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  #1  
Old Jun 19th, 2022, 12:34 PM
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From the Shadows

Game NameFrom the Shadows
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeRole-Play, Adventure, Survival
FlavourGothic Horror
Plot Summary
The night of evil shall descend on the land.
When this hexad of signs is near at hand

In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born,
Though life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.

The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound

Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries.

The light of the sky shining over the dead
Shall gutter and fail, turning all to red

Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse

The bodiless shall journey to the time before
Where happiness to hate creates land and lore.


~


In the beginning, before the dark demiplane was created, there was a pact. A pact between the great warrior, Strahd von Zarovich and the entity known as Death. This dark bargain conferred immortality upon the aging noble, but it came at a terrible price. Strahd not only gave up his own mortality, he sacrificed his kingdom itself in pursuit of his own selfish desires. When the object of those desires, Tatyana Federovna, chose to throw herself off the walls of his castle rather than be claimed by Strahd, his rage and anger were terrible indeed. That dark night, Strahd stalked the halls of Castle Ravenloft and murdered every last living person within. This act of murderous obsession sealed the fate of both Strahd von Zarovich and the land of Barovia itself. The mists of Ravenloft came and they embraced the vampire lord, enfolding them within their midst. Barovia became the first domain of the demiplane of dread, and Strahd its first Darklord.

Yet he was not the last, nor was he the most powerful.

Others came, and over time the demiplane expanded. Here, deep in the Shadowfell, more and more domains were created, each a reflection of their ruler's past and character. Within the heart of their domains, these Darklords were nearly omnipotent, yet they were also cursed. Despite their almost overwhelming power, they could never ever leave their own realms.

Until now, for there was one who would seek to change that.

~



The foreboding mists of Ravenloft open their clammy, sinister arms to the unwary traveller. Though you try to escape their cold embrace, it is not possible. The demiplane of dread plays its own game by its own rules. Strahd von Zarovich, first lord of Ravenloft, spins his plots in distant Barovia. Nearer at hand, his nemesis Azalin the lich lord does likewise. Like two deadly spiders, trapped within their own webs, they dance around one another, waiting to deliver the poisoned bite.

That time is now.

Azalin, Lord of Darkon knows that it is not a given that the Darklords are imprisoned for eternity. He knows that there is a sequence of events that can set the Darklords of Ravenloft free from their prisons within the Shadowfell and return to the worlds from whence they came from. This event, this night of evil, is finally at hand and Azalin will walk the world of his birth once again. A sequence of events that will also bring the powerful lich lord into direct confrontation with Strahd von Zarovich one final time. It is down to you, unwitting adventurers caught between the plotting of two of the most powerful Darklords of Ravenloft, to prevent ruin and catastrophe of an unimaginable scale should Azalin's plot succeed and the Demiplane of Dread merge with the world of mortals.

There is but one small problem though.

You are already dead.

~

More than the story of Azalin and Strahd, this is your story, and to you will fall the greatest task the multiverse will ever know. Stop the lich lord before he unleashes the apocalypse on the world at large. Returned to life by a powerful force, there is a small catch. Your time upon this world is limited, and your life force is slowly ebbing away. Soon you will re-enter the netherworld of oblivion itself, and should you fall to this second death then nobody will be able to stop Azalin and his insane schemes.

The end is not just upon you, it is upon everything that you have ever known, unless you can find a way to stop it.

Game InformationGreetings everyone, it has been a long long long time, about six years or so, since I have walked the corridors of the RPGCrossing. Some of the old timers on this site might remember me, and my fairly crazy DM'ing style. This is a reboot of one of my old games on the site, brought back under 5th Edition rules.

As the tone of the pitch above might hint, this is meant to be a pretty dark and grim game in tone. You have died prior to the start of the adventure, and although you have been granted a second chance at life, it has come with a price and as your life slowly ebbs away a second time there are no guarantees of success or a happy ending here. This Ravenloft adventure will be both brutal and unforgiving, so the game will reward you more for your thought and ingenuity than your combat skills.

