Dungeons & Dragons Online

An Astral Meeting of the Minds (5e in-game mini 1-shot when PC dies for first time)

What is this exactly? It's a Mini 1 Shot to be played in game, where the players take over a bunch of powerful godly NPCs and plays a "meanwhile in Astral Space" scene, and perhaps succeeding in reviving a dead PC. The Meeting of the minds consists of a single encounter and should take about 15-45 minutes of real time. The encounter is designed in a way the players, even though playing powerful NPCs in their own campaign, can not somehow bestow their original characters with godly boons. This is all in good fun. The encounter should take place immediately after a PC dies. Feel free to tailor suit the locations and NPCs / gods to your specific campaign.

  • How this came about Well, a PC died. In a tough battle. While character death is unavoidable and can and will happen during a campaign – This instance had several extenuating circumstances – the character went to death saves during a session when the player was absent, and failed the final save the next session, sitting the entire session out (waiting for party to try and save them). Therefore, I've constructed a small roleplaying encounter – around the soul of the PC departing, which might end in its dramatic final rest, or, in the character's resurrection.

  • How to Play? Surprise the players by starting the session with the dead PC and not the party. Let the dead PC's player play the Departed Soul character. As other NPCs appear, hand out their respective sheets to each of the other players. As DM you may want to designate specific characters to specific players, let the players choose, or have them roll for it. The character sheets provides motives and background information on each character so should players follow along easily. If they are not "not sure how to play a god", allow a couple of minutes as DM to explain this is a single encounter thing, and it would best resolve if everyone sticks to their handed down motives and personality traits.

Encounter Setting The encounter starts at the astral plane, "near" the feywilde location where the battle, in which the dead PC lost their life, took place. – Characters Departed Soul – Soul of the PC that died Kelemvor – The god of Death (for this human soul’s belief) Jezebel – Queen of Feywilde region where PC died Tyr – God of Justice, his presence concentrated in the Feywild trial room where the PC fell

Note: The gods and the archfey appears as manifestations which differ from their actual characters (more info. on Manifestations is provided in the character sheets)

  • Part 0 – Background The soul awaken in astral space, shortly to be joined by Kelemvor, the god of death. Kelemvor shackles the soul and starts heading towards the Fuge Plane, a temporary destination for souls, where they are passed judgement.
  • Characters: Departed Soul, Kelemvor

TIP: As the first player (second, if you include the departed soul of PC as the first) gets to play Kelemvor, the others should “get the hint” that they are coming up. If they don't, make sure you hint you need them all focused as surprises are coming…

  • Part I – A Choice is given As the two begin the journey, Queen Jezebel, an Archfey and ruler of this part of the feywilde appears, and blocks astral travel from the feywilde (it's within her powers). Kelemvor, will not like this. While Jezebel can't defy a god for long, she has a cunning ruse. Her plan requires that the soul voluntairily resit its given fate.
  • Characters: Departed Soul, Kelemvor, Jezebel
  • Optional Conclusion: If the player accepts their fate (knowing this might mean re-rolling a new character if usual resurrection is not available), the encounter should conclude here with a dramatic, sad and touching, "in memory" as the god of death escorts the PC's departed soul away to the Fuge planes

  • Part II – The Ruse The PC died in a divine trial room of Tyr, the god of justice. Tyr's presence is strongly concentrated nearby below, in the Feywilde. Jezebel knows its in her powers to reinvigorate the soul, giving it some limited abilities to act in the world, including the power to summon Tyr. The ruse is to pit Tyr vs. Kelemvor in some quarrel, and as Tyr outranks Kelemvor it might provide a chance for the soul to return to the body. The soul then either summon Tyr or they don't. They can also question Jezebel for more information on Tyr's character and demeanor. The entire time, Kelemvor is surely unhappy with both the Departed Soul and the Queen and will act accordingly

  • Characters: Departed Soul, Kelemvor, Jezebel

  • Optional Conclusion: If the Departed Soul fails or decides not to summon Tyr's presence, Kelemvor will continue on his original plan. See Part I optional conclsuon above, but the fate of both the soul and the fey queen might be different now…

  • Part III – Let the gods quarrel As he is summoned to the scene, Tyr will try to understand the situation. If the Soul and Jezebel succeed in persuading Tyr that Kelemvor is somehow undermining / belittling / disrespecting him, the god of justice will want to stop the departing of the soul as a retaliation to the affront. The quarrel between the two gods is interestingky balanced: One one hand, no one has authority to deny Kelemvor of collecting his soul. Not even a god that "outranks" him. On the other hand, as Tyr outranks Kelemvor in the Justice Domain, and if he is convinced he was slighted somehow, resisting him would cause Kelemvor future problems he might not want to get into, for the sake of a single human soul.

