Avoiding the rabbit hole

Hello and welcome to a Saturday night discussion piece where I want to discuss something I struggle with, complexity.

Now its not making sure things are complex enough its going too far down a rabbit hole and, like all warrens, finding that there is a second, third, fourth and even fifth rabbit hole that has rules, systems, creatures or untapped stories that you want to explore. The issue is that when you burrow into that second tunnel it adds complexity and that complexity makes it hard for both DMs and players – an issue that I am still working out how to navigate.

An example is this weeks example – how to have those afflicted by the Sliver of Shadow curse have the mechanics they do – being present on the Material plane but unable to be seen, heard or interacted with until someone strongly willed enough finally does. What I initially thought was opening up the idea of a reversal of the astral plane mechanics – their body being present and active in the material plane but peoples ability to view them in the plane being as if trying to peer beyond the veil. Now I started to re-read up on the Astral plane to refresh my memory on its mechanics and it was.. complex to say the least, at least in the terms of how I wanted to blend it to work for me.

The first issue was that I immediately started to weave the astral plane into the plot points – my floating story line which I use to keep an idea of where I want it to go without having to cement anything down that would creature massive amounts of re-work as I write this weekly. This was a big issue for me as the added complexity to something that, to be open with, doesn’t need to be any more complex that it currently is and it also started to change and influence plot. Now as I started to mentally untangle the twine that knitted together this years campaign to start adding in the astral-thread I stopped as I started to ask myself “ok, now ‘The Shadow’ – how do they link in with the Astral plane..” the answer wasn’t a mapping session it was quite simply “IT doesn’t he is between planes but takes strength from Shadowfell” – Ok maybe a bit of a spoiler there but I believe you can forgive me. This then helped me work out the curses nature – forcing people to dwell and live like The Shadow – non-existent without being seen in the light.

The second issue was making sure that the rules, the mechanics are easy enough that new dungeon masters can read and understand with minimal study. This is the other issue with going down the rabbit hole and the complexity behind it – it gets hard to memorise so that you can run the system for the other people at the table (virtual or otherwise), the players but more on them in a minute, and with the creatures, maps, core game mechanics, the more advanced mechanics let alone the multiple race-background-class combinations that your players bring that you need to factor in with adding MORE complexity into the mix means more time reading rules, notes or books and less time playing at the minimum or forgetting something crucial and slowing down the process as you move to rectify it.

The third issue is the more complex the rules I find the players, I will refer to them as an audience for this point from now on, may become disenchanted from the session. The audience are not here to try and unpick great puzzles and unravel the secrets of the world – they want to see what happens to a party of adventurers in fantastical situations where they come out ahead against all other odds, or at least a single adventurer and how they look out for number 1, themselves. The more complex, the more rabbit holes in your warren, the more unbelievable it becomes and the easier the disenchantment becomes and they lose interest in the current scene, the session or the adventure entirely (or worse – the campaign…)

The reason for the switch in focus between player and Audience is because I also have several barely started novels sitting there waiting for meat to tie together the plot points and I struggle with keeping it simple to a few key points. For me I love high, grand fantasy where the systems, the complexity and depth is mind boggling and I aspire to produce work of comparable if not equal quality to some truly fantastic Authors. This means that I automatically associate success and ‘awesomeness’ with complexity and so I tend to dive head first into that deep deep pool when I really need to start off in the shallows first and then ease into the deep end.

So for me, keeping the complexity out is to really ensure the success of the campaign, simple. But the broader picture is also a bit of self reflection where I am aware that I tend to get bogged down in the details where I really should just take a step back and start with the basics and work my way up from there – some of the most memorable books I have read only have one or two ‘complex’ concepts and really, they aren’t that complex in the first place. Its not a new language, new ‘style’ of magic, or science, or something its just a way of doing things that I need to start at and see if complexity and further depth is neeeded at a later point.

Well that’s it for tonight, come back tomorrow for more and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The afflicted

Hi all and welcome to Friday also known as Fightnight!, this week the stat blocks don’t really matter as much as the mechanics behind the encounter(s). We find our group on board the Dancing Drake and sailing towards a port town that will see them travelling further and deeper into Ryokughan.

