Andy's Game

Andy's Game (25)

Sunday, 13 December 2020 22:54

D&D Game 24 - 12/11/20

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We started at the top of the order with one Shadow Demon and one pirate left.  The Swashbuckler went first and, using a smite, took out the Shadow Demon.  The pirate turned out to be held from last time and didn’t last the round.  So then there was the debate as to what to do next.  The notion of chasing the ones that had fled into the jungle was quickly dismissed.  During that discussion, we gathered the bodies and searched them.  The Fate Witch started a Detect Magic ritual.  Evidently, Skorpix left a body behind.  Everyone but Andy thought his whole body had turned to mist but evidently only his life essence.  So, he left behind a magic long sword, short sword, and broach.  Later the Fate Witch managed to cast one Identify and discovered the broach is of shielding which gives resistance to force damage and immunity to magic missiles.  I think the Rogue has it for now.  There was some debated about the swords.  I’m not sure where they end up.  Meanwhile, we were told we were an hour from the beach we expected to be picked up at and 2 hours from the fort where we assumed their ship was waiting for their victorious return.  It was decided to head back to the fort to at least get a look at their ship (or ships) and see how big it was.

So, with some poor tracking rolls from our pseudo ranger, somehow, we ended up at the right beach.  We could see a single ship, about the size of ours.  We could cast water breathing, walk up to it underwater and take it by surprise.  Unfortunately, there were pirates on the beach and at least one lookout.  The ritual was cast during which a short rest was had.  Then the sneakers (the Rogue, Monk, and Halfling Fate Witch) snuck up to the lookout.  With some good stealth rolls, they got up to him.  The Monk managed to stun him, and they took him out.  They could see another lookout closer to the beach.  They could see another lookout closer to the beach.  The Fate Witch then cast a Minor Illusion so it looked like he was still there.  What followed was a series of skill rolls and spells and they managed to take out 4 lookouts in series without raising an alarm.  The other 4 players were left out of the action and got down to the beach when the coast was clear.

Sneaking in DD

So, we made it to the ship.  After some debate about splitting up and taking both ends of the ship at the same time, we decided to all attack the captain’s quarters below decks from the windows.  The Paladin, carrying the Wizard on his back and the Monk climbed up.  The Monk was fortunate is that his window was unlatched but the Paladin was not so lucky.  The two climbers got in and found 2 named officers one of which was a Bard, 1 deck wizard (the same one that fled our fight?) and one generic pirate waiting for them.  Everyone else got in the next round except the Fate Witch who missed her climbing roll.  Combat ensued.  Our Wizard cast his last Slow and lucky all four of them missed their saves.  That had a lasting impact.  Their wizard ran to the door and raised the alarm but at least that was the only way in.  The Monk maneuvered through the traffic to try to block the doorway.  Unfortunately, there was an assassin hiding in a small room near the door.  He attacked with advantage, did an automatic crit, and took over half of the Monk’s hit points in one blow.  The Monk then rolled a 1 on his poison save and that 7d6 poison additional damage took the rest of his hit points.

But he wasn’t out for long.  The Sorlock hit him with a Healing Word and the Rogue drug him away from the assassin.  (We never saw that assassin again.  We assume he’s still in that room.)  Combat was combative.  The Sorlock could hit but rolled terrible for damage.  The Paladins did their things.  The villains were limited by the Slow and by round 2-3, after missed their saves, started targeting our Wizard.  He managed to use his arcane deflection twice and made one concentration save to keep it up.  Other general pirates starting coming in as well but the first 4 started dropping.  We stopped there.  We do not know what awaits us outside this room but there sure does seem to be a lot of guys on this small ship.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020 10:54

D&D Game 23 - 11/13/20 - The End

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We started with a recap of the plot so far to get everybody on the same page.  The rescued nobles had no useful information or at least nothing we didn’t already know.  After some discussions about what to do next, we realized that it was the middle of the night and our ship would not be returning until the morning.  So we had to start by taking a long rest somewhere.  We could do that at the dragon statue or at the emptying compound down below however with the Pirate King on his way, we felt it best if we rested in a location that he did not know.  So we headed into the jungle to camp just off the beach where we had been dropped off that morning.  Two Tiny Huts were erected and after a bunch of pointless discussions about who would be in which tent, the night passed without issue.

In the morning, the tents came down and breakfast was started.  At which point we were ambushed by the Pirate King and his not so merry band.  Evidently, Andy had secretly rolled our passive perceptions and we all missed it.  We could have debated for hours on how we would have likely started the day (e.g. the wizard would have likely slept in and someone would have likely gone out of the tent and run into pirates in the trees) but we just rolled with it and rolled initiative.  The Swashbuckler went first and was quickly assassinated by a rogue who did 6? extra dice in backstab damage, doubled due to the assassinate power.  All told, he took 40+ points of damage from the first hit of the night.  That certainly got everyone’s attention.  I.e. panic ensued.  (Note from Dan: We all thought we were toast.  It turned out to be a very fair combat but Andy has a way of playing up the villains so we think they are far tougher than they are.  Almost one-shotting the toughest character didn't help.  So there was much moaning and whining.)

So the big guy was flanked by a couple of mates and a sea wizard.  There were at least two assassins hiding along with the first mate and more mates.  They were all loaded with Feats and abilities to make our life exciting.  We were surrounded, and the first round, they kept popping up from behind trees.  What followed was an extremely complex and contentious battle.  With all our individual 7 levels of powers plus a villain set designed to challenge us and all their stuff plus the interactions between them all; it was a lot to sort through.  I’ll hit some highlights. The Monk charged the man who killed his father, risking being surrounded.  (Note from Dan: The Arcane Trickster had cast Tasha's Hideous laughter on him and he had actually missed his save.  So he was rolling on the ground when the monk charged him.  I honestly thought it was a bonehead move, though well roleplayed.  Considering they took him out fairly fast I think they did the right thing.)The Paladin did the same as did the Rogue.  Basically, it was the “cut off the head” strategy.  The Pirate King got batter pretty fast and was hit by multiple spells.  Despite his bonuses, he missed a couple of saves including a stunning fist from the Monk.  The Paladin smited him several times for tons of damage as well.  Within a couple of rounds, he was out however none of his allies were really touched so there was more work to do.

