How Was Your Last Session?

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
I was running heavily modified Whispers of the Vampire’s Blade. Or could maybe even say I was running an adventure inspired by that 😀

The group’s first encounter with the vampire was on the road, right after sunset. I was rather detailed describing the setting sun. The vampire started by summoning a horde of wolves and when things went south he turned to mist and fled.

Since the players are rather new to d&d they don’t even suspect a vampire. Their current theory is that they are chasing a druid who used animal summoning, obscuring mist and wild shape to flee...

I can’t wait for them to figure out how wrong they are...
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Two nights ago.

The PCs started to explore the House of Perenthuru on the banks of the mighty Nuria.

First combat against a night scorpion I roll a natural 20 with the sting on the 1st round 1st battle on the same PC who soaked the last crit from a night scorpion.
Quite a bit of exploring done on the estate. Death dogs, a couple of groups of Skelitons, a scarab swarm and the night scorpion. A short rest and a random encounter check for a single weretiger (Xanathars random desert encounters) so I made her friendly and added an NPC to drop story hints about blood rubies.

The players are paranoid about traps for some reason but there are none.

Previous session was RP heavy shopping trip.
 
Last edited:

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My latest session was a caper set in the midst of a Grand Tourney in Sharn.

A Karrnathi Warlord’s son and Seeker Knight who was involved in organizing the Tourney was the mark.

He had a macguffin, my recurring NPC Brenn ir Gadden (who they first met in the doomed tower in the starter adventurer from the 4e Eberron campaign guide, and I made into a noble spy, wand slinger, and dilettante) wants it. The object is a nonagon (a non Euclidean 9-sided polyhedral object made of planar energy infused Syberis dragonshard) that could potentially be used to create an elemental control wheel that needs no dragonmark to use. So...very big deal.

To get the object, get out, and leave no faction knowing who took it, they need access to the place it’s being kept, to Garret (the Karrnathi Noble kid), and to the buyer’s inner circle. They also need to control the crowds, and the news surrounding the Tourney. Oh, and they need inside the Victor’s Celebry, a big party for the winners of the various events of the Grand Tourney.

Now, this is a caper story, so I ran things differently. Brenn laid out the goals and obstacles, and then we move directly into the first day of the Tourney, and setting up their parts in the plan. Each PC chose an event to participate in, and a way to contribute to the heist.

The Karrnathi Paladin chose the joust, the Kobold Wizard took the Mage’s Duel, the Bugbear Barbarian set up a food stand selling hot meat in soft dumpling style bread and also took on the Melee, the firbolg Blade Bard took on the knife throwing contest, the monk took on the fisticuffs tournament, and the firbolg glamour bard ran support and made contact with a prominent reporter on the local beat of an adventurous focused paper.

The first “round” was each qualifying for their event, meeting 1-2 NPCs, and learning the mechanics I was using for the session. Round two was day 2+, with 3 rolls per PC. 2 for their tourney stuff, 1 for whatever they were doing outside that.

Every time something went sideways, a player could spend an Inspiration to establish a backup plan, or establish how the setback was actually part of the plan. This meant that the game ran like a Leverage episode, a caper movie.

It was totally non linear, withbroad room to fudge and soft retcon, and just make it work.

At one point the wizard rolled a 3 on his check to manipulate the magical security of the private vault that the blade bard had gotten them access to under the guise of employing their services, so someone spent an Inspiration to establish that tripping the alarm was the plan. The wizard had created an item in the lockbox they’d already put in the vault that would activate when the security system was taken offline and “rebooted”, altering the “code” of the enchantment to allow the swapped boxes to read the way we needed and for movement within the vault to not set off the alarm. All part of the plan.

The glamour bard used her connections and control of the crowds to stop the buyer’s agents and distract them while their payment case was swapped by a pickpocket they’d hired.

I honestly don’t recall all the details, but yeah it ran super well and felt just like a caper should in a dnd game, and everyone got their cool spotlight moments both in the Tourney and in the caper itself, including some character development moments.

So, it went very very well!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I was running heavily modified Whispers of the Vampire’s Blade. Or could maybe even say I was running an adventure inspired by that 😀

The group’s first encounter with the vampire was on the road, right after sunset. I was rather detailed describing the setting sun. The vampire started by summoning a horde of wolves and when things went south he turned to mist and fled.

Since the players are rather new to d&d they don’t even suspect a vampire. Their current theory is that they are chasing a druid who used animal summoning, obscuring mist and wild shape to flee...

