log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

Richards

Legend
In today's "Dreams of Erthe" campaign we completed one short adventure and then started a second one, knowing we wouldn't finish it off until next time (it had a natural stopping point built in).

The first adventure, "Dregs," started with an 8-year-old boy asking the PCs, who are traveling across the continent rescuing people who have fallen into stasis as their minds get stuck in their dreams, to come wake up his mother who's been sleeping for two days and won't wake up. They feed him and he takes them to the slums of the city, where he and his mom live in a one-room hovel. One of the clerics checks out the woman in the corner...and she's been dead for about two days. Then she surprises everyone by sitting upright. They keep the boy from seeing what's going on (one of the PCs gets the idea to send him away with a silver coin to go buy garlic for the "waking up procedure") as the cleric/paladin tries turning the zombie - no luck. Then the first dregworm bursts out of her torso and tries burrowing its way into a new, living host. They kill the three dregworms that exit the nearly-hollow body of the boy's mom, deal with her now-driverless body, and when the boy returns they tell him they're having a hard time waking up his mom and ask if he has any other relatives they can take him to. He takes them to his Uncle Willick who works at "the temple with the lady," which turns out to be a whorehouse disguised as a temple to the goddess of fertility. Once the PCs realize Uncle Willick is planning on using the boy as a worker in the temple, they have it out with him, he attacks, and they end up taking on the two dwarven guards and a cleric of the god of betrayal disguised as a cleric of the goddess of fertility, freeing the six "priestesses" forced into working there. The boy ends up as an apprentice to the owner of the inn the PCs are staying in.

The second adventure, "The Missing Dreamer," started with the PCs being asked to accompany a cleric to the temple of the god of death and undeath, as someone fell asleep in their temple and everything they've tried to awaken him has failed. They show up to see if they can wake him from his dreams and find out he's now missing. A commune spell indicates he's still asleep, trapped in his dreams, was taken away from the temple by a living person for some nefarious reason, and is still on the material plane although he's no longer in the city from which he was abducted. Scouting around, they find a homeless beggar who saw the sleeping guy being carried away by a necromancer, and for the price of two chicken legs he tells them they went into the shrine of the goddess of magic and haven't come back out since. But there's nobody there at the shrine; the PCs find a hidden door allowing entry into a cramped passageway with a magic book that allows you to teleport to other shrines of the goddess of magic. They figure out the puzzle giving them the command phrase and teleport away, no doubt to the same place the necromancer and his kidnapped dreamer went. But whatever city they're in now is crawling with undead - and the teleport book is missing from the shrine at this end....

Johnathan
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Quickleaf

Legend
I prepared a strong start, an idea courtesy of Mike Shea at Sly Flourish, with the group being confronted by thugs of the villain they were pursuing at the riverside. Basically they were simple thugs, but by giving each a feat, lots of background tying into the PCs' own backstories, and making them sympathetic it was a lot more interesting. Definitely aim to use more strong starts going forward.

At the funeral parlor I had three bodies with funeral masks and funerary apparel – one of which was the villain, but the PCs needed to discern which was actually alive. They came up with a seemingly fullproof plan – send in the invisible super stealthy cat familiar – but I injected some humor with the cat's favorite food (duck pate) being served as an hors d'oeuvres and offered the warlock player Inspiration if his cat sampled the food. It was a low challenge but tense bit of humor.

When they defeated the villain (a suped up tiefling bard), I was pleased to see his tragic villainy and sympathetic motives inspired some debate among the players about how to handle him.

After the session, I received feedback one of the players appreciated the forthrightness of these NPCs where they weren't lying, they were either conflicted or believed they were doing the right thing.

Reflecting on my own DMing, I notice when I'm not doing it regularly (we had about a month break) that my descriptive language takes longer to warm-up and the first half of the session I felt very "stiff" in terms of my descriptive acrobatics.
 

Dragonlance using 5e, running war of the Lance part 1 3.5 edition. Players just took on and defeated Onyx, the black dragon. Heathen cleric (cleric class with every magical element removed) used the Blue Crystal Staff to take the dragon down after the battle master fighter used his maneuver to give her a free attack. They were absolutely staring down a tpk.

the dragon and cleric both were consumed.

Session ended with party feeling like they won at a huge cost leaving the temple and finding the cleric snoozing at the base of a statue to her goddess.

it was a good time
 

Esbee

Dungeon Master at large.
1st Ed AD&D, Forgotten Realms (Cormyr) continues...

Kyla the Kensai's mini-session (as outlined above) was a success but left her with some wounds to heal, so she bowed out to convalesce. By some strange coincidence her player also could not make it to the session. Amazing how these things just work out! :p

Feltuun the Dwarven fighter is joined by Arash the Ranger, friend and colleague to the fallen Braern. Both are joined by two guest players running Gnome Illusionist/Thief siblings.

Feltuun wants to act fast and retrieve the 10k buried electrum before the Dwarven Assassin and Elf Fighter/thief from the other group can get to it, so they head out with haste.

A cold snap has settled upon the land bringing early winter conditions prompting rolls against frostbite, but they take precautions and find their way to the burial site of Braern and Dastan (the fallen Ranger/Cleric and Kensai from previous session). The bodies have been dug up and looted, confirming the groups concern that the thieves' guild has beaten them to the punch. They push forward after re-burying their former comrades, and arrive at the site where they hid the rest of the loot.

What they find is a group of men mysteriously slaughtered, and all the electrum already dug up and left behind! The Ranger's tracking fails, and he is unable to ascertain any clues as to what killed these men and women. They quickly load up their treasure and retreat back the way they came.

En route home, an old woman from a distant homestead frantically approaches stating that a group of men took her grandchild, and went north. The ranger, unwilling to walk away without investigating the claim, is ultimately joined by the teammates who while suspecting a trap of some kind (old lady all alone on the frontier? Hello?) they feel it would be wrong not to try.

A family of skunks crosses the path of the heroes, and the young Gnome sister gleefully rushes forward to make friends with the cuties. Using the gnomish ability to speak with small animals she brings them into the fold where they can keep warm during the cold weather. They react well to everyone save the poor ranger, who narrowly avoids getting sprayed after spooking one. Laughter all around the table. The gnomes are able to glean from the skunks that a large predatory 'bird, not bird' is hunting in the area.

The old grandmother told the heroes that bandits often use an old nearby military training facility and watchtower as a hideout, so it's possible her grandson was taken there. The group immediately heads in that direction. On the way in, about 100 yards from the front gate they find a body, discoloured and pierced. A dead warrior armed with a strange, collapsible pike, sectioned in 5 ft lengths. The ranger grabs the pike to take a look at it. They don't search the body further yet, feeling time was of the essence, so aside from the pike they take nothing else, but move closer.

As they near, something large moving catches the eye of the Ranger. Knowing that a large flying creature is hunting in the area, they immediately move into a copse of woods to take cover and watch from safety. A massive, two-legged, winged beast with a long tail (with stinger) occasionally flies up from the top of the watchtower and returns with some large game. Correctly assessing that it's a wyvern, the group makes a plan.

