Shadow Over Alfheim

So, the 3.5e Gestalt campaign seems to be sputtering out, giving me the opportunity to swoop in and run some B/X dungeon crawls. In honor and maybe memorium of the stalled Shadow Over Beryl campaign, I’m calling this Shadow Over Alfheim.

I’ve pretty much just dropped a handful of OSR dungeons in a custom setting loosely based on Morgansfort, which allows me use of some of those dungeons as well as all the others. I’m trying to prepare for anything I can, since I’d like to be able to sandbox it and keep it an ‘open’ campaign, so I’ve written up rumor cards, have a location flowchart, and a nice little intro blurb:

“Alfheim lays in ruins. The humans who live there now call it the Wilds. A few coastal towns and strongholds flourish, but the shadow of bygone ages lies over the land. Those who do not live behind walls still feel the menacing presence of lingering magics and the stench of death that wafts from the old places. The Elves of Alfheim were a foul and decadent lot by the end of their history. Too much dabbling in the black arts, orgiastic debaucheries, and worship of foul unearthly powers brought a swift and unpleasant end to their dark revelries. While semi-nomadic greenskins are known to inhabit the Wilds, occassionally claiming castles, caerns and crypts as their own, the men and women who eek out their existence from the land have found that it is easier to live with their demi-human neighbors than the ghosts of the past.

Doing various odd-jobs around Portsdam may have finally paid off. Kadesh Richmond, a person of some import has caught wind of your names and contacted you via his solicitor. While his affairs keep him largely occupied in the port city at the northern edge of the Wilds, he has business interests he wishes to develop in Alfort and is seeking agents who would be willing to participate in a profitable venture. The solicitor informs you that Kadesh will cover your expenses for food and equipment as well as grant you each a retainer stipend of 100 gold per month. All you need to do is accompany a few wagons with some cargo and capital from Portsdam south to Alfort. It’s just one week, and once you reach Alfort, you’ll be given apartments, paid for by your benefactor. Once things start to solidify in Alfort, there may be more work for you.”

Here are the rumor cards:

-Some Goblins would like to set up a toll along the road between Portsdam and Alfort as it passes through their territory.
-No One has heard anything from the Village of Gernauch for a month.
-There’s enough Elf magic lying around Alfheim to destroy the world twice-over.
-It’s not the Elves you need to worry about, it’s the Gremlins.
-Alfheim is crawling with undead; they have to come from somewhere.
-The Elves of Alfheim were a completely different race of beings altogether than the “Elves”(PC elves) from across the seas.
-There are no such thing as Elves.
-There are no such thing as Vampires.
-Dozens die every year trying to explore the old fort. While the city has not outlawed attempts to explore it, they strongly recommend against it.
-If Elves could be vampires, we might all be doomed.
-Merchants would like to see Alfort build a harbor to reduce the need for using roads through Goblin territory or pass too close to Elven ruins.
-Worshipping Dark Gods may have turned Sigyfel into a Lich. True or not, Farmers around Alfort shudder when they hear his name.
-There’s a beautiful sorceress named Merilla who has a tower in the Wilds, but no one has seen her in awhile.
-There was an Elven King named Calden who once may have controlled all of Alfheim, before even Laws End Fell into decadence. His wickedness may have started Alfheim on its self-destructive decline. His tomb is somewhere deep in the wilds, but no one is sure where.
-The old Elven Town of Laws End was destroyed and cursed in some sort of Cataclysm. Its lord, an elf-mage named Nuromen, was said to be exceptionally depraved.
-Stull is an unhappy place made worse by kids who obsess over the ancient Elves.
-Milk from Zombie cows can’t be good for you.
-All of the old Elves of Alfheim are dead. Too bad they don’t stay that way.
-Too many mages in the Wilds are obsessed with old Elven magic.
-Some Punk Kid has figured out how to become a Lich.
-Some tribes of Orcs have been known to be led by women.
-Things are so bad in the Wild that there are entire plantations of undead.
-Somewhere there’s an abandoned keep where lights are seen and a strange gibbering noise fills the valley at night.
-There’s a haunted tomb just Northwest of Alfort.

I’m also using Zenopus Archives’ Adventurer/class packs (or at least a variation on them) to help quickstart everyone’s characters.


A 3.5e Staff Slinger

So I think I’ve got my Staff-Slinger. There’s a chance I may be joining a 3.5 group for a short campaign, and I’m going to run this character by the prospective DM. He says he wants to run a Gestalt campaign, which means something about combining class abilities every couple classes; sounds like some power-gaming nonsense to me. I’m hoping he’ll let me run a straight fighter class for this game, since 3e character creation is a nightmare without software if you’re starting at anything above the first few levels (we’re starting as level 12 for this, he says).

Anyway, here’s the basic stats for my slinger:
STR 16 +3
Dex 14 +2
Con 12 +1
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 12 +1

HP 75
AC 22 (chain shirt + 3, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Bracers of Armor +1, Ring of Protection +2)

(G)Weapon focus + 3 to hit
(G)Weapon Specialization + 6 to damage
Improved Crit – threat range 19-20
Point Blank Shot + 1 damage + 1 hit within 30 feet
Precise Shot – no penalty for firing into melee
Rapid Shot – One extra ranged attack per round*
Power Attack – I forget exactly what this one does, I think it’s -2 to hit and +2 to damage. Given my slinger’s base attack, I’m sure it’s a sacrifice he can make.
Far Shot – increase range by 50%
Stealth & Track, since he’s a skirmisher.
For purposes of creating a staff sling, I ‘combine’ a sling and a quarterstaff, but treat them as a single weapon for purpose of feats. In this case, a +4 sling and a +4 quarterstaff, making it an Infinity -1 weapon worth around 65,000 gold. Which is entirely plausible for a 12th level character to have, based on Redblade’s wealth calculation.

So, here’s what his combat package looks like:

Ranged: 21/21*/16/11 d4+11
Short: 22/22/17/12 d4+12
Power: 19/19/14/10 d4+13
Power short: 20/20/15/10 d4+14

Melee: 21/16/11 d6+11
Power: 19/14/10 d6+13
Two hands: 15/10/5 1d6+11 + 11 1d6+9
Two H Power: 13/8/3 1d6+13 + 9 1d6+11

Now, for all I know, this character could be incredibly under-powered by 3.5 standards, I’m pretty happy with a character who can get off 4 attacks with a minimum 12 damage each in a round at range before going in with 3 melee attacks per round with minimum 12 damage per hit.

I’m not going to go into his skill list, because skill lists are boring. But anyway, hopefully my slinger can find a place is this campaign.

*I need to check and see which To-Hit this uses; I’d guess base for first a first attack.


A few notes: I’m using the numbers from the book rather than creating a unique staff-sling type weapon simply because I don’t want to push my luck. ¬†Optimally, a staff-sling would do 2d4 ranged damage with double the range; I’d leave the ‘staff’ part as-is, with the exception of allowing for a spear-headed staff that could be used with the option of doing either 1d6 blunt or piercing damage.