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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

Advanced to level 8! And my paladin says a joyful hello to Great Weapon Master...

Playing Storm King's Thunder, We've been skirting the edges of Grudd Haug for some time now, ambushing foraging parties and so on, trying to intercept food-laden raiding parties and tempt the hill giants into sending out heavier patrols so when we attack the fortress itself there'll be fewer enemies in residence. This session was finishing off the last group we ambushed, a couple of hill giants, mutant ogres, and a large group of organised hobgoblins including spellcasters.

We're probably ready to take the fight to Grudd Haug next session. We've got a bunch of questionable allies (a lazy and uncommitted cloud giant wizard, a crippled frost giant who can really only throw rocks from a sitting position, and an old ally who seems to have gotten vampirised since we last met her, and whose reliability i don't entirely trust even though she passed the Zone of Truth test). We're off to meet our last ally of convenience (a group of disgruntled hill giants who want to overthrow Chief Guh for different reasons to us) and once we see how many of them there we have to work with, we're going to have to decide how to go about it. This is going to be real tough...

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Moderator Emeritus
We crammed in an extra session this month under the assumption that with people getting vaccinated and things opening back up again (for good or ill) scheduling around people's plans (including my own) might get difficult over the summer.

This session was mostly focused on wrapping up some consequences of the last session. We took a half step back from where we ended last time to establish the PCs' plans for holing up in an abandoned farmhouse on the edge of the village and get in a long rest. The others suspected Thron the Druid was still dominated, but even he was exhausted and needed a long rest. They were nearly out out spell slots, very injured, and three of them had been up over 24 hours straight.

Alston the bard/wizard took some time before his rest started to identify the orb they found (and through which the druid was charmed). He learned it was one of the nine legendary Seeing Stones of Ariadne: The Orb of Minerva and thus that it was not the stone itself that charmed the druid, but whoever was communicating through the stone.

Resting continued as normal, but on the third watch, Rollo the Barbarian decided to stake out the property a little bit. As he was returning to the house, he spotted a rabbit trying to get in the house. Odd. As he approached, it ran away. He had barely gotten inside and closed the door when he heard something clawing softly at the door. He woke up Ottie (the NPC monk/cleric) to give him back up and opened the door. The bunny bounded in but a lucky roll allowed Rollo to grab it by the scruff. It squirmed and squealed. Bringing it to Alston, who can speak to small forest creatures, the gnome discovered that someone had used Animal Messenger to summon him and him alone to meet in a nearby wooded area. The message was in gnomish. Before he could decide what to do about this, a scuffle in the outer room drew their attention. Their prisoner, the corrupt priest from the temple, had woken up and tried to escape, but Ottie stopped her. This led to a long and mostly useless interrogation of the prisoner and open discussion about killing her (this would happen many times). Deciding that finishing a long rest was the most immediate priority, they went back to sleep - Ottie and Thron taking the final watch.

Thron, however, wildshaped into a cat and took off for the woods and started to make his way around to alert the enemies of where his companions were.

Ottie woke the others and they agreed they had to leave (after another discussion of what to do with the prisoner). Ottie said she'd carry her if no one else wanted to because she was against killing her tied up, defenseless, and without a trial.

Alston led them to the area where the animal message had told him to go, but no one was there. Then they heard a clap of thunder from the road. Thron had used a spell to summon the bad guys. In that same moment, their friend Erilyn Windfellow found them (she was going through the woods to approach the farmhouse stealthily) and said that the constable and his men, along with the prefect's daughter (a fierce warrior) were going house to house looking for the PCs and they had arrested her father for helping them and would have grabbed her too, but she ran. She was frantic.

The party decided to split up. Rollo and Nora (the ranger/sorcerer) would flee for deeper woods beyond the village, bringing the prisoner with them (knocked unconscious again) and Ottie would follow. Alston used his cloak of elvenkind to hide and hopefully wait for those who sent them the message. Not long after his friends left, Alston witnessed a dog leading the constable and the others into where they had been. The dog was following a scent. It was THRON! Soon they took off after the trail of the others, and Alston decided to stay where he was and wait for those who sent him the missive.

