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Acies ab Vesania

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About Acies ab Vesania

  • Rank
    Storyteller Leader
  • Birthday 10/10/1986

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    Themanicmagician
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    Twosocks42@hotmail.com
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    Twosocks42

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Oregon
  • Interests
    Reading. Writing. Role-playing. Hard Sciences. Psychology. Philosophy. Sports. Current Events. People.
  • Occupation
    Mental Health Therapist for a Forensics Psychiatric Hospital

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  1. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    I am running a D&D group for my patients and they just got ambushed by shadows. When I casually mentioned their hits drain strength without a saving throw, their eyes got wide. >D Among the chromatics, I like Green and Black more than red, just because there is more flavor to their evil. Reds are vain and want power, but the Black Dragons are cruel for its own sake and enjoy striking terror in others. Greens are even more flavorful in that tehy are master manipulators and love playing mind games with people. A green can give you all kinds of role-play potential. Among the good side, I liked Silver dragons best. They are more hands-on/involved with humankind and like to interact with people.
  2. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    Hard call for me. Some of the aberrations are pretty damn cool. You can do a lot with the psionic creatures--Mind Flayers (Illithids) and the Aboleths, between their high intellect and difficult to resist talents. Then there is the beholder, which is hardcore iconic D&D, on top of being a great villain and difficult challenge. Monstrous, venomous spiders tend to always unsettle players. I have an appreciation for Rakshasa used properly. Invisible Stalker. Air elemental, so many applications. I developed a bit of an appreciation for Splinter-waifs (fey) after using them in my Discord campaign. I also love the versatility and variety of hags (of which most are fey). Of all humanoids in general... well, this just turns into a favorite race question, no?
  3. Acies ab Vesania

    Attention Board Leaders of All Levels!

    Quest is called Trouble in the Mushroom Kingdom
  4. Acies ab Vesania

    The Hand of Valjer, Act II: The Dragon's Circle

    Time already felt slowed. A freefall sure to be over in seconds, taking agonizing minutes to complete the inevitable meeting with destiny, the cold and unforgiving earth she spent so many years avoiding. First by sea and this venture, her last, by air—she never felt as free as she did when she got her feet off the ground and took to sailing. It seemed fitting that the end should come as a final meeting with the cold dirt she loathed, which in so many ways reminded her of her lowborn childhood fraught with so many unwanted experiences. Today, she knew she would die, and she accepted this, even as her lungs emptied themselves out, compelled by fear and self-pity. Until she wasn’t. Hoisted up with a sudden reverse of forces, feeling the increasing G-force suddenly flip upside down and press against her from the other direction, Brannigan found herself in the arms of the disgusting old man whom she watched many an eve parading around the ship, acting as though he were better than everyone else and like so many dainty ladies she knew in her time, absolutely assured that their shit smelled like roses—oh, she’d seen his type many times before. As her crying out faded and fortune showed itself favoring the lost orphan once more, she heard his proud proclamation as the agent which defeated gravity, now demanding she serve him. Yes, she had seen his type so many times before. Having dealt with his kind, she knew how to respond. Throwing her arms around her neck, barely having to make an effort to maintain the frightened look storming through her eyes, her lips quiver as she shares her thanks, and pledges loyalty to the splenetic bastard. “Ye-yes, you have my thanks. And my loyalty.” But only for as long as was absolutely necessary. @Zashiii
  5. Acies ab Vesania

    [GENERAL] Solo RP - What for?

    I use solo threads as backstories for characters. Some are "open" in that if someone joins I will work with them, but otherwise I go it alone to make sure it gets done.
  6. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    One of my favorites is one I have yet to use in a campaign—the Lich. There is just so much potential with a Lich, between the stories they create and the evil they spread. If you do not have a big story behind a lich, you’re using it wrong. The Lich should be a big deal in a campaign, not just as a tough encounter but something that has been secretly orchestrating events behind the scenes for a long time.
  7. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    The one I probably had the most fun portraying was a retired Dwarven Battlerager who specialized in selling explosives in this Dwarven city with a lot of steampunk level tech. His enthusiasm for blowing shit up coupled with gruff eccentricity was a lot of fun to portray. The one that my players probably liked best (as they still quote it all the time) was a stable hand who was a spoof of the "I like the Wizard of Oz" kid from A Christmas Story, as most of his dialogue was creepily sharing with others that, "I like horses," and that he also didn't seem to sleep, but rather look on at the horse with a strange, vacant stare all night long.
  8. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    Favorite one someone else made up: Step on a hidden trigger, and a bear drops down on you. It's a "Bear Trap." I did an undead variation of this in a one shot. Favorite one I made up: Same one-shot, room full of statues with enough magical presence that you don't even need the detect spell to sense it. There is a sign outside that says be quiet and courteous. Made everyone do stealth and acrobatics checks to get through the room without hitting anything. One person failed to make the DC for both. Statue starts vibrating, like its going to come to life. I give a count down. The player cleverly whispers, "Sorry!" and the statue stops. That was the trick, be quiet and don't bump anything, and if you do, apologize. Had she failed to do so, that would have been a hellacious fight with golems. Gave everyone a good laugh.
  9. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    I never much used traditional dungeons. Most things I put my players through tend to be in more of an open space. That maze I mentioned was one of few dungeons I have used. I made the online group deal with a network of underground caves, briefly. I like having open spaces more so, probably in large part due to a lack of "ruins" in the campaign I run. Although, I once had a different online group (years ago, forum based) deal with a haunted wood. It was a messed up place, and it was fun running that.
  10. Acies ab Vesania

