D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 20 Recap

We assault the crumbling Scarlet Moon tower and confront the leader of the druids-turned-fire cultists.

Advertisements

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Four weeks later and we finally finish Scarlet Moon Hall. It chopped up quite nicely with our heroes tackling the entire tower itself in this week’s session.

It ended up a bit anticlimactic. The big boss of the fake Scarlet Moon druids, Elizar Dryflagon, lasted only a single round. The whole mini dungeon-within-a-dungeon felt like an epilogue to the epic battle in the courtyard last week. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 20 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 19 Recap

Our heroes reach the Wicker Giant only to witness a newly unleashed Fire Elemental, and one of their deadliest battles yet.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Climactic battles can be the stuff of legends. Role-playing scenes can offer fun and surprising moments. But at its core, D&D involves plenty of hacking and/or slashing.

Balancing these epic battles without wiping your headstrong party is always a tricky endeavor. The DM is technically lord of everything – but not really. You have to have clearly defined rules and expectations. Suddenly playing dumb with enemies to help your PCs can feel cheap and obvious. And fudging numbers becomes trickier when using an online virtual tabletop. Sometimes you just have to thank the Forgotten Realms gods that your party’s tanks have fire resistance. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 19 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap

Our heroes continue their investigations into each campsite near Scarlet Moon Hall, finding bugbears, werewolves, and cultists.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

I relish each opportunity to turn an otherwise regular combat encounter into a role-playing scenario. My group of players are definitely combat-oriented, and prefer to meet most situations with violence. But if there’s a chance to break up the murderous rampage into something a bit more interesting, I’ll take it.

In this week’s session our heroes continued exploring the various camps set up at Scarlet Moon Hall. Druids and others from around the land have convened to witness a questionable ritual. The party decided to go camp-to-camp questioning each group FBI-style. This put every camp on edge.

Some camps are outright hostile, like a group of bugbears and worgs chillin’ out at the East side, and a simple fight erupted. A fight in which I couldn’t hit a single PC! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap

The party begins investigating some shady druids performing a fiery ritual at Scarlet Moon Hall.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

No matter how well-constructed your fantasy world is, or how meticulously you run your RPG campaign, sometimes real life can get in the way. Maybe you don’t have enough time to prep, or a player (or you) can’t make the scheduled session.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a stellar group of friends and family that really go the extra mile in coming together every week and always having the best attitude for wanting to play and have fun.

That being said, I’m going through a crazy busy part of my life right now in selling our house and buying a new one all in the same week. Not trying to make excuses, but simply trying to explain why this video is several days late and much shorter than usual. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap

Our heroes are lured into a trap at Nettlebee Ranch involving barbarian ghosts, earth cults, and evil halflings.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Some group drama is bound to crop up in a role-playing world. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to DM for best friends I’ve known since grade school. For the most part we all get along swimmingly, with occasional disagreements being handled courteously and quickly. After tonight’s session the group may need to draw up their own group charter. I suggested “The Nettlebee Accords.”

After our party’s incredibly lengthy journey up a river through a keep and to grandmother’s house they go, I decided now’d be the perfect time to launch one of “Princes of the Apocalypse’s” scripted side quests.

Curse of the Fire Witch is a fun little event that lures our unsuspecting heroes into a trap. They’re called to a nearby ranch run by a halfling family of farmers and ranchers. The Nettlebees are worried about nearby fire cults and their livestock has been recently branded with the fire cult symbol. I used young son Warren (renamed from Watson in the book) as a wanna-be adventurer. An earnest scout that went to town to find help. He found our heroes. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 15 Recap

Backtracking to Rivergard Keep we defeat the remaining forces. But returning to town comes with a surprise attack of hell hounds!

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Recorded and uploaded a day later due to out-of-town player. Thank you for your patience!

We’ve definitely hit the record on consecutive battles and sessions without a rest. According to my calculations, the party last rested in shifts while traveling up the Dessarin River toward Rivergard Keep. That was Session 13!

Since then they’ve defeated the entirety of Rivergard Keep, as well as the guards posted inside the Temple of the Crushing Wave. After that battle they were feeling drained and exhausted. Not to mention they’d reached enough experience for level 6 after the first few battles in the Keep. My rules state that they can’t level up outside of a Long Rest.

So although they’d reached a new massive dungeon, they opted to pull back to heal up, level up, and rescue the hostages they had found in the Keep. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 15 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 14 Recap

The party defeats the wereboar leader of Rivergard. A hidden stream leads to a lake with a shark-riding knight!

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

When we were running our Shadowrun campaign, I was able to do entire recap sessions to separate the individual missions or runs. This gave me a chance to elicit feedback from my players and breakdown what worked and what didn’t from both role-playing and technical points of view. Each run took 3-6 weeks, so we had these discussions at a nice pace.

While D&D Fifth Edition works much better for us overall, the campaigns are way longer. Our first, “The Lost Mine of Phandelver,” took four months. It’s looking like “Princes of the Apocalypse” will easily last us the rest of the year.

To compensate I’ve done little informal talks and breakdowns after our sessions and throughout the week. Since we’re all close friends I’m fortunate that I can pull back the curtain and discuss things a bit, while trying to avoid spoilers as best I can.

I’ve previously discussed my main problem with “Princes of the Apocalypse.” Its open world set-up and interconnected dungeons means player characters can (and likely will) stumble into higher level dungeons than they’re prepared for.

As my players pointed out after this session – continuing down that underground stream beneath Rivergard Keep seems like the bottom layer of that dungeon, and the natural next course of action. In reality it’s an entirely new dungeon – one that’s far bigger and several levels stronger than the Keep. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 14 Recap”