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In today's episode, R&D's Chris Perkins takes a look at the game’s continuing campaign storylines. Then, Tom Olsen and Susan Morris join us to discuss the subject of teaching and playing D&D with kids.PodcastRelated content: Rage of Demonsexternal_urls: External url: http://media.wizards.com/2015/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_07_24_2015.mp3External url description: Kids & Stories Podcast Texture banner: ShowBanner video:
In some ways Wizards of the Coast has made great strides in supporting electronic gaming. They have been steadily releasing their impressive back catalog in PDF through the D&D Classics website. The D&D Basic rules are available as a free download from the Wizards of the Coast website. They provide officially licensed content for the Fantasy Grounds which gives them a virtual table top, a character creation tool, and even a digital distribution tool for their books. Despite these strides though, there is currently no way to legally buy the D&D 5e Core Rule Books in a PDF format. This is frankly unbelievable in the year 2015.
PDFs are important. While there may be some issues with PDFs, the format has been around since 1993 (22years) at this point. It is an open format, which means there are a plethora of PDF readers available, and they are available for any OS on the market. PDF is the standard for RPG books, and indeed most reference style books.
No offense to the Fantasy Grounds guys, but I will be extremely impressed if it is still available in 22 years to read the content Wizards of the Coast has made available through their license. Also, launching Fantasy Grounds just to read the core rule books is frankly overkill. While it is a competent virtual table top, it would be crazy to invest the money in Fantasy Grounds if all you want is the books in an electronic format.
So what is wrong with just reading the physical books that Wizards of the Coast is publishing? It is not that there is anything wrong with them, but PDFs have advantages that make them more practical for many people. For starters, they don’t take up as much space. It is easy to bring your entire library of game books over to someone’s house in digital format, obviously not if they are physical books. It is amazing how much space these books take up. When I moved to Arizona, my gaming books filled more than twenty banker boxes, most of which are still stacked up in my garage! For many people, storing this many books is simply not practical.
PDFs are also easily searchable, which helps both with game prep and when looking up a rule during the game. Can’t remember how grappling works in D&D 5e? Just type in “grappling” into the search box and you will have the answer in seconds. Lets say you are entering your character into Roll20. While you can retype all your spells by hand, cutting and pasting them from a PDF is a real time saver. Believe it or not, PDFs are a competitive advantage in today’s market place, and are one of the primary reasons why the Lords of Tyr switched to Pathfinder for one of our two regular games.
What about piracy? Well, not making legal PDFs has not stopped that from happening. Illegal copies of all the current D&D 5e books are readily available online if you want them. The only people prevented from getting PDF versions of D&D 5e books right now are those who want to pay for them.
Look, I like the beautiful, high quality physical books Wizards of the Coast produces as much the next guy. Even if PDF versions of the core rulebooks were available, I am sure I would have bought both the physical and PDF versions of these books, especially if Wizards of the Coast offered a physical and PDF bundle like most RPG companies do nowadays. PDFs would also make me much more likely to try out books that I am not certain I would want to take up room on my ever more precious shelf space.
So come on Wizards of the Coast…
Explore the Sword Coast in this campaign sourcebook for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.Description:
WELCOME TO THE SWORD COAST—a region of Faerûn that comprises shining paragons of civilization and culture, perilous locales fraught with dread and evil, and encompassing them all, a wilderness that offers every explorer vast opportunity and simultaneously promises great danger.
While the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is a valuable resource for Dungeon Masters, it was crafted with players and their characters foremost in mind. There is a plethora of new character options to intrigue and inspire every member of the adventuring party.
For use with the fifth edition Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide provides the setting, story, and character options needed to participate in a game anywhere along the Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms.Image thumbnail: Image left: Banner: Game type: RPG ProductsRelease date: 11/03/2015Price ($): USD39.95Price (C$): CAD46.00Banner video:
Get everything you need to adventure in the Forgotten Realms on the exciting Sword Coast, home to the cities of Baldur’s Gate, Waterdeep, and Neverwinter! A collaboration between Green Ronin Publishing and the Dungeons & Dragons team at Wizards of the Coast, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide provides D&D fans with a wealth of detail on the places, cultures, and deities of northwestern Faerûn.
