I've been looking back and forth at my list of skill modifiers and not sure what else I've got.
Eryndir could ask to inspect the pack, then try and Sleight of Hand something out of it while he does. I have a decent modifier there. I don't even mind failing that roll and "not getting anything," or "being too obvious and playing it off like he was trying to be obvious." I'm just concerned that "being caught trying to pickpocket Verin" might be too intense of a failure for my heart.
Anyway, what would the DC for something like that be?
If Charn has a better idea (on newly refreshed bandwidth), I'm also happy to defer to him.
I have two recommendations that might help you. First, build off the successes of your colleagues. For this purpose, you count as your colleagues. The demons have a shit ton of gold, they have skeletal horses which are clearly undead, and the winged demons have nasty looking spears.
1) Are there any laws that, as a border guard, may cause you to be interested in the gold?
2) Have you had any experiences, in the very recent past, that may cause you to question the existence of undead horses?
3) The demons seeking entrance to The Outpost just straight up slaughtered someone waiting to come into The Empire. Caleb has inspected the corpse. The demon killed the quasit with a blade that cut right through a demon's throat. Is that weapon a danger to the citizens of The Empire? Is that demon going to slaughter someone else?
Alternately, they have a shit-ton of gold. Do you want to expedite their entry?
Do the bug-men (technically called Thri-Kreen, but you don't know that IC) pose any risk at all to The Outpost? You don't see anything undead but them, but they are heavily armed.
1) I don't know. What would be a good Knowledge check to see if my PC knows that?
2) We did see things that looked mighty undead the night before, but Caleb wisely chose not to share his knowledge with the party. Eryndir has seen and heard some shit in his day, but I don't want to assume he knows much about the undead and supernatural without appropriate knoweldge rolls.
3) Are quasits people? I don't necessarily have a problem with quasits being killed. And if there are going to be people who do things other than Stealth, Perception, or Sleight of Hand, it should be someone who is not Eryndir and gets better modifiers on those rolls.
The Thri-Keen may pose a danger, but we've already botched three rolls on them. I guess I could do a straight Perception to see what Eryndir can see, but that doesn't build on anything.
DC for Perception on the Thri-Keen?
1) Knowledge History to come up with real laws, Deception to come up with laws that you really want them to believe exist.
2) It is reasonable to assume that anything that looks like this:
is suspicious and probably undead.
3) Quasits are little demons. They look like this:
You probably don't have a problem with quasits being killed, doubly so since there is one laughing at Orien all night. That said, you might have a problem with extrajudicial killings when you ostensibly work for the local government. You also might not. I don't know, I'm spitballing here.
DC to Perceive the Thri-Kreen is medium.
Alright - I'll give it a night to see if Charn has anything up his sleeve. Otherwise, I'll make a roll in the morning for the sake of continuing the scene.
This just seems like the cosmopolitan kind og place where we're redneck racist rubes for hasslin' out-of-towners. I can think og like a dozen legitimate reasons to be smuggling a corpse in D&D (as the good guys!).
Ah, there's a thought. There were bones hidden in the wine. What if Eryndir asks to inspect the coffins full of gold and rolls Perception to see if there's anything off about it. That's building on my prior success of discovering the gold.
Easy Perception, don't fail me now!
Success. I'll update the IC thread.
Okay. Based on what I am hearing, let us see what Charn knows about the history of undead in these here parts.
That's a success. Charn knows that undead come in two varieties in The Empire. There are sentient undead, which can be citizens, and there are mindless undead, which are heavily regulated.
Mindless undead such as zombies, skeletons, and some varieties of ghosts, require a license to own. While the specifics of the licensing process vary from province to province, the vast majority of provinces require necromancers to keep meticulous records regarding the assent of the formerly living being. These records must be preserved by non-necromancers keeping undead, but the intervention of a necromantic auditor is required at least annually to re-license the creature. Most of the licenses require an imprint of the decedent's teeth. Incorporeal undead have different, more exotic licenses.
Sentient undead are not permitted to feed off of unwilling citizens of The Empire. Senitent undead are permitted to feed on non-citizens, provided the non-citizens are unwilling to join The Empire. Sentient undead are also allowed to be citizens of The Empire. One of the Electors, Jouseous Flinsover, is a lich from the Greenbriar district. Elector Flinsover is extremely wealthy as a result of his ownership stake in a series of gladiator arenas, teams, and leagues centered in Greenbriar.
