Details are out on the new adventure, which is called Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus
This is the yearly event where they announce the new D&D products. This year's show is bigger than last year's event, resembling a small con, complete with a D&D epic event and everything.
Relics and Rarities
DM: Deborah Ann Woll
(Jasmine Bhullar) Barrel
- Half-orc Barbarian
(Julia Dennis) Annabella
(Janina Gavankar) Mumee
- Half-elf Rogue
(Xander Jeanneret) Ricky Huckster
- Gnome Druid
(Matthew Lillard) Alaster Goldfang
- Dragonborn Sorcerer
(Tommy Walker) Veros
- Human Warrior
This pics up from episode 6 of the Relics show on geek and sundry. The group has returned from Livingstone, having defeated two sisters. The group is asked to retrieve a draught from King Sena’s tomb. They’ve been there once before.
Before leaving, the heroes get to pick a trinket from the magic shop that they work for.
- Picture Frame - Disguise self.
- Knit Blanket - You can place images on it.
- Pocket Watch - Slows down time just for the wielder.
- Sheet Music - When you sing to the tune on the shet, get +5 to CHA checks.
- Dark Glasses - Grants darkvision
- Compass with a Missing Crystal - The compass always points to the crystal, which is buried at the entrance of the tomb.
The adventurers arrive at the tomb and see that the doors have been torn open. The last time the group was here, the doors were intact. The heroes look around a bit and the place is trashed, including a false tomb.
As the group begins to check out the interior, Alaster is hit with a scythe trap for 14 damage.
They find a long passage that they follow for 20 minutes. They come to a door with a message in the kektesh language. “Brave the tests of our throne to prove your worth.”
There is a lotus flower attached to the note. The lotus represents healing and rejuvenation, royalty, and the care of royalty. In the room beyond, there are gold, jewels and all kinds of treasures. Also, on 8 pedestals, are oil lamps. Two have fallen over on their sides.
The creature says it offers no boon, and the group must bow before it. Many members of the group immediately bow. It wants to destroy the one who spoke its name.
Examining the lamps, the group sees different words. They speak a few aloud, and one summons a creature with magma skin. The group fights it, and it turns to smoke and re-enters the lamp, defeated.
They enter another room and come upon the tomb of a queen. There is a vase with a living lotus flower in it, preserved by magic. There is a mural with a branching diagram.
The group finds a cylindrical puzzle with hieroglyphic symbols on it. Deborah actually made it in real life. She says it took 9 hours to make.
After a bit of thinking, the group solves the puzzle. The prop actually unlocks and has a vial inside!
The heroes head outside and their lotus begins to melt. They dig up the buried crystal. They realize that they've failed to secure the draught.
They return to the curio shop and find the place is trashed. That's where we stop!
The Descent: Opening Ceremonies
MC: Anna Prosser
The team gives details on the new products coming out. I tried to organize them categorically.
Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
This adventure is about “D&D goes to Hell.” A combination of Mad Max and Dante’s Inferno.
It involves the Blood War, the battle between the lawful devils and the chaotic demons.
- The adventure begins in Baldur’s Gate, the “Gotham City” of D&D. The city is detailed in the book.
- One chapter a gazetteer of Baldur’s Gate. There are options for creating a native of Baldur’s Gate. The entire group can have dark secrets.
- You can become an ally of the Flaming Fist, and go on murder sprees to help them out.
- There is an infernal infiltration in the city. A tease of the hell storyline. The group will have to choose whether or not to go to Avernus.
- There are mysteries and crimes to solve in Baldur’s Gate.
The Warlords of Avernus
- Avernus is the top layer of hell, the place where demons and devils battle. It is a plane of wreckage, a vast desert where destroyed cities partially pulled in from other d&d settings.
- Swarms of insects from other infernal regions.
- There are rules for resting in Avernus (it’s hard).
- Death saves work differently. We might see these rules in some of the games this weekend.
- The lakes have ichor which are damaging, but can also be useful.
- It is home to more creatures than demons and devils.
- Avernus is a humongous playground. A large section of the book details Avernus itself. There is a huge map full of cool locations.
- Creatures who eke out a living outside of the eye of the demons and devils. They have gangs of marauders looking for scrap metal. They command fleets of infernal war machines. You can boost them by pouring ichor in them.
- Ghosts of Saltmarsh has ship rules. In Avernus, there are mechanics similar to use for the war machines.
- You can become a Warlord of Avernus.
