AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Murder in Skyway, Week 2

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into.  Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.

Sticking with the Eberron theme this week, I thought I’d give a little more detail about the four new player races introduced in this setting.

In their true form, the Changelings are a humanoid race with colorless eyes and silver white hair, but they can change their appearance at will.  They can take on the form of any other humanoid race, altering their height, weight, facial features, hair length and color, eye color, gender, even the sound of their voice. Changeling In Changeling society, subtle shifts in appearance used as a part of everyday communication.  Among other people, however, Changelings will use this ability to hide their true form, for fear of persecution and mistrust from ‘single-skins.’  They often develop a favorite alternate persona to that end, learning a trade and living a full life undetected.  In combat, a Changeling can shift their appearance in startling ways to make an enemy falter in their attacks, though doing so will reveal their true nature to anyone who sees.  Changelings get bonuses to their CHA score and either DEX or INT, and make very good infiltrator-type Rogues. They’re also naturally proficient in any two of Deception, Intimidation, Insight, or Persuasion, along with the tools of whatever trade they’ve taken on in their favored persona.

The Kalashtar are humans who are bound to spirits from the plane of dreams called quori.  They appear mostly human, but their eyes often glow when focused on a task or feeling a strong emotion. kalashtarThe quori is a spirit of light and is shared by all members of a Kalashtar blood line.  The spirit provides the Kalashtar with some psionic abilities and protection from psychic attacks.  The Kalashtar don’t dream as normal when they sleep, but instead they draw memories from the quori.  Their dual mind gives the Kalashtar advantage on Wisdom saves and resistance to psychic damage, as well as allowing them to communicate telepathically to nearby creatures.  They can also use their psionic abilities to have permanent advantage on either Insight, Intimidation, Performance, or Persuasion checks.  Kalashtar get bonuses to WIS and CHA along with any one other ability score, making them ideal Clerics, Paladins, or other holy warrior-type characters.

Shifters are beastial humanoids, who may have been descended from a cross between humans and lycanthropes.  Though they can’t fully change shape, they can heighten certain animalistic features of their bodies, such as claws their claws or teeth.  A Shifter’s personality is also defined by “the beast within,” such that a feline shifter may be cool and distant, whereas a wolf-like shifter may be drawn towards a social pack.  shifterAll Shifters have increased DEX, darkvision, and proficiency with the Perception skill.  They can shift into there more beastial form, gaining some temporary HP and other bonuses based on their subrace.  Beasthide Shifters are known for their toughness, like a boar or bear.  They get a bonus to CON and proficiency in Athletics, and gain more temporary HP and a boost to AC when shifted.  Longtooth Shifters are more canine in nature, similar to a wolf or hyena.  The get increased STR and are good at Intimidation.  While shifted, they can attack with their fangs in addition to any weapons they’re holding.  Swiftstride Shifters are especially graceful and quick.  Their DEX and CHA are increased, along with their base walking speed. They have proficiency with Acrobatics, and while shifted they can move even faster and dance out of danger.  Finally, Wildhunt Shifters are naturally predatory, and gain a bonus to WIS and proficiency with Survival.  They can even double this proficiency when tracking a particular marked creature.  While shifted, Wildhunt Shifters also get advantage on all WIS ability checks.  Shifters can play many different classes, with Beasthides excelling as Barbarians, Longtooths as Fighters, Swiftstride as Monks or Rogues, and Wildhunts as Rangers or Druids.

Finally, the Warforged are living constructs, made from blended organic and inorganic materials and brought to life through arcane magic.  They were originally built as mindless weapons during the Last War, but were eventually improved and upgraded until they became a fully sentient race.  Granted freedom after the end of the war, many Warforged struggle to find a place in the new peacetime world.  warforgedAll Warforged have increased CON, and are resistant to poison and immune to disease.  They don’t need to eat, sleep, or breath, and their bodies are naturally armored to varying degrees.  A Juggernaut Warforged is built for close combat, gaining an increased STR and dealing some extra damage with unarmed strikes, and are ideal Fighters or Barbarians.  On the other hand, a Skirmisher Warforged is designed for scouting and speed.  They get a DEX bonus and an increased base speed, and they can move quickly and quietly when traveling alone, making them ideal as Rogues or Rangers.  Finally, an Envoy Warforged is a unique design for any specialized purpose.  They get an increase to any 2 ability scores, and proficiency with any one skill, any one tool set, and and any one language.  In addition, they can have a single set of tools integrated into their body, doubling their proficiency bonus with those tools.  Envoys can be designed to fit any class.

The AvocaD&D group is currently running through a set of Eberron adventures, DM’d by Josephus Brown. We have a couple of new players this week, too.

  • TheCleverGuy as Cybin Stoneswift, a Hill Dwarf Wizard who’s singularly obsessed with the study of various forms of mushrooms
  • Otto (our only non-Avocado party member) as Magz, a Changeling Rogue, a native of Sharn familiar with the city’s seedy underbelly
  • The Wasp Woman as NRS-K80, a Warforged Cleric who discovered a passion for healing after serving as a living weapon in the Last War
  • The Hayes Code as Cassidy Cody, a Tiefling Bard who makes a living busking in the lightning rail stations with the talent passed down to her from her Pa’s deal with the devil
  • Wafflicious as Pizzazzle, a Dragonborn Druid who just wants to clean up the planet so it’s fit for consumption by the all-powerful Nexu
  • Spiny Creature as Aina Nistor, a Half-Elf Monk who wears the red hood of the Blood of Vol, a religion that worships no deity, but rather the divinity within all mortals
  • Sister Jude the Obscure as Orana Coratash, a Kalashtar Barbarian who’s hiring herself out as muscle to local adventurers

I missed part of the game this week, so our recap comes courtesy of our Tiefling Bard, Miss Cassidy Cody.1

Murder in Skyway

Sit a spell and I’ll tell you the tale of the Battle of the Platform 12. It starts with a group of semi-valiant adventurers, hot on the trail of a murderer, with fourteen hours left to prove it wasn’t us that done the deed. We got a tip last time that a halfling crime boss by the name of Big Mondo might know something, so we decided to pay him a little visit.

