Reign of Fear: A NeoGAF DnD 5e Play by Post Campaign


We currently have 7 players, which past experience would seem to indicate is pretty much the maximum these games can reasonably handle. But I can always have a standby list if people are still interested in playing, so be sure to let me know if you're interested in putting your name down.
Current Players:
  • ThLunarian
    [*]Song of Fire
    [*]Noisy Ninj4

This my first crack at DMing a campaign of any sort, let alone a PbP one or a 5e one. I’ve been a longtime player of our past PbP campaigns and a regular contributor to Creative Writing Challenge GAF, so I’m fairly confident I can at least spin a serviceable yarn.

Character Creation
  • Starting attribute stats are 15,14,13,12,10, and 8, or you can do a point buy scheme as listed on page 13 of the PHB.
  • Everyone starts at level 3. That should be just enough for everyone to start picking archetypes/schools/disciplines/whatever in their respective classes.
  • You can choose to take either the starting equipment granted by class, or the average starting wealth.
  • All non-evil alignments are acceptable, though I reserve the right to veto Chaotic Neutral.
  • All races and classes in the PHB and DMG are acceptable, barring those that require anything that requires an evil alignment.
  • Races and classes from the campaign books, third party publishers, and various Unearthed Arcana supplements are probably acceptable, but subject to approval.
  • Fuck, if you want to play something from the Monster Manual with a homebrew class and background, I’m willing to at least hear you out.
  • For thematic fodder that I may or may not utilize, I want everyone to provide what their character’s greatest fear and biggest dream is.
  • Feats are in if the player wants to take them at the associated level ups.
  • Please provide a means of contact outside GAF in case you catch a ban for pirating Mavis Beacon or something.
Campaign-Specific Details
  • This is a homebrew setting, but shouldn’t provide any limitations on character alignments, gods, etc, though it may impact character backgrounds to keep it in line with the world’s history and present.
  • Gunpowder and associated weapons exists, but are not widespread. You will almost certainly not have them, barring some very specific character backgrounds.
  • There are dungeons with maps and everything that will operate under slightly different rules when we get to them.
  • There will be non-combat encounters that also have special rules associated with them.
  • That said, I'm going to employ some variant rules from the DMG that I happen to like over the base rule set, mostly to the players' advantage.
  • There will be random encounters in addition to the story-driven ones. They might be jettisoned, depending on how much drag they put on the game.
  • I’m a fluff over crunch kind of guy, roleplay and player interaction is not only highly encouraged, but probably the best way to be awarded Inspiration points.
  • I'm gonna try my best to weave character backgrounds into story threads, so the more you give me to work with, the better I'll probably do.
  • Because I am incredibly prone to coming up with superfluous backstories and unnecessary detail, I’m going to make my life way more difficult than it needs to be and maintain a codex. Right now it only has the information that is widely known to all inhabitants of this setting (and would therefore be known to your characters), but the more the party learns, the more I will flesh out the entries. I may share additional information with individual characters that they would know, but the others wouldn’t. OMFG, what are you doing, Mike…
House and Variant Rules
  • Combat is Side Initiative, same as in previous campaigns. Everyone rolls, and whichever side of an encounter has the higher average initiative goes first.
  • Additional combat action options beyond PHB are available: Climb on a bigger creature, Disarm, Mark, Overrun, Shove Aside, Tumble (See DMG pg 271).
  • Cleaving Through Creatures and Massive Damage will be in effect (DMG pg 272-273).
  • There will be degrees of success and failures beyond just hitting a DC/AC (i.e. missing an AC by 1 may still deal half damage).
  • Rolling a 20 on an ability check or saving throw is an automatic critical success, provided that you beat the DC. If you roll a 20 on something and still don’t meet the DC, I’ll roll the percentage die to see if you succeed regardless. Bottom line, you will always have a chance.
  • Rolling a 1 on an ability check or saving throw is not an automatic critical failure. If you roll a 1, I’ll roll the percentage die to see if there are any penalties incurred. I know critical failures are somewhat controversial mechanic, but my table is pretty lenient and there’s a very small chance you’d end up with anything worse than having Disadvantage on your next roll or something.
  • Characters may only have one Inspiration point at a time, per the base rules. But if you have one, you can confer it to any character who does not if you are awarded another (but not in the middle of combat or a skill check).
  • Weapons/Armor/Shields +1, +2, and +3 will be treated as masterwork items of varying degrees of quality. Any given town of significant size will probably have a selection of various +1 items (Base price +500gp for weapons and shields, +5,000gp for armor), and a city might have a selection of +2 items (Base price +5,000gp for weapons and shields, +50,000gp for armor). +3 items are some Excalibur-level gear, they won’t be available by normal means.
  • Weapons can undergo a process similar to silvering so that they deliver magical damage for 250gp.
  • There are still magical armaments, but they have effects other than flat bonuses to attack or defense.
  • All healing out of combat restores the maximum amount possible.
  • Using Hit Dice to recover HP during a short rest requires the use of a Healer’s Kit. Each HD recovered expends one use of the kit (a single kit has 10). Given the composition of the team so far, I doubt this will be much of a concern.
  • Don’t worry about food or rations or mundane ammo count. Special ammo will still need to be tracked.
  • In the unlikely event that you get stuck, you can use a WIS or INT check for a hint, but the DC will go up each time.
  • I reserve the right to invoke the Rule of Cool as I see fit and fudge results and outcomes at least a little bit from time to time.
Useful links:
  • Reign of Fear Codex: Keep on top of everything the characters learn over the course of the game.
  • 5e System Resource Document: Reader’s Digest version of the core rules and a few things from the DMG
  • Myth Weavers: Handy site for storing and sharing character sheets for a variety of RPGs online.
  • Fight Club 5: Probably the best game in town for iOS apps to manage character sheets, and once you get it set up (there are a few hoops), it’s actually pretty amazing. Not free, unfortunately, but I think the lite version just limits you to one character and has ads. I’m plugging all player characters into this for DMing on the go, and you can send the characters for import to anyone who has either this or the DM app. Seriously, cannot recommend it enough. Sadly, no Android : (
  • Pyromancers Dungeon Painter: This is what I used to make bases for the encounter and dungeon maps.
  • Hexographer: This is what I used to make the overworld map.
Previous Campaigns:
((Here's to hoping that my character for this one won't be an unbalanced mess like Viss was. Now let's see if I can muster at least some artistic talent to get my character sketch done in time.))
((Question about the setting that isn't already in the codex (at least, I didn't see it): How common is magic use? Are there people casting spells in the streets or is it pretty rare?))
((Magic is uncommon, but not exactly rare, about on the order of the frequency of occurrence of blue eyes in the US. People would know it when they see it, and street performers would likely be using stage magic if only because anyone with genuine ability would be able to find far more gainful work relatively easily.))
((I'm only missing a picture and since I haven't found anything I liked on the internet I'll try to draw it myself. Other than that I'm good to go, too.))
((We still have half the gang to go, and then I need to percolate some story hooks for them (though to my credit, I'm pretty good at just coming up with story ideas on the spot as I'm sure Nezumi can attest). Patience, grasshoppers : )))
((I should have my sheet done some time Monday, but with that being E3 and all, I doubt that'll be takeoff day. :)

