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General How Was Your Last Session?


Mod Squad
Staff member
Our last session was kinda dead.

Meaning, zombies and wraiths. It wasn't the biggest challenge, honestly, but it warns us that the bad guys we are after sling undead around, which is gonna be a pain, because we don't actually have a PC cleric in the party...

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40th lv DM
Cancelled due to 3/5 having to work. :(
Happens every now & then.

The remaining two & I discussed it & felt that at the point we're at that it'd be unfair to progress the story/action without them.
So next week....


101st session on my main campaign. Player characters are 16th level, on the cusp of 17th level. Aasimar vengeance paladin, elf arcane trickster rogue, halfling lore bard, tiefling shadow sorcerer, human beast master ranger.

This session started with a huge reveal. IRL six months ago, the bard's soul was mistakenly lost to an archdevil and now his body is secretly possessed by the soul of an amoral, vainglorious rival bard in thrall to the archdevil. Some of the bard's more questionable actions (such as executing the Open Lord of Waterdeep and taking his place) have recently made some of the other players suspicious. The rogue's player loves this kind of shennanigans, so he gleefully recruited a network of spies to clandestinely watch the bard. As such, he was well positioned when the bard communed with the archdevil and the conspiracy was revealed. We played this scene in the open with all the players present. So now they all know that the bard is no longer who he appears to be. But as for the characters, only the rogue knows the truth. He's still mulling over what to do with this knowledge...and how to determine where the bard's real soul is.

Soon after this reveal, the party teleported to an island a few miles from Waterdeep. There, they needed to recover two magical staves and free a paladin held by the Cult of Tiamat. The cult intends to use one of the staves--the Dragonstaff of Aghairon--to lower the magical wards that protect Waterdeep from dragon attack. Once those wards are down, Tiamat's dragons will destroy the city. The cult used the other staff--a rod of resurrection--to bring back five dragons that the party had previously slain. And those dragons are in the cult lair beneath the island.

For the cult lair, I used the map of Bhal-Hamatugn, which is from the Zenith Trajectory adventure in the Shackled City adventure path. It's a fun three-level map built around a central chamber with a lot of verticality. I've been eager to use it for a long time. However, I didn't have a chance to properly key the map before the session, so I had to make up most of the encounters on the fly. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I did a damn fine job.

The PCs busted out a bunch of new tricks to bypass most of the cult's guards. They utilized the passwall spell to basically turn the lair into swiss cheese. One definite highlight was a dragon-themed trap with poison gas and lightning pillars in the room holding the rod of resurrection, all of which I made up on the spot. As the dragonborn guards swarmed the room, the PCs used passwall to escape through the ceiling, leaving the traps to kill the guards. On the floor above, they shoved more guards through the hole into the trapped room below. Good times.

By session's end, they had both of the staves but were still searching for the paladin.

Next session: Five dragons!


The player characters reached 4th level at the end of the most recent session of my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. The session took place in a scriptorium. The PCs were there to recover a magical stone that had a recording of every book that had passed through the place. That information would help them uncover the secret plots of one of their enemies -- a rogue mind flayer in the employ of the Xanathar's Guild.

The session started with the PCs discovering the vault where the stone was secured. They detected and disabled the magical glyph of warding on the vault. Inside was the stone, hovering in mid-air. The wizard used mage hand to manipulate the stone. Suddenly, shadows emerged from it, and coalesced into the form of an allip. I've always liked this creature and have been itching for a chance to actually use it. They fought the allip and eventually it fled from them, escaping through the walls.

Meanwhile, a strike team from the Xanathar arrived at the scriptorium -- four grimlocks led by a nothic. The PCs took up hiding positions and prepared an ambush. Some rolled well on their stealth checks...others did not. Battle ensued. In the middle of the fight, the allip reappeared. It used it's maddening whispers to turn the grimlocks against each other. The wizard used magic missile to defeat the allip. And the rogue put down the nothic.

Collecting the stone, the PCs headed for the exit. But they found their way blocked by another agent of the Xanathar -- a mighty troll. In the first turn of combat the wizard pulled out a bead of force and tossed it at the troll. The troll failed its saving throw. It was encased in an impenetrable ball of force with no way out for the next full minute. The rogue delivered a kiss off line to the troll and kicked the ball across the scriptorium. Then the PCs fled.

It was definitely the wizard's night.

Next session: A deal with the Arcane Brotherhood!
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For me, as GM, a bit disappointing.

The party is 16th level consisting of a cleric, sorcerer, bard14/warlock2, barbarian/rogue, eldritch knight and a champion 15/cleric1. The session before last they had gone hunting a beholder so they knew what was coming. They had met this guy before and he had disintegrated the ek when he was unconscious so they know he is a bastard who plays hardball.
All but the sorcerer and the ek got bathed in an anti magic cone and dropped into a 70’ deep 80’ wide pit while engaged with some grunts. Hidden in a room 80’ above the top of the pit was the beholder. He obviously had some archers with him who were taking pot shots at those in the pit as well.
The sorcerer and ek d doored next to the beholder to attack him but he had some guards and they got beaten unconscious and dropped into the pit. So that session ended with all in the pit, only the champion and the Barbarian/rogue conscious and the beholder had just floated down turned off his anti magic ray readied his eyestalks and started his super villain monologue with “Surrender fools...”. The bad guys had acted and it was now the players turns..

We stopped the session with the champion (who has a cape of the mountebank) saying I could just grab 1 pc and escape then they all said well we have two weeks to undertake some planning. I said I had no problem and encouraged such planning between sessions and between turns even when unconscious (as part of the tactical game rather than the roleplay element) my only rule is that you make suggestions to people on their turn as it slows down combat. I emailed them the initiative order, the possible prepared actions of the bad guys etc and let them at it.

So they return last night. They met up (on zoom) 45minutes before I turned up. Though to be fair we usually spend a good half hour pre game catching up. When I did show up on zoom I had been sick for a few days and said I might not run it but was happy for them to take as long as they wanted to plan, I could answer questions etc. But basically they did no planning at all. The player of the champion just said I will grab the bard and dimension door out, what happens ....

it’s not so much that they went with this plan but that it seemed pretty clear they hadn’t done any planning at all. They hadn’t come up with alternatives and discarded them or whatever. I thought the predicament they were in was an interesting one with interesting possible solutions but Im not sure they even looked for any different options. Bit of a let down to me. It was a fine short escape session, they had fun, everyone except the sorcerer escaped (he was disintegrated).


The characters reached 17th level in this session. It's was a continuation of the fight in a hidden temple of the Cult of Tiamat. The PCs were dimension dooring all over the place in an attempt to get what they came for -- two magical staffs and an imprisoned paladin. Along the way they crossed paths with two dragons, fighting both simultaneously while the party was split. It was really crazy and a lot of fun. Once the PCs had the goods, they plane shifted back to Waterdeep Palace. One of the staves had the power of resurrection. They brought that staff to an ally, the high priest of Ilmater, and asked for his help in bring back to life several slain allies.

Next session: Resurrections!

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game