They will wait for it to fly out to hunt again and use that time to approach the compound and get inside where they can attempt to ambush it from within. When the creature flies off, they sprint for the watchtower. The front gate is locked, albeit damaged and rusted. The Gnome brother attempts to pick the lock, but is unable to move the rusted tumblers, the attempt taking 3 rounds. The Gnome sister tries, her attempt taking 4 rounds... but the wyvern's screech alerts the group after she's but one round in on her work.

The Gnome sister says she will keep working on it if they can hold off the wyvern. The gnome brother casts phantasmal force to create and illusion of a prancing buck, hoping to distract the beast with a tastier target. The Ranger, having assembled the pike, stands in a protective centre spot and sets it against the creature should it swoop in. Feltuun the dwarf readies a bullet in his sling.

The wyvern soars around and flies in from the flank. Feltuun misses with a sling bullet, while the Gnome brother moves the prancing buck between the group and the attacking creature... alas the wyvern has its sights set on the tasty gnome. Dive attack... BUT... Arash the Ranger has the pike ready and despite being non-proficient, scores a key hit with a natural 20! The pike keeps the wyvern at bay disrupting its charge.

The gnome sister is almost done, 1 more round and they will see if the door is opened. (they don't know the roll result yet until the time has fully passed. Feltuun misses with another bullet, the gnome brother maintains his concentration on the phantasmal buck.

New round The wyvern is flapping its wings in front of them, but decides the yummy looking deer is probably an easier meal than the pesky humanoids, and goes for it. Two successful strikes dispelling the trick and distracting it long enough for the gnome sister to complete her work and with a successful roll to opens the gate! in the subsequent round the group opts to retreat into the building, only poor Feltuun is a little too slow to slip in before the wyvern can attempt and attack. Both attacks miss!

With its snack hidding inside the building the wyvern flies around, eventually returning to its perch. The group hears sobbing in an adjacent room, discovers the kidnapped boy, huddled in moldy blankets. He explains that the bad men took him to be a cup boy, but the beast attacked and one of the men who wasn't so bad brought him here for cover before going back out to try and kill it - he didn't know this was its nest. The boy's food has run out and he's too scared to leave.

The group forms a plan to use the gnome sister's memorized phantasmal force to create another bit of bait, lure the wyvern out in the open and bombard it at range. The plan works in luring it down, but rolls don't go their way as most shots miss... save one lucky shot from the ranger succeeding in just enough damage to ground it! The wound to its wing forces it to land, and Feltuun's chaotic bloodthirst drives him to charge in full tilt to melee it, hoping to finish it off. Alas, the charge is unsuccessful, and the wyvern scores a hit on him with the dreaded stinger! Feltuun's CON is 16, however, and that gives dwarves a +4 to save vs poison... Feltuun makes the save and continues the fight.

The gnome sister's last remaining spell is colour spray, but being a lower level than the wyvern all she can hope is for a minor stun, still better than nothing! The wyvern fails the save! Stunned for but a few segments, it's still long enough for Feltuun to score a blow! Recovering from the stun, the wyvern's morale fails and it flees on foot, running humourously on its two likes like a scared chicken! It uses its claws to scramble up the tower to its nest. The group plans to finish it off by climbing the stairs on the inside and attacking. Sending the ranger forward alone to maximize his stealth, they wait. He gets the drop and peppers with arrows from a position of cover on the staircase, and in the subsequent round Feltuun rushes in to finish it with his axe. They learn that it was a momma wyvern protecting a little one... but such creatures are too dangerous to live, so they dispatch it as well... but not before it scores a stinger it on poor Feltuun... dwarven resilience to poison saves the day again!

Some loot is found in the Wyvern's nest as well as in the abandoned watchtower. They return the boy to his grandmother, as well as leaving them with enough coin to set them up for a while, and the party returns home triumphant.

Levels are made, training is paid for, and a good time is had by all.

Regulars:
Feltuun, Dwarven fighter. Now level 5.
Arash, Human Ranger, now level 3.

Guests:
Gnorm the Gnome brother. Illusionist/thief. (Guest player, new to my table)
Gnorma the Gnome sister. Illusionist/thief. (Guest player for this group, is a regular in my 1e spinoff group)

Absent:
Kyla, Human Kensai, lvl 3.
Name TBD, 1st level Human Druid.
 

2nd episode of my Banewarrens campaign using the Shadow of the Demon Lord system. 5 characters all at level 1. The goblin magician with the Necromancy and Forbidden traditions already has 3 points of Corruption, failed his roll to gain a Mark of Darkness, and now weeps blood. "That happened sooner than I was expecting," said the player. Life comes at you fast.

In this episode, the players spent most of their time discussing the opening session and trying to piece together all the clues to understand who was doing what and why. There was no combat, we barely rolled any dice.

The player of our priest missed the first session and so we roleplayed him joining the group. He's investigating the disappearance of his wife, whom he learns was killed and returned as undead in the opening session. His goal is to find her and return her to life, if he can; or send her to eternal rest, if he can't.

The players tried to discover who was hunting the boggle that kicked off all the trouble in the first place. They went to the courthouse that issues bounties. The elf magician's otherworldly grace soon had the bureaucrat charmed. They learned there was a bounty on the boggle from the Church of Lothian -- specifically Sister Mara of St Valien's Cathedral in the Temple District. But they also discovered the bounty had been issued after their first run in with the boggle. That suggested the orc bounty hunters they tangled with were seeking a payoff from unofficial sources -- the criminal underworld or other unsavory sorts.

At the cathedral, the priest quickly got them in front of Sister Mara. The characters admitted they had been present at the bloodbath between the boggle, the orcs, and an undead knight. Mara said the Church was worried that the knight's presence suggested an ancient evil had been loosed from the Spire. The Church had divined the spot at which the undead knight emerged into the city and sent in a team to investigate. That team has not been heard from since. She asked the players to follow the team, discover their fate, and report back. The characters agreed. They were given some silver coin and a healing potion each.

Next session: Into the Banewarrens!
 
Last edited:

30th session of my Neverwinter campaign. Three PCs: drow evoker wizard, human genie warlock, half-orc vengeance paladin. At the end of the session they reached 6th level.

Previously, the wizard had been captured and interrogated by a mind flayer and his thralls. The other PCs invaded the mind flayer's lair inside a giant statue that was an offshore light house.

This session was the climax of the rescue. The PCs reached the chamber inside the statue's head and freed the wizard. As they approached, the wizard convinced the nothic guard to release him in return for sparing its life. It gave him some intel on the mind flayer and its plans.

The mind flayer teleported into the chamber just as the other PCs arrived. It targeted the nothic for its treachery. The PCs got a front row seat to the brain devouring which followed. (I love me some mind flayers.) The PCs fought their way through a gibbering mouther (which are great at wrecking player's plans) and attacked the mind flayer. It teleported away before they could kill it -- but promised to return and wreak vengeance.

The PCs then descended to the sea cave at the base of the light house. There they fought a tribe of sahuagin in thrall to the mind flayer, eradicating them with a few fireballs. They destroyed the mind flayer's tadpole pool.

The sea cave held a great treasure hoard in its depths, but it was guarded by a kraken the PCs had tangled with previously. They weren't strong enough to defeat it so they reluctantly left the lighthouse via airship. They plan to return later, slay the kraken, and claim the hoard.

Next session: Downtime in Neverwinter.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
As I mentioned in the new "What are you prepping for your next D&D session?" thread, this was a transitional session, so there was plenty of opportunity for awkwardness or faltering progress, but overall it went very well.

