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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Today's session was a lesson in getting the heck out of the way.

There's a cult of Talos that our party has cheesed off in the past. We found some evidence that they were active in Phandalin, and weren't too happy about it.

Thus, our party, just innocently preparing a shipment of goods we are going to escort to another settlement, gets ambushed. And by "ambushed" I mean, "we telegraphed where we'd be, hoping that the bad guys would show up to stop us." Our miscalculation was that we didn't know that there was also a cult of Myrkul looking to flex in Phandalin, and that they decided to show up too.

Rock and a hard place - where the rock is a vampire and a bunch of ghouls, and the hard place is a really fast and violent elf assassiny type, and her flock of buffed up kobolds. Our only real asset is the fact that these two bunches seem to have no love lost between them. By which I mean they are in competition, and hated each other's gust.

Our barbarian... doesn't care a whole lot about tactics. She runs off to engage the kobolds. Which means that there's nothing between my artificer and our Warlock and the undead :(

Long story short, we polish off the minions with area of effects, and my gnomish artificer (who isn't really tops in melee) has had many chunks taken out of him. The warlock takes to the air with wings of flying, leaving me... right between a vampire and an assassin.

With 18 hit points left, I choose the better part of valor, and withdraw the whopping 25' my little gnome legs will take me towards our barbarian, and hoping the GM was trying to telegraph something earlier. The vampire and the assassin are now closer to each other than they are to me, and, as I had hoped, they decide to attack each other.

The party spends two rounds munching popcorn (okay, actually, I was chugging healing potions) while these idiots beat on each other. We remark to each other about how nice it is when the enemy chews up its own hit points, but otherwise don't do anything to break their focus. We figured on the third round of this they might realize that maybe they should pay attention to us, so that's when we laid into them with a fusillade of ranged attacks, obliterating them.

Always use the enemy's foibles against them...
 

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Campbell

Legend
Scion Second Edition

Fairly tense social affair. Our scion of Inari, Haru of the Golden Fields, who is also a kitsune had her visitation in the coffee shop she now owns and runs. Inari showed up and knocked the door. I also opted to have Wrestles With Bears, our scion of Pakawiss, receive his visitation in the form of 3 talking squirrels that held the essence of his patron. Fate, by which I mean a dragon tasked overseeing fortune, conspired to bring Kai, Scion of the Obsidian Butterfly, along with a living incarnation of said goddess to the coffee shop for dinner.

We ended up with a standoff between Gods arguing over divine politics which could have easily resulted in no more coffee shop. Luckily Wrestles With Bears defused the situation with his slippery tongue although he did impress the Obsidian Butterfly just a tad too much resulting in affections which might be dangerous for him down the line (He passed the roll, but did not generate enough successes to buy off the complication). Things came out that our gods did not want to tell their children yet including that Kai was blessed by the Obsidian Butterfly pretty much because she needs help dealing with Kai's father who is trying to ascend to godhood.

We ended our game with Kai setting up a dinner date with his father who might be engaged in a sideline of ritual killings in order to become a god of death.

This game has loads of fun to run so far. My fellow players have made running this game a dream. They are constantly throwing curve balls my way. Did not expect a fresh Scion to attempt to seduce a goddess of death. Really did not expect him to roll so well either.
 

We ran through two adventures in my 3.5 campaign yesterday. In the first one, the PCs came to the aid of a young noblewoman they'd saved in an earlier adventure, this time helping her to recover the diamonds needed to have her slain brother raised from the dead. Over the course of that adventure, they think they've figured out the identity of a notorious thief in the city and definitely found out the identity of the person who had kidnapped the noblewoman in the earlier adventure. (And boy, were they mad at who it was!) I also killed the entire party off right at the beginning, but fortunately it was in a dream sequence. The second adventure involved going to the location of the person trapped in the dream in which the PCs had gotten "dream-killed" in the previous adventure and rescuing him from his dream. But that led to them waking up somewhere completely different from where they'd gone to bed - now they were wearing only simple togas and were being told to worship a titan who had brought them to the Overworld to be his fawning admirers. They had to figure out what was going on there (it wasn't as the titan had explained - these PCs are only 2nd level and there's no way I'd pit them against an actual titan) and how to undo what had been done to them, in an adventure that had us using five of my nephew's Marvel superhero action figures as life-size representations of the PCs. It was a good time - but also our last face-to-face gaming until May or June.