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The outcome of the godly quarrel will determine the final outcome of the encounter. – Characters: Departed Soul, Kelemvor, Jezebel, Tyr – Optional Conclusion: The possible results of this part are described in detail in the Epilogue section below

Epilogue The entire encounter comes to an end, once the two gods finish their argument to one side or another, or indeed, some third compromise or alternative that might come up as a result of the playthrough. Once that happens, the event can be concluded, and all the players can return to their original character, eith the exception of the dead PC, that may or may not be resurrected by now, depending on the results of the encounter.

  • Final Outcome

If Kelemvor yielded to Tyr: – The dead PC is resurrected (no spell side-effects) but cursed by Kelemvor with 1 of 3 curses. The curses are named but intentionally undescribed and are beknown only to the DM. – Tyr might o might not demand some vow, promise or sacrifice for having to deny another god his given right. – The Queen might conclude it is now owed even more by the PCs, or vice versa – as the encounter plays.

If Kelemvor stood up to Tyr: – Tyr may back down – Kelemvor takes the soul away and dead PC doesn't resurrect (though the party might resurrect him in some "ususal" way in their future play) – Tyr may not back down – A conflict start between the 2 god manifestations. Tyr will win, but reprecussions all over the pantheon will be felt afterwards.

If Kelemvor Destroys Jezebel: – The Queen's manifeastation will be destroyed. The real Jezebel (wherever she is right now) will feel it and will be hurt for sometime. – Jezebel's may be angered – The queen is angered and grows to see the party even more as her pawns and playthings to be used advantageously for her with little regard to their own personal fates. – Jezebel's may grow fonder – If for some reason, the queen is convinced the Soul was trying its best to protect her from Kelemvor's wrath, she may actually grow a soft spot for the party.

CHARACTER SHEETS

Character Sheet 1: Departed Soul Medium spirit, any alignment

  • Armor Class 11
  • Hit Points 22 (6D8)
  • Soul Points 0 / 6
  • Speed 0ft. Fly 40ft. (hover)
  • Abilities: STR 11, DEX 11, CON 11, INT, 11, WIS 11, CHA 11,
  • Condition Immunities melancholy, groggy, weak-kneed
  • Senses passive Perception 4
  • Languages Latin, Pottymouth
  • Challenge 0 (0 XP)

Powers / Feats – Astral Sight. Can see 60 feet into the Astral Plane when it is on the Feywilde, and vice versa.

  • Astral Form. The manifestation exists in the astral plane, "near" the feywilde.

    Note: Departed soul gets disadvantage and -10 to all rolls, unless negated by Soul Points (see below)

Actions – Limited Telekinesis Action: Mage Hand Legerdemain range 15ft.Bonus Action: Unseen Servant range 5ft. The effect works in any plane the soul can perceive (as long as they are in range) – Limited Telepathy. Can communicate telepathetically, but in verbal phrases only. – Demand Audience. Action: range 120ft., the soul prays to a specific deity. If their presence is concentrated within range, the deity is bound to manifest (although it might not be happy to have been called). Prayer takes 1 at least.

Soul Points Departed souls rarely gets any chance to do much of anything. Usually, however, when invigorated by some higher being (archfey or divine), they get temporarily imbued with some spark of life-force, which let's them act out their will in the world in some limited capacity (see Actions above).

  • Using Soul Points The player declares the amount of soul points (out of their current total) they want to spend on their upcoming action.
Points Used Modifier Adv/Dis
-10 Dis
1 +0
2 +0 Adv
3 +1 Adv
4 +2 Adv
5 +4 Adv
6 +6 Adv

— Replenishing Soul Points Each time you spend 1 or more soul points, you regain 1 point back. If the action resulted in a success, you replenish 0-5 (1d6-1) Soul Points. The points are replenished at the end of your turn.

Roleplaying the Departed Soul Though the soul retains all of the PC's knowledge, memories and personality traits, it was yanked of its mortal coils in a moment of anguish and extreme dire straits and a heavy heart for his comrades.

  • Defying Kelemvor, god of death While the yearning of life is strong in all souls, so is acceptance of mortality and the beyond. The PC has known Kelemvor would one day collect his soul since he was an infant. Defying gods is not something to be done lightly and might result in the anger of the gods and an even more doomed fate of the soul.