The first half of the session was mostly logistics and wrap up - splitting treasure, talking to NPCs, and making future plans.

There was a nice moment where the one woman in the party explained that her objection to the party's young friend being betrothed to a knight the party hates was not about whether he was a nice guy, but because if she is old enough to marry, she is old enough to make her own choice and she was being pushed into it by her father.

The fact that part of the reason the young woman doesn't want to marry this guy is because she has fallen in love with a singing troll she's never seen does complicate the situation however.

The party succeeded in befriending the troll after finding him on their way to wrap up one last loose end (the sage that originally hired them is missing and they think they figure out where he was hiding), but he warned them has his visiting family (his cousins Geeser and Gooser and his uncles Feester and Fuster) would want to eat them and the girl, should she come looking for them. The unexpected presence of the trolls had kept the sage from returning after fleeing the now-defeated cultists in the village.

After retreating to a safer spot (at least in terms of trolls), they were then attacked by the knight and his men-at-arms, who took their friendship with the troll as evidence of their malintent, causing the party to flee. They followed this up by making a plan to trick the knight and his men to chase them into the trolls' lair, hoping this will weaken them and the party can mop up what's left.

On their way back to the area of the troll hole they ended up fighting a phalanx of skeletons supported by an ogre zombie, because the whole area of the Black Fens are haunted. [This was a callback to an encounter they had on their way back from their first adventure. The first time they were 1st level and they fought four skeletons. This time there were 16]

When they finally got back to the entrance to the troll hole in the dead of night, they decided to find a place to stand guard where they they could not be seen but they could watch for the arrival of the knight nd his men (probably in the morning). Unfortunately, as they crept across the view of the tunnel entrance, the barbarian lost his footing, kicking up rocks on the rocky beach. Within the hole the heard a voice bellow, "Do you hear someone out there?"

This one was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, scheduling the next session is looking hard and we may not get to play again until early December. :(
 
Last edited:

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So we had a session 0 that morphed into the first session of Tyranny of Dragons.

The DM moved ToD to his world. The players, with a different group of PCs, had among their travels been in a faux-Arabian area where they got in a lot of trouble with the Sun King's High Priestess whom was basically runnign the country, and no one liked that country. So I'm playing a Genie Warlock from there so I can play with expectations.

The others are an elven ranger (to be Drakewarden), a wood elf monk (likely Dragon Ascendant) and a harengon barbarian. (Or BarBUNian as she calls herself.)

Also, this particular group isn't heavy of optimization, so I tune my characters with them to be around the same - I have the most fun that way. Maybe turn it up a little if playing a support character deigned to make others shine, but nothing highly optimized.

As a brief but pertinent aside, early in the year several DMs including this one had tried to get together a West Marches game online that ended up failing, and the DM had run the first session of ToD there. I was one of the players and we walked all over the encounters. It was in big part because it's a 1st level adventure and we had six or seven 3rd level characters.

So this game he upped the threat from kobolds (thematic) to goblins (?). However, there were four of us, no healer, and starting 2nd level.

You know, when 7 goblins + a higher level goblin leader (took 19 dmg and was still going) all focus fire on a single 2nd level character, that character goes down? And when most of them are archers and they do that every round?

It wasn't helped that my to-hit rolls the first three rounds had my d20 showing 2, 3 and 3. Fourth round I mimed switching to the other hand for my eldritch blast and got an 18, which is how I discovered my genie warlock Akubakas was left handed. :)

Yeah, we got our rears handed to us. We ended up retreating, successful at least partially because of DM kindness.

And then the DM was in a pickle because it seems there's some timing happening with getting to the keep but we had one party member unconcious for 2 hour before they could wake with a single HP. He fudged that a little to make us fit the scenario - I wish we had ended up off script for having to take that time but it seems that would have taken us really off track for the adventure.

We made our way in through the town as it was being looted and made it to the keep. We talked to the Ritter (local lord) and have just went down a secret tunnel from the castle, which we hadn't been before in the West Marches game so I am thankfully unaware of what will happen.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Two weeks ago, just finished our Saltmarsh campaign (Ghosts of Saltmarsh), wrapping up with the big battle at the end of the Final Enemy (actually about half-way through the book).

It didn't go as well as I had hoped (it lagged a bit and felt somewhat anti-climatic), but we were able to wrap everything up and then each player got to take a few minutes to explain what their characters did afterwards. I might pick up the game sometime later to run the rest of the campaign, but I'm overall satisfied enough that it's a good stopping point so we can move on to something new for a while.

Details spoiled for those playing the module
The party had been engaging in several activities throughout the campaign as they not only acted as troubleshooters for various problems, but they also became ambassadors gathering together the various races to unite against the growing threat of returning Sahuagin. By the time the group had located the Sahuagin's impenetrable fortress, they had allied the locals of Saltmarsh, Burle and Seaton as well as the local Tritons, Merfolk, Locathah and Koalinth (but failed to save the Sea Elves). They had managed to get word to the capital, who sent a small regiment of soldiers and knights to help at Saltmarsh. They'd also managed to get on the "good" side of a Green Dragon named Valdosra (Greenleaf) and her Kobold minions, and the elves of Silverstand and the Dwarves of the Seacliff Mines. They'd even made friends with a Treant named Whisperleaf (saving him from giant wasps in the marshes) and after their first (semi-successful) recon of the fortress, they'd also managed to make an impression on some Orc & Hobgoblin forces under the guidance of Granny Nightshade. They'd basically built a sizable force to face down the Sahaugin - and a Kraken under their (seeming) control.

The plan was that the group would pre-infiltrate the fortress a second time (they had cleared the top level and one barrack on the 2nd), opening a way for the land forces to get in and disrupt the forces inside while the seaborne forces attacked from below (the Tritons had tried earlier, and had been smashed in the attempt; the king of the Tritons had perished in the last battle and one of the player's replacement characters was the up-and-coming prince).

With this three-way battle, I had visions of Return of the Jedi swimming in my head, and while I didn't want to get too bogged into the details of the other two battles, I wanted the players to feel like they had control over what was going on and some leeway on tactics. Most of all, I wanted to impress on them just how powerful of an enemy they were really fighting!

I decided to use the Mob rules out of the DMG to handle the land battle and sea battle, and created a spreadsheet to handle the math. Unfortunately, it took so long to make the sea map (using Dungeon Fog) and set up the initial forces (& spreadsheet), that I didn't really get to test out a mock battle beforehand to get a feel for how long it'd take to do.

So, the session commenced with the party breaking into the upper level, finding it deserted and signalling for the land/sea forces to begin their assault. Along with the PCs the Triton prince had an NPC named Serenade who we'd set up as a sidekick courtesan/assassin. She was assigned the task to find the Sahuagin's Kraken Priest and getting rid of her to take the Kraken out of the fight. We then switched into semi-round-by-round, moving between the PC's scouting through the second level as the other two forces moved in. I tried to time it dramatically, and it worked well at first - for the PC's & the sea force.

So, the sea force slowly moved in from the south of the seabed map shown below, only for the Merfolk flank to be ambushed by Shell Sharks hiding in the rift in the lower left. At nearly the same time, the party inside the fortress found the main temple to Sekolah, and the Maw of Sekolah that was awaiting within. Both the shell sharks and the Maw caused a lot of damage and it was a hard-fought battle. Meanwhile, the land forces pulled up to within arrow range of the narrow land bridge to the fortress, and waited, rather than pushing towards the land bridge.

