Friday Hooks – Eye of Eternity

In the city stands a magnificent statue of a dragon. The story goes, that hundreds of years ago, heroes defeated the dragon and built the city. What they don’t tell you in the story is that the statue is the real dragon, and it is not dead but it merely slumbers.

Hundreds of years ago, the great alchemist poisoned the dragon and petrified him. The effect is not permanent however, and the dragon will soon break the spell. The headmaster of the college of wizardry in the city knows this and has a plan to defeat the dragon permanently.

In the ruins of an ancient city, deep in the desert, is said to be the final resting place of the alchemist who petrified the dragon. The headmaster believes the final resting place also holds a powerful artifact, the Eye of Eternity, which may be powerful enough to permanently end the dragon.

The heroes are tasked with travelling into the ruins and retrieve the artifact.

Sample complications and twists:

  • The headmaster is supposed to accompany the heroes, but before the party can leave the city, a secret society reveals itself and attacks. They are a religious cult who worship the dragon as a harbinger of death, a purger of the weak so that the loyal may rule. Their revelation either hurts the headmaster or forces him to remain behind to investigate.
    • The secret society has members all around the country and in every tier of civilization. The party must keep their mission a secret, or else risk being found by the secret society.
    • Upon their return, the secret society has already taken the city and toppled the government. The city is now besieged by supporters of the crown who are attempting to take the city back. The heroes must either get into the city to stop the dragon from awakening, or help in the siege to take back the city.
  • The Eye of Eternity is extremely powerful, enough so that the alchemist took it with them to the grave and riddled their tomb with traps. But no one is entirely sure what it does (it would be up to the GM, but is practically a plot device). It might even do more than just defeat one dragon. Is it more dangerous than it’s worth?
    • In addition, the Eye of Eternity requires a special activation process. The heroes need to figure out how to activate it before they return with the artifact, and trial and error may not be the best way to find out. Maybe they can find the manual.
    • The Eye may not be the only thing hidden in the alchemist’s tomb. The heroes might also find the recipe for the petrifying poison that trapped the dragon so many years ago. Between the world shattering deus ex machina and a petrifying poison, perhaps the poison is a safer option.
      • If the recipe exists, it has one ingredient will be very difficult to come by: the key to the poison is the victim’s blood. To retrieve the dragon’s blood, the dragon cannot be petrified and needs to be awake, in order for it to bleed.
        • The sword that cut the dragon so many years ago, and provided the alchemist with the blood for the poison, can be found with the warrior’s descendants. Perhaps the heroes can borrow it. Perhaps they won’t necessarily ask for permission.
      • Other ingredients are not easy to come by either, and could incredibly rare items or something that is dangerous to come by. Que side-quests.
  • The alchemist’s tomb is a huge construct, designed to keep people away from the artifact that lies with the alchemist. It is a maze, filled with riddles and traps (likely to do with alchemy). This is the dungeon delving part, if there ever is one.
    • In addition to traps and riddles, the alchemist created a potion that keeps their servants in a state of undeath. In effect, they are zombies, tasked with keeping unwelcome visitors out. At the center, the alchemist has given himself a more powerful potion, effectively making them a lich, or other powerful undead, in charge of the servants.
    • If the heroes reach the central chamber, and defeat the alchemist and their servants, it is still possible that the alchemist has some devilish plan, a final trick. Perhaps the Eye of Eternity is a forgery, and the real one is hidden even deeper. Perhaps a final trap will set in motion a self-destruct sequence that makes the tomb fall apart. Be creative.
  • The dragon is not just a dragon. It is the physical avatar of a God or another being of immense power. There is a reason why it is being worshiped, because even if it is petrified, it can communicate telepathically to a limited degree. As the spell is becoming weaker, it’s power grows. At first, it’s only the psions who can sense it, but as its power returns, and its release from the poison draws near, everyone can feel it, and even hear it.
    • The dragon’s voice can be used to count down to the end, using events in the story as the benchmarks instead of actual time. When the heroes are leaving the city, they can feel the dread, and people have been leaving the city because of it. Those with telepathy might even hear the voice of the dragon in their sleep. When they reach the alchemist’s tomb, the telepaths can hear the dragon’s voice while awake, and the others dream of the dragon speaking to them. When the return to the city, the dragon speaks as if it was awake, filling everyone in the country with a terrifying sense of dread. At this point, the heroes will know that time is now of the essence, and lingering for too long risks the release of the dragon.
    • The dragon being able to communicate telepathically might encourage the heroes to attempt to communicate back. This is a mistake, as it invites the dragon’s attention. The dragon can read minds, to a limited degree, and might attempt wrenching control of that person. Early on, it is unlikely to succeed, but the heroes will feel the dragon’s attempt as a cold talon reaching into their minds.
      • The dragon’s cult welcomes it into their minds. They might even consider it a great honor to be chosen to be its vessel. The dragon won’t be able to use many of its powers early in the campaign, or keep control for long, but it can use the vessel’s voice and sense everything the vessel sees. Later on, it might be able to grant its vessel limited magical powers, likely tied to necromancy or entropic energies.

To Wager, or not to Wager

There are some news that are in a good need of being told, so I’m going to waste some of your time telling it. You can either watch the video or read about it below.

All right, so first thing’s first: The wager I had going with @thatparksguy is no longer a wager. We both decided that we’re both going to give $100 to charity, no matter which one of us is going to get 1500 followers first. So it’s not a wager anymore. Now it’s just a contest; first one to 1500 followers on Twitter gets to pick the charity that we’re going to donate to. Naturally, if you want to donate to charity as well, we both welcome your addition to the cause.

Next thing is that I’ve gotten over the 1000 followers milestone! It’s a wonderful feeling, knowing that so many people are even remotely interested in what I have to say, and I am really thankful for that. I also want to thank all the bots that have helped me reach this milestone; I couldn’t have done it without you. I had a giveaway to celebrate this awesome milestone, and I’ll be giving one map each to @DJusticar and @ChaoticAnarchy. They are both excellent people and if you aren’t following them on Twitter, I recommend that you fix that.

I’m sure you all remember that I used to have a Patreon page for a short while. It wasn’t really working out the way I wanted after I got my website going again, but I have some ideas on how I can do some changes to my Patreon so it can benefit my blogging and stuff. There will be live play involved, and I hope it will be amazing experience.

But that will have to wait, because me and my family are forced to find a new place to live. It’s nothing we’re too worried about, and we’re not mad about it either. It’s just a poor situation that we find ourselves in. In any case, we have to find a new place and move there, and we’re looking at places in or near my hometown.

So this has been my little slice of life for now, just giving you some idea of what’s going on, but next update will have something to do with role-playing games. I promise.

Exalted: As the Sun Rises – Part 6

We finally had another session last Thursday! With Easter, other projects and protesting, we had a difficult time arranging to meet and play, until now, 5 weeks after our last session.

We hit a small bump. Due to relocating, one of our players decided to stop playing in our group. His character, Wolf (or Devouring Wolf), is no longer a part of the Solar Circle. We learned about this the day before we were going to play, so I needed to figure out a reasonable way to have Wolf suddenly decide to just up a leave in a middle of a quest to reach the Most Magnificent City of Bao.

We also had a new player join our little band of misfits. One of the players did mention that he wanted to invite a friend to play with us and we were fine with it, but it wasn’t really talked about until the day of the session, so I at least didn’t expect him to join in this session, until he walked in.

After a while, he decided to play a Night Caste (same as Devouring Wolf, who just left). Since he had no idea what Exalted was about, having only been invited to play a few hours earlier, we decided not to burden him with making a backstory (not in the first session at least). Instead, everything that Devouring Wolf had done, the others remember his character having done instead.

This does not mean that he is playing Devouring Wolf, or even that Devouring Wolf was him the whole time. Not at all! This being Exalted, the new player’s character’s fate and persona, fittingly named Entropy Wolf, is simply in the process of taking over Devouring Wolf, but is entirely a new character. He has skills and abilities unlike Devouring Wolf, but Entropy Wolf is lacking many abilities that Devouring Wolf was known to have (such as amazing perception skills) and the others remember him having.

This is sort of like watching Terminator with Arnold, but the next time you watch it, it suddenly stars Stallone, and you remember watching it as a Stallone film. Stallone would do it differently, but you remember him doing it the way Arnold did. So you’d notice that something’s off, either with your memory or the copy of Terminator that you’re watching.

And that is what is likely going to happen with the Circle. They will notice that there are things that don’t add up, and they’ll notice that Devouring Wolf and Entropy Wolf are not the same, even if they remember otherwise. What was a hastily decided plot device has become the start of a major plot, one that will be explored.

The rest of the session was pretty straight standard, although I did try to explore a bit of horror in the game. The Circle reach a seemingly abandoned inn by the road, called the Proud Poultry. The house itself looks well made and whole, no damages to report, but there’s no life to be seen outside and no lights inside.

Venturing inside, they find the presumed innkeeper and other staff, all too eager for them to stay the night. They don’t seem to want to attack, and are compliant enough to be poked or otherwise harassed without reaction. They just stand there, with an empty grin and tired eyes, speaking in monotone voice.

Mnemon Kai is also eager to get some rest, and after a short, verbal fight with Mango, she leaves to one of the rooms. The others begin to investigate and Entropy Wolf finds the room of inn’s keeper and their accounting notes (what needs to be ordered and such), none dating later than several years ago. Due to poor lighting, Wolf doesn’t like to stay there for long and hears a creaking while on the way out.

Tim uses his abilities to trick Mnemon Kai into thinking she just had some sort of epiphany, where she told herself that she had more worth and did not have to stay under her father’s thumb.

Meanwhile, Mango is searching the rooms for anything useful and trashing everything to keep the creepy service people occupied. Bronze Lion is searching the ground floor and finds a deep hole inside the pantry/storage, but the creepy service people attempt to lock him up inside. Bronze breaks out and combat is about to begin.

At this point, we ended the session. Overall, I liked how it went, although I expected they would get further into the story, but we did start later than we planned because a new player was joining us with no character prepared. Which is more than fine, it got me rushing a character into the story unprepared but I imagine a very cool story coming out of it. A character in the story is slowly being taken over by another character who just got introduced. Why is this happening and who is causing it? These are good questions that I imagine will be answered as the story unfolds.

EX3 – 4 pages Character Sheet

Today I’m uploading an expanded version of the character sheet I made for Exalted 3rd edition, one that is 4 pages long. Why 4 pages? The first two are pretty much the same as the one I already had, with only minor changes. I then added two new pages; one for combat stats and information, and another for social influence stats and info. Essentially, if you already have the extra combat page I uploaded some time ago, that is the same page I included on the 4 pages version. The social influence page will also be added as a separate bonus page later.

I think it’s pretty cool to upload it today, because today is also the day when Onyx Path is releasing the 3rd edition to the public market on DriveThruRPG.com, and I’m really excited about it. I’m looking forward to checking out the final version once I have it.

I’m having loads of fun with the game. As much as I enjoyed 2nd edition, I won’t hide that I thought it was flawed, and I think they made a great game with 3rd edition. Once I have a copy of the final version I’ll also make a review of the game. I could have done so earlier but I wanted to wait until I something final, and preferably physical. Digital copies are really handy, but it still won’t beat holding the physical book in your hands.

This also means I’ll need to update all the stuff I’ve made for the 3rd edition, since a lot of it refers to specific page numbers which may now be incorrect. In addition, some minor rules may have changed, and I may have to alter some of that as well. But, that’ll have to wait until I return from London, which is where I’m going tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have finished updating everything sometime next week.

The wager between me and @thatparksguy is going very much in his favor. He’s already reached 1000 followers and I’m more than 50 followers behind him. Remember, we are racing towards 1500 followers, the winner gets to pick a charity which the other one gives money to. It seems this competition will be rather one sided, so if you want to make it a bit more exciting, you can also follow me on Twitter: @RPG_EmeraldS

It’s a RACE for Followers

Yesterday, on Twitter, I made a wager with @thatparksguy and now we are competing to get 1500 followers. The one of us who wins gets to pick a charity that the other one gives $100 to. Here are the tweets that got it started:

And the truth be told, he’s killing it! Seriously, he’s gotten 70 new followers in the time I got 5! If you’re on Twitter and you’re not following either of us yet, please do. In fact, why not follow both of us? My twitter is @RPG_EmeraldS, and his is @thatparksguy. You can also check out this video I made, and feel free to share it around: