D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

FXR

Explorer
After a few months playing Fengh Shui and The Expense, we returned to our sword-and-sorcery-ish D&D game.

The characters went back to the City-state of the Invincible Overlord and pour throught the Treaty on Things of the East, an old tome written in Elvish about the mysterious tripod vase that was stolen, with the unwilling help of one of the PC, by the Yuan-Ti. They didn't make much sense of most of the book but found out that the localisation of the island where that vase could be used was only in the memory of a human transformed into a stone statue and kept in the appartement of an elf in the elven city of Abalonne.

Meanwhile, one of the characters met his elder brother who explained to him that he was going to fight for Abalonne, as money was short.

The characters decided that their best option was to travel to Abalonne and join the elves in their battles againt the Northmen (pseudo-vikings). They knew that they would cross blades with their friend, the paladin Svana who had decided to leave a few weeks ago to join her people against the elves.

In Abalonne, the characters were well received buy the Grand Duke, who promptly took the Treaty on Things of the East but promised to offer them help. He insisted that the characters participate in the defense of the city.

One character and the sidekick of another character chose to help defend the (small) western gate of the city. They were facing a small group of Northwomen leaded by Svana. The character decided to go easy on Svana but had no pity against her crew. The Northwomen managed to bust the gate, but were quickly cornered.

The other characters join in the defense of the port, where the big Northmen fleet was. Things did not go well for the Northmen, who were losing much warriors, especially when one jarl and his followers turned tail (only to be quickly killed by a warboat that was invisible).

It looked like a landslide elven victory, until the characters heard a huge rumbling, than another. About thirty frost giants attacked the elven city, reducing several building in rubbles. The chaos caused by their attack and the elves' need to divert troops to fight these newcomers let the Northmen regain their momentum. The city was soon engulfed in chaos, as three factions were fighting (or fleeing) each other.
 

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Swingy. Natural 1s and 20s all over the place, which is a not-insignificant deal when you use critical hit and fumble tables.

The group was assaulting an orc stockade, intending to liberate captives that had been enslaved there. My paladin had a great day of it with the dice early, a critical smite let him demolish the elder Eye of Gruumsh in a round (it was a bad damage roll or he'd have done it in a single blow), and then another natural 20 with disadvantage in the next round from a javelin at the very edge of long range scored an 'instant death' critical hit on the alpha worg. Later, however, it all turned south as we ambushed the guards as they escorted the working party of slaves back from their diggings at the end of the day. The gnome rogue critical fumbled and took 1d10 damage from a savage flying rabbit (i didn't say it wasn't an occasionally silly critical fumble table...), the elf ranger critically fumbled and put an arrow in a captive's throat by mistake (and the fumble table, aptly, said he collapsed into a state of catatonia until roused), and both my paladin and the druid in giant elk form spent round upon round dueling with orcs and orogs, utterly unable to land blows as we all rolled 4 after 2 after 3 after 5, despite flanking and advantage.

Now ... we're stuck in the middle of the Spine of the World wilderness with winter coming on hard, no food, 40 rescued slaves to feed and care for, and our only assistance a tiny little blimp staffed with Cult of the Dragon loons who we've grudgingly joined forces with because a) they insist and we're afraid of what their boss will do if we say no, and b) the gnome is a compulsive tinkerer and if you've got a cool contraption he's your best friend no matter how bad an idea that might be. The people we were actually hoping to rescue aren't even here. And we've got no idea what the orcs were even digging for way the hell out in the middle of nowhere or who was telling them to look for it, and both of those questions worry us a great deal. Oh, and the captive the ranger accidentally killed was the most attractive one, and the cleric of Sune has decreed this a very grave sin (look, he didn't join the clergy of Sune because he was a particularly deep and contemplative guy, let's be honest here). Oh dear.
 

