#dnd stuff Tumblr posts

  • chisatowo
    25.05.2022 - 19 minutes ago

    I love tragedies I love tragedies that could have been prevented I love tragedies that couldn't I love tragedies built from the inevitable downfall of a character brought upon by only themselves I love tragedies built from a cruelty of a character's only crime having been being in the wrong place at the wrong times I love tragedies where the characters are unaware they're in a tragedy I love tragedies where the characters fight so hard to overcome the narrative structure but ultimately fail I love tragedies that are fantastical and other worldly I love tragedies that are so painfully mundane. I love tragedies

    #rat rambles #apologies I thought abt things and stuff too much ftyfkdkdh #also just every now and then I see a post thats like 'tragedies arent this theyre *long very specific tragedy trope*' #like yeah!! that shit makes me insane too!! but the genre is so big and complicated and thats whats so good abt it!! #obviously ppl can have their tragedy preferences but it just annoys me a lil when ppl try to define a one and only way a tragedy can be #theyres badly written tragedies and well written tragedies but that has less to do with the structure and more the excecution #structure does matter too but yknow best structure in the world can still lead to a shitty story if excecuted poorly #but yeah tragedies make my brain explode theyre so so fun especially to write #best feeling in the world is connecting two dots in a story on accident and realising how much suffering you can cause with it #thanks to one of my dnd party memvers for letting me ramble abt softie and make me remember how yummy tasty tragedies are
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  • talesofillaros
    25.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    The Flying City

    Education: There is one school aboard the Flying City, called the Academy. FC citizens are very fond of the Academy, as that is where everyone of one generation meets their peers. All children of are given free primary schooling and college education. If they decide to forgo college, an FC teen can become the legal ward of a trademaster and learn any occupation, from banking to weather magic, that way. Going to college is seen as a prideful thing, as it is essentially saying that you can learn a trade from instruction alone, without hands on experience. Pride though, isn't always a bad thing. Learning from a trademaster is supposedly a more complete education, and it cultivates professional relationships. Apprenticing to one's parents is quite common.

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  • uncultureddoubloon
    25.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Tell me six secrets for Nix 👀👀👀👀 I totally won't use this to metagame not at all

    Totally not, it's not like you've got an active RP chat with them or anything at all right now 😂

    I'm assuming this is in reference to this post I reblogged here

    An open Secret: That they're a changeling. They're almost always presenting as sun elf Soliana, tabaxi Candle in the Rain, and more recently half elf Nin. They generally hide the fact that they're a changeling when they're on the Material Plane or outside of Greenhaven & Firebend, but most of the party & most of the characters that visit know one way or another that they're a changeling, so it's a pretty open secret at least in terms of the Equinox Library. Growing up, they didn't live around other changelings, so they had no idea if there were others who could shape-shift like they could and hid this ability.

    A Secret the people close to your character know: Probably some "backstory" events? Namely things that happened after their original campaign and before our current one started. Oh! The rock/pendant on their necklace! I forget what about that, if anything, that I've told players. In the rare instance you see their necklace, the rock pendant appears to be a small lump of coal. To Nix & only Nix, this is a small piece of sodalite (haven't decided how this interacts with Truesight yet). Only those super close to Nix know what it looks like to them, they let everyone else believe it's just a small lump of coal.

    A Secret that the character wouldn't really care about getting out: How Candle came about. This is more of a secret in that no one's really asked about it and they've had no reason to tell the story. TL;DR, young Soliana was being ganged up on by older kids & an elven druid rescued them by wildshaping into a wild cat/panther to scare the bullies off. As a private way to thank the druid, they created Candle in the Rain, a grey tabaxi to reflect the panther & a light in the dark

    A Secret exactly one person knows anything about: That they want to get the fuck out of the Summer Court! As of the time of writing this, Maeral is the One person who knows about that as a concrete thought. Not even Relworn or Striker know about this

    A Secret no one knows about but they sort of want to come out/to tell someone: That their "fake" fear of the dark isn't so fake. When they were young, they'd pretend to be afraid of the dark/would claim that was their biggest fear to avoid revealing that they're a changeling & were afraid of being found out. At the time, I think that fake fear was genuinely fake, but in the intervening years Events have happened to make that fear more real though they've told no one about this shift so most people believe it's still just a fake fear if they knew it was originally fake in the first place.

    A Secret no one knows and they desperately don't want anyone to know about: That Soliana/Nix want to kill the Summer Queen to help ensure that they get out of the Summer Court. The Queen brought them in, and they won't feel completely free either until the Queen formally recognizes their leaving & lets them go or until the Queen is dead. We don't expect the Queen to amicably let them go for a multitude of reasons. And if/when they kill the Queen, they do not want anyone to find out they were the one who did it since that'd cause so much more problems if they're found out

    #dnd#isa babble#character creation#secrets#nix#nix's misadventures #<- more Nix stories esp from their original campaign at that tag #stuff from like 3-4 years ago #yes i know you're after metagame info #yes you already know like half of this lmao
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  • unbound-space-trash
    25.05.2022 - 2 hours ago

    having my desk set up in the loungeroom is so weird and I gotta say, I’m not a fan of it

    #kay speaks #even if i didn't have a roommate upstairs with me i think i'd find it weird #which is probably what's impacting my motivation to write #because even if it's just dnd campaign stuff i prefer to do it in privacy #(partly because i live with my players and don't want them snagging hints on the way to the fridge lmao)
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  • awkward-fallen-angel
    25.05.2022 - 4 hours ago

    Who likes D&D and wants to help me out!?

