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

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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 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 47 Recap

We journey deeper into the elemental earth dungeons, beyond a pair of tic-tac-toe playing giants.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Our heroes find themselves in the middle of a dungeon crawl of elemental evil. Due to the nature of “Princes of the Apocalypse,” they’re exploring a dungeon I don’t necessarily need or want them in, however. The solution? Give them a map with fairly obvious neon blinking arrows.

I’ve been known to pull out some DM cheats to get the players to go where I want. Directly railroading your players usually isn’t fun, but if your players are more frustrated than fascinated by directionless exploration (as mine are), it can be a useful tool to pull out a magically locked gate, or an incredibly useful map.

I had them find maps of both the current dungeon and the next one, the Fane of the Eye. They’d explored quite a bit of the Fane already, but hadn’t approached from the Earth side yet.

Meanwhile they were cutting a haphazard path through the Earth Temple. It was fun enough but with the prophet gone their main goal was simply getting down to the Fane, and from there start exploring the deeper Elemental Node dungeons. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 47 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 39 Recap

After a harrowing battle last week, the party accidentally delves further into the Drow caves and battles some minotaurs.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

We had a hell of a dramatic session last week. The second of four elemental prophets was defeated and one of the four delegates rescued in a night that included PC ooze transformation, a djinni granting a wish, and some fun personal heroics.

Like a TV show that just ran a jaw-dropping episode, I expected this week to be far more subdued. I had planned on including a massive info dump from the captive delegate, whom I totally replaced with Miri’s mom since she came from Waterdeep nobility (but was estranged from her family).

This session was anything but, as my players decided to inadvertently delve deeper into the Fane of the Eye, running into the Fire cult’s domain and some minotaur guards. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 39 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 38 Recap

We make our way toward the altar within the Fane of the Eye and the Queen of Air. But first, a little detour with a cursed statue.

NEW PROGRAMMING NOTE: Our D&D Sessions will be moving to Fridays beginning this week! Recap and Video will be published each weekend.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

When you’re getting late in a campaign and your players are reaching higher levels, they may feel like they’re prepared for anything. Tough new threats go down swiftly – especially if there’s only one of them. And entire rooms can be shut down with a single wizard spell.

But my players were not prepared for the secret of the ooze!

In this week’s session the party got back on track in the Fane of the Eye, making their way toward the altar and the Queen of Air. But first, a little detour with a cursed statue. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 38 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 37 Recap

Our heroes resume the main quest, only to find themselves in the bowels of some windy caves deep underground.

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Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Last week we took a break in our lengthy campaign. This week we dive back in as our heroes resume the main quest, only to find themselves in the bowels of some windy caves deep underground. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 37 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!

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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.

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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”