DND 5th Edition Analysis Monday, Aug 11 2014 

I got the new 5th edition because one of our players complained about 4th edition and wanting to go to a different system with faster combats. I can agree 4th edition has long combats about as long as Pathfinder and DnD 3.5 at the 11th level we are currently running.

The problem I had with the playtest is the monster math was not done during the playtest so we were testing characters based on false numbers of monsters. In my world of QA that would mean completely invalid tests. I picked up the 5th edition players handbook and have been going over and it looks like we went a little backwards in game design and did not learn all our lessons.

Here are the races and the points based on feats, abilities, and stats. For instance feats got 2 points since according to WOTC they are worth 2 stats. Abilities for the most part were given 2 points as well.  The drow are the winner in abilities given out even with a -1 for sunlight deficiency.  I gave this out as most organized play adventures are indoors so this could even go as far as -2 in home brew and of course being reviled.  However, that part does not come in at organized play but could in a home game.  You will see the human variant that allows a feat at level 1 comes in a total of 5 points.  The average points comes out to 9.8 or 10 points.  So, humans base are 4 points and 5 if they take the variant.

 

I see this as a huge disparity in a place where we have come with better game balance.  This balance before had each of these races taken negatives to stats so the gap was not as wide.  Especially things has -2 to con which affect hit points as we see in pathfinder and 3.5.

race stats base ability base skill base feat sub stat sub ability sub feat disad total
drow 2 5 1 1 4 2 -1 15
mountain dwarf 2 4 2 2 2 2 14
hill dwarf 2 4 2 2 1 2 13
high 2 5 1 1 2 2 13
wood 2 5 1 1 2 2 13
forest gnome 2 4 1 4 11
rock gnome 2 4 1 4 11
dwarf 2 4 2 2 10
half elf 4 4 2 10
half orc 3 6 1 10
lightfoot 2 4 1 2 9
stout 2 4 1 2 9
dragonborn 3 6 9
tiefling 3 6 9
elf 2 5 1 8
halfing 2 4 6
human 6 6
gnome 2 4 6
human variant 2 1 2 5

 

 

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My wants for D&DNext Friday, Jan 20 2012 

Go check out D20 Monkeys amazing cartoon on the DNDNext feedback horror here.

The post I had yesterday was my quick rundown of things I have seen from forum users, players, etc about DNDnext.  While I may of been a little bit harsh about saying your dm sucks if there is no roleplay in 4e, that’s actually the groups fault.  I have kind of felt that I keep hearing the same criticism over and over from people about 4e and most of it is pretty unfounded.  Or with a little bit of knowledge is quickly dismissed, if people are actually wanting to listen to reason.  Of course this is the internet and geeks over their ‘precious’ so we know how that goes.  I’m sure I’ve done my fair share of holding onto sacred cows over the time.  Well, actually I did during the play test of Hordes and hated seeing my favorite beasts turned to mediocre instead of the awesome they were.  Unlike in a rpg in a miniature game I can’t just stick with an older edition and play it I have to move on and maybe that’s why I am able to better equipped when I see the D&Dnext items in the horizon.

My wants are pretty basic and fall right in line with most everyone else.  I’ll try not to do the pie in sky items that are never going to happen.  I said try 🙂

  1. Electronic tools day 1 with character builder, monster builder, conversion from 4e to DNDNext in HTML5 as well as continued support for the 4e tool set.
  2. Podcasts of walking through rules and play maybe 1-2 months in advance to give us some better ideas of what we are going to deal with.  Sure, forums, and reading are great but sometimes certain things don’t come up in our brain into it actually happens and seeing “experts” deal with them might help.
  3. Unique new setting or continue with Nentir Vale as default.  ( I think this might be lost with all the Forgotten Realms freaks out there)
  4. Settings book for GreyHawk, Ravenloft, Dark Sun that give a detail of what you need to change in order to make that world yours and play in it from the generic default setting.
  5. Drow go back as a feared and hated race.
  6. Make it so a strength built fighter can fire a bow and actually hit something reliably.  He does not have to be ranger accurate but at least be useful.  This was one thing in 4e I’ll give to all the haters that made zero sense to me.  The warrior trained in all weapons was pretty much never going to hit anything with a bow and arrow.
  7. Keep to the default basic races Human, Half Elf, Elf, Dwarf, Half-Orc and basic classes Fighter, Wizard, Ranger, Paladin, Cleric, Rogue.  Get these right first and then you can expand from there.  Or maybe those will be enough and with feats or trees people can customize to their hearts content. 
  8. Do not listen to everybody and make it too generic.  If we wanted that we would all go play HERO or GURPS.  Do not go the way of Conan and listen to all the whines and turn something good into something horrible.
  9. Themes need to stay.  I think they are a really great jumping off point for how things can be done right.
  10. Make the shade something worthwhile, 4e neutered this concept to me 🙂

