[D&D Discussion] 5E will live forever. There is no product lifecycle in Ba Sing Se.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Why eat when you can subside on frustration and doubt?

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Woah hey that looks more dark than I intended honestly.

    I’m actually eating a scone with cream and blueberry jam and drinking a cup of tea because I am Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in real life.

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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Why eat when you can subside on frustration and doubt?

    Children are less calories. I'm watching my figure!

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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I'll be honest, Gayhawk in the right hands would probably be a really fun setting.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    You’re hired.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    I'll be honest, Gayhawk in the right hands would probably be a really fun setting.

    I was going to try to make a joke about asexual erasure but then I read "eating children" and was immediately plastered with a load of oral sex jokes that I found too difficult to swallow

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'll be honest, Gayhawk in the right hands would probably be a really fun setting.

    I was going to try to make a joke about asexual erasure but then I read "eating children" and was immediately plastered with a load of oral sex jokes that I found too difficult to swallow

    Did you really?

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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I'll be honest, Gayhawk in the right hands would probably be a really fun setting.

    I was going to try to make a joke about asexual erasure but then I read "eating children" and was immediately plastered with a load of oral sex jokes that I found too difficult to swallow

    Did you really?

    When my mother in law asked my wife and I why we hadn't given her any grandbabies yet, back when we first started dating, I told her, "We would if she'd stop eating them all!"

    My wife was mortified :rotate:

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    I began my new campaign last night! I started the group of in an Underdark vault called the Seven-Pillared Hall where a trading outpost has been established (beneath the Cliffkeep Mountains of Tal'Dorei in the world of Exandria).

    I had no idea where in the outpost the party might go and no idea if they'd draw the ire of the thoroughly corrupt enforcers, so I made a ton of maps to represent every place in the outpost I could think of where a fight could break out. Now that the first session is over I have a better idea of what the party is interested in and what to develop.

    The session began in the Halfmoon Inn, an establishment made of imported wood to make surface dwellers feel more welcome. The party bard took the entertainer background, so I established she'd been there longest and was already fairly well known in the area. From there the party sorcerer wanted to visit the local magic vendor, Gendar's Relics & Curios, where the party bought some common magic items. After ignoring the hook I'd baited with sounds of a bar brawl in nearby Rothar's Taproom, the group made there way to the dwarf-run Deepgem Company. After a short discussion they received a mission to be on the lookout for slavers in the tunnels surrounding the Hall. People had been going missing as of late, and the dwarves were certain that the duergar maintaining the Grimmerzhul Trade Outpost on the opposite end of the Hall were either abducting people themselves or cooperating with a third party.

    Before long the party stumbled upon a short tunnel where hobgoblin slavers were attempting to abduct the nephew of the proprietress of the Halfmoon Inn. They made short work of two of the hobgoblins, freed their captive, and took the unconscious hobgoblin captain alive. Unfortunately, they did not search the captain for evidence of any collusion with the duergar before delivering the still-unconscious hobgoblin to the enforcers' headquarters. Being unfamiliar with how the law, as it is, works in the Hall, the bard expected the hobgoblin to be put in jail. Instead he was smashed to bits by the mace wielded by Brugg, the ogre leader of the enforcers, before two other officers dragged out the majority of the corpse to be disposed of. Brugg seemed less concerned about slavers operating in the area and more amused at how easily the hobgoblin was apprehended, calling him a "poor slaver". While at the enforcer's headquarters the party also noticed a door with a shield guardian standing in front of it.

    The party's second foray into the tunnels saw them dispatching two cave fishers and saving a halfling prospector working for the Deepgem Company (the halfling's dwarf compatriot wasn't so lucky). The sorcerer collected some of the alcohol-rich cave fisher blood before the group settled in for a short rest.

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 7
    Quick question, as I am having a brain fart: we have a Tiefling Barbarian, and I forget if you would even include proficiency to calculate their attack modifier or Spell DC for Infernal Legacy spells.

    Sterica on
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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    Quick question, as I am having a brain fart: we have a Tiefling Barbarian, and I forget if you would even include proficiency to calculate their attack modifier or Spell DC for Infernal Legacy spells.

    Rules unclear, but yes

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Anyone here use Fantasy Grounds? I am new to it and looking for videos or advice on using it for dungeon crawling. It's reasonably clear what to do during combat encounters when you are zoomed in all the way to 5' squares. You have your zoomed in map and move tokens around and such.

