Category Archives: D&D: The Five Stars

D&D: The Five Stars: Session 4, 6/29/13: Kobold saviors

While Gemmeli, Moonwhisper, and Button adventure in the kobold’s den, two other heroes approached from outside. Diko was a half-orc fighter and Hallour a dwarf cleric of the Church of the True Path. Two men attacked them, but Diko grappled one and removed his weapon, and Hallour subdued the other.

After being threatened, one man offered what he knew. “Please! Spare me, and I’ll tell you what I know! A man paid me to stop this cleric before he got to a cave. He didn’t tell me why, but I needed the gold, and he was so intimidating. He said it didn’t matter if i killed him as long as the cleric didn’t reach the cave.” When asked to describe him, he said “short, dark hair with some silver. Beard cropped short. He wore a dark overcoat with a gold clasp. Oh! He kept fiddling with a ring on his right hand. Some kind of ruby, maybe.”

Diko and Hallour confiscated their weapons and ventured into the cave, not sure why someone was trying to stop Hallour. They ran into Gemmeli, Moonwhisper, and Button and decided to help them stop the undead presence. With Diko’s brute strength and Hallour’s ability to turn undead, this was easy.

In one chamber, they came across a kobold woman and her son. They didn’t seem to be undead, and they were very scared. Moonwhisper threw a kobold zombie thumb at her to show that he had taken care of the threats, but she just got more scared.

After reaching the final chamber and ridding the remaining undead, the party was surprised to see that the kobold woman had approached without them noticing. Gemmeli tried to talk to her, and while the communication wasn’t terribly successful, the kobold seemed to understand that the party helped, and she was grateful. She offered her boots to Gemmeli. Gemmeli could tell they were high quality and that they had Elven script of some sort on them.

Moonwhisper was excited. “Who’s got fifteen thumbs and just killed a bunch of zombies? This guy!” The five adventured headed back to Harver to claim their reward. Hallour planned to head to the Church of the True Path, and Moonwhisper thought it might be nice to see what that church had to offer since he was becoming disillusioned with the Church of the Five Stars.

This session saw the addition of Anthony and Antonio as Diko and Hallour respectively, creating a much more well-rounded party. With a more balanced party, they should be able to tackle things easier in the future.

D&D: The Five Stars: Session 3, 5/11/13: Zombie Slayers

Session 3 of the D&D Campaign The Five Stars, Saturday, 5/11/13.

Now that the group realized that the kobold they were fighting was a zombie, they realized they had to better arm themselves. Their weapons were all for piercing or bludgeoning, and they needed weapons used for slashing. Moonwhisper Johnson remembered that the hobgoblin they killed had a longsword. Not wanting to get attacked while weakened, the group climbed out of the canyon and decided to rest. With a good night’s rest and the healing of Button, Sunshine felt almost as strong as ever, and Moonwhisper Johnson felt perfect.

The party backtracked into the forest, looking for the location at which they fought the hobgoblin. Moonwhisper tried to get Sunshine to spell the thumb he took from the hobgoblin thinking he could track it, but Sunshine simply ate the thumb. They gave up and searched the old-fashioned way. Eventually the group located the site of the attack, and Moonwhisper took the longsword. After trekking back to the canyon, they once again entered the cave.

In was dark and dirty in the cave with two openings in the current chamber, one on their left and one on their right. In the middle of the room, the kobold zombie still stood. The group managed to slay it easily now that they had the right weapons. Looking into the room on the left, they found what must be a dining chamber with three tables and some piles of rotting meat and fruit. Unfortunately, the room also contained three kobold skeletons still standing in undeath. They knew slashing weapons would be of no use, so Moonwhisper readied his warhammer and gave a morningstar to Gemmeli. Gemmeli gave her sling to Button so they could each have something to use against the kobold skeletons.

