D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

41st session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord on Owlbear Rodeo. Another short session, which seems to be common with us during the Holidays.

Five player characters at Level 7:
  • Dwarf Executioner/Berserker/Warrior. He seeks the Axehammer of the Lost Clan, rumored to be in the Banewarrens.
  • Elf Librarian/Wizard/Magician. Outcast from elven lands, raised in Ptolus, keeper of a dark secret. His magical traditions are Arcana, Teleportation, Chaos, and Fey.
  • Goblin Pyromancer/Oracle/Magician. Responsible for the destruction of his tribe. Specialized in the Fire and Forbidden magic traditions, with a dose of Divination.
  • Changeling Dervish/Spellbinder/Rogue. Created by House Vladaam to replace a child they kidnapped and held in servitude. Naturally, she wants revenge. Two weapon fighter with the Battle tradition.
  • Human Defender/Paladin/Priest. Cleric of Lothian, the primary god of Ptolus. His magical traditions are Life, Theurgy, and Battle. His murdered wife was has returned as undead and now he seeks to stop her.
The characters have reached Map 2 of the Inner Vaults. In my version of this adventure, it's a cave complex filled with devolved, degenerated descendants of the Lost Clan of dwarves which built the Banewarrens.

They found themselves standing on a rough stone ledge overlooking a large natural cavern cloaked in darkness. There was a new knotted rope descending from the ledge to the cavern floor -- a sign that someone came before them. Likely the rival adventuring party sent by House Vladaam. They descended the rope.

The floor of the cavern was filled with stalagmites which turned this place into a disorienting maze. After several minutes of travel, they came across the corpses of several troglodyte-like banebrutes -- the devolved dwarves mentioned above. They had been killed with sword and spell. Again, signs of Vladaam's adventurers.

Eventually, they reached the far side of the cavern. A wide staircase ascended from the floor to the next section of the dungeon. Here, they were ambushed by banebrutes. Eight of them were on the stairs. And an uncounted number were hiding in the stalagmites behind the characters. The banebrutes to the rear began to pelt the characters with rocks, herding them toward the stairs.

This should have been a relatively simple fight against a horde of mooks, but the elf wizard got cut off from the rest of the party and was felled by hurled rocks. Miraculously, he rolled high on the Shadow of the Demon Lord equivalent to the death saving throw and returned to consciousness with one point of Health. He hurried up the stairs to join his allies.

The session ended as the characters exited the cavern.

Next session: The adventurers of House Vladaam!
 
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Richards

Legend
In today's "Dreams of Erthe" session, the PCs:
  • Were notified in the Dreamlands that the notorious thief "The Fox" (whom the PCs have assumed is a young noblewoman, Lady Arabella Vulpina) is being chased by an assassin devil and needs their help in setting an ambush to kill her
  • Were attacked in the marshlands by a group of five eblis
  • Rescued a six-year-old boy who had been trapped in his dreams for three and a half weeks (I had the players perform their PCs' actions in real time via a vigorous game of "the floor is lava")
  • Set up the ambush of the assassin devil in a temple of Clem, God of Fishing
  • Slew not only the assassin devil, but the evil wizard (and his imp familiar) who had set the devil on the Fox, after she stole a magic item he'd been working on that would have opened a permanent planar gate to the Nine Hells
  • Got rewarded by Lady Arabella Vulpina (yep, she's the Fox after all - although they hadn't suspected she was also a dreamwalker like them) and set up a system by which they can communicate with her over long distances
Johnathan
 

This is a recap of sessions 42, 43, and 44 of my Neverwinter campaign. Apparently I forgot to recap those! We haven't played much in the last 3 months of the year as I've had a lot of real life conflicts.

Three 8th level characters: half-orc vengeance paladin, human genie warlock, drow evoker wizard. At the end of session 44 the characters earned 9th level.

All three sessions were part of an extended heist action sequence as the characters infiltrated Griffonwing Spire. (I used the Feathergale Spire map from Princes of the Apocalypse.) Griffongwing Courier is an organization of my invention that is basically the Pony Express of the North.