As I've been away for such a long time and am now only starting to slowly and gently dip my toes back into the proverbial water, I will only be accepting four characters into the game.

Starting level will be Level 5 for this adventure. We will discuss starting equipment / money / mechanics upon acceptance to the game. What I will layout here is the sources allowed and character generation methods allowed upon acceptance, as per the below list:
  • Acceptable Sources: PHB, DMG, Xanathar's, Tasha's, Van Richten Guide to Ravenloft
  • Ability Score Generation: Dice or Point Buy, your choice
  • Race Restrictions: As long as its in the sources provided its fine with me
  • Class Restrictions: As above
  • Starting Level: 5
  • HP Generation: Max 1st level, then a choice of either roll or class average
Your application should follow the below format:

Name:
Alignment: No evil characters please
Appearance:
Personality:
Backstory:
RP Sample:

Please remember that your character will have died before the game's start, so that should be covered in either your Backstory or RP Sample.

I will be on holiday with very limited internet access from 4th July so I don't anticipate that I will be making final selections until Monday 18th July at the very earliest.

That *should* be everything covered but I've no doubt missed something, if I have then please let me know and I'll do my best to answer any queries you have.

Last edited by Carmac; Jun 20th, 2022 at 10:53 AM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 01:18 PM
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Would bloodhunter be allowed?
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 01:21 PM
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Name: Galahad
Race: V. Human
Class: Paladin
Subclass: Oath of Devotion
Alignment: Lawful Good
Age: 21
Background: Acolyte
Personality Traits:
- You are slow to anger but can be merciless and relentless once a situation has escalated to violence.
- You speak in a very proper, formal manner and always address everyone with their full name and title as befits their station.
Ideal:
- Honor: My word is my reputation and I will always honor it.
Bond:
- I protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Flaw:
- You are very vain and work hard to make sure that your armor is polished, your hair is perfectly coifed and your appearance is meticulous (without flaw).

Appearance: A strong, athletic young man Galahad is tall and broad. He has thick black hair cut very short and has a cropped beard. He treats his equipment as an extension (and representation) of himself. His armor and shield are kept clean and serviceable. His weapons are well cared for and regularly sharpened.

Personality: Like most righteous paladins, Galahad considers himself a man of honor and integrity. As a devout follower of Tyr, the tenets he lives by are:
  • Honesty. Don't lie or cheat. Let your word be your promise.
  • Courage. Never fear to act, though caution is wise.
  • Compassion. Aid others, protect the weak, and punish those who threaten them. Show mercy to your foes, but temper it with wisdom.
  • Honor. Treat others with fairness, and let your honorable deeds be an example to them. Do as much good as possible while causing the least amount of harm.
  • Duty. Be responsible for your actions and their consequences, protect those entrusted to your care and obey those who have just authority over you.

Backstory: After losing both of his parents at a very young age, he was taken in by the benevolent Sigurd Gandolfsson and raised as the cleric's child and protege in the village of Grunwald. Gandolfsson was the chief priest of the Church of Tyr and the religious leader of the Thunderbeast Tribe. Despite being born into a barbaric tribe, and living amongst them, Galahad was raised to conduct himself with honor, integrity, and decorum. The balance allowed the young man to get along well with those of all walks of life.
A major part of Galahad's upbringing was traveling with Father Gandolfsson. Together, they routinely visited Morgur's Mound in the Crags, the Hall of Justice in Neverdeep, and Summit Hill near Red Larch. The boy's favorite place to visit was Summit Hall. That is where he got to watch the Knights of Samular train and worship. Galahad had a profound respect for his adopted father but he idolized the Knights. Thanks to Gandolfsson's considerable influence, Galahad was granted the distinct opportunity to train with the knights. Eventually, the young man's dedication and devotion paid off as he was allowed to squire for the paladin Gareth Cormaeril.
Even for a young man raised by the church and trained from an early age, the path to knighthood was a difficult one. Most days, Galahad's mornings and evenings were spent in temple and his days were filled with training and sparring. The exceptions were only when Paladin Cormaeril chose to ride out on patrol or when he wanted to conduct mission trips to nearby villages. After four years of proving himself as a squire and as a devout follower of Tyr, Galahad was granted the title of Paladin.

