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Genshin’s brilliant balance of skill and luck. Why you should not give up on this experience.

Luck has a way of evaporating when you lean on it. ~Brandon Mull~

Today I wish to share a tale, About a test of not blinding brute might of the "whale-ing" Childe - but a test of persistence that makes a warrior face their greatest fear; themselves.
Allow me to set the mood with some background music, and one you may consider putting on loop: “Tartaglia (Childe) battle theme (all phases)”
I was able to complete the main story up to this point and went off to do random co-up with ransoms to take down Childe’s raid fight. All of us were all level 80. And for all those interested, here’s my build:
I’ve been bedridden with a sprain since late September / early October, so do not mistake this as hyperbole: I’ve been plotting and building him night and day since the second I got him. Was lucky to get him, and the sword he is using too, The Bell. People in randoms and in my own little discord bubbles actually critiqued me in saying that I should swap for a more aggressive blade. However, since of my anxiety disorder, I hate close-quarters combat in games, so the shield is a welcome “crutch”.
This was the second time I fought Childe and I felt confident. My only worry is that I would get distracted by all the flashing visuals like the whale because of my attention disorder, but thankfully that attack has a save zone where I can ogle at that beast for a second before diving in. I needed to revive twice with Diluc in my first fight, but now I had a team of other players anyhow. “There’s nothing to fear, I’m not alone now”.
My team comp’ was Venti, Klee, and Ningguang, all at level 80. I was excited to see Ningguang there to see what she could do at near max level her could do. I always preferred playing support ranges in co-up, and wanted to build her to replace Diluc as “my main character”. While waiting for the match to start I hopped around her. I hope they weren’t annoyed.
The match started and it was rather rocky, I wasn’t sure how the AI would have interacted with 4 targets. First Childe was targeting me, giving needed time for all the ranged spellcasters to do their work. Venti fired his vortex ult’, which I always attempted to ignite with flame. Klee laid down her mines, which I always attempt to bait Childe to dash into. Ningguang procked’ her ult’ whenever she could and any shields she dropped I was quick to pick up to tank safely as many hits as I could - but I always stopped myself if I saw my team trying to grab one. 1/4 of his health shaved off in the first 5 seconds it felt like. Yet when Childe switched targets from me to Klee was when we stopped burning down his health.
Klee was practically killed “in one hit”.
The three of us continued to give it all we got. With such synergy I so rarely have seen, we all huddled by what was left of her land mines and were able to carve out a decent chunk of Childe’s health. And as the explosions detonated when Childe went to rush us down, we scattered like gnats to continued this intense dance. Phase 1 now only had about 3 sliver of health - not a lot, but not much. Most of it was only me going in, with minor support of Venti when he wasn’t being hounded down. As Childe let loose his whale I ran to my safe spot to buy a second to whipped my hand clean from the sweat so my touch screen could still work. I had a moment to catch my breath and check my health, not a single scratch. I was stunned for I’ve noticed in our tangos in the past rounds that there were no Geo spawned shield pickups lately - so I glanced at my party’s health bars.
Ningguang drowned in the chaos.
We weren’t even a third into this fight, and we already lost two men. In a panic, I swiveled the camera to find my Venti, to get a read on his body language. He was still firing away and seemed to have no intention of restarting. Bolstered by seeing my team member keep his spirit high. “I’d continue to fight so long that he’s by my side”. Phase two rolled replacing his water powers with his near electric stealth. We whittled away as his health while attempting not to get fried. I vaguely recalled chasing down Childe’s purple wake as he was hunting Venti. Then after one of his dash combos, my disorder made me hyperfixate on a sound effect chime. From the corner of my camera, I saw what broke my concentration.
Venti got punted in his gut again by Childe
I swiped at the camera and saw Venti fall to his knees, what death line he said I can not recall, for I went num. I glanced at the boss’s health to see if there was even a shot.
Childe wasn’t even at half health.
I thought of everyone at that nanosecond, and how trigger happy random players are in leaving a team - yet everyone stayed - Even the Klee wasn’t quick to flee. Yet still, I had so many doubts. “I can’t do this fight without a team, I can’t do the rest of this phase alone, and I sure as hell can’t do # three. I need to leave”. Yet right as I was about to accept defeat - as Venti was still falling off of his feat - Childe pivoted my way and simply started to walk to me. This behavior I’ve seen already, hell he’s done it twice mid-fight. Yet I stood there dumbfounded - because I shit you not - I was having a flashback right before my very eyes like I was in some anime.
