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General How Was Your Last Session?


Black Lives Matter
Very good.

The long and short of it was they saved Keeper of the Flame Jaela from an assassination attempt by the Cult of the Inner Sun, and are now superstars in Thrane.

The players were delighted by their success, and even more excited when I informed them of my next campaign concept:

Eberron: the Next War.
Dungeons and Dragons meets Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2...

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After an epic fight the characters managed to kill the evil wizard that has been a torn in their side since the beginning of the campaign. But she was prepared for a life ending even so she had a Clone spell cast a while back. The characters do not know this. She was reborn at a distant location, in the country of an opposing baron who is currently attacking the character's barony. They are level 7. The action will move to the front of the war once spring arrives. For next game they will «clean up» the rest of the wizard's organisation, well those the can find !


Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So in the current campaign, one of the things the group is tracking down is a series of cursed books, each associated to a different school of magic. They had been working with an NPC gnomish sage to help understand what the books were and how to stop them.

Unfortunately, the sage was being affected by the books and was unable to sleep. In desperation, he took a powerful sleeping draught. Now he can't wake up. In my campaign, the Shadowfell is not only the land of the dead (before they transition to their final resting place) and undead, it's also the land of especially vivid dreams. So the group went to the shadowfell to rescue their sage.

Skipping over a few details, the primary stuff included
  • A fight against a zombie T-Rex that had been chasing dreamers down the street tried to swallow the dwarf.
  • The gnome sage showed up driving a mech/warforged titan that he had always dreamed of building.
  • Gnomes normally talk very, very quickly, but because they were in "his" dream he spoke very slowly and at first didn't understand why everyone else was speaking at a proper speed.
  • The group needed to destroy his "memories" of the books for him to wake up, he also suspected there was an evil copy of him running around. He didn't tell the group (he would have, if pressed), but he was worried that if he woke up the evil version would take over.
  • Because the memories were of books, they were of course in a grand library. The sage provided them library cards for entrance. They had to each present the cards to giant gnome guardian statues to get through.
  • The first book was guarded by a clay golem that formed up out of the floor after the monk rolled a 1 on his stealth check. This particular book (evocation) had previously tempted the party's sorcerer, so after a failed save she once again just had to had the book to herself and tried to steal it. Eventually they set the book on fire and destroyed it but not after chasing a book flying around due to mage-hand.
  • Next book started to buzz and vibrate as they entered the room, and giant flies (chasme demons) with heads that were twisted versions of the gnome sage flew out. Two of the PCs failed their saves and fell asleep, one of the demons tried to stuff the unconscious rogue into the book. Only able to get one leg into the book before she woke up, I described feeling maggots crawling all over the leg. Fortunately they had learned that fire was the best way to destroy the book - even if the rogue did take some damage before she completely extricated herself.
  • As they were leaving they were confronted by the "evil" version of the sage who crashed through the ceiling in his own mech in the grand entrance to the library. While a couple of group attacked, the others ran for the door as the ceiling started to collapse. The monk was knocked unconscious, ceiling was collapsing and the front door was jammed. The fighter smashed down the door, the unconscious monk was dragged out of the way, the sorcerer's readied shatter spell took out the rest of the ceiling and causing the library to collapse as the group escaped. Was the evil version really killed, or just buried under rubble? Only time will tell. :devilish:

A little more heavy on combat than some of my games, but overall quite fun. Maybe I need a new advertising slogan for the Shadowfell in my campaign "Shadowfell, where dreams come true and can kill you!"

Cobalt Meridian

I had a very odd session. My players are trying to retrieve a stolen brooch and were directed to a local fence. He pointed them to a Gnome Thief who was known to partake in a little bit of light corpse-robbing. The group headed over to the cemetery, located the thief who was in the process of being a "snack" for some vampire spawn. A fight ensues, resulting in the "chief" vampire being brought into the battle. The players were eventually victorious though.

I felt it was odd because it was a bit of a foregone conclusion that the group would win (the battle took place during the day and the vampire couldn't escape the crypt) and I don't think I really handled the vampire's various abilities well - although he did manage to charm the party's three heaviest hitters at one point I kept to forgetting to use the legendary actions. In my mind I ran it badly and I thought it felt really flat.

However, post-game multiple players have told me that they really enjoyed it and felt that their characters were in real danger. I'm really happy about that but I am now confused as to why my perception of the battle was so much different to theirs!


Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
However, post-game multiple players have told me that they really enjoyed it and felt that their characters were in real danger. I'm really happy about that but I am now confused as to why my perception of the battle was so much different to theirs!

Possibly the players felt their characters were in real danger because they had a sense there was stuff the vampire was about to do, but never did. Or they were closer to dropping than you thought (dunno how closely you monitor PC hps; I don't at all).


Strahd is as defeated and the land of Barovia was saved. Through an amazing combination of foresight, clever planning, attention to detail and almost cartoon level luck at times the party defeated the Vampire in the bowels of his castle. The battle began near the top of the tower. Having prepared themselves well the party thought they had Strahd trapped. However, Strahds biggest strength(one of them I my opinion) is his mobility, particularly in his castle.
He led them on a chase through the castle, rousing allies and whittling the party members down bit by bit.

At last, deep in the crypts, the hero’s had him on the ropes and near death. Seeing his ruin before him, Strahd made a break for it. He raced down a long hall with a slide trap in the middle and into the teleportation room. He cast the green bead into the fire and ran to where the slide trap deposits it’s victim, hoping that one or more of the party would leap into the green flame and teleport away. It almost worked.
Had anyone, ANYONE else ran down the hallway it would have been a death sentence. He had already killed(3rd failed death save) one member of the party and grievously wounded 3 others. But no, the sun sword wielding fighter just happened to be the one to touch the slide trap first, depositing him in Strahds lap.
Using his legendary actions he tore up the slide and right into the rest of the party. The warlock was in front, he seized her, dove in for a bite... and CRIT! Massive boost to his survivability... the party members quailed in terror!...
Entropic Ward... instead of a crit Strahd missed with an 11. With her next turn Morrigan the Warlock drew a bottle of holy water(that she had acquired in the very first session) and threw it in Strahds face... CRIT.
While the Vampire screamed in agony, clutching at his face, the now eyeless rogue Corben, who Strahd had mutilated early in the adventure, who had been driven to accept dark bargains in order to survive, decapitated Strahd.

It was fun.


Rotten DM
One of my players who has social issues broke the module. He offered the devils a bribe which was so reasonable I had to go with it. Also the game nearly did not go on. I was feeling a little down due to the weather. The store was not open due the cashier being sick. The AL admin was being a little bit of a goober. I was about 2 miles away from the store when the admin ping me on messenger to say the store was opening. So last session started off bad but came out to be a great session. Then I was sick Monday.

Updated session notes: party who have recently decided to become pirates docked in an open port on the edge of populated areas and found a seedy tavern to look for crew.
The rogue started to Network looking for hirlings, the barbarian got a date with the half ogre bouncer and the tortle bard nearly died trying to kill and cook a crab in a pot as a volunteer sous chef.


Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Erkonin #2, Session #12 (5E) Party starts session at 4th level.

Party moved from site where they previously ambushed one gnoll scouting party toward another scouting party, attempted to set another ambush. The ambush failed to work this time, but the party were still able to make relatively short work of the gnolls.

After that, the party retreated to a small fort on a nearby ranch, where the ranchers were holed up. They helped the ranchers fend off the gnolls, then they ran down a few escapees.

Then, they went to an unfortified village the gnolls had razed and found a vault/strongroom with some magic items in it.

Party advanced to 5th level.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Short, but fun. We discussed the nature of Sahuagin (this world has no mortal races as alignment restricted), and how they are dangerous but reasonable in the right context. However, I told my companions, when dealing with them you are always a rabbit with a sword, speaking to a wolf.