But what if the threat came from some other place not the of this world, not of the Material plane. This week we touch the tip of that.


Shadowy Assaults

218FrShAs

Those touched by the stones known as the Slivers of Shadow find themselves cursed to be ignored and unrecognised until they go through with their end of the bargain – or they can pass the stone onto someone more strongly willed at which point they are released of the curse.

Now I will save the reason why for later this month but those who find themselves on the precipice of being unable to remove the stone because there are none who can recognise or see them will find themselves quickly pulled between two planes, the Material plane where their body resides and the Shadowplane, Shadowfell, where the entity known as “The Shadow” holds onto their essence, their spirit/soul and this instability of planar existence.

For mechanics I want to keep it simple – A successful Charisma Saving throw vs Stealth check OR Insight vs Stealth will reveal the creature to the one who made the check.

Until the creature attacks they are treated as being invisible and being under the silence spell. All attacks against them are made as disadvantage until they are revealed (Faery fire doesn’t work here as its not a sight based clouding of senses) and when they attack they make their attack with advantage.

Now the nature of the creature doesn’t matter, human, crew member, Jade point refugee – but I wouldn’t have them too strong as it already has the party at a big disadvantage. I would have several people, maybe 6 encounters where the last one is two of the touched attacking at once – at all instances they will ignore the party and go straight for Liz – or through the party to get to Liz as the case may be.


Thanks for joining me tonight – it was another short one tonight but I still wanted to get something out to you all while I am still recovering. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content on both Saturday and Sunday and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

In the rafters

Hi all and welcome to Thursday where we look at extra little things that make the adventure just that bit more..

So now I’m planning on tonight being a short night as I need some time to rest and recover at the moment but I’ll be working on something bigger for next week!


Empty Halls, busy rafters

218ThEHBR

A tiny claw, one of a thousand, gripped into the wood beam rafters that made up the roof support for the older barn. Below the tiny creature, and is brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles a man walked down the hall, care and precision marking his footsteps. But the creature did not care, a itch made in fumble its grip and in doing so it’s fellow creatures scrambled, rushed, clawed and squeaked as their tails and claws clung to the rafters and each other.

The itch happened again causing another scratching and fumbling fit. This beam was to narrow so it made a nice down the hall, yes, the dark room always had more room when the hawk wasn’t in there. As the rat ran along the rafters voices could be heard, one voice really, no response. A sudden commotion behind him caused a tangle of rats to fall and hit the ground causing the boards to squeak, but this rat was compelled to look towards the voices, watching as the not-hawk man had its cloak revealed and as the young hawk dashed down the hall. The rats had scurried into open doors and into hiding spots, fools. Didn’t they know there was no hawk here, the rats ruled the rafters now. Cleaning its whiskers the rat finally scratched that itch as it watched the man turn into a hawk and fly out the window. The last in part terrified his family and sent them deeper into hiding, but it meant he had the rafters to himself for a few moments more. Cleaning behind his ears the rat settled down..

Meanwhile.. a darkly silhouetted figure opened its eyes, bright blue cunning eyes, and reached for a BBQ’d rat.


Thanks for joining me and sorry it was a bit shorter once again, but do come back the next few days for additional content here and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Missing Wisdom

Hi all and welcome to Wednesday where we look at twists, turns and other such things that make our adventure that much deeper. This week we have an opportunity to thicken and darken the plot, one which I can miss out on.

So get comfortable, grab a coffee (the official energy source of this content) and enjoy.


Empty Halls

218WeEH

The large tawny hawk flew into the open window in the plain looking barn before settling down on a crate as it ruffled its feathers and shifted its form, muscles bones and feathers shifting, gowing, stretching and receding until Takeo sat on the crate – a few drops of water still hanging to his hair from the light shower of rain that had greeted him as he flew into the town.

“I hate it when it rains” he sighed shifting his cloak around. The transformation from hawk to man after flying in rain always left him with water under his clothes when they appeared again. Standing and treading down the hall, a familiar path from his training as a child which his feet remembered. Each floorboard was different, only a few of them weren’t floating on top of nails that would squeal when stepped on and for those who remembered the path you could pass through these halls silently.