Gemmeli had Sunshine stay back while the group destroyed the skeletons. After clearing the chamber, Moonwhisper Johnson looked for clues as to what caused the undead but found none. However, Gemmeli found a dagger. Moving into the next room, the party found themselves in a long, narrow chamber filled with rugs and furs – a sleeping chamber. They were immediately attacked by a kobold zombie and two kobold skeletons. Button got injured badly and retreated to the previous room. From there she attempted to use her sling, but one shot accidentally hit Gemmeli! Gemmeli’s first wound on her adventure came from a party member with her own weapon no less! While the entire party was wounded, they managed to overcome the undead in this room as well.

It was nice to see things going well. They solved the issue of getting over the damage reduction. There still remains the dilemma of sleeping to regain health and spells while still guarding against attach. It was also fun to progress into a few rooms of the dungeon!

D&D: The Five Stars: Session 2, 3/10/13: The Kobold’s Terror

Session 2 of the D&D Campaign The Five Stars, Sunday, 3/10/13.

After looting the bodies of the six kobolds, the party waited until dawn to talk to Farmer Jek about what happened. He was quite thankful and told them to come back in the day for their bacon. The party wondered if there could be more kobolds and thought about looking for their nest. Jek let them know that Mayor Renault knew more.

The party went to the mayor’s house to talk to him about the threat. Mayor Renault told them that bands of kobolds sometimes attacked travelers, but that the kobolds hadn’t come this close to town for many years. He said that they lived in the canyon to the south. Moonwhisper made it clear that they’d take care of the problem for a price, but the mayor seemed to think that this was between the party and Jek. Moonwhisper agreed and said that they’d just let the town get attacked and inform everyone that they wanted to help, but the mayor didn’t think it was worth considering. The mayor backtracked at this. The two haggled, and eventually came to an agreement. Mayor Renault would give them 15 gold, backpacks and bags, canteens, flint and tinder, and a tent if they agreed to travel to their lair and get rid of them.

Having stayed up all night at Jek’s farm, the party returned to the Foamy Ale Inn to nap. When they awoke, they returned to Jek to pick up their bacon jerky and then met the mayor’s courier who brought bags, canteens, flint and tinder, and a tent. They spent the rest of the day resting, and in the morning they set out for the canyon. They were told it should be about a four hour work south – two hours through open terrain and two hours through forest.

On the way through the plains, they ran into a hobgoblin and two goblins. Wasting no time, the group immediately attacked the goblins. Moonwhisper got badly hurt, but Button was able to heal him after the battle before the group continued toward the canyon. The march through the forest was uneventful, and they reached the canyon in the middle of the day. Rather than running straight into the canyon, they scouted along the top, searching for a possible lair. Finding a cave, they launched rocks into it. When there was no response, they ventured down themselves.

Cautiously, the group entered the cave. A lone kobold stood unmoving in the cave, and two tunnels led off of the room. The kobold carried no weapons and stared blankly. The party engaged the kobold, attempting to hurt him. Unfortunately, their attacks, even when seeming to connect, didn’t seem to harm the kobold any. Now in close combat, they noticed that something smelled very bad in the room. The kobold hurt Sunshine, so Gemmeli commanded her to stay away. The group continued to gang up on the kobold, but they barely scratched it. Eventually realizing that the kobold was a zombie and seemed to be unaffected by their piercing and bludgeoning weapons, the group escaped.

This was a fun second session. Thinks went decently well, which I can say only because no one died. I wanted it to be a surprise that the kobold was a zombie, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that difficult to defeat. I eventually tried giving clearer and clearer hints, but I probably should have spelled it out earlier. I wanted the kobold to be freshly undead, so there wasn’t a ton of physical signs. The zombie kobold had 5/slashing damage reduction. I hinted at the damage reduction, but when we finished I gave the specifics so they’d know. I think the group also learned to consider their enemies before immediately engaging.

Also, Joe and Steph brought bacon jerky to eat to fit the fact that the party obtained some bacon jerky. Pretty fun!

