Progress: Rulebook and Artwork

Hi y’all, Jessica here to discuss what we have done most recently. I’m working on the artwork for the core rulebook. Robert and I decided on the cover, he wanted something that portrayed the dynamics between several races. Good thing I showed the sketch to Jason… because it was being drawn horizontally instead of vertically.

We went and got an AC window unit today which should improve our work. It’s like lava here. The sharpie pens I use for outlining came. The old pens lasted over a year but now I am drawing more for our campaigns.

Robert has specified and written which spells the Oracle can use. The past few weeks he has worked on an archetype class every day. Some editing work will still be done.

Coat of arms for each of the regions have been sketched out but I want them to be nice as they will probably be used outside of the rulebook.

 

Chapter 3 Sample Artwork & Maps

This is from Chapter 3.. we feel that a sample will speak louder about what is in our campaign. The artwork and maps are explained in the sample under the Zeitlos- Tides of Change Campaign page.  These maps have the numbers which correlate with the creature and room information listed in the chapter.

dmshadowcrowlvldecoratedstamped

DM version of Shadow-Crow level with stamp.

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Shadow-Crow Color Artwork with Stamp

dmskaugcastledecoratedwithstamp

Skaug’s Courtyard DM Version with Stamp

 

dmskaugintdecoratedwithstamp

DM Version of Skaug’s Fort Interior with Stamp

 

 

 

Sample Chapter!

This is Chapter 3 from the Tides of Change.. we feel that a sample will speak louder about what is in our campaign.. The artwork and maps can be found in the same name page. These maps have the numbers which correlate with the creature and room information listed in the chapter.

Chapter 3

Recommended party level of 3 for a party of four

The plot thickens

 

The party has successfully filled their contract at this point, most likely they will make a return to Chryfder to receive their reward from Kayle. The trip back should be uneventful unless you would like to drop in a random encounter of pirates. On arrival in the Imperial Trading Guild HQ in Chryfder as soon as the party enters the building, the halfling clerk will fetch Kayle immediately. If they rescued Alvar he will be here as well working in the back with a crate. Kayle will come out quickly holding a number of pouches equal to the number of party members, she will address the party, “You return, I assume you can tell me the reason why we’ve not heard from our office in Côtier?”, allow the party to explain what has happened. She hasn’t heard of the black-flame, she can explain that the Zhokun are an Asfaric group of mercenary pirates, and she is not sure who the allies in Sezz’Sarak might be. Depending on what the party tells her she may have a response similar to this.

Example

“I see, it’s a shame that so few survived this attack but it is still good that you were able to gather this information. I’ve never heard of the black-flame, but the Zhokun are a group of mercenary pirates so if they are hiring these black-flame cultists they must be working through someone else. Presumably, this must be the ‘ally’ in Sezz’Sarak, but the serpentfolk homeland is a place of extreme secrecy and danger. We need to find aid and gather more information before we risk getting involved there. Oh, but I forget, here is your payment” and she will hand the party their parcels, containing a total of 1000 gold split evenly between the group. She will continue after handing out the parcels, “I have more work that can pay well, if you’re interested. We will need to deal with this issue before more damage is done to our infrastructure. There’s a powerful diviner on a nearby island of Naonar, I think he might be able to help us get some answers. I can pay out another 200 gold to deliver an offer of employment to him, you’ve performed great so far, will you continue to aid me?”

 

Assuming the party accepts because the adventure ends if they do not, she will thank them and provide them with an advancement payment of 200 gold for Shadow-Crow and provide them with a map to his fortress.

 

Captured!

 

The fortress isn’t very far and the same crew and ship is provided to help the party reach it, however, once they come within close range to the fortress they are met by a gang of pirates, too many to handle, and are taken prisoner.

 

The pirates escort them to the lowest level of the fortress and throw them into a prison cell and leave, it is up to the party to discover a way out. Possible ways are listed below but if they think of another way that is also acceptable.

