D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap

The party begins investigating some shady druids performing a fiery ritual at Scarlet Moon Hall.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

No matter how well-constructed your fantasy world is, or how meticulously you run your RPG campaign, sometimes real life can get in the way. Maybe you don’t have enough time to prep, or a player (or you) can’t make the scheduled session.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a stellar group of friends and family that really go the extra mile in coming together every week and always having the best attitude for wanting to play and have fun.

That being said, I’m going through a crazy busy part of my life right now in selling our house and buying a new one all in the same week. Not trying to make excuses, but simply trying to explain why this video is several days late and much shorter than usual. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap

Our heroes are lured into a trap at Nettlebee Ranch involving barbarian ghosts, earth cults, and evil halflings.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Some group drama is bound to crop up in a role-playing world. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to DM for best friends I’ve known since grade school. For the most part we all get along swimmingly, with occasional disagreements being handled courteously and quickly. After tonight’s session the group may need to draw up their own group charter. I suggested “The Nettlebee Accords.”

After our party’s incredibly lengthy journey up a river through a keep and to grandmother’s house they go, I decided now’d be the perfect time to launch one of “Princes of the Apocalypse’s” scripted side quests.

Curse of the Fire Witch is a fun little event that lures our unsuspecting heroes into a trap. They’re called to a nearby ranch run by a halfling family of farmers and ranchers. The Nettlebees are worried about nearby fire cults and their livestock has been recently branded with the fire cult symbol. I used young son Warren (renamed from Watson in the book) as a wanna-be adventurer. An earnest scout that went to town to find help. He found our heroes. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 15 Recap

Backtracking to Rivergard Keep we defeat the remaining forces. But returning to town comes with a surprise attack of hell hounds!

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Recorded and uploaded a day later due to out-of-town player. Thank you for your patience!

We’ve definitely hit the record on consecutive battles and sessions without a rest. According to my calculations, the party last rested in shifts while traveling up the Dessarin River toward Rivergard Keep. That was Session 13!

Since then they’ve defeated the entirety of Rivergard Keep, as well as the guards posted inside the Temple of the Crushing Wave. After that battle they were feeling drained and exhausted. Not to mention they’d reached enough experience for level 6 after the first few battles in the Keep. My rules state that they can’t level up outside of a Long Rest.

So although they’d reached a new massive dungeon, they opted to pull back to heal up, level up, and rescue the hostages they had found in the Keep. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 15 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 14 Recap

The party defeats the wereboar leader of Rivergard. A hidden stream leads to a lake with a shark-riding knight!

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

When we were running our Shadowrun campaign, I was able to do entire recap sessions to separate the individual missions or runs. This gave me a chance to elicit feedback from my players and breakdown what worked and what didn’t from both role-playing and technical points of view. Each run took 3-6 weeks, so we had these discussions at a nice pace.

While D&D Fifth Edition works much better for us overall, the campaigns are way longer. Our first, “The Lost Mine of Phandelver,” took four months. It’s looking like “Princes of the Apocalypse” will easily last us the rest of the year.

To compensate I’ve done little informal talks and breakdowns after our sessions and throughout the week. Since we’re all close friends I’m fortunate that I can pull back the curtain and discuss things a bit, while trying to avoid spoilers as best I can.

I’ve previously discussed my main problem with “Princes of the Apocalypse.” Its open world set-up and interconnected dungeons means player characters can (and likely will) stumble into higher level dungeons than they’re prepared for.

As my players pointed out after this session – continuing down that underground stream beneath Rivergard Keep seems like the bottom layer of that dungeon, and the natural next course of action. In reality it’s an entirely new dungeon – one that’s far bigger and several levels stronger than the Keep. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 14 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 13 Recap

Our heroes infiltrate Rivergard Keep via a captured boat. Their ambush quickly turns into a giant battle with the Keep’s forces.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

We had brought our characters from our first adventure, “The Lost Mine of Phandelver” over to “Princes of the Apocalypse.” This meant that my players were slightly over leveled for the beginning of this adventure. They hit level 5 soon after reaching Red Larch. Even skipping most of the newbie content, my players were over-leveled for the beginning of the main campaign (which is designed for level 3 heroes).

This hadn’t really been too noticeable until last night’s session at Rivergard Keep. I didn’t make any scaling adjustments. When the PCs sprung their ambush trap from the boat, the noise drew a large amount of defenders in the barracks. A long battle ensued, with dozens of combatants. Too bad Bandits really really suck. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 13 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 12 Recap

Our heroes defeat a group of pirates at Womford and travel up the Dessarin River toward Rivergard Keep.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Sometimes you have to scrap ideas even before they really start. If you’re DMing a game of your own creation you have to play the role of both designer and editor. You create the content, then constantly modify and tweak as your players mess with it.

By utilizing a pre-published adventure, the bulk of the design is already done for me. I primarily do the editing work, which leads to a lot of customization and changes based on what I and my players like to do in a tabletop game.

In this week the party made it to Bargewright Inn, which includes a low-level “Side Trek.” I like that “Princes of the Apocalypse” uses extra content that’s completely extraneous to the plot and fills out the Dessarin Valley area quite nicely.  Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 12 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 11 Recap

Our heroes finally get a chance to spend their hard-earned loot in Red Larch before taking the Cairn Road to Womford.

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

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse” 

We typically have our Dungeons & Dragons sessions filled with dungeon crawling and combat. But even the most video game-like D&D groups occasionally need a session to sell all their phat lootz.

With the heroes wanting to personally escrot the prisoners from the Sacred Stone Monastery to Red Larch, I decided it was a good time to provide them with ample options to spend their accumulated wealth.

D&D 5E solved the power-struggle quite elegantly with the Proficiency Bonus. The side effect is that magic items are no longer needed quite as much, and end up being more rare than ever before. Heroes still gain hundreds of gold after only a few sessions, however.

If you have a group that’s not particularly interested in the more esoteric role-playing side of RPGs, such as building castles or engaging in politics, it’s difficult to create a proper money sink. My personal solution was to allow them to purchase a few select magic items from their local Harper agent (Endrith Vallivoe), as well as potions of healing, greater healing, and even their own horses. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 11 Recap”