5E Adventure Review: The Mystery of Mordecai’s Monster

The latest adventure available to subscribers of EN5ider is The Mystery of Mordecai’s Monster, an adventure allegedly for 3-5 characters of level 3, written by Dan Head, who previously wrote The Mystery of Malvern Manor.

It’s an excellent little adventure. I’m rather fond of the schemes of insane wizards, and there’s a good one here that offers several challenges for the players. The author understands the importance of foreshadowing, and having an encounter with a dinosaur-riding orc allows the players to realise that what is coming is just a little unusual.

Structurally, it’s mostly linear, with six “scenes” comprising the main portion of the adventure. There are a few notes for NPCs as well as a few rumours – including one that could potentially send the players completely out of the adventure. Although I really like false rumours, they work best if they point to areas within the actual area, thus promoting adventure opportunities, even if the adventure isn’t the one the players were expecting. Being sent in search of pirates – when there’s no support for that in the adventure – is problematic.

I’m hoping there’s an editing error on the character levels required for this adventure, for a group of third-level PCs are going to get slaughtered! Mordecai’s Monster is Challenge Rating 6, and has some very dangerous area attacks. The other encounters are likewise dangerous; I expect the adventure should be aimed at a 6th-level party.

The rest of the editing is pretty good, although not perfect – a few grammatical errors and clumsy turns of phrase being most noticeable. The layout is much improved from the early EN5ider issues, and the artwork is attractive.

There are a few opportunities for role-playing, quite a lot of combat, and a lot of weird stuff going on. The minor flaws in the backstory aren’t really important compared to the entertainment of the adventure, and I would rate this as the most accomplished adventure from EN5ider so far. The mystery doesn’t really require investigative work – one things leads on to another pretty clearly – but it provides an entertaining challenge that will likely take a session to play.

 

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Review | 2 Comments

Designing a Basic Dungeon

One of the main tasks of a Dungeon Master in D&D is providing opportunities to adventure for your players. The process to create adventures can be very simple or very involved, depending on how much work you want to put into it.

It’s really important to note that most published adventures contain far more information than you’d ever need for your game. I may have only a handful of words to describe a room and its contents. “Orc statue, turns into stone golem when touched” is a fine description for your own game, but the requirements of a published adventure are far more – and that simple description would result in two or three paragraphs of description in an published adventure!

The easiest type of adventure to design and run is a dungeon adventure: mainly because they contain a limited number of locations and it is obvious how a party might progress from one encounter to the next. The guidelines in the Dungeon Master’s Guide for creating dungeons are really, really good, but if you want to start with something simpler, here’s a quick method of designing an old-school dungeon for your players.

Step 1: Create a goal for the players.

Why are the characters entering the dungeon? There are lots of suitable reasons, but here are a couple you could use:

  • The characters are hired to recover an item or person in the dungeon.
  • The characters are hired to kill an enemy in the dungeon.

There’s nothing wrong with the characters entering the dungeon “just because it’s there”, but it’s nice to have a goal!

Step 2: Draw a dungeon map

I use graph paper ruled 5 mm on a side to draw the map, locating an entrance and several rooms connected by corridors or doors. Typically I use the scale of one square on the map = 10 feet; this allows the standard corridor to be 10 feet wide, enough for characters to move down two by two. I very rarely use 5-foot wide corridors, because they can be very frustrating to characters, but 20-foot wide corridors can lead to some interesting tactical situations.

Here are suggested symbols to use on a map from the 1981 Basic Rules:

Step 3: Stock special rooms

You should design the final (goal) room of the adventure yourself, placing monsters, traps, tricks and treasure in it to create a memorable final encounter. You may have other areas that you know what you want in them. Design them as well. Typically, a map uses numbers to indicate interesting areas, with separate textual notes on what the numbers mean.

Use the guidelines either the DMG or the Basic Rules for the DM to choose monsters that make the danger (challenge) level interesting: not too hard or too easy.

Step 4: Stock remaining rooms

Although you can design every room individually, it’s also fine to roll dice and use them to suggest encounters to you. The following method was first presented in the original D&D (although it’s had a couple of slight modifications). The DMG gives a more detailed version of this…

Roll 1d6 to determine the basic contents of a room: 1-2 Empty, 3 Trap, 4 Trick, 5-6 Monster. Then roll a d6 again to see if treasure is present. On a 6, there is treasure. On a 5, there is treasure only if there is a monster, on a 1-4, there is no treasure.