I can’t wait for them to figure out how wrong they are...
Gods vampires are fun. I am planning on using some classic vampire adventure stuff when my wife’s paladin’s story finally takes the party to Karrnath. Why shouldn’t Strahd be a Karrnathi Warlord, right?

Two nights ago.

The PCs started to explore the House of Perenthuru on the banks of the mighty Nuria.

First combat against a night scorpion I roll a natural 20 with the sting on the 1st round 1st battle on the same PC who soaked the last crit from a night scorpion.
Quite a bit of exploring done on the estate. Death dogs, a couple of groups of Skelitons, a scarab swarm and the night scorpion. A short rest and a random encounter check for a single weretiger (Xanathars random desert encounters) so I made her friendly and added an NPC to drop story hints about blood rubies.

The players are paranoid about traps for some reason but there are none.

Previous session was RP heavy shopping trip.
Nice! I love when my players get wild hair about traps or mimics or whatever, for no reason!
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Gods vampires are fun. I am planning on using some classic vampire adventure stuff when my wife’s paladin’s story finally takes the party to Karrnath. Why shouldn’t Strahd be a Karrnathi Warlord, right?


Nice! I love when my players get wild hair about traps or mimics or whatever, for no reason!
Nah 2 sessions ago they found two blade traps (poisoned) and set off a malfunctioning water trap linked to the Nuria.
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Gods vampires are fun. I am planning on using some classic vampire adventure stuff when my wife’s paladin’s story finally takes the party to Karrnath. Why shouldn’t Strahd be a Karrnathi Warlord, right?
Hah, I too use material from other settings quite liberally. Strahd is obviously a Karrnathi warlord 😀
 

the Jester

Legend
We just finished, like ten minutes ago! And it was great!

It was a no-combat session, as it turned out; one that was entirely roleplaying, travel, and upkeep stuff. The pcs started the session having installed a planar helm on their airship at the end of the last game and were able to finally escape a zone of overlap between the Feywild and the Prime Material Plane. They shifted to the Astral with their new helm, then to the Prime Material Plane, then flew toward a ruined city from which several of them wind walked home, to the only surviving bastion of civilization.

While there, those pcs restocked their supplies, bought some necessary stuff to improve their vessel, and dealt with personal matters. One got some new spells as a reward from his faction for getting the airship. Another dealt with her orphanage, and ended up exiling one kid for gang activity and promoting another.

The pcs also got hold of a quest that has been dangling for several years of real time, waiting for a group that could answer the question "Can you travel thousands of miles?" with an unreserved yes. They learned about a map in three parts, one inside the Aquan Pyramid, an underwater dungeon that rises from the sea every 17 years (next time in a few months); one held by the queen of the hell maidens of Winwillow (an isle); and one held by the Bird King of the isle of Kocho, in the Parrot Isles.

They set forth for the Parrot Isles and encountered a 650' high waterspout in the night, evading it with some good piloting.

And that's where we ended.

Everyone had a blast. It was low xp, but high fun, high roleplaying, and everyone got inspiration.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hah, I too use material from other settings quite liberally. Strahd is obviously a Karrnathi warlord 😀
It just makes sense! And there is a specific existing NPC that is just perfect for the role!
The main question is, do I make this a situation wherein his home is slipping into a Thelanis manifest zone and becoming a recurring tragic tale of lost humanity in the face of endless war and unbending refusal to admit wrongdoing? Or do I just steal NPCs and stuff and run it as a normal but creepy place in Karrnath, maybe with a Mabaran manifest Zone?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@the Jester that sounds rad as hell! Is there a sourcebook that you use for airship stuff, or do you homebrew it yourself?

Also I always love seeing spells as rewards.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
The Paladin woke up lying partially clothed, missing gear, deep in the woods, surrounded by random characters (not the same ones the others had been playing to date), feeling like *** & realizing that the past 3 months we just spent playing OOTA was a drunken/drug/magic induced dream.

See, back at 2nd lv he & the other PCs had been attending an all night bacchanal at a tavern.
And at the end of the session he'd stated that because he couldn't make next weeks game, that his character was going to pass out. OK.... That's not the wisest choice of how to explain your absence given the environment & the fact that you've been actively interfering in the fun of every PC & 1/2 the NPCs....
Among a variety of amusing & embarrassing things the other players did to him (and filmed - yes, there was a camera crew present) one drunken GOO warlock NPC inserted nightmare suggestions into his head.

