How Was Your Last Session?

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
My party of 5 is level 4. We had left the session previous at a point in an inn along a mountain road where a hulkomg dragonborn smuggling boss with his 8 henchmen had just met with an evil witchdoctor, who stepped through an arcane gate, to hand over an ancient ritual book that the PCs were chasing. Everyone, myself included (I'm the DM), was expecting heavy losses on the player side.

The fight began after the witchdocter stepped back through his portal the dragonborn sorcerer toasted 2 out of 3 bad guys who were in the inn. More bad guys from outside poured in to take on the PCs, I forgot how hard some of them are to hit so even though I attacked the barbarian and the warforged artificer in the party, they each have really good defences (we roll 4k3 for stats). The smuggling boss got some really good hits against the spider shifted druid forcing him out of spider form but before the battle with the boss could really be joined, my counter hit 0 and a horde of orcs swept down the mountain road causing the party to hole up in the inn and the smuggling boss to take a dive into the ravine to avoid them.

The dwarf and gnome innkeepers are already set up for this, the inn was barricaded and they help the PCs through a secret passage to the ravine below to escape the orcs. The PCs have made it up the other side of the ravine thanks to a fly spell cast on the barbarian who ferried everyone up the side where they now wait at the witchdoctor's former campsite for the night before tracking them down.

Sidenote. Playing with an artificer with the archivist subclass and I really hate the completely invulnerable pet that the class has. It was able to harass the orcs while they couldn't retaliate. If this subclass comes out in the future, I hope this is edited.
 

THEMNGMNT

Explorer
I thought Misty Step you had to see your destination?
I didn't know that, but I'm sure you're right. One player used it when he was grabbed, so that was correct RAW. Another player used it after he got swallowed, so that apparently broke the rules. Thanks for the tip!

And I love reading your campaign recaps!
 

Nebulous

Hero
I didn't know that, but I'm sure you're right. One player used it when he was grabbed, so that was correct RAW. Another player used it after he got swallowed, so that apparently broke the rules. Thanks for the tip!

And I love reading your campaign recaps!
thanks!
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
The heroes have been fighting Strahd in his Castle. The last session they made their way down into the catacombs, teleported into Strahds Tomb, desecrated(consecrated) his coffin and then accidentally got a bit separated. Now Strahd has the rogue in his grasp and is about to dish out a potential death blow while the rest of the party desperately climbs/flies/ up a 40’ shaft to save him. It’s entirely possible they’ll be too late.
 

Richards

Adventurer
We just played tonight. My PC got a +1 battleaxe. And then his first three rolls with it were a 1, a 3, and a 2. I may end up selling the battleaxe and buying a pair of pom-poms, so I can just stand on the side and cheer on the dwarf PCs, who pretty much slayed all of the enemies we were facing tonight. :)

Johnathan
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
We just played tonight. My PC got a +1 battleaxe. And then his first three rolls with it were a 1, a 3, and a 2. I may end up selling the battleaxe and buying a pair of pom-poms, so I can just stand on the side and cheer on the dwarf PCs, who pretty much slayed all of the enemies we were facing tonight. :)

Johnathan
I can see your PC swinging away with his new axe yelling "It's cursed! I have a cursed axe!"
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
You know, my last session I DMes was kind of rough. I had been building towards exploring one character's backstory, so was trying to get people into the Elemental Plane of Water. Since they were on a ship, the idea was they'd be sucked up into a whirlpool, while another pirate ship attacked (think Pirates of the Caribbean 3).

Anyway, they resisted the whirlpool hard, which I didn't expect because I had asked beforehand whether they were interested in going to the Elemental Plane. One player was especially annoyed that they're weather controlling spells weren't just ending the storm (even though I said that this storm is also magical, and of much stronger magic than an individual's).

They also wanted to one-shot the pirate ship a Control Water spell (just having it drop in water and enveloping it) which I think would have worked but would have considerably shortened the material I had prepared, and honestly just been less satisfying than them having a ship-to-ship battle.

Thankfully they failed their checks so they did go into the vortex, and the pirate ship succeeded so they didn't get close enough for the control water to happen. But anyway, the players felt like I robbed them, which I sort-of did though not really intentionally.

I think it was a learning experience, but I'm pretty frustrated as the whole point of going to the Elemental Plane was for more role-playing (which some of the players have requested more of) but every time they're given the choice, they always want to attack instead of talk.