  • Soul-bound to the Queen The PC took a soul bond to the queen, and his soul needs its matriach right about now. How does a soul bond works on the soul after death? no one knows. But Jezebel's appearance here and now is a chance that offers a sliver of hope

    • Tyr, the god of justice The soul can attempt to demand an audience with Tyr, as his presence is strong and concentrated in the chambter nearby. Tyr "outranks" Kelemvor in the domain of justice and might be persuaded/fooled to intervene on the soul's behalf.
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Character Sheet 2: Kelemvor, god of death large manifestation, lawful neutral – Armor Class 17 – Hit Points 90 (20d8) – Speed 35 ft. – Abilities: STR 20 (+5), DEX 11, CON 18 (+4), INT 12 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 11, – Condition Immunities charmed, sleep – Damage Immunities non-magical damage – Senses passive Perception 15

Powers / Feats – True Sight. 60ft. – Speak with the Departed. enables 2 way telepathic communication of verbal phrases with departed souls in range.

Actions – Pathway to Fugue: Action. Concentration. Shapes the astral vapors into a silvery road, winding towards the Fugue plane, where Kelemvor takes souls to await the passing of their judgement. If undone, this power has a downtime of 5 minutes. – Balance the Scales: Action adds weight under either good/evil sides of the scales. This will greatly affect the soul's final judgement, and it can feel the burden lift or increase when Kelemvor does it. – Call Sword: Bonus Action: Needs to point at or name a target, to call Kelemvor's greatsword: Sunderer Supreme. It appears instantly. Kelemvor has 5 rounds to banish it, or it smites its target (kills anything but a god automatically, not objects though) – Abandon Soul Action Kelenmvor can decide to abandon the soul to its own fate (read more below why he doesn't want to do it). If he does, he will unleash one of the following curses on the target soul: – Curse of Despair – Curse of Decadence – Curse of Hopelessness

Roleplaying Kelemvor Kelemvor is a solipsistic, tragic martyr. He attained his powers with force of will and strength and with great sacrifices, and treats his death duties with grave seriousness. He regards any interference with his escort of the departed soul as a highly unusual and irregular slight. He will use words with the Pixie Queen, but his patience for feywilde nonsense is very limited. He has no empathy towards the living, the prime material plane, or the plight of men and elves. His duty is sacred to him. There is no God, nor Archfey within rights to rob him of this soul.

  • Why not destroy Jezebel? IT would be within his powers and his rights to destroy any that oppose him. However, the reprecussion will be plentiful – both within the pantheon, and within the feywilde-shadowfel mirroring each other. Kelemvor likes his solitude and cares not to be in the center of some new scheme within the Pantheon. However, his souls are his and giving them up to any bystander is not acceptable either.

  • Why not Release the soul? Fallen souls are escorted to the Fugue planes. That is his duty – and there are no reasons to start making exceptions. If somehow tricked, pushed or forced to release the soul – there will be a curse involved (see above).

  • How to handle Tyr, god of justice While Tyr has no dominion over Death, he does over Justice, as does Kelemvor. However, Tyr outranks Kelemvor in the pantheon. If Tyr somehow sees Kelemvor's collecting of his soul as a slight, Kelemvor might consider releasing (and cursing) the soul.

  • Playing a Manifestation The character appears as a Manifestation during the encounter. A manifestation is NOT the actual character, but rather a clone of them, temporarily existing to perform a specific task, e.g.: gurad a specific region, protect a shrine, etc. A manifestation has no self-awareness – it acts and behaves as if they are the one and only genuine character.

  • When destroyed, actual god/demigod/archfey knows and is upset (loses 20% of HP)

  • Limited to using a partial set of the being's actual powers and feats.

  • Acts as the one true form of the being it represents

Character Sheet 3: Queen Jezebel of the fey medium manifestation, chaotic neutral – Armor Class 17 – Hit Points 45 (10d8) – Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover) – Abilities: STR 8 (-1), DEX 18 (+4), CON 8 (-1), INT 14 (+2), WIS 18 (+4), CHA 20 (+5), – Condition Immunities charmed, sleep – Damage Immunities non-magical damage – Senses passive Perception 20 (16 + 4 in fey)

Powers / feats – Astral Sight. The manifestation can see 60 feet into the Astral Plane when it is on the Feywilde, and vice versa. – Beguiling Appearance. Can make 1 soul see and hear them as their mother. Grants advantage on any conversational skill rolls (e.g.: persuasion). – Speak with the Departed. enables 2 way telepathic communication of verbal phrases with departed souls in range.

Actions – Astral Form. The manifestation exists in the astral plane, "near" the feywilde. – Astral Barrier Bonus Action. Creates a 1000ft. diameter globe of vinegrowth that seep through the Feywilde. Blocks all form of Astral travel. Duration, Concentration. If dropped, has downtime of 5 minutes. – Reinvigorate Soul Ranged Spell Attack: +/-4* to hit, reach 60ft., one target. Hit target soul receives 1d4+2 Soul Points and is in "invigorated" status (lets soul have actions and bonus actions as Unseen Servant / Mage Hand , as explained in the Soul's character sheet. – Reincarnate. Spell: the PHB spell (see the Roleplaying section below as to why NOT using it) – Bestow Spirit Guardian Ranged Spell Attack +/-4* to hit, reach 60ft., one target. Hit Turns the soul into a Spirit Guardian, cast on someone (and their allies) in the Feywilde below, per the PHB rules for the Spirit Guardians spell * – if the soul target is willing roll is made with advantage and +4, otherwise, at disadvantage and -4.

