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D&D General How Was Your Last Session?

Thankfully they failed their checks so they did go into the vortex, and the pirate ship succeeded so they didn't get close enough for the control water to happen. But anyway, the players felt like I robbed them, which I sort-of did though not really intentionally.

If there's one thing I've learned as a DM, it is to always have contingencies in case things go differently as planned (which they always do). As a DM you should be aware of their magical capabilities, and Control Water is a pretty obvious spell to use at sea. In 3.5 the book Stormwrack even provides rules regarding Control Water and ships, but I assume you're playing 5th. In a world where spells like Control Water and Control Winds exist, no pirate ship would be without their own dedicated spellcaster.

I think however that your biggest mistake here was to want a particular situation to happen, which is understandable considering your preparation. But personally, I always roll with what ever happens. If the players don't go into the whirlpool, then they don't go in. Embrace the chaos, but be better prepared next time. Sometimes the unexpected outcome is way more interesting than what you had planned.

Here is how I would have ruled it:

Of course they can try and affect the weather with their spells, even if the weather is magical in nature. It simply requires a casting check. The weather presumably is caused by powers or individuals of a particular caster level, so they simply have to oppose those powers. You can make the casting check very difficult of course, but they can always try. Be prepared though in case they beat the odds, because you never know.

I don't know if there are naval rules for 5th edition yet, so my ruling would be based purely on rules from older editions. In case of doubt, I tend to lean towards "Yes, they can always try", and then make up a suitable ruling on the spot that allows them to try what they are attempting to do. Based on older editions though:

A Control Water would not completely take out another ship in an instant, it would simply affect the enemy captain's ability to steer it, and possibly wash enemy crew over the side (if they raise the water). The captain should be forced to make a check to keep control over the ship, or it will start to founder (and will basically be at the mercy of the wind and waves). A foundering ship starts flooding and can eventually sink.

A Control Winds spell is stationary, and thus does not move with the ship. It may be enough to give a ship a quick boost though. If used against an enemy ship, its captain would need to make a check to keep control over his ship.

The pirate ship should have their own spellcasters to oppose such attempts and a ship that has not been holed yet would be difficult to sink regardless. But they can always try, and the pirate captain can always fail his check.
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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Great suggestions! Yeah I mostly effed up because my players were like "let's do this," before the session (have more RPing in elemental plane) but against a force intrinsically resist it. So I reacted a little too forecefully back :).


Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Erkonin Campaign #1, session #45; D&D 5E (coming to this thread late).

After finding and destroying a gate to Stygia just outside a major city, party returned to that city and poked around, trying to find out who might have wanted to put that gate there, and why. Party found out there were some people with motives (kicked out of the closed noble quarter in one case, driven out of business in another). They found where the people kicked out of the noble quarter were living now, and went to that house. They tried to look in with clairvoyance, then dimension door in, and found that the house was protected by a Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, so the party rogue snuck in. He found out there was another gate there, and there were people doing magic stuff around it. The party went to the hotel that's been serving as their base of operations, and prepared to settle in for the knight, when the party ranger detected fiends in the city. The party ran to confront the fiends (four devils) and killed them. They're moving back to the cabal's headquarters, and that's going to be the start of the next session.


The other day I DM'd for the after school table top club I run. The kids slew the necromancer at the beginning of the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. A bard used Thunderwave to explode skeletons then Vicious Mockery to hurt the necromancer's feelings. Much hilarity.
My last adult game was with my home made OSR style rules. Two buds made a couple characters each and delved into the DCC mod Jewels of the Carnifex. A bunch of clever traps and a big running battle. Got to kick the tires on my ruleset again. I really like it.

Things went better than expected. My daughter changed herself into a rat so she could spy more effectively and they ended up finding and rescuing the prisoners instead of abandoning them. More time was spent creating a plan than in actually doing, but that is alright too. It meant that they were taking strategy seriously.


We had another session of LMoP tonight. I'm adding lots of backstory, including that Neznarr has a sister whose house was all assassinated and she's rebuilding her clan and currently very pregnant. They have a base deeper down in the underdark but a connection to the phandelver mine. She thought Neznarr died many years ago when he failed an initiation of Lloth, but he was transformed into a drider. Upon finding the Forge of Spells, he hopes to break the curse on him, and now that his sister is nearby, he will try to manipulate her, but she doesn't know of his presence yet or cursed state. He's trying to pit the PCs against the drow and either weaken one or both sides so they're less of a threat to him. The players think they're on the verge of the final fight, but i think I want to keep it upstairs as in the original module.

The best part was when they raided a spell-locked summoning shrine of Lloth and stole the Book of Vile Darkness. Then then burned that place to the ground.


Things went better than expected. My daughter changed herself into a rat so she could spy more effectively and they ended up finding and rescuing the prisoners instead of abandoning them. More time was spent creating a plan than in actually doing, but that is alright too. It meant that they were taking strategy seriously.
Hey, that's pretty cool. It's always good to see new players starting to really get into the "reality" of the game world.



Sparkly Dude
I'm currently playing in a game surrounded by good friends whom I've shared a table with for many years. Our current Dungeon Master is heavy on exposition and we spent most of the session absorbing his tale as we spent some downtime exploring each others' characters. Mine is the half-orc daughter of a wounded officer who served in the city guard for most of his life. The family now runs a tavern called Patrol's End where we spend most of our in-game time when not adventuring. We recently battled an incredibly powerful sorcerer who laid siege to the bay our city surrounds. Plotting our next move embroiled us in discussion. A great time had by all!


Ugh. I just played in a truly mindnumbing game. I hate investigations as an introduction to a campaign. When I know absolutely nothing about the world, and my character is new, I have no interest in solving a mystery concerning a bunch of names I do not want to remember. The first few sessions should be simple jobs with a few names and people to learn. Then ramp up the world as everyone gets on board in later sessions.

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