View Full Version : My 5E playtests...

The J Pizzel
2014-07-01, 03:16 PM
I've compiled my 5E play-tests that I've done throughout the year. Some were one-shots, where as the Blindingstone game was an actual mini campaign that leasted several months. Anyway, I thought I'd post the re-caps and summaries here for you guys to read and enjoy.

One shot from the very first play-test packet:

On the road again – 6 human thugs (2 regular, 1 berserker, 1 Sneak attack, 2 archers)
Give them some different weapons. Give one of them SA.
“We don’t want no trouble. Just give us ye horse and gear and ye can go on ye way.”
“You don’t want no part of Farahorn. That place be cursed it is. People be disappearing in the night, turning up missing limbs and such. Found one poor boy short a heart. So, we six decided we had enough.” Make sure you name the berserker Dugan and explain him as a big dude.

(Role-play notes: We didn’t have the cleric of Pelor for this fight. The party had a small camp site just off the road in a light forest. It started with the rogue up a tree, the two dwarves by the fire and the elf up against a rock sleeping. The rogue smoked his stealth and his perception so he saw them all approaching but couldn’t wake the others up in time. They baddies surrounded the camp and they spoke with the players for a minute before the rogue got fed up and ONE-SHOTed the berserker. The others were easily dispatched. The SA baddie was a pain because he was hiding in a small pond. The wizard wanted to shocking grasp the whole pond, which would’ve been awesome, but someone finally killed the SA guy before he got there. Play test notes: Combat goes much faster and the rogue can already put up some DPS when he’s hidden. No OA’s or flanking made things very interesting. I noticed the guys were immediately using hit and run tactics. The cleric of Moradin player felt a little bored right off the bat. The fighter didn’t like his squishy-ness, but loved putting up the big numbers. He usually plays insanely high AC characters, so this was his rude awakening.)

All around the world the same song – exploring the town.
Make stuff up as you go. The most eligible people of the town have moved on. A village elder, Jacobi, is trying to hold it together. Even the Lord Mayor has left. There’s mainly just poor and stubborn still here. Jacobi’s oldest grandson, Jaken, is trying desperately to convince the people to stay in the temple of Pelor at night. Some refuse and if they do then they’re on their own. He’s given some crappy weapons to the oldest kids and most eligible men, but they’re still crap. One old man, Hibben, might’ve seen something, but he lost his boy in an attack and has gone somewhat crazy. If they can get it out of him, he points them to the docks. If not they follow him. Throw in some hints about the ancient castle that once stood on this shore. It belonged to the mighty Ducaine Family.

(Role-play and play test notes: The group had a great time role-playing all this out. The ability check system worked great and they were finding great ways to use their specific +3’s to their ability checks. Sometimes they convinced me, sometimes they didn’t; but the group liked it as a whole. It definitely puts more responsibility on the DM which my group just happens to like. I used the DC charts in the play test notes once or twice, but I mostly just winged it. As for plot, the group liked old Jacobi (they said he reminded them of Maester Luwin) and respected Jaken for what he was trying to accomplish. They found Hibben in an old tower that was falling apart at the port area of town. The dwarves got to use some Stonecunning to realize that this is an old part of the town; maybe as old as the original Ducaine Family’s keep. They found some odd healing potions in an old crate buried in the keep. It becomes interesting later. The role-playing was great and everyone loves the simplicity of the checks. IMHO, it has nothing to do with the system though. I use very simple checks to solve things which can be done with any system. I think what my players found interesting was that there wasn’t any tables telling me what I had to set the DC at, so they enjoyed the time saving and the thrill of not knowing what they had to roll to succeed. I would just say, “OK, but it’ll be hard one” and I think they liked that.)

Under the Boardwalk – 10 kobolds, 2 dire rats.
They seem to be waiting on someone to return. They’re posted up in very sneaky places. Eventually they see 3 kobolds return. They’re carrying sacks, two dripping blood and one squirming. If they free him, they realize he is the blacksmith’s son. The blacksmith deserted him and left this morning. His last name was Dugan. He’s the berserker’s son. Make sure one dives for the water and begins working on the grate to show the guys where to go next. Let them camp for the night if they need it.

