AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 10

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 circling back around to the Wizard this week, and discussing the new Order of Scribes subclass. Whereas most Wizards focus on a specific school of magic, the Order of Scribes instead make it their mission to record all magical discoveries. Their spellbooks aren’t mere receptacles for the magic they’ve learned, but can actually be awakened objects that become the Scribes most trusted companion.

Starting at level 2, you can create both an Awakened Spellbook and a Wizardly Quill. The quill doesn’t require ink to write with; instead it produces its own ink in whatever color you choose. You can also use a bonus action to erase anything you have written with the quill, as long as the writing is within 5 feet of you. Finally, using the quill to copy spells into your spellbook reduces the time it takes to copy a spell two 2 minutes per spell level (as opposed to the 2 hours per level it usually takes). On the other hand, while holding your Awakened Spellbook, you can use the book itself as an arcane focus for your spells. The book also allows you to change the damage type of a spell you cast, using one of your spell slots. You can replace the damage type of a spell with the damage type of another spell of the same level that you have written in your book.1 Finally, once per day, when you cast a spell as a ritual, you can do so using the spell’s normal casting time, instead of adding the extra 10 minutes normally required.

Once you reach level 6, you can Manifest the Mind of your Awakened Spellbook as a Tiny spectral object that hovers in the air. The mind has its own senses, including darkvision to a range of 60 feet, and can share those senses with you telepathically. It is intangible, but emits dim light in a radius of 10 feet. On your turn, when you cast a spell, you can choose to cast it from the mind’s space instead of your own. You can only use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus each day. In addition, you can move the mind 30 feet as a bonus action on your turn, but it disappears if it is more than 300 feet away from you. If the mind is dispelled or destroyed, you can expend a spell slot to manifest it again, or otherwise wait until you’ve completed a long rest.

By 10th level, you’ve become a Master Scrivener. You are adept at crafting spell scrolls, meaning that the time and gold cost required to make a spell scroll are halved, as long as you are using your Wizardly Quill. In addition, at the end of each long rest, you can magically create one spell scroll for free using your Quill. You can copy any 1st or 2nd level spell with a casting time of one action from your spellbook onto the scroll. You can then cast the spell by reading it from the scroll as an action. When you do so, the spell is cast at one level higher than normal. The scroll is unintelligible to anyone but you, and only lasts until your next long rest.

At level 14, you are One With the Word. Your soul becomes entwined with the mind of your Awakened Spellbook. While the book in in your possession, you have advantage on all Arcana checks. In addition, if you take damage while you have your Manifest Mind ability active, you can use you reaction to dismiss the awakened mind and prevent all of the damage. You can only use this reaction once per long rest, and there is a cost, as your spellbook loses 3d6 levels worth of spells. For example, if you roll a total of 9, you must choose spells from the book with a combined level of 9, which vanish from your book (so, three 3rd-level spells, or four 2nd-level and one 1st-level). If you don’t have enough spells in your book to cover this cost, you immediately drop to zero hit points. The vanished spells reappear in your book after 1d6 long rests, and while they are gone you are incapable of casting them, even if you find them on a spell scroll or in another spellbook.

Players and Characters

Josephus is back as DM to continue his Eberron. The 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)

Credit for our game recap this week once again goes to TheHayesCode. Thanks again, Hayes!

Race to the Change Gate

Got to say, I am really enjoying these lightning rail tickets! The food, the view… okay, so there’s the little matter of that artifact thief we were supposed to be hunting, too. I hit the dining car (ooh, buffet!) to look for her, and I did see someone with a lot of suspicious-looking plans laid out, but it turned out she was just an engineer. She spent so long explaining to me about the – whatever it was – that I ended up falling asleep in my scrambled eggs.

Sly had a lot better luck using a spell to locate our target’s distinctive maroon cloak. He traced it to a particular room and fetched the rest of us to try a break-in. The cabin was empty – too bad the occupants – a woman with dark hair, and her three scruffy-looking minions – came back just at the wrong time, and made a break for it to the roof of the train!

Well, of course we had to follow them. Who hasn’t wanted to fight on the roof of a train? Ugh, it’s a lot windier and grittier than you’d think, though. (Also, loud.) The ringleader vaulted right off the edge and somehow made it over the lightning stones to get away, so that was that for recovering the artifact, and the three scruffos went all hairy and snouty on us and revealed themselves as were-rats.

As the others rushed forward and Sly summoned up a couple of extra-large sized wolves, I made it my mission to knock loose as many rats as I could with my wind blasts. I managed it with a couple of them (wow, was there ever a light show when they hit those stones!) and the wolves made great cover. I’m always happy for a distraction!

After the fight, we investigated the cabin and found the cloak as well as notes identifying our escapee as Margana Sargas and charting the movement of the moons. It looked like her little Change Gate-opening ceremony was was keyed to the lunar cycle. Oh, and we also found a couple telltale hints that Margana may be a lycanthrope herself. A were-tiger, actually. So that’s gonna be fun.

(At least we got incredibly service from the chefs for the rest of the trip! Guess they didn’t like having those rats around their kitchen.)

We pulled in at Passage and crossed the lake to Delethorn, where we tracked down the town council building and our contact Brustan Fisher. We told him about Margana’s plans to open the Change Gate, and he gave us a map to help us find it in the endless forest of the Eldeen Reaches. But the real news is that his wife has the most adorable little baby gryphon you’ve ever seen! It was sooooo cute!

Anyway. We headed up an old druidic road towards the gate, hoping to get there before Margana. (Maybe, maybe not – were-tigers can run pretty fast.) We found signs of recent druidic activity, and not exactly the nice prancing-around-trees-buck-naked kind. I’m talking more like a gruesome sigil drawn in the blood of sacrifices. Well, a tree-shaped sigils. Even evil druids are still druids.

And even evil druid have animal pals, as we discovered when we got jumped by a trio of horrid wolves. You know, like regular wolves, but with bigger teeth and worse breath. Any suspicious that this was a random wild beast attack ended when a couple of druids stepped out of the underbrush after them. One started to cast a spell, but I pulled the air right out of her lungs, leaving her sputtering. I was feeling pretty good about myself after that, and that’s when the eagle swooped down.

Have you ever been mauled by an eagle? Well, now I have, and it really freaking hurts! I tossed a hex on that stupid bird and pummeled it with a couple of blasts that drove it skyward and shook the leaves from the trees.

At the apex of its flight, it turned into another druid! Since she was twenty feet up and couldn’t fly anymore, she ended up slamming back into the ground. I’m not sure she was even totally conscious when Sly fried her with that lightning bolt.

It was chaos after that – lightning bolts, balls of fire, people wrestling with wolves, just a mess, and I was still feeling faint from getting my back cut to ribbons by that stupid bird. Somehow in all our crashing around in the underbrush, we managed to come out on top, and the last druid turned herself into another eagle and tried to fly off.

Bad mood, because I was not in a let’s-be-kind-to-eagles mood. I hit her with a couple of blasts that jolted her right out of bird form and sent her plummeting to the ground. Don’t turn into an eagle when I’m around, kids.

We’re resting now, but soon we’re going to pick up and make for the Change Gate. I know what Margana’s trying to do isn’t good – it’d cause all kinds of problems if the gate was open permanently – but I can’t help but be curious about the other side. I know Lamannia is where you live, Zati, and someday I’d love to visit it. (You don’t have any pet eagles, do you?)