D&D: The Five Stars: Session 1, 3/3/13

Session 1 of the D&D Campaign The Five Stars, Sunday, 3/3/13.

Moonwhisper Johnson, a paladin working for the Church of the Five Stars, was assigned to stay in the town of Harver, located between Geldor, Lira Lake, and Lida’s Step. A half-elf raised by his human father, he had recently been speaking with his sister, Gemmeli the bard. Gemmeli lived with her elven mother in the Azsant Forest, and the two had been writing in hopes of meeting and getting to know each other better. Now that he was stationed in one location for a longer period of time, Moonwhisper invited Gemmeli to meet him. Gemmeli came to Harver and stayed with Moonwhisper in his room at the inn, for which the Church paid.

Two weeks later, Moonwhisper and Gemmeli have been socializing in the small town. One evening they sat in the common area of the inn, drinking and eating. The two met a gnome druid, Button, who was currently renting the other room in the inn. She had left the Gnomelands in an attempt to explore the world. Gemmeli entertained her companions by telling a limerick that jested at Moonwhisper.

Moonwhisper was a man of the Light,
And for the church he would fight.
But on his off days,
He’d teach alter boys ways
To please him all through the night

– Gemmeli the bard

The tavern keeper mentioned that a farmer, Jek, has had animals going missing. Moonwhisper claimed that in the tavern a man with a crossbow entered and tried to shoot the mayor. He claimed that he jumped in the way in his armor to deflect the arrow. To his claim, someone replied “that sounds like bullshit.” Moonwhisper didn’t argue.

Upon learning of the farmer’s dilemma, the three decided to pay him a visit, taking Gemmeli’s dog, Sunshine, with them. They learned that some of Jek’s pigs and goats would go missing almost every night. They tried to think of a plan, which at one point consisted of tying a bow around a pig and leaving it as a gift.

Button decided to use her druidic training to speak with the pigs. The pigs were scared of scary people who came at night. They were also hungry and enjoyed the mud. Apparently pigs weren’t very smart.

The party demanded bacon for their services, and Jek said they could have a pig. Moonwhisper Johnson convinced Jek to let him explore his home in hopes of finding a way to make a trap. They settled on a different plan. Button hid in a tree while Moonwhisper, Gemmeli, and Sunshine hid on the porch and waited. Sunshine saw something and growled. Moonwhisper detected evil. When Button saw six creatures approach the pig pen, she entangled them. That’s when they saw that they were kobolds!

Button drew first blood with her crossbow from the tree. Gemmeli managed to obtain the first kill. Moonwhisper was proud of the fact that he was the first to kill without the kobold having taken direct damage from anyone else in his party. The party was able to defeat all six kobolds. After Sunshine killed the last kobold, Moonwhisper proceeded to exclaim that he killed the last one. Gemmeli believed him, but Button managed to see through his lie!

The first session went surprisingly well. Everybody used their abilities correctly. As you might guess, gem played Gemmeli. Joe played Moonwhisper, and Steph played Button. For someone who wasn’t familiar with the game at all, Steph managed to initiate combat and draw first blood. Impressive!

Also, the Diablo III soundtrack works well for Dungeons & Dragons.

Kills: Six kobolds

Button: First combat
Button: First blood
Gemmeli: First kill
Moonwhisper: First kill of an enemy who hadn’t taken direct damage from someone else

D&D: The Five Stars: The Church of the Five Stars

The Church of the Five Stars is one of the two primary religions in the human kingdoms. It worships five deities known as the five stars:

  • Lida, the Jewel of Creation, goddess of creation, good fortune, and wealth
  • Azsan’mira, the Great Mother, goddess of life and nature
  • Yandir the Traveled, god of travelers, music, and merchants
  • Palrah the Light, god of reason, logic, and morals
  • Random, Lord of Chaos, god of luck and chance

The church uses a picture of an open hand surrounded by five stars. Their motto is “One must approach the Five with an open hand to receive their gifts.”

