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Online Adventures in the land of Discord


Fantastic Adventures #1; 21/05/2020.

Today was the first session of our online D&D(5th) game! I've never been too comfortable with Roll20, so we're just using Discord for everything - and honestly, it went pretty well. There are bots (Rhythm & Groove) to add background music to a Discord channel (although you can't control the master volume without becoming a donor, individual players have to adjust the volume separately) and you can share images by dragging the file into the chat window. Toward the end of the session, we found out the channel host can share his screen, which could be useful for tactical combat, although I am leaning toward theatre of the mind for the sake of speed & simplicity.

I decided to run Night Blades from Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures and had three players join me;

🔸Adam, playing Anton Greyson, human rogue,
🔹Ian, playing Connor Darkmane, human fighter,
🔸Andy, playing Isten Ishilmae, wood elf cleric of the moon.

We had a two hour window to play with, so we dived right in. This was a bit jarring, as the characters didn't have any reason to be travelling together or heading toward the village of Whitesparrow. I figure I'll build on that in or between future sessions.

However, it did mean that we could start on an action beat, as the party are ambushed by a group of bandits calling themselves the Night Blades! Anton tried to talk his way out of a confrontation, but these desperate brigands were in no mood to conversate. The party took a few hits, but defeated the gang, leaving one man alive to interrogate.

The first combat took about 40 minutes to beat six Bandits and we were about halfway through our playtime, so we took a 5 min comfort break (plus, Adam wanted to clap for the NHS at 20:00).
When we returned, the heroes spent a good twenty/thirty minutes debating whether or not to heal the one surviving bandit, whom Connor had shot in the eye with an arrow and who teetered on the brink of death. Eventually, they decided to save him and Isten cast Cure Wounds. The intimidated bandit revealed that the Night Blades gather beneath an abandoned watch tower called the Lonely Torch, and the area surrounding the tower is thick with a poisonous, thorny weed. The bandit claims that urinating on your own boots will ensure save passage through the foliage. The players think he is pulling their leg, but he seems sincere. After encouraging the one-eyed man to consider his life choices, the heroes let him go.

DM: "His boots do smell a bit pissy."
ANDY: "Well, we've already seen evidence of his poor aim."

The party continue on and reach the town of Whitesparrow, a small town that lies in the shadow of huge stone hand rising from the ground. The party secure lodgings at the Summerspring Inn, getting a bargain on their lodgings because the idiot DM did not know the correct conversion rate from silver to gold. The heroes then visit the Evershady Tavern to gather rumours. They learn that Ralahaz, former leader of the Night Blades, recently got out of prison and was seen near the Lonely Torch.
The heroes approach Sheriff Ruth Willowmane, who has a personal grudge to settle with Ralahaz. Unfortunately, Ralahaz has served his time and she can't go after him herself - so she hires the party to do it instead.

In the last few minutes of the session, the heroes visit the trading post and Anton talks the dwarven merchant into exchanging two healing potions for a hastly handwritten I.O.U, after persuading him that Sheriff Willowmane is acting as their guarantor.

And there we ended it.

Playing via Discord only was a breeze and I had fun running the session. Those two hours flew by and I could have played for longer, but we didn't want to overdo it.
We are planning to play again next Thursday and Andy is talking about maybe running a Pathfinder game on a different night of the week.

Lessons from Session #1;

🔸When you buy a headset, make sure it will connect to your laptop!
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Fantastic Adventures #2; 28/05/2020

Today was the second session of our online adventure! I was re-joined by;
🔸Adam, playing Anton Greyson, human rogue,
🔹Ian, playing Connor Darkmane, human fighter,
🔸Andy, playing Isten Ishilmae, wood elf cleric of the moon.

After spending the night in Whitesparrow, the party travel to the Lonely Torch, to deliver justice unto Ralahaz the Night Blade. The day is wet and overcast, but a light drizzle cannot dampen the heroes spirits!
The abandoned watch tower sits atop a barren hillside choked with thorny vines. Remembering the warning from the reformed bandit, Isten reluctantly pisses on his own boots, for whatever protection that will provide against the poisonous weeds. Anton and Connor follow suit. Surprisingly, the acrid stench of urine does repel the creeping foliage and the heroes advance without incident.

A gargoyle squats above the tower's only entrance, scratching its armpit. The stony guardian fails to notice the heroes skulking in the bushes. Two bandits stand vigil within, although they are more concerned with keeping dry than keeping watch.
The heroes get the drop on these two ruffians. Anton kills the first quickly, but the second makes a fighting retreat down into the dungeon beneath the tower, where another half dozen Night Blades lie in wait.

The party pursue and find themselves outnumbered. Anton and Connor hold the doorway, forcing the bandits into a choke point where their greater numbers count for nothing. Isten hangs back, providing healing where necessary.
Connor swings his greatsword overhead, hoping to cleave his adversary in twain. He inadvertently destroys one of the wooden supports holding up the ceiling, causing a large piece of crumbling masonry to collapse. The exit to the surface is blocked by rubble!

With nowhere to run, the heroes are forced into a fight for their lives! The party prevail over the bandits, although Anton and Connor are both injured.
Part of the southern wall has been broken through, revealing steps down into the dark. A stone door in the eastern wall opens into a dusty throne room, where a masked individual lounges insolently across the seat of some long dead king. He is attended by four Night Blade sycophants and a bloated stirge perches upon his shoulder.

The heroes had heard rumours that a burned man wearing a golden mask now lead the Night Blades, but this odd fellow does not match Sheriff Willowmane's description of Ralahaz.
Whoever he is, the heroes decide he needs to be dealt with.

After a lengthy discussion, the party decide to kick open the door and start making attack rolls. While lacking subtlety, they do catch the remaining Night Blades unaware.

And there we ended it.

Lessons from session #2;

🔸Ambient music can be atmospheric - but more often than not, it just gets on people's nerves.

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