True Stories: How did your game go this week? – June 13, 2021
By - AutoModerator
Same old, same old.
Game was cancelled by the DM.
25% of our games get cancelled by the DM.
Party is fighting a cha-casting Acererak, a beefed up Arkhan, a Solar, a death pact angel, a drow priestess of Lolth, and... a knight, who's really just trying his best.
They're all heavily reskinned, but it's the end of an arc, and the players are high enough level that they're blowing through it...
Conclusion should be this week!
My players beat my most elaborately designed boss encounter. I took a chain devil and filled the dungeon with a lot of sick Hellraiser-style ambience. I gave him mutilated and tortured minions. I gave him a ton of legendary actions, bonus actions, lair actions, and a bloodied condition power-up.
They had come close to the Devil's sanctum and backed off previously, so he was prepared. I had hallways filled with oil ready to light - some to burn the players, others to explosively grow Brown Mold into their area. Minions were ready to unleash. Invisible Imps were positioned to coordinate.
I had the Devil offer the party a deal, speaking through the barely living body of a tortured, chained up monster. The party debated tricking the devil, but finally decided to straight up attack.
My players are a little cautious, but they are also extremely resource conscious. Once the L5 cleric decided to pop up Spirit Guardians (his last spell above level 1), they moved into turbo mode so they could clear the rest of the dungeon within the 10 minute duration.
When they got to the boss, they had two super moves: a Javelin of Lightning and an Arrow of Fiend Slaying. Both missed. The Javelin's magic was spent for the day, but the arrow was on the floor and still effective. At this point 3/4 of the party was grappled and restrained by the animated chains, including the Eladrin archer rogue. He pulled a Fey Step over to where he had missed with the Slaying arrow, picked it up as his free object interaction, and hit for 50 hps worth of slaying on the boss. That took him from half strength to 12 hps, and effectively winning the fight.
Was a very fun scenario for me, and I think the players enjoyed it too.
My bard got a bag of many tricks, bought an exotic saddle, got a lion on the rolls and turned it into a mount. Then we finished the boss fight and got a staff of swarming insects. Now I can summon a cloud of butterflies or fireflies :D
Not too bad. My players are very close to dying against a Dracolich, and for the group I play in as a PC were gearing up for the BBEG battle.
A powerful NPC who had helped our party in the past (greater restorations and even a resurrection of another NPC) made a disturbing personal request of one of our party members that none of us wanted to agree to. We returned from a task he'd asked us to do - relatively easy, but we ran into some trouble so some of us were down on health and spells. When we got to his town I even dropped off my magic weapon at the smith to make some improvements. But I figured we could go see him right away instead of resting a night since he's only been helpful if a bit weird. He turned on us in a big way when we refused his request and now we are running for our lives and a couple of us are close to death, few of us have magic weapons and the NPC and his allies have resistance or immunity. So I'm spending this week on my backup character...
Don't think I should be more specific since it's from a very popular written adventure.
My players had to go down into the sewers to find the Rat King after his forces attacked the city. They were trying not to use fire spells to light the place up accidentally. Well I had put three barrels of liquid in one room they found once they got into the lair and they decided to dip their hireling into the one that contained dragons breath potion in a vat. They burped. Now next session will probably be them running from the ensuing explosion.
Also they have turned into a party of furniture kleptos. After the king fled through a portal they then proceeded to loot his entire lair of everything including unscrewing doors and putting them into bags of holding with every table and chair they could find. Lmao.
Our party, consisting of a Vengeance/Shadow Sorcadin (Me), a Fathomless Warlock, a Fiend Fighterlock, and a Moon druid, pulled off the fantasy equivalent of an SAS attack.
The Sorcadin noted that a group of dead cult corpses, courtesy of a Purple Worm we had just killed, likely came from somewhere nearby. Considering that this very cult is the one he swore revenge against, used Locate Object and noted a trace of cultists' medals, presumably from the others that died from the Purple Worm, coming from a distance. So we decided to investigate the area, and if we found any outpost there, we'd advance and strike.