The Church of the Five Stars teaches that during the Dark Times the five gods were worshiped independently. Followers of one didn’t believe in the others. Each god demanded respect, and believers, each wanting to bring glory to their god, turned on each other. Many people died. Thanal, a human prophet, was blessed with a vision of peace from all five. He saw that happiness could only be found through the worship of all five.

The Church of the True Path worships the same five gods but believes it is the true path to those gods. Its symbol is a star with five rays of light shining down on a road represented by two wavy lines.

D&D: The Five Stars: Background information and race relations

The Five Stars is the name of my Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition campaign, set in a land featuring five deities known as the Five Stars. We began playing on 3/3/2013.

The Land of the Five Stars is heavily populated by three races – the humans, elves, and dwarves. The elves live in the Azsant Forest in the north. From the Azsant Forest flows a river that flows south into Lake Lira with the human city-state of Lira on its east banks. Rivers flow from Lake Lira to the west into the Bay of Geldor along the coast. On the southeastern side of the bay lies the human city-state of Geldor. A final river flows southwest out of Lake Lira to a much smaller lake called Lida’s Step. Water flows south of Lida’s Step into the Karda Mountains.The Karda Mountains run almost the length of the civilized region. In the west, the Karda Mountains are lush, but in the east, known simply as East Karda, they are barren. The area surrounding East Karda is known as the Karda Desert. To the west of the Karda Mountains, between the mountains on the ocean, is a hilly region home to the gnomes and aptly named the Gnomelands. A final river flows west out of Lida’s Step, through the Gnomelands, and into the ocean.

Human-Elf relations

Elves have traveled throughout the human lands and will be familiar with both Geldor and Lara. Lara, being close to the Azsant Forest and home of many magic users, will be very familiar to many elves. Humans stereotype elves as being physically weak and magically strong. While some humans are curious about the Azsant Forest, the elves don’t usually like other sentient races in their land. Humans in both Geldor and Lira will be familiar with elves.

Human-Dwarf relations

The dwarves will be very familiar with humans. Bera has good trade relations with Geldor, so many dwarves will also be familiar with the city of Geldor. Humans will be fairly familiar with dwarves, which can be seen in any major human settlement. In addition, dwarves are extremely populous in Geldor. Some humans of Geldor may also be familiar with their city, Bera, in the Karda Mountains. Humans also know that there’s a second dwarven city-state, and many believe these dwarves to be lower class but don’t know much about them. Dwarves are known to humans for their blacksmithing and gem mining.

Human-Gnome relations

Traditionally gnomes stayed within the Gnomelands or the Karda Mountains. Only recently have they begun to explore the lands of humans. Gnomes are usually curious of humans but some are wary because of humans’ tendency to look down on gnomes. Humans who have been to Bera will be familiar with gnomes. However, gnomes aren’t seen often outside of the Gnomelands or the dwarven territory. Many humans dismiss them because of their size.

Elf-Dwarf relations

Most dwarves that stay in the Karda Mountains won’t be very familiar with elves, although they know of them. Dwarves who live in human cities will be familiar with them. Many dwarves feel on edge around elves, feeling like they’re too formal.

Elf-Gnome relations

Despite tending to stay in their corner of the world, gnomes have begun a relationship with the elves. Looking to learn more about nature and magic, some gnomes look up to the elves. Gnomes are naturally curious and see in the elves a strong sense of responsibility and much knowledge. Elves have let some gnomes into the Azsant Forest to study with them. Similarly elves have traveled to the Gnomelands, but this is less common.

Dwarf-Gnome relations

Dwarves and gnomes have been friends for a very long time. Dwarves consider the Gnomelands to be very rural, while gnomes consider dwarven settlements to be big cities. As such, dwarves don’t travel to the Gnomelands often, but gnomes are quite common in dwarves cities. Gnomes are only other race to be readily familiar with the two types of dwarves, Berai dwarves in the Karda Mountains from Bera and Krarn dwarves in East Kara from Krar.