D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 0 – Introducing Our Characters

We create our new level 1 characters for our next D&D campaign

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After over a year with our first D&D 5e characters, it was time for a change. You’ve already seen the announcement that our next adventure will be another officially published 5E campaign: “Storm King’s Thunder.” The other big news is that Chris (who played everyone’s favorite zealous Paladin Kalinaar) will be sitting in the DM’s chair, and I’ll become a player!

The streaming schedule, YouTube channel, and weekly recaps will remain the same. Our campaign will begin with Session 1 on Friday, April 14. But first we needed to create our new characters. Welcome to Session 0 – Character Creation!

To summarize our session, I’ve copied each player’s character backstory (as written by them) as well as a screencap of their level 1 character sheet. Wish us luck against the giants this year!

Kazin, Half-Elf Warlock (Pact – Great Old One)

Played by Eric

Born as a bastard son of an elf lord, Kazin rarely met his aloof father. He was raised by his human mother in Neverwinter, but his father made sure they never wanted for anything.

Despite middle-upper class upbringing and schooling, Kazin never took to bookwork, instead displaying a natural athleticism. Around puberty, however, he began suffering from terrible headaches. He could hear the thoughts of others, and sometimes they could hear his. His mother sought after numerous physicians, mages, and caregivers. Finally someone showed up who could help, a most unexpected ally – a cloud giant wizard named Zephyros.

After some weeks spent aboard his floating tower, Zephyros delivered him to a solitary monastery nestled in the mountains, home to a little-known and even less understood organization called Mind-Zei. There he learned how to quiet his mind, and tap into the thoughts in his head, controlling them rather than letting them control him.

The Mind-Zei monks told him that many kids are born with “awakened minds” – those touched by the alien beings of the Far Realm. Whether through purpose or cosmic joke, many are driven insane after puberty, when their powers begin to manifest. The Mind-Zei attempt to reach them before that happens and train them to control their telepathic and telekinetic powers. They are not always successful, however…

Kazin flourished under their guidance. Instead of meditation and quiet solitude he would practice martial skills to help keep his mind focused. His natural talents and drive worried some of the order, but when he came of age they agreed to let him travel the world. Their only wish was for Kazin to maintain the harmonic balance within his mind, and help those who exhibit the same symptoms (or put them out of their misery).


T.I.M., Warforged Cleric (Life Domain)

Played by Reese

T.I.M. hails from Ardeep Forest and started out as a body guard for his master and creator. Although it was an odd occupation, since his (his? its? her? the androgynous construct’s?) creator was a bit of a hermit and needed no protection from the local fauna.

T.I.M. was taught the healing arts from his creator as well as how to spot a bog leach at a hundred paces. One day, as T.I.M. was out looking for said leaches, he returned home to find his creator dead and probably not from natural causes. What could have killed such a mighty god? Food poisoning? An impacted bowel? Healing bog leaches? A paper cut? T.I.M. had not a clue.

T.I.M. then shrugged at this unknown quantity. With a handful of leaches and no other humans to adhere them to, T.I.M. took off for the nearest town.

Before he left, he made sure to gather the holy book of wisdom written by his creator. A book his creator wrote in every day, usually in the evening, and had scrawled diary on the front for some reason. “Onward,” thought T.I.M., “to find other fellow humans that totally aren’t made of metal and wood! Just like me.”


Bryseis, Tiefling Sorcerer (Wild Magic)

Played by Heather

I grew up as the only daughter of Lyandra Esterborn. Lyandra ran a gambling parlor, Hope House in Baldur’s Gate. She was loved by everyone and despised by those who thought they could beat the house. She loved the irony of calling her business Hope House because while her patrons came in Hoping to fix their troubles they left worse off then before.

From a young age I watched my mother and those who came to Hope House and learned everything I could. I learned how to charm those around me and make them feel at ease even though they couldn’t see past my appearance. As a child they didn’t see me for the threat that I had become.

As a teenager I began to have issues with the world around me. I could feel a force inside me asking to be released. The more I tried to reign in this force the more dangerous I became. It was then that my mother found a teacher who understood what was going on. My teacher taught me that the force I was feeling inside me was the power and magic that was inherent in the world. She taught me how to find the power and how to harness it for my needs.

While I was learning to control this power I fell into the love of gambling. The feel of the cards in my hand, the risk of not coming out on top. My mother taught me how to always win, but with this new magic I never know what is going to happen especially when I left the magic take control.