Passing a door, one belonging to another lotus member who was initiated a month later than he, he saw it was empty, but the external facing window was left open which was expected – their order was given all kinds of orders and had to deal with all situations imaginable.

Approaching the archway at the end of the hall he took off his shoes and placed them next to his masters shoes, as he had since a boy, and slowly stepped past the threshold and into the chamber beneath. A shadowed figure knelt infront of a fire so the feature’s of the face and front of the body were cloaked by shadow and darkness. Coming to rest, standing twenty steps away he knelt down and waited for his master to acknowledge him.

Minutes seemed to go by and Takeo got tired of waiting for protocol “master, I bring tidings from lady Kyoko. Her ships passengers, crew and refugees from Jade Point, have become afflicted with Shadow Bruises. Whats more, they disappear from all sight and senses, well seemingly so at least. Occasionally a person who is acutely aware of their presence can detect them.”

“They have started to attack the guest of princess Kyoko, targeting her it seems but there is resistance in the host. I believe they are being cursed by a stone as black as shadow and directed, forced even to make attempts on the life of the guest.” Takeo looked at his master, unmoving and unyielding. “Master do you know of what I talk about” he said moving forward to get closer. Something wasn’t right, the figure wasn’t moving but seemed to be unnaturally still. “Forgive me master” he muttered before approaching the figure and pulling back the hood. As he did several stray feathers wafted down and what was a very convincing decoy was revealed to be feathers and fabric under the robes of his master.

Frowning his senses went on full alert, a creak from the hallway, the rattle of a window, something somewhere was not right. Pushing his body through the the mental preparation to transform into his raven he darted down the hall, his dirk drawn and ready as he seemed to hit every squealing floorboard on his flight down the hall. The transformation process was physically and mentally draining and normally the Lotus agents couldn’t transform so quickly again after reverting to their human form, and his mind was rejecting the ancient magic.

As he stopped near the crate where he came into the building by he looked around, willing his heart to be silent and his body to take the form of the Raven.

Silence. The building was silent, not a sign of life, or more important death anywhere. His mind settled and his body started the shift, looking around the room as his eyes shifted and changed he didn’t see a single thing out of order, like nothing had changed or been here. As he turned and flew out the window he started to piece together what his next steps would be. Without his masters seemingly endless Knowledge there may be no one but the monks who secluded themselves from the world of men long ago.


Thanks for joining me tonight to look at the trials of Takeo with me, that name may stick somewhat, don’t forget to come back the next few nights to get more content and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The knowledge of the Lotus

Hi all and welcome to Tuesday where I wanted to bring in something I have been looking at on the side for some time now and with the return of Takeo it feels right to bring it out more.

So in the interest of time let’s kick tonights write-up off.


Takeo of the Lotus

218TuTotL

As the door opened and closed, Kyoko going out to mingle amongst the treaty of the crew and people of Jade Point, Takeo looked over the party, Siu and Liz who sat in infront of him.

“my teacher’s have a phrase for that mark, Shadow Bruised, those who have had shadow touch them but not take them.. yet..” he began looking at the confused and concerned faces before him. “Likely started with one, probably not the one who took his life, and its infected the others. Thats about the extent we do know of it, but some monks and shamans may know more. We know you are not the cause or threat but to ensure your safety we must keep you locker up. Until we reach the mainland.” He said looking thoughtful.

“have there been any other people with that mark, the err, shadow bruise?” Liz asked quietly, concern for their health evident on her face.

“one or two, but I suspect there is more. What worries me with our first victim,”he gurstured to a room that was currently closed and locked up, “is that I lost sight of this person, could not see, smell or hear them as if they ceased to exist until that knife pierced his chest. I will need to talk to my master about this to understand how to track those inflicted with the mark.”

As the people present started to discuss the options available to them the door rattled, but no one was there. A few moments passed as the group discussed what they could do Siu stopped mid sentence and stared across the room before lunging forward and pouncing towards the corner of the room, closest to where Liz was standing. As he collided with something a flurry of claws and teeth accompanied a guttural screech. Blood, fabric and the occasional golden scale fell to the floor as the room bore witness to a haggard looking man with eyes sparkling with madness slashing and stabbing as the golden beast did its best to disarm or kill the would be assassin.

