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General How Was Your Last Session?

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
THE QUEST IS OVER--THE CHALLENGE WON--TIME FOR THE NEXT CAMPAIGN! :D

The four heroes--mourning the loss of yet another companion--boldly ventured forth to face the vile ancient shadow dragon, a monster which had already claimed the life of one of their number. Bathing themselves in light, the charged forth to find themselves assaulted by a cloud of necrotic energy that sapped them strength and vitality. Quickly the band moved in as one, intent on vengeance and victory. The dragon toyed with them, confident in its enormous might, fortitude, and magic. Rarely has such battle been witnessed by mortal man, but by a force of constant pressure and cunning, the heroes managed to vanquish the vile foe, cheering as the monster collapsed to the shaken and battered earth below, as it breathed its final breath.

The towering iron golem lurched forward off of its pedestal; its weight causing the ground to shift beneath the company's feet. The assassin's assault from his hidden position was swift and sure. Monk and barbarian faced the colossal construct, battering it with sword and staff and fist. The caster stepped back into the tunnel, watching their escape should the battle turn for the worse--and good thing he did as four stone golems marched in unison to aid their compatriot. A wall of force stopped their advance and allowed the band to focus on the iron golem, their relentless assaults and mighty magics penetrating its defenses and tearing it down--blow by blow and spell by spell. With the larger construct conquered, the heroes turned to the stone golems awaiting them behind the invisible barrier. With timing and tactics practiced over hundreds of conflicts, the group laid waste to the weaker golems, attacking them as wolves and tearing them down one by one.

The moment the party burst through the door to tackle the master of these cursed halls, the archmage turned to them with a smile and stopped time itself! An instant later piercing dagger strikes of force energy rocked the heroes, they turned to retaliate, but the evil wizard as gone. On their guard and propping their defenses, suddenly screams of agony and terror tore through their minds as darkness enveloped them all. As they were blind and stumbling about, the archmage relished in their confusion and fear as he erupted fire, cold, and lighting again and again against them. The party was forced to flee and regroup, using their own magic to track the master of the castle. Like a game of cat and mice, the evil evoker attacked from one direction and then another. Finally, trapped like rats in a cage, he hovered over them assaulting them with spells of fire and lightning, his magical shields protecting him from their attacks when the nearly landed the mark. But theses heroes were tried and true, tested literally in the fires of Hell, and would not give up hope, even as their numbers fell one after another. Spent, exhausted, and barely fighting the assassin and monk were all that remained. They could see doubt creep into the eyes of the archmage. If he fled or was defeated they might find their friend and win the contest he had agreed to--he could not renege or he would perish. Barely holding himself aloft, the wizard watched as another oathed arrow flew towards him, as he turned his hand to once again invoke his shield. But the arrow was too quick and struck true, piercing his left eye and driving deep into his brain. His head rolled back as his spell failed and he fell a dozen feet, crashing onto the bed below. Zelligar the Unknown was defeated at last, but the quest was not over...

After reviving their two friends, the assassin and monk knew their time was short. They had search the domains of the archmage for nearly two days, hoping to find their captured friend before time ran out. Exhausted from battle, blood pouring from soaked bandages, and sore muscles straining to move ever onward, the heroes continued their search. Knowing wine was nearby in the lounge and hoping to rest a few moments before moving on, they returned to the luxurious room and sat on the benches which lined the walls. The monk cautiously approached the lone statue that adorned the center of the room. The woman was beautiful, her carved features lined with grace. Like the others, he knew this statue was magical. Nearly every statute they had encountered was a trap or a golem in disguise. The sorcerer rose to join the monk, taking a sip of the wine from the tankard he had filled from the nearby barrel. As the warm liquid cascaded down his parched throat, he looked the heavenly face, thinking this was likely a succubus or other demon trapped. He noticed her up-turned head, eyes gazing towards the colorful but faded fresco on the ceiling. In a flash of brilliance, he thought it looked as though the statue's lips were slightly parted, so he lifted his tankard high and poured the blood-red wine into her mouth. Suddenly the ground shook, the stone of the statue fractured and exploded in fine dust, and their friend collapsed before them on the small pedestal where the statue once stood. The others rose from their feet, in the distance a faint cry of utter defeat, "NO!" echoed through the halls. The party lifted the weakened Elsbeth, she could not stand on her own, and turned to witness the glory of the solar entering the room. "You have succeeded. You are free to leave this realm" the celestial spoke as it lifted it hands in golden light. With a blinding flash, the cold stone around the heroes disappeared, and they stood once again in the open courtyard of the Keep on the Borderlands. The warm sun filled their hearts--but it was no match for the joy and happiness they felt--they had won.

