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General How Was Your Last Session?

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
4th session with three 2nd level characters (halfling rogue, half-elf wizard, half-orc fighter) playing a mashup of Dragon Heist with the Deck of Many Things.

Characters have been hired by a patron who wants to recover the many scattered cards of the Deck of Many Things. The reassembled Deck can unlock a vault filled with gold. And also change reality. The patron was actually the Knight card from a previous draw of the Deck--but now an old woman who scrubs the floors at the Yawning Portal.

In this adventure, the characters have to break into Grimshackle Jail and retrieve the builder of the gold-filled vault, a dwarven architect named Bron Cornerstone. Grimshackle Jail is taken from an AL adventure called Outlaws of the Iron Route by Will Doyle which has some great adventuring locations.

In this campaign I'm leaning heavily into factions. Relevant to this session, the players are allied with the Shadow Thieves, opposed to the Xanathar, and have a conflicted relationship with the drow of Undermountain.

Grimshackle Jail sits off the coast of Waterdeep and is run by the pirates of Luskan, filled with captives they want to ransom or prisoners that the pirates are being paid to hold. The Shadow Thieves ask the characters to kill one of the prisoners, a traitorous member of the Thieves that is being ransomed by the Xanathar. The Xanathar wants her because she can reveal the Thieves' secrets.

The characters did some investigating around the docks to learn more about Grimshackle Jail. They learn that the drow plan to raid the prison and steal Cornerstone. Apparently, there are many factions interested in the Deck...

The players decide to pose as members of the Xanathar Guild, take a bag full of fake gems, and use that to bluff their way to the traitorous thief as well as Bron Cornerstone. They row out to Grimshackle. The warden, a minotaur, leads them to the thief...and then to Bron.

To their surprise, they discover that Bron isn't a prisoner. Instead, he's hiding out in the prison for his own protection. At that moment, a mind flayer teleports into the room--an agent of the Xanathar intending to steal away Bron. The players rolled initiative...

...and that's where we ended the session.
 

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Sadras

Hero
My last session had no combat and ran for just under 2 hours on Discord.

ToD/SKT mashup.

Lady Laeral Silverhand requested a secret meeting with the PCs - informing them of the ongoing investigation into the murder of the prisoner, Wyrmspeaker Varram, and the leads into the existence and identity of a mole within the Council of Waterdeep or the delegates' aides. She expressed her concerns of the delegates' commitment to the united effort against the Cult of the Dragon and pleaded that perhaps it would help, given their impartial political position, the PCs each approach a delegate, form a personal connection and encourage them to be open to the idea of pledging resources in the fight against the cult.

So we roleplayed out the conversations each PC with their chosen delegate. The DC 10 + x, where x was the points still required on homebrewed council scorecard for the factions/delegates to commit forces. I had created write ups on our Obsidian Portal page on each of the delegates listing traits and ideals. Only two of my players wisened up to the fact of tapping into those to get additional bonuses which I only revealed made a difference at the end of the session. Roleplaying each conversation in character (with much back and forth and counter points) was awesome and a great way to further connect PCs with the NPCs.

Overall the players enjoyed the session, 3 succeeded in their goal whilst 2 failed. However all is not lost as the they still have various quests to undertake before the 4th and final Council Meeting which may influence some of the delegates' positions.

Furthermore the PCs learned that their good friend Marshall Ulder Ravenguard was withholding information from the Council. The Flaming Fist had discovered the location of the Stone Giant Thane whose kin had been causing so much destruction in the small outlying settlements. This information came via pillow talk by one of the Flaming Fist who had been having an on-an-off affair with one of the PCs for the better part of a year, ever since they helped deal with Bhaal (Murder in Baldur's Gate).
The PC decided to address this with Ulder separately the next day giving their friend the benefit of the doubt, so as not to perhaps infer anything in a public forum. (Which was smart as the latter would have incurred -1 penalty on the scorecard)
 
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Since one of our players and the DM could not make it last sunday, I decided to run a one shot with the rest, set in 1930's London, via Roll20. And when I say one shot, I mean I completely over prepared and made an adventure that could last many sessions. So suffice to say we didn't get to finish it. But everyone was really into it. It was suspenseful, full of mystery, intrigue, horror and some puzzles.

I started the session with a classic movie opening title card, along with a notice by the ratingboard, and intro music. I kept everything in black and white, including the character portraits, to maintain that film noire look and feel. I had made VERY detailed maps, which delighted the players, as they explored the mystery of....

THE HORROR AT HUXLEY HOUSE!
 

Azzy

Newtype
The last game session was the first session of the new campaign I'm, using a mash-up of Lost Mines of Phadelver and Dragon of Icespire Peak. There was a lot of last minute character finalizing and introduction to some of the new features I'm using on Tabletop Simulator (health bars and condition statuses on the minis, and other stuff), but we got on with the show after some technical difficulties (the wonders of internet gaming). The actual game went pretty well, and I think all of the players had fun. I look forward to the next session on Sunday, but I have some last-minute prep to take care of (so I can be prepared should the players go in a different direction).
 

