D&D Liveblog!

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I’m going to try and liveblog tonight’s adventure! I’ll be appending things to the start of this entry, so if you’re reading this after the fact, it’s going to look a little backward.

11:09PM. We’ve run over time and that’s the game for tonight! I had fun live blogging it, but I think, next week, I’ll just go back to the recap the day after….. ;-)

10:58PM. I was turned into a pincushion by one of the Yuan-ti. Zalandrin “Silenced” a good portion of the room. Another Yuan-ti tried to shoot me but fumbled, was embarrassed to see that he forgot to put an arrow to the bow! I made some funny faces at the nearest snake person, but it resisted Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. I, with some disgust, sung a bardic inspiration at Dinwuddle and moved back out of the room. The Yuan-Ti missed Zalandrin, hit Ellryn, and the battle was well and truly joined.

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10:46PM. Lokvir turned the priestess into… a bunny rabbit. Well, now the snake folk know we’re fighting, too. They shot me! With an arrow! Does that mean I can’t be an adventurer any more!

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10:42PM. Voice chat is back.

10:39PM. Back to typing! Seems so slow after voice chat. The Priestess yells ENOUGH! and demands to know why we have interrupted the ceremony. Her yell breaks my concentration and I look up, a little lost in the music. Dimsdale decides to attack, doing a “magic missile” with a crossbow.

I guess we’re fighting! Lokvir shrugs. “Ah yes, this should go well…..”

10:37PM: Everyone else passed to me, so I sang a song about the bravery and wisdom of the Yuan-Ti, mixing in all the things that had happened to us in this dungeon as tests of our worthiness to approach them. No reaction because, just then, voice chat died!!!!

10:29PM: A pureblood is about to sacrifice a dwarf on an altar. All the Yuan-Ti have paused, and are staring at us, daring us to make the first move.

10:23PM. Uh-oh….

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10:08PM. Battle done, we’re returning to the cell area to take a short rest. I play Song of Rest while the rest of the party heals up. Dimwiddle claims he is the most powerful wizard in Cell Block A. Meanwhile, the tiefling leafed through his spellbook until we asked him how the heck he came to be there. He saw the cultist party at the bridge and tried to infiltrate their band. The halfling, who had been sure that the tiefling was magically disguised, was forced to admit that the tiefling was, in fact, a demonspawn.

The door at the far side of the cell block was locked. The halfling went back to his cell and found the cell keys where he threw them. Nonetheless, instead of using the keys, he uses his quarterstaff to beat “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the door.

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9:54PM. The tiefling’s eldritch blasts did little against the creature. The helmed horror stood up. Its helmet spun around and came to rest looking straight at the halfling barbarian (who thinks he’s a wizard). It attacked; Dimwiddle jumped back, unready. I took this chance to Viciously Mock the creature, giving it disadvantage on its next attack, along with four points of psychic damage. Zalandrin’s swords made no dent on the monster, but Ellryn managed to knock off one of its gauntlets, spilling snakes onto the floor. Dimsdale knocked its codpiece off with a staff blow (apparently!). I couldn’t watch! The tiefling used a vampiric touch that was quite effective. Before long, the armor crashed to the ground, and the snakes that had animated it slithered into the walls.

We were tired and looking for a place to rest.

9:29PM. The Tiefling groggily came to and was immediately put to the question by Zalandrin, swords drawn, and a good amount of bluster from Dimsdale. I cast Healing Word to help with his wounds. Ellryn reminded me that he was low on health, so I used my magical lute to Cure him of four hit points of damage. We would have done more, but snakes poured out of everywhere and animated a discarded suit of armor. The tiefling has the first reaction…..

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9:20PM. Dimwit dressed in his recovered gear (a patched up bedsheet AKA “wizard robes” and a tall stick which nonetheless glowed magically) and cast the “KNOCK” spell on a couple of unlocked doors, leading us to a chapel with statues of Yuan-Ti nobility and an unconscious tiefling. Could this be our new party member? He is dressed as a cultist so…..

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9:10PM. Finishing up the Fantasy Grounds tutorials. Those monsters on the map, btw, the group up above us is that horned demon guard group that we talked our way past, and over on the left is the library ghost. DM doing the recap!

9PM. People starting to show up. New character Lokvir is working out how to cast spells as a warlock in FG2 with the DM and Michael, Zalandrin’s player and an expert GM in his own right. Lots of call-outs to Peren, our previous warlock-paladin (“waladin”).

