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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Adventures in Eberron - The Golden Eggs

Yesterday I was a player again in my friend's monthly Eberron game. I don't like being a player, but I think it's important to do it because it helps me keep in touch with what it is like to play in someone's else's game. I have lost perspective many times as DM and it can lead to unpleasant things.

Last time we played, my character was killed by a troll. The group had me raised and now I have resurrection sickness. That means I have a -4 to most rolls. The penalty lessens by one each day.

I cooked up some special "sickness traits," which the DM approved. On of the traits will go away each day:
  1. My eyes are totally black.
  2. Animals stare at me.
  3. No sense of taste.
  4. I have a creeping shadow that has a mind of its own.
I don't know if I've told you guys about my character. I'll try not to bore you and give you some highlights. My guy is Endarian Nimbus, a level 7 sorcerer:
Last session, I bought my own grave plot and planted a magic bean from my bag of beans in it. I rolled a 100 on the chart and a beanstalk grew out of it. Today's adventure was all about finding what was up there.

The Cloud Jungle

Cloud Giant
We climbed up, and found that there was a jungle on the cloud. It turned out this was the home of a cloud giant, who had elf slaves. The giant and his ancestors had been hiding up here to keep safe from dragons. Dragons and Giants had a huge war in Eberron long ago.

This giant was actually a warlock! We'd eventually learn that he ended up getting into trouble with demons of Lolth, the spider queen.

We'd also learn that while we were creeping around up here, an undead priest from the graveyard followed us invisibly and made our lives a bit more difficult.

Exploration commenced and we befriended a village of elves who explained what this place was. They pointed us toward the giant's lair - a big building with giant faces carved into it.

Exploring the Giant's Stronghold

We looked around the outside of the building and found a golden egg made of solid gold. I was amused. I assumed we'd end up running into a giant goose, like in the Jack and the Beanstalk. It turned out something else was laying these eggs.

We found a secret entrance in a nostril of one of the stone faces and climbed in.

Our group crept from room to room, freeing elves. We'd tell them to climb down the beanstalk and go to Sharn. We gave them an address of an NPC who could help them get settled.

To our surprise, our hireling was doing pretty well. Each session, we hire a hireling who dies a horrible death almost immediately. The last one was torn apart by gnolls.

The elves told us that in this place was the cloud giant warlock, his girlfriend - a hill giant, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex that laid golden eggs! I was pretty excited, as I don't think I've ever used giants in 5e before and I wanted to see what fighting them was like.

There was a room with magically-heated baths. Inside were two elves who were possessed or evil or something. They attacked us and we knocked them out with no trouble.

We tied them up. Unfortunately, the undead priest ended up killing them and turning them into zombie minions.

During all this creeping around, I looted all sorts of giant-sized stuff into my handy haversack - giant bottles of wine, giant coins, giant bottles of bath oils, etc. Our characters are building a bar in Sharn. I like to take stuff from our adventures and add it to the bar.

The Hill Giant

We fought some more possessed elves, and then we came upon the hill giant lady in her filthy bedroom. Our fighter ran up and immediately took a ton of damage. I dropped a fireball and a shatter spell on her.

Our fighter had a crazy day of rolls. He rolled at least ten natural 20's and about five natural 1's. It made things quite amusing.

During this battle, the zombies started coming down the hallway. We had put our poor hireling out in the hallway for safety, and the zombies thought she looked delicious!

To our shock, she survived most of their attacks and she ran to us. I gave her a potion of healing.

We killed the giant and the zombies. We could hear loud stomping from elsewhere in the complex. It was either the giant or the Tyrannosaurus Rex heading our way. Maybe both! Our fighter had lost over 40 hit points and all we had were some potions of healing. 2d4+2 hit points wasn't going to cut it!

We decided to leave, rest, and come back. We bolted for the front door only to find more zombies outside! Their leader was there, too - the undead cleric. He was a "high priest of The Keeper." Not sure what that is.

Our poor hireling almost got devoured again, but she survived.

We pretty much massacred the cleric and his zombies. I had used almost every spell slot. We fled to the beanstalk.

The Dinosaur

We decided to rest high up on the beanstalk leaves. To our dismay, the giant looked down from the cloud at us. He cast fly on his Tyrannosaurus Rex! The T. Rex flew down and got ready to devour us.

The party wizard got a big grin on her face. She cast dispel magic. The T. Rex plunged right past us and fell to it's death! It was pretty hilarious.