(Role-play notes: the group loved this encounter. Hibben pointed to the water that comes up near the port so the group all hid in the same dilapidated tower that they’d found him in. The rogue hid on a nearby rooftop. They saw the ten kobolds come scurrying out of the water and post up all along the board walk, some of them in some really good hiding spots. 3 of the kobolds took off into town. The two dire rats wandered around the port looking for prey. The group decided to take out all the kobolds still here and lay an ambush for the others when they return. After dispatching the waiting kobolds, they used their own spears to prop them up and put them back in their original hiding places. The 3 came back with dripping bags and one squirming. As soon as the first was killed (SA from the rogue) the others ran for the water. The fighter actually rolled a natural 20 and sniped one in the head. But regrettably the bag flew into the water with a squirming child in it. The fighter dove into the water to rescue the bag. While under water, he saw the remaining kobold dive in and begin working on a grate. Play test notes: This was a great fight. The group pretty much one-shotted all the kobolds. The dire rats were a little better fight, but was still one sided. One did climb the roof where the rogue was. Instead of fighting the dire rat, the Halfling wanted to just push him back over. A simple strength vs. constitution check and it was done. He succeeded. It was glorious.

Into the tunnels – 2 gray oozes.
They wait for the PC’s to walk over them and then beat the **** out of them. (skip this is needed)

We skipped this due to time restraints.

I think they came from that way – 1 gelatinous cube,1 snakes, 2 spiders, 2 kobold dragon shields.
Two kobolds are sitting next to an arch with several crates blocking the path through. There are a couple of pools of sewer nearby. When either of them sees a bad guy, they immediately pull a string that releases the critters from the crates. Behind the arch is a blank stone wall with absolutely nothing on it. Why were they guarding it? PUT A TRAP SOMEWHERE.

(Role-play notes: Not much here. Play test notes: This encounter resulted in a near TPK. The only survivor was the wizard. The snake and spiders were simply re-flavored fire beetles. I put an insane fire trap in the corridor that one of the players forgot about and ran right back through it. The main problem was the cube. He would just move into their square, they’d fail their saves, and that was it. They would just keep taking damage each round. They really bombed their saves in this encounter. I’m pretty sure the dice had it in for them. Two of them died in the cube, so each round they suffered another 1d6. At level 1 that’s pretty bad. The DC’s to dodge and break free weren’t that hard, they just bombed their roles. Eventually they whittled down and killed the critters and the kobolds, but the cube killed them all. The wizzie Ray of Frosted it and headed back into town. I will say that once again, not having fancy powers and maneuvers does seem to encourage the guys to come up with some nifty stuff. At one point the fighter asked what he had to do to slam the cube so hard he could assist the trapped people escaping. It was kind of fun to hear them come up with stuff like that. This was end of the session that night.

Don’t open that door! – 1 ogre, 2 dire rats.
The ogre is munching on a dead dire rat. It’s a grand lobby with a large tomb in the center of a long dead king. Halls lead off into 3 directions. 2 are crumbled an accessible. One is dimly lit by weakening torches.

(Play test notes: From this point on we actually had both clerics. I let them just pick up and as if they hadn’t died. They blasted the dire rats very easily. The rogue hid in the shadows and smoked the ogre right off the bat. At one point the ogre just threw the dead rat at the guys for 1d2+STR damage and they loved that. After that it was just a standard boss beat down. It was nothing fancy. Afterward they found the secret entrance into the tombs of the mighty Ducaine Family


The Hall of skeletal and zombified death – 4 skeletons, 5 zombies.
This is the first room of tombs. There’s nothing special here.

(Role-play notes: Role-play wise we got a little more in-character chit chat because now we’re dealing with religion and we had two clerics. So a couple jokes and were made. Play test notes: Of course, I had to put some undead in there to turn. It worked alright. In the description it says “may turn weaker ones to ash” but there’s nothing that explains how, since it doesn’t seem to do any damage. By the time a skeleton or zombie’s turn came up they had already been attacked, so the turn became irrelevant. Channel Radiance became real popular right off the bat as well. All in all, it was a nice little skirmish to test out the clerics against some undead.