Mid-December 2018, a close friend of mine encouraged me to get Dark Souls 1 remastered for the Nintendo switch. His selling line to me? It wasn’t the infamous difficulty strictly per-say, nor the lore and backstory. It was simply a saying: “you can beat anyone in this game so long as you don’t go hollow trying”. The tutorial area throws a boss at you called the Asylum Demon who wrecks your shit in less than 3 hits. He’s the third “entity” you even encounter in the game, and hitting him with your fists only does two damage. You can cheese this boss if you start the game with a setting that lets you start with firebombs, for me though I wasn’t going to have that because I was told “I can beat anyone in this game”. I took on this demon with my own two hands. Single-digit attempts lasting only 3 minutes quickly turned into double digits. Days into trying to defeat this demon.
By round 53 each attempt took over 30 minutes! My hands went numb with every try, my batteries in my controller constantly died.
But after my 72nd try, after a 48-minute fight, I did it.
I never felt so accomplished in my life.
Yet what did I get as a prize? A shitty-ass hammer that I was too weak to wield.
This thing's so bad it’s like making a Wish and drawing a 2-star weapon, but DAMN IT IT WAS MY POINT OF PRIDE!
Snapback into reality, Venti’s now fully Thanos'ed away. Childe’s still walking to me but I know this lull’s about to end. 72 attempts was about to become 73. I had 3 people counting on me, I couldn’t fail them! And you may think “yo, this is a game, why get bothered?” I haven’t moved in weeks, right when everything was going up. I was finally drawing more - dashed. I was about to land a job - gone. The word’s gone to shit. And beyond the little things, I can’t do anything to stop it. I’m tired of playing “support”. I NEED to be dependable! I sprinted right at his face to get a few pop shots in. I moved without thinking - bar one single thought:
“I’m fucking hungry”.
The remaining of that fight from what I remember was just a smear of purple electric death zones that Childe was conjuring and sprinkles of blurting red that was my flame sword. I had to hold back the impulse to rush down any more though - for them. I was getting too aggressive and with a sleight of hand, Childe slashed my HP down to half. I had to run away. Opened my backpack digging for food. I forgot time didn’t pause, I felt I was already dead. Grabbed the first thing my shanking thumb to hit, I think it was tomato soup? I smashed those bowl on my face, exited the menu, and spammed the sprint button till my stamina was red and spent. ‘Looked at my HP, he was definitely whooping my ass while I was eating. I was only a little over 50%. Swiveled my camera for I lost track of what step we were in our tango. He was walking again, he was fucking taunting me. I last gazed at the boss’s HP. Last time I checked he was near full- now only a slight breeze could rip him in two. After a combo of love taps and I was ready for phase 3.
As the last hit touched, the screen went pure white. I thought the game crashed. I wanted to scream.
When the loading screen past I saw phase 3, Childe purplish demon transformation, chilling in the middle of the arena. I couldn’t help but think how less intimidating this forum was compared to the asylum demon. I panned to my left and I see all my party meme era revived and all facing the same way.
A checkpoint, finally.
Our players fidgeted in place and we all just stared at one another. I guess this was all our first time fighting this guy too. I wasn’t sure what to say, but I felt like I had to say something. So in the in-game chat, I responded with one of those automated messages. And to my beating hearts delight, one of them did respond back: with this.
Buff Pymon is mood, for sure, but to be real? Seeing that Lisa wink at me felt more rewarding then that demon’s hammer any day.
After waiting for our Klee to come back from being AFK, we all went in to fight phase 3. History repeated itself even faster than the first verse. Poor Klee got blindsided by a lag spike at the start of the fight. I would have been dead by it too if it wasn’t for my Bell procking’ the shield. By the halfway point in the fight, everyone was dead by me. But by then I was already hardened by the first bout. I felt the ebb and flow of the fight. I’d dare say “easy”. In reality tho? To me, it was a waltz I won’t soon forget any time soon.
Before I could realize it the fight was over and I won. In the end, I watched everyone grab the loot for I was still catching my breath. I’m a humble person, but at that moment I felt like I needed to say something.
I told em’ all “Your welcome”.
I felt like a dick when I said that. Like as if I was bragging. There’s no tone in the text. Embarrassed, I grabbed my loot and ran from the boss chamber. Yet my subconscious told me that before leaving the world, I’d give the chat one lass glance.
...And it felt like a standing ovation...
I spent the rest of that night telling all my friends this achievement I’ve done. Even the ones who don't play the game.