Empty rooms may still have furnishings, libraries, strange wells and the like, but they have nothing that actively challenges the party.

Trap rooms contain a trap of some sort. Some traps include:

(1) Concealed Pit Trap (Perception DC 15 to find) – characters stepping on must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall 10-20 feet, taking 1d6 damage for each 10 feet fallen.

(2) Poison Gas – the room is filled with poison gas (which may be detectable or not…) Characters entering must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 hour and take 1d4 poison damage for every minute they spend in the poison.

(3) Ceiling Block Falls – some trigger (Perception DC 15 to find) will cause a large block of stone to fall on the triggering character. DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to avoid or take 1d10 bludgeoning damage.

(4) Flash of Light – characters that can see the source must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute; they may make the saving throw again at the end of each of their turns to regain their sight. (This can be fun when combined with a nearby monster…)

Trick rooms contain something that doesn’t directly harm the characters, but may confuse or intrigue them. For instance,

(1) One-way Door – the door can’t be opened from the far side. (Generally, you couple this with another door which allows further progression into the dungeon, but makes return hard or dangerous).

(2) False Door – the door appears real (Perception DC 20 to realise it’s fake), but doesn’t open

(3) Talking Statue – or doorknob, or altar… something inanimate that engages the characters in conversation, either good or ill.

(4) Illusionary Feature – a wall, door, statue which isn’t really there. Put a monster behind an illusionary wall and it can surprise the characters!

(5) Teleporter – characters touching an item are teleported to another location; great for getting characters lost…

(6) Reverse Gravity – in this room, the ceiling is actually the floor…

Monster rooms contain a monster. Roll a monster group from the following tables or select one based on your group’s capabilities.

Rooms with Treasure should have an amount commensurate with the level of your party. There are tables in the DMG, or you can use the basic ones below.

You are not bound slavishly to the dice rolls; you can move things around or just choose elements that seem right to you, so that the dungeon feels right to you.

Sample Random Monster Tables (by Dungeon or Character Level)

These tables are designed around four characters of the listed level; change numbers of monsters encounter up or down depending on your group’s size.

Die roll
(1d8+1d12)
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
2 1 Animated Armor 1d2 Death Dogs 1 Basilisk
3 2d6 Bats 1d4 Blink Dogs 1 Doppleganger
4 1d2 Black Bears 1d2 Bugbears 1 Hell Hound
5 1d4 Zombies 1d3 Cockatrices 1 Minotaur
6 1d4 Flying Swords 2d4 Zombies 1d2 Gargoyles
7 1 Ghoul 1d2 Ghouls 1d4 Ghouls
8 1d4 Skeletons 1d2 Giant Spiders 1d4 Giant Spiders
9 1d4 Goblins 2d8 Giant Rats 2d4 Gnolls
10 1d8 Giant Fire Beetles 1d4 Gnolls 3d6 Goblins
11 2d4 Kobolds 2d4 Goblins 1d4 Bugbears
12 1d8 Giant Rats 1d4 Orcs 2d6 Hobgoblins
13 1d4 Giant Centipedes 1d4 Hobgoblins 2d4 Orcs
14 1d4 Giant Wolf Spiders 2d8 Kobolds 1d3 Dire Wolves
15 1 Giant Spider 1d8 Giant Wolf Spiders 1 Mummy
16 1d4 Giant Lizards 1 Ochre Jelly 1 Manticore
17 1d8 Poisonous Snakes 1 Ogre 1 Owlbear
18 1d4 Giant Bats 1 Grick 1 Phase Spider
19 2d4 Stirges 1d4 Apes 1 Wight
20 1 Cockatrice 1 Nothic 1 Werewolf

Sample Random Treasure Tables (for level 0-4 challenges)

Type Silver Gold Gems Magic Item
Unguarded 1d6 * 10 2d6 (50%) 1d4 x10 gp (10%) 1 item (2%)
Trapped 1d6 * 100 2d6 * 10 (50%) 1d4 x 50 gp (10%) 1 item (2%)
Monsters 1d6 * 100 3d6 * 10 (50%) 1d4 x 50 gp (20%) 1 item (5%)

Random Magic Items

2d6 Magic Item
2 Headband of Intellect
3 Magic Weapon +1
4 Goggles of Night
5 Spell scroll – level 2 spell
6 Spell scroll – cantrip
7 Potion of Healing
8 Spell scroll – level 1 spell
9 Spell scroll – level 3 spell
10 Gloves of Swimming and Climbing
11 Bag of Holding
12 Gauntlets of Ogre Power

All monsters and magic items can be found in the D&D Basic Rules.

