FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 502

  • Humal (level 7 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 7 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 7 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 7 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)
  • Cenric (level 7 human fighter)

Eligos paid the party a visit while they were recuperating at the temple, providing them with some information about Kyuss and his minions (such as the unfortunate fact that the worm-zombies were apparently the least of their concerns). Humal chimed in when he mentioned the Apostolic Scrolls; Loris Raknian, the current manager of Dovin's arena, had purchased a set from the thulid that he had also paid to assassinate them.

Eligos warned the party that Raknian was wealthy and politically well-connected, so trying to confront him directly would be fruitless. Fortunately the champion's games were due to start in less than a week, and Eligos knew a manager that was still looking for a gladiator team. Posing as a team would make it easier for them to get inside the arena and try to figure out what exactly Raknian was up to. Another option was attempting to sneak in, but after Sumia expressed a strong interest in that plan the party opted to just register and participate in the games.

The manager, Ekaym, arrived that evening. He explained to the party some of the arena rules and rewards, the latter of which were considerable assuming the party came out victorious on at least most of the fights, but since Ekaym was fronting their entrance and maintenance fees he would receive half of any earnings aside from the Champion's Belt. The party agreed to this, and after signing the registration papers and allowing Humal to make a copy for them to go over in more detail later, Ekaym instructed them to meet him at the arena in five days to avoid disqualification.

While they waited Sumia trained under Humal: despite having little experience with divination magic, she quickly picked up the ability to see in complete darkness, though it demanded most of her meager arcane reserves to sustain the effect. The restored pseudodragon was delivered to Humal. Its name was Hysvearulharthurir, and after giving thanks, some compliments, and a few insults Humal decided to keep it around as his familiar.

Five mercifully uneventful days later they arrived at the arena, along with nearly two-dozen varied bands of other participants, including elves, dwarves, and even a small group of gnolls led by a human. Raknian arrived after each team had been seated at one of numerous tables heaped with a variety of food and drink; he didn't seem to recognize anyone in the party, and after delivering a short speech everyone began eating and conversing among themselves.

Some were obviously trying to learn more about the abilities and weaknesses of other teams, others placed bets, but numerous wardens and pouncers stationed about deterred any brawls, even from the more inebriated groups. When the banquet was concluded, the wardens escorted the teams to an elevator near the western side of the arena floor. There they were gradually lowered into the bowels of the arena to await the following day.

Design Notes
The players almost opted to just kick or sneak through Raknian's front door. I almost wish they had even though it probably wouldn't have worked out for them. I chose to have Raknian just not recognize them, because if he did then there's really nothing stopping him from making up a bunch of shit, calling in some favors, and having the characters disqualified, arrested, and/or assassinated.

Sumia multiclassed into wizard, picking up the Detect Magic and Darkvision talents (Detect Magic was a freebie because who wants to level up and just get that). Darkvision lets you see in complete darkness, which is what usually foiled Sumia's sneaking attempts in the past. It works out to 60 feet and requires most of her Mana reserves to sustain, but hey she no longer needs torches.

The only drawback is that she gets slightly reduced Wounds (you get Wounds and Vitality, and will have to wait a bit longer to get another attack and damage bonus (rogues and rangers get it sooner than wizards).

Humal picked up Familiar, binding himself with Hysvearulharthurir. Familiars currently grant you bonus Mana, which you can draw upon so long as they are touching you. They can also use it themselves to fuel whatever wizard talents you possess. So far it's a wizard-only talent (though I could also see it working for something like a witch).

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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