D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 50 Recap

We dive further into the Plunging Torrents, battling watery knights, icy mages, blood-thirsty fish, and mysterious tentacles.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Holy crap, 50 sessions! I knew “Princes of the Apocalypse was going to be a much bigger undertaking than the Starter Kit adventure, “Lost Mine of Phandelver.” This is by far the longest single campaign I’ve ever run, and we’re not done yet!

At this point the party has battled their way through at least half of three of the four final elemental dungeons. But only in the water dungeon, called the Plunging Torrents, do they actively approach the first elemental node of power. The source of all the elemental incursions wrecking the land. The gateway to the elemental planes beyond.

I made that sound exciting but what followed was actually a pretty mundane session as the party battled their way along what I realized was by far the most boring and straight-forward path in the dungeon. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 50 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 49 Recap

We rescue Rhundorth and escape the earth dungeon to rest and level up to 10, then tackle the water domain.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

My players have been in an awkward situation for the last few sessions. They’ve reached enough experience to level up to 10. But one of our house rules states that the PCs can only level up after a Long Rest. Right now they’re knee-deep in the depths of an elemental dungeon, about three dungeons below the surface.

Due to “Princes of the Apocalypse’s” interconnected labyrinthine mega-dungeons, finding a safe place to rest has proven difficult.

In this week’s session, Talus used his Arcane Eye to scout out the rest of the Black Geode  – finding the indentured Rhundorth. The party rescued the dwarf before retreating back up to the Fane of the Eye to find a safe place to rest, level up, and decide where to go next. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 49 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 48 Recap

We delve further into the monstrous depths of the deepest caverns of Elemental Earth – the Black Geode.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

My players often use standard shock ‘n awe, charge in the front door tactics. Many times when confronted with foes that are not immediately hostile, a fight ends up breaking out anyway.

I’ve been trying to steer away from this on my part, offering the PCs other ways and opportunities rather than just straight combat. My favorite RPGs, like the older isometric Fallout titles, offered multiple ways to get past enemies or tackle a challenge, with “kill ’em all” as only one possible solution.

This week the party manages to overcome two separate encounters without fighting. Well technically one fight did break out, but the party opted to end it fairly peacefully and escape.

The Black Geode is crawling with elemental evil, and the party pushes their limited resources to the limits as they make their way deeper into the crystal caverns. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 48 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 47 Recap

We journey deeper into the elemental earth dungeons, beyond a pair of tic-tac-toe playing giants.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Our heroes find themselves in the middle of a dungeon crawl of elemental evil. Due to the nature of “Princes of the Apocalypse,” they’re exploring a dungeon I don’t necessarily need or want them in, however. The solution? Give them a map with fairly obvious neon blinking arrows.

I’ve been known to pull out some DM cheats to get the players to go where I want. Directly railroading your players usually isn’t fun, but if your players are more frustrated than fascinated by directionless exploration (as mine are), it can be a useful tool to pull out a magically locked gate, or an incredibly useful map.

I had them find maps of both the current dungeon and the next one, the Fane of the Eye. They’d explored quite a bit of the Fane already, but hadn’t approached from the Earth side yet.

Meanwhile they were cutting a haphazard path through the Earth Temple. It was fun enough but with the prophet gone their main goal was simply getting down to the Fane, and from there start exploring the deeper Elemental Node dungeons. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 47 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 46 Recap

We fight our way through the monstrous denizens of the Temple of the Black Earth.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

This week we continue cutting an effective swath through the Temple of the Black Earth. Dungeon crawling is what “Princes of the Apocalypse” does best, and I love when we get a chance to battle an encounter in a dangerous situation. This week: several bulettes in the middle of a giant chasm.

Whether the party decided to go North or South from their current position after the mud sorcerer in B8 would have greatly altered what would have happened this session. Since Kethra knew what was to the South – a chained up bulette, they decided to sneak their way down there. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 46 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 45 Recap

We stir up the hornet’s nest at the entrance to the Temple of the Black Earth, then confront a Mud Sorcerer

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

After weeks of side treks, character-focused story lines, and overland travel, we’re back to good old fashioned dungeon crawling. We’re officially entering the late game portion of “Princes of the Apocalypse.” The PCs know what needs to be done and generally where to do it.

But the elemental cults have large, sprawling, interconnected dungeons. Time to knock on the main entrance! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 45 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 44 Recap

Our heroes journey to Summit Hall to steal a knight’s body for a lich. “Heroes.”

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

RPG groups can range from die-hard role-players with nary a dice roll to hardcore combat aficionados where story is merely an excuse to fight monsters. My group definitely veers closer to the latter camp. They enjoy a good story and fun character-focused moments, but in the end it’s all about the battles. So it was very unusual this week that we barely had any combat at all.

This week the PCs traveled around and completed three side quests before finally delving back into the elemental dungeons. Two of the quests had technically already been completed – the shrine last week and the renegade paladins from a few weeks ago. But the third required a trip to Summit Hall, which I set up as a role-playing scenario. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 44 Recap”