Our Wizard hit theirs with a Slow which seemed like a good thing although it turned out that their wizard was mostly sea spells and lacking in offense.  He did manage to put up a delayed Fog Bank which caused heavily obscured chaos.  Our Wizard managed to find his way out, hit him, and drop his concentration. (Note from Dan: and yes there were huge arguments about if you were caught in a fog, would you know that there was an enemy in any specific direction even if you saw them 10 seconds ago.  It got loud and no one was happy with the results.  The moral is don't blind everyone on the map.  No one likes it and the rules aren't clear enough to make anyone happy.)  Yeah.  But the next round he just put it up again.  Boo.  No one found him this time and it stayed up until he fled the scene a few rounds later.  The Fate Witch managed to Charm one of theirs.  The Sorlock turned on his flight to get above the fog and then used his familiar (bat with blindsight) to target in it.  Whether that was legal was debated along with many other things.  (Note from Dan: The help action is legal with familiars.  The bat had Blindsight so it should have been able to give my character advantage to negate the disadvantage.  The questionable part is whether it was enough to target the assassin even if my familiar was on his head.  The halfling Bard argued for it the first time I did it and the next round argued against it.  I think this REALLY pissed of the GM.  The bat had only an AC of 12 with 4 HP so it was killed in a single attack when the assassin got fed up with it.  This was totally legitimate and I expected to lose the familiar temporarily.) It was mainly a grind with the difficulties of the Fog Bank thrown on top to slow down the already slow turns.  (Note from Dan: While everyone was in the fog Dave's bard character had charmed one of the pirates and led two others on a merry chase through and around the fog.  Excellent use of spalls and environment.)

When the Pirate King went out, he turned to mist much like the Wizard did the previous night and headed to the Orb being carried by the Rogue.  She attempted to stay ahead of it but could not.  Once in her backpack, another (or the same) Shadow Demon emerged.  So that started part two of the fight.  At that point, the pirates that were able to, started to flee.  (Note from Dan: The rogue trickster ditched the shadow demon which left it with only the sorlock it could see.  Thanks Brian!  I got nailed by a pirate's arrow, then hit by two claw attacks from the demon for about 60 points.  This took me out.  Ironically my action was next.  I had intended to hide in the fog but it obviously didn't work out. I was about 30 feet above the fight and the racial Asimar flight ability wasn't concentration so the DM was kind enough to say I floated down rather than falling and taking damage.  So my death save count started here.) The Fog finally cleared and fire was concentrated on the Shadow for the most part.  It was tough and dangerous.  We did not want to turn it this time, preferring to kill it so that we wouldn’t have to face it a 3rd time.  We ended the night there.  Once the Shadow Demon is vanquished, we’ll have to decide if we want to chase down these fleeing pirates.  They’ve got a couple rounds head start but we’ve got some fast guys on our team.  And/or we could attack their ship with ours.  Scorpix, the Pirate King, may have gotten away but we’ve managed to reduce his resources a bit more.  It’s a process? 

Sunday, 01 November 2020 18:57

D&D Game 22 - 10/30/20

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We started in the middle of the fight, at the top of the order.  The stunned Wyvern went sailing over the waterfall, taking a ton of damage.  Unfortunately, the Monk was still on it.  He had a hold of the rope the Rogue gave him but the force of the momentum change was such that he lost his grip.  But he had enough athleticism to keep from going over the edge.  Two more armored knights showed up from under the statue and ran into the Wizard who was trying to take cover from the Wyverns.  He got chopped up a bit.  The Fate Witch hit the other Wyvern with a spell that caused it to flee.  Despite our watching the skies, they never did return until it was all over.  The remaining guards didn’t last long as the only targets.  The knights were tougher but then their Wizard appeared at the top of the dragon statue.

Since she was in the dark, she didn’t really appear but her Fireball sure did.  That caused the usual panic but the Monk and the Rogue had evasion and the Sorlock had that ring of evasion.  Plus, the Paladin gave save bonuses so all totaled, a couple took half damage and the majority took no damage.  Luckily our Wizard had fled the knights the round before and was out of the area.  Their wizard thought she was safe up there but the Monk used his Monk powers to get up there and avoid her guards.  The Rogue did the same with Misty Step and the Paladin with his climbing gloves.  Surrounded, she didn’t last long although she did get off a Cone of Cold for a ton of damage.  But again, everyone saved, and several evaded.  When she died, a green mist wisped into the chamber near the top.  Once the last knight was gunned down, we were out of targets.

The Swashbuckler went into the chamber and found a plantar on an altar and a bunch of treasure.  He attempted to wrap it in a sack however St Sever saw him coming and sent his Shadow Demon through the plantar with orders to attack.  (By the way, he, the demon, and the wizard were all featured in our bad dreams from a couple of games ago.)  So, it was a new fight on a new initiative.  The Shadow Demon occupied the square of the Swashbuckler and attacked the Monk.  It had a claw, claw, bite advantage on Wis saves, and other powers we didn’t really get to see.  Because on the Swashbuckler’s turn he did his Paladin turn thing which effects Fae for him.  It missed it’s save, despite advantage, and was forced to cower in the corner.  But it just went incorporeal and flowed through the rock.  We puttered around, waiting for its return in 2 minutes but it never did.

So, we gathered and searched.  Around 8 minutes later, the Commander flew up on his Wyvern and offered a deal.  He’d return the hostages and leave if we’d let them.  Unfortunately, the hostages would likely be put to the sword right in front of us if we didn’t.  According to him, St. Sever, armed with his shadow demon allies, had taken over the pirate king and these guys were looking to get away.  He also said that St. Sever was on his way to this island, now that he knew where we were.  We agreed with the added stipulation that they leave Jailyn alone.  The Swashbuckler then allowed that they could visit and resupply as long as they didn’t break the laws and maybe they could share some stories over a drink in the pub.  Several were perplexed by this but we moved on.  The Fate Witch finished her Detect Magic ritual but the plantar was the only thing that was magical.  We stopped with a short rest and the intention of heading back to the other side of the island to rendezvous with our ship.    

