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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?


Rotten DM
Good, Bad, Weird, and I had to toss a player 10 mikes after he arrived. I started the Strahd campaign last night. I posting about for about a month. Got people interested. Got them to choose between two locations store or home. Problem player has already got on my nerves when I just had play with him as player. PP is also on heavy medical drugs due to health.
We had a session 0 by messenger where I laid down plot hooks, told them to work with each others what they will be playing.
But first crazy thing. My Crazy cousin show up with out blue about 20 before doors open. So I dealing with her. She is on heavy mental drugs. Gamers show up and at best she treated them like family. Some unwelcomed hugs. Then she had problems leaving because she was mentally not fully present. The gamers are socializing since some don't each other.
PP had minor family matters. But he did message me till 2 minutes before time. He had 3 hours to mention. Ok he running late. He arrives 90 minutes late. Does not have a pc ready because he need other resources. He had PHB. He had a session 0. His reply was I thought tonight was going to be session 0.
I ask about his drugs which leave him in a mental fog most of time. Strike and out and leave my house. A month to mention he want to use other sources. He could have grabbed me or other gamers at the store to help him. Said little in during the session 0 online session. Knew he was going to be late at least 2 or more hours. Show up 90 minutes wanting a session 0. And is a constant mental fog. NO.
insert lots of cuss words. I will be playing with the dude at the game store but not my house. One the reasons I quit playing 3.5E was people could not arrive on time.
The good. Radiare brought a flying tiefling into Barovia. Which we had fun roleplaying and he had fun watching the DM be uncomfortable.
The weird was a storm was moving through during the opening scenes and the thunder and lighting gave a great air to the game.

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Well last session was a, I would assume, a proto/form of Session 0. I say that because it was the first time ever that two of my best bros for life are going to be playing DND for the very first time ever. My one bro specifically asked me to show him how to do a Character Sheet and explain to him the generation rules for Ability Scores. my best friend when showing him Roll 20 two weeks ago before the session, tried to explain to him Point Buy, but my one bro just wasn't getting it. Plus he prefers more the dice rolling as that's easier for him. So pretty much the entire session was just creating a Character.

One is going to be a Great Old One Drow Warlock that is taking the Tome pact boon. The other bro decided to be a Half-Elf Beast Conclave Ranger with a Panther. As the DM, I changed out the PHB Ranger with the Revised Ranger since it is technically better. We went over the skills and backgrounds with the Warlock being a Sage and the Revised Ranger being a Charlatan, which I found both as interesting choices.

Starting level is 3. Restricted to PHB Handbook races/backgrounds for now since they are starting off. Add-Ons will happen/become available once they get some sessions under the belt. Character Variant Features UA version in effect. Racial Feats or a Feat at Level 1 is enabled.

Warlock seems to be going for the Eldritch Blast+Agonizing Blast Invocation combo due to my best friend's prior suggestion in their Roll 20 campaign/tips. I allowed both to roll for HP with the option of rerolls if 1's happened or below average gains occur: They have the option to take the average gains should that happen AND if they didn't want to go for anything higher past that. The Warlock ended up with 23 HP and the Ranger got 40 HP after they rolled for their HP for the three levels.

I am allowing the Ranger the option to use the Mike Mearls Happy Hours' Whirling Blades as a unique Fighting Style option for Rangers only. I've tried to balance it out by have it make said Ranger pc able to make Two Attacks at the start (Default Attack+the Bonus Action attack with the second weapon with the Ability Modifier). At level 5 he'll gain the Extra Attack which will be the Third Attack, and then the Beast command attack for his conclave will become a "4th" Attack, meaning the Ranger will be doing four attacks after leveling up enough ala the fighter.

Since I'm only having these two play for now and not adding any other players in additional for this "campaign" and what not, I'm not worried about the Ranger pc stepping on the toes of the Fighter/Martial character because it seems like the Ranger is gonna be the only Martial part of the duo with the Warlock being the Arcane support. Although my one bro whose playing the Ranger pc did say "Wow my guy feels a little overpowered." We'll see how things turn out and adjust from there.

Editor's Note: I have already taken this into consideration and have begun planning out some extra stuff for the Warlock PC to make sure he doesn't trail behind in that regards and gets some cool stuff as well: Options including a Ring of Spell Rage which will allow the Warlock PC to use a Bonus Action to gain "Rage Damage/+2" to his Spell's damage rolls, a Ring that at certain Character Levels up will gain up to +1/+2/+3 extra Eldritch Invocations (thanks Mike Myler for coming up with that idea for an item) AND the option of perhaps gaining the use of a Pact Weapon. Again I'm fully aware that it maybe against the rules normally, but since these are going to be the only two players for now until we finish this and start a new one, nobody should get hurt feelings.*

I have already explained to both that every DM is different in regards to how things are played and that some DM's may play differently from other DMs. So nobody get used to how I'm doing things for this time and if they end up playing in another group and stuff. Especially if there is a new campaign down the line and we get additional players. Because I'm already hearing the peeps in the back on here yelling about favortism/what not.