Halfred, Halfling Ranger

Played by Raymond

For as long as Halfred can remember (which isn’t long given his worsening memory loss), he has served for his master, Wuce Brayne, and his family. Following the tragic murder of Wuce’s parents, Halfred took him in and raised him as a son. When Wuce came of age, he inherited his parents’ multimillion fortune and the best hill mansion money could buy, with Halfred still at his side.

Unfortunately for halflings, money doesn’t buy happiness. Years before the onset of this campaign, Wuce Brayne had set out on a soul-searching journey, inviting Halfred to join him. Along the way, Halfred learned a few basic combat skills and the skills necessary to survive out in the wild. After precisely one year, two months, and eight days, Wuce and Halfred returned to their home town, Gotham Shire.

Unfortunately, things were not the same. During their absence, a golden ring had gone missing. Giants, ogres, and harpies were becoming unsettled. They were terrorizing the halflings who just wanted to live peacefully and have their afternoon tea. Something had to be done.

It was at this point that Wuce realized his true calling. This journey gave him the strength to achieve what no other halfling could do. Wuce donned his mask and It was this day that the Wombatman was born.

Meanwhile, Halfred continued to serve Master Wuce as the only one who knew the Wombatman’s true identity. He continued to do a couple push-ups a day to maintain his upper body strength. Crime was down. Giants and ogres were no longer terrorizing the halflings of Gotham Shire. Then one day, Halfred could see the eureka moment in his Master Wuce. Wuce said in his gruff voice, “Halfred, the answer is in the giants. Follow the giants.” And with that, Wuce as the Wombatman drove off in his Wombatmobile, never to be seen again.

And thus begins the story of Halfred the servant.


Korinn, Blue Dragonborn Sorcerer (Draconic Bloodline – White)

Played by Rachelle

Korinn was a renowned warrior of a tribe of blue dragonborn. Tribal wars broke out with the treacherous and low white dragonborn.

In a pivotal battle, Korinn set her sights on the commander of the enemy tribe. One on one battle ensued. Drenched in his blood, she felt herself weakening with his blood corrupting hers and stripping her of much of her power. She was about to give the finishing blow but the enemy was upon her, striking her down. A mortal wound. Sensing death, they left her to her fate.

Alone on the battlefield, writhing in agony, and near the end, she was visited by Bahamut (or so she thinks) who gave her a chance at redemption to lead her tribe to glory. Too ashamed to face her tribe now that she is tainted with white dragon blood, she instead journeys to cleanse herself so that she might someday return.


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

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Epilogue & Recap

Our final session of the campaign is a tell-all recap of our adventures

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

This is it, the final session report for “Princes of the Apocalypse.”

The timing actually worked out where we did the full epilogue to our campaign directly after the final battle in Session 57. This week’s session was entirely devoted to recapping our year-plus long campaign, as well as revealing all the maps to the players, analyzing the paths and choices they made, and giving our final thoughts to this official published adventure.

Instead of regurgitating the full recap in written form, I’m going to use this space to list some fun facts, outline our general plot flow, and give my thoughts on “Princes of the Apocalypse” from a DM perspective. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Epilogue & Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 57 Recap

It’s the final countdown as our heroes reach the fire node and battle the Prince of Fire himself, Imix.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

With the final elemental node dungeon taking us a bit longer than I anticipated, I was afforded extra time to set up the finale and epilogue to our year-plus long campaign of “Princes of the Apocalypse.”

The party had a bit of prep time after their encounter in the shrine to take stock of their supplies and consumables – mainly in downing all their remaining health potions. They were far from full strength, having exhausted all Hit Die from short rests and about half their spell slots.

But there was no time to withdraw. The fire portal lie ahead, and the ritual drew near. The final battle was at hand. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 57 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 56 Recap

We survive a flameskull caucus, rescue some prisoners, cross a bridge of fire, and battle cultists within a shrine.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

This week we delved further into what is easily one of the most well-designed dungeons of a very dungeon-heavy campaign. While the other three elemental dungeons do feature their own unique quirks and interesting layouts, too many of them simply look like the same caves the PCs have been trapsizing through for weeks. Earth and Air are particularly egregious.

I’m glad we saved the best for last. The Weeping Colossus is the shortest of the elemental node dungeons but packed with dangerous hazards, cool enemies, and tons of lava. This week our party made it from the first room to the final one in the span of a single session. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 56 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 55 Recap

We descend into the volcanic shaft of the final elemental fire dungeon and battle its fiery guards.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

This week we dove into the final of four elemental dungeons – the volcanic realm of the fire node known as the Weeping Colossus. It’s the smallest but also the most impressive. The party takes a magical floating elevator down into a lava pit to get started, and from there things just get crazy.