The Hall of flying death – 8 stirges.
This room is covered in little piles of bones, ****, and dried up rat and beetle carcasses. Occasionally there’s a cat or dog or even bird. The stirges come flying in the moment there’s light in the chamber. There hiding in every little crack and nook they can find. (skip this if needed)

We skipped this.

Hall of the dead king – 2 wights, 4 zombies, 4 skeletons
This is the place where the first king of Farahorn was buried. His tomb is practically unrecognizable. When they investigate the tomb, a LARGE TRAP GOES OFF and signal the wights and skeletons to attack. They come out of tombs in the walls. In one of the random tombs on the wall is a hollowed out vertical tunnel with a make shift rope ladder.

Role-play notes: Again nothing major here. Play-test notes: The combat here was more exciting though. No one moved near the large tomb so at first they were just fighting the zombies. I put a 10x10 spider web in the center of the room just in case someone got stupid. I had one of the zombies move into it (let’s face it, they’re stupid) and our rogue asked if his character would know that webs burn hot. I said absolutely. He spent his action throwing a torch in the web and lit the zombie on fire. I gave it a good 1d10 initial blast but then 1d6 damage for 1d4 rounds (4). So everyone began throwing zombies in the fire. Eventually the wizard moved next to the tomb which set off a 3d6 fire trap and signaled the wights and skeletons to attack. The Pelorian got nervous and blasted one of the wights with Searing Light for 42 damage. I gave him the one-shot on that. Everyone cheered the might of Pelor, lol. The other wight landed a few blows but they finished it out pretty easily. Between strength vs. constitution checks into the fire and magic missiles, they cleaned house pretty quickly. The found a few magic items in the tombs and the rope ladder in the hollowed out tomb and decided to camp for the night. The rogue built at basic crossbow-tripwire trap on the ladder chute and the wizard cast alarm on both entrances. Right at the 8 hour mark they heard the alarm go off, a twang, a grunt (a couple of hidden dice rolls) and several splats. The rogue was very pleased with himself.


Guards! Guards! – 3 kobold dragon shields.
3 Kobolds are just standing guard. Use the dart trap from Skyrim. Lever is on the side near the Guards. They deactivate it for friends. When the players enter, if it’s not deactivated they take 4d4 at the top of the round. There’s a huge hole in the middle of the floor. (Skip this if needed)

(Role-play notes: this ended up being really fun as well. The kobolds that were climbing the stairs and set off the trap were these 3. The first one got shot in the chest and fell, knocking the other two off the ladder. I rolled dexterity saves for them to catch the ladder, but they both failed. The fighter got to the bottom of the ladder first and held it steady for the rest of the party. When they got to the bottom, before they even entered the entrance chamber, the fighter threw one of dead kobolds into the pit to see how deep it was. It was pure luck that he did that because they noticed as soon as he crossed the threshold he was peppered with darts. The players all patted the fighter on the back for having pure luck and the wizzie used mage hand to switch the lever to off. Easy peasy.)

We’re going to need a bigger sword – 10 kobolds, 2 shields, 1 boss man.
The meeting hall has beds, tables, fire holes, piss holes, a weapons rack, and lots of other stuff. It’s where the kobolds hang out when not on a job. Have an acolyte be talking to the boss man. She runs when **** gets real. They need to keep a kobold alive, or they need to pass an Int. (Arcane Lore) check.

(Role-play notes: this encounter incidentally led to some hilarious dialogue between the rogue and the wizzie. It went something like this:

Rogue: Seriously…just fireball the whole damn room. It’ll be wondrous.
Wizzie: I don’t have fireball.
Rogue: Huh?
Wizzie: I. Don’t. Have. Fireball.
Rogue: Yeah I heard you the first time. What do you mean you don’t have fireball? What kind of wizard doesn’t have fireball?
Wizzie: Maybe next level?
Rogue: What does that even mean?
DM: Screw it. Just say you have it.
Wizzie: No. Seriously. It’s not in the play test.
Whole group: WHAT?!?

