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D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – Hot mines and icy receptions

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2018 by vobeskhan

Our teams continue their search for a cure to the Death Curse in the steamy jungles of Chult.


Team Zorbo

Having entered the mines of Hrakhamar the party encountered a pair of cheeky smoke mephits, other than a few pranks they posed no threat so they left them alone and continued into the mine itself. Here they encountered their first group of firenewt guards which the barbarian saw off without difficulty. Moving onwards they found what was left of the dwarves armoury before encountering more Newt guards these were a little stronger but ultimately no threat. Moving into the third metalworking chamber they found more Newts this time with a robed one, the barbarian charged passed all the guards to engage the robed one and was quickly beset by all of them. It was a close fought battle but eventually the heroes won and barricaded themselves in to take a rest.

Nothing disturbed their slumber and in the morning they explored further finding yet more of the guards and robed newts, the dwarven clerics spiritual guardians proved to be useful in routing them and the party then crossed over the lava via one of the massive chains. They found a tunnel that led to another rough rock chamber where a group of guards and another robed newt were with an ugly statue, as the fight ensued they quickly realised that this robed figure wasnt the same as the previous ones, as it was using powerful magic against them. The guards were despatched and the heroes took a beating as they battled the robed newt then he suddenly disappeared. After a quick check to make sure he wasnt simply invisible they smashed the statue and retreated back to their secure room to lick their multiple wounds.

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Team Chwinga

The party continued south through the jungle, encountering what looked like another of the abandoned shrines, but this one had a quartet of zombies shambling around it. They dealt with them easily and discovered a set of stone stairs leading below. Eku chose not to enter but the heroes went below. As the half-orc barbarian got about three-quarters of the way across the chamber he stepped on a pressure plate with an omnous click and triggered a portculis to spring up and block the entrance. Neither the heroes or Eku could spot anything to release the portcullis so the heroes headed further in to look for something to help. They found a stone slab against the far wall which they realised was a door and opened it to reveal a smaller chamber lit by green flaming sconces. At the centre was a stone sarcophagus and lined up against the wall with the door were four statues of warriors. They entered and opened the sarcophagus which caused the four figures to attack. Three of them appeared to be simple zombies but the fourth was something else which seemed to focus upon the dragonborn swashbuckler, even risking attacks from the others just to get at him. Eventually they defeated the creature and found the empty sarcophagus had a false bottom concealing the release lever to the portcullis. They quickly decided to leave.

Their journey continued uphill over the rise in the jungle interior and after a few days they came upon a grove of wukka trees. As they approached a chultan man in orange robes stepped out of the trees and demanded to know their business. The swashbuckler tried to pass himself off as a fellow gardener but the robed man saw through the deception and told them to be on their way. Unfortunately the swashbuckler couldn’t resist a barbed insult which angered the man and he changed into a boar-headed beastman and attacked. Despite most of their attacks doing nothing to him they were eventually able to defeat him through the use of magic and silvered weaponry and entered his grove of wukka trees to see what he was guarding. As they searched through his camp a quartet of angry-looking little bears attacked, their claws scraping at the heroes armour as they fought. The heroes were able to overcome them and Eku identified them as Zorbo’s. They searched the mans camp and recovered anything of use before continuing on their journey.

Over the next few days of bad weather they crested the high ground and began their descent, the swashbuckler scouted ahead and spotted a group of undead heading their way. Hiding to let them pass so that he could ambush them between himself and his party. The undead spotted his allies and charged in, and that’s when the ghouls paralyzed the cleric, barbarian and paladin! Thankfully most were able to shrug off the paralysis quickly but during the fight the dragonborn had to use his fire breath against a group of them and couldn’t avoid catching the barbarian in the blast too. Once the cleric and paladin were free of the paralysis the battle soon went in the heroes favour.

Another day of better weather and the heroes pushed onwards, finally reaching the end of the jungle and making their camp as darkness fell within sight of their destination.

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D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – Paths of the Righteous

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by vobeskhan

Session 4 for both my tables and both pick up at the cliffhangers we let at …..

Team Zorbo

Cautiously entering what they hoped was the final chamber they easily spot the arcane trap and using the information they had from last session are able to get two of their number up the pillar to retrieve the item. However the downward climb triggers one of the traps with “shocking” consequences.

Having taking quite a beating from the various traps in the ancient structure they decide to camp for the night in the former commanders tent. During the night they hear a strange noise and a couple of them investigate but all they find is a strange-looking totem pole, leaving it alone they return to camp only to have their rest disturbed again by a group of axebeaks looking for their missing fledgling. The fight light the flightless birds is short-lived.