- Because there is so much wreckage. You can go scrape the parts you need to assemble and customize your vehicles (there are rules for this). There is a bit of a catch to this. You might wrestle with moral quandaries - the machines are powered by souls. They are powered by furnaces.
- There is a section in the book involving the devils trying to use your dark secrets to make bargains with you. What the devils want the most: Your soul.
- Avernus is the “front porch” of hell. There’s refugees from other planes trying to escape. There are other adventuring groups. Because hell corrupts, many of them have been morally compromised. The longer your character is there, the better the chance you can become corrupted.
- It is harder to get out of hell than to get in.
- Your character could be warped beyond recognition. Some characters will be more resplendent than ever. Paladins and cleric will have their cosmic enemies are right in front of them.
- The ruler of Avernus is Zariel. She is a fallen angel, once a being of pure good. She was able to see that the demons and the devils were a problem. She decided to try to deal with them, even though her fellow angels refused to go with her.
- Zariel is on the front lines. The closer you get to the River Styx, the more intense the conflict.
- There is a chance you might be able to redeem Zariel and save her. Though then there will be a power vacuum.
- You can become one of her vassals.
- When you encounter Zariel, your previous choices will affect what happens next.
- This is the devils’ home turf. If you kill a devil in the Nine Hells, the devil is dead forever. This is the place they are most vulnerable, so they are more likely to cut deals.
D&D Essentials Kit
- This adventure is written for new DMs. It is user friendly so that new DMs can get their feet wet in the Baldur’s Gate section. Then it gracefully slides into Avernus, and gives tips on how to bring it to life.
- You can make the Hell section can be as long or as short as the DM likes.
- There are a bunch of new monster stat blocks and new magic items.
- They developed a new infernal font for this adventure.
- Abyssal chickens can be familiars.
- The art is different from the other books. If you are in Avernus, and you see a giant wound creeping out of the earth, go check it out.
- The Infernal Tide: A massive entity made of bone and blood that washes over you.
- Jim Zub has a physical item - a soul coin. If a good character has more than one, it weighs them down.
- Abyssal chickens are disgusting, horrifying and powerful.
- D&D Infernal Tide: A comic where heroes including Minsc & Boo go to the Nine Hells. There is a combat in Candlekeep, in the grand library.
Chris Perkins designed it.
Baldur’s Gate Dice Set with Miscellany
- The Starter Set has the Lost Mine of Phandelver. This Essentials Set has another adventure set in the same place.
- There’s a 64 page booklet that helps people make new characters. There are sidekick rules in the back.
- Dragon of Icespire Peak: You can run it with one player and one DM, or a full group. In the solo mode, you can use the sidekicks to round out the group.
- It is very new-DM friendly. There are 14 quests.
- There is a poster map that has Phandelin on one side, and the adventure locale on the other.
- There is a box that contains 81 cards that have all of the magic items, quests, combat cheat sheet cards, and sidekick cards.
- Sidekicks come in three types: Expert (who has “all the skills”), Spellcaster (arcane or divine), and Warrior.
- A DM screen with all new art.
- A set of red dice. They are cherry lozenge red. There are two d20’s and four d6’s.
- It will be in target on June 24th.
- The product is a step between the starter set and the Player’s Handbook.
- There are some “delightfully evil” druids running around in the adventure.
- You can mix this with Phandelver in a number of different ways.
The Descent: Game Session 1
- It comes with a map of Avernus.
- A cipher for the infernal language.
- Two d20’s, four d6’s. The dice are “brimstone” colored
- The box is lined with velvet, making it two dice trays.
- It will be available in August 2019.
DM: Jeremy Crawford
(Kelly D'Angelo) Tuesday
- Forest Gnome Druid
(Talisein Jaffe) Quintifel
- Aasimar Warlock
(Taran Killam) Halwyn Badanathis
- High Elf Bard
(Alex Lee) Filge
- Half-Orc Barbarian
(Joe Manganiello) Halfmat Arson
- Dragonborn Sorcerer
(Surena Marie) Yuri
- 15-year old sad kid
Each hero wakes up. They feel damp and warm. The smell of brimstone is all around them. There are explosions going off. Each of them is lying on a riverbank next to greenish water, with whispers rising up from it.
Two massive armies are fighting under an amber sky, demons vs. devils.To their left is a crashed gondola, There’s a dead dwarf. Another dwarf is running toward a strange contraption - a motorcycle. Looming over the dead, red-capped dwarf, is a vrock. It pulls its beak out of the dwarf, looks at the group, and squawks in hunger.
