Game Thread Round 3 D&D 5e - retry, Mythrandil, rhaiber, pianoman90 - Page 2 - RPG Crossing
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  #16  
Old Aug 6th, 2020, 09:37 AM
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The third round of challenges kicked off. Shugaro had to hope that the crowd drawn by the announcement over the loudspeaker arrived late enough to miss his first two lifting attempts. His embarrassment fueled rage made the third time the charm though, and while he needed to get some air, it left a strong impression. Gary started a little slow out the gate as well, in his quest to save a boulder, and its toy rabbit. He caught his early mishap though and finished in good form for most of the challenge. Rudy went on to help in an impromptu musical performance. He showed, that he might have a future as a traveling bard, were his attempt to join the Crossing Companions fruitless, so long as he didn't have to take the last solo in a piece. Meanwhile, Ginnifer headed to Lothar's Map Quest. The challenge normally called for feats of strength, but she had other plans for solving it. She managed to use trickery to get past the grimlock. After turning in the map, she turned around to locate boots. Ginnifer had been lucky to avoid the grimlock's charge that smashed through the wooden door. Boots, however, had not been so lucky. Her familiar had been caught in the debree of flying wood, and crushed, leaving boots to revert to a fey spirit until Ginnifer could cast the spell again to give it a physical form.

Scorecard


OODMAs a reminder from the first DM update, you can only take one 'preparatory' action per challenge. I called out some specifics of what that encompasses in my post. But, in general, anything you do that alters a rolls results or gives advantage falls under this.

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Last edited by Bhelogan; Aug 6th, 2020 at 09:40 AM.
  #17  
Old Aug 6th, 2020, 02:57 PM
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Break time with Gary Bryman
right-aligned image
Eyes hurt. Face hurt. Heck, now his limbs hurt from catching a dragon's pet rock.

All this pain had the old fighter's stomach growling. Even though he had a quick bite to eat on the way over from speaking with Stephonston all this work had him running on empty already! He's a growing boy don't you know?!

Gary chuckled at the thought recalling days long gone.

Practicing the secret handshake that the Unbowed taught him prior to putting on a show Gary nearly tripped over himself trying to perform a 'cloak-five' while in motion. Letting out an embarrassed chuckle at the condition he was in the search began for somewhere to take a breather.

"BREAKTIME! C'mon folks! Don't you think ya deserve one?!"

The voice hollered out towards the center of the room. A stocky goblin in a dirty apron with the words "If it ain't broke, break it!Ar ar ac'd rhuulaan, rhaash ar!" scrawled across it. Spotting the human trying to keep his spirits up after a rough time the diminutive chef honed in on Gary. "You! Oldtimer! You look like you deserve a break, yeah?"

The fighter cocked a half-smile appreciating the sentiment. "Guess you could say that brother - what you got here?" Gary approached the stand following the, now, beckoning goblin. Beyond the stand was a long wooden picnic table that was in utter disarray. Food and drinks spilled about the place as a few other goblins and adventurers were choking down questionable looking meals and drink.

Gary looked upon a sign hanging high above the stand:
sign
BREAK-TIME!

Take a long pause from it all!

Enjoy our freshly homegrown questionably made quiz quas FOOD not found anywhere else!!


NO REFUNDS!
Health inspectors will be eaten!


The smaller font was inscribed as tiny as possible, though Gary had already proved today he had the eyes of a hawk despite his age! It brought a wave of foreboding that screamed out to him in the recesses of his mind, the same scream that he should've listened to back with the dragon - but the chance at some food and relaxation was just too tempting at this point!

"We'z some of the best goblin dishes dis land has ever seen 'nd a special brew bound to knock yer boots right off! Come-on! Sit, sit!" the goblin chef lead Gary to the messy table and swept his arm across it knocking foodstuff and wooden plates off the table sending them splattering to the floor. "The name is Gruz! Owner and propri... propra - Owner and chef of dis 'ere wonderful establishment! Let me scoop you up some grub, friend!"

Looking about at the others Gary could see the goblins were utterly relishing in the food provided whilst the adventurers...not so much!

left-aligned image
by Butterfrog
"So - what brings an older hume ta this 'ere fair anyways? Ain'tcha s'pose ta be off doing tha-there 'retirement' thing 'r whatever it yous be callin it?" Gruz placed down a wooden bowl containing a murky redish-brown sauce with bits of vegetable, chunks of meat, and what appeared to be a few husks of insects in it.

Gary looked about. There was no spoon.

He was to just open up and eat, wasn't he?

"Well, brother. Can't say the retirement game was for me. Would be downright boring to sleep myself to death!" lifting the bowl Gary felt the content slosh into his mouth. "So, what'cha think of my Chilli con Gob-e?"
Dice Con Save 1:
d20+6 (15)+6 Total = 21
(21)

"Can't say I'm much of a chili fan but that was pretty decent!" Gary honestly wasn't sure. Somewhere in his brain the area that controlled taste surely turned off in a desperate throw for survival. Gruz quickly trotted off towards the stand to fetch the next round of food "Guess you could call all this a late-life crisis." Gary slapped the table with a chortle "Was tired of being bound, just wanted to help folks more than I could"

"I hearz ya! Folks always don paint us gobs as warmongers and scavengers - never noticing how adaptable we'z kin be!" Gruz called as he neared the table with a large pincer of some sort surrounded by garnishes of leaves, wild berries, and nuts. "I mean, look at me, once was tha tribe's animal master - nowz I'm an entrepena... entra... I own this stand! Here -" Gruz drew a small wooden mallet from his side and smashed open the pincer revealing white fluffy meat that had a slightly soured smell. "Eat tha berries to neutralize the toxins. Once yer passed the poison 'nd stuff its great, trust me!" Should one trust a goblin chef? Gary did. What had he to lose with free food aside from consciousness?
Dice Con Save 2:
d20+6 (5)+6 Total = 11
(11)

Gruz was right, once you got past the stinging on your tongue from the tastebuds quite literally being poisoned by the toxic it was pretty darn good! A few coughs escaped from the fighter's mouth prompting him to start popping the berries like candy to try and neutralize the poison that was trying to take hold.

"You think getting pass this might change anything?" Gruz inquired heading off to the stand once more as an adventurer further down the table fell unconscious, their head meeting the plate of food they were attempting to eat. "What if ya fall short?" the goblin began to return holding a wooden tankard of...something as the other goblins in the stall were pick-pocketingchecking on the unconscious adventurer.

"Well, Gruz, my man - the Companions is just one road of many. Win or lose I'm gonna be an adventure! Just won't be as renown - Gary the unknown!" Gary gave his hoarse laugh as the goblin chef placed before him a teal blue liquid that seemed to hold the consistency of syrup as it didn't really slosh around as its container was placed on the table. "I met some fine people along the way already - nothing says I can't ask them to make up a small guild all our own. There is always a way brother, even if you get the hells beaten out of you - as long as you keep it going you'll be fine!"

"I like dat spirit ya got goin, Gary. I think you deserve yerself a nice quick Break Time." Gruz nodded to the drink. It was a clever name, Gary thought, naming the stand after a drink that was - as far as he could tell, a potion of some sort. Maybe it was one to ease the nerves and heal fatigue? He had no clue. "Thanks, brother." Gary said with a smile tossing back the brew.
Dice Con Save 3:
d20+6 (5)+6 Total = 11
(11)



The world stopped...



Gruz stopped, the thieving goblins stopped, the people passing by, stall-keeps, everything. Silence as Gary couldn't but help to gaze about the abnormal world he now presided in.

The drink literally broke time!

How long was he going to be trapped in here like this? Before he could truly appreciate the moments he had all to himself the fighter saw time start to move once more as his vision blurred for a moment or two before - he too, passed out onto the table. "Oi! Gary!" Gruz's voice called out jostling him from the temporary slumber. Immediately he checked his pockets and items - still there. "Ya almost went dark - but ya hung in there. Thought you were a bit heartier, stop by anytime - you cans practice some more with my foods, yeah?" next to Gary's hand was his punch card with the goblin's scrawling across it.
OOC/StatBlock
Fourth round is Constitution day! (CON Saves)

Man, my dice curse can stop anytime now.. Was really hoping to do better with a +6.