    I am the producer of the D&D stream Feedback Loop (where we playtest d&d subclasses).

    I would greatly appreciate it if people would check it out ❤️. If you like it you can follow us, we go live every Tuesday at 7:00 Eastern Time.

    We are live now www.twitch.tv/tabletopgamingct

    #they are currently trying to gas light an enemy into thinking he loves a pc #this is so they can loop hole damage to him via a spell #i love them #d&d#dnd5e#dnd#dnd 5e #dungeons and dungeons #twitch stream#d&d stream#d&d stuff
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  • thekingdomoftrolldinnia
    25.05.2022 - 4 hours ago

    In another life, I'd like to imagine Calliope ascending to the throne after her mother's death. And inspired by Queen Emeralda, taking the title Princess instead of Prince. I don't think anyone at all would think her reign is a good idea.

    #dnd#dnd lore#dnd stuff#dnd location#adder cape #dungeons and dragons #dungeons and dragons lore #dungeons and dragons art #homebrew #dungeons and dragons homebrew #homebrew world#dnd character#dnd oc#dnd homebrew#calliope demarco#lore
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  • c-is-for-circinate
    24.05.2022 - 9 hours ago

    More of the Untamed modern AU D&D thing! (Oh lord there's so much D&D in this one. This might actually be easier to follow if you don't know the Untamed than if you don't at least a little bit know D&D.) (On the other hand, if you know zero things about D&D, you are at least in the same boat as Lan Zhan, so there's that. Poor, poor Lan Zhan.)

    Pre-Wangxian, starring the Yunmeng Trio knowing each other very very well, Jin Zixuan being an awkward disaster, and Nie Huaisang not getting paid nearly enough to play therapist at the D&D table, plus bonus Lan Zhan refusing to have a panic attack about not knowing what a tiefling is.

    -------------------------

    "So," Nie Huaisang says, folding his hands over his source manual and smiling in the friendly, cheerful way that he knows only strikes terror into the hearts of his veteran players, so far. "Let's talk about your character concept."

    .

    Lan Zhan had read the full Lord of the Rings trilogy, once, in high school, ceeding to the argument that it seemed to be a Western cultural touchstone that would elucidate the bulk of the modern Western fantasy genre. It meant that he had slightly more than no context whatsoever, which he supposed was better than nothing.

    "And so last you heard, the increasing giant attacks were being kept at bay in the northwest by the mysterious sorcerers controlled by the Meishan Dynasty, nobody has heard from the northern centaurs of the Tianma Dynasty in the past two years, and as far as anyone knows, the empty streets of Nevernight City still lie undisturbed by any living thing, waiting for the rise of the next emperor to try and claim dominion over all fifteen dynasties," Nie Huaisang finished. Lan Zhan...did not know what to do, as it turned out, with that many mismatched and inexplicable references to Chinese history and mythology, mixed in with that many poorly-jumbled bits of Western fantasy and things he didn't recognize.

    "So!" Nie Huaisang said. "Now that we all know what's going on in the campaign, what do you two want to play?"

    Lan Zhan did not begin to know how to express just how much of an overstatement that sentence was.

    "We need a healer," Jiang Cheng said flatly, fixing Jin Zixuan with a gimlet stare. "You can fill in and play healer for us, right?"

    "I -- I mean, I can--" Jin Zixuan stuttered slightly, and Lan Zhan would be full of sympathy if he weren't currently hyperfocused both on the fact that Wei Ying's arm was approximately six millimeters away from his own on the table, and his creeping, gut-sinking panic over not having any idea what a "tiefling" was.

    "Of course he can," Wei Ying said, grinning in a way that showed all of his teeth but did not, somehow, seem to be friendly at all. "Otherwise Huaisang will have to go easy on us to make up for us not having a healer, and we don't want to need Huaisang to go easy on us, do we?"

    "No?"

    "I mean, I don't know if I could go easy on you..."

    Lan Zhan cleared his throat. 'Healer' at least seemed like a self-explanatory group role, surely. If he had a specific task then maybe this would start to make sense. "I could play healer."

    "Lan Zhan!" Wei Ying's attention was entirely on him again. Lan Zhan had no idea why he'd invited that hell back onto himself. He was going to do it again and again. "You don't have to do that, it's your first time playing! You should get to play whatever class you want."

    "I..." do not know what I want, but he couldn't say that, or want to be safe in my dorm room right now, or want you to keep looking at me like that. I want to play whatever won't make you look at me like you were looking at Jin Zixuan just now. I don't know how to pick the thing that won't disappoint you. I... "am unfamiliar with the options."

    "A-Ying, you should slow down," Jiang Yanli scolded. "You remember when you were brand new. We haven't even explained what the classes are yet."

    "Right!" Wei Ying said, and leaned even further into the space of Lan Zhan's body to reach for one of the colorful hardcover books in front of Nie Huaisang on the other side of the table. Lan Zhan tried not to breathe, and also not to have an aneurysm. "So okay, every character in D&D has a race and a class, and a race is what you are and a class is what you do, basically--"

    .

    "Oh, just what we said at session zero," Yanli says, brushing it off with a one-handed gesture. "I want to be a very large barbarian who's very good at chopping things in half, and never relied upon to make decisions."

    "Oh that's relatable," Huaisang agrees. "Except for wanting to be good at chopping things in half part, if I ever said something like that where my da-ge could hear he'd start trying to make me go to the gym with him again, and eughhhhh." He shudders in dramatic horror, and Yanli giggles, which is perfect.