The adventurers attack it. The vrock lets out a call, and more vrocks start flying toward them. The one dwarf who is still alive tells them they are going to die.
Tuesday hirs the dwarf with call lightning. It falls but is still alive. The dwarf says he was trying to help.
The dwarf says the group should pray that Mad Maggie comes to help them. Halwyn is dropped to 1 hit point.
A machine approaches, a horn plays (a car horn). It feels like an earthquake is coming. The vehicle has a crane on it dragging demons. Red-capped dwarves are on it firing ranged weapons on the demons. Mad Maggie has a raven on each shoulder. Her skin is very wrinkly and leather-y. She is a night hag.
She says, “Hey suckas!” and tells the group to get on board. The group gets on. A hoard of demons rush them. Mad Maggie drops a coin in a slot in the steering wheel. Fire erupts out of the back, and the caravan takes off.
She wants more speed. She opens a bottle of demon ichor. She opens a circular hole right next to the key slot and pours it in. The entire war machine shakes and green fire shoots out of the back of the bus. The redcaps pour them into their motorcycles and they all start speeding up.
On a bike, Halfmat wants to put some ichor into his bike. He feels a weird tempting urge of some kind, but he fights it off with a successful CON save.
Mad Maggie asks the heroes to go obtain for her the Tear of Zariel. Uri and Tuesday start talking about where they were before they woke up in Hell. Maggie slaps them, to “make sure they’re not ghosts.”
Maggie leads the caravan into a sandstorm in the hopes of losing the demon horde chasing them.
They ride into the sandstorm. The group needs to make CON saves. Uri and Halwyn fail. There’s something burning inside the sand. It dissolves into their skin and they take 8 acid damage. The face of one of the red caps melts and Mad Maggie cackles.
Maggie’s vehicles starts going over numerous bumps. It turns out that the bumps are actually lemures, low-level devils. Uri says that this is still better than the orphanage.
They come out the other side. Only one red cap survives the trip through. It looks like they shook off the demon horde.
Mad Maggie loves Zariel merchandise and exquisite despair. Zariel is a fallen angel. She cried a long time ago. A single tear fell off her cheek and when it hit the dark sand and blessed a whole area.
If the group gets her the tear, she’ll give them a war machine, some food, and maybe a way out of Hell.
They come to a lake of salt and a crater. Creatures clad like noble knights, each a ghostly figure, weeping. Each ghost’s tears turns to salt and tumbles into the rater. A light glimmers inside a canopy of salt crystals.
Mad Maggie explains those creatures came to Hell with Zariel. In that salt, there’s something moving. All that sorrow, all the grief over holiness lost gave something life.
The group gets out. Halwyn touches the salt and begins crying like a baby. Two sentries who were looking out to the horizon look at Halwyn. They ask whose tears join theirs. They tell him to join them, and he can’t resist.
Halwyn kneels into the form of one of the spectral knights. He rolls a saving throw and gets a natural 20. Halwyn leans over and weeps. Halfmat uses a mage hand and catches the tears. It looks like the thing in the salt was going to come over, but it doesn’t.
Halfmat uses his cloak to absorb the tears. He throws it into the crater. As the tears on it touches the salt, there is movement. The salt ripples, and a large, crystalline mouth raises up from the salt, eats the cloak, and begins to descend.
Quintifel puts some tears on a paper airplane and throws it. He sees the mouth moving. Then he calls forth his wings and flies toward the creature. Quintifel flies into the chamber of salt crystals and sees a diamond in the shape of a tear. 7 ghostly figures are near.
Hallwyn sheds tears onto the diamond. One of the ghosts says, “Unworthy.” All 7 take a step toward him. One says in Celestial, “All your tears. Every tear you have cried, whether of sorrow or of joy, you must leave here.”
Halfmat pulls a coin that he stole from a red cap. The ghosts are offended and say, “We have no use for the souls of the damned.”
Quintifel, an aasimar, cries tears over the diamond. He feels his deepest sorrows and his deepest joys leave him. They say “It is done.” They all vanish. The light of the diamond continues to pulse. Outside, the others see the spectral knights vanish.
Mad Maggie yells out, “What happened?!”
Quintifel gets out with the tear. The group distracts the mouth with some conjured dogs. They meet with Maggie and offers the group 2 war machines.
