D&D 5E “The Haunt” Recap

A one-shot Halloween adventure in a spooky haunted mansion with secret passages, ghostly visions, and deadly swimming pools.

Advertisements

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

It’s bonus D&D week! In a nod to Halloween I temporarily took over the DM reigns to host an extra horror-themed one-shot adventure this week, using our pre-built characters from previous one-shots.

Welcome to the “The Haunt!”

I used a one-shot adventure from the DM’s Guild called “The Haunt,” by P.B. Publishing. I built the entire two-story mansion from scratch in Roll20, and also needed to make several adjustments for both time and difficulty.

While I wanted a horror one-shot to be challenging, the original adventure was written for a party of 4th-5th level, whereas the PCs we were using were only going to be 3rd level.

Our cast (all 3rd level):

  • Gramosk, half-orc barbarian
  • Falafel, half-elf bard
  • Filkur, gnome druid
  • Scarlet O’Fair, human paladin
  • Zinli, gnome rogue

Furthermore I needed to run the whole thing in a single evening, which for us is ideally around three hours. We skipped some fights and a few rooms and still took an additional 40 minutes but we got it all in and had a great time. Continue reading “D&D 5E “The Haunt” Recap”

Roll20 Review: Tyranny of Dragons

Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. A review copy of the module was provided.

“Tyranny of Dragons” was the name of the first two campaign books released for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition back in 2014: “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” and “The Rise of Tiamat.”

As the first official campaign story published for 5E, “Tyranny of Dragons” is a bit rough around the edges. Some of the rules weren’t quite solidified yet. The Monster Manual wouldn’t even be released until several months after RoT; the Dungeon Master’s Guide and even Player’s Handbook not until after HotDQ.

Lost Mine of Phandelver” was designed as a the first intro starter adventure, whereas “Tyranny of Dragons” had to evoke a full campaign. While it tells a fun story of both dungeons and dragons, it’s very linear and railroady, with few overly large maps that don’t look very good on a virtual tabletop. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Tyranny of Dragons”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 27 Recap

We delve into a haunted underground labyrinth seeking an artifact of the Stone Giants.

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”

Whispered echoes raged throughout the dark hallways. The air was cold, and despite being underground grass crunched under our feet as we explored the labyrinth beneath the Grandfather Tree.

Halfred had recognized the literal writing on the walls – Stone Giants had built this ancient place. For what purpose we could only guess. Now it seemed to be a tomb for a host of restless spirits. They were not happy to see us trespassing.

Churlish giggling sent a chill through my spine. I turned to see the ghostly apparition of a long dead elf girl rush toward me, as if in embrace. 

I lashed out with my psi-glaive, hoping to cut this one down before it could reach me, as I did the first. But I had hesitated. My mark was off, and I stumbled. My spear bit into the ghost’s side but didn’t deter it.

It seemed to pass right through me. I felt a horrible coldness I hadn’t experienced since I lay dying in the snow from the yeti mauling, and a scream echoed throughout my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was the ghostly girl, or my own. 

Just as quickly, the spirit vanished back into the nearest stone wall. The whispering continued. T.I.M. lay a concerned hand on my should, and I felt his healing magic warm my body. We all exchanged worried glances, and soldiered on through the darkness.

We’re back to dungeon crawling this week, albeit with a fairly short, straight-forward dungeon. I later learned that this dungeon didn’t even exist in the official “Storm King’s Thunder” campaign book. Player characters simply dig under the Grandfather Tree and find the artifact.

Thumbs up to the DM for providing us not only a fun little dungeon crawl, but one that was legitimately harrowing. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 27 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 25 Recap

We split the party and take on the entire Zhentarim outpost at the Feral Hound tavern.

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”

The short tunnel ended in an odd wall of wooden planks. I was preparing to crash into it when I felt a firm grip from behind. Bryseis was reaching out and bumping into my invisible body.

“Do you see anything?” I asked her telepathically. 

She found a loose plank and pulled, and the entire section of wall swung open, creaking terribly. 

I realized we were about to breach the tavern through this underground secret entrance without updating Halfred and T.I.M. I reached out with my mind to try and find theirs. It should’ve clued me in to be worried that I actually did sense their minds nearby – far too close.

I sent them a message that we were inside and not to do anything foolish yet. We would laugh about that later.

A massive suit of armor strode into view in front of us. It was covered head to toe in gleaming, spiked plate mail. It glowed from the inside with a magical red light. There was nobody inside.

