone.
  • Defender: You push the target 1 square and then shift 1 square into the space the target vacated.

At-Will Power: Psychic Blast

Psychic Blast - Level 0 Attack
At-Will - Psionic, Psychic
Standard Action - Close burst 1
Target: Each enemy in the burst
Attack: Intelligence or Charisma vs. Will
Hit: 2 + Intelligence or Charisma modifier psychic damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: A dying ally within 5 squares of you can spend a healing surge and regain 5 additional hit points.
  • Controller: You slide the target 1 square.
  • Striker: The target grants combat advantage to you until the end of your next turn.
  • Defender: You can pull each enemy within 2 squares of you 1 square.

At-Will Power: Shadow’s Sting

Shadow’s Sting - Level 0 Attack
At-Will - Shadow, Weapon
Standard Action - Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity + 2 vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Dexterity modifier damage. You can spend an experience token to choose one of the following effects.
  • Leader: Each ally adjacent to you gains partial concealment until the end of your next turn.
  • Controller: You push the target up to 2 squares.
  • Striker: The target takes ongoing 2 damage (save ends).
  • Defender: You and an adjacent ally can each shift 1 square, swapping positions.

Step Two – Choose Race
Because of the theme here, the allowed races are limited. Human is the obvious choice, but if you’d like to be another race, you can choose Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, or Dragonborn. Your character gains all of your race’s bonuses, trained skills, powers*, and other abilities as if it were a level 1 character of that race.

*Humans must take Heroic Effort instead of the extra at-will power.

Step Three – Determine Ability Scores
Choose one of these sets of scores, and assign them to your attributes as you see fit. You may notice these are not the full 22 points normally allotted to level 1 characters. That’s because you’re not level 1.
Set 1: 14, 14, 12, 10, 10, 10
Set 2: 16, 12, 12, 10, 10, 8

Step Four – Skills and Feats
You get training in one skill from the list associated with your power source. If you get one of these from your race, you can choose one of the other skills on your list.
Arcane: Arcana, Diplomacy, or History.
Divine: Heal, Insight, or Religion.
Martial: Athletics, Intimidate, or Streetwise.
Primal: Acrobatics, Nature, or Perception.
Psionic: Diplomacy, Insight, or Perception.
Shadow: Bluff, Stealth, or Streetwise.

Your character only gets the feats (if any) granted by your race.

Step Five – Equipment
You start with clothes (in the form of a Lookouts uniform), a belt, one simple weapon of your choice, and a backpack. You may also choose one other piece of adventuring gear or weapon worth 5 gp or less. You do not start with armor, nor do you have any proficiencies.

Denada on


  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Shadowbrook ColliesRegistered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Very interesting. I'll see what I can do with myth-weavers for this.

    Edit: Would this be a proper build? I can fill in the fluff if this works.

    Anialos on
  • TmoiyTmoiy Registered User regular
    Well, this is certainly something different. Color me interested.

    Other than the comic series, is there any background material that might be useful for getting into the setting?

  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    Jay "Scarlett"


    Jay is a secretive boy. Constantly wearing a partial mask, he refuses to tell the others much of anything about his family, though those that live in the village are well aware that his father is a woodcutter that lives just outside Armond.
    While his father is just an ordinary woodcutter, Jay has idealised him and is convinced he is a great hero that has choosen to go into hiding. Jay wants to keep the family secret. He wants to pass the test so that he can become the hero he always imagined his father to be.

  • Slayer of DreamsSlayer of Dreams Registered User regular
    A question about picking a human, should we pick a feat because of their racial bonus? And if yes, are there any restrictions on where we get the feats from?