Johnathan
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
20th level player characters. 114th session. Tiamat is attempting to escape from Hell, reforge the mythical sword that created her and Bahamut, and then slay Bahamut himself. The player characters are trying to stop her.

This episode was the culmination of a battle that spanned three episodes. The PCs took on four adult dragons and a host of devils led by the archdevil Bel. The previous episode ended with Bel killing the elf arcane trickster rogue. This episode started with the aasimar vengeance paladin casting Revivify to get the rogue back on his feet. However, Bel's pack of steel predators used their sonic roars to stun several members of the party, leaving them incapacitated for a turn. The ice devils trapped the human beastmaster ranger in a dome of ice. Bel teleported into the dome and stunned the ranger. Then he picked up the ranger and teleported him hundreds of miles away to the headquarters of the Cult of Tiamat.

Unfortunately, the ranger was the party member holding the Draconomicon, which happens to contain the ritual needed to release Tiamat from Hell. The ritual requires the sacrifice of a Chosen of Bahamut (or a Chosen of Tiamat, if you want to get technical). Guess who's a Chosen of Bahamut? Yup, the ranger himself. In one fell swoop, the party has handed their archvillains everything they need to bring their nefarious plans to fruition.

That sound you hear is the DM's evil laughter.

Bel teleported back to the battle in hopes of destroying the party. Although battered, the PCs weren't beaten. They turned the tables on Bel, destroying his material form, and exiling him to Hell. (Where they'll inevitably face him again.)

Next session: The ranger will be the ritual sacrifice that ushers in the end of the world...
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My "Revenants of Saltmarsh" game (two remaining players from second game) spent a lot of time last session discussing the ethics of accepting a mission to "rescue" a young woman in love with member of a rival family and has been betrothed by some slimy merchant by her uncle. The characters share a common religion (it is kind of a early Christian cult) but have very different points of view about how to live out their values. Lamech (the bard on his way to be cleric) wanted to try to help because "love" is important. Yaakov the paladin, on the other hand, hates the rich and sees their power and systems as the source of corruption. "I feel bad for the girl, but this is a systemic problem, and our skills are better put to use addressing other issues."

Eventually, they agreed to do more investigation of the politics of the girl's hasty betrothal and secret love, after they went hunting for "turkey-lizards" in a local sea cave. The strange creatures (really young velociraptors hatched from a clutch of eggs a local wizard's servant was careless with) had been dragging off pets and scavenging in garbage, but recently one had attacked nad gravely injured a local boy.

The romance plot is an adaptation of "The Matchmakers!" from Dungeon Magazine #7 (Sept/Oct 1987). The dino plot is an adaptation of "And a Dozen Eggs" from Dungeon Magazine #30 (July/August 1991) and written by Randy Maxwell. This is all happening while wait to be given the go-ahead to do the second part of Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
That sounds suitably epic!

Johnathan
Thank you! It was! We're nearing the end of the campaign and I was worried that the PCs were coasting to an easy finish. The Cult of Tiamat felt the same way. So they laid an ambush for the PCs and hit them hard. It was a rough session for the players but sets us up for an epic finale.
 

delph

Explorer
Yesterday I'll remember long. My tabaxi kensei lvl4 was from start taken only as a good dmg dealer, with a little quicker move. Nothing more. There was nothing really "monky" because no jumping down, now ranged battles. But yesterday there was everything, and for open hand, will be more - his pushing will be in charge because of many fights on edge of cliffs...
And last battle in cave with goblins and drows and their poison weapons. It should be very challenging if we go straight as we should. But I have idea to climb to one higher position. And found 2 stealthy goblin archer (and I had good stealth too) and start battle. That shows a prime way was leading around big hole in ranged distant many goblins and 2 drows. And this little climbing was short way to get them to close-combat.
So many hits was done with goblins out of base range of drows hand crossbows, two epic saves against their fairy fire, and when we finnis with goblins they had last shots before we came close to melee.
And one of them hit mi with critical - rolled maximum dmg 15 dmg. GM was happy he had finally a lucky shot because we go much easier than he xpected, have lucky rolls, or he unlucky... But I start contra - deflect missiles and YES get good roll too and reduce dmg to 0 and with kipoint I throw it back and hit. Than drow doesn't hit 5 for constitution save and fall unconscious imedietly. And it win battle totally.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
At the climax of my modified version of Dragon of Icespire Peak from the Essentials Kit. Five player characters of 5th level. In my version, the titular dragon is aided by a band of evil dragonborn and kobolds. The PCs spent this session fighting the minions, finally locating and arriving at the dragon's hoard. The hoard included a spear of dragonslaying. The PCs grabbed the spear and spent 10 minutes looting all 4000gp in the hoard. As they finished, they felt Icespire Hold shudder as the returning dragon landed on the roof.