    "But Yanli-jie," he whines, laying it on just a little thicker. "You know I can't make a good story out of nothing but 'tall and good at chopping things in half'. You all like it so much when I make a good story for you, but I can't do it if you don't tell me what you want! You have to give me something, Yanli-jie, please."

    "You're very good at this, you know," Yanli says. "You're much better at it than me."

    "Who, me?" Huaisang flutters. "No, no, no--"

    "Mmm, you know, a-Cheng and a-Ying have been telling me about your games since Freshman year," she says. "All the wonderful stories you tell. I worked very, very hard when they were younger, and they're very kind and they love me very much, but a-Ying has always been cleverer than me, and a-Cheng is much more stubborn about wanting to win."

    "They love your games," Huaisang protests, although he's starting to see where this is going now. "They always say so."

    "Yes, they do," Yanli says. "They're very good, very kind brothers, and I worked very hard at making games for them that were good enough for them to love." She smiles at him, still very sweetly, like a sugar coating over steel. "I don't want to have to work that hard this semester, Huaisang."

    "I understand completely," Huaisang says. "It can be so exhausting!"

    "Always having to be nice?" Yanli confirms. She nods, very, very sweet. "I'd like to go apeshit, please."

    "Good character concept!" Huaisang says, making a mental note to never, ever give Jiang Yanli a reason to dismember his body and cook him into delicious soup. "Let's make sure you get that proficiency in intimidation."

    .

    "There's about a million races now, plus the whole Tasha's custom lineage rules, which is really cool because it means you can be anything," Wei Ying grinned. "What does Lan-er-gege want to be? An angelically perfect aasimar? A beautiful immortal ageless elf?" Obviously Lan Zhan would be great at anything he wanted to play, because Lan Zhan was good at everything except maybe having fun, and obviously he was here to actually try to do that which meant that Wei Ying could help him learn, finally, so obviously he was going to be awesome. It was hard to envision him as a short beardy dwarf, though, or anything like that. Or a tiefling, really, no matter how much Lan Zhan obviously deserved that charisma bonus. Lan Zhan was too good to be a tiefling. "Ooh, maybe a pretty Persian tabaxi?"

    "What do you recommend?" Jin Zixuan was asking Jiejie with way too much cow-eyed sincerity. Ugh, like he could just peacock his way into everybody's good graces by being a doormat. Wei Ying was trying to help his actual friend here.

    "Oh, I like playing all sorts of things," Jiejie said, and ugh, why was she smiling at him like that??? "A-Cheng knows all of the different mechanics, you could ask him?"

    Jin Zixuan looked at Jiang Cheng, and then apparently decided to be a pussy and turned back to Jiejie instead. "I could just be a human?" he suggested, and Wei Ying groaned almost as loudly as is brother.

    "You're not being a human," Jiang Cheng informed him. "You've got eight other PHB races, twelve options from Volo's, four things from Eberron if you don't even count the re-statted orc, all that shit from Ravnica, the Tasha's custom rules, and bare minimum two different subraces for at least half of them. Pick something else."

    "He should be a halfling," Wei Ying suggested, because bullying Jin Zixuan into being an adorable round-cheeked halfling cleric with hairy feet sounded like exactly the sort of plan he could get Jiang Cheng on board with. Plus, if Jiejie was a goliath, their characters probably couldn't hook up in-game. "Halflings make good clerics, right Jiang Cheng?"

    "Hmmph," Jiang Cheng said, which probably meant he was thinking about Halfling Luck and the inability to torture the peacock over every embarrassing nat 1, which was fair. Still: tiny, chubby-cheeked halfling.

    Also, they knew what Huaisang was like as a DM. He might look like a small innocent man fastidiously checking his nails while his players argued about character creation, but inside was the heart of a cold, manipulative evil genius. It was awesome. If the peacock didn't remember to invoke his halfling luck himself, Huaisang wasn't going to remind him, and Wei Ying was pretty sure they could get some more than decent mileage out of that.

    "Yeah," Jiang Cheng said. "Be a halfling."

    Wei Ying looked back at Lan Zhan, because forcing him to take his eyes away from that perfection in order to glare was just one more of the peacock's many crimes. Lan Zhan looked a little wide-eyed, which was saying a lot for somebody with that few facial expressions. Wei Ying bumped his shoulder against Lan Zhan's encouragingly before he remembered that, oh right, Lan Zhan still didn't like to be touched.

    "Lan Zhan, don't worry," he promised. "I'll help you pick the perfect thing."

    .

    "You know, you don't have to play a halfling Life domain cleric," Huaisang offers, and Jin Zixuan winces.

    "No, I...I should," he says. "I will. I want to be a good sport."

    "I mean, if that's what you want to do, of course you can!" Huaisang says, although he has his doubts about Jin Zixuan managing to win over either of Yanli's brothers simply by 'being a good sport'. Ah well, so long as he keeps the game going. "You and me are really here to talk about backstory."

    "Backstory?" Jin Zixuan asks, looking trapped. "I need a backstory?"

    "Everyone gets a backstory!" Huaisang declares. "You can pick a background to help decide what it should be. You could be from a noble family, or an acolyte raised by a church, or--"

    "I want to be a poor farmer setting out to prove myself," Jin Zixuan cuts in. "I want to seek my fortune and show that I'm capable of being a hero."

    Huaisang winces, just a little. "Okay, okay, we can find a way to do that," he says. "You get skills and tool proficiencies from your background, though, and there's no poor farmer background, so we'll have to figure it out...are you sure you don't want to be an artisan? Or a fisherman? Or a rich landowner?"