Sunday, 18 October 2020 15:16

D&D Game 21 - 10/16/20

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Andy had sent everyone an individual email, outlining the contents of disturbing dreams.  Eventually, we got together to discuss the contents.  (However, the Swashbuckler was late arriving as he wanted to talk to the head priest first, the Rogue also wandered off to be with herself and the Fighter left town, never to be seen again.)  Basically, it was images of foreboding doom and an evil presence looming over us.  The Monk pointed out, once the stories were told, that we all had images of something we did not want to lose being lost.  So, the Swashbuckler and the Rogue saw Commander Price’s death, the Wizard saw the school burn down, etc.  Whether these were prophecies or just methods to torment us was debated.  Some attempted to take action to prevent but nothing much came from it.  Piecing together the various parts, it was Lord Scorpix (the pirate king) and St Sever (the monastery betrayer) up to no good.  The Wizard saw a wizard using a scrying stone to successfully locate him in Jailynn and saw St Sever summoning a shadow demon thing.  Others saw that demon killing people.  The Paladin and the Monk saw the Paladin’s lost princess as an angel, helping us.  But the upshot was that we were now powerful enough to be noticed by them, that they knew where we were and that they were marshaling forces to stop us before we disrupted their plans.

Dave’s new Wizard/Bard halfling character was introduced as a friend of the halfling sheriff and known to the sailing Swashbuckler.  She told the sheriff she had had visions that she was needed here and the sheriff correctly assumed that meant us.  Everyone plus Price and the sheriff went to the governor’s mansion for dinner.  In addition to Lord Graymark was the head priest, a leading merchant by the name of Fisk and his teenage son, and a bunch of no ones.  There was a long process of statements and questions.  Basically, there was Lord Saxon in the north who was looking to “take over” the town so the leading merchants hired Greymark to build up their defenses.  He hired and conscripted a “free army” to maintain order and show force.  Our presence and good deeds such as taking out the thief guild and pirate ship, made us potential allies to the town.  He was looking for assurances that the town could count on us.

So, this was met with suspicion, of course.  I mean who’s to say that this guy and a few merchants are better for this town than the unknown Lord Saxon? Nobody made any firm commitments.  The Rogue and the Swashbuckler, who are looking to put down roots, stated that they could be counted on.  Several other players have personal missions and couldn’t commit long term.  The Rogue did ask for help buying a building in town (with access to her sewers).  Basically, as long as our interests align with theirs (e.g. pirate defeating) we’d be around.  During all this, the Rogue went invisible and snuck upstairs.  She ended up in his office, in his desk, and into his secret drawer.  Oops.  In there she found a letter from a Lord in the south, informing Greyhawk that Scorpix was on his way to arrest the criminals Monk, Paladin, Swashbuckler, and Wizard for crimes associated with the destruction of the Monk’s father’s monastery.  Lies! And requesting/demanding his support.  The Rogue felt that the signature was forged. 

We had no idea if the letter was believed but we really couldn’t ask about it since it was breaking and entering.  Scorpix’s forces would be in Jailynn soon.  So, what do we do? Stay and face him? Would Greyhawk side with him or us? If him, then we’d be facing two forces.  Go to the island and free the hostages as planned? Take a side trip to the north and look into these Orcs that Lord Saxon is allegedly supporting? It was agreed to go to the island as planned.  Hopefully, some of his forces will be on their way here so it’ll be easier? Hopefully, he won’t level the town if we are not there since he needs to control it.  We’ll see if those were the right choices.  So, in the morning, despite assurances to Lord Greyhawk that we’d be around to help, we set sail. (Dan: At this point, the orc fighter mysteriously disappears and a halfling takes his place.  No one in the party questioned anything.  Bad roleplaying or MIND CONTROL?)

We swung a bit north in hopes of avoiding the pirates heading this way.  We got to the island and decided to anchor on the opposite side and walk over rather than face another ship to ship battle.  That all went okay.  We got to their compound but it was a bit small.  A tower, a barracks for 20+ men, and a kitchen/support building.  The invisible Rogue did some scouting but could not find the hostages.  She avoided opening doors or taking risks so there were areas she did not see.  But we were hesitant to start blasting for fear of harming them or them being put to the sword because of us.  The Wizard asked if there were any trails from the compound that might lead to a cave or pit or cage where the hostages might be.  There was a trail that went up the cliff beside the waterfall up to the dragon statue that served as a landmark for the island.  (This was once a dragon cult island.)  Unfortunately, that trail was in plain view of the compound so we elected to wait until nightfall.

So, we went up the trail in the dark.  That was slow going mainly because only 3 of the 7 of us had darkvision.  At the top, we found a small bridge across the raging river just upstream from the 150-foot falls.  There was a barricade on the bridge guarded by 3 guys.  On the other side was a fire with another 10 guys of various types including a two-headed death dog and a berserker.  Beyond them was the dragon statue.  We could see stairs on it and surmised there were entrances into the mountain behind.  So much for our “find the hostages” plan.  We’d never get by these guys quietly.  The best we could hope for is quickly.  The good news was that the compound below was 20-25 minutes away so re-enforcements would take a while.  So, the Swashbuckler went first.  He Misty Step across the river, bypassing the bridge, barricade, and guards, and attacked a pirate by the fire.  And then backed away because next was the Wizard who let loose with a Fireball for 35 points.  That did soften them up considerably but only a couple of nonthreat peons went out.

We went into full fight mode.  The bridge was a bit of a bottleneck.  The Sorlock was very effective, knocking guys into the river with his knockback eldritch blast.  They had a 12 swim check near land, a 14 check out in the middle and a 16 check to keep from going over the falls.  I think 3-4 went in and only the last guy managed to make one of those rolls.  The Rogue was using her actions and Mage Hand to impeded those attempts.  The Swashbuckler used up several spells for smites to take out the death dog pretty quick.  Things were good.  A couple of guards came out from the statue but they were no real threat. 