Last session we defended the small port town of Caer Mach from a Sahuagin raid, and found out that it was set up by the criminal organization we are fighting.

Previously there had been a ship of the criminal organization we are fighting/huntingwhose crew had been petrified after being wounded by weapons. There was a basilisk cage in the hold, which didn’t surprise us. These criminals use basilisks to petrify slaves to smuggle them. The Sahuagin sunk their ship as they retreated from the town, but we had already investigated thoroughly before the attack.

Well, we knew that the local crime faction, run by a Medusa, didn’t like these encroaching foreign criminals, so we figured they came in, murdered the ship crew, and stole their basilisk.

So we go and the ranger tries to track them, no luck. We confer with our allies and recall a smugglers cove nearby in the fjords to the immediate east of us. We go, it’s empty, ranger goes in and checks it out, basilisk prints and spoor, from the morning. They’d holed up overnight, and sailed out with the tide. Had we gone there first, we may have caught them.

I send my familiar (an owl for now) out down the coastline to find their ship. She reports back, and we discuss it, but decide not to mess with them today. We have more important things to worry about.

So, we head back to Caer Mach, and get to talking about the Allthing (big parliament type meeting of regional families, clans, etc, trade-meet, and general gathering, modeled after the medieval Icelandic Allthing) and discuss whether we need to visit any other families or factions in the region before heading there.
Ultimately we decided to just get there, give as many folk a ride in our airship as we can, and trust that we have done all the glad-handing we can do before the Thing.
We ended the session with a homework assignment to fill the foreign elf in on the local power groups and what their various deals are, by compiling a document and sending it to him, to represent our passing local knowledge to him over several days.

Oh! And we talked about getting better kit, cleaning up, and generally making sure we look respectable for the Thing, and did a little loot management. The Thing will present opportunities to trade, and we have roughly 2k gold worth of coin and objects, plus a handful of spellbooks, etc.

Next session, hopefully, we will be at the Thing by the end of the session, and can get the lay of the land, meet with some folk we haven’t been able to meet with, and generally make a good impression. And trade.


40th lv DM
Our most recent (Feb.20/2020) 5e session was kinda humorous.

The party:
  • Paladin (devotion), V.Human, male, 5th lv Follows the god of Justice.
  • Warlock (celestial, blade), winged Teifling, FM, 5th lv
  • Cleric (life), 1/2elf, Male Follows the God of Pleasure
  • Rogue (assassin), WereRat, male

What has come before: :(
In previous sessions the party had crossed over the low mountain ridge in search of help from a sect of Druids. This help is nothing of any world shaking importance, it's not time sensitive, just applies to two characters goals of the moments (as in; Hey, Druids might be able to help with that! Where do we need to go to find Druids?)
* So first they come across a young 1/2elf man running through the woods. Without a second thought the Paladin shoots him down with an arrow backed up by smite. They find that the dead man is clutching a hastily written letter imploring the Druids for help vs some goblin raiders....
Backtracking the messenger to the town they find a mostly human village. And discover that it's just recently (the previous night) been raided by goblins. People have been killed, & worse, a # of them have been abducted by the goblins. This is essentially Nightstone from SKT with some cosmetic changes) The town has sent out a runner to the druids and people have generally prayed for help. Enter the PCs. You know, the typical opening for this type of mission.
* The Paladin then, in the face of an injustice, flatly refuses to go after the goblins/rescue the villagers unless 1) the town will help contact the druids for him/provide a guide, 2) will provide food & drink and a nights lodging.
Of course the town agreed....
And so the captives were saved.
* One of the captives turned out to be a (rock) Gnome visiting/trading. He attempted to hire the Paladins horse to pull his supply wagon back to his clans warrens (the goblins had killed all sutable animals in town on their raid). As this is generally en-route to the Druids, the party agrees.
I then ran a slightly altered version of the Gnome chapter out of the Essentials book.
The party discovers that due to a lab accident sentient slime has gotten loose & has been evolving from slimes/oozes to Mimics, to a Doppleganger. The Gnome trader begs the party to help his clan & assures them that the Kings will reward them. Party agrees - though the Paladin is ranting about the dangers of helping Tinker Gnomes & how they should really just fill the place with lava.
And so slimes/Mimics/& a Doppleganger are hunted down.
In the process though? The Paladin takes every opportunity to cause as much destruction as possible, attacks everything he encounters - monsters, cats, & gnomes flushed out of hiding - with 100% lethal force, and pockets several items of value "as his reward".
As many items of value are now destroyed or missing, the Gnomes are unable to provide the party a decent reward. They can't even provide a decent feast as their dining room tables have been splintered & the silverware/china destroyed or missing.
A bit beat up, the party decides to make camp & take a long rest. After wich the Paladin discovers that he can't re-summon his horse.

