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 [LFP Roll20 Fri or Sat Inclusive+] The Brass Dragon Circus and Traveling Sideshow


I'm a Bard, Dammit!
Validated User
Text based gaming okay?

Familiar with the Tal'Dorei setting from the Critical Role podcast?

Available Friday evening or Saturday morning or early afternoon Pacific Time?

Ever wanted to join the circus?

If you answered yes to all of those, drop me a line.


* * * * *
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Young and Old!"

The cry goes up in the tent as the lights dim, save for the spot in the center of the vast tent. A man stands in the spotlight, his face too old to be young, but not lined enough to be old. His hair is short and neat beneath his had, and his outfit is a lovely black pants and jacket with gold braid along the front of the jacket, gold piping on the legs of his trousers. Arms wide he greets his audience.

"Tonight, you have blessed us by bearing witness to acts of daring, acts of skill, acts of beauty, and of course acts of mirth!"

The audience applauds and cheers, for indeed they have had an entertaining evening. And all for the price of a copper a head (kids watch free!) The man in the center waits for a moment, smile wide, arms up, gesturing to the crowd until it dies down.

"You're too kind by far, dear audience. But the night is not done yet! For this last act is our most dangerous, our most death-defying spectacle yet! I give you.... The Wheel of Pain!"

A second light comes up on a vertical wheel, eight feet high. Painted on it is an outline, a silhouette, with heavy straps at ankles and wrists. The audience gasps. The man plays on their surprise.

"Yes, dear audience, you may want to cover your eyes, and send your children away. Those who grow faint at the sight and smell of blood may wish to absent themselves..." He pauses a moment, but no-one moves to leave. No-one ever moves to leave.

"Very well, you have been warned. Ladies and Gentlemen, Young and Old, I give you the beautiful... Brianna!" He gestures to the other spot where a statuesque women walks out beside the wheel. Her outfit is brief enough to be scandalous anywhere but the bedroom... or the circus. Her legs, arms, and midriff bare, her golden hair blowing behind her, her skin lightly tanned. She too raises her arms, and inclines her head to the audience.

"As our final act, my fine friends, I will secure my lovely wife to the Wheel of Pain, and then I will do something husbands everywhere have from time to time wished their wives would permit them to do..." he lets the entendre hang a moment before tearing off his jacket to reveal two bandoliers of gleaming knives criss-crossing his chest. "Throw knives at her!"

The audience laughs as he approaches, the spotlight following, merging with hers. She's a tall one, they can see when he's near her. He takes her offered hand, and kisses it with great showmanship, before helping her to step up to the footholds. He closes each strap, making a show of tugging at it, testing it. Then he steps away, his light following him until he's back where he stood.

He takes a knife, and after a moment of deliberation, throws it. The audience gasps as the blade strikes next to Brianna's arm, a scant inch from her flesh.

"Damn! Missed!" shouts the knife throwing Ringmaster. The audience lets out a tension releasing laugh, and then again as Brianna sticks out her tongue at the man.

He quickly throws three more knives, striking an inch from her other arm, then each leg. The audience ooohs and aaahs.

"Hmm..." says the man as he strokes his chin. "Something's not right. I-- AHA!" He snaps his fingers and two men - performers the audience recognizes from the strongman and high wire acts - come out to either side of the wheel. They each grasp handles and heave, making the wheel spin. Brianna lets out a theatrical scream of surprise and fear.

"Now then..." The man raises a hand with five knives spread out like cards. He takes one and prepares to throw...

* * * * *

Later, the Ringmaster and his wife are in their wagon, she in a robe which maintains her modesty, he having removed his bandoliers and shirt. His finger runs along her upper arm, she caresses his cheek with her hand. The two--


The firm rap at their door interrupts. Giving her husband a look that says, to be continued, Brianna stands and goes to the door. It opens outward to reveal a motley assortment standing outside. She smiles and steps aside, letting the crew enter.

"Ah," says the Ringmaster as the crew enters. "Our special performers have returned. Tell me, did your antics in the city tonight entertain?"

"No, sir," says one, "I daresay they did not. But perhaps you will be entertained to learn the local magistrate is now short one daughter."

The Ringmaster smiles. "Excellent. And all went to plan?"

"Not entirely, but we were able to account for the variables, as always. A few guards will have a few aches when they wake. But the young lady was ready, and most eager to leave. She is now safely en route to her new life, with two of our number to ensure she encounters no difficulties along the way."

"Delightful!" cries the Ringmaster. "You've earned your shares tonight, ladies and gents. Now, let's discuss the next job..."

* * * * *

YOU are members of the Brass Dragon Circus & Traveling Sideshow, as you have been for the past 1 to 3 years. Most likely you're one of the roustabouts, or work in another support capacity. It's possible you're a performer. But... your real jobs are as mercenaries and occasional thieves for hire.

Ringmaster runs a tight show, and maintains standards in the jobs he'll accept: No assassinations, no enforcer work, no strike-breaking, no exploitation of the common folk. No kidnapping... unless the 'victim' wants to be kidnapped!

The Brass Dragon Circus is open to anyone. No matter your origin or reason for seeking out the circus, if you can contribute, and if you can follow Ringmaster's rules, you're welcome.

This game will play either Friday evenings from 6:30 PM Pacific, OR Saturday morning/early afternoon (starting at 10 am to 12pm, whatever works, ending by 4pm regardless), weekly.

Alignment: No Evil alignments

Starting Level: 3rd

Attributes: 27 points or roll in the roll20 room, 4d6 drop lowest, six times and arrange.

Feats: All characters begin with a 1st level Feat of their choice. A feat may be taken in place of any ASI as you level up.

Race/Class/Background: No Variant Human. Ranger uses the Revised rules from UA. Otherwise any race, clase, or background from PHB, Xanathar's or the Tal'Dorei setting book.

In addition, you should write a brief (couple of paragraphs is plenty) explanation of how you came to join our circus, and your expected role within the circus. If you want to be a performer, make sure you have a skill or talent which reflects that.

No background should tie your character to an member of Vox Machina or major NPCs found in the setting or Critical Role podcast. "I once met..." is okay. "I am best friends with..." is not.

Books / Player Resources: PHB, Xanathar's, and the Tal'Dorei setting are permitted, except: Firearms are a fact of the Tal'Dorei setting. However, Gunslingers and characters using firearms are not permitted at the start of play. These rarities will probably appear in play, and gear/skills may be acquirable later, but not to start.

Other books or UA resources: I will discuss on a case by case basis, but consider sticking to the other resources for your first character.

Starting Gear: From Background / Class, plus, any normal, non-magical weapons/armor/other gear your character can use with proficiency.

Starting Gold: 40+1d6*10, in addition to your starting gear.

Everyone has a place in a wagon to share with 2-3 other members (feel free to share with other players, or decide who you bunk with), and storage space to keep extra gear.
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