D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

We joined the caravan in HoQ. It went smoother than I expected. One of my players mentioned that he missed fighting. (I rolled an encounter, but not an actual battle.) I'm letting each character do one thing a day, two on rest days, so I reminded him that he can go scouting/looking for trouble in a way that does NOT endanger the group getting kicked out of the caravan.

I'm expecting a lot more action for at least one character next round.
I'm interested in hearing how this goes. It appears to be a part of HotDQ that people either love or hate. How many sessions are you anticipating spending on it?

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PCs reached Argynvostholt in Curse of Strahd and got their asses HANDED to them by three revenants. They ran. I was too kind and let a downed PC live (he was faking death against three revenants) but whatever.

Session 115. 20th level player characters with 2 epic boons each. Tiamat is attempting to escape from Hell, reforge the mythical sword that created her and Bahamut, and then slay Bahamut himself. The player characters are trying to stop her.

Last session, the human beastmaster ranger was captured by the Cult of Tiamat. They intend to sacrifice him to release Tiamat from Hell. Rallying in Waterdeep, the other PCs plotted how to save their friend and stop the Cult. My goal for this session was to go from epic to EPIC since the campaign is nearly over. So all the allies the PCs made along the way gathered their armies in Waterdeep...dwarves and elves, stone giants and frost giants, Zhentarim and Red Wizards. Good-aligned metallic dragons circled in the skies overhead. All of them preparing to assault the Cult's stronghold in Phandalin, where the Cult seized the Forge of Spells in order to remake the mythical sword referenced above.

(FYI, my Phandalin for this campaign was a mashup of the Starter Set with Khundrukar from Forge of Fury, with everything expanded and enlarged to give it more scope and grandeur.)

After some discussion, the PCs decided to have their dragon allies assault Phandalin from the air. Using that as a distraction, the PCs teleported into Khundrukar...while riding two adult gold dragons!

Unfortunately, they were too late. As they neared the Forge of Spells, they saw the ranger chained to the Forge itself. The cultist above him plunged a ceremonial dagger into his heart. The ranger died. And in that instant Tiamat was freed from Hell.

Tiamat's exarch on Faerun, a red dragon named Malystryx, rises from the Forge and meets the PCs in mid-air. The gold dragons maul her. The tiefling shadow sorcerer unleases meteor swarm. The aasimar vengeance paladin smites for 180 points of damage. The half-elf whispers bard transforms into a Walking Statue of Waterdeep and grapples Malystryx in mid-air. The elf arcane trickster rogue finally fells her with an arrow...

...that was a LOT easier than they expected...

...until her red dragon form transforms into the form of a blue dragon. Yep, that's right. To defeat her, the PCs basically have to take out five ancient chromatic dragons in a row.

Next session: Tiamat ravages the multiverse!
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It was a great bounce back session. The last one was frustrating, but this time they escaped the sinking ship with their quarry, learned about recent political events, made a fudge-ton of coin, went shopping for an HQ, spied on a crooked butler, and bought horses for the first time!

However, the session ended with an assassination attempt as they slept. The cliffhanger being their dying gnome bard/sorcerer being held up with a dagger to his throat by one of the assassins and being told to stand down.

I'm interested in hearing how this goes. It appears to be a part of HotDQ that people either love or hate. How many sessions are you anticipating spending on it?
I'm not sure. Our sessions typically run 1-2 hours, because my son can't focus for longer than that. If they start skipping the action of choice each day, it could go by pretty quickly, especially if the die of fate continues to avoid encounters. They also aren't big on the role playing, so that doesn't eat up a lot of time. We got through 6 days on our first caravan session.

I did warn my players that this section of the game was different, and that, because HotDQ was the first published adventure, the writers were trying to show people all the different styles of play they could choose from.

Actually not too great. Nothing from inside the game (Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 5e) I'm playing in, more a group dynamic. After 6 months of IC downtime we got back in action, but everything felt sluggish and gloomy. We never for into the 'flow'. Hopefully the next session will be better.

Enrico Poli1

I'm DMing two separate campaigns, ToA and DiA.
Today in ToA, the party - who arrived in Omu after a spectacular 16 days - confronted the King of Feathers (I made him stronger, and Gargantuan in size). They had already run from him twice. Anyway, they decided to ambush him. They were able to attract him near the lava lake. Then, the Bear Totem Barbarian, polymorphed into a T-Rex, charged and pushed the King of Feathers off the cliff, keeping him under the lava using grapples, until the great beast was roasted. It was epic, I swear you.

So for last night's session I spent hours making a large, elaborate map with multiple elevations. I created this by placing Dungeon Tiles onto stacks of cut poster board of varying height that were themselves placed on two larger, side by side poster boards, all held together with double-side removable adhesive. This was inspired by my time playing Baldur's Gate 3. There were lots of things to climb, jump across, hide behind, etc. Traps and weird magical effects, too!

Cue Monk with the Mobile feat, Step of the Wind, and Haste zipping through the entire map before coming back to the start in one turn, prompting every enemy in the area to start chasing the Monk back to the small room with two entrances where the rest of the party was waiting, safely away from the haunted webs that were going to trigger a Lair Action at the start of each turn.

The party of three 7th-level adventurers (Bard/Cleric, Monk, and Sorcerer) drew aggro on:
  • Drow Arachnomancer (CR 12)
  • Homebrew Drider Vampire Spawn Death Cleric (CR 9)
  • Banshee (CR 4)
  • 6 Homebrew Chitine Warriors (CR 3)
  • 2 Mummies (CR 3)
  • 4 Sword Wraith Warriors (CR 3)
  • 5 Skeletons (CR 1/2)
The Sorcerer's Sickening Radiance spell really wreaked havoc. The Arachnomancer blew two of its spell slots just dispelling Sickening Radiances and also took a lot of damage from Fireball as well, so it just ran away before it could do any damage. The mummies and skeletons likewise were destroyed before they got into range. Things finally started to get hairy for the party when the Drider downed the Monk with Chill Touch (which also meant the Monk couldn't be healed by the Cleric for a turn), downed the Cleric with Blight, and the Sorcerer got blasted with Blight and attempted to run and hide. Since he was back near the entrance of the map and the Drider was on its last legs, though, I decided to have the Wizard who hired the party to clean-out the area show up and finish the Drider Vampire Spawn Death Cleric with a Fire Bolt.

It was a fun battle of attrition, taking about two and a half hours. The party picked a spot where they could take cover, pop out to attack from range, and duck back into hiding. The Sorcerer burned most of his spell slots and sorcery points, and the Cleric used the scroll of Flame Strike she found several sessions ago. I think I could have given the Monk more to do, though. I also could have had more Chitine Warriors or maybe some spiders emerge from behind them to harry them in their hiding place (I did admittedly have three more Chitine Warriors pop up, but by that point the Banshee was near them and the Cleric chose to burn Flame Strike to wipe them all out instantly).

For the Chitine Warriors I looked at the 4E take on the chitine, which all had a power called Web Line. This is my approximation for it in 5E:

Web Line. While climbing, the chitine can use a bonus action to secure a line of webbing, after which it can fly up to 25 feet for the rest of its turn. The chitine falls if it does not end its turn climbing, on the ground, or suspended by some other means.

Beyond that I increased their hit points from the standard 5E chitine, gave them an extra dagger attack, and the ettercap's Web Garrote.
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Actually not too great. Nothing from inside the game (Ghosts of Saltmarsh, 5e) I'm playing in, more a group dynamic. After 6 months of IC downtime we got back in action, but everything felt sluggish and gloomy. We never for into the 'flow'. Hopefully the next session will be better.
The first session back after a long break is often rough.

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