elemental planes

(I’m a party member in this, specifically a level 12 wu-jen. We are trying to organize an office after stealing a bunch of documents, trying to make it look like nothing happened)

Me: so, could i, maybe, use knowledge: the planes to organize these papers?

Gm: no. No, no you can’t, no.

Me: but, hear me out-

Gm: no.

Me: but, paper is almost 2 dimensional, and something 2 dimensional is a plane, so,

Gm: okay, but it won’t do anything. Go ahead, I guess.

Me: *rolls a natural 20* so, uhh, that’s a total of…38…

(The party starts cracking up, the gm sighs heavily)

Gm: okay, yeah, fine. You organize the papers SO WELL they transcend this realm, and go to the semi-elemental plane of law. Happy??

Me, grinning from ear to ear: yes, yes I am.

Alternate Ways to End Combat in an RPG

Hello, readers! At the moment, I’m super busy prepping a Lovecraft Legacies LARP event, but I didn’t want to fail to offer some DMing advice this week. So I grabbed an old article I wrote for the website GeeksDreamGirl.com. I wrote it with 4E in mind, but it’s lessons translate to any game. Enjoy!

Combat is an integral part of many RPGs. In some, it’s a necessary evil. In others, like D&D, it’s an exciting part of the game. Sometimes, the PCs are facing truly evil and villainous foes that need to be wiped from the face of your campaign world. Sometimes, however, you want to have a battle end in something other than a complete massacre of one side or another. What if the PCs are facing honorable foes who’ve been duped into fighting them? Or what if they’re facing foes who vastly out-number or out-power them? Is a slaughter the only answer? Obviously, the
answer can and should be no.

Here then are five ways to end a fight before the battlefield is drenched in the blood of one side or another. You can use these ways to keep a battle short, or to offer an alternative to simple one-
sided destruction.

A Fight to First Blood

If the PCs are facing honorable foes, or are fighting in a tournament, they may choose to fight to “first blood”, and I’m not referencing any cheesy 80s action films. In 4E D&D, this is an easy
concept: have the players and NPCs agree to fight until someone hits their Bloodied value, and use this as the threshold of when someone finally draws blood on the other.

This has a lot of basis in reality. Knights at tournament wanted to show their prowess at real battle, and first blood was a way to show one’s skill, but to avoid seriously injuring one’s foe. Likewise, a duel that was serious but didn’t need to be to the death would sometimes be fought to first blood. This served as a grim reminder to the wounded – I bloodied you once. Next time might be more fatal.

Holding Out Like a Hero

This is a particular favorite of mine. In it, the PCs aren’t necessarily planning on winning a fight, but only of surviving and holding off foes until a set goal is reached. This is particularly effective for when the king can get to safety if his loyal knights can last ten rounds of combat, or if a wizard needs them to hold until he gets six successes on Arcana checks. Combined with Skill Challenges, this can make for a memorable sequence. Skeletons will keep pouring out of the crypt until the cleric successfully re-consecrates it as a skill challenge of minor actions, or the room will keep filling with water that’s inhabited with shrieking eels until the rogue resets the trap mechanism. It’s up to the party to hold off the skeletons, eels, or what have you.

You can use this device to simulate a scene like Helm’s Deep. The PCs have to hold out a certain number of rounds until the reinforcements arrive. Especially in combination with an ever-increasing number of minions, this can give the proper feeling of literally holding off an army.

Cutting Off the Head

The orcish army feels unbeatable until their leader, Gruzhgarn, is slain. When the necromancer is killed, the undead crumble back to lifeless husks. The wolves will flee in dismay if their alpha is killed. If you make one or more of the enemies the linchpin holding the rest of the monsters together, then you can give the PCs a goal other than simply slaying every monster on the battlefield. Once the leader-type monster goes down, the rest will surrender, flee, return to their home plane, etc. I especially like the feeling of “kill the wizard and his minions will return to the Elemental Plane.” It’s something that makes a logical sort of story sense, and it gives an out to the players.

A variation on this is “this monster is invulnerable until condition X is met.” In my current campaign, a great example was Auntie Mengybone, whom I’ve mentioned in other columns. She was harnessing the life-force of a captive Arch Fey to constantly heal herself, making her effectively invulnerable. Several of the PCs with Controller-type powers kept her busy and away from the other PCs who were freeing the Arch Fey through a skill challenge. Once the Arch Fey was released, she immediately went into retreat mode, leaving her minions to fight the PCs. She didn’t escape, but, if she had, she would’ve likely become a recurring villain in the campaign.