    Tabletop games 30 day challenge

    My favorite adventure I have run... that's a toughy. One of the ones I most enjoyed setting up and letting my players figure out was an idea I had for a while, which I ran with when I saw a great opportunity. The party's rogue character tried breaking into a house and through a series of bad rolls, got stuck with a sleep-dart trap and was arrested. He had been in disguise at the time as a halfling (he's a gnome) and the city realized they had arrested someone good at playing a role and making disguises. So they offered him a plea bargain: a pardon in exchange for a service, one that was going to require his not entirely happy to be dragged into it party members. They needed to infiltrate a thieves guild, which had an interconnected maze running beneath the city. They had to get in under the pretense that he was this halfling gangster who came to the city to make ties, and the others were his associates. Once in, they had to go through the maze and locate all of the lieutenants and take them out. This proved rather difficult, as the path was blocked off by traps and riddles pertaining to the values of the lieutenants. Those lieutenants valued as follows: Silence. The first was a guy who was deaf and preferred to make others at the same disadvantage. His area was soundproofed and gave a 50% failure rate to spells with verbal components. Pretty effective fighter as well. Darkness: The second was a blind guy, so his area was magically darkened and could not be countered. He also dual wielded handaxes and did some nasty damage. The barbarian of the party jumped down without any planning and despite his huge pool of HP was almost dropped in one round--then had huge minuses to finding and hitting a guy with a fairly high AC. Speed: The third was a halfling who had set up an arena with points allowing for teleportation and movement while darting around. Insanely high dexterity and an attack sequence of dropping daggers on you and then disappearing. Fight ended a bit anti-climatically when she failed her saving throw against some sleep poison (rolled a nat 1). Charm: The last was an enchantress. Her area was all about deceit, with hidden traps and and puzzles, and then charm effects and heavy magic. She was a decently high-level mage and really pushed the group to the limit. The leader was a high level, fast and potent fighter. He was downed by a critical hit by the group's sniper (custom class) who shot him in the throat with an arrow. Some fights just don't end the way you plan, but the group had fun and loved that ending. One that was really popular with my group was a haunted house, where they were trying to solve a murder mystery with an uptick in haunting because the serial killer who killed the family at this house came back into town for the first time in years. That kept them busy for the entire session and was mentioned a major "player favorite."
  11. Acies ab Vesania

    You peeping shows?

    Three episodes into Sharp Objects, an HBO show based on a Gillian Flynn novel. I read Gone Girl by her (and enjoyed the movie) but have not read Sharp Objects, so I am going into it rather blind and enjoying the ride. It's got a lot of post-modern film quality to it. Some of the scenes are out of order with little to no explanation, and it leaves the viewer to figure it out--but you feel accomplished as you do. The plot is light in that while something is going on, the story advances slowly. This more a show of heavy themes and symbolism, which I enjoy. Acting is superb (Amy Adams in the lead role) and the show is... strange. The plot is a reporter is sent back to her hometown to write a story about the town and the people as they are experiencing a string of murders of teenage girls. Her editor pushed her to take on the role form a humanizing perspective of the town but secretly sent her hoping she would confront her demons. She had a lot of bad stuff happen to her in that town, and is now a barely functional alcoholic who cuts to cope, going so far as to carve words into her skin. She is staying with her mother, a source of a lot of her issues (emotionally abusive at least) and surrounded by a lot of bad memories, which tend to fade in and out, as the lead is prone to disassociating.
  12. Acies ab Vesania