    But I want to also handle the exploring part of a dungeon crawl. Where the party is moving as a unit together and you are going through corridors and rooms and such. The situation where you are taking 10 minute turns and not in combat. This is often less of a thing in some of the 5e modules which often only have maps printed for crowded dungeons packed in to fit on a single map sheet (eg: most of the Lost Mine of Phandelver). But I think it should still be very much part of the game given that some of the publish adventures have more traditional style dungeon crawls.

    EG: the difference between something like this where you might as well run the entire thing in initiative order cause one encounter runs into the next with nothing in between this, where it is obvious what to do in Fantasy Grounds
    Redbrand%2BHideout%2B-%2Bsession3.jpg

    vs something like this where you are doing a fair bit of exploring around between encounters an the map is at a more zoomed out scale (1 square = 10 feet rather than 5 feet for above)
    kotb_coc.gif

    Trying to run a dungeon entirely in the zoomed in combat mode generally means dungeons are small, cramped and there are no empty areas to provide pacing or scale (and leads to players who keep poking around until they find The Thing in this room cause there always is A Thing). There are generally no corridors and very little branching in the layout.

    Anyway, any suggestions?

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I can't speak to fantasy grounds, but maybe it's similar enough to roll20 to still have this advice be helpful. On one map screen, I'd have the big blown out dungeon, and using fog of war keep it hidden, revealing sections as the players explore. then on other map screens I would have the zoomed in combat section of a map for a particular room that has monsters in it, and when the players encounter one of those rooms, move them over to that map. When combat is over, move them back to the big exploration map.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Last night my level 2 newbies split the party (2 groups of 2) and one of them got eaten by an Allosaurus that double crit during disadvantage and then rolled higher than average on the bite.

    On Tomb of Annihilation.

    I offered the choice to the player to reroll or become one of the guide NPCs or I ooc told the player there is a way to come back as a zombie, or a one time (party wide) mulligan that comes with a side of "now you know why I asked 3 times are you sure regarding splitting the party" lesson to keep his character. He decided to reroll something more combat suited.

    Anyone got a website with a (as brief as possible) list of dos and don'ts for new players, that a veteran player would just "know"?

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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    Honestly, i'm not sure i've heard of such a thing - and, to be honest, i dont know how generally applicable such a thing would be.

    Outside of stuff like make sure if you're a caster your pumping your casting stat (or whatever your hit things stat is, if that's what you do) because of how tight 5e's numbers are. +1 goes a long way.

    Ideas hate it when you anthropomorphize them
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  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Anyone got a website with a (as brief as possible) list of dos and don'ts for new players, that a veteran player would just "know"?

    are you after mechanical stuff or stuff related to 5e specifically?

    In general, I think most social games boil down to:
    1) exercise clear and open communication.
    2) don't be a dick (unless you've all consented to it).

    Everything else comes with experience. And each game/player is different: Some people want to crunch numbers, others want to comb the hair of the queen of the seelie court.
    I mean even in that example you gave, I don't think splitting the party is a bad thing. It's only a bad thing if the DM hasn't prepared or cannot improvise a scenario that allows for it to work.
    Nor should that imply that player's shouldn't exercise caution when approaching "doomholme, the hero's end" or when the DM is practically begging them not to split up.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Stuff like:
    - don't split the party/go solo on some random thing
    - if the DM tells you the trial by combat of someone in your party is first thing in the morning, maybe it's a bad idea to go looking for clues to the "dragon" encounter you heard about from a tavern rumor on the other side of town right after a liesurly breakfast

    But also things like:
    - your character can't be a jack of all trades, so you need to figure out what to specialize in, and also make sure to communicate with the other players so you don't overlap
    - you are level 2, there is no such thing as a job too menial to take on (after a 1hr ooc discussion whether they should save a random NPC's husband from trouble).
    - perhaps you shouldn't be super scared of fighting something like stirges or pirhanas but you should also be less eager to fight the island size turtle that's capsizing ships. It's like a completely miscalibrated danger sense.
    - if you want information your going to have to start talking to the NPCs the DM keeps sending to chat with you


    Stuff like that, but coming from not me.