Oh yeah, are we just doing starting equipment, or do we account for level 2 and 3 wealth too?))
((Just starting equipment. 5e's item economy is such that gold takes you further than it did in 3.5 since you're not hoarding gold to upgrade all your gear to +5 and buying magic gear off the shelf. Wealth above starting gear doesn't even kick in until you're starting at level 5 per the DMG.

That said, you'll probably be prorated the difference before you even leave town, so don't sweat it too much.))
((We still have half the gang to go, and then I need to percolate some story hooks for them (though to my credit, I'm pretty good at just coming up with story ideas on the spot as I'm sure Nezumi can attest). Patience, grasshoppers : )))
((I can indeed attest to that.))
((House rule addendum because it occurs to me: Beyond races and classes taken at character creation, third party spells, feats, etc. are also allowable, but are also subject to approval.))


bitch I'm taking calls.
((Switched hours at work from nights to days recently so been a little groggy with that. I should have time to finish my sheet tonight, fingers crossed.))
((Regrettably, Jackben won't be able to join us after all : ( He's always got a seat at the table should his situation change up.

I've got everyone's characters at this point. Game will start sometime later today!))
Life is a dream in the bustling city of Remdormo.


Benefiting from more than a century of peace in the Kingdom of Telmur and the surrounding nations, Remdormo has enjoyed a prolonged period of prosperity. The buildings are modern, the streets are clean, and the population is--by and large--happy and content.

Today, the town is festooned with flags and buntings in a wide variety of colors in celebration of the latest of Mayor Whimsley’s long line of innovations in the field of festivals and parties. Whatever the residents may think of his governing ability, there is a broad consensus that he knows more than a thing or two about boosting morale and having a good time.

The curvature of the massive celestial body Nyx is only just discernible in the heavens, its gaseous blue atmosphere almost lost in the azure of the late morning sky. Despite the direct sunlight, the temperature remains cool and comfortable. Vendors and customers alike fill the streets, and the air smells of all manner of delectable foods. The sounds of laughter and children playing echo off the surrounding buildings, punctuated at random intervals by the sounds of someone firing off a popper full of confetti. The river of people--mostly human, but more than a few representatives of other races in the mix--is flowing toward the center of the town. There stands the “temporary” stage that has become more of a permanent fixture given the frequency of Whimsley’s proclamations.

The afternoon is beautiful and full of possibilities. It feels as though anyone can do anything--can be anything--that their heart desires. The day is theirs.

((Introductions, if you will.))

Codex updates:
A boy stands on a street corner. He can't be older than sixteen, seventeen at the most, and he is wearing a suit of full-plate armor that looks a hair too big on him. His hair is dirty blond, and his eyes are blue. A close look might indicate that those eyes contain far more wisdom than the boy's age would suggest.

If he feels any discomfort in the oversized armor, he does not show it. A relaxed smile is planted on his lips, and has been for the better part of the day. He has been observing the townspeople and absorbing the atmosphere of the city, contemplating how best to preach the gospel of Keranos.

He had arrived in Remdormo late in evening the previous day, and upon entry, the stage at town's center had immediately caught his interest. Had the pulpit not been commandeered by town security since the morning, he might be occupying it himself at this very moment.

A knight passes by and notices the boy. "You there," the man says gruffly. "I have need of a squire. Are you offering your services?"

The boy surveys the man carefully. Aged, hard eyes, long-healed battle scars, worn but well-cared-for leather armor.