The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is also a great way to catch up on recent events in the Forgotten Realms, to get background on locations featured in the Rage of Demons storyline coming in September, and to learn the lore behind video games like Neverwinter and Sword Coast Legends.
Here are just a few of the features you’ll find in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide:
- Immersive Adventuring: This campaign sourcebook provides players and Dungeon Masters material for creating vibrant fantasy stories along the Sword Coast.
- New Character Options: The book offers new subclass options, such as the Purple Dragon Knight and the Swashbuckler, for many of the classes presented in the Player’s Handbook, as well as new subraces and backgrounds specific to the Forgotten Realms.
- Adventure in the Forgotten Realms: Discover the current state of the Forgotten Realms and its deities after the Spellplague and the second Sundering. You’ll also get updated maps of this area of the Realms.
- Compatible with Rage of Demons storyline: Make characters for use with the Out of the Abyss adventure and fight back the influence of the demon lords in the Underdark below the Sword Coast.
- Insider Information: Learn the background behind locations, such as Luskan and Gracklstugh, featured in the upcoming digital RPG, Sword Coast Legends, from n-Space.
With new character backgrounds and class options, players will love the storytelling possibilities of playing a noble of Waterdeep, an elf bladesinger, or one of the other new options, while Dungeon Masters will relish a book full of mysterious locations and story hooks to keep players adventuring on the Sword Coast for years to come.
Look for the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide to be available on November 3.Publication date: 07/22/2015Introduction: New class options, character backgrounds, and deity descriptions from the Forgotten Realms.Tags: NewsRelated content: Sword Coast Legendsexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video:
After last month’s rules roundup, we return to the main work of Sage Advice: answering D&D rules questions. For the foreseeable future, I’ll use Sage Advice to gather rules answers I’ve given on Twitter, and I’ll often expand on those answers, since here I’m not limited to 140 characters! Each month, I’ll also continue to answer questions from the Sage Advice inbox.
Is the Dueling fighting style intended to support a shield? Yes. A character with the Dueling option usually pairs a one-handed weapon with a shield, a spellcasting focus, or a free hand.
Does Uncanny Dodge work automatically against every attack a rogue or ranger gets hit by? Spell attacks too? A use of Uncanny Dodge works against only one attack, since it expends your reaction, and only if you can see the attacker. It works against attacks of all sorts, including spell attacks, but it is no help against a spell or other effect, such as fireball, that delivers its damage through a saving throw rather than an attack roll.
Does a monk need to spend any ki points to cast minor illusion granted by the Shadow Arts feature? No. The ki point cost in the feature applies only to the other spells in it.
Does a monk’s Purity of Body feature grant immunity to poison damage, the poisoned condition, or both? That feature grants immunity to both. As a result, a monk with Purity of Body can, for example, inhale a green dragon’s poison breath unharmed.
Does a sorcerer’s Wild Magic Surge effect replace the effect of the spell that triggered it, or do both effects happen? The spell and the Wild Magic Surge effect both happen.
Does the warlock’s Awakened Mind feature allow two-way telepathic communication? The feature is intended to provide one-way communication. The warlock can use the feature to speak telepathically to a creature, but the feature doesn’t give that creature the ability to telepathically reply. In contrast, the telepathy ability that some monsters have (MM, 9) does make two-way communication possible.
Is an abjurer’s Arcane Ward healed only when the ward has 0 hit points? The ward regains hit points whenever the abjurer casts an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, not just when the ward has 0 hit points.
Does casting alarm as a ritual heal Arcane Ward? Any abjuration spell of 1st level or higher cast by an abjurer can restore hit points to his or her Arcane Ward. As is normal for healing, the ward can’t regain more hit points than its hit point maximum: twice the wizard’s level + the wizard’s Intelligence modifier.
How does Arcane Ward interact with temporary hit points and damage resistance that an abjurer might have? An Arcane Ward is not an extension of the wizard who creates it. It is a magical effect with its own hit points. Any temporary hit points, immunities, or resistances that the wizard has don’t apply to the ward.
