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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Last session was a lot of fun, and a reminder a long veteran player can be surprised by new players. (In a good way.) Though it ended up rather short.

So, session opened up with the party getting "invited" to pay tax/tithe to pirate captain in the middle of a public bazaar after a day of shopping and selling off loot. A bit of set-up: as DM, I throw more plots at the players than they have time for, and what they choose to focus on and what they don't shapes the world as time passes. They are low level, in a little podunk town that's only remarkable aspect is that it's the northern-most port on the west coast of the continent, as winter is hitting. A pirate ship has been using it as a wintering base for the past few years, with the pirates being relatively law-abiding towards the townfolk due to the presence of a strong and unbending dwarven sheriff and her two deputies. Well, one of the hooks they didn't go after had the sheriff looking for help apprehending an escaped bandit leader who they were worried would bring her band to the town for a bit of revenge (and looting). The party ended up going on other quests instead, and the sheriff has now been missing for over two weeks after leaving to apprehend her. Well, one of the repercussions of that is that as the only organized armed force in the town, the captain decided it was "their town" now. Mostly letting the local be, but taking cuts from the businesses that dealt with real coin and such. As well as lots of drinks.

And then the party walks back into town with three brass dragon wyrmlings and starts trading gems and jewelry for coin, armor and other supplies.

Which the pirate captain wanted a slice of. Especially she wanted a wyrmling. Because, how cool is that? Be the envy of other pirate captains.

So she came after in force, "asking" for "taxes". In front of a whole bunch of the town. And the party did as you'd expect a party would - parlayed for a bit and then there was initiative.

The party actually has gotten pretty scary, in the actually scare you meaning as opposed to being tough. The wild magic sorcerer accepted a pact and now throws out tentacles and such. The drow-ish* rogue critted on intimidation during the parlay. The dragonborn barbarian is rather rage-filled. And the Eladrin Bard rounds things out with Dissonant Whispers and the like.

Well, during the combat they managed to scare off every normal (read: fodder) pirate, and the crowd of townsfolk. Trouncing the opposition played a part, and the pirates weren't looking for a battle to the death, just some easy shakedown. The pirate ship's mage was ready to bolt and the first mate called "Do you want to have to tell Her sisters that you ran and left her?", talking about the captain.

In the end, when the first mate ran away due to dissonant whispters, the ship's mage broke, and the captain had been reduced to single digit HPs (which they could get from the descriptions of how hurt she was). And she just gracefully conceded to the party and started to walk away.

And they let her.

So in the end, not a single pirate was actually killed, even the instigator. No treasure was found (which is okay, I'll make that up other ways - I make sure when I run you don't need to murderhobo to get rewards). And if they leave, which they intend to, the pirates could take over the town again. At the least they have a gentleman enemy in the pirate captain.

And it's so fun - usually she'd be dead if she tried that "to save the town". But that isn't the default for the new players. They've asserted dominance over her, and while I could have it come back and bite them, I can also end up being a blessing for going the deathless route.

Looking forward to next session.
 
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ccs

41st lv DM
Cancelled due to holiday overtime for 1/2 the group & then Delayed until Jan.7 as both Christmas Eve & New Years eve are on Thur this year.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
As a GM last night,

Continuation of my first Modern AGE campaign that has been on hold since 2019. Only two players in this one. A couple that had become unavailable to play for a while now. They played the Fruit of the Vine mission I GMed a few days ago using Fantasy AGE but I transplanted the mission in Montreal 1921. It worked really well with the Weird Science vibe of the campaign.

These two characters are in the same campaign as the other Modern AGE game I'm currently running with three others players. The characters have not met yet. I could potentially have 5 players at the same table in the future.

We used Googlemeet this time instead of Skype. I really enjoyed having the white board function integrated in the application.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Legends of the Five Rings (FFG) last Friday, as a player.

It was the first "real" adventure session after two previous sessions learning the system. Playing a samurai with all the bushido codified behaviours can be a challenge. As players we are still adjusting to the correct way to formulate questions without triggering loss of honour or insulting the other person.

We are three imperial policemen looking for a missing high ranking son on a carousing tour in a low life town of the Turtle clan. He disappeared 5 days ago with three friends he met in town.

We discovered he has debts with two money landers, gamblings debts, he owes money to the opium parlour and the inn he was staying at. To top it off he used the Crane family name to hide his identity, thus slandering his clan and the Crane clan with his behaviour. Of course, we have to resolve this problem as discretely as possible.

We can't just arrest and interrogate the criminals of the town because it has the Imperial Protection.
 

It was a fairly quick session today. Last time, we had tied up Sir Egan in order to haul him in front of Ontharr Frume. That was done today and then everybody chose factions. Most people chose Harper, but one of the drow chose to join the Order of the Gauntlet. Also, when they consented to follow the caravan, I let each character choose an uncommon magical item of their choice -- only one of which I tweaked to make it more suitable for our low-levels.

The trip to Baldur's Gate went without a hitch. We even found out about Rezmir almost immediately. Even better, everybody got hired onto the caravan. (Two of us were going to have to pay our own way, but then I remembered we were supposed to add either Athletics or Persuasion to our rolls.)

That is where we left off since I have to make player copies of the wagon train.
 


ModernApathy

Explorer
I had my Sunday night online game canceled (DM is a teacher in Tokyo and has a week of intensive teaching) which is a shame as we’re stuck in the feywild and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Bur I got to play with work friends (also online) last night.

The previous session we were in Baldur’s Gate to worn the city of a pirate raid we had uncovered. A few nights later ships rose from the sea and attacked, and we raced across town to help a wizard we’d met earlier.

This session we fought a warlock that vanished mid battle with the wizard we were trying to rescue. We made a deal with some street urchins to tell us where to find the escaping warlock and her prisoner. A trail of monsters slowed us down, including a Bulette that killed a recently hired dwarven ranger NPC.*

It was a shortish session, we wrapped up with having beaten the warlock and rescued the wizard.

It was a lot of fun, with the city being attacked and time being of the essence we had no chance for short rests so we were pretty depleted of resources by the finish.

*My character feels some guilt and responsibility for the death having talked the dwarf into joining the group.
 

Today we had our first gaming session since school started back up in August (causing us to put our campaigns on a temporary COVID hold). We went through two short urban adventures in my 3.5 homebrew campaign: the first one dealing with helping a dressmaker who was apparently being attacked by the ghost of the man who had been stalking her; the second a search for the dwarven gem carver capable of crafting the dozen dreamstones the PCs had unearthed in their previous session in August, but who has gone missing after trying to find his cousin in the sewer lair of a wererat thieves guild. They breezed through the first adventure but the second one had a few of them worried as they quickly burned through their healing and waves of enemies just kept on coming. (First level is a dangerous time for adventurers!) But they survived and everyone got to level up to second level. (The 4-hp sorcerer was a bit disappointed to find out he's now...a 5-hp sorcerer. Minimum score on his d4 roll and no Constitution bonus is definitely a bummer!)

This Friday we'll get to play in my son's campaign, also for the first time since August. We're taking advantage of game time while we can; once school starts back up on 11 Jan 21, that'll be it for our campaigns again until school gets out in May (unless we've manage to kick COVID by then, but I'm not holding my breath on that front). So we may end up gaming several more times in the next week and a half, alternating between our two campaigns.

Johnathan
 

We just played today in my son's 3.5 campaign, in which we were all slaves to the drow. Well, that's finally over with! For services rendered - and, more importantly, to prevent the drow matriarch who elevated herself to the status of the Mortal Queen, above all drow in existence and second only to Lolth herself, from being able to scry upon us through our slave tattoos - the tattoos were removed and we were all elevated to citizen status. Of course, we're still under the commands of our House Matron, but it's a step in the right direction.