    Steam: Slayer of Dreams / BladeCruiser / (EHJ)BooletProof
    R*SC: BladeCruiser
    Check out my GTAV-PC custom race tracks inspired by real life racing circuits!
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    • I realize I forgot the bit about hit points and healing surges. Everyone starts with 6 + Con Score hit points, and 4 + Con Mod healing surges.
    • Humans do get their bonus feat, as well as their bonus skill training. That skill training must be from your power source's list.
    • Feat restrictions: No campaign-specific feats (dragonmarks, spellscars, etc), no bloodline or heritage feats, and no multiclass feats (since you don't even have a first class, much less a second). Power swap feats obviously won't work either. I can't think of anything else at the moment that wouldn't work.

  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Shadowbrook ColliesRegistered User regular
    Inialos Xiloscient IV, Humane Arcane

    Everyone knows the creepy house at the far end of town. The one that nobody visits on holidays. The one that people tell stories about. Like the time a young boy got turned into a frog by the old man who lives there all alone. Well, only part of that story is true. The old man doesn't live alone. In fact, his children, grandchildren, and a few great-grandchildren live there. He did turn the kid into a frog. Age takes its tole even on the magically powerful, and Inialos Xiloscient the first is no exception. For you see, he has a form of magical alzheimer's. But this is not his story. Nor is it the story of Inialos Xiloscient the second, who slew the great dragon Arthramar in the days before the village grew beyond the small pond near the family home. It is not the story of Inialos the 3rd, considered by most to be simply and eccentric tinkerer to be ignored whenever he pops up in town. Nay, this is the story of young Inialos Xiloscient IV, bookworm beyond compare, favorite progeny of his ancient great-grandfather, and newly "volunteered" for the Lookouts. You see, when your family has the habit, intentional or not, of attracting powerful enemies to the village (and turning young boys into frogs, don't worry he got better), the other inhabitants come to expect certain things of you. So it was that upon his 17th birthday, Inialos IV was promptly booted from in front of his books to join up with whatever eager young boys were to be fed to the forest this year....

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Also, as far as source material goes, read the Mike/Jerry Lookouts comics (I would prefer if we all pretended that the awful guest Lookouts just didn't exist). I know this doesn't actually flesh out the world that much, and that's fine. The Eyrewood is vast and mysterious, and I'd like you to just make things up as needed. If you're playing another race, what are things like for them in the Eyrewood? Where do they live? Why do they interact with humans? Why did they send you to join the Lookouts? If you're from another village, where is it? What's it called? Why are you here instead of there?

    And if you're looking for themes and such for inspiration, I'll give you these thoughts. You are a young person, on the verge of not just adulthood, but of becoming a hero. You are not a hero yet, but you have potential, and you have just started tapping into a source of power that others often lack. Both Lookouts and the concept of a Level 0 character explore ideas about using your wits to survive in a dangerous world, overcoming adversity, and, through teamwork, training, and a little luck, surviving to become something more than you are now.

    This is a time in your character's life when everything changes. After this, you are no longer a child. You are no longer a careless youth playing games in the forest. You are about to have power - and with it responsibility - and the ultimate choice of what you're going to do with those two things.

  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Sour Crrm East Bay, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Bookmarked for much interest. I'm a little busy right now, so I'll see if I can find time to come up with a character before the deadline.

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Would this extend beyond level 0?

  • Slayer of DreamsSlayer of Dreams Registered User regular
    Another question, though it'll probably fall under the "No campaign specific stuff", what's the DM's thoughts on the alternate racial bonuses? Wood elves and shield dwarves, as examples of what I mean. I know they came out with the Neverwinter campaign setting, but I just want to make sure they can/can't be used before I go making a maroon of myself.

    Steam: Slayer of Dreams / BladeCruiser / (EHJ)BooletProof
    R*SC: BladeCruiser
    Check out my GTAV-PC custom race tracks inspired by real life racing circuits!
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The alternate racial stuff from Neverwinter is not allowed.

    This will not go past level 0. This is a self-contained, one-shot adventure.