Please feel free to follow me on twitter here

Also check out the Facebook D&D group here

Let me know what you think and if my ideas gel with yours or if I’m off base.

DND NEXT!! Thursday, Jan 19 2012 

5th edition is coming out and that makes everyone excited and nervous.  People tossing ideas like they think it’s going to impact what WOTC has.  I think it’s great to come up with all these ideas and maybe this will spawn some people to get together and make a new version or put in house rules to try out in their current game.  However, I do not think we will be getting to affect the foundation as much as everyone would like to hope.  I doubt we are going to create completely new mechanics like “bennies” or a spell point system.

This will be pretty much like what we had Warmachine/Hordes field test and the Pathfinder beta.  Hopefully without having to pay to do the beta like they did with Pathfinder?  And less whining from Warmachine people on the hordes play test.   As we saw in those we had the foundation and a lot of items already built we just needed to tweak items to get them just right.

WHAT DO WE KNOW?   What we know is that they have some kind of outline and enough for a sneak peak to be shown at DDXP.  And we may or may not get something out of that to let us know what to expect.  There is a friends and family beta test going in right now.  Several bloggers are in on it and maybe after a certain period of time they will be allowed to say their impressions.  We also know that there will be an OPEN test supposedly in the spring time.  That will give us our first look at what’s in store for us in DNDNEXT!

Wow let me say there are a ton of ideas and people out there with what they want to see.  And it is seriously mind-blowing to see so many people involved and that’s those who are in specific groups and not those who dodge forums.  So I can imagine all the feedback WOTC will get when this goes OPEN.  I do not envy them that task.

Things I want people to think about are this.  If you are playing any version of D&D or Pathfinder you are doing it right!  We all enjoy playing games and if your group is having fun with it then that’s that.  So to tell me my idea is dumb because I like a particular mechanic then you are not what we need in a play test.  Please do not waste WOTC’s time go back to your cave and play your game and let the rest of us try to make this the best edition for what we want. 

 I’ve seen several people go off about battle grids are horrible please do not have them, without giving a why.  Or 4e had no role-playing to it.  Really or is it because your DM sucked?  Yep, I just called out your groups DM, right there.  Role playing is what your group makes of it I am sure everyone has had good and poor experiences NO MATTER THE EDITION.  A poor group can sour anything.  So to blame an entire edition and say it had no role-playing in it makes you sound uninformed.  4E every class played the same?  What really?  So you are telling me that it’s okay for my cleric to get stuck in to monsters and pretend to tank?  Or for other simile that Cygnar plays exactly like Khador.  Once again you are uninformed and should keep your opinion to yourself.  The only way they are similar is that you mechanically roll dice to see if you’re successful but to succeed you will have to drastically do different things.

Another fallacy I hear is 4e combat takes too long without why it takes too long?  You know what combat took too long any WOD combat!  3E and 4e combat takes about the same amount of time of about 60-90 minutes for an average encounter.  Let’s take a look at the why’s combat is taking too long.  Now this will be my conjecture and from what I’ve seen in running my home game, running events, running/playing Encounters for 2 years, and from stories of those I know personally.