 

Last edited by Retry; Aug 6th, 2020 at 03:12 PM.
  #18  
Old Aug 6th, 2020, 07:39 PM
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Ginnifer Gooseblossom
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”Phew.” Ginnifer wiped her brow with a giggle as she accepted her scorecard, ”That was a close one, wasn’t it Boots? …”





”Boots?...”



The girl waited for a response … a response that never came.

Time seemed to stand still. The bustling sounds of the skills fair faded into nothingness. She no longer heard the crowds milling about, the barkers calling for attention, the roars of magical beasts, nor the cacophony of musicians. The sounds were all still there, of course. They had to be. However, none of it registered in her head. It felt like she was suspended in amber. All the sounds were muffled and indistinct and it felt as if it took an interminably long time for her simply to turn about to look behind her … and that was when she saw it: a tuft of white and black fur.

” * … * “ the words stuck in her throat, choking her, making it almost impossible to breathe. She dashed forward. Stumbling over her own feet, she crashed to the floor, skinning her bare knees. She did not even feel it though, numb as she was, even as the blood pooled up to the surface of the scratches on her knees and palms.

”no” a single word broke free, softly, barely audible, as if jarred out by the fall. Once the floodgates had been broken, it was followed by a deluge of sound spilling forth, faster than she could even frame into distinct words. ”no. no. nonono.” Rising to her feet, she raced forward again, senseless to the injuries sustained from repeated trips and falls. ”nonononono.” She swatted her arms to either side, assaulting the empty air, but each swipe Mage handsent small pieces of debris from the shattered door flying through the air. ”NonoNONONONO” Dropping to he knees, she began clawing through the rubble with her hands, tears streaming down her cheeks. This couldn’t be happening. It had to be some sort of illusion, right? Like the tricks Mister Ignacio had played. Or else Boots was just hiding somewhere. He could be a skittish cat sometimes, but he’d just jump right back out when he was ready, right? RIGHT? ”NONONONONONOOOOOO!!!” The words devolved into a guttural wail until they were more akin to the cry of an injured animal rather than anything resembling human speech.

Nearby uncontrolled prestidigitationcandles and lanterns winked out. A accidental minor illusioncacophony of discordant noises filled the air. A bard at a nearby booth who had been demonstrating the use of singing water goblets to create music yelped in surprise as one by one, the inadvertent use of shape waterwater in each goblet exploded outwards, shattering the glasses. More cries erupted nearby as prestidigitationa number of tables ignited like miniature bonfires. Overhead, the ceiling was blotted out by the minor illusionsudden appearance of thundering storm clouds indoors.

Approaching softly from behind, Lothar the magical smith placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. ”Listen kid, ya gotta pull it together.”

Ginnifer shrieked an ear-piercing cry of anguish. The tears that had been streaming down her face froze instantly and exploded outwards, slicing through the larger man’s tanned skin as a multitude of unintentional combined use of shape water followed by frostbiteicy darts. From the other side of the rubble that had been a door came the sound of deep-throated laughter as the lumbering grimllock stepped forward, taking pleasure in the fruits of his actions. The witch-child’s cries turned to screams of rage and the area surrounding the blind brute became a raging fireboltconflagration. The monstrous creature’s bellows as it burned were quickly drowned out by the girl’s continued screams as the flames continued use of firebolt for repeated roundssurged upwards again and again.

Looking down at the tiny shattered feline form before her, Ginnifer reached out with her telepathic bond, desperate for some connection but felt … nothing. Touching that void was crushing. She felt the nothingness threaten to consume her. It was like feeling her own death, without any sense of peace or release, just … emptiness, total and overwhelming. She was not certain when she stopped screaming, but she only knew that she could no longer muster the will to produce any sound at all. She felt her whole body wilting.

”Ginnifer!” a stern, commanding voice cut through the fog that surrounded her senses, ”I believe we’ve had quite enough of that, young lady.”

Ginnifer looked up to see Saint Cecilia standing over her, and behind the sponsor Ginnifer took notice of the chaos that her unrestrained magic had wrought upon the Waltzing Witch. Oh no. She couldn’t let others suffer for her outburst. Squeezing her eyes tight and balling her hands up into tiny fists, she fought to rein in the wild magical energies that surged all about her.
Dice Charisma save:
1d20+6 (3)+6 Total = 9
(9)

Slowly the rampant chaos surrounding the little witch subsided, though there remained much to do to repair the damage already done. Cradling the tiny broken creature in her arms, Ginnifer looked up to Saint Cecilia with wide, glistening eyes that had no tears left to expend.

”please,” she implored, the words feeling like shards of glass against her throat grown hoarse from weeping and wailing. She struggled to choke them out. ”bring … him back. … Sir E-*“ the name was cut short by a cough that swiftly became a sob, wracking her whole body ”he said … we wouldn’t die … said you’d bring us back … please … help my friend.”

Saint Cecilia fixed the young girl with a sobering inscrutable stare. ”That is for you to arrange, young lady, not me.

”But I DID it. I finished the challenge. I got the stupid map. That has to count for something, doesn’t it? … Doesn’t it? … Please … I’ll do anything you want me to.”

But Saint Cecilia simply shook her head ”I’ll not be cleaning up any more of your messes. I expressed my concerns about your reckless use of magic during your interview, and you’ve only proven just how dangerous you can be when your emotions run unchecked. I’m afraid you’ll need to prove to me now that you have any right to continue in this contest.”

Ginnifer dropped her head, staring down at the little animal now lying limply in her lap. Boots looked more like a rag doll now than anything else. It was almost impossible to believe that this was once the spirited animal that had watched over her nearly since birth. Saint Cecilia was right of course. Ginnifer recognized that as much as she wished to ignore it. She needed to regain control of her emotions.
Dice Charisma save:
1d20+6 (16)+6 Total = 22
(22)

Drawing in a deep breath before exhaling slowly, the little witch gazed upon her sponsor once more, her desperation replaced with grim determination. ”I’m not going to beg anymore. I’m just going to tell you that I can do this. I WILL do this. I will be a Crossing Companion, because if all of this was for nothing, if Boots died in vain … well, he’d never let me live it down.”
Dice Persuasion:
1d20+5 (15)+5 Total = 20
(20)

OOC
Ginnifer’s third skill test: CHARISMA (saves and Persuasion)
 

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  #19  
Old Aug 6th, 2020, 07:54 PM
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Skill Fair!
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Shugaro slumped against the outside of the commons room, his breathing ragged. Gods, he was exhausted... He had so little left to give. He would have cursed and raged had he even a skerrick of energy left. "Seven Hells... When did my fortitude become so feeble that I couldn't keep up with the younger ones?" He struggled up and saw Sir Stefphonson, leaning against a nearby tree also curiously taking a break from the mayhem inside. The man inspected his fingernails for a moment, then looked back at Shugaro, shrugging his shoulders.

"It's a tough world in there, isn't it? You think you have things all sewed up, then the world throws a dagger in your back and you go spiraling downwards..." Shugaro narrowed his eyes. Had he really just made direct reference to Arya's death so nonchalantly? He struggled up, mouth opening ready to shout tired anger at the dispassionate soldier. Sir Stefphonson held up a hand, cutting Shugaro off before he uttered a world. "Don't waste your energy, I mean no disrespect. Indeed, your efforts today have shown great heart and daring. Yet it is the much same as I said in any adventure, yes? Turn any old corner, an enemy spellcaster flings a fireball at you and... BOOSH! Up goes your entire party, consumed before you can say, 'but how was that fair!?' Bah..."

Sir Stefphonson chuckled and strolled over to the old dwarf. "But none of that matters anyway. Heh, so long as you have a good enough healer anything can be stitched back together..." Sir Stefphonson laid a hand on Shugaro's shoulder and looked the fading dwarf directly in the eyes. "What matters is how you react now. We all have the choice to take a chance to make a change. Isn't that why you came? You chose everything that led you to this moment. Don't you go forgetting that. Now you can choose to wallow out here, a defeated wreck, or you can choose to take the chance back in there, showing us the change YOU want to see in the world."