A moment later and a snake-like lunge was followed by a crunch and crack and both Siu and the man fell to the ground. Siu stood up slowly before backing away from the dead man. “I tried to remove the knife but it wouldn’t come free.” He said, panting and looking mortified “he was muttering when I realised he was in the room about snuffing the light and being freed.”

“I didn’t notice him until the blood hit the floor.” Takeo said looking concerned towards the door he swore was locked. At that moment Kyoko pushed open the door in a hurry.

“the key’s missing..” she began before seeing the body in the ground “looks like you found the source of the disappearance” she added.

“Siu.. whats that on your neck?” Liz asked as she pointed at a polished black stone that looked like it had been adhered to his scales, a tarnishing to the scales around the stone gave the appearance of a bruise.

“Well. We now know how they get the mark and know what to ask the monks and my masters” Takeo continued as he stared at the stone.

Siu just stood still as he felt a presence sneak up his spine and as he felt the stone grow heavy on his scales a chilled whisper drifted past his ear “hello Jung..”


Thanks for joining me tonight and don’t forget to come back the next few nights as we begin this months new adventure with a few plot driving moments. Don’t forget if you do play thorough this campaign to let me know as I am excited to see how others find it! and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Shadow Bruised

Hi all and welcome to the first Monday of the month where we look at the plot for the month, well for this part of the month.

Last week I introduced some refugees onto the boat, one of which having a run in with Mugrave outside the town of Jade Point, so this week I want to see where I can take that.


The Touched

218MoTT

As the ship sailed down the widening River the last signs of the marsh retreated into the wild under a chorus off toad-kin singing songs of praise, protection in and victories to be come.

“It’s nice isn’t it. To be nearly home and be with the first glimmer of hope we’ve had in quite some time” Kyoko began, breathing deeply and looking out across the water and slowly approaching fields be and farmland. “I bet you were be staying to worry weren’t you Takeo” she said turning to the tawny hawk next to her. After a ruffle of feathers Takeo Mei stood next to her.

“When my birds returned without delivering a message I worried, when Jade Point was under siege I also worried. But now I am glad to see that you have made some stalwart companions to usher you home, I knew that they were a good omen, but I don’t remember the Priestess being amongst them earlier.. ” he frowned looking towards the Lizbet as he could sense a strange energy about her.

“She is something else. Single handed turned the Toad-kin into allies. They call her a fallen Star” Kyoko said as she sipped from a cup and watched her. Takeo nodded to Kyoko before walking towards Lizbet and the party of adventurers he met weeks ago.

“I could sense something about you from across the ship. You have a light about you Miss Priestess, one that the darkness and shadow will try and snuff out” Takeo said, nodding to the party as he stopped to stand amongst them, tilting his head listening to a sound that only he could hear.

“Well they have tried already, luckily for me I have had these adventurers, heroes if you will, protect me and shepherd me from harm for now. Even Siu has taken to following a few feet behind me to ensure that I am safe.” she said as the golden scaled beast moved forward making Takeo startle if only for a moment.


“No, I can’t. I won’t. She is the light that will protect us.” he muttered under his breath as he shook his head – the whispers getting louder with each passing moment. His legs walked on their own carrying him next to the railing, around the back of the gathering where the adventurers stood with the person made entirely of blinding light. “No, don’t please. Its a price I cant afford” the man continued as he felt the change happen – suddenly people stopped moving aside, no one looked at him and even the astute and watchful gaze of the man talking to the priestess and the party frowned as if something was missing.

As more people bumped into him he cursed the card game that had won him the stone that was now in his possession, again, a pain on his neck forming as the stone took its mark on him. He couldn’t live like this again, not in the shadow, not without the warmth of others and so with a shuddering sob he drew his long knife, a memento from his father – a fisherman – and drove the point into his chest. He shuddered as the stone fell from his hand and clacked against the railing of the ship and then over the side as he felt his body go cold. All of a sudden people were screaming, the man who appeared to have been watching him before the shadow enacted its price was there in the space he drew his last breath. “The shadow…” he managed to whisper to the man as he felt his eyes close.