RP Sample: Galahad barely recognized Grunwald. All around him, buildings were burning and smoke filled the sky. The smell of blood, sweat, dirt and soot permeated the air. The young knight gripped his longsword tight in one hand and shield in the other, and moved in a defensive stationary circle. A breeze blew through and cleared just enough smoke for him to see Father Gandolfsson, the man most responsible for his upbringing, dead on the ground. A look of horror was etched in the Cleric's face and blood covered his torso. The sound of hoof beats rang out like thunder and it was clear that they were getting closer. Straining to see the coming threat, a dark silhouette of a man upon a horse appeared about fifteen feet away and closing fast. Whispering a prayer, Galahad raised his shield and drew back his sword to answer the incoming attack. The hoofbeats grew louder but, just before the figure emerged, he felt a sharp pain in his side. Looking down, Galahad was horrified to see a spear that had struck just behind his armor. Pulling the spear out, he noticed that the tip had been coated with some sort of thick black ichor. That was the last thing the promising young knight saw before collapsing in the ashes of his home village.
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Last edited by Treble83; Jun 21st, 2022 at 01:04 PM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 01:25 PM
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Name: Alder Reignhart
Race: Human
Class: Wizard
Subclass Scribes
Background: Cloistered scholar

Appearance: I am small, frail looking and not particularly pleasing to the eye. I wear Mercules’s old red and blue robes from his adventuring days, and a blue wizarding hat laced in gold trim. My spell book is always at my side, along with numerous inks and quills fastened to my belt. Pouches of all shapes and sizes litter my body, some in which I’ve even forgot about.

Personality:
I am quirky, funny, strange. Sometimes dense, other times brilliant. Out going on some occasions, and in others a complete recluse. I enjoy reading, getting lost in the words and reimagining life itself. It is this notion with which I have such a fascination and connection to the arcane. My psyche is a wild one, ever changing and evolving.

Backstory:
Calluses cover my fingertips, but not why you might think. I’ve read more books than you’ve turned pages, and I’ve read more words than most have taken breaths. Months go by before I even leave the stacks. The pain glass windows shine bright and fade to darkness, and I never lift my head. The Library, the study and the preservation room is my home. Master Mercules appreciates my work ethic, but even he thinks I’m obsessive.

I have never seen the outside world, save from the windows of the observatory. Mercules tells me I was an arcane experiment gone wrong, that I was sent here from the nine hells, or that I’m the seventh son of a tyrannical dictator. In all cases, he’s lying, and I don’t care. To me, he is my father, for I have never known another. Weather he believes I am his son, also doesn’t matter. Whatever my true origins are, perhaps they are written in secret between the binds of a hard back, or inked in a lost scroll. I hope to one day read the story, but it isn’t of extreme importance.

I died trying to perform magic in which I was not prepared for. Simple really, a teleportation ritual that would be not much more than a classic fire bolt. Put the wrong sigil in the right order however, and you have a decapitation ward. So very interesting in its own right, I’ll make a note of it.



Last edited by Jrod; Jun 25th, 2022 at 01:58 AM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delpinator View Post
Would bloodhunter be allowed?
If a class / race / mechanic is not in the sources quoted in the OP then it won’t be allowed here.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 02:40 PM
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Interesting.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 03:01 PM
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Name: resheph
Alignment: LN
Class undead warlock2/battlemaster3
Appearance: a black dragonborn with bandages and pure black eyes. Wearing heavy armor with a sword and shield.
Personality: honor and victory. The strong test strength against strength and the weak fall.
Backstory: wip
RP Sample: wip

