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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Adventures in Eberron - Shadow Castle

On Sunday, we played some more of the Eberron campaign that I am a player in. My DM is moving to the midwest soon, so this was probably our last live session.

We've been making our way through a castle dungeon that we had a hand in creating. We're looking for the captured soul of a warforged. It sounds like a rakshasa is behind this, which is alarming because they are immune to spells 6th level and lower! I should probably look at my spell list and figure out how to handle it.

Magic Items: My character sheet is a trainwreck. I have about 5 pages of notes and magic items scribbled all over the place. Here's the magic items that I am sure that I have:
  • Wand of Wonder
  • Well of Worlds
  • Periapt of Wound Closure
  • Circlet of Blasting
  • Heward's Handy Haversack
  • Bag of Beans with 3 beans left
  • Dagger of Venom
I really need to sit down and re-write this thing.

Picking Spells: Picking spells is really hard. Whenever I level (we are level 8), I always struggle with how many utility spells to take. For offense, I use magic missile, shatter and fireball.

I have invisibility, dimension door and fly as three of my other big spells.

Dispel magic is one that I probably should have taken. It's not the most exciting choice when looking over your options, but it really does come up a lot.

Last time, we'd defeated a cambion. I shot her with my wand of wonder and she turned to stone, crashed to the floor and exploded.

Ghost Chef Starring Kevin James: We headed in to a kitchen. Inside was.. a ghost chef. He was making us a meal. We decided to humor him and sample his delicious cuisine. I assumed it was poison, but I decided for once just to go with it and see what happened.

We ate some kind of blue pudding and catoblepas steak. We tried to convince him we liked it, but he wasn't buying it.

He ended up activating a trap door under the seat of our wizard. I got off a feather fall spell to slow her descent and we jumped in with her.

That's when we looked at the map. Right there on the paper were the words: "Kitchen with slide." It was right there! We'd placed this room! All we had to do is look down at the map that we created. I thought that was really funny.

Invisible Tentacles: So we went down a slide to the dungeon level under the castle. We fell into a pool with a tentacle creature that was invisible at least part of the time.

The thing grabbed our wizard and started dragging her under. I cast fly on myself, grabbed her hand and pulled her free. We fled through a door to the west.

Booze: It was a room full of wine bottles. My character is a big hairy guy who talks like Sean Connery and loves to drink. I jammed 10 wine bottles into my haversack.

I got the feeling that there was more to this room. I mean, would the DM really put a room in the dungeon with nothing in it except wine? Maybe he would. We searched it and did find a mundane knife, but that's it.

We went into the servant's quarters. The servants weren't hostile and they lived in fear of the shadow dragon. We checked out a laundry room which we would return to a bit later.

Potion Puzzle: In a lab, we ended up trying to figure out a puzzle. There were all of these vials of liquid that were purple, green and orange. We put them into a centrifuge and separated them into liquids. Orange became units of red and yellow liquid, green was blue and yellow, etc. Then we could make 4 units of a color to create a potion.

I know that potions of healing are red so I rightly guessed that the units of red combined into potions of healing (potions of extra healing or stronger, it turns out). I think we also made poison and vials of explosive liquids.

I thought that was a very cool room, I never could have come up with something like that.
The Chain Devil: We ended up opening the door to the prison. As you might know, I have no stomach for torture or misery in D&D so I really wanted to free the victims in here when I saw their situation. There were six prisoners pinned to the ceiling by writhing, animated chains.

The room was originally shrouded in magical darkness, but our wizard cast dispel magic to shut it down.

A chain devil was guarding the prison and he definitely gave us some trouble. I really like getting to fight different D&D monsters when the DM uses them to their full capacity. I've seen chain devils a million times, but I've never fought one as a player.

The chain devil wrapped his chains around the fighter and the wizard. He did a heck of a lot of damage to them.

I blew through my spells. Magic missile is such a key spell. Very few creatures are immune to force spells and it automatically hits!

I ended up using my wand of wonder a bunch of times. I got the faerie fire result twice and some other relatively benign effect. We defeated the chain devil and freed the prisoners. We were hurt badly and almost out of spells. The wizard was actually unconscious and stable. We refrained from using a potion on her, figuring she would be revived during the rest. Potions of Healing re now illegal in Sharn, so I figured we shouldn’t use them if we can avoid it.

I think I am going to look into multiclassing and taking a level of cleric. We need healing! Plus, I enjoy being a healer. In 4th edition, I played a warlord that granted attacks and healed and I think it was, mechanically, the most fun I ever had with a character.

Resting in the Dungeon: One prisoner was a changeling who I didn't trust. He was in here on a mission for one of the Eberron factions.

We decided to try to take a long rest in the laundry room. I wanted to leave this place entirely to rest, but the other players pointed out that it was too dangerous.

Pillow forts were built and laundry was done. Our rest was interrupted. A creature hissed at us through the door. It was a mohrg! An undead servant of Orcus with animated intestines.

The NPC changeling pretty much kicked its ass for us while hitting us with healing spells.

The mohrg went down, and that's where we stopped. There are a few rooms in the dungeon level left. We are not sure where the soul is. It could be on the top floor, which has about 6 rooms, many of which are bedrooms. There is a crypt and a torture room that we'll probably explore next time.


It was good, as always. I like it when DMs can bring places to life simply by taking things from the book and portraying them fully. He took a kyton and exploited all of its powers to make a full room and  encounter out of it.

It might seem like a common sense thing to do, but not many people actually do it. I think as a DM, sometimes you feel the pressure to overthink things and you end up with encounters that are muddled or too busy.

A lot of times, it seems like knowing what to focus on during prep is more important than what you are actually preparing.

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