D&D 5E Rhenny's Latest Playtest Campaign Session

Rhenny

Adventurer
Travensburg Campaign 10/19/13 session

We played for 2 hours…with 4 players – 2nd level PCs – Continuing our Adventure

Erkas the Dwarven Druid of the Land
Fid (the Dwarven Fighter who transformed into a Warforge Fighter)
Fawnsworth the Gnome Illusionist ex-jester
Nalcon the Lightbringer Cleric, noble who doesn’t like to get his hands dirty

The party woke from their night’s rest at Tam’s Inn. As they had breakfast in the common room, waiting for Fid to arrive, Miles Wellhorn, the Captain of the Guards, came and asked Kleeeg and Squeak to help him fortify the village in case evil forces attacked. He remembered the threat that Marsam the evil wizard they had executed the other day had made: “my brother will bring his forces against you and burn this village to the ground.” And he didn’t want to take anything for granted. Kleeeg and Squeak said they would help while the others took a wagon back to the bandit’s lair so they could transport the food and supplies the bandits had stolen back to Travensburg.

Erkas, Fawnsworth and Nalcon grew impatient waiting for Fid, who had gone back to his cabin in the wilderness, so they decided to walk out to the cabin and surprise their Dwarven companion. Fawnsworth mustered up his best rooster imitation as he pushed open the front door clucking “cockadoddle doo.’ All was quiet so he shuffled into the cabin and saw Fid’s body faced down on the floor in the middle of the room. The room was filled with Fid’s small forge, his blacksmithing tools, and a fine wooden box with its top opened – nothing inside it. When the others entered they noticed a metallic Dwarven figure standing beside the far wall. It looked like Fid, even wearing Fid’s armor and weapons. The group checked the body on the floor and found that it was dead, cold, soul-less. As the group approached the metallic Dwarven form, it started to move. Then it spoke with Fid’s voice, although slightly robotic, saying, “you must help me bury my body.” The others were astonished. After initial fear, they started to believe that their friend Fid’s soul was actually part of this metallic form. Together they buried the old Fid, but when Fawnsworth asked the metallic Fid what happened, metallic Fid refused to explain. Fawnsworth had heard of sentient metal men, Warforged, but this was the first time he had ever seen one, one designed to look exactly like his Dwarven companion Fid.

The group prepared themselves and traveled with horse and wagon to the bandit’s lair, the old Ironhand Dwarven Mines. When they arrived, Fid and Fawnsworth could see some heavy tracks, larger humanoid footprints that headed into the cave. They moved up to the cave slowly, and Fid with a light spell on his shield moved in first. As the party walked further toward the old supply room, they could hear the sound of boxes being crashed and smashed. On guard, they crept closer. Fawnsworth created an illusion of a darkened hallway to try to help them hide more effectively, but the noise they made attracted the attention of an Ogre who seemed to be looting the supply room.

The Ogre walked cautiously toward the group with club in hand. Then, when it seemed as if he could see Fid, Fawnsworth and Erkas (Nalcon was lagging behind), it shouted out to another Ogre deeper in the supply room. The other Ogre moved closer but stayed hidden behind a stack of crates. The first Ogre strode forth and attacked Fid, but missed. Then Fawnsworth tried to slip past him to move deeper into the room. The Ogre was able to reach out 10’ and swing his club at the Gnome, but lucky for the Gnome it breezed past his head. Calling on arcane arts, Fawnsworth was able to induce magical fear upon the first Ogre. Erkas threw fire seeds to wound the Ogre slightly, and Nalcon attempted to burn the Ogre with his Sacred Flame, but it didn’t work. The battle continued for another 30 seconds (5 rounds or so). In that time, the first Ogre ran, but the other Ogre engaged Fawnsworth and one hit from his might club, crumpled Fawnsworth to the ground. Nalcon was able to care for the injured Gnome, but in the subsequent rounds he too was beaten pretty badly. Fid engaged with an Ogre (using his action surge to damage it with a couple of axe chops), but he took a horrible blow to the head which toppled him to the ground, bleeding out (a crit doing 25 points of damage). Erkas was able to tend to Fid, and the group fought on. Eventually, after Fawnsworth cast his Fear spell again, the tide of battle turned, and the group prevailed. Battered and bloody, the group rested while Erkas (the only one who didn’t take any damage) began loading the wagon they had brought.

After caring for their wounds, the party felt adventurous, so they walked to the eastern end of the interior hallway where chairs and a desk were wedged against a double doorway. Ingraved beside the door, in the rock itself, was the Dwarven word for “Water”. The group cleared the doorway as Nalcon directed them. He made sure they stacked the furniture neatly in an alcove so that they wouldn’t run into it if they needed to beat a hasty retreat. With the doorway cleared, Fid pushed the doors open and walked inside. The light on his shield (Fawnsworth’s Light cantrip) illuminated a 30’ circular room with a 3’ high well in the center of the room. Fid walked up to the well and peered into it. He saw dark water, probably a deep well. As he peered in, Erkas and Fawnsworth stepped into the room, and a ghoul slide around from hiding behind the well to attack the unaware Warforged. Seeing that, the group jumped into action.

As they engaged the ghoul, another ghoul circled around the other side of the well to attack as well. Erkas was able to smash one of the ghouls with his shillelagh, and Fid hit one too. Fawnsworth also hit one of them with an icy ray. When the two ghouls were engaged with Fid and Erkas, Nalcon crept in and attacked them with a sheet of burning flames (Burning Hands). One of the ghouls dropped, but the other was able to dodge most of the flames. That one lashed out at Nalcon…his claw aimed straight for Nalcon’s jugular vein, but Nalcon caused a sudden Flare to distract the creature, so the claw dug into his shoulder instead (he avoided a crit using Flare, but the creature still hit him with his 2nd roll). Then the creature bit into Nalcon’s unarmored shoulder. The pain was excruciating as Nalcon felt his entire body go numb and ridged. He was paralyzed. Seeing his comrade in trouble, Fid turned and swung his axe, nearly chopping the ghoul in half.

After the battle, Nalcon finally regained control of his muscles, and the group decided to explore the well. They dropped a stone with the light spell cast upon it into the well and saw that it descended about 40’. There was something large and shiny at the bottom. Without hesitation, Fid jumped in (not having to breath does have its advantages). At the bottom, Fid found a full set of chainmail armor. It was pristine and silvery even though it was inside the water and had probably been there for ages. Immediately he grabbed it and swam for the surface using a rope that the others tied to a stone and dropped into the well. Fid climbed out of the well and threw the chainmail to the floor before Nalcon. Nalcon inspected it and wiped it off. He realized that the adventuring life was not like the life he had led as a noble back in the City of Freehold, so he deigned to wear the armor. At least it wasn’t dirty and it actually looked quite elegant.

Commentary

The fight with the two Ogres was more dangerous than I thought it would be. It actually forced the group to use a number of resources and two of the group were knocked unconscious. At first we didn’t think the player who played Nalcon would be able to play, and without him, it would have been much more deadly.

We seem to be adjusting to the challenge levels of the combats. The ghoul attack was not as bad, and it only lasted a few rounds, but it was still frightening.

I like how some combats are longer and some are quick and easy. It makes it much easier to incorporate combat, interaction and exploration in my game sessions.

One thing we didn’t really like so much was the idea of reach weapons and how AOs work. If a creature has 10’ reach, by the rules, if a foe walks within 10’ of it, but doesn’t leave the 10’ area, the creature shouldn’t get an attack against it. But that doesn’t make sense. To us, it seems as if a creature with reach should have a better chance to AO. We like the idea that any move across the reach area for a creature with reach provokes, which prevents foes from moving around the creature by staying only 10’ away from it.

Again, we all like how our 2 hour session can be a combination of roleplaying, exploration and combat. For this session we had each in pretty much equal doses.

Players also felt comfortable asking to make knowledge checks when they wanted to ascertain information about something in the game, or dexterity checks when they wanted to try to skirt past a corner of a 5’ square, or wisdom checks when they wanted to spot or perceive, or intelligence checks when they wanted to search. There was no complaining about only gaining +1 for proficiency bonus to trained checks. They just let the game flow and it worked well.
 

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