After that, the giant decided to leave us be.

The Inquisitives

During the night, an airship flew toward us. On the ship were Inquisitives, some kind of police in Sharn. The captain was someone my character knew from his days as an airship pilot in the Last War.

This NPC was shady. I trotted on board as they asked about the beanstalk. I schmoozed them with my 18 charisma and told them about the giant, and that we were handling it. The NPC gave me a sneer but told me to bring the cloud giant's head to the Inquisitives so they knew the problem was solved.

I didn't like this NPC's attitude, so I asked to use their bathroom. They actually sent a guard in the privy with me to watch me pee!  I 'accidentally' peed on the guard's leg. While he recoiled in disgust, I planted a bean from my bag of beans in a potted plant. After that, we got off the ship real quick.

We watched them fly away. I rolled the "pink toad" result again. When these toads are touched, they turn into animals - including bears.

The group scolded me for my hijinks, but hey, I'd take the heat if something came of it.

We Might Have a Lolth Problem

We got our rest and we crept back up the stalk. We re-entered the giant's home. We eventually found him trapped in a magic circle. The demons of Lolth had betrayed him. He was pretty much dead, but he could talk.

He told us that the demons of Lolth had possessed some of the elves.. the elves we sent down into Sharn. That's a problem!

We looted the place, destroyed an evil altar and got out of there. We used our griffon to come back and transport piles of loot. We got 6 golden eggs (1,000 gp each), 240 platinum, and a huge pile of cloud giant wine in giant bottles.

The group also found some magic items. There was a staff of thunder and lightning, a magic longsword, and a dagger of venom.

This group of people are very unselfish. The wizard politely offered to give me the staff. We ended up rolling for it. She won, but she seemed like she felt bad.

I honestly don't care if I get the item! I mean, there will be more. I'll just grab the next cool thing. It is very reassuring to play in a group where every single person is so thoughtful. Many times in D&D you'll have one or two people in the group who get real grabby when it comes to loot and things get intense.

In this group, there's none of that. It's nice.

Simple Doesn't Mean Bad

If you've read any of my campaign summaries, you might notice that there's an awful lot of stuff going on in them. I have a fear that my games will be boring and so I overcompensate to a degree.
I've been watching a lot of D&D streams. Here's some of the scenarios I watched:
  • 50 goats were stolen by kobolds. The group went to a cave and got them back.
  • A group needed to find a guy. They traveled to an ancient dwarven fortress and searched for him.
  • A group fought an assassin with golden chains.
When making campaigns and adventures, I often try really hard to avoid making something cliched or straightforward. I don't want the players to be bored and I don't want the game to feel flat.

But watching these things and playing in this session, I was reminded that a simple plot is often best. It's really OK to make an adventure where a princess is captured and you have to go to the bad guy's castle to save her.

I think that is because that while simple adventures are basic and might come off as lazy on a TV show, actually playing through the scenario in a role-playing game is something different entirely.

On a TV show, the heroes will react in predictable ways. But in D&D, who the heck knows what the players will do. In an RPG game, the princess might die during the rescue! The group might all fall in a lava pit and die.

So the cliched scenario isn't boring because it's still unpredictable.

It was another good session! I think next time we'll be battling sahuagin. We got a card from the Deck of Many Things. We only need four more, and then we'll have assembled the deck.


Ashley said...

I know you've said before you're not overly fond of being a player, but it's good to hear that you're able to enjoy playing with your group. I have to admit, I'm a little envious; it sounds like they're a truly awesome set of people. :)

And I know it's a small thing, but can I say, I love that the DM allowed 'dispel magic' on the flying T-Rex? Sadly I've met too many DMs who would get upset that the players managed to circumvent the fight they had planned, instead of rolling with it and rewarding the players' cleverness.

Sean said...

Ashley: They really are nice people. Everyone is very laid back and all we want to do is to have a fun game. I totally agree about the T. Rex! I think once a DM has a certain amount of experience under their belt, they are able to roll with things like that better.

Anonymous said...

"It's really OK to make an adventure where a princess is captured and you have to go to the bad guy's castle to save her."

Although these days, you might be better off making it a captured prince every once in a while.

Good summary, the adventure sounds awesome. It sounds like you have a great DM!

Sean said...

Anonymous: Agree! Thanks, I enjoy the Eberron game more each time we play.