Previously, the characters had come into conflict with a mindflayer and his drow minions. They were attempting breed an Elder Brain that could telepathically control the citizens of Neverwinter. The characters have discovered that there are allied mindflayers in Luskan and Waterdeep attempting to breed their own Elder Brains.

The characters learned that the mindflayer from Waterdeep has sent a shipment of magic items to Neverwinter via Griffonwing Courier. The couriers have no idea what they're hauling or for whom -- think of them as armored car guards. The characters want that magic for themselves.

The first session consisted of the players planning and commencing the heist. If you've ever been part of one of these sessions you know how they go. The paladin posed as a customer with a set of unreasonable demands to get the couriers discombobulated and disorganized. The warlock turned invisible and snuck in behind him. The wizard provided overwatch from outside. It didn't take long before the warlock had been sniffed out by a baby displacer beast and the guards were on high alert. Shennanigans ensued.

The second session commenced when three drow arrived at the spire, the intended recipients of the shipment. They were under an illusion, posing as wealthy high elves. A drider attacked the wizard. The wizard used polymorph to turn it into a rat. Then he tried and failed for the next four turns to kill the 1 hit point rat due to a series of truly awful rolls. When he finally boot stomped the rat it was deeply satisfying. Meanwhile, the warlock had freed a griffon from the stables, mounted it, and flew onto the roof. The paladin had forced his way onto the roof and jumped onto the warlock's griffon. By now, the couriers from Waterdeep were in plain sight -- three riders mounted on three griffons -- and approaching the spire. That's when the dragon arrived.

The third session was a three way aerial dogfight. The black dragon was the wild card. No one knew why it was there, but they knew what it wanted -- the magic treasure. Its first acid breath attack dissolved one of the griffons. In the second round it used bite/claw/claw to rip through a second griffon. In the third round it was yanking the saddle bags off the dead griffon and readying to fly off with the magical treasure. But the third griffon and its rider harried the dragon. The warlock and paladin had closed in, too. The paladin smited with a spear of dragon slaying. The dragon was bloodied. Around this time the mindflayer arrived, mounted on a mooncalf, which grappled the dragon. (I used the stats of a death kiss beholder, which gave the tentacly, bloodsucking feel I wanted.) The warlock failed a saving throw from the mindflayer and began attacking the paladin. Everyone on every side was close to zero hit points and it came down to who was going to hit first.

The paladin pulled out his potion of gaseous form, drank it, then used a bonus action to misty step right in front of the mindflayer's mouth. I could see where this was going...and I let him have it. The mindflayer inhaled the paladin. In the following turn, the paladin returned to his regular form -- and exploded the mindflayer from the inside. Was that a rules exploit? I don't know. Probably. But now that player has a story he'll be talking about for the rest of his life. Plus the characters had tangled multiple times with the mindflayer and it felt like now was the right time to close this chapter of our story.

The dragon shredded the warlock's griffon. She tumbled to the ground. On her turn, she activated her genie-lock flight ability, then blasted the dragon out of the sky with two hits from eldritch blast.

Epic finale to a very satisfying arc.

Next session: Loot harder!

EDIT: Actually, I did recap sessions 42 and 43. Huh. Well, I guess this is the recap of the recap.
 
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42nd session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord on Owlbear Rodeo. Five player characters at Level 7:
  • Dwarf Executioner/Berserker/Warrior. He seeks the Axehammer of the Lost Clan, rumored to be in the Banewarrens.
  • Elf Librarian/Wizard/Magician. Outcast from elven lands, raised in Ptolus, keeper of a dark secret. His magical traditions are Arcana, Teleportation, Chaos, and Fey.
  • Goblin Pyromancer/Oracle/Magician. Responsible for the destruction of his tribe. Specialized in the Fire and Forbidden magic traditions, with a dose of Divination.
  • Changeling Dervish/Spellbinder/Rogue. Created by House Vladaam to replace a child they kidnapped and held in servitude. Naturally, she wants revenge. Two weapon fighter with the Battle tradition.
  • Human Defender/Paladin/Priest. Cleric of Lothian, the primary god of Ptolus. His magical traditions are Life, Theurgy, and Battle. His murdered wife was has returned as undead and now he seeks to stop her.
The characters are deep in the Banewarrens. They are tracking a group of rival adventurers working for House Vladaam. The rivals have the Last Axe of the Lost Clan, a dwarven artifact that the dwarf warrior wants for himself.