Live to Fight Another Day

There’s an adage that most PCs would rather have their character killed than have them captured. I’m not sure what the psychology around this is, but I agree that it’s true. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to have your monsters behave the same way.

I befuddled my players in my Eberron campaign by having the changeling villain they’d been fighting step back, go defensive, and offer to surrender, but only if the Lawful Good character
promised him mercy. The party was immediately suspicious, but they reluctantly agreed. This let me draw a fight that was already a foregone conclusion to a quick close and keep a valuable NPC
alive for a future sequence. And when the PCs found out later that he’d escaped the prisons of their patrons, they cursed his name – darned, tricksy changelings!

The other trick is to have monsters flee. They might be running for reinforcements, or they might be running for their lives, but sometimes monsters, especially intelligent ones, might choose to abandon a fight that they’re clearly losing. Earlier editions of D&D had complex Morale check systems to help a DM determine whether or not a monster would fight on or drop their weapons, but, nowadays, story is the arbiter of such a decision.

Stop. Just Stop.

I would never suggest that you should declare a fight against the PCs and tell them they’re all dead. But good news! Your monsters don’t have any ego beyond that which you invest in them.

If you’re down to two half-dead orcs, everything else is dead, and the PCs are still in excellent shape, you can call that fight. Sure, the orcs might do a little more damage, but is it really necessary to eke every hit point from the player characters that you can? I think not.

Some DMs, and some players, don’t like this approach. They want to know exactly who did what, who killed whom, and noodle the fight down to each hit point. That’s not my style of game play. If it’s getting late, and I have an important plot point to make before game ends, and this fight is slowing me down, I’ll sometimes call a fight once it’s clear how unlikely it is that the PCs will lose. “Well, the ogre has 15 hit points, and you’re all going to get to attack before he does. Unless you really want to know who kills the ogre specifically, let’s call it. Someone describe for me how the ogre dies.” My players were baffled the first time I did this, but they’ve
come to appreciate it.

In Closing

Not every fight has to be fought to the last HP. Sometimes, there are reasons why a fight should end early, and sometimes it’s just more convenient to move things along rather than dither down to the bitter end. Using this tool, you can make battles more about the story and excitement and less about drudging down to the last hit point.

The Elemental Plane of Planes, could it be any plainer?

Context: We begin a campaign described as “DnD planar faction go all World War I, all of reality becomes a battleground and suffers.” We open the campaign and immediately trip over problems with the English language and spoken word. Our DM, unfortunately, has been up all night and had to go get something checked out as he believed he had a concussion.

DM: So the Angelic and Draconic armies are fighting one another on a plain, and you’ve had to take refuge in a ruined fort nearby.

Robo-Snek: Err… is that a plain or a plane? Like a grassland or a sliver of an alternate dimension?

Orc-ceror: This is a very important distinction.

DM: Ah, the grassland.

Orc-ceror: It could also be an airplane.

DM: It’s a grassland in the elemental plane of planes. There’s nothing to eat but airline food.

Robo-Snek: Noooooooooo!

Orc-ceror: That’s an idea that never took off.

DM: It really crashed and burned. I should’ve specified that it’s the grassland. Confound you, English language!

Robo-Snek: It’s okay, you’ve had a concussion. You’re probably on auto-pilot right now.

DM: ANYWAY! You’ve all taken refuge in a ruined fort on the edge of the plain.

Robo-Snek: Like on one of the wings? There’s…. some… THING…. onthewing!

anonymous asked:

Weird request, but you summarize stuff. I've only caught a few episodes of Critical Role but am curious about Kima and Allura. What's the story there? Don't worry about spoilers, I'm never gonna get caught up on this show anyway, but I am curious!