  1. People do NOT PAY ATTENTION.  People are too busy doing other things and when their turn comes up they waste time making a decision.  That’s your fault bad player not the game.
  2. People refuse to learn their characters.  Sorry, you’ve been playing the same guy and same abilities for 8 consecutive weeks it does not take 5 minutes to figure out which power to use.
  3. Out of turn actions.  This can disrupt play but usually only causes a hiccup by example 1 players who go “Whoa, I should of attack with X player cut of y”  Game master “Well you should but I called your name and you didn’t respond”  Once again a player not paying attention causes issues for everyone. 
  4. Rules.  Not having a tight rule set can lead to rules arguments.  I’ve had them in EVERY game I’ve played period.  Tight rule set for the DM helps prevent these arguments. 
  5. Options.  Having too many options can paralyze a player with analysis paralysis.  Yep, understand that in early levels as everyone gets use to things.  And also if something just happened that was really crushing and changed everything which is an exception not an every time occurrence.  But then this turns to point 2 LEARN YOUR CHARACTERS ABILITIES after a time.

In my next post I’ll go through some of the things I would like to see in DNDNEXT.

 

Back to basics? Monday, May 30 2011 

As I write this I am running my hot water in a locked bathroom to make a faux sauna. I am less than twelve hours from weighing in. Not for a fight or a wrestling match but for a weight loss contest at work. During the last twenty weeks I’ve lost twenty pounds and could stand to lose probably twenty more. I feel really good about my weight loss this period. All I did was add in daily exercise and making healthier choices with my food and beverage choices. As of last weigh in I had a 1.2 % advantage over my closest competition.

Why am I trying to cut weight like a fighter because of weigh ins? I guess it’s the competitive animal in me. I want to know that if I lose it’s because I got beat, not because I left any “weight” on the table so to speak. This attitude served me well while playing sports and all manner of competitive games.

This conversation was helped spawned by the 4e at will chat from Friday night.
What do I mean with back to basics? I recently started looking at Pathfinder and 3.x and remembered all the cool combat maneuvers we use to have. Now in 4e all we have is at wills and a melee basic attack mainly used for opportunity actions. Which we rarely see use of nowadays or at least in my campaign and various sessions of Encounters.  With the essentials release we see martial characters stripped of combat options now. All they can do is swing a sword with no cool additional effects. The encounter and daily powers represented a cool martial maneuver. Now I know wizards is going to say you can still sunder, disarms, trip as given by the discretion of the DM. Well how about you just give us rules for these options and make it simple for everyone

What if initially we did not get at-wills and were left with encounters, dailies, utilities. And not only melee basic attacks but the old combat manuevers much like pathfinder? I am sure every little mage fan boy just cried a little. Let everyone perform the maneuvers and such and if you want to have a better disarm take feats to allow such a thing. Or just leave the at wills as is and give actual possibility to manuevers for all.

I do understand the streamlined design of 4e and I do like it. Maybe giving back some complexity to the game will help with the audience you lost and are losing with the new direction. A little faith should be put into your customers in how smart they can be. There is no reason not to give out “advanced” options for us players who want it. Games use to have the simple rules and then added in advanced features to enhance it. No reason not to do the same thing here.

I have about five minutes left in this sauna so I will give a short review of The Hangover 2. The short answer is if you liked the first then you will like the second. And if you hated the first then ignore this because it’s more of the same. It will throw in your typical Thailand and Bangkok jokes so be prepared. Leave your brain at home and have a good time

It’s been a while Sunday, May 22 2011 

Like the title said it has been a long time since I have posted anything to this blog.  The real world has  back  over much of my life.  Fortunately the big project at work has been taken care of and now I can get back to other things that I enjoy more.  After  losing both my main machine and backup I lost a lot of work.  However, the only way to get back to it is just that start writing again.  So, this is my initial run of starting my writing back up.

My personal game has reached its one year anniversary.  I’m pretty happy with how its all turned out.  We will be approaching paragon tier very soon.  A couple of players have figured out their paths so that is going to help with the path of the campaign.  The next place I believe they will go is the Underdark or to the Shadowfell which I am fortunate Gloomwrought came out.

