D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 17 Recap

We infiltrate the underground Zhentarim outpost using some subtle and not-so-subtle tactics.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

I headed toward the flickering torchlight down the tunnel, motioning for the others to stay back. I rounded the corner and the cave opened up into the entrance to an old temple – just as the Zhent thug had described.

A pair of guards near the entrance were playing cards. I stumbled onto some loose rocks and the nearest one glanced up. I felt a rush of adrenaline before I remembered I was still disguised as the man we had interrogated outside the cave.

“Walter!” he called out. “What are you doing? I thought you were going into town with the others?”

I had to act fast. “Ah yeah,” I stammered, gradually calming myself. “I forgot something. Hey, those brutes – the guards, are acting really weird.”

“The orogs?” He replied. “What are they doing?”

“I don’t know but they’re starting to get violent. Get out here and help me with them!”

We went back and forth a few times. I briefly entertained trying to pry some more information out of him (Zellan was indeed here, somewhere) but didn’t want to press my luck.

Finally the guard relented. He and his buddy got up to investigate. I mentally called out to my friends that they were coming down the tunnel. I made sure to avoid making physical contact as they brushed past me.

The fighting erupted almost instantly. Bryseis conjured up several magic missiles, slamming into one guard, and Halfred unleashed a hail of arrows. The Zhent fell, and the other turned to run, shouting about the alarm. T.I.M. smashed him with the mace as he ran away, directly towards me.

I reached out with my mind, but the man’s eyes were wide with fear. The same man I’d just spoken with seconds ago. He was in full flight mode and barreled into me, even after I manifested my psychokinetic glaive and slashed at his legs. I held my ground, bracing against the cave and shoved him backwards.

He gave a sudden scream, and for a moment I questioned how hard I hit him. Then I heard a sick sizzling sound as his face began to melt. The melting flesh cascaded down his body, choking him before he could even scream.

As he dissolved into a messy puddle I glanced back to see Korinn retract her arm and nod solemnly at me. I took a moment to realize that a few weeks ago I would’ve been horrified at this brutal display. Now it was just business as usual. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 17 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 16 Recap

We arrive in Xantharl’s Keep to investigate Zhentarim activity in the area, and discover their hideout.

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NOTE: Makeup this was a makeup Wednesday session, with no session on Friday!

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

Halfred’s bow sang out, and the Zhentarim thug gave a startled gasp as an arrow sunk into his shoulder. He glanced around wildly, perhaps noticing for the first time he was the last one in his group alive.

My mind probed into his, grasping and shaping his fear like a piece of clay. “Throw your weapons down if you don’t want to be cut down like your friends,” I intoned menacingly. “The information you provide could spare your life.”

The young man blanched, eyes wide. He spared a fearful glance toward the cave entrance, then met my gaze. He threw down his weapons.

“Don’t kill me, don’t kill me! Just let me go,” he whimpered.

“Smart man.”

We spent a bit of time shopping in Mirabar, one of the largest cities we’ve seen in this adventure. There were some solid magic items to be had, namely some Mithral Armor (half plate) and a Sentinel Shield.

Since I plan on multi-classing into paladin next level, I was all over that armor. I sold as much loot as I could, and still had to borrow a few coins from Bryseis, who just won the damn lottery from selling the pearls from Drufi’s helmet.

It took literally all my money but I secured much better medium armor than I thought I’d be able to acquire any time soon. I can only glance at it wistfully for now, but next level, oh boy! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 16 Recap”

Roll20 Review: Cat and Mouse

Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. 

Cat and Mouse is the latest conversion and paid module release by tabletop role-playing website Roll20.net. The 1st-level adventure was written and designed by Richard Petit at Kobold Press in 2015 as an introductory adventure to the Southlands, an Egyptian-like part of Kobold Press’ RPG fantasy world, Midgard.

Cat and Mouse, as with most of Kobold Press’ content in the last few years, is built with the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition ruleset courtesy of the Open Gaming License.

The adventure takes place in the exotic city of Per-Bastet, home to catfolk, ratfolk, and gnolls. The player characters get swept up in a classic McGuffin hunt with competing factions, leading to a multiple choice ending. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Cat and Mouse”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 13 Recap

We stumble upon the living ice just outside of Caer-Dineval, then return to Bryn Shander to report our missions.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The inn had a nice warm fire crackling in the corner. I practically flew over to it, warming my body after the chilly encounter with the creatures of living ice. I’d only been embrace by one for seconds but I was still chilled to the bone.