I'm taking a break for a few weeks so hopefully I'll be back in a good place when I return to it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You know, my last session I DMes was kind of rough. I had been building towards exploring one character's backstory, so was trying to get people into the Elemental Plane of Water. Since they were on a ship, the idea was they'd be sucked up into a whirlpool, while another pirate ship attacked (think Pirates of the Caribbean 3).

Anyway, they resisted the whirlpool hard, which I didn't expect because I had asked beforehand whether they were interested in going to the Elemental Plane. One player was especially annoyed that they're weather controlling spells weren't just ending the storm (even though I said that this storm is also magical, and of much stronger magic than an individual's).

They also wanted to one-shot the pirate ship a Control Water spell (just having it drop in water and enveloping it) which I think would have worked but would have considerably shortened the material I had prepared, and honestly just been less satisfying than them having a ship-to-ship battle.

Thankfully they failed their checks so they did go into the vortex, and the pirate ship succeeded so they didn't get close enough for the control water to happen. But anyway, the players felt like I robbed them, which I sort-of did though not really intentionally.

I think it was a learning experience, but I'm pretty frustrated as the whole point of going to the Elemental Plane was for more role-playing (which some of the players have requested more of) but every time they're given the choice, they always want to attack instead of talk.

I'm taking a break for a few weeks so hopefully I'll be back in a good place when I return to it.
Tell them that you are trying to give them more RP opportunities but they always attack first.


That aside, dumping water on a ship won’t actually sink it. Ships are built to survive large waves dropping enormous amounts of water atop them.
 

the Jester

Legend
Just ran my Alpha group two nights ago (as opposed to Teams Beta and Delta). They were picking up after some political stuff, and there was some shuffling of pcs (most of my players have a sort of 'stable' of characters available). They have a bunch of loose ends dangling, so they decided to go after Heshwat, the hobgoblin mage who was in charge of an evil army called the Scarlet Fist, but who was driven off about five years ago. Recent events have revealed that a hobgoblin mage styling himself "Grimfingers" has been assembling a conspiracy including the Winter Court of the Feywild, dark elves, and giants to attack the pcs' city.

The pcs set out to first determine whether Grimfingers and Heshwat are the same person. A commune spell gave them the answer- "In a sense". Hmm.

The pcs journeyed toward Heshwat's location, as revealed by divination spells. Along the way, they had a few encounters, including dodging part of a digester migration, before they encountered a pair of goblin deserters from Heshwat's force. Between the goblins and those aforementioned divinations, the pcs learned that Heshwat's hands are bony now, and he's very different at night. Indications are that he works for or is working with Orcus.

The pcs found Heshwat's fortress and located a secret underwater entrance to it. Then we realized it was late and a work night, so we called it a night.
 

Imaculata

Adventurer
Thankfully they failed their checks so they did go into the vortex, and the pirate ship succeeded so they didn't get close enough for the control water to happen. But anyway, the players felt like I robbed them, which I sort-of did though not really intentionally.
If there's one thing I've learned as a DM, it is to always have contingencies in case things go differently as planned (which they always do). As a DM you should be aware of their magical capabilities, and Control Water is a pretty obvious spell to use at sea. In 3.5 the book Stormwrack even provides rules regarding Control Water and ships, but I assume you're playing 5th. In a world where spells like Control Water and Control Winds exist, no pirate ship would be without their own dedicated spellcaster.

I think however that your biggest mistake here was to want a particular situation to happen, which is understandable considering your preparation. But personally, I always roll with what ever happens. If the players don't go into the whirlpool, then they don't go in. Embrace the chaos, but be better prepared next time. Sometimes the unexpected outcome is way more interesting than what you had planned.

Here is how I would have ruled it:

Of course they can try and affect the weather with their spells, even if the weather is magical in nature. It simply requires a casting check. The weather presumably is caused by powers or individuals of a particular caster level, so they simply have to oppose those powers. You can make the casting check very difficult of course, but they can always try. Be prepared though in case they beat the odds, because you never know.

I don't know if there are naval rules for 5th edition yet, so my ruling would be based purely on rules from older editions. In case of doubt, I tend to lean towards "Yes, they can always try", and then make up a suitable ruling on the spot that allows them to try what they are attempting to do. Based on older editions though:

A Control Water would not completely take out another ship in an instant, it would simply affect the enemy captain's ability to steer it, and possibly wash enemy crew over the side (if they raise the water). The captain should be forced to make a check to keep control over the ship, or it will start to founder (and will basically be at the mercy of the wind and waves). A foundering ship starts flooding and can eventually sink.

A Control Winds spell is stationary, and thus does not move with the ship. It may be enough to give a ship a quick boost though. If used against an enemy ship, its captain would need to make a check to keep control over his ship.

The pirate ship should have their own spellcasters to oppose such attempts and a ship that has not been holed yet would be difficult to sink regardless. But they can always try, and the pirate captain can always fail his check.
 
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Great suggestions! Yeah I mostly effed up because my players were like "let's do this," before the session (have more RPing in elemental plane) but against a force intrinsically resist it. So I reacted a little too forecefully back :).
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
Erkonin Campaign #1, session #45; D&D 5E (coming to this thread late).

After finding and destroying a gate to Stygia just outside a major city, party returned to that city and poked around, trying to find out who might have wanted to put that gate there, and why. Party found out there were some people with motives (kicked out of the closed noble quarter in one case, driven out of business in another). They found where the people kicked out of the noble quarter were living now, and went to that house. They tried to look in with clairvoyance, then dimension door in, and found that the house was protected by a Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, so the party rogue snuck in. He found out there was another gate there, and there were people doing magic stuff around it. The party went to the hotel that's been serving as their base of operations, and prepared to settle in for the knight, when the party ranger detected fiends in the city. The party ran to confront the fiends (four devils) and killed them. They're moving back to the cabal's headquarters, and that's going to be the start of the next session.
 

Daern

Explorer
The other day I DM'd for the after school table top club I run. The kids slew the necromancer at the beginning of the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. A bard used Thunderwave to explode skeletons then Vicious Mockery to hurt the necromancer's feelings. Much hilarity.
My last adult game was with my home made OSR style rules. Two buds made a couple characters each and delved into the DCC mod Jewels of the Carnifex. A bunch of clever traps and a big running battle. Got to kick the tires on my ruleset again. I really like it.
 
Things went better than expected. My daughter changed herself into a rat so she could spy more effectively and they ended up finding and rescuing the prisoners instead of abandoning them. More time was spent creating a plan than in actually doing, but that is alright too. It meant that they were taking strategy seriously.
 

Nebulous

Hero
We had another session of LMoP tonight. I'm adding lots of backstory, including that Neznarr has a sister whose house was all assassinated and she's rebuilding her clan and currently very pregnant. They have a base deeper down in the underdark but a connection to the phandelver mine. She thought Neznarr died many years ago when he failed an initiation of Lloth, but he was transformed into a drider. Upon finding the Forge of Spells, he hopes to break the curse on him, and now that his sister is nearby, he will try to manipulate her, but she doesn't know of his presence yet or cursed state. He's trying to pit the PCs against the drow and either weaken one or both sides so they're less of a threat to him. The players think they're on the verge of the final fight, but i think I want to keep it upstairs as in the original module.

The best part was when they raided a spell-locked summoning shrine of Lloth and stole the Book of Vile Darkness. Then then burned that place to the ground.
 

Richards

Adventurer
Things went better than expected. My daughter changed herself into a rat so she could spy more effectively and they ended up finding and rescuing the prisoners instead of abandoning them. More time was spent creating a plan than in actually doing, but that is alright too. It meant that they were taking strategy seriously.
Hey, that's pretty cool. It's always good to see new players starting to really get into the "reality" of the game world.

Johnathan
 

mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
I'm currently playing in a game surrounded by good friends whom I've shared a table with for many years. Our current Dungeon Master is heavy on exposition and we spent most of the session absorbing his tale as we spent some downtime exploring each others' characters. Mine is the half-orc daughter of a wounded officer who served in the city guard for most of his life. The family now runs a tavern called Patrol's End where we spend most of our in-game time when not adventuring. We recently battled an incredibly powerful sorcerer who laid siege to the bay our city surrounds. Plotting our next move embroiled us in discussion. A great time had by all!
 

Tallifer

Adventurer
Ugh. I just played in a truly mindnumbing game. I hate investigations as an introduction to a campaign. When I know absolutely nothing about the world, and my character is new, I have no interest in solving a mystery concerning a bunch of names I do not want to remember. The first few sessions should be simple jobs with a few names and people to learn. Then ramp up the world as everyone gets on board in later sessions.
 

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