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[COURT OF SWORDS // E60 Q&A] The Wheel is a Game of Chance


(too_angry) #42

Hey, Adam! Have you thought of making your own A Deck of Many Things?
I think the party finding a somehow more effective tarot deck would be cool. (Though the effects would have to be changed probably. Cause The Deck of Many Things really stinks normally)

The whole casting augary on the Kahli’s deck gave me the idea. Kinda how I imagine it being.

(Tarras_que) #43

Just sayin’ a bag of devouring isn’t a cursed item. So it shouldn’t be exempt from normal identification even without identify.

Also the bag can only store a cubic foot of inorganic material, which it can swallow only once per day. Ramus could not physically fill the bag with even all the gold he had, much less all his possessions.

So shennanigans Adam.

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #44

So Ramus should of identified the Bag of Devouring as such and not as a Bag of Holding. As per the DMG (pg 136) “The identify spell is the fastest way to reveal an items properties. Alternatively, a character can focus on one magic item during a short rest, while being in physical contact with the item. At the end of the rest, the character learns the item’s properties, as well as how to use them.”

And the the Bag of Devouring description doesn’t mention being able to fool that process, it only says “This bag superficially resembles a bag of holding but is a feeding orifice of a gigantic extradimensional creature.”
It also shouldn’t have eaten the items placed in it (besides the rations) per the DMG (page 153)
“Inanimate objects can be stored in the bag, which can hold a cubic foot of such material. However, once each day, the bag swallows any objects inside it and spits them out into another plane of existence.”

The bag also behaves differently when trying to swallow someone, but I can see why Adam overlooked that part as it probably would’ve insta killed Ramus. It’s done now so nothing to do about it, but I thought I’d just point this stuff out.

(Twitch: no742617000027) #45

Maybe he just made up his own thing. I’m not even sure if he ever called it a Bag of Devouring.

(AdamKoebel) #46

Cursed Bag of Eating Whatever You Put In It

(AdamKoebel) #47

This was the trade. Worse bag, the curse, no instakill. I almost never leave shit as-is.

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #48

Per the MM (page 191)

Devour Intellect.
The intellect devourer targets one creature it can see within 10 feet of it that has a brain. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Intelligence saving throw against this magic or take 11 (2d10) psychic damage. Also on a failure, roll3d6: If the total equals or exceeds the target’s Intelligence score, that score is reduced to 0. The target is stunned until it regains at least one point of Intelligence.

So yeah it’s permanent unless you can find a way to undo it. I think the way Adam has done it is superior especially for CoS and the fact that it’s a show, it’s just a better way to handle it. That’s why everyone in chat was freaking out, because Berg has such low int we all thought he was dunzo

(Unfortunatename) #49

Cursed items can be a bit of an issue in general. A very important part of the game structure is that overcoming challenges and achieving goals grants rewards: XP and loot.
You always keep the XP and the loot is highly variable but is typically a reward, and it is a reward that they have earned.

Cursed items often take the place of a reward that has been earned and instead of earning a reward, players have earning a complication or a “punishment”.

The bag is an extreme version of this, it not only replaces a reward that had been earned but it destroys previous rewards the players have earned and undermines the reward structure of the game.

And that is why I think it upsets people, especially if it is not expected. (level drain does the same thing for XP)

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #50

That’s totally fair, I just hope you make sure to fuck up all their shit with this bag in that case. Or I guess they could turn it to their advantage, I wonder what would happen if Berg collected the black stuff coming off of Emperor Fey and poured it in, or put the hammer itself in. What would happen to the extradimensional creature the bag is connected to, would it spit the hammer out maybe?

(Twitch: SageOfTheWood) #51

He’d have to heavily augment the concept to use it. This campaign is already crazy enough without using the D&D item most incredibly renowned for ending campaigns due to insane consequences. Could be cool though, and I trust that Adam would make sure to find the best way to make it fun if he try’s to create such a thing. Plus, since Adam rolls on tables for their loot, its not impossible they could find a deck naturally, in which case I think Adam would have to change it (or secretly change the item without telling anybody) since I’m pretty sure he’s formally acknowledged that its an item virtually designed to end campaigns.

I agree with this wholeheartedly, but as long as the players are cool with it I guess its okay. I personally have a hard time stomaching stuff like this, and was sincerely hoping cases of such extreme loss might happen less often now that they had switched to a slightly less brutal version of the game (with the new XP and encounter system discouraging engaging every impossible to win fight to prevent never getting XP), but I guess you can never really change the spirit of the show.

Even Ramus isn’t immune to the Tower’s influence. Berg cares about his freedom, so he looses it constantly. Similarly, Ramus cares about wealth and Power, so a bag eats all his cool stuff.

(JimB0b0) #52

I love the show and the changes make for some very cool events, like bringing in super dangerous monsters to force the characters to run, but it feels like the characters aren’t really growing with this new system. Maybe it is because the xp gains and level ups occur at the beginning or end of the shows and not right in the middle, but it also seems like the characters haven’t really gained any cool equipment. Instead, it feels like the characters are losing their powerful items. Perhaps I am just growing tired of the Towers shadow falling so fully on the story right now. Anyway, this show is awesome, keep up the good work, and hopefully the characters can move on to a slightly more hopeful situation.

(Pierzing) #53

Loved the moment where Berg smashed the Soul Of Utrix, that was some primo Berg and I loved all the hypothetical discussion that surrounded that moment.

