Last time on The Dining Campaign

The party met with Tanzain Habib, the de facto leader of the Merchant’s Guild / Habib Conglomerate. Having spoken about the rest of the members of the council, the party had decided to go speak with them when some bandits attacked Honest Habib’s Discount Defense in broad daylight. The party fought them off and gave chase, but their leader exploded with necromantic energies upon his death, creating two ghouls in his place…

Present in this adventure:

  • Kai, Aaracokra Ranger-like-Rogue
  • Elena, Elven Rogue-like-Bard
  • Nocturne, Tiefling Cleric-like-Sorceress
  • Galwyn, Gnome Paladin-like-Cleric
  • Karma, Orcish Drunk-like-Monk
  • Dharma, Human Saijin-like-Monk

These two ghouls seemed to be quite large – significantly larger than the grenadier that they spawned from, and had some various magics about them. Unfortunately for the party, none of them could figure out what was going on fast enough.

Karma and Kai each took one of the ghouls, dealing massive amounts of damage to them. Dharma finished one off, and that’s when they discovered the problem. The ghoul exploded in acid, nearly knocking Karma unconscious, killing five innocent bystanders, and covering a wide area around the town fountain with some goo that seemed to radiate some necromantic energy.

That’s when the party learned that the trick of the battle wasn’t defeating the ghouls, but figuring out a way to do it without massive casualties. After some lucky rolls with Dispel Magic from Nocturne and an inspiring song and nat20 persuasion from Elena, they got the vast majority of the townsfolk out of the way and cleaned off. Galwyn and Kai physically moved off the others, but they still had one nearly-dead ghoul to contend with that hits well above its weight class.

What the party didn’t know was that two more ghouls were going to spawn where the townsfolk died very shortly, but luck once more favored the party as they figured out that they could counteract the necromancy with some holy water. After taking out the last ghoul (blocking the explosion of acid) and dousing the acid puddles formerly known as innocent bystanders, the encounter drew to a close.

The party had a fairly long talk with the Bottle Patrol (1) and a nearby Hieron of Altecia who provided the holy water. No accusations were given, as this event was witnessed by literally-thousands of people, but Elena realized that someone had to have controlled these ghouls – they were acting with intelligence rather than out of general malice toward the living, so they likely had a necromancer controlling them. Whomever it was was long since gone, however, and the party went off to the baths to not be covered in a fine green goo take a short rest before resuming their actual quest.

At this point the party has split up into three groups.


Group one consisted of Elena and Dharma. They went off to speak with Commander Horus Kinto, leader of the Cormick City-State Legion and newly appointed member of the city council. Their journey was brief, for Horus was in his office and had an opening for them to walk in and talk. Their talks were direct and to the point (as the party had no reason to lie), with Elena turning the diplomacy up to 7. Things went well as they discussed how they planned on dealing with the security of their proposed colony location, but Dharma picked up on something.

Whatever Horus’ motives may be outwardly, he seems far more concerned with the food security of the new colony than the actual physical security. Elena pointed out that South Cormick didn’t just have the world’s largest army, but the army was larger than many city’s entire populations. They didn’t necessarily have the best training in the world because they simply didn’t need it. However, that didn’t mean it was going to be fighting itself, and Elena and Dharma came to the conclusion that Horus is likely more worried about a civil war than any outward threats.


Group two consisted of Nocturne and Karma. They first went to Cheryl, a local seamstress and the jurist member of the city council. They had afternoon tea. Apparently, this impressed Karma who asked Cheryl to be her grandmother. Cheryl accepted wholeheartedly. They talked for a few hours… but didn’t realize until after the fact that Cheryl was driving the conversation the entire time. Seems that she really does have a razor sharp intelligence beyond her confused outwardly appearances, but Nocturne and Karma have no idea where she actually stands on the debate.

Next, Nocturne and Karma are heading to the Museum of the Young Goddess – effectively like a shrine to the deity, only the Young Goddess’ impressions of religion are… well, unorthodox would be an understatement. This will happen on the next adventure, however, as we were running low on time.


Group three consisted of Galwyn and Kai, an unusual combination. They approached the Grand Shrine of Altecia, the largest building in the Cormick City-State… by a few inches, apparently. The Shrine opens up to some absolutely divine wide open spaces with lots of natural light providing a beautiful ambiance to the center of faith. Kai, however, has his thoughts turn to the treasures, which appear to be completely on display with absolutely no visible traps of any kind whatsoever – everything screams “honey trap” to him. Galwyn is a member of the Church of Thrin, the main rival to Altecia, and seems to hold a bit of a competitive nature toward the hierons of Altecia. The initiates who greeted her certainly seemed to be equally as competitive, but they arranged a meeting with Defender Tyverius all the same. Yani Tyverius was definitely not what they were expecting though – a rough looking old warrior, she’s an orc with a rather nasty falchion and battered shield with spiked leather armor… that she’s wearing in the middle of the grand shrine.

We stopped there for the night, as it was 21:30 my time and 22:30 for some of the players; we still need to work tomorrow, after all. We will be picking back up with Group Three in two weeks.

Note: I had some DM notes I made for the previous adventure that I didn’t know if people would actually want to read. It goes more into the meta of my game, my thoughts, the creatures that may be fought, and so on. Nothing spoilery though, so still fine if a PC reads.

Last time on The Dining Campaign:

The party has returned to the Cormick City-State after traveling for about a month in the plane of Dis. Having found their initial colony site location, they’ve returned to report back to Myra, the succubus mayor of South Cormick and the one who sent them on this journey to begin with. Not all is what it seems, however, and the party is starting to realize they’re a pawn in a potentially global game of the apocalypse.

Present in this adventure:

  • Kai, Aaracokra Ranger-like-Rogue
  • Elena, Elven Rogue-like-Bard
  • Nocturne, Tiefling Cleric-like-Sorceress
  • Galwyn, Gnome Paladin-like-Cleric
  • Karma, Orcish Drunk-like-Monk
  • Dharma, Human Saijin-like-Monk


Today was the day of their meeting with Tanzain Habib, the de facto leader of the Merchant’s Guild / Habib Congolmerate. Tanzain is a Dragonborn NPC they’ve met before, effectively with the personality of the memed Teddy Roosevelt combined with Sir Hammerlock. Known to be Myra’s current “favorite” and is more than just rumored to be frequently sleeping together, Tanzain is an upcoming merchant in the city of South Cormick, specializing in equipment for mages and defensive magical goods for all. His shop is in the Enchantment district of South Cormick, just south of Portal Park.

The party entered his shop, noting how different everything looked. Unlike other members of the Habib Congolmerate, Humble Habib’s Discount Defense looks more like a modern mall shop than a shady mercantile business – everything is well it and out in the open, with only an office upstairs and no real inventory staging area; if they have it, it is on display with a price tag and without haggling. Posters are up along the walls detailing deals they have going on – mostly of the “buy one for you and a second gets donated to a poor student mage” variety. Kai (PC Aarakocra Ranger-like-Rogue) and Elena (PC Elf Rogue-like-Bard) notice an unusual density of traps in the room – each individual item is trapped, which would be highly unusual given that most merchants simply pay protection money to the Tax Collectors.

Having gone upstairs to the office, the party sits on the floor engaged in a conversation with Tanzain. Well, other than Karma, who is too busy eating and obsessing over sticky buns. They find out the identities of the rest of the Cormick City-State Council, as there was a large amount of turnover while they were gone. There are the two council members they know – the succubus mayor Myra and Tanzain, but there are five they do not.

