It turns out that everybody does. The store was packed with giddy players. It was a bit rowdier than usual tonight, both in the store and at my table. Nothing too bad, but I didn't expect it.
We had a visit from an old player. You may remember Hack and Slash Guy from D&D Next fame. He showed up to play, but the tables are full. This is an ongoing problem with the encounters program. There needs to be a "newb" table going in the store at all times, in my opinion. The problem is that players hate stopping at level 4 and starting over at level 1, so all of the tables are high level and deep into Hoard. We need one more DM to show up and to be ready to run for new people.
- One table is in Hoard episode 3. I assume they are doing only one encounter a week? My players were stunned when they found out about this.
- Another table is in Hoard episode 4. The DM is creating side adventures on the caravan journey.
- The table run by the store owner is in Hoard episode 6.
Our heroes are on the trail of one of the 5 wyrmspeakers. He's an evil dwarf with the White Dragon Mask. He may have lost the mask. Our heroes have tracked him to an Indiana Jones D&D location called the Tomb of Diderius.
5. Well Chamber
4. Mosaic Chamber
Back in the room where the tile-chimera was, they tried some double doors and triggered a collapse. They were smart and pulled the doors open from a distance with a rope, so they took no damage at all.
As they checked out the hallway, Dark the dragon sorceress peered in, looking for traps. The DC for the plate is a 22. She rolled a natural 20, but she has a -1 on the check. There was literally no way for her to make the check. I am often very lenient, and in many cases I'd just have her succeed when she rolled a natural 20. But in this instance, the trap was too awesome. I couldn't throw this encounter in the garbage!
So they went down the hall and the paladin, the gnome rogue and poor Dark all got gobbled up by the boulder and crashes at the bottom. Dark was nearly killed instantly. A PC healed her to consciousness and looked around. They were in room 7...
7. Throne Room Antechamber
I kept mentioning the tapestries, and nobody would investigate or look behind them. They focused on the door and figuring out the clue to it. They did a great job with it and were successful.
8. Throne Room
This room is fantastic. A 12 foot tall man with a white beard is sitting on a throne with a pile of treasure at his feet. He demands that the PCs pay tribute! In reality, it's a clay golem with an illusion and a magic mouth on it. He will attack if tribute is not paid.
The PCs decided to pay tribute. The text says the value of the tribute must be "more than a clay cup". The PCs don't know this, though. Each of them placed 100 gold on the pile! The giant man was incredibly pleased, grabbed his belly and let out a hearty, mirthful laugh.
I felt like they deserve some extra reward for this, but I don't know what.
9. Study and Library
Dark, played by a 4th grader, was all over it. She began asking the ghost all the right questions. The ghost knows tons of lore. She even found out the name of the book the ghost most wants returned.
The gnome thief got a little lippy and asked the ghost what it was like to be dead. The Ghost tried to possess him so he could feel what it was like. This alarmed everyone and they got the heck out of there.
10. Dining Hall
This is a weird one. 5 bearded devils sit at a table, doing nothing. They are Varram's devils, and they've been ordered to kill people who come from room 11. Our PCs came from 8. So the devils don't care (There's a devil-may-care joke in here somewhere).
The paladin has the oath of the ancients. That means he doesn't turn undead, he turns fiends! He rushed in and turned the devils. Dark twinned greater invisibility, meaning she cast it on herself and a rogue. It's a concentration spell, which means that if she is hit, she has to make a saving throw or lose the spell. But because she's invisible, there's little chance of her getting hit! This means that the rogue was able to be invisible and attack for a full minute.
The devils were slaughtered.
12. Divination Pool
This is where the magic pool is. It has no water in it. I tried to give hints that the water mechanism was back in room 5, but they didn't pick up on it.
They were more interested in the dead body and the arrows. The yuan-ti had fought the cultists in here. The dead cultist was actually stabbed in the back (by Varram!) with a special magic item - the dragontooth dagger. I accidentally declared: "It's a dagger made from a dagger's tooth" which amused the group greatly.
13. Crypt of Diderius
The adventurers raced through and jumped a bunch of lizardfolk guards. The guards only have 22 hit points each so they were done for.
We ran out of time here, which is too bad. The next encounter is he one I like the most. It's a narrow stone bridge over a chasm covered in slippery moss. I'd cleverly declared earlier that the baby black dragon had injured his wing when the boulder hit him, so they couldn't use his flight to cross.
If the heroes fall off of this bridge, it's about 120 feet! That's 12d6!
We're playing again this Sunday, so we'll find out what happens soon enough.