110th session. Player characters are on the cusp of 20th level. We opened mid-combat in a cliffside fortress where the Cult of Tiamat was performing a ceremony to ritually murder an ancient silver dragon and use her power to free Tiamat from the Nine Hells. The PCs disrupted the ritual, slaying a trio of blue abishai and an ancient blue dragon. The elf arcane trickster rogue brought down the ancient blue almost single-handedly with a quiver full of arrows of dragon slaying. However, a horde of a hundred white abishai were converging on the PCs' position. The half-elf bard (who is now the Open Lord of Waterdeep) polymorphed into a CR18 Walking Statue of Waterdeep, picked up the dragon's corpse, and hurled it down in front of the abishai. "This is your god!" he roared. The abishai turned and fled. It was an awesome scene that showcased just how epic 19th level characters can be.

The silver dragon was still trapped in a magical slumber. And, oh yeah, she's the mother of the human beast master ranger. This is the first time he's met his mother. It's also the first time the PCs have encountered a good dragon. We roleplayed a quiet moment that dramatized the magnitude of the moment. After casting several spells to free the dragon, they realized the only way to do so was to go into the dragon's dream. One by one, the PCs touched the dragon, slumped unconscious, and awakened inside her dream.

The dream was a vision of the silver dragon's cliffside fortress transported to the first layer of Hell and surrounded by a sea of fire. The dragon was bound by shackles themed around dragon breath. The PCs needed to use their wits and abilities to figure out how to break the shackles. And that's when Tiamat showed up.

There was a palpable change in the players' energy when I said her name. It was a bit of a "Holy s--t!" moment. I've positioned Tiamat as the boss villain and so the players know a fight with her is on the horizon. But they weren't expecting her to appear now (even if it's only a dream version). Behind the screen, I wanted an opportunity to use Tiamat in a fight before the climax so I could see how she plays.

Next session: Tiamat rolls for initiative!
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
It went great!

We began with the PCs arriving in a new town (The Brackwater Styes - based on the Styes from the adventure of the same name in Ghosts of Saltmarsh) in order to meet up with the dwarven crew of a ship meant to take them to investigate the wreck of the Empress of the Waves (those who have played Salvage Operation would be familiar with this). They had heard the town was very corrupt, but were surprised at how corrupt it is and nearly started a donnybrook with the town guard a couple of times because they did not want to pay the bribes necessary to get around town and get the info they needed (they have plenty of money, but it was the principle of the matter). They paid one small bribe and then intimidated some other guards to let them by (they have a bit of a rep as adventurers at this point). They did add "take care of the guard situation in Brackwater" to their list of long term goals.

Soon they were on a several day sea journey. My one flub in my eagerness to get to the meat to the adventure was I forgot to describe the ship's passage through a canal to the open sea, which I will have to remember to describe on the way back, because it is an important site for a future adventure I have planned.

Once at the ship (you can see the prop one I made in this thread), three members of the party climbed aboard, while the druid wildshaped into an octopus and explored the outside of the ship and found a crack in the damaged hull he managed to slip through (I required a bunch of perception, investigation, and then athletics checks to notice the proper bubbles, follow them back to a hole big enough for an octopus to squeeze through with effort, and then actually squeeze through it).

The party did eventually meet back up - but in the meantime they fought the spider and ettercap minions of a tiefling cultist of Lolth who had taken over the ship. We left off as the first wave was defeated and they had captured the tiefling (they did not want to kill her for story reasons) when the second wave was arriving to save their mistress.
 

5th level player characters in my Dragon Heist meets the Deck of Many Things mashup. They're in the middle of the heist of the Margaster Estate, which is my equivalent of the Cassalanter Villa, in the middle of a grand ball.

The halfling rogue and half-orc fighter started in the attic/garret, where they discovered a room with a locked door warded by arcane runes. They tried to open the door to no avail. However, the magic on the door telepathically alerted Lord Margaster that someone was trying to break in.