The other players all knew that OOTA was merely a bad dream the paladin was having. And that it would end when either the Paladin figured it out/died/the group seemed to not be enjoying the adventure any longer. The game would then reset to the lvs/equipment they were at the end of the party. (when the pally player had to miss). And they knew he'd awake in the woods. They suggested making an alt party to be with him when he awoke & each chose a different mini that'd been at the tavern.
And so, based on the leads/rumors/etc he'd encountered we randomly determined where he was.
Turns out that late in the party he arose in drunken stupor, recruited some random people, & drug them off to "Save the Forest Queen".

So this last session saw the paladin + 3 randos go investigate what was wrong with the Forest Queen (a nymph grieving the probable loss of her husband/lover due to another of the plot hooks revealed during the party ).
He also learned where he was in relation to the tavern. And so swung back to it to see if he could recover his missing gear (and maybe burn it down due to the vast immorality that he'd witnessed). .
Once there the other players switched back to their real characters (who'd learned that they & the paladins fates are intertwined thanks to a drunken tarot reading the night before) & joined him in his quest to find the nymphs lover.

This week they'll head off into the Northern Woods.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
How was my last session?

Nonexistent. Three of my four players were either out of town (2) or at a concert (1).

The session before that?

Also nonexistent. Three of my four players were out of town.

Maybe this Sunday... :)
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
My last session went really well.

The PCs returned from the distant past (long story), cross referenced what they knew, cast legend lore and concluded that the BBEG was indeed the Big Bad.

They didn’t get the chance to do anything about it, because the local tyrant who they had ROYALLY pissed off two sessions ago (by freeing a bunch of slaves from his iron mine) found them, and dispatched his Challenge 13 Lava Drake “attack dog” to capture them.

The most intense combat I’ve yet run as a DM ensued in the basement of the PC’s fortress, ending with the Drake down to 34 hit points (from 234) and the PCs (3 10th-level, 1 7th-level, and a new player who started at 4th-level) all unconscious.

The players gave me a run for my money. It was an AWESOME fight.
The Druid was summoning animals like crazy, the three martial characters were going toe-to-toe with the drake, the bard was on a magic carpet, and the drake itself was turning the floor and walls to lava by his mere presence.
It also had a breath weapon that dealt fire and lightning damage.

The PCs awoke to find themselves imprisoned in the arena. They were introduced to the crowd as enemies of the state, and had their first gladiator match.

The Elf Druid cast sleet storm over everyone, the Mul Bard used Destructive Wave to great effect, and the Eldritch Knight, Halfling Champion, and Hunter Ranger dispatched the survivors.

All of their equipment is still in their possession, but until their allies manage to rescue them, the PCs are forced to wear these magic collars that prevent them from escaping, attacking the tyrant, or refusing to participate in the match.
 
Last night was the third (and now final) session of the prologue of Lost Laboratory of Kwalish. I am running it in Eberron and am going with the conceit that House Cannith is extremely interested recovering Kwalish's notes if not actually artifacts in order to reposition themselves after the great losses they have suffered with the Mourning, Warforged emancipation and the general peace.

The Party has been playing cat and mouse with a pair of House Cannith agents as they traveled from Korranberg (where the adventure began) to Dragonroost (where they find Godfrey). Godfrey was a veteran of the Last War and a captive of the Monastery. Upon his fleeing the Monastery, he stole Gearbox (which isn't a modron but a weird proto-warforged). Gearbox (still just a sphere as far as the PCs know) just wants to roll on back to the Monastery. The PCs managed to get a drunk Godfrey to talk about his experiences so they decided to free Gearbox from its pen and are going to follow it all the way.

In order to keep Godfrey from talking to the House Cannith agents when they finally show up (the PCs sabotaged their horseless carriage last session to slow them down) they have kidnapped Godfrey. That's not going to go well once he wakes up...

Three sessions now and now combat at all. I expect that to change soon as they are likely to have an encounter or two in the mountains before reaching the Monastery.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
During the last session of my pirate campaign, my players finally confronted a gargantuan octopus/beholder hybrid in a lake on the island of Stoneoar. This creature (named Cyratophobia) summoned forth several Callers of the Deep (water elementals), and Horrific Vasuthants (undead oozes that have an aura that consumes light).

For the last few sessions my players had been preparing and over-preparing for this encounter. Each night that they delayed their inevitable fight with the creature, I escalated matters by having Cyratophobia do more and more horrible things to the surrounding lake town and its dwarven people. Meanwhile the players were playing a clever cat and mouse game with the creature, by trying to make secret preparations, and deliberatly feeding the beast incorrect information. Birus the Traveler, the current leader of the dwarves, had instructed his men to dig a trench in secret. This trench was cleverly hidden behind dummy market stalls, and covered with a sail. In this trench his best riflemen waited for the creature, while cannons were hidden inside some of the houses near the lake behind closed shuttrers.