  • IlliantharIllianthar GMT -0700Registered User regular
    Jason Jellick, Divine Power Source

    Jason has always been entranced by the Eyrewood. Every year he would watch the older boys head off into the woods. Some would return; some would not. What did it feel like to be out there? Jason had no idea, but he was extremely interested to find out. Once he was finally old enough, he resolved himself to joining the Lookouts and heading out to find the Winter King. The fact that others have been lost in the woods doesn't dampen Jason's spirits. "You can't control the world." he says, "You just have to trust in something more than yourself!"

    Always a bit shorter and more rotund than the other boys, Jason is cheerful and optimistic to a fault. He is often seen bounding around Armond, his bright red hair flashing through the buildings as he heads this way and that. Some would stop and ask him where he was heading in such a hurry, to which he would always reply with a grin on his face, "There's just so much to see! I don't want to miss any of it!" and scamper off.

    He is always looking to help others to the point that some would say he gets taken advantage of. He never feels that way, mind you. He feels like it's his duty as part of the village to do whatever he can for people. So he gladly accepts any chore or deed that needs doing, and does it with the innocent fervor that only youth can provide. He worships Pelor, God of the Sun, and keeps a pair of sunrods with him at all times, just in case he needs to shine light into the darkness.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Today being the tentative last day of recruiting, let's look at what we have so far:

    Illianthar - Jason Jellick, Divine Lookout
    Anialos - Inialos Xiloscient IV, Arcane Lookout
    Soxbox - Jay "Scarlett", Martial Lookout

    If I get two more subs today, we'll run with the five we get. If I don't get any submissions today, then I'll leave recruitment open over the weekend. If there's still just the three of you on Monday, we'll go with a three-person party.

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User regular
    Taath, Primal Lookout

    Taath is a short, stout elf who is very fond of sweet treats. Elves rarely interact with humans on any kind of social level, preferring to keep to themselves in their secret homes within the Eyrewood. Those elves who do come in contact with humans are extremely curious about human nature. Taath's parents are in this latter category, and they were the ones who decided he should be in the Lookouts. The lazy elf would much rather have stayed at home, but he feared the discipline he would receive from his parents if he were to refuse. Some particularly troublesome elf youth have even been sent out into the Eyrewood to fend for themselves as outcasts, or so Taath has heard, at any rate.

    Insecure about his physical appearance and disliking his forced interaction with the humans, he has become quite the bully, using brute force and intimidation to protect his emotions and keep the other kids at a distance.

    This, the final test, is an exciting time for Taath. If he succeeds, he can return home and put this whole experience behind him.

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    I'm keen to jump in on this, so if the last spot isn't taken up by later tonight I will roll up a character lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Bixby Brushwood - Shadow Lookout


    Bixby is regarded by people in the village of Armond as a genuine brat. The only son of humble fruit vendors in Armond, Bixby has been trouble since the day he learned to walk. He would regularly play practical jokes on his friends and family, pinch trinkets, sneak out at night and cause all kinds of mischief. A constant source of frustration for his parents, good natured Halflings that the village love and respect, they always thought that he would grow out of this, mature and go on to help collect and sell fruit at the family stall. But Bixby's most recent exploit changed things. Bixby snuck into sweet old Sally Tillerman's house in the middle of the night. He always loved that necklace that she wore but she would never let him look at it closely because of his reputation. So when he snuck into her house in the dead of night, tripped over a bucket, crashed into her cookware and woke up the entire neighbourhood, he knew this time he was in real trouble. Fed up with Bixby's behaviour, his parents decided it was time for some discipline. He needed to learn respect. He needed to learn responsibility. He needed to learn how to behave in today's society. He needed to join the Lookouts.

    I've only ever played using pre-gen characters before so this is actually my first time filling out a character sheet. So if I'm accepted, it might pay to double check my workings to make sure all is well :)

    moleface on lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • TmoiyTmoiy Registered User regular
    Still working on a submission; I'll have it up shortly.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Okay, I wanted two more today, and I got two more. I am pleased.