At which point we all stared blankly at the spell sheet and wondered how that didn’t make the cut. Cure Light Wounds. Turn/Rebuke Undead. Magic Missile. Shocking Grasp. NO FIREBALL!!!!!!!

Play test notes: this fight ended up being a breeze. The wizzie sleep spelled one entire side of the room. The next round he cast Hold Person on the boss man. After that they just cleaned house. They’re level 3 abilities were really starting to shine here.)

She’s a WITCH! – 6 acolytes, 2 adepts
This is a mix between a laboratory, library, alter, and torture chamber. There are books everywhere, work tables, a small alter in the center, a rack, and many other things. A pile of bones sits near a bookshelf. A small boy is being tortured on the rack. Several dead, mutilated bodies appear near the rack. Several priests meander about. Freak them out by the half snake things. Don’t forget to use command, unholy smite. On a work table are ancient documents chronicling the fall of the Ducaine family and the locations that family went into hiding.

(Play test notes: I made this a difficult encounter by using some insane terrain and stuff in the room. There was a large pit in the floor, several piles of broken stones and cave walls and other stuff. I landed every hit with unholy smite, which I gave some nifty cinematic value to and really had the players freaked out. The two adepts were represented by yuant-ti miniatures and I had them pretty grossed out by the whole half-snake priestess thing. The wizzie stood on one side of the pit and cast Command on one of the acolytes (failed save) which made her walk right over the pit. I gave her a quick last minute save to avoid falling in, but alas, she was void of luck. It ended up being a harder fight than I thought due to the terrain and the smites/spells of the adepts. The group liked it nonetheless.

Oh. My. God. – 1 Medusa, 1 big frigging snake, 1 dark priest.
The snake attacks immediately. The dark priest tries to stay near the summoning pool to use writhing darkness. Medusa is working at a desk. Her body is hidden by robes so they don’t realize they can’t look at her till she begins moving and gets close to them. In the center is a summoning pool where she was trying to summon Slytherin, the Demon Snake Lord. There’s rubble and a few pits scattered throughout the room. After the fight they realize from her work desk that she needed royal blood to complete the summoning and she had traced the lineage of the Ducaine family. Through the ages the name was changed and bastardized to Dugan. It is revealed that the blacksmith (now dead) and his son (rescued by the players) is actually the last surviving descendant of the mighty Ducaine family.

(Role-play notes: There wasn’t much role-playing here. It was late and we wanted to finish up and they knew this was the boss fight. Play test notes: Amazing fight. It was everything a boss fight should be. I have a large dark naga mini that was just a re-flavored Owlbear. Instead of his Hug special ability I simply made it a Constrict. The snake squared off against the two dwarves for most of the fight. The priestess used the summoning pool to initiate Writhing Darkness, which literally changed the whole fight. At the beginning of each players turn they roll a Dexterity Save of 13 or take 1d6 damage and lose 10 ft of movement. The nearly always failed it. When medusa got close and took off her robes the players and characters were pretty freaked out. They had no idea I was going with medusa in the final fight. They didn’t even know medusa was in the play test. Everyone started averting their eyes. The rogue pretty much started working on medusa from stealth so the advantage and disadvantage would cancel out. Medusa loved moving to someone so they started their turn adjacent to her and had to roll a save or get bit by her snaky hair. A couple of people went down but were cured by spells or potions. It was a damn good fight. Eventually they took out the priestess, which killed the Writhing Darkness, which made the fight easier. Then they took out the snake, which then lead to one of the coolest moments in my 16 years of DMing. The fighter, down to 2 hp, had perched himself near one of the pits where Moradin, and the rogue had gone to. The fighter started taunting the medusa wildly, which pissed her off and made her attack him. On his turn, he said (and the whole group knew he was planning this except me):

Fighter: I bear hug her, look her in the in the eyes smiling, and just before I turn to stone, I leap into the pit.
Me: That sounds awesome. Strength vs. constitution contest to see….
Fighter: NATRUAL 20!!!!!!
Player next to fighter at table: HOLY **** HE DID!!!
Me: As you latch onto the abomination with your thick dwarven arms, you look into her snake-like eyes and smile. You feel your legs and arms become heavy, just as you begin lean into the pit and let yourself go. Right before you lose your sight, you see her squirming futilely under your weight. You don’t feel a thing as you shatter into a thousand pieces when you hit the ground hundreds of feet below, you…but she did.