But on the last round of the night, two wyverns flew out.  The first tried a flyby snatch on the Rogue but missed but the second snatched the Paladin.  The Monk did his step of the wind thing and jumped onto it.  He hit with a stunning strike but it saved.  But then the Bard changed his fate with a portance die and he failed after all.  He then missed with a grab and fell into the river and the 150-foot drop.  (He had Monk power to minimize that damage.)  The Fighter(Dan: I think this is actually Jon's Paladin?) managed to break free (with an inspiration die and advantage from the stunning strike) and fell into the river.  But with his gloves of swimming and a 20 roll, got out of the river with ease.  The Rogue then used her Mage Hand to get the Monk a rope.  He might have been able to survive the fall but he’d be 20 minutes back up assuming he didn’t get attacked by the 20+ down below.  We stopped there with two wyverns on the wing, a dungeon ahead of us, and a bunch of pirates behind us.  It’ll be fun.

Monday, 12 October 2020 13:38

D&D Game 20 - 10/09/20

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After a brief recap as to where we were, we started back up at the top of the order.  The Rogue and the Fighter took swings at the still stunned Captain Bogs.  The Rogue then jumping into the cargo hold to examine the locks holding Commander Price and the Fighter staying engaged with him.  The Monk provided cover for the Rogue by putting himself in front of the door between 5 marine pirates and her.  The Swashbuckler got onto our ship, figuring he could contribute with his bow and fight off any pirates that managed to get aboard.  He sent his warhorse towards the sinking enemy ship with the Sorlock still on his back.  The Sorlock and the Wizard continued to snipe at the pirates in the water.  The Paladin got onto our ship but then dove back in and started swimming towards the sinking ship.  Some of the pirates were still feared and were fleeing the sinking ship and some were simply smart enough to flee the sinking ship.  The only ones of importance were the Wyvern which was fleeing at 80 feet a round and its rider who was swimming after it.

The next round, the Wizard realized that our ship was protected and that the high AC Monk was going to need help against 5 unharmed marines, jumped into the hold and hit 4 of them with a Shatter. He also figured we’d need to fight through them to get to the captain’s quarters behind them if we were going to get any clues as to the location of their base.  Unfortunately, that Shatter didn’t do much damage.  The Rogue opened the lock on the cage with ease on the first try and moved onto the manacles (target DC 20).  The Monk continued to Dodge with his Ki and bash on the marines.  About this time, the ship “went” and it became evident to all that it wouldn’t last longer than a round or two.  The Fighter swung at the Captain as he fled off the side.  The rest of the pirates, including the marines down below, started jumping off the ship as well.  The Swashbuckler took long-range longbow shots at the Wyvern (400 is still long-range).  The Wizard was informed that the captain’s quarters was on a level between the deck and the hold.  He used Misty Step to get to the door, his movement to get in, and his action to search for anything that looked like it might help.  He rolled poorly and found some generic maps but then used an inspiration die to reroll and find the captain’s log.  Meanwhile, the Rogue was not able to pick the next lock.  She used her inspiration and then the Monk’s inspiration and got it open.

The Fighter got into the skiff as did Price, the Monk, and the Rogue.  The Paladin dove into the water on the other side of the ship after the fleeing captain however the Sorlock managed to take his last two hit points.  The Wizard shoved the log and maps into a handy chest that looked waterproof and jumped out the back window.  About then, the fire reached the gun powder and the ship exploded.  Everybody except the Swashbuckler and the Wizard who happened to be outside the blast zone, had to take 40 points, half on a DEX save.  I think everyone but the Fighter managed to save although it took the Sorlock a luck point and a divine favor to do so.  No one went out, to Andy’s disappointment.  So, everyone went into the water as the skiff was destroyed.  The war horse was winked out as well but the Sorlock was still flying.  So, it was every man for himself and most swam towards our ship as best they could.  With the following exceptions.

The Swashbuckler continued to shoot at the Wyvern which had finally saved from the Fear and came back to retrieve his rider.  He managed to hit several times but it kept saving against his Ensnaring Strikes.  (As a large creature, it was getting advantage on it’s already considerable STR save.)  On the last try, it finally failed and tumbled into the water.  However, it was flying low and they didn’t take much damage.  The next round the rider freed it from the vines and they flew off.  The Sorlock, with his backstory hatred of pirates, continued to blast them out of the water.  The Paladin dove into depths of the river, hoping to retrieve some valuable information from the Captain’s sinking corpse.  He missed his first Perception roll and it was getting murkier.  The next round he invoked the power of his god to illuminate his sword.  With inspiration from 2 players, he finally managed to catch a glimpse of metal and retrieve the body.  After making it back to the ship, we realized that no one had seen the Fighter since the explosion.  All feared the worse, although he still had the Water Breathing spell on him so there was room for debate.  Everybody searched and the Monk managed to spot him walking on the river bed in his heavy armor.  Evidently, he had unilaterally decided that despite his 20 strength, proficiency in athletics, and remarkable athlete power from his fighter subclass, that he had no chance of swimming in heavy armor and just assumed he sank.  And then role-played in silence (Dan: passive aggressive Roleplaying for the win!).  But he was retrieved.

Along with the log and the maps, the chest turned out to be his treasure chest.  It contained some coinage, gems, and a scroll of Tashia’s Hideous Laughter which went to the Wizard and of Guiding Bolt which is only useable by a Cleric so we were going to donate it to the church.  Captain Bogs had another pirate medallion that the Paladin took.  He figured his god guided him to it for some grand purpose.  He also had 3 potions.  Healing, which went to the quick-footed Monk, Water Breathing, which went to the bottom walking Fighter, and Climbing which went to the Swashbuckler.  Lastly, he had a Ring of Evasion which allowed a reroll on a missed Dex save.  It has 3 charges and recharges 1-3 per long rest.  That would be of use to most anyone but it was decided to go to the Sorlock who hadn’t gotten any useful magic items thus far.  The journal was in code but the Wizard managed to decode it enough to determine their base was likely on an island that was once home to a dragon cult.  It has a big statue on it and the sailor characters knew where it was.  The Wyvern was last seen heading that direction.  There was some debate as to how damaged the ship was but everyone wanted a long rest regardless.  It’s not like we’ll be able to outsail a flying Wyvern.  So, we returned to Jailyn, and repairs were started.  The town sheriff found us and said that the new governor had heard of our success and wanted to invite us to dinner to meet us.  We decided to tackle that next time and called it a night.
Sunday, 27 September 2020 20:28

