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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dice, Camera, Action: Episode 4 - Curse of Strahd


Episode 4: Flour Children

You can watch this episode right here on youtube.

Check out the dice roll stats for this episode here. Strix rolled very high on this one. 

There was no show last week, so we're a little crusty.

There's a new guy, a "guest star." He's very good. I'd say he should play every week, but I don't like more than 4 players in this format. The screen gets cluttered and the game slowed down a bit too much for my liking. If someone has to miss a session, he should definitely jump in, though.

Early on, there was a glitch which at first looked major but ended up being no big deal. Apparently the Twitch stream crashed. We miss virtually none of the session, though. You just have to skip ahead in the stream a little bit. I don't understand why they didn't edit out the dead air time. I guess they wanted us to see the dancing mind flayer, which was pretty amusing.

Last Time: We learned that Strix has family in the town of Vallaki. We learn that Diath was dirt poor and lived on the streets of Waterdeep. Someone gave him a ring of keys when he was panhandling.


The Waffle Crew+1

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander
(Chris) Falkon - Wereraven
(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer 
(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue
(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard

There's a fifth player. He is Chris Trott, from Yogscast. His character at the start is listed as "A Raven."

The players don't seem to remember that they told Chris they were going into this tower last time. Chris says it starts raining, I guess he's trying to get them to go in.

This will be interesting! This location has really powerful creatures in it that can easily kill this party.

Evelyn casts detect evil/good. She detects both good and evil in the tower. The group was a bit indecisive here, so Evelyn again slips into the leader role and gets things moving. She is awesome.

The raven transforms into a naked dude! He's a wereraven! I guess he's one of the Keepers of the Feather.

And then... the stream crashed. We get a note on the screen that says we should skip ahead to 16:15.

At about 15 minutes in, we get audio of the session. So if you skip to 16:15, you actually miss a bit of the game.

Chris Trott has got a great voice. His character's name is Falkon, and he says that he wants the group to help him defeat the evil inside. Children have been abducted and taken into this place, which is called the bonegrinder. How the heck are they going to do that?

They go in and look around. There are pastries in the oven. The heroes are sure these are delicious "people pastries." The women upstairs yell at the heroes to go away. Falkon tells the adventurers that those women are hags.

They should put the bonegrinder map on the screen.

Strix wants to blow up the ceiling. Diath points out that if they do that, they might blow up the children.

Falkon turns into a raven and tries to sneak upstairs to take a peek. He rolls a one on his stealth check!

The hags taunt the heroes from upstairs. They say that "mother will be home soon." If all three hags are home and within 30 feet of each other, they can use a pile of deadly spells and our heroes are utterly doomed. In fact, if all three hags are together, they can kill the entire group in a single round with three lightning bolt spells.

Diath blocks the front door with a cart and puts down caltrops. The group heads upstairs and yup... two hags.

Evelyn leads the charge and attacks. The group misses a few attacks on the hags. The hags turn invisible. Evelyn swings blindly and hits an invisible hag. Falkon goes downstairs and grabs a bag of flour. Smart! Unfortunately, by the time he gets back upstairs, both of the hags are visible.

One hag becomes visible as she casts vicious mockery. Evelyn makes her save. So.. Chris is using green hags, not the night hags in the book. They're weaker than night hags, but they still have an AC of 17 and 82 hit points each.

Paultin pulls two kids out of crates and brings them downstairs and Falkon runs upstairs with the flour. He's naked except for a single sock.

There's a lot of back and forth, mostly missing. The hags are whittled down. The hags jump through a window to escape.

Diath looks out the window and he doesn't see the hags. They've turned invisible again.

Morgantha, the night hag
Someone tries to open the front door from outside! It's either the mother hag, or the two injured hags. Diath has a great idea. He asks Falkon to turn into a raven, fly outside and see who is out there.

Ohh no. It's the mother! She yells in through the door for her daughters to open the door. Falkon uses his mimicry ability to imitate one of the daughter hags and try to urge the mother not to come in.

Strix goes downstairs and checks a cabinet. She's sure this is the place mentioned by Madame Eva and she thinks it is somehow linked to her past. She loots three elixirs, respectively labeled "Youth," "Laughter" and "Mother's Milk." Strix checks out a barrel full of demon ichor. She tips it over.

Outside, Falkon gets a look at the mother hag. She has a cart with a sack in it. Ohh man.. she has a kid in the sack!

Holly's cat makes its second appearance on Dice, Camera Action.

Chris drops a hint that those other two hags might be nearby, but the group doesn't pick up on it. The adventurers are kind of messing around at the tower as they try to decide what to do. Evelyn tells the group to run and that she'll hold off the night hag. The group doesn't listen.

Most of the group ends up running over to the mother hag. The kids hide in tall grass, and Paultin keeps them company.

The invisible, injured hags close in on Paultin. Yikes! That's where we stopped!

They are really screwed! 

Timestamps
  • (29:20) Let's blow up the ceiling.
  • (40:30) I love it when Chris swears.
  • (1:45:03) The hags return.
Thoughts

Learning is Fundamental: Now that I have read a good portion of the adventure, it is really fun to see the players go through it. I know what's coming up and it makes the show more enjoyable.

Chris Perkins Runs the Hags: This hag encounter has been talked about a lot online. It is very deadly! I was really shocked to see that Chris changed the night hags to green hags. He wrote this adventure and he made this section for level 4 characters! Why is he changing it? Clearly he wanted it to be a deadly place when he created it, but here he is holding back.

I understand that he doesn't want to wipe out the entire party because that will kind of suck for the show, but it still kind of rubs me the wrong way. He can always have the hags knock them out and try to cook them, I guess. There's a ton of NPCs in the adventure that could show up to help the heroes out, too - Ezmerelda is actually pretty powerful.

The New Guy: Chris Trott was very good, but I don't really get why he was on the show. As I said above, having a fifth player slowed the game down. This entire session was basically one combat. At this rate, it seems like it will take a decade to get through this entire adventure.

Overall: It was a pretty good episode. Diath is becoming a real solid dude. I like how Chris makes the combats very twisty. It's fun!

Click here to proceed to Episode 5.

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