Next session: Dragonslayers!
 
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We joined the caravan in HoQ. It went smoother than I expected. One of my players mentioned that he missed fighting. (I rolled an encounter, but not an actual battle.) I'm letting each character do one thing a day, two on rest days, so I reminded him that he can go scouting/looking for trouble in a way that does NOT endanger the group getting kicked out of the caravan.

I'm expecting a lot more action for at least one character next round.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
We joined the caravan in HoQ. It went smoother than I expected. One of my players mentioned that he missed fighting. (I rolled an encounter, but not an actual battle.) I'm letting each character do one thing a day, two on rest days, so I reminded him that he can go scouting/looking for trouble in a way that does NOT endanger the group getting kicked out of the caravan.

I'm expecting a lot more action for at least one character next round.
I'm interested in hearing how this goes. It appears to be a part of HotDQ that people either love or hate. How many sessions are you anticipating spending on it?
 

Nebulous

Legend
PCs reached Argynvostholt in Curse of Strahd and got their asses HANDED to them by three revenants. They ran. I was too kind and let a downed PC live (he was faking death against three revenants) but whatever.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
Session 115. 20th level player characters with 2 epic boons each. Tiamat is attempting to escape from Hell, reforge the mythical sword that created her and Bahamut, and then slay Bahamut himself. The player characters are trying to stop her.

Last session, the human beastmaster ranger was captured by the Cult of Tiamat. They intend to sacrifice him to release Tiamat from Hell. Rallying in Waterdeep, the other PCs plotted how to save their friend and stop the Cult. My goal for this session was to go from epic to EPIC since the campaign is nearly over. So all the allies the PCs made along the way gathered their armies in Waterdeep...dwarves and elves, stone giants and frost giants, Zhentarim and Red Wizards. Good-aligned metallic dragons circled in the skies overhead. All of them preparing to assault the Cult's stronghold in Phandalin, where the Cult seized the Forge of Spells in order to remake the mythical sword referenced above.

(FYI, my Phandalin for this campaign was a mashup of the Starter Set with Khundrukar from Forge of Fury, with everything expanded and enlarged to give it more scope and grandeur.)

After some discussion, the PCs decided to have their dragon allies assault Phandalin from the air. Using that as a distraction, the PCs teleported into Khundrukar...while riding two adult gold dragons!

Unfortunately, they were too late. As they neared the Forge of Spells, they saw the ranger chained to the Forge itself. The cultist above him plunged a ceremonial dagger into his heart. The ranger died. And in that instant Tiamat was freed from Hell.

Tiamat's exarch on Faerun, a red dragon named Malystryx, rises from the Forge and meets the PCs in mid-air. The gold dragons maul her. The tiefling shadow sorcerer unleases meteor swarm. The aasimar vengeance paladin smites for 180 points of damage. The half-elf whispers bard transforms into a Walking Statue of Waterdeep and grapples Malystryx in mid-air. The elf arcane trickster rogue finally fells her with an arrow...

...that was a LOT easier than they expected...

...until her red dragon form transforms into the form of a blue dragon. Yep, that's right. To defeat her, the PCs basically have to take out five ancient chromatic dragons in a row.

Next session: Tiamat ravages the multiverse!
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
It was a great bounce back session. The last one was frustrating, but this time they escaped the sinking ship with their quarry, learned about recent political events, made a fudge-ton of coin, went shopping for an HQ, spied on a crooked butler, and bought horses for the first time!

However, the session ended with an assassination attempt as they slept. The cliffhanger being their dying gnome bard/sorcerer being held up with a dagger to his throat by one of the assassins and being told to stand down.
 

I'm interested in hearing how this goes. It appears to be a part of HotDQ that people either love or hate. How many sessions are you anticipating spending on it?
I'm not sure. Our sessions typically run 1-2 hours, because my son can't focus for longer than that. If they start skipping the action of choice each day, it could go by pretty quickly, especially if the die of fate continues to avoid encounters. They also aren't big on the role playing, so that doesn't eat up a lot of time. We got through 6 days on our first caravan session.

I did warn my players that this section of the game was different, and that, because HotDQ was the first published adventure, the writers were trying to show people all the different styles of play they could choose from.
 

Actually not too great. Nothing from inside the game (Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 5e) I'm playing in, more a group dynamic. After 6 months of IC downtime we got back in action, but everything felt sluggish and gloomy. We never for into the 'flow'. Hopefully the next session will be better.
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
I'm DMing two separate campaigns, ToA and DiA.
Today in ToA, the party - who arrived in Omu after a spectacular 16 days - confronted the King of Feathers (I made him stronger, and Gargantuan in size). They had already run from him twice. Anyway, they decided to ambush him. They were able to attract him near the lava lake. Then, the Bear Totem Barbarian, polymorphed into a T-Rex, charged and pushed the King of Feathers off the cliff, keeping him under the lava using grapples, until the great beast was roasted. It was epic, I swear you.
 

Hexmage-EN

Adventurer
So for last night's session I spent hours making a large, elaborate map with multiple elevations. I created this by placing Dungeon Tiles onto stacks of cut poster board of varying height that were themselves placed on two larger, side by side poster boards, all held together with double-side removable adhesive. This was inspired by my time playing Baldur's Gate 3. There were lots of things to climb, jump across, hide behind, etc. Traps and weird magical effects, too!

Cue Monk with the Mobile feat, Step of the Wind, and Haste zipping through the entire map before coming back to the start in one turn, prompting every enemy in the area to start chasing the Monk back to the small room with two entrances where the rest of the party was waiting, safely away from the haunted webs that were going to trigger a Lair Action at the start of each turn.

The party of three 7th-level adventurers (Bard/Cleric, Monk, and Sorcerer) drew aggro on:
  • Drow Arachnomancer (CR 12)
  • Homebrew Drider Vampire Spawn Death Cleric (CR 9)
  • Banshee (CR 4)
  • 6 Homebrew Chitine Warriors (CR 3)
  • 2 Mummies (CR 3)
  • 4 Sword Wraith Warriors (CR 3)
  • 5 Skeletons (CR 1/2)
The Sorcerer's Sickening Radiance spell really wreaked havoc. The Arachnomancer blew two of its spell slots just dispelling Sickening Radiances and also took a lot of damage from Fireball as well, so it just ran away before it could do any damage. The mummies and skeletons likewise were destroyed before they got into range. Things finally started to get hairy for the party when the Drider downed the Monk with Chill Touch (which also meant the Monk couldn't be healed by the Cleric for a turn), downed the Cleric with Blight, and the Sorcerer got blasted with Blight and attempted to run and hide. Since he was back near the entrance of the map and the Drider was on its last legs, though, I decided to have the Wizard who hired the party to clean-out the area show up and finish the Drider Vampire Spawn Death Cleric with a Fire Bolt.

It was a fun battle of attrition, taking about two and a half hours. The party picked a spot where they could take cover, pop out to attack from range, and duck back into hiding. The Sorcerer burned most of his spell slots and sorcery points, and the Cleric used the scroll of Flame Strike she found several sessions ago. I think I could have given the Monk more to do, though. I also could have had more Chitine Warriors or maybe some spiders emerge from behind them to harry them in their hiding place (I did admittedly have three more Chitine Warriors pop up, but by that point the Banshee was near them and the Cleric chose to burn Flame Strike to wipe them all out instantly).

For the Chitine Warriors I looked at the 4E take on the chitine, which all had a power called Web Line. This is my approximation for it in 5E:

Web Line. While climbing, the chitine can use a bonus action to secure a line of webbing, after which it can fly up to 25 feet for the rest of its turn. The chitine falls if it does not end its turn climbing, on the ground, or suspended by some other means.

Beyond that I increased their hit points from the standard 5E chitine, gave them an extra dagger attack, and the ettercap's Web Garrote.
 
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Actually not too great. Nothing from inside the game (Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 5e) I'm playing in, more a group dynamic. After 6 months of IC downtime we got back in action, but everything felt sluggish and gloomy. We never for into the 'flow'. Hopefully the next session will be better.
The first session back after a long break is often rough.
 


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