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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
119th session. Five players with seven PCs (and an ancient silver dragon...it's complicated) at 20th level. Plus six epic boons each. We're probably three sessions away from the campaign's end.

Previously: Tiamat has been released from hell and is rampaging across Celestia. Using the mythical Sword of Io that created both Tiamat and Bahamut, Tiamat has slain Bahamut and Ilmater. The group's aasimar vengeance paladin worships Ilmater, the god of (relieving) suffering. The group has been aided and abetted for nearly 50 sessions by Glasya, archdevil of the sixth layer of Hell and mother to the group's tiefling shadow sorcerer.

This session started with the PCs standing amidst Tiamat's treasure hoard on Avernus, the first layer of Hell. I let the players choose any all magic items they wanted. Several artifacts were selected, a few legendary items, and lots of Keoghtem's Ointment! This was one of my favorite moments in the campaign...letting high level PCs gear up for the final showdown with an impossible foe. Unforgettable.

The PCs planeshifted back to Waterdeep. There they rested and said their farewell to important NPCs under the assumption they might not make it back alive from the final battle with Tiamat. It was unexpectedly touching. Good stuff.

Finally, the PCs planeshifted to Celestia. There they found Ilmater's headless body impaled on the Sword of Io. Guarding this were three erinyes sisters of the tiefling sorcerer. The sisters revealed that Glasya was actually in secret alliance with Tiamat, eager to kill gods of good, and take their divine portfolios to ascend to godhood herself. At that moment, the players realized that they'd been duped, played like violins by Glasya. (The evil DM in me gave a big high five.) The inevitable battle was short. But the erinyes laughed with their last breaths, knowing they would just reform in Hell.

Next session: The Palace of Bahamut and the Head of Ilmater!
 

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hopeless

Explorer
Terrible the DM likes to make us roll for checks when unnecessary and completely overrode control over my character so his wife's character could test a feather fall spell on my character.
He kept hinting he was planning on shifting his campaign setting into Exandria despite repeatedly denying leading up to the first game and me running a game of my own set in Exandria a century before the Vox Machina campaign.
Its not the first time he screwed up when we first started he used my character's background into his introductory adventure and after it ended claimed none of it was relevant despite apparently killing my character's son off and refusing to allow her to find his body so she could have some closure.
Please note the village the game was set in was a perfect place to set up the campaign for a low level party to go up a couple of levels before returning to the Port City.
I ended up running my Exandria game to explain my cleric had been banished into his world and was seeking a way back after recovering her memories following a brief bout of amnesia.
And now he decided to move his setting there despite it already in use and was already stated as an entirely different world.
I ended up quitting as it was clear he wasn't going to listen and clearly I had wasted my time gaming with them as his railroad had gone off the tracks given his inability to stay in his own setting.
Sorry still angry over it.
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Session #20 started with the party in something of a stand-off with some assassins, and the party's gnomish bard/wizard nearly getting his throat slit. But they managed to defeat the group and assassin leader called off his attack when he saw he had been lied to about who he was supposed to kill (refuses to kill other tieflings without provocation) and actually gave them a lead to find out the specifics of who hired him (through an intermediary, so he could not just tell them).

There was one interesting scene, where the party met a principled cleric/monk who helped them with healing and even arranged for the thugs that survived to be stabilized and carried off to wait for the authorities. She was heading in the same direction as the party so they agreed to travel together, however the next morning when all the "common people" (seasonal laborers, pilgrims, etc) lined up to get a ferry over some floodlands, they all parted to let all the bad-ass and scary adventures move to the front and get on first, but Ottie (the monk) demurred and insisted on not taking advantage, so they got on without her and then she missed that ferry and had to the wait for the next. The party was psyched to have a dedicated healer traveling with them, but annoyed they immediately lost her because of her principles.

Eventually they got a message that she made it to town about half a day after they did, but they still haven't re-found her.