Waking in the morning they discover that their canoes have been stolen, apparently by goblins if the tracks at the shoreline are to be believed. Begrudgingly they break camp and continue on foot along the shore towards Camp Vengeance.

They run into a Flaming Fist patrol, who demand to see their exploration permit. Looking to their guides who simply shrug, the dwarf cleric prepares to pay the cost and receive a permit but the barbarian pre-empts this by attacking the patrol leader. The mercenaries and their dino’s put up a fight but eventually are left dead in the jungle.

The evening before they expect to reach Camp Vengeance they hear the cries of a baby deeper in the jungle. Investigating reveals a pair of strange monkey like creatures in a tree which, having lured them close enough hit them with a blast of psychic energy wich leaves the barbarian stunned. Thankfully the rest of the group aren’t too far behind and the creatures are chased off with guided bolts (killing one).

Next day they reach Camp Vengeance and approached the gates …..

Team Chwinga

Bursting through the dark jungle came an Allosaurus, but not a living one, a zombie! The heroes had quite a brutal fight on their hands but were victorious. Next morning they continue their journey, though the triton ranger decides to take a swim in the river, and contracts throat leeches!

With the weather getting worse as they travelled along the river’s edge they came to an area where the ground had been washed away into the river uncovering several buried bodies. As the party investigated them they arose and attacked. Despite the unsure footing the heroes quickly put the undead back in the ground from which they came from.

Using the river as a navigation aid they continue through the jungle and come across a group of Chultans apparently tearing a triceratops apart with their bare hands and devouring it. The cleric is fairly sure their not undead, just very strange, and each has a blue triangle on their foreheads. The group tried to sneak past unnoticed but one of them unfortunately made just that little bit too much noise and the strange groups attention focused upon the party. After a very brief battle the heroes burnt the corpses (just in case), and asked their guide if she knew who they were. Eku told them that there were many small nomadic tribes surviving within the jungle, she did not know them all. The cleric examined the blue triangles and thought they were reminiscent of the mark of Dendar the Night Serpent, god of the Yaun-ti.

Continuing their journey they eventually reach the remains of Camp Righteous, and begin their exploration of it before heading into the large stone structure while Eku waited outside.

D&D AL – Tomb of Annihilation – the adventures begin

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2017 by vobeskhan

Baldur’s Gate is a bustling metropolis and often a staging point for adventuring parties, several of which have received invitations/summons to a meeting from their various Faction contacts to gather at the estate of former adventurer and well-known wizardess Syndra Silvane.

Many groups of adventurers have gathered but all look to be fledgling groups with little to no mileage under their belts. A well-dressed servant calls or everyone to take a seat as a figure most had failed to notice by the fireplace slowly rises to its feet and begins to address the gathering.

And so began another season of our D&D adventures at our local gaming store (Tabletop Tyrants), thankfully this season I’m not the only DM as I’m joined by Jon, Patrick and Matt in the hot seats (though I am still running 2 tables a fortnight). We had quite an increase in people wishing to play and so all 5 of our tables have reached maximum capacity already!

My two tables are running on a Tuesday and Wednesday evening every other week. All of us had decided to begin the season with the Adventurers League adventure DDAL07-01 City on the Edge before continuing through into the actual full hardcover. We also decided to give each table a team name based on jungle animals, and so I have Team Zorbo on Tuesdays and Team Chwinga on Wednesdays.

After being teleported to Syndra’s ship as it approaches Chult the Teams made landfall in Port Nyanzaru. Syndra is going to visit and stay with her friend (one of the Merchant Princes that runs the Port) and tells them to come see her once they have conducted their business with their local faction contacts.

And so began the fun.

Team Zorbo

Team Zorbo decided to visit all of the faction contacts and see what each required before attempting any of their tasks. They took part in a dinosaur race and arena combat in the coliseum, found a misguided local making undead out of captured locals, made a short foray into the edges of the jungle and encountered angry frog people, and uncovered a smuggling route before taking several trinkets that seemed to fit together to the drunken Harper contact. This individual asked them to take it to his contact within the secretive Ytepka society but the meeting went awry and further issues arose before they were finally able to return to the assembled faction representatives. Now they decide their next move.