Meanwhile, the half-elf wizard deep in conversation with a scheming sorcerer from the Arcane Brotherhood, who hoped to recruit the wizard. The wizard cut short the conversation when he saw Lord Margaster rallying the guards and leading them toward the attic. Before they could get off the ballroom floor, the wizard threw out dust of sneezing and choking. Margaster and his men got a big whiff...as did a dozen guests of the ball. The wizard hurried past them up to the third floor. He failed his Stealth check and was intercepted by a guard. He took out the guard with magic missile. However, Lord Margaster and his men were now on his heels.

The wizard met up with the rogue and fighter in the attic. They blocked the trap door so Margaster's guards couldn't reach them. Then they tried to get through the arcane wards with a series of spells. This temporarily lowered the ward. Inside was a lushly appointed chamber occupied by a veiled woman. This is Margaster's wife (and the half-orc's mother FYI). She's been held captive in this room for reasons unknown.

Eventually the PCs realized they didn't have the magic needed to break her out. With no other choice, they escaped onto the roof. On the roof, they switched into guard uniforms they'd looted from elsewhere in the estate. They rappelled down the roof then snuck back into the estate's ground floor. One of Margaster's henchmen ordered them to follow her down to the basement.

In the basement, they found a temple to Siamorphe. (Margaster is the embodiment of Siamorphe's powers.) The temple was being looted by a team of drow thieves. The PCs had crossed paths with the drow in previous adventures. Like the PCs, the drow are seeking cards from the Deck of Many Things.

We ended there.

Next session: Drow!
 

111th session. Characters reached 20th level at the end. That was a major milestone in my nerd career. Pretty cool.

Anyway, the PCs had entered the mind of an ancient silver dragon that was locked in a catatonic slumber by the Cult of Tiamat. Inside the dragon's dream, they found the dragon in Hell, bound with mystical wards, and tormented by Tiamat. As they worked to free the wards, Tiamat arrived in all of her CR 30 glory. The PCs had to split their focus between breaking the wards and fighting Tiamat. If slain in the dream, they would be unable to awaken in the real world. Tiamat is a murder machine. By the second round she had two of the PCs down and was virtually untouched. Soon only one PC was still standing. But that PC revived the bard, who used the healing powers from the Rod of Resurrection to get the other PCs back on their feet. The players broke the last mystical bond, freed the silver dragon, and awoke from the vision. It was awesome. Mostly, this session was a chance for me to take Tiamat for a spin and see how she matched up with 20th level characters. She's definitely a serious threat. But I think if properly prepared they could win.

Next session: More dragons!
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Interesting. They took a sideways on me and went hunting for pirates in Baldur's Gate. Including a shot of their minis.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Our last D&D session really got our goats..

In that the PCs were riding herd (literally) on a herd of goats. Giant goats, intended for use in the mountains as pack animals. Why are 8th level characters working as goatherds, you ask? Because wyverns.
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Last Session was the finale to our 5E Dark Sun campaign in which our heroes took down an immortal sorcerer king, freed a city-state of slavery, and retired the campaign with a new challenge: running a city state deprived of the rulership it has been used to for the last 1000 years.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Pretty slow & irritating to the DM (me) & 3/4 players as player #4 kept bogging things down arguing about wich way to go, how to deal with a problem, etc. Just generally being a difficult ass.

It's not hard, it's Curse of Strahd. They're the right lv, they've got several of the items, the clues/card readings + their own divinations etc all point to the rest of the items and the bad guy being right up there in the haunted castle....
Grrr.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Combat wombat session tonight. 3 encounters total last 3 sessions, tonight had 4 with another 2 next week. Crushing Warforged revolutionaries following the Lord of Blades.

Supplied a new player with some character sheets and helped out a bit with character creation as other DM wasn't there and the one player there lacked sheets and asked for some.

Store owner gave us each a bag of chips for Christmas, other group got chocolate bars. Quiet week between semesters this close to Christmas. First week Tasha's was available. He ordered 29 alt covers and one of my players bought one, got mine a few days ago.