Brief aside: the live stream went much more smoothly this week. I ironed out the CPU encoding issues. No more freezing! Please join us on Friday evenings if you want to watch us live. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 55 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 54 Recap

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Apologies for the technical hiccups in the video. We live streamed this session for the first time in a year and I clearly still have some settings to tweak. Work in progress! 

In coming down to our final of four elemental-themed dungeons, I really wanted to crank up the tension. The story and plot derail a bit at the end of “Princes of the Apocalypse”, boiling down to a series of Zelda-like dungeons complete with boss fights and magic items that defeat them.

I had each dungeon tell more of a story to make them more engaging, even as my players stomp their way through them with barely a sweat. The aboleth guarding the water node, the complete collapse of the earth dungeon, and Miri briefly turning on the party to act as a temporary air prophet in the Howling Caves.

It was the latter that gave me the idea to properly introduce Vannifer, the tiefling prophet of fire. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 54 Recap”

D&D Live Stream Tonight!

Click here to jump to the live stream when it’s live at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific.

Those of who you have been watching our weekly D&D adventures may recall that we used to live stream, first on Twitch then directly to YouTube.

We stopped and switched to offline recording for two main reasons – my internet connection was crap for live streaming, and our schedules rarely let us start on time – often up to 30 minutes late.

Both of those factors have improved over the last few months. I moved into a new neighborhood with much improved internet and we’ve been able to get together at a much more consistent basis. Continue reading “D&D Live Stream Tonight!”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 53 Recap

We return to the Howling Caves, where the party has to stop one of their own from completing the elemental ritual!

Recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Sometimes you step out of your comfort zone and enter uncharted waters within a role-playing space. This week we attempted to spice up the story of elemental evil by having one of the PCs become corrupted by the elemental weapon she’d been wielding, ultimately acting as the Prophet of Air while the other three raced to stop her.

It was a neat idea but the execution left the rest of the party bewildered and hurt rather than excited at the prospect. They thought Miri was just straight-up betraying them.

I had previously established that the elemental prophet weapons were semi-sentient and definitely capable of having negative effects on those who wielded them. Miri had previously used and ultimately rejected Drown. But she was heedless with Windvane, having used it for quite some time. I had mostly forgotten about it, occasionally teasing the gossamer wings she’d grown and her haughty (haughtier) attitude.

But being so close to the wind node and having attuned to the weapon for so long compelled her to separate from the party about halfway through the dungeon. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 53 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 52 Recap

We journey back into the Black Geode and confront the Prophet of Earth in the Earth Node.

Recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Those of you that have been following our campaign for awhile know we’ve had our share of technical difficulties. Unfortunately we had a nasty one crop up in our session last night – complete power failure from a thunderstorm. This resulted in the loss of the first 2/3 (almost 2 hours) of our session.


As you’ll see in the video I attempted to salvage our session by recording a few minutes this morning and describing what happened before syncing up with the final 30 minutes. I’m devastated that we lost some great footage, and apparently I need to switch to recording via .flv instead of .mp4. So it goes.

Last week our heroes had sealed the water node and returned to rest in the Fane of the Eye. They set out this week to delve back into The Black Geode, battle the prophet of elemental earth and seal the earth node. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 52 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 51 Recap

We discover the water node and confront the new would-be leader of the Cult of the Crushing Wave.

Recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

It’s boss battle time! I got lucky with the timing and received a whole week between sessions to prep for the confrontation at the water node. “Princes of the Apocalypse” has a lot of neat “if the PCs do this, then change this” situations. Mostly they have to do with the free-form order in which the PCs can tackle the four elemental cults.

If the Cult of the Crushing Wave’s prophet was previously defeated, then one of the big monsters in the final water dungeon, an aboleth, attempts to gain control of the cult.

I had to tease the creature through a bunch of cultists since my party unfortunately skipped the entire Western section of the Plunging Torrents, which features the worshiping Kuo-Toa and the aboleth’s lair.

I have a lot of fun role-playing monstrous creatures. The aboleth, named Yngukulub (whom my players affectionately referred to as Young Giggle Cub) provided a fun chance to dig into my players’ heads, tempting their characters with their deepest desires. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 51 Recap”