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General How Was Your Last Session?

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Okay, this takes a bit of setup. I'm in a FATE game. Mankind has been led for generations by an AI that catered to everyone, generated a way to upload (and backup) your soul and put it in other bodies (resleeving like Altered Carbon), and created a host of Colony Arks with mankind's best and brightest towards a far star with an earth-type planet with the premise that when it gets there everyone will eb able to be sent there because the Earth is pretty used up.

The Colony Arks launched, and soon after the AI went silent. It's been a generation, and all of the automated systems it left behind to cae and feed for the teeming population are breaking down. Currency, violence, captialism, and humans over humans have been reemerging. As has - superheroes. The last superheroes predate the AI, and they fought the wrong battles - they'd beat up terrorists when we really needed leadership to solve world hunger and inequality.

So this is sorta post-singularity-heading-towards-cyberpunk with supers. Oh, and child processes of the AI that have developed sentience and are trying to do things in their own, very narrow, focuses. DM wise the players are invited to have vast amounts of narrative control (with DM guidance and veto) and to flesh things out.

The end of the last session we played, the party was split with half in a very important defense and the other half sent via their implants to the Colony Arks to deal with a problem. We found the AI, found that the reason for the Colony Arks was that it detemined there was something heading towards Earth from another system and it is, at worst, a lifeboat for humanity. Also that it worked out that leaving a copy of itself behind would lead to bad scenarios, which is why it's gone. We dealt with the problem and came back.

There is no FTL communication. While played out at the same time, it took years to transmit us out and back. It was effectively a "season one finale". Season two would be "five years" (for some values of five and of years) later.

So our sessions between we all got together and talked about the various factions and what they would be doing, and what he heroes back on earth would be doing, and introduced new factions absed on the social upheaval that was going on the the legends of the heroes. It ended up including one hero breaking off from the others to make an army of masked copy cats, etc.

Right at the end of the planning, the DM inserted what we believe is the alien object, in a zone in midwest USA somewhat reminescent of Area X if you've read those books. And that the one masked hero we had, his son was one of the first to go into it and no one has returned.

This was our first session after all of that.

My character is a mentalist who can reach to computers - or to people if they have the interface that lets people get reskinned. Meeting the AI and learning why it did and it's limitations, my Trouble Aspect changed to "If your not with us, your against us" - with US being able to scale up to humanity vs. aliens. I also had another Aspect that has gotten me in trouble before "Sometimes Easy is the Opposite of Good." - I tend to take shortcuts with my powers without thinking through the consequences.

Anyway, the new season started with us observing the enclosed alien zone, visiting a hastily thrown together observation by several of the factions. Ones that were willing to treat us as VIP guests, but not really give us much information and try to get us to agree to the plan of not instigating it.

I go to try and pull information from the various sensor and systems using my power, and roll horribly. I'm about to invoke an Aspect to reroll when the DM offers a compel - these people aren't helping us, so they're against us. It would be so easy to flip the VIP status of Eildion, one of the heroes (a figurehead of one fo the main factions doing well) to actual loyalty to him. This hits both my new trouble aspect as well as that other one about easy...

One great roll later, they are bringing all this information to Eildion, including that there are prisoners who were "called" to enter the area that they never would have shared with us. So easy, so effective. And now they are with us.

And such, possible Supervillains are born.
 

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Nebulous

Legend
They escaped The Death House!!! Took them about three sessions, but they all made it out, although severely chopped to pieces, ragged and barely alive. They are like "GREAT, that's the first house in Barovia. We're gonna go farm XP in the woods until we reach 13th and come back."
 

We ran into a pair of gibbering mouthers and my PC failed his save, so I rolled on the confusion effects table for two rounds and coincidentally hit "you stand there, babbling" both times. So while the rest of the players went through their PCs' actions in fighting off this menace, I role-played a babbling idiot by spouting off a new nonsense word every couple of seconds...for about ten minutes straight.

I managed to keep myself amused.

