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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

White Plume Mountain - Wave in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

A lot of the art in this blog post comes from the epic White Plume Mountain walkthrough map by Mock Man Press. You can buy this as a poster for 20 bucks! It is sort of essential for any true D&D room.

We had more confusion tonight at the game store. I had been previously told that tonight was to be a character-making session for the Adventurers' League. Two weeks ago I told my players we'd wrap up White Plume Mountain tonight, and then I'd go over character making and hand out their faction folders.

In the new season, each player has to join one of five factions. They are given a folder with faction stuff in it, along with a character sheet and other cool stuff.

Somewhere between then and now, the store had decided that not only would this week be a character-making session, but so would next week. But I'd already told my players differently, and three of them were on vacation this week, and would be showing up next week with a fully-made character, expecting to start it off.
Long story short: The season starts next week. We have about 14 players right now, so we'll have two DMs. The store owner will be running the other table.

Before we began, I thoroughly went over the player's guide for the upcoming season with the group. I told them about downtime, and went over - in great detail - the bad behavior section. They were most amused at the concept of table-flipping.

As for tonight, we finished up White Plume Mountain, converted to 5e (the final playtest packet version of 5e). Now that it's done, I can honestly say it is one of the most enjoyable adventures ever made. It is fun from start to finish.

Our heroes had Blackrazor, and they had Whelm. All that was left was Wave, the trident. They regrouped by the mangy sphinx, and headed up the north hallway.

I should probably mention that I forgot to bring the adventure. I prepared this adventure by going through it and writing four pages of notes, so I'd retain everything and have a cheat sheet with everything I needed at a glance. This has for the millionth time paid off, as I was able to run the entire final section of the adventure off of memory and my papers with every little detailed notated.

Room 10. The Kelpies

This room has deep water, where two seaweed-mermaids known as kelpies lurk. They drown-kiss you. They also have a piece of art in the back of the book that depicts them... topless. For the benefit of the younger players, I re-flavored the kiss and neglected to have them ogle the seaweed bewbs.

This room involved a lot of heavy-armor swimming shenanigans, something that's been rampant in my games for the past few months. There was a nice deal of switching out weapons for ones that worked in underwater situations (javelin = good, maul = bad).

The heroes took down the kelpies in a most brutal fashion and looted their underwater cave.

Room 11. The Spinning Hallway
This hallway is like the inside of a tube that spins... and ha slick oil in it. As the party paladin stumbled through it, a slot opened in the door on the far side. An enemy guard fired a flaming arrow, igniting the oil!

What followed was an epic encounter as the bad guys would open the door, attack, then close it. The party had a hard time both getting across the hall, and figuring out how to handle this.

The bad guys are cool, too. There's Burket the "alert guard". And there's his significant other, Snarla, a mage who is also... a werewolf. Why? Why not?! The players minds were blown when she transformed after pelting them with a fireball.

One hero flung his javelin into Burket's chest. Then the dwarf threw Whelm so that it "hammered" the javelin clear through, killing Burket. Snarla howled in sorrow as the paladin had at last made it through the hall and cut her down.

Room 17. The Boiling Lake

This is hard to describe. Check out the picture. There's a giant crab in a sort of force-room inside a lake. The force wall is like a thin skin - it can be pierced. The giant crab guards a treasure chest that indeed contains Wave.

The dwarf decided to use Whelm's shockwave power, even though it would hurt his friends. He slammed his hammer on the ground, letting out a wave of energy that injured the crab, his friends.. and the walls. The wall began to burst. Water shot out from multiple apertures.

The encounter became about snatching wave before the whole lake crashed down on them. The crab grabbing them in his mighty pincers didn't help, either.

But they dropped the crab and escaped in the nick of time. Our heroes had completed one of the classic adventures of all time.

A running joke about White Plume Mountain is how the heroes always kept the artifacts instead of handing them over to their benefactor. In this case, it was the Duke of Daggerford.

Well, guess what? This group, who snatched Lawflame from the Duke's grasp and fight over possession of every little item, handed over all three artifacts to the Duke in a unanimous decision. I was blown away.

I can't say enough good things about this adventure. It is fantastic and hilarious.

The group is really fired up for Horde of the Dragon Queen. I will have a full report for you next week.

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