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  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    Are they newbies because they’re level 2, or are their newbies because the players are new to TTRPGs? If it’s the latter, you can just be more direct in DM table talk and just tell them things outright you think they would/should know. You can also have a third party intervene if the players become overmatched - maybe a bigger dinosaur chomps onto that allosaurus as it goes in for the kill and gives the players time to escape.

  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Tynnan wrote: »
    Are they newbies because they’re level 2, or are their newbies because the players are new to TTRPGs? If it’s the latter, you can just be more direct in DM table talk and just tell them things outright you think they would/should know. You can also have a third party intervene if the players become overmatched - maybe a bigger dinosaur chomps onto that allosaurus as it goes in for the kill and gives the players time to escape.

    1 has "some" experience, the other 3 none other than this game and a session or two a few years ago with opening part of Lost Mine of Phandelver.

    The Allosaurus was the punishment in the pit against two players that were prisoners for interfering with someone else's trial the day prior. Trial is if you reach the other end of the pit without dying you are innocent of whatever crime. The other two went to their inn to rest and then just didn't come to the pit until too late.

    What i should have done is adjusted the encounter down since it was medium difficulty for 4 players, but I didn't think of it until too late. Also I'm rolling in public so I couldn't have faked it either.

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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Tynnan wrote: »
    Are they newbies because they’re level 2, or are their newbies because the players are new to TTRPGs? If it’s the latter, you can just be more direct in DM table talk and just tell them things outright you think they would/should know. You can also have a third party intervene if the players become overmatched - maybe a bigger dinosaur chomps onto that allosaurus as it goes in for the kill and gives the players time to escape.

    1 has "some" experience, the other 3 none other than this game and a session or two a few years ago with opening part of Lost Mine of Phandelver.

    The Allosaurus was the punishment in the pit against two players that were prisoners for interfering with someone else's trial the day prior. Trial is if you reach the other end of the pit without dying you are innocent of whatever crime. The other two went to their inn to rest and then just didn't come to the pit until too late.

    What i should have done is adjusted the encounter down since it was medium difficulty for 4 players, but I didn't think of it until too late. Also I'm rolling in public so I couldn't have faked it either.

    I assume this is written into the module but this is an important DM lesson: it is extremely rare for players to act calmly or rationally when imprisoned or captured. Doubly so for new players. Expect them to do nothing but try to escape no matter how impossible or suicidal it appears to be. Usually if players are captured (eg: if the party is wiped out in combat and you resolve that by having them all captured rather than actually being dead) it's often best to just narrate the experience without letting them choose what to do until they get to the point of being able to escape in a non-crazy way. EG: "ok you have been captured by the goblins. after several days trapped in their cages a group of slavers arrive to buy you from the goblins and you are led out of the lair. after a day of travel you are now being marched through the woods under the not-so-watchful eye of the lazy slaver guard. what do you do?"

    For general advice and tips check out the backlog of "running the game" vids on Matt Colville's youtube channel.

    edit: another problem with "you are captured" scenarios is that some characters will be rendered almost useless by lack of their specific equipment while others will be mostly ok. the players of the useless characters are probably going to have a shitty time. if everyone is knocked down in power that's one thing but when some people are and others aren't it just sucks.

    Same reason why nearly all conversations about what method to use when rolling stats miss the point entirely. It doesn't matter at all how powerful or weak the stats of each character are as an individual. It is hugely important whether there is a large difference in power between characters in the same group. Everyone having straight 18s is fine. Just make the challenges harder. One player having straight 18s while the rest have the standard array is terrible despite the group seemingly being much closer to "normal".

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  • LindLind Registered User regular
    edited September 8
    Regarding difference in power. I’d recommend not rolling for HP when they level up but to take the average number. In my ToA group the Barbarian tank managed to get a silly amount of hp and made quite alot of encounters trivial. The others had normal anounts of hp so just adding more and bigger monsters was hard. Ofc there are many ways to make encounters hard but fair for a group like this but after that campaign we always use average HP.

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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    That was us after we rolled for stats and ended up with a Wizard that multiclassed into Fighter because he had the stats for both. That is until we got another player and they made an unkillable juggernaut Fighter that was only balanced by the player not always making the most optimal choices; one time they were absent and the DM took control of them, promptly trivialising their own encounter.