"I haven't been in your shoes, Shugaro-nobody has. But in there is a veritable army of people who have lived lives, experienced suffering, and yet found the will to carry on. Three others in there remain as hopefuls to join the Crossing Companions. They have made their choices to stand with their friends which, I might add, includes you. They are there, and they can help." Sir Stefphonson nodded, then walked off around the side of the building, leaving Shugaro to ponder his words. Could it really be that simple? Shugaro shook his head, no... nothing is that simple. But it is a start, and it is more than I am achieving out here... Taking a deep breath, Shugaro strode purposefully back towards the commons room, intent on finding one of the others.

Madness reigned inside the commons room, though Shugaro didn't immediately know why. He waded through broken tables, shattered stands until he came to what appeared to be the center of the mess: the young girl who had been so full of energy and panache, reminding him of the innocence that his life has lost. Something had gone down here while he had been out of the room, something powerful. Seeing her tear-stained face flicked a switch for Shugaro and he slotted into father-mode in an instant.

"Ginnifer! Where's Boots? Has something happened to him? Oh... no..." Shugaro looked down and saw the cat's limp boy in her arms and Ginnifer's face screwed up with pain; Shugaro recognized loss when he saw it. Sir Stefphonson's words rang in his head We all have the choice to take a chance to make a change.... He knew the choice he would take, this time and any time he saw someone in such distress. A distraction for now was all he could offer, and a meager one at best, but he had to try.

"Care to help out an old dwarf? My mind isn't quite as sharp as it once was, and I spotted a promising challenge over there that I think would interest a witch just like yourself. Magic swords sound interesting, huh?" Shugaro pointed over to an extraordinarily armed man smirking at passers-by over in the corner. A sword hung tantalisingly over the man's head, suspended by a single hair. "See him? Most of those weapons are just for show, but one of them is said to be the legendary Sword of Damocles. I heard him say earlier that finding it accurately wins a copy of the famous sword as a souvenir." Shugaro led Ginnifer over to the man and read the sign on the table in front of a quartet of swords.

Sword of Damocles Challenge
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES

When life feels like it is hanging by a thread, why not take a chance?
/



The sneering man looked at Shugaro critically. "So you think you can find the celebrated Sword of Damocles, huh? Three of these are fakes, expertly forged by me, one is the real deal. You don't look like a historian, nor a magician old dwarf. Your friend over there certainly does..." He jerked a thumb towards Ginnifer who was still quietly sniffling next to him. "She nearly brought this place down around us-listen little lady, I've got expensive things here, I would appreciate the roof staying where it is please.." Ginnifer opened her mouth to shout back a retort, but Shugaro cleared his throat and dived straight into examining the swords in front of him.

"Let's see, four seemingly identical hand-forged swords covered in runes. hmmm..." Shugaro reached into his pouch and pulled out a rolled-up set of tools. Inside lay a small book which he thumbed through until he found a page covered in runic symbols. Shugaro then picked up the first sword and inspected its blade. "I have seen this one before, I have been asked to etch them into swords I have made myself-look, the marking indicates malady and death. Then there is the 'gods rune' always included by those who wished for godhood or kinghood themselves. And this last one represents the horse of legend." Shugaro seemed to enjoy his brief lecture on the runes, but he was no closer to identifying what was real.

"Ginnifer-could you help me out? I don't know how your magic works, but I need a bit of guidance to help cut down one of these swords, no pun intended." Shugaro smiled warmly at his own, tired joke. He put the four swords down on the table, then waved a hand over them, looking expectantly at Ginnifer. The young witch concentrated hard, then pointed to the one at the back. "This one doesn't have the same feel as the others. I don't know why, but it seems to be off somehow..." Shugaro nodded and picked it up, examining it critically. He looked triumphantly up at the man as his fingers traced the third rune. "This is no horse rune; it represents fragility and hardship instead! Nothing I would catch myself embossing onto a sword. Clearly this one is fake."
Dice Arcane check with advantage and smith tool proficiency:
2d20+2kh1 (9, 19 (keeping 19) )+2 Total = 21
(21)

The man smiled and spread his hands. "Very well done. But three remain." Shugaro nodded and turned to Ginnifer, smiling warmly. "Thank you for your help, little witch. Here-I won this earlier, would you like Wirt's bear as thanks for your aid? He might need a bit of mending and a clean-up. Maybe Nicole could help with that!" Shugaro handed the bear over to Ginnifer, gently patting her on the shoulder. "And let's meet up once this day is done, huh? Sharing a meal between friends always fills my old heart." Shugaro looked up and saw Saint Cecilia nearby, now keeping a close watch on her charge. He nodded brusquely to the sponsor before taking out a clean handkerchief and wiping at Ginnifer's face. "It is not the length of life, but the depth that we strive for always. Yours is a truly deep life, little one. Look after yourself, yes?" Shugaro smiled again and turned back to the swords on the table.

"Now, let's see where we were. Every blade tells a story, whether that be the age of the metal, the scratches from use, the worn handles. Even modern 'aging tricks' can't be disguised all the time..." Shugaro took out his oily rag and began polishing the swords, inspecting them closely for wear and tear. "I have seen broken blades, acid pockmarks, scratches so deep you would swear they had been attacking stone golems for hours with it, you name it." Shugaro ran his hands over each of the blades in turn, feeling the marks he found. "Aha! This one here tells me very little-it has barely had a life, yes?" Shugaro presented the middle blade to the man, his study of their damage complete
Dice History check:
1d20+2 (11)+2 Total = 13
(13). The man smiled again and took the sword. "Only two remain-are you sure you have chosen correctly?" Shugaro grunted in reply, the man's banter only affirming his choices.

Shugaro dug out his hammer from his kit and started deconstructing each blade handle. "Now every smith maker scratches his name into the pommel. If I may, sir-err, what was your name?" "Muramasa" came the simple reply. "Many thanks, Muramasa. Now, by gently popping off the handle here, I find the maker's mark on the last two blades. Both inscribed with a slightly altered 'M' of course..." "Of course!" "But I believe it was Masamune who forged the sword of Damocles, yes? Legends abound that he made this for the king's jester, that he may know the true meaning of kinghood..." Shugaro examined the markings carefully, noting the stylized lettering of both signatures
Dice Investigation:
1d20+2 (12)+2 Total = 14
(14).

"This one."

Shugaro made his choice, then held his breath. Muramasa was silent for a moment, then he reached under the table and produced another sword. "Well done, this is indeed Masamune's Sword of Damocles. Forged for the great king Dionysius and studied by myself to learn directly from the master swordsmith. I cannot part with the beautiful sword, but a smith such as yourself could make do with my own replica, hmm?" Another perfect match to the legendary sword was presented to Shugaro. Shugaro nodded in appreciation before handing over his score card to the man. "Oh yes, let me mark that for you. Always nice to meet another smith, and for someone to solve my riddle I commend you and wish you well!" "Thank you master Muramasa. May your hands be of a surgeon, your steadiness that of a sniper and your skills that of an artist." Muramasa smiled in acknowledgement of the blacksmith's blessing as Shugaro melded back into the crowd, sword in hand.


OOC
Shugaro's fourth skill test: Intelligence (Arcana, History and Investigation + smith tool proficiency bonus to all 3 checks)
Step 1: Recognize magic runes inscribed on quartet of swords (21) (with advantage through Ginnifer's help action - agreed upon in private message)
Step 2: Identify correctly the life and story of each sword (13)
Step 3: Deduce which sword is real and which three are fakes (14)


 
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Last edited by pianoman90; Aug 6th, 2020 at 08:16 PM.
  #20  
Old Aug 6th, 2020, 09:51 PM
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The Pendulum Swings
Any lingering melancholy fled when Rudy saw Gary approaching in the distance. The little Halfling dodged artfully through the crowd; "Hey oldtimer! Cloak five!"