“….giant snowy beasts! Nails as long as daggers. Teeth as sharp as….daggers.” I glanced over and saw that Bryseis had saddled over to the pair of loudmouths in the middle of the inn. It took me a few seconds to realize they were bragging about destroying the Yeti, the same ones who had nearly ended my life. I absently scratched at the scars on my chest.

Bryseis had called Korinn over and the two were feigning interest and fawning over them. I couldn’t help but grin.

“Let’s buy these ladies some drinks!” they declared. The ladies toyed with them like a cat toys with a mouse. Bryseis pressed them about the giants and the lads’ chests puffed out. Suddenly one of them gave out a slight yelp like a puppy. I looked over at Bryseis’ hand had disappeared beneath the table.

“Korinn I could’ve sworn we were the ones who fought the Yeti?” Bryseis said sweetly, flashing a devilish grin. The young men let out a whimper, his eyes wide.

Korinn nodded sagely and turned to the young men. “This one is a bit crazy, a loose cannon,” her hands waved casually at Bryseis. She lowered her voice to a steady growl as she leaned forward. “I suggest for your own good you tell us who you are and where you’re from. Because we know you’re full of shit.” Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 13 Recap”

Over Half of Roll20 Players Play D&D 5E

Tabletop gaming website Roll20.net released their quarterly report for Q2 2017. They break down some interesting stats on who’s playing what on the website.

Unsurprisingly, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition reigns supreme, representing 52% of all games and over 62% of players. D&D is still the grand-daddy of tabletop RPGs and D&D 5E has been incredibly well received and nicely supported through regular campaign books and supplements.

Furthermore Roll20 has begun releasing official modules to D&D 5E campaigns, letting DMs purchase a ready-to-play adventure that can last 100 hours. We’re taking advantage of one right now in our “Storm King’s Thunder” campaign, and you can see my review of the Roll20 module “Curse of Strahd” (written and video). More Roll 20 Reviews coming soon! Continue reading “Over Half of Roll20 Players Play D&D 5E”

D&D 5E “Den of the Rotten Kings” Recap

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We interrupt our regular programming of “Storm King’s Thunder” with this special broadcast! Due to some of our usual players being out of town for the week, we decided to gather together for a one-off side-venture starring new (pre-generated) characters and a pre-built adventure.

Welcome to the “Den of the Rotten Kings!”

I can now add “threw together a 4 hour D&D adventure in a day” to my list of DM accomplishments. The only way I had a chance of doing this was by using a pre-built adventure.

I already had a number of good sources. I thumbed through my Book of Lairs from Kobold Press, a fun collection of over 20 monster lairs and dungeons, many of which can serve as good one-shot dungeon crawls. As a Kickstarter backer I also got a .pdf of all the battle maps, which I could convert into Roll20 pretty quickly.

I settled on the 3rd level dungeon, “Den of the Rotten Kings.” It felt like the easiest to run, with simple foes like bandits, thugs, and wererats, and some classic traps with tripwires. It also had a few fun role-playing and dialogue opportunities with two different potential allies who can be rescued.

It’s impossible to say how long a mini-adventure will last, and we ended up starting very late since we were still scrambling to get our character sheets done by our usual start time. It took us a solid four hours to defeat the leader of the Rotten Kings, but I think it was a fantastic adventure that did a great job telling a complete mini-story. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Den of the Rotten Kings” Recap”

D&D Back On Tonight – With a Twist

I just posted a sad update a few days ago that we were going to have to cancel our weekly D&D session this week. I’m pleased to announce that we will go forward with our session – but it won’t be “Storm King’s Thunder.”

Since two of our players are gone this week, we opted to take a page from our last campaign, when Chris ran an excellent one-shot adventure when we had a player out. Like that one, we’re bringing on another party member to bring us up to four players, and this time I’ll be DMing again!

I can almost guarantee we’ll be starting late and running later tonight and have all kinds of problems as we scramble to plug in our pre-gen characters into Roll20 and try to wrap it up in a single session. I’ve lightened much of the burden by adopting a pre-made adventure, one of the mini-dungeons found in the Book of Lairs by Kobold Press.

So tune in tonight as your slightly altered group takes on a brief side journey with a new cast of characters!