Roll20 Review: Princes of the Apocalypse

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Since partnering with Wizards of the Coast to convert the official Fifth Edition campaigns into Roll20, the Roll20 modules have been released out of order. Each of the campaigns are technically stand-alone, but some events and characters are referenced in other stories, such as Artus Cimber and the Ring of Winter in Storm King’s Thunder and Tomb of Annihilation.

Originally released in Spring 2015, Princes of the Apocalypse was the second ever Fifth Edition campaign, following Tyranny of Dragons. It now has the honor of being the final Fifth Edition campaign to receive the Roll20 treatment. [UPDATE: It has since been pointed out to me that Out of the Abyss has yet to be officially adapted. Oops!] Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Princes of the Apocalypse”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 44 Recap

We survive a daring escape from the All-Father temple only to receive dire warnings from the red dragon Klauth.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

“You have your quest,” the ghostly oracle intoned, “And now you must depart this place with great haste. For as I looked into the unseen storm, so it looked back. Your enemy is here.”

Right on cue we felt the entire mountain shake. The oracle continued to speak dire warnings and we looked at each other with wide eyes. We dashed back through the portal into the main chamber with the giant statues. 

She was there.

It was our first time laying eyes on the ancient blue dragon. The one who had caused all this chaos for the giants, and thus the world.

She approached like a smug cat who had cornered a mouse.

“How curious that you small creatures would go to such trouble for these brutish, corrupted giants, who did not but enslave and degrade your kind? It was we dragons who raised you up, liberated you, empowered you to throw off your chains.” Her sneer was palpable. It was all we could do to stare. 

“You have destroyed plans put into place decades ago. Traveled to the rotten depths of an old giant empire. Killed my servants. Killed my children. And for what? Come forward and claim your answers.” 

We’ve had heavy story-focused sessions before, but never has it felt like such an emotional gut-punch. Kudos to our DM for creating another epic, cinematic event in our escape from the Temple of the All-Father, only to follow it up with a series of psychological tortures for our characters via Klauth the ancient red dragon. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 44 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 43 Recap

We battle a tentacled terror, and gain an audience with the Eye of the All-Father.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The final rune above the archway glowed, and the entire archway exploded in light. The cloudy space underneath shimmered and thrummed with energy, the portal activating. Before we could blink, Bryseis stepped through it.

Harshnag turned to us, shrugged, and went after her, and we did the same.

We were deposited in a new chamber. The air and walls felt like an entirely different area. Six giant statues stood vigilant in a circle, surrounding a frozen Cloud Giant body on the floor.

Harshnag was awe struck, creeping up in reverence and sitting down next to the statues. This was a holy place for giant-kind.

We took places near Harshnag and watched as the body in the center began to stir. Harshnag spoke in measured tones: “Annam, great All-Father, we come before you, humble servants, that your eye might fall upon us, and you might answer the questions we seek.”

A ghostly giant form rose up out of it. It stared at us each in turn, its eyes radiating peaceful knowledge. 

“I am Megaron, Eye of the All-Father. Step forward and pose your questions that they may be answered.”

We finally reached the oracle and got our answers, and more importantly the next stage of our main quest. But first we had to battle a crazy tentacle ooze thing.

It’s been awhile since we had a truly epic boss battle. I didn’t realize the tentacled, Oozing Vortex was a damn nightmare with Legendary Actions, armor-melting acid, and a buttload of HP. Even with our numbers advantage it was a scary fight. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 43 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 42 Recap

We conquer some giant insect-infested tunnels before discovering a horror in the dining hall of the temple.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The rope was in place. Harshnag approached, ready to pull the missing weapon down from the giant statue’s outstretched hand. He neared the mysterious, but thus far innocuous orb that lie on the floor.

His movement stopped as if he’d hit an invisible wall. The Frost Giant stood completely still. With panic in his voice he cried out, “I don’t think this should be happening!”

We watched in shock as he drew out his rune-inscribed greataxe and plunged it into his own chest. He groaned in pain, blood splattering the floors of the well-lit dining hall.

My hands flew out on pure instinct, sending concussive blasts of force at the orb. Nothing happened until he had gotten close to it, so maybe it needed to get the hell away.

