AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Carnival of Shadows, Episode 6

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.

We’re back to the Wizard this week, looking closely at the School of Necromancy.  Necromancers study the magic of life, death, and undeath, learning to manipulate the energies that animate all living things and use it to their advantage.  NecromancerLike most Wizard subclasses, beginning at 2nd level, the Necromancy Savant can copy spells from their chosen school into their spell book for half the cost and in the half the time it would normally take.

Also at 2nd level, a Necromancer learns to steal life energy from creatures they kill in a Grim Harvest.  Once per turn, when you kill a creature (aside from constructs or undead) with a spell of 1st level or higher, you gain hit points equal to twice the spell’s level.  If the spell you used was a necromancy spell, the hit point gain increases to three times the spell’s level.

At level 6, you gain the ability to create Undead Thralls.1  You can add the Animate Dead spell to your spellbook for free, and you can use the spell to create two skeletons or zombies at once, instead of just one.  Your undead creations are more powerful as well, adding your Wizard level to their maximum hit points and your proficiency bonus to their damage rolls.

By level 10, you’ve become Inured to Undeath.  You gain resistance to necrotic damage, and you are immune to effects that would reduce your hit point maximum.

Finally, at level 14 you can attempt to bring any undead creature under your control.  When you Command Undead, you can use your action to cause one undead creature to make a CHA saving throw.  If the creature fails, it becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands until to use this ability again.  You can target any undead creature with this ability, but more intelligent undead are harder to control.  An undead creature with an INT score of 8 or higher gets advantage on the saving throw, and an undead with INT of 12 or higher who is affected can repeat the saving throw every hour to break free of your control.

This week, we returned to the world of Eberron, where The Hayes Code is running a homebrew campaign for us.  We’re playing as members of a traveling carnival, who are also known to do a little investigation or espionage work on the side.

Cast of Characters

  • Tinka, the Warforged Battlesmith Artificer, who performs tricks with the mechanical animals she creates (The Wasp)
  • Wind Over Sand, a Tabaxi Open Hand Monk and contortionist (Wafflicious)
  • Clo Fullia, a Shifter Battle Master Fighter, a bearded lady who also has a tendency to shift into strange beasts (Otto)
  • Tano Lyrimasyl, a blade-juggling Elven Bard of the College of Swords (TheCleverGuy)
  • The Shill, a Changeling Trickery Cleric who works the crowd looking for easy marks for the rest of the carnies (Josephus Brown)
  • Annabelle and Shirley Fredricks, conjoined twins, one of whom is a Human Divination Wizard (Spiny Creature)

Bad Dreams

Clo burst into my room this morning, ranting about some kind of nightmare she had.  I did my best to calm her down, and asked her to tell me about the dream.  I’ve heard that it can be helpful to talk through a bad dream with someone.  What she told me didn’t make that much sense.  Apparently, our little group was all together at a party, having been invited by someone named Allistair.  The butler let us in and introduced us to the other guests.  There was a gravely wounded Cyrean soldier, surrounded by the broken pieces of Tinka’s mechanical lion; a cloaked figure with a walking stick standing motionless in a shadowy corner; a hideously mutated, hulking human in a green cloak; a Yuan-Ti snake-person; a country yokel with a horrible braying laugh; and an elf woman in a black feathered dress, eating some sort of bloody meat.

Things seemed to happen very fast the way Clo told the story.  Wind Over Sand got in a fight with the Yuan-Ti in a circus tent, but the Yuan-Ti was actually a giant snake.  Wind had nearly killed the thing and was backing down in a show of mercy when the snake attacked her from behind and knocked her out. The rest of our group jumped in to help, Clo cutting the snake’s head off.

The yokel was bothering the twins, Annabelle and Shirley, until Annabelle used her magic to force him into an embarrassing dance, after which he just vanished.  The Shill talked to the shadowy figure and was shaken enough to reveal their true face briefly.  (Of course this was all a dream, so how would Clo know the Shill’s true face?)  The Cyrean soldier claimed that Tinka had abandoned him on the battlefield, leaving him to die.  Tinka didn’t seem to be bothered at all by this accusation though–which actually sounds a lot like Tinka, very pragmatic.

I apparently started a fight with the elf woman in the feathered dress who transformed into some sort of bird creature.  Clo said I yelled something about Ther’atril, which is when I started paying a little more attention to her story.  Ther’atril was my horse back when I was with the army, and my only companion for a time after I left.  While traveling through the desert, before I hooked up with the circus, she and I were attacked by a roc.  I was thrown off the horse’s back, but Ther’atril was picked up and carried away by the giant bird.  I never told Clo or anyone else that story before.

I tried to steer the conversation back to that point, but Clo had come to the part that really had her upset about this dream.  She had apparently talked to the mutated human and formed some kind of bond with him.  Apparently, like Clo herself, this man had been caught in the Mourning and altered somehow.  He was just lonely and needed a friend–Clo had found a kindred spirit.  She told him how she had found a new family of sorts with the Carnival and invited him to come back with us, but then he vanished.  Clo did everything she could to find him, running all over this manor house but couldn’t find the man anywhere.

Then the host of this party, Allistair, invited all of us into the dining room.  He explained that the other guests had been figments plucked from our minds, and furthermore two of our group were figments as well.  He wanted us to guess which two of us weren’t real, but Clo was too upset at the loss of her friend and didn’t really understand what was going on.  So she tried to attack this wizard.  And that’s when she woke up and started running around the inn looking for everyone.

At this point Annabelle and Shirley came in.  They’d had the same dream, as has Wind.  What’s more they’d each woken up to find a carved wooden rose and a potion of some kind next to their beds.  Shill didn’t admit to anything, but we could tell he was a bit shaken and he also had a rose and potion.  Once Clo calmed down, she found the same thing next to her bed.  Only Tinka and I appeared to have been spared.  I guess that’s one advantage to not requiring sleep.

Still, despite not being affected by this dream, I’m left with many questions.  Who is this Allistair person?  How did he know so much about us?  And why was he messing with our dreams in the first place?

But for now we have more pressing matters.  It’s time we had a talk with that dragonmarked girl we were sent to retrieve.