Princes of the Apocalypses Part 31

PotAcover

Welcome back readers,

In this session I almost had a TPK, not intentional but it almost happened. I had the fiery portal there for them to simply inspect what was happening in the portal or just let it close on its own. The NPCs I had placed in the session was going to reveal their power to teach the players that threats can only be handled by those of power or at least those that didn’t have 1 hit point. I even hinted that there was still 6 minutes until the ritual would be completed. So in hindsight they could have had a quick short rest. [To catch their breath].

Now for those of you who don’t house rule. [What’s wrong with you. No really!!] But for those of you who do, I feel that the short rest rule is just a little too long. 1 hour after every battle is not right. It’s not thematic to take a short breather to rest. And you might be thinking that I run really hard battles with loads of enemies but those battles are usually the quick ones. I had 2-3 enemies in this portal with only 2 of them attacking at a time. [Wizards concentrating on the summoning ritual]. I did make their surroundings a little dangerous. [Fire elemental plane, so fire damage every round on a failed Constitution saving throw]

Adran the very calculating wizard was the last person to jump into the portal. I understand the rangers and the rogues and the fighters to jump in but the wizard?

Not my fault. At least I think so. Well it wasn’t my intention.

The fight was simple but the terrain was like a volcano area and just falling off the path could kill a player. They fought with a fire elemental, it was meant to be part of Imix but I decided to just make it the soul of Imix. As well as 3 wizards.

Anyway here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Rock charges in
  2. Fire portal
  3. Exploring dwarven statue
  4. 10 minutes to go
  5. Looting the lich
  6. 6 minutes till ritual
  7. Grizilla said rest?
  8. Lava and spicy heat
  9. 3 wizards = fire elemental cultists
  10. Large Fire elemental
  11. A Paladin of the light
  12. The heat
  13. The fall
  14. The voice
  15. The divine intervention

[insert full story here]

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Princes of the Apocalypse Part 30

PotAcover

Welcome back readers,

In this session, the crew finally closed all the portals with the orcs, elementals and the mysterious shadow. Then they encounter the first fight for the underground encounter.

In this session there was mostly just a fight. There isn’t much to talk about except for my underestimation of my players taking on the challenges in different orders. I was initially hoping that the crew would get through the trap and then deal with the wizards holding the portal from the fire elemental plane creating the chaos in the town of Red Larch. I had wanted my players to find the clues of closing the first portal then deal with the 3 portals with their new found knowledge.

Not the other way around where dealing with 3 portals first then dealing with 1 fiery portal. I was supposed to vacuum the sacrifices towards the fiery portal but one of the players found a way to stop that. Well I suppose that was the lack of my skill as a DM.

Here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Portal = All closed
  2. Orcs dealt with
  3. Elementals excavated
  4. Wizard defeated
  5. Wizard was a Lich?
  6. Eladrin Warriors came and left?
  7. 3 wizards + Fiery portal

[insert full story here]

Princes of the Apocalypse Part 29

PotAcover

Welcome back my readers,

On this week’s session the crew decided to take the side-side quest to show them that the world is pretty screwed up and that the cultists are everywhere. I wanted them to just burst in and crush the very easy encounter then explore the place and then move on to the main quest. But of course they all moved in all cautiously and I had to hype up the sessions to come because as all DMs should know a boring session is a bad session. I wanted the crew to catch the enemy “preparing” a ritual and that they should stop the advance of the ritual.

But they all pussy footed their approach. They spent 30 minutes examining the traps, interrogated a Tiefling for 30 more minutes and actually moving after killing a player’s character for 30 minutes. And the rest of the session fighting cultists and hordes of easy plebs. If you’re wondering what level the crew is at this time. They were level 4 – 7. And I had the challenge rating of the session at 1 so that they could just run in and stop it then continue. But with them constantly kept searching for something that was just not there. So I put the challenge rating up to 5. It was still easy to defeat but still fun.