Vael

Adventurer
This week's sessions:

1. Eberron campaign, I'm a Changeling Mystic with 3 (yes, 3) Artificers. It's a weird party. But last session was particularly hilarious ... we were attempting to capture a high ranking member of the Boromar clan. After a successful infiltration of their safe house, we found ourselves in a fight in the kitchen. We made a fighting retreat into a bedroom room. Then we managed to divide the opposition by our Dwarven Artificer casting Arcane Lock ... perhaps the first time I've ever seen the spell cast in combat.

2. My campaign, running Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. For those that know the adventure, the party was on the trail of a Nimblewright, and had to enter a noble estate. Session went well, though I have to say, running combat for 6 PCs over Discord is ... tricky. Also had to narrate a warlock casting Darkness. Which went better than expected, despite the complications.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
1. Quietus

We were out a couple players in our Power Beyond Doubt play test game so we took the opportunity to take Quietus for a spin. What started out as two fraternity taking a road trip to Mexico's Black Sands to spread the ashes of a friend who just passed away in a car accident ended up with them on the run from a bizarre death cult one of the fraternity brothers was involved in which intersected with the other fraternity brother's cartel connections. No one walked away from this one. Absolutely chilling experience.

2. Freebooters on the Frontier

We had a very productive world building / administrative session where we established who the surviving villagers were going to become in the wake of our funnel crawl of Sailors on the Starless Sea. After a great many losses our villagers had stopped the rebirth of a Lord of Chaos and escaped from an army of beastmen with what remains of the village. We are a paltry 11 souls. Four of us have proven we have the mettle to become adventurers. We ended up with :
  • Gertie, our quick witted and treasure focused bowyer who has now become a thief. Her keen sight and steady aim should prove vital in our adventures ahead. She might also die. Has lost fingers in her shooting hand that she has had replaced with custom prosthetics. Shares a bond with Jasmine who also has lost fingers.
  • Jasmine, the village's undertaker has always skulked about unnoticed so naturally has also become a thief. She is never there except when you need her. Also really treasure focused.
  • Allison, our village bard has pledged herself to Enoloj, The Capturer of Beauty. Her holy cause is to find pleasure in the beauty of the world and transform it into art. Her and Duravyn have a will they / won't they thing going on. She considers him her hero after he almost died saving her.
  • Duravyn, our village's dwarven smith went into those ruins seeking to become a hero. He left badly beaten and determined to become a conqueror. During has been cleansed in the purifying flames of Taloc, Smelter of Souls. His new cause is to cleanse the world in purifying flames so it may be made anew. Duravyn is badly burnt and horribly scarred from a fight with a spirit of flame. His lungs are filled with smoke. He currently has 6 hours left to live if he does not get further treatment.
 
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Nebulous

Legend
PCs are still in Vallaki (we had a three week lapse of Strahd campaign). But we're back in the thick of it! PCs have inevitably drummed up trouble, and one person is now a known suspect for kidnapping, resisting arrest, and assault with a deadly weapon. And we had the most BADASS grappling session (yes! grappling!) I've ever seen. A guard was trying to handcuff the rogue, and I ruled that two successful grapples by the guard would cuff him. This led to a hilarious, tense, action packed scuffle and fisticuffs as the PC tried to beat off the guard and knock him unconscious before getting his arms cuffed. Players were cheering, even the ones not involved, just listening to the fight unfold.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Short. I not happy with. I was suppose to finish Descent. Two did not show up due wanting to play magic. One was over worked and had to catch up on sleep. So I had finish the hard cover with only two people, They enjoyed the game.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
Session 91 of my mashup of Storm King's Thunder and Tyranny of Dragons/Scales of War/whatever. The player characters are trying to destroy Manshoon and all his clones because the Zhentarim is responsible for the giant raids across the North. This is the epic climax and I've split it into three adventures occurring simultaneously. The main attack on the true Manshoon is being handled by the PCs. The other two missions are in the hands of NPC allies that the players will control.

In this episode, the characters have teleported into the laboratory where Manshoon's clones are created and held in statsis. One PC is a 15th level elf arcane trickster rogue. All the other players were playing 11th level NPC allies: a drow blood hunter, a human assassin rogue, and an elf archfey warlock.

They were all disguised as Zhentarim. I kept forgetting they were in disguise and had foes attack when they probably should not have. Major DM fail. It started from the moment they popped into the laboratory's teleportation room when they were attacked by flesh golems and a brain in a jar.

The laboratory had a few big reveals. Forty sessions ago, the characters had fought Zhentarim agents in Waterdeep--and they discovered those agents were actually clones when the characters saw their duplicates patrolling the laboratory. They also discovered that the laboratory has a self-destruct mechanism in case the clones ever gain independent thought and rebel. They eventually arrived at the main chamber where the clones are held in stasis.

The chamber was a huge circular room with a descending shaft in the middle. Looking down the shaft, the characters saw literally thousands of clones in glass tubes. Guarding the shaft was a beholder with a rider. Initiative was rolled.