In this session, the charactes navigated the length of Map 2 of the Inner Vaults. They traversed a cavernous chamber that suppressed all magic. They passed a few Vault Doors holding banes, which they have learned not to tamper with. And finally they arrived at a massive ascending staircase -- sort of like a reverse version of the Bridge at Khazad-Dum sequence from Fellowship of the Ring.

Previously, the dwarf had a mystic vision of this location. At the top of the staircase were the adventuring rivals. Their leader, Gwar Nightstone, possessed the axe. (Well, it's actually an axehammer, because that's metal AF.) The axehammer gives him control over the degenerated dwarven troglodytes that inhabit this section of the Banewarrens. As they characters raced up the stairs, they could see dwarven trogs swarming up the side of the stairs from the cavern below. It was an epic moment.

The elf wizard gets a lot of mileage out of the Fetch spell. He used it to swipe the axe from Gwar, then give the axe to the dwarf warrior. I hate that spell! Spoiler alert: The rivals are going to use it on the characters next session!

The rival clockwork (basically a warforged) descended the stairs to block the characters. He was surrounded and destroyed by the goblin oracle, human paladin, and changeling rogue.

The dwarf warrior then used the magic of the axehammer to leap 60 feet right into the midst of the rivals. He came down hard, his impact knocking everyone back, damaging them all, and killing one outright.

We paused there. The players are feeling pretty awesome. It won't last.

Next session: Counterattack!
 
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Richards

Legend
In today's "Dreams of Erthe" campaign session I ran them through an adventure called "Dead Man's Party." The PCs arrived in the small town of Billingsway to awaken another dreamer - this one dreaming of being taken away by four evil clowns and three evil harlequins to be eaten - and found the village square being decorated and set up for a celebration of the life of a local wizard who had just died. The PCs entered the dream, defeated the creepy clowns and harlequins (thereby awakening the dreamer), and then while they were in town they swung by the party. It was hosted by the dead wizard's apprentice, who presented his master in a glass-topped coffin on a podium at the front of the gathering, explaining the wizard, Seamus Volossio, had suffered in life with a crippling shyness that had prevented him from engaging in partygoing and decided to have a party in his honor once he'd passed away. Being intrigued by automatons, he had crafted beer barrel and ale barrel golems to provide free drinks at his "wake," and his apprentice hired the serving girls from the town's two taverns so everyone could attend.

Of course, my players, being the suspicious buggers that they are, decided - all but one - that they weren't going to imbibe any of the free beer and ale being handed out, fearing this was some sort of nefarious plot. (The half-orc cleric/paladin was the only one to drink with the villagers, which made him a very popular guy and earned him the nicknames "Beastman" and "Chugger.")

But of course, my players were right to be suspicious, for all was not what it seemed. There was nothing wrong with the beer or ale - it was perfectly fine and perfectly safe - but after several hours of revelry, with the full moon high in the night sky, the apprentice gave the signal and the attack began. Four of the tavern girls had been wearing necklaces that they hadn't realized had an erinyes embedded within, and at the signal they swapped places with the girls wearing the necklaces: the girls were now in an extradimensional space while the erinyes had full reign. They - and the beer barrel and ale barrel golems - all started attacking and killing the drunken villagers, because the first night of the full moon after his death was the only time to perform the ritual that would transform Volossio into a necropolitan - if enough sacrifices were made. (He was an 11th-level wizard in life, so he needed 110 HD of sacrifices, among the roughly 200-250 people attending the "dead man's party.")