Johnathan
 

THEMNGMNT

Explorer
85th session with my group of 13th level player characters. Currently nearing the endgame of a modified Storm King's Thunder. Characters are in Skyreach Castle, attempting to free Hekaton from the Zhentarim. It was surprisingly eventful:
  • Characters located an ancient blue dragon guarding the storm giant's treasure hoard. They donned the robes of Cultists of Tiamat (which they found two years ago IRL) to parlay. They discovered that the dragon: 1) is enspelled by the Zhentarim to guard the hoard and Hekaton 2) is the father of a blue dragon they slew many levels ago 3) likes bardic music.
  • NPC drow cleric with the party banished the storm giant rider of an enormous roc, then was nearly slain by the roc despite being invisible.
  • NPC drow cleric (of Lolth, natch) successfully used Divine Intervention. She had a ten percent chance and rolled a 09. She wanted the Orb of Dragonkind that's known to be in Skyreach...and it appeared in her hand. (In retrospect, that was too easy. It was late. I was tired. And a little drunk. But still--she rolled a 09!)
  • Characters encountered a clone of Manshoon atop the highest tower in Skyreach. This is the fourth clone they've encountered, and the other three have literally gone down without getting off a single spell. This time the clone trapped them behind a Wall of Force, protected himself with Globe of Invulnerability, and took out the paladin with Maze. (The clones' hive mind allows them to have multiple Concentration spells active simultaneously.)
  • To counter the Wall of Force, the characters started knocking down the walls and ceiling of the tower, which led to the whole top floor collapsing. They are, of course, in the middle of a thunderstorm.
  • Also, the shadow sorcerer cast Reverse Gravity, so all the debris (and the foes within it) flew 100 feet straight up into the air.
  • A Zhentarim champion on a flying nightmare took out the sorcerer in a single turn. That ended Reverse Gravity. Everything fell 100 feet back down to the top of the tower. The impact caused the rest of the tower to begin collapsing.
  • The roc and a backup force of storm giants are now converging on the characters' position. And there's still two more Manshoon clones somewhere in Skyreach Castle.
That's where we ended things...for now.
 

the Jester

Legend
Good game last night. My Alpha group had ended their previous session having infiltrated a hobgoblin fortress from below, reached the enemy general (who was an old enemy and archmage wearing these black, skeletal hands in place of his own- the Grimfingers), and killed him, which summoned a balor, which blew up when itself slain. That put the whole fortress on alert.

This session, they fought off a wave of enemies (hobgoblins, including a pair of warlords and a pair of devastators from VGtM), managed to put two barred doors between them and the rest of the outraged fortress, loot quickly, and make their way back down to the underwater area they used to infiltrate in the first place. Behind them, they could hear rams smashing down the doors they barred. They fled, made their way back to the boat they had hidden away, and escaped up the river.

EDIT: It's not super important, but they also fought some giant catfish while underwater. Much of that combat was made significantly easier because of a pc's use of a trident of fish command to turn one of the fish against the others, and after her hold on it was broken, it was already in a fight for its life.

I should say that they took the Grimfingers, after which, the whole session, I kept telling them how it occurred to each of them how powerful they would be if they put them on; kept reminding the thief that she could probably sell them for a million gold pieces; the LG monk, how if he put them on, they could do so much good for the orphans... etc.

Also, everyone knows that everyone else is wanting to keep the hands for themselves.

No Wis saves yet. But the monk keeps using his "spend an action to break the charmed condition on yourself" ability, just in case.

Anyway, while fleeing, they caught sight of a circle of Chaos cultists performing some kind of weird ritual where it seemed that they were trying to pull something out of a mass of churning Chaos, but the pcs didn't stick around- they were too concerned about the cultists potentially stealing the Grimfingers- and kept moving upriver instead.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Last session not much at all happened.
Right now there's only two players. A human Fighter (formerly a Paladin) & a winged teifling celestial Warlock. Both 5th lv.
In the previous session they'd headed off to thwart the Fire Giants from SKT (yeah, under strength party & NOT high enough lv - they know this). They fought the chimera, raided the Yakman village, freed some of the slaves & managed to escape.