We went through two short adventures this session. In the first, we fought off aquatic denizens in the Bioluminescent Sea who had invaded the massive cavern where the Eight Pillars of Overreach (the home city of our drow masters...make that "fellow citizens") is located after having been granted citizenship (and getting to buy weapon upgrades). My lizardfolk PC enjoyed getting to spend time in the water, since before he'd been turned into an arena slave his first five years of life had been as a fisher slave. In the second, we had to rescue an ally of our drow House to prevent him from being sacrificed to Lolth. We didn't really want to do it (we pretty much all hate the guy - he's an illithid and the Administer of Discipline to the slaves of the drow), but had he been successfully sacrificed it would have brought an avatar of Lolth to the material plane and that probably wouldn't have worked to our benefit. My son knew exactly how we were going to feel about having to rescue him, too - he named that adventure "Do We Have To?"

Johnathan
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
20th level player characters against the Cult of Tiamat. The PCs are in a cliffside monastery which holds a fragment of an artifact that they want...and the Cult wants, as well. Tiamat has sent in her infernal allies in a last ditch attempt to stop the PCs from disrupting her plans. They are led by the archdevil Bel (stats taken from Descent Into Avernus). Bel's goal was to overcome the PC who had a fragment of the artifact in their possession. Conversely, Bel also had a fragment of the artifact, so the PCs wanted to overcome him, as well as rescue a pair of captives.

This session was one long fight. As was the last session. As the next session will be, too.

It started with Meteor Swarm being dropped on the PCs by Bel CR 25. Then a flock of Horned Devils CR 11 descended. Meanwhile, at one end of the monastery the abbot was held in chains by a Pit Fiend CR 20 and Bone Devil companions. At the other end of the monastery Bel had what appeared to be the paladin's mentor and patron captive. Flanking Bel were a pair of Steel Predators CR 16. And with each turn he summoned another Ice Devil. In short, there are thousands of hit points the PCs need to grind through.

Five of the PCs teleported away from the Horned Devils over to the Pit Fiend. They dispatched the Pit Fiend and his Bone Devils to rescue the abbot. Then they destroyed the remaining Horned Devils.

On the other side of the monastery, the elf arcane trickster rogue snuck up on Bel and tried to lift the fragment from him. He succeeded! For good measure, the rogue threw in a sneak attack for about 50hp of damage. Unfortunately, Bel was simply an illusion, thanks to the Mislead spell. As the fragment faded away to nothingness in the rogue's hands, the true Bel attacked while invisible. One round of attacks knocked out the rogue. Then the Steel Predators killed him. Yet moments later, the aasimar vengeance paladin used Revivify to bring the rogue back to life.

That's where we ended...

Next session: For whom the Bel tolls!
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Yesterday was a pleasure and a pain. The pain. We had discussed before Christmas about doing an all day game session for the new year. We ALL agreed Jan 2 at Noon to finish up the Chapter 2 of Icewind Dale. Monday I posted the Game reminder on Facebook and phone chat.
Saturday. Two people finally mention they couldn't make at noon but at 5 PM. So I had to scramble and contact the others.
The funny, the strict time person OVERSLEPT and was late.
The pleasure. The early people we played Knights of Dinner Table Orcs at the Gate, and Road Kill Rally. Everyone wants to play them again but want someone else to known the rules too. We had cold cuts. And my wife deep fried WHOLE wings for snackage.
I also shift some things around Icewind Dale. A Wooly Mammoth Mafia is going to muscle into Nine Towns Big Time. The Awaken mammoth shook down the pcs for 20 gp.
 

I had something similar happen, in that on Friday we had decided on having a game session today (we're trying to crank out as many as we can during the Christmas break between two families who are otherwise quarantined, because once the two kids go back to school that's it for us until school gets out), and I got email notification yesterday that the other family was canceling. So we might get a session in on Wednesday night (in one campaign) and we might get a session in this coming Saturday (in the other campaign), but that'll likely be it until May or June. Bummer, and no explanation given for the sudden cancellation.

Johnathan
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Running for my kids and niece & nephew. I've described it as a "teaching campaign" and am making sure to throw a lot of different types of things at them to learn from, and afterwards pulling back the curtain some to talk about it. Like their first dungeon crawl, how I did a magician's force, how I (mostly) ensured one of them would get diseased by death dogs so they would have to search out the Witch of the Woods, etc.

Anyway, I figured I'd runa module for them, since normally everything I do is homebrew. I had recently seen a recommendation for "Stolen for Stitches" on DMsguild, which billed itself as a 3-hour adventure for levels 5-10. They have four level four characters but adjusting encounter deadliness is easy.