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Do not kill new players that early in a campaign. This doesn’t mean failure doesn’t have consequences, but dying at level 2 is going to color their perception of D&D, or perhaps ttrpg as a whole, as super hardcore and difficult. And they now have to roll up a new character, which is significantly more daunting for a new player, slows the game, and will further out them off playing because now they’re stuck with a less-than-ideal character. I’d also argue that Tomb of Annihilation is a bad choice for newbies, but that’s hearsay.

    Instead of lowering the difficulty, you could have had the other players kill it, and the eaten player awkwardly gets cut out of the Allosaur’s stomach. Traumatized, maybe losing some gold or other items in there, but alive.

    Think of it as those boss battles that you are very unlikely to win. Narratively, it’s a wake-up call to the player without being aggravating. Save the risk of new player death for a cool narrative high point.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    I mean, too late now. I too had a lot of ideas after the fight, it's more about how to go forward.

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  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    So I left my group preparing for an "official panel inquiry" from the Fun Police faction about what happened during their excursion into the falling Sky Castle mission they did. They planned on withholding some evidence because one of the Fun Police (hereby refered to as the FunPolice badguy) was party to stealing science projects from alchemists, and they don't really trust anyone from that group.

    But since it's not gonna be an exciting evening just doing a Law & Order back and forth dialogue session, I'm switching gears - the FunPolice badguy plans on crashing the panel to shut everyone up (since the Party acquired evidence from last mission), and the Spy Guild is crashing the panel as well to retrieve intel (one of the FunPolice badguy mooks was their man, and he died, so his diary has a lot of evidence the Spies want to keep secret), and the Fun Police Panelists are ill equipped to handle both.

    So there's four factions in this rumble (the Party, the regular FunPolice, the FunPolice baddies, and the Spies), and this is what's going down:
    - The Q&A location, supposedly a fancy new building with a lot of foot traffic, was changed last minute because "it's the weekend and someone pulled rank and stole their meeting room slot" (FunPolice BadGuy shenanigans). New Q&A location is an old building out of the way of local law enforcement. Security is thin. This should raise alarm bells for the Party.
    - The Spies will manage to tamper with the Truth spells of the panel because one of the Party is actually a Spy. They want intel, but they don't plan on killing anyone unless needed.
    - There are Three Panelists (five originally, only three make it due to string-pulling) - GoodCop Gary, BadGuy Bob, and Spyman (actually a shapeshifter killing the old panelist).
    - BGBob will poison GCGary via kitchen switcheroo. GCGary might die midway into (or even before) the interrogation. Gary's Aide will sound the alarm and turn on security (Spirit guards)
    - Both BGBob and Spyman will send men once they find out where the Party is hiding the evidence (likely they'll leave the evidence in their Library hangout).
    - If the Party manage to expose Bob or Spyman, they'll call in more muscle to extract them.
    - The Party Spy may need to hide her real identity and not reach out to Spyman, but she needs to bypass whatever Truthery spells there are set up.
    - The Party must escape the building while fighting security and/or either enemy faction plus rescue GCGary (in case they manage to stabilise him).
    - If the enemy factions figure out the location of the Evidence, the Party must get back to the library in time (they won't, unless they come up with something)

    Things I (probably) need:

    - ways for the Party to expose the secret bad guys (tells for the bad guys, basically) I should probably go for caricature-level imagery to quickly establish Gary, Bob, and Spyman.
    - a map for the building the Party needs to get out of (probably magically locked down, to reduce room count)
    - probably a map for a burning library
    - interesting enemies other than knights, spectral guards, animated armors, and assassins
    - a boss fight?
    - are there any glaring issues with the scenario that I need to address?

  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    I mean, too late now. I too had a lot of ideas after the fight, it's more about how to go forward.

    Was this just in the most recent session though? Because it doesn’t have to be too late. There’s nothing stopping you from issuing a DM Mea Culpa and retconning it.

    DarkPrimus
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Tynnan wrote: »
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    I mean, too late now. I too had a lot of ideas after the fight, it's more about how to go forward.

    Was this just in the most recent session though? Because it doesn’t have to be too late. There’s nothing stopping you from issuing a DM Mea Culpa and retconning it.

    Yes most recent session. I did offer a choice of "he's still alive actually" but player did would rather reroll.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    I'm looking into creatures of the Underdark and am struck by the amount of slavery practiced down there. The drow and duergar do it, of course, but so do multiple aberrations. Aboleths mentally enslave others, illithids do the same but also use said slaves as a means of both food and reproduction, neogi keep slaves, etc. In previous editions you also had references to Underdark creatures that don't explicitly keep slaves but need humanoids to survive and reproduce. 4E's swordwings needed to inject their eggs in humanoid hosts, and 3E's avolakia could only subsist on the flesh of undead! Speaking of undead, whose to say there aren't Underdark vaults ruled by ghouls or vampires who require sustenance?

    Maybe the slavery practiced by duergar and drow has a secondary purpose of giving various aberrations easier targets to prey on and leaving the drow and duergar alone, or at least give them time to prepare for attack as the slaves are picked off.

    I wonder what the humanoid population of the Underdark is, anyway? I think I recall one article on illithid lore speculated that a single colony would consume tens of thousands of brains each year. Perhaps when it's exhausted the aberrations will attack the surface. I'm also a fan of the idea that at least the illithids have captured several deepspawn and force them to mass produce humanoid clones to supplement their food stores.

    I know in the world of Exandria Port Damali is the heart of the slave trade. I wonder how many unfortunate souls have been funneled down into the Underdark?

    Considering that yuan-ti also take slaves for food and to possibly convert into new yuan-ti, I'd imagine there would be those among the serpentfolk itching to get rid of the competition. It could also be that yuan-ti make unsuitable candidates for ceremorphosis, so yuan-ti could seek out humans trapped in the Underdark and tell them "would you rather become one of us, or would you rather the mind flayers decide your fate?"

    Expanding from that, anti-aberration (anti-illithid in particular) missions would necessitate depriving them of their slaves. Ideally this would be accomplished by freeing them, but evil forces would focus on either taking the slaves for themselves or making them unsuitable for the aberrations' purposes somehow (such as cultists of Zuggtmoy trying to convert them all to spore servants).

    As dark a picture as I'm painting surely the fiends would notice, and crossings to the Shadowfell's own Underdark would be common. Perhaps devils, demons, and yugoloths are present in the depths, alternating between fighting the aberrations and fighting each other. Levistus in particular could be getting a lot of souls by offering his "Path of Levistus" ability to help slaves to escape.

    As for the forces of good, surely they aren't twiddling their thumbs while all this is going on...right?

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    I was always under the impression that the Underdark slave trade was widespread and led by the Drow. They would raid the surface for slaves. They would breed slaves in the underdark (goblins, etc.) and that whatever excess they had were sold off to other denizens of the Underdark. Every other Underdark culture that didn't have ready access to new slaves just went out to the local Drow slave market and bought some.

    I'm in the process myself right now of putting together a homebrew campaign world where the Mindflayers are essentially treating the entire world as a brain farm, and every few decades or so they go on a cull a la the Wraith from Stargate Atlantis.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I was always under the impression that the Underdark slave trade was widespread and led by the Drow. They would raid the surface for slaves. They would breed slaves in the underdark (goblins, etc.) and that whatever excess they had were sold off to other denizens of the Underdark. Every other Underdark culture that didn't have ready access to new slaves just went out to the local Drow slave market and bought some.

    In Exandria at least it seems that most drow live on the surface in the Kryn Dynasty of Wildemount, with the capital having a population of over 10,000. The largest Underdark drow city is below Tal'Dorei and has a population of only 4000. This city is also said to be on the brink of collapsing, with many drow either leaving to seek refuge in caverns in the moutains or otherwise being coverted to the worship of Tharizdun or the aberrations of the Underdark. Those who remain loyal to Lolth and their city are still conducting surface raids, but with such a small population I doubt they're getting that many captives.

    The situation in the Underdark beneath Wildemount is largely unknown except that the Kryn Dynasty is attempting to hold the section they still control from duergar invaders.

    A detail I forgot to mention earlier is that the largest fire giant population in Exandria is located in an Underdark city below Tal'Dorei, and that they've had peaceable dealings with the duergar in the past. I wonder how Illithids fare against fire giants?

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    I was always under the impression that the Underdark slave trade was widespread and led by the Drow. They would raid the surface for slaves. They would breed slaves in the underdark (goblins, etc.) and that whatever excess they had were sold off to other denizens of the Underdark. Every other Underdark culture that didn't have ready access to new slaves just went out to the local Drow slave market and bought some.