    "A farmer," Zixuan says definitively. "A poor lotus farmer. Someone who worked his father's lotus fields for years before setting out on his own to make his own destiny."

    "Right, yes, okay," Huaisang says, thinking frantically about where on his map he could fit lotus farming. Maybe in the Sheng River floodplain? "We can work with that, we can adapt the fisherman background for foraging for water plants." It'll be fine. At least Jin Zixuan has a character concept. Huaisang can make the world work around it.

    "Okay!" Huaisang says. "So that's your backstory. Do you know what god you want to follow? How did you find them?"

    Zixuan looks blank. "A god?"

    Oh no. "You're...a cleric?" Huaisang tries.

    Zixuan fidgets. He's starting to look trapped again. "Does that...mean I need a god?"

    .

    "See, there's lots of different things you can do, and Huaisang's a pretty good DM so he'll let you do more of whatever thing you most like," a-Ying explained to his friend. Yanli and a-Cheng had heard a great deal about this Lan Zhan last spring -- a-Cheng, she suspected, even more than her, since he and a-Ying had been living together at the time and she was still out of state completing her gap year internship. A-Ying clearly hadn't noticed his brother rolling his eyes just yet, but Yanli hoped Lan Zhan didn't take offense.

    At least a-Ying was distracted enough that he wasn't as focused on making poor Zixuan's session zero miserable. Yanli held back a sigh. She did want this to work, sooner or later, and once they all got to actually playing she was sure they'd all start getting along at least a little better.

    She'd promised herself, though, that she wasn't going to spend the whole game managing other people's behavior. She was going to let it go.

    (And maybe she didn't mind, if her brothers made Zixuan work a little harder to win their approval. Just a little. Just for a while.)

    "See, I like puzzles, and talking to NPCs, and solving problems, and finding new ways to do stuff," a-Ying said, in his version of a summary. Well, how else did you briefly cover everything from 'engineering a complex chain reaction to take down a CR 15 boss with a magic item, three skill checks, and a single second-level spell' to 'doggedly chasing down one passing comment a DM had made for the sake of worldbuilding, derailing an entire plot and somehow creating a completely different one'? Yes, Nie Huaisang was a much better DM for her brothers than Yanli had ever been.

    "Jiang Cheng likes Winning At D&D," and Yanli could hear the capital letters, "and jiejie likes exploring and finding cool things."

    It wasn't untrue. Yanli was, perhaps, still trying to decide what she liked best. Last semester, Nie Huaisang had promised to help her try.

    "I didn't know this was a game you could win," Zixuan said, and she knew it was a question because she knew Zixuan, but Yanli was also familiar enough with her brothers to realize exactly how much they would take it as a challenge. She held back another sigh.

    "It's not," Yanli cut in, breaking her rules just a little. "A-Cheng's just a little competitive sometimes."

    "How?" Lan Zhan asked, looking up from where he was staring intently at his still-blank character sheet, apparently to avoid looking at a-Ying at all. Oh dear. "Do you win?" he added, when nobody seemed to know how to answer his question.

    "You convince Huaisang to let you do point buy for stats and then try to minmax a half-elf hexadin that can oneshot a god," a-Ying grinned.

    "And now we can't do point buy any more," a-Cheng grumbled.

    "Jiang Cheng, you can't do that to me again, my poor skills can't keep up!" Nie Huaisang protested. Yanli wasn't sure exactly how much of it was an act, but she'd been behind that DM screen, so she had some suspicions.

    Lan Zhan looked even more lost than Zixuan -- somebody was really going to need to make sure that a-Ying's scattered, enthusiastic attempts to explain an entire manual's worth of rules in twenty minutes didn't confuse him even more, poor thing -- and a-Ying laughed.

    "Jiang Cheng played himself," he agreed cheerfully. "So how are you going to win beastmaster ranger, then?"

    "Variant human, dex-based ranged attacker, using beast companion alongside additional summons to grant advantage and rack up damage in melee and aid skill checks out of combat," a-Cheng rattled off promptly, because of course he could. Oh, a-Cheng. Yanli loved her silly little brothers so very much.

    "Wait," Zixuan said, and oh dear, now he did look annoyed. "You said I couldn't be a human."

    A-Cheng snorted. Oh no.

    "Jiang Cheng has been playing since he was twelve," a-Ying cut in, expression darkening dangerously. "He knows what his other options are."

    That at least cut a-Cheng's glare away from Zixuan for a moment to give his brother a withering look of I can fight my own battles, but then he swung right back, and oh dear.

    "I'm playing variant human because I get +2 dex, +1 wis, and a bonus feat at first level that I can turn into a power build which'll have me regularly doing consistent damage to AC 16 to 18 targets at level one with a class and subclass that's generally considered middle of the pack at best," a-Cheng said, scathing enough to make the insult clear even if Zixuan didn't understand all the language yet. "You wanted to play a human because you think you're too good for D&D."

    Zixuan bristled. A-Ying shifted. Nie Huaisang, at the head of the table, raised his hands and fluttered, trying to call back attention.

    Yanli had promised herself she wasn't going to spend her gaming time managing her little brothers and her possibly maybe would-be boyfriend.

    Oh dear.

    .

    "Piercer feat, obviously, I'll pick up Sharpshooter at level 4 and bump wis at 8." Jiang Cheng has a written list. Huaisang is familiar with Jiang Cheng's lists, and more than a little scared of them.