  1. Myra Cormick, mayor of South Cormick (Succubus Shapechanger). Myra has been the mayor of South Cormick ever since it was a sleepy city that was recovering from some bizarre thefts. An unusual choice, she quickly became popular with the locals, both for obvious reasons and because the previous group of heroes who saved the town (read: prior campaign) threw their support behind her. She’s known for having her selection of romantic partners throughout the town and isn’t exactly closed about what goes on in those relationships, but has quickly become the steadfast protector of the City-State that she is routinely re-elected for. Strongly in favor of protecting all immigrants and refugees and will absolutely call people out for responding otherwise. She’s responsible for bringing South Cormick’s population up to an eye-watering six million people.
  2. Tanzain Habib, chosen representative (and de facto leader) from the Habib Corporation (Dragonborn Male). Description was above.
  3. Horin, the representative of the South Cormick Tax Association (Enby Halfling). The SCTA, for those of you unfamiliar with the campaign setting of mine, is a euphemism for “officially sanctioned thieves’ guild”. South Cormick is ultimately a heavily-Chaotic Good city at heart, and it shows. Horin is a nasty little hobbit of a halfling, having been in this city for at least thirty years as a “tax collector”. Tanzain has a low opinion of them (”they’re an asshole”). The PC Kai (Avian Ranger-like-Rogue) is a member of this organization.
  4. Defender Tyverius, the representative of the Unity Council of Religion (Female Orc – note that Half-Orcs don’t exist in this world and full Orcs effectively replace Half-Orcs). The previous member was a priest of Thrin (the deity that Galwyn, the party cleric, belongs to), and Tyverius is a Paladin of Altecia (Thrin’s rival, although at this point more of the “sports rivalry” type of rival than anything else). Tanzain says that Tyverius is a staunch protector of the innocent and comes from the neighboring Morken Sands.
  5. Archmagi Grothern Faan (Male Gnome), head of the Mage’s Guild of South Cormick. Tanzain seemingly couldn’t resist mentioning that he seems to have “cranial-rectal inversion syndrome” and is effectively the archtypical professor everyone has had and utterly hates, yet seems to never be fired and always thinks he’s right. Subtle clues to the party were left that Tanzain’s opinion of the Archmagi are actually lower than he lets on. Perhaps he was a friend of the previous head of the guild? Nocturne (PC Sorcerer)’s roommate is a member of the guild.
  6. Commander Horus Kinto (Male Elf), leader of the Cormick City-State Legion, which is chosen by the city-state council. This was actually the vote the council had the day prior, and Tanzain knows little about Horus.
  7. Cheryl (Human Woman), a local seamstress. The City-State has a Jury-style position open to provide random citizens direct representation on the council for a one month duty shift, and this month is Cheryl. Multiple members of the party actually know Cheryl, and she’s OoC described as a lot like Rose from The Golden Girls, although perhaps she has a razor sharp wit hiding things, but probably just very very … unfocused.

All of this is good and all, but a shout from downstairs interrupts their conversation. Some bandits have brazenly attacked Honest Habib’s Discount Defense in broad daylight, smashing the window in the front of the shop and threatening everyone inside. A surprisingly-challenging fight ensues and some innocent shoppers end up in the way and knocked out for a while. As the fight was drawing to a close, the boss bandit / grenadier runs and takes a hostage – a random passerby. This being in the Enchantment district of South Cormick, that meant the random passerby was an apprentice mage, who used subtle casting to cast grease on themselves and the grenadier while a party member (Karma) distracted him with digging a hole (don’t ask), allowing them to slip away. Pummeling the grenadier, they kill the boss but something is off. The unnamed sorceress yells everyone to stand back and the boss explodes in some type of necromancy, giving rise to every city planner’s worst nightmare:

A set of ghoul-spawn in the middle of an extremely dense and crowded city street in broad daylight. And that’s where the adventure ends for the night.

Note: I’ve decided to start chronicling my D&D campaign here. I can go back and give summaries of previous adventures if anyone actually ends up reading this, but it’ll help me as a DM actually remember the weird stuff that ends up happening.

VEDA2018 #26 – Perky! RPG

Featuring all three kitties! That’s how I’m bribing people to watch a video about my latest roleplaying character and my homebrew system. Wait, I don’t think I’m supposed to say that last part.

mylordshesacactus:

As a writer, you should try to give your villains plausible motivations, backstories, etc. A villain is much more interesting if they think they’re the hero of their own story.

As a DM, this is still great advice in theory but in practice you should ABSOLUTELY NEVER DO THIS because your players will discover your villains’ tragic backstory, look at their motivation and find it sound, and end up adopting the villains, going rogue from the Celestial Intervention Agency to avenge the wrongs done said villains and ensure their freedom, accidentally kidnapping the President, and plunging Gallifrey into a civil war.

For me, also known as “hey Spoon, why are there two Pantheon wipes in your D&D setting?”

… because my players sided with the sympathetic villain who just wanted to stop the exploitation of their people… by eliminating the gods themselves, even the ones who had nothing to do with it.

Might as well try here as well. :)
I have a few things that I’d like drawn and made look pretty (with color). Does anyone know of any artist that they like and is also open for commissions?

Said art would only be used by me. One is of a roleplaying NPC, the other is of a shirt that another roleplaying NPC wears (that I think would be an awesome sticker for a laptop).