D&D Exp DDEX1-3 Shadows over the Moonsea


Yesterdayat Tabletop Tyrants we hosted our second of the D&D 5e Expeditions, and were joined by a fellow DM from Nottingham (though he originally hails from much further afield). We had arranged to each run either DDEX1-2 Secrets of Sokol Keep and DDEX1-3 Shadows over the Moonsea but the players had to choose which adventure they wanted to play without knowing which of us would be running which.

As it turned out I was running Shadows and 7 players had “signed up” for my table, while 5 (including Kurt from our hosting FLGS for his first ever game of D&D) would be playing Secrets with Shane.

CAM01315My table had a mixture of levels, with Rachel and Isabelle having totally new characters, Liam, and Emily being first level but close to second, Jon and David at second, and Adam having used the xp earned through DMing at Encounters to reach third level. So using the guideline in the adventure I classed them as a “strong” party.

They tried questioning Yip the madman (who tried to bite Jon’s face), then went looking for the Black Fist. The headed for the biggest dive in the city they could find, an establishment I named The Drunken Satyr (in honour of Jon’s 40k Tau army) and David’s druid became a cat and headed inside to see if any Fists where in there. He didn’t find any but did notice that one individual in the corner reeked of tuna. He returned outside, changed back into a dwarf and then headed back in to talk to the fishy man, who turned out to be an off duty fish monger and absolutely nothing to do with the story!

Eventually they sought out Alyed Burrel of the Fists (though I don’t think any of them picked up on the Brienne vibe) and got the information from her that led them to the gnome healer and a couple of their respective faction contacts (though we didn’t have any Order of the Gauntlet members), before taking advantage of the rooms provided at the Laughing Goblin and setting off the next morning.

The encounter with the broken wagon and the merchant went easy (though could have been even easier if they had a cleric with mending) and they got the information about the ferry landing and the warding off of evil sign from the merchant’s son.

The next encounter was amusing as Liam’s halfing ranger is riding a wolf (one that he “rescued” during Defiance) and his was the only mount to panic and flee at the beginning, running into the darkening woods with Liam gripping on for dear life.

The rests of the party were prepared to simply try and move carefully around the pups until Emily tried putting the mother to Sleep (which it really didn’t appreciate). The fight however was reasonably quick and one-sided, apart from the mothers initial attack taking David’s horse down, him failing a dex save to avoid being pinned and then shapechanging into a bear!

Eventually they found the ferry landing but rather than camp overnight they used the lantern to call Warsh’s ferry over and head to the island. There the girl makes a nuisance of herself while sort of guiding them around. Jon and Adam fend off the amorous advances of the crones, though Jon eats the soup and fails his save. They find the nameplate in the barn and match it with the log pages from the smokehouse (David, in massive frog form, battled Ulburto and killed him – eating the body without being seen).

Despite being advised against entering the wood (because of the beast) they go anyway and soon find the ravine and cave. While some of them investigate the contents of the chamber, Jon and Isabelle are confronted by the beast -I have to say this was a disappointing part, and even just a pair of characters were easily able to defeat it. Finding out the information in the chamber they return to the village to confront the villagers only to find them under attack from mini-skeletons and a glowing figure.

(At this point Shane’s table had completed their game and we had less than an hour till the store was due to close)

I felt a slight twinge of guilt as my next action was to have the invaders ally in the village attack Emily’s wizard and drop her unconscious. The others soon dealt with theĀ  threat but not before Emily failed not only her first death save but the second one – with a natural 1! Her second ever game of D&D and she’d been killed.

Time was running short so rather than have the party row out to the ship I had the collision occur, the infernals swarm over it (a la Return of the King) before a handful came ashore and began attacking the heroes until Adam showed them the contract he’d taken from the cave and told them who the villagers were.

The heroes took the ferry back to the mainland as the screams of the dying villagers filled the night air.

Another great afternoons gaming had come to an end, I thanked my victims, oops, players for their indulgence and look forward to our next one in November.

Unfortunately with the time against us they didn’t get as much of the available xp as expected but I think that was mainly due to us exploring the RP aspects of the adventure more than perhaps we needed to. However as this led to great player interaction I’m fairly certain everyone was happy with that.



One Response to “D&D Exp DDEX1-3 Shadows over the Moonsea”

  1. I ran this adventure as well and I too realized pacing was so key. My players spent a lot of time in town gathering info and resting at the laughing goblin. I actually left the wolf encounter out to move the pcs along to the island more quickly.
    My PCs befriended the girl and the village, preparing for the attack and while one did search the wood, he failed to discover the cave.
    The final fight was epic, the three groups clashing a good end to the slow build up of the entire adventure. The party would have been killed by the infernal captain but they bull rushed him off the side of the ship.
    I did have to gloss through the epilogue due to pacing issues but the adventure over all was a lot of fun.

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