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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Princes of the Apocalypse - Sacred Stone Monastery

The game store now has five full tables running Princes of the Apocalypse. D&D 5e continues to grow here in New York.

I lost a player this week - the wild sorcerer. It's too bad, as he was a lot of fun. I remain concerned that I may lose more players.

I decided to use the elemental evil trinkets in this campaign. I decided to spice them up further, giving them special spell effects using spells from the back of the book.  The trinkets:
  • Transparent Gem: Sunnis, Archomental of Good, whispers to the wielder through the gem and gives advice.
  • Chisel with an Unfamiliar Symbol: Once per day, you can strike the ground with this and cast earth tremor.
  • Eyepatch made of Obsidian: Allows you to cast catapult once per day.
I had considered having the players come up with what the trinkets do, but that's a slippery slope. I asked them what they thought the owlbear ragdoll would do, and they came up with this: It's a bag of holding, and inside is a tiny demiplane where an owlbear lives. It will only hand them their stuff if they give it a snack.

Pretty awesome idea, I thought.

The Party
  • Elf Rogue: Played by a 4th grader, her character's name is Lucky and she has a black cat named "Bad Luck". 
  • Dwarf Cleric: In real life, played by Lucky's dad. He has a scottish accent and worships Ilmater.
  • Drow Rogue: Middle Schooler. Wants to be evil, but Adventurer's League rules restrict this. Has a dog.
  • Goliath Barbarian: Middle Schooler. Really nice guy.
  • Human Bard: The player is about 25 years old, knows the rules pretty well. 
  • Human Paladin: Worships Helm. Played by the bard's dad, who played old D&D and is new to 5e.
  • Human Rogue: A new player. Taking to the game very well.
The Galeb Duhr

Behold! Sedimentarious!
Our heroes had rested at Summit Hall and learned that the earth cult was lurking at the sacred stone monastery. They headed out to take it down.

Upon arriving, the heroes saw that the monastery had been under attack. The fire cult had just unsuccessfully tried to break in and steal a delegate - Bruldenthar the dwarf.

As the adventurers got close, they spotted a wounded fire cultist recoiling in fear from a giant boulder-man. He was a galeb duhr. I added this stuff in to explain the trinkets.

The galeb duhr was named Sedimentarious (I know, it's stupid). He was an agent of Sunnis, the Princess of Good Stone, archenemy of Ogremoch and his earth cult. Sedimentarious had come to the monastery to spy on the cult and thwart their evil schemes. He'd stashed trinkets in the place that would both harm the cultists and aid the heroes.

The heroes killed the cultist and made friends with Sedimentarious. He gave them a special trinket - a wooden box with red clay. The red clay was a symbiote (like Venom from spider-man). It bonded with Squirrel Man and gave him clay armor that also had the beast bond spell woven into it (allowing Squirrel Man to have a telepathic bond with his rogue owner).

Sacred Stone Monastery

The adventurers made their way into the monastery, seeing blood and scorch marks everywhere. What I did was use the fire cult attack as a way to eliminate the boring encounters so we can get through this area faster (great idea from commentor Jake Mitchell!).

The adventurers came upon 6 duergar tending to wounded earth cultists and stacking a pile of dead bodies. A battle broke out. I love how the duergar can enlarge themselves. It was a decent encounter.

The adventurers then came to a hallway with gargoyles, which ended up being two encounters in one. The gargoyles animated and attacked when Lucky opened the door to the main hall where a priest and 3 cultists lurked.

Lucky was able to convince them she was with the cult (cleverly remembering the earth cult hand symbol I had shown them not long before) so they didn't try to kill her.

This battle got bigger and bigger. The rogue grabbed a cultist and bent his leg behind his head, which freed Squirrel Man to try to rip out his adam's apple. What did Squirrel Man roll? Natural 20, of course.

There's a lever in the room that the bad guys want to pull at the right time. Lucky really wanted to pull it, but the players begged her not to. The bard cast a minor illusion on the lever, so the bad guys couldn't see it.

Only Lucky's cat, riding on a hovering driftglobe, could see it. But "Bad Luck" the cat was too far from it to mess with it.

The bard dropped a guard with Tasha' hideous laughter and Lucky finished the guard off with her sharktooth sword.

With the villains defeated, the heroes headed down a set of stairs. It turns out that the lever can collapse these stairs and trap them in a room below with an umber hulk! The adventurers were clever, though, and avoided having this happen.

They came upon a sarcophagus and used their knock scrolls to get through some arcane locked doors. They headed up a set of stairs for an encounter with... a lich.

I was really wondering what they'd do with the lich. In the adventure, the lich warns the heroes to leave him alone and if they keep pestering him, he casts time stop and then cloudkill! The DC for the saving throw is 20, and it does 5d8 damage!

The heroes rolled a pebble at his feet. He was not amused. They left him alone after his final warning.

That was as far as we got. I was hoping to get the majority of this place done tonight but we never get as far as I want. I am very anxious to get into the actual temple of elemental evil as I am having a hard time keeping the campaign from dragging.

Don't forget to check out my new podcast, Trap Bait. It is a large pile of goofy, foul-mouthed fun.


Unknown said...

Sucks to hear that the player didn't turn up this week either.

Hopefully things will get back on track in the temple though.

Did you see the artwork for the next adventure path? They shared it a week back on Enworld, it is amazing how one set of artwork and some naming can change my excitement levels towards a product -laughs-

I need to buy some more plastic page markers and then I will start taking notes for Princes of the Apocalypse.

Sean said...

Jake Mitchell: This last month or two has been a little turbulent on the D&D front for me. When it comes to store games, there is a certain amount of turnover and a lot of it is outside of your control. Still, I pride myself on trying to retain as many players for as long as possible.

I am really excited about the new path. I love demon lords and the abyss.

Maheen said...

Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on. dice dungeons and dragons