AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 4

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.

This week, I’m talking about another new subclass, the Way of Mercy for the Monk. These Monks generally work as wandering healers, but also don’t hesitate to end the suffering of those they can not cure. Most followers of this path cover their faces with special masks.

Staring at 3rd level, you gain the Implements of Mercy, which includes your mask, as well proficiency in the Insight and Medicine skills and with the herbalism kit. As far as I can see, the mask doesn’t actually serve any mechanical function.

Also at level 3, you learn a couple of new martial arts techniques. The Hand of Healing allows you to touch a creature and spend 1 ki point to restore hit points equal to your WIS modifier plus a roll of your martial arts die. Whenever you use Flurry of Blows, you can choose to replace one of the attacks you make with that feature with a use of this feature, without spending the ki cost. Meanwhile, the Hand of Harm allows you to deal extra necrotic damage with an unarmed strike. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 ki to point to deal necrotic damage equal to a roll of your martial arts die plus your WIS modifier, on top of the normal damage from the strike (which is usually your martial arts die + DEX).

At 6th level your Physician’s Touch makes your Hand of Healing and Hand of Harm abilities more powerful. When you use Hand of Healing, you can also choose to cure one disease affecting the targeted creature, or end one of the following conditions: blinded, deafened, paralyzed, poisoned, or stunned. Alternative, using Hand of Harm also allows you to cause the target to become poisoned until the end of your next turn.

At level 11m you can turn your Flurry of Blows into a Flurry of Healing and Harm. When you ever spend ki to use Flurry of Blows, you can choose to replace each of the unarmed strikes made as part of the Flurry with uses of Hand of Healing, without spending the ki points for the healing.1 In addition, you can use your Hand of Harm ability as part of your Flurry of Blows without spending the normal ki point for Hand of Harm; however, you are still limited to one Hand of Harm per turn.

Finally, at 17th level, you’ve mastered the manipulation of life energy such that you learn the Hand of Ultimate Mercy technique. As an action, you can spend 5 ki points and touch a corpse of a creature that died within the last 24 hours. The creature is restored to life with hit points equal to 4d10 plus your WIS modifier. In addition, if the creature died while blinded, deafened, poisoned, paralyzed, or stunned, they are returned to life with those conditions ended. You can only use this ability once per long rest.

Players and Characters

Josephus took over as DM for a new adventure in Eberron. The newest recruits for the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild in Sharn include:

  • Sly, a Wildhunt Shifter Druid of the Circle of Dreams from the mysterious and exotic continent of Xen’drik (CleverGuy)
  • Cherri Bomb, a pink Tiefling Rogue (Waffle)
  • Uda Haserrea, a Summer Eladrin Paladin hailing from the Fairy Court of Thelanis (Wasp)
  • Petie, an Earth Genasi Ranger, who grew up in mostly Dwarvish community underground (Spiny)
  • Scylla, a Half-Elf Genie Patron Warlock, who a found a curious patron in a back alley market near Morgrave University (Hayes)

Scylla Miller gives us our recap this week, in the form of a check-in with her Djinni patron, Zati the Curious. All credit for the recap goes to The Hayes Code–thanks, Hayes!

Shadows and Stories

Hi, Zati! We’re all still reeling from out last adventure, where Petie was smashed by that golem. The mood on the trip home was so somber. It’s supposed to be a party after an adventure, but instead there was this constant tension and worry that we’d be delayed and we wouldn’t be able to get Petie back to Sharn before the week was out. Ugh. Not exactly fun.

We arrived just in time and our contact, Lhara, gave us our pay for retrieving the flower and pointed us to a diviner in the Mystic Market – not far from where I found your lamp, in fact!  The diviner, Kestia, was an elf with a very odd dragonmark who shared a weird prophecy with us: nobody would want to bring Petie back, but she must be brought back. Also that there might be some disaster in the future, but it wouldn’t be me who caused it, so… yay?

She pointed us to a seedy detective agency in Torchfire where we met a drunken elf, Caranthir, and an orc, Cleaver, as well as a kobold whose name I didn’t catch. The took us down into their ominous-looking basement and laid Petie out on some kind of modified resurrection table with a bunch of tanks and tubes and machines that were pretty obviously stuck on afterwards.

Sure enough, once the kobold got the thing started (it made an incredible racket) and Caranthir started chanting, it was less souls-gently-wafting-back-to-life and more ripping-open-a-hole-straight-into-Dolurrh, and pretty much all the shades and spirits in the Plane of the Dead took that as their cue to bum rush the land of the living. Shadowy spirits and ghostly forms spewed out into the room and attacked.  One got a devastating hit in on Uda, but she managed to strike back with a radiant smite that cut through the shadow like a holy knife through evil butter. Sly conjured up some kind of nifty moonbeam that he moved around the room like a spotlight, sizzling darkness wherever it went.  I missed with a few of my air blasts, exploding a couple bits of the workshop (luckily everyone was too distracted to see it was me.)