That’s right, we ended the play test on an actual natural 20. This concludes our play-test this evening. Please tip your DM.

Second to last play-test. I called it the 5E Creature Feature because the gang asked for upper levels and crazy monsters (they were level 12 I think). This is regrettably, more of my DM notes than an actual summary. Sorry..
The 5E Creature Feature!

Widows Watch: Huge White Dragon / Manticore Slave
All players begin on cliff face known as Widows Watch. If any player uses detect magic they find that one of the stones is magical. If a player uses his Stonecunning they find that some of the stones are not natural to the terrain. Knowledge Arcana reveals that the stone is under a Silence and Illusion spell. After the Silence spell is dismissed they hear whining and moaning. After the Illusion spell is dismissed they discover a chained up baby white dragon. Just as this happens, they begin hearing the beating of wings and up from the clouds flied a Huge White Dragon with a Manticore in tow. It lands and moans at the infant before gazing menacing at the players. Shortly after that it lets out its breath weapon and the fight begins.

Afterward, if the infant survives, a large blast of flame appears from nowhere and incinerates the beast. When they turn around they see Pook and an unknown person talking. Pook seems nervous. Eventually he person disappears and Pook congratulates them on passing the test. It’s at this point he explains the adventure. To travel to an unknown island and recover a long lost relic of the ancient gods. The ones that have passed long into legend and aren’t worshipped anymore. That’s all he can tell them right now.

After that another stone is shown to be a fake and they begin the long descent into the tunnels beneath the cliff. Explain that periodically they run into a beast known as s carrion crawler, a wormish creature with several eyes and tentacles that can paralyze you. Most scuttle away, y’all easily dispatch any that attempt to fight or block your path.

Eventually the walls begin shifting. First player rolls a dice, on an even, the wall splits and he must pass a DC 16 Dexterity test or be cut off. After the first one, Pook mentions he heard something about this but completely forgot. It has something to do with an old pirate lore that it was meant to discourage travelers from coming down here, but that they all still came out to the cove at the bottom. He suggests they continue on (Folklore DC 13 Remembers hearing it too). Each player has two chances to become separated. As soon as they pass it twice, they’re fine. We continue on until everyone has passed two of them, or until they are all divided.

The first person to become separated emerges in the tunnel first. He will roll 1d8 to decide which one he comes out of. He’ll see two basilisks and at least 10 crawlers. He’ll emerge next to a crawler no matter what and combat should begin shortly. Have each player immediately roll 1d4, they’ll emerge on that round of combat and roll a d8 to see which tunnel they emerge from. They can act on that turn.

Eventually, a longboat with 5 sailors using crossbows emerges. They’ll act at the end of the initiative order and all target the same creature. If they target a crawler, it dies. If they target a Basilisk, he takes 2d10 damage. After that, they ride the boat back to the ship anchored in the water. END ACT ONE!

The Titan’s Gift – Knowledge Folklore (13) or Forbidden Lore (16) reveals that this is a very famous ship. If was supposedly gifted to the father of the most beautiful girl in all of Atlantis by an ancient sea god. He couldn’t bring himself to allow her to die in the felling of the city, so he gave to the ship to her father to keep her safe. It is said to have immense power residing in it, but no one has ever been able to unlock its power or nature. The current captain claimed it by “Right of Conquest” from its previous owner during a raid. A Detect Magic spells reveals it’s loaded with magical energy.