“INTRUDERS,” it intoned in a frightening monotone. “THEY ARE THE ONES WAITED FOR. KILL. KILL. KILL.”
Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 25 Recap”

Tabletop Review: Warlock #1 + Warlock Lair 1

A press copy of Warlock #1 and Warlock Lair 1 was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Wolfgang Baur, Troy E. Taylor, Ben McFarland, Richard Green, Dan Dillon, Jon Sawatsky
Published by: Kobold Press

WarlockKobold Press recently launched a Patreon campaign for a bi-monthly RPG sourcebooklet called Warlock. Warlock uses the 5E SRD to produce material that’s compatible with Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. In may ways Warlock represents Kobold Press’ return to their roots of Kobold Quarterly.

Warlock specifically dives into the lore, characters, and locations of Midgard, Kobold Press’ fantasy world and RPG campaign setting. Warlock is designed as a mini-sourcebook, though any DM could be properly inspired from the material presented here.

The first issue is small, both physically and in length, clocking in at 20 pages. It’s printed on thick card stock with black and white art. Its size belies the deep material inside, including a detailed overview of the evil land of Beldestan, a greenhouse of mutated plant life that would make Poison Ivy proud, and rules for those who venture too close to the Void.

Warlock #1 provides four separate articles, each written and designed by a different person (or collaboration) from Kobold Press’ impressive stable of RPG writers and designers. It also includes several fantastic pieces of original artwork by Gabriel Cassata, Pedro Potier, and Karl Waller. Continue reading “Tabletop Review: Warlock #1 + Warlock Lair 1”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 24 Recap

We experience some major personal drama at the Roaringhorn Gala, as well as a solid lead on our Zhentarim target.

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

SCHEDULING NOTE: Next week’s session has been moved up to Thursday  (10/12) to accommodate a wedding on Friday. Same start time.

Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

“Monsieur Kazin.” A voice spoke with startling authority from behind us. I stiffened. Bryseis shot me a questioning glance backwards, but continued on outside the hall to follow Halfred and Diero.

I turned around to face a nobleman I didn’t recognize. I was instantly suspicious.

The man smiled thinly. “The Lady Atalia wishes she could be here.”

I stiffened, my mind a whirl. I walked up close and thrust my face into his. He didn’t so much as blink. “How the hell did you know we’d be here in Neverwinter?”

“We are in many places.”

“Who are you?”

“I represent a group you have meddled in the affairs with.”

I grinned, summoning up all the swagger I could muster. “We’re rather good at that.”

“Indeed. I come here tonight not as an enemy but as a friend. Your meddling is due to our poor choice of allies.”

“I don’t know you or your allies.”

“You’ve encountered us in Yartar. Our activities have been severely sent back, and you killed one of our number in Xantharl’s Keep.”

I steadied my voice and my gaze. “Who are you? Cut the bullshit. I could reach into your mind and pluck the information out if I wanted to.”

A voice rang out in my head, intrusive, confident. “And I could do the same” it spoke.

I tried to calm myself and remember my training, but my body shook with rage. At hearing Attalia’s name thrown out like a weapon. At this creature using the powerful psychic gifts as a force of subversive evil. 

The man went on, “I would like to extend an olive branch-“

I lashed out and grabbed him. He balked at my sudden physical assault, letting me get a solid grip and drag him out of the feast hall like a child throwing a tantrum, hoping no one took much notice. 

Outside the giant doors and into the large, but empty hallway I threw him to the ground. The man sprang up in a rage, his face melting into that of a Deep Scion, mouth separating into toothy quadrants, hair turning into slimy tentacles.

I focused my anger as my psi-glaive manifested in my hands. We squared off, and I saw Korinn in the corner of my eye begin hurrying over in response.

I took a deep breath and centered my thoughts on the creature. This was not the time nor the place. I planted a thought in its mind: we were no harm, and it should report that to its masters. 

The creature’s form was once again enveloped into the human noble. He blinked a few times, sneered at me, then went to get his coat and leave. I took several deep breaths, and rejoined the others.

Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 24 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 23 Recap

We ally with the Harpers and teleport to Neverwinter to investigate the dastardly plot of…a fundraising gala.

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”

Lord Roaringhorn met us in the meeting room. The estate was swarming with richly dressed people arriving for the party.

I was impressed with the diversity. Every race in Faerun was here for the gala. They laughed, giggled, and smiled while people around the world suffered from the Giants. I reminded myself we were here for a good cause.

“This way my friends, this way!” Lord Roaringhorn waved his arms as if to sweep us up. We looked at each other awkwardly. Korinn and Bryseis wore beautiful, expensive dresses. The Dragonborn’s dress looked ready to burst from her muscular physique. 

The rest of us remained in our armor, robes, and leathers. These days we always expected the worst.

We heard the sounds of voices and music as we approached the large doors to the feasting hall. Lord Roaringhorn threw them open with a flourish, and all eyes of the Neverwinter nobility turned toward us.

“Ladies and gentleman,” Lord Roaringhorn began, “I present to you, the Saviors of Nightstone, the Defenders of Ten Towns…the Graham Cracker Crew!” Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 23 Recap”