Archive for dndnext

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

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2014 by vobeskhan

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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D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 10

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1So on our penultimate session of the season we were very thin on the ground down at Tabletop Tyrants. But as people had put themselves out to come down we ran with reduced numbers anyway and had a blast.

The heroes had already planned to head from the Seclusion Crypt to the Temple of Fortune. Appearing through the black gate they recognised the halfling Curran from Daggerford and set about freeing him from the wizard, flesh golem and wight in the room.

By the end of the fight they had captured the wizard (he had a broken arm and was manacled and gagged), destroyed the wight and forced the golem to be ordered to stand down (prior to gagging the wizard).

Between them they disable the dias and rescued Curran then as they had taken quite a beating returned to the gatehouse and the seclusion crypt to rest up once again before returning to the room and heading to the next chamber – The Temple of Savagery.

They focussed their attacks on the particularly sneery Red Wizardess, taking her out reasonably easily before the Dread warriors assaulted them. The particular effect of the room didn’t have a major issue with such a small party but I could see it providing major amusement with a large group especially if they clump together.

Once they defeated the warriors they freed the trapped Chosen, realising the female figure was a wight (and undead Rilsa Rael from Baldur’s Gate) as she spat curses of Bhaal at them and attacked. They knocked her unconscious before taking her back to the gatehouse too.

When they arrived they were told that Kelson and Jekk had led a force to the Abyssal Prison to free Shalindra, and that was where we left it, ready to head into the finale next week with hopefully a few more bodies. Unfortunately it’s that time of the year, good weather, the holiday period, combined with a couple of our regulars starting new jobs and another pair being off on their well-deserved honeymoon.

We’re planning on taking a short break before starting the new season in August and using the finalised rule set.

D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 9

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1Just one table again this week down at Tabletop Tyrants, though this time I was back in the DM seat and as his group were unavailable Vipin joined us with his half-elf barbarian.

Adam’s ranger rejoined the others in the corridor between the Pale Garden and the Dreaming Garden, and once he convinced them to use one of the remove curse scrolls they had acquired and had his voice restored, he was able to relay the findings from the other group regarding the draining of the Chosen and the need to disrupt the process.

The group advanced into the Dreaming Garden to see a red wizard lounging on his literal garden furniture with two armoured figures before him and a group of shabbily robed figures around them. A couple of them noticed a black winged shape drop the lifeless form of a slave to the floor before flying up to the ceiling.

As the shabby robed figures shuffled forward the party skirted clockwise around the room but were pulled up a little short as Patrick and Heather suddenly fell asleep due to the soporific musk of the flowers in the room. Adam and Vipin picked them up and continued on until one of the armoured figures blocked their path demanding they explain their presence. They realised the red wizard was speaking through the obviously undead figure.

When they tried to say they were bringing sacrifices to the Undying Laboratory the wizard said the sacrifices could be left here, for his pet. At this point the black creature dropped from the ceiling behind the heroes. Vipin (still carrying a sleeping Patrick) leapt over one of the flowerbeds, dumped patrick on the floor and threw a bottle of Alchemists Fire at the wizard, igniting him and some his topiary furniture. Oliver blasted a fireball to add to the conflagration before being engaged by the undead warrior. Adam faced off with the black creature.

During the fight both Patrick and Heather eventually woke up and joined their allies, but despite having 2 rangers, a druid and the multiclassed cleric/bard/druid/mage no-one could actually identify the black creature correctly – not even when it spat a stream of acid over Adam.

The shambling figures joined the fray, revealed as zombies, along with the  other undead warrior and the heroes, despite having dealt with the red wizard (he failed his saves against the fiery attacks and died the next round), were soon hard pressed and had to use a lot of their healing magic before they finally won out.

The fight between Vipin and the wight was particularly funny as it quickly devolved into a series of innuendo’s regards Vipin being a dungeon trying to grasp Mt Grey’s weapon before thrusting it back into him – Adam joining the fight with the comment of “I’ll help finish him off” was met with more hilarity.

Eventually the battered and bruised heroes were able to gather their loot, though as most had been on the wizard or in his topiary furniture I decided to see if it had survived the fiery doom that claimed the former owner. They lost out on the scrolls but everything else survived, along with the two undead warriors weapons (a +1 battleaxe, and a longsword that while held could detect living beings within 30 foot even if hidden or invisible). Gathering their gear the ran through to the Undying Laboratory and used the gate to return to the Seclusion Crypt and rest up, planning on heading to the Temples of Turmoil next session.

The only dampener on the session was when we realised that Oliver’s multiclass caster’s spells were incorrect due to a confusion on level 3 spells not being available at character level 3. But after the session we went through build to clarify it and the pc’s now have the opportunity to level up to 8th level so they can make any necessary alterations.

D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 8

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1This week down at Tabletop Tyrants we only had the one table as my group couldn’t make it for various reasons (work, illness, etc) so I had the opportunity to sit in on Vipin’s game as a player.