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, D&D Basic, Play Advice | 1 Comment

All Hail the Almighty Splig!

Goblins are fun to role-play. Numerous players have discovered this as they’ve interrogated the goblins in my campaigns. Goblins know that they’re almost at the bottom of the humanoid pecking order (with only kobolds lower), and so they’re used to being bullied. They almost enjoy it.

Every so often, one of the goblins decides that turning traitor is a good career move, and so starts accompanying the player characters. They’re rarely dependable allies. Once a party of three goblins (nicknamed Huey, Dewey and Louie) started accompanying a low-level group in an AD&D campaign. That lasted until the next encounter, when they realised the PCs were being defeated and they quickly changed sides again. (Shortly thereafter they realised their mistake, but it was a little too late for them…)

In the first 4E adventure, Keep on the Shadowfell, there’s a goblin named Splug. He’s locked in a cell, and he’s unhappy with his tribe. So, my players asked him to join them. He accompanied them through every succeeding adventure until eventually reaching 30th level with the rest of the group – who owed their lives, a few times over, to Splug. Who might have ended up killing Orcus…

In my Wednesday D&D Encounters game (not the Princes of the Apocalypse group), an unfortunate TPK in Castle Naerytar has meant that the players have started new characters, and they’re adventuring through the starter set adventure. In the initial goblin raid on the party, one of the goblins was captured and persuaded to help the PCs, telling them where the traps were and showing them around the obstacles.

I role-play this goblin in a high-pitched, squeaky voice, and as he’s been adventuring with the party – and seeing them defeating all their foes – he’s been getting braver and helping them more and more.

During the final fight with the goblin leader Klarg, Splig rushed forward to aid his new friends (as Klarg had bullied him) and hit him with a critical hit – the first hit Klarg suffered in the combat. My friend Sarah, who had been very dismissive of Splig (as her flaw is that she doesn’t respect those who haven’t proven themselves in combat), suddenly realised that Splig could be brave, and he could fight. The group now really appreciated Splig, and they were wondering if he could join the group on a permanent basis.

Who am I to say no to their enthusiasm? The question was how to deal with Splig’s statistics. He obviously began as a straight goblin, but he’d die very quickly in combat as the game progressed. (We’re eventually going to rescue the original characters and resurrect them and get back to the Tyranny storyline). So, I’m doing what I did with Splug: statting out Splig as a regular character. I won’t track XP for him, but level him to be on par with the other characters.

The hope is that he’ll provide a lot of role-playing potential in the days ahead. It seems likely!

Here’s how I’ve constructed Splig: basic goblin stats, then overlaid by the stats of a 2nd level fighter with the criminal background. He’s not really that impressive (yet), but he’ll be easy for me to run as a DM and should be very amusing in play.

Splig, Goblin Fighter 2

Armour Class 15 (leather armour, shield)
Hit Points 16 (2d10)
Speed 30 ft.

Str -1 (8), Dex +2 (14), Con +0 (10), Int +0 (10), Wis -1 (8), Cha -1 (8)

Skills Athletics +1, Deception +1, Stealth +6, Survival +1
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages Common, Goblin

Nimble Escape.
Splig can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of his turns.
Second Wind.
Splig can regain 1d10+2 hit points as a bonus actions. (1/rest)
Action Surge. Splig can take an additional action (1/rest).
Fightning Style – Archer. Splig gets +2 to ranged attacks (included).

ACTIONS
Scimitar.

+4 to hit, 1d6+2 slashing damage.

Shortbow.
+6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., 1d6+2 piercing damage

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, D&D Adventurers League, Play Advice | Leave a comment

5E Adventure Review: Gothnog & Swamper’s Unexpected Encounters – Volume One

Unexpected Encounters is a collection of ten encounters (or mini-adventures) for a D&D 5E campaign from Critical Hit Publishing. It feels like it is expensive for a pdf product, at a price of $9.95 for 26 pages. The product is nicely formatted and has a large number of full-colour illustrations. The encounters are written by Alex Guillotte and Rob Davis, and illustrated by Alex Guillotte. The cover artwork is by Kriszta Kovacs. The interior illustrations are mostly not original, but are taken from paintings and photos and sometimes then modified.