Undead pack animals are not uncommon. The largest guild in The Empire, Allsome Allied, specializes in the use of undead for the completion of large labor projects. Allsome uses undead of many different types, including animals, demihumans, and even former Allsome Allied employees who signed over the rights to their bodies (and sometimes spirits) post mortem. However, these undead are all subject to strict permit requirements. Concealed carry of an undead is a serious crime.
Looks like we're at 7 successes and 2 failures right now. I think we've found a decent groove. I'm happy to keep going, if you guys are. At least accrue successes until we reach one more failure and then quit? How's that sound? (As long as we try to continue working the advantages we've got...)
Able hasn't rolled yet this round, and then we'd go into Round 6.
I think I've used my 'help'. What do you want me to roll?
Yeah, go for it! I think you can build on the successes of Eryndir finding those runes, if you've got the right knowledge roll for it.
I mean, you can use any skill you like. I just thought it would be a logical continuation of that, since Eryndir doesn't know runes. All he knows is Caleb has cast spells in his presence and Able has used a cantrip. So, when it comes to looking at magic stuff, he's going to defer to those two.
I think we've got a good enough success/failure ratio that we can keep rolling until we crap out with another failure. Maybe this is it - or maybe we get 2-3 more successes first.
For organizational purposes, I've deleted deadDMwalking's roll in the IC thread and preserved it here in the OOC thread. He rolled a 17 on an investigate challenge, which is a success.
The runes are clearly functional arcane runes, although Able doesn't really know a lot about what the runes do. He is able to determine, however, that the runes were created by a curved blade of some kind - it could be a talon or maybe a ritualistically carved blade. The runes are not very deep, maybe a quarter inch, but they are also very carefully filled with trace amounts of argent. The magical silver is used in a number of alchemical and arcane rituals.
Able notices that the gold coins themselves actually have slight variations beyond the process by which they were imprinted. The gold itself isn't consistent from coin to coin. Consequently, Able believes the gold coins come from many different worlds rather than from a single world of origin.
8 successes, 2 failures heading into a fresh round. Same analysis on my end - Happy to keep going until we get one more failure and then quit.
Anyone have a thought as to how they'd like to roll this round?
Caleb will use Persuade on the ex-cultists and try to get them to explain, in their words, what the bones are for and why they didn't declare them when the inspection began. He makes it clear he wants no more hijinx; if it is what it looks like, what they're doing is super illegal, and we already have firsthand experience with other active necromancers in the area.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
Caleb, like all clerics, believes in a lot of hocus pocus; but "failing skill checks" is not one of them.
Apparently, all roads lead to success.
Alright. Someone has to deal with the Thri-Keen. You've mentioned that basic Perception is medium DC. What about Stealth? Now that we've spent so much time with the other two groups, and have completely ignored them, any chance Eryndir can ninja his way over there?
I just don't want to be the guy who ends this amazing streak of winning.
It doesn't really advance your purpose to simply ninja over there. What is your goal? To ninja over there and . . . ?
...passively observe them from a hidden position. Figuring that they're not likely to be on their guard if they don't think they're being watched.
I know I'm making lots of arguments for Stealth. It's just the best modifier on my sheet.
I was definitely considering an Insight check of my own for the thri-kreen. I guess giving them a medication examination, too, is probably advisable but maybe we can leave that for last.
I just don't want to be the guy who ends this amazing streak of winning.
Is someone calling me?
Stealth is one of the best skills in the game. Its amazing and will be very helpful.
As a border guard, it is less helpful. Similarly, you wouldn't have much use for Performance in this skill check.
We're at 9 successes and 2 failures. My instinct tells me that, until we get at least one success on the Thri-Keen, "medium DC" is the best we can hope for. And my Perception is a +6, which is decent.
So, I'm going to go for it. Randomizer, take the wheel.
You can refer to him by his proper name, RNGsus.
WTF you've had a +6 modifier to a skill this whole time?
Yeah, I've used Perception for all the rolls I've made, I think. Proficiency + Expertise is baller.