The PCs started off by attacking the erinyes, but eventually they realized they needed to stop the golems as well. The spellsword almost immediately killed the apprentice, and the elven sorcerer ran afoul of a tent he was sure held some sort of mechanical body for Volossio's spirit to inhabit (nope, it was a mimic, there to keep the villagers inside the "kill zone" - which he found out the hard way). This was a difficult fight, for while the PCs were concentrating on taking down the erinyes and the golems, they were mostly content with slaying as many villagers as possible to get the sacrifice total high enough to resurrect Volossio in an eternal undead body; let's just say the body count got pretty high before the PCs managed to turn things around. In any case, they took care of the attackers, prevented Volossio's transformation, and then checked out his keep at the edge of the village to make sure it didn't have any other surprises on hand. There they took out a chain golem, electrical iron cobra, dread guard, plus some animated zombies and skeletons and two boneless (it turned out Volossio liked creating undead creatures as well as constructs), and cleaned out his spellbooks and personal treasure.

Then it was on to the next town and the next dreamer, a dwarven mining town called Flamecleft four days away. But the Billingsway morticians and gravediggers are going to busy for quite a while....

Creepy Nightmare Image 14.jpg


Johnathan
 
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43rd and 44th sessions of my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. Half-orc cavalier fighter, halfling swashbuckler rogue, and half-elf evoker wizard/grave cleric. At the end of these sessions, everyone reached Level 9.

I'll keep this short as these episodes were played in November and December and I never got around to recapping them. The characters had stepped through a portal in Waterdeep that left them stranded in the arctic wasteland of the Sea of Moving Ice. They found a ship locked in the ice pack that had been there for 50 years. The crew was dead. Most succumbed to the environment, the rest picked off by a white dragon.

The captain of this ship was the grandfather of the wizard. The wizard recovered his staff of fire.

That's when the white dragon showed up.

The wizard conducted a ritual to reopen the portal to Waterdeep while the other two held off the white dragon.

And, yeah, they did it.

Next session: Return to Grimshackle!
 

Just started a brand new 5e pirate campaign, which opened with a bar brawl.

During the chaos the party was introduced to one another. I play Ramirez Fereyra, a human ranger who likes to spin tall tales of his heroic adventures, and who has a senile pet crocodile called Capitan that wears a captain's hat. Then we have Nobu, a half orc samurai who is quiet but intimidating, with a huge blade at his side. Pete, a scrawney half elf wizard. Daisy, a sneaky halfling druid who is curious to a fault. And lastly Carion, a stern untrustworthy half elf warlock, who seems to be hearing voices in his head.

Our chaotic party is on a quest to recover 3 mysterious black boxes, which seem to drive their owners mad. We found the first one quick enough. The next is in a colder climate, and another is underwater, in a shipwreck. Our employer is the mysterious captain Fell, who employed us after witnessing the bar brawl. Cpt Fell is clearly hiding the purpose of the boxes from us, but he pays well, so we didn't ask further questions.
 
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43rd session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord on Owlbear Rodeo. Five player characters. They dinged Level 8 at the end of this session.
  • Dwarf Executioner/Berserker/Warrior. He seeks the Axehammer of the Lost Clan, rumored to be in the Banewarrens.
  • Elf Librarian/Wizard/Magician. Outcast from elven lands, raised in Ptolus, keeper of a dark secret. His magical traditions are Arcana, Teleportation, Chaos, and Fey.
  • Goblin Pyromancer/Oracle/Magician. Responsible for the destruction of his tribe. Specialized in the Fire and Forbidden magic traditions, with a dose of Divination.
  • Changeling Dervish/Spellbinder/Rogue. Created by House Vladaam to replace a child they kidnapped and held in servitude. Naturally, she wants revenge. Two weapon fighter with the Battle tradition.
  • Human Defender/Paladin/Priest. Cleric of Lothian, the primary god of Ptolus. His magical traditions are Life, Theurgy, and Battle. His murdered wife was has returned as undead and now he seeks to stop her.
The characters are deep in the Banewarrens, mid-fight with a group of rival adventurers working for House Vladaam. They are fighting over the Axehammer of the Lost Clan, a dwarven artifact. The battle is on a giant staircase similar to the Bridge at Khazad-Dum sequence from Fellowship of the Ring. The devolved dwarves of the Lost Clan are climbing up the staircase to rip apart the enemies of the Axehammer's wielder. Fortunately, the dwarf warrior had the Axehammer. Unfortunately, it didn't last long.