This was written to anyone struggling either in this game or in real life right now. Don’t give up. Be hungry. You can break out of any mold you feel trapped in, just like how I had to break out from my “cowardly support” mindset. I wouldn’t have played Deluc if I wasn’t given him by chance. Because of Gotcha mechanics, I'm more or less forced to play classes that I would have never done so. I saw myself always as the healer, never the front liner. The best part? I truly felt like that boss fight can be solo'ed by anyone with enough time, dedication, planning, believing in yourself, and a pinch of luck. This gaming moment is my top out of 2020 for me. This game’s going places, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

May the winds be at your backs fellow travelers, and may your wishes come true.

P.S. To that random player weeks ago who told me to swap Diluc’s sword from "The Bell" I have equipped :

Ring a ding ding, my Tank DPS Diluc will keep bringing down the smackBELL, dog. WORD!

submitted by catgame21234 to Genshin_Impact


Demiplane of Pompolius the Powerful: A drop-anywhere demiplane dungeon for levels 3-4.

Demiplane of Pompolius the Powerful

The Demiplane of Pompolius the Powerful is a game-ready dungeon designed for level 3 and 4. It features a demiplane located inside of a book, and a wizard that has trapped himself inside a magical suit of armor. Because the demiplane is inside of a book, this dungeon can be easily dropped anywhere in your campaign, and should only take one session to complete.
This dungeon uses content from the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide.
A full keyed map and player version are available here. If you have Dungeondraft, you can also download the original file here. A PDF version of this adventure is available here, or on GMBinder

What's Happening Here?

Pompolius the Powerful was a human archmage who created a special demiplane as a personal getaway and research lab. Not wanting to use his own spells to repeatedly create a portal into his demiplane, Pompolius bound the entrance of the demiplane to a special copy of his lengthy and seldom-read autobiography. Pompolius spent the next several decades almost exclusively inside his demiplane, not leaving for years at a time, as he tried to crack the problem of his own mortality.
Recently, Pompolius thought he found a way to live forever. Using potent transmutation magic, Pompolius bound his mind into the helmet of an animated suit of armor. The process was successful, but to his dismay he found that most of his magical powers had not transferred with his mind. Pompolius has alchemically preserved his body and has now spent many months desperately trying to find a way back into his original form.

Who is Present?

  • Pompolius is a neutral evil human wizard who is currently trapped inside the helmet of a Helmed Horror. He is a selfish and self-aggrandizing man who has a long history of magically harassing or assassinating anyone who looks down on him or his research. When reduced to 0 hit points, his helmet animates on its own, using the statblock of a Flame Skull.
  • Vazerag is an Imp who acts as Pompolius's assistant. Vazerag is secretly delighted by Pompolius's current predicament. Vazerag hopes that Pompolius will agree to sell his soul to Vazerag in exchange for the imp contacting a Duke of hell for aid. If Vazerag can pull this off, he will be promoted to a much higher ranking devil.
  • Dozzle is a cat-like Pseudodragon who sees Pompolius as a somewhat noisy roommate. Dozzle deeply dislikes Vazerag and is worried about the imp's current scheme.