Maggie demands the tear. Halfmat wants to find Arkhan’s tower (Arkhan is Joe’s character from Critical Role and other shows - he has a tower in hell near Tiamat’s lair).
The Descent: Game Session 2
DM: Kate Welch
(Malik Forte) General Hovito
- Genasi Fighter
(Jerry Holkins) Omin Dran
- Half-Elf Warpriest
(Matthew Lillard) Gark
- Tiefling Wizard, descendant of Asmodeus
(Joe Manganiello) Halfmat Arson
- Human Sorceror
(Clint McElroy) Merle
- Beach Dwarf
(Travis McElroy) Magnus Burnsides
- Human Fighter
Halfmat barely remembers what happened last session, but finds himself waking up again on the shores of the Styx with a new group of people. Kate explains that time and space are wobbly here.
They are being squirted in the face by a creature that is humanoid tiger. He has an infernal spray bottle. He sees that the group is waking up, and he begins to run.
Nearby, they see a war machine in the form of a giant metal boar. A creature steps out - a boar-headed humanoid (a wereboar). It is wearing a crown made of jagged pieces of metal.
The group explains that they don’t know how they got here. It turns out that the weretiger, named MacGuyver, sprayed them with Styx mist.
The wereboar wants them to bow. Omin and Halfmat refuse. The wereboar condemns them to death. Halfmat casts invisibility, and twins it so that Omin is invisible too. The rest of the group is now a part of the wereboar’s crew.
The wereboar, Ragadraga, wants a queen. He has an evening planned with a special lady - a night hag. Mad Maggie!
Ragadraga explains that he doesn’t know anything about night hags. He promises he won’t kill them if they help him.
He explains that Mad Maggie has a heartstone. Hers has gone missing. Halfmat suddenly remembers Mad Maggie driving an enormous war machine. He thinks he could craft something she might like.
Omin and Halfmat become visible. Halfmat explains that he knows Mad Maggie, and he can help. He thinks she would really like good food. Ragamaga knows of a unicorn near hear. Merle suggests using angels for stuffing.
Omin wants to teach Ragamaga to dance. He does so successfully.
The group then goes to find the heartstone. It is in the possession of a rakshasa. Omin tries to talk it into handing over the heartstone and rolls a natural 20. They further ask about obtaining “unicorn bait”. The rakshasa hands over the heartstone.
It says it will be telling Asmodeus about this transaction.
The heroes head to a store run by a tentacled creature. Grak tries to pay for stuff with Hovito’s soul. It comes for his soul. Magnus attacks. After a few attacks, Omin is able to intimidate the entity and the group gets what they need.
Once the group leaves, Hovito punches Gark. Omin gives the creature a card good for one free quest from Acquisitions, Inc.
They head to the infernal gate powered by the unicorn. They’re not sure where the gate opens to. The gate has infernal script: It says, “The one who enters here, shall be the only one who leaves Avernus.”
Magnus is able to pull the unicorn free. It thanks them, and says that all that it wants is to return home. It will take a very long time to get home. They ask the unicorn if it is good. It says it likes to help children and animals. Merle asks if that includes boars.
Merle and Omin try to sell the unicorn on the idea to let the group cut out some flanks. Omin says, “You’ll have two handsome men healing you from both sides.”
Halfmat says, “They call it the Avernus tower.”
The heroes cut a chunk of meat off of the unicorn and quickly heal it. Hovito says he can’t wait to lose his memory again.
The adventurers return to Ragamaga and his gang. Jeremy Crawford comes out. Apparently he’s going to play Mad Maggie. The group dresses up Ragamaga. Merle calls it “Dwarf Eye for the Boar Guy.”
The group drops a zone of truth and Ragamaga confesses his feelings. Mad Maggie is into it and asks about Zariel collectibles. Gark decides he likes Mad Maggie and wants to run away with her. Gark creates a minor illusion to make it look like Ragamaga is in an iron maiden.
Maggie entertains his ideas and sends him out of the room to wait for him. Then Maggie tells Ragamaga she's going to eat him later.
The heroes leave the building as Maggie and Ragamaga are seemingly getting along.
As they leave, Halfmat watches as his companions slowly vanish.
After the game, Joe mentions that he contributed to Descent Into Avernus. Joe's character, Arkhan the Cruel, appears in the book. He says that characters may or may not need Tiamat's help at some point and the group might need to go through him and his minions: Krull the death domain tortle ("we're making tortles badass"), and Toragar the minotaur.
That's it for day one!