D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 34 Recap

We reach level 8 and book passage from Mirabar to Raven Rock, and the ancient Cloud Giant library beneath.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The air was cool and dry, and the smell of parchment was everywhere. The walls were lined with comically oversized books, some bigger than Halfred. I heard the others discussing the rune they found on the odd silver tree in the middle, but I felt myself wondering around the curved hallway of the ancient Cloud Giant library. 

I was never one for books, didn’t have the patience for it. But this place reminded of Zephyros. Fond memories began to flood my thoughts as I walked, reading the Giant language on the spines and covers. It was difficult; these were ancient texts and some of them quite advanced.

One book caught my eye. The words glowed with a shimmering script. “A Treatise on the Care and Handling of Wild Creatures.” It felt magical as I hefted it in my hands, and thankfully not one of the larger tomes.

“Ah, that’s a good one!”

A voice rang out, and I nearly dropped the book in surprise. I looked around, though I didn’t feel the flood of adrenaline or alarm of impending battle. Another automated recording?

“It’s good to see someone perusing our wares. We haven’t had a guest in… how long has it been, Gerald?”

“Been quite a long time I must say! How are you enjoying your stay, sir?”

My surprise melted away to bemused confusion. This was no recording; a pair of voices were addressing directly, in the Giant language. Not to raise any suspicions, I responded in kind.

“Yes, lovely place you have here, can you tell me about this library?”

“Indeed we can!” And with that, a pair of books flew off nearby shelves and came fluttering into view, magically flying in place.

This week we spent the majority of our session leveling up and doing a bit of shopping and haggling in Mirabar, before finally securing passage up the river to Raven Rock. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 34 Recap”

My Top Ten Games of 2017: #9

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Fire Emblem Heroes

#9 Metroid: Samus Returns

metroid

Old school Metroid fans like me have been clamoring for a 2D Metroid game for years – the last proper entry was 2002’s Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance. Metroid: Samus Returns isn’t technically an all-new 2D adventure but a remake of the second game, 1991’s Metroid II: Return of Samus. And it’s pretty damn good. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #9”

My Top Ten Games of 2017: #10

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Fire Emblem Heroes

Last year saw my first ever mobile game inclusion in my annual Top Ten Games of the Year list with Pokémon GO. Yet another Nintendo-adjacent property squeaks into my list this year with Fire Emblem Heroes.

Unlike Pokémon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes is a reasonable facsimile of its venerable tactical strategy-RPG series. By smartly condensing battle maps into the exact size of a phone screen (or tablet), the series was translated reasonably well onto the mobile platform. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #10”

DMs Guild Review: The Amulet of Shavaka

A press copy of The Amulet of Shavaka was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Phil Beckwith
Published by: P.B. Publishing

DMs Guild ReviewOne theme I find lacking in the official Fifth Edition campaign books is a proper Arabian Nights adventure. I want mysterious deserts, dangerous tombs, exotic rituals, and forbidden threats.

The Amulet of Shavaka” is a self-contained one-shot dungeon that touches upon many of these themes. The 16-page adventure tasks the PCs with exploring a Mummy’s undead-filled tomb at the edge of a desert. It’s designed for a party of level 2 PCs (with adjustments for 1-3) with an estimated play time of 4-6 hours.

The story hook is as basic as they come. A character named Elel seeks out the PCs based on the stories he’s heard (though they’re level 2, how many famed stories can there be?). He’s been sent to retrieve an amulet from the Tomb of Shavaka and knows the location, but doesn’t want to go inside for reasons that will soon become clear. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review: The Amulet of Shavaka”

The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 “How It’s Gotta Be” Recap

You deserve better than this, Carl.

The 90-minute mid-season finale unfolded pretty much as I predicted, with the Saviors striking back swiftly and brutally against all three communities. I did not expect it to end with a far left field bomb drop in the discovery that Carl has been bitten, and his days are numbered.

We picked up right where last week left off, with Rick, Jadis, and the Scavengers approaching the now walker-less Sanctuary. That’s a dumb idea; gunfire erupts from the building, and the Scavengers scatter. So long subplot that went absolutely nowhere! Continue reading “The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 8 “How It’s Gotta Be” Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 33 Recap

In the spider-infested caves beneath Morgur’s Mound we deal with a demon in disguise.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

I softly landed on the ground, glancing back across the chasm to nod at my companions. I crept up to the dead bodies, noting this area of the caves was seemingly the only section not covered in spider webs. 

Movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see a young man emerge from a shadowy corner. He wore a garish red shawl that nearly covered his body head to toe, and his limp gait suggested he was injured. 

“Are you here to save us?” He spoke weakly. My initial reaction was to move to help the man, but I remembered the hastily scrawled note we’d found in the dead mans hands.

I made no move. “Are you Jarys?” I asked flatly.

The man seemed surprised. “Yes! Thank goodness you’ve come.” He began to limp his way closer to me, and I caught myself stepping backward.

“What happened here?” I asked flatly.

“Those stone creatures, they killed my friends. I hid from them. They’re guarding this place. I can’t get out. But you can’t help me, can’t you?” It was a subtle change in his voice, and I caught it too late. His eyes glowed as his last sentence echoed through my mind like piercing light.

I blinked and the feeling faded. He looked at me expectantly.

I grinned. A battle of the mind? Very well.

I focused back on him, worming my way inside his mind until it lie bare before me. I inserted my will. He would not harm me nor my friends, and he would tell us exactly what happened here.

My heart sank a bit as he smiled back, even as I felt my will take hold.

“Clever,” he said, as his human form melted. He grew larger, turning a dark shade of red. Large horns sprouted from his head and a tail emerged from his back. “I will follow your commands. I will not harm you.” He whistled, the sound echoing off the cave walls. It was soon answered by terrible screaming coming from the depths of the chasm. “But my pets will.”

The mines beneath Morgur’s Mound weren’t as empty as we were hoping. The spider-infested caves gave way to a grisly scene, where a demonic creature had tricked an expedition into recovering the relic we were after.

We saw several bodies on the floor, cluing us into a recently ill-fated expedition. The guards at the entrance had been bludgeoned to death, presumably by the small army of rock constructs we’d defeated outside.

Spider webs blanketed the walls as we moved deeper. As we brushed too close to one web it exploded with swarms of spiders. Gross, but little threat to us. We took a proactive approach, blasting spider webs with cantrips and long-range attacks to clear our path.

This plan worked until we came to a small alcove. A body was clutching some items, but was surrounded in webbing. Our long-range assault destroyed some spiders, but the rest surged outward, at one point crawling all over Kazin and Bryseis. Korinn would use her Mage Hand to help brush them off Kazin while Bryseis used a Shield spell. After that it was squishing time. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 33 Recap”

D&D Rescheduled to Saturday, Dec. 9

Our awesome DM’s office holiday party is tonight, which means we have to reschedule our weekly “Storm King’s Thunder” session to tomorrow, Saturday, December. 9. Recap should go up early Sunday.

Same time (7p Pacific/10p Eastern), same channel!