Takeo knelt next to the man he remembered seeing, hearing talking to himself as if a mad man then nothing – as if his existence had been wiped from the world. When the body hit the ground he remembered what had been witnessed and heard and as he heard the words “The Shadow” he searched the man for marks – a large, deep bruise had formed on his neck where it met his left shoulder as if a large round object had been forced onto him for some while.

“Kyoko, we need to restrict the priestess and her companions at once. There is darkness afloat these waters”


Thanks for joining me tonight for the start of a new week and I hope that this slight twist in the plans we have here came as a shock, well at least part of it did. I am looking forward to the next legs of the journey as we approach Kyoko’s home city so don’t forget to tune in daily so you don’t miss a beat – and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

To catch a Fallen Star

Tonight we will look back at the parties first encounter with the Oni a warrior race who’s goal is to enslave or eradicate the other races of Ryokughan.

So I will continue using this format which I believe is easier for me to collate material and display it – but of you find that its not the easiest way to read it please do let me know!

As with last time Pages 1, 2 and 3 are content pages, the description, flow, random tables, etc. and such that you’ve previously seen.
Page 4 contains all NPCs and portraits to help the DM describe them and a bit about them to help play them out.
Page 5 will be stat blocks and map(s) – all that D&D encounter goodness that you want.

Now I will assume you have read the entire post (a shocking 4844 words long!) and say thanks in advance for reading this – I have expanded, added and adjusted a few things to make sure the adventure flow better.


Don’t forget to come back next week and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe


Part 1 – Moored within the Marsh- 214MoSoR

Sailing towards the continent of Ryokughan the party start to relax with the setting of the sun as the ship sail are pulled in and several great oars are produced from portholes on the side of the ship.

As the ship moves through the marsh and the lanterns are lit across the deck of the ship one of the crew, Choi, mentioned to them.

“Don’t follow lights in this jungle. Not during the night and definitely not during the day” Choi fang mentioned as he wound up a length of rope as he finished tying up one of the sails. “There are witches and fell spirits in these marshes that would love for nothing more than the easy meal of someone who doesn’t know the rule of these lands. ”

When the question is asked, “What’s that?” Choi replies with a grin, “Don’t follow the lights.. All light casts a shadow and the smaller the light the bigger the shadow” before he walked off below deck to get a meal in before a long night of navigating through the marsh.

Meanwhile deeper in the marsh Kiri and Trip, two toad-kin who had been summoned by their large and more violent chiefs met and shared a meal. The war chief; a large, violent and terribly powerful member of their kind had received orders from The Shadow to ensure none of the crew upon the Dancing Drake survived their trip through the Marsh.


Areas and places of note

The boat – The Red Fleets Dancing Drake is where the party find themselves calling the ship home, for the time being at least.

The Marsh – The marsh is small islands of mud and root systems of the bushes and reeds that grow in this otherwise deep waterway. Those who fall overboard are treated with deep water, slippery mud banks and thick 4feet tall reeds that make traversing these waterways dangerous during the day and lethal at night.

Environment and running the adventure

The Marsh banks – If someone was to fall overboard a DC10 Dexterity check would be required to stand up safely on the river bank (or they fall prone), made with disadvantage if the person on the bank is wearing heavy armour. The islands are 5ft by 10ft on average with some longer but skinnier, and some 10ft by 10ft banks of mid and reeds sporadically spread out either side of the deep river.

The Boat – See Map

Encounter

Boat and Marsh – In this encounter lets assume that our party of 4 have all reached level 5, I think that would be fitting for being this far in the adventure-year.

This gives us 20 Toad-kin, 4 Toad-kin Chief and 1 Toad-kin War-chief.

That is a lot of critters and yes it does say deadly, but if we break it down into how these creatures fight then it will make more sense.

These creatures will send through the foot soldiers, the humble toad-kin, first before the chiefs will be riled up to fight. If the chiefs begin to falter (and they do easily not being dumb creatures and valuing their life more highly than most things) then the war-chief will wade into the thick of things to dish out discipline and intimidate through violence the lesser toads.