Back in the fortress, the party finished off the Maw as the Merfolk & Triton Cavaliers (astride Hippocampii) managed to destroy the Shell sharks. However, the tritons found themselves out of position as Baron Kepmak and his shell-shark riding Champions moved forward to crush the Tritons for once and for all.

As Kepmak's forces crashed into the Triton soldiers, the Baron blew his seafoam horn. On land, Baroness Seklaz's waiting forces moved up to seize the end of the land bridge as her supporting forces rose from the sea to produce a solid wall designed to keep the land forces at bay. Whisperleaf the Treant responded by tossing a boulder amid the Sahuagin forces aimed at the Baroness, but her bodyguards hurled themselves in the way to save their mistress's life. The rest of the land forces prepared to pivot for an encircling maneuver, hoping to draw the Sahaugin into their trap. However, flanking Sahuagin champions and Coral Smashers began their move towards the land forces, attempting to do the same.

Back inside the fortress, as the party finished their battle with the Maw and began to inspect the ritual they'd interrupted, Serenade found the Kraken Priestess in the nearby throne room. Invisible, she snuck past the priest's guards and with a single hit (3 Nat 20's, followed with a Nat 19), she killed the Priestess with one blow - and then used Fog Cloud to evade the Priestess's bodyguards. At about the same time, the party in the temple discovered that the ritual they'd interrupted was powering the spell that was raising the Sahuagin fortress from the deep depths it had been consigned to a hundred years ago. Destroying the altar, would, in effect, collapse the fortress back to the depths - along with everyone still inside. So, the party's necromancer "sacrificed" his skeleton minions as a deadman's switch - the Warlock player cast a spell with a 10 minute duration in view of the skeletons, and the Necromancer ordered the skeletons to destroy the altar when the spell ended. The group (who had already lost several minutes wandering the 2nd level previously) set off to delve into the 3rd level and join the forces to tip the undersea battle.

Luckily, the undersea battle was beginning to turn in the allies favor. The triton cavaliers had feinted a withdrawl, drawing off 2/3rds of Baron Kempak's mounted forces where the Locathah and Koalinth were able to encircle and blunt the mounted forces. Suddenly, Kempak found his initial push into the triton end with himself and his honor guard surrounded by Merfolk and Triton soldiers. Only now, the reserve Sahuagin forces began to realize the peril of their leader and began to move forward from their defensive positions to aid their leader.

Outside, on the land side, the allies attempt to encircle the Sahuagin was not going well as the flanking Sahuagin began to rip through the ally flanks, catching the Keoland General Arish by surprise. Only the sacrifice of his loyal knights kept the general from falling to the Coral Smasher's blistering assault, and the entire allied force had to pivot to try and save the general. As the land forces moved in disarray, Baron Seklaz ordered her forces to take advantage of the chaos, and Sahuagin began to wade onto the beach, ignoring the singular stone being thrown by Whisperleaf.

Until a bombard blast from fortess-side blasted into the back ranks, sending stony land bridge debris and Sahuagin flying. The Sea Princes, with their 45-gun ship, The Devil's Maiden, had arrived to the battle, armed with cannons and depth charges! (Yes, normally guns don't work in Greyhawk - this particular former PC/NPC from another campaign had made a deal with Myrlund for access to gunpowder weapons - this was a once-in-a-lifetime relic they were risking in this fight).

Back inside the fortress, time was spiralling down when the group finally found themselves in the great arena at the heart of the fortress and an augmented (i.e., given Legendary Actions & Saves) Blademaster Makaht and his elite squad awaiting the party. A grand melee broke out as the Blademaster moved forward, but the group quickly whittled down his support forces with a combined casting of Hunger of Hadar and Control Water (whirlpool) - now it was the Blademaster himself against the entire group, with a devouring whirlpool at their backs!

In the undersea battle, as the allies realized they had surrounded the enemy general, the forces did their best to whittle him down, hoping to break the army before the supporting enemy forces could advance to aid and overwhelm the allied force. Waveshapers were moving into position to create devastating whirlpools to save their beleagured Baron but the question was if they would arrive in time - which was answered as depth charges from the Devil's Maiden abruptly halted their advance by blowing the closest to smitheens!

On land, the allies breathed a sigh of relief as they were able to reorganize their forces to protect General Arish as the Sahuagin regathered from the shock of the initial bombard from The Devil's Maiden. Still, if something wasn't done soon, it was clear there were not enough troops to withstand the assault from the Sahaugin, and the enemy's assault had decimated the only archery unit the allies had beyond the furious Whisperleaf, who could only take out a single Sahaugin at a time with powerful rocks.

Inside the fortress, the intense battle with Makaht continued. The sahaugin fought like a beast, focusing his attacks on the young triton prince - the blademaster bore the trident he had taken from the young prince's dead father and the two were intent on killing one another. As the fight raged on, Makaht savaged the young prince, driving the Triton to one knee with a ferocious series of blows, and then turned to skewer the nearby cleric to ensure she could not raise the triton when he would deliver his final, gleeful blow. But he underestimated the group's warlock, who used Thunderous Step to grab the cleric and step away, simultaneously unbalancing the sahuagin to falter and slip perilously close to the hurricane of dark water nearby. As the Blademaster staggered for balance, the triton regained his own footing and smashed the relic Wave into the Blademaster's weapon arm, disarming him. In the moments that the triton reclaimed his father's weapon before the consuming whirlpool dragged it away, the group's Necromancer lunged forward with Black Razor and ended the Blademaster's life. As the life visibly left the Blademaster's eyes, his body was lifted up by the churning waters and dragged into the black abyss to be swallowed with the remains of his elite guard.

With little time left to spare, the group then raced through the remainder of the abandoned third level, emerging only moments before the spell on the second level ended. With the precision only afforded to the dead, the Necromancer's three skeletons smote the altar, destroying it. With an animalistic howl of a thousand denied sharks, the entire fortress began to collapse. On land, the forces of Baron Seklaz found themselves buried by the crumbling landbridge, and the remaining Sahuagin immediately fled. Undersea, the Sahuagin who had lagged behind their defenses found themselves dragged down as the great fortress burrowed itself back into the deep sea. Without support, Baron Kepmak quickly fell as their own sharks turned on them and devoured the remaining Sahuagin, before they themselves swam away, released from their cursed state.

The allies had won, and it was time for celebration back at Saltmarsh!

Screenshot from the Undersea Battle
1635044211498.png


Screenshot from the Land Battle
1635049911597.png
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Two weeks ago, just finished our Saltmarsh campaign (Ghosts of Saltmarsh), wrapping up with the big battle at the end of the Final Enemy (actually about half-way through the book).

Fantastic! My group is working their way there, but I have added a lot of other stuff between and among the Saltmarsh series - so they won't be getting to U3 quite yet (my guess is another 8 to 12 months of sessions - we only only play every 3 to 5 weeks) but I am am considering using some variation of MCDM's Kingdoms & Warfare to allow the players to run the big battle vs. the sahuagin.
 