    "Jiang Cheng, you know you're much better with all the mechanics than me," Huaisang flutters, about 40% flattery. He could learn all the ins and outs of every powergaming build that Jiang Cheng tried to bring to his table, but that would take so much time that he could spend drawing maps, or painting backgrounds or minis, or doing his actual homework for his scientific illustration course. It might be the only class he ever takes in his life with 'science' in the name where he gets above a C+! Surely that's more important than trying to memorize every single mechanic Jiang Cheng might try to game and abuse before he even uses it. "You know I just need to see your finished character sheet unless you want to change something from the way it was written."

    "I want to reskin a background from Eberron," Jiang Cheng says, shifting gears slightly. "House Agent, it gives me two tool proficiencies, persuasion, investigation, plus I'm taking stealth, survival, perception from the ranger list and acrobatics as a variant human, so--"

    "Jiang Cheng! I need to know your backstory to let you do that, you know I do," he interrupts.

    Jiang Cheng always has excellent, detailed, and thought-out character backstories. Always! It's just like pulling teeth, sometimes, to get him to admit it, and Nie Huaisang really doesn't know why, he just doesn't.

    (That's a lie. He's been DMing for Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying for two and a half years, and there's enough therapy involved in that job that he knows much, much more about what it was like in the Jiang household growing up than anyone who wasn't part of their family really should. But he'll never tell.)

    Jiang Cheng sighs. He glares, just slightly, at the paper in his hands.

    "We're definitely for sure using the Fifteen Dynasties setting from last year?" he demands. "With the same political aftermath of what we did last time?"

    "I have so many maps, Jiang Cheng! You have to let me use my maps again," he says. Jiang Cheng sighs again, even more put-upon.

    "I'm the eldest son of the most powerful clan of humans living in the Twilight Forest province. I was charged by my clan to go out looking for allies, weapons, or whatever power I could find. I'm going to return and help my family overthrow the wood elves of the Peng dynasty, so our clan can ascend as rulers of the Twilight Forest," he says flatly. "I have two younger sisters and an older cousin who'll probably inherit leadership of the clan if I die while I'm off adventuring. My mother is a level fifteen ranger, either beastmaster or gloomstalker, who keeps our clan's whole area of the Twilight Forest safe for humans and anything else living there." His glare sharpens again. "If you say anything about my mother..."

    "You'll break my kneecaps, I know, I would never, Jiang Cheng!" Nie Huaisang is a good unofficial therapist, thank you very much. He believes in DM-player confidentiality.

    "It's what makes sense for the character," Jiang Cheng says grumpily, and Nie Huaisang absolutely does not grin.

    .

    "So what do you think, Lan Zhan?" Wei Ying asked, because Jiang Cheng's brother was an absolute fucking disaster. "Did anything there sound good? Tabaxi monk? Aasimar paladin? Kalashtar? Warforged? Half-elf? Elf?"

    Lan Zhan didn't have much of a facial expression. He hadn't had much of a facial expression since he walked in here, because Jiang Cheng's brother apparently had the world's most embarrassing crush on a literal block of wood, but in the guy's defense, Jiang Cheng had known Wei Ying long enough to recognize completely overwhelmed by a literal fucking hurricane of personality when he saw it.

    "Elf?" he said, as much question as answer. Wei Ying latched onto it like it wasn't screamingly obvious that it was just literally the only thing on his list of insane babble that Lan Zhan recognized.

    "Of course Lan-er-gege would be an elf," he said, and Jiang Cheng groaned out loud before the whole table could be treated to another five minutes on how pristine and perfect and carved out of literal fucking jade Lan-er-gege was.

    "Okay, great, we've got goliath, human, halfling, elf, and whatever you're going to be," he said, moving things along. Huaisang was a perfectly competent DM, but he was way too ready to let the party wander off into inane shenanigans without reining them in. Luckily, Jiang Cheng had about fifteen years of experience with that on his side.

    "Levistus tiefling," Wei Ying said promptly. "I get cool horns and cool bonus spells." Jiang Cheng was absolutely not going to acknowledge the pun. Nobody at this table, except possibly Huaisang, would know off the top of their heads that Levistus bloodline tieflings got Ray of Frost as a free cantrip at level one. Wei Ying was baiting him for attention and also probably so he could call Jiang Cheng a nerd again, and Jiang Cheng was not going to give in to it. "She's going to be super chill." Goddamnit.

    "She?" Jin Zixuan asked, and great, a whole new thing to deal with. Jiejie made them promise not to start any real fights, but if the asshole started getting homophobic Jiang Cheng was going to have to punch him probably unless Wei Ying did it first, and maybe jiejie would take that as a sign that she deserved better and move on. Huh. Maybe that was something to hope for.

    "Peacock, peacock, playing a girl in D&D is great," Wei Ying taunted, clearly already thinking the same thing. "You get to actually be creative playing at being something you're not, and I'm keeping the party dynamics from turning into total gross cliche since jiejie's playing a guy." He fixed Zixuan with the kind of terrifyingly dark look that Jiang Cheng really wished he'd stop giving people, except it was an effective glare so maybe not just yet. "It's fine that jiejie's playing a guy, right?"

    "O--of course," Jin Zixuan stuttered. Well. Good.

    "Good," Wei Ying agreed, holding that slightly serial killer stare for five more seconds before sinking back in his chair what his usual bright grin like nothing had happened. "Plus I get to be super hot and flirt with all the NPCs," he added, like he wouldn't have just done that anyway no matter what class or gender he was playing. He flirted for an entire campaign as a hobgoblin artificer with -1 charisma. "What do you say, Lan Zhan, want to play a girl with me?"

