AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 12

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.

Today, I’m diving into the Phantom Rogue subclass. Phantoms are often spies and assassins with a mystical connection to death itself. This connection allows the Phantom to glean knowledge from the spirits of the dead, empower their attacks with negative energy, and even pass through solid objects likes ghosts.

Starting at 3rd level, you can perceive the Whispers of the Dead all around you, and you can use their knowledge for your benefit. Each time you finish a short or long rest, you can one skill or tool that are not proficient in and gain proficiency with that skill or tool until you use this feature again to choose a different skill.

Also at level 3, whenever you hit a creature with a Sneak Attack on your turn, you can cause a second creature to hear Wails from the Grave. The second target must be within 30 feet of the first, and deals necrotic damage equal to the total of half (rounded up) of your Sneak Attack damage dice. That is, if your Sneak attack normally adds 2d6 damage, the second target would take 1d6. You can only use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, recharging on a long rest.

When you reach 9th level, you gain the ability to capture Tokens of the Departed whenever another creature dies within 30 feet of you. When you use this ability as a reaction to a nearby creature dying, you cause a soul trinket to appear in your hand. This is a Tiny physical object that takes a form chosen by the DM or rolled on the Trinkets table in the PHB. You can carry as many trinkets as your proficiency bonus. When at least one is on your person, you gain advantage on CON saves and death saving throws. When you deal your Sneak Attack damage to a creature, you can choose to destroy one of your soul trinkets for an immediate free use of your Wails from the Grave feature. Alternatively, you can use your action to destroy a soul trinket and ask the spirit associated with that trinket one question; however, the spirit will answer as concisely as possible and is under no obligation to be truthful.

At level 13, you can partially phase yourself into the realm of the dead, giving you the ability to Ghost Walk. As a bonus action you assume a spectral form for 10 minutes. While in this form, you gain a flying speed of 10 feet, attacks against you have disadvantage, and you can move through creature and solid objects as though they were difficult terrain. You can end the effect early as a bonus action. You can use this ability for free once per long rest, but additional uses require you to expend a soul trinket as part of the bonus action used to activate the ability.

Finally, when you reach 17th level, you will become Death’s Friend. Your close, personal relationship with death gives you two benefits. First, when you use your Wails from the Grave ability, the necrotic damage is dealt to the original target of your attack in addition to the secondary target. Secondly, at the end of each long rest, if you don’t have a soul trinket created, one appears in your hand.

[spoiler title=”Players and Characters”]Josephus is back as DM to continue his Eberron. The members of 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)[/spoiler]

Credit for our recap this week goes to Spiny Creature! Thanks, Spiny!

[spoiler title=”Madness!”]I can’t believe I’m alive to write this journal entry, but the powers that be in Xoriat have yet to find a way to remove me and further their many inexpressible agendas. 🙂 !

Our first couple hours near a manifest zone to Xoriat weren’t as horrific as I’d expected, but they started kicking it up a notch FAST. After we realized how exactly to activate the crystals which used to power the place’s old protective wards, we started heading around to look for more rooms with crystals.

The first room we checked had a void of magical darkness inside, but Uda stepped right in and got attacked by a cloaker. She tried to Fey Step out, but the abjuration magic protecting this zone is totally blocking teleportation. Sly cast Faerie Fire to light up the void of darkness a bit. The cloaker hurt Uda really badly and wrapped around her head to suffocate her, but Scylla’s eldritch blast thingies killed it before Uda could, like, die. Uda and I grabbed all the potions in the room, and Sly’s an herbalist so he could guess their nature – he claims one’s a potion of hill giant strength? I kind of want to try that, but NOT if I detect a SINGLE shard of Xoriat’s influence in it.

We were pretty beat up, so we tried to rest, but for the first time I succumbed to this place’s madness. Cherri thought I was a Xoriat aberration and attacked me, and I thought the same thing and attacked her. I was able to heal the injury I gave her, but I’m SO angry that the agents of madness singled out my ONLY friend I can truly trust. >:-( !

We tried another room, which had these three aberration… things… that made everyone totally insane. I was just too terrified to approach them, but Cherri was hallucinating, Sly thought we were all monsters, and Scylla was paralyzed. Needless to say, that fight went BADLY. Uda and I both passed out and could’ve died, and Sly was targeting his moonbeam spell on me instead of the aberrations. Eventually he snapped out of it and healed me, and he claims the influence of those creatures forced him to hurt me against his will (which I think I believe, but who knows these days? Sad!) Anyway, the creatures really didn’t like holy radiant magic or whatever, so the moonbeam’s light worked well. I also got some good hits in and killed the last one. 🙂

With the aberrations gone, we activated the crystals to power the protective glyphs in that room. Cherri also found a bunch of spell shards. They contained texts on the history of the daelkyr’s war with the Dhakaani Empire and how they sealed off the manifest zones to Xoriat!!!!!! You KNOW how much I’ve been researching that if you read this journal!!! I’m so excited to cross-reference with my own personal theories.

We had to rest again. Sly was paralyzed, apparently, but none of us realized because we thought he was doing his thing where he meditates and makes a weird face. Much worse – I felt mad AGAIN and attacked Cherri AND Uda. I had enough goodberries to heal them both, but it was demoralizing.

The next room with crystals in it had a wall of thorns separating us from the crystals we needed to charge. Sly and Uda’s fire spells weren’t damaging the wall for long enough, so I got impatient and did my planar-shift… thingy… with my axe that I still don’t really understand. That worked, so I ran through the hole in the wall and activated the crystals and glyphs. I felt pretty cool! But then I didn’t feel cool, because there was a Gust of Wind spell in the room that KEPT PUSHING ME AWAY FROM THE EXIT SO MANY TIMES. SO MANY. Uda and Sly came to help me, but Uda got knocked out and Sly couldn’t stand up against the wind even when he was shifted into a mountain goat. Eventually, Sly used a Tidal Wave spell so we could float out of the room on the current. He said it’s one of his most powerful spells, but it was worth it. I think Uda was about to declare some sort of holy war against wind?1

Anyway, the next room had a corpse trapped inside a chaos web, and the poor guy was wearing a backpack we thought might contain the keys we needed. Uda went in and the room levitated her around like crazy, but no luck getting keys off the skeleton.

The next room was a barricaded prison cell for aberrations, so we knew nothing good would be in there. Uda and I stepped in and got attacked by this transparent flat… thing… that was sticking to the ceiling. Unsurprisingly, all of our minds went crazy when we saw it – only Sly was able to resist at all. The thingy attached itself to Uda and knocked her out. I finally managed to kill it, and thankfully Scylla found the keys we needed inside the aberration’s body! Why did it eat keys? Ew.

At this point we had rested four million times and still kept almost dying, so we finally took Vilma the arcanist up on her offer to watch over us while we spent the night sleeping in this horrible place. We didn’t really trust Vilma and we knew we’d go even madder if we slept, but we literally couldn’t go on. Speaking of sleep, Mal is reminding me I should get some. Apparently it’s seven in the morning and I never went to bed! Whoops! See you later, journal. :)[/spoiler]