Meanwhile, the PCs were investigating two mysteries they are not sure are related. One was a mysterious voice coming out of the swamp, singing gorgeously and that a young NPC friend has asked them to investigate b/c she is convinced it is her destined love out there. The other is the mysterious disappearances of people in town some of which re-appear with flimsy excuses about where they have been. Among the disappearances they investigated was the sage that hired them for their first adventure and the town prefect (basically the mayor). While sneaking around the latter's house for clues, the local constable showed up with his two deputies to question them - but the party had heard that these men showed up after the prefect went missing and had been bullying people into accepting them as the town authority, so decided to fight. It was a tough fight (the party druid did not participate holding back while searching the house in rat form) and before dying the constable yelled out for the town to beware these new invaders and brigands. When the party headed back to the inn they were staying at outside of town they noticed a couple of nearby shops had closed as they passed.

At the end of the session, the party druid was in dog form hiding in the brush near where the mysterious swamp singer had been coming to pick up the food, flowers, and notes that the lovestruck girl had been leaving for him. As a fishing boat came around the bend in a stream, appearing from behind a clump of mangroves, the druid heard the singer. . . he kinda sounds like this. . .


. . . but the surprising part? He was a troll! A shrimpy, gaunt, troll - small for his kind, but still big enough. . . He noticed something in the brush and his troll eyes met the druid-dog's. . . . and we ended right there. (The rest of the party was enjoying downtime at the inn).
 
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Session #20 started with the party in something of a stand-off with some assassins, and the party's gnomish bard/wizard nearly getting his throat slit. But they managed to defeat the group and assassin leader called off his attack when he saw he had been lied to about who he was supposed to kill (refuses to kill other tieflings without provocation) and actually gave them a lead to find out the specifics of who hired him (through an intermediary, so he could not just tell them).

There was one interesting scene, where the party met a principled cleric/monk who helped them with healing and even arranged for the thugs that survived to be stabilized and carried off to wait for the authorities. She was heading in the same direction as the party so they agreed to travel together, however the next morning when all the "common people" (seasonal laborers, pilgrims, etc) lined up to get a ferry over some floodlands, they all parted to let all the bad-ass and scary adventures move to the front and get on first, but Ottie (the monk) demurred and insisted on not taking advantage, so they got on without her and then she missed that ferry and had to the wait for the next. The party was psyched to have a dedicated healer traveling with them, but annoyed they immediately lost her because of her principles.

Eventually they got a message that she made it to town about half a day after they did, but they still haven't re-found her.

Meanwhile, the PCs were investigating two mysteries they are not sure are related. One was a mysterious voice coming out of the swamp, singing gorgeously and that a young NPC friend has asked them to investigate b/c she is convinced it is her destined love out there. The other is the mysterious disappearances of people in town some of which re-appear with flimsy excuses about where they have been. Among the disappearances they investigated was the sage that hired them for their first adventure and the town prefect (basically the mayor). While sneaking around the latter's house for clues, the local constable showed up with his two deputies to question them - but the party had heard that these men showed up after the prefect went missing and had been bullying people into accepting them as the town authority, so decided to fight. It was a tough fight (the party druid did not participate holding back while searching the house in rat form) and before dying the constable yelled out for the town to beware these new invaders and brigands. When the party headed back to the inn they were staying at outside of town they noticed a couple of nearby shops had closed as they passed.

At the end of the session, the party druid was in dog form hiding in the brush near where the mysterious swamp singer had been coming to pick up the food, flowers, and notes that the lovestruck girl had been leaving for him. As a fishing boat came around the bend in a stream, appearing from behind a clump of mangroves, the druid heard the singer. . . he kinda sounds like this. . .


. . . but the surprising part? He was a troll! A shrimpy, gaunt, troll - small for his kind, but still big enough. . . He noticed something in the brush and his troll eyes met the druid-dog's. . . . and we ended right there. (The rest of the party was enjoying downtime at the inn).
Sounds like a fun session!
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Gundar, the dwarf in the party wanted to reignite the blast furnace in Wave Echo Cave after the clared the rubble that blocked the stream that fed the waterwheel. Farrus, the bard, decided that he wanted to go wander off by himself while the rest of the party was preoccupied... And he found himself walking into a random encounter of five stirges that I had just rolled moments before.

I managed to bring the sixth-level bard down to four hp before the rest of the party could come to his rescue. I was hoping to bring him to zero (there would have been no risk of actual death considering the cleric was relatively close by) just so I could gloat about it, but alas!