    In Exandria at least it seems that most drow live on the surface in the Kryn Dynasty of Wildemount, with the capital having a population of over 10,000. The largest Underdark drow city is below Tal'Dorei and has a population of only 4000. This city is also said to be on the brink of collapsing, with many drow either leaving to seek refuge in caverns in the moutains or otherwise being coverted to the worship of Tharizdun or the aberrations of the Underdark. Those who remain loyal to Lolth and their city are still conducting surface raids, but with such a small population I doubt they're getting that many captives.

    The situation in the Underdark beneath Wildemount is largely unknown except that the Kryn Dynasty is attempting to hold the section they still control from duergar invaders.

    In Exandria, yes. Or at least that is what I have gathered listening to Critical Role. I have not read either of the CR themed campaign books. I was talking more about Drown society in FR/Greyhawk style D&D worlds. Eberron's Drow were also different than the "usual", being deep jungle dwellers who also were not necessarily evil and did not foster a huge slave trade, being former slaves themselves.

    Hexmage-PA
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    The interesting thing about Critical Role's take on the drow builds well off of 4E's Underdark, where Torog is the true god of the Underdark despite Lolth and the drow downplaying his importance.

    In modern Exandria Torog has been banished to the Far Realm by several good gods who apparently must have gravely underestimated how much Torog's presence stabilized the Underdark. With Torog gone for about 800 years now Lolthite drow society is crumbling. Lolth herself is probably in the weakest position she's ever been in, with the fact that it was truly Torog all along who kept the drow of Exandria relatively safe in the Underdark revealed.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Cool random thought.

    The party enter the Underdark Drow City of BDSM Spider Magic... and it’s empty. A five way civil war happened due to interference from gods and elder things, and now only war spiders and oozing whatsits remain.

    Hexmage-PA
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Cool random thought.

    The party enter the Underdark Drow City of BDSM Spider Magic... and it’s empty. A five way civil war happened due to interference from gods and elder things, and now only war spiders and oozing whatsits remain.

    There was a 4E adventure called Demon Queen's Enclave that featured a drow vampire and worshiper of Orcus unleashing a horde of demons and undead on a drow city called Phaervorul in an effort to prove himself as worthy of being one of the Prince of Undeath's favored servants. As part of the adventure you can encounter a male drow wizard who hated the city, is delighted with its destruction in-progress, but wants the party to bring him the head of the city's Matron Mother as a souvenir before he evacuates. The wizard has also apparently been a thorn in the side of the Matron Mother, because she wants the wizard's head.

    There was also an example warlock patron in a 4E Dragon article that inhabited an empty drow city. The creature, Yorgrix, was a demonic spider supposedly loyal to the city's Matron Mother. Then it got hungry one day and devoured the entire city's population, souls and all. In the process it grew too large to exit the city through its tunnels, so it makes warlock pacts and claims the souls of those slain by the magical power it grants.

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  • SneaksSneaks Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    edit: another problem with "you are captured" scenarios is that some characters will be rendered almost useless by lack of their specific equipment while others will be mostly ok. the players of the useless characters are probably going to have a shitty time. if everyone is knocked down in power that's one thing but when some people are and others aren't it just sucks.
    In my Curse of Strahd game (currently in its fourth year), I used the “you are captured” scenario to move on from would’ve been a rather unsatisfying TPK in Van Richten’s tower. I dealt with the stratification of character power when equipment is removed by splitting the players up accordingly. Their captors had different uses for each of them, so they didn’t wake up together. This led to some one-on-one (and one-on-two and one-on-two-others) mini-sessions, but it enabled me to gear the challenge of escape up or down for each player/pair as they searched for their stuff and each other.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'm looking into creatures of the Underdark and am struck by the amount of slavery practiced down there. The drow and duergar do it, of course, but so do multiple aberrations. Aboleths mentally enslave others, illithids do the same but also use said slaves as a means of both food and reproduction, neogi keep slaves, etc. In previous editions you also had references to Underdark creatures that don't explicitly keep slaves but need humanoids to survive and reproduce. 4E's swordwings needed to inject their eggs in humanoid hosts, and 3E's avolakia could only subsist on the flesh of undead! Speaking of undead, whose to say there aren't Underdark vaults ruled by ghouls or vampires who require sustenance?

    Maybe the slavery practiced by duergar and drow has a secondary purpose of giving various aberrations easier targets to prey on and leaving the drow and duergar alone, or at least give them time to prepare for attack as the slaves are picked off.