I finished up running the Encounters season of March of the Phantom Brigade.  It went really well for the most part.  I unfortunately had 4 TPKs for the season, which no other DM has done on now at the store.  The players seemed to be okay with that has they began to use better tactics throughout.   I will say that running 8 players in 4e just sucks as a DM.  It might be just as bad a player with that much time between turns.   Plus its hard to scale the encounter on the fly just right sometimes especially with all the insubstantial running around.

We got tired of the essentials characters so we will be playing anything goes for Evard’s.  The first couple of weeks have been interesting.  Hopefully they will continue this path and we will not see the frustration we saw with the insubstantial last season.  This has given me an opportunity to play around with the themes that WOTC has released recently.   So far I’ve only tried the Order of the adept for the extra aoe.  I’ll definitly will try more over the time.  I’m not so sure of the long term additions themes will bring and may not know for a while. 

 Upcoming posts will  give my theme for vampire and shade which is what I think all of us wanted to see.    

You may follow me at Saintdave22 on twitter.

Encounters fun Thursday, Aug 26 2010 

We had an influx of four players this week for encounters. Which was great as we two full tAbles. The bad thing is this group stayed together and we got another defender at our table. So three defenders a ranger and controller wizard leads to small issues. Thankfully the ranger damage was consistent this week.

The gazer dazing everyone was brutal. Then the swarms getting near to use their auras was nasty. The panther hanging out was fun addition as well. Picturing my ranger running out of brush screaming “big cat. Big cat” as he killed the dinosaur as he went past

Hopefully these people will stay and be there for next season as well. Playing with different people gives different perspectives. I used distracting shot the ranger third level encounter which attacks before an attack and increases defenses. This got some ohhh and ahhs. The funny thing is this is a power straight from the players handbook

I also received my tomb of horrors for dm rewards and I am grateful for it. I also got the explanation that rewards would only be for public events from now on. I thought the dm program was a good idea but maybe they are promoting lgs support. Which is well and good except for those without an lgs. I know I would like to get the encounters adventures and run them at home. I guess it’s just one of those things we will have to see how it pans out. Maybe they felt the shipping costs was prohibitive who knows.

This weekend I have another fantasy draft and the week after we return to the D&D game. After that it is a return to the red box. Which I think many people are itching to see. Now if we could get themes earlier 🙂

Quick Hits Friday, Aug 6 2010 

So I am doing some closet cleaning and this is the stuff I think I can finally part with.

Legend:
NIB – New in box
BM- bare metal and put together

Legion

Shredder blister x2 NIB
Teraph NIB
Carniveran NIB

Skorne
Full Unit of Venators NIB
Base Unit of Accurai NIB
Titan Cannoneer NIB
basilisk drake NIB
venator catapult NIB
ancestral guardian NIB
basilisk krea NIB
cataphract cetrati X5 primed based on cork and pinned

Mercs
lord rockbottom NIB
Gorman BM
Hawk BM

Cygnar (base coats are on all models unless noted)
Kraye BM
Ironclad
2 lancers
centurion
gun mage captain adapt
hunter
sentinel
enemo
estryker
Maxwell Finn BM
Squire BM

Circle (BM)
tharn ravager
blackclad wayfarer x2
tharn bloodtracker x10

Complete Armies (selling these whole not breaking apart)

Legion $500 retail ~$950(1 of each war beast, warlock, and solos, full released units plus UA’s, except scather and pot, Up through Metamorphous)

Skorne $500 retail ~$1050 (1 of each war beast, warlock, full units released units and UA’s, and solos, only min unit of immortals though, Up through Metamorphous)

Trolls $400 retail ~$700
Borka
Grissle
Grim Angus
Epic Madrak

Dire Troll Mauler
Earthbound Dire Troll
Winter troll
Slag troll
Impaler
Axer
Pyre Troll

2 x units of champions
full unit of pygmy long gunners
full unit of kriel warriors
UA for kriel warriors
1 WA for kriel warriors
Full unit of Kriel stone bearers

1 Fell caller
1 unit of swamp gobbers

Cryx $600 retail ~$950
Denegrha
Skarre
Coven
mortenbra
egoreshade

skarlock
slaughterborne
machine wraith
tarterus
rengrave
darragh wrathe
warwitch siren
pistol wraith

full satyxis + UA
min mechanithralls
necro surgeon
full revenant crew
min unit of ghost pirates
min unit of cav
full unit of bane knights
full unit bile thralls
Overlords
5 scrap thralls
2 necrotechs

cankerworm
deathjack
harrower
slayer
seether
2 x deathripper
hell diver
2 x stalker
2 defilers