Most of the party then proceeded to be dense as I tried to provide them ample hints from an NPC about how to deal with a certain situation, but only the ranger's player caught on (but refused to use player knowledge, which was cool, as his character didn't have a background or the requisite skills to do anything about it).
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Last session wasn't particularly productive, but set us up well.

This is the game for my teenaged kids, niece and nephew. There's one bit of context I need to bring in - multiple sessions back one character arc had our drow rogue heading for "the tallest peak" due to a vision (from Eilistraee), which was going to be heading north into the tundra and the land of the dragonborn tribes. One of the other players, the eladrin bard, mentioned how she really wanted to do urban and had no interest in more long cross-country quests, which we had been doing already. So we reworked it that the sailor knew that the actual tallest peak was down the coast.

Fast forward to this session. After a show side adventure, they have arrived in a moderately sized city. The players have been telling me that they want to have a homebase that they adventure out of so I made the city and the surroundings interesting and dynamic.

But first thing they wanted to do was take some downtime - the barbarian and the sorceress/warlock wanted to compete in the illegal pitfightings, the bard to play, the rogue to enroll the brass dragon wyrmlings in school. (There was also a snafu where at the end of last session they talked about getting a nanny for the brass wyrmlings and I prepped for that, and at the actual session only one of them wanted to do that. Oh well.)

So we go through, I'm handing out rumors and contacts, doing short montages with everyone, resolving the mechanical parts of the downtime. After a week they're looking at a questboard and following up getting information on one, having just settled in, rented a house for a month, found socialization for the brass wyrmlings, got some contacts and rivals moving ... and the rogue wants to follow the vision she had. Which is still a bunch to the south. The player was really apologetic (the character was a bit as well), almost breaking down because everyone was into the whole city and so was she - but she couldn't leave this hanging.

So we suddenly pivoted into trying to find a ship (this is the northernmost city and it's mid winter), chartering it, and preparing to head out. It needs two days to prepare, and a plot I had that the rogue had intersected germinated. And that's where we ended the session.

So not so much was done, but lots of color and foundation work for the city. We have a clear idea of what we're doing next session (including a little bit of urban adventure that the bard was asking about before the ship leaves), and then a quest to fulfill a vision for a goddess.

Should be fun!
 

Vael

Hero
So tonight's session might have been the most hilarious session I've ever run. We ended the previous week on a cliffhanger, and one of the players wasn't available tonight. So, rather than press on, we did a flashback. Now, ever since the beginning of the campaign, when I was running Dragon Heist, one of the Warlocks in my group has been enraptured with the stuffed beholder that sat in the window of Old Xoblob's Shop. And now, has decided to organize a caper to steal said stuffed beholder.

So, the remaining PCs participate in the heist. The crafty (literally, he's been working in the neighbouring forge) Paladin and one of the Rogues made a substitute beholder to replace the real one, and they snuck into the shop in the dead of night. Unfortunately, the Warlock and other Rogue (the party consists of 2 Warlocks, 2 Rogues, a Paladin and the absent Druid) gloriously failed their Strength checks to carry out the Beholder and woke up the shopkeeper. In a moment of panic, the Warlock cast Hunger of Hadar up the stairs to the apartment. Which ended up killing the shopkeeper, from the damage and then the fall down the stairs. My other Warlock, a Hexblade, decided to use his Accursed Specter feature on the fallen shopkeeper. I know, not technically allowed given the Hexblade didn't kill the shopkeeper, but it was so hilarious I had to allow it.

The party then decided to clean up the shop and scatter around more of the marijuana equivalent that the shopkeeper liked to smoke, making his death seem like an accident after over-indulging. And later seek out a Cleric to raise the Shopkeeper from the dead. The end result is that the Shopkeeper was brought back, the Warlock is out a thousand gold and a favour to a noble (He bought a 500gp diamond for the Raise Dead and 2 scrolls of Enlarge/Reduce to make the 2 stuffed Beholders small enough to maneuver around the shop, and the nobleman had the connections to find a high level Cleric) to secure the stuffed Beholder, which is now mounted in their home's common area. And, for those that know the feature of the stuffed Beholder, this is pretty hilarious ... to me.
 