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8:45 PM. About fifteen minutes to go, I’m the first one here. The DM is testing out his Hunter’s Mark macro with Gina, our ex-tank. We’ve had issues applying effects that aren’t set automatically in a consistent way that takes into account their in-game bonuses.

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D&D — Where We Are Now

Our new best friend!
Our new best friend!

I want to try an experiment tonight — I want to try and “live blog” tonight’s D&D session here on West Karana. But I haven’t blogged about our ongoing D&D campaign in so long, that the very least I can do is reprint my write-up of last week’s session. My dirty secret is that I blog a LOT, I just do it during breaks at work. And this blog… is blocked at work, so I do my blogging on Google+.

I may backfill previous weeks, but for now, here’s LAST week.

—–

“The Rise of Dimsdale”

Six deadly, bloodthirsty, snakey Yuan-Ti fell before our righteous wrath. Well, one ran off, so five. FIVE deadly, bloodthirsty Yuan-Ti fell and… well, technically that one in the corner there wasn’t ENTIRELY dead. So FOUR deadly, etc.

I still had TONGUES running on myself from the parley with the bearded demon guards which sounds kinda yucky now that I say it out loud. I thought the surviving Yuan-Ti would want to lighten the burden of his poisoned heart by explaining all the plots and machinations that brought he and his group here, but after explaining that we would soon meet our end in the POOOOOOOL (he pronounced this with six syllables for extra emphasis), he seemed more concerned with his impending death.

I shrugged and gave Zalandrin the look that says “you can kill this one now”. To be honest, Zalandrin interprets most looks that way. This time, though, the psycho-ranger (which sounds like an awesome job title now that I say it out loud like that) declined to kill a monster that wasn’t fighting back, and just knocked him out and piled the corpses of the remaining Yuan-Ti on top of him for some reason.

This, by the way, is the same psycho-ranger who killed someone for simply looking in our tent once.

In any event, we were all headed down a slippery slope to our own destruction.

I mean that literally. The way forward was down an actual slippery slope that widened out to a super slippery bridge over a pit so deep that no 10′ pole could touch its bottom. There were three Yuan-Ti stationed on the bridge, looking generally our way but seemingly not terribly concerned about us.

I did a little bardish geometry in my head. If I were at the origin, O, of a circle with a radius r of 15 feet, and the radii of force intersected the positions of YT 1, 2 and 3 in such a way as to continue them off the bridge, then… aw heck. I ran up to the edge of the bridge and shouted THUNDERWAVE!!!!!

A gentle breeze softly caressed the scales of the three Yuan-Ti. They smiled sibilantly and rolled their saving throws and stayed planted on that bridge. One walked up and casually nicked my arm with their blade.

That was my favorite lute arm, too! Well, now I was angry. But not as angry as Zalandrin, who angrily planted arrows into the walls. Not as angry as Ellryn, who angrily ran down onto the bridge and slipped off the edge.

Ellryn managed to grab at the side of the bridge just before he plunged to what might have been his death, and barely dodged the Yuan-Ti trying to help him down the rest of the way.

Well, we gnomes have to look out for each other. I ran down, ducked beneath the attack of a Yuan-Ti and dimension doored the both of us back up the stairs.

Ellryn looked almost disappointed. Shouting “AGAIN!”, he ran down — again — and fell over the side — AGAIN. This time he couldn’t grab the edge. It was a fall of 120 feet, but he sprang lightly to his feet and was ready for more. More POISONOUS SNAKES! This was a SNAKE PIT! BWAHAHAHAHA! — is what the DM was saying!

Ellryn started climbing the walls of the pit as Zalandrin and I worked on the remaining Yuan-Ti. He couldn’t get all the way up, but got close enough that some rope could bring him up the rest of the way.

With him back in the game, we were able to take out the rest of the Yuan-Ti and the more human-like one that showed up to trade arrows with Zalandrin.

We tied ourselves together to make the perilous trip over the bridge to the other side.

Ellryn fell over the side. AGAIN. But he did not manage to pull the rest of us over with him, and we managed to get past the bridge with minimal additional death.

We’d been hearing some yelling for quite some time, and it got louder as we headed deeper. Past a room filled with pits and snake totems, we found a block of cells. One of the cells held an emaciated dwarf that nobody wondered at the time if he might be the dwarf we’re looking for. (We did wonder if this was Gina’s lost boyfriend, though). The other held a halfling wizard, who with great bluster announced himself as Dimsdale Butterworth, the Pulsating Pustule of Scintillation. Or something.