    I wonder what the humanoid population of the Underdark is, anyway? I think I recall one article on illithid lore speculated that a single colony would consume tens of thousands of brains each year. Perhaps when it's exhausted the aberrations will attack the surface. I'm also a fan of the idea that at least the illithids have captured several deepspawn and force them to mass produce humanoid clones to supplement their food stores.

    I know in the world of Exandria Port Damali is the heart of the slave trade. I wonder how many unfortunate souls have been funneled down into the Underdark?

    Considering that yuan-ti also take slaves for food and to possibly convert into new yuan-ti, I'd imagine there would be those among the serpentfolk itching to get rid of the competition. It could also be that yuan-ti make unsuitable candidates for ceremorphosis, so yuan-ti could seek out humans trapped in the Underdark and tell them "would you rather become one of us, or would you rather the mind flayers decide your fate?"

    Expanding from that, anti-aberration (anti-illithid in particular) missions would necessitate depriving them of their slaves. Ideally this would be accomplished by freeing them, but evil forces would focus on either taking the slaves for themselves or making them unsuitable for the aberrations' purposes somehow (such as cultists of Zuggtmoy trying to convert them all to spore servants).

    As dark a picture as I'm painting surely the fiends would notice, and crossings to the Shadowfell's own Underdark would be common. Perhaps devils, demons, and yugoloths are present in the depths, alternating between fighting the aberrations and fighting each other. Levistus in particular could be getting a lot of souls by offering his "Path of Levistus" ability to help slaves to escape.

    As for the forces of good, surely they aren't twiddling their thumbs while all this is going on...right?

    Well, probably?

    Ok so let’s think about what the world of DnD looks like with a stable human population. Let’s assume:

    1) people are relatively poor but aren’t that poor. I have data for ~1950 so let’s use that. Crude Birth Rate is 40 per 1000 population per year.

    2) infant mortality is low since like... healing spells and potions exist. Call it 1% to 5% rather than pre 1900s 10%. So “surviving child rate” is between 38 and 40 per 1000 pop

    3) population is stable. So births = deaths over any 100 year stretch.

    4) world population of humanoids is similar to that of Europe and China in the 1600s. Because why not. This also gives space for non-human population to exist because europe and China are not the only two populous space on the globe. This would put world population at about 230 million

    5) the world is violent and so only 50% of people die of non-violent death. (Old age, accident, whatever)

    As a result we find that 4% of the population is born each year so 4% has to die each year so 2% die violently. With a world population of 230 million humanoids this puts us at about 4.6 million violent deaths per year.

    Even if we tone the violence down we get huge amount of violent deaths. 10% vdr makes 920,000 violent deaths per year. Even if we count enslaved people being ferreted to the underdark as being “dead” this is still enough to sustain a large populations of human slavers and eaters.

    But for the most part the world would still be stable, especially from those sitting at the top of it. If attacks were large and localized but human nations small and localized you could easily have whole segments of the world being effectively wiped off the map without the rest of it caring much. Everyone would shore up their borders to protect their citizens. And the citizens of the effected areas would be hung out to dry

    “But there are so many humans and so few monsters” yes but the monsters are individually more powerful and as a group represent more total power than any individual nation is willing to risk. In an all out war to the end the humans may win convincingly every time. But if half the human nations would cease to exist as a result its hard to convince someone to take the 50% chance you die now versus the .4% chance you die in any given year. Especially since you have to convince all the nations to get onboard when they all have rulers who would be even less likely to be effected than the violent deaths/population would suggest.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Cool random thought.

    The party enter the Underdark Drow City of BDSM Spider Magic... and it’s empty. A five way civil war happened due to interference from gods and elder things, and now only war spiders and oozing whatsits remain.

    oozes and spiders practicing BDSM on each other

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 11
    as the scene is revealed, you describe in your most sincere and excited voice the scene of different kinds of creatures, moist creatures, scuttling, chittering, and oozing

    go full Love Nest of Har’akki on them, see if you can work up tears in your eyes

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Cool random thought.

    The party enter the Underdark Drow City of BDSM Spider Magic... and it’s empty. A five way civil war happened due to interference from gods and elder things, and now only war spiders and oozing whatsits remain.

    oozes and spiders practicing BDSM on each other

    It's really hard to say "Pineapple" with chittering mandibles.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    override367Steelhawk
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