In all my years of D&D I've never fought a beholder, either as a DM or player. And, it turned out, neither had any of my players. So this was fun. Beholders are actually solid solo monsters because they fire 6 eye rays per round--and each ray can take out a PC. Eventually players are going to fail their saving throw. The assassin rogue leaped onto the back of the beholder and knocked off the rider into the shaft (but the rider was saved by the beholder's telekinetic ray and soon rejoined the fight). However, the rogue was knocked out by the sleep ray--twice. The archfey warlock was hit by the petrification ray and, failing multiple saving throws, was turned to stone. Then the warlock was hit by the distintegration ray and turned to dust. "Huh," said that player, "I've never been killed before." At that point I thought a TPK was a real possibility but eventually the PCs rallied, defeating the beholder and its rider.

I expect one more session in the laboratory and I've got a doozy of a twist up my sleeve.
 
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Nebulous

Legend
In all my years of D&D I've never fought a beholder, either as a DM or player. And, it turned out, neither had any of my players. So this was fun. Beholders are actually solid solo monsters because they fire 6 eye rays per round--and each ray can take out a PC. Eventually players are going to fail their saving throw. The assassin rogue leaped onto the back of the beholder and knocked off the rider into the shaft (but the rider was saved by the beholder's telekinetic ray and soon rejoined the fight). However, the rogue was knocked out by the sleep ray--twice. The archfey warlock was hit by the petrification ray and, failing multiple saving throws, was turned to stone. Then the warlock was hit by the distintegration ray and turned to dust. "Huh," said that player, "I've never been killed before." At that point I thought a TPK was a real possibility but eventually the PCs rallied, defeating the beholder and its rider.
I don't know if I have run one either as an actual combat. I've had one or two NPCs as a beholder, but it didn't turn into a battle (nor was it intended to; more like, Oh crap! RUN!) Although yesterday in the mail I got that awesome, awesome Nolzur's pre-primed beholder. Have you seen that model? It's amazing.

 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
I don't know if I have run one either as an actual combat. I've had one or two NPCs as a beholder, but it didn't turn into a battle (nor was it intended to; more like, Oh crap! RUN!) Although yesterday in the mail I got that awesome, awesome Nolzur's pre-primed beholder. Have you seen that model? It's amazing.

Niiiiiice.

According to Kobold Fight Club, the fight with the beholder and rider (a CR12 Warlord) was just a shade over Deadly. Normally, with characters of this level, that means they would hardly break a sweat. But in this case there was one character death and -- if I'd played a bit more ruthlessly -- more were likely.

You should definitely take the beholder for a spin. I think it would be a lot of fun with your tactical playstyle, especially with terrain built to favor the beholder.

The beholder seems like a good solo-ish boss battle for Tier 3 characters.
 

Libramarian

Adventurer
Gratifying. I had a new player who praised our game's pace. Apparently it's hard to find a nice, quick game on Roll20 where everyone is paying attention, not dozing off at their keyboards.

This made me think (not for the first time) that running a game is like riding a bicycle - speed facilitates speed. There is a death spiral when things bog down, because as people get bored they pay less attention, slowing the game further and boring others.
 

Reynard

Legend
Short. I not happy with. I was suppose to finish Descent. Two did not show up due wanting to play magic. One was over worked and had to catch up on sleep. So I had finish the hard cover with only two people, They enjoyed the game.
You couldn't push? Or did the reasoning by the missing players make you decide to not bother? I would be disappointed as both a player or DM with that kind of finale, I think.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
You couldn't push? Or did the reasoning by the missing players make you decide to not bother? I would be disappointed as both a player or DM with that kind of finale, I think.
The two players who wanted to play, said they wanted to play. As we all six players had agree to run on that day, and most agreed to start a homebrew on Fridays after Chapter 5, no I did not fell like cancelling. I have some experience of players saying they show then cancel. So I played on, if the ones that switch game systems were upset, so be it. I understand the sleepy one.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Preppy.

Not in the "docksiders and Izod shirt with the collar popped up" way. In the "we intend to go deal with a dragon and needed to buy equipment" way.

It included the statement, "Willyouhelpusgokilladragonweboughtyoulongunderwear!"

We have three PCs, none of whom is a cleric. There is one NPC cleric in town who might consider going with us, but it being hazardous duty, we needed to convince them to come. I had already managed most of the outfitting, which included gear for said cleric, in case they agreed to come. The above was our Eladrin Caretaker Sorcerer, who is the only one of us to actually have charisma. She is charming, but sometimes a bit enthusiastic.
 


Worrgrendel

Explorer
You should try the online options, they're quite good.
Yeah, for me it's also as much about hanging out with my RL friends and letting our kids play together for 4-5 hours every other week and D&D sorta happens for most of those 4-5 hours. Plus there's been other RL stuff for our group that has gotten in the way as well sans pandemic. I've looked into online play but have a hard time justifying ignoring 2 x 7 year old's for gaming when they don't have anyone else to occupy their time while that would be going on.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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