NPC’s aboard the ship:
Captain Sol “Scarface”. He is a middle-aged, well built man with a close trimmed beard and goatee (Ewen McGregor from Episode 3) looking. He carries a boarding axe, a cutlass, and a gold inlaid crossbow across his back. Generally a very pleasant person but hates fire and wizards, in general. Not afraid and has a very cool, calm demeanor during a fight. Ironically, he doesn’t have a scar on his face.
First Mate Reed. Reed is a stocky, sea-weathered dwarf. He has a dark sun burnt complexion and is somewhat grumpy in the traditional dwarven nature. At night he drinks heavily and plays a wood harp and sings of a long lost love. At first it sounds like a woman, but eventually it turns out it’s the mountains.
Cook and Cleaner Lorena. Lorena is the 15 year old daughter of Sol. She cooks, cleans, and is very well loved by all crew. She is a little sister to all of them and they are all extremely protective of her. She occasionally plays the wood flute for the crew to help them sleep. She loves to sing and dance, but obviously sucks at singing. The crew still applauds her anyway and tell her she’s amazing.
Navigator, healer, all around skill-monkey Fitzgig. Fitzgig is a small Halfling, even by Halflings standards. He claims his mother was visited by a sea sprite and they made love in the ocean and that’s how he came to be. He’s got a great sense of humor and loves to agitate Reed, but Reed is fiercely protective of him. Several members of the crew tend to give him a hard time and treat him like a common deck hand, but he’s clearly very smart.
8 Deck Hands. The deck hands aboard the Titans Gift are surprisingly nice and well-mannered. There is very little hostility among them and all work together for the common good. They are adequate fighters, but not amazing. Most carry boarding axes or small swords and crossbows. Names: Aldo, Carson, Titus, Darrick, Delmar, Stumpy, Marlin, Roscoe.

Eventually as the sun is setting an orange moon starts to rise. Fitz starts reciting old sea tales of the evils of an orange moon. Reed even starts playing a dark cant on his harp. Most of the crew seems to be uneasy about it but they distract themselves with duties and dicing. Sol writes if off as a superstition saying he’s lived through plenty of orange moons.

Eventually the waves start picking up a little bit and begin tossing the ship (give an indicator that it’s becoming hard to find your footing, especially for the dwarves). Allow some roles to begin getting adjusted to the tossing of the ship. Eventually Fitz goes to the helm to meet Reed and says something very interesting. The waves are high, but there’s not an ounce of wind. About this time the ship comes to a sudden halt and throws anyone 15ft in the direction the boat was heading. Everyone must make a DC 13 Con test to stay standing. Anyone next to a solid wall gets adv on this test. Anyone that would be thrown off the boat gets a DC 11 Dex or Str test to hang on to something and not fall off. After everyone gets their bearings two snakes appear on the bow and begin fighting. After they kill about 4 of them, the giants Sea Beasts appear on each side of the boat. Several snakes fall off the giant ones and land on the boat.
Combat on Boat: at the beginning of your round you must roll a DC 9 Dexterity test. If you pass this test, you may act normally. If you fail this test you have disadv on all tests until the beginning of your next turn. If you use an action to steady yourself, you do not have to roll this test on your turn. Dwarves have disadv on the initial test.
Snakes: If a snake constricts you, they may roll a Str vs. Str/Con test to move you one square. If they succeed on a bite attack, give them a free grab. If a player is grabbed when snakes turn comes up, free contstrict!

There is no battle for almost a full week, but it’s obvious we’re going north. As the week progresses, they feel the air getting thinner and much, much colder. Winter clothing is passed out to fight off the chill. Explain that they are having a hard time keeping their fingers from going numb. Eventually, torches are lit along the boat rail and two small fire pits are constructed in the center of the main deck. It’s guarded closely by the Sol or Reed. Eventually they start seeing small glaciers and rock formations. Most are way too small to affect the ship although some are actually big enough to cause a problem. They’re easily large enough to avoid, and the ship is going slow enough that it doesn’t cause any damage. By this point, a player not within 15ft of a fire takes a -1 on attack rolls; unless they have some other method of regulating their body temperature (winter clothing is not enough). After another two days of this they awaken to find a thick fog covering the ship. They faintly hear the sounds of wings beating, but it could just be a large bird or something. “ Sol reminds them all that this is virtually uncharted territory and there’s no telling what kind of evil lurks here and to be on your guard.” A DC 13 Knowledge Nature or Sciences reveals that the atmosphere and weather are not suitable to produce this fog, while a DC 16 Knowledge Arcana reveals that this is magical and not done very well cast. As they pass out of the fog is proven even more bizarre in that it’s a clear line of fog.