He felt like he was waiting a long time, but eventually he made contact with two gnomes (the first other gnomes he had seen since coming to this part of the world). Dorian Fizz and Llywyllyn Poppoff were agents of some unnamed organization of "Little People" (dwarves, halflings, gnomes, some fey) who keep an eye on the destructive plots and behaviors of "Big Folk" and intervene to stop them when necessary. The gnomes clearly did not like Big Folk much and chastised Alston for bringing them to the meeting spot, which then brought the evil cultists. They were hoping to join forces with the gnome, but he had to convince them that #notallbigfolk. Much delayed, the three gnomes took off after the pursuers.

Meanwhile, Rollo, Nora, and Ottie were fleeing with the ranger picking a path and leading the way. As they hurried through an over grown cornfield (abandoned by some of the missing townfolk they were investigating) they spotted their pursuers on the ridge behind them. Rollo grabbed the prisoner from Ottie (since he is strong and fast) and they double-timed it across the field towards another hilly wooded area in the distance. A few crossbow bolts fell just shy of them.

On the other side, the PCs were able to find a place to try to get the drop on their pursuers, dropping the prisoner priestess as bait. A very tough fight ensued. They underestimated Pelopia the prefect's daughter who was doing devastating damage to Rollo - only his rage ability to take half damage from her swords saved him. Nora was tied up, with Thron-Dog keeping her from getting a good target on the soldiers. But eventually, after several saves upon seeing his friends get attacked and suffering what was for him a very confusing punch to the snout from Nora, Thron succeeded to regaining his own will. Angry beyond measure at what he had been forced to do, the druid brought the pain with a new spell he had just gained CALL LIGHTNING!

Around this time, Alston and his new gnome allies caught up and helped clean up the remaining guards. Rollo made a case for saving Pelopia before she bled out and they saved one of the guards as well, hoping he would be more likely to give up info. Luckily for them, when she awakened, Pelopia had shaken off the domination, though she still had hazy memories of what had happened to her and her father - guessing her missing sister was still the swamp lair, but not knowing how to get there. When the party mentioned the "woman-headed snake," Pelopia lost it for a moment, quavering in fear with the memory of being face to face with such a creature.

The gnome allies disappeared again (not wanting to hang out with big folk). The party realized that those they defeated represented the last real threat in the village and returned to deal with the prefect and find a way to the swamp lair.

Unfortunately, the prefect's weaker will meant breaking the spell on him did not work, so they tied him to a chair and gagged him, though this clearly hurt Pelopia to do. Going to the now abandoned constable's office, they found Erilyn's father imprisoned and freed him, throwing the stabilized guard and the priestess into cells to deal with later.

We ended the session there, with the party now camping out in the prefect's house and trying to figure out next steps.

Yesterday two of my three players were unable attend the session (one had let me now that morning, while the other had something come up at the last minute and couldn't attend). Thankfully, the current circumstances in the campaign didn't make it too hard to run a shorter session for the remaining player, as the party was part of a larger expedition into a section of the Underdark. I simply decided that the missing party members and a few other members of the expedition were suddenly cut-off from the rest of the group by a strange, disappearing "ghost tunnel".

Earlier in the campaign I had introduced a group of grell called "The Consumers of the Willing" (which I got from the 4E Underdark sourcebook). The Consumers of the Willing, or "Kragg", believe it is only ethical to consume intelligent creatures that can consent to being eaten (they also don't have any qualms with using a Dominate Person ability they possess to make someone willing, though they prefer to persuade their captives into becoming willing with long-term mind control). The player and the few NPC sidekicks she had with her came upon a starving Kragg grell. She used Comprehend Languages to learn that the creature had been separated from its fellow "philosophers" and had starved to the point that it could no longer use its Dominate Person ability, or even fly. It feared dying and being consumed by myriad lesser life forms and requested that it be taken to a single "Great Eater", believing that its spirit would live on in the creature.

The player decided to honor this bizarre request (despite her NPC companions being inclined to either leave the grell to starve or kill it themselves). The grell was loaded and tied onto the back of the group's giant climbing lizard, and after a few other encounters managed to locate a bulette. The group cut the grell free from the back of the giant lizard and ran away as the bulette feasted upon the bizarrely grateful grell.

