D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 11 – Finale

news_20140310_1This week was our season finale of the current Encounters adventure and down at Tabletop Tyrants we had five players on my table. This season has seen quite a drop in numbers as its gone on, I can’t says it’s totally down to the brutal style of the adventure as we’ve had a couple of players start new jobs, others (including myself) miss a couple of sessions due to illness, a wedding/honeymoon (congratulations again Richard and Hannah) and various other real life interferences too.

Any way, we started the session with the heroes coercing their captured red wizard (Hannah’s half-orc threatened to snap him in two) into performing the ritual to restore Sunyi’s soul to his undead form, after which they returned to the gatehouse to be given the talk by Syranna about the Phylactery Vault. They passed around a few of the weapons and items they had acquired so that everyone had something they could use and used the black gates to head in. I had one of them roll a d4 to see which floor they would come out on, and it came up a 1.

After describing the area and its unusual gravity planes (again using a d4 as an example) Vipin’s barbarian tried drinking some of the disgusting fluid, to no ill effect. They began examining one of the sepulchers before handing Hannah the crowbar and getting her to obliterate the door, which freed the pair of Gargoyles to attack them. As they had distributed the few magic weapons they quickly dispatched the monsters and Sunyi’s cleric entered, quickly working out how to stop the effect within and easily passing the first two Religion checks. He failed the third one by a single point before stoically heading back in and trying again, this time with great success.

This then triggered the arrival of an Aspect of the demi-lich whose first action was to target the cleric that had disrupted his sepulcher. Sunyi had to leave at this point so we called it that he automatically failed the save and his body fell lifeless as his soul was sucked into one of the gems. Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of save or die in any edition of the game so we played it that if a pc targeted the skulls gem specifically they could attack with disadvantage, a hit would dislodge the gem and allow them to smash it, freeing the soul. However if this isn’t done before the skulls next turn the body disintegrates – which was what happened to Sunyi.

The only pc that seemed to have a major effect on the skull was Hannah, her half-orc brute was handing out crits almost every other roll (a benefit of taking the feat to allow crits on 18-20), so when other pc’s were soul-sucked the rest concentrated on gem grabbing – this happened twice more (Adam and Richard)  before the skull finally smashed under Hannah’s blows.

Catching their breath they moved on to the second sepulcher, again beating the gargoyles with ease then it was time for Adam (being the only one left with any training in either Arcana or Religion) to perform the trio of tests. Again not a major difficulty, but as the third roll succeeded they all looked to the pool expectantly – but nothing happened.

They quickly destroyed the third sepulcher with ease (Syranna had told them they only needed to destroy three – being just one group) and as the pool drained away they gathered the remaining gems from the destroyed Aspect (including the one with Sunyi’s soul in) and returned to the gatehouse. Syranna praised them and kept her word teleporting the heroes and the NPC’s back to the Floshin Estate where Isteval and Darfin were waiting.

So ended another season of Encounters. We’re taking a few weeks off till the new season (Hordes of the Dragon Queen) starts in August when we will begin using the released version of the new edition. We’ve really enjoyed the playtest and I for one think the results have given us the best version of my favourite RPG yet.

A big thank you to my fellow DM, Vipin, and to all the players that have taken part this season, Adam, Richard, Hannah, Heather, Oliver, Patrick, Tilly, Sunyi and Tanis, and hope we’ll see the majority of you return for the next season – it promises to be better than ever!

A massive thank you also to our FLGS, Tabletop Tyrants, for continuing to host us, you guys are awesome and I for one look forward to buying the new products as they become available in store.

Lastly, thank you to you who are reading this. From some of the comments left I’m happy to know that my ramblings prove entertaining to you all.

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3 Responses to “D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 11 – Finale”

  1. I’ve a feeling this will be quite brutal when we run it tomorrow. I’m going to make a couple of adjustments to the demilich, but because we have so many players, keeping it lethal may actually enhance the experience – the first four PCs to die will get NPCs to run, after that they can work as cheerleaders for the various tables. At least, that’s the plan – I’ll see what my DMs think first!

  2. kingmush Says:

    I can’t imagine how Darius managed to survive 2 seasons, just to be consumed by the demi-lich. Alas, such is the way of things. Thank you very much for a fantastic session Mik. I look forward to saying that again in the near future with the next encounter session 😀

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