Around lunch that day Lorena begins brining their lunch on deck one by one to the sailors. After they’re all served she begins singing a beautiful melody. It has no words, but it’s still beautiful. After a couple of seconds of singing several sailors put down their food and begin walking towards her. She sounds absolutely amazing. A couple of them comment that she sounds way better than normal. They start “oogling” at her eventually all get right up on her. Require each player to roll their DC 9 Wisdom Save now. As this happens, allow a Wisdom check to notice Lorena standing in the door way staring strangely. Right as this happens Lorena walks onto the deck and all non captivated look at her like “what the ****?”

The fake Lorena quickly morphs into a naked woman with large bat-shaped wings. She has demonic features and grotesque piercings all over her body. She hisses monstrously and immediately throws down two blue crystal balls type things which erupt in blue smoke and eventually manifest as ice hounds. A second harpy erupts from the water and flies up to the other side of the boat and begins summoning the first water elemental. On the original harpy’s turn she summons a second elemental. Remember to keep the harpy’s away from combat as much as you can and use flyby tactics. When a creature is dominated, they do their kiss and then send them over the railing. If the fight starts ending way too soon, attempt to summon 1d6 Vrocks or use the fire pits to summon a Fire Elemental. Off the boat: 1d10 cold damage/round. If you’re in the water after Con Modifier rounds you must make a DC 13 Constitution Saving Throw. If you fail, you begin freezing. You freeze after failing two additional saving throws (you’re still taking damage this whole time). If a player throws you a rope (DC 5 Dex test) you may begin climbing on your turn. If you are in the freezing phase, you have disadvantage on your climb check. If another player holds the rope, you have advantage. The boat is 20 ft high and the Climb DC is 14. The Swim DC is 14. There are four ropes hanging off the boat, two each side in front and back.

Roll 1d8 and divide by half to see how many deck hands die in the fight. Just as you all are re-couping from the fight, star allowing very difficult Wisdom checks to hear the faint sound of rushing water. Make it so no one hears anything. Eventually Fitzgig and Sol both stop moving at the exact second and look terrified. One nods to the other and Fitzgig walks to the side of the ship and stares down for a moment. “Don’t you feel it?...WE’RE GAINING SPEED!!!!!!! END OF ACT 2

As the men run all around trying to turn the ship, start making up random saving throws to avoid falling and grabbing onto things. Allow a DC 18 Wisdom to hear the sound of the ships wood breaking to form the wings and back fin. As the boat flies off the water, it turns downward, allow a DC 13 Dex or Str save to grab something. Eventually the ship reorients itself and begins flowing with wind. This is the magic of the Titans Gift.

After a day or two of the boat flying in the same direction, a sudden storm appears on the horizon. It’s filled with lightning and covers the whole sky. Eventually a massive axe starts pounding down on the bow of the ship; wreathed in electrical energy. At this point the storm giant finally manifests, on the cloud giants turn, it will manifest out of a nearby cloud and immediately create two Pegasus. Don’t forget to roll a d6 for free lightning bolt.

The ship continues to go with the wind, but it’s clearly moving much, much slower. It takes about 2 more days to seeing some simple fires burning faintly off in the distance. Set against a beautiful ful moon and a sky full of stars, you see a floating temple. It has a very Greek temple feel to it. The walls are barren off white marble.