Feb 20/2020:
1st half of session
The next day the party reaches the Druids. Who, as villagers & gnomes have arrived late yesterday to petition them concerning the adventurers from across the mountains (particularly the Paladin of Justice), are very interested in granting the party an audience.
1st they hear of the requests that drew the party to their domain. They announce that they'll render a decision about those shortly.
2nd the party (particularly the Paladin) finds themselves on trial.
The Druids find the Cleric, Tiefling, & wereRat are found (generally) not guilty. The Paladin is deemed guilty of murder, theft, & excessive destruction. He is stripped of all ill-gotten treasure, forced to pay compensation, & will be exiled from all lands under the dominion of the Olde Religion (Druid controlled areas west of the mountains).
The Cleric & wereRat characters requests will granted {these two players are leaving the campaign for a bit, so their characters buissness with the druids will keep them safely off-screen} .

This sets the Paladin player howling & ranting (a bit in character, a bit out of character) & he declares that he will not be judged by the Druids, or the gods (as he simply follows "Justice")* and that he feels he's not being given enough treasure, etc.
* This is not something you want to say out loud to the person you KNOW is a 1e DM & who's told you that Clerics, Druids, & Paladins receive their abilities from the gods, not nebulous concepts/their bellies/whatever other rot 3x introduced.
This player sat there & actually said that his character does not follow the god of Justice. OK....

2nd 1/2 of session
The Druids open a portal and point the Paladin through it. The Teifling follows. They get deposited NE of Butterskull Ranch (from the Essential kit).
Investigating the sacked ranch they find the fresh results of what my Fri group did there in their last session.
Two burning funeral pyres (Human & Orc), a more sacked house, and the undealt with ghost of Big Al, the rancher, in the cellar....
The teifling investigates the upper floor, the Paladin headed for the basement.
Going down the stairs he finds Al's dead body still tied to a chair with a bag over his head. He shoots the body. Triggering a very angry ghost. Roll initiative.
Paladin goes first - advances to it, tries to smite it, discovers his Smite power isn't working.
Big Al then possesses the Pally. (the paladin completely botched his save)

The ghost then runs the pally all over the ranch calling for & searching for his prized cow Petunia & swearing vengence vs the orcs that slew him.
Eventually the tiefling finds the remains of the poor cow (the friday group encountered it wandering in a field, killed it, & field dressed it. Leaving a bloody mess & the identifying bell).
Now Al is swearing vengeance upon the armored cretins who killed the cow + the orcs (he's found both orc tracks & Fri party tracks)

The paladin player is rather pissed that A) his powers aren't working, B) that he's possessed, C) & that his 3x knowledge/assumptions do not apply. (despite me having told him repeatedly that they don't)
He honestly doesn't get that he's no longer a Paladin. And certainly not a Paladin of Justice.

The Teifling player is quite amused.


I DM for two groups and played on back-to-back days with each last week. Both groups have 5 players.

The first group are D&D noobs. This was our 7th session. They just hit 3rd level. We're playing through a heavily modified version of Dragon of Icespire Peak. In my version, there is a cult of Abbathor--dwarven god of greed and trickery--trying to stop the players from saving Phandalin. Also, I changed Gnomengarde into a magical academy--Hogwarts for gnomes. The player characters are travelling to Gnomengarde to acquire magic items they can use to fight the dragon. Prior to their arrival, the Abbathor cult sends in a group of doppelgangers posing as the PCs to assassinate the headmaster, kill the gnomes, and sow chaos. By the time the players arrive, all hell has broken loose. The gnomes attack the players and accuse them of murder. Through smart player, the players quickly figured out what was going on and rescue the headmaster. Good, productive session.

The Essentials Kit is a great product and I don't think it gets the love it deserves.

The second group are mostly old friends from grade school. We're scattered across the country so we play online. This was our 77th session. Their characters are 12th level. I'm running a mashup of Storm King's Thunder and Tyranny of Dragons/Scales of War. Basically, players are fighting on two fronts--giants and dragons. The session started with them in the process of infiltrating the fire giant lair, Ironslag. They jumped in the bucket chain on the upper level and rode it all the way through Ironslag, giving them a great overview of the lairs layout. It was a very cinematic moment--echoes of Temple of Doom. The PCs spotted the chief fire giant, Duke Zalto, and his wife--as well as enemies from a previous adventure. When the elf rogue spotted the enemies he jumped out of the bucket for a solo sneak attack. The other PCs went on to parley with Zalto's wife, who looked upon them favorably due to a charm spell from the halfling bard. When the session ended, she was in the process of taking the PCs to Zalto for further discussions. The players can already see their plans going sideways and predict they'll end up fighting both giants at the same time. We'll see.

This group has played through Grudd Haug and Deadstone Cleft. Each giant lair is distinct and memorable. They're great. I think Storm King's Thunder definitely needs work, but it's unfairly maligned.

I was a bit worried going into this session, because it was the first time we were attempting more than a shopping trip during downtime. It was a lot of fun, though. The dwarf spent the entire time carousing, got his heart broken, made enemies, woke up in a strange place with no memory of the night before, etc. That last was a lot of fun, because he was determined to find the person/people that robbed him only to find out that he had donated his money to an orphanage and then knocked himself out in a very idiotic dare.

Next time it is back to the regularly scheduled adventure.


Shorter session but it was both fun and frustrating. Nearly killed a baby and had to retcon that. For some reason the cleric's player didn't think hitting a 1 hp infant with a damaging magic spell would instantly kill it, and planned to heal it to full health next round. It was hilarious as the group fell into side splitting jokes of infanticide and the cleric's swap to an evil alignment.

Three web spells were cast the party. That's 15 saves, only two were failed, and both of those Str checks were made next round to break free. It's the most useless I've ever seen a web spell.

A Yochol tried to use it's only dominate person ability 1/day. Person made the save, so ability wasted. Ugh. I hate when something really fun like that is wasted.

Anyway, it set the stage for next session as they have some extremely angry and powerful enemies after them now.

My last session also made me improv A LOT as our friendly dwarf caused mayhem during his carousing. It made me realize that I needed to start sorting my NPCs into categories that were more specific than what town/settlement they were in. I am sure that I will continue to finetune this, but right now I have 1) people that are there right now, but sometimes go elsewhere, 2) shopkeepers and town officials, and 3) other people in town that we have come into contact with.

What systems do other people use to keep track of everybody?


Mod Squad
Staff member
My last D&D session (as a player) was... chatty.

The GM has been out of the saddle for a decade and a half or more, and wanted ot try his hand again, so we are going through Dragon of Icespire Peak. We' just finished doing a couple of errands killing off some orcs and dealing with some wererats, and went back to Phandalin, where we did some research figuring out what our next steps would be.



Apologies, this is going to be a little long. I spent the weekend at a convention and so I had enjoyed 7 sessions as a GM over the course of 4 days.