Oh gosh! Okay. This actually dovetails nicely with some logistical stuff I need to figure out for reasons, so hey, here’s my really long-winded summary (and other folks, please chime in if I get something wrong, there’s a lot of ground to cover here ranging from pre-series to right up where we are now):

So, basically, Allura (human wizard) and Kima (halfling paladin of Bahamut) were part of the same adventuring party, and their exploits culminated in a big ol’ boss battle fifteen years before the start of Critical Role against an ancient red dragon named Thordak. Their party managed to seal Thordak in the Elemental Plane of Fire, but in the process three members of their party were killed (Sirus, Dohla, and Ghenn), leaving only Kima, Allura, and their elementalist friend Drake Thunderbrand standing at the end of it.

In the wake of the battle, the three of them went their separate ways, despite the romantic relationship that had developed between Kima and Allura. Allura accepted an offer to become a member of the Council of Tal’Dorei in the capital city of Emon, but Kima wasn’t exactly keen on a political position and traveled north to the holy city of Vasselheim instead, where she worked with Highbearer Vord, the leader of the Order of Bahamut. Kima mentions in early episodes of the show that she and Allura would still try to meet up every few months for drinks, but their lives were pulling them in different directions. 

Matt’s made it pretty clear that Allura still spent a lot of time thinking about Kima during those years—in his playlist he posted way back in 2015, he says of Allura: “So long as protecting the realm means protecting this one person, then all the toil and challenge is worth it.” Kima also wound up struggling a lot with her faith in the wake of all the evils she’d seen, and frequently butted heads with Highbearer Vord and the more straitlaced folks she worked with.

Fast-forward fifteen years, when Kima starts to get visions of a terrible evil brewing under the dwarven city of Kraghammer and rushes in half-cocked. Allura starts to get worried after several weeks pass with no word and hires a group of adventurers that she’s worked with in the past to go find Kima—the adventurers, of course, are Vox Machina, and this push was the impetus for the first on-stream plot arc of the show.

Vox Machina manage to get Kima out of a bad situation in the Underdark, and then they all wind up embroiled in a conflict against a particularly corrupted beholder named K’Varn, who’s managed to get his hands (eye-tentacles?) on a Horn of Orcus and is sort of chilling with his mind flayer pals as a lowkey champion of the god of undeath, which is not fantastic. VM kill K’Varn, and together with Kima (who’d been turned to stone by a basilisk, thus beginning her longstanding pattern of bad luck on missions involving VM) just barely manage to escape via teleportation circle back to Emon.

After a Weekend-at-Bernie’s-esque pub crawl with Kima still in stone form, the party finally manages to restore her, and they all head over to explain the events to Allura. Allura is delighted to see Kima again, and they have a tearful reunion. Kima does travel with VM back to Vasselheim to seal the Horn of Orcus in the Platinum Sanctuary (a temple of Bahamut), leaving Allura in Emon. VM eventually moves on to the next plot, leaving Kima in Vasselheim.

Once VM finishes dealing with the next major arc of the show, the end result is a tiny floating, spinning ball in a forgotten ziggurat under the human city of Whitestone that also happens to nullify all magic for a wide radius in its vicinity. You know, your standard everyday stuff. Completely out of their depths, they ask Allura to travel to Whitestone and check it out while they return home to Emon, a decision that possibly winds up saving her life.

Allura heads to Whitestone and brings Drake Thunderbrand on board to evaluate the situation with the orb. When some of her arcane connections with cities across Tal’Dorei start to go dark, she heads back to Emon to report in to VM at their Keep just outside the city and figure out what the heck’s going on.

She and Drake arrive to find the party in the middle of a very serious argument, on the verge of an all-out brawl, over a magical skull housing some sort of entity that claims to be able to grant any wish. Why is a wish particularly tempting right now? Oh hey, turns out four ancient chromatic dragons, the Chroma Conclave (excellent 80s band name), just attacked Emon, killed most of the Tal’Dorei Council, made a beeline for and destroyed Allura’s home, and are spreading out to destroy most bastions of civilization across the continents of Tal’Dorei and Wildmount. When VM reveals that the leader of the group was Thordak, the same dragon that Allura and Drake barely survived sealing in the Plane of Fire, Allura is in shock.