The ward takes damage first. Any leftover damage is taken by the wizard and goes through the following game elements in order: (1) any relevant damage immunity, (2) any relevant damage resistance, (3) any temporary hit points, and (4) real hit points.
Does the wizard’s Potent Cantrip feature apply to cantrips with attack rolls or only to saves? Potent Cantrip affects only cantrips that require a saving throw, such as acid splash and poison spray.Combat
Can a bonus action be used as an action or vice versa? For example, can a bard use a bonus action to grant a Bardic Inspiration die and an action to cast healing word? No. Actions and bonus actions aren’t interchangeable. In the example, the bard could use Bardic Inspiration or healing word on a turn, not both.
How does a reach weapon work with opportunity attacks? An opportunity attack is normally triggered when a creature you can see moves beyond your reach (PH, 195). If you want to make an opportunity attack with a reach weapon, such as a glaive or a halberd, you can do so when a creature leaves the reach you have with that weapon. For example, if you’re wielding a halberd, a creature that is right next to you could move 5 feet away without triggering an opportunity attack. If that creature tries to move an additional 5 feet—beyond your 10-foot reach—the creature then triggers an opportunity attack.
Can you use the Ready action to take the Dash action on someone else’s turn and then combine the Charger feat with it? No, since you can’t take a bonus action on someone else’s turn.Spellcasting
Can spell attacks score critical hits? A spell attack can definitely score a critical hit. The rule on critical hits applies to attack rolls of any sort.
If I have 10 temporary hit points and I take 30 damage from an attack while concentrating on a spell, what is the DC of the Constitution save to maintain my concentration? The DC is 15 in that case. When temporary hit points absorb damage for you, you’re still taking damage, just not to your real hit points.
In contrast, a feature like the wizard’s Arcane Ward can take damage for you, potentially eliminating the need to make a Constitution saving throw or, at least, lowering the DC of that save.
When you cast a spell like conjure woodland beings, does the spellcaster or the DM choose the creatures that are conjured? A number of spells in the game let you summon creatures. Conjure animals, conjure celestial, conjure minor elementals, and conjure woodland beings are just a few examples.
Some spells of this sort specify that the spellcaster chooses the creature conjured. For example, find familiar gives the caster a list of animals to choose from.
Other spells of this sort let the spellcaster choose from among several broad options. For example, conjure minor elementals offers four options. Here are the first two:
- One elemental of challenge rating 2 or lower
- Two elementals of challenge rating 1 or lower
The design intent for options like these is that the spellcaster chooses one of them, and then the DM decides what creatures appear that fit the chosen option. For example, if you pick the second option, the DM chooses the two elementals that have a challenge rating of 1 or lower.
A spellcaster can certainly express a preference for what creatures shows up, but it’s up to the DM to determine if they do. The DM will often choose creatures that are appropriate for the campaign and that will be fun to introduce in a scene.
If I cast shillelagh on my quarterstaff and have the Polearm Master feat, does the bonus attack use a d4 or a d8 for damage? The bonus attack uses a d4. That attack is a function of the feat, not the weapon being used.Monsters
Is natural armor considered light armor? No. Natural armor doesn’t fit into the categories of light, medium, and heavy armor, and when you have it, it isn’t considered to be an armor you’re wearing.
Does natural armor cap a creature’s Dexterity bonus? Natural armor doesn’t limit a creature’s Dexterity bonus.Sage Advice Compendium
This month’s questions and answers are now part of the Sage Advice Compendium.
Bio: Jeremy Crawford is the co-lead designer of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. He was the lead designer of the new Player’s Handbook and one of the leads on the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He has worked on many other D&D books since coming to Wizards of the Coast in 2007. You can reach him on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford).Publication date: 07/20/2015Introduction: Conjurations, Arcane Ward, reach weapons, and more!Tags: Sage AdviceRelated content: Column_SageAdviceexternal_urls: External url: http://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/SA_Compendium_1.01.pdfExternal url description: Sage Advice Compendium Texture banner: ShowBanner video:
The Lords of Tyr have been using virtual table tops (VTT) in our games from pretty much the creation of the category. Early on we used kLoOge.Werks, but ended up switching to MapTools pretty quickly. MapTools was our mainstay until recently, but as support for that tool seems to be winding down, we have been looking elsewhere for our virtual table top needs.