There was a question during the proto Session 0 about what setting was being used: For now I'm gonna play it by ear but so far have been briefly drumming some stuff up. Everything may remain pretty lite on details with emergent play filling in some aspects as we go along and just get a few sessions under belt.

So far they are both pretty excited.
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Dungeon Master at large.
With everyone in our circle double vaxxed, we returned to live play for my 1e campaign.

When last we played, the group had been TPK'd** by a false hydra, but scored a Pyrrhic victory by destroying its food source and ending the threat.

** two absent players from the adventure survived, but everyone at the table lost their characters.

So picking up 2 in-game years later, with a new group (plus one of the previous surviving players) for new adventures. I lay out several rumours of possible adventure for them to discuss, going heavy on the sandbox style for full player agency. One of said options was a sighting of a wyrmling green dragon, which if subdued and captured could bring a nice price.

So, our intrepid band of 1st level (and one 4th level monk) characters confidently state "It's only a baby, how tough can it be?" Or something to that effect.

Flash forward to one dead character, two in critical condition... no one able to travel and 4 days out from the nearest city. BUT, they did get their quarry although taking it alive ceased to be an option really early in the fight.

Part two this weekend, will our team make it home with the prize? The dice will decide! :cool:

27th session in my Neverwinter campaign. Three PCs: human genie warlock, drow evoker wizard, half-orc vengeance paladin. Paladin at 6th level and the other two at 5th.

In this session, the PCs met a mysterious contact on a pier in Neverwinter. She ushered them into a small boat crewed by two polemen. In the middle of River Neverwinter she engaged in some major expositing, which planted the seeds for upcoming quests. More on that in future posts.

Unfortunately, the PCs had been followed to their rendezvous by agents of a cabal of aberrations which are infiltrating the Neverwinter region. The boat was attacked by a CR10 kraken and six sahuagin. It was a brutal, exciting fight. The paladin was flung overboard but used misty step to get back in the action. The warlock summoned a shadow blade and hit hard. The wizard dropped multiple fireballs but was eventually choked out by a tentacle.

As the wizard slipped into unconsciousness, the paladin and warlock did enough damage to the kraken to force it to withdraw...but it took the the wizard with it.

Next session: Rescue the wizard from the clutches of the kraken!

Ogre Mage

It was very successful! We destroyed the evil druids and twig blights infesting the Wizard of the Wines. It was not too difficult. Thodak and Fornn ripped through the twig blights while while Balore targeted the druids with nasty necromancy spells.

Afterward greedy Thodak helped themself to the wine. :rolleyes: The wine was poisoned by the druids! Thodak's dwarven poison resistance failed and they started taking ongoing poison damage. I rolled my eyes and cast lesser restoration.

We stayed the night at the Wizards of the Wines and I prayed for the purify food and drink spell. The next morning I purified the wine of poison. Davian Martikov thanked us and said the the gems which magically powered the vineyards here had been stolen. The druids we fought had stolen one very recently and taken it to Yester Hill. Another had been taken some time ago to the ruins of Berez. We decided to go to Yester Hill first since it was closer and the gem had been stolen more recently. And we had already faced these druids and defeated them easily so we liked our odds.

We had made our first ally in Barovia -- Davian Martikov and his family. At the successful completion of this mission we leveled up to 4th level. We marched in the direction of Yester Hill.

Our Party:

Kinoka, Wood Elf Circle of Spores Druid
Fornn, Wood Elf Moon Druid
Kandle, Human Grave Domain Cleric
Luna, Human Twilight Domain Cleric
Thodak, Hill Dwarf Rune Knight Fighter
Balore, Tiefling Necromancer Wizard
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It was a short session: we had to delay our normal start time from noon until 1:30 because my nephew had a picnic with his high school chorus class, and we had a hard stop at 4:30 because the other family we game with had a birthday party they had to go to. So I swapped the adventure I had originally planned to run today with the one that came after it, since I thought that one would only take us a couple of hours to run through (and I was correct, within 5 minutes).