I decided to run a tiefling spellcaster that I had used in another game and after a discussion with Vipin we decided I was working in the room the party were about to enter alongside the Red Wizard there, but I was a member of the Resistance.

The room in question was the one with the nutcase wizard imbuing oozes with intelligence. Vipin described her as looking similar to Emma Thompson’s character from Harry Potter (Professor Trelawny) and the name stuck for the rest of the encounter.

Once the heroes entered the wights attacked and I tried to gain mental control of the wizard but failed. During the fight a gelatinous cube emerged close to the monk who had a strange obsession with wanting to be engulfed so as to fight from the inside, well he got his wish.

The half-orc fighter concentrated bowfire on the wizard while the elf ranger traded blows with a wight. I skipped over the troughs of ichor to get to the wizard but failed to land a blow, only to have a ochre jelly crawl out behind me and attack, to which I responded with a reaction that fried it to ash.

The wights used Misty Step to retreat and use their ranged attacks on the party as a small black pudding slithered out. I managed to finally drop the nutty wizard as the ranger danced over and sliced the monk free.

As I was still in my robes as a Red Wizard I commanded the wights to return to their duties and get the oozes back under control (backed up by a good persuasion roll) and they grudgingly did while we searched through the wizards private chamber.

After that we retreated back to the Gatehouse for short rest before using one of the glyph keys to enter the Temple of Nature.

Here we found another Red Wizard and wight, with an orc suspended in a golden glow on a dias behind them. The wizard challenged why we were there and I quickly said we had brought another chosen (gesturing to the half-orc) adding “let me show you what she can do” as Hannah prepared to charge in.

Thankfully I just beat her on the initiative roll and blasted off a Fireball, both the wizard and wight survived (though barely) but the orc in the glow wasnt so lucky.

The wizard managed to rush past all of us and escape but the wight was brought down by our ranger. Approaching the dias it had an aura that threw the monk backwards but the rest of us made it and realised it was being used to siphon the divine energy from the Chosen for the phylacteries. Between us we disrupted the magical effect, the restraining pillars and the carved runes. During this we realised that it was using the black gates to channel the energy and after a couple of attempts we were able to disable the gate.

Gathering our belongings we headed out of the north door…..

Wow that was great fun. Thankfully my character didn’t overshadow the regular pc’s. As Richard and Hannah are going to miss for a couple of weeks (due to getting married this weekend and going on honeymoon – congrats again guys) it will probably just be my table (if enough bodies are available) and we have agreed that my character has returned to the gatehouse to pass on the findings about the chosen while Adam’s ranger will rejoin the other party to do the same.

With the release of the Basic D&D rules pdf now on wizards.com we have agreed to stick with the playtest packet we have been using until the end of this season (only 5 weeks left).

It’s all heading for a climactic season/playtest finale 🙂

D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 7

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1Well after missing a week of Encounters down at Tabletop Tyrants due to neither myself or the other DM being available, this week we had just the one table under the watchful gaze of Vipin as I was still under the weather.

I can’t  comment too deeply on what occurred but the information fed back from Vipin was:-

Annoyingly, no deaths.

They ran across the ooze master. Who could cast two spells per round, had an aura and intrinsic charm. Combat lasted 3-4 rounds and they made all but 2 of their saves.On the plus side Adam and Hannah were blind for a while.

They decide to take a short rest in the gatehouse, and since the ooze master can’t really be killed and the number of rooms they cleared (61 properly this time, 65 and 66) this probably means that the alert level goes up by 2 (I warned them this will happen if they rested outside the seclusion crypt. It was a calculated risk they decided to take).They also know about penalty to hp they take when they use the seclusion crypt.

We decided that Adam used the Immortal Caves Glyph key your group had to join my group. Also that Patrick will at some point deliver a spawning pools (also ooze grotto) to your group at some point before coming back to our group.

Hopefully myself and the other players will be back tableside next week for more shenanigans.

D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 6

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1Another great session down at Tabletop Tyrants this week. My table exited the Seclusion Crypt and were surprised by the aging effect (a couple asked if it had any mechanical effect but I told them it was nothing that would be relevant within the season), and re-entered the Doomvault in the Dark Gardens.

Exiting the black gate they found themselves in the Dead Garden, the network of vines gave them concerns but they quickly switched their attention to the undead at the rooms exits (I split them evenly between the two doors). Still disguised as a group of Red Wizards they approached the group by the south door – and were attacked by the vines. Two pc’s got entangled but easily hacked/burnt their way free and the remaining vines retracted.

Captain Skill Monkey marched up to the wight who stepped in front of him and asked “Password?”, this certainly took the player back a little but he quickly countered with a bluff of “how dare you interfere with my business, stand aside!” the wight bowed apologetically and stood aside saying “apologies, Master” so that the undead formed a corridor to the door. The heroes walked to the door and as they picked the lock they heard the sound of a blade being drawn as the undead attacked.