Last edited by delpinator; Jun 19th, 2022 at 04:17 PM.
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Old Jun 19th, 2022, 03:29 PM
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Name: Duncan Margaster
Race: Dhampir
Class: Sorcerer - Sorcerous Origin: Shadow Magic
Alignment: CN
Appearance: Standing at 6 feet even, medium build, he looks like a very handsome young human male. Sandy hair down to his mid neck with a matching goatee and green eyes. He is dressed in black, with a bow at his back and a dagger sheathed at each thigh.
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Personality: He's a Moody person, sometimes he seems easy going and friendly, other times he's quiet. When he is busy, or his mind is elsewhere, he seems like one of the guys, but during quiet times, it gives him time to think of his life and he becomes quiet, not really wanting to be bothered.

Backstory:
 

RP Sample: Duncan eventually found Halor, the man was not the same. He was at the inn, drinking the night away, looking half the man he once was. Duncan sat at the table and joined him. Halor looked up and his eyes went wild.
“You! Get away from me!”

“Easy Hal, it’s me, Duncan.”

“Vampire!” Halor yelled to him.

“Shh, you fool, I’m a not a vampire, otherwise the sun would have killed me long ago, think man, think!”

“But I saw…your fangs, you…climbed the walls.”

“Yes, I did, it’s a story itself, but think, if I was a vampire, the time we were out in the sun, I would be dead already.”

Halor didn’t say anything, and he continued drinking again. Duncan shook his head and left the man.
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Leaning against the wall, watching the others rush by him, he grins. "Go ahead, go get that treasure that's laying there. Be more for me after you die."

Last edited by Seekr34; Jun 19th, 2022 at 05:06 PM.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 01:08 AM
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Hello and welcome back, Carmac!

Ravenloft is one of my favorite classical settings (along with Dragonlance), though I have had little luck with it, since some very promising games I was in ended prematurely.

I don’t have a concrete idea for a character yet, but wanted to inquire as to the origins of the PCs. In most Ravenloft games the PCs are brought to the Demiplane of Dread from Faerun - though Azalin has been a native of Oerth (Greyhawk), unless I am mistaken. The mists can theoretically appear in (almost) any DnD world. Can other settings serve as the characters’ original homes as well? What about natives to the Demiplane of Dread? Could a PC have been born in Barovia, Darkon or any other realm or is a lack of familiarity with the Demiplane and the Darklords a characteristic of the campaign? Also, could a PC have been born one of the Vistani or would their Mists-traveling abilities upset the balance?

Thank you in advance.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 02:00 AM
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My app is done. Looks like it'll be an interesting game
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Leaning against the wall, watching the others rush by him, he grins. "Go ahead, go get that treasure that's laying there. Be more for me after you die."
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanir View Post
I don’t have a concrete idea for a character yet, but wanted to inquire as to the origins of the PCs. In most Ravenloft games the PCs are brought to the Demiplane of Dread from Faerun - though Azalin has been a native of Oerth (Greyhawk), unless I am mistaken. The mists can theoretically appear in (almost) any DnD world. Can other settings serve as the characters’ original homes as well? What about natives to the Demiplane of Dread? Could a PC have been born in Barovia, Darkon or any other realm or is a lack of familiarity with the Demiplane and the Darklords a characteristic of the campaign? Also, could a PC have been born one of the Vistani or would their Mists-traveling abilities upset the balance?
PC’s can come from anywhere, any gameworld within or without Ravenloft. The only requirement is that they have died prior to the game start.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 04:40 AM
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Name: Ira Bloom
Race: Half-elf
Alignment: CG
Appearance: With long, blond hair that flows into the breeze. Has a strange form of leather armor outfitted as a dress that fits perfectly to her hourglass body. Has a forever youthful face thanks to her elvish blood, and standing at 4'5" feet tall. Ira Bloom is like a sunflower in full bloom.
Personality: Ira is the type of person to just be optimistic in life. She's not the type to be down so easily. And she's just a ball of energy, unafraid of her choices or the consequences involved. Though her tongue and fast talk can get anyone involved in trouble. She's an aspiring musician, always aspiring to bring a smile to anyone that witnessed her performance.