Unfortunately, Gary didn’t quite pick him out in time to perform the handshake properly. Rudy’s hand shot out to steady the old fighter before he fell. "Gosh, sorry brother. That’s my bad, I forgot that I can sometimes blend into a crowd. Normally you can’t miss me, but have you seen all these great people tonight!"

Indeed, even as Gary swept through the crowd toward his next challenge, Rudy can’t help but marvel. Exotic clothing seemed to be the norm; While a few outfits were vaguely familiar, most were completely unknown to him, quite an occurrence considering how far his circus ranged.

And…is that booth being manned by a rock troll? Erm, tolled by a rock troll? The challenge sign is in an unfamiliar language; fortunately, the troll speaks excellent Common

"Good day, Unbowed; you would find my name unpronounceable, but please, call me DeepStone. I must say, it was my hope that you would grace my stall; I have followed your career with great interest – and before the Crimson Rebuke, I’ll have you know! I’m not a fair-weather fan like some ice trolls I could mention…"

”Flashback: Crimson Rebuke”The crowd roared approvingly Rudolph the Unbowed and Count Kristoff the Younger emerged. Rudy smiled for the crowd, but inwardly seethed. How dare this fop try to buy a win in the ring! As if Rudy were some common mercenary, peddling violence like trinkets at market. How could his fellow gladiators not see the slippery slope? Already, the organizers had begun pushing for more pre-determined exhibition fights…

No time to grouse. That was the gong! Rudy stood there, arms folded, swords sheathed, feigning nonchalance. Krissy (Rudy’s pet name for the annoying nobleman) started shouting something about honor – predictably, he spent amble enjoying his own oration. Just when the crowd started to bore, Rudy flicked a blunt dart at the man – the poor dear, hardly got his shield up in time. Enraged, the count charged, feinted, then swung!

Rudy stepped to the side, unsheathing Mocker with blinding speed, slashing the man’s cheek just deep enough to leave a scar, then stowed the scimitar. It took two more scars – tally marks, all on the right cheek – before Krissy finally made him draw Finisher to deflect a serious blow. The shortsword rested with point just above Kristoff’s heart, rather than returning to its sheath. Rudy’s voice was low, for one set of ears only. "Get out of my ring."

The crowd wants a show? Then don’t patronize me – I need a real fight! Rudy walked away, ignoring the mixed jeers and cheers.


The memories flash by in a moment, a familiar bittersweet pang, quickly fading. "It seems I have more fans here tonight than I knew! Please, call me Rudy – all my friends do. What lies beyond yonder curtain, that I might try my hand?"

The troll laughs, sounding like water bubbling over pebbles. "Within lie challenges three; pass them by, or no treasure for thee…"

Pleased with the highly intelligent troll’s offer, Rudy leaves his scorecard with DeepStone. In yet another bigger-on-the-inside space lies a path of death; massive scythes swing at random, arrows whistle in the distance, and the sound of grinding gears menace beyond. Just before the blades, glowing runes fill the air:

No strings nor rods have hold on Luck
Name me true, from these clues three
Or you’ll find yourself run…


Ugh, a riddle. Rudy cannot understand why everyone thinks that Halflings are supposed experts at word puzzles – an unfair stereotype! Why, didn’t the poetic DeepStone prove just how varied people can be? Sighing in time to the first blade’s swing, Rudy raises his eyes to take at least finish reading the riddle…

But then he notices the pattern. Not one, but two – memories of duet, piccolo and horn. In fact, all but one of the blades are swinging in perfect time to their own beats. If he can just dodge that rogue, he can easily make it through the rest. And DeepStone only said to pass the challenges, not specifically solve riddle!

Rudy steps forward just past the first blade. The wind of each pendular scythe invigorates him – easier than dodging a blow in the ring! Then the rogue – deviously placed between the two regular rhythms – lies before him. Preparatory Dodge actionCentering himself, Rudy slips forward, gentle like a breeze
Dice Dexterity saving throw with advantage from Dodge:
2d20+4kh1 (10, 15 (keeping 15) )+4 Total = 19
(19), the blade whispering an unseen lover.

Compared to that brush with death, the rest seems like child’s play. Rudy enjoys the remainder of his dance. As more flaming runes come into view, he is even reluctant to leave the glorious danger of the trap. As he catches his breath, Rudy’s eyes lift to scan the next riddle; maybe this will be one of the few he was forced to memorize in school?

Listen my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of…


Nope! That just won’t do. Those words, presumably the beginning of another riddle, underestimate young people in Rudy’s estimation. Why, if Ginni had done what society thought she should do and just listened all day, she wouldn’t be in the running to be the youngest Companion ever! Rudy himself was hardly more than a teenager in the reckoning of his people.

Shaking his head, Rudy turns his attention to the next obstacle – continuous streams of arrows, some glistening with poison. The arrows fly so densely that no amount of timing could allow Rudy to slip through. Rather than bowing his head and finishing his reading, Rudy looks for another way.

Sure enough, the arrows whistle from holes in one wall, disappearing likewise on the opposite side. Connecting the recessed dots with his eyes, a grid of intersecting lines begin to form in Rudy’s imaginative mind. For a human the task would have been impossible, but for a young Halfling?

Taking one more moment to memorize his route, Rudy takes a running start
Dice Acrobatics check:
d20+5 (20)+5 Total = 25
(25). A proliferation of backflips, cartwheels, belly crawls, and even a jumping handstand later, Rudy finds himself on the other side, largely intact.

There are more runes here

What have I got in my…

…but Rudy is far more interested in the grinding mechanism ahead. Gears, servos, pistons – all interlocking tighter than a meat grinder. Even for Rudy, this looks impossible.

Yet, an alluring glow shines through chinks in that mechanical armor. Rudy looks for an agonizingly long time for a solution more suited to his skills. "I’ve made it this far on my own wits, surely I can go a little further!"

His self-encouragement is to no avail, and Rudy eventually throws his head back in exasperation, staring at the ceiling.

Ceiling… Oh. There may be no way through, but what about above? Despite numerous hooks and other churning bits of metal, there may be just enough a lithe Halfing…as long as he is sure not to fall.

Steeling himself, Rudy jumps, catching a rising gear. Have to keep moving – there, that grinder is turning in the right direction
Dice Acrobatics check:
d20+5 (9)+5 Total = 14
(14)! Moving ever forward, Rudy springs between treacherous footing along perilous paths, brushing with disaster more than once. His precious cloak catches on one of the swinging hooks; Rudy spends time he doesn't have freeing the panther's head, wobbling on a quickly diminishing surface...

Fortunately for the tiring Halfling, this obstacle is shorter than the others. Just another hop, skip, and a jump!

Landing lightly on his feet, Rudy gasps as his prize comes into view for the first time. Enshrined in golden light, an aural suggestion angelic choirs, pure joyous emotion radiating…from a solitary book, lying open, pages blank. The traps behind retract; a gentle rockslide announces DeepStone’s arrival.

"You see, Rudolph, the greatest treasure of all is the story unwritten. No one knows how you will live your life until you do it – I certainly didn’t expect you to solve my puzzles like that at all! I wish you all the best; they would be lucky to have you as a Companion."

Rudy nods reverently. Hadn’t that been the case all his life? Maybe that was the ultimate point of this challenge – to look within. Showing off with acrobatics had just been a side benefit, compared to the true reward.

As Rudy takes his nearly full scorecard back and wanders onward, his thoughts drift toward the future unwritten. The comforting weight of Pen and Ink at his hips assure him: he will be the author of his destiny.


OOCDexterity time. Once more, with feeling!
 

Last edited by Mythrandil; Aug 6th, 2020 at 10:11 PM.
  #21  
Old Aug 7th, 2020, 08:49 AM
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Time was getting late, and the Applicants only had a couple of chances left to pick events to compete in. Gary took a break with a Goblin whos cooking nearly caused him to black out. Nearly, but not quite. Ginnifer, after some chidding from Saint Ceceilia, had to pull herself back together, rather than let her sadness and frustration take over her magical talents. Shugaro got some of his own direction from Sir Stefphonson before using his past trade to identify a true sword from several fakes. Rudy ran into DeepStone, an old fan of his, and took on the troll's challenge. He used his quick feet and maneuverability to overcome the obstacles, rather than puzzing out the solutions hidden in riddles.

The Loudspeaker turned on at that moment, and Sir Ethan's voice could be herd echoing over the din of all the competetors. "The Skills Fair will be closing in 15 minutes. You can try for one more event, but any cards not stamped before the Church Bell rings 9 PM will not be counted as valid. All cards must be returned to me at the bar for collection and verification. Food and Beverage service will continue until 9:30 pm."

Scorecard

OODMYou have reached the last day for Round 3. One more post to go! If you need through Saturday evening EST to post, that is fine. I won't close the thread before then. If all posts are up sooner, I will get the last DM post up at that point.
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  #22  
Old Aug 7th, 2020, 10:23 AM
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Pick ‘yer Poison
Fifteen minutes left! My how the time flies when you’re having fun. Rudy, Master of Destiny, hustles to find a final challenge before the bell rings. Something short, something where he can really shine…

As if answering his call, a gruff voice calls out, audible over the hubbub of the crowd: "Pick ‘yer poison! Step right up and pick ‘yer poison!"

Intrigued, Rudy trots over to a simple stall – no pocket dimensions here! The hand-written sign boldly proclaims

Mundu’s Wonders – Don’t All Line Up At Once Ye’ Gits!

Maybe the sign is ironic? From the dust collecting on innumerable glass vials, Rudy wouldn’t be surprised if he was Mundu’s first challenger all night. The Aasimar’s golden wings droop, his bored expression not showing the slightest sign of interest even as Rudy bounds right up to the stall.

"Good evening, I’m Rudolph the Unbowed. Call me Rudy, though – all my friends do!"

Mundu scowls. "I’m not ‘yer friend, Rude-Oaf, and I don’t care about 'yer bowin’ habits. Why I let Dug drag me into this dump in the first place..." He sighs, rubbing his angelic features, launching into a tired sales pitch.

"The illustrious Crossing Companions value pluck, strength, and endurance. I am here as your friendly-happy-helpful challenge master to test your resolve in order for you to join such a prestigious order etc. etc. etc. Long story short, choose three vials, drink as much as you can – down three vials without keelin’ over, you’ll get full marks – and then clear out so I can go home!"

Impressive. Mundu must have spent all night figuring out how to deliver that speech as quickly as possible. Even though time is ticking, Rudy hadn’t come this far without learning to ask clarifying questions first.

"Sounds great! Just a quick query – what’s in the vials?"

"What, are you illiterate as well as deaf! Read the labels – they’re poisons! Any more bloomin’ daft ideas gonna come out of ‘yer head, or will ye’ run away with your tail between ‘yer legs like all the others!"

Well! Rudy had never met such an ill tempered Aasimar! If there were ever stereotypes he wished were true, they would be the ones about kindness and generosity. Rudy leans in to read the labels – oh this is a delight! The Stout Halfling smiles, then begins to giggle. Mundu peers at him suspiciously.

"What are ye’ so happy about?"

"Oh, just something my mother used to say. Ooh! Why didn’t you tell me you had Belladiva – I would have been here ages ago!"

Disbelieving, Mundu can only watch as Rudy pops the dusty cork, raises the dark vial in a cheer, and downs the entire does in one swallow
Dice CON save, Advantage from Stout Resilience:
2d20+6kh1 (20, 1 (keeping 20) )+6 Total = 26
(26).

Oh lovely! There's a sting, but it's quite pleasant: Halflings – especially Stout Halfling Subrace (specific clan)Sturdyfoots – are far hardier than other folk. Rudy sighs, smacking his lips. "Ah, that’s good stuff! Just like mother used to make. Let’s see now…"

The next vial Rudy picks up is labeled Deadly Dayshade. Of course an Aasimar, even one as grumpy as Mordu, wouldn’t be caught dead packing Nightshade – a famous Tiefling poison. After the comforting warmup of familiar Belladiva, Rudy feels like trying something more exotic. Ignoring Mordu’s horrified expression, Rudy downs the hatch
Dice CON save, Advantage from Stout Resilience:
2d20+6kh1 (9, 16 (keeping 16) )+6 Total = 22
(22)!

Hmm, floral notes, hints of burning. Ah, and such a delightful tickling in his tummy – the poisons must be having some sort of reaction. Rudy belches, turning his head at the last moment to avoid spewing toxic fumes at his host. "Wow! What a cocktail! I think I need a chaser – you wouldn’t happen to have some nice, refined cyanide somewhere in your collection?"

Mutely, with great reluctance, the angelic figure points at a tiny, clear vial, locked in a jeweled case. Rudy raises an eyebrow. "Is this also a lockpicking competition?"

With trembling fingers, Mordu fumbles with a ring of keys, eventually working the case open. Rudy snatches the cyanide with eager, deft fingers. "N-n—now, you realize, I-I’m not liable for any damages to y-‘yer person…"

Rudy waves down his protests, unscrewing the crystal philter. He swishes the clear liquid around his mouth
Dice CON save, Advantage from Stout Resilience:
2d20+6kh1 (15, 2 (keeping 15) )+6 Total = 21
(21). A wonderful, cleansing froth forms; Rudy gargles, then spits into a convenient urn, likely meant for sick. "Ah, I’ve never felt fresher! Far better than alcohol based mouthwashes. Now, I know you said I was to drink three vials, and to my mind that was just a cleanser. Let me see, what shall I finish with…"

The Aasimar cuts him off violently. "No! Absolutely not! I’ve seen enough, more than enough…" Mordu shudders, snatching Rudy’s scorecard. The Halfling has never seen anyone mark so quickly – as he takes the paper back, he inspects it to make sure it hasn’t ripped. He looks up just in time to see Mordu slam a screen shut on his stall, obviously closed for business.

That’s quite fine with Rudy – he finished with plenty of time to spare! Whistling, spirits high, breath deadly fresh, Rudy searches for his friends. He finds Gary just about to begin his final challenge.

"Hey, cloak brother! I finished early, could you use a hand? The Companions value teamwork, after all."


OOCCON saves. Advantage from Halfling (Stout Resilience). Offering Help action to Gary, based on inspiration from this post
 

Last edited by Mythrandil; Aug 7th, 2020 at 10:38 AM.
  #23  
Old Aug 7th, 2020, 12:57 PM
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Gary the hero
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Disruption to space and time continuum aside; the stop at "Break-Time" had Gary feeling pretty refreshed! Sure, his body still felt like it would flop down onto the floor at any given moment but his spirit was going strong! Gruz even gave him a nifty
normal image without text wrap
found on theonion.com
little gift that the other goblins stole found. Just a bit of cleaning and it'd be ready to go!

The loudspeaker came on declaring the final minutes of the fair "Beans! How long was I out for?!" Gary declared looking for a window. Those he could see seemed to serve as a kaleidoscope of different hours of the day to fit what the stall owner preferred. Darn spacial magic!

Body aching the fighter quickly set out searching for a 'simple' stand and found it near the entrance to the place. It was a very simple stand, no long hallways, mystical forges, or stone-made obstacle courses. Just a counter with a tired, but smiling looking young human woman reading a book. Behind her sitting in chairs themselves was an older looking dwarf and adult male human both enjoying a beer and idly chit-chatting; next to them was a small human boy no older than six playing with a few toys brought to keep him busy.

Upon noticing the older human's approach the woman looked up "Oh! Didn't think we'd get any more visitors this evening - not that we had many in the first place!" she joked

"Sorry for disturbing ya, this placed seemed simple in design - was actually hoping to get in on those beers!" with a chortle, the fighter waved the joke away "Just pullin' your leg there, sister - What's this stand all about?"

"Is that so? This stand is a simple one indeed. Many would-be adventurers often overlook the simpler issues they'll almost always run into: social conflict - or disputes to be more precise." at this point, the other three noticed they had a visitor and began putting their drinks and toy away and getting up. "Our actors here will play out a scene and it's up to you to resolve it. Simple enough, right?"

As if given the queue the dwarf roars into a frenzy shouting at the man who stammers and attempts to plead with the angered dwarf. The young lad begins sobbing. Crocodile tears, Gary knew this and has seen it hundreds of times - yet even the ex-guard had to admit; this lad was talented.

"Ye said yew have tha bloody coins fer me by now! Yer rent be three months past due at this point! Wha ar'ya even doin wit yerself?!"

"No - p-please! You don't understand! I had the coin! Its jus-"

Gary stood wide eyed at how fast the scene unfolded before him. A scene he'd seen so many times in his past. "Feel free to jump in whenever!" the woman said with a slight smirk.

"Well-" the fighter's head bobbed a bit "This is nostalgic." he chuckled absorbing what was being said and devising a battle plan when he heard a welcomed voice call to him. Turning Gary saw the Unbowed approaching, standing for a halfling tall, triumphantly leaving his final test having knocked it out of the park. "Well I'll be, Rowdy Rudy - Its always good to see a cloaked brother!" the fighter gave his hoarse laugh looking once more over to scenario he had to deal with. "Listen, brother - Was hoping you could show me the 'Cloak-five' one last time. Last time, I promise!" Despite this being the third or fourth time having to refresh the older gent the Unbowed was an entertainer at his core and was glad to lend a hand. "Thanks brother, really appreciate it! Wish me luck!" the words sounded rushed but appreciative none the less as the ex-guard entered the area "Hey fellas!" and was, expectedly, ignored. "Alright, gotta start simpler." His attention turned to the small child and performed the 'Cloak-five' maneuver trying to recall the lesson Rudy just gave him
Dice check 1: Performance w/help:
2d20+1kh1 (1, 18 (keeping 18) )+1 Total = 19
(19). Immediately Gary felt himself about to trip up but was able to correct his action based on the halfling's guidance! The cloak furled out nice and neat, its chared naval blue colors dull but stood out enough to grab the crying child's attention.

"Hey, don't worry little fella - My name is Gary and I'm gonna see if I can help out your dad! First things first, I need some help; would you mind helping me do a superhero pose to get their attention?" The lad looked confused, hells - anyone would be if someone approached and asked you to do a superhero pose with a fight going on. "Just follow my lead, all you gotta do is this-"
Dice check 2: Persuasion:
d20+3 (12)+3 Total = 15
(15) Gary once more did some hand slaps into the air towards the adults and twirled. The child, apprehensive at first, soon followed. Both holding an awkward pose at the end.

The two men look over to the two posing at them, confused.

"Evening fella! My name is Gary!" he paused dropping the pose and looking down at the child "Gary the hero!" it was a declaration so painful he could feel the internal groan of any adult there. "What seems to be the issue, brothers?"

"Th-" the dwarf struggled for a moment to get back into character "This 'ere bum be owing me money! He be months overdue!" "Please! I don't have it at the moment - but I swear I'll obtain it somehow, I just need time!"

Gary checked his pocket looking at the meager amount of coin he had. No easy way out of this one. "Look, buddy - We've all been in tough situations at one point or another. You're scaring a kid though, brother."

"I. Don't. Care! I want me money!"

"Cool, cool - then what about putting him to work to pay off rent? Branch out from just being a landowner to a business owner?"
Dice check 3: Persuasion:
d20+3 (9)+3 Total = 12
(12) The look upon the dwarf's face said it all. 'Why would I do that?'

Immediately the dwarf turned back to the man and began yelling twice as hard, the man resumed pleading, and the child broke his pose and cried once more.

"ANNND! Done!" the woman said following three claps. Instantly the three halted and started to return to the way they were. "Nice start but couldn't quite sell it near the end. Tough go. Happens though!"

That seemed to be the theme for Gary this evening. Good try but Lady Luck just wasn't with him. "Well, thank you all for your time." Gary said in a deflated tone handing his punch card to the stall owner before turning to Rudy "Greatly appreciate the lesson, brother - need that there. C'mon time's about to be up and I feel we could use some drinks!"

OOC/StatBlock
Final round is Charisma day! (Performance & Persuasion)

Thanks for the help Rudy, saved me from my dice curse

 

Last edited by Retry; Aug 7th, 2020 at 01:20 PM.
  #24  
Old Aug 7th, 2020, 05:01 PM
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Skill Fair!
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Sword in hand, Shugaro listened to the loudspeaker's announcement. "End of the line..." He had one skill left to test and he had deliberately left it to the end just in case it proved to be out of his reach. Moving through the throng, he came upon an aasimar hastily packing up his stall.

Mundu’s Wonders - Don’t All Line Up At Once Ye’ Gits!

"What? Another one? I thought I had seen the last of you 'adventurer types a moment ago..." Mundu's wings fluttered in annoyance as he launched into one final tired pitch.

""The illustrious Crossing Companions value pluck, strength, and endurance. I am here as your friendly-happy-helpful challenge master to test your resolve in order for you to.... ahhh, what's the point, eh? Last guy came in here and drank all my best stuff, cost me 2,000 gold just in the merchandise alone? Who am I going to get that investment back from, huh? And what do you expect to drink, now that its all gone? All I have is this inhaler-that will have to do you, if you still want it."

Shugaro swallowed an angry retort, it hardly seemed worth it to badger the tired old skill master. "I'll take it-what is it exactly I am inhaling? Does it have any long-term effects?" Noting the irritation on Mundu's face, Shugaro raised his hands in supplicance. "Ahh, never mind-I am sure a man such as yourself wouldn't be going around deliberately poisoning anyone, now would you?" Flashing a smile even as Mundu looked at him quizzically, Shugaro grabbed the nearest vial with a crude picture of gas clouds on it and shoved it into the strange contraption in front of him.

Immediately the gas started to scratch at his throat, cause his eyes to water and his nose to run. He vaguely heard Mundu call out to him, ("No warranties, refunds or exchanges you hear! Dug told me that I didn't have to take any liability out for this, so you better not come looking for me to claim!") but his mind was preoccupied with the stinging pain of the poison he found himself breathing in
Dice Con save 1 with advantage:
2d20+5kh1 (12, 2 (keeping 12) )+5 Total = 17
(17). The gas seemed to lodge deep in his lungs and Shugaro quickly disengaged from the machine and tried coughing the poisonous gas out. Nearly throwing up the accursed lung did nothing, Shugaro could feel the gas tickling his throat. "Hah, yeah... That one has a long lead time on it. You might be still feeling that in the morning."

Shugaro stayed determinedly stubborn, ignoring the warning label on the next vial and shoved it into the machine. This one was different, a sweeter smelling gas that seemed pleasant at first, but
Dice Con save 2 with advantage:
2d20+5kh1 (8, 17 (keeping 17) )+5 Total = 22
(22)... his eyes! Intense burning robbed him of his sight for a moment as the gases burned into his pupils. Blinking in astonishment, Shugaro tried to jerk back, but forgot the machine was strapped to his head. Breathe... Just breathe... Shugaro struggled for a few moments, eyes blinking in complete darkness, before the light began to stream back into his eyes. The gas dissipated and the inhalation chamber was once again clear. He detached the machine and smiled, receiving a pained half-smile from Mundu in return. "I don't mean to be rude... actually I don't care. Can we hurry this up please? Some of us have places to go..."

The final vial sat next to the machine, teasing Shugaro. If the first two had been tough, what would the third hold? Shugaro shook his head, "not enough time to bother worrying about..." He grabbed the vial and jammed it into the machine, sticking his head into the sealed chamber for a last time
Dice Con save #3 with advantage:
2d20+5kh1 (13, 20 (keeping 20) )+5 Total = 25
(25). The effect was immediately exhilarating, filling Shugaro with a sense of wonder. Strangely like drinking several pints of strong alcohol, the poison coated his mouth, causing his mouth to salivate and turn the gaseous poison into nectar of the gods. The gas lasted in the chamber for barely five seconds. Detaching himself from the machine once more, he licked his lips with joy and looked at Mundu, the golden-winged man's mouth wide in astonishment.

"Got any more of these, Mundu? That last one was just peachy!" The man scowled. He sarcastically and grandiloquently reached into one of his bags and brought out vial after empty vial, laying them out on the table in front of him. "What do you think those cost, huh? What do you think those inhaled poisons cost me? A thousand gold just went up in smoke, literally! And now I have to get the inhaler professionally cleaned since it had your gormless face surgically attached to it. Oh well done, Mister Dwarf-type-adventurer. You passed the challenge just like the last guy did, flying colors all the way. Now, if you wouldn't mind bogging off, I have some clean up to do." Mundu grabbed Shugaro's score card, hastily stamped it and shoved it back in Shugaro's hands.

"Go on, git! There is probably some 'friend' of yours waiting to buy you a drink and celebrate, right? I wish someone would do that for a lowly old stall-holder one day. I don't even know whether I can claim on the insurance for that young witch's tantrum earlier...."

Shugaro felt the burning pain of the first poison still racing in his system, but ignored it, instead he nodded as graciously as he dared to Mundu. "I thank you for your time sir, the day is at an end! How about you come and join us in the Waltzing Witches afterwards and I will buy you that drink? On my honor." Mundu grunted a return, not bothering to look at the dwarf. "Yeah yeah, I will be there. Just better be ready to make it a long night, dwarf. You aren't the only one with an iron constitution around these parts..." Mundu flashed a grin, and then waved his hands at Shugaro. "Go on... clear off. Take your sheet to Sir Ether and I'll meet you there." Shugaro nodded and left the man, searching for the ringmaster to return his hard-fought score card.


OOC
Shugaro's final skill test: Constitution (with advantage on rolls due to dwarven resilience)
Step 1: Inhale Burnt Othur Fumes (17 main save) (DC 13 Con save or take 10 poison damage, and repeat the saving throw each turn - for ease of points total, saving throws #2 and #3 for this poison will be rolled here rather than in post). Secondary saves on turn 2
Dice Secondary save 1:
2d20+5kh1 (11, 7 (keeping 11) )+5 Total = 16
(16) and 3
Dice Secondary save 2:
2d20+5kh1 (1, 13 (keeping 13) )+5 Total = 18
(18)
Step 2: Inhale Malice (22) (DC 15 Con save of be poisoned and blinded for 1 hour)
Step 3: Inhale Essence of Ether (25) (DC 15 Con save or be poisoned for 8 hours and fall unconscious)


 
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Last edited by pianoman90; Aug 7th, 2020 at 05:22 PM.
  #25  
Old Aug 8th, 2020, 04:39 PM
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Ginnifer Gooseblossom
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Ginnifer sniffed as she set her jaw, gritting to hold back another wave a tears that threatened to break through her resolve. No. She was not going to let herself cry anymore. Instead she stared at Saint Cecilia with eyes so reddened they nearly matched her thick ginger braids. The little witch couldn’t be certain if her impassioned speech had any effect upon the healer or if she had reached the end of her time in this contest. She looked for some sort of indication from her sponsor, but Saint Cecilia’s expression remained as inscrutable as ever. Without a word, the half-orc crossed the intervening space and extended a hand to the little witch still seated on the floor amidst the rubble. Curiously, Ginnifer looked at the offered hand and recognized that it held her scorecard. Ginnifer could not even remember having dropped it, and yet she must have. Gingerly accepting it with both hands, she looked down to see that Saint Cecilia had marked the card with her own stamp, in addition to that of Lothar’s.

Wait. Had this been a test too? What was it? A test of her resolve or her self-control? She opened her mouth to ask, but was immediately silenced as Saint Cecilia placed a finger to her lips, inclining her head solemnly before turning to walk away.

Ginnifer bowed her own head and struggled to draw upon what little strength remained within her. She felt as if she had nothing left to give, but knew that she could not give up now. She had sworn to see this contest through, and she wasn’t about to break her promise, not as long as she still lived. Mustering her final reserves, she pulled herself up to standing, just as Shugaro approached.

"Ginnifer! Where's Boots? Has something happened to him?” The words stabbed through the little witch like a knife blade, but she forced herself to hold her tears in check, embracing the numbing chill she felt from the empty sliver in her heart. She forced a weak smile to her lips. It wasn’t Shugaro’s fault after all. He was always so kind, just like a father … or what she imagined a father would be like, never having had one of her own.

Ginnifer listened as Shugaro described his need for help. Identifying swords? That seemed far more like something the dwarf could handle on his own. He had said he was a blacksmith, hadn’t he? Still, he had asked for her help and a witch always offered help to those who asked for it. She wasn’t certain she could bring herself to try another challenge on her own yet anyway. And so she fell into step behind the old dwarf. Thankfully, he didn’t move particularly fast. For her own part, Ginnifer still felt as if she were wading through molasses and there was no way she could cross the floor with the customary skip in her step. As they approached the stall and the heavily armed man began his explanation, Ginnifer only half-heard the man’s words as they washed over her, but the soft caring words of Shugaro cut through the daze.

"Ginnifer-could you help me out? I don't know how your magic works, but I need a bit of guidance to help cut down one of these swords, no pun intended."

Ginnifer glanced at the swords. She supposed there was no harm in asking. She heard her mother’s voice in the back of her head once more. ”There are a great many things in this world with a great many things to say. But most folk seldom take the time to listen. A witch accepts that nothing in this world is beneath her, not even the boards under her feet.” Ginnifer drew comfort from the memory of her mother’s words. She was grateful she could still remember the sound of her mother’s voice. Drawing a deep breath to steady herself, she looked at the set of blades spread upon the table.

Ugh, swords. Despite her mother’s advice that nothing in this world was beneath her, Ginnifer couldn’t help but feel that she would rather speak with the floorboards than with swords. Swords were the worst. They rarely had anything to say other than bragging about their own feats of strength. They were always focused on presenting their tough image and thought that violence was the solution to everything. It was like talking to a boy who refused to grow up past the age of five. Still, she had promised her help, and so she reached out to the swords.

”Ummm, hi.” she spoke softly, hardly even a whisper since she had learned long ago that non-magic folk tended to find it weird when people spoke to supposedly-inanimate objects ”My name’s Ginnifer. Is one of you Damocles?”

Ginnifer struggled to focus as all of the swords began speaking at once, talking over one another. The little witch found herself wondering, not for the first time, how it was that anyone could possibly not hear all that chatter. One of the swords was intent upon enumerating an exhaustive list of every creature it had ever slain (several of which she was fairly certain were imaginary). Another petulantly declared that it would only deign to speak to a warrior who had completed its quest (apparently not giving much thought to how it would give the directions for such a quest without speaking). The third sword kept insisting that it could beat the other swords up with one pommel tied behind its back (she wasn’t sure exactly how that was possible). As for the last blade, well its entire vocabulary seemed to consist of words that were not suitable for polite conversation. Ginnifer concentrated for a moment, trying to keep the voices straight in her head, then pointed to one of the swords.

"This one doesn't have the same feel as the others. I don't know why, but it just feels more immature than all the others. I mean, they’re all pretty immature, but I just don’t feel like that one could possibly be an ancient sword of legend."

Shugaro nodded and turned to Ginnifer, smiling warmly. "Thank you for your help, little witch. Here-I won this earlier, would you like Wirt's bear as thanks for your aid?”

Ginnifer looked at the worn and tattered stuffed-bear. The gift might have seemed patronizing (she was nine after all, not a baby anymore), but for the sincere way in which the dwarf offered it up to her. The bear looked as broken on the outside as she felt on the inside. Here was a thing that needed her love, and just might give as much comfort back as it received.

”Thank you.” Ginnifer intoned softly as she hugged the bear with all her might, then flinched backwards as the pungent odor clinging to its surface forced its way up her nose. ”Blech. The poor thing stinks of hobgoblin. Well, that’s easy enough to fix.” Pinching her fingers together in the space over the bear’s head, she drew her hand upwards as though lifting a veil. Gradually, Prestidigitation to clean an objectall the soil and filth lifted up as well, trailing just behind her hand until, with a flick of her fingers, she sent the little pile of grime sailing into a nearby rubbish bin.




It was amazing how helping someone else could bring clarity. Ginnifer realized she had been too consumed with finding daring deeds to appear heroic at the skills fair. It had spurred her on to take risks she should’ve known better than to attempt. She had been behaving rather like one of those swords, and that wasn’t who she was. If she truly wanted to succeed at this contest, she needed to use her brains, as she had in helping Shugaro.

"The Skills Fair will be closing in 15 minutes.”

The announcement echoed overhead and Ginnifer steeled herself. This was it - her last chance to prove herself. To prove that Boots’ sacrifice was actually worth something. There wasn’t going to be enough time to scan the rest of the room for the perfect booth though. She would have to go on instinct.

There. Just a few stands away she caught sight of a gnome sitting at a low table strewn with papers and pencils. A banner hanging overhead read: Stump the Potions Master. Ginnifer sat down across from the gnome.

”Hi.” She tried to keep her tone bright, though her words lacked some of their customary enthusiasm. ”So am I supposed to write down tough questions that I think you won’t be able to answer so that I can stump you?”

left-aligned image
”Of course not you ninny!” the gnome replied peevishly, ”My name is Stump, I am a Potions Master, and I’ll be the one asking the questions. Receive a passing score on my test, and I’ll stamp your card for you.”

”And what happens if I don’t pass?”

”Then you will simply have to live with the ignominy of your failure.”

Ok. That sounded like the sort of stakes she might be able to handle in her current state. She had been looking for a challenge where she could use her brains after all, and this one tested alchemical knowledge which was perfect for her. Ginnifer gripped a pencil in her hand and dragged one of the sheets of paper in front of her. Her eyes scanned the words, but she found her mind unable to focus on them. She recognized every word as she read it, but trying to hold onto their meanings in her mind was like grasping at the wind with her bare hands. Apparently she had overestimated her ability to focus and think clearly while her mind still spun with thoughts of loss and anguish.

She looked down in dismay. Her eyes lit upon the tattered bear she had almost forgotten about, still clutched in her other hand. She thought back to Shugaro’s kind words: "It is not the length of life, but the depth that we strive for always. Yours is a truly deep life, little one.”. She hugged the bear tightly once again, inhaled a deep breath to steady herself, and looked at the paper once more:
Question #1What is the most effective way to mask the presence of Deadly Nightshade in solution?
That was perfect! Thanks to Shugaro’s gift, she had just practiced the removal of unpleasant scents. She quickly scribbled her answer
Answer #1Frog's Breath will overpower any odor.
Ginnifer stopped herself before turning to the next question. Wait. That was too quick. She looked down at the stuffed bear staring up at her. How would she feel if she had just replaced the hobgoblin smell with frog’s breath? She needed to think her answers through carefully. She quickly penciled in an addition to her answer.
Answer #1 … continuedBUT, the use of Frog’s Breath is pretty well known. That why some people even say “Nothing’s more suspicious than Frog's Breath,” so it’s a good idea to use it together with Worm’s Wort. That can help cover the bitter taste.
Dice roller error:
[dice=Arcana (with advantage from the help of Shugaro’s gift)]inum 2d20+4kh1 = 285921664 [/dice] is a badly formed tag (please see the FAQ for help)
Feeling pretty good about her completed response, Ginnifer turned to the next question.
Question #2What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?
Ah-hah! The little witch felt the ghost of a smile tug at the corner of her mouth as she spotted the trick question.
Answer #2Monkshood and wolfsbane are, in fact, the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite.
Dice Arcana:
1d20+4 (18)+4 Total = 22
(22)
.

Ginnifer worked her way through the rest of the test as swiftly as she could, while still giving each question the attention it needed. She glanced at the clock embedded in the stock of her umbrella. Not much time left till this contest was over, but thankfully all that remained was the essay question on the back.
Question #3Given the following list of ingredients, explain the specific purposes of each ingredient as well as the spell they will produce when combined:
  • Mummy dust
  • Black of night
  • An old hag’s cackle
  • A scream of fright
  • A blast of wind
  • A thunderbolt
Ginnifer nibbled on the nub of her pencil as she formulated her response.
Answer #27
  • Well, mummy’s dust would make somebody old.
  • Black of night is commonly used to shroud clothes, making a person harder to spot.
  • An old hag’s cackle typically makes somebody’s voice all scratchy and hoarse.
  • A scream of fright will turn anybody’s hair white.
  • A blast of wind can be used to fan hate. If this is black magic (which I usually try to avoid), then strong emotions like hate can make a pretty potent catalyst.
  • Then the thunderbolt probably mixes all the ingredients up well, binding them together.
In the end, if you put all that together, you’d end up with a transformation spell powerful enough to turn even the second fairest woman around into an withered old crone
Dice Arcana:
1d20+4 (4)+4 Total = 8
(8)
.
There. Done. Ginnifer handed her paper along with her scorecard over to the gnomish scholar and anxiously awaited the results.

A moment later, as a booming gong sounded the end of the skills fair and Ginnifer was making her way back to the front of the tavern, hoping to meet up with her fellow companion hopefuls for that friendly meal Shugaro has spoken of, the little witch realized that her circuitous travels were bringing her down an entirely different path than the one she had started on. She caught sight of booths she hadn’t even known were there. Her eye was immediately drawn to a pair of finely dressed ladies packing up a temporary stage - one blonde in a surprisingly voluminous pale blue ball gown, the other a brunette in an equally massive gown the color of fresh buttercups. Both were being directed by a barefoot girl with long, flowing hair who gestured about with a frying pan of all things, while a rather exasperated-looking mermaid lounged about in a nearby tank. The banner over them read “Princess Sing-Along.” It was really a shame Nicole wasn’t here. She probably would’ve been great at that challenge.

Ginnifer gave one final shrug, then turned and shuffled away, anxious to hear the results of the day.

OOC
Ginnifer’s third skill test: Intelligence (Arcana checks)
 

Warning: rolls have been deleted from this post.
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Last edited by rhaiber; Aug 8th, 2020 at 04:43 PM.
  #26  
Old Aug 8th, 2020, 05:08 PM
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OODMJust posting to verify for judges, the first red-roll on rhaiber is unexplainable. Edit history shows the exact same dice code in both the added and removed text. The roll result was 13.
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Old Aug 8th, 2020, 05:17 PM
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The church bells started to ring. As the applicants finished up their final challenges, it was clear that they were battered, beaten and mentally drained. Perhaps even more so than the fight against the mechanical spiders earlier in the day. The evening was getting late though, and everyone was eager to wrap up the fair, enjoy some drinks and get some rest. Once again, the loudspeaker rang throughout the hall, carrying Sir Ethan's voice everywhere. "Time is up. Thank you everyone for a fabulous Skills show! You have 30 minutes for your last round of drinks and food. After that, it will be time for participants to exit the building. Exhibitors, you have 20 minutes after that to clean your booths and exit the main hall. For my four Applications, you know who you are, after you hand your scorecard in, please make your way over to the Crossing Companions Guild office, and have a set in the chairs just outside my office. We will have your final results for you there."

If the commons room of the Waltzing Witches Tavern and Inn had been chaotic during the event, it was even worse now. People were running as fast as they could to gobble up goodies, tear down booths, and get make final conversation with those who they had not yet had a chance to catch up with. The four sponsers were back at the bar with Sir Ethan, gathering up scorecards, and sorting out those who had competed in different categories. Some were for kids under 8. Others for the retired, which could have arguably included some of the Crossing Companions applicants. Others were separated by cities and regions, where people had come to compete against each other. And, then, there was the smallest pile of the 4 scorecards filled out for Gary, Rudy, Ginnifer and Shugaro. Those were the most important of the evening, and handled with the greatest care.



Scorecard


OODMThis marks the end of Round 3. Fantastic work everyone! It is now up to the judges to see who will make it to the final round.
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