An aura of golden light filled the room. Shades clawed at the Caranthir, trying to stop him before he could complete the ritual, but he held firm, and between Cleaver and Uda we made short work of the rest of them.

Petie sat up on the slab with the most bone-curdling shriek I’ve ever heard in my life! She seemed, well, alive at least, but I don’t know… she’s acting oddly. Talking to her sister, who isn’t here, wondering if we’re in league with Xoriat, questioning everyone’s motives.  At least she’s nice and chilly now. It’s actually kind of refreshing being near her.

Still – I hope I never die, because coming back seems like one heck of a hangover. Zati, if I ever get shchrushed, maybe blow my spirit off course so I don’t end up in Dolurrh, at least?

Anyway! We took a little time off to rest and for Petie to get her circulation back, and I blew most of the money I’d saved – what didn’t go to that sketchy resurrection department – on a nifty cloak with some protective enchantments. They’re just minor, but who knows, it might just save my bacon someday.

And then it was off on our next mission – to Darguun! The goblinoid homeland!  Pretty exciting for a big old Dhakhaaniphile like me. I even caught a glimpse of the Mournland in the distance as we crossed over the Seawalls. I also kept myself busy practicing the spells from that book you gave me – thanks again for that, by the way! We arrived in the capitol of Rhukhaan Draal and disembarked from the wagon in Khaari Batuuvk, the Bloody Market.  This was once a bustling trading post for slaves before the practice was recently outlawed. A shiver went up my spine as I caught a glimpse of an old building whose sign proclaimed it a slave market. It’s one thing to read about it in some dry scholarly tome and quite another to actually see a monument to the practice.

Our contact, Tantuul, took us to a tavern and filled us in on our objective – a fabled weapon known as the Chains of Mur’Taal, once owned by a legendary hero and now located in a manifest zone of a sub-plane of Dal Quor, the Plane of Narrative, where stories come to life.

Before we could leave, though, we spotted a bedraggled-looking human in chains being led into an alley by a few bugbears. I guess not everyone got the message that slavery is illegal now!  I was just thinking how to approach the situation when Uda charged them, screaming. You can always count on her to cut right to the heart of things.  She tried to scare them, but they just got mad, and soon we were in an all-out brawl.

Cherri kneed one in the groin, and I blasted one right off his feet.  Petie did… something, it was like one moment her weapon was there and the next it jumped right into the bugbear’s guts. I swear, something odd really odd is up with her since she came back.  Anyway, they weren’t much of a threat, and soon the one who lost half his intestines was fleeing for his life. Just didn’t have the guts, I guess.  We gave the woman one of Sly’s energy berries and enough gold to get herself back to Breland, and sent the local authorities after the runner.

We traveled southwest into the mountains after that, and Tantuul told us a little more of the story of Mur’Taal and how the legendary warrior set off to conquer trials and never returned.  As we entered a narrow pass, a strange mist rolled in. Figures appeared, blurry and hard to make out at first, but closing in fast. One of them looked like Mr. Wickerbone, the old gnome who used to push that fruit cart back in Longstairs!  He was a nice old guy, but he died when I was a kid… which maybe explains why this shadowy image of him was almost as tall as I was.

Then the figures drew closer. One of them lurched out of the mists entirely, and I saw it was Professor Oliphant, probably the meanest instructor in the history of Morgrave University!

“Miss Miller!” she snarled. “What are you doing in Darguun?  Have you forgotten about the exam today?  And why are you in your underwear?”

Brrr. Now those were some unpleasant mists.

We arrived at a tunnel mouth with words in Goblin carved about it. Tantuul handed out a few torques that allowed everyone to read it, which I didn’t need, of course, since I’m already quite good at Goblin, no matter what Professor Oliphant says.  A large engraving read Courage, and beneath it, in smaller letters, Action, Caution, and Boldness.

Inside the tunnel we came to a bridge covered in raising and lowering spike and swinging axes – like something right out of a story, you might say. We must be close to the Plane of Narrative now. We rushed through the spikes (Action) and went carefully to avoid the axes (Caution).  I say “we,” but I didn’t exactly do so well, and arrived there just a little bit perforated.

We found ourselves on a pillar, with darkness all around and the sound of rushing water below us. Now, since we were on Boldness, you might think the right thing to do would be just cannonball in, but sometimes stories have twists, and I didn’t want that twist to be in my spine.  So I sent a blast down into the darkness to see if I could time the depth by sonic boom.  All I got was a splash.  It seemed deep enough, at least…

So I slid down the slope of the pillar and hit the water with a smack!  It was pretty fun, actually, and I called up to everyone to slide down as I used my new spell to sculp the water into a little ice coracle for myself (although I had a little trouble staying on top of it.)  That’s all I’ve got time to write now… but I’ll let you know what happened next soon!