Once Lizbet arrives the toad-kin will stop fighting and three chiefs will arrive the War chief falls and they will use their bully ability to get toad-kin’s to fight the party (despite them not wanting to and it being very obvious that they don’t want to. The Toad-kin (not chief) will had disadvantage on attack rolls when they are fighting in this part of the fight.

Once the Chiefs die then the War-chief will appear, with a second larger chief and they will then attempt to kill the party – using their size and weight to bully the toad-kin who are reluctant into fighting.

Aftermath: Once the war chief dies a dark mist will escape from its lungs as it exhales the last time and will fly away to the north. The Toad-kin will throw down their weapons and appear joyous at the death of the chiefs, maybe not all of them but a majority will and they will attempt to communicate with the party if they can; led by Kiri and Trip.

Notable NPC interactions.

Koyko Harimasu – spends her time fighting off toad-kin as they swarm the helm – attempting to keep the little humanoids(ish) from running the ship aground.

Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder – When Lizbet appears on deck, her divine magic appears as if she was a fallen star. The Toad-kin cease fighting and drop to their knees in worship as the vision that walks before them is like a tale sung from campfires from their elders.

Siu – Siu is in a good mood, nervous and anxiety being this close to his home land in a very long time when he senses danger and Lizbet moves to go up on deck he races forward to protect her. To the Toad-kin he appears as an emissary of the ancient ones – dragons. His fangs, claws and shimmering gold scales cause lesser toads to jump overboard and those brave enough to hold fast dare not strike him

Quick Adventure Challenge – April 30

So it’s been a while since I did one of these and I wanted to try and do one again tonight. So as per the other challenges for the sake of tonight I will enforce the below constraints:

  • 30 minute time limit
  • 1 protagonist
  • 1 location
  • 1 randomly generated enemy
  • “randomly generated pot” (tonight we are using one from here: https://blog.reedsy.com/plot-generator/fantasy/)
  • Grammar and spelling (ONLY!) can be fixed outside of the 30 minutes if required.

So let’s kick off.


PROTAGONIST

A witch, who is abrasive.

SECONDARY CHARACTER

An enchantress-in-training, who is soft-hearted.

PLOT

It’s a low fantasy story about defying destiny. It kicks off in an enemy camp with someone important being kidnapped.


Ok, Cass a soft natured Enchantress who is currently studying under Arabel – a ruthless and efficient witch at the academy has been given her final assignment – Enchant one of the visiting elven dignitaries, a hard task at the best of times, and make them commit an embarrassing act that will send their reputations with the human population into turmoil.

The Academy is located in the City of Gurmish – a rough and dark city that specialises in black market goods, dark dealings and darker deals committed for the right amount of coin. It is however a completely neutral city where dignitaries can find anything and everything including “safe places” to conduct business – such as the current deal between an elven cities royalty and the local human and gnome coalition who wish to trade with the elves and establish mining rights for their advancement in technology.

However as the plan is set into motion the elf dignitary, a lesser prince, is kidnapped whilst in the city, vanishing from one of the better reputed houses of ill repute and both the human and elven governments start the search for him.

Weeks pass and Cass is unable to complete her final test – but her mistress, the witch Arabel has ordered her to locate the prince, complete the task or she will never be granted the title of Enchantress and be welcomed to the council of nine- an order of mages who preside over a school of magic with the high witch being there to break ties between the schools. Cass is next in line to take over the mantle of of high enchantress and be able to sit in the council.

BUT – Cass organised the fake kidnapping – going so far as to seek out the prince, warn him that he was in danger and being targeted and then ferried him away to safety, out of the public eye until she can work out a way to get his name off the list. The reason for this is Cass believes that this prince is actually her brother – discovering late in her life that she was half-elven from when her mother had an affair with an lower elven lord.

The Witch Arabel isn’t stupid though and wonders if Cass has the right mettle for the task – she has recruited the party to investigate the disappearance and find the prince – the reward is access to the counsel’s magic vault and the selection of one magical relic, artefact or goods from within. What the party doesn’t know is that the vault is nearly dry – a handful of items remain as the council is moments from ruin and the conflict between elves and humans was the only thing that was keeping gold in their purses.