Each of the “encounters” features one fight, with perhaps some role-playing or exploration around it. Each encounter has a background that explains the context, and have suggestions for further expansion of the ideas. With artwork and maps (when required), each encounter generally takes up two pages – there is one that takes up three pages with a fourth used for artwork. The remaining pages are used for cover, back cover, credits, and a table of contents and introduction.

The ideas behind the encounters are really good, the encounters are well-developed and written, and there are a wide variety of adventures here. You may be dealing with cursed bards, trapped children, or mountain pass ambushes. It’s a pleasing set of mini-adventures.

The rules are not handled quite so well. The monster stat blocks lack XP and Challenge Rating details (although an overall challenge rating is given for the encounter), and the format of the stat-blocks isn’t as clear as I would like. For instance, the description of the trolls neglects to mention their multiattack capability. The calculation of the challenge ratings is also wonky; how is a fight involving a CR 6 cyclops rated as only CR 3? Mind you, I’m rather less than convinced by the encounter building guidelines in the DMG, but if anyone has any suggestions as to the proper challenge rating of a battle with 3 trolls (CR 5 each), I’m curious to learn it – this book suggests CR 6.

The editing is mostly good, although there are patches of purple prose and a few punctuation mistakes. The ordering of the adventures is done alphabetically rather than by challenge rating.

It’s a nice collection of short adventures, although you’re probably going to have to modify their difficulty and reconstitute some stat blocks to make full use of the product.

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Urban Sprawl – Our final game at Guf Sturt St

I have occasionally had to call games early because it was closing time; however, never had I had to call a game because the shop was not going to be there on the morrow!

Scott, Mikey, Brad and I played a game of Urban Sprawl at Guf Sturt St in Ballarat yesterday. It’s been my place of choice for gaming for the past few years. No-one but I had played this minor masterpiece before, so I very much enjoyed teaching it to them.

Urban Sprawl is one of those games where the game state can change entirely from one move to the next. Or it might not. Once the Urban Renewal cards make their way into the deck, entire streetscapes can change in minutes, often much to the dismay of whoever’s property is being renewed. We didn’t really use as much of that in the game as we should have. The early lead of each of us in the early game was replaced by a fairly dominant lead of Mikey by the middle of the game – a lead he maintained.

Money was an ongoing problem. I became treasurer, but lost it before the end to become and Industry specialist. Brad had a great early game, but lost the position in the mid-game and never managed to regain it, and Scott and I spent a lot of the game behind before roaring back into contention in the last few turns.

Scott ended up with three positions on the council – that helped. He’d been muttering things about the poor Mayor (generally Brad) for most of the game.

When the game ended, Scott had just claimed the most expensive block on the game, renewing Mikey out of his position of dominance. We were four cards away from the game ending (likely one more turn each), when time got called on Guf Sturt St, forever.

We quickly did the final scoring. I actually scored 10 points from money!

Final scores:

  • Mikey (black) 113
  • Merric (green) 103
  • Scott (pink) 96
  • Brad (white) 72

Guf Sturt St is now closed. A new version of the store – merged with the computer gaming business – will be opening a couple of blocks away tomorrow, but for now, we’ve made our farewells and turned out the lights.

Posted in Board Games, Life | 1 Comment

5E House Rules: Converting the Shifter prestige class

One of the most-loved features of 3rd edition D&D was its introduction of Prestige Classes. The concept has been toyed with back in the very early days of original D&D: having a class that could be entered only by fulfilling prerequisites in other classes first; the original Bard worked like that and, later, the Thief-Acrobat. In 2E, the major new mechanic for customising classes was the Kit, which gave you a background and some special abilities balanced by disadvantages. However, the Kit had a couple of problems, the most significant of which was that it didn’t scale very well: it was mostly independent of your level. (The Kit is the main precursor to the Background of the current edition, although most of the mechanical benefits have been subsumed into the Feat system).

Recently I was asked on the D&D Facebook page about what steps needed to be done to convert a 3E prestige class, in this case, the Shifter, to 5E usage. It was an excellent question. 5E and 3E have very different philosophies underpinning them, so you can’t do a 1:1 conversion.

So, what did the Shifter class give you?

  • Medium Base Attack progression – meaningless in 5E, so we can ignore it.
  • Good Fortitude and Reflex saves – again, multiclassing doesn’t work that way in 5E, so it’s not of much consequence
  • Medium skill progression (4 Skill Points) and access to druid-y skills
  • No new armour and weapon proficiencies
  • No spell progression
  • Access to more forms when wild-shaping (humanoid at 1st, monstrous humanoid at 2nd, plants at 3rd, giant and vermin at 4th, magical beast at 5th plus tiny, aberration and ooze at 6th, dragon at 7th and huge, undead and construct at 8th, elemental and outsider at 9th and fine, and 10th gave Gargantuan and unlimited shapechanging at 10th.

Basically, you have a class that allows you to (eventually) turn into basically anything, but in exchange you have to give up your spell-casting ability (most Shifters would be druids, so this is a significant penalty). The Wild Shape ability of the time was a bit confusing: the Masters of the Wild rules update allowed them to gain the physical ability scores of the new shape (Str, Dex, Con), and gain its natural abilities (natural weapons, sensory abilities, and similar physical qualities), but not supernatural abilities or spell-like abilities, but they would gain extraordinary (non-magical) abilities.

Confused yet? Yes, the 5E way of shapeshifting is a lot simpler!

The most obvious point here is that the 3E class is more constrained than it at first might appear. Thus, the conversion to 5E would require more attention to the balance issues. I’m not willing – at this point – to make the Shifter abilities available to anyone in 5E. So, let’s build the Shifter as an advanced path for Druids to follow.

It should be said that a lot of the abilities of the Shifter can be gain just by taking the Circle of the Moon and taking the Shapechange spell at 17th level, but for a more gradual build-up of abilities, try these modifications…

Path of the Shifter

Take the Circle of the Moon choice. This gives access to the greater beast form abilities and (at 10th level) Elemental Wild shape.

You cannot prepare Druid spells of 4th level or higher; you can prepare a maximum of 6 + your Wisdom modifier druidic spells each day. (This modification trades out the more powerful spells for the shapeshifting powers below).

When you use your wildshape ability, you can spend a spell slot to assume other forms than those available through wild shape. When in those forms, use the rules governing True Polymorph, except you do not gain any spellcasting or innate spellcasting power of the new form, nor may you use legendary or lair actions. You are limited to turning into creatures with a CR of equal or less than your character level.

4th-level slot: You can transform into humanoids and plants.

5th-level slot: You can transform into giants and fey.

6th-level slot: You can transform into monstrosities and oozes.

7th-level slot: You can transform into constructs, dragons or undead.

8th-level slot: You can transform into celestials and fiends.

9th-level slot: By spending a 9th-level slot with the wild shape ability, you may treat it as casting the Shapechange spell without needing a material component.

Well, that’s a very rough-and-ready conversion of the shifter. As you can see, you gain the ability to transform into a greater range of creatures (I’m not going to specify a size limit, although you might find such helpful), but at the cost of your higher-level druidic spells. Note that the slots are still available, so you could cast a 7th-level cure wounds spell, but you wouldn’t have access to the heal spell.

I’d be very wary of seeing this class in play; giving access to powers from various creatures is terrifyingly good. This is a first draft of the variant, dreamt out in about an hour’s work, and to do a proper job on it I’d want to compare the powers of various creatures and set a more realistic level. Should the CR limit be two less than the PC’s level? Should the transformation use more spell slots? These are the sort of things I’d look at when playtesting. Anyway, this is a starting point for those interested in playing a class with more options for shifting…

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, Design | 1 Comment

Princes of the Apocalypse, session 10

The Stoneheart Monastery. The Sumber Hills. 11th Kythorn. 591 DR.

Once again, the adventurers entered the monastery; this time with Krovis pre-emptively charging at the door on his newly acquired paladin’s mount and smashing it down. The minotaurs and monk behind the door were quite surprised by this and fell after a short combat, although – once again – Krovis was hurt rather severely by the minotaurs. They are extremely dangerous beasts!

However, upon searching the monk, the adventurers discovered a note, which read: “Do not engage the intruders! Greet them and bring them to me in the shrine.”

Some groups would ignore this note, especially given that they were now on their third expedition into the monastery – having, in each one, left death and destruction behind. Not this group, chaotics that they were. They immediately tried to come up with explanations as to why they’d slaughtered the monk and the minotaurs…

The group knew the way to the shrine, having visited it on their first attack, and immediately made their way there; this way through the front doors. A pair of living statues observed them as they entered, but did not attack. Within the shrine stood the priest they’d met on their first venture, and they greeted him with an apology for the trouble they’d caused. Xarbo, for that was his name, was not amused to learn that the monk at the door had been killed by the unruly minotaurs (and that the adventurers had slain them in retaliation), but controlled his anger and greeted the party.