I had expected the party wouldn't honor the grell's strange request (and I have a feeling if the other two players had been there one of them would've probably just killed it), but the player who attended was determined to get that grell eaten alive (as it wanted), so I gave out my first inspiration point for the campaign.
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Rotten DM
The snackage was a failure. I have cold desert using phyllo dough. But I grabbed puff pastry. So I ending making Cinnamon rolls with chocolate chips. The game went okay had only four of my regulars but we finished before 9. But the final combat took about 45 minutes against three monsters which the max being Cr 8. I think bsing took up more time.

5th session in my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign. Hulk, Punisher, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine. Most of the session was non-combat "transition" scenes since previous sessions had been about wrecking face.

  • Peter Parker went to visit MJ, but found her missing from her apartment, and a dead SHIELD agent on the floor. By this point, he had switched to his Spider-Man costume. And so it looked slightly incriminating when a neighbor walked in to see Spidey crouching over the body of a dead man.
  • Ant-Man went home to the office of his security company to check his messages. They weren't great. He lost the security contract at both the Raft and Horizon Labs. But then -- good news! A subsidiary of Stark Industries said they needed him to come immediately to their office for an urgent, secret, high-profile gig. Ant-Man hurried to the address -- a highrise in Midtown. He found the penthouse suite nothing but empty offices and waiting in ambush for him were Ghost, Living Laser, Mentallo, and Eric O'Grady -- the evil Ant-Man!
  • Punisher visited a comatose Microchip in the hospital. He was ambushed by Jigsaw's goons. He took out three of them but kept the fourth alive for interrogation. The goon revealed the location of Jigsaw's operation--a nightclub.
  • Wolverine took Hulk to the X-Mansion. There, Bruce Banner and the Beast concocted an "off switch" for the Hulk in case he lost control and went on a rampage. Meanwhile, Wolverine plugged into Cerebro to see if he could read enough minds to determine who masterminded the breakout at the Raft. Instead, he discovered that simultaneous raids were about to go down on the Baxter Building, Avenger's Tower, and the Sanctum Sanctorum. Also, he was attacked by a powerful consciousness that manifested as a pair of flashing green eyes. Wolvie and the Hulk quickly jumped into the Blackbird and flew back to Manhattan to stop the raids.

Next session: I'll weave together all these plot threads, somehow.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Last session was a lot of fun. The previous session had ended with the party sailing back into their home base port city, and on the way meeting with some merfolk they had dealing with. The merfolk had important news to one PC, and a few days before had swam into the harbor to give it to her but one of them was captured.

So, the party's investigation of whom might have the kidnapped merfolk was pretty conclusively decided as they saw posters for a traveling carnival with hastily added "Come see the fabulous merman!" added to it.

The carnival was set up in what was normally the caravan yards. The two stealthiest tried to reconnoiter but due to an unfortunate and extended series of poor rolls instead alerted the guards and got out.

It's evening, and not too long before the carnival closes for the evening, and the party decided to bluff their way in through an employee gate. They get there to find a bunch of stevedores from the dock unloading a bunch of crates. One of the things that the party had previously found was that there was a lot of smuggling of dwarven goods without the tax stamp on it, it was even in the recap before this sessions as I reminded them of their home base city, but there was no wonder about that.

They all managed to get past except the Dragonborn Barbarian. His rolls were poor but not horrible, so one of the workers yelled at him no to be lazy and carry a crate. He could have and got in, but in fashion true to that character started to argue. At one point he claimed he was with the rest of the party (who was already in) but they didn't claim him (not wanting their cover blown) and took off so as not to get their cover blown further, expecting him to catch up.

Well ... he basically forced it into a combat. With a dozen criminal thugs. (Well, 11 and a higher ranking one that stayed out of it.) I had been using toned down hobgoblin stats for them - normally CR 1/2 but with dropping their AC by 5 and reducing their weapon. The 5th level Barbarian was 1 HP shy of full and thought he could take them, and escalated it until initiative. As he was the first to break the peace I gave him first action and then went in order. He found out the hard way that Reckless Attack will pretty much ensure that you down two foes, it also meant they where able to hit him, including two crits. Even with resistance he only lasted three rounds.

Now, one of the downtime activities he's previously done was Pitfighting, and the head of the crew recognized him from there. And no one was striking to kill. So he's been captured, and I need to work out what will happen to him next. There's a significant underbelly to this port, with smuggling as it's biggest but not only. So I might drag him into that.

