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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dungeons & Dragonites - Episodes 1 & 2

OK people, I'm checking out another D&D stream. Dungeons & Dragonites is a D&D campaign that incorporates concepts from Pokemon. Episode 1 is mostly a character-making show. I skimmed through it. You don't need to watch it! You can start with episode 2 and you'll not miss anything.

Watch episode 1 here.
Watch episode 2 here.

Pokemon and D&D Together at Last: I don't know anything about Pokemon, so this should be interesting. I have no idea what to do about art. Do you want to see a picture of a Zigzagoon? It's a squirrel or something:

I am thinking I will find fun ideas here to use for my game. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this campaign. I can say that most of my players know a lot about Pokemon so I can see this show having a lot of appeal to the majority of D&D players.

Before we start, I just want to say that I think this might be my favorite D&D stream so far. It is the only one that kept my attention pretty much the whole way through. I'll elaborate more once the recap is done.

Interesting Notes:
  • The DM actually has the players roll their stats using 2d6+6.
  • In this world, farmers make less than two gold in a year.
The Party

(Logan) Standt Willow - Human Druid
(Steve) SBJ - Human Fighter
(Travis) Wendy Colecarver - Hill Dwarf Cleric
(Jeff) Emojis - Human Wizard 

The DM is Greg. He has a real low key style and gives the group lots of room to explore and develop their characters.

Character Notes:
  • Standt has a Zigzagoon pet and wears a linoone pelt. A linoone looks sort of like a ferret.
  • SBJ is a former wrestler. He has a sidekick named D. Pepper, which I think is a farfetch'd (a bird). 
  • Wendy is a haughty noble. 
  • Emojis (pronounced "Emojus") is one of quadruplets. His parents are married but his mom is seeing a woman on the side.
Episode One

The Tattoo
Each hero has the same dream..

You are standing on a hill. There are other people around but you can't make them out. Beyond the hill is decaying grass and dust. Off in the distance is a giant crystal flower. It pulses with a strange energy. There is a creature flying in the air. A massive beam of energy comes out of the flower, hits the creature and washes over you.

When the characters wake up, they have a mysterious tattoo.

Each hero spends months researching their tattoo and they all come to the same conclusion: They need to talk to Ephraim Oakheart in Cerulean City.

From there we cut to the city. The group meets each other in a tavern. The DM is sitting back and letting them talk. Some of the players are brand new to D&D, so they need a little more guidance.

We learn that a week ago, there was a big festival in the city. Every year in spring, the goblins bring an apple that can cure any disease or injury. The apple is sold to the highest bidder.

SBJ notes that he wrestled at an Apple Festival. Throughout the first two episodes, he makes a lot of references to his wrestling injuries and "running the ropes" and because it makes him laugh, it makes me laugh.

This feels more relaxed and like a "real" D&D game. The players actually want to be there and enjoy each other's company.

The players are all extremely likeable and are all "characters" themselves.

Episode 2

The group has decided to go find Ephraim. As they leave the tavern, a girl runs up to SBJ. She is an SBJ fan. See, SBJ is a wrestler who had to retire due to multiple concussions and neck injuries. She gives SBJ two berry juices that act as potions of healing. So was D. Pepper his tag team partner?

The group walks all day. It gets dark. Should they make camp? They know it's a terrible idea to keep walking though the night, but they decide to make a bad decision on purpose just to see what happens. These guys are awesome.

So they keep walking and the ground gets rocky. The DM asks for survival checks. Their rolls: 11, 2, 2, 4. Those who failed fall on jagged rocks and take 2 damage. They thought they were going to fall off a cliff, which would have been hilarious.

SBJ's wrestling injuries kick in and he thinks the group needs to camp for the night.

The next morning, the group wakes up. They spot three tumbleweeds heading their way. They're some kind of corrupted pokemon monsters. Combat time. Wendy is hit and heals herself for tons - she gets bonuses to her healing spells.

SBJ has a pokemon guy - D. Pepper. I think they said Pepper is a Farfetch'd, which I googled.

I think this is a Farfetch'd
The DM has created special rules to handle pokemon stuff. He says that on his turn, SBJ gets to choose if he attacks or if D. Pepper attacks on his turn. D.Pepper can only be used like this once per day. I think that means he can summon D. Pepper once per day, as Pepper sticks around for the rest of the session.

D. Pep pummels some tumbleweeds and Wendy kills the last one. Standt sketches them. He does this for every pokemon he comes across, I guess he is cataloguing them or something. The heroes aren't sure what the deal is with these creatures.

The group travels for half a day and comes to the ravine. There's a rock with a rope tied around it. The rope drops into the ravine. They see claw marks in the rock, too. The group assumes that Ephraim Oakheart went down there.

The group climbs down. Wendy can tell this place was carved out by dwarves. There's stairs heading down into darkness. Three rat creatures creep up. They're called rattata. D. Pepper scares them off.

The group climbs down the stairs. There's a dwarven fortress down there. In the fortress, the group spots a pit trap in front of a door. Emojis creates an ice bridge with shape water - a cantrip I have never seen anybody use before (it's from the Elemental Evil Player's Companion).

The room beyond has dead goblins. One goblin is actually impaled and pinned to the wall by a spear. There's a word inscribed in the wall: "Dragonite."

The group investigates a few rooms. They find a magic barrel that can fill with drinkable water. They come upon a scared kobold. It's Meepo! Yes, Meepo from the Sunless Citadel, one of the more popular NPCs from 3rd edition.

Meepo says that goblins busted in here and stole his dragon. Meepo joins the party and that is where we stop. I wonder if Ephraim is the dragon? Is the dragon actually a dragonite?

  • (1:12:51) The complicated family tree of Emojis 
  • (14:04) Nice meeting you
  • (22:50) The group purposely makes a bad decision

Awesome Group: This is a great group of players. They are just fun, nice people. Out of all the streams I've watched so far, this is the only one that kept my attention the whole way through. I have to say that I bet once they've got a bunch of sessions under their belt and understand the game, they are going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

This Feels Like Pure D&D: On a lot of these streams, the group doesn't seem too comfortable. There is usually at least one player who seems like they don't really want to be there. I particularly get that vibe from Nate on Dice, Camera, Action. Do the players get paid for doing that show? Because with Nate, it sometimes feels like he's there 'collecting a paycheck,' so to speak.

On this show, everyone wants to be there and they are enjoying learning the game. They are there to have fun and it makes the show ten times better. They get pretty excited whenever a Pokemon concept enters the game. It only takes me a second to google the creature they are interacting with and I can follow along just fine.

Fortress Needed Some Punching Up: I'd say the dwarven fortress needed something more in it. It felt really empty. It's cool to have basic encounters like pit traps, but I think that it needed some more development. The group was clearly itching for another combat.

Unique Style: This campaign has a lot of charming light fantasy elements: The crystal flower (which I love), the cryptic tattoos, and the bright feel of the game really make it stand out. Most campaigns shoot for "Dark & Gritty," so it is really refreshing to see the opposite.

Available as Audio: This show is also available as an audio podcast! I think all of these D&D shows should be offered in an audio format, as it's easier to keep up when you can listen to them in the car or wherever.

This is a nice breezy show. They all seem like great people that I'd want to know in real life. Honestly, if I were running one of these D&D stream channels, I'd be keeping my eye on some of these players and snatching them up for my shows.

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