D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 19 Recap

We reach level 6 and journey south along the Long Road to find Triboar devastated from a recent Giant attack.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We were tired, hungry, and in T.I.M.’s case, severely wounded when we emerged from the caves of the Zhentarim outpost.

We had cleared the entire outpost. The final attack from a venomous giant spider had humbled our elated mood. T.I.M. showed no pain, despite his nasty limp from the spider’s venom.

We were in no mood when we found the gates of Xantharl’s Keep closed. Bryseis knocked on the door and a voice rang out, “Go away interlopers, we know what you did!”

“Damn it,” I muttered. 

“I told you we shouldn’t have let some go,” Bryseis glared at us, her demonic eyes burning with annoyance. “We should’ve killed them all.”

She turned her attention to the gruff voice beyond the gate. “What is it you think we did?” she snarled.

“Alicia told us – you killed all the Zhentarim. They were our lifeblood, you’ve doomed us! Go away!”

“We freed you from the Zhentarim,” I replied, wearily.

“You think you’re heroes, but a lot of those folks lived here. They had families! You’re not welcome here.”

“To hell with this town,” I sighed. But I thought of Millie, the undercover Harper agent who had helped give us some information.

Bryseis brazenly called out to the guard that we needed to speak to the barmaid. It felt horribly suspicious to me, but money greased the palms of the guard and he went to fetch her.

Millie emerged several moments later and we told her everything, about Xelan’s death, the ledger that revealed all their payments and book keeping, and the letter that revealed the Weevil’s next stop – Neverwinter. She was grateful for the assistance, agreeing to ride north to try and uncover more of the Neverwinter hideout.

We had other plans. The Giant attacks weren’t about to stop so we could follow the damn Weevil all over the country. We saddled the horses and turned south, riding a few miserable miles before collapsing into our tents for some much needed rest. A long road lay ahead of us.
Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 19 Recap”

Roll20 Review: Lost Mine of Phandelver

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.

Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition does a lot of things really well. The easiest to highlight is the Starter Kit intro adventure, “Lost Mine of Phandelver,” first published in 2014.

LMoP does an excellent job introducing newcomers to D&D while still providing a memorable and fun adventure full of exotic creatures, locations, and twists. It’s correctly hailed as one of Wizard of the Coasts’ best ever starter adventures.

When Roll20 acquired the license to create official D&D 5E modules, adapting the “Lost Mine of Phandelver” was a no-brainer. The adventure includes some annoying challenges to overcome, particularly as it was originally released before basic 5E content we now take for granted, such as the Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual.

The Roll20 module fixes most of these issues while providing as streamlined a process as possible to jumping into your first D&D adventure with a virtual tabletop.

Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Lost Mine of Phandelver”

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 18 Recap

Our final showdown in the Zhentarim Outpost offers a rematch with Captain Xelan.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The alarm bells rang out, and for a tense moment I wondered if we were doing the right thing. I ran to the door, practically barreling into it, shouting as if some foe were right behind me. 

“Captain Xelan,” I screamed in the acolyte’s voice. “We’re under attack!”

The Zhentarim leader whom we had thwarted at Nightstone, and who had tried to have us killed, stared back at me irritably. The well-dressed man to his left sighed. “Do you see, Captain Xelan? Your organization is becoming nothing more than a liability.” The large robed orc in the corner said nothing.

Xelan stood up from his desk, unsheathing a brilliant golden scimitar. “If you don’t want to die it’s your problem too.” He turned toward me. “Lead the way, Alicia!”

I hurried down the hall, pointing toward the west where the rest of my friends lie in waiting. Xelan nodded and charged forward, but the well-dressed man stopped to stare at me. I felt my heart beat rapidly as an uneasy force flowed around him. My mind felt the tiniest prick and I used all my concentration to retain my composure. This was no man.

My disguise held and the fake-man continued on. I heard Xelan cry in surprise as Halfred whirled around the far corner at the opposite end, dropping two arrows directly into his chest. A gout of acid sprayed across the other two, and T.I.M. summoned his terrifying spectral leech.

I stepped behind everyone as Xelan called out to me, “Heal us, woman!” My hatred of Xelan and unease over the odd nobleman coalesced around me as I shedded my disguise.

“Captain Xelan, I think you remember us.”

Xelan’s eyes went wide. “Gods damn it! You’re all supposed to be dead!”

I smiled wryly and held out an arm, channeling all my psychic energy forward. “Now you will know fear.” Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 18 Recap”

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”

This week’s D&D session bumped up to tonight

The Summer of Reschedule continues! Our wonderful DM will be out of state for a wedding this weekend, then my wife will be out of state on a business trip.

So, we’re bumping up Friday’s Storm King’s Thunder D&D session to tonight. Same time, same channel as always. I’ll try and get the recap and video posted tomorrow.

We’ll resume our Friday D&D sessions next week, until the next reschedule at least!

(and for anyone that follows my weekly Wednesday #RogueDVDNight movie live tweets, I’ll be doing it tomorrow).

D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 15 Recap

We discover the aftermath of another giant attack in Luskan before continuing East to Mirabar, where a chance encounter puts a nobleman in our debt.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We strode into the tavern, smelling of smoke and seawater. We hadn’t so much as sat down after our trip from Hundelstone before we were forced to deal with yet another giant-related crisis here in Luskan.

At least this time the giants were already dead. If only every city had a powerful conclave of wizards to defend them.

With evening setting in we opted to unwind at the local tavern and canvas the locals for any pertinent information before turning in for the night.

Despite what must have been a terrifying attack just hours ago, the tavern was full of patrons. I suppose everyone deals with terror in their own way.

“T.I.M.,” Halfred whispered excitedly, “this is where you challenge them to a drinking contest!”

T.I.M.’s eyes lit up in a familiar way. He ambled to the middle of the room and shouted in his disarmingly friendly voice, “I challenge everyone in this bar to a drinking contest!”

Halfred practically clapped his hands in glee. “A drinking contest! Who’s in?” In an instant several older dockworkers, who looked like they practically lived here, accepted, their faces plastered with devilish grins.

Bryseis wasted no time and began collecting bets from curious onlookers, turning the entire event into a spectacle before I had any chance to react.

Our dragonborn sorcerer confidently walked up to the group, shotglass already in hand. “Oh, I’ll take you up on that,” she declared with twinkle in her eye.

I’m not totally thrilled with “Storm King’s Thunder” thus far. The linear intro in the beginning was, well, incredibly linear. Now that we’re braving the wide open world I’m finding it way too wide open.

The sheer amount of travel that lies before us is staggering, and we prove once again this week that once per day travel encounters are laughably easy. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 15 Recap”