I came up with the idea of a sentient iron door named Fangdooria made by a vampire artificer on the fly last night. I started out with "a magic mouth appears and begins talking" and ended up with "it requests having blood smeared on it but, unfortunately for it, lacks the ability to consume or even taste blood."
 
Last edited:

ECMO3

Hero
Just as the title says, I want to hear about your latest session of DnD, or any other game really.

Be as detailed or as brief as you like!
Our party of four 13th level characters:
Halfling Monk
Asimar Cleric/Ranger
Human Sorcerer/Warlock
Human Arcane Trickster4/Bladesinger9 (me)

Had a massive 4 hour battle with assorted Demons, Gnolls and eventually the demon lord Yeenoghu. In the end the Sorcerer was unscathed, my Rogue/Wizard lost ~5hps, the Monk had ~5 hps left and the Ranger was dead.

We killed about 40 different enemies before Yeenoughu showed up. This included bunches of Dretchs, Gnolls, Vrocks, some kind of demon dog, a Belruga, a Malarith and a Nalfanshee. We also successfully immoblized about 10 possessed civilians that were trying to fight us (after killing 2 of them).

It started when we were teleported into a town with no prep or warning. We were on a road that ran east into a square about 300 feet away, with a town hall on the other side of the square. There were group of gnolls, dretches and the demon dog thing terrorizing a woman who had barracaded herself into a house about 100 feet away down the road. There was another group of Gnolls near us. Down the end of the alley 300 feet away in the square the Nalfanshe was fighting a normal looking dog who was defending a town hall behind him.

Here is how it generally went. I may have some of the details wrong, but this is more or less it:

Round 1:
The sorcerer twin spelled haste on myself and the Monk. A couple of the gnolls near us attacked the Monk. On my turn I went into bladesong and dashed as a haste action and attacked the dog thing. I took 4 OAs, all of them missed. The Monk did the same, she got hit by one OA though. The Ranger worked on the Gnolls that started near us. The Nalfanshe killed the dog he was fighting and advanced on the town hall where people were barricaded in.

Round 2:
The Nalfanshe broke down the door. The Ranger and the Sorcerer wiped out the Gnolls near them. The Monk killed the demon dog thing and bonus action dashed towards the Nalfanshe. I used bonus action dash and haste dash to come up next to the Nalfanshe and hit him with booming blade and an attack. The Ranger and sorcerer went to work on the Gnolls near where the Monk and I just left.

Round 3:
The Nalfanshe turned on me and attacked me, I used shield and he missed every time. The Monk closed and hit the Nalfanshe with a bunch of attacks and a flurry, she had her astral arms up too at this point. She tried to stun it but failed. I cast Mordenkainen's hound on the other side of it in the doorway to cover the doorway (and attack the Nalfanshe next turn), used my bonus for steady aim and then landed a sneak attack with haste. The sorcerer and Ranger finished up the gnolls and dretches at the other end of the ally and started coming towards us (they were 200 feet away still though)

Round 4
The Nalfanshe did something where he tried to frighten the Monk and I. She saved I didn't. The Monk attacked the Nalfanshee hitting it a bunch. My hound bit it. I used steady aim to cancel disadvnatage and then hit it with a booming blade sneak attack, followed by 2 attacks at disadvantage (1 hit). The Nalfanshe died. A Malarith showed up on the battlefield to our north, with 10 humans in tow. She was about 60 feet away. The people in the town hall said they were townspeople. Sorcerer and Ranger dashed towards us.

Round 5.
The Monk attacked the Malarith and stunned her. I threw Hex onto the Malarith as a bonus action, hexed her strength, then I went to her hit her with a haste sneak attack, booming blade, then for my second normal attack I grappled her (I have expertise in athletics) and started to drag her towards the doorway where my hound was. The Ranger and sorcerer made ranged attacks against her, all of them hitting.

Round 6
The Monk attacked and stunned the Malarith again. I made booming blade SA and 2 attacks against her and used bonus action dash to drag her next to my hound. The Ranger and sorcerer killed her from range. The humans started attacking the Monk.

Round 6/7.
The Monk killed two of the humans and the people screamed not to do that. I moved my hex to one and then shoved and grappled him as an action. The Ranger put a bunch of the humans to sleep two rounds in a row and we were able to tie them up in the town hall.

At this point there was a lull. We stayed in initiative and could hear battle coming our way. Over the next 5 turns we cast a bunch of buffs and those who were damaged got healed. I cast false life 4 times as a 5th/4th/3rd/3rd level spell on the Monk/Ranger/Sorcerer/me respectively. I also cast fire shield-blue on myself. During this time bladesong and haste also went down.

We decided to stand near the town hall and let them come to us. Our plan was to go into minute long buffs when we saw them long before they got to us, but that did not really work out like we wanted.

We will call this round 15:
We eventually saw the Balruga and a bunch of dretches appear from the West at the end of the street 300 feet away, he charged and like an idiot outran his dretch allies. I put protection from good and evil on the Monk and went into bladesong. The Ranger used Twilight sanctuary, although we already had more temp hit points than it gives anyway. The sorcerer twinned Haste again.

Round 16:
The Balruga was still too far away to engage but things went craxzy here. several Vrocks and about 20 gnolls appeared from the south, only about 100 feet away. The Ranger went into the air to engage a Vrock. The Monk and I ran towards the gnolls, I hit two of them with an upcast mind whip I think to keep them from attacking the Monk and attacked another. The gnolls made a slew of attacks. I got hit once, by the one I hit and he killed himself on my fire shield, I made my con save to keep up PGE. I still had temp hps. One of the Vrocks screamed and like always I failed the save becoming stunned. The Ranger also failed her save plumeting 10' to the ground and losing twilight sanctuary. The monk made her save and the Sorcerer was out of Range.

Round 17
The Monk downed a gnoll and hit a Vrock. The sorcerer was casting stuff but I lost track of what it was. I was surrounded at this point, not in bladesong and stunned. I was still hasted though and the DM ruled I kept that +2 AC bonus. I got attacked by all 6 gnolls and by 2 Vrocks. I got hit twice by gnolls, both of them damaging themselves on my fireshield, I lost concentration on PGE. I still had temp hps. The Ranger and Monk got attacked to but I don't know the outcome of those.

Round 18
The Balruga finally made it into the battle attacking the Ranger. The Monk disengagged from the gnolls and attacked a Vrock, I think the Ranger and the Sorcerer were targeting Vrocks too. Some of the Gnolls attacked me but they missed. I might have used a shiled, I don't remember. When it came to my turn I went into bladesong for the third time in 2 minutes and hit one of the gnolls near me with booming blade. then I just left the gnolls, taking 6 OAs. One of them rolled a nat 20, this is the last damage I would take in the battle and I lost the rest of my temp hps and 5 real hps, he died from fire shield after he attacked me. I went to the remaining vrock and made a sneak attack and regular attack on him.

The Vrocks were all killed this turn. At this point we had a handful of dretches about 50 feet from us, a Balruga in melee and a bunch of Gnolls close by.

Round 19
The Balruga attacked the Monk and damaged her I think. We took it down essentially in one turn, although it may have been softened up by the sorcerer earlier. The Gnoll who I booming bladed tried to move and killed himself. The DM said the rest of the Gnolls were avoiding me,going around me and staying out of reach to attack the Monk.

Round 20: THe Monk and the ranger got in melee with the Gnolls. On my turn I took dash as a bonus and intentionally walked by three of the Gnolls to provoke OAs, the DM said they were too scared to attack me. Then I went and walked by all the dretches, they did make OAs but they all missed. I hit one of them with booming blade then went back to the gnolls and attacked one that was engaged with the Monk. I killed it with a sneak attack and a haste attack.

Round 20
The Ranger and Monk finished the Gnolls, Myself and the wizard started working on the dretches and killed most of them.

At this point I think there were 2 dretches left when Yeenough appeared on the other end of the battlefield and started charging. Once Yeenough started fighting things get very blurry as he was attacking out of turn quite often, so I am not exactly sure everything here is in the right order

Round 21
I cast PEG again on the Monk. The Ranger charged Yeenough (which was probably not the smartest thing to do). The Monk and I killed the remaining Dretches

Round 22
We got to Yeenough this turn. The Monk and Ranger went right up to him. I used haste dash and bonus disengage to hit and run against him because I figured he had some kind of aura he could use against us. We did hit him, but the Ranger was put down this turn. The sorcerer was using damaging spells on him

Round 23
The Monk tried to drag the Ranger away but Yeenough hit the Ranger with an OA, then on his turn he closed attacked her again and killed her. The sorcerer used damaging spells again. Then Yeenough attacked the Monk and serously damaged her (punching right through the PEG with ease). The sorcerer dropped concentration on Haste right after Yeenough went, taking my action this turn and the Monk's the next turn.

Round 24
The Monk could not go do to haste ending. Yeenough attacked her again and almost killed her. The Sorcerer twinned polymorph turning both of us into Apes. I thew a Rock at Yeeenough.

Round 25
The Monk-Ape attacked Yeenough, I threw a nother rock at Yeenough, the sorcerer cast spells. After this round Yeenough left. I don't know if this was script or if he was low on hps or if the DM did not want to kill a second party member but I did not feel like we were winning at the time.
 
Last edited:

Two weeks ago, just finished our Saltmarsh campaign (Ghosts of Saltmarsh), wrapping up with the big battle at the end of the Final Enemy (actually about half-way through the book).

It didn't go as well as I had hoped (it lagged a bit and felt somewhat anti-climatic), but we were able to wrap everything up and then each player got to take a few minutes to explain what their characters did afterwards. I might pick up the game sometime later to run the rest of the campaign, but I'm overall satisfied enough that it's a good stopping point so we can move on to something new for a while.

Details spoiled for those playing the module
The party had been engaging in several activities throughout the campaign as they not only acted as troubleshooters for various problems, but they also became ambassadors gathering together the various races to unite against the growing threat of returning Sahuagin. By the time the group had located the Sahuagin's impenetrable fortress, they had allied the locals of Saltmarsh, Burle and Seaton as well as the local Tritons, Merfolk, Locathah and Koalinth (but failed to save the Sea Elves). They had managed to get word to the capital, who sent a small regiment of soldiers and knights to help at Saltmarsh. They'd also managed to get on the "good" side of a Green Dragon named Valdosra (Greenleaf) and her Kobold minions, and the elves of Silverstand and the Dwarves of the Seacliff Mines. They'd even made friends with a Treant named Whisperleaf (saving him from giant wasps in the marshes) and after their first (semi-successful) recon of the fortress, they'd also managed to make an impression on some Orc & Hobgoblin forces under the guidance of Granny Nightshade. They'd basically built a sizable force to face down the Sahaugin - and a Kraken under their (seeming) control.

The plan was that the group would pre-infiltrate the fortress a second time (they had cleared the top level and one barrack on the 2nd), opening a way for the land forces to get in and disrupt the forces inside while the seaborne forces attacked from below (the Tritons had tried earlier, and had been smashed in the attempt; the king of the Tritons had perished in the last battle and one of the player's replacement characters was the up-and-coming prince).

With this three-way battle, I had visions of Return of the Jedi swimming in my head, and while I didn't want to get too bogged into the details of the other two battles, I wanted the players to feel like they had control over what was going on and some leeway on tactics. Most of all, I wanted to impress on them just how powerful of an enemy they were really fighting!

I decided to use the Mob rules out of the DMG to handle the land battle and sea battle, and created a spreadsheet to handle the math. Unfortunately, it took so long to make the sea map (using Dungeon Fog) and set up the initial forces (& spreadsheet), that I didn't really get to test out a mock battle beforehand to get a feel for how long it'd take to do.

So, the session commenced with the party breaking into the upper level, finding it deserted and signalling for the land/sea forces to begin their assault. Along with the PCs the Triton prince had an NPC named Serenade who we'd set up as a sidekick courtesan/assassin. She was assigned the task to find the Sahuagin's Kraken Priest and getting rid of her to take the Kraken out of the fight. We then switched into semi-round-by-round, moving between the PC's scouting through the second level as the other two forces moved in. I tried to time it dramatically, and it worked well at first - for the PC's & the sea force.

So, the sea force slowly moved in from the south of the seabed map shown below, only for the Merfolk flank to be ambushed by Shell Sharks hiding in the rift in the lower left. At nearly the same time, the party inside the fortress found the main temple to Sekolah, and the Maw of Sekolah that was awaiting within. Both the shell sharks and the Maw caused a lot of damage and it was a hard-fought battle. Meanwhile, the land forces pulled up to within arrow range of the narrow land bridge to the fortress, and waited, rather than pushing towards the land bridge.

Back in the fortress, the party finished off the Maw as the Merfolk & Triton Cavaliers (astride Hippocampii) managed to destroy the Shell sharks. However, the tritons found themselves out of position as Baron Kepmak and his shell-shark riding Champions moved forward to crush the Tritons for once and for all.

As Kepmak's forces crashed into the Triton soldiers, the Baron blew his seafoam horn. On land, Baroness Seklaz's waiting forces moved up to seize the end of the land bridge as her supporting forces rose from the sea to produce a solid wall designed to keep the land forces at bay. Whisperleaf the Treant responded by tossing a boulder amid the Sahuagin forces aimed at the Baroness, but her bodyguards hurled themselves in the way to save their mistress's life. The rest of the land forces prepared to pivot for an encircling maneuver, hoping to draw the Sahaugin into their trap. However, flanking Sahuagin champions and Coral Smashers began their move towards the land forces, attempting to do the same.

Back inside the fortress, as the party finished their battle with the Maw and began to inspect the ritual they'd interrupted, Serenade found the Kraken Priestess in the nearby throne room. Invisible, she snuck past the priest's guards and with a single hit (3 Nat 20's, followed with a Nat 19), she killed the Priestess with one blow - and then used Fog Cloud to evade the Priestess's bodyguards. At about the same time, the party in the temple discovered that the ritual they'd interrupted was powering the spell that was raising the Sahuagin fortress from the deep depths it had been consigned to a hundred years ago. Destroying the altar, would, in effect, collapse the fortress back to the depths - along with everyone still inside. So, the party's necromancer "sacrificed" his skeleton minions as a deadman's switch - the Warlock player cast a spell with a 10 minute duration in view of the skeletons, and the Necromancer ordered the skeletons to destroy the altar when the spell ended. The group (who had already lost several minutes wandering the 2nd level previously) set off to delve into the 3rd level and join the forces to tip the undersea battle.

Luckily, the undersea battle was beginning to turn in the allies favor. The triton cavaliers had feinted a withdrawl, drawing off 2/3rds of Baron Kempak's mounted forces where the Locathah and Koalinth were able to encircle and blunt the mounted forces. Suddenly, Kempak found his initial push into the triton end with himself and his honor guard surrounded by Merfolk and Triton soldiers. Only now, the reserve Sahuagin forces began to realize the peril of their leader and began to move forward from their defensive positions to aid their leader.

Outside, on the land side, the allies attempt to encircle the Sahuagin was not going well as the flanking Sahuagin began to rip through the ally flanks, catching the Keoland General Arish by surprise. Only the sacrifice of his loyal knights kept the general from falling to the Coral Smasher's blistering assault, and the entire allied force had to pivot to try and save the general. As the land forces moved in disarray, Baron Seklaz ordered her forces to take advantage of the chaos, and Sahuagin began to wade onto the beach, ignoring the singular stone being thrown by Whisperleaf.

Until a bombard blast from fortess-side blasted into the back ranks, sending stony land bridge debris and Sahuagin flying. The Sea Princes, with their 45-gun ship, The Devil's Maiden, had arrived to the battle, armed with cannons and depth charges! (Yes, normally guns don't work in Greyhawk - this particular former PC/NPC from another campaign had made a deal with Myrlund for access to gunpowder weapons - this was a once-in-a-lifetime relic they were risking in this fight).

Back inside the fortress, time was spiralling down when the group finally found themselves in the great arena at the heart of the fortress and an augmented (i.e., given Legendary Actions & Saves) Blademaster Makaht and his elite squad awaiting the party. A grand melee broke out as the Blademaster moved forward, but the group quickly whittled down his support forces with a combined casting of Hunger of Hadar and Control Water (whirlpool) - now it was the Blademaster himself against the entire group, with a devouring whirlpool at their backs!

In the undersea battle, as the allies realized they had surrounded the enemy general, the forces did their best to whittle him down, hoping to break the army before the supporting enemy forces could advance to aid and overwhelm the allied force. Waveshapers were moving into position to create devastating whirlpools to save their beleagured Baron but the question was if they would arrive in time - which was answered as depth charges from the Devil's Maiden abruptly halted their advance by blowing the closest to smitheens!

On land, the allies breathed a sigh of relief as they were able to reorganize their forces to protect General Arish as the Sahuagin regathered from the shock of the initial bombard from The Devil's Maiden. Still, if something wasn't done soon, it was clear there were not enough troops to withstand the assault from the Sahaugin, and the enemy's assault had decimated the only archery unit the allies had beyond the furious Whisperleaf, who could only take out a single Sahaugin at a time with powerful rocks.

Inside the fortress, the intense battle with Makaht continued. The sahaugin fought like a beast, focusing his attacks on the young triton prince - the blademaster bore the trident he had taken from the young prince's dead father and the two were intent on killing one another. As the fight raged on, Makaht savaged the young prince, driving the Triton to one knee with a ferocious series of blows, and then turned to skewer the nearby cleric to ensure she could not raise the triton when he would deliver his final, gleeful blow. But he underestimated the group's warlock, who used Thunderous Step to grab the cleric and step away, simultaneously unbalancing the sahuagin to falter and slip perilously close to the hurricane of dark water nearby. As the Blademaster staggered for balance, the triton regained his own footing and smashed the relic Wave into the Blademaster's weapon arm, disarming him. In the moments that the triton reclaimed his father's weapon before the consuming whirlpool dragged it away, the group's Necromancer lunged forward with Black Razor and ended the Blademaster's life. As the life visibly left the Blademaster's eyes, his body was lifted up by the churning waters and dragged into the black abyss to be swallowed with the remains of his elite guard.

With little time left to spare, the group then raced through the remainder of the abandoned third level, emerging only moments before the spell on the second level ended. With the precision only afforded to the dead, the Necromancer's three skeletons smote the altar, destroying it. With an animalistic howl of a thousand denied sharks, the entire fortress began to collapse. On land, the forces of Baron Seklaz found themselves buried by the crumbling landbridge, and the remaining Sahuagin immediately fled. Undersea, the Sahuagin who had lagged behind their defenses found themselves dragged down as the great fortress burrowed itself back into the deep sea. Without support, Baron Kepmak quickly fell as their own sharks turned on them and devoured the remaining Sahuagin, before they themselves swam away, released from their cursed state.

The allies had won, and it was time for celebration back at Saltmarsh!

Screenshot from the Undersea Battle
View attachment 145641

Screenshot from the Land Battle
View attachment 145642
that sounds epic! What felt anti-climatic about it? Was it just that it was a long fight?
 


Stormonu

Legend
that sounds epic! What felt anti-climatic about it? Was it just that it was a long fight?
Yeah, even with the spreadsheet, doing a single round in the land battle and undersea battle took a long time. It was also obvious that a couple of the players weren't keen on doing Generalship, and weren't being engaged in those stretches. Overall, the mass battle moved at a snail's pace, but looking back at the events that occurred, it was quite dramatic. I will say, when the undersea forces were first revealed to the players, there was a "Oh man, we're going to need a bigger army" moment when they saw what they were facing, for example.

In the end, I had to sort of push the battle to a quick conclusion because we were over time for the session. I tried to make up for it by giving the players about five minutes apiece to dictate their character's final fate - they really seemed to enjoy that.
 

Esbee

Dungeon Master at large.
AD&D 1e, Cormyr.

Well! 'Team Evil' had their first excursion together. Though Team 'evil' is a slight misnomer as half the group is neutral, but they ARE in the employ of the Assassin's guild.

A Chaotic Evil Dwarven Assassin, Neutral Evil Half-orc Fighter, and two Chaotic Neutral elves - all of whom owe a debt to the Assassin's and/or Thieves' Guild - were tasked with breaking into a crypt on the property of a prominent noble family to recover evidence of nefarious deeds by previous generations of the family. Of course, crypt raiding carries a capital sentence, so getting caught would be bad.

After tooling about town for a bit, looking for marks to rob and fund their mission, they themselves are attacked by a group of ruffians (Love them DMG random city encounters!). Easily dispatching all but one of the ruffians, they keep the leader alive and demand his services in exchange for his life. Figuring they'll need extra muscle and a possible fall-guy if things go south. Reaction rolls are done and given the option they gain a new conscript.

The day of the great crypt robbery comes. The Assassin has spent almost a week in disguise observing the estate, successfully noting guard patterns, composition etc. He has also marked the quickest way from the estate wall to the crypt, and approximately how long they will have between patrols.

Using a rope to scale the estate wall, they manage to get to the crypt entrance where the thief immediately begins work to pick the lock, only to discover that it's already open! They scramble in and shut the door behind them. The body of another would-be thief is immediately inside (dead by falling into and unfound pit trap) hence the unlocked out area, but the deeper crypt is sealed shut with a keyhole molded in the shape of the Holy Symbol of Bhaal! Dun dun dunnn! They are disappointingly unfazed by this revelation and continue...

There are two other doors here, though, and the group explores discovering an area with various books of record of the noble family, among them are books with the names of recently interred family members, but the pages completely blank. They take the blank books for further study, and check out the other room where they find a fountain of clear, delicious looking water. 'Yeah, no.' they say and leave without touching it.

The thief picks the lock leading to the deeper crypt. Here they find 8 sarcophagi, each sealed in a chamber behind firm, well wrought bars. Another door with the symbol of Bhaal emblazoned on it leads further into final part of the deep crypt. In the centre of the area is a statue of a warrior holding out a blank book, similar to the ones they found.

Obvious trap seeming obvious, the group opts to use brute force to pry open the bars to one of the areas with a sarcophagus. Moving down the line, several attempts fail, until finally the brutish Half-orc manages to pry a few apart. They pull open the sarcophagus behind the bars and to no one's surprise the occupant isn't entirely dead. A zombie emerges and attacks them, but is readily dispatched.

Correctly theorizing that each of the occupants is not entirely dead, the group opts to find a way to release them one by one rather than risk springing something that opens everything at once. For the first few they use the brute force method of prying the bars, until someone thinks to try the blank books on the statue which releases the bars and opens the sarcophagus with ease, allowing them to set up a killzone. Some mishaps with some bad rolls result in an injury or two, but ultimately they dispatch all of the zombies in the crypts, finding a key along the way that opens the deeper crypt. Their NPC conscript (spontaneously named Erik by the DM) is proving very useful and die rolls are indicating loyalty thus far, funny how these things go, no?

In the deep crypt, they are attacked by a ooze type creatures, similar to grey oozes, but with some other nasty features. This proves problematic, as normal weapons do reduced damage... our Fighter/thief elf is enveloped and starts suffocating. Using a flash of oil and a torch the group immolates the first of the two oozes while the Elf struggles to free herself of the ooze. The others refrain from attacking but none help either, instead backing away. Finally the half-orc decides that she's likely dead either way so readies to toss the torch and light up the ooze that's got her. Initiative is rolled, as is the elf's chance to free herself (1 in 6) and she rolls a 1 bursting from the goop just as the torch lights it up for the finisher. Down to only a handful of HP from being stuck inside, being immolated as well would have spelled curtains but the dice have said to the God of Murder, 'Not today.'

Two final sarcophagi, and the group triggers them both as they pull the one lid open - this time ghouls emerge, not mere zombies. What follows is a knockdown-drag'em out fight where the orc bruiser is paralyzed from the get go, the injured elf and the NPC conscript are savaged into critical condition and taken out of the fight, while the dwarven assassin and elven Fighter/mage are left standing. The dwarf was also paralyzed early, but shook off the effects and re-entered the fray. His Chaotic Evil desire to simply flee and leave the elf to her fate was hampered by the fact that she and the ghouls were blocking his exit. He deals a blow, but is paralyzed again... leaving the elf (played by an absolute newcomer to D&D, the real life GF of the Half-orc's player) on her own to save the group... the injured first ghoul is taken down by a nat 20 sword swing, she takes a lick but not enough to kill her, and doubles down with a good solid not, not a nat 20 but a high damage roll finishing the final Ghoul earning her a cheer from the rest of the table whose characters have now all been spared and with epic beginner's luck rolls! (Her whole first D&D experience was marked with complete beginner's luck, starting with rolled stats of 18, 17, 15, 15, 12, 10)

Clearing out the crypt of loot buried with the inhabitants, they also find a hidden alcove wherein lies another book with blank pages. They take this and prepare to leave (the magic user later uses read magic to reveal the hidden magical text and finds what they are looking for.)

The problem of having two immobile party members proves a challenge, as they have to scale a wall to escape the estate compound undetected, but some good rolls and no patrols during their egress means they clear out without incident.

So team 'evil' aka The Guild game has been christened... we'll see how well they are able to keep their more nefarious instincts in check, or if they will eventually devolve into a quagmire of backstabbing that many evil groups do... time will tell! :devilish:
 

31st session in my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. 7th level half-orc fighter, halfling rogue, and half-elf evoker wizard/grave cleric. This was a roleplay heavy session and a sort of transitional episode, so I'll just give a quick summary.

Previously, the team had wiped out a squad of city watch, and later came to regret their decision. They used a magical artifact to resurrect the watch(wo)men. A dozen resurrections depleted the artifact's powers, so bringing back any more dead through the same means is now unavailable to them. They then turned themselves into the watch. After a lengthy interrogation scene, their names were cleared and they were set free.

Unfortunately, the evil wizard who initially framed them for a crime they didn't commit--which ironically resulted in them committing an even worse crime--used the delay to escape.

Considering their remaining options, the team decided to seek out the wizard's lost family heirloom--a staff of great power.

Next session: Crypts of the wizard's family!
 

Major plot episode of Storm King's Thunder. Suspect we know who the campaign big-bad is now.

In the undersea storm giant palace. The nasty two storm giant princesses were planning to coax the stone, cloud, fire, and frost giant emissaries to murder us in the belief that we'd been part of the death of the storm giant king. Fortunately, we'd previously made friends with the storm giant guards (nameless NPCs are important too) and the stone giant, which gave us advance warning. When the ambush got sprung we were then able to convince the fire giant and beat the frost giant into acquiesence, and then land a Confusion on the cloud giant which resulted in him and the frost giant beating each other near senseless. Eventually, thanks to the various large and loud explosions (our gnome arcane trickster is getting real interested in giant runic magitech and how it can best be made to explode...) the storm giant guards arrived (as we'd previously planned) and dragged us before the queen (who we've been trying to get access to for days)

Then in an absolute triumph of sustained high-teens social skills dice-rolling, the gnome proceeded to taunt the giant princesses into admitting they'd been involved in the death of their mother, and then, as a casual encore taunt the obstructive storm giant adviser lady into revealing her true blue dragon form (to the horror of every giant present) and bolting.

My paladin owes the gnome a drink for that. Several drinks probably. A long series of low-single-figures insight checks, while he rolled high teens, had me completely taken in. But I got a good solid 50hp smite in on her as she fled, so I feel better about that at least. My PC is all very classically lawful good, humble, charitable devotion paladin of Ilmater who tithes 10% of his treasure to the poor etc etc, but I think he might go a bit maniacal about hunting her down. It's always been his background that he loves killing a bit much and only became a paladin because the alternative was to become something that paladins hunted. And he's a dragonborn who hated dragons BEFORE this. Yes, I definitely think we may be running into the sin of wrath in the near future...

(As an OOC note though, why the HELL did the actual art of Imryth in Storm Kings Thunder illustrate her, in her storm giant guise, as having a blue dragon's horns and blue scales on her arms? I mean, I failed every possibly insight check against her, but jeez, it was hard to maintain the IC facade of gullibility when the official damn art made it so bloody obvious.)
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Crazy. One took a toss off line as major clue. A wandering monster encounter where I dropped a clue turn into the players going to a place I wasn't expecting. They killed a skeleton horse and two days later murder the skeleton who was trying to get home carrying the saddle.
 

3rd session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord. 5 player characters. This was a short session. We used Owlbear Rodeo. It was our first time trying a virtual table top as we've typically played online using theater of the mind. The players entered the Broken Seal, which is the very first area of the Banewarrens, moving cautiously, and gathering clues. They encountered their first bane -- a crystal that spawns shadows. They slew a shadow rather easily thanks to the way initiative works in SotDL. We paused there.
 
Last edited:

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top