"You look like a man who has weathered his fair share of storms," he says, ignoring the question. "I suspect you might even have an affinity for them, is that not so, Good Sir Knight?"

The knight blinks, clearly unprepared for the question. The boy waits patiently, and finally the man responds. "...What's all this about, boy?"

"The God of Storms is calling you - the true god of storms. Keranos, the patron of the wandering hero. Benefactor of those who unleash righteous fury on their enemies. Do you hear the Call of Keranos, Good Sir Knight? For he is always in need of devotees - those who would answer the call and defend the land from tyranny, no matter the cost."

The knight stares at him for a long moment. "....I must be on my way. Fare thee well, Boy," he says, not unkindly. He departs with some urgency.

The boy smiles. Though the knight's voice was mum, his eyes screamed it: the call of Keranos enticed him. Before the day was over, the God of Storms would have a new follower.

The boy resumes watching the streets, waiting for events to unfold as they might.
A quaint workshop along the cobbled streets in Remdormo enjoys a busy noon with workers welcoming tourists to their painted illustrations, ranging from portraits, depictions of religious figures, and mystical beasts; crafts, pottery and cheaper jewelry also line the walls and window of the craft shop.
A short, plump man with small stacks of paper knitted into thin books under his left arm swings open the front door, which briefly strikes the chimes awaiting. Not angrily, but loudly, he quickly calls out, "Fhiess! Where are you lad?"

An elven painter turns away from a picture to answer the call to the man coming closer, "Ah! Hogan, sir! You're back early. I've started on your portrait but it's still in its early stages."

Fhiess Lovebliss had been working at the shop for some time as one of the portrait artists creating for the shop for lower wealth contracts. Occasionally he would fill in for an imaginative work if called to it.

The man referred to as Hogan dismisses Fhiess with a flicking wrist, "Don't worry about that, lad. The bard that was supposed to go to the festival hasn't returned from his trip; roads are damming up like sticks in a river, you see? Won't be back for at least a couple of suns- so I'm sending you in his place to represent Hogan's Exports!" he finishes saying confidently.
Hogan Ridge is the man which runs the shop, his other shops, a museum, and has been working on establishing his caravan as a transport service for entertainers and musicians, even going as far as becoming involved in talent agency. Fhiess is just one gear in a much larger clock which works tirelessly.

"But," responds Fhiess, his uncertainty founded upon his abilities. "would I be qualified for such a task?"
Hogan reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small musical instrument, an egg-shaped wind pipe made of clay, and painted in saturated blues and greens to pose as exotic jewelry. "Just use this, it'll work just fine, right?"
He sets down his painting tools for a moment to gently take the instrument. Turning it in his hands, he tilts his head, ".. I don't know how to-"
Hogan gives the elf a firm pat on his shoulder with his freed hand, "Not to worry, I have these here for you as well!" He sets down the primers: quick introductory guides and scrolls to lower level Bardic magic.
Confused, Fhiess blinks, "These can't possibly teach me magic, can they?"
Hogan laughs, "You said that you started studying wizardry before becoming a scholar then a painter, right? They play on what you already know to get you started. You'll do fine! Just give it a little practice and you'll be prepped in no time! I've even begun talks to enroll you in a Bard college to get you more study material."
"But won't that get in the way of my works?"
"Nonsense! You can do both can't you? I've been needing more bards as of late, and I also send you to put up some advertisements for my shop at the festival. Run along now! You've got some work ahead of you!" Not one to give pause, the man begins to usher Fhiess to begin his preparation for the evening.
"Ahh! Wait! I haven't cleaned the brushes yet!"

Later, the Elven painter finds himself in the back of a cart scanning the pages of the booklets the best he can.

<I didn't finish the above picture, but I figure it was finished enough to use as my character portrait>
((Ooh, a priestly type, I see fun in the future. :) New bar sounds good too, we'll have a nice and rounded out group!))

On one of the town's busy streets, a middle-aged man has been pulled over out of traffic's way by town security. The guards have stopped him for carrying a large quantity of fireworks, and due to their explosive nature, they are checking to see if he has a proper license or proof of transaction to transfer them.

"Do you know why we've stopped you today?" One of the the guards, young and inexperienced asks the man. "Is it my cart? I'm bringing these babies in for the parade, I have a writ somewhere in here..." The man digs around in the cart, and becomes increasingly distraught as he's unable to find it. With no paper produced, the guard's backup, also young and inexperienced approaches the man. "Sir, if you have no paperwork for those fireworks, we can't allow you to hold on to them. I'm afraid that you're going to have to turn around and come back with your proper forms, or we'll have to confiscate them"

Until this point, the crowd had been carrying on as normal. Silence falls around the guards and the firework vendor as a shadow crawls over them. The guards turn around and pale as they are faced with a behemoth of a newcomer, standing over eighteen feet tall and well-armored. A massive sword with an oddly shaped handle, looking more like a giant slab of metal, hangs from his back.

"You're really going to inhibit this man's freedom of travel and enterprise over a petty piece of paper? Typical, you statist pigs are all the same." One of the guards, trembling, reaches for his sword. "Y-you can't just talk to us like that! This is a legitimate stop. T-t-these fireworks are a potential public safety hazard. It's not like we don't want fireworks at the celebration. It, it, it's just that we can't let anyone come in with this many without something to legitimize it, there could be a bombing!" "And besides," the other guard says, slightly emboldened by his partner taking the first step, "You're interfering with our job! We could arrest you for that."