Privateer Press Books and Magazines

NQ 12-28 Make an offer

Warmachine Pirates book
Warmachine MK II book
Warmachine Retribution book
Warmachine Legends
Hordes Primal
Hordes Evolution
Hordes Metamorphosis

GW
Minotaur painted by Matt Dipietro with 2 handed weapon $30
Minotaur Painted by Matt Dipietro with 2 hand weapons $30

OOP Pirate Ogres $3 a piece or all for $25 ~12
4 regular ogres OOP
1 painted Heroquest OGRE

Warhammer fantasy

GT armies both placed or won the event. Both have won various RT’s as well.
Each comes with a GW case ~50

Khorne Demons $400 painted (40 blood letters demons, 10 flesh hounds, 8 juggernauts, a converted chariot)
CHaos Warriors $300 (2 units of 5 knights of chaos, 2 units of 5 chaos hounds, 8 harpies, 2 unis of 5 maurader horseman with flails, 1 archaeon on foot all painted)

Other Armies

Tomb King Army all painted unless otherwise noted
1 casket of souls
1 skull catapult (new)
2 lich priests on horseback
1 lich king in chariot
1 lich prince w/ two handed weapon in chariot

2 units of 3 chariots full command
2 units of 10 horseman with spears and shields full command

2 units of 5 carrion
1 tomb scorpion
1 bone giant

2 unit boxes of Tomb guard NIB
1 box of khemris skeletons NIB

3 swarms of scorpions

Orc and Goblin Army
Several characters on boars
Mage from chain mail game painted
Orc wizard from Avatars of War
Orc on wyvern painted

1 unit of black orcs (mixed 4th and 6th edition) 20
1 unit of 30 sword and board orcs
1 unit of 30 two hand weapon orcs
1 unit ~20 sword and board orcs
2 units of 10 orcs with boys

1 unit of goblins with HW and shield 30
6 fanatics
10 boar boys
10 wolf riders
6 squig hoppers

1 giant

2 pump wagons
4 trolls
2 goblin doom divers
1 ork catapult
2 spear chucka

NIB Fantasy

Beasts of Chaos

beastman regiment NIB
chaos ogres nib
maurader horsemen 6ed NIB
dragon ogre shaggoth NIB
3 chaos trolls
1 LE beasts of chaos standard bearer RARE
1 beasts of chaos wizard

warriors of chaos
mauraders on foot box on sprue
limited edition chaos sorcerer X2 NIB
raiders 1st ed x3 NIB
LE archaeon on foot NIB

daemons of chaos
fleshhound of khore x7 NIB
Scylla NIB
steed of slannesh NIB
6 painted nurgle demons
liche king chariot 5th ed
4 dragon ogres bare metal
chaos champions of tzeentch with familiar and birdhead
belakor NIB
Juggernaught of Khorne NIB

bretionnian sorceress on foot and on horseback
Limited edition bretonnian on horseback with spartan helmet

1 rhinos 3rd ed
1 space marine bike sprue

OOP LICH KING CHARIOT

MISC
2painted arbites with bolters and shields $15
1 painted necromunda bounty hunter $10

Chaos
Champion on Disc 2ed NIB
daemon prince NIB
juggernaught of khorne NIB
azazel daemon prince NIB

Space marine
marine terminator librrarian 2ed NIB
space marine with las cannon 2ed ed NIB
dark angels 3 ed le sgt $20

eldar warp spiders NIB
eldar howling banshee exarch

LOTS OF 40k Space Marine and Chaos Marine items

Non GW OR PP

VOR
growler razorback onehorn pose 2
Razorfang
zykhee stalker 1
vor prototypes
zykhee ranged warrior 1
growler razorback pups x2
zykhee close combat warrior 1
zykhee stalker 2
zykhee close combat warrior 3
zykhee close combat warrior 2
Female Union Sniper