Think I've got enough store credit to get a free book. Might get a replacement MM and give my old one to a kid in other group but I'll check with DM/mother first.

Next week will be two days before Christmas. One player is a maybe and one tends to be a maybe so might run a board game, Munchkin or Star Wars D6 one off.
 

At the climax of Dragon of Icespire Keep from the Essentials Kit. Player characters are 5th level. In this session they traveled to Icespire Hold. Using a map they'd obtained earlier, they snuck into the undercroft through the secret door. There they fought a pack of ghouls and a ghast. At the end of the first round the cleric used Turn Undead. I never even got to drop a single PC. Sad waste of a ghoul. From there the PCs ascended to the first level and began to explore. They came across the dragonborn minions of the titular dragon...which is where we ended the rather short session.
 

112th session of Tyranny of Dragons/Scales of War/Stuff with 20th level player characters.

In this session they teleported into a monastery under assault by the Cult of Tiamat. The monastery is the home base of one of the original characters who started the campaign at 1st level, but was retired at about 7th level. The character is a monk, naturally, but his replacement is a sorcerer. In any case, the monk made a special guest appearance. Last session, the PCs learned the monastery was being attacked, but they were too battered from their previous adventure to do much about it until after a long rest. So by the time they arrived at the monastery the occupants were slain and the McGuffin was gone. Waiting in ambush for the PCs were four dragons they had tangled with before. It was a fun battle for me to run -- four adult dragons all with legendary actions can consistently dish out the damage. But they were no match for 20th level player characters. The fight opened with the sorcerer casting meteor swarm and was over by the end of the second round.

Next session: The devil you know...
 
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Pirates of the Emerald Coast is still going strong. Though we lost a player due to him falling down the rabbithole of covid conspiracies, we gained a new player: the partner and soon to be wife of one of our players. She had never played D&D before, but she was a larper, and thus no stranger to roleplaying. She had heard many of his stories about the campaign, and thus could jump straight into the action, despite it being a high level campaign that had been running for years. The rest of the group embraced her character easily, and I found an easy way to bring her into the plot immediately.

The players were in the middle of breaking their crew out of jail; an elaborate dungeon crawl. She was but one of the many prisoners, but I teamed her up with an evil druid npc that was relevant to the plot (arrested for attempting to poison the town's water supply), while the druid's peaceful sister was part of the other team. These two different jailbreaks were happening at different locations in the prison, but the two groups quickly met up and merged into one.

The evil druid turned out to be a useful ally, as he was able to raise any corpse into a Vine Horror; a walking corpse puppeteered by animated plants. However, he helt some sinister opinions on the town's residents. It was also revealed that another member of this circle of druids, Destrian, had invoked the power of an ancient evil forest spirit; Mepusa of the Twilight Veil, to wreak her vengeance on the town for cutting down their sacred grove. Destrian has up until now escaped capture, and may be less open to peaceful negotiations. Their only other option right now is to seek out the wise elder of the druids, after they escape the prison with their crew first. But they also have the pious leader of the town to deal with, who imprisoned their crew in the first place.

The players now have a bunch of ogres and fire giants to deal with, to reach their imprisoned crew...
 
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Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
So, with a totally new group of players, of whom I only knew the gm, we started a Mass Effect campaign. We play a team of ”problem solvers” from Omega. Our first ”mission” was stopping a hijack of a transport ship we were on. Went better than expected. My ”tank” was the only one who ever got even hit, and I rather easily shrugged that damage off. But this was a session to test the system, and I did note that a few more hits would have quickly turned lethal.
 

We just arrived in Elturel and my players decided on some downtime before continuing the main mission. (I had already decided that I wasn't sticking to the imposed urgency of the text anyway.) My newest player learned how downtime worked, so that took a bit of doing, but the biggest fun turned out to be the mundane task of selling our loot from the Scornubel Tournament. It turns out that Sir Egan (thanks to a couple of unlucky rolls) didn't take his defeat well and was determined to take back our group's winnings.