This session they (cleverly) managed to evade several Yakman patrols that were hunting them, fought one patrol (that ended up randomly being only 1 Yakman - we rolled a d3), and a bunch of RP between themselves & the handful of people (mostly dwarves) they'd rescued. Most importantly they learned that A) there's more slaves within the mountain/forge, B) that the giants seem seem to be making something, C) that the giants & their allies raided a dwarf hold, enslaved those not killed, & looted an Iron Flask that contained a very powerful Fire Elemental - whom the dwarves believe is now being used to reignite the forges.
Then they wasted a whole bunch of session time debating what to do/how to do it.

One player - the Fighter - keeps going on about returning to the city, buying magic items, & having the NPCs send an army. While this is certainly the "logical" in-world thinking, especially as there's only the two of them.... He's done this before in previous games/campaigns - thinking that/expecting/trying to recruit NPC help that will solve whatever the current problem is. And to date he's always been disappointed by the amount of NPC aid.
He doesn't quite get it. That HE (well, the party) is the star of this movie, not the NPCs that he always wants to hand things off to.

The other player - the Warlock - understands how action movies work. She realized that NOW is the time to double back & infiltrate the Fire Giant lair as most of the Yakmen are searching the woods for the party/slaves. But that window is closing....
And she came up with a way to enter the lift area.
She also realizes that the priority doesn't have to be "Kill all the Fire Giants" - a task she & the fighter are not up to.
But sabotaging their forge by stealing back the fire elemental & rescuing more slaves.....
She also argues that I've probably modified this chapter of SKT downwards because what'd be the fun of running an 8th+ lv adventure intended for 4+ players for two 5th lv PCs & not likely much if any NPC aid (she's paid attention to how I run NPC help in games)?
{But have I altered it though?? The PCs decided on their own to go track down the rumors of Fire Giant activity. Knowing that there's only the two of them for the time being, knowing they're only 5th lv, knowing the CR of Fire Giants, knowing my approach to major NPC help & knowing that I don't run a world where everything you'll meet is lv appropriate. And there were several other adventure options.}
 

We ran into a pair of gibbering mouthers and my PC failed his save, so I rolled on the confusion effects table for two rounds and coincidentally hit "you stand there, babbling" both times. So while the rest of the players went through their PCs' actions in fighting off this menace, I role-played a babbling idiot by spouting off a new nonsense word every couple of seconds...for about ten minutes straight.

I managed to keep myself amused.

Johnathan
Where did you get your confusion effects table?
 

From the spell description of the confusion spell, which the gibbering mouther's "gibbering" ability replicates.

Johnathan
 



Oops, sorry - I guess I should have mentioned we play 3.5. I had no idea 5E's confusion spell doesn't have a table of potential effects. (That is, assuming there's still a confusion spell in 5E? I honestly don't know. And at the risk of veering this thread off scope, can anyone tell me how the confusion spell works in 5E? Now I'm all curious.)

And Scrivener of Doom: thanks, but now I'm blushing!

Johnathan
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Oops, sorry - I guess I should have mentioned we play 3.5. I had no idea 5E's confusion spell doesn't have a table of potential effects. (That is, assuming there's still a confusion spell in 5E? I honestly don't know. And at the risk of veering this thread off scope, can anyone tell me how the confusion spell works in 5E? Now I'm all curious.)

And Scrivener of Doom: thanks, but now I'm blushing!

Johnathan
5e confusion does have a table of random effects, not sure if it is the same as 3e. On a d10 roll at the start of the afflicted's turn:

1. Move in a random direction and take no action.
2-6. Doesn't move or take actions
7-8. Makes a melee attack against a random target if in range, otherwise it does nothing that turn.
9-10. It can act and move normally.
 

Ah, that explains it. In 3.5, it's percentile dice and it looks like this:

01-10 Attack caster with melee or ranged weapons (or close with caster if attack is not possible).
11-20 Act normally.
21-50 Do nothing but babble incoherently.
51-70 Flee away from caster at top possible speed.
71-100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self).

Thanks for the clarification!

Johnathan
 

And getting back to the main subject of this thread, we had another 3.5 session yesterday, in which the D&D PCs are in Gamma World tracking down the sibling of a jackalope mount ridden by the gnome fighter PC. It turned out he'd recently been kidnapped by hissers (snake men very similar in appearance to D&D's yuan-ti abominations), which involved an attack upon a hisser nest with some interesting locals as allies. (I figure you can't visit Gamma World without encountering hissers - it's practically a requirement!)

