The store remains packed each week for Dungeons & Dragons encounters. It is astonishing.
the announcement regarding the next storyline. They were quite excited to hear about the new player content. I told them about the genasi race, and they can't wait to find out more.
- (Zhentarim) Elf Rogue: In real life, played by Dark's dad.
- (Zhentarim) Gnome Rogue: Middle Schooler. We joke that his character lives in a garbage can.
- (Zhentarim) Elf Rogue: Middle Schooler. Often does "combo moves" with the gnome, throwing him at stuff to get Inspiration.
- (Order of the Gauntlet) Half-Elf Paladin: Middle Schooler. Oath of the Ancients.
- (Order of the Gauntlet) Half-Elf Fighter: The player is about 25 years old, knows the rules pretty well.
- (Harper) Elf Sorceress: The player is in 4th grade and she loves her little black dragon, "Sparky".
Last time, the heroes had earned the right to stay on Oyaviggaton through a one-on-one combat with the tribe's best warrior. The heroes were ushered into a storage room and fed raw fish.
Good thing, too. It was poisoned. If you fail your save, you are knocked unconscious. Of course, Dark always makes her rolls by a wide margin. The dog actually died, but the paladin brought it back to life with a revivify spell. It's nice to see the group using more magic.
The heroes took an ice hunter hostage and eventually they met with the shaman who explained that the tribe fears the dragon and blah blah blah. She showed them the entrance to the dungeon and down they went.
This dungeon has some cool gimmicks. There's fog that is more dense in certain areas. The floor is icy and thus difficult terrain. There are lots of slopes that the PCs will have to slide down.
The key here is to use some special shoes like the kobolds do, but the PCs weren't able to make that happen.
It's a room full of junk. Our party gnome is smelly and lives in trash. It is hilarious that almost every episode has a trash encounter for him.
Piles of food for the dog and Sparky to eat. The dog, however, won't eat fish anymore. It did kill him, after all.
I was quite interested to see how my group would approach this seemingly innocent room. They were hyper cautious. They came up with quite an odd plan. The paladin teleported across to the other side with misty step. They chucked him one end of a rope. He held one end, and another PC held the other, and PCs crossed directly over the pit via rope climb.
Remember, the floor is ice! They can't get traction! This was quite reminiscent of the super-tetanus razor room in White Plume Mountain. But, after tons of shenanigans and a spider climb spell, no PCs actually fell in. It was quite amusing.
Just a big empty chamber with an up-sloping tunnel that leads to...
The PCs tried to trick the troll with an illusion of treasure, but it didn't bite. The heroes ended up murdering it with a killer combo (they do lots of fun combo attacks to get inspiration). Dark cast a firebolt at the troll, and her dad shot an arrow through the bolt, setting the arrow aflame! It was awesome. When he hit, I declared it an auto-crit.
The troll went down quick. Dark wanted to be friends with Maccath (despite being a black dragon sorceress, she wants to be friends with most monsters). And friends they were!
Maccath explained that the dragon was forcing her to translate books. She also explained that the dragon Arauthator has a mate - Arveiaturace. Arveiaturace refuses to admit that her friend, a wizard, is dead. That dead wizard is still on Arveiaturace's back as if it is riding her. Arveiaturace even talks to the wizard as if it was alive. Arauthator is trying to convince Maccath to replace the corpse and be Arveiaturace's new friend, perhaps to cure the dragon's madness.
The players absolutely loved this story. I'm surprised Dark didn't volunteer to be Arveiaturace's new friend. She might have been in the bathroom at the time
Basically, Maccath won't leave this dungeon until some Arcane Brotherhood books are retrieved. These books are in - where else? - the dragon's hoard.
She gave the heroes some awesome magic items to help them defeat the dragon: A ring of cold resistance and 2 arrows of dragon slaying. If an arrow hits a dragon, the dragon must make a CON save or take 6d10 damage. If it makes the save, it still takes half!
I love the chutes. PCs need to make a DEX check to slide down unless they have climbing gear or a clever idea. The group was again super-cautious and used a rope and some other stuff. It turned out they all made their rolls spectacularly well. They slid expertly right down on top of the dragon's icy treasure hoard!
In the last fight with a white dragon at the end of Hoard, I had the dragon use it's frightening presence right off the bat and it devastated the party.
I was curious to see how the fight would go if the dragon used a breath weapon first. The tricky thing here is that the PCs have those two arrows of dragon slaying. The dragon is supposed to flee once it's taken 100 points of damage.
I gave it a try, and wow, the breath weapon devastated the party. Nobody went down, but they all got hit pretty hard. Then the dragon hovered above them and used it's tail attacks 3 times as legendary actions.
The party isn't great at ranged attacks, but they had those two arrows of dragon slaying and they had inspiration. So they opened fire and hit with both arrows.
The dragon was hurt bad. On it's next turn, it let out the frightening presence. The whole party was extremely concerned with this, and used all sorts of powers and gimmicks to help them get bonuses to their saves. Even so, I think half the party was frightened (and thus had disadvantage to hit and couldn't move closer).
The dragon had taken over 100 points of damage, so it fled. It was a quick but intense battle.
We had to stop there. The adventurers had indeed conquered episode 2.
We did the first assassination attempt last week, the fight with the red dragon. I am thinking that the second one will be a battle to the death with the red dragon. Maybe the third one will be against two dragons! Arauthator and his mate, Arveiaturace.
I'll have to check and see if this is just too deadly. But I can work in some weaknesses: Arauthator will freak out if his mate is hurt badly, and Arveiaturace will panic if she thinks her "friend" on her back (the long-dead wizard) is in danger. The heroes can exploit this stuff to their advantage, and I think it would make for an epic encounter.