The Dork Circus

Beastmaster Ranger
making it playable

I have two ideas for Houseruling the Beastmaster Ranger, mostly after reading 2 internet forum threads arguing about it.

The first is, instead of gaining any of your proficiency bonuses to its attack, AC, damage, or anything else, the beast just gets its own turn on the Initiative Order, with its own Action. So instead of making its attack and damage similar to a PC’s, it just gets to be an extra character for the Ranger to control. Very similar to how Summons spells work.

Second, and these are mutually exclusive, simulate the fear/craziness of having a BEAST attacking, by granting the beast advantage of every attack vs a humanoid, and making humanoids take disadvantage on attacks vs the beast. You are much less likely to fight a trained attack dog than a regular fella.


So do we have 2 rivers now or did you mean for the Nairn to replace Froth?

New Years Resolution
D&D Every Other Week!

So my New Years’ Resolution is to DM our World of Northrend group every other Wednesday. I think we can get all the way to level 30 this year! We’ll start with January 11th, my house, start showing up at 3pm. We just leveled up to 19, so bring an updated character sheet or show up a little early (call first of course) to use my character builder. See you then!

Wednesday or Thursday?
This Week, Return to Northrend...

OK I texted everyone about this already, but which day works better for people? Wednesday or Thursday of this week? That’s November 30th or December 1st. Let me know ASAP! I’m going to assume Wednesday, like we used to always do it, unless I hear otherwise. We will meet at my house (to minimize the distractions of playing in the store, so we can concentrate in moving the story forward).

Also, I invited Greg Larson to join our group since Mike and James are leaving. Inad and Gorga will continue adventuring with us a little longer, until their storylines diverge. Meanwhile, I have prepared companion NPCs character sheets for them, so they can continue helping us during combat. Greg is playing a new character, who will be introduced in our first session together.

Come back to the World of Northrend! This time we’ll be discovering what secret lurks beneath Cendriane, meet the mysterious Lord of Cendriane that Draigdurroch mentioned in his journal, and possibly even face Draigdurroch himself!

Splitting the Party
It might be the only way

So only myself, Christina, Jesse and Noah showed up yesterday, which was not quite enough people to actually “return to the world of Northrend.” However, the four of us definitely want to resume playing the campaign (Noah joked that his only goal for Cide was to reach level 19). I think that we can do this with in-game device of Splitting the Party. I had a big decision moment planned for the group this session: a roleplay encounter with a powerful Archlich who has a quest he wants you to undertake before he will reveal anything he knows about the Book of Vecna. I think that this provides an excellent opportunity for certain members of the party (eg Mike and James, who don’t want to play anymore) to say Hell No, We Won’t Go (and Nick can make his own decision, with the option to rejoin us later if his schedule frees up, or whatever). This leaves the rest of us free to continue the campaign, possibly heading in a darker direction.

Next question is, if we split the party this way, does anyone know someone we can invite to join the campaign to bring us up to 5 PCs? I think we only want mature, responsible people who are going to bring the same level of seriousness to this campaign as the rest of us — and I think that rules out Dakota and Aubry, as well as several of their friends, and probably the members of Jesse’s family that Mike and I used to play with a few years ago. But maybe not.

I have several ideas for new characters who could join us, or the new players would be free (within reasonable limits, respecting our established campaign world) to create their own:

  • This could be the return of Speros, a human bard wielding the Sword of Northrend, with several unanswered questions: where did he go, what did he do, and could he possibly be the Lost Heir of Northrend?
  • Several other NPCs have come and gone over the years of this campaign; perhaps one of them rejoins us more permanently. Kishkuman, Rhogar Alreja, or any of the other members of the Hammer of the Five Clans could join the Warwing Guard, and what baggage would they be bringing with them?
  • A divine character (cleric, paladin, avenger, or invoker) who worships Vecna (or one of the other major gods related to the Seven Soldiers and their quest) could be introduced to help us achieve our new goals. And does this new character have some sinister goal we don’t know about?
  • Cendriane, now known as Vor Rukoth, was once home to an outstretched arm of the Horned Empire, and Tiefling adventurers and their hirelings can be found throughout the ruins, searching for relics of their old empire. Perhaps one such adventuring group allies with the remnants of the Warwing Guard, and one or two of its members decide to split off and join you on a more permanent basis?
Our Summer Schedule