The party would need to skirt the dangerous streets of Gurmish – bandits, thugs and worse lurk the streets and aren’t afraid to take what they see as theirs – including anything the party have. Futhermore the humans and elven councils are also looking for the missing dignitary so they will have their own men and women after the prince and his location – so there are many people in the race for information, a location and the prince!

The party would need to start their search with finding his last seen location by talking to his guards who have taken place up in a local inn for dignitaries – The Broad Boar, the guard will tell them, with sadness, that they left him to watch a dance and have some drinks and then when they returned from their own dances (which they will say they were patrolling the area) he was gone. Arabel sends the party to the guards with a token (forged) which she tells them will allow them to convince the guard, magically, that the party are guards of the city who are on official business.

The dance hall is called The Pink Lilly, a place for drinks and dances – of the adult variety. The matron will know of what happened but she wont see anyone unless something is wrong with her house of ill-repute – so the party need to make a scene, bribe their way to her, or work with one of the dancers in the venue in order to see. The Matron, Galadea (Gal-a-day-ah) is half drow, strong and quick witted and is not to be trifled with – however for the right leverage (DMs discretion) she will tell the party that the prince was seen leaving with a singled armed guard – who was not a guard at all! “Obviously an illusion, a poor one at best. You could tell that the way the cloak danced in the light that it was fake. Childs play to detect such petty magic for someone experienced such as I”. Flattery will worth with Galadea somewhat but she will play with the the party members who think that they can manipulate, charm or coerce her.

When asking about the guard people on the streets, shop owners and beggars will ask for coin, a few silver or a few gold depending on the venue. Eventually when the Party pay a homeless dwarf – who watches everything acutely (Insight check DC14 after spotting the dwarf DC13 perception) – if the party buy him a hot meal and a few mugs of ale at his favourite tavern “The Spitted Manticore” then he will tell the party (after eating and drinking for an hour) that he saw the guard and the elven prince move to a alchemical supply shop – “All that Glitters could be gold” and that she guard and prince never left. He also mentions that the same info was given to some mean spirited elves and humans – except that he said that it was a different shop – same street though – they would be getting close to uncovering the princes wheareabouts.

“All that glitters could be gold” is in the employ of Cass – she being a long lasting patron she has organised use of a hidden back room for keeping the prince hidden. However the elves and humans are also closing in on the venue and time is of the essence.

The prince is shocked to see the adventurers, as he is not in the room and is flirting with the shop assistant when they walk into the building – the party need to convince him to leave with them instead of the elves and humans – deception is best as he is a bit gullible but not overly stupid.

Cass walks in as the party are leaving and then pleads with them to her her out – casting a spell to turn them all invisible to all but each other as she walks them to a nearby house. She explains why she kidnapped the prince and asks them to not take him back to the elves and humans yet until she works out what to do with Arabel. At that time several thugs break into the room and surround the party, prince and Cass – Arabel walks in and asks the party to make a decision – help the soon to be excommunicated Cass and prince – or help her murder the prince, blame it on Cass so that she can create war with the elves.

Parties choice.


Time commenced: 5:25

Time completed: 5:53 (2 minutes spare)

Some inspiration taken from the 8 schools of magic

Well tonight it just flowed – the plot generator helped point somethings in the right direction (and I didn’t use all of it as I didn’t have time to write a whole novel!) but it was good to do this challenge again.

If you like what you read tonight let me know! Better yet if you have a suggestion for a future one let me know below and I will try and deliver the random adventure in 30 minutes based on the restrictions and requirements you give me.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of the week write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Inevitable boarding

Hi all and welcome to Friday, also known as Fight-night! Tonight I wanted to had a small random encounter for whilst the party is still in the marshlands – aboard the ship or on foot.

So sit back, enjoy, and let’s get into it.


Ethereal malcontents

217FrEtMa

As the mist wafted across the waters surface the the onlookers assumed nothing was different to the previous nights where the same phenomena happened. That is until movement from within the mists foretold the appearance of humanoid faces gliding atop shadow and air which writhed towards sentient life like a leech does blood.

Now, being someone similar to the Shadow we would use them as such except that they are a lot weaker than a shadow. Ambushing, stealth and infiltration before wearing there targets down before draining them of life.