The hulking figure scoffs, and points a hoof at the merchant. "Is that so? Let me ask, who is he hurting? Who am I hurting? Who is the victim in this? Answer: no one. Who is the victim in your show of tyrannical force and general dickwaving? This merchant, anyone who wants to buy fireworks from him, and the free market in general. You, good sirs, are the demonic foes of liberty. Take a good look at yourselves and realize what monsters you are, serving the state." The contempt in this last word is palpable.

What courage the guards built up begins to wade. "W-what are you talking about? What are you even saying? We can't just let him by completely unchecked, and with the scene you're making, we have to make sure you're not a public threat either."

"Well then," the large figure replies, "am I being detained?" The two guards look at each other in confusion. "What?" "Am I being detained?" "Sir, we already told you-" "Am I being detained?" "You're interfering with-" "Am I being detained?" "Stop saying that!" "Am I being detained!" "One more time and-" the large beast lowers down its neck to their eye level, looks at them intently, and says "Am. I. Being. Detained?"

The two guards look at each other, then at the much larger creature and the sword on its back. Slowly backing away, one of them says "Well, I guess not having his paperwork is just a minor bureaucratic slip up, and if he didn't do anything, you didn't really interfere with anything. But if he uses those fireworks to hurt anyone, their blood is on your hands!" With that, the two guards sprint away from the merchant and his large savior.

Even though the drama has wrapped up, people are still gawking at the giant now in there midst. To most if not all of them, he is unlike anything they have ever seen before. That is because the stranger before them is a J'raffa.
The flustered fireworks merchant looks up at the armored J'raffa. "Thank you! No one's ever stood up for me like that before. I don't know how to repay you, Mr., erm..." "Ludwig, I go by Ludwig. Ser Ludwig if you're feeling formal, but there's no need for that," the J'raffa replies.

"Don't worry about repayment, I'm always glad to help someone engaged in capitalism! Now that the bureaucracy's done trying to kill its own economy, let's head towards the town center. A party like this, even if it's born from the tainted roots of the state, is sure to get wild, and when the wooden buildings and implements get damaged, I can make a nice profit fixing them up. Feel free to set up shop where you want, that's your decision as a free agent! However well or poorly you sell your goods, that's all you. Now, shall we?"

A little confused, the fireworks merchant begins pushing his cart downtown once more, accompanied by the lumbering J'raffa.
The small stir of commotion is brief, but it is enough to catch the boy's attention. He is both impressed by this strange creature's bravery and intrigued by its unique ideas about government - ideas with which he is inclined to agree. He follows the creature's path with his eyes, making note of its location.

Always on watch for potential allies.

And followers.
With a hint of relief, Fhiess gains more time to examine the instruction flyers given to him as the driver is forced to easy the horses to a stop after their uneasy reaction to the much larger animal nearby and the dispersing crowd.

However, the majestic sight is lost behind the crowd and the compartment of the drawn carriage limiting his view for the time being. Fhiess continues to hurry through the materials given to him.
A small green hair gnome walks the street, giving everyone she can a hearty greeting as she passes caring not what their race, gender or age is, or even if they can talk, as she is also greets the animals that cross her path. Is she crazy, or just drunk? Perhaps both, but from her staggering walk, you can tell she has definitely been enjoying some spirits.

As she makes her rounds saying hello to everybody, she spots a dog lying in alley, not looking to happy, she approaches and asks, "Hey there, what's you name?"
"Ohhh that is such a great name for you. You are totally a Daisy. Alright Daisy, can you tell me whats the matter?"
"Bark Bark"
"You lost your master? That's terrible! Can you tell me what they look like?"
"Arf arf arf"
"You got all that Zooks?"
Suddenly a small badger climbs out of her bag and runs off.
"Don't worry, Zook will find you master in no time. For now lets find a place a little less gloomy to wait."
Daisy follows the gnome to a small grassy area nearby and plays with the dog while having a bit of small talk. After and hour or so the Badger returns to quite the sight. It seems a few other animals have join the gnome and Daisy, catching the attention of more then a few passerby-ers.
((imagine the badger is smaller. also there is a dog there... and maybe not a skunk? whatever you get the idea))

The little women bounces to her feet, saying "Good job Zook, takes us to them! But not to fast, I'm still a bit woozy from earlier!" then proceeds to follow the badger, with Daisy in tow and a few of the other animals.

Some time later, while walking they suddenly here someone shout, "Daisy, there you are!" running out of a nearby crowd, to give her dog a big old hug. The woman looks over and notices the gnomes next to her, "Did you find Daisy? Thank you thank you thank you! I was worried we would have to leave without her and our town is quite a ways away."
"Don't thank me, thank Zooks," she says pointing at the badger, who then climbs up her, taking position on top of her head, "I just played around with your dog, he is the one who found you."
"Oh. Well, nonetheless, I would like to repay you."
"Don't worry about it... actually, Zook seems a bit hungry, how about you give him a snack and we call it even?"
"Okay..." the women responds, but then pulls out a small fruit from her bag, "Will this do? I was going to snack on it on the way home, but I should be fine."
The green haired girl takes it and hands it to the badger on her head, "Yeah that'll do."
"Before I go... I know your little friends name, but what's yours?"
"Haha. I have many names, but I hear humans have trouble remembering them all, so I guess I'll keep it short. You can call me Nyx 'Badger' Nackle."
"Nyx? That is unusual..." ponders the women, rhetorically, but Nyx gives an answer anyways, "My parents though it would give me a special connection to Nyx itself. Personally I think we all have one anyways, you just got to find it."
Slightly confused, the woman responds "I suppose that is true. Well Nyx I must find my husband and be on my way, but if we meet again you can call me Fiona." And with that she gives a little wave as she walks away, Daisy in right behind her. Nyx waves right back and gives a hearty goodbye to both Daisy and Fiona.
Her latest adventure now over, she returns to walking the street, with a few animals still in tow, and a badger eating a piece of fruit on her head.