A tiny crack appeared along its outer shell and the orb rolled backward about a dozen feet. We didn’t have time to assess the result as a sudden inhuman shriek pierced the tension. An inky form detached itself from behind the giant statue, landing with a splattering sound on the floor in front of us. It looked like a tentacled nightmare.

This week we got a bit side-tracked within a lengthy, winding tunnel that cut out from one of the bedrooms within the Eye of the All-Father temple. In sharp contrast to the rest of the adventure it was a standard dungeon crawl, with monsters and loot, localized entirely within these tunnels. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 42 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 41 Recap

We rescue Harshnag and officially delve into the Eye of the All-Father temple.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

More empty rooms. The barracks within the Eye of the All-Father were as giant-size as everything else, but also completely barren. I poked my head into one of the side bedrooms while Bryseis darted further into the receding darkness of the long hallway.

As I turned to leave the ground began to shake. I heard Bryseis make a startled sound and saw glimpses of her running, followed by the brimstone poof of her Misty Step.

That’s all I saw before the open doorway in front of me suddenly became a solid stone wall, as if there had never been an opening.

“Uh, guys?” I called out, my voice echoing off my newly sealed tomb. 

The rumbling grew louder and louder, as did the shouts and screams of my friends. I took a few steps back as something large rolled by, violently shaking the ground. I pressed my head up against the stone, heart beating rapidly as I listened for the sickening crunch of bone.

It never came. The rumbling began again, but this time slower and more rhythmic. As it passed by once again the stone wall magically melded back into the sides. I raced outside. To my left I saw a massive stone boulder rolling back into the darkness. To my right I could make out the prone forms of Bryseis and Halfred panting, with a wild look in their eyes. But they were alive.

This week we finished our battle with the giants, and delved further inside the Eye of the All-Father temple. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 41 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 39 Recap

We officially unite the warring dragonborn tribes, gain the final relic, and make our way to the Eye of the All-Father.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

All the dragonborn, blue and white together, respected Korinn’s new leadership role, immediately recognizing the armband she had taken from Rygen. I’d never seen her so confident and commanding.

Despite their animosity and history, the blues and whites agreed to join their dwindling forces together, there in the Great Worm Cavern. Survival can be an excellent motivator. 

I approached the altar in the cavern, reaching out with my mind. As I got closer, the mysterious disembodied voice responded. “Welcome back, mortal. I no longer sense the corruption on these dragonborn.”

“There were some…complications,” I replied. “But everyone’s safe now.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” The statue shimmered and vibrated as the ghostly form of a feathered serpent materialized out of it. The gathered dragonborn stood with mouths agape as the couatl nodded its head respectfully. “Look back upon the gong and take your prize.”

I glanced over at the ancient gong. Where once had been a missing indentation, there was now a length of bone inscribed with a glowing rune. The final Ostorian relic.

This week we wrapped up our battle with the summoned ice golems at the dragonborn camp, then officially united the two warring tribes. Our reward was the final Ostorian relic we could use to gain entrance to the Eye of the All-Father. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 39 Recap”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 38 Recap

Korinn is forced into a duel for control of her old blue dragonborn tribe.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The weather was bitterly cold but the air around us was electric. The entire warband of blue dragonborn had turned out. Many looked to Korinn like a returning savior, while others spat at her feet.

Unfortunately for us, Rygen was firmly in the latter camp. Despite Korinn’s attempts at diplomacy, only a test of strength would decide who would lead the tribe from here, and Rygen wasn’t going down without a fight.

We had taken turns bestowing various blessings, spells, and magical artifacts on our dragonborn sorcerer. She was nervous, but resolute.

A ring was formed around the two blue dragonborn. Rygen towered over his brethren, put his hands together and pulled them apart, lighting arcing between them until a blade of living lightning materialized in his hands.

“Step forward and face me in single combat, Korinn.”

[NOTE: This will be a shorter recap, as I was wholly absent for this entire session thanks to the flu]

This week we took the fight to the aggressive neighboring blue dragonborn tribe – Korinn’s tribe, forcing her into a duel for control of the warband. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 38 Recap”