Adventure Hooks

  • The Mysterious Book. The player characters come across Pompolius's autobiography in any manner you like, such as being looted from a previous villain's layer. The book has a strange magical energy that causes the air to quiver and a creates a faint prismatic sheen on its surface. Opening the book transports the characters into Area 1.
  • Troubles in the Library. Pompolius's autobiography is kept in a library in whatever town the players are staying at. One of Pompolius's recent experiments has caused the book's magic to go haywire, creating sparks of wild magic that animate nearby books (use the statblocks for Flying Swords, dealing bludgeoning damage instead of slashing damage). The library wants the party to investigate the book and put a stop to whatever is causing the magic.
  • Lost Secrets. If the party is looking for a piece of lost lore, a rare alchemical potion, or a specific magic item, a bit of research can inform them that Pompolius's demiplane contains precisely what they are looking for. In this instance, the book is kept in a special room of one of Pompolius's few friends, a noble scholar named Balabar.

Exploring this Dungeon

General Features

The demiplane of Pompolius the Powerful is a 1-mile diameter ocean with a single 150-foot wide island. From the shores of the island, the horizon looks normal and the sky is a beautiful cloudless afternoon without evening or night. If you travel out away from the island, the edges of the ocean fade away into the endless gray mist of the Ethereal Plane.
Located on the shore of this island is a set of stone double doors that lead inside of Pompolius's estate. The estate does not conform to the outside space, being larger than the island should be able to fit.
Interior hallways of the estate are 10 feet high, while each room is as tall as the shorter width of that room. All rooms and corridors are brightly lit by permanent magical lights that bob near the ceiling.

1. Arrival Room

This circular room has a 8-foot diameter stone platform in its center. Creatures teleporting into the demiplane via Pompolius's Autobiography arrive on this platform. Creatures need to speak a command phrase ("Farewell Pompolius!") to use this platform to leave the demiplane.
Creatures: Vazerag the Imp waits in this room in the form of a crow. He sits atop a bird perch embedded in the western wall. Upon any creatures arrival, Vazerag says "Welcome to the estate of Pompolius the Powerful! I will be your host, Vazerag. Are you visiting for an appointment, to request a consultation, or to steal secrets that aren't rightly yours?"
If the characters request a meeting or consultation, Vazerag easily agrees. Vazerag knows Pompolius has no appointments, but plays along if the party claims to have one. Vazerag invites the party to "Explore the wonders of Pompolius's work in his private museum, relax with some tea in the sitting room, or enjoy a day in the sun at our private beach."
If the party claims to be here to steal secrets, Vazerag replies "Excellent! Pompolius will be with you shortly. Please, feel free to begin your adventure in your own time." He then turns invisible and will try to follow the party unnoticed, waiting for a good moment to attack.

2. Private Beach

This strip of beach is dotted with palm trees and overlooks a cerulean blue ocean with placid waters. Behind the beach rises a 15-foot high sandstone cliff with a set of double doors that lead in to the Arrival Room. There is a small beach blanket unrolled beneath a wide umbrella, and a rowing boat pulled up on the beach with its oars placed on the sand. A set of booted footprints lead from the set of double doors and down to the ocean.
If a creature takes the boat out or goes for a swim, they find that the water is astonishingly clear and that there is a beautiful coral reef ringing the island, filled with countless exotic fish.
Two scantily clad beautiful women are splashing and giggling in the water. They are programmed illusions left by a lonely Pompolius.
Creatures: Pompolius is the source of the footprints leading to the water. He is at present literally cooling his head by taking a stroll along the ocean floor, admiring the coral. See Event: Pompolius's Return at the end of the adventure for more details.

3. Sitting Room

This lushly appointed sitting room has three armchairs and a lit fireplace. Windows in this room are enchanted to look out over a snowy mountain landscape.
Creatures: Dozzle the Pseudodragon is asleep on one of the armchairs. He is grumpy if awoken. If the characters are nice to the pseudodragon, it attempts to communicate using its limited telepathy. It sends feelings of danger, worry about Pompolius, and hatred of Vazerag. It also sends an image of a suit of armor stalking towards it, covered in blood. This image is supposed to show Pompolius turning increasingly cruel in his desperation, but it's too complicated an idea to easily communicate.
If the party ingratiates itself to Dozzle, he will join them on this adventure, giving small helpful hints about upcoming dangers. He will not join in any fights unless it is against Vazerag.