    The Hand of Valjer, Act II: The Dragon's Circle

    The way the bard’s share the stories, you expected something telling to happen just before a cataclysmic, life-altering event. A stillness in the air, a momentary, unnatural silence, something to draw up the ghostly white hairs on your arm. Brannigan knew it wasn’t true of surprise attacks from pirates or would be raiders, they simply came about as they will, usually during inopportune times. Like when that cannonball splinter got into her foot—she’d been mopping the deck, completely unaware of the enemy ship hiding in the sea-mists, waiting for just the right moment to strike. The moments leading up to the attack were ordinary and mundane, forever burned into her brain not because of its eccentricity but because of how unnoteworthy it was. Her encounter with the dragon proved similar. Yes, there were shenanigans occurring topside, but those happened on trips like these. A motley crew thrown together not by their winning personalities and cohesiveness but a shared goal, she’d seen it many times over. Little conflicts and amusing interludes always kicked up, and that’s why she stationed herself just so, poised to watch the flickers of entertainment as she had dozens of times before. This afternoon was like others, if only spiced by a little more magic than usual, but she’d seen magical talents before, and people with the balls to go chasing after a dragon best have a few magic-wielding allies around. Just like those other attacks, the moments prior to this were not defining, they gave no warning. What stood out was not how unsettling but rather how unremarkable their travels had been leading up to what may be the most defining moment of her life. Brannigan looked on, awestruck, almost feeling compelled to worship that behemoth falling upon them. She’d seen pictures of dragons, sure. And with the bluster of drunken sailors and all their boasting, she had heard plenty of tales about the size and magnificence of the winged creatures—none of it came close to what she saw. Flying death, more terrifying than any shark, she instantly found herself full of respect, wonder, and fear. Each one of his teeth were larger than her entire frame, and certainly sharp enough to cleave her in twain with little effort. She had only the briefest moment to contemplate that razor filled maw, for its dive took it through the ship, bursting apart the aircraft in less than a second, just a dozen feet from where she previously hid. The force alone sends her helplessly sprawling into the air, interposed between debris and carnage, including the ripped apart remains of those she once called her associates. She blacks out, losing all sensation for three heartbeats. The first thing that comes back to her is her sight, a blinding flash of searing light burning her eyes as they open themselves. The next is the odd sensation of ice and fire, burning wreckage eagerly sharing its heat with her exposed skin while the cold, suffocating sky tries to smother it back out. She feels the wind in her hair, and next smells charred flesh and hair, smoldering wood and ammonia—it is then she realizes that she has lost control of her bladder, the stench of urine her own. She tastes copper and bile, blood and stomach acid in her throat, coughing and spluttering. Last, only as she begins that terrifying freefall towards the earth, does sound return to her. Explosions, twisting metal, and the sound of her useless, frightened screams as she goes hurtling towards the earth.
  13. Acies ab Vesania

    To Tame The Beast

    He stands at the doorway, looming for a long moment. He takes in the placements, the settings, the way the servants conduct themselves. He has expectations, and his long absence was sure to breed some degree of slipping among them. A few forgotten protocols, a slight breech of etiquette, any number of things that might require his correction. He is particular, enough so that he will call out mistakes and make a production of it, ensuring that the errant individual would go years without making the same mistake again. He demands perfection from any who choose to work for him, and anything less is unacceptable in his book. Aaron is not one to deliver harsh punishments for small failures, unless you count his withering gaze and strong rebukes. As long the individual corrects their ways, he sees no reason to pursue further action. Another long pause. His eyes sweep about the room. One step in, then another. His fingers trace the back of a chair, lingering. He feels no dust, no indication missed details. Another step into the room, stopping to hover by a serving girl who trembles in his presence. A newer one, probably a replacement for the last one he saw fit to remove from the premises in a permanent and irreversible way. Clearly, she heard rumors of his exacting expectations—good. Let her be scared, let her wonder what might happen were she to displease him. Aaron makes sure to go out of his way to make brief, uncomfortable eye contact with the girl before moving on, his swift steps carrying him to his chair. “Everyone.” A single word greeting, nothing more for those who are there to serve his needs and whims. He knows they expect little else, for their generous pay is thanks enough as far as Aaron is concerned. The people here are not paid in useless platitudes and insincere comments about their work. To hear a lack of complaints should be details enough to for them to assume the job met expectations. There is no exceeding his expectations—only meeting them. High, difficult to reach standards were the only ones he kept for himself and others. If the servants did as was expected, they met his demands and nothing more. Fortunately for those gathered here today, they looked well prepared. Aaron assumed Elizabeth has something to do with that. Seated now, Aaron waves at everyone to begin eating. The silence from their master is all they need to know that for tonight, they would go without reproof. Despite years of his absence, he had no comments to make about the placement and execution of the meal preparation. To one side, he nods to James, giving the man the closest thing to an actual thanks as he ever gives anyone, reserved for his most trusted servant, his only friend over these long years. The two of them have an understanding, and he knows that James is well aware of what his nod means. Part way into the meal, he feels a light brush at his feet. His instincts were to turn and lash out at the clumsy oaf who invaded his personal space, the individual that were so careless as to cross into sphere and presume that their lack of awareness would go without a stern reproof. Only, he realized that the only person whose foot that could be was Elizabeth. Knowing this made his mood shift, soften even. For some inexplicable reason, he felt no need to lash out. If anything, he almost smiled. A smile? From him? What? Aaron quickly thrusts the urge from his mind and buries it. He opts to pass it off like he took no note of the offensive touch, saving his ego and reputation from the lack of response. If the girl assumed he simply took no notice, she would not form strange ideas about what he would or would not allow from her. Better that she feared the consequences of what might transpire next time. Yes, he could see she was turning pale; she expected the worst from him. Instead, he quickly finishes the meal. “The meal was satisfactory.” One abrupt statement and then he rises from his chair, expecting that others would do the same. They were free to stay and finish eating after himself (he never ate much of solid food anyway) but they were to stand and show him his due respect as he exited the room. He had much to ponder, such as the increasing costs of his blood supply, the blasted charity ball, and why on earth he decided not to put Elizabeth in her place twice now. Strange evening indeed. Aaron stalks out of the room and retires to his chamber.
  14. Acies ab Vesania