Jandar declared that the adventurers represented the Zhentarim and was quickly shushed by the rest of the adventurers, with Ivan apologising and explaining they were seeking the missing delegation. Did Xarbo know anything about them? To the adventurers’ surprise, he replied in the affirmative, explaining that a number of the delegation were seeking enlightenment in the mines below. They were there by choice – if he liked, he could escort the adventurers to them!

The adventurers were sceptical, but agreed. Xarbo sent his two guards down the stairs to show the way, the party following behind them. However, at this point the treacherous priest triggered a trap on the stairs that dumped all of the adventurers in the room with the Umber Hulk, and the door to the cage was open! It charged at the group. The adventurers could now see it had been half-blinded and had its claws augmented by great metal talons.

It tore apart the guards and started in on the adventurers; thankfully, its blinding removed its great weapon of its confusing stare, but the talons were sharp and deadly. Krovis and Jandar were at the front of the group, protecting the others from its attacks, and took great damage before it eventually fell.

With the beast dead, they were surprised to hear applause – Xarbo had come down the stairs behind them, and congratulated them on their victory. They had passed the final test; as he couldn’t those unworthy to meet with those in search of enlightenment. He took them back upstairs to a waiting room, and went in search of the delegates. The group accompanied him without protest.

Eventually, they met with two of the delegation, who were dirty and dusty from their work below in the mines. When asked about their circumstances, both replied that they were fine, and that they were seeking enlightenment. The word “enlightenment” came up many times in the conversation, although exactly what it meant was not explained by the delegates. Eventually, the adventurers wearied of the conversation and the seekers of enlightenment returned below. Xarbo arrived, happy to have shown the adventurers what they sought – and declaring that they too might be worthy of enlightenment.

More conversation followed, in which he revealed that although the monastery had managed to save some of the delegation, the party as a whole had fallen prey to the vicious, evil Wind Knights of Feathergale Spire, not far to the west in the Sumber Hills. He urged the adventurers to deal with that evil, and was pleased when the adventurers agreed. After a good nights’ rest, the adventurers set out to Feathergale Spire.

A few days later they arrived, to see a pair of knights riding on griffons and giant vultures above the tower. Thumbalina was enchanted, and the group were greeted by a vivacious young woman, who offered to take them to meet the leader of their order – on this happy anniversary, the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Feathergale Knights! The adventurers accepted the invitation, and proceeded inside the spire…

The Players and their Characters

  • Michael is playing Krovis Thorn, LN human Paladin 5. (Soldier, Lord’s Alliance)
  • Jesse is playing Jandar, CN human Fighter 4 (Criminal, Zhentarim)
  • Josh is playing Ivan, CN water genasi Bard 4 (Pirate, Lord’s Alliance)
  • Danielle is playing Thumbalina, CN dwarf Barbarian 4 (Outlander, Emerald Enclave)
  • Dean is playing Zed Lepplin, CN human Warlock 2/Fighter 1 (Entertainer, Zhentarim)

DM Notes

We were down to five players this week, Mikey and Noah unable to attend. Michael took advantage of the one last chance before reaching level 5 to rebuild his character as a straight paladin rather than a paladin/fighter, after I pointed out how important it was to reach Extra Attack. I feel his character was much more effective as a result.

And so we finally got in a session where there was a lot of roleplaying and a lot of lying – from both sides! Yes, Xarbo was in no means telling the truth, and I don’t think the players really bought his explanations, but were willing to play along with them to see where things were leading. (This was certainly the case in Dean’s case, who several times was very sceptical of the “enlightenment” answer. Certainly I attempted to play the delegates in a brainwashed manner; I tried to present their words in a flat monotone, giving away their compromised state. I don’t really know how successful I was at that, but then, Danielle probably didn’t care. She was completely delighted by the Feathergale Knights, though!

Watching the group after they found Xarbo’s note was absolute joy – there’s nothing like seeing a group think they’ve just made a terrible mistake, especially when they’re scrambling for justifications for their actions.

With the group now approaching the Feathergale Knights in a diplomatic fashion, it offers up all these possibilities for the next session…

Posted in D&D, D&D 5E, D&D Adventurers League, Elemental Evil, Session Report | 3 Comments