Nyx ponders which of these wonderful people she will become friends with next.
Perhaps, if you're lucky, it could be you.
Sagishi moves through the masses with fluid motions. He had spent the last hour stalking around the various wagons of entertainers that had arrived from out of town. Three times he had rounded them until he was fairly certain that there were no familiar faces. For a few moments relief and disappointment had battled in his chest before he'd decided to ignore both and simply enjoy the festival.

Now he was traversing the crowd with a wide smile, his sparkling ice-blue eyes darting from here to there. This really was a wonderful town. Sure, when he had arrived here a few weeks ago, getting a foot in with one of the guilds hadn't been easy, as was to be expected but luckily Sagishi had a few tricks up his sleeves to impress at least one of the guild masters.

He passes a group of young women that giggled and put their heads together as he passed. He turns around and widens his smile even further, showing his white teeth. The girls giggle even more when he winks at them. When he turns around again he bumps into yet another woman, this one older but no less smitten by the young man with dark reddish brown hair and those piercing but friendly eyes.

"I'm so sorry, my lady." he says, touching her arm lightly in a reassuring manner. "I was not paying attention to you, which I know see was a grave mistake in its own right. Please accept my deepest apologies."

"Oh, don't you worry young man. It was just a little bump after all and quite a normal thing to happen in a crowd like this. It was probably more my fault than it was yours. Come, I buy you some wine to make up for it." The lady leans forward to grip his arm but Sagishi quickly but politely backs away. "That's a most kind offer, but I have somewhere to be, I'm very sorry. But maybe I'll find you again later, yes?" He bows once more and than quickly vanishes in the crowd, the weight of the woman's purse comfortable in his sleeve.

The woman's money had bought him a cup of good wine and Sagishi was enjoying himself, wandering around the festival. Here and there he stops to listen to a musician or watch a street performer and when he likes what he sees, he generously pays them from the lady's purse. After about an hour at the festival he is out of money once more.

He walks through the crowd and carefully scans the people around him for his next potential victim when he sees a small boy stumble and fall down, the candy stick he had been carrying flying out of his hands into the mud, causing him to burst into bitter tears.

Seeing this and realizing that no one around seemed to care, Sagishi steps over to the boy and carefully lifts him to his feet again. "Come on, boy. This is not a day for tears!"
Still sniffling the boy looks up at Sagishi, tears still smudging the dirt on his face. "My candy... sniff..." Sagishi looks over to the ruined treat then back at the boy. He gets down to one knee to better look at him. "Once the blossoms have fallen there is no way to bring them back to the branch." He fumbles something out of a little pouch at his belt. Curious, the boy forgets his crying for a moment and watches as the young man with the unusual almond shaped eyes, pulls a small tubular object from his pocket. "But when one looks closely he might catch a glimpse of rare bird." With a swift movement Sagishi lights the short fuse and moments after the small firecracker sores up into the air with a shrill howl, blazing in multitude of colors it circles above the young boys head, showering him with tiny sparks. Once the firecracker has burned out the boy looks at the young man again, who is handing him a brand new candy stick before he turns around with one last smile and vanishes in the crowd. The woman at a nearby stall smiles at the display of kindness until she realizes where the new candy stick had come from.

Sagishi was drinking wine and chatting with a girl when he noticed a little commotion not to far away. Making a polite excuse he hurries in the direction of the disturbance because where there is a disturbance you'll usually find lots of distracted people. And Sagishi was quite fond of distracted people. Whatever was happening here had already gathered a sizeable crowd and just by pushing his way to the center Sagishi was able to swiftly relieve two of Remdormo's citizens of their purses. Being of small height he has trouble seeing what is causing this commotion so he pushes forward until he reaches the first line of spectators.

Sagishi could claim for himself that his travels had shown him many of the wonders that Somnus had to offer but even he had never seen a being just like that. He gapes open mouthed at the towering creature. He has to hold himself back as not to go forward and touch it, just to see what that pelt might feel like. So fascinating. And maybe... he spots the wares on the vendor's cart and his attention is drawn back from the strange creature to the crates and baskets of firecrackers, howlers, and other pyrotechnic devises. He quickly checks his surroundings, but everyone else, including the vendor, is caught up in the creatures quarrel with the city guard, and Sagishi makes two inconspicuous steps towards the card. Leaning against it as if to rest he carefully reaches into a few crates, quickly replenishing his dwindling supplies. His pockets are almost bulging with fireworks when the dispute appears to be settled and Sagishi ducks out of sight and away from the plundered wagon only looking back for a moment to catch one last glance at this marvelous creature.