4. Museum

This room is a museum dedicated to Pompolius's greatest achievements. The ceiling is supported by four columns. Six stone platforms display treasures of Pompolius's past. Each of these treasures are surrounded by a permanent wall of force that can be lowered by a specific command word known only to Pompolius.
  • A skull of a young red dragon that Pompolius slew. It is worth 1500 gold to the right collector.
  • A gemstone Pompolius transmuted from sand. It is worth 1000 gold.
  • A spell scroll of plane shift, made by Pompolius.
  • An instrument of the bards (Doss Lute) that Pompolius used to play.
  • A Mummy that is in a state of suspended animation after Pompolius defeated it.
  • A +1 longsword Pompolius took from a slain rival.
Creatures: Two suits of armor that stand against the north wall are Animated Armor. They are instructed to attack any creatures that try to take any of the treasures in this room, or who are fighting other Animated Armors, Pompolius, or Vazerag.

5. Library

This oval room is lined with bookcases filled with Pompolius's private collection. Most of the books aren't particularly rare, but a handful of unusual or valuable volumes can be found in here at the DM's discretion.
Creatures: If any creature touches a book without speaking a command word known to Pompolius, the book they touch animates and attacks. Use the statblock for a Flying Sword that deals bludgeoning damage instead of slashing. Reducing the book to 0 hit points causes it to fall to the floor and stop being animated, but does not ruin the book. Only up to four books can be animated at one time.
Trap: The door in the north of this room is trapped with a glyph of warding set to cast polymorph on any creature that touches the door that isn't Pompolius (spell save DC 15). A creature that fails their saving throw is polymorphed into a frog for 1 hour.

6. Dining Room.

A long table is set with eight places for diners to sit. Windows in this room are enchanted to look out over the rooftops of a beautiful city, as though you were seated in a high tower.
A creature sitting in a seat causes the plates and cups in front of it to magically fill with fine food.
Creatures: Two suits of armor that stand against the west wall are Animated Armor. They are instructed to attack any creatures who enter this room without Vazerag or Pompolius, or who are fighting other Animated Armors, Pompolius, or Vazerag.

7. Bed Chamber

This ornate bedchamber has a beautiful king-sized bed set with silken sheets, a bed-side table with a candelabra, and two bookshelves. The bookshelves hold an impressive collection of smut.
The windows are enchanted to look out over a beautiful forest lake at night.
Trap: The set of double doors that lead into this room are trapped with a glyph of warding set to cast polymorph on any creature that touches the doors that isn't Pompolius (spell save DC 15). A creature that fails their saving throw is polymorphed into a frog for 1 hour.
Creatures: A suit of armor that stands against the east wall is Animated Armor, and the sheets on the bed are a Rug of Smothering. They are instructed to attack any creatures who enter this room without Vazerag or Pompolius, or who are fighting other Animated Armors, Pompolius, or Vazerag.

8. Bathroom

These two small rooms contain a toilet and bath.

9. Study

This lavish personal study is where Pompolius spends most of his time. It has several desks and a drafting table, a small globe showing the known lands of the Material Plane, and a wardrobe with several robes.
On the desk is a personal journal. Flipping through its pages reveals numerous notes on moving a mind between bodies. It also contains the command word used to leave the demiplane when in area 1 ("Farewell Pompolius!").

10. The Lock

Pompolius got tired of having Vazerag bother him while he was in his lab, so he created this simple locking mechanism.
The door to the south is locked and cannot be opened by any means other than Pompolius's touch or by completing the puzzle.
Puzzle: Eight magic circles are inscribed on the floor in a ring around a central ninth circle. Each of the smaller magic circles can be easily identified as representing each of the eight schools of magic. To open the door to the lab in the south, objects from a set of drawers in the north of the room must be placed on the correct magic circle. The rational for each item is that it best corresponds to that school of magic.
  • Abjuration: A shield
  • Conjuration: A hat that produces a magical rabbit every time you reach into it. The rabbit disappears after 1 round.
  • Divination: A crystal ball
  • Enchantment: A book called "hypnotism for fools"
  • Evocation: A brazier of ever-burning fire
  • Illusion: A small crystal that projects a hologram of a pretty, scantily clad lady.
  • Necromancy: A skull
  • Transmutation: A piece of lead, half of which has been turned into gold.
Easy Version: In the easy version of the puzzle, half of the items are already placed in the correct circles.