Though a wizard of great power and much renown, Dimsdale the I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Wizard admitted that the book from which he learned his wizardly acumen was missing pages for a couple spells, such as Knock and Mage Hand.

I kept suggesting potential spells that might help him out, but Zalandrin just rolled his eyes and tossed the set of keys that hung on a nail into the cell and told the halfling to get himself out. We had more pressing things to worry about, as several Yuan-Ti were heading to us from the snake totem room.

We ran out and started the fight and were doing pretty well, when Dinsdale Transfat the Ever Quivering came running past us as naked as the day they pulled him out of the pancake syrup. MAGIC OVERPOWERING FOOT ODOR! he yelled, as he kneecapped one of the Yuan-Ti. FIVE FINGER FIST OF FIRE WHICH IS TOTALLY A REAL SPELL! he roared as he slapped another one.

The rest of us just had to pause for a moment to take all this in, but we eventually just shrugged and got back to the snake killing party.

And that was that for the night.

REALLY fun session, met our newest party member, Dimsdale Butterstick the Perpetually Scintillating. And now Ellryn gets his own personality trait. Mine is just being an annoying bard who is more a danger to her own party than any enemy. Zalandrin is a psychokiller with a fear of mushrooms. And now… Ellryn can’t pass a pit without falling in.

Shatter.

Ambush! From those bushes!
Ambush! From those bushes!

When last the Adventure Company met, we’d tracked some suspicious Cult of the Dragon cultists to a warehouse in which, returning later, we found absolutely nothing suspicious. While in the warehouse, though, we did manage to sign ourselves up as guards to accompany possibly suspicious cargoes right out of Waterdeep to their final destination.

Nothing was going to stop us from finding out what those cultists were up to… and leaving Faerun struggling to survive with a lot fewer cultists, if we had any say in it. Psycho-Elf Zalandrin just doesn’t feel the day was worth living if nothing died during it.

Nothing was going to stop us, that is, but three weeks where someone was doing something else, or was tired, or… forgot… But we did have a quorum last night.

Zalandrin, elf ranger. Ellryn, gnome monk. Naivara, elf cleric (of “the Mushroom God”). And me, Tinda, gnome bard.

Having spent two months in real AND game time travelling in a caravan from Baldur’s Gate to Waterdeep, we weren’t really looking forward to another wagon ride north. Thankfully, the wagon drovers made us walk, instead. Probably shouldn’t have said anything. My Fythe-Bytte was totes racking up the steps, though.

The Mere of the Dead Men is not my favorite vacation resort destination. The road wound through an endless swamp, and the clinging ground fog made it difficult to spot danger from any distance. A runner had been sent out, and returned with word that our destination, a warehouse with an inn attached, lay not far ahead. And this time, there didn’t seem to be any annoying assassins or mushroom forests in the vicinity.

I walked blithely on (steppeth thee 1,042,915th! steppeth thee 1,042,916th!) as the rest of the party was alerted by subtle sounds and movement that an ambush awaited us ahead. Alerted by sounds, movement, and the DM putting our character icons on a battle map with clear ambush positions.

Since I was ignoring the bandits, the bandits kindly alerted me to their presence by sinking two crossbow bolts into me. “Hey!” exclaimed I, “free crossbow bolts!” “Ow!”

Ellryn split one way, Zalandrin the other. Naivara stayed with the wagons to aid both. And I…

Well, I cast my first effectual spell of the entire campaign thus far. When last we leveled, I shook up my songbook a bit. I’d been going heavy on RP spells that had precious little use in a fight. Most fights I’d just been doing with no song on my lips whatsoever. MAYBE a little vicious mockery.

Ellryn had taken down one of the three bandits on his side of the wagon train. I strummed a powerful chord on my Cittern and Shatter tore one of the bandits apart. The other was left hurt and deafened, an easy target for Ellryn to finish off.

We all joined Zalandrin on the other side of the wagons to finish the wetwork. Ambush done, seven shiny silver to split between us from the emaciated corpses. Banditry really wasn’t paying too well for these guys.

A couple more days uneventful travel (steppeth thee 1,230,748th!) brought us to the inn. The wagons were unloaded into the warehouse, with the boring stuff left in a common area, and the stuff we undoubtedly should be caring about locked securely in a separate room. We were given rooms on the upper floor. It would soon be time to get some answers to questions regarding the cultists and their mysterious cargo…

… in the next session.

Had a really fun time! I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing up our D&D sessions; I was just so pumped that we’re playing again!