    Lan Zhan flicked a glance at the rest of the table, and ugh, now Jiang Cheng was going to have to step in just so his weird brother's weird real-life flirting didn't completely derail their game before it even started. Except then Lan Zhan said, "Okay."

    Fucking hell, this semester was going to be a nightmare.

    .

    "Oh you know I have so many ideas." Wei Ying grins, and Huaisang grins back because does he ever know about Wei Ying's ideas. He can't wait to hear what tops the kenku College of Spirits bard.

    "Tell me about your lady," he says. "Tiefling warlock? Isn't that too basic for you?"

    "Not if she's a celestial warlock," Wei Ying fires back, and okay, yes, good, this is a great start. "And here's the catch, I need you to work with me here, Huaisang, I don't want the rest of the party to know."

    "But Ying-ge, aren't they going to notice?" Character-building with Wei Ying is always so fun. He has an answer to everything, and it's always so incredibly weird.

    "Hey, not if you don't tell them." Wei Ying winks. "I'll goth it up, tell everyone my patron's a fiend, and fake it. You'll let me make sleight of hand checks to give them a couple of hit points when I signal at you, right? I'll even let you roll the dice so you know I'm not cheating..."

    "Won't they wonder where the hit points are coming from?" Huaisang asks, and Wei Ying fixes him with an unimpressed, knowing look.

    "A-Sang, are you telling me you can't let me text you under the table to give a party full of distracted PCs a couple of random bonus hit points without them noticing too much? I expected more from you."

    "Okay, okay, fine, for you, I'll do it." Oh this is going to be so much fun. "But why do you want to secretly be a celestial warlock?"

    "Okay, get this." Wei Ying leans forwards, one foot half tucked up under him, leaning half on the table and half on his own knee, twisted up like he doesn't even realize he's sort of a pretzel. Huaisang still doesn't know if that's the Extreme (recently self-diagnosed) ADHD or the Extreme (also recently self-diagnosed) Bisexuality, but it's always really impressive to watch. "Folk hero for a small town she can't go back to because they think she caused the thing she saved them from."

    Oh, here they go. "Tiefling prejudice?"

    "Yeah, yeah, tiefling prejudice, but also she's kind of a slutty goth mess," Wei Ying waves off. "So some bad thing happened, I don't know what, that's up to you, I trust you, a-Sang--" which is gratifying to hear, and Huaisang's head is already buzzing through options, "and it wasn't her fault, but she goes out to the woods or wherever and prays because she doesn't know what else to do, and there's this qilin who agrees to save the town if she agrees to go out and save other people and never go home again."

    It's very cool, and very Wei Ying. It's also absolutely not the whole story. "But why can't she just admit she saved the town? I don't understand," Huaisang pushes.

    "Oh, because there's like five hundred stories going around about this mythic visiting hero who rained down divine aid or vengeance or whatever on this town, and nobody would ever believe it was her," Wei Ying says, like it's obvious. "It was all some old laozu. Also probably the people from her village still think whatever bad thing was her fault and might try to kill her if they heard she was around again, especially if she was trying to take credit for saving them."

    On the whole it makes no sense, of course. If a bunch of villagers heard about a traveling tiefling warlock who made a deal with a fiend, or they heard about one who'd made a deal with a qilin and went around healing people, the one they were probably going to want to chase down for vengeance was the one working for the fiend. Huaisang's pretty sure he's got it, though. It makes no sense the exact same way a lot of Wei Ying's characters' weirdly self-sacrificing internal logic makes no sense. Huaisang knows just what to do with it.

    "Why this character?" Huaisang asks. "Why do you want to be a celestial warlock in the first place?"

    "Huaisang, you know I think warlocks are super cool," Wei Ying says, and looks distractedly at some other cluster of students chattering on the other side of the common room, and doesn't answer the question.

    "But why a celestial warlock?" Huaisang persists. He's going to need Wei Ying to say it out loud, probably, even if he does already think he might know the answer.

    "It's just really nice, right? Going around to do good deeds because someone else tells you what they are, plus they're not a god and you don't have to bow down and worship them and convince other people to worship them too?" Wei Ying says, toying with the end of his shoelace. "You were willing to trade your life away because you needed power or whatever, but it turns out now your life's being run by someone who only wants to use it to do good stuff."

    Fuck, Huaisang isn't getting paid enough for this. He's not getting paid at all. Who said it was his job to give his friends and players this much therapy?

    .

    Dungeons and Dragons, as far as Lan Zhan could tell, was a game about pretending to be something other than yourself.

    He was not good at that, Lan Zhan would absolutely under no circumstances ever describe himself as good at that. But. Maybe, if he tried to pretend hard enough, to be somebody different enough, with rules and numbers to tell him how to do it--maybe he could pretend to be good at pretending. Just enough. Just for a little while.

    "A female elf," he said, and didn't think about Wei Ying's promise -- his threat -- to flirt with everyone in the game. Playing a female character seemed safer on that front too. "I still need a class."

    "We've got melee, tank, ranged, support, blaster caster, party face, stealth, and general skill check coverage for strength, dex, wis, and charisma," Jiang Cheng rattled off. "We need knowledge checks, battlefield control, and a secondary caster for when that one runs out of spell slots five times a day." That one seemed to indicate Wei Ying, but Lan Zhan didn't care to even try to guess why.

    "Which means?" Lan Zhan asked, a bit more sharply than he'd meant to. Jiang Cheng was looking at him with challenge in the set of his shoulders, which were easier to look at than whatever that expression was in Wei Ying's eyes. He didn't know what battlefield control meant, but anything with control in the name sounded appealing.