Allura and Drake head out to the ruins of the Cobalt Reserve in Westruun to try and find some information that could help them defeat the Conclave. VM eventually make their way to Vasselheim in search of allies, and are startled to discover that the city is unaware of the devastation happening across the ocean. When Kima finds out about the destruction of Emon, she’s frantic and her first thought is to find a way to get to Allura. VM manage to assure her that Allura is as safe as anyone can be right now, and Kima joins them on their disastrous journey to the sunken tomb, where they face another beholder and Kima is nearly killed by a long fall in the battle. In the aftermath, she makes her way with the party back to Whitestone, and finds out for the first time that the leader of the Conclave is indeed Thordak—the news puts her into an uncharacteristic state of panic.

While VM travels around in search of ancient weapons to help defeat the Conclave, Allura eventually turns up in Whitestone, which has become the unofficial seat of a new war council. By the time VM shows up again, having killed one member of the Conclave, Kima and Allura are both there to greet them. At this point, the two of them have moved into a house in Whitestone together (there’s a cute moment where Vex knocks on Allura’s door early in the morning and Kima answers it in a too-big nightshirt) and are helping to coordinate studies of the orb under Whitestone as well as the defense of the city itself, once it becomes clear that forces are amassing there. Kima takes out a would-be assassin who comes after them in their home (part of an elaborate rakshasa revenge plot; Gilmore pulps his assassin, it’s a whole thing).

Kima winds up accompanying VM on their mission to Draconia to kill Vorugal, a member of the Conclave, and discovers before leaving that another member of the Conclave, Raishan, has been (in disguise) in Whitestone for some time, that she knows all of their secrets and could wipe out the last form of resistance in an instant, and that the party has worked out a very shaky secret deal with her, since it turns out they all want to kill Thordak. Despite Scanlan’s attempts to modify her memory to make her forget this revelation, Kima knows about the infiltration, and agrees to move forward with the plan regardless. The party manages to kill Vorugal and return back to Whitestone, at which point Raishan’s identity is revealed, for better or worse, to the entire war council.

Kima and Allura go to Fort Daxio to help coordinate troops for a final push against Thordak, who has settled down over the city of Emon and is slowly shaping the land into some sort of super-evil volcano. As you do. At Fort Daxio, Gatekeeper Xanthas, a former ally from Emon, reveals himself to have switched allegiances to work with Thordak, and manages to cast a Feeblemind spell on Allura. VM shows up in time to take Xanthas out and reverse the effects of the spell, at which point an extremely shaken Kima and Allura have their first “on-screen” kiss.

After Thordak is defeated, and Raishan escapes an attack from VM in the immediate aftermath of the battle, Kima and Allura accompany VM to Raishan’s hideout on the Island of Viscan, which once served as the home base of long-dead necromancer Opash. After some shenanigans with gravity-reversal and a whole lot of undead bodies, the party battles Raishan, with both Allura and Kima coming very close to death in the fight. In the aftermath, the party tries to escape the island with their dead and wounded… and discovers when their first spell fails that this island has some defenses in place against transportation magic.

Allura eventually manages to put down a teleportation circle and step through, but Kima hangs back a second, telling VM that something looks off about the circle. Before anyone can decide what to do, Kima resolutely steps through after Allura, and they both vanish. Keyleth manages to scry on them and discovers that they’ve landed in open ocean somewhere, which is bad news if you happen to be in full plate armor, like Kima. Through a complete fluke of a dice-roll (natural 20 on a perception check), Keyleth manages to spot them from the beach—swimming in the wrong direction and already exhausted—and Vex shoots out after them on her broom. 

She grabs Allura, Allura grabs Kima, and bookish-wizard Allura, zero-strength-modifier Allura manages to roll a natural 20 on her strength check to hang on to Kima until they get to safety.

In the aftermath, Allura and Kima are helping to put things back in order in Emon, ensuring together that more shadowy organizations like the Clasp don’t make too much of a bid for power in the chaos. When VM heads out on their next adventure, Kima makes sure to tell them that if they see Highbearer Vord, they should just pretend they haven’t seen her; she’s staying with Allura.

Sigil List of thesigilwitch

This post is an attempt for me to compile all the sigils I created during my time as thesigilwitch, as well as the sigils that were made and posted by me at thesigilworkshop. For (what I hope is) convenience’s sake, they will be sorted by intent / purpose, alphabetically.

Some of these are so, so old, and I’m so ashamed of them, but here they are.


