PROGRAMMING NOTE: No D&D session next week – we’re at PAX South!
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Mannix, level 4 Human Inquisitive Rogue
Khaless, level 4 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 4 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 4 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 4 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon
A much needed long rest brings a well-deserved level up. The heroes reach level 4 and receive free healing at Camp Vengeance, but there’s a cost to sticking around – the undead Rygor is hellbent on razing the fort and killing everyone inside.
- Mannix takes the Dungeon Delver feat. Should come in very handy in dungeons and especially against traps.
- Khaless gained +1 in two stats, raising her DEX to 20 and CON to 18 – wow!
- Gillian takes the Shatter spell and the Crossbow Expert feat, hoping to become more effective in combat when she’s sans spells.
- George shocks everyone and multiclasses into Rogue. The party already had two pure rogues! He gains Sneak Attack and better Stealth skills.
- Therin accepts the burden of basically being the main tank (as a druid!), taking the Resilient feat to give him CON saving throw proficiencies, which soon comes in very handy. He can also now wild shape into creatures with a swim speed, and took the Flaming Sphere spell.
Hilariously enough, the druid and the assassin rogue are basically tied for most HP of the party (with 18 CONs each). Not the most traditional set-up but I love ’em all.
The PCs had the day to themselves inside Camp Vengeance to explore or role-play. Several of them had to get healing for their ailments, including the madness effects from the Nightmare Haunting, and Mannix’s crippled arm. I definitely wanted to take things slow and easy, because the rest of the session would be anything but.
That evening Rygor showed up again, with a slightly bigger force of both zombies and skeletons. To spice things up a bit, two of the guards inside the medical tent, where Mannix had just been treated, had died and come back as zombies. Roll for initiative!
I knew this was going to be a big fight, but didn’t quite anticipate the PCs being so brazen in their defenses. Therin and George both attempted to defend the southern wall but realized neither had Darkvision (they used Khaless’ Dancing Lights last time).
Instead everyone went to the main gatehouse and waltzed outside, negating the actual defenses of the fort and fighting the enemy head-on, including a newly arrived force of skeletons emerging from the river.
The battle raged. I hand-waved a lot of the action on the southern side of the fort, including the tabaxi siblings and a lot of the guards, but it was still a very lengthy onslaught. Khaless eventually jumped on the zombie ankylosaurus that served as Rygor’s mount, while Therin used his Flaming Sphere to burn both the wight and the beast for several turns.
The undead dinosaur destroyed Therin’s bear form, with a frightening bit of overflow damage, but Therin responded by simply Wild Shaping again. Pesky druids and their massive temporary HP gains! Finally the dinosaur fell, and Rygor was on his last legs.
Then the Tyrannosaurus Rex Zombie showed up.
Definitely one of the craziest, coolest creatures from Tomb of Annihilation, the T-Rex Zombie has the terrifying power of a T-rex and can vomit zombies as a bonus action!
I’d always planned to introduce it later in the fight to help mitigate the challenge, but I also assumed most of the PCs would be safely behind the walls. Not so much! Instead the T-Rex ran up, vomited a zombie, then ate Khaless, nearly ending her life in a single chomp!
Unfortunately it was around this time that our power flickered at our house, cutting off the stream. Argh! We were already about 30 minutes beyond our usual end time, so we decided to just call it there rather than try to get everything up and running again.
We’re going to try and squeeze in a bonus session later this weekend or early week, since we won’t be around this next Friday – we’re PAX South bound!
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