In the meantime the rest of the party found the menagerie tent, snuck in through the employee entrance, and tried to cause a big distraction to get people out of the tent ... by setting it on fire.

Queue the Benny Hill song please.

They ended up all running around liek crazy, ended up freeing not just the mermaid but everything that was in there, including an ogre they had paid a toll (of a song) to before, a zebra, a manticore who proclaimed a debt, a puma in a cage, and a bear-cat (like a bear-owl) that they had to calm so it wouldn't rampage the carnival-goers outside. (Which it wouldn't have - animals flee natural disasters.)

They convinced the ogre to help them, had it knock down a section fo fence and carry the merfolk to the nearby coast and set him free. In the meantime, they've been seen by a bunch of people doing a very non-law-following act, and one of their members has fallen into the hands of criminals who will find a good use for him.

6th session in my Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign. I think we'll go about two more sessions and then pause. I've got enough story in this arc to go 30 or 40 sessions, but the plan isn't to play MHR for the next year. It seems like a really nice palate cleanser in between other games. That said, I'm finding you can burn through a lot of story really fast in MHR--that's a virtue--so who knows. Once this campaign hits a stopping point we're going to play D6 Star Wars and I'll be a player instead of GM.

Anyway. Player heroes are Hulk, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Punisher. In this session, Ant-Man had been lured into a trap by the evil Ant-Man, plus Ghost, Mentallo, and Living Laser. Meanwhile, there were simultaneous break-ins happening at Avengers Tower, the Baxter Building, and Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. The residents of those locations are off-planet on assorted adventures. (It'll be many, many sessions before the players learn the agenda behind the break-ins.)

None of the heroes made it to the Sanctum, so that heist proceeded without interruption. (That would have been the fight against Juggernaut.)

Spidey and Punisher arrived to back up Ant-Man. This turned out to be a really interesting fight because the intangibility of Ghost and Living Laser made them exceptionally hard to defeat. It forced the players to think about how to create complications. Ant-Man ended up hacking together an asset that infused Spidey's webshooters with Pym Particles, allowing Webhead to take down Living Laser.

Wolverine arrived at the Baxter Building. There, the U-Foes were stealing information related to inter-dimensional protection and shielding. Wolvie got dogpiled by all four U-Foes and they took him out before he could activate his mutant healing factor. Very interesting to see that in action. Wolverine is basically unstoppable -- but apparently his weakness is getting swarmed by powerful villains. (That's probably the weakness of most heroes, come to think of it.)

Hulk entered Avengers Tower. There, he was attacked by an arsenal of Iron Man armors. They were under the control of Ezekial Stane, who was attempting to steal some sort of Stark tech. By now, the Doom Pool had reached 2D12, so I ended the scene by having Stane activate a self-destruct sequence that imploded Avengers Tower with the Hulk inside.

The players and I are finally getting the hang of the game and it really does a beautiful job of modeling the rhythm of a great comic book story.

Next session: the interrogation of Mentallo reveals the hidden hand of the Kingpin!


Second session in my new campaign. The PCs are contracted with the most famous monster hunting outfit in the Empire. The outfit was started by an epic PC from a previous campaign, which has been a fun connection. Each week the adventure revolves around an unusual beast hunt. The beast is causing problems in a local area and the PCs are called in to hunt it down. All of the creatures are "unique" monsters that the PCs have to try to investigate to figure out how to best overcome it. There also is a surprising amount of politics among the numerous local settlements. The PCs are also supplied with a number of beast bounties as well. So, although it sounds very linear and straightforward the result has been pretty 'sandbox-like.' The whole thing has a bit of a Witcher flavor and everyone is having fun.


Rotten DM
I had my FLGS Candlekeep group last night. New girl lost her pc sheet and I had to pull a copy of the pregen out and give it to her. New guy has the D&D beyond app but did not do his home work of reading the srd. He even forgot to pick spells. Bob one my special needs players help the new girl read her character sheet and point out stuff. He also put together the clues for inspiration. Freaked out Bob's dad on why if the ghouls were turned they were targeting his and his son's pcs. One I forgot turn monster can't attack the party. And two he forgot the graves they arrived in were glowing. I forgot wight's shoot twice with a long bow. Oh the Book of the Raven chapter in Candlekeep,


41st lv DM
The current campaign has come to an end & Strahd has escaped "Barovia" and is now loose in the real world.
So a victory for team Evil!

Our heroes: A human wizard, a human vengeance paladin, a human UA monster-hunter ranger, a halfling monk, an elven pirate, and a 1/2orc (revenant) barbarian (who's purpose is the destruction of Strahd).

Two sessions ago:
Things were going fairly well for the heroes.
They infiltrated Castle Ravenloft, caught up to Strahd as he was in the middle of prepping the final step of his current master (escape) plan {use the Apparatus from I10/Mordentshire to permenantly transpose himself into the real world), and beat the bat guano out of him. Damned near put him to 0hp. To escape he turned into mist & fled in order to regenerate.
And thus the hunt was on for him....
Well, the PCs found him by accident though via a wandering monster check. (CoS says to check for an encounter everytime the PCs enter an otherwise empty area)
And I'd been keeping careful track of the rounds - so I knew how many HP Strahd had regained. He wasn't topped off yet.
This time the PCs DID knock him to zero HP.
End of session.

1 session ago:
  • A new player joined the game. We randomly determined what room they were starting in & they explored from there. The assumption was that they'd eventually link up with the other characters.
  • Now at zero HP & in mist form Strahd has two hours to get back to his crypt. Moving at '20/round. And so began a slow speed chase - the party strolling along after this cloud of mist.... And being kited into encounters aimed at slowing them down, separating them, or killing them. They always managed to keep one PC on his tail though.
Until he slid under a door in the "Larders of Ill Omen" lv & blended into the 3' of mist & fog the description says covers this hall.
With no way to tell where he was & 5 exits the PCs began searching. Two triggered an elevator trap & shot themselves to the near top of the one tower. The other two encountered Cyrus & coerced the poor mongralman into leading them to Strahds coffin.
Cyrus of course then attempted to lead the Paladin & Wizard as far away from the crypt & through as many new encounters/traps as possible. He succeeded in getting the Paladin killed & the Wizard was running low on both HP & spells. :)
Meanwhile the other two a barbarian polymorphed into a giant ape & a tiny 1/2ling monk riding on his shoulder, were having great fun in the upper towers playing D&D Rampage. Climbing about the outside of the towers, punching through windows to crush/eat witches, chucking a vampire spawn to the courtyard far below, hurling the Clockwork Jester clean into the chasm that surrounds the spire Ravenloft occupies....
They DID run into the new players hero though! An Elven Pirate.
Strahd of course easily made it to his crypt & now only has to survive another hour of helplessness.....
About 3/4 of the way through the session both groups linked up, found their way into the crypt lv., & started systematically tearing open crypts searching for Strahd.
Assuming they're onto a critical countdown, they proceeded straight down the widest path in the catacombs (because of the giant ape) demolishing crypts & monsters and burning HP/resources until they reach the crypt of the King/Queen.
Creative use of a tiny hut spell got them past the "trap" that guards this crypt. They proceed to trash this crypt.
And then? They decide that - since they're all extremely low on HP/spells/resources - to take a short rest.
End of session.

These are not inexperienced 5e players. They know how long a short rest is. And they know that's likely going to exceed the clock they're on.
Turns out their reasoning seemed to be that they'd simply return to where they'd interrupted Strahd initially & disrupt his plans again.

Last session:
Too bad for them Strahds not stupid.
After his refreshing nap + regening to full HP he simply followed the trail of destruction, determined where the PCs were holed up (and why) - and summoned every monster still in the crypts + hoards of Strahd Zombies to lurk outside his parents crypt & attack anything exiting it.
He then went back to finishing his Bon Voyage prep, confident that the idiots wouldn't be interrupting him this time. The only thing actually standing in his way was a very small (11%) chance of actual failure caused to the Apparatus by unnoticed damage during the initial fight with the party.

So, having completed their short rest, the party heads up the stairs back to the catacomb lv. And finds a virtual wall of monsters blocking their way & extending out of sight into the darkness.
In the front ranks there were Hellhounds, a wraith, a ghost, a spectral warrior, 3 vampiric brides, 3 giant wolf spiders, and a Nightmare.
Behind these were numerous whites & ghouls.
Behind those were the hoards of Strahd Zombies barely visible in the gloom....

Press play on my phone & :
"And the man in the back said everyone attack & it turned into a ballroom blitz...."
Only 1 player picked up on the fact that I used this exact music clip/quote waaaay back in the 1st session of the campaign. :) Bonus xp to her.

6 rounds later Strad activated the Apparatus & the fight abruptly ended.
I had one of the players roll me a %. They rolled 19%.
Looking at my notes..... Transference works, Apparatus + tower explodes, and the entire remaining population of Mordentshire is swapped into Barovia in exchange for Strahd + an equal # of monsters*. And echoes of evil laughter.
All the monsters fighting the PCs suddenly became very confused/frightened townsfolk.
The surviving PCs + a bunch of villages are now trapped in demi-plane Barovia & Strahd plus hordes of monsters* (mostly undead) are free in the real world.

*That revenant 1/2orc Barbarian? Yeah, he was counted as a monster. He's the only PC to get out of demi-plane Barovia & now his 1 year clock has started (it was suspended while in the demi-plane).

I forgot to mention in my last post that at one point an NPC attempted to high five the party monk. The player decided his monk would be unfamiliar with the concept and assume he was being attacked, leading to his character striking the NPC's arm for 19 bludgeoning damage.

Finally, after much planning and diversionary attacks and recon - the attack on Grudd Haug.

We were cooperating with a group of female hill giants who resented their husbands being commandeered by our target Chief Guh for her raiding parties. With the strategic use of a potion of growth, we were able to make their leader look a lot more intimidating than normal, and that drew out a lot of Grudd Haug's defences while the PCs and their allies (human light cleric, gnome arcane trickster, dragonborn devotion paladin, elf hunter ranger, NPC firbolg druid, and a very powerful but dubiously trustworthy NPC vampire tiefling paladin/bard) pulled off a near-flawless old-fashioned 3e-style scry and fry, courtesy of a sneaky druid scouting in rat form, and the vampire's Helm of Teleportation.

We teleport in, chief Guh is hugely fat and largely immobile, but she throws a mean rock and has a couple of oni, a hill giant, and some nasty ogres in attendance. It briefly rains fireballs, erupting earth, dragon's breath, ice storm, a waterskin of lamp oil carried by the arcane trickster's mage hand, and arrows while the paladin uses a Sleet Storm from a magic item to cut off the door we assume the most dangerous reinforcements would come from (and to prevent us getting in a fight with the hill giant door guard, who was the husband of our hill giant ally and who we very much didn't want to kill). The ogres go down quickly to spells, one oni gets filled with arrows before the paladin tries out his brand new Great Weapon Master feat and takes it down, the other has time to get off a cone of cold (mostly hitting the last ogre...) before the vampire dismembers it. Guh goes down in a rain of arrows, flaming oil and Divine Smite. The hill giant, seeing its chief was down, flees (we'd calculated this would happen, Guh seemed to keep her minions in check with fear), and we're left standing around saying 'was that all'?

The gnome does some exploring and slickly saves a captive halfling from being thrown in to an oven by goblin servitors, while the rest of the party cleans up a small unit of orc guards and some worgs, (and takes more damage in the process than they did from the climatic fight with Guh). Highlight of the day was the formidable 8th level ranger, with a bad run of dice rolls combining with a custom critical fumble table, first missing an attack so humiliatingly badly that all of the rest of the party who could see her got disadvantage for the rest of the round because we were laughing too hard, and then getting shoved off a balcony by a basic goblin (who nearly escaped to get away with it, and would have if he hadn't stopped and spent an action grabbing some of the late Guh's loot)

Next on the agenda is (hopefully) convincing the remainder of Guh's giants that their chief is dead, hopefully also that they should give up this 'gather an army' thing and disperse into the hills again. We found the magic key we were here for (we had to Banish Guh's dying form to get it out from under her, mind you...), but we also will need to check out the lower levels to see if there are any more captives (and loot!), and try to thin out the sizeable numbers of orcs, hobgoblins, oni, ogres, and goblins that Guh had coerced into her army. Fortunately, we can probably rely on the giants to help a bit with the last. I don't entirely trust the hill giants to be capable of dealing with whatever sneakiness the remaining oni might be planning though, we might need to attend to that ourselves...

Then, sometime to regroup, think about what to do about the vampire, then decide where to go next. Obvious destinations are Waterdeep or possibly the ancient temple of the ancestral Father-God of all giants, cos we've got some questions to ask that guy...


