D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 29 Recap

The party survives an ambush and takes on the leader of the Crushing Wave cult with help, then betrayal from their lizardfolk allies.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Holy crap my players are powerful. Like Polymorph the captured rogue into a giant ape that kills everything, powerful.

D&D’s always had a weird balance that revolves around attrition. Creatures are given a Challenge Rating and DM’s have a tool to calculate how to make encounters Easy, Medium, Hard, and Deadly depending on the type and number of enemies.

But that assumes a “well-rested party.” Much of the challenge of D&D comes from fights taking a gradual toll on the party’s resources. It was a tricky balancing act, particularly in dungeons.

5E lets the party Short Rest to recover some abilities. If the party does that right before a major boss battle, they’re sitting much prettier than an otherwise easy or medium fight that’s at the end of a long string of encounters. See for example the near deadly fire elemental encounter near the end of Scarlet Moon Hall.

For this week’s session the party tackled their biggest boss battle to date – the leader/prophet of Elemental Water Gar Shatterkeel, and suffered nary a scratch. I even threw an extra force of reinforcements at them, AND had their lizardfolk allies turn on them afterward.

frysquintThe PCs defeated them all.

Nary a scratch.

 

 

Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 29 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 28 Recap

In the water temple the party stumbles on a massive dragon turtle lair and mounts a daring escape.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

In some dungeon-crawling sessions we simply go room-to-room, slaying monsters and looting. The Action-RPG approach isn’t necessarily wrong – everyone plays D&D differently. Sometimes, however, your party stumbles into an area that’s way over their head, and the ensuing chaos can be just as fun as actual combat.

The party was on their third dungeon in a row, doing most of the air temple, running through almost half of the Fane, and emerging in the Water temple. It’s been hell on my prep work, but it also lead to some of our most memorable moments in the entire campaign.

The Cult of the Crushing Wave is home to the largest monster we’ve seen so far – a dragon turtle. Of course I was super excited to unleash this monstrosity, and the campaign book had several scenarios that Bronzefume could be utilized in.

Turns out, I wouldn’t need any of them. The party decided to jump into the river, and attempt to deal with a long series of Swim checks that lead them closer to the Market Hall/Docks area in the Southeast. I added some torches to the quay on the west side to help orient them a little better, but they spotted the glowing lights in the Western part of the lake. Like moths to the flame, they decided to investigate. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 28 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 27 Recap

Reaching the water section of the Fane we battle killer fungus and water weirds, and parley with a tribe of lizardfolk. Then it’s on to the Temple of the Crushing Wave!

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

What do you do when you a have a string of interconnected dungeons, all of a different level, and no built-in way to stop your players from stumbling into them? Sit back and watch the chaos unfold.

When it comes to DMing, I’m far better at planning than ad-libbing. My skills at rolling with the punches have steadily improved, and it’s a very necessary skill to have to run a tabletop RPG.

That being said, I try to see where players are and what’s ahead and plan accordingly. These last few sessions have been extremely difficult in that regard, due to the dungeon layouts in “Princes of the Apocalypse.” I’m having to construct entire large dungeons every week as my party hops through them haphazardly. It’s fun to see which directions they take (seemingly at random!) but hell on my stress levels. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 27 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 26 Recap

We journey down a giant worm carcass into a whole new dungeon filled with even greater dangers.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

I have zero experience with high level Dungeons & Dragons. I mean, I’ve played games like Baldur’s Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights. But in terms of the tabletop, we’ve never had a campaign reach the upper echelons, or even mid-tier for that matter.

Playing with stronger monsters with multiple abilities is a nice challenge as a DM. But what’s really interesting is when rooms or battlefields offer additional challenges. In this week’s session, the party travels down to an entirely new dungeon that offers some challenging new hazards. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 26 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 25 Recap

Cloaks come to life, more air cultists are slain, Kenku ambush the wizard, and the party argues about the morality of using Animate Dead.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Role-playing with my players through various NPCs can be a lot of fun. As a DM what really excites me is seeing my players role-play amongst themselves, completely on their own. The times I can just sit back with a big smile on my face and watch events unfold is fantastic.

A standard dungeon crawl might not lend itself to these moments too often, even when I try to present some interesting scenarios. Leave it my players to concoct their own scenes involving a PC using Animate Dead, and a Paladin’s moral dilemma. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 25 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 24 Recap

The party goes toe-to-claw with an Umber Hulk, fights off a swarm of ghouls, and defends against air cult reinforcements.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

At its heart Dungeons & Dragons is all about the dungeon crawl. Many groups might get more enjoyment out of role-playing with townsfolk or uncovering a mystery. But at some point, everyone’s gotta throw down inside a labyrinthine maze of danger and traps.

One of my favorite things about “Princes of the Apocalypse” is how cool and varied the dungeons are. Surprisingly my players skipped over the giant underground pyramid to explore the Northern end of the Temple of Howling Hatred. I can’t blame them. If I get a giant “GO HERE” main quest update, I try and go everywhere else first! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 24 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 23 Recap

We overcome some terrible technical difficulties to take down a giant stone golem and a plaza full of air cultists.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Normally in a tabletop setting of D&D you don’t have to worry about technical difficulties. In an online environment with webcams and recording, it’s a different story. Things had been smooth sailing for awhile so I suppose I was due for a catastrophe of a session last night.

I won’t get into the details but essentially I had recently acquired a USB wireless adapter. Apparently that overloaded my USB ports and they began shutting off last night – turning off my internet, webcam, mouse, keyboard, etc.

This managed to destroy my recording of the first 15 minutes of our session while I dealt with these issues. Rather fortuitously we spent most of the beginning going over some new rules changes in our house rules, so we barely lost any actual adventuring time.

Unfortunately, and I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit this, I had turned off my mic in OBS (my recording software) while trying to diagnose the problem. And of course I forgot to notice it was still off when we came back on. We proceeded to go through an hour’s worth of D&D, and only when we took our break did I notice it was off. DAMN IT. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 23 Recap”