So my days off at work are going to settle down into Wednesdays and Thursdays starting in May. However, Mike just texted me that he won’t be able to play at all during May, and not very often during the summer either. Which brings up a good point: I’ve been promoted to Asst. Manager at work, which means that in addition to having my hours expanded from 40 to 52+, I also lost the ability to use 1-3 hours per day at work for my own personal use (ie working on D&D stuff, etc). Thus I think it would be beneficial to the group if we move to an every-other-week schedule. It requires us to communicate more as a group (which obviously we don’t do very often, as you can tell from the last post on OP here being 2+ months ago) to make sure we all get together, but we can do it.

I really don’t want this campaign to come to an end prematurely. Especially because I have printed adventures for levels 21-24 and 26-30 that I bought over a year ago now, so I hardly have to work on those at all! It’ll be a cinch!

So what does everyone else think? Is Thursday still the best day, or would we rather move to Wednesday? Can everyone make a twice-a-month commitment for the summer? How long of a playing time should we be doing each time we meet, I know Mike suggested maybe just 2 hours, time for a single encounter and maybe some exposition, and we could make that happen if we utilize Obsidian Portal during the rest of the week to roleplay any discussion about options and decisions and stuff, so we can come in to the session with a clear plan each time.

Another Survey?
your answers help make the game better

First up, if you guys have the opportunity, please print off an extra copy of the back page of your character sheet for me (the one with all your items on it), so i make sure not to give you something you already have (like a Stone of Storms). Then fill out this survey, and bring it with you tomorrow.

1. What is your most wanted item right now, and why? How does it affect the story of your character?

2. What is your chosen Epic Destiny, and how do you see it affecting your character’s story? Do you want me to personalize it, like i’ve done for James and Mike?

3. What themes or events do you see happening in your character’s story as we move into Epic Tier? How different is your character now than when he first rolled into Boyden and helped hunt down a Vampire raiding party?

4. What has been your favorite villain or monster?

5. What has been your favorite quest or storyline that we’ve engaged in (not necessarily one that we’ve finished)?

Escape from Brokenstone Vale
Thursday at 5

The Warwing Guard ventured into Brokenstone Vale at the behest of Lord Callenon Thray, who was worried due to the broken communication to his daughter Eltara and his warleader Kir Telenos. We entered the Vale, finding werewolves attacking us, screaming something about a Pact being broken. We encountered a wounded group of the Eladrin soldiers who call themselves the Unforgiven, and learned that Eltara and her advisor Lady Daria had been captured by the ’wolves. Tel had taken two Unforgiven back with him to free them, and sent the rest out of the Vale. Armand opened a portal to take them back to Shinaelestra, and we traced their backtrail to the werewolf camp. After a well-planned sneak attack, we escaped with the captives, but now night is falling in the Vale, and with it comes the full moon….

New Character Builder
Not that good at all

So I just build Armand in the new web based character builder an exercise in frustration, for the most part. There is zero character sheet customization and I couldn’t even find out how to select Armand’s human ability bonus (+2 to an ability score of your choice). It is pretty lame in that respect. The only real positive changes are that I can see anyone elses character that they make on the mike_is_awesome account, in that way, it is easier to deal with people forgetting their sheets and everything. Also, the select profile picture process is alot simpler. But all of these pluses to nothing to outweight the negatives…. decide for yourself.

Dapper Werewolves
will we find them?

Dapper Lycanthropes

Also, sometimes I’m afraid I feel like this.


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