Also, a little bit different question for you guys. I know you guys were kinda playing off the 0/1 Int thing for laughs and the ridiculousness of the situation, but I was picking up an ableist vibe in the way that we talk about characters that have such low Int. I guess this also has bleed over for scenarios where we have characters in social situations with really low Charisma, or even motor skills and their relationship to low Strength and Dexterity. Moving forward, how does Max play a character with 2 or 3 Int and do it responsibly in life and death circumstances (albeit temporarily)?

I don’t think D&D 5e ever explicitly states what ability scores correspond with as far as a character’s mental and physical facilities, so I can see the point that they are ultimately numbers to help aid or hinder rolls. However, I feel like that is also a cop out in which a character’s stats become simply numbers and are only used to flavor particular interactions and ignore when they are inconvenient to the narrative (such as being able to sustain a conversation or pursue a quest while having incredibly low Int). There’s a bit of obscurity and vagueness about what the scores actually mean for the characters, like what the difference is between a character who has 8 Int drained to 4, and a character that normally has 4 Int. It feels messy and gray to me and that it has the potential to hurt folks due to the lack of clarification.

This probably belongs more on Office Hours, Adam, or it might even be a good topic for the roundtable you guys have coming up? I’m sure there’s a lot more nuance here to be discussed that I’m missing, but I wanted to bring it up because I felt like it was a offputting with the ‘haha he’s even dumber now’ talk. I’d love to hear more discussion from you, Mike, and the Matt’s about how ability scores and ability score modifications define characters and how we can engage with these characters and the narrative in a responsible way.

Thanks again for another great show this week!

(Unfortunatename) #54

It made me think when you described your reaction to the bag, luckily I think the players are okay with it and rammus losing the gold he cares about it is juicy.

Losing the potions sucks but there is a major upside to losing all your gold in DnD: wizards never made gold rewarding in the first place.

Outside of level 1-5 characters who need to save up for 1 armor upgrade a few potions, [spoiler]and for my own group, replacement horses[/spoiler], there really isn’t a whole lot to do with all of your gold. For gold to be rewarding the GM has to add in their own systems to give players stuff to do with it.

(Plan_A_Has_Failed) #55

This episode… :joy:

Out of the God-WIzard’s protected pocket-realm and right into the middle of a huge desert. The crew just can’t catch a break, can they? “I’ll just put everything in there…” Oh, Ramus. I do hope they keep the Bag of Devouring around, I can see all manner of fun uses for it.

So, a couple of theories on the portal - either it was damaged/malfunctioning and it sent them back a wee bit (ha) off-target, or it was designed to dump them off there on the return trip because Innana is cruel like that.

Another weird-but-unlikely possibility [spoiler] is that they were returned to the right portal, but it’s several years/centuries in the future back in the real world; the Tower made good on its plans to destroy the City of Brass and all that was left has been consumed by the desert.[/spoiler]

(corgashan) #56

Yeah, IF Adam was using the tables out of the DMG, then Ramus’ perception crit gave him a chance to roll on table D (which includes mostly high-powered consumables), instead of table F (a wide variety of low-level magic items like the glasses and the ring).

Totally fair, there just happens to be one rough result on table D, and 99 chances to get something better.

Upside, now they’ll never have to figure out how to dump a body again!

(corgashan) #57

This was my first thought actually. Maybe not so crazy?

(Ty_martinez) #58

this is true any time they kill someone they just get stuffed in the bag hopefully the dice wont be too hard on ramus and he can get someone else to try and get the some of the stuff back cuz that just sucks.

(notNOTjack) #59

I know, right? When I comment on some of these decisions that seem horseshittery it’s completely out of the empathetic frustration that I feel for the players for there seems to rarely be gratification, even when you roll a crit :stuck_out_tongue:.
And that’s after Ramus was screwed out of a spell slot when he didn’t get an actual answer when he used his Augury spell hehehe. Harsh. Adam is the best GM around and none of this makes it not so. We just feel for them and maybe feel the frustration as if it was us in their place.
Loved the episode nonetheless, that God making contraption, damn! The baby and the dark liquid made me think of Death Stranding :smiley:

(Monstercloud1) #60

If that were true, there is one if not two catastrophic possibilities. The first is [spoiler]the court of swords would be not only overrun with the undead, but would likely be spilling into other court’s territory as well, if not well into them. If they were to stay in their timeline, I sense this is where one might start your typical “Good vs Evil” arc. [/spoiler] Secondly, [spoiler] If the elves came back, and had plenty of time to refortify a place in the world of themselves, likely where the City was, they not only have the numbers (which one of the armored bastards is enough to ruin a good portion of forest), but the artifacts left over the denizens of the city might of left behind.[/spoiler]

However, I think [spoiler] if they are truly where the city was, they would of gone back and not forwards. The city is far too big to have no ruins of it’s existence, and I don’t think either Mara or Elves would raze the city to the ground, or the sands would cover and erase it’s existence. Elves would perhaps remake the city in their image, but I think that would be the extent of it.[/spoiler]

(Tarras_que) #61

I guess they don’t need the trash room in the inn anymore.

Thematically it makes sense, but you’ve essentially made a fundamentally worse item out of a relatively functional one to engineer what boils down to a little “fuck you”/gotcha to the player. Worst of all it requires you to lie to them directly about it to get their guard down.

[spoiler]Adam basically railroaded Dan into this one. It’s one thing to punish an impatient player, but he literally read from the DMG description of the bag of holding and showed him how to set it up functionally in Roll20. There was no real out or red flag outside of metagaming (the high roll at level 7 would not net you a regular bag of holding) that doesn’t require extreme paranoia.[/spoiler] The players were just getting out of the paranoia that has been dragging on the show, this didn’t really help with that.

Not trying to harsh your mellow, but we’re really going to need to see the Star in Shadow soon :kissing_heart: