D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 23-24 finale

DnD_HOD_300x300This Wednesday down at Tabletop Tyrants saw us playing our final double session of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen.

Sarah and Adam’s characters had finished “celebrating” with the cultists and retired to the room where they were joined by another new recruit, Daniels barbarian. In the early hours of the morning they are rudely awoken by the sounds of combat and rush out to find that Rezmir has abandoned the castle and so Snapjaw has taken the opportunity to begin his lizardman rebellion. The lizardfolk are engaging the bullywugs in open combat and the heroes spot Borngray and Spattergoo heading underground with a group of bodyguards.

Rather than follow straight away they head to the armoury where they find one of the low ranking cultists cowering. After convincing him to come with them and grabbing a spare weapon they head for the tunnels beneath the castle.

In the first chamber they spy the leaking crack and Adam sends his quasit through to investigate, it gets attacked by the gray ooze that resides there and so Daniel charges in to help the creature out – unfortunately he can’t see in the dark so he’s not an immense help but eventually they destroy the ooze and uncover its small treasures.

Heading further through the tunnels they find a clinging mist collecting in their way and decide to backtrack and try and get around it. This leads them down some slippery steps  where there are a pair of bullywugs on guard. As they try to converse with them the cultist slips on the stairs, falling and breaking his neck. The bullywugs find this highly amusing and while it distracts them the heroes quickly despatch them.

Moving on they find a large pool and hear an ominously loud croak, a massive frog sits on an island in the pool and as he croaks they hear responding splashes as several giant frogs leap into the water and head toward them. The heroes luck holds however and they tackle the frogs with relative ease, though once they finish the massive frog has gone. They spy a smaller cave off to the side and upon investigating find it contains a pool of tadpoles guarded by another pair of bullywugs. They kill the guards and Daniel goes into a slashing frenzy turning the tadpole pool into a bloody soup.

Not wanting to risk swimming across the pool they have no other choice but to head up into the mist which thankfully is harmless and then they find a chamber defended by their prey.

Borngray, Spattergoo and a half-dozen dragonclaws (cult warriors) are here and they realise the heroes shouldnt be. Daniel and Adam’s quasit attack the cultists while Sarah shoots at the elf who responds with a firebolt and thrown daggers. Before the other heroes can react Spattergoo uses entangle to trap them, positioning it so as not to trap his own troops. Adam wisely keeps back and uses his ranged spells. Unfortunately with the additional problems of being entangled and Daniel already having the disadvantage from being raised, the cult warriors pack tactics give them sufficient advantage to pretty much slaughter them and the only one to escape (running away while the entangle effect prevented pursuit) was Adam’s warlock.

So ended the season, pretty much as it began, with bloody and violence and none too few laughs. As we packed away we could also hear some of what was occurring on the other groups table, while they had managed to get a little further than we had it turned out their fate was no less fatal.

Next week I shall be sitting down with my fellow DM, Jon, to go through the new season notes (which we should receive on Tuesday) and decide how we want to split the groups between us – it has been suggested to put everyone’s name in the hat and for each of us to drawn one at a time, while this could be fun I know some people like to stick with others so we shall have to see.

Before that though we have our March Expedition to play – DDEX1-8 Tales Trees Tell (as I am typing this on Saturday evening, we played it today) with myself and Liam taking the helm for our respective tables.

Looking back at the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, would I change anything (do I hope its changed for the coming season)? XP capping! The main thing that irked me and the players was that the opening chapter had a low xp cap and consisted of 8 encounters all set within a single nights time frame. I think this was a bit too much of a baptism by fire, especially if players were new to D&D in general and not just 5th Ed, as the resource management for spells etc is something you need to get used too.

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