Team Chwinga

Team Chwinga got of to a shaky start as one o their number is a former pirate and the local harbour master dislikes pirates (reformed or not). They lost the race and the arena combat but thanks to the intervention of one of their new acquaintances they still managed to acquire the trinket they needed. They foiled the individual with the undead, tackled the frog men, and disrupted the smuggling. However they also tend to spend their evenings trawling the bars of the Port, and during one such foray encountered Zindar the harbour master again. He’d remembered why one of them was familiar and made an offer on behalf of his employers to the Team to defeat and capture a trio of pirate captains (and their ships) that were plaguing the area. The team realised that this might be beyond their current abilities but said they would look into it. The next evening while also on a pub crawl they heard a scream from the lighthouse in the harbour and looked up to see a burly figure throw someone from the top just before the light went out. Bravely the heroes storm the lighthouse, but unfortunately the tabaxi bard chose to climb the outside and just as they were about the crest the lip to the walkway one of the attackers stepped backwards onto their fingers causing them to lose their grip and fall to their death!

So two sessions in and we have diverging story’s already. We will be having a poster sized map of Chult put up at the store to record all of the teams progress on once they begin exploring the jungle properly and are actively encouraging the teams to share information of their discoveries too as they all attempt to discover and end the Death Curse!


D&D Encounters and life

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2017 by vobeskhan

As usual life has a way of interrupting and truding on the best laid plans, so I failed to keep up with the blog upates of my 3 tables running through the Tales of the Yawning Portal season, so here’s a recap of what went down.

Table 1 – Tuesday evenings

This table really put the speed on and managed to clear not only the Sunless Citadel, but also A Thousand Tiny Deaths and The Forge of Fury too, earning both myself and thermselves a completed secret mission for their Adventurers League faction characters.

Table 2 – Wednesday evenings

While not a quick paced as the Tuesday crew they still managed to clear all 3 adventures and secured the secret missions, though they chose not to fight the second dragon and instead placated it with treasure and got the hell out of dodge.

Table 3 – alternate Wednesday evenings

Probably more cautious due to having a fair few newer players they took quite a while to clear Sunless Citadel but still made it through A Thousand Tiny Deaths as well.

In addition my online paid-DMing has gone a bit quiet for one reason or another, where I was running 3 separate games they have all now ended. C’est la vie.

The new season of Encounters has begun and (thankfully) I’m not the only DMing this time around. Jon, Patrick and Matt are also taking the hot seats and just as well as we have ended up with full tables each (though I am still running 2, a Tuesday and a Wednesday) as we venture into Chult in search of a cure for the Death Curse.

Hopefully I shall be able to post more frequently on my groups experiences as we go (but no promises).

D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – Goblins everywhere!

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2017 by vobeskhan

So we reach the end of another round of sessions for my three tables. I shall as always try to be as spoiler free as possible but some things might be inferred from the comments below.

Tuesday table 1

The team replaced their fallen elf ranger with a human cleric and decided that having reached the lower level now was the time to blitz the dungeon. A tactic which looked to be working well for them for the most part – up until the fell afoul of a trap which also alerted the nearby foes. While the ensuing battle went their way they were bruised, battered and their resources severely depleted. As another swathe of foes approached they made a swift retreat to what they hope will be a safe room to rest and recuperate.

Wednesday table 2

With a couple of their comrades returned from holidays the party were able to return to some previously troubling puzzles, figuring out what the fountains did with the help of a kobold accomplice. They then encountered the main goblin encampment and were deep in the thick of it when the session drew to a close.

Wednesday table 3

The party had the gnome cleric they had rescued use his channel divinity to open the cold stone door and encountered the undead within. They also then worked out what the fountains did, before finally encountering the missing dragon. However, unlike the other two groups, these decided that the evil beast needed to be destroyed and battled it to the death! Spurred on by their victory they also then found the goblin encampment and engaged the goblins within, narrowly securing a victory but has the violent and noisy combat alerted others nearby?


D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – Death in the dark

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by vobeskhan

Last night completed the round of third sessions for my trio of tables down at Tabletop Tyrants. As before, all three are exploring the Sunless Citadel but have taken slightly different approaches and made their own progress.

While I’m hoping to avoid spoilers for each group some may slip through so I apologise in advance.

Again this round we have seen a couple of deaths amongst the tables :

  • Tuesday (table 1) had what has been one of the most memorable ones for me, with Melissa’s ranger copying a maneuver that ended badly for Phil’s ranger and ended with her hitting the floor at a literally break-neck speed!
  • Wednesday (table 2) and Jack S’s cleric met a demise in the first half hour of the session. Thankfully his companions dragged his corpse back to safety where it received a faction raise and they were then able to proceed apace.
  • Wednesday (table 3) still remain the only table not to have suffered a character death, though they are also the ones to make the least progress through the Citadel so far. Their cautious approach is certainly safer but low risk often equates to low reward.

All three groups have now encountered the Citadels second group of inhabitants in some form or another – the Goblins!