Anyway, here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Team finds Mug & Reed in the floating rocks room
  2. Luna finds Hopps
  3. Rock discovers first sacrifice of the fire cultist
  4. A dwarf named Tantur Ironfist
  5. Flames are consuming the dwarf
  6. Reed (NPC) flips the switch
  7. Releasing the traps in the corridor
  8. Three Portals
  9. Kill the orcs = portal 1
  10. Kill the elementals = portal 2
  11. ? = portal 3
  12. Fight the orcs

[insert full story here]

The Adventurer’s Den Part 1

Loudwater-Town

Welcome readers to this New Campaign.

In this campaign, I ran the setting a little differently from the norm. Here I wanted to continue one of my older campaigns where many of my players had quit due to work and other stuff. It was a setting that is purely custom aside from the map. Which I still use to this day. The Forgotten Realms. Or to be more precise the land/continent of Faerun.

Since I have one of the old players from that campaign I had to change a little bit of the setting and fast forward it to 5 years in game.

By the way, I originally ran the campaign with the 4th edition rule set.

So as I said earlier, the starting setting was changed. I changed it by having many of the townsfolk monsters. Yes, monsters. Like Drow, Darklings, Devils, Minotaurs and goblin-kin. Now you might be thinking that “Hold on, wouldn’t the heroes of the realm just have killed the lot of them as a quest” or something along those lines, right? Well I had it set up that 5 years prior, a band of powerful heroes were able to liberate the town from its previous tyrants. But after restoring the town back to its peaceful roots decided to make all creatures equal. With a treaty formed, monsters could now enter town in a disguise through magical means.

Now, the monsters would then be very odd about their behaviour by strange inconspicuous gestures, like asking if the one they are actually talking to are “Humans?”

This was going to be one of those campaigns that would either be a make it or break it kind of game.

I did place one very important rule with my players about character creation and that was if they wanted to be a monster race they must be Evil in alignment. So out of the 9 possible alignment choices Evil characters could be Chaotic Evil (CE), Neutral Evil (NE) or Lawful Evil (LE).

This was not an evil campaign, but the story around it is a little deeper than most of the games I currently run. I used to run story heavy campaigns before but these days players are all about being “Murder Hobos” or “Power More-locks”.

Anyway, the session was pretty much just an introduction to the game with players having their characters introduced and having encountered the weirdness of the world or at least the town of Loudwater.

 

Also, here is the current list of characters and their levels:

Beholder Cleric Lv2 – Khoa

Human Monk Lv1 – Jackie Lee

Tiefling Warlock Lv2 – Hartricia

 

Here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Setting introduction
  2. West gate
  3. Long line
  4. Human?
  5. East gate
  6. Short line
  7. Drunk Wizard Guard?
  8. GS weapons, armour, items and gear not allowed?
  9. Partying Warlocks at the tavern
  10. Why are all the guards Halflings?
  11. Exploring the town – Monk
  12. Finding some minions – Cleric
  13. Igor’s Emporium
  14. Set the Meeting
  15. The town is full of what?

[insert full story here]

Princes of the Apocalypse Part 26

PotAcover

Welcome back readers,

We have a continuation of the town encounters. This is mostly my fault as I wasn’t able to guide the players to the next quest. It wasn’t about being prepared or anything like that but I think it was my inability to make the quest more urgent or more exciting. The quest I was trying to send them to be trying to send them to the tower of Air to start off their adventure in the book of Princes of the Apocalypse. But of course the crew just wanted to do whatever they wanted to do. Random.

Anyway the crew continued to encounter random things in town. At least there was no shopping this time around. The antics in this session mostly involved Rock who was “trying” to protect various people. Adran making an attempt at attuning the cloak, curing the bear, more panthers, commotion at the brothel and a battle of the crafters.

Here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Tavern meeting
  2. 1 hour later
  3. Warlock enters town
  4. Rock + Fire hammer = holes
  5. Holes (Warlock?)
  6. Attuning the cloak
  7. More panthers
  8. Quest complete?
  9. To the Red light district
  10. Brothel chaos!!!
  11. Cultists here?
  12. I want information
  13. Information costs money
  14. Nibbles vs Fire “Possessed” Dwarven smiths

[insert full story here]

Princes of the Apocalypse Part 25

PotAcover

Welcome back my eager readers,

Sorry for the delay but my area has been having a lot more internet service problems so upload has been rather slow. I have more ready to send but we’ll just have to wait.

Anyway in this session, one of my players really wanted to get a panther beast companion, since she was playing a ranger. So I devised a plan for the group to save some panthers being harassed by some monsters. Now it seems as though I was trying to push yet another side quest that would have linked to the main but unfortunately the crew (for the most part) ignored the creature’s plea.

There was more shopping in this session as well as a new addition to the team. A Rogue. By the name of Luna. There wasn’t much in terms of action but the session was still very interesting. At least I thought it was anyway.

The rest of the group were either shopping or harassing the “simple” townsfolk for freebees and information. Some quests being completed.

Here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Greenboot + Shepherd = Exp
  2. No one linked the info
  3. A puzzle in the tavern
  4. Who is the spy?
  5. Accusing the wrong person
  6. Letting the culprit go?
  7. The return of the Naked
  8. To the stables
  9. Hey, isn’t that Lothram?
  10. Why are you naked?
  11. Getting some clothes
  12. Getting bedded and paid for it
  13. Rock go farm
  14. Rock Protect Farm
  15. Panthers
  16. I. Speak. Panther.
  17. The night chase
  18. Helping the animals?
  19. Let’s do some more shopping?
  20. Avoid Rat
  21. Don’t anger Nibbles

[insert full story here]

Princes of the Apocalypse Part 23

PotAcover

Greetings my eager readers,

In this session was the continuation of the fight from the last session, it was the fight that I thought would only take one session. But now I know my group is pretty normal. I foolishly tried to force them to flee or retreat but that was my mistake. I know this now. I gave them 2 options this session, though these options were somewhat subtly hinted but they were to fight to the death or make a run for it. I made sure that escape was indeed impossible as their enemy were 3 highly intelligent enemies. And simple tricks weren’t going to work here. I had every player use their skills during combat to check for ways to escape. Since many of them were so badly injured that a single attack from these drow was going to be deadly.

The players still fighting were Rock, Felix (though it was more 50/50), Lothram (who had 20 hp left after being healed 3 times), Gevuaden (who was on his last legs), and Adran who was out of bigger spells. Grizilla and Reed were just using what help they could provide with skills and potions (as Grizilla was also out of healing spells and support magic). I also had a new player get introduced to the game but it was just a one-time thing for her. She played a Ranger as well.

So as the battled continued the crew started noticing that by dragging out this fight the harder it was for them to come out of this situation alive. So Adran too stopped fighting and started to look for a way out. So with a bit of tweaking during the session as I think I made the DC a little too unreasonable for them to succeed I allowed them to find a portal out of there.

During the escape, I kept saying things like “Who’s jumping in?” or “30 seconds left” and a certain count down. This was a time challenge. But I think I still need to work on this myself as it just felt a little off. This is where some escaped and rewarded but the others were “specially treated”.

Here is the short summary of the session:

  1. Drow fight Ends?!
  2. What!!! There’s more?
  3. Escape Time? Right?
  4. Up is not the way
  5. Down is a no go
  6. Doors = More Drow
  7. I found some levers
  8. Left = gold treasure
  9. Right = Valuable art treasure
  10. Middle = Portal
  11. Let’s go!!!!! NOW!
  12. Time out = Bear skin + loss of gear + humiliation
  13. Naked people + Skinless bear = Open Field
  14. A flying bathtub?

[insert full story here]