    Jason, Jay, Inialos, Taath, and Bixby, your final test as Lookouts begins in a few days.

    Anialos, moleface, mattakaslash, soxbox, and Illianthar, take the weekend to look over your sheets, post any questions you have, get any final tweaks made that you want to make, and prepare to journey into the Eyrewood on Monday, 10/31. I'll post the game thread that morning along with a link here. This thread will become the OOC (out-of-character) discussion thread.

    For anyone else that might be reading this, recruiting is now closed, if that wasn't clear. You are welcome to read the game thread and make comments about it here in the discussion thread if you're so inclined. Thanks for any interest that you might have had, expressed or otherwise.

  • TmoiyTmoiy Registered User regular
    Ah well, should have finished this before dinner. I'll be watching with interest then!

  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Shadowbrook ColliesRegistered User regular
    Excellent! Nice spread of power source for some balance in facing the horrors of the Eyrewood.

  • rabbit221rabbit221 Registered User regular
    Damn, just caught this thread. Will be keeping track of it, seems very interesting and the Lookouts world has a lot of potential.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Okay, the game thread is up, and Jay is in the hot seat.

    Make sure you know how bookmarks work, and use them on both of these threads. I want all of you to keep up with activity and post regularly.

    Let the game begin!

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User regular
    I notice that since the maintenance last night, my bookmarks seem to be working again, so yay!

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Yeah, things in general seem to be rather snappy, too. So whatever they did, it appears to have had a positive effect.

  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Shadowbrook ColliesRegistered User regular
    I like how the poem is going so far. Once I realized we were making it up it was SO much easier.

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User regular
    I'm loving this collaborative poem, too.

    I played a goliath bard in a PbP game on Myth-Weavers once. I made it a personal challenge to accompany every power use with at least two lines of rhyming dactylic tetrameter, in honor of an episode of Legend of the Seeker.

    That was a fun choice. I'd never be able to pull it off at the table, of course.

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    That poem was definitely fun. Slick finish to it too Denada. Nice work :) lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I thought it would be an interesting way to let everyone sort of introduce themselves, and get some creative juices flowing. You guys did great coming up with your lines and flavoring your delivery.

    Duran is getting ready to dismiss you at this point. If any of you want to ask him questions now is the time to do it.

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    Only question I can think of is do we have the blue tags tied to our belts like in the comic, and are those relevant to our mission? lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    No, you don't have those. The Winter King is actually supposed to be asleep when you find him, and the idea is that you won't wake him up when you take your feather.

  • IlliantharIllianthar GMT -0700Registered User regular
    Jason is bubbling to the brim with questions of all kinds, but I think he can hold off on the prattling on endlessly until we're off and into the woods.

    He's most certainly not getting any sleep tonight :)

  • AnialosAnialos Collies are love, Collies are life! Shadowbrook ColliesRegistered User regular
    Denada, is the forest Hungry like the wolf?

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    I hope its not, or our Wild Boys may Come Undone lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Fun fact, I was born almost exactly one month after that song was released.

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    Hey Taath, are you still awake by the fire or did you doze off? lankyplonker#1923
    psn: lankyplonker
  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User regular
    Taath's still awake, just resting and watching the fire.

  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    Sorry I've been a little unresponsive - have been having some intermittent connectivity problems with the forums (the proxy server here does not like them.. but not in a blocking way... just a broken way).

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User regular
    Hey, I totally forgot until now, but here's a reminder that if you're within 5 squares of me you get a +1 to your Perception checks.

  • IlliantharIllianthar GMT -0700Registered User regular
    If anyone wants to stop Jason from taking the shield off the wall, just write it in. I tried to word it as if he is in the act of reaching towards it, instead of having already taken in down.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Can I get a reminder of who's in the smithy and who's outside the town hall? And are all of you ready to press on, or do you want to investigate the village further?

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