The Heroes: (all character level 20)
Brodus - Male half-orc fighter/thief (finished female human)
Fang - Male dragonborn sorcerer/druid (finished female earth genasi)
Coldsteel - Male dragonborn barbarian/fighter (renamed Laziakka- finished female high elf)
Percival "Percy" - Male human monk/wizard/druid

The Fallen:
Tristan - Male human paladin/cleric (died fighting the ancient shadow dragon so the party could survive)
Brother Gilbert - Male human bard/wizard (died under the warping curse of the sibrex)
Thera Ferrlaun - Female high elf rogue/wizard/cleric (died in the capture of Elsbeth by Zelligar)

Other Companions of the Campaign
Pagnar - Male dwarf bard/paladin (retired in Penin, company's representative to the King)
Petlandria - Female drow elf ranger (deserted the group after they freed Zelligar from his stone tomb, whereabouts unknown)
Munath - Male mountain dwarf (left party to help his clan rebuild after raids, living in Amgol in the Thorandin Mts.)
Wren - Male human cleric (escorted survivors to new homes, whereabouts unknown)
Grief - Female tiefling warlock (left party with Wren, whereabouts unknown)
Sorrow - Female tiefling barbarian (left party with Wren, presumed to be with Grief).

Campaign Summary:
Total sessions: 50 "doubles" of 8-12 hours each, approximately 500 hours of game-play, 20 months.
Total encounters: 321
Total campaign XP: 2,580,000
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
You know when you spend hours creating a finely tuned tactical combat encounter and your players negate it in one fell swoop? Yeah, that's what happened. I'm still raw about it...

This is my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup with three 4th level PCs. Rogue, fighter, wizard. The rogue's uncle has been kidnapped by the Xanathar Guild and is under interrogation.

I borrowed the Sodden Hold location from the Hall of Harsh Reflections, an old Dungeon adventure that's part of the Age of Worms campaign. It's a pretty cool map with a lot of varied terrain. I rekeyed the entire map and put together about five combat encounters that I thought would really test the PC's mettle. But the rogue's player had other ideas.

The first thing they did was walk up to the front door and claim they wanted to surrender. The rogue aced his Deception check. Once inside, they were told to put on manacles. They aced their Slight of Hand checks to only appear to have locked shut the manacles. Then they were escorted by five monstrous guards to the interrogation chamber where the rogue's uncle was held. Inside was a nothic, a gibbering mouther, a troll, and two grimlocks. The PCs were so heavily outnumbered that I started to worry about a TPK. But the rogue pulled out a magical potion and bluffed that it was flask of "pyromancer's fire" (think Game of Thrones) and if the creatures didn't follow his instructions precisely he would burn them all down. Once again, he aced the Deception check. The troll was terrified. The PCs grabbed the uncle, blocked the doorways behind them, cut down a few stray grimlocks, and fled into the sewers with nary a scratch.

They were thrilled.

I was not.

Next session: The lost lair of the Shadow Thieves!
I'm sorry for your lost prep time, but I cheer when my players do things like this - work out ways to solve their challenges I never had foreseen. It speaks well of you as a DM that even though you had all this sunk preparation into entertaining combat that you let them have their agency and bluff through it.
 

Lycurgon

Villager
I am playing 2 games currently. The best thing was that we are now back playing in person rather than Roll20 after our lockdown has finished. Much prefer in person games so that is great.

In one of them I was playing a VHuman Tempest Cleric. We had a good session where we fought a tough fight against a much higher level fighter. We managed to kill him without losing anyone but only from a combination of good strategy and luck while the enemy concentrated on killing one PC (it was personal) including attempting to strike them after they dropped to zero, so it got really close, but we managed to keep them alive and drop the fighter.
Then come the Intellect Devourer that leaped out of his head. We had previously fought one and it had reduced me to 0 Intelligence last time, so attempted to kill it quick before it got any of us this time. It targeted me, I failed my save (0 bonus) so again reduced to Zero Int. The others failed to kill it in a round so it eat my brain and possessed my body. The party was quickly able to kill my meat puppet body and then the Intellect Devourer.
I was brought back from the dead with the Reincarnation spell and used a homebrew chart found on the Internet which added the Volo races but weighted towards the common races. Out of Character I was happy with whatever, it would have been fun to RP anything, but I rolled one of the few options that the character would be fine with... So now I am playing a Aasimar Cleric. As a Noble it will be interesting to see what my (probably dodgy) family think of my new changes.