We needed information on the area though, so our Fiend Warlock pitched in with her familiar courtesy of the Pact of the Chain. The Imp was able to gather their numbers: 150, no good for a straight fight, even if we were ridiculously stronger on the individual level. He also spotted some hostages in the form of a few women who were skimpily clad in cages, and was able to grab a locket, allowing our Fathomless to perform Scrying later on when we arrived there some few hours later, long rested and ready to strike.
Our Fathomless Warlock decided to use Scrying one more time, as we were two miles outside the outpost, to confirm the layout of the defenses. It was more or less a simple watchtowers, no extra buildings or curtain walls. With that, we began.
Fathomless decided he wanted to try and use teleportation circle to get the girls out of there *before* we did anything to it, so we let him, and he proceeded to convince the guards to let him in with some acting that I noted "would probably land him an Oscar by the end of this session". Once he gave the signal he was in, he cast Infernal Calling and brought in a White Abishai while he scampered downstairs and freed the girls, teleporting to a distant town (We didn't know exactly where he teleported in character, so we'll have to find him next session).
With that settled, our Fiend cast Fireball and set the entrance on fire, while our Moon Druid turned into an Earth Elemental, collapsing the outpost on them and leaving them no escape. Either they suffocated, died from an Abishai, got hit by falling rubble, or escaped and then had to deal with the Sorcadin, who stood to kill anybody who tried to managed to run out the door.
Next session, we'll probably have to deal with that White Abishai, plunder the remains of the fortress, and then figure out where our Fathomless Warlock went off to. Still, good stuff. Even better, our DM who was actually planning to end the campaign soon, decided that hijinks like these were fun to the point that he might as well extend the session and see what else the party could end up pulling off.
Urgath, O'bam, Lorwyn, Sky, Kayla read no further!
Am DM. The PCs made "friends" with an Elder Oblex that captured one of them and nearly killed the rest. I... am stunned.
So I made a mild homebrew tweak to the Elder Oblex to allow it to Eat Memories without dealing damage. The idea was to do it by physical touch through tis impersonations, and slowly sap their minds while being "buddy buddy" and then capture the interesting ones for delivery to its creators. They eventually realize, defy its wishes and go after their friend and the Oblex attacks.
They win... and I have the Oblex surrender, with the rationale that it is hyper-intelligent, it has already fed off them all and just wants to live... so it can absolutely just give up. So it returns their friend and offers information in exchange for survival, then offers further information in exchange for more minds to "harmlessly" feed on. I have managed to shift the Oblex to being quite "passive" since it can obtain knowledge without killing or harming, and I am playing it with a bit of "nobler than thou"/"sick of your shit" style. My players are amused by it (one is worried as hell), despite the fact that it is obviously Evil and **they dont know what it is**.
And they **let it live**.... and some Pcs are **seriously considering the trade**. It was a 4.5 hour session of player led madness. I love D&D.
My character got to go home.
Nisenn of Amphail has returned to the town of her birth, just a little different than she left 6 levels ago. There's going to be a birthday party we'll all attend for one of the townsfolk. she also paid off 50g from her starting kit, since her background has the whole town pitching in on it. still a fair bit to go though.
we met her father Ulrich briefly as well. rather than paying for an inn, we'll just be staying at my his farm. after the party its back on the road to the north. lots of sidequests, so we're trying to chart a relatively efficient course.
prior to all this i was very annoyed and frustrated because we were fighting some wierd cat things that reflected my hellish rebuke back at me, but nothing with any of the sorcerer's spells some of which were fire based. and all of my investigation into why that was turned up empty.
My wife has previously not had a good time with the 3 previous sessions. Last Saturday was our 4th session. The next morning she said she had fun!
I’m so happy I have a group and a DM that cares. Also. I obliterated a giant toad with Eldritch Blast and created a waterfall of guts, blood, and toad nasty. The DM rolled to see who would be covered in the gross.
My paladin nearly got his head bitten off.
We were fighting some BBEG's right hand on a ship, it was really tough fight because of my luck and he was using damaging totems and curses that gave me 3 levels of exhaustion, combining with his high AC I couldn't really do anything except tanking some damage and go uncouncious like 4 times, even rolled a nat 1 on a death save.