D&D Game 20 - 09/25/20

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We continued on our plan to fight the Red Sail pirates who, rumor has it, are working for Lord Scorpix.  Everyone their own way in Jailynn.  The Fighter went to hang out at the stables.  The Sorlock studied the books on religion he had just purchased.  The Swashbuckler prepared the gifts he bought, planning to leave them at the doorsteps of poor children during the night.  The Paladin trained at the temple.  The Wizard helped Row with his research on the staff.  The Rogue looked into buying a building with access to the sewers.  The Monk, I can’t remember.  The Monk and the Rogue ended up in the bar where Someone Halfhand told them he had information about the pirates.  They have been hanging out at an inn called the Reluctant Pig, newly built on the north road out of town.  It was not on the river but had a jetty nearby where skiffs could be tied up nearby.  The Fighter noticed 3 strangers pulling into the stable with a wagon.  They seemed to have red armor hidden under their cloaks.  When they went into the mercantile to purchase goods, he went searching for his comrades. 

The Rogue used her Invisibility to hid on the wagon but it was too small.  She got on the horse instead which did not like it but there wasn’t much it could do about it.  The rest of the party gathered and we debated on what to do.  We assumed they’d be heading to the inn in the north so the Wizard Messaged the Rogue that we’d meet her there.  There was much debate about whether to get on the ship and sail north or get our horses and ride north.  We decided to stay together and ride north after telling Commander Row to move the ship that way in case we needed it.  The Rogue overheard enough of their talk to confirm that these guys were the Red Sail pirates and the seemed to be capturing specific high place locals for a booty paid by Scorpix.  Unfortunately, they mentioned hostages already caught, being stashed at some nearby secret base.  So that complicated things.

They arrived at the smithy behind the inn and unloaded.  And then went into the inn for an ale, we assume waiting for someone.  Most went in but the Swashbuckler stayed out.  There were some suspicious looks and chatter with the bartender but no one forced any action.  The Swashbuckler noticed our ship pull up near.  Later he saw a ship with red sails sailing downriver, straight for it.  He alerted the rest and everyone headed to the river bank as best the could.  The Wizard, Rogue and Fighter grabbed a skiff and rowed out.  The Paladin with his magic swimming gauntlets and the Monk chose to swim out.  The Paladin had his horse swim out since it’s half movement swim of 30 was better than his.  The Sorlock sprouted his angel wings to follow but ended up on the back of the horse as well.  Before we could do much, we saw a wyvern with a rider fly towards our ship.  The Swashbuckler took a shot or two but the range was too great for any else.

The relative movement rates of the players plus the movements of the ships and the distance made the start of the fight very complicated.  It was sort of a jumble mess from there.  The wyvern snatched Commander Price and flew her to their ship.  The Wizard didn’t want to hurt her so he shot a Fireball at their sails, hoping to slow them down.  A couple more long-range shots were taken.  That fire occupied the pirates but there were plenty of marines with crossbows shooting at the skiff.  Price was stowed below and the wyvern returned without a rider to attack the rowing Fighter.  The Monk and Paladin managed to get to our ship just after a pirate caster fired his own Fireball at our ship’s deck.  Luckily the crew was below deck from the wyvern attack.  The Paladin lead them on fire extinguishing duties.  The Swashbuckler and the Scorlock were the further behind and shot arrows and cantrips as the could.  There was some debate on the skiff as to which ship to make for but with Price captive and they having a higher-level wizard than ours, it seemed like a direct attack was called for.

The Wizard shot another Fireball on their deck, targeting like 15-20 guys.  It was a lot of damage, both to the men and the ship, but only a couple of sailors were taken out.  The Rogue cast Grease to add to the confusion.  Once besides their ship, the Rogue popped up to fire a Burning Hands and the Wizard did his last Fireball.  Again, lots of damage but there were few deaths.  The Swashbuckler did manage to kill their caster with his bow.  The Monk made a mighty leap and climb to get onto their ship.  As usual, Andy crit him with his first attack.  Some of them started fleeing the burning, listing ship.  The Fighter ran through the Grease to get in the middle of them and unleashed his Fear attack from his maul.  Many missed their saves and dove for the water including the wyvern rider.  The captain stood tall and unleashed his Polearm master attacks.  The Monk hit a couple and headed down into the hull.  He found Commander Price in a steel cage as the ship was taking on water.  We fell asleep about there for it was 2 AM.  Half of us are on their burning sinking ship. The Paladin is on our ship, ready to kill or capture any pirates that try to board it.  The Swashbucklers are still trying to get caught up.  I think the Captain is the only villain left on their ship but there are many injured marines and sailors as well.  Somehow, we’ve got to get Price out of there before it sinks or blows up, without getting killed.  And if we can find charts as to where their secret base is, even better. 

Saturday, 19 September 2020 18:58

D&D Game 19 - 09/18/20

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Andy had all kinds of problems getting us logged into the game.  This was particularly frustrating since it was working just a few days before.  He rebooted and reconfigured and we were about to give up and switch to something else when he finally found a combination that worked.  So, we finally started.  We left off, freshly returned to Jailynn.  But we also returned to the problem we left with, what to do about this evil sentient artifact staff.  NPC Row reiterated that he did not expect it to be intelligent so he was unsure how to destroy it.  He needed some research time which all agreed was reasonable.  But what to do with it in the meantime.  He wanted to leave it locked up in the vault at the school, figuring it would be less noticed here than back in the big city of Long Bridge.  The problem was that anyone that knew we had it, such as Lady Arnow, would likely show up in our home town.  We could hide it ourselves like in the ocean or in the sewers.  Or keep it with us.  It was endless.  Eventually, Wade played the metagaming card, stating that no matter what we did, if Andy wanted to take the staff and start a plotline, he would.  Better just do what the NPC (Andy) suggested and move on.  This did not sit well with some but it was the only way to get past it.  I think Dave dropped off around here. (Daniel: He seemed depressed about the future of Democracy and got drunk to deal with it.)