The fight wasnt particularly long or vicious, with the skill monkey finishing the last of the undead off with a fireball (using his Evokers ability to shape the spell and avoid his allies), a quick search of the bodies revealed a pair of glyph keys to this zone and one of the wights had a magical longsword. Taking the time to perform an Identify ritual they discovered it was a +1 Elfbane (+2 v’s Elves/Half-elves) which the Elven ranger (ironically) took as a backup weapon.

Cautiously they entered the Pale Garden and after waiting to see if the skeletons reacted to their presence headed south down the path. I called for perception checks (against the stealth rolls I had made for the monsters) and while no-one spotted one they all located the second creature slowly on an intercept course. As they began assaulting it with ranged attacks the stealthier Shambling Mound lunged out and grabbed the cleric, dropping him to single figures in the first round as it pulled him into its bio-mass. The druid made a nature lore check and recalled the mounds immunities etc (oh dear, most of  Captain Skill Monkeys spells did either fire, cold or lightning damage).

 

shambling-moundWhile Captain Skill Monkey tries to tackle the Mound engulfing the cleric, the ranger and druid hustle down the path and try to lure the second mound into a trap of smashed oil flask. The beast rumbled over the oil obliviously. Realising the cleric had stopped struggling skill monkey headed down and joined the others, igniting the oil as he hit the mound with a sacred flame. The players then found themselves on the path between both mounds.

The ensuing combat was brutal with the mounds hitting hard, though being unable to engulf anyone else. Eventually the heroes  hacked the piles of vegetation apart and pulled the desiccated corpse of the cleric free before taking refuge in the next corridor. As they paused to catch their breaths the clerics body began to twitch…

I know in the adventure it says there are three mounds but as I only had four players this week I thought two would be plenty, especially as the party consisted of a ranger. druid, cleric, and captain skill monkey (cleric/bard/druid/mage). The cleric player has said that he wants to come back as undead next week, which should be fun.

D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 5

Posted in D & D Next, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2014 by vobeskhan

news_20140310_1At Tabletop Tyrants this week we continued events in the Halls of Necromancy with the heroes thoroughly searching the corpses of their enemies, gaining a dagger, scroll, potion and another glyph key, before placing the corpses back on the stone biers. The elf ranger Kelson Darktreader imparted a couple of nuggets of Lore before heading to the gatehouse.

The heroes wanted to spend half an hour here to allow the bards to recover one of their abilities and to perform a couple of Identify rituals, revealing the properties of the dagger (+1) and potion (water breathing). While doing this a Gnoll patrol came in and captain skill monkey convinced them that “the invaders” had fled through the east door. The non-too-bright creatures eagerly gave chase.

The heroes then moved on via the west door where Adam’s still mute ranger was barely able to prevent captain skill monkey from triggering a hidden pit trap. Opening the white gate for the party, Adam went through first – right into another of the pit traps! The rest of the party skipped past before lowering a rope and helping him out. They then entered the room ahead – the Temple of Blood.

As four clouds of red mist coalesced the heroes began searching the north wall and trying to open the northern doors (as the map Syranna had given them showed another room to the north but with no connecting passage) while captain skill monkey tried to disrupt the forming mist with Prestidigitation (to no effect). Once the mists were an sized and advancing towards them the heroes decided to flee south, pulling the door shut behind them as they squeezed into the corridor between door and white gate.

They began to regret this as the mist seeped under the door and swirled around them, beginning to drain their life-blood in the process. By the time they decided to flee through the white gate the tiefling bard had been reduced to a maximum of 5hp and the mute ranger had been dropped unconscious and had to be healed to stay in the fight.

Once through he gate they didn’t pause in the intervening courtyard but hurried through to the Wizards Court and holed up in the northeast chamber. They bolted the door and the ranger set a pair of hunters snares before they elected to try and take a long rest.

A little over 3 hours in and the door was being banged on loudly, the druid pulled the bolt back and hid behind the opening door as a pair of undead wizards (deathlock wights) entered and triggered the snares. Another trio of human voices could be heard still outside the room.

The heroes tried to bluff their way out of the situation and intimidate the trio of apprentices – one totally bought it and backed down but another became suspicious when captain skill monkeys eyes glazed over (due to a badly timed mental communication from the other tables leader) and gave his answer in the form of spellcasting and combat began. I had some truly dire rolls for the bad guys and pretty soon all that was left was the cowed apprentice who realised his mistake and tried to flee, getting a sword across the back from the ranger before captain skill monkey finished him with a Ray of frost.

Realising that they were unlikely to get a rest here the heroes decided to risk the Seclusion Crypt as they were in dire need of a long rest to restore drained HP and spells.

That’s where we left it this week, and the players were informed to level up to 7th ready for next week.