I failed like every possible check, exhaustion disabled every trick I had upon my sleeve. At the end of the fight I got incapacitated by some sort of skill, if my friend's barbarian didn't break his concentration I would be dead in enemy's next turn.
At least I got HDYWTDI, pierced his skull with a javelin while he tried to run.
So, my old character who had been mind controlled, and the new character I've been playing since then, both died to fuel the BBEG's ascent into godhood.
Mounted Dragon to Dragon Combat.
I'd seen it mentioned a couple of times and thought it sounded great, as I'm running a Tyranny of Dragons campaign for a mix of new players and experienced players, it seemed like it would be a fun encounter to do, and fit perfectly with the campaign. Basically, the group is getting towards the end of the campaign and as I've gotten more comfortable getting back into being a DM I've been making little tweaks here and there to better suit my players. As I mentioned, we're a table with a few newcomers, 3 hadn't played before, and I hadn't DM'd in years. As a result we had some teething problems. Some of the RP stuff was a bit long winded and got dull, and some of my early combats were boring, just standard meat grinder fights, a situation I'm sure we've all been in during the early days of DM'ing.
As I've gained experience I've gotten better at engaging my players in both scenarios, knowing what they like and how they play. This acted as the second ambush by the Cult of the Dragon. I was worried I might have bitten off more than I could chew, and it was a bit of mental strain, but it went even better than I hoped it would and the extra rules I'd used to clarify some of the more unusual scenarios that the players found themselves in during the battle really helped.
The DM of my weekly game is sick, so the denouement villain of our campaigns current arc gets off for another week.
But my every-other-week game with a bunch of first-time players is going well! Sessions are short, but we've made our way into Cragmaw cave in the Lost Mines of Phandelvar module. I am learning that being a frontliner is... very difficult, at first level, especially for a cleric. Even one with an AC of 18, when your DM consistently rolls above 20 for the enemies.
Fortunately there's a LOT more healing in our party than I anticipated. And the fighter, the only other experienced player, took the Interception fighting style. So the party is very quickly finding our best strategies, and the new players are finding their feet pretty well. We had to pause the session halfway through the fight with Klaarg, but we're doing a *lot* better than the last group I played through Phandelvar with. Though granted the last time I played it Klaarg got a Nat 20 and insta-killed our frontliner in the first round of combat, so like... hard to be worse than that.
I ran a one-shot I created for several people that play consistently throughout the week. Our regular DM decided that he was going play as a party member and allow someone a chance to try DM'ing because we had just finished the Rise of Tiamat.
It was all completely homebrew and centered around the epilogue of what had happened to our characters after stopping Tiamat from coming back to the overworld. The beginning of the one-shot was a success in my opinion. The party had to figure out where the sorcerer mind-controlling the small town was located and had to get creative because the villagers would not give them a direct answer. They ended up speaking to an apple tree and distracting the villagers with card tricks and magic.
The one-shot fell apart in my opinion when they eventually found where the sorcerer was hiding and the dungeon crawling began. I could tell that the party was not engaged and having a good time because the enemies were not difficult enough for their level 13 PC's to actually put up a fight.
The final boss battle, a death knight with an inflated stat block, still did not peak their interest even with one turn of combat almost able to down a PC from the death knight.
I guess my biggest opportunity is creating combat encounters that are engaging to the party and make them think. Any advice on achieving this would be greatly appreciated!
We reached the final boss of the campaign arc: a corrupted version of Primus. Epic levels await if we survive, but that is questionable because we are low on resources.
Session #1... and it went... ugh
One player clearly expects to be the main character. He goes off and does his own things around town for a big chunk of the session.
He was irritating during the previous campaign, but has doubled down this time around.
Well, bad D&D is better than no D&D... so I just need to learn to mute or get a meal while he's doing his main character solo play.
> bad D&D is better than no D&D
The phrase is usually "no D&D is better than bad D&D" ;)
Lol, I'm not good with my expressions.
I guess... 80% good D&D is better than no D&D
I can get use to playing by just pushing the online "mute button" for the other 20%
Have you talked to this guy about his behaviour?