In the last session, the players killed two of the rivals. This session started with the three remaining rivals striking back. Glitterdeath, the evil pixie, used a spell called Fetch to steal the Axehammer from the dwarf warrior. Gwar, the dwarven leader of the rivals, grabbed the Axehammer and commanded the devolved dwarves to attack the characters. He then used the magic of the Axehammer to shatter the staircase. It began to crumble beneath the characters' feet. Skeemo, the gnome alchemist, healed up the rivals and then transformed himself into a hulking monstrosity.

Over the next several rounds, the paladin, rogue, and goblin oracle were swarmed by devolved dwarves, fighting their way up the staircase as it disintegrated beneath their feet. The elf wizard teleported here and there, summoning a sprite that put Glitterdeath to sleep with its enchanted arrows. The dwarf warrior went toe to toe with Gwar -- and lost. The elf wizard unleashed a blast of arcane lightning that fried Gwar. Skeemo, the sole survivor, surrendered.

Pretty good fight.

We have about 10 sessions left in this campaign. The end is nigh!

Next session: The Baneheart!
 

Richards

Legend
In Wednesday's "Ghourmand Vale" session we were tasked with retrieving the stolen statue of a frost barbarian...which turned out to be a living frost barbarian turned to stone as a way to be smuggled into position. We were to teleport into the hold of the pirate ship onto which he'd been taken, along with a unsavory-looking rogue who knew how the crate he was in was marked. However, when we teleported into the ship's hold it was empty, the ship was canted at an angle and had been run aground with a hole in its hull. We fought off a band of five skum that were taking the last of the cargo off the ship, then after we dealt with them we trailed the others who had made away with the ship's cargo. We ended up in a cave in a grotto between two cliffs, fighting off more skum and then a scrag who wandered by. But after dealing with all of them and searching through the stolen merchandise, we found not one frost barbarian statue but two: one was a guy and one was a girl. Just to be sure, we took both of them, but only after wresting the means of teleportation away from the untrusty rogue and "piloting" it back home ourselves. We turned over the statues, got paid, and then refused to cut the crooked guardsman running that part of town in to a part of our earnings. (We have a paladin in our party: did he really think asking a paladin for a bribe was a good idea?)

Johnathan
 

Vael

Legend
So ... I ran my Session 0 for Light of Xaryxis ... and ... my Session 0s need work. Or at least, I need to manage my own expectations. Or maybe my players are just too used to building characters as an individual exercise.

I went in, figuring ... here's where I can let the Players collaborate, do some shared world-building and such.

This shouldn't be too spoilery, but the adventure begins on any world, it gets threatened by an out of this world threat. PCs begin at 5th level, so I told them, they can choose the world and how they know each other, mentioned my planned house-rules (not doing the usual strict initiative and trying out the OneDnD playtest rules around Inspiration). And after a brief nixing on Dark Sun, Dragonlance was settled on, there was some discussion on general classes and concepts and then everyone kinda dispersed.

So, I dunno. I thought I'd get more discussion, more engagement, but that didn't happen. It didn't help that there was a very phased in arrival, it's an online game and I really miss playing DnD in person, but yeah, is this kinda how session 0s are?
 


corwyn77

Adventurer
So it was D&D night at my local University gamers' club. We had a pretty big turnout so I offered to run a table for Mines of Pandelver - an adventure I've never run, played, or even read. In my frost turn I critted, dropping one pc. One tpk later, I turned the first encounter into a slasher-type prologue, as the real protagonists came upon the bodies and we proceeded from there.