11. Laboratory

This is a magical laboratory. In the southeast rests a cauldron that is filled with a bubbling green liquid. Shelves of ingredients line the walls around it, and there is a small preparation table next to it as well. On the west side of the room, two magic circles have been made out of blood. One is empty, while the corpse of an old man rests in the other.
The corpse is the body of Pompolius, preserved by the alchemical solution that is being made in the cauldron. Mechanically, the cauldron holds a large volume of liquid gentle repose.
The two arcane circles still crackle with power. It seems they still hold an active enchantment. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check can tell that the two circles swap the minds between a living humanoid and a construct.

Event: Pompolius's Return

At some point during this adventure, Pompolius returns from his trip under the ocean in area 2. He believes he has cracked his problem: if he can't return to his dead body, he just needs another living humanoid with whom he can swap places! All he has to do is find a victim and lure them into his laboratory. Once there, they need simply stand in one of the two magic circles while Pompolius stands in the other. The latent magic in the circles will automatically swap their minds, with the victim being trapped in the suit of armor and Pompolius free in the humanoid body.
The player characters make excellent candidates for this swapping. If the characters are still waiting to speak with him, he will try to lure them into his laboratory, making up some false reason for what he is doing:
  • If the characters needed information, Pompolius can claim he does not know what they want. However, he claims, the ritual he will perform will find the information.
  • If the characters need an item or some other assistance, Pompolius can give a partial version of the truth: he will explain he is trapped in his current form and wants to return. However, he will describe the ritual as the other character helping guide his spirit back to his original body, rather than swapping places. He will help the party, he claims, in exchange for this help.
  • If the characters have been invading his home, Pompolius just tries to knock one of them unconscious and drag them to his laboratory.
The party should have several chances to realize that everything isn't all that it seems. Make sure to roll Charisma (Deception) checks contested by the party's Wisdom (Insight) checks. A spellcaster can also attempt a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check to realize the arcane circles on the floor of the laboratory don't do what Pompolius claims they do. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check makes it clear what will actually happen.
If the ritual begins, the humanoid in the magic circle becomes paralyzed. It must then make a series of DC 13 Charisma saving throws against possession at the end of each of its turns. The character must succeed three times before failing three times. The successes and failures need not be consecutive. After three successes, the ritual ends in failure and the humanoid is no longer paralyzed.
During the ritual, Pompolius's speed is 0 and he must remain in the magic circle. If his Helmed Horror's hit points are reduced to 0, the ritual automatically ends.
If Pompolius is successful, things get complicated fast. The player must now run the statblock for a Helmed Horror, while their original body is replaced by the statblock of an Archmage controlled by Pompolius. Pompolius will try to convince the party to take their helmed horror companion and leave on pain of a nasty, fast death. They would be wise to take that deal; an archmage is well beyond a party of this level.
At the DM's discretion, you can allow the player character to retain their statblock but replace their type with Construct instead of Humanoid. How the character can regain their body is up to the DM. I recommend that Pompolius's death automatically reverts the process, but it may also be an interesting quest hook to some other adventure.

Fighting Pompolius

A fight with Pompolius is very likely, either because he is trying to take a humanoid captive or because the party is trying to stop his horrific ritual. If the ritual has not begun yet, Pompolius fights to subdue, not kill.
Pompolius uses a Helmed Horror statblock that can speak Common and Infernal. He prefers to stay flying, dropping down to melee range to attack and then flying back up out of reach. If fought during his ritual, he cannot move.
If he is reduced to 0 hit points, the body armor collapses but the helmet remains and begins to levitate on its own. The helmet takes on the statblock of a Flame Skull whose type is Construct and which can speak Common and Infernal. The Flame Skull is at full hit points and has no ongoing conditions on it. The Flame Skull has lightning bolt prepared in place of fireball.
If he is reduced to 0 hit points again, Pompolius dies for good. His helmet clatters to the floor, becoming a helm of telepathy.
submitted by Scaphitid-Ammonite to DnDBehindTheScreen