When I run games at a convention, the bulk of them are a mini campaign: multiple sessions (in this case 5) of continuing adventures, with some portion of the players playing multiple and even all of the sessions. This weekend 3 players were in every slot, another player was in 3 of 5, and a couple were in 2 slots, with the balance playing only 1 slot.

The High Guard were the greatest heroes The Realm had ever seen. 10 years ago they defeated Kalketerix, the Usurper Wyrm when it attacked the capital city of Throne Spire and killed the King. After they killed the beast, they fashioned its bones into their HQ but generally left for manses and cities where they could indulge their vices alone. Rich and famous beyond compare, having won the greatest victory imaginable, those vices were not inconsequential.

But then the sky broke. Literally. It shattered like glass. Soon, four entities appeared in the greatest cities of the realm: the Avatars of Law and Chaos and Good and Evil went to cities that seemed to embody their opposite. Evil went to the last refuge of the fading Elves. Law went to the wild and weird bayou city of strange magic. Chaos took root in the perfectly ordered city of the dwarves and Good found purchase in a city known for its corruption and violence.

The High Guard went to each city and faced each Avatar, starting with Evil. They realized they could not simply kill these embodiments of universal forces. Instead they had to be contained, captured in stasis until a solution could be found. Evil was captured in a bone casket forged by the Elves long ago. Law was trapped in a perfect representation of the Golden Ratio. Chaos was contained by a permanently arcing storm of lightning in a bottle.

Good was the hardest to deal with. While evil sought to turn the ancient bones of the elven ossuaries into murderous skeletons and Law sought to freeze all life to ensure perfect order and Chaos turned everything, living and unliving, inside out, Good only wanted to create peace and compassion and righteous fervor. But as, well, good as Good's world seemed to be, it could not remain if the sky was to be fixed. It was ultimately joined with the super-heroic paladin's hammer, the ultimate representation of the Light.

And fixed the sky must have been. It was discovered that Kalketerix itself had broken the sky, hurling the Avatars like stones from the Void in order to return to the world and exact its revenge upon the Realm and the High Guard. Through courage, grit and sacrifice, the High Guard prevailed, but in doing so banished Good from the world as surely as they banished Evil and Law and Chaos. The cost of victory was the end of Utopia.

This description hardly does it justice. Not only were the players great, creating memorable and amazing characters, there were tons of wonderful NPCs: each PC had a rival NPC "supervillains" and some became allies while others served as vile antagonists and others just foils or lovers. The question over how to deal with Good was so morally and emotionally difficult in part because Good had made a link with a Nun of the Light who truly only wanted to create a good world for people so they did not suffer as she did in the shadows and alleys of her city as a child.

This all happened over the course of 20 table hours with a dozen or so of the best players I have had the pleasure of playing with.

I also was one part of a massive 24 player competitive D&D 5E game that raised over $600 for Extra Life in a single 4 hour session, as well as a Sunday morning hungover but still raring to go Star Wars Jedi-hunted-by-Vader game.

Great stuff. This is why I play.

And the sky must be fixed.


Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Erkonin #1, Session #46 (5E)

Party went to house where a cabal was working on summoning devils. They kicked in the door and managed to get the entire cabal disabled before any of the cabal had a chance to act. They captured the entire cabal alive and interrogated them. They weren't overly pleased with the information they got, but it was amusing.

The city guards showed up before long (the smoldering crater in the street was probably what got their attention) and took the entire cabal into custody.

The party went back to their hotel rooms and slept through the night, only to be awakened by the captain of the guard banging on their room doors. Turned out the leader of the cabal had been put in a separate building from the rest of the cabal, and that building was gone, with a lightly smoldering crater with a gate to the Hells in the center, where it had been.

Also, there were devils in the city.

The party went to the crater and managed to shut down the portal. Then the party ranger pinged for fiends in the city, and found where they were, and the party started hunting the devils down. The first group was 3 barbed devils and a bone devil, and the party defeated them handily. The second group was 3 horned devils, and that fight was a bit more difficult but the party eventually defeated those devils, as well.

The session ended there.

Halloween Horror For 5E