Backstory: Ira was born in a simple farmer around Red Larch. Her father, Ernie Bloom, saved and fell in love with a wood elf named Aina Swiftwind. She stayed with the farm, even when her father passed away from sickness in Ira's teen year, her mother stayed to take care of her daughter, and she also found a love for the farm as her husband did.

One day, when Ira's mother played an elven wood pipe, she was entranced by the music. It was the catalyst for her dream. However, what set her off was the smile her mother and father gave her when she performed her first performance. She did terribly but they smiled and laughed at it. She felt proud of what she did and it set her on the path to what she wished to be. A famous entertainer.

When she was about to reach adulthood, she met with a troupe of religious folk that worship a Goddess of Joy. They were called joybringer, and not only were they clerics and priests, but they were performers. Performer's that understand her vision. She immediately wanted to learn from them as they made their performance. She said goodbye to her mom and traveled with the troupe.

She explored all over Faerun, learning about her brother's and sister's background and the teachings they spread throughout the lands. And when they started a performance with Ira, they realized that she had a knack for the stage and she was loved by all sorts of folk. She learned all sorts of things like fast talking, this new thing called bardic magic, and even had a fiancee of a dancer, her name was Lizzie Hearth.

Ira eventually wanted to go to her hometown when she proposed to Lizzie, and so they went. But when they did so, it was at that moment her home was being besieged by bandits. Seeing her home and mother placed in such dangers, Ira gathered a band of adventurers and they fought to defend Red Larch. And they are victorious, but Ira, she died at the battle. In order to defend the last of her parents' farm, of her father's legacy, she gave her life to make sure it was safe.

Eventually time passed and her fiance decided to live in Red Larch and remarried. Her mother renamed the farm after her daughter who gave her life for it and that was that. However, Ira's story didn't end. She did not pass away. She was stuck as a spirit. Trapped in the Border Ethereal. Trapped to the place that she promised to defend. A life like this is torture, but Ira didn't see it that way. She saw her wife live her life, have a few kids, and then she saw her kids experience their life, then her grandchildren, then her great grandchildren, etc. She sees her family farm slowly improving as time goes by. She sometimes sees the old troupe with new faces but with the same conviction and ideals, she liked the name Joydancers better than Joybringers. And whenever her mother cried, she always comforted her with another one of her music. She may not be able to hear it, but if she tries hard enough, she can hear a faint glimpse of an old song.

Is she sad? Maybe a little. Does she feel pain? A lot. Everytime they pass away, she can feel their pain. Does she hate it here? No, because no matter what happens, everyone is living a peaceful life. Everytime the village was prosperous, she felt that joy. Even if there are times her little village had the worst times, she's confident a hero will appear to defend it. Is she happy? Yes, sometimes she's not, but no matter what, she stays optimistic even in the worst times, that's who she is.

She's not sure why she's here, but if ever Red Larch is in trouble. She'll be there to defend it.

RP Sample: Somewhere in Red Larch, there is a farm called Ira Farms, a conglomerate of farms run by a wood elf named Aina Swiftbloom, it is said she has lived since the town's founding which was over hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the farm is sometimes nicknamed as Eerie farms seeing as the folk tend to believe that it's haunted, which is technically true.

On the field of one of the farms, theirs a family currently having a little picnic. On top of one of the barns is a figure wearing a red dress, she was currently standing on top of the barn. Her blonde and see-through hair flows eerily floats upon the night breeze,"... Journal entry 2005... The name is Ira Bloom, and I'm your friendly neighborhood ghost. What is this, the 200th intro I've repeated for the past decade, woah, I must have set a new record. If you're wondering why I'm monologuing to myself, it's mostly because my life tends to be a bit boring so I tend to just wanna mix things up." she says to herself as she stands upon her roof. Though it seems the family down below haven't noticed her yet,"Well, I guess this is technically my unlife. Anyways, you won't believe the gold mine I've discovered today. Seems one Delvan Hearth refuses to eat his veggies, what will Nicole Hearth do now? You'll never guess what she did." she says, and started making up guesses on the fly, just all by herself,"And then she said, that's not my tart, that's my..." she stopped herself as she noticed a familiar face. It was a woman, she was in a field drenched in nothing but blood. She's been seeing this woman for weeks now and everytime she sees her, she's always disheveled and has always cried.