My other game I'm playing a goblin celestial warlock. The party is currently in the feywild, embroidered in politics and violence with the fey in am attempt to get our children and family members back. We had previously defeated an Archfey but we needed to find his heart and destroy it or he would come back in a year and a day. We had made deals to get boons if we accomplished the task. After so interparty roleplaying, we found the location, and set off. It was guarded by centaurs (super easy, barely an inconvenience) , then a magically created creature which once we killed it a phoenix burst out of its chest. When we killed it exploded in fire (and my character has aquired a vulnerability to fire so it hurt a lot) that it turned into an egg. Then we had to break the egg, then the block of ice and finally the Fey heart, all of which were exploding with damage when attacked, but our tank was able to deal with that without too much trouble. So it was fight, fight, fight.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
Tyranny of Dragons/Scales of War mashup. 5 player characters at 17th level.

They're on a side quest where the elf arcane trickster rogue is discovering that he's the elven minor god of trickery given mortal form. He and the other PCs are playing through a series of dreamlike flashbacks that will slowly reveal the truth and culminate with the rogue regaining his divine powers. In the previous session, the rogue seduced a goddess to steal a magic item in her possession. This session opened with him under pursuit by her lover, the elven god of archery and hunting. All the other PCs were being hunted, too. The conversation went like this:

Them: "But we didn't seduce her! The rogue did!"

Me: "But you're his friends."

Them: "But we didn't seduce her!"

Me: "Look, he's the elven god of hunting, not the elven god of nuance."

True to form, the rogue managed to talk his way out of it, which was a joy to behold.

The flashback then flashforwarded to a temple in the Demonweb Pits, where the PCs were again stealing valuable magic -- this time from the Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders. The flashback started with the magic in possession of the PCs, but with Lolth's drow minions closing in. I used the high CR drow from Mordenkainen's. They are no joke. I didn't even play them particularly well, yet the fight lasted six rounds and two PCs were knocked out. The PCs finally decided discretion was the better part of valor and planeshifted away.

Next session: Hoard of Tiamat!
 

Viking Bastard

Adventurer
It was the third session of our new campaign, the start of which first got delayed by RL issues for over a year and then when we were about to launch, COVID hit. It just feels so good to finally be playing again on the regular!

I've started off the campaign with The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (although I've so far only presented it as "Gary Gygax's Forgotten Temple", hoping to keep the revelation of the Mad God's involment a surprise). At the end of last session they had mostly cleared the upper levels, except for a final charge at the head honcho and his final forces. They should clear that and move into the lower levels next session, and I can't wait for the tonal whiplash that's gonna present after three sessions of mostly hack and slash and strategic play.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
After 106 sessions we had a TPK.

Fortunately, it was all a dream.

5 player characters at 17th level. They're on a side quest where the elf arcane trickster rogue is discovering that he's a minor elven god of trickery given mortal form. He and the other PCs are playing through a series of dreamlike flashbacks that will slowly reveal the truth and culminate with the rogue regaining his divine powers.

In this session, the rogue/god and his crew were stealing from the hoard of Tiamat in Avernus, the first layer of Hell. They were caught red-handed by the archdevil Bel, who is CR25. I played him suboptimally, as I often do the first time I run sophisticated monsters. And his spells were mostly ineffective, being counterspelled by the bard and sorcerer or rendered moot by the paladin's aura. But his greatsword attacks hit like a truck. Joining Bel were four bone devils, two steel predators, and another minor devil or two. lt was a Deadly encounter, but I was confident my players would steamroll right through it, as they often do. To truly challenge the players I assumed I'd need to bring out Tiamat herself.

I was wrong.

It took 10 rounds, but Bel killed the bard, then the rogue. The ranger was ganked by ice devils summoned by Bel. It was obvious the paladin would fall in the next round. Desperate, the sorcerer cast meteor swarm centered on herself. Everyone died. It was epic.

Next session: The dream ends!
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Only finished one quest but we had fun. The group is taking over Termalaine in Icewind Dale using the gem mine, the election, and cauldron of plenty, and assassination. I was able to stretch it out but the group having conversations with people who are losing it due to the lack of sunlight. Do you know how hard it is to run the sun tan lotion on its skin, when the lotion is frozen.
 

Dragonsbane777

Explorer
This week in my elven game the wood elven PCs came closer to discovering the plot behind a takeover of their valley by the fey and their archfey leader. They are attempting to cause the Feywild to meld with a small portion of the Prime Material plane (in which their village is in).

In my Numenera game the heroes are riding shotgun on a skyship travelling high over the Black Ridge. It has to land now and then to recharge solar cells, and it goes super slow since it is made of a weightless material and has tiny propellers :) They defeated some abhumans who came for them while on the ground.