Hoard of the Dragon Queen: The Story Thus Far…

Inn of the Trolls
Inn of the Trolls

We’re adding two new members to our weekly D&D campaign, so our DM wrote this “what has happened until now” to catch them up. Since I’ve been pretty inconsistent with chronicling our adventures, I got permission to repost it here :)

The party came together as hired guards for a merchant caravan that was heading through a town called Greenest. Upon reaching Greenest, the party found that the town was in the process of being sacked. The merchant wanted nothing to do with this, turned around, and left the players to either follow or to assist the town. Being good adventurers (and otherwise ending the game before it began), the party opted to sneak around the periphery to recon the area.

It seemed that Greenest was beseiged by some kind of dragon cult comprised of kobolds and humans, some in cult regalia, and many in standard armor. The party helped a family reach the town’s keep, and met Governor Nighthill and his chief of security Escobert the Red. Neither knew why they were under attack, but they tasked the players (being skilled adventurers) with venturing outside of the keep to round up as many wayward villagers as they could to bring back to the keep.

Through several forays through the village, the party A) destroyed part of a mill, B) rescued many villagers from a fortifed church, and C) found themselves with a strange case of missing time after a botched attempt to introduce some freestyle RP into the game. Ultimately, the raiders massed outside the keep and one of their leaders — a half-dragon named Langdedrosa Cyanwrath — challenged a champion to a duel before they left. Gina, the party’s dwarf fighter, accepted, and while she held her own, she was ultimately cut down, and the raiders left.

After patching up the dwarf, Nighthill presented a young monk who was in a state of panic. His friend and mentor, Leosin, had gone missing, and was suspected of having either been captured by the raiders, or had followed the raiders to their camp. These monks, it was explained, were investigating this dragon cult, and the missing monk was painted as a bit obsessed. The party was asked to track the raiders, scout the camp, find the monk, and maybe recover some of the villager’s valuables.

The party tracked the raiders to a canyon where the cultists had set up camp. During the after-raiding party, the adventurers were able to slip into undetected, but quickly blew their cover when they got a bit over-aggressive with some of the locals. Soon they found themselves captive, and held beside the elven monk that they had been sent to rescue. Thankfully, one of the party was able to slip his shackles and free the others, but as they started their escape, the elven monk opted to stay behind, promising to meet up with the party back in Greenest.

Once back in Greenest, Nighthill wanted to know exactly what the hell was going on in that camp. Back to the camp the players went. The place was now empty, but this allowed the players to investigate the mysterious cavern they had seen kobolds trucking goods into when they were here last. Ultimately, they discovered several unhatched dragon eggs, but opted to leave them alone and report back to Greenest.

Turns out that they had passed Leosin at some point, as he had returned to Greenest but had set out immediately for [I forget the name of the town!] where he wanted to meet the players once they had rested and resupplied.

Off to [I forget the name of the town!] the players rode. Upon arrival, they met with Leosin and a compatriot of his, a paladin of Torm named [Yeesh…I forgot his name too]. The Paladin was interested in carousing around the town, and dragged the players with him until it was time to get serious. He told the players that he and Leosin — who was a Harper — and others are concered about this dragon cult. They’ve been moving eastward, ransacking towns and villages and carting off their valueables to Torm knows where. A late breaking lead suggested that the Greenest cultsts were headed down-river to Baldur’s Gate, and were then establishing a caravan north to Waterdeep. Leosin and his Pal-adin (!) asked the players to take a chartered boat down the River Chionthar to Baldur’s Gate, hire themselves into whatever caravan the cultists were a part of, and find out where this treasure was headed, and why.

It was during the three day trip that the players got to relax, eat a lot, get attacked by the orchestra, and reconnect with old flames who for some reason where on this same ship headed in the same direction, but which have absolutely no relevance to the overall plot as specified in the “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” modele from Wizards of the Coast (all rights reserved).

In Baldur’s Gate, the players got themselves a job as protection for a “prefers the company of animals” merchant who is one of several wagons and carts headed to Waterdeep. Three of those carts were recognized as being staffed by cultists, so the players knew they were in the right place.

After several nights of travel, they happened upon their first inn while struggling against a rather nasty rain and thunderstorm. As luck would have it, it was not crowded. As un-luck would have it, the entire place had been booked by just four men who were mightily amused at the angry faces the players were making when they tried to secure rooms for themselves and their fellow caravan mates. This ended in a bloody brawl which saw three of the mysterious men dead, and one severely wounded and begging for his life.