She was a spirit just like her, and the one that was responsible for the recent nickname of her family's farm. She approached in a cautious manner, last time she tried to greet her. Ira kind of got a bit over excited in her greeting and she lashed out on her. She never realized ghosts could feel pain at the time, guess you learn something new everyday. She's been observing her for a while, yet she can't seem to understand her. All she says is all in another language, it's hard to describe it but she knows for a fact that she's not from around here. For centuries she has memorized the faces of each inhabitant of Red Larch, yet this lady, she has never seen her before. If there was one thing she understood in her few interactions, she was crying over someone named Strahd.

So far she manages to stop her from causing harm to the local farmers, but she can't keep this up forever. She needs to deal with the threat, and she has one solution in mind. She pulls out her lute that's been with her since her death and decides to play a song. It has been a while since she played to someone other than her mother or to one of Lizzie's descendants. She's somewhat rusty in her form, but she's determined to help this stranger out.

When she played, it reminded her of the first time she performed in a live audience. She remembered how she was nervous. She remembered how inadequate she was when up against her fellow Joybringers. Yet there was another emotion, resolve. No matter what she felt, she was going to do the things she loved because she wanted those that hear her to feel happiness once more. And then she finished her performance, and all that was left was the howling night breeze.

She knows that her music only sounded like a gentle but melodious sound to those not in this realm. But she knows that her song had reverberated across her Ethereal jail as evident to the spirit that's staring at her with a look of shock. The stares that flowed into her eyes were replaced with nothing but tears of joy. The mystery lady only said one word as she disappeared as soon as she reappeared, Thank you, Ira wasn't sure what happened, but she felt good today. It has been a while since she had a proper performance,"Hmm, oh, maybe I should call that composure Bloody Mary. Yeah... For now, I was supposed to talk about something. Oh yeah, Johnny here had to deal with a two-headed goat so Nicole was like..." she says and kept going back to her routine once more.

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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 06:24 AM
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I will come up with something.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 10:18 AM
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@Carmac - So, I have an idea for a Reborn Paladin that I think would be fairly fun. Would you be alright if I went Oathbreaker? My logic is that, while he was a righteous paladin in life, he betrayed his oath thinking he could save someone precious... only to be betrayed / consumed by the dark power. Now, he seeks redemption in undeath — and what better way to do it than by battling the forces of evil as he once did. Sort of a fight fire with fire kinda deal.

Sorta laying all my cards on the table there, spoiling the surprise, but I know most folks are very iffy on Oathbreakers being allowed. Thought I'd ask! If you decide against, no big deal! I can come up with a different concept.

Last edited by Chylopan; Jun 20th, 2022 at 10:19 AM.
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Old Jun 20th, 2022, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chylopan View Post
@Carmac - So, I have an idea for a Reborn Paladin that I think would be fairly fun. Would you be alright if I went Oathbreaker? My logic is that, while he was a righteous paladin in life, he betrayed his oath thinking he could save someone precious... only to be betrayed / consumed by the dark power. Now, he seeks redemption in undeath — and what better way to do it than by battling the forces of evil as he once did. Sort of a fight fire with fire kinda deal.

Sorta laying all my cards on the table there, spoiling the surprise, but I know most folks are very iffy on Oathbreakers being allowed. Thought I'd ask! If you decide against, no big deal! I can come up with a different concept.
Not to speak for the DM but I did want to give you a heads up. They're pretty adamant about the sources allowed and the DMG isn't listed under sources.
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Last edited by Treble83; Jun 20th, 2022 at 10:27 AM.
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