Johnathan
 


Ah, that explains it. In 3.5, it's percentile dice and it looks like this:

01-10 Attack caster with melee or ranged weapons (or close with caster if attack is not possible).
11-20 Act normally.
21-50 Do nothing but babble incoherently.
51-70 Flee away from caster at top possible speed.
71-100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self).

Thanks for the clarification!

Johnathan
I think I want to combine the two lists now!
 

noko

old hag of a DM
I have set my 5e game on a version of Toril where the old Isle of Dread is known as Tymora and has a strongly Polynesian flavor, a good deal of the background music is Hawaiian ukelele or ocean sounds played under the TOA soundtracks and rum is involved in game but I digress. My players have made their way to the town of Tymora, running into a wedding party on the way which was attacked by a party of bandits led by a powerful hunter attempting to kidnap the bride.

This past session they discovered the wedding party was in need of cash for the burial of the bride's uncle (killed in the ambush) and agreed to go pearl diving. Most of my players are from the Moonsheas and have a small quantity of a moss that reconstitutes into a water breathing elixir. They recognized the moss for sale in the village marketplace by a seller who had no idea what it did. They proved its usefulness and headed off with the groom and friends to dive for valuable black pearls off the coast at the base of a large coral reef. They gained quite a few pearls but were attacked by swarm after swarm of venomous coral snakes and barely survived. Two members of the groom's group did not survive but it was still quite a haul and the party was able to afford all the supplies they needed to journey into the interior. As they were heading out, they realized there was a commotion in the marketplace with speculators attempting to buy up all the remaining Moonshaes seaweed. Actually, the only remaining seaweed of the right type is aboard the PC's ship, where it's been sitting unused in the hold for the past in-game year. They quietly joined their Tabaxi guides, mounted their riding lizards, and headed out of town to the massive jungle gates and the island proper. Next game tomorrow night.
 
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noko

old hag of a DM
People were tired, grumpy, and unprepared, so I cut it short. Today we are supposed to start some downtime, so I am going to review what tool proficiencies can actually do. Along with using the ones we have, my kids need to start thinking about what might be beneficial to start training in. House rules say that they can still produce goods while training, but it takes longer (plus the 1 gp training charge), decreasing every 50 days of training, so that in the last 50 days production is at normal speed, just with the added on training fee. I haven't figured out how to do something similar with languages/weaponry. Languages will probably be connected to a d20 roll and weaponry will probably have some reduced effectiveness.

How do other people handle this? It just doesn't make sense to me to go from 0% proficiency the entire time you are training to 100% proficiency the day you finish training.
I handle it by not thinking about it too hard. Not to mention, they've usually obviously needed the upgrade for a bit so it's sort of a relief to say it's done.
 

Had a good session, exploring a dungeon, finding stuff, but were reminded of the perils of short rests without really thinking it through. The Warlock's player was basically demanding a short rest, so we took one. In a dungeon full of weird statues of death dogs. After we'd killed a bunch of cockatrices. As one of the players I feel like I am partially responsible for this idiocy, but in my defense, I didn't realize cockatrice petrification in 5E was never permanent.

Anyway, yes, the many death dogs un-petrified about 10 minutes into our "short rest". I feel this was partially bad luck. Even with 24 hours, how were we to know it happened exactly 24 hours ago. I suppose we should have at least been smashing the "statues" which we had by then realized were petrified, but we don't have the usual "smash all suspicious statues" policy going because that doesn't end well in Ancient Greece-analogue worlds.

So we were surrounded by death dogs, and very nearly eaten. Un-ideal positioning and tight confines left the AC12 Sorcerer fighting one of the dogs one-on-one, but she gave a good showing (at once point overcoming disadvantage with every single roll on her main and off-hand attacks being totalling over 20!), whilst my AC18 Druid could only watch. Next time I'll grapple her and move her away, and then take her place. I should have thought of that at the time! Pretty close to a TPK and I think if the DM hadn't been forgetting to roll some stuff (that we didn't realize he was forgetting until he said), we'd have been puppy chow.
 

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