Nope, we've hinted as blatantly as we can... but its always tough to call out someone without creating bad blood
I'm sure no "main character syndrome" player thinks they're doing anything wrong.
Honestly, I think you need to be honest with him. If you're friends irl it'll be a tough convo, but what's the alternative? Playing a game of dnd that you hate because of this guy?
Dm gave my level 8 character Bane of the Abyss after passing a super high strength check to pull it out of a stone. Super cool stuff
We may have over/underestimated a certain plot point and have infiltrated the cult but now have now idea what our next move is so we're just... Culting along.
Level 3 chronurgist Wizard with an echo fighter and a monk. The council that basically acts as the king gave us a writ with the King’s seal that allows us unimpeded travel throughout the kingdom. Last session the fighter and I have been abusing this like an FBI badge and it’s been hilarious. Using it to seize “evidence” and basically act like rogue operatives. We go around saying “King’s business, do not interfere or you will be detained”, etc. The monk isn’t fond of our shenanigans lol. I’m sure if we continue to abuse it, it’ll blow up in our face super hard 😂.
Oh, DM gave me a one time level 4 spell to use. So I summoned a greater demon that I lost control of and almost TPK’d us. Oops.
Big boss fight, with 4 level 8 PCs (Gunslinger, Champion, Bladesinger, and Vengeance Paladin) against an Alhoon and eight Illithizombies (CR1 homebrew mishmash of Mind Flayer and Zombie stats/abilities), as they rescued the Gunslinger's apprentice from ceremorphosis.
Lots of cool moments in the fight, and they definitely found it challenging (after steamrolling most encounters I put in front of them, it was a bit of a change of pace)! I was rolling openly to show them that I wasn't pulling any punches. After the Alhoon was bloodied (below 50% max hp), a conditional lair action began reviving 1d4 Illithizombies to add insult to injury.
Ended up nerfing the immunity to non-magical attacks to just resistance mid-fight, as one Fighter doesn't have a magic weapon yet and I felt bad since they had been struggling a bit against the Illithizombies (undead fortitude is a great monster ability, but can be frustrating for players!)
The fight ended with the Alhoon critting our Paladin for over 40 damage with Shocking Grasp, reducing them to 0 hp *and triggering Relentless Endurance*, making it immediately their turn with 1hp and ending it with a smite (and an extra attack against the corpse, just for good measure).
Next session is tomorrow, and should be far more social encounters than we had last time!
That sounds like an awesome boss fight!
DM of our regular Sunday campaign couldn’t make it, so I ran a one shot based in the same world, but with new PCs.
To motivate the players, they were promised an alliance with a secret order of magic users if they successfully completed the adventure.
They had a lot of fun solving the puzzles, and a first time player stabbed a poor cat, mistaking it for something more sinister.
In the end, they made it through and now they have a new alliance that will impact the main campaign. It was a good time and a nice way to keep the overall story moving along.
I'm the DM for two games.
One of the games is kind of new and I've been struggling to get things moving (the players aren't used to my style of storytelling and I've been experimenting with a more open world approach). This week's session went extremely well, I expected them to raid a bandit hideout and murder all the bandits but instead they got in to the hideout via deception and used mostly deception and persuasion to learn 90% of the information that I wanted them to learn (there was still a bit of combat though).
Minutes after that session wrapped up, I checked my other groupchats and found out that 2 players in my other campaign (which has been running for much longer) are going to be leaving the game permanently (at about the same time) due to life responsibilities. I suspended this week's session as I figure out what to do but I think those 2 players leaving is going to kill that campaign.
Overall, kind of upset.
A bit of encouragement.
A party doesn't need everyone to continue. I understand group dynamics and how much certain characters are tied into the plot can make certain individuals leaving seem like an impossible hurdle, but if the people still at your table want to continue and you're all having a fun time, sudden departures don't mean you need to scrap what you've been working on.
Be it a creative reason in campaign for the party to split, your remaining players could end up on one side of the Fellowship Breaking. Being it two players going at the great quest on their own with none of the help they thought they'd have, or a group breaking off on a different side quest that supports the main quest while leaving the original quest (on pause) running in the background with the relevant PCs that are no longer at the table.