All three groups have also encountered and freed the goblin’s prisoners – three kobolds and the gnome priest Erky.

So how are each tables progress then:

  • Tuesday (table 1) have recovered and returned the missing dragon, and found the way down to the lower level.
  • Wednesday (table 2) have recovered and returned the dragon but are yet to discover the way down.
  • Wednesday (table 3) have just begun to foray into goblin territory, no dragon or way down yet.

What will the series of session fours bring? Will table 3 make it a death-free quartet or will the grim reaper finally claim one of their number?

D&D Encounters – Tales from the Yawning Portal – I must be crazy

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2017 by vobeskhan

So the new season of Adventurers League story arc is upon us, and it’s not the same as previous ones. This time the adventure consists of remastered classic dungeon crawls collected together in the one hardback.

Now when I hear the title and that it wold be a dungeoncrawl my brain automatically screamed “Undermountain!” but sadly the mega dungeon below Waterdeep doesn’t even get a look in. The only link being that the books premise is that adventurers from all over gather at the Yawning Portal to swap tales of their exploits in these “Legendary” dungeons.

That’s not to say I don’t like the book, its good and some of the adventures within are amongst my personal top 10.

Another change this season is that I am the only DM for Adventurers League this time around as our other regulars take time out for other games (or to continue their current Storm Kings game beyond the AL banner), this means that with the recent influx of new players I will be running 3 separate tables of 7 players apiece on fortnightly schedules (1 on a Tuesday evening, the other 2 on alternate Wednesday evenings), in addition to my fortnightly paid-DMing for a roll20 campaign and a monthly game with the local Hackspace group. This might sound like a lot, but I really enjoy DMing, especially if its bringing new players to the game and in the past I had even been running games 6 days out of 7 on a regular basis.

So who are my victims this season:

Tuesday (team 1) is a mixture of returning players and new players (to our AL group at least)

  • Phil (elf ranger)
  • Stuart (elf rogue)
  • John (human barbarian) new player
  • Elliot (dwarf fighter) new player
  • Jason (tiefling warlock)
  • Rose (gnome druid)
  • Melissa (half-elf ranger) new player

Wednesday (team 2) is mostly my previous Storm Kings group with a couple of returning players and a new addition

  • Jon (dwarf fighter)
  • Lee (bugbear barbarian)
  • Jack S (assimar cleric)
  • Tim (kobold ranger)
  • Morgan (assimar rogue)
  • Josh P (elf wiard)
  • Tommy (dwarf cleric) new player

Wednesday (team 3) is a mixture of newer players and some that while in our group for a while havent been on my table before.

  • Jack P (half orc barbarian)
  • Joshua P (elf ranger)
  • Sil (tiefling warlock)
  • Kieran (human fighter) new player
  • Lucie (gnome wizard) new player
  • Kara (elf ranger) new player
  • Vin (aasimar paladin)

As I prepared for the first sessions I realised the opening adventure, the Sunless Citadel, was written with a party of 4 in mind so using the AL and DMG guidelines I went through it and recalculated the encounters for my larger parties so as to maintain the challenges. I also noticed that the adventure had 3 different suggested hooks to get the players involved so decided to give each group a different one (though through interaction with npc’s etc they could uncover the other hooks in the course of the game).

As each table is progressing at a different rate I wont go into extreme detail on their sessions so far but it’s certainly been interesting to see how they have tackled the same adventure in their own ways.

Some things they have all done though so I can comment on those without fear of spoilers.

Meepo – the kobold keeper of the dragon. All three groups encountered him, and all three chose to interact with him rather than just slaughter him outright (maybe there’s hope for some of them yet). A source of little information but certainly some amusement, he was easily convinced to take the parties to his queen, Yusdrayl.

Queen Yusdrayl of the kobold clan inhabiting this part of the citadel, surrounded by her guards was willing to “recruit” the parties to recover her missing dragon in return for some of her treasures. She was able to tell the heroes that the goblins seem to be working for a man down in the grove below the ruins of the citadel and he gives the goblins the magic apples they’d heard of.

This is where the three groups begin to diverge on their progress however, some took Meepo with them as a guide, some left him behind so he didn’t get hurt. As I write this we have just wrapped up the second session for each group (around 7-8 hours gameplay each table) and interestingly enough 2 of the 3 have suffered their first pc deaths each and the ones that haven’t come close yesterday with both the barbarian and paladin being taken unconscious.

Looking ahead, I am planning on running the corresponding “expedition” adventures interspersed with the hardcover to allow us access to the additional content and Faction rewards.