((Haven't found a picture that I liked and so far my drawing attempts have been rather poor... I'll keep trying though and will add it when I have something half decent.))
((Nice work, guys))

The momentary commotion caused by the strange J'raffa dissipates, and the knot of people gathered to gawk and stare gradually melts away into the moving crowd, though Ludwig still reaps no small amount of wondrous expressions and slack-jawed staring. Practically no one in Remdormo has ever sailed across the Sea of Crossing to the southern continent of Baglahm, with the exception of the smattering of dragonborn in their number. Up until this moment, J'raffa had been a previously unheard of species to most everyone Ludwig passes, so naturally he becomes the topic of much interest most anywhere he goes on the continent of Aglea.

Eventually these five strangers reach the center of town and manage to carve out a little space for themselves where they have a good view of the stage. As the square begins to fill, Whimsley mounts the stairs leading up to the decorated platform. There is a broad smile on his jocular face as he responds to the mild cheers of the crowd with a wave of his hand. The Mayor makes no bones about the pleasure he takes in his unbroken record of never having to deliver bad news to his beloved town, and today is obviously no different.

“People of Remdormo, welcome, welcome!” he thunders without need for a speaking trumpet. “What a day, what a glorious day for a festival! I ask you, my friends, I ask you: Is there any other people on Somnus half so joyous as we?”

He pauses for a moment for the crowd’s enthused reaction before continuing. “As some of you may be aware,” he says, “in the coming weeks we will be upon the tenth birthday of the beloved Boy King Ronnieus Dio! There is to be a celebration at Castle Telmur the likes of which have never been seen before, and I think Remdormo knows a thing or two about celebrating!”

A mix of cheering and laughing washes over the crowd as he nods his head in agreement. “We have been invited to send a delegation of our own to participate in the festivities,” he explains. “Now, I would love to go myself, but it would be unseemly for me to pluck such a plum task for my own benefit and deny one our fellow Remdormoans the opportunity. And that is why we have gathered here today, on this wondrous day! Whomever among us can produce the finest gifts to present to King Dio will be selected to escort our tribute to the capital and partake of the royal festivities!”

The crowd explodes into excited murmurs. The chance to visit the capital and meet the king! The revelry, the commerce, the people… A chance that cannot be said to happen even once in a lifetime! But who will the delegates be?

Skill Test: The Invitational--Get on the delegation by any means necessary. Crafted items and demonstrations of talent would probably be the most direct methods, but perhaps more nefarious means might better secure a position? The brighter the sun, the darker the shadows in the alleys
((Alright, here’s how this will work: We’ll do three rounds of skill checks of the player’s choice with the caveat that you can only use any given skill once. You need two successes to make it onto the delegation. i.e. Someone might decide to use their knowledge of history to compile a list of important events that occurred on the King’s birthday and make a successful History check, but fail a Performance check when reciting in front of an audience, and ultimately succeed on a Persuasion check to have Whimsley allow them on board anyway. I will rule that you had advance knowledge of this competition for the purposes of things like making a painting or rehearsing a routine or what have you. You can also ask what the DC is for success before you commit to any given skill check. There’s a failure state to this, but obviously it’s nothing overly penalizing first thing in the game.))

Codex updates:
Nyx, expecting such an event spent some time before hand learning about the local fauna, specially those revered in the area, related to the kingdom or the king in some way and ones from her home land that might be rare or non-existent around here that might inspire some awe. The talking giraffe may be hard to beat, but its too late for that now.

Knowledge Nature: 1D20+2 => 14

((sadly I think my best skills, perception and survival, are gonna be hard to justify using in this... oh well.))
"The king's birthday party," the preacher-boy quietly muses to himself. While rulers of any stripe held little interest for him, the prospect of so many people gathered in one place was nevertheless enticing.

He registers for the competition and waits patiently. When finally it his his turn, he makes a slight bow to Mayor Whimsley. "Your Honor, I am a story teller - a weaver of tales, if you will. With your permission, I would like to address the crowd."

He takes the stage. It doesn't take long for the roar of the crowd to subside into a dull murmur, and once it does, he launches into a tale.

Performance check: [7] + 3 = 10

"Long ago, in the ancient land of Hyrule, there lived a boy - an Elf - by the name of Link. By all accounts, he was a simple boy, growing up in a remote forest village. One day, he found a most peculiar sword in a clearing..."

And so he spins his tale. Though his talents in front of crowds lie chiefly in the field of proselytization, he starts off feeling confident that his tale-weaving abilities are at the very least serviceable.

....However, something feels off on this day. Maybe the story was started off on the wrong foot, or the crowd is distracted by some happening or other, or another factor that is beyond him. Whatever the cause, he is not confident that he has impressed anyone at all.

But perhaps the Mayor's standards are less rigid than his own.

Once Link uses the Master Sword to vanquish the pig-man and rescue the princess to live happily ever after, the crowd offers a smattering of applause. The boy again turns to the mayor. "I thank you for the opportunity, Your Honor."

One of the Mayor's scribes clears his throat. "Name and birthplace, please?"

He turns to the scribe. "Keranos, of Almsville."

He steps off the stage, making way for the next prospective talent.
((I've got an idea of what I plan on doing. Since you said we could ask, what would the DC's be on using my carpentry, persuade, and athletics?))
((Depends on context, if you know specifically what you want to do, I can tell you. Also, remember that the goal is to impress the audience, so while in other scenarios a long jump would be less difficult than a gymnastics routine for an Athletics check, the former would probably have an equal or higher DC since it'd be harder to impress people with.

In regards to carpentry in specific, there's no Craft skill in 5e, so I would rule you make a naked Wisdom check (even though it was an INT skill in 3.5) and add your Proficiency bonus for your tools.

And as a reminder to everyone, degrees of failure and success are in effect. If you barely miss a DC, you may earn a fourth chance at a slightly higher DC than normal. If you crush a DC, you may knock a few points off the DC of the next check. If you roll a natural 20, I'll rule that counts as successes for two rounds, and if you have a third you could use it to help someone else if you so choose.))

((sadly I think my best skills, perception and survival, are gonna be hard to justify using in this... oh well.))
((I can think of some stuff you could do with those. Perception could be used to do a Sherlock Holmes-esque reading of a person's recent and life history (though perhaps not to that extent) as a stage act. Survival I would let you use right now to jazz up your natural history lesson if you wanted to talk about how to use that knowledge to last in the wilderness or something.))
((Mike M
I'm planning on having Ludwig present a life-size wooden carving of the boy King, make a case for how a talking giraffe is good to have at a party, and then prove he's fun at parties and can hold his liquor by flinging a heavy barrel of whiskey into the air, catching it in his mouth, and drinking a substantial portion of it.
((I can think of some stuff you could do with those. Perception could be used to do a Sherlock Holmes-esque reading of a person's recent and life history (though perhaps not to that extent) as a stage act. Survival I would let you use right now to jazz up your natural history lesson if you wanted to talk about how to use that knowledge to last in the wilderness or something.))
((Yeah, I guess that makes sense enough))
Nyx adds a little extra to her lesson, with some survival tips. Both on how the animals do so, and how one might perhaps use similar approaches in their own life, if they were to ever find themselves in such a situation.

Survival: 1D20+4 => 23
((Well then...))
((Mike M
I'm planning on having Ludwig present a life-size wooden carving of the boy King, make a case for how a talking giraffe is good to have at a party, and then prove he's fun at parties and can hold his liquor by flinging a heavy barrel of whiskey into the air, catching it in his mouth, and drinking a substantial portion of it.
((Well that's certainly ambitious. A life-sized sculpture would be a realtively high so early in the game (I'd give it a DC 18, though something smaller would be less.). Persuading the crowd would be DC 10, on account of you being a fucking talking giraffe (and honestly, I'll give you advantage on the check just to reflect the sheer novelty of anything you do. Flinging a keg of whiskey is out on account I'm saying it requires hands. Though if you want to make it so there's some sort of scaffolding holding a keg above your head), I'd say a naked Constitution check DC 13 with advantage for chugging.
A lonely elf stands near a neglected corner of the festivities, his attempts to play the ocarina given to him sparking terror in a small vicinity around him. Dejected, he quickly gives up the dream and looks to a family of man, wife, and child and waves, "Hello! Do you folks want to see a trick?" He quickly skims one of his primers and points to a particular text and begins reciting it while his sight is glued to the material: "Let be seen what isn't there! Deceive the eyes and belief!"

Silent Image is cast, and with a puff of arcane energy, a small brown rabbit appears sitting in the air. Pleased with himself, Fhiess waves an arm to the rabbit and declares, "How wondrous Bard magic can be, isn't it?"

The family stands there a moment, their boy oohs for a second, but they are quickly distracted. The father looks away and points, saying, "Look! It's the J'raffa everyone has been talking about!" "Wow! It's so big and yellow!!" Immediately Fhiess is abandoned once again.

During the mayor's speech, Fhiess uses the opportunity to take time to stamp flyers for Hogan's Exports onto legal bulletin boards while listening to the speech. Eventually, the mention of the King's birthday makes his ears flick and cause him to turn his head, "King's birthday...? Grand celebration? Sir Hogan would hate to be left out!" Once the speech is done he decides to make his way through the crowds (with some difficulty) to approach the mayor with a proposition: "Huff, huff.. ah, greetings sir. I noticed that you mentioned a celebration of the King's birthday, and as a representative of Hogan's Exports, I want to say that we are in the business of painting portraits of nobility and it would be a great honor if we could produce a painting for Your Majesty. The owner, Hogan Ridge, himself is also a great man and would deserve a spot at the feast." He takes a flyer and holds it out for the mayor.

Persuasion: 1D20+2+3 => (1 + 2 + 3) = 6

[screaming internally]
((I've got a wedding today, so write ups from will have to wait until tonight or tomorrow. So far Nyx has one success and knocked a few points of the DC of the next check. Keranos and Fhiess are on plan B.))
It doesn't take long for Keranos to deduce that he has been passed over in the contest.

He could simply travel to the birthday party himself, but to be part of an official entourage would most certainly boost his credibility to the masses at Castle Telmur.

Rather than attempt to convince the crowd, however, this time he sets his sights on the Mayor himself.

He observes Whimsley for over an hour, carefully reading his body language and learning how he operates, and then he closes his eyes, recalling the speech and applying what he has learned after further observing the man.

Insight: [10] + 5 = 15

Jolly, yes, and outwardly charismatic, but lingering under the surface is a hunger. A desire to properly choose the best of the best, so that Remdormo has a strong showing.