Map of Lower Level of Shadow-Crows Fortress

Creatures – mercenaries *bandit* (P) x 10, mercenary captain *bandit captain* (C) x 1, ogre zombie *ogre zombie* (O) x 1, shadow *shadow* (S) x 1

Traps – Spike pit dc 15 disarm/evade 3d6 piercing damage none on save (I), fire trap dc 15 disarm/evade 4d6 fire damage on failure half on save (F)

 

The bars can be bent with a dc 20 strength check.

If anyone had thieves tools they could have snuck them past to pick the lock with a dc 20 sleight of hand check. They might be able to persuade one of the guards when they come to check on them by letting them know why they’re here and some sweet talk, intimidation, or bribery. Adjust dc accordingly, sweet talk should be perhaps dc 20, intimidation harder perhaps dc 25, and bribery around dc 15.

Worst case scenario if they are unable to think of a way out, have Shadow-Crow eventually come to them and discuss the terms of the contract with them. There will be more on that later in this chapter.

 

(1)

There is a hidden passage here that can be found if they investigate the area, the wall can be pushed forward and opens into a trapped escape tunnel that leads directly to Shadow-Crows personal chambers.

 

(2)

There is a second prison cell here but all of the prisoners have died, if they make their way in and examine the bodies it would appear that most of them belong to Zhokun pirates.

 

(3)

This room appears to be a barracks for the mercenaries, the chests for the most part contain clothes and small amounts of coin. If they take the time to search all of them they can find up to 10d20 copper, 10d10 silver, and 5d10 gold. It will take about 10 minutes to rummage through all the chests, which has a chance of warning the nearby mercenaries. Roll perception checks for them while they search every 5 minutes if they beat a dc 15 perception check they will be alerted and come to attack the party.

 

(4)

There is another entrance to the secret tunnel here but the doors are trapped with fire traps, as well a shadow lies in wait inside the walls for anyone other than Shadow-Crow to enter.

 

(5)

This is the mess hall and if they haven’t already alerted the mercenaries a few of them will be found here eating. The players have a chance to ambush them, if they make it to this point without being seen they can get a surprise round against them or they may attempt to sneak past but it will be difficult due to the lack of cover. The pirates are distracted so they can make the attempt but it will be at disadvantage. (-5 if Pathfinder)

 

(6)

This is the pantry and kitchen area, the cook will be here and he is not hostile to the party. If he feels threatened he will beg for his life, if the party so wishes there is roughly 30 days of rations here.

 

(7)

This room is the training room for the mercenaries and the captain is in here training if he hasn’t been alarmed yet. Doors 1, 2, 3, and 4 are trapped and locked. Most are decoys and only door 3 leads to the upper level of the fortress.

 

(8)

This is Shadow-Crows room, right now it is inhabited with his latest creation an ogre zombie. The creature will attack the party if they open the door. The desk is filled with miscellaneous arcane components, a d4 potions of healing, and 6 onyx gems (10 gp).

 

An unlikely ally

Artwork of Shadow-Crow

 

Once the party makes the trip up the stairs they will be met with Shadow-Crow as he dimension doors into the tavern that makes up a large portion of the upper level of his fortress. Shadow-Crow is a lich, of such age that he nearly no flesh left on his body. He is tall and carries a calm demeanor, he is not hostile to the party. He will address the party, ‘Ah, you must be quite the resourceful type to have made it this far. I am Shadow-Crow, how may I be of service?’

Allow the party to state why they are here, if they attack Shadow-Crow he will cast force cage to stop the party rather than attempt to kill them. If forced to he will use detect thoughts and zone of truth to interrogate the party. Once it comes down to the heart of the issue that the Imperial Trading Guild wishes to hire him, he will accept and apologize formally to the party for the actions of his mercenaries. He will explain that lately his fortress had come under attack by several pirates from the Zhokun and because of this he had ordered his mercenaries to intercept any incoming ships before they could do damage. However, his assistance has a price. He believes that the Zhokun are using a nearby island for a headquarters and would like for the party to destroy this outpost while he scrys for information.