We noted that a new Lord had moved into town, bringing with him a new marshal and a bunch of guards/troops.  We asked around and no one had anything bad to say about them, perse.  It was just different.  Crime was down but so was supervision.  The sewers had been sealed up, much to the consternation of the Rogue who still planned to make it her base.  We talked the halfling sheriff who had been made permanent in the 6 months we were gone but under the new marshal.  She said that piracy was up on the river now that traffic had increased.  The Red Dragons or some such.  Rumor has it they are loosely affiliated with Lord Scorpix.  They also periportally had a big lizard creature that fought with them.  Some said it was a dragon but most dismissed that unlikely.  We decided to do something about it.  We went to our ship and talked to Commander Price.  She seemed unconcerned.  “There are always pirates.”  But we informed her to make the ship battle-worthy.  She said she had a commission in Long Bridge already lined up.  So, we agreed to go with her, check on our magic item feelers, and if we were attacked by pirates, so much the better.  A few of us had a couple things to do in town that day but after some wasted time, we left in the morning.  (Daniel: Cedric mentioned "Gentle Repose" scrolls and the local priest overheard and took the opportunity to reward the party with two scrolls.  Cedric inscribed it into his hybrid ritual tome and kept the other to put any dead party members on ice for easier resurrection.)

We had no problems getting to Long Bridge.  The Wizard asked how long it would take and Price said just the day.  If we wanted a ride back, she’d be leaving at sunset.  The Wizard pointed out that this was still our ship and asked her to wait for us.  We went into town to check on our magic item searches.  Andy was not prepared for that Pandora’s Box so he said we had found nothing.  Truthfully, our “reasonable” wants had probably changed and the “unreasonable” wants, we couldn’t afford and couldn’t just buy anyway.  We milled around the market when the Wizard spotted Marisha the jungle girl watching us.  She quickly ducked away and we decided to not pursue her.  The Wizard found a diary in an estate sellers booth that was actually full of magical theories so he bought that.  The Rogue bought a book about how-to pick-up women to aid in her pursuit of Commander Price.  The Swashbuckler bought some small toys he intended to give to the kids in Jailynn.  Eventually, we got back to the ship and sailed.  (Daniel: Cedric bought a few books on religion in the hopes of beefing his knowledge of religion ie getting the religion proficiency.  It appears he is the defacto party cleric.)

On the 3rd watch we were attacked by some snake-headed semi-aquatic creatures who climbed onto the ship.  They had a snake bite with 2d6 of extra poison damage or a longbow or two scimitar attacks.  Their to hit and AC were low but they had a lot of hit points to grind through.  They also had an innate suggestion spell and advantage on all saves.  That first round, Andy critted the Monk, doing near max damage.  That was more than half his hit points in a single blow and he was stunned.  (Somewhere along the way, the optional system shock rules got turned on.  Andy didn't want to get into that argument so he just went with it.)  The swashbuckler critted twice in his first round, tacking on extra smite damage but still didn’t drop one.  The Wizard hit 5 of them with a Slow but two saved and with advantage, they others saved soon enough.  But it helped.  For the most part, Andy needed a crit to hit the 3 dex based melee guys but he managed to do so multiple times.  It seemed like half his hits were crits but crits do a ton of damage.  Some got hurt but no one went out.  The Sorlock, who was eldritch blasting them off the ship, got targeted by that Suggestion power several times but used multiple powers like luck to fend most of them off.  (Daniel: The first suggestion was to look at the rear of ship and to not look forward.  Cedric tried to get around this by activating his divine soul, growing energy wings and flying up and then foward so he could attack while looking back.  The next 2 suggestions were trickier like "don't speak for eight hours".  It's a nasty spell that Cedric blew through all his luck and Divine Favor to resist.)  The last two monsters managed to get away into the water.  We got some longbows but that was about it.  We continued into Jailynn without issue.  Andy was unavailable in two weeks so we agreed to play in one week.

Saturday, 12 September 2020 18:41

D&D Game 18 - 09/11/20

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We started right after the battle with the bandit/cultists from last time.  Some of the characters searched the bodies for clues (and loot) and others started walking with Lady Arnow towards our tents.  The searches got modest loot, found cultist tattoos, and noticed that each tier of foe had the same amount of gold on them.  We concluded that they had just gotten paid.  Lady Arnow asked a bunch of questions as the other group walked.  The Swashbuckler Paladin did most of the talking.  We pretty much had to tell her it was a mummy curse to have any hope of curing Row although if she had the power to do it, she was probably going to figure it out for herself.  He was vague about where that tomb was but he did make a point of mentioning the staff we recovered that he was carrying.  (He had the false staff.)  They all had to make a high Wisdom save and only the Paladin did so (with an inspiration die).  He knew that she was using some sort of mind-reading on us although we certainly didn’t notice her casting a spell. 

Meanwhile, the Monk noticed someone flashing a signal to him from the cave entrance.  They went over and found that jungle girl, Marshia.  The odds of her being here seemed astronomical.  She basically warned them that Lady Arnow was not as she seemed.  That she had been waiting for weeks for us to show up.  She could provide no further information and was not willing to get any closer to her.  So, they hurried to catch up with the rest of the group.  Lady Arnow said she was would await Row in her tent.  The now more suspicious Paladin asked if she could use our tent but she said she needed her tent supplies to do the ceremony.  The rest of the group caught up and we debated.  Everybody go in case we’re attacked? Leave some behind to guard the staff? Pack up now and leave? But it quickly came to the point that we hadn’t had a long rest in a long time and after the last battle, we were in no shape to take on another foe.  So, we stalled for time.  We sent a Sherpa (name Christian Redshirt) with a message simply saying something had come up and we’d meet with her in the morning.  We erected our Tiny Huts and finally got our long rest.

In the morning, her tent was gone.  The Sherpas were questioned and they said that when the sun came up, it was simply gone.  They saw and heard nothing but they weren’t looking either.  So, we packed up to leave but we wanted to do some investigation first.  (Discussions on which way to go were put on hold.)  Her campsite was investigated and there were no signs that they had ever been there.  E.g. no holes from tent stakes.  We realized that she had no horses, Sherpas or anything.  The Rogue, Monk, and Wizard went over to the bar to make inquiries since she was supposedly in charge.  When they got there, they found it deserted.  What was once a bar full of activity now had nothing.  It looked as if it hadn’t been used in days, weeks, months? The only tracks in dust seemed to correspond to the players, the bandits, and her.  Was it all an illusion? We also realized that the oasis outside was also mostly empty as well.  Marisha was also nowhere to be found.  They did some searching and found a lot of nothing.  The two guarding statues were still there.  The Rogue used Disguise Self to change into Lady Arnow and tried to walk past them.  When they started to move, she cast Grease and they fled.  Arcana rolls confirmed they were likely Iron Golems.  Yikes, that’s high-level stuff.