Perhaps even a little bit of worry? Maybe there are high stakes on the line, unknown to the wider public, which make a strong performance in Telmur vital to the Mayor's continued wellbeing?

Armed with this knowledge, he waits for a lull in the proceedings and approaches Mayor Whimsley directly.

"Your Honor," he presents himself, "If I may, I have a strong sense that there is more on the line here than perhaps the townspeople are aware of. It is of the utmost importance that you send those strong of will and strong of character to represent this town for the King's birthday party. You are a smart man, and a shrewd politician, of strong conviction. Surely you must realize that leaving such an important matter up to the will of the masses is a risky proposition? I submit that you include me among your elite entourage - one who is deft at the art of diplomacy and will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, impress upon the King a picture of Remdormo that is second to none."

Persuasion: [10]+5 = 15
If the flyer isn't accepted, Fhiess will turn it over and retrieve a stick of charcoal to begin sketching the mayor as quickly as he can, using his satchel as a flat base to draw against. He explains, "Allow me to give a quick demonstration.. of course we have a fine selection of paintings and crafts at the shop."

Dexterity check: 1D20+3 => (9 + 3) = 12
((Soo... is there anything that documents that you are chosen for the delegation that Sagishi might steal? Like a letter of conduct or so?))
((Mike M:
Gotcha. Scaffolding works. I think I'll knock the wood carving back to a 1/2 size replica. Something small to Ludwig that's still somewhat impressive to others essentially.

Ludwig scoffs at the presentation and considers not bothering to try and get into some foolish delegation. A "prize" in the form of going to where the twisting leviathan of government is headquartered, to rub elbows with a child King? And who elects a child King in the first place? That's dumb! Not to mention that something about his name just rubs Ludwif wrong. On second thought, a kid would be as inept of a despot as anyone else; the position inherently breeds incompetence. They might as well have people compete for the "privilege" of bathing in molten honey.

But cooler heads prevail. If he's able to go, he can try to talk sense to the senseless at the very source. Maybe he can even convince them that the best way to go is to just do absolutely nothing.

Back on board with becoming a delegate, Ludwig gets in line and observes the other contestants. Most of them don't look like too much of a threat, but some stand out.

An elven artist flubbed his opening address to the mayor, but the earnestness of his presentation on his boss's business tells Ludwig that karma will reward him later.

Some kid had a surprisingly strong presence, and something about his story seemed oddly familiar. He should keep an eye on that one.

Hot damn, some little gnome really knows her nature shit. It takes pizazz to get people that interested in animals; hopefully it doesn't cast a shadow on his own presence. Since a party environment entails friendliness, he starts thinking on how to get pal around with a gnome, figuring that she's basically a shoe in.

Eventually, Ludwig is called up to the stage. Swallowing back his contempt for government figures, he puts on a smile and trots up to the mayor. Bending his neck around to get into his satchel, he pulls out a wooden carving: a half-scale replica of King Dio.
[url=]Crafting: Carpentry: 1D20 + 3 = [8]+3 = 11
Unfortunately, Ludwig's contempt for the state crept into the carving. The quality itself isn't too bad, but the boy's face has an air of pompousness to it, almost caricature-like. Whether it will go over or not is a tossup.

Undeterred, Ludwig speaks cheerily. "A gift for King Dio! How will it be received? Only the king will know!"

"Now, woodworking is fun and all, but this a party we're talking about, and I'm not auditioning here to make wood animals like some kind of big, exceptionally handsome birthday clown."

Ludwig lowers his neck and sweeps over the front row, giving them a look as he speaks. "No, if you choose me, it'll be because you agree that I'm good to have at a party. And as someone who has been to parties on multiple continents, let me tell you, I've got some range on throwing down."

Ludwig clears his throat. "If the sheer spectacle of me attending a party and socializing with people isn't enough, I'm good with kids! My body's basically a slide, and for kids and Knights alike, I've got all the lives of a horse," he says trotting around the stage, making some sharp turns and doing a little jump, "without the mindlessness and tendency to shit everywhere." "And for our rowdier folks, are you familiar with the concept of a bucking bronco? Forget eight seconds, I doubt a boastful rider can stay on me for four."

"And if it becomes a dancing party, I guarantee that none of you have seen anything like a dancing J'raffa."
[url=]Pursuade w/advantage: 1D20 + 4 = [7]+4 = 11
1D20 + 4 = [2]+4 = 6
"Now, I'm not a real party delegate if I can't hold my liquor. Sure, you're thinking 'Oh well he's so big it would take a barrel to knock him out.' This is a royal party we're talking about, so that kind of challenge is to be expected. I direct your eyes to the scaffolding! The barrel there is loaded with whiskey. A fitting choice to prove a delegate's worth, as everyone knows that clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. On the count of three! Three! Two! One!"

Ludwig cranes his head into the barrel and begins chugging. And chugging. And chugging...
[url=]Constitution Check w/ advantage: 1D20 + 2 = [7]+2 = 9
1D20 + 2 = [17]+2 = 19
Ludwig pulls his head of the barrel and briefly staggers back. He then grips the edge with his mouth and pulls out down, letting the mayor and all others see that it is now down to less than a fifth of capacity.

"Mayor Whimsley, I, Ludwig, rest my case." Now more than a little buzzed, Ludwig awaits a response on whether or not he's in, doing a good job of staying on his hooves in the mean time.