Confrontation (take all for $30)
Spasm Warrior x2
troll de guerre
templar griffon
guerriers skorizes

MISC
Clan wars oni
assassin miniature barbarian
wargods khemru with staff
dagdha warrior druid
assassin miniature falconeer
heru hero with pole arm

D&D Miniatures (Chainmail)
ALL NIB / unpainted
Half Orc fighter
Gnoll box set
Elf Box set
Orc shaman x3
2 LE ogre mercenary NIB
Slaughterpit Gnoll Zombie
Human Glaiver and Crossbowman
Centaur trooper
Stonechild
HUman monk chick super heroes pose
Elvin duelist with dual chain
Gnome with crossbow X2
ogre trooper
ghouls x2
dire badger
halfing thief with crossbow x2
hobgoblin fighter
orc berserker
pulverizer
owlbear
goblin scout x2
goblin trooper x2
skeletal orc
hyena x2
gnoll warrior with flail x2
tiefling fighter
hammerer
minotaur cultist
war ape
zombie troglodytes
bugbear trooper
LE drow warrior

RPG/Board Games/Card Games

Necromunda Book $20

Mutants and Mastermind first edition
M&M Freedom City

Silver Age Sentinels

Battletech Compendium 1640
Battletech Technical Readout 3026
Battletech Technical

SHADOWRUN
1st Edition All Modules

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

DUNGEOUNS AND DRAGONS
1st Edition
Monster Manual
Players Handbook

2nd Edition
Players Handbook

D&D 3rd Edition
Players Handbook
Deities and Demigods
Oriental Adventures
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Sword and Fist
Song and Silence
Master of the Wild
Defenders of the Faith
Tome and Blood
Book of Eldritch Might

Talisman $400 2nd edition GW board game from 80’s (all expansions except Dungeon)

DC Heroes RPG books $3 per book or $50 for lot

6 boxes of various magic cards $30 total

Magic cards:
Dual Land $45 a piece
Set of force of will $200
1 Force of will $50

AWARDS/MISC

first set of L5R Card posters $20 won in the first Dallas kotei ~97?

Magic Mirage Banner $30 (only stores and winners of the prelease have these)

Magic Visions Banner $30 (only stores and winners of the prelease have these)

Terrain $250
(about 20 hills, 4-6 linear wall obstacles, 2-3 houses, modular river pieces that are approximately 6” by 6” that goes about 4′ long, in good condition and professionally made, used at local game store)

Privateer Press Coins and Medals $30 a piece
MK I (2 skorne, 1 troll, 1 circle, 1 Mercenary, 1 Cryx, 1 2nd place)
Beast Hunter medallion
MKII (1 of each Cygnar, Khador, Retribution, Mercenary)

Multiple privateer press pins from C2A league $5 (8 different pens and medals)

Privateer Press Winner Cards $5 a piece

Top 8 qualifer pin from magic $20

Warhammer 25th Anniversary pin $10

Poker table toper $30

Star Wars Phantom Menace limited edition prints still in wrapped box $300 retail $500

Sold:
Retribution army
MISC Skorne
Coins (Skorne, Legion, Cygnar, Khador)
Marvel Super Heroes RPG
Wood Elves army
Salamander armies
Tyranid army
kazay assassins
Misc D&D books

D&D Encounters and other silly things Friday, Jul 30 2010 

This has been a pretty good week for me as I spent it all in training.  The trainer was excellent and I gleaned a lot of knowledge from it and to take back to my group.  Of course bringing back videos does not hurt either.  So, I figured I would write something while I looking at various sites and doing laundry.

D&D encounters has been fun from the times I’ve gotten out to it.  I’m really enjoying playing the elven ranger in this set.  And to me the ability to reroll an attach roll is pretty good for an encounter power.  I’ve used it  to turn failure to success each time.  The only thing I’m not sure about is how to get the 65 point rewards.  You can only really guarantee yourself 48 points by showing up every week.  I missed 3 weeks so that will hurt my total.  The one off ones are worth 7 and the complete all quests is 5 which is pretty impossible to do.  I mean the dwarf is not going to survive 3 sprays at 3d6 🙂  Then again not everyone is able to get all the different objectives such as kill 3 minions with 1 attack for my ranger and if no one gets knocked out hard to pick up the dying ally.  The main thing is I am having fun and verifying all the rules I use in my game are being done right.