Roll20 was one of the first alternatives we checked out, and honestly one of the best. So I thought it might be good to give it an thorough review for anyone out there who is thinking of using it.OS Support
Roll20 is a web hosted Virtual Table Top. That means that if you have a computer with a modern browser, you can use it regardless of whether you have Windows, Mac, or Linux. This is great for a group like the Lords of Tyr where all three of the aforementioned operating systems are represented at the table. There are also apps for iOS and Android, although I haven’t really used them enough to give a decent review of them.Game System Support
By default, Roll20 is system agnostic. It provides you with the basics of a VTT (map, grid, tokens) and character sheets to which you can assign various attributes and abilities. These can then be referenced in macros which you create, allowing you to simplify your game play.
This only tells half the story though because there are a large number of community created character sheet templates which can be applied to a campaign and that will do most of this work for you. Since they are created by the community, generally the more popular the game the better the character sheet. The character sheet templates we have used for our D&D 5e and Pathfinder games are very robust and professional looking. However, the template we used for the Dragon Age RPG was a bit less polished (e.g., strength was misspelled, poor font choice), although in all fairness it did do the job.Play Experience
Since Roll20 is web hosted, there is minimal setup. The GM and the players need only create accounts on the Roll20 website and login. Unlike traditional client/server VTT setups, there is no need to worry about opening ports on your router for NAT traversal, something that can trip up less tech savvy GMs. However, this does mean that if the website is down, you aren’t playing. We also would occasionally have issues where a specific player’s screen would not update and we had to have them hit refresh on the browser.
Game play is generally pretty smooth. The GM controls what maps the players can see. Die rolls can either be made through the GUI or by a simple chat command (e.g., “/roll 1d20+5”). The turn counter is pretty generic in order to keep it as system agnostic as possible, but works really well with the initiative based games I have played on Roll20. It even allows you to keep track of durations by adding an item with an incrementing counter (e.g., “Flaming Sphere 1).
The Roll20 team prides itself on using a high entropy random number generator. They even provide statistics on the website of every roll made just to show how perfectly random everything is, which is handy to show players who have had one too many fumbles in a game session.
Roll20 also has built in chat, video, and audio (using WebRTC). You can also run Roll20 inside of a Google Hangout, but personally I found I had too much lag when I did that.GM Preparation
The GM creates an account on the Roll20 website and starts a campaign. Maps, tokens, and other bits of virtual set dressing can be uploaded to the site or acquired from the Roll20 Marketplace (both free and for a nominal charge).
Maps you have created are shown across the top of the screen. These maps have three layers: a map layer, a GM layer, and a token layer. The map layer is where you put everything that you want the players to see but not interact with. The GM layer is where you put things that only the GM should see. These can be things like monster tokens, pit traps, or room numbers. When it becomes appropriate to reveal these things they can be moved to either the map layer or the token layer. The token layer has objects that can be interacted with, although who can manipulate a token is still limited by who owns it.
There is also a dynamic lighting layer available to people who have either a supporter or mentor level subscription. Dynamic lighting is an advanced feature which limits what the players can see of the map based on their light sources and line of sight. This layer where you define light sources and objects that block the players line of sight like walls.
When players are logged in you can either present all players a map by moving a virtual bookmark called ‘Players’ to the appropriate map, or drag individual players to a screen if the party decides to split up. I have found it useful to have a generic page to park the player bookmark on when I am not using a map.
Players, NPCs, and Handouts all reside on the right hand side. Like tokens, who can see or edit these items are controlled by access control lists (ACLs). So if I want anyone to see a handout I set ‘all players’ as being able to see, but leave able to edit blank (the GM always has access). All of these items can be organized by folders, but are also searchable by name or by tag (you define both). Tagging monsters can be very useful if you want to bring up a specific category of creature (e.g., undead, goblinoid, etc).
Maps, players, NPCs, and handouts can all be archived if you want to get them out of the way but don’t want to delete them. I find I archive pretty much everything except what I think I will need in a given session, since bringing items back is just a couple of mouse clicks.Cost
You can sign up and use Roll20 for free. While not every feature is available at the free level, it is surprisingly usable without paying a dime. The main limitations are you only have 100 MB of storage and no access to advanced features like dynamic lighting or tablet support.