So, we were back to where to go.  We could go southeast along the standard road with the expectation of getting attacked by her and/or cultists.  Or go east to another pass through the mountains but that was a long way with no civilization along the way.  Or west to a coastal town in hopes of hiring a boat to take us home.  Or a couple more radical ideas.  Those that were advocating for southeast and a fight were less inclined now that we knew she could create such an illusion, construct or at least control Iron Golems, and read minds at will.  That seemed like a “avoid at all costs” power level so we voted to go west.  Unfortunately, that put us on a path that Andy had not prepared so we pretty much avoided the whole night’s fight.

We made it to the small fishing village built around a fortress long since ruined.  There were no traders but one of the fish ships could take us south to Jalyn.  He could not take all the Sherpas and gear but that was not their home anyway.  There was some debate and what to do with them.  We decided to pay them well, give them the camels, wagon, most of the supplies since we didn’t need them, and let them find their own way home.  They’d be safer without us.  We made it to Jalyn without issue.  We got Row cured.  He did not expect the staff to be sentient so he wasn’t sure what to do with it.  He needed more research.  He suggested we leave it with him at the college but I don’t recall if we agreed to that.  We made 7th.  Andy made inquiries about our character's long term plans and will plan the next adventure based on something said, I guess.  Jon can’t run next week so Andy will.  It was an early night.

Sunday, 30 August 2020 09:47

D&D Game 17 - 08/28/20

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We started, exiting the dungeon after defeating the mummy and securing the staff his followers were after as a means of bringing him to life.  Unfortunately, our NPC patron was still unconscious, held between life and death, with the crown barely holding the mummy rot at bay.  We weren’t sure what his plan was after obtaining this staff.  Destroy it, we assumed, but how? At the very least, it seemed obvious we should get it (and ourselves) as far from here as possible.  So, we headed back to our camels and supplies and then on to the oasis we were at a couple of days ago.  No time for a long rest but Andy allowed us a short rest during the travels.  Rehk noticed that behind us, the land was transforming from desert to jungle.  We tried to recall the history Row had told us.  This land was a lush jungle and when the evil king was killed, it turned into a desert.  So, we think restoring it to jungle is a sign that the king was defeated.  There was some debate as to whether the staff we were carrying was causing the changes but we didn’t think so.  The plants weren’t growing quickly but being magical revealed.

(Note from Dan: At this point, I had briefly thought we had somehow been transferred back in time to when before the curse and was going to try Navigation to check the stars but since the GM described the sand revealing the existing plants as we watched I decided that couldn't possibly be the case.)

We came upon the oasis but it had been transformed as well.  It was full of people.  There was a water wheel for grinding flour, buildings, stables, and all manner of civilization.  We were perplexed.  We did note that the tent of the noble lady who was too ill to speak to us last time was still there so that was as good a place to start as any.  But first, we set up camp.  The sorlock transcribed the Tiny Hut ritual into his book so that we could still have two castings and accommodate everyone.  The swashbuckler paladin wrapped the dead shock staff into a blanket and carried it as if it was important in hopes of deceiving anyone who was after the real one still in the wagon.  He and the monk went to visit the tent.  The seneschal seemed to be having trouble remember him but did eventually.  It was then revealed that it had been 6 months since we had last come through here.  Magic.  He asked some questions about where we’d been and we gave some vague answers.  He asked if we needed any help.  We said we had some need of healing arts and he said his lady might be able to help.  She could be found at the bar in the cave we glanced in a couple days ago.

So, the wizard cast his hut spell to make Row comfortable.  The two paladins and the fighter went to the bar to fetch the lady.  The rest milled around camp, mainly guarding the staff which would seem to be the prime target.  So, the bar was down an elaborate staircase into a vast chamber.  All kinds of people were there including a larger blue mage doing tricks on a stage.  The holy paladin immediately assumes he was evil and started to do his detect evil thing.  There was some debate as to how powerful an evil needed to be in order to be detected but the upshot was the usual problem of Andy not wanted to reveal the alignment of everyone in the whole town on round one.  There were some bandit looking guys giving them the eye.  When the barmaid was asked, she said they had been in town several days, supposedly waiting for someone.  The bartender was asked about the Lady and he sent a girl to inform her that the swashbuckler had returned.  That took a while. 

Meanwhile, the 2 bandits came over with purpose and they readied for combat.  The paladins tried to defuse the situation, not wanted to get into a fight with half the party and in the middle of a bunch of innocents.  The fighter accidentally spilled his beer on one guy but the other bandit pulled him away.  “Not now.”  The holy paladin decided to pay a pud to take a message to the rest of the party.  But when the pub left, he was followed by a bandit.  So, he followed, not wanting him to be killed in his service.  There was some cat and mouse pursuit but nothing much came of it.  Eventually, the rest of the group arrived in time for the fight.  The Lady offered her services and we headed back to camp.  The wizard asked her about the transformation of this bar.  From a magical theory point of view.  She was aware of creation spells like Fabricate but she did not cast them.  She sort of implied the bar revealed itself and she sort of took procession of it and started this operation.  As we left the cave, we could see or more like hear the bandits getting ready for action. 

So, combat started.  There was a bandit lord with 3 attacks and some command powers that gave his minions bonuses.  Two bandit captains who also got 3 attacks.  And lots of minions.  Rehk wreaked havoc on the minions with his mighty blows, killing 1-2 a round.  The wizard tried a Hold Person on round one but the Lord saved.  The next round he cast a Slow, figuring it was more important to stop the 3 attacks a round from the big guys than kill a bunch of minions who weren’t doing much.  All 4 missed their saves including the lord and a captain so that was good.  The holy paladin ended up surrounded but the minions only did 1d6+3, most of which bounced off his heavy armor damage resistance.  But it added up after 4-5 rounds.  The rest just attacked.  We were a little hampered because we still hadn’t had a long rest but with their big guns slowed and no spell casters on their side, they didn’t pose that big a threat.  The NPC Lady just stood there watching but the bandits didn’t get that close to her.  We gathered the loot under the guise of looking for clues but Andy didn’t have that list together so we’ll distribute that next time.  The main guys did have those scorpion tattoos on the back of their necks so evidently, we didn’t kill all of them at the tomb.  Andy decided to deal with the healing of Row next time so we ended there.