In my high level game the 15th level PCs are about to go to find some kidnapped guild members deep within the bowels of a secret police hq, which happens to be in Sigil.
 

Azuresun

Explorer
In my Eberron game, the PC's reached Stormreach in their mission to return to the giant complex known as the Temple of Eternity, and hung out for a bit. They went along with the request of an extremely shady character they had rescued from a sahuagin attack while crossing the sea (because he'd stolen something important to them) to guard him while he handed the stolen relic over--given how randomly this group had become extremely suspicious of random NPC's at intervals, I assumed they'd discover he was up to no good, figure out what he was hiding and either try to return what he'd stolen or leverage it for their own benefit. They instead went along without question and acted as bodyguards while he handed an item over to a group of people. Then the sahuagin showed up again, seeking to reclaim the stolen treasure, the recipients revealed themselves as werewolves, and it all turned into a bit of a mess. Especially since the changeling cleric assumed the PC's would be fleeing, and so flooded the area with smoke using his Eversmoking Bottle.

Cue a masssive four-way brawl where almost none of the combatants could see each other! It got worse when the sahuagin warlock dropped a Hunger of Hadar on the area, though the rogue was able to use his dragonmark's wind power to clear some of the smoke. End result, the smuggler and the werewolves were killed, the surviving sahuagin were forced to retreat (with a promise that this wasn't over) while the PC's decided they'd keep the stolen relic for themselves.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
Three 4th level player characters in a heavily reworked version of Dragon Heist featuring the Deck of Many Things.

In this session, the PCs entered Shadowspire, the legendary lost lair of the Shadow Thieves. The rogue is a member of the Shadow Thieves, who have been attacked and nearly destroyed by the Xanathar. He's hoping that by reclaiming the Shadowspire he can find a refuge for his guild and regain an edge against the Xanathar.

For the Shadowspire, I used an old Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure called Mage Maze, which is basically an extradimensional tower with doors that connect to various levels of the tower in a maze-like fashion. It's a tidy little setup for a session or two with a puzzle element that's lightly challenging and not too frustrating. I rekeyed all the encounters to give them a shadowy or undead theme.

In the first chamber was a floating pyramid with four keyholes. The rogue had one key already; it's what let him into the Shadowpire. So it was clear they needed to obtain three more keys.

In another chamber, the players encountered the Shadowspire's guardian, a goliath wight and his zombies who was once a legbreaker for the Shadow Thieves. He had a key. Opposing him in a different chamber were the undead members of the City Watch that had raided the Shadowspire one hundred years earlier. Their leader also had a key. And he appeared to be related to the rogue's love interest, who is a junior member of the City Watch. (Yep, shades of Out of Sight happening here.)

After talking with both groups, the PCs attacked and defeated the undead City Watch. It was a solid but unremarkable battle. Now they have the second key, with two more to go.

Next session: Pitch black!
 
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Azuresun

Explorer
Back to the Thule game, and the PC's accepted the mission from the Atlantean noblewoman. She offered them a generous purse and free transport across the Kalayan Sea, and must have seem trustworthy enough for the PC's to take her up on it. She explained she was looking for a sunken elf city, which contained one of their legendary world gates, and needed a key to unlock the gate (last seen in the clutches of a group of vicious headhunters in the Phoori swamps), and the map to the exact location of the city (said to be in the tower of a mage named Ix, in mountains now heavily glaciated). They also accepted the same mission from the crime boss, so that's probably going to be a conflict down the line. :sneaky:

They travelled to the glacier (running into a giant carnivorous sloth along the way), and ascended the mountains, reaching the ice sheet and finding unsettling evidence that someone else had been here, such as a mountain goat with its throat cut and its blood drained. A few survival rolls later, and they encountered a mysterious pit in the ice from which a frost worm exploded!
 

jasper

Rotten DM
ok, well all I did was a pc was lay some land mine type spells for the siege. But I did manage to tick off one player when I interrupted the dm. i need an official name for the type. He will try to pump the dm for information before using his turn. EX With my 20 INT would I know what type of spell they casted? I am 12 th level would my level give me a clue if Dispel Magic will work? After a few rounds of him pumping, I just yelled, "Just burn a FREAKING Action and make an arcana check! OR any type of check". The Siege went belly up. The bad guys broke off into two groups. The main army keeping us worried about the siege. The small patrol when to a near by lake and cast a gate like spell. Opening a gate from the bottom of the lake to just above the keep. Trying to drown the keep, and blow down the walls with water pressure. We with the help of one gawd was able to knock enough holds in the three ring keep to keep most of civilians from drowning.
I had chosen a mixture of cleric heal/attack spells but since the bad guys never came within range, I made some new friends with the army in the keep.
 

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