Well, they're about four hours into it and about 25% of the way done. I don't say that as any slight on the module - as a resolution-focused one-shot I can easily see the listed three hours. But my group is very heavy on RP and also very easily distracted (ah, the joys of ADHD). Though since I run (and play) heavy on RP myself that's not something I can "blame" on them.

Again it's interesting watching the differences between what I would expect from veteran players and new ones. For instance there's a time sensitivity to the hook, but they found it out when arriving in Mirepool late in the evening. Still, they decided to go out immediately - three of the four have darkvision. (Going to get a bit vague to preserve the module.) They accomplished part of the objective and encounters an NPC who could help them, but turned back. Now, it was very much the emotional load of the partial objective, and it actually hit two of the characters right in their backstories/call-to-adventure so they wanted to return what they could to the town ASAP. And then, once there and because they were badly hurt, they rested for the night.

I would have either expected them to set out in the morning in the first place, when everyone could see, or if they were worried about time pressure to go out in the evening to continue to push forward. Actually what they did works out to be pretty smart tactically - they will be refreshed in the morning and have a lead which should make up for the time spent traveling back.

On the other hand, one thing that I wouldn't say is different than veteran players is the quality of roleplay. I don't know if they just had a lot more exposure to it via various things on the internet but they all have well developed personalities, show emotions, do things in character that aren't always the smartest, and just RP the heck out of everything. It took me a number of years playing to get to what they do now. It's a real blast to run for them.
 
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Mallus

Legend
Out last session was almost three weeks ago, let's see if I can remember...

1. We successfully retreated out of the troll-and-necromancer-infested sewers beneath the capital city. Covered in the effluvia produced by a diet heavily reliant upon herring (we're in pseudo-Sweden). We didn't get much treasure, but we did get a necromancer's corpse to interrogate.

2. We took a side job; promising to investigate a group of missing pilgrims, lost on their way to a shrine to Odin or somesuch in the nearby mountains.

3. We hit upon an idea for a business. A hireling subscription service called Lootercrate. Or, rather, Lutecrate, because we're in pseudo-Sweden.

4. We magically charmed a theater critic. For business, not pleasure. Or spite. We also suggested he name his next work "I am Curious (Yeller)". It's about a beloved lost pet...

5. We spoke with the dead. Slowly, since my cleric only gets 2 questions/day at 5th level. We discovered the evil Northern Necromancers are prepared to make war... as soon as they acquire a precious item they seek: the only copy of the Torah in all the northlands.

Which, coincidentally enough, my character is also seeking. He's trying to learn more about his religion, which he converted to in extremis while being kidnaped by Vikings.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Humorous addendum from last session:

As they are running up to a Giant Crocodile (same Challenge rating as a Troll) at night, my fashion-conscious players:

Half-Elf Sorlock: What color is the crocodile?
DM: Grey. You can't see colors in darkvision.
action happens

Eladrin Bard: What color is the crocodile?!
DM: Grey. You can't see colors in darkvision.
action happens

*Dragonborn Barbarian runs up with the everburning torch.

Sorlock & Bard in unison: What color is the crocodile?!!
 

Well it's been forever since our last session due to I guess Covid and trying to align everybody's work schedule in a way where everybody is not working on our usual game session on Tuesday nights.

With that being said, if I'm to be super honest about it, was an extreme letdown. Especially with such a build from the last couple of sessions leading to said critical moment of this session that was supposed to happen. The only positive of that session, despite me being late due to the pizza delivery person not showing up four hours later after ordering said pizza, was that I got a whole free pizza given to me for the late inconvenience by the pizza shop owner. So I brought that to the session for everybody to snack on in order to make up for said lateness.

To clarify, the issue didn't stem from the fact that I was late, which the group assured me it wasn't, but from the fact that the DM just kinda handwaved an entire Important Major encounter with one of the major NPCs of the section we were in. He's a great DM and all and I know there are some days where sometimes we just don't feel it. But the DM just wanted to hangout with the group so that's why he didn't cancel and we just had a super short session. And I don't mind at all hanging out with the gang and doing stuff that isn't DND. I'm just saying that I wished the entire thing could be redone again, properly and give the encounter the proper happening it deserved. I'll even take the DMpc taking out said important NPC as a cutscene thing again if it was redone.
 