For a party of 4 level 5 characters we would probably look at around 8 of these – enough that one per turn per player will go down but they will still be able to give that sense of dread and danger to the player to let them know that they are in danger.


Well after the last few nights being larger than I had intended tonight is a bit smaller than I had intended but I also didn’t want to overload what we had for this month as its quite busy. Don’t forget to come and see the final product at the end of the week and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Keeping afloat

Hi all and welcome to Thursday where, for us here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop we look at extra bits, items, maps, stat blocks, information and titbits that make our game richer.

Tonight, after an incredibly long day at work I have opted for the easy way out (but don’t fret! I will have what I originally planned as additional goodies for Sunday!).


Help from old foes

217ThHfoF

As the crew lit another fire and cooked the food that they or the Toad-kin had managed to catch for breakfast Kyoko stared at the ship, her ship, the Dancing Drake as it sat resting between two mudbanks which it had drifted between during the fight with the chiefs and the now friendly Toad-kin a few days ago. As a few toad-kin swam to the surface having slowly been patching the hull with twigs, leaves and a sap that grew from a certain tree in the nearby forest they looked exhausted but approached her joyously.

The croaks, grunts and clicks that came forth from them with gesturing and drawing in some soft soil near by indicated that they had something to show, and they were excited by it. “Go on, lead the way” she said as she shucked her layered lamellar chest plate, bracers and greaves before following the toad-kin into the water using a rope that had been tied to the edge of the ship as a way to keep herself from being swept back out to see or pulled down into the deep river by the strong currents – no one here was a strong as a swimmer as the Toad-kin. As she drifted below the water several eel, and snake like fish darted away from the boats edge as she pulled herself along to where the hole, well was previously. Instead of broken boards and a gaping hole to the ship there was now an, albeit ugly, patchwork of reeds, branches, leaves and a hard semi-shiny sap like material that even as she looked at it under water was hardening and shrinking; binding the mess of plants together. Pointing up she surfaced and moved towards the shore, the toad-kin coming to help her as they were at home in the water as much as on the land.

“It looks, well not as good as new, but mended. When will be set and ready to sail?” she asked as she squeezed water from her hair. The toad-kin who had followed her drew three moons and circled the last one. “Thee moons from now. Huh, well its better than nothing and will do until we can get it repaired by the ship builders.” she said smiling. “thank you” she said as she patted the lumpy skin of the toad-kin in front of her who croaked with a broadening grin -revealing their sharp teeth lined powerful jaws.

“Captain!” a voice yelled from on deck, Sun Yu one of her crew mates. “We have two toads approaching” he yelled.

Moving around the side of the ship, grabbing her chest piece and strapping it back on as she moved she met the toads as they leapt onto the mudbank. “Princess Kyoko, star emissary, the adventurers have made it through the Marsh, and the jungle” they paused to breathe as a cheer went up, some bewildered faces at the Toad-kin speaking common were scattered amongst the crowd – including Kyoko.

“that good news. We should be on our way soon then it seems” she said with a grin, looking at the curious pendant that the Toad-kin was wearing.

“that’s not all – the Oni are attacking the town on the waters edge, the town is falling. The adventurers, Kookastem catcher and Long tooth slayer,” audible gasps could be heard from the toad-kin present, “stayed behind to go help the town but the Oni are shrouded in shadow – we must aid them if they are to succeed.

Kyoko gritted her teeth, this was not good but she could not let her crew know that she was worried. “I guess we don’t have three days to wait for the sap to set. We shove off tomorrow at midday on the morning – a day and a half shall have to do..” Concerned looks came from the toad-kin who had patched the ship but the camp immediately bustled with activity as crewmen climbed aboard the ship with buckets to start bucketing out water from below deck.

“Liz – a word if you will” Kyoko called as she walked towards her and Siu – concern on the face of the dragon-like beast called Siu as Kyoko picked up the rest of her armour and started to buckle them on as well.


Well I had intended it on being a shorter night but, much like last night, once I had worked out where and how I wanted to go with the write-up it just flew. Don’t forget to come back the next few nights for the last few pieces of content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe