Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tahlon: ICRPG 5E Ruins of Phandelver Part 1

Tahlon Lanae, Intuitive Eladrin Wizard
Tahlon stands as tall as an average human male but bears the slender frame of his elven lineage. He has fawn colored hair and gold eyes. Tahlon’s colors tend to be leaf green and wood brown.

Origin: Inheritance (Laeth “Eternal Night” the side sword)
Destiny: Sworn (Raven Queen)

S +0 D +1 [+1/+0] C +0 I +2 [+2/+0] W +0  C +0
HP 03 / 10 Armor 14 [+1/+3]
Basic +2 [+2/+0]
Weapon +0
Magic +2 [+2/+0]
Ultimate +0

Personality I am utterly serene, even in the face of danger.
Personality I connect everything that happens to me to a grand, cosmic plan.
Ideal Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true.
Bond My isolation gave me insight into a great evil.
Flaw I am dogmatic in my thoughts and philosophy.

Equipment composite bow (far, light, short range, small), dagger (concealed, fast, piercing, thrown), gryphon scarf (SPELLS are critical hits on 18-20), INT power: misty step (once per day, make a NEAR move without traveling between), jade frog statue (40 drakes), minish cap (+3 armor, no carry limit), nomad bundle (3 healing potions left), scroll of animate dead, spellbook (Magic Effort explodes), wizard side sword (use INT to attack), 600 copper nibs, 110 silver shards

[7 equipped / 4 carried]

Dimension [1] phase
Energy [2] ice barrage
Transmutation [1] disruptor ray

Opening Credits: Tessa Violet ft. heyhihello, Wizard Love

Tahlon has spent the past few days escorting supplies from Neverwinter to Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin to help an associate, Gundren Rockseeker, in exchange for a small amount of pay: 10 dragons, the minted gold coins of the Lord’s Alliance. He hasn’t known Gundren for more than a few weeks, but the excitable dwarf insisted that he had important matters to attend to.

A half day after leaving the High Road to take the Triboar Trail to Phandalin, Tahlon sees a pair of dead horses blocking the road, black arrows embedded in their flesh. The woods press close against the trail, steep embankments and dense thickets fall away sharply from the path.

Tahlon stops the oxen and dismounts to investigate the bodies.

The horses have been dead for a while, the saddle bags looted. An empty leather map case has been carelessly tossed aside. High pitched screams erupt from the woods as two goblins rush forward. Another pair of goblins loose arrows at Tahlon, each one grazing his thighs. One goblin shoulders into him, knocking Tahlon into the path of the second goblin. A short spear slice into his arm, leaving a ragged scratch.

Tahlon falls back a few quick steps and tosses a small globe of ice just behind the two spear wielding creatures. The ball of ice strikes the ground behind them and explodes in a shower of cold shards; the melee equipped goblins scream in agony as icy sharpnel dig into their backs. The two fall, silenced.

One of the goblins races across the path then fires its bow. The black feathered arrow cuts across his ribs. The stationary goblin takes advantage of the pincered and wounded Tahlon; its arrow strikes firmly in his leg.

The wizard falls back again, taking cover behind the wagon and oxen. His hand desperately grasps Laeth and pulls her free of the scabbard.

The goblin that had crossed the trail places another arrow on his bow. It creeps around to acquire a better line of sight.

Tahlon sprints from behind the wagon and rapidly closes the distance between his victim and himself. The side sword thrusts forward; the slate grey blade pierces the goblin and emerges from its back.

The final goblin, seeing his companion run through, decides that discretion is the better part of valor and flees.

Tahlon sighs heavily and sits on the ground, leaning against the wagon. Though painful, he takes the time to prepare a healing potion before working at his more severe wound. He winces and hisses as he pulls the arrow from his leg then drinks the potion. Most of his wounds close, but the grazes from the arrows are still red and raw.

With a groan, he guides the oxen to a nearby tree and ties them to it. Their black arrows matches the ones on the horses. At the very least, they have everything Gundren and Sildar had in the map case and saddle bags. At the worst, the goblins are holding them prisoner. He takes a few moments to look over the dead goblins in the rare event they have something worth taking.

Two of the goblins, the spear wielders, have nothing of value. Even their spears were poorly constructed. However, the one that used the bow has an odd piece of loot. A leaf green, wide brimmed and floppy hat.

Odd. The wizard scrutinizes the accessory closely; what is a goblin doing with this? Tahlon turns it and inspects it for a few minutes. A minish cap! Kind of like a ring of protection for your head!

Tahlon follows the trail the goblin left. He moves through the woods cautiously, gracefully. The wizard knew the goblin was armed with a bow. Tahlon readied his own. More importantly, he sees the snare waiting for him and the pit camouflaged beyond that. Tahlon slips by them easily without disturbing them.

As he creeps along, the trail ends at a small stream that curves gently around the western bank. Creeping along behind the trees, an opening in a cliff face appears. To proceed into the cave, Tahlon is forced to light one of his torches. Just inside the cave entrance, a passage leads to the right and also continues forward.

Tahlon carefully investigates the right hand passage first.

It smells like refuse. Snarls and growls echo softly from the chamber ahead. In the flickering torch light, he can see a trio of wolves, iron chains secured to iron rods driven into the cave floor.

From his vantage point, he sets the torch on the ground and readies his bow. One arrow flies and strikes its target straight through the eye. His elven training instinctively producing a second arrow, sending that into the chest of a second wolf. Another arrow seems to appear on the bow string immediately, and the third wolf yelps and falls to the floor.

The chamber narrows to a fissure at the far end; a pile of rubbish decomposing amidst the rest of the feces and urine scattered all around.

Tahlon moves the torch to the bottom of the fissure to provide light as he climbs up to see where the fissure leads. He leaps up and pulls himself half way up. Struggling as he isn’t a natural athlete, he spends a couple extra moments to pull himself completely out of the chimney.

Ahead, the room is lit by a campfire. Piles of crates line the walls; atop those piles, even more stacks of sacks of illegitimate gains. Most of the crates are stamped with a blue lion, the crest of Lionshield Coster. Lionshield Coster has a warehouse in Phandalin.

A loud, raucous voice comes from the other side. A bugbear is bullying a pair of goblins as they cower near his feet, a mangy wolf curled up at the bugbear’s feet.

“Klarg will make a throne from your worthless bones!”

It seems Klarg and his goblin minions weren’t expecting an assault from the chimney. Tahlon takes advantage of the situation before they get an opportunity to move. He pulls more energy for the ice barrage than previously, willing to sacrifice more of his spell energy to ensure Klarg would have to deal with a heavier impact. He was glad to have channeled as much as he did.

The ice grenade skittered across the floor and exploded. Icy shards tore through the goblins and wolf without any problem. Klarg was pelted by the ice, fragments ripping through his fur and skin.

“Ripper,” he hoarsely whispers, looking down at his wolf as blood rapidly pooled around it. Then Klarg collapses, coughing up blood before becoming still.

Tahlon readies his bow again and creeps into the room to investigate the sacks and crates, keeping a watchful eye on the chimney and any other exits that may appear.

The crates and sacks are still sealed, but they may be moved by wagon to Phandalin. Amidst the supplies, an unlocked chest reveals 600 copper nibs, 110 silver shards, 2 potions of healing, a small jade frog statue and a scroll of animate dead. Another exit, as Tahlon suspected, rests against the north wall, steps leading down to what sounds like pools of running water.

As Tahlon begins transferring the contents of the chest to his pack, he pauses and considers the scroll. His gold eyes look at the corpses at his feet then back at the scroll. There was still the rest of the cave… He channels as much power as he can manage and reanimates the four corpses. Afterall, Tahlon did just find potions of healing. The wizard directs the risen dead to head down stairs and follows a short way behind.

The cavern at the base of the stairs has a waterfall filling two pools to the east. The crashing water drowning out any sound from this chamber. A bridge crosses the small chasm to the west, and a ramp leads down to the cave floor beside it. Three goblins grow attentive and say something to Klarg, though the waterfall drowns their voices. The walking corpses creep closer to the three goblins.

Tahlon calmly places the torch back down on the floor and readies the composite bow as Klarg lurches forward to bite at one of the goblins. The zombie is clumsy, missing entirely, but, as the goblin sidesteps the poorly executed attack, Ripper’s jaws snap shut on his leg. The undead canine shakes its head violently, tearing through muscle and thrashing the goblin along the floor. The other two goblins didn’t fare much better. Tahlon’s arrows fire past the zombies and strike the two remaining goblins in the torso, killing them.

Ripper continues shaking his new toy until the leg separates from the body. Klarg and the other two undead goblins make their way across the bridge where another goblin sits, keeping watch on the cave floor beneath it. The goblins shuffle forward, the guard getting to its feet, and they collapse on the guard, pinning it to the bridge so Klarg can grab its throat with both hands. Klarg squeezes the guard’s throat, lifting it off the floor and pulling it in to bite into its face.

“Maybe having undead servants isn’t that bad,” Tahlon mused, crossing the bridge to the final room, escorted by his four assistants.

This room is divided by a ten foot tall escarpment, natural stairs lead from the floor up to the second level. Five goblins are tending a camp fire while a lone goblin supervises. Sildar is bound, obviously wounded, at the edge of the escarpment.

“Wait!” shouts the goblin on the escarpment. “Come closer, and this one dies!”

Tahlon paused, briefly, to consider his options. Did this goblin think he was stupid? He would just kill Sildar anyway. This was not the time for attachment. Action. Swift action. “Kill them,” he says, walking across the room. Klarg snares the nearest goblin and pulls. Shoulder joints pop, and the goblin’s screams become gurgles when Klarg leans in and bites into its throat.  Ripper lives up to his name in death, leaping at another goblin and clamps its jaws along the goblin’s head. The reanimated goblins stumble and fail to accomplish much more than groan. Closing the distance, Tahlon gestured at the goblin on the escarpment and struck it with a disruptor bolt.

The three remaining goblins swarm the two undead goblins kicking them in the legs until they fell over, then they started stomping on them until the zombies quit moving.

Ripper bounces around the stomping goblins, a raspy bark threatening them. Klarg ambles over and grabs one by the arm, pulling it in to bite its ear. Tahlon readies his bow.

The two goblins left try to avoid Klarg and focus their attacks on the bouncing Ripper to no avail.

Ripper continues to bounce around the fight, seeming to enjoy himself. Klarg tackles one from behind and shoves its face into the floor while tearing into the back of its shoulder. Tahlon fires a pair of arrows. The first impales the last goblin between the eyes; the second, however, barely grazes the goblin on the escarpment.

“Wait!” it pleads again. “I’ll let him go!”

“Ok,” the wizard replies. “Klarg, Ripper, let him through.”

The goblin slowly backs away from Sildar and inches down the steps. It makes a wide path around the zombies and wizard; when it reaches the door, the goblin breaks into a run.

Tahlon steps up to Sildar and frees his hands. “Klang, Ripper, could you go load the supplies in our wagon?”

“That was a dangerous game,” Sildar says.

“Yeah. Maybe. Looks like it worked, though.”

“Would you take me to Phandalin? I can pay…”

“Sure, and you can fill me in on what happened to Gundren along the way.”

End Credits: Becca, I'm Alive

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Red: The Spirit Remembers

To explore my previous post that Fate is Powered by the Apocalypse is 5E, I'm going to try and run ICRPG Accelerated with some optional rules:

  1. Borrowing from page 123 of the Player’s Handbook, Personal Characteristics, using Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds and Flaws like FATE Aspects for Hero Coins.
  2. Borrowing from page 174 of the Player’s Handbook, Ability Checks, “Otherwise it's a failure… or makes progress combined with a setback determined by the DM.” That sounds an awful lot like Dungeon World’s 6-, doesn't it?
  3. Borrowing from page 175 of the Player’s Handbook, Skills with Different Abilities turns ability scores into Approaches.
  4. Borrowing from page 242 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, Resolution and Consequences, Success at a Cost. The DMG recommends allowing success at a cost for failure by 1 or 2 points. My initial reaction is, it should be five or less so the probability matches 7-9 and reinforces the 6- concept. I'll play it as is first.
  5. Black Streams: Solo Heroes for solo survivability, making 1 Heart = 1 Hit Die
  6. Unearthed Arcana, Players Roll the Dice. That puts all the dice rolling back on the players similar to Dungeon World.
  7. The Diaspora SRD is used for system generation.
  8. The Versatile Fighter Shell was designed using five Chunks, mirroring the five slots found in Camelot Trigger from Fate Worlds: Worlds in Shadow, and borrowing the Transforming trait idea from Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters.

Series Title: Red
Episode Name: The Spirit Remembers
Season: 1 Episode: 1

When does the episode take place?
22nd century

Where does the episode take place?
 |----------|       |----------|
 |-----|---------|       |

F: T1 E -2 R -1 (Sachairi)
A World of Corrupted Air and Water
Mined Nearly to Depletion
To Import or Evacuate?

Sachairi was an Earth-like planet, slightly smaller with less land to settle. Was. Centuries after its discovery, Sachairi is now a dying husk. Mining and refining to the point that the air is no longer breathable, citizens of Sachairi require filtration masks to step outside. 90% of the world is under murky water. It is almost impossible to see the blue white sun through the perpetually overcast skies. Worse, it was only in recent history that the sister star, the dark star, was discovered approaching the system.

What do we know about the setting?
Faster than light travel is usually only possible from two stationed positions without a Warp Shell. The routes between the star systems resemble a mobius strip; Sachairi being the one system with only two connections, like a starting point in the Mobius Cluster. The crimson crystal fragments that litter the system contain raw power that can be mentally manipulated and projected.

What is the tone of the setting?
In spite of the dismal circumstances Sachairi finds itself, it isn’t grim and dark. More Firefly than Warhammer.

Cayden McKenzie, Geno Gunner
Average height with a slightly more muscled build due to his genetics.  He started his career as a scout then moved on to inter-system trade. Cayden typically wears practical, utilitarian clothing in blue and grey.

S +1 D +3 C +0 I +0 W +1 C +0
HP 10 / 10 Armor 11
Basic +2
Weapon +3
Magic +0
Ultimate +0

Personality I am driven by wanderlust.
Personality I have a lesson for every situation drawn from nature.
Ideal Life is like the seasons, in constant change.
Bond I suffer visions of a coming disaster.
Flaw I am slow to trust members of other species and societies.

Equipment blast pistol (6 capacity, common, concealed, durable, easy), burst fire unit (pulse rifle, 3x weapon effort), duranium dagger (concealed, fast, piercing, thrown), personal body armor (+1 armor), pulse rifle (accurate, alien, light, valuable), repair kit (+3 on repair attempts), supplies kit, weapon kit (+2 weapon effort)

Aoife, Versatile Fighter Shell Mk 3
5 10 HP Chunks
Chunk 1 Head: Cockpit
Chunk 2 Legs: Ion propulsion
Chunk 3 Left arm: Short range missiles
Chunk 4 Right arm: Railgun
Chunk 5 Transformation core

Opening Credits: Only My Railgun by GARNiDELiA and Luna Haruna

Location Crash Site / Forest
Obstacle Zurin Temple
Goal Reptoid Supercruiser

A silent explosion of heat bursts through the fabric of space as the Shell returns to normal space. The VFS Mark 3 speeds toward the nearest planet marked as habitable. Barely habitable. Displays show a contaminated atmosphere and just as contaminated oceans; Cayden will need his filtration mask to breathe, and who knows what would happen if he decided to visit the beach. However, there was no mistaking that the Zurin temple on the surface had sent a distress call.

Cayden checks over the rest of the fighter’s systems, muttering, “I don’t know why anyone would hassle the Zurin here. I don’t even know why anyone would want to stay here.”

Most of the systems show green, though Aoife’s propulsion took a hit during the escape from the last system. Navigating down to the surface won’t be an issue; continuing to fly may become one.

Cayden marks the location of the Zurin temple and hopes Aoife decides to land as close to the distress beacon as possible.

The fighter descends through the smog. The sky turns a dark pumpkin orange from the refineries located below churning out pollutants. The temple is away from the populated area, off near what is left of a forest. As most of the surrounding area had been razed, finding a clear space to land within a short distance from the temple is easy.

Cayden checks his flight suit and ensures his helmet and mask are secure. The sensors didn’t mention anything about any dangers to the skin, so there shouldn’t be a reason to wear a hazmat suit. He steps down from the cockpit and begins the walk toward the temple.

Something heavy kicks into Cayde’s shoulder knocking him to his knees. The sting of impact shoots along his shoulder, the crack of gunfire somewhere behind him.

He growls, hissing, “What. The. Fuck?” Cayde is near the treeline; he sprints to take cover behind them.

Another bullet flies from across the clearing, shattering the tree bark from the cover Cayde is behind.

“Well, shit…,” Cayde reaches back and pulls the pulse rifle from his harness.

A figure sprints across the clearing; Cayde sees it just as the assault rifle comes up and fires a quick burst in his direction. More tree bark flies from the trunk, another bullet barely managing to make contact with Cayden’s shoulder.

“Gotcha,” he says, pulling the trigger of the pulse rifle. Cayde returned fire, kicking up patches of dirt as he followed the figure across the clearing. The third pulse finding its mark; the sprinting figure falls to the ground. “Fuck!” he exclaims, walking out to ensure his victim was dead as he glares at Aoife. “Are you kidding me?”

No response.

Cayden crosses to the prone figure. What had seemed like a shimmering cloak is, instead, a pair of wings. Its helmeted head is actually insectoid. The chitinous carapace is colored black with bands of yellow like a wasp; its useless blast rifle lays a couple feet from the corpse. Nirisian.

“Perfect.” He glances skyward, just to be sure nothing is hovering above him, and sprints back to the trees, pulse rifle ready, and makes his way, cautiously, to the temple.

Even being so close to the temple, the trees and cautious progress costs Cayden twenty minutes. The careful approach is rewarded as he hears a steady stream of gun fire. Something screams in pain. Peering from behind cover, Cayden sees a trio of Nirisians shooting up the temple steps; a robed figure sprawled across the steps, sliding slowly down toward them.

“My turn,” Cayde says, smiling. The pulse rifle comes up to his shoulder, support arm resting on one knee.

He lines up a shot and pulls the trigger. The laser burns a hole through one of the Nirisians’ head, immediately cauterizing the wound with a hiss. The two remaining insectoids turn around, weapons at the ready; their wings flicker rapidly as they scan the trees.

Cayden sits and lines up another shot, hoping they haven’t spotted him yet.

The pulse rifle lights the air again, the burst fire catching each of the Nirisians in the chest with a subtle whine then hiss from the rifle. Their fluttering wings stop, and the bodies drop to the ground. Beyond the trees, silence.

Cayden continues to the edge of the tree line and looks for any more Nirisians.

There are no Nirisians nearby; a robed figure steps from behind a pillar that holds a levitating crimson crystal the size of a standing person and kneels beside the other that had been shot. From this vantage point, Cayde gets a clear view of the temple. Made entirely of smooth stone, it resembles a chapel. Stone steps lead up to the door, a pair of pillars at the base of the steps with floating crimson crystals suspended by invisible strings.

He steps from the trees, the pulse rifle collapsing into stowage mode before being placed onto the harness. Cayden climbs the few steps toward the two robed figures. “Are you alright?”

The monk stands and regards Cayden, its robes moving oddly, disjointed, “Brother Jacob is dead, and you are hurt,” he says, eyeing where Cayden had been shot. “Step up so I may help you, then you can help me bring Jacob into the temple.”

Cayde continues up the steps and stands across from the monk.

“I am Seth,” he says, then begins to chant. He reaches forward with a taloned hand that seemed to only have two fingers and a thumb. Cayden’s wounds begin to close, in moments only bruising remained. The cowl tilts to one side awkwardly, “The best I can do.”

“Better than nothing,” replies Cayden with a faint smile. “I’m Cayde,” he says as the two reach down and lift the body of Brother Jacob.

The two walk into the temple, more robed figures bustle through the main chamber nervously. A pair of monks take the body from Seth and Cayde.

“If one of us were trained, we could have saved him,” Seth mutters. “Our evacuation vessel has not arrived; they are days behind. Could you help us?”

“With evacuation? No,” Cayde subconsciously nods his head toward Aoife. “I have a fighter, not a shuttle or anything capable of that. Besides, her ion drives were damaged escaping from the last system.”

“Ah. That we can help with. A moment,” the voice seemed almost a rasp, like dragging something across a rocky surface.

Cayden waits as Seth walks down a hallway. Minutes pass, the remaining monks are silent and dutifully performing whatever daily tasks they were assigned. Seth returns a short while later reverently carrying what seems like a hammer in his inhuman hands. The duranium hammer shines silver with a faint sheen of azure. Grooves trace lines and right angles like circuitry along the rectangular head and down the metallic shaft. Seth presents the hammer to Cayden.

“A Forge Hammer,” Seth says in his stony rasp. “Yours if you will make contact with our evacuation ship.”

Cayden takes the Forge Hammer from Seth, inspecting it. “For a Forge Hammer? When was the last contact?”

“Almost a week ago now. The Red Sword’s last position was in the Savriel system.”

“The Red Sword? You were going to trust pirates to evacuate your temple?” Cayde asks, incredulous.

“It seemed our only option,” Seth replies, glancing to the doors of the temple, “Given our current situation, it may still be. We offered a fair exchange, and we have no warmaster.”

There’s a loud crack as a fist sized hole appears in the stone wall. Lighter explosions of sound follow after from lighter caliber fire. The monks quickly take cover behind the altar, pews, and nearby walls.

Cayden pulls the pulse rifle from the harness and crosses to the foyer. “Alright, if we survive this, I’ll take your message to the Red Sword.”

Another fist sized hole punches through the door, just a couple feet above Cayden’s head. Seth pulls open one of the heavy stone doors.

Cayde’s pulse rifle fires a burst of energy around the door, trying to force the Nirisians back.

A couple of insectoids break ranks and fall back to the tree line. The one holding the gauss rifle, however, stands its ground and takes aim. Another explosion of stone shards, this time close enough to trace lacerations across Cayde’s face. The fusillade that follows chips smaller splinters from the door.

He waits for the gun fire to slow then quickly returns fire. The whine and pop of capacitors on burst fire sends three beams of light down the stairs, three of the Nirisians sizzle as tiny holes bore through them. A rapid count; the gauss rifle and a blast rifle Nirisian at the base of the stairs. There should still be a couple in the trees.

The gauss rifle punches through the door and the metallic projectile scrapes across Cayden’s back leaving a searing scratch across the back of his shoulders. Thankfully, the blast rifle hasn’t broken through the stone barricade yet.

Cayde slides from behind cover and opens fire with the pulse rifle. This time, the laser pierces the gauss rifle Nirisian in the neck; the blast rifle Nirisian’s chest is speared by a pencil thin beam. However, he’s lost sight of the other two.

A loud buzz fills the air; the two Nirisians drop in front of the door Cayden is using as cover. A machete swings angrily at him but scrapes off the stone door. The second insectoid kicks at the door, knocking Cayde back across the floor.

From his prone position, Cayde quickly fires three times. Two beams break through the chitin of one Nirisian. Another beam strikes the machete wielding Nirisian in the chest.

Cayden gets to his feet, breathing heavy with adrenaline still flooding his system. “Red Sword. Savriel. Got it…”

End Credits: Mirai by GARNiDELiA