You can upgrade to the Supporter ($4.99/month or $49.99 /year) level or Mentor($9.99/month or $99/year) level if you choose. Supporter basically gives you 1 GB of storage, dynamic lighting, and tablet support. Mentor gives you 2 GB of storage plus features like access to the Roll20 API and the ability to get support from the development team.
One nice feature is that if you have access to a feature, anyone joining your campaign has access to that feature. For example, if I have access to dynamic lighting and use it in my campaign, none of my players need anything but the free level to use the feature.
There is also the Roll20 market place where you can purchase community created tokens, maps, and modules for a nominal fee. Alternatively, if you are a content creator, you can sell your wares here.
Personally, I joined up at the Supporter level and found it more then met my needs. My fellow GM Chad joined at the Mentor level. None of the other players used anything but the free level of Roll20.Customer Support
Roll20 has a wiki and a robust community supporting it. I was able to learn how to use the interface via YouTube tutorials and how to create all the macros I needed by reading up on them in the wiki. Users who have Mentor status are able to get support via email from the developers, but since I am only Supporter level I cannot comment on it.Community
Roll20 has a great community. It also provides excellent tools for finding players or games built right into the website. Since I have a group I play with regularly I haven’t really taken advantage of these myself, but from what I have heard the ease with which you can find players or games is one of the big selling points of Roll20.Final Thoughts
I love Roll20. I think a web based VTT is the way to go and it continues to get better. The interface is also more modern feeling then pretty much any other VTT on the market. That said, I am not currently using Roll20 for my ongoing Princes of the Apocalypse game. Why not? Well, that will be the topic of a future Virtual Table Top review.
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This Dreamblade figure inspired the Fire Archon/Myrmidon in Dungeons & Dragons.
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As wild flame spirits bound to suits of enchanted armor, Fire Myrmidons make powerful, if unpredictable, guardians.
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As wild flame spirits bound to suits of enchanted armor, Fire Archons make powerful, if unpredictable, guardians.
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In retrospect, gene-splicing gorillas with octopi was not my brightest idea.
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The holds the key to life and death. When that door is shut...
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He stands head and shoulders above his vicious kin.
To get back in the habit of blogging, I have been trying to post every Tuesday and Thursday. I am going to modify this to a Monday and Thursday schedule as it probably doesn’t make much sense to only have one day in-between posts, then four days until the next post.
This doesn’t mean that I will never post on other days, just that I am going to try to keep to a minimum of posts on these two days each week.
Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.
Glidion: High Elf Wizard (Enchanter) who exaggerates stories of his past triumphs. Unwitting pawn of the Zhentarim.
Gracealyn “Darkeyes” Droverson: Tethyarian Human Noble Fighter (Champion) who seeks to restore her lost family fortunes. Member of the Lords Alliance.
Milo Miller: Lightfoot Halfling Cleric of Pelor (Life Domain). Seeks to spread worship of his god to Faerun. Watcher of the Harpers.
Salazar Tomoki: Shou Human Monk (Way of the Open Hand). Hermit who walks Faerun seeking enlightenment like Caine from Kung Fu.
Wrenna: Forest Gnome Rogue (Thief). Little is known of Wrenna’s past other then that she has been on the wrong side of the law from a young age.Recap
Arriving in Red Larch, the group traveled through the village, taking note of the various shops. Salazar made a quick trip into Lorren’s Bakery to pick up a mushroom cheese-topped bun for Wrenna. These smelled so good that the weary travelers soon all stopped at the bakery to indulge in this savory treat.
Continuing to the Allfaiths shrine, the party met the two intendant priests: Imdarr Relvaunder a stout follower of Tempus (god of war) and Lymmura Auldarhk a follower of Sune (goddess of beauty and love). Imdarr seemed a little put off by Sister Garaele’s decision to become a third intendant at the shrine since traditionally only two priests act as intendants at any given time. Lymmura however welcomed Sister Garaele with open arms and offered to share her cell with the young acolyte of Tymora for the duration of her stay.
The group then pressed on to Bethendur’s Storage to drop off Gundren Rockseeker’s platinum ingots for eventual pickup by a caravan headed to Secomber. There they met Aerego Bethendur who was quick to tell them that his storage offered absolute privacy and that anything stored here would not be disturbed unless it started to rot; even then the contents would be disposed of discretely. When Glidion asked if that happen often Aerego simply said, “Not often”.
At this point the group sought out a tavern and ended up at the Helm at Highsun. Once again the group heard rumors of missing people, in this case a well armed delegation from Mirabar. A half-orc named Zomith invited herself to the party’s table and immediately displayed an interest in Glidion. The noble elf was more intimidated by her advances then aroused, but he did learn that the caravan Zomith had been travelling with had encountered the Mirabaran delegation about fifteen days ago somewhere between Beliard and Westbridge, and that she had brawled with the Mirabaran guards during the encounter. When she offered to discuss things in more detail with Glidion “in private”, the elf beat a hasty retreat.
Late in the evening the party bought rooms at the Swinging Sword across the street. The proprietor of the inn, an Illuskan woman in her forties named Kaylessa Irkell, was grateful to see a well-armed party of adventures in town and expressed her hope that they would put an end to the “fell magic” that was sweeping through the Slumber Hills. When they mentioned the missing Mirabaran delegation, she introduced them to Brother Eardon a half-elf acolyte of Lathandar (god of the dawn). Brother Eardon had recently came from Beliard by way of Westbridge, and confirmed that the delegation was in Beliard two tendays ago. The group resolved to travel the Larch Path to Beliard in search of the missing delegation in the morning.
Heading down the Larch Path, the group was distracted from this quest when they realized they were getting close to Feathergale Spire. Intrigued by the wingwear they found on the monks who attacked them earlier and curious about the Feathergale Society they left the path and travelled into the Slumber Hills. They arrived at Feathergale Spire in the evening.
The spire was separated from the road by a cliff with a shear drop of hundreds of feet. A brass bell hung from a wooden post near the ledge, and when they rang the bell a knight of the Feathergale Society named Savra Belabranta opened a small window near the gate and asked the adventurers what their purpose was at the spire. Convinced that their intentions were peaceful, she invited them in and brought them up to the pinnacle of the Spire to meet the Feathergale Society’s leader Thurl Merosska.
Thurl greeted the party and asked them their business. The party described their encounter with the wingwear wearing monks and asked if it was possible if any suits of wingwear had been stolen from them recently. Thurl declined to answer, but since the party seemed to be men and women of valor he invited them to join in the feast that below.
The party partook in the grand feast and traded stories of valor. As the feast was winding down, a knight burst into the room stating that a manticore had been sighted over the valley. Thurl believed this to be an opportunity to slay the beast and offered his ring to the man or woman who brought back its head. He asked the party if they wished to partake in the hunt, offering them hippogriffs to use. The party agreed to join the hunt and mounted on three hippogriffs with Wrenna and Milo doubling up with larger party members. The Feathergale Society knights mounted on giant vultures.
The beast was quickly spotted and the knights and the party took chase. Glidion caused a great deal of damage by loosing fireballs on the manticore from afar and Darkeyes proved a dead shot with her javelins. Salazar found himself frustrated by his lack of ability to engage at range, but Wrenna’s shortbow found its mark. The beast was brought down by Darkeyes’ final javelin, falling to the ground below. The party followed it down and Darkeyes used her axe to remove the dead beast’s head.
Returning to the Spire, Darkeyes was awarded Thurl’s ring. After the feast, Thurl confided to the party that he believed the monks of the Sacred Stone Monastery were a source of the evil in the valley. The party choose to spend the night in Feathergale Spire and resolved to check out the monastery in the morning.
During the night, Salazar was awakened by Savra. Salazar explained that because of his vows he was not interested in an assignation, but Savra patiently explained that was not why she was there. She was impressed by the valor of the group and wanted to confide the true purpose of the Feathergale Society: that they are on a secret mission to master elemental air to annihilate the enemies of Waterdeep. She was telling Salazar this because she was going to approach Thurl about allowing Salazar, and possibly his companions, to join the Feathergale Society. Salazar, and the rest of the group when he told them the next morning, said they would think about it.
The next morning the group headed off to find the Sacred Stone Monastery. While travelling through the Slumber Hills, they came upon a number of shallow graves with vultures circling overhead. After some debate, the party decided to exhume the bodies to see if they could be identified as any of the missing people they had heard about. They found one dwarf in artisan’s robes and one female human dressed as a member of Mirabar’s army. They also found one human male dressed in a black cloak with strange stony armor and one human male in white robes with black feathers at the shoulders. All were dead from arrow wounds or crushing blows. Convinced that at least two of the bodies were from the Mirabar delegation, they reburied the bodies and Milo performed funerary rites.
Continuing down the path described by Thurl, the party came upon the Sacred Stone Monastery around noon the next day. An impressive stone edifice, the group decided rather than knock on the front door they would look for a secondary entrance. Locating one on the southeast portion of the building, Wrenna examined the door and picked the lock.
Wrenna scouted ahead of the main group, who are not well known for their stealth. At the first interior door she heard the sounds of people sparring, similar to the katas that Salazar would do in the morning. She decided to leave this door alone for the moment and motioned for the group to move forward.
The next door was sealed by an arcane lock. Having no way to bypass the mystical protections, the group moved past this door as well. Wrenna then discovered stairs going down, but the party decided to continue exploring the upper level before braving the depths below.
Continuing forward they group entered a long narrow open air courtyard paved in red sandstone. To the north of them was the main temple area with large copper-sheathed doors and as well as another set of doors to the west. Gargoyle statues guarded each set of doors. Glidion expressed his concern, noting that “gargoyle statues always seem to come to life”. Giving the statues as wide a berth as possible the party approached the copper-sheathed doors.
Of course the gargoyles came to life and attacked, although contrary to Glidion’s expectations only two of them became animate. Showing uncharacteristic bravery, Glidion moved forward an loosed a lighting bolt on the two gargoyles. Salazar was able to use his newly acquired magical Yari to good effect against the creatures stone-like skin, while Darkeyes’ reliable magic axe Hew caused similar grievous wounds. The gargoyles were quickly dispatched.
The party then prepared to check out the copper-sheathed doors to the temple.
To be continued…
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Master Leonard is essentially a rephrasing of Baphomet, specifically geared to witches' rituals. Granted, they all came from typos and misunderstandings, but one is essentially a version of the other.
The initial launch will focus on player-versus-environment gameplay in order to allow guilds the opportunity to build their strongholds before taking the fight to other players when large scale player-versus-player content launches in September.
Reminiscent of early Dungeons & Dragons gameplay, Neverwinter: Strongholds empowers guilds to reclaim a keep and its surrounding wilderness areas from monsters. As the lands are cleared, guilds will need to decide how to properly run their stronghold and which of the many paths it can take to fit the guild’s needs. Perhaps your guild wants to focus on strengthening its members with boons and gear? Or preparing for the eventual launch of PvP? Or perhaps even increasing the rate at which your stronghold grows? No matter the decision, it’s your stronghold, your way.
For more information on Neverwinter: Strongholds, visit the developer hub, which contains all the blogs straight from the Neverwinter dev team with more to come. Strongholds will be released for Xbox One later in the year. Make sure to follow Neverwinter on Twitter and like them on Facebook.
Discuss in the official Neverwinter forums.Publication date: 07/15/2015Introduction: Strongholds introduces the largest playable map released for Neverwinter, which sees adventurers banding together to take back a stronghold from the wild.Tags: NewsRelated content: Neverwinterexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video:
Gen Con is two weeks away—July 30th will be here soon enough! Attendees of the annual gaming conference in Indianapolis will be the first to dive into the mayhem and madness of the Underdark by playing through the first of many adventures that will get the story rolling for the Rage of Demons Adventurers League season starting in September at stores worldwide. But that’s not all D&D has in store for Gen Con this year.Play D&D Adventurer’s League at Gen Con
You can also roll some dice with hundreds of D&D players while you’re in Indianapolis. Create a new character and play in the introductory adventures to the Rage of Demons story. For existing characters, Gen Con Indy marks the debut of our first high level adventure. In addition, a massive multi-table D&D Epics adventure will be available here first.
Thursday – Sunday, July 30th – August 2nd
All day! Check the Gen Con website for scheduling
- DDEX3-1 Harried in Hillsfar
In the village of Elventree, near the oppressive city of Hillsfar, a recent string of strange occurrences has the locals on edge. The factions have gathered here on the borders of the forest of Cormanthor to determine what’s happening. Is this the machinations of Hillsfar, or something more? Five one hour mini-adventures for 1st-2nd level characters.
- DDEX3-2 Shackles of Blood
The Red Plumes have increased patrols in the region surrounding Hillsfar, and a string of disappearances has followed in their wake. Naturally, this has roused the suspicion of the factions. Join your factions and find out the truth behind the missing farmers. A four-hour adventure for 1st-4th level characters.
- DDEX3-3 The Occupation of Szith Morcane
Agents of the fire giants of Maerimydra, a city in the Underdark, have overtaken the drow outpost of Szith Morcane. The factions seek out adventurers to free the outpost’s leaders for questioning on the giants’ activities. Can you extricate them before it’s too late? A four-hour adventure for 5th-10th level characters.
- DDEX3-4 It’s All in the Blood
Rumors of faceless demonic creatures have been steadily rising in the Hillsfar region, and it is said that far below the surface of Faerun, nestled in the bowels of the underdark, ancient terrors are stirring. The imperiled drow of Szith Morcaine have extended an intriguing offer, but can the drow be trusted, and for how long? An eight-hour adventure for 11th-16th level characters.
- DDEP3 Blood Above, Blood Below
In two different arenas, the call for blood has been sounded. The five factions now seek out bold adventurers willing to brave death in order to draw attention away from Szith Morcane, and in so doing allow a small group to infiltrate the drow outpost and return it to the hands of the drow. What role will you play in this deadly game? A special four-hour D&D Epics adventure for 1st-16th level characters.
And if you would like to jump in and participate in some adventures from the previous season:
- Past adventures from the Elemental Evil season are available on Thursday, including the D&D Epics adventure DDEP2 Mulmaster Undone.
Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, two of the minds behind D&D fifth edition, will be on hand to answer your questions, regale you with stories of the development, and generally be awesome. They’ll be in the D&D organized play area in Hall D at a special table each day at the show from 3pm – 4pm. Drop by to talk about D&D with the people who make it!
Office Hours with Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford
Thursday – Saturday, July 30th – August 1st
3pm – 4pm
The Ennie Awards are Friday night and we’re ecstatic to have several D&D products up for awards this year.
- Hoard of the Dragon Queen, a collaboration with our friends at Kobold Press, is up for Best Adventure.
- Michael Komarck’s stunning depiction of Tiamat earned a Best Cover Art nomination for Rise of Tiamat.
- A literal horde of artists, ably directed by Kate Irwin, earned a Best Interior Art nomination for the Monster Manual, standing alongside that book’s other nomination as Best Monster/Adversary product.
- The Basic Rules for D&D earned nominations for Best Electronic Book and Best Free Product.
- The D&D Starter Set is up for Best Family Game and Best Production Values.
- The Player’s Handbook is nominated for Best Game, Best Rules, Best Writing, and Product of the year.
A whole bunch of our licensing partners also earned nominations. WizKids is up for Best RPG Related Product and Best Miniature Product for the Temple of Elemental Evil board game and D&D Icons of the Realms: Elemental Evil Boosters respectively. The D&D Complete Core Monster Pack for Fantasy Grounds earned a nomination in the Best Software category for SmiteWorks.
2014 was a great year for D&D and it’s great to see so much of our hard work up for recognition at Gen Con’s premier awards event. We can’t wait to celebrate the entire year of gaming at the Ennies!
The Ennie Awards Ceremony
Union Station Grand Hall
July 31st, 6pm bar opens & pre-entertainment, 8pm ceremony officially starts.
Have fun in Indianapolis at Gen Con 2015!Publication date: 07/30/2015Introduction: Gen Con attendees will get the chance to play content from the upcoming adventure Out of the Abyss.Tags: NewsRelated content: Rage of Demonsexternal_urls: Texture banner: HideBanner video: