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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?



Our 2E Ravenloft campaign, which I originally thought was awesome, is turning into a never-ending grind of puzzle/trap dungeons. The DM obviously delights in them, but every time he unveils the 'terrain' and I see those gorram braziers, grotesques, and ravens, I know we're in for 4 hours of 'poke my eye out with a rusty nail.' Part of it has to do with a player group that is so risk averse that our 'plans' frequently become eye-rolling ludicrous. I can see the DM getting exasperated and have hinted a couple times that he's bringing it on himself, but he's not seeing it. Frankly, it's getting to be a drag, which is the death knell of any game played for fun. My character (4th level since starting at Lvl 1 in July) may be making a big sacrifice on behalf of the party pretty soon, and I may make a quiet exit. It's a shame, because so many elements of the campaign are intriguing and cool, and could be expanded upon. But every attempt to 'dive in' character-wise gets stymied, and we end up 'warping in' to yet another maze with no exit, and nothing but traps and puzzles to solve in order to achieve goals which never advance.
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Rotten DM
I will blend my last two sessions. First session was fun, bother, and smackdown. Bother due the over head lights were burned out. Smackdown when one my Autistic (and half the table) smacked down the other Autistic player for megagaming and jumping the gun. The second player is one chapter ahead with another pc with another DM in Witchlight. Fun because I reskinned the attacks which left half the table laughing and the other trying to figure out what was happening. The next session the mega gaming player behaved and did not use player knowledge for a module I had previous ran for him.


The party found a couple of treasure vaults, one of which contained a gilded chariot--which freaked them out more than the rest of the horrors in the dungeon did. "How did it get there?!?" The warlock decided to attach a phantom steed to the chariot so they could park it in front of the room containing the creepy people they had decided not to kill earlier, just to freak them out.

There was a sealed evil in the dungeon, and they decided to bring down the entire roof to close off the passageways to the sealed evil. Since they did this twice in different areas, I decided that this destabilized the area enough to bring down the entire roof. Fortunately there was an exist nearby and they managed to escape--and brought the chariot with them. Now (thanks to wonky Ravenloft geography and the Mists) they're on top of a freezing, blizzard-y mountain. With a chariot.

Also, the druid cast darkvision. How often does that happen?

The biggest bunch of time wasting bs downtime as the Ranger and the Warlock had a week to prepare for bandit raid of some type and I really need to get into the mood for more prep work as a DM. Plus both players got to experience Downtime for the first time. Anywho: the highlights of it all was the Ranger and Warlock burning down a gambling hall located in the town and the Ranger building an outpost/guildhall for his Ranger peeps out in the woods. Managed to convince the town elder to cut the land state charter down from 5,000 gold to 2,000 gold. Now all of this got achieved via Gambling. To which the Ranger then proceeded to clear out the entire gambling hall of its money by going hog wild with the Gambling downtime rules from Xanathar. which I'll admit I kinda allowed repeated usages of hours of downtime to do One dc check came up as 25 which was the only high number that would've been a challenge. But the Ranger wanted that Guildhall badly so my bud spent ALL of his Inspiration on each of the separate rolls and rolled high enough, with Advantage. Managed to beat the 25 DC check as well.

I then rolled a complication: Members of some Thieves Guild came in and demanded their cut of the Ranger's profits as they were the ones who established the gambling hall to begin with. At this time, the Warlock, after sharing a night with a bar maid back at the tavern, was looking for the outhouse and stumbled upon the Ranger and this stand off. But when ya gotta go you gotta go. So the Warlock proceed to use the outhouse and the Ranger had to wait for one round before back up arrived. However, this was all more treated like a group skill check and not a serious combat round. The Ranger parries two of the assailants and after a round, the Warlock emerged from the Outhouse and decided to NOW intervene. Both manage their rolls well with the Group Skill challenge and the Warlock proceeded to burn the now empty Gambling hall down. Which caused quite a scene but mostly everybody ignored them to focus on putting the fire out. The Ranger then proceeded to hand the Town Elder the 2,000 gold for the land charter to build the ranger guildhall/outpost in the town.
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32nd session of my Neverwinter campaign. Three 6th level characters: half-orc vengeance paladin, human genie warlock, drow evoker wizard.

The paladin is a noble investigating the mysterious murder of his family. Having arrived in Neverwinter, he discovers that his family had a manor in the city, but that manor is now occupied by a different noble family. Specifically a socialite who throws decadent parties at the manor for the rich and powerful on a nightly basis. The characters infiltrated the party to gather intel and rob said rich.

The warlock used her disguise self invocation to assume the identity of the socialite, Lady Avaryx. She bluffed her way past the goliath bodyguards into Avaryx's bedroom. The wizard tagged along. In the bedroom they found a magical mirror that acted as a camera peering into several other rooms in the house. They identified a vault, a torture chamber, and a bedroom where Neverwinter's Royal Treasurer was engaged in some compromising acts. Also: the mirror can record.

Meanwhile, the paladin chatted up Avaryx. She used a magical necklace to try to charm him, but he shook off the effect. Realizing that he was aware of what she had done, she dropped the facade of the dumb socialite and began to speak to him like the mastermind she is. As the conversation progressed, it became clear she was a blackmailer and information broker. But to what end? The paladin had assumed the identity of the fictional Lord Bastion. He claimed to be the mortal enemy of his real self -- the vengeance paladin. So "Bastion" and Avaryx agreed to meet later to formulate plans to remove this thorn in their side.

Unfortunately, as the warlock was exiting the bedroom she ran straight into the real Avaryx. The jig was up. The paladin tried to intervene but couldn't do much without breaking cover. Avaryx used her necklace to charm the warlock and wizard. The wizard made his saving throw. The warlock failed her saving throw.

Avaryx told the paladin to leave the party -- they would meet again the following day. She told the warlock to follow her to a private room in the house. And she told the wizard that if he didn't cooperate his friend would be harmed. Together, the warlock and wizard followed Avaryx and her bodyguards to the bedroom where the magical mirror records all activities.

Next session: Uncomfortable questions!
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We took down another of the Writhing Gates, this one protected by a mind flayer corpse creature and nine mind flayer mummies in the Desolate Waste, where the sands heal the undead, drain the living, and force the undead to immediately attack any fiends in the immediate vicinity. (It's all part of the Undying Crusade, a desperate means used hundreds of years ago to stop an incursion of devils on the Material Plane.) Of course. since we teleported in and the undead mind flayers were each seated before the ring of dead tentacles that make up the Writhing Gate, and the blade barrier spell can be cast such that its effects are in a closed circle, the gnome cleric of Fharlanghn who cast it renamed it "chum wall," because it cut up those illithids like chum....

Now we have to hoof it back home, since another property of the sands of the Desolate Waste is that they prevent anyone in contact with the sand from teleporting away or using extradimensional spells (as a means to "lock down" the devils who had invaded), so we pretty much know what we'll be doing in our next adventure...I envision a lot of walking (and an opportunity to fight a slew of desert creatures).


6th session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord on Owlbear Rodeo.

Five player characters at level one:
  • Dwarf Warrior. Heir to a lost kingdom -- in this case, Dwarvenhearth, deep beneath Ptolus. His trinket is half of a treasure map.
  • Elf Magician. Outcast from elven lands, raised in Ptolus, keeper of a dark secret. His magical traditions are Arcana and Teleportation.
  • Goblin Magician. Responsible for the destruction of his tribe. Specialized in the Necromancy and Forbidden magic traditions.
  • Changeling Magician. An awesome background: Outcast by her "adopted family" and looking for her "sister"--the child she replaced. Her magical themes are light and darkness, using the Celestial and Shadow traditions.
  • Human Priest. Cleric of Lothian, the core god of Ptolus. His wife was murdered and now he seeks answers.
The characters decided to track down a street preacher they had heard rumors about in the previous session. They found him on a crowded corner in the Temple District, shouting at passersby about a promised afterlife that sounded suspiciously like undeath. The priest engaged him in debate. Each dared the other to demonstrate their god's power.

Dispensing with niceties, the priest cast a spell that frightened the street preacher. He responded with a spell that caused the priest's eyeballs to burst. Yeah, really. That's Shadow of the Demon Lord for you. However, that's not the campaign I want to run, so I dialed it back to the priest bleeding from the eyes and being blinded. That's not so bad...right?

The preacher was aided by a pair of zealots that emerged from the crowd, their faces painted like skulls. The zealots went down quickly, but the preacher did not. He nearly dropped the priest and did knock out the elf. The characters had him outnumbered and eventually he had to flee. The goblin cast hateful defecation, which dazed the preacher and reduced his speed to zero. The characters surrounded and killed him.

Then they looted the bodies.

And then the preacher's skeleton tore lose from inside his body. The skeleton attacked the priest with single-minded focus. The other characters managed to destroy the skeleton before it could do serious damage. Spooky!

The preacher dropped some hints about who his master might be that the players may choose to follow up on.

Next session: The characters reach 2nd level!

Level Up!

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