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Roleplaying Jezebel Jezebel is an outgoing, passionate wild genius of little boundries and great knowledge. While passionate and daring, she is by no means a fool. She is cunning, proud and spiteful, but she is Fey, centuries old, and in the domain where she is master.

  • Why interfere with death? With the upcoming long-awaited solstice, Jezebel has a lot banking on the party ending up as the Eternal Champions and doesn't want to let some silly Trial of Tyr invented by some long dead ancestor to foil her plans.

  • Why not reincarnate the soul? Reincarnation involves hurling the soul to another body. Previous attempts to meddle with the Champions Prophecy with reincarnation all ended with the target not longer being a champion.

  • Stopping Kelemver, god of death While using Astral Barrier will prevent Kelemvor form leaving with the soul, he will eventually retaliate, and is much too strong for Jezebel. Her hope is that the soul might pray for Tyr, who is close by. Kelemvor answers to Tyr, and if the two can somehow be pitted against each other… If Kelemvor chooses to forego the soul, it can return to its body in the feywild and revive…

  • Playing a Manifestation The character appears as a Manifestation during the encounter. A manifestation is NOT the actual character, but rather a clone of them, temporarily existing to perform a specific task, e.g.: gurad a specific region, protect a shrine, etc. A manifestation has no self-awareness – it acts and behaves as if they are the one and only genuine character.

  • When destroyed, actual god/demigod/archfey knows and is upset (loses 20% of HP)

  • Limited to using a partial set of the being's actual powers and feats.

  • Acts as the one true form of the being it represents

Character Sheet 4: Tyr, god of Justice large manifestation, lawful good – Armor Class 17 – Hit Points 90 (20d8) – Speed 35 ft. – Abilities: STR 20 (+5), DEX 14 (+2), CON 18 (+4), INT 9, WIS 9, CHA 11 – Condition Immunities charmed, sleep – Damage Immunities non-magical damage – Senses passive Perception 12

Powers / Feats – True Sight. 60ft. – Speak with the Departed. enables 2 way telepathic communication of verbal phrases with departed souls in range.

Actions – Fall from grace Action Lets Kelemvor know and feel he is losing Tyr's good graces in the pantheon. – Blade Pierce. Melee Attack: +10, reach 10ft. Hit: 14 (2d6+6) slashing damage and 7 (2d6) force damage. – Cast Down Ranged spell action DC 15 Int save, range 60ft., single target. If fails saving throw, target is teleported to the prime matrial plane. Once per short rest.

Roleplaying Tyr Tyr ascended to godhood from being a mortal man, after much hardship and sacrifice (including the loss of his eyes andright hand). He is somber and unyielding. Having tasted the bitterness of betrayal of both gods and men before, Tyr is suspicious. If he thinks another deity is undermining him, it will not go unanswered.

  • Why would Tyr intervene at all? Why even care about the fate of the fallen man? Good Question. Tyr's appeared as a result of a prayer by a fleeting soul, fallen while in his domain. While many fell before and Tyr never cared, if he is persuaded / suggestes that Kelemvor, his underling in the Justice Domain is traspessing, being dismissive of Tyr, acting without requesting permission, etc., he will take the matter as a slight and take action accordingly.

  • Handling Kelemvor While they know each other and share the burdens of the dominion of Justice, Tyr and Kelemvor were never friends. Both tend to seclusion and mistrust of other powerful beings. While Tyr will surely overpower Kelemvor in a straight on fight, Tyr would not risk the implications on the pantheon and the reactions of the other gods. He would rather hint, suggest, or threat, in order for Kelemvor to yield the soul and avoid future emnity and retaliation.

  • The Party in his Trial Room Tyr in the astral plane has no intention of interfering directly with the fate of the characters facing the skeletons in his trial chamber.

  • Playing a Manifestation The character appears as a Manifestation during the encounter. A manifestation is NOT the actual character, but rather a clone of them, temporarily existing to perform a specific task, e.g.: gurad a specific region, protect a shrine, etc. A manifestation has no self-awareness – it acts and behaves as if they are the one and only genuine character.

  • When destroyed, actual god/demigod/archfey knows and is upset (loses 20% of HP)

  • Limited to using a partial set of the being's actual powers and feats.

  • Acts as the one true form of the being it represents

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