Animals and Pets


Communication and Speech


Courage and Bravery


Deities and Worship


Employment and Business


Focus and Concentration


Habits and Addictions

Health and Healing

Home and Hearth

Invisibility and Concealment


Magic and Spellwork

Memory and Clear Mindedness

Mental Health


Money and Finances


Moving On

Plants and Gardening




Relationships and Love

Self Love


Spirit Work




Truth and Honesty

Joke Sigils

The party in this story are a group of low-level wizards (and only low-level wizards) who were tasked with completing their “last chance exams” at Wizard Academy™ for a chance to graduate with the rest of their cohort. It was a one-shot dungeon crawler style of game where we rotated the DM for every room. Given our level and abilities, rooms featured such challenges as battalions of house-cats, CR-reduced mimics and baby bugbears that still frequently required us to take long rests as the DMs swapped. After much trial and error (and only a few near deaths) we made it to the final test: a battle against a junk golem-style monstrosity that had access to wild magic.

Of particular importance: the current DM was an English/History teacher while Players One and Two both studied higher mathematics at university, and after an earlier incident the only serious rule we were following was “no retcons”.


 *rolls particularly well* With a great tear, a portal opens to the Elemental Plane of Cats! Ten housecats immediately appear in the arena, and more housecats begin pouring through the rip in reality at an exponential rate - 


Wait, exponential?


Yes, that’s what I said.


That’s… that’s a lot of cats, dude.


 Nah, it’s not that many.


No, she’s right, that’s a 


of cats. *does the math* Yeah, see, if we started out with ten housecats, and assume that the exponential growth is per round per cat, you’ve got a hundred housecats at the end of next round, and over a thousand after that - 

DM, starting to realise his mistake:

Look, all right, I misspoke, we’ll retcon that - 


Hell no, you wouldn’t let me retcon licking the mimic earlier; exponential house-cats!

Other players:

Exponential house-cats!


 I don’t have enough minis for this…

Long story short, the house-cats killed the golem and almost killed us until someone Prestidigitation’d catnip back through the tear in reality.

“Exponential” is now a byword in our group for “poorly phrased description that will backfire horribly” and that DM has never used it to describe anything since.

World Building June! Introduction~!

Okay! So I’ll be keeping a physical journal here each day, and I’ll be transcribing notes from it to post on here each day. I’m really retooling my setting here, keeping only a few things I like from it and scrapping most of the rest! The first thing I need from the setting is a name. I’ve decided on Lorecanth. 

For today I’m going to talk about 3 things: What I want in this world, what I’m Keeping, and The Planar System.

What I want in this World:

-Flat Earth This is actually a staple of my setting that has survived many iterations, and I’m doing something even better with it this time around. I really like a fantasy world where the world is flat though, and you can sail to the edge of it (and off of it!). Golden Sun captured my heart with the Flat Earth charm.

-Diverse Races and Cultures I want to make sure I don’t make every culture based on traditional European fantasy! I’ll have several places in the world, and I need to keep each unique!

-Hunter Association One of two things I’m shamelessly stealing from the world of Hunter x Hunter. As an adventure world full of mystery, the setting of that show is serving as a big source of inspiration! One of the things I’m stealing is the Hunter Association (but probably by a different name? Maybe? Hunter is admittedly really cool, and for a homebrew setting that I only run my games in, I may just use it). 

-Cool for the sake of Cool! Does this need explaining?

-The Dark Continent The other idea I’m stealing from Hunter x Hunter! Not all of the world is explored! There exists a place so terrifying and deadly that only one expedition has ever come back. This is the Dark Continent, and can serve as a really cool place of high level adventures!

-Impressive Tech for Fantasy I want railroads, I want elevators. I want guns. I want steam and magic powered bullshit in certain parts of the world!

What I’m Keeping

I’m keeping two regions from my world. One is getting retooled a bit! 

-Kedada Kedada is a collection of islands near the middle of the world that acts as shelter for many pirates, as well as home to several native animal and aquatic races. Loosely federated by the religion of Distil, whose code demands respect for fellow pirates under her flag. Distil’s will is carried out in the region by the five pirate lords, who act as judges, police, and executioners.

-Farcen A traditional fantasy continent. All nations devoted to the worship of The Seven Heroes in some aspect. The human and halflings primarily run a federation of kingdoms in the south, the elvish tribes roam the plains in the west, the tribes of Bearaxe live in the cold north, the diverse magocracy of Shallia in the northeast, and the mountains in the centerof the continent form the ceiling of the dwarven kingdoms below. The drow used to live on top the mountains, having been banished from their homes by the dwarves, but they have all mysteriously disappeared.