Thanks for the positivity!
I am planning to sleep on the issue and definitely talk to my remaining players and ask what they want. Secretly I've been a bit tired running two homebrew games so if my remaining players want it I might end up switching to a prewritten adventure.
DM was running a power creep calibration because we (6 players) just hit level 10 and he needs to see how strong we are, we stomped 3 iron golems one of them wall of forced into a thunderdome with the barbarian and a plant growth wall to stop them getting at the squishies in the first stage, the next round two young shadow dragons which the wizard walled one in a wall of force sphere whilst the flying barbarian grappled then pinned the other to the floor and did the exact same to the next one and killed them one at a time. fun times.
I designed an intricate boss fight against a summoned magical creature, forgetting that last session I granted one of my low-level players the ability to cast Anti-Magic Field. Apparently, that dispels any magic creatures within it. No, I couldn't backpedal on that or find a way he was immune, because the clever player explicitly asked me "so this counts as a magically summoned creature, right?" and I answered to the affirmative before I remembered what trinket I gave him.
The creature reappears once the field expires, by which point the party was long gone, so now they're unknowingly being stalked Resident Evil-style by a sand elemental. Good times.
Thought I make a pretty chill roleplay-heavy session after they defeated a big dungeon.
They come to a village, where a festival is prepared for the first snowfall. Big welcome with open hands because they defeated the big evil. One PC gambles, others get drunk and talk about their god. "Wait a minute where is Golem?" (The Warforged PC)
Golem just went out of their sight outside the village and plants a magic bean.
A big rumble comes from the earth as suddenly a big fucking pyramid erupts out of nowhere.
Curious Golem goes inside and finds a big boi mummy lord who repeatedly stuns and paralyses him, but somehow cant hit him. The half minotaur half dragonborn paladin rushes through an insect plague to insta crit smite the shit out of the mummy lord. After a short fight the golem and the party cleric are dead, but they defeat the mummy lord... the first time.
So overall just a normal day fml
My party, a gnome wizard, wood elf monk and a Wood elf life cleric (me) had just finished clearing out a house of swamp hags that they had heard screams coming from (which was a trap made by the hags). The wizard and monk were busy outside, discussing a ritual knife that they had found on one of the hags while I lit some incense in the front room and started to pray for the souls of the people sacrificed in that house. The DM described as I prayed, I started to see the souls of various faces of the people who died to the hags (humans, a goblin and a man who ran up to his daughter to reunite with her in the afterlife.). The final person to pass on was a little girl who walked up to my cleric and pointed at him, thanking him for releasing her with a smile and telling him where to go next before her soul faded away.
This was the first session where I started to take roleplay a bit more seriously and I wasn't expected the DM to go into such detail with it. Hands down, the best session out of our campaign so far.
My 10 Int Ranger/Rogue multiclass said she was, "The Undead Knowabouter" today to the Head Master of the Wizard's Academy in Waterdeep.
Undead is her favorite enemy after all and she helped killed Strahd!
Then our Cleric teased a mage about the phallic nature of a lot of wizard stuff.
No combat, and our DM apologized for an info dump session, but it was still fun.
We had to lay low for a while so we took a side trip to visit our fighter's family, who's from not!Polynesia. His uncle decided that he had to throw the greatest luau ever to celebrate his nephew coming home so he tasked us to kill "the pork dragon" to make damn sure there was enough for everybody to eat.
We track the pork dragon down to an adjacent island, it's a 30-foot-tall wild boar who's been munching on fae-enchanted truffles. We fight and kill the boar. During the boar's turn it periodically eats truffles, which make the pig bigger and beefier.
We now have to get the carcass of the boar back to the main island and also a 3-ton pineapple that they want to stuff into its mouth. Our cleric (a priestess of the god of death and parties) summons an angel to help move the pig. The angel agrees, on the condition that the party really is the greatest luau ever. If it isn't, her god will be quite cross with us. (And since the last time the god was cross with us we ended up trapped in the Hell of Bad Parties, we're all quite motivated to get this one right.)