    "It's your first time playing," Jiang Cheng said. "Think you can handle a massive pile of spells well enough to play a wizard?"

    "Um, yeah he can," Wei Ying insisted instantly, pulling Lan Zhan's attention back, as though Lan Zhan's attention had ever left. "Obviously Lan Zhan's a genius who can figure out all those lists and tables and play anything."

    He was always saying things like that. Lan Zhan didn't know why.

    "Don't be pushy," Jiang Yanli scolded her brothers. "Of course he can play anything."

    "It's fine," said Lan Zhan, who didn't know nearly enough about the game to make a different choice anyway. That was fine. He knew how to stick to a choice, whether he'd known what it meant when he was making it or not.

    "Elven wizard. Female. Battlefield control," he said. He looked at Nie Huaisang. "I trust that's acceptable?"

    .

    "I know very little about this game," Lan Zhan admits, like Huaisang couldn't have told that from the first moment he walked in for session zero. "What else is there to discuss?"

    "All sorts of things!" Huaisang tells him. "We should talk about what your character can do, I can lend you books and recommend some youtube channels, but first we should decide who they are. Where did she come from? Why is she studying magic? What does she want out of life? Why is she on an adventure with these other weird people?"

    Lan Zhan doesn't have a lot of facial expressions. Huaisang really hopes that the one he's wearing now doesn't actually mean, 'I will light you on fire with my mind, here, in the real world, for daring to think I would care about D&D.'

    "You don't have to play, of course," Huaisang hurries to assure him. "I know Jin Zixuan asked you, and Wei Ying is sort of pushy -- but he means well! -- but if you don't want to play, it's okay. And if you ever change your mind and want to leave, that's okay too, just...text me? Send me an email?"

    "I'll play," Lan Zhan says. Shit, Huaisang is going to have to get better at reading him, he can't tell at all what's going on in his head. "I don't know how to answer your questions."

    "Well, let's start at the beginning," Huaisang says, trying to figure out just where the beginning even is here. "Why did you want to play a girl elf wizard?"

    Lan Zhan hesitates. He's very quiet, Huaisang's noticed, when he's not making simple declarative statements or asking questions that sound like them. Hmm. Doesn't like to put himself in the position of looking like he doesn't know exactly what's going on?

    "A 'girl elf wizard,'" he says, and Huaisang can hear the air quotes, even if he can't imagine Lan Zhan making the gesture in a million years, "is. Not like me." He hesitates again, and then adds, "I hear that's the point of the game."

    Aw, fuck, he's shy.

    Shy and scared and has absolutely no idea what he's doing. He's going to have an even harder time at this than Jin Zixuan. Also he might get even more into it than Wei Ying, once he figures out what it even is, which is going to be a whole different thing to deal with.

    "Can I make a suggestion?" Nie Huaisang asks, pulling up his map of the continent. "There's a city of elves with a big school for magic, law, and philosophy, out here on the edge of the old empire, not run by any particular dynasty. Cloud Recesses. It used to be where all the legislators and court officials and lawyers and imperial scholars all got trained, it's a really easy place to learn to be a wizard, it's already full of elves, it would make sense..." He trails off under Lan Zhan's steady stare.

    "A scholar at a college for legislators and politicians?" Lan Zhan asks. Right, Wei Ying had mentioned he's a polisci major.

    "I know, I know it sounds like you and that's just what you said you don't want!" Huaisang hurries. "But there's a good reason, I promise!"

    He waits to be given the go-ahead. Lan Zhan waits, apparently expecting him to continue. Good enough. Huaisang forges on.

    "You already said it, right, a female elf wizard who's probably at least a hundred years old and can throw fire around and magically turn things into other things already isn't like you," he babbles quickly. "No matter what you do, of course it'll be different! But sometimes it's easier if you start somewhere sort of familiar, so you know how she's different already." Either he's not saying this right, or Lan Zhan understands completely and just doesn't make facial expressions. "You didn't leave school to go on a study-abroad adventure where you have to kill goblins and monsters and giant spiders, right? So that's why she's different, because she did!"

    Huaisang pauses, hoping for something in return. Something to tell him whether he's on any kind of right track. Maybe he's got it completely backwards, maybe Lan Zhan needs a character who grew up raised by pirates on the south coast and learned magic in bits and pieces from scrolls she looted off of downed ships --

    "Why..." Lan Zhan starts, almost quietly, then clears his throat and tries again. "Why would she leave?"

    He sounds so hesitant. Oh god. Huaisang is going to have to do so much therapy in this one. His friends are so lucky that he's a nosy intrusive bitch that has fun figuring out their deepest malfunctions and coaxing them out in an RP setting. He could do so much damage with this.

    "We can figure it out!" Huaisang chirps. "Maybe somebody sent her on a quest. I'm the DM, I can help you decide on that. We can figure this out." He offers what is hopefully his most winning grin. "Want to try?"

    Lan Zhan takes a deep breath. Oh, this semester is going to be something. "Yes," he says. "I'd like to try."

    .

    So.

    A goliath barbarian played by a girl who wants to stop feeling like she has to fix everything, who stepped in to chide or nudge or correct her brothers half a dozen times during Session Zero today before Huaisang could even open his mouth.

    A halfling cleric played by a rich kid who doesn't know how to let go of his pride, who bit back awkward fumbles and defensive snapping every other time he spoke today, but wants to live out the fantasy of leaving his family entirely behind to forge out his own destiny.

    A human ranger played by a business heir who also doesn't know how to let go of his pride, who's tried to build a character who's good enough to win in every game Huaisang's ever run for him, who wants to live out the fantasy of living up to his family, making them proud.