First, though, Magz thought our little group looked a little on the puny side, and the truth is, I gotta admit the gal had a point. My throat and my strummin’ fingers might be in top condition, but the rest of me’s not exactly bristlin’ with defenses, and I ain’t the only one, neither. We needed a little muscle to keep our outta-shape butts from gettin’ kicked, and luckily Magz had a couple of contacts that could get us just that. We ended up hirin’ on a couple of real rough customers: Aina, some half-elf monk, and Orana, a Kalashtar barbarian. Figured those two oughta be enough to keep us safe.

So, with our bodies newly guarded, we headed over to Big Mondo’s place. Real nice guy. Offered us a traditional halfling lunch of dinosaur steaks and eggs big as my head, and believe me, he didn’t have to offer twice. MondoHe seemed to like playin’ host, but what he didn’t like so much was all the questions about his stab-happy associate. I played him a little music and that seemed to patch things up, at least a little – enough so’s he gave us a lead on where we might find the fella in question. Said his name was Yeq, and he was holed up in some rat’s nest in the Fallen. That’s a part of Sharn that just up and collapsed one day, probably cause it saw who was livin’ there and just gave up.

Big Mondo said we were welcome to take Yeq in just as long as it never got back to Mondo. Either we could bring Yeq in, or…make sure he “disappeared.” Now, I’m not exactly a stickler for the law, but I don’t cotton to cold-blooded murder, either, even if the killee’s a killer. And Aina said she felt sure Big Mondo was lying about not bein’ involved. Still, we had a lead to follow, and we followed it.

Yeq’s place was a three-story tower in the worst part of the Fallen. Aina climbed up the buildin’ and took a gander through the window, but it looked like Yeq wasn’t around. Orana gave the door the old once-over and found a trap, but when Magz tried to disarm it the changling ended up settin’ it off instead and gettin’ a faceful of dirty knives for her trouble. Least they were out of the way of the rest of us, and K80 fixed her up all right. We tossed the place and came up with a bit of blade black – that’s stuff you smear on a blade to stop it gleamin’ at night, just like the killer used – and a receipt for a train ticket outta town. Looked like Yeq was our man, and he was fixin’ to skedaddle.

We sent a message to our contact in the police, lettin’ him know to meet us at the main station, lightningrailthen headed there ourselves to give the place the old once-over. I spotted Yeq in the bar in the company of a burly half-elf that looked like a bodyguard, so I sauntered over, ordered a drink, and asked where he was headed. Played him a little music. Wanted to put him at ease.

Now, I think I was makin’ real progress with the guy, although some of the others said I was showing a real lack of insight about his state of mind. Me, I say a guy that straps a bunch of knives to his front door is probably just naturally suspicious. Anyway, Magz pulled me aside and gave me a few pointed pointers on the questions I should be askin’, but about that time Yeq got wise to the whole business and got up to leave.

Lucky for us, the rest of our party was stationed outside. I tried to distract Yeq with an illusion – image of his boss popping up in the doorway – and Cybin blew a few giggle spores at him, but he shook ’em off and blew on some kinda whistle. Guess one bodyguard wasn’t enough for our pal Yeq, ’cause over by the platform, a seemingly innocent hunk of machinery unfolded into a big ol’ automaton.


K80 happened to be down by the platform and whipped off an Inflict Wounds spell, rustin’ the thing up a bit. Meanwhile, Yeq, who it turns out was a shifter, went all ratty on us and tried to bite Cybin’s face off. Guess he’s not a fan of giggle spores. Or maybe he just had no sense of humor, ’cause I slung a dose of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter at him myself and didn’t even get a slightly unattractive giggle out of the guy

The automaton lit up with some kinda electricity hoozit and fried a bunch of people down by the tracks, includin’ K80, which means we were suddenly comin’ up a little shorter in the healin’ department. Things weren’t all bad, though, ’cause our police friend caught the bodyguard with a truncheon and knocked him out in a single blow.

Pizzazzle slung a bit of Faerie Fire at the automaton, but it proved to be faerie-fireproof, and Aina gave Yeq a whack with her staff while Cybin hit him with a dose of poison shroom powder than had him reelin’. Magz took a shot at him, too, but her bolt was way off. Too bad for us, it looked like Yeq had a second bodyguard, and he knocked our poor wizard out in a single hit. That was too much for Orana, who got madder than a wet hen and swung her warhammer right in bodyguard number two’s face, splatterin’ him like a ripe melon.

Our police pal took a swing at the automaton, but its metal plating was too thick for an ordinary blow to do more than glance off. The automaton took a swing right back, but missed. Meanwhile, I dealt out a little vicious mockery to Yeq, who turned out to be awful thin-skinned for a guy whose name is Yeq.

Pizzazzle managed to get close enough to the platform to save our cleric from the scrap heap, and Aina downed Yeq with a slam to the chest which knocked the wind right out of him. Sittin’ up at the platform, K80 tossed out another bit of magickry which finished seizing up the machinery, and the automaton was ready to be scrapped itself.

Once he was in police custody, Yeq spilled the beans on everything, gettin’ our tender hindquarters off the hook for the murder. Seems a bit after that, he mysteriously died while in the lockup. Real suspicious, if you ask me. I reckon someone was tyin’ up a loose end. But at least I can be glad my tail didn’t get stuck in the knot…