For the last fight of the first act, three of the PCs approached the goblin scouts and asked if they had seen a wagon around here. The lookout said he didn't but his boss might have. They were then escorted straight to the boss, bypassing over half of the lair. The other two PCs went around the outside and found another entrance (improvised me so they could get involved) and they combined two encounters (3?) that they managed to beat, just barely.
 

Richards

Legend
In tonight's "Ghourmand Vale" session, we were sent to check out the sewers and found the blockage: a pile of 40-50 dead bodies clogging up a grate. However, close examination revealed the corpses had all been exsanguinated, and each had telltale vampiric puncture marks on their necks. We fought an otyugh in the sewers (who didn't want us taking away his pile of "meat"), and then when we traced the bodies back to their source (upriver), we ended up fighting Carly, the teenage vampire spawn who we'd fought twice before and turned her to mist each time (but had never been able to track her back to her coffin), this time in her lair and with a 4th-level evil human cleric aiding her. We managed to kill them both, and when she returned to her coffin we were able to permanently kill her: our archer snapped an arrow in half and pierced the impromptu "wooden stake" through her heart, and then our paladin carried her dead body into the river feeding into the sewers, letting the running water dissolve her body into nothingness. And just like that, we finally rid the world of a teenage vampire spawn. (They're the worst!)

In other news, my PC's sister-in-law gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl. We'll likely be asked to return to Greyhawk City to inform my PC's older brother, as his wife was sent our way to keep her out of reach of his enemies.

Johnathan
 

Vael

Legend
Session 1 of Light of Xaryxis: Went well. I have an interesting mix of PCs ... only 1 full spellcaster: I've 2 fighters, a Paladin, an Artificer and a Cleric. And a Rogue that didn't join this week.

They're more bloodthirsty than expected, went full out on both the initial Astral Blights and didn't even try to negotiate at the docks and managed to blow through Traevus and his 10 thugs. But they're off into Space and generally heroic.
 

45th and 46th sessions of my Dragon Heist/Deck of Many Things mashup. Three player characters at level 9: Half-orc cavalier fighter, halfling swashbuckler rogue, and half-elf evoker wizard/grave cleric.

We're getting to the end game -- probably 6-8 sessions remaining. Most of session 45 was the players plotting their next move. The most important development is that the rogue reconnected with his nemesis-slash-love-interest, an investigator in the City Watch. She asked to join the party to take out the Arcane Brotherhood wizard that's been a major campaign antagonist. Cool beans, right? Well, what the players don't know is that the investigator is actually a changeling assassin duplicating her form -- and working for an entirely different campaign antagonist. The real investigator is in a death trap that the players will have to take on in their next adventure.

Session 46 was a brawl. The wizard has fortified himself in a seatower off the coast of Waterdeep. The characters and their allies decided on a pincer movement, entering the tower from the top and bottom. Seemed smart on paper. Unfortunately, it only served to divide the party.

Up top, the rogue and fighter flew in on a griffon. The rogue leapt through a window to enter the tower. The fighter circled toward the roof. Guarding the roof was the fighter's stepfather, a nefarious noble that the fighter had killed 20 sessions ago. Well, the Arcane Brotherhood had brought him back as a CR 19 Death Knight. I found out the hard way that this might be slightly too powerful for the characters. Just a bit.

Inside the tower, the rogue encountered the fighter's stepbrother and stepsister -- likewise killed earlier in the campaign and now resurrected as undead. He was able to take them both out with minimal hassle.

At the bottom of the tower, the elf wizard and an allied drow warrior fought a zombie swarm.

The griffon grabbed the Death Knight and carried him out to sea. The Death Knight fireballed the griffon and fighter. The fighter made his save but the griffon was toast. The fighter administered a healing potion to the griffon, then kicked the Death Knight loose. The Death Knight plummeted into the sea.

The wizard and drow warrior made ranged attacks on the Death Knight. It emerged from the sea and used destructive wave to great effect. The wizard responded with thunderwave, hurling the Death Knight back into the ocean. Realizing they were outmatched, the wizard led the drow into the tower.

Unfortunately, they encountered yet another resurrected enemy -- a warlock that had killed the elf wizard earlier in the campaign. The wizard was already down to a handful of hit points, and the blight spell brought him low.

Next session: The Book of Vile Darkness!
 

I ran the 2nd session of my version of Dark Sun (mostly using the Spelljammer 5E books)
It was another session of wandering the desert and random encounter tables, as none of the characters are proficient in survival. I switched to the OneD&D rule for exhaustion which I thought worked pretty well.

We opened with the group being pursued by a Braxat from the previous session.
They were rescued by a group of Thri-kreens and led to a watering hole. At the oasis the group avoided a confrontation with a stegosaurus only to be attacked by a Gaj.

After recuperating for a couple of days the group set out again towards where they believe the nearest city is located. Another day or so later they met a Centaur traveler who gave a bit of detail about the world that they'd come to, warning them against travelling south. He agreed to take them to the nearest city.

Approaching the city on the distant horizon the group encounter an Ogre dragging a dragonborn on a chain, as we rolled initiative I asked the players if they wanted to do the fight to finish the session or leave it as a cliffhanger to kick off the next session. One player was pretty tired so we held off till next time.

It's a pretty simple get from point A to point B plot at this point, but the players had fun and seemed to enjoy it.
 

44th session of Monte Cook's 3E Banewarrens campaign run with Shadow of the Demon Lord on Owlbear Rodeo. Five player characters at level 8.
  • Dwarf Executioner/Berserker/Warrior. He now wields the sacred Axehammer of the Lost Clan.
  • Elf Librarian/Wizard/Magician. Outcast from elven lands, raised in Ptolus, keeper of a dark secret. His magical traditions are Arcana, Teleportation, Chaos, and Fey.
  • Goblin Pyromancer/Oracle/Magician. Responsible for the destruction of his tribe. Specialized in the Fire and Forbidden magic traditions, with a dose of Divination.
  • Changeling Dervish/Spellbinder/Rogue. Created by House Vladaam to replace a child they kidnapped and held in servitude. Naturally, she wants revenge. Two weapon fighter with the Battle tradition.
  • Human Defender/Paladin/Priest. Cleric of Lothian, the primary god of Ptolus. His magical traditions are Life, Theurgy, and Battle. His murdered wife was has returned as undead and now he seeks to stop her.
The characters arrived at the Baneheart, the final location within the Banewarrens. But this was primarily a session of planning and plotting.

We started with the players sharing with each other their new level 8 abilities. SotDL gives a relatively small number of features at each new level. The power curve is modest -- but real. The game is designed for very quick leveling. In this campaign leveling has been slow, so reaching level 8 felt a bit underwhelming.

The wizard found the final piece of the staff of shards -- his signature magic item -- which gave him the ability to teleport the entire party a significant distance.

Next, they debated what to do with the two rival adventurers they had captured. The alchemist, Skeemo, tried to weasel his way into their good graces. They decided to keep him alive, despite an expected betrayal. The goblin's player volunteered to build out Skeemo's character sheet. Most players were in favor of killing the evil pixie, Glitterdeath. The paladin protested. He pretended to kill her out of sight of Skeemo, but actually stashed her in his backpack. (She was under the sleep effect of a fairy arrow.)

Yet it wasn't long before the rivals' patron, Aliastar Vladaam, magically contacted them. He spoke through the mouth of the unconscious pixie. The changeling rogue pretended to be the leader of the rivals and claimed the player characters had been defeated, dead or scattered in the Banewarrens. Aliastar said numerous banes had escaped into the city. Ptolus was in chaos. And some of the dead we're rising as undead.

The banes and the undead all pointed to yet another rival faction -- the Dreadsworn, a group of undead led by a corrupted Inquisitor of the Church of Lothian.

We then reviewed all the bad guys, their motivations, and what they desired within the Banewarrens.

The players decided not to return to Ptolus and instead go deeper into the Banewarrens. Their goal is to recover the Key of Making -- the original key that can destroy all the other Bane Keys. Unfortunately, that key is on the remains of the Dread One, the evil creator of the Banewarrens -- somewhere high up in the Baneheart.