So, traveling to the site of the next dream victim, the PCs met up with a young human wizard who'd set up a sideshow tent alongside the road. For the low cost of five silver pieces each, he offered to show them wondrous creatures they'd never seen before. Intrigued, they took him up on it (well, all for my nephew's bard, who waited outside the tent with the animals, guarding the wagon). The apprentice wizard used an elaborate magic staff he'd "borrowed" from his wizardly master, creating an image in the middle of the tent of a bunch of jungle plants and, eventually (after tuning the staff a bit), a pachycephalosaurus. This was a dinosaur from another entire continent that he was scrying upon with the powers of the staff. However, the image was pretty dark (it was night over on that continent), so after some complaints from the farmers who'd paid to see the show, the apprentice wizard tried fiddling with the staff to get a better picture. It worked, but only because he'd opened up a teleportation circle at the scene, such that the dinosaur and the plants surrounding it were suddenly right there in the tent with the ten commoners and four PCs.

So the villagers all scream in terror, which sets off the pachycephalosaurus in a panic, and before you know it he's crushed the head of one of the farmers and the commoners are all scrambling to find a way out of the tent. And then the three velociraptors who had been sneaking up on the pachycephalosaurus showed up....

After dealing with them, there were two more waves of "invaders" - a halfling mounted on a bipedal herbivorous dinosaur and the pair of deinonychi that had been chasing him. The PCs fought off the predators and then used a bunch of sign language (the halfling didn't know Common and none of the PCs spoke Halfling, having never seen one before - they're not present on the PCs' home continent) to get the halfling back into the circle inside the tent, where the apprentice wizard's master was able to return them back to their home continent (along with the corpses of the slain dinosaurs) once he'd been alerted to the mess his apprentice had caused.



Moderator Emeritus
Today was session #18 of my Revenants of Saltmarsh campaign, which is a remote only game with players in three different time zones - so scheduling can be a pain. Nevertheless, we made some progress. The PCs left Saltmarsh as spies/diplomats for the town prefect, deciding to go the overland route as the coastal route was likely watched by the Scarlet Brotherhood. On the way they had one hazard encounter, with the dwarven eldritch knight falling into a bog hole that was quickly filling with muck and water and the party working as a team to get him out and then, as they sought a place to camp they were beset by waves of bullywugs! First three, then six with a bullywug croaker, and finally KING GULPA-GOR on his giant toad mount! We had to call it mid-combat, but the dwarf is close to death - having rolled a 1 on his first death save after being swallowed by the toad. The toad spit him out, not liking his metal armor, but there is a decent chance he may die.

I may ask the player to start thinking about new character ideas, just in case!


Today we did the first part of “City on the Edge,” which is a Tomb of Annihilation affiliated mini-module. Took us about 2.5 hours. It’s for low-levels but my party is 8th level, so I had to up the encounters a lot. I was worried that they’d get TPK’d by the archmage I through at them at the end. Time Stop is a hellauva spelll when coupled with lightning bolts.


Fiendish Attorney
The players were hunting an owlbear into a nearby steppe. The steppes were covered in cockatrices, literally hundreds of them. They tried to tip-toe through them but a player messed up and started combat. Oh well, they're going to hang out overnight while one of their party members recover from the petrification.

Hopefully, the owlbear isn't nocturnal...? Oh, wait...

Since my 1-20 5E campaign wrapped earlier this year, my main group and I have been taking some new systems for a spin. New to us, anyway. This week, we kicked off Night's Black Agents -- the vampire spy thriller powered by GUMSHOE that bills itself as "Jason Bourne vs Dracula".

We spent most of the session building characters, which is probably more complicated than it needs to be.

I dropped the newly-minted spies into a short scenario I created called "The Aleppo Target". It's meant to be the James Bond-esque cold open action sequence. After completing this intro, we'll segue into "Out of the House of Ashes", a scenario from the Zalozhniy Quartet campaign. That scenario is heavy on investigation and intrigue, which is why I thought we needed a hot start.

To set the mood I used some drone footage of Aleppo from YouTube. It worked well. The spies were assaulting a compound Delta Force-style to capture a Syrian warlord called The Butcher of Aleppo. They moved through the compound, taking out guards, and rerouting the CCTV cameras to their mobile phones. They soon discovered the Butcher was ready for them. Instead of finding the Butcher sleeping in his bed, they found a feeble old man wired to an explosive vest. Simultaneously, their helicopter evac came under RPG attack. And their handler was kidnapped from the safe house where she was orchestrating the entire op. On that cliffhanger I called the session.

NBA is built so that players can choose to automatically succeed if they spend enough points. The challenge comes from deciding if now is the best time to spend points, or if they're better saved for later. It'll be interesting to see how this feels over the course of a full adventure, but for now the players enjoyed the sense of ultra-competence.


Dungeon Master at large.
My 1st Edition campaign continues:

The previous week, our intrepid explorers had defeated the Wyrmling green dragon, but one of their number was dead and two in critical condition unable to travel for at least a week.