Example

‘I see, yes, I would be available for hire in this purpose. The Zhokun have been troublesome here as well, hence why I ordered my mercenaries to intercept any nearby ships, actually, now that I think about it. You are here already, I believe I’ve located the island the Zhokun are using as a base of operations nearby. They are being led by a high ranking pirate in the organization known as Skaug, I would ask of you to eliminate him while I scry for further information. It would be easier for me to deal with one issue at a time. Oh yes, and allow me to apologize for my men’s actions, you were an unintended target and no offense was meant by this incident.’

If the party accepts he will mark their map with the location of the fort, located on an island not too far north from where they are now. The sail will only take up a few hours of time, though the party can rest before leaving if they wish. Shadow-Crow will offer accommodations, if they ask.

 

The fort is crumbling and in poor shape, the gates are non-existent and entrance is easy enough. A perception check of 15 can spot the handful of pirates in the courtyard from a distance.

 

Map of Skaug’s Courtyard

 

Creatures – Pirates *bandit* (P) x 6

 

The entrance to the fort is unlocked and the party can move in freely once the pirates in the courtyard are dealt with.

 

Map of Skaug’s Fort Interior

 

Creatures – Ogre *ogre* (O) x 1, Half-Ogre *half-ogre* (H) x 1, Flesh Golem *flesh golem* (G) x 1, Skaug (orc war-chief) (S) x 1

 

Skaug’s fort is made out of an old abandoned fort and it shows, the walls are old and crumbled in some areas and dust still covers the floor in many areas.


(1)
The party enters here met by an ogre and a smaller misshapen ogre who will charge at them and yell ‘You no hurt king Skaug!’. There also is a door to the north of the room and on each side.

 

(2)

The door on the right leads to a makeshift prison area, the prisoners in the cells are all dead and bear clothing resembling the mercenaries that serve Shadow-Crow. Between the two cells is an iron chest. The chest is locked and requires a dc 20 lockpicking check to unlock it, the chest can be bashed open with a dc 25 strength check but the sound will most likely attract Skaug.

(3)

The door on the left leads to yet another door. The second door appears to have been barred from the outside, covered with boards from the top down and chained between those boards. The boards and chains can be removed if the party spends around an hour or two removing them. Beyond the door stands a flesh golem that the pirates had been unable to deal with and decided to just seal it off instead since it seems to only react to people who enter into this room. Once the door is open, the flesh golem will remain still as if a statue of flesh but if the party enters it will become hostile and attack them. The golem was guarding a runed wooden chest, the rune is part of a glyph of warding spell. The runes require a dc 15 investigation check to recognize and an arcana check of dc 15 to disrupt. If the chest is open while the rune is intact anyone within a 20 foot radius must make a dc 12 dexterity save or suffer 5d8 lightning damage, half on a successful save. The treasure chest contains a trove of treasure, a necklace of fireballs, a +1 shield, a bronze crown (250 gp), and a box of turquoise animal figurines (250 gp).

 

(4)

The door to the north leads to Skaug’s throne room, the room is fairly large and a bit cleaner than the others. At the far end of the room sits a throne made out of bones and corpses, if Skaug hasn’t been attracted to the party already, a large orc wearing a suit of plate mail stands and hefts his greatsword, “More to the slaughter, then” and charges at the party.

Skaug is covered in scars and his plate mail adorned with skulls and bones of his victims. His greatsword stained with blood that never comes clean and marked down the entire length of the blade with tally marks.

When they search Skaug’s body they find a periapt of health, a +1 greatsword, and plate mail armor. He also is carrying 352 gold and 86 silver.

With the death of Skaug hopefully the Zhokun in the area will be disrupted, but it does complete the terms of agreement with Shadow-Crow and the party can make their way back to Kayle to find out what their next step is. A party of 4 should be level four at this point