Eryndir is not a prideful creature, and my ability to get the Thri-Keen to trust him isn't as good as his ability to Perceive. Someone else could likely build on my success here by offering to come talk to them in my place.
I'm just going to roll a d20 - not sure if this is Diplomacy/Intimidate or other...
Well, whatever you want it to be will be a success. Tell me what you want!
Diplomacy, I guess...
Then it is a diplomatic success! I'll post in the IC thread.
11 successes, 2 failures. Charn is left to roll a skill this round.
What's the skill in 5E for jokes? I bet dragonkin have a natural talent for stand-up.
Charn will inform the demons that he'll need to see their paperwork for their undead horses and do his best to look tough about doing so. Delicturi te salvamus, y'all.
12 Successes, 2 failures, one mystery. Updated IC post incoming.
Alright, the skill challenge is a success.
To confirm - you're arresting the wine merchants/Orcus cultists, letting the demons and Thri-Kreen in, right?
In my perfect world, we:
1. Arrest the wine merchants and impound their wine until they are bailed out from someone at Allied who brings a proper license for zombie parts.
2. Temporarily impound the gold from the demons, offering them a receipt for it, until it can be examined by magical experts to determine the extent, if any, of magical effects on the stash. At which point, it will be released to them. They, however, are free to go.
3. Let the Thri-Keen in, but with a warning that elves are full citizens of this plane, and if they fail to follow proper procedure of whatever province they find themselves in and instead seek vigilante justice, the full weight of the Outpost will crush them like . . . well, it will crush them.
But I defer to the group.
Yeah I think it's totally fair to let the thri-kreen understand they can't eat any elves while they're here. The demons likewise haven't done anything wrong so far as we're aware but that's because we don't know what we don't know. Kicking it upstairs to see if our superiors can uncover any secrets about their cash seems prudent.
The merchants abslutely need to get flagged for smuggling stuff through a checkpoint. If it were rare and exotic fruit from a mysterious, far-away land, that would be one thing (although also probably against the rules). It's not though. It's corpses.
I imagine that at some point on this next phase of our journey, we'll have the opportunity to deliver the sealed letter and sealed bag to Elector Gladestrider. Eryndir does find it odd that the Archdruid seemed to know that we would've found something belonging to the Elector, though.
I'd like to make two rolls. The first will be an Insight roll. Eryndir wants to know if Taron was making an educated guess or if he really wasn't surprised at all. Perhaps because he's aware of some arrangement that the communists might have with the Elector.
Second will be an Investigation roll. Eryndir has no intention of opening the sealed bag or letter that belong to the Elector. He's happy enough to deliver them with their seals intact. But we have not really inspected the bag. I'd like to know if the exterior of the bag, or its shape, feel, weight, appearance, etc., give any clue as to its contents.
Your initial assumption is probably incorrect. Elector Gladestrider is the authority over the Outlands province, where you currently are. The Outlands province is one of the biggest of The Empire's 21 provinces. Elder Moot, the closest metropolis to The Outpost, is about 9 days of hard riding to the West of The Outpost, or something like 450-500 miles. Elector Gladestrider's estate is just outside the metropolis of Gateway, which is probably another 1000 miles west of Elder Moot. She does travel a fair amount and so it is possible that she's either in Elder Moot or on the way to The Outpost. It is, however, unlikely.
Eryndir's insight leads him to believe that Taron knows they found the body of a tax collector and that Taron is likely referring to any property collected by the tax collector for the Elector, rather than the note specifically.
Eryndir's investigation likely occurred anyway and you rolled well enough. The bag contains between three and four items - two of them might be connected. One of them is round and heavy. One is almost definitely a dagger. One is more likely than not a smaller bag filled with smaller objects. The last item may be connected to the bag somehow and feels like a small rodd or scepter.
Understood on all points.
You guys have around 250 gold to buy stuff. Additionally, you can use the survival skill to forage while in the wild. There is also a background which is particularly good at providing sustenance for the party, if any of you have that. If you're interested in picking up supplies, now is the time. If not, I'll move things along.
Are we using encumbrance rules?
We are not using the encumbrance rules, subject to common sense. You may not carry a pack mule in your left hand and use a sword in your right without disadvantage, for example. Pack mules are terrible weapons.