So that just left us to move the pineapple. Our rogue had the bright idea of eating one of the enchanted truffles and sure enough, it made him strong. But every time he ate it he had to make a Con save, fail the save and it made him...well, porky.
We built a sledge to hold the pineapple. The rogue and the fighter ate enough truffle to be able to move the sledge (along with the liberal casting of Grease spells and, when necessary, Bigby's Hand) but failed enough Con saves that each of them was also packing several hundred pounds of fat. So as they pushed the sledge they had to make Con saves to keep from overexerting themselves. Eventually the rogue rolls a natural 1 and drops of a heart attack; our cleric removes the truffle's enchantment and performs CPR on him to get his heart started again. (After some back-and-forth about whether it would be better to let him die and them resurrect him, since then he would still be enchanted. D&D ethics! They're complicated!)
In the end we get the pineapple to the shore and float it back to the beach where the angel had already deposited the pork dragon. Success! Roasting the pig apparently requires opening a portal to the elemental plane of fire but my wizard was on hand to observe and nothing came through, so it's probably safe enough for now.
This may well have been the dumbest adventure this party has ever been on. But we had a blast.
After many sessions of travel, combat, and more travel, we finally got a shopping session. Relaxation and RP...good times.
The friday campaign I run ended the session by feeding a necromancer to his horde of creations that came back for revenge. Not unexpected, but they ended up super hating the guy for some reason before hand, so they didn't even want to hear him out on how sacrificing him might not stop them. Granted, it did absolutely stop them, lol.
Saturday campaign had us needing to kill some time so I went and signed up for Fantasy UFC essentially. I was told I could challenge other members outside of when official, scheduled matches occur and when our fighter also decided to join up, my first words were, "So, *ya think ya can take me?*"
It should be noted that we have had a number of combat encounters where we fought together, so he *should* have been well aware of what I was capable of(I'm playing the DMs Guild Pugilist). But it turns out he just kinda... forgot. He was jokingly offended when everyone in the party bet against him.
And then the match started and he realized I had resistance to all physical damage. And to give him credit, he did try to play up his range strength what with being an Echo Knight with Mobile and 40ft of movement. But arenas aren't known for liking that sort of cat and mouse play, so the arena was only 60ft in diameter. His sword of wounding and casting hex on me certainly helped whittle down my defenses... until he dropped concentration.
And for my part, well... I have a gauntlet made from a gorgon's horns that I affectionately nickname the "Punch Tongue" since its basically just a Flame Tongue but 2d6 piercing instead of fire. I also recently acquired a chain dart/harpoon with enough range that if I hit him with it, he has to beat my athletics check with his own(or acrobatics) or get pulled back into melee with me. I also just gained the ability to basically wildshape into a chimera once a day, which I hadn't planned on using in the fight.
So the fight goes on, he's dealt me a good bit of damage(I think I had like 57hp and 10thp left) but he's made it known that my next turn, with the damage I'm dealing, if I get get back in range with him he'll be going down. And the DM mentioned that he could just forfeit, he doesn't *have* to go down.
To which I reply, seizing the opportunity and knowing he'd be down any way, "I turn into a chimera." This is my first match and I've got to make a good impression on the small crowd that's gathered, right? So I transform, let out a roar, and our poor fighter just instantly surrenders like, "Nope, not dealing with *that.*"
Fighter's luck didn't get better. Later on in the night, while others went back to the hotel and me and the artificer were out on a pub crawl and getting into bar fights, Fighter is going on a walk to clear his head and teleporting with his echo between rooftops. This catches the attention of the very powerful person we're hunting who is currently in possession of legendary sword. An attempt was made to fight/run, but turns out a sword is legendary for a reason and he's the sole focus of multiple attacks, so he goes down in the middle of the street. He ends up being saved only because his dragon gf(long story) is nearby and hears the fight.
His luck continues to get worse. Now healed and safe and sound back in our hotel, he thinks his luck can't get any worse, so he draws from the deck of many things. *He gets the goddamn Void.* Dragon GF is just barely able to find and retrieve him(attacks were rolled against her and she came out with single digit hp). So all things considered, fighter's luck *could* have been worse, he escaped dying two times.