I had my FLGS Candlekeep group last night. New girl lost her pc sheet and I had to pull a copy of the pregen out and give it to her. New guy has the D&D beyond app but did not do his home work of reading the srd. He even forgot to pick spells. Bob one my special needs players help the new girl read her character sheet and point out stuff. He also put together the clues for inspiration. Freaked out Bob's dad on why if the ghouls were turned they were targeting his and his son's pcs. One I forgot turn monster can't attack the party. And two he forgot the graves they arrived in were glowing. I forgot wight's shoot twice with a long bow. Oh the Book of the Raven chapter in Candlekeep,
Way to share your love for the hobby!

Last session ran I ran a haunting scene. In the moment, I thought it was an ok to average session, with the scene taking 2-3x as long as anticipated, but feedback from my players was super positive, they really enjoyed the creepiness and mystery, and are still trying to figure out what it was they faced.

Ghul haunting within a tomb, where the PCs were holding captives, with the ghul sowing discord via false whispers of treachery, magically aging, making people time-delayed teleport when moving between rooms, scratching/rattling/cold spots, blood names appearing on the wall dealing Wisdom drain, and manifesting shadowy phantasmal force illusions vs. the 2 undead PCs. Was inspired by Dael Kingsmill's Ghost video.

We ended the session with their return to the city amidst a religious celebration and handled some logistics. Definitely sped up the pacing here and enjoyed some light role-playing vignettes involving Egyptian beer and bad jokes. One that I nailed was the Pharaoh's advisor disguised as a flower seller using metaphorical language to convey secret messages to one of the PCs. Did a good job framing that their next challenge is gathering evidence of this conspiracy they've uncovered to present to the Pharaoh – players were starting to really run with that idea when we ended.

24th session of my homebrew "Reign of Neverwinter" campaign that started off as a playthrough of Dragon of Icespire Peak.

We began with a heart-to-heart talk. We have five or six players (depending upon how you count). Three of them show up consistently. The rest do not (for very valid reasons, to be fair). So we had a chat among our core group of players regarding how to best handle that. With that out of the way, we rolled some dice!

Neverwinter has appointed a warden, Lady Taneth, to run Phandalin. Something about her is shady. The player characters gifted her a lamp...which happens to belong to the genie warlock. Taneth brought the lamp to her estate and placed it in the palm of a large statue in the reception hall.

The warlock cast find familiar to summon a rat, then used the rat to scout the estate. In the study, she found Taneth conspiring with a mysterious hooded figure against the PCs. The figure exited out the back door. The PCs were soon to discover that the figure belonged to a group of rival adventurers they had previously tangled with.

We then cut away to the room at the inn where the dwarf tempest cleric slumbered. One of the rival adventurers--a female barbarian--stepped into the room through an arcane gate. She grabbed the dwarf, threw him through the gate, and gathered up his gear. The dwarf was seized by the other rival adventurers. They forced him to look into a Mirror of Life Trapping. He was sucked into the mirror.

The hooded figure stepped forward. Lowering the cloak, it was revealed as a changeling. It assumed the form of the dwarf and donned his gear. Then it headed into Phandalin in search of the PCs.

The remaining rival adventurers began the journey to Lastport (my version of Port Llast) with the Mirror--and the dwarf.

Once Taneth went to bed, the warlock exited the lamp. At that point, the statue animated. (Actually a CR 10 Stone Golem.) The golem attacked the warlock. The warlock fled, taking a hit from the golem and losing half her hit points.

Here, we introduced the new character of the dwarf's player--a gnome arcane trickster thief. He jumped in to defend the warlock from the golem. The third player--a half-orc vengeance paladin--also entered the fray. Their combined attacks shattered the golem.

The good news: They gained enough XP to reach 6th level!

The bad news: Lady Taneth--rightful ruler of Phandalin--witnessed all of this from her bedroom window.

The PCs decided it was time to flee town.

East of Phandalin is a fortified bridge. No communication has been heard from the garrison in a week. Previously, Taneth had proposed the PCs they investigate. The PCs are now curious why Taneth cares...so that's where they're headed.

Next session: Hags!
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7th session of my Marvel Heroic mini-campaign. Players of Spider-Man and Wolverine were out for the night; Hulk, Ant-Man, and Punisher were in. In the previous session, a captive Mentallo had revealed the prison breakout at the Raft was masterminded by the Kingpin...and he gave them the location of the Kingpin's hideout.

This session started with montages as the heroes prepped for their showdown. Mechanically, each player spent the XP they had earned thus far to upgrade abilities or get unlockables. Then we got to the action. The Kingpin was holed up in an old, abandoned tenement that had once been the juvenile home where he was housed as a youth. He was not in his right mind. (The mystery behind that is for future sessions...)

Guarding him were Bullseye, Tombstone, and Typhoid Mary. Tombstone proved to be tough due to his Invulnerable SFX, so the heroes had to dogpile on him to get him down. When the Punisher took out Bullseye with his Full-Auto SFX he quipped, "Bullseye!" That got the biggest laugh of the night. And one of Typhoid Mary's personalities had a crush on the Punisher while another personality tried to murder him...the result was a series of Mental attacks that almost brought the Punisher down.

We stopped early so the other two players could be present for the finale with the Kingpin.
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Apparently I forgot to write the recap for the 24th session of my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. I'll keep it short.

PCs are on the cusp of 6th level: half-orc fighter, half-elf wizard, halfling rogue.

This was the climactic fight against Lord Margaster and his minions in Thornkeep, just north of Waterdeep. The PCs had intended to steal an artifact, the Silver Chalice, that Margaster could use to resurrect his daughter. Nothing went as planned. The Chalice ended up in Margaster's hands. The PCs were surrounded by Margaster, his bodyguards, a couple clerics, and a griffon or two. It was an epic fight. At the end, Margaster was slain, his minions routed, and the Silver Chalice was claimed.

Next session: Return to Waterdeep!


Yesterday we ran our first session in my 3.5 "Dreams of Erthe" campaign since January. The PCs rescued their second dream victim, although "rescue" might not be the right word for it as the 60-year-old grandfather had spent the last month or so in a continuous orgy dream and he was not particularly pleased at being forced back awake to his life as a turnip farmer.... It raised some interesting questions as to who might be behind the dream plague and how trapping a horny old man into a sex dream for a month was advancing whatever goals the person responsible might have.

Then the adventurers investigated a group of needlefolk lairing in an old silver mine, which brought them into conflict with the crippled green hag and her bugbear bodyguard who had recently made the place their lair. But they were relative pushovers compared to the "lair guardians" they'd set up: a yellow musk creeper and a trio of yellow musk zombies made up of a horse, a human fighter, and one of the human clerics responsible for getting my son's half-orc cleric aspirant thrown out of the temple of the All-Father the morning of his initiation rites. And he and the fighter PC each got the "signature items" that will be with them over the course of this campaign, growing in power with them as they level up: a shield for the half-orc cleric/paladin and a bastard sword for the fighter. The next two adventures will see the other three PCs getting their own respective signature items. And then we'll continue to see if they can unravel the mysteries of this dream plague....



41st lv DM
A refreshing break from weekly prep now that the 5e campaign has closed & one f the other guys is running some PF for a bit (I.E. however long it takes to complete book #2 of the AP).

We've resumed the PF AP Ruins of Azlant (think that's its name) that he'd been running last year until the pandemic + politics crashed our Sunday game & we lost 1/2 the group.
All I had to do was pull out my PF folder & review my existing characters.
The other players spent about 1/2 the session creating characters.
The rest of the session was all RP introducing them to the town/NPCs/filling them in on what had been going on.
Towards the end of the session we set out to visit a local Water Naga on a diplomatic mission. I'm sure that complications will ensue this coming week. :)

The Lizard Wizard

Rather than an exposition dump as an intro to the big battle we're soon to face, the DM had us roll for a random character in the backstory we were being told.

I got to play a goblin that was as dumb as a brick, and heard voices telling her to kill the other party members.
We were a group of miners working on some recently discovered caves. After some tunnel collapses we were sent to a different area where strange things began to happen, cutting away the stone revealed eyes in the walls, black sap oozed from the walls eventually forming some ancient evil that absorbed each party member into it's mass.

I ended up the last player standing before my character took her own life rather than be consumed by the unspeakable horror.
It was a really fun session, knowing we were all going to die anyway we did a bunch of things that we probably wouldn't do with our own characters, like split the party, take crazy risks, etc...

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