    Entertaining a Return of the Valucre Blog

    This is still on my radar, but I have been slamming out a lot of hours as of late in addition to some other stuff. (I tried recruiting help in the past and it didn't pan out well. And I suck at taking care of myself. :P)
  15. Acies ab Vesania

    The Hand of Valjer, Act II: The Dragon's Circle

    As Valjer ___ The sky belongs to the dragons. Humans, forever grounded by their inability to feel the air rushing about their wings, know nothing about the glory that it is to truly fly. No mortal man shall ever have their glory, the command of the heavens, the gods just beyond reach. No, these arrogant humans must invade their domain with machines made from the cold, dead materials of mountains and trees. Their attempts to traverse the realm of dragons is a grave insult, and one that they would soon regret. Dragons do not forget—their memories are as long as time. Nor can they forgive, for each slight is a failure to recognize their superiority. The sky belongs to the dragons. It is their birthright. The humans and traitors among them do not deserve to revel in the glory belonging to dragonkind, a bliss reserved for only their noble lineage. The tales of their origins tell of how the gods molded them from dirty and dust—let them return to this formless state, a forgotten heap of crushed bone and ash! Some handful of fools survived his first warning, and proved too foolish to heed his kind offer and return to hence they came. They took to the air, a flagrant insult to dragons everywhere, flaunting their means of exploring the skies by unnatural means. The sky belongs to the dragons, and men to the earth. He hates their machines, toys made to borrow power because they were too weak to face them on their own terms. Another insult, another strike against the weak fools who would dare trespass in his skies, and into his realm, to face him. There is no honor here, and for their sin soon there would only be death. He will spill their blood from here back to the sea. He will salt the earth with the ground remains of bones and dust made from their crushed carcasses. They will speak of his glorious triumph for centuries more, another example of humans so clearly out of their league. The sky belongs to the dragons, and the earth man’s grave. He sits above the airship, hidden in the clouds, perhaps a hundred feet above the vessel. He lurks just beyond their sight, hidden from view, waiting for the right moment. He stalks his prey with a steady gaze affixed. He is eager, but he will not move until just the right moment. As the airship bursts between clouds and comes into view of the sun, blinding its crew briefly—that is the moment he strikes—a quick descent, his mighty body streaking from the heavens, diving down like a falcon in pursuit of prey, closing the distance rapidly. The sky belongs to the dragons, let man usher in his fall. He rushes down towards the ship, unseen until the last possible second, the glare of the sun first reflecting his scales, and all too late allowing the passengers to see their doom. He streaks downward, maw opened wide with a ball of molten flames bursting out and striking the center of the air ship, weakening its structure as the rest of him follows after, the dragon cutting the airship in twain with his body! Two halves split apart and fall each to the side, drifting back towards the earth at rapid speeds, as the dragon swoops around and sails off on the wind, letting the doomed men admire his grace one last time before they fell to their doom.
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