THEMNGMNT

Adventurer
21st session in my Dragon of Icespire Peak campaign. I'm going to have to rename this campaign since the PCs defeated the dragon last session.

In this session, the PCs discovered a prisoner--our sixth player, another D&D noob, playing as a human warlock/genie patron/pact of the chain. We took time for introductions, discussion of character motivations, campaign goals, etc.

Meanwhile, a war party of orcs entered Icespire Keep to claim the Bloodspear, a magical weapon the PCs found in the dragon's hoard. The orcs were led by the half-orc vengeance paladin's brother...and there's plenty of bad blood there. The PCs ambushed the orcs, easily slaughtering them as they crossed a bridge. The other players held their actions so the paladin could land the killing blow on his brother--except for the elf hunter ranger, who decided to take a shot, and buried an arrow in the orc's skull. Big laughs at the table.

Next session, the players plan a final showdown (or parley) with the paladin's father--an orc war chief who has led his followers to Phandalin in search of the Bloodspear.

This is an interesting phase in the lifespan of this campaign. I'd assumed the campaign would wrap up when the adventure was over, but the players want to keep going. One is considering retiring his character and bringing in someone new. I'm now in the process of trying to build adventures that better reflect the preferences and approaches of the players. We'll see where it goes. That said, I enjoyed and recommend the Essentials Kit and Dragon of Icespire Peak.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Last night's session was... a bit ignoble.

A team of 1st level adventurers is returning from an expedition to a tomb. On the way through the woods, we encounters bears. Normal bears. Not, like, aberration or undead bears or anything. Just bears.

We try to sneak past, but in a group of 7 characters, you just know someone's going to roll a 2 on their stealth check, and the bears will notice you. And then, because some adventurers don't know the meaning of "restraint", a fight is gonna start, and the bears, who were minding their own business until we started pounding on them, end up dead.

It topped us up to level 2, but... there was no glory in it.
 

Reynard

Legend
I had an extremely unsatisfying play experience last night. This was with my regular IRL group gone Fantasy grounds-- we have been playing together for over 10 years and we trade DMing every once in a while. The current DM is new to DMing on Fantasy grounds and not necessarily always as prepared as he could be. We are playing through the Beginner Box adventures.

My character is a treasure hunter -- a dwarf ranger focused on going in holes and pulling out loot. He seems to be completely ineffectual based largely on my dice rolling, and while he has a lot of hit points he has a low AC and makes for a good target. About a half hour into the session I got dropped and ended up in spectator mode for most of the next hour and a half as the party fought a desperate battle against a bunch of were-rats.

Now, the unsatisfying part wasn't getting dropped. that was frustrating, but it was just the result of the dice and the way the tactical situation emerged (we split the party a little too much). But as the battle progressed, no other players made it a priority to help me back to my feet, and in fact the wizard made it impossible with a web spell he could have placed in a way that still got the bad guys and kept me out of it. Another player was really disengaged which means he just made his attack rolls on his turns rather than taking useful actions in a pretty dangerous scenario. And on top of it, after the DM dropped me he suddenly went "kid gloves" so it was obvious that it should have been a TPK but wasn't because he started making really suboptimal tactical choices for the bad guys.

I'm just venting. I was both bored and frustrated and engaging in some internal "I would have done it this way if I were running it!" The more I am a player in 5E the less I like the way the math gives the dice so much power over the outcomes, especially for characters that rely on a single attack roll. Between Colossus Slayer and Hunter's MArk my hunter should be almost as dangerous as the rogue and failing it hit over and over again is frustrating.
 

Due to a recovering sick kid, it was a short session. My players finally investigated the caravan enough to learn everybody's names, though. Also, our half-orc acquaintance came up with a plan to raid one of the wagons that may or may not be a cultist wagon, so I need to prep some decent loot, just in case he gets some good rolls.
 

Newbies realizing that literally everything is possible in D&D. As they descended into the Underdark on a mercenary mission, the amazement in the players' eyes as they realized that how their own choices had lead to this. Awesome.

Party literally killed a plot hook that I had prepared. Then misinterpreted another plot hook, turning a good guy NPC into a bad guy. But we laughed a lot.

No clue what will happen next session. As it should be. (y)
In the background, some big events are moving in the world, so as a DM I will be prepared, I hope.
 

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