The Planar System

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. PRetty typical planar system overall, adapted for flat earth. The Feywilds still connect at points (The strong connections being in Kedada and Haishin). The Shadow and Ethereal planes are still overlayed onto the material. The Elemental planes are rings below the world, with fire in the center, earth next, then water, then surrounding it all, air. Surrounding it all is the astral, which forms the heavens that all look up to, the psychopomps the stars, the moon the chief psychopomp, and the sun the great mass of souls waiting to move on to their reward as they are judged. Beyond the astral are all the outer planes.  

Submitted by Sondercitadel

Character A: It was a pleasure to meet you B. And C… it was, an experience. That happened in my life. Bye.

Character C: is that all you have to say? We just spent two years together so we could rescue B.

Character A: That you made into a living hell! We could have skipped all of that if we had gone with me plan!

Character C: We just couldn’t steal the four elemental gems of power!

Character A: Yes we could have! We would have brought them back.

Character C: We did something nobody has done in a thousand years!

Character A: Stop babbling about our sacred fucking quest. I knew what we were doing. I was there.

Character C: So this was all terrible for you?

Character A: We spent six months underwater!

Character C: We got the potion that allowed us to breathe water. That wasn’t that bad.

Character A: My hair still smells of clams. After that we went into the elemental plane of fire for three months.

Character C: We got the eternal pants of cold. It made the heat not to terrible.

Character A: Screw those pants. We had to skin I’ve golems for it and the fire was still over a hundred degrees at all time. And did you forget about the bats that breathed fire?

Character C: I see there is no reasoning with you.

Character A: I will see you later B. I hope that I get a chance to cross your path again. C, never speak to me again.

Based off this post.

Unreliable adventurers

So our party was investigating the disappearance of the spymaster of a kingdom and the appearance of lots of undead, and after finding out that the spymaster was in fact the one behind all of it (and the father of our crazy sorcerer drow) we encountered a sleeping vampire. Before our cleric can prepare to destroy it with divine magics, the crazy sorcerer puts himself on fire and hugs the vampire, who immediately gets up, shrugs the sorcerer off (bad roll) and runs away. Our cleric announces with a terrified expression that this is the first awakened vampire to be sighted in the first 1500 years. Our employer (representative of the kingdom) scolds us badly and we are sent out to do odd jobs while they track the vampire for us to go kill it.

We go free a village of ogre occupation, do so succesfully, and decide to loot the deserted village under the guise that the ogres did it. Never trust your mercenaries, people. Our scoprion-man hybrid monk rolls a nat 20 however and finds a mysterious blue fragment while our bard (who also rolled a nat 20) finds a secret underground temple. A few minutes later everyone is in there where we find a floating red orb, which the monk immediately punches with the blue shard.

What happened? Well, he opened the gate between our world and the elemental planes and began apocalypse. To make things worse, the DM then tells us while barely able to control his laughter that this was supposed to be the final plot of the campaign, the bad guys starting the apocalypse. Of course, our employers seriously considering just executing us when we brought the news, but they had a more creative end for us in mind.

So now our lvl 4 party goes off to fight the apocalypse at what we imagine is 5 to 10 levels lower than planned. 

metaphoricalbrainjizzbaby  asked:

hey listen i'm really sorry to bother you but i have got to have updates on your campaign because whaaaaat the FUUUUUUCK. dude!!! that is so COOL i wanna personally high five ur dm and ur paladin

@metaphoricalbrainjizzbaby​ aw not a bother at all!! and honestly im sure the dm (@babyduckinabox) and the paladin (@bpd-lance) would appreciate that! (i actually showed them both the post, our paladin’s “so glad thousands of people are in fucking awe of my bullshit luck” and our dm wants $5 per high five)

for context, here (x) and here (x) are the two posts this is referring to!

dude i wish i could give you an update on the campaign, but summer break meant we all parted ways until late august at the earliest, which means a mandatory 3 month break from the campaign. our dm teleported us into the magic plane, ended that session on a cliffhanger, and then took a three month hiatus. i’m actively dying.