 Gen Con is next week and I cannot wait to see what all comes out of that.  Unfortunately I will be missing it again as I have a project finish up during that week.  Without the job I can not afford to do these hobbies.  However, I think I have San Diego Comic Con on the hook for next year.

Darym Prelude Wednesday, May 26 2010 

The blazing sun is overhead and blasts its rays and heat upon the cracked, dry, brown desert floor. There is no wind at all to aid in the relief from the heat. A large stone is the only difference in the flat terrain. Upon the stone is the form of a man chained by wrists and feet. Even though the heat is a good 130 degrees the body does not perspire at all. In fact a slight smirk can be seen on the face of the man. The man raises his head slightly and the long gray hair falls way to revel a pair of pointed ears.

“You are late” states the elf on the slab on the slab matter of factly.

“Actually I am early. Besides I figured you would like a little company, it has been a thousand years.” comes a low, deep voice.

“A thousand years? Are you serious I felt like I just got here? What took you so long to complete your task? No wonder my plan failed when I was surrounded by incompetents such as you Cloak. How did I ever have you in my employ?” states the frustrated figure on the rock.

“Let us see I broke into your keep and put a dagger to your throat and you simply made an offer I could not refuse. Also, I succeeded in all the assassinations you sent me upon. The rest of your advisors have forgotten you and I am here. Plus, you placed a spell upon me.” comes the voice.

“Ohh, boo hoo, I was forced to do stuff against my will. Did I not give you the revenge you wanted? “States the elf with incredulity. A cough is heard during the tirade. “Okay minus killing me. But look what you earned in the long run. I mean I taught you to walk in complete sunlight in the desert without even a shadow or piece of sand out of place.  With a flick of the wrist you can kill a man.” says the elf with a sly grin.

“Yes, yes I would not be as skilled today if I had not learned from you. But who is chained up and who is free?” says the voice this time coming from a direction behind the captured elf while the chain jiggles ever so slightly.

“What are you doing?  You know that calls the beast.” States the elf with fear in his voice.

“Yes, I know.  It is part of the plan.  You should know that the ritual should be finished in fifteen days time.  Plenty of time for you to escape this prison and make it to the point where the rift opens to make your return, to the real world. Remember you are on your own there is no backup.  So I would definitely not start by marching straight to Alexendria. ” States the voice as an outline of a cloaked begins to form the dust.

The earth began to shift and tremor every so slightly.  In the distance a cloud of dust could be seen moving towards the rock at a fast pace.  The tremors getting more frenetic as the dust cloud gets closer.

“Remember I conquered the elf lands!  The split of the Eladrin back to their little sparkly fairy world was caused by me!  I was carving a kingdom of the Shadow Realms from its former master.  My rape of a goddess created an entire race!“ the chained elf rears up in rage causing the chains to constrict and slam the elf back to the stone with a thud.

“Please, she was not that pretty nor was she a goddess.” A manacle falls open suddenly at the captives’ hand.  He quickly rolls and begins to get his other hand free. “You believe your own propaganda and thus why you will be caught and banished this time permanently.  Your 9 lives are over. Now jump!” as this is said the last manacle of the captives feet is opened.  

A burst of sand next to the stone sprays the area a good ten feet.  A gaping maw from a purplish hued worm like creature waves to and fro.  The elf sees the person behind the voice fully form.  Black cloak engulfing the body, save for a pair of worn elfish boots with a symbol of a cat from a forgotten time.  The old captive seeing the shadow created by the worm smiles and begins to focus his mind.  As the worm descends appearing to swallow rock, chains, and both men whole and heads back underground, at the edge of the shadow of the worm the former captive materializes.

“Good bye son.  Now to take back what is mine one step at a time.” states the elf with a bit of melancholy as he begins to walk in the desert creating no shadow with his form and dusty floor was undisturbed as he walked by him.