I thought we were going to get into a glorious bar brawl, but our newbie figured out she could charm him into not attacking for one minute. During that time, our dwarf bribed the other patrons into not interfering (by buying drinks and food for everyone) and tied him up. We ended as they were hauling him off to talk to Othram.
 


We moved our regular Thursday night game to Tuesday this week to avoid playing on Christmas Eve, add that to a Sunday night game I play with a different group of friends in Japan and it meant 3 games in 6 nights.

--

Last nights game we’re nearing the end of a story arc that’s been going for months, the campaign is a mix of Essentials and Starter sets as well as Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Acquisitions Inc and maybe some Saltmarsh as well?

It’s the DM’s first time running and we’re up to level 10, I’m playing a Fire Genasi Arcana Cleric.

Not to go into too much detail (as I’m not sure if I’m spoiling anything from the various published adventure) But we infiltrated a giant floating castle in sky, located an adult white dragon being worshiped by cultists and defeated it. It was a heap of fun.



The Sunday night game is a homebrew world where there’s a huge central gothic city that reminds me a lot of Gormenghast, the main plot centres around one of the players, a WarForged Cleric that had come to warn of an approaching plague that he had seen in another part of the land.

Having learnt of a possible cure we headed to a small town where we found out there is a nearby community of gnomes that become mushrooms in their old age, who can help us in our quest. Before reaching the gnomes we came across a 10ft talk woodland creature that asked us to rid a sacred temple of an unwanted evil presence.

We found and wiped out a group of cultists that had been sacrificing people from a nearby village in the woodland temple, (although people from the village were practicing cannibalism) and it seemed that the cult were trying to stop a coming evil. So we ended up a little unsure on who could be trusted.

A good session overall with a lot of plot thickening moments, in this campaign I’m playing a Tortle Monk, who up until last session had never killed anyone, always choosing to knock opponents out.
 

5th level PCs in my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. Last session, they infiltrated the Margaster Estate during a grand ball, got in all kinds of trouble, and ended up in the hidden subterranean Temple of Siamorphe dressed as guards of the house. (I'm simply reskinning the Temple of Asmodeus and the Cassalanter Villa from Dragon Heist.) Several cards from the Deck were in possession of the Margasters and secured in the Temple.

When this session began, the PCs were in a three way fight:
1) The PCs: half-elf wizard, half-orc fighter, halfling rogue
2) The Margasters (several CR 1/8 Guards, a CR 2 Priest, and the not-Lannister-ripoff Margaster Twins CR 3)
3) Drow agents that the PCs had previously tangled with who also want the Deck (a pair of CR 2 Ettercaps and a CR 8 Drow Assassin)

It was a wild fight that took about two hours to run. The minions went down fast. The wizard was taken out by a single shot from the Drow Assassin, then revived by the halfling rogue. The half-orc fighter was nearly wrecked by the Margaster Twins (I was using the Hobgoblin Captain stat block for them, which made them a really powerful duo) but was saved by Action Surge. The Priest punched above her weight, shredding the rogue with spirit guardians and continually reviving the Twins with healing spells. The orc fighter was trying not to kill the Twins (for some reason) but the third time not-Cersei was revived he decided enough was enough and finished her off.

Eventually, the wizard used a Bead of Force to trap the Drow Assassin. Then the wizard dropped a fireball right on himself to take out the Priest, but leaving his allies unharmed due to his sculpt spell evoker ability. It was an epic finale.

However, Lord Margaster and his guards are now storming into the Temple. Looks like it's time to sneak out through the secret sewer entrance...

Next session: Dark dealings with the captive drow!
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Today's session was rough. A few near deaths, including two near drownings. We left off with the PCs on the deck of a sinking ship, waves breaking over the starboard side of the main deck as the ship listed. Also, the bad guy got away.

I was also disappointed that I forgot to enforce a light source thing that would have made the final battle play out differently (the problem is three of the four characters have darkvision, meaning the human is often the only one in the dark).
 

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