Monday, 27 April 2020 11:57

D&D Game 16 - 04/24/20

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We started by taking a short rest, figuring we’d already taken a couple of rests so one more wasn’t going to hurt us further.  We weren’t really down many powers but it allowed the 2-3 characters that were beat up to get some hit points back.  Next, we did an inventory of our gems.  The had gems labeled 1, 3, 4 and 5 so it seemed like we were missing number 2.  We then discussed where we found the ones we had, assuming a missing one would be in a room where we found none.  That could only be in 2-3 places and although we were fairly certain we had done a thorough search, we decided to invest the time to make sure we hadn’t missed one.  We didn’t want to cause the end of the world for the lack of one gem.  Unfortunately, that took much longer than it needed to but eventually we concluded that there was no more to find.  We headed to the final doors to find 4 recesses in the door in the shapes of the gems we had.  (Circle, triangle, square, and pentagram to correspond to those numbers, as it turns out.)  If we had done that first, maybe it would have saved us an hour searching.

With an eye towards caution, we had the Rogue use her Mage Hand to place the gems.  Once in place, they started to glow and the doors swung open.  In the room, we saw a large 20 sided crystal hovering just above the floor and rotating randomly.  We could see numbers (in this ancient language) on each facet.  1-20.  Above that was a sarcophagus, also hovering.  It was covered in art and words and such.  Also in the room were 4 stone chambers(?).  We did as much investigation as we could without entering the room.  We arrived at no solutions when the Swashbuckler bit the bullet and entered the room.  Some complained about the harshness of that action but it was going to have to happen at some point.  The chambers opened and each held a giant scorpion.  We noticed that also inside each was a pedestal that looked like it could hold a gem.  The sarcophagus opened and a mummy emerged.  The gems fell out of the doors but at least they stayed open.  Initiative was rolled and our Wizard went first.  He shot a Fireball into the room and we were happy to see that the mummy took double damage to fire.  People piled in, basically targeting the mummy at range or engaging a scorpion.

However, things quickly went south.  We “killed” the mummy quickly but it didn’t seem to notice, being already dead.  The scorpions got 3 attacks a round.  Two claws that did decent damage and then grappled for free.  And a stinger that did modest damage but then did 6d6 of poison damage on a missed CON save.  Those that missed were also blinded and if you missed by 5, also paralyzed.  And to make matters worse, because this was unholy ground, we had disadvantage on all our saves.  So the Monk was hit, grappled, blinded and paralyzed.  The Holy Paladin was hit, blinded and paralyzed.  And it was only round 2.  The Rogue used her Mage Hand to place 2 gems on 2 pedestals.  On her next round, she did the other two and the scorpions at least went from huge to merely large.  The Fighter used a bonus action to try to fling the Monk out of a claw but couldn’t best it's STR.  The Sorlock cast lessor restoration on the Holy Paladin and since both conditions stemmed from the poison, he managed to end both.  Our Wizard cast Slow and thankfully all 4 scorpions missed their saves, limiting them to 1 attack.  That may have kept us alive even though 2 saved their next round and another the round after that. 

The one with the Monk fell back and another also grappled him.  Between the 2, they took him out, still blind, paralyzed, and grappled.  The Swashbuckler Paladin cast a Moon Beam which was a sustained small AOE that managed to get 3 of them.  Somewhere in there, Row got hit by the mummy and cursed with mummy rot or something.  Despite all this and the mountain of hit points on the scorpions, they started to drop as the mummy was pretty much ignored.  We hoped that taking the scorpions out would somehow help but it did not.  The Holy Paladin finally got to act and did a turn undead on the mummy however before he could go, he had to save against the smoky cloud the mummy had released.  He missed that save but used inspiration and rolled a 20 this time.  The mummy missed his save and had to flee from his Holy power.  It’s quite a power in 5.0.  The level of the undead does not matter and it doesn’t get another save.  It was out of action for 10 rounds as long as we didn’t attack it.  We quickly finished off the scorpions.  On to the puzzle.

So while the Holy Paladin kept it at bay we searched and thought and tried and argued.  We did not have any success.  We tried everything we could think of.  About the time Andy warned us that the turn time was up, the Rogue suggested pushing all 4 gems onto facet 13, the sum of the 4.  (I think the Monk had suggested the sum might mean something earlier.)  When she simply touched the number 13, the crystal shattered, spilling a bunch of treasure on the floor.  And the sarcophagus fell open.  And the mummy charged to attack.  We rerolled initiative and this time it actually took damage.  It did not last long.  The Swashbuckler grabbed the staff which started to talk.  It tried to convince him to run away but he managed to save.  The Rogue took it from him with her Mage Hand which then expired and it fell to the floor.

So we ignored the evil staff and searched through the treasure.  We then realized Row was taking continual damage.  A survey of our abilities revealed that we had no way to remove a curse.  The offer of help from the staff was voted down.  We determined that the Crown of Wound Closure would keep Row alive, hopefully until we could get him to a Cleric.  So we took a short rest to allow him to attune to it, pumping healing magic into him to keep him conscious. While that was going on, our Wizard identified the magic items we’d gotten. A +2 long bow that went to the Swashbuckler.  A set of +2 AC bracers that went to the Monk.  And a venom dagger that went to the Rouge.  We left the dungeon and got to our supply train.  (We probably should have done something with the mummy.)  We can place Row in the wagon along with a wrapped up evil staff.  That’s still going to be a problem.  Do we give it to Row so he can research how to destroy it? Is he one bad save away from becoming a corrupted 9th level Wizard? I think we stopped there. 

Andy gave enough experience to make 6th level.  People started leveling up as the chronicler went to bed.  

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