So they set up camp in the dragon's lair! Being a wyrmling it didn't have a massive hoard, but they did find 75 electrum ingots with the stamp of a long-gone mining operation, rumoured to have once operated out of the area. The team consists of a Dwarven fighter and Human Kensai, (these are the critically injured pair), a half-elf Ranger/Cleric, A dwarven Assassin (though the others know this not), and an Elven Fighter/Thief.

The week passes, (real time away from the table = in-game time here) and session 2 begins with the two injured ready to travel again, but two other members of the party (Elven Fighter/Thief, and Half Elf Ranger/Cleric) had come down with some malady in the interim, significantly weakening them. They can travel, but cannot perform anything strenuous, let alone fight or carry their own gear.

Enter some NPCs, (along with the PC whose character died last week introducing his new character - another Kensai), also hunting the dragon but too late. They make the most generous offer of helping the team carry any loot they may have found. The team has already, however, opted to bury all the electrum and come back for it when everyone is stronger - except for a few bars the Assassin refused to part with. They do not let this new team of strangers know of their secret stash.

The two Kensai size each other up upon realizing what the other is, and a friendly challenge is issued. A non-lethal duel to first touch. The 'new' kensai to the team, Dastan, dual-wields scimitars, where the other, Kyla, wields a bastard sword. Initiative is rolled and Dastan lunges forward rolling a 2 and 3, missing on both, while Kyla rolls a nat 20, tapping him for first touch and winning their first duel.

After staying for a few more days to see if the two sick characters would get better, (they did not), the group finally heads out in an effort to return to town (a 4-day journey.)

Playing smart and avoiding encounters, the team manages to not fight a pack of wolves, a sounder of boars, and a war party of 20 goblins.

Returning to town, the team thanks the NPCs for their aid, offers them some coin for their trouble and Dastan jumps ship to join the rest of the PCs, much to the chagrin of the NPC team leader he was traveling with, who seemed very put out that Dastan would abandon him so easily. (An enemy made perhaps? Time will tell.)

Consulting a sage to find a buyer who might be interested in the scales of the dragon they collected, as well as a magic ring they took off of a goblin previously, the group is delighted to be offered a bounty of 14k in gold and gems plus a treasure map in exchange for the ring which turned out be an illusionist ring of spell storing. They get a nominal sum for the dragon scales and such, but the real find is the ring.

Meanwhile in the seedier side of town, our assassin has gone to his guild to report the comings and goings of his party, as per his assignment. Learning of the buried electrum, they buy its location off of him in exchange for a tidy fee and free training for his looming level(s). The cad gleefully accepts, all while his allies are planning their return to claim the loot.

With the acquisition of the payment for the ring, the group seeks out mentors to advance, everyone being level 2, except the multiclasses who make levels in but one of their classes and Dastan who has just joined. Our dastardly assassin has made 3rd level thanks to his shenannigans. The two sick characters do eventually recover (I had rolled mild maladies for both, lasting d3 weeks)

In three weeks the group reconvenes for their excursion to recover the buried loot, and boy are they in for a shock. :cool:

Very nearly a TPK from a random encounter.

Storm kings thunder, 9th level, in the Ardeep forest taking care of some PC business (visiting the elf ranger’s family) before heading to Maelstrom. A series of unlikely events led us to fighting a hag coven and their pet shambling mounds and some sort of lightning fey/elemental thing(lots of really nasty Tome of Horrors critters in use). Elf ranger decided since it was a battle on her turf, she’d make the plans. She forgot to inform the rest of us of the plan and that, for best performance, the party my paladin especially needs a round or two warning to get the buffs up and running, and the light cleric had used all his 3rd level spell slots on Sending earlier in the day trying to negotiate a tricky conflict between his theological and romantic obligations. It was brutal. Two out of 12 of the npc elf rangers we were with survived. My paladin went to zero hp twice, once with two failed death saves. The ranger went down as well. The dice were awful, we use a fantasy grounds plug-in critical hit/fumble table, and critical fumbles shrunk us all one size category and left us all prone and incapacitated for a round at one point too. And we didn’t even manage to kill ANY of the three hags! The cleric banished the night hag, but two others seemed to be dragged to some noxious plane when the ritual they were performing was interrupted though we did reduce one to 0hp before this happened.

So yeah, we got beaten to hell, we’ve got almost all our helpers killed, and we’ve made enemies of a still-intact hag coven (who seem to have gotten clean away with their treasure!). And all because the gnome rolled a natural 1 on the random encounter table.


Scheduling has been an issue recently. So me and two of my four players got together on a Saturday morning at 7 am to play. It was kind of a last minute decision, so I threw something together.

I allow character trees, and each of my players currently have 2 characters. The two that could make it thought it would be fun to get the two artificers together. They took with them two of the hobgoblins they just hired, and their quest-giver, a scout that they had rescued earlier. The scout wanted revenge on a tribe of derro that captured and killed some members of his party. They followed an underground river to a beach that overlooked the derro lair.

The party landed and it turned into a big slog of a fight, where waves of derro and swarms of albino apelings assaulted the party. The party won, but their hobgoblins died, and the derro savant escaped by turning invisible.

2nd session of Night's Black Agents. In the previous session, the agents were on a mission to capture the Butcher of Aleppo...but somehow he knew they were coming. They survived the trap he laid in his compound. But the Butcher and his men simultaneously struck their safehouse and captured their handler.

When this session started, the agents had deactivated an explosive vest on a civilian. They hurled the vest at the technical trying to shoot down the chopper that had arrived for exfil. Boom! No more technical! However, the chopper was still taking fire from the other guards in the compound. So they made their way on foot to the fallback rendezvous point. I asked the agents to narrate a single detail on their nighttime run through the ruins of Aleppo. It added a lot.

On the helicopter, the hacker tracked the handler's mobile phone and determined that she was on a convoy of vehicles. After a short discussion, the players decided it was too dangerous to assault the convoy. So they watched as the convoy entered the Citadel of Aleppo. The Citadel is a real landmark, a famous fortress that has stood for thousands of years. It's a good location for a climax to this introductory mission.

At this point, CIA control radioed and scrubbed the mission. But the agents refused to abandon their handler to the Butcher. Defying orders, they fast roped off the helicopter to the streets around the Citadel.

So there they were in the middle of a warzone, gone rogue from the CIA, hundreds of miles from friendlies, with no way home.

What followed was a lengthy discussion around the NBA rules on Cover vs Disguise. It's a bit of a paradigm shift for this longtime group of D&D players to realize they can't magically appear to be someone else, or that the discovery of their true identities could lead to the deaths (or worse) of their loved ones. Eventually, we got it all sorted out, and the agents began their infiltration of the Citadel.

Next session: The agents encounter their first vampire. There will be blood.

Well, aside from the fact that I was somewhat half delirious from lack of a full nights' sleep due to the fact that I am a caretaker, it went reasonably well. I ONLY had the basics down, setting wise by thinking up a few details over the course of last week while I was doing my workshifts.

Anywho the setting was the following: The world seems to focus upon a long stretching road known as "The King's Road" which pretty much crosses through all the territories of the world. Many kingdoms and nations have risen and fallen but the King's Road is the ONLY constant that remains. Currently a united series of Kingdoms and territories, which calls itself the Grand Duchy, is the current 'holder" towards the right of claim in enforcing the rules and trade involving this endless and long stretching path along with its effect on trade. The story, of course, focused in upon a Tavern called "The Dancing Medley" where both the Ranger pc and the Warlock pc encountered each other.

The Situation: Bandits have been getting a lot "bolder" lately and have been attacking/raiding a number of the Caravans that have been traveling upon the King's Road in different locations that seem to center around and a bit past the local landscape. The Ranger overheard this rumor and a rumor about how another village located further past has been finding its maiden being "abducted" by unknown forces, or perhaps, something within the night. Nobody knows but a number of people are heading out as fast as possible.

Shortly after this small moment, a wounded merchant, with two arrows in his right shoulder blade comes through the door and explains how his caravan was the latest victims of the latest bandit raids. The Ranger removed the arrows and from there the scene continued on with more people coming through the door: First, a Marshal of the Grand Duchy, named Imoden, and his three guardsman came into the tavern and proceeded to situate themselves in the far corner of the establishment, watching everything. Then, a man, called Monstique, came in and boasted a claim to the whole tavern and its inhabitants: that Monstique himself, was an actual Ranger and for the low low price of being paid HALF of the earned wages from the townsfolk, he would solve the bandit problem.

Now, it turns out that Monstique isn't an actual Ranger, but a con man who basically made a deal with the Barkeep to split the profits if they assisted each other on the con. Monstique would start asking the barkeep what Rangers are known for, in order to prove to the disbelieving crowd his claims were true. The Barkeep said that Rangers can supposedly talk to the animal of the land and are known for a Fighting Style that appeared to be a whirl of blades when they engaged in combat. Monstique "summoned" a Dove, which flew and landed on his shoulder, and then did a Two Weapon Fighting Style attack against an apple, thrown by the Barkeep, to cut it into pieces.

The Ranger PC, in response to both moments countered by calling his Animal Companion, a Black Panther named Bagheera Khajiit, to come through the open window that the Dove came through earlier, and then demonstrated a much more masterful display of Two Weapon Fighting by having Monstique throw the Apple Seeds of the previously sliced apple, at said Ranger. Needless to say, the Apple Seeds were sliced into fine flecks. Shortly after, the Ranger pc made an attack roll and sliced Monstique's belt off, causing the fraud's trouser's to fall down. The poor guy kept falling/stumbling/proned as he ran out of the bar as the entire thing had blown up in Monstique's face.

While all this was happening, the Warlock PC, with the crowd and Barkeep completely distracted by all this, snuck into a back room where he found a letter detailing the Barkeep and Montisque "partnership" in this con. Prior to this, the Warlock saved a drunkard from wasting his money on buying imitation Silk from another con man who was trying to take advantage of said drunkard and steal his drinking money. Since the Warlock is a sage, he could easily tell the difference between the actual silk and imitation. Also the one Elven tavern wench kept on serving him free drinks as he apparently caught her eye or something.

Anywho, back to the discovery of the letter: The Warlock PC and the Ranger PC, after having met each other during the moments BEFORE the wounded merchant and Monstique's appearance, discussed the letter. The Ranger, noticed a strange watermark on the letter, and the Warlock, upon investigating it as the Ranger failed the check, to learn what it was by 1 point off (14 outta a 15 DC) saw an embedded spell. The watermark turned out to be "Draven Ink" which is basically the *Thieves Cant of the Arcane basically and contained the Cantrip "Thaumaturgy" which the Warlock gained/absorbed into his Tome of Shadows thanks to his Ancient Tome of Secrets invocation. Editor's Note: disclaimer at the end of post.

Now, after the Ranger and Warlock interrogated Monstique, and learning he WASN'T part of the bandit attacks, knocked him out and left him outside, where a stray dog proceed to sniff and urinate on him. Also the Ranger spoke to the Dove and allowed it to sit on his shoulder. Our duo returned to the tavern to confront the Barkeep and were met by one of Marshal Imoden's guardsman, who then proceeded to request the Ranger and his friend meet up at the Marshal's table to discuss business. "Please don't keep him waiting" the guardsman says to the pcs before heading back in.

The Ranger and Warlock, however, resolve the situation with the Barkeep. In exchange for the pcs for keeping silent on his involvement with Monstique's con, the Barkeep would keep his ears down on the ground for any rumors that the duo may find interesting or of importance. Should any news happen, the Dove, that the Ranger recruited after the whole Monstique incident, will deliver a letter or message sent out from the Barkeep to the pcs or vice versa. so now the Dove is an employee of the Dancing Medley basically. The Barkeep then gave a free round of his rare, and finest ale to the PCs. "I only bring this out for the most privileged of patrons." The they accepted and the Warlock even asked for a round of it to be delivered to Marshal Imoden's table. To which the Barkeep obliged. He also told the Warlock to keep the Thaumaturgy cantrip as a continued show of his "thanks" for the pcs silence.

The Warlock then sat at his own table and continued hitting on the Elven Tavern wench while while the Ranger discussed business with the marshal. Imoden explains that the recent bandit incursions are starting to become a problem on his end and with it, the increase of paperwork that has to be done. And lets be clear, Marshal Imoden hates paperwork as he has to deal with an ungodly amount as a Marshal of the Grand Duchy. But somebody has to do it. The business transactions went as usual: You guys investigate and report the findings, keep this matter of the utmost secrecy to ensure the bandits don't get a drop on the investigations, money, and "free" passage through the Grand Duchy's border patrol routes on the King's Road as its explained that those who travel on the it must pay the Grand Duchy tithes/tax money for its use. The Ranger pc asks for funding to continue his travels/complete his goals and the Warlock pc wants to travel the King's Road to find/learn/study the magical arts and make new discoveries. Also the Ranger wants Barding for his Black Panther. Which Imoden, despite a remark, agreed too, but it would take three days for its construction.

Imoden then proceeds to stamp the agreement made and per the Ranger's request for the use of steeds, loans out two horses straight from the Grand Duchy's fabled "Halls of Equestrian Horses." The horses, if loaned out, are bred to be loyal to their riders UNTIL commanded otherwise or the stated terms of the transactions are completed.

It is at this point that night falls: The Ranger and his Panther sleeps outside, against the trees, under the stars while the Warlock passed a Persuasion( DC 20 check: he rolled an 18 and has a CHA score of 18) to spend the night with the Elven tavern wench he's been hitting on throughout this whole session. The scene was blacked out but the Barkeep had to smack the portion of the ceiling above with a broom a couple of times.

The session pretty much began to wind down and end there. The pc's briefly went to the first investigation site the next day and we packed up.

Overall, it was great and everybody enjoyed it and had fun. This was the first time ever the Ranger player has played DND and was the 2nd the Warlock player has played it. Everybody scored two points of Inspiration each (I allow players to store up to three "points" of Inspiration").

I guess the "only" issue we encountered was the Warlock pc "handing out gold" like he was a Drow version of Rockafella: He "gave" 500 gp to the Barkeep as collateral and then paid another large sum for info gathering on Marshal Imoden by having a pretty face strike up a convo with one of the guardsman. As DM, I'll admit I "allowed" it this time but there was a bit of a discussion about it

But boy oh boy did I get a lot of "potential" character rp stuff for the Warlock: he started coming up with terms, outta the blue, like the "Draven Ink," the "Dark Brotherhood," the Library of Thaumaturgy" and the "Arcane Society" which I rolled with the punches and established it was a Academic Institution which dedicated itself to collecting/cataloguing/researching all things Arcane and Magicka. the Warlock is an accepted member of the Arcane Society and its brotherhood during a flashback sequence.

Speaking of which, I had both the Ranger pc and the Warlock pc, after a certain in the session, roll a History check. It's a low DC of 5, but upon succeeding the check, both the Ranger and Warlock had a flashback sequence of events in their backgrounds. The Ranger remembered a time when he was practicing the Ranger Two Weapon Fighting style while having a discussion with his mentor, who details/race will get revealed in the next session, and the Warlock remembered the time when he was accepted into the Arcane Society and his request for being allowed Autonomy with his studies/discoveries and their crediting. Reluctantly, they agreed to his request and the field he was studying (the dark magical arts and so forth).

All in all, I tried to make sure both characters had their moments to shine while also trying to show the Warlock player what DND can be about and how to roleplay.

The highlight of the night was afterwards, when the Warlock player said "Hey, can we make this a reoccurring weekend thing?"

Editor's Note: I already explained to the Warlock pc the Cantrip thing was just a one time thing and that for future reference, the Ancient Tome of Secrets invocation will only do ritual spells: The Thaumaturgy Cantrip was only given because during character creation, I forgot to show the Warlock player the Cleric cantrips list during the session zero character creation and accidently told him Thaumaturgy and Presdigitation did the same thing.

Also there was a Wakanda forever joke when I asked the Ranger pc what color his Panther was. And the first Nat 20 of the game came as a result of a joke if the Warlock was staring at the drop dead sexiness of the Ranger's butt. The Warlock player fully went in on grabbing the D20 and was making a Perception check. We were all laughing hard when the Nat 20 on that happened. So the Warlock staring at Ranger butts is canon............................................................................DM eye twitches.
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I almost killed off a group of three eighth level characters with five ghasts and a mage. I had taken one of the mini adventurers from the AL adventure "City on Edge" and raised the enounters to be more in line with the group's level.

The mage was on the other side a huge pit containing the ghasts. The wizard used conjure minor elemental to summon a gargoyle which the fighter climbed on to be flown over the pit. Fighter failed his skill check and fell off the gargoyle. Got mobbed by the ghasts. They critted and he failed a number of saving throws. The rogue kept shooting arrows at the ghasts, doing a small amount of damage but not providing much help. The wizard tried picking off the ghasts with spells.

The mage cast improved invisibility and then mage armor. After two rounds of no action from the mage, the party assumed he had teleported away. Then they go hit with a fireball.

In my game, the mage was kidnapping people to turn them into Yuan-Ti. So they discovered his grotesque lab after the fight and were horrified.

This is all taking place in Chult's Old City district of Port Nyanzaru. My Chult is a bit worse than ordinary Chult because everything that dies potentially comes back as a zombified version. So the people keep no livestock and burn all corpses immediately. No one can be raised from the dead.


So we rotate DMs, and this was my my turn to run Ravenloft for the first time since pre-pandemic. I prepared a huge amount of info on multiple things I knew for a fact they had been planning on doing. Aaand of course you know where this is going: they decided to go in a completely different direction, where I barely had any information. Had to improv an entire session of a horror game.


Jedi Master
@Faolyn exact same thing happened to me running my Wildemount campaign last night. 5 hours of prep set aside in the first five minutes. Session turned into one of the most memorable of the 16 month campaign! Being at the start of Tier IV, I had half a dozen plot threads that I'd introduced over the last few sessions, so when they abandoned the one they were on, I was able to weave together a session based on what they did next, eventually leading to a rescue and tearful reunion of one of the PCs with his family after an epic battle.

I'd meant the family's abduction (which had been planned to take place when they were off plane) to lead to an entire session or three to get them back. Instead, they caught up with the abductors before they could Plane Shift away to the Nine Hells and saved the PCs dads.

I love this game.


We played through two short adventures in today's "Dreams of Erthe" campaign session, in which the 5 PCs are all 3rd level.

In the first one ("Middlewich Manor"), they found the next dreamer stuck in a dream coma, but she was all alone (and shaved bald!) in a dilapidated manor, her servants apparently all having fled. The PCs fought off jermlaine and their rat mounts, then entered the lady's dream to rescue her (ending up in a tug-of-war match against a giant spider, while Lady Middlewich danged from a web-cocoon over a chasm). After they won her free from her dream, one of the PCs couldn't wake up from the dream - and when the other four awakened (and had to calm down Lady Middlewich, surprised to see four strangers in her bedroom), they found the bard missing and the elven dog figurine they'd set on guard duty to keep them safe while they entered the dream lying discarded back in statue form. Following drag marks in the carpet, they found eight meenlocks dragging away the bard by a rope around his ankles. The meenlocks (five of whom had been the missing housekeeper and maids, transformed one at a time) took out the fighter at once, then the other three had to kill the meenlocks before they caused a TPK. (Good thing it takes a couple rounds for them to recharge their Wisdom-draining attacks!) They were successful, in no small part due to the sorcerer's color spray scroll. Lady Middlewich rewarded them with bottles of wine from her late husband's collection, having no real concept of their true value. (They were worth thousands!)

In the second adventure ("Overnight Visitors"), the PCs were traveling to the location of the next dream victim when they were warned by a pair of paladins there are bandits about and to be wary. The fighter realized he was about 10 miles away from his aunt and uncle's house (they raised him after the death of his parents when he was too small to remember) and they decided to stay there overnight, but a rain kicked in and it was after nightfall by the time they got there. And then the uncle (a leatherworker) told them he had important visitors and suggested they go stay at his brother's dairy farm down the road. The cleric/paladin detected no evil in the uncle (who was acting all nervous and strange), but "pinged" three points of evil in the second floor of their house. So the PCs made a pretense of leaving to go to the dairy farm, but once out of sight they decided to split the party, with the fighter and sorcerer actually heading to the farm while the other three snuck back to keep watch on the leatherworker's house. This ended up being a particularly bad idea, because it wasn't three bandits upstairs in the house (which is what the players all thought), it was a vampire spawn and her two dominated half-orc warriors - and waiting at the dairy farm were the two doppelgangers who had impersonated the paladins on the road earlier and scoped out the location of the dairy farm from the fighter's thoughts. So the fighter and sorcerer had to take on two doppelgangers by themselves (the sorcerer was almost immediately dropped to negative hp and began bleeding out), and it was only boredom that led the cleric/paladin to go check out the house interior, with the other PCs (a bard and another cleric) following. So those three ended up fighting off the vampire spawn and the half-orc warriors, again by themselves.

But the five managed to all survive and ended up leveling up to 4th at the end of the session, although that was closer to a TPK than we've been in a while!



Moderator Emeritus
Alston and His Big Folk made it to the final encounters of the LOAF cult's swamp lair. They had a big battle in the "Troglodyte Egg Chamber," which included the party druid leaping among tall stalagmites in ape form to get to a huge cradle of trog eggs and avoid the troglodyte juggernaut below. There was some concern about whether or not to smash the eggs, and the druid did smash a couple to get the juggernaut's attention (and the party later fed one to a bonesnapper in hopes of distracting it - it didn't work). They then made their way to a flooded cavern with a sunken portion of a temple, where Explicita Defilus was hiding out with her final minions, including a troglodyte mystic, two scouts, several crocs, and a dominated boy villager to use as a human shield! (Also he was dominated, so had creepy child vibes). The druid casting water-walking really helped, when the boat they were using to cross the chamber became ground zero for the naga's fireball.

We had to call the session mid-combat. We left it with the party scattered around the chamber. Ottie, the NPC monk was confronting the scouts up on a stone shelf firing arrows down at the others, Rollo the barbarian just put the finishing kibosh on the trog mystic (killing him in two rounds before he got to do much) over by the temple ruins, Nora the tiefling sorcerer/ranger is up on a rock being loomed over by the naga, after getting up from dying thanks to healing word, but rather than flee - she decided to stick close and attack, which may have been a mistake. Thron the druid is fighting off a croc, while his summoned "Air Beast" is grappled by the naga. Oh and Alston, thinking that the child was evil and maybe the secret power behind what was going on (not sure why he thought this) cast Chill Touch on the kid, so now the kid's dying and the gnome feels guilty when he realized it was just a kid!

It was a fun session but I wish we'd been able to finish - because this is the 9th session for this adventure alone (so far)!

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