    A tiefling warlock played by a genius foster kid who spent literally the entire afternoon begging for whatever positive or negative attention he could get, who wants the freedom and restriction of being forced to do good in private while everyone around him assumes he's at least slightly evil.

    And an elf wizard played by a terrified shy boy with a resting bitch face that could kill a man at a dozen paces who doesn't even realize how much he wants to pretend to leave his whole life behind to do something chaotic and exciting. Probably because he hasn't played pretend since about the age of four. If then.

    Huaisang sits in his room thinking about it, sketching out scenes of a secluded school in the mountains, a tiny hamlet on the edge of the rocky hills, a manor house deep amid thick woods, a farm full of flowers astride a river, a sandy fighting pit out behind a shitty tavern. He thinks, and he slides pieces together, and the shape of a campaign begins to take form.

    #c writes stuff #the untamed#dnd #so much d&d #yup this is a thing now
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  • jazz-dude
    24.05.2022 - 10 hours ago

    Generic Man cleaned out his attic and found the Revolver of the Mountain King. He probably picked it up on a garage sale once.

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  • froggyplanet4269
    24.05.2022 - 11 hours ago

    no thigh gap appreciation day

    #yes it's brooke again #im making sprites for our party #i did some for smoky already #dnd 5e #dnd 5e campaign #thigh gap? is that edible? #i dont have one either so i gotta be careful when im buying shorts n stuff #thicc thighs save lives
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  • multid0rk
    24.05.2022 - 12 hours ago

    fun little halfbody design comm!

    "Eberron Shifter character Gulo. Kind of an image that captures his gruff nature. I dont have a solid idea of what he looks like but have a couple of inspiration images and text. If possible, I'd like to leave the blanks to you. Will be used in my pathfinder binder to give my fellow players and dm a good idea about who he is."
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  • fartmaster900
    24.05.2022 - 18 hours ago

    my silly gal

    #d&d#d&d campaign#d&d character#dnd#dnd stuff #dungeons and dragons #squiddy’s art#dnd campaign #dnd character art #dnd oc#dnd homebrew#5e#dnd 5e #dnd 5e campaign #dnd5e #dnd magical girl #magical girl oc #magical girl
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  • summer-of-roses
    24.05.2022 - 21 hours ago

    Something for dnd~

    #rogue#dnd#dnd rogue#dnd character#my art#lumi #this is backstory stuff #basically it’s lumi’s non changeling design before she met the party #changeling
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  • acronycjellyfish
    24.05.2022 - 22 hours ago

    and the dnd and other stuff wall for the 100 drawings project fjdkf

    also the big figures i referenced from mitskis drunk walk home

    #my art#dnd #Dungeons and Dragons #sonny why dont you post them separately oh u know #school stuff#traditional #i need that vers of drunk walk home on spotify so bad #basil genovese#beberly rafferty#bo golamer#calliope fairchild#carmen thorzyne#dredgen#mordia #orillo cardo ovali #rowan hardy#siryl aletlar #sub optimal six #dungeons and doofuses #faroph campaign#ravnica #the 'good guys' #wildemount
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  • ingredients-for-brain-soup
    24.05.2022 - 22 hours ago

    I keep being threatened with a "get along shirt" in many forms in dnd because my changeling won't confirm to the other changeling in certain terms that she is in fact a changeling

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  • talesofillaros
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    The Flying City

    Prejudice: There is little to no classism in the Flying City. They have such a small, well connected population and so much wealth that it gets distributed pretty evenly. That, and in a teamwork centric environment such as a ship, every job is valued. It also helps that everyone know everyone with two degrees of separation at max. There isn't much sexism, and sexual orientation is seen as part of someone's all-important freedom of choice. They do discriminate against ground folk, humans and elves especially. Despite FC citizens love of their home, they're still bitter about being driven from Iarl. But a lust for trade prospect is starting, if not lessen the hatred of humans, then allow merchants to work around it. FC citizens also have absolutely zero interest in who your parents were or if they were married. The city's small population makes it necessary for new blood to be brought aboard from anywhere it's available, so judging parentage is impractical.

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  • theinsanecrayonbox
    23.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    well i was looking forward to wearing my dress to game night, and play jass rip and tearing with tooth and nail while being cute, but game was canceled. so have jass wearing my dress instead

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  • kollapsar
    23.05.2022 - 1 day ago
    ”I’m fine. I’m fine I’m fine. We just need to find a way out, we need to find a way out, we need...” "Evgeny. Take my hand. Breathe.” He sits you down, taking you through a meditation, and you can feel the soft tingles of ice magic running along your neck, calming you.
    #my art stuff: blorbo flavor #dnd: hex crawl #ship: simpler at sea #SOBBING at this moment in our last session goodbye #sketches#oc: evgeny #i'm not saying my boy is falling in love but he doesn't stand a goddamn chance
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  • froggyplanet4269
    23.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    yea

    #dnd 5e campaign #dnd5e#dnd stuff#dnd oc #babygirl (grown man) #this is defo a convo they'd have
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  • mercenariespod
    23.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    Hey hello we have

    a podcast. You should listen to it. Here you go.

    [Image ID:  Art of a selfie of three characters, an insectoid man with purple skin and magenta hair, a young, blonde human woman, and a pink haired elven person. The human woman is holding the camera, doing a peace sign, and the insectoid man is smiling behind her. In the background, the elven person has his arms crossed and is looking off to the side, slightly annoyed. End ID.]

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  • headphoneuser6
    23.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    being a dm is fucking stressful damn😭

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