Next session: Flying high!
 
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Richards

Legend
In today's "Dreams of Erthe" campaign, the PCs:
  • Rescued a dwarven woman from a dream of a minotaur hunting her in a shifting maze
  • Were asked to check on her husband (and her sister's husband), both miners who had been in the mines for over a week now
  • Were refused entry into the mines, and would have tried sneaking in if they hadn't spotted miners passing crystals over to living crystal scorpions who skittered up the cliff wall, who took them to a cave a mere 10 feet above the lava at the bottom of the cleft
  • Made it to the cave (via 4 PCs inside an extradimensional lamp carried by the 5th PC under a gaseous form spell) safely
  • Split up, so the crystal dragon spying on them from above only got 3 PCs with its breath weapon
  • Used predominantly ranged touch spells to fight off the dragon, while 3 crysmals (the crystalline scorpions) skittered up from a back cave
  • Killed the dragon and pried an ioun stone from its forehead
  • Killed the psionic, floating brain (a "brainstorm") that emerged from the dragon's head (actually from the Ethereal Plane, but that's what it looked like to the PCs)
  • Heard a stone giant climbing down from above on a massive chain, so they sealed off the cave entrance with a wall of stone spell
  • Went to the back cave, to discover a massive crystal golem lying on its back, inert
  • Saw seven more brainstorms enter the golem cave from the Ethereal Plane (releasing the miners they'd dominated in the levels above the PCs had bypassed by going straight to the lower cave)
  • Killed 6 of the 7 before the last one could enter the golem and animate it
  • Killed the golem, but not after it had slain the half-orc cleric/paladin (first PC death this campaign!) and knocked out the dwarven cleric
  • Killed the remaining brainstorm that re-emerged from the golem once it had been destroyed
  • Gathered up the crystal dragon's treasure, which almost was enough to have a true resurrection spell cast upon the half-orc later on (the 5 PCs split the cost to pay the remaining amount)
  • Got the full story from the stone giant and dwarf miners: they'd unearthed psionic crystals in their silver mine, a crystal "attuned" itself to the psionic crystal dragon's mind and created a brainstorm, which then copied itself in the brains of seven dwarven miners, and then forced the remaining miners to continuously unearth more of the psionic crystals so the crysmals (brought from the Elemental Plane of Earth by the dragon) could assemble a crystal golem for the brainstorm hivemind to inhabit
Johnathan
 
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jasper

Rotten DM
Friday's session made feel like the NPC who loses his cool Tonight to pad and flesh out the city, two tinker gnomes tried to help Bubbles. Well the life jacket did not work but while he was floating down the river I gave two other players knucklehead trout to attack him. Now I have undead knucklehead trout which are stalking him.
While I hit the bathroom, I gave open player DM power to roleplay the kender using the experimental pop up tent. Now one kender has a pogo stick as mount.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So ... I ran my Session 0 for Light of Xaryxis ... and ... my Session 0s need work. Or at least, I need to manage my own expectations. Or maybe my players are just too used to building characters as an individual exercise.

I went in, figuring ... here's where I can let the Players collaborate, do some shared world-building and such.

This shouldn't be too spoilery, but the adventure begins on any world, it gets threatened by an out of this world threat. PCs begin at 5th level, so I told them, they can choose the world and how they know each other, mentioned my planned house-rules (not doing the usual strict initiative and trying out the OneDnD playtest rules around Inspiration). And after a brief nixing on Dark Sun, Dragonlance was settled on, there was some discussion on general classes and concepts and then everyone kinda dispersed.

So, I dunno. I thought I'd get more discussion, more engagement, but that didn't happen. It didn't help that there was a very phased in arrival, it's an online game and I really miss playing DnD in person, but yeah, is this kinda how session 0s are?
I find that it helps to be proactive about this and;

A) tell the players you’d like them to collaborate

And

B) have prompts ready for each player that start or end with a question about thier pc, but also contribute to the worldbuilding.
 

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