in lieu of an update, i can provide a little bit of background info (that i totally had to ask our dm about for double checking and which he graciously answered even though it’s 1 am i’m sorry grant you’re a gift)

so, this was the pretty standard high fantasy world- elves, half orcs, dwarves, humans, other planes, and lots of magic, all overseen by 21 deities. this world progressed until it hit what we’d call an industrial revolution, and that’s where one woman- winona stoneshout, winner of both “most badass name” and “single most misguided plan ever”- comes in. stoneshout decides that the old deities are holding things back, and if she were the only god, she could get this whole technological boom deal rolling at double speed. she’s so intent on this that she somehow finds a way to lock up the old gods and elevate herself to godhood.

so now, every single old deity is gone. with the departure of the elemental gods, the material plane drifted from the other planes of existence and there was no way to reach any of them. with the departure of oreamnos, the god of magic, the world lost every bit of magic it once had. the only remnants of this were elves, dwarves, orcs, and whatever extraplanar/magical races happened to be in the material plane at the moment this happened. with the departure of xenopus, the god of death, the souls of the dying had nobody to go to. everyone that died while xenopus was locked up was forgotten, lost to time. souls didn’t go to another plane, they just… dissipated. each god being gone had its own special, shitty consequences on the world, some of them visible and some of them not.

and through all this, winona stoneshout ruled. she ruled for 250 years. and during those almost three centuries, she did exactly what she intended to do- she got the world to embrace the industrial revolution. the world flourished, even without magic, and it came to look very very similar to the world we live in today. computers, skyscrapers, the whole deal. all of this went great, until some 250 years after winona had risen to power, a small group of intrepid jackasses stumbled out on an adventure and ended up freeing the gods.

all 21 of them come back, and they come back with a vengeance. they are all furious that they were forced away for so long, and as punishment, they choose to take back every single thing that the world created without them. every piece of technology disappears all at once. computers and machines disappear from the spot they were left in, overly-complex buildings were reduced to nothing, blueprints and instructions on how to create them vanish, the information people had memorized disappeared right from their heads.anything the gods could find that they didn’t like, they destroyed. they were allowed to keep none of it. and so the world, under the rule of the original 21 gods plus one winona stoneshout, was plunged back into the way it had been left centuries ago.

the gods pushed the material plane back into its place among the other planes, each god resumed the duties they once held, and the world had to figure out how to resume life freshly hurled ass-first into the stone age.

there were some small, slight holdovers from the technological boom- for example, our party ended up being invited to a rave held in an ex-playboy-mansion by someone who managed to become rich by preserving the recipe for gatorade. but for the most part, the world is a classic dnd campaign taking place in the ruins of a world like our own.

and our wide-eyed, eager party of 6 has banded together some hundred years or so after the gods have returned. we may have on clue what the hell we’re doing, but we are definitely ready to do it.

Favorite D&D Moments

So throughout our misadventures, the party was being hunted by the Red Wizards of Thay - a group of powerful spell casters who chilled in the capitol city of Thay.  We never did quite find out why they wanted us dead, but it had something to do with our unrealized heritage.  Regardless, they wanted us super dead and had way more resources to throw at us than we did at them.  ‘Cause, y’know, they ran an entire nation.

During an encounter with one of their many assassin groups, my Psion Maes ended up getting shunted out of the Prime Material Plane by an enemy Wizard.  Where did he end up?  The Elemental Plane of Ooze, where just about everything is a semi-aware living acid Blob that wants nothing more than to devour literally everything else.  Maes was spared a melty doom by clinging to his standard mode of transport - a Broom of Flying.  This caught the notice of Juiblex - aka “The Faceless Lord”, aka “the most disgusting and loathsome of all demons”.  Juiblex ran the show on that plane of existence and the fact Maes popped in unannounced piqued the demon.

One conversation later, Maes pops back into the Prime Material where he’d left off, now BFFs with an arch-demon slime.  The enemy Wizard wasn’t expecting that.  The Red Wizards of Thay absolutely weren’t expecting that, especially not when Maes later created and opened up dozens of small portals to the Elemental Plane of Ooze all around the capitol city.  Admittedly, it’s pretty hard to see endless waves of monstrous Oozes spawning out of thin air and enveloping one’s city coming.

Maes and Juiblex were buddies for a reason, after all.