Nod_Hero

Explorer
"The Deliverers" (the party name for our War of the Burning Sky campaign) went up against a half-dozen monks and some kind of human/manta ray hybrid-abomination thing.
The manta monster thing was ripping us up pretty good (the saving throws against stunning strikes were very below average) so it was a frustrating fight until Scratch (Goblin Gunslinger) scored two critical hits against the manta monster in the same turn and took it down.
Once Namadicus (Loxodon Cobalt Soul Monk), Kursk (Warforged Forge Cleric), and Nigami (Kobold Draconic Sorcerer) could focus fire on the monks and start knocking them unconscious (they were being dominated by some off-scene BBEG) the tide turned and we won the battle.
After that we took on some Ettins and finally found the entrance to the lair of the BBEG and entered.
wbs05-maps03-00.jpg
Inside was a bunch of vats and growth pods things. As one would expect, stuff started cracking and we barricaded ourselves behind some double doors across the room, listening to the sounds of glass breaking and unknown creatures groaning as we called the session to a close...
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I am back in FRACK HIGH SCHOOL and that's okay. My Tuesday group move locations on me at short notice but thank the gawds for GPS. One unsocialized kitty. 8 players all trickling in. One girl friend who want to watch but didn't. Two guys interested in the girl friend and not paying attention. And wrestling. Too small tables shoved together. And people pulling crazy moves. I thought I was going to have a TPK. But some got wise. But I have recognized my Tuesday group is half casual.
 

We played another session in our 3.5 Raiders of the Overreach campaign tonight. This one was kind of out there: we rode in a tricked-out Apparatus of Kwalish through a pool of liquid mithral, passing through a submerged planar gate and into Dwarven Hell, where we fought our way past Huge hellfire elementals and a half-fiend dwarven fighter to free the Mithral Mage, a lich who was the arch-nemesis in our previous campaign. But the PCs in this campaign know nothing about his past exploits and freed him from where he had been imprisoned (the intention had been for him to be stuck there in Dwarven Hell forever - we just botched that up good time and our previous campaign's PCs never did learn how he had escaped from Dwarven Hell in the first place) because he figures prominently in a prophecy that says he might be able to imprison the Dying One, the still-alive severed head of an illithid Elder God floating around on the Astral Plane and trying to destroy the world. So no pressure on us or anything - especially when one of the five PCs is a secret adherent of the Dying One, agreeing to serve him in an effort to make life easier on herself.

My lizardfolk PC got dropped from his normal 110 hp down to 6 hp in three rounds. Huge hellfire elementals are tough! (On the plus side, he got to eat his own charred, sloughed-off scales after getting healed back up to full hit points by our gnomish cleric once we were done fighting the elementals. His assessment: smoky, with a slight aftertaste of desperation.)

Johnathan
 

corwyn77

Explorer
"The Deliverers" (the party name for our War of the Burning Sky campaign) went up against a half-dozen monks and some kind of human/manta ray hybrid-abomination thing.
The manta monster thing was ripping us up pretty good (the saving throws against stunning strikes were very below average) so it was a frustrating fight until Scratch (Goblin Gunslinger) scored two critical hits against the manta monster in the same turn and took it down.
Once Namadicus (Loxodon Cobalt Soul Monk), Kursk (Warforged Forge Cleric), and Nigami (Kobold Draconic Sorcerer) could focus fire on the monks and start knocking them unconscious (they were being dominated by some off-scene BBEG) the tide turned and we won the battle.
After that we took on some Ettins and finally found the entrance to the lair of the BBEG and entered.
wbs05-maps03-00.jpg
Inside was a bunch of vats and growth pods things. As one would expect, stuff started cracking and we barricaded ourselves behind some double doors across the room, listening to the sounds of glass breaking and unknown creatures groaning as we called the session to a close...
I remember that map from running Wotbs years ago in 4e; good luck.
 

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