But one night the water of the lake became poisoned and black with some sort of putrid ink. Loud splashing sounds could be heard from the lake, and it was clear that an attack was at hand. But because it was a clouded night, it was very dark on the lake...



The assault started with Cyratophobia flinging petrified dwarves at the shore, thus obliterating these former dwarves in front of their people, and intimidating the dwarven riflemen. It also used its telekinesis to collapse a house on top of the players, while chanting and summoning more minions. The players quickly rallied all their allies and begin targeting the front line of the creature's minions and the riflemen opened fire. The huge clouds of white smoke made it hard to see their opponents however. The players split up to deal with individual minions, some of which made their way into the houses where the cannons were hidden. The captain of the party leaped into his steam powered diving suit, which for the last couple of days he had modified to carry a powerful lens-weapon.

As the players were distracted by the minions, Cyratophobia used its Jet ability to flink itself forward into melee. Its huge tentacles immediately spread in all directions, and dozens of eyes opened up on each tentacle to unleash beam attacks, just as a beholder is known to do. It also opened a massive central eye where normally the mouth of an octopus would be, which much like a Beholder cast forward a cone of energy that suppressed magic (including all magical buffs that the players had casted on themselves).

The captain of the party had been waiting for this moment, and fired his lens-weapon directly at the central eye, knowing that the creature was sensitive to light. This dealt a large amount of damage, but it also exposed him to a barrage of melee attacks by the creature. Meanwhile the other players were hacking away at the tentacles, and were able to sever 3 of them. But it was the Druid of the party whose sunlight spell was able to end the fight in a spectacular fashion.

The best moment in this session, was when the captain decided to hand back the holy hammer of the dwarves to their leader (Birus), shortly after the battle. Although the hammer was a powerful artifact, the player reasoned he didn't need it anymore, and it belonged to the dwarves. I made a note of this action to give bonus exp later.

Now with its sinister guardian dead, the players can finally explore the ancient dwarven temple that lies on the bottom of the lake. Will they find a solution to the curse that has haunted the dwarves for centuries?
 
Last edited:

Retreater

Adventurer
I got the rare opportunity to be a player. One of the regular players wanted to GM "City of Mist" - a rules-lite game that felt like a supers game, but it's described as something like personifying concepts of legends. We had pregen characters, and I went against type (usually the charismatic face or "smart" one) and I played a thick-headed former boxer turned into a plant creature. I mixed together Drax, Groot, and Swamp Thing into a single concept.
We were investigating a theft and cult murders that were connected. I ended up going all out (it was a one-shot, after all), turned into a huge giant and ripped down the cathedral and destroyed the altar, preventing the ritual. Then I was shot down by the leader. The other players got to finish the adventure.
So I got to play against type, forcing the other players to step up to do most of the information gathering and charismatic roleplaying.
Good times.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
My last session was my open table that's running through Tomb of Annihilation. The PCs had fun interacting with a chwinga, then fought some undead and the King of Feathers did a swing-by. They had just gotten to Nangalore by the end.

The session ended up being more combat-heavy than I had planned, mostly because a few players stalled out on their turns and just sat there thinking for too long. I hate to do this, but I think I'm going to start telling them that we'll come back to them after the next person's turn if they don't know what they're going to do when their turn comes up. A little more draconian than I like, but I asked them both if they wanted me to come back to them - they both said no and proceeded to still take forever to do something. I don't mind when players have questions, but the just sitting there in silence and thinking? I can see the enthusiasm draining away from the rest of the table.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Awful. It was supposed to be the culmination of a six-month campaign (AL season 4 with medium-to-heavy reworking for a home table). The BBEG won, thanks mostly to a too-powerful charm ability that I should have spotted when reading the statblock, but somehow didn't. So the two heaviest hitters were charmed very early in the fight and the remaining three limped along for about 10 more rounds, doing very little damage and taking turns going down and reviving each other, until the boss finished her goal and left them there.

Have been kicking myself ever since for not realizing that a 24-hour charm without a saving throw every round was something I should have changed or at least planned for. I don't think the players minded losing, but it was unfun, and that's totally my fault. Let all who read this heed my example and watch for pitfalls like this in your games.

We're supposed to have a meeting on Saturday to discuss future plans for the game, so I'm planning to offer the group a couple of options to recover from this disaster. I can't leave it here.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top