“Are you a God?” (if yes then roll DC 18 Con save. Failure takes 4d8 damage and thrown to wall. Pass takes half and still thrown) If no then…

“Speak the realm which whence you hail.” (earth) EEEEAAAARRRRTHHHHH…….(there’s a slow build up of sound, battle, magic, warhorns, it piles up and piles up until it’s bang against the ear drums, then it goes deathly silent.)

“Behold, the legends of earth!”

After they say earth, images appear all over the place with lots of images of elementals, dragons, gods, demons and devils.

One is a huge man in tunnel with a half bull half man beast. One is a small man with a sling slaying a giant while two armies watch. One is a medusa fighting a group of men, one with its shield backwards. One is a round table with knights everywhere and a golden chalice in the center. One is of an ancient green dragon with rotting skin and two guards flanking it. One is a long haired warrior carrying a mighty hammer in a chariot pulled by two goats. One is a grey-robed wizard standing on a ledge with a staff between his hands standing against a mighty demon. One is a white robed woman standing in a room holding a serpent to her breast. One is a walled city with a man on the outside blowing a horn and the horn eventually starts crumbling to the ground. The middle of the room is a barren dirt pit with nothing in it. Begin the conversation…

“Speak what you seek…”
“We are the guardians of the ancient world; before recorded time and the squabbles of the mortal ones. Speak what you seek or search forever more.”

As soon as anyone touches anything the green rotting dragon and guard burst from the painting and attack. It is a Green Dracolich and two Dread Gaurds.

The J Pizzel
2014-07-01, 03:18 PM
and here's more...

This was our giant Blindingstone game. If you read nothing else, read and enjoy this one. The group had a great time. Lots of good story arks and character development. I recommend this module any day of the week. I still have lots of my DM notes for this game if anyone wants to see them. I put a lot of work into the House Center dungeon crawl.
Summary and Highlights from 8-14-13
Summary –
You came together in an Elven tree city. You were greeted by 3 NPCs: Tauriel, the village elder; Camethor, a high priest; and Griddick, a Snirvneblin gnome. You were then told of the fall of Blindingstone over 100 years ago. The Drow of Menzoboranzen attacked and decimated it out of pure hatred and evil. Over the past 40 years, small bands of Snirvneblin have begun restoring it, but are having a hard time of it. Griddick has come to ask for the help of the entire region. A side from the morale high-ground, restoring it opens many political avenues between the surface races and the Underdark. Direct quotes from Griddick concerning the problems in Blindingstone:
“Orcs roam the northern caverns and attack us constantly, wearing us down. We have neither the manpower nor the weapons to stave them off.”
“Kobolds infest the Foaming Mug and we can’t get in there.”
“We can’t trade with Mentol-Derith for some reason and it’s prohibiting us from getting better weapons and armor.”
“The House Center is housing an evil that we dare not confront.”
“Earth Elementals occupy the Hall of Miners and we cannot forge new weapons.”
You all agree to accompany him to Blindingstone. You arrive to meet two of his traveling companions at the base of the mountains but they’re missing. You find several over sized vegetables and Grunk and Saren recognize this to be the work of Vegepygmys. You track them and find the two companions bound. During a successful scuffle with the pigmys, Rolen contracts a severe case of the moldies. Again, Saren determines that this is fatal if not treated in hours and you seek the aid of a well known hermit. You find him in a tree tent talking to animals and clearly of a little “off”. He informs you he’ll need dark spider brain mush to complete the anti-toxin. Grunk and Saren know where to find them. You travel there immediately and successfully slay 4 giant spiders. Grabbing the spider brains and a few pieces of carcass, you travel back to the wild hermit. He brews a remedy and Rolen drinks. As he heals he offers the hermit a gold coin, which he immediately scoffs at. Durin then offers him several pieces of the oversized vegetables, which he is ecstatic to receive. You end the day with the hermit cooking a rabbit stew with the vegetables, while Durin cooks grilled spider meant on Vegepygmy wood planks and Rolen recovers from his ailment.

Highlights –
D’Waylon “golf-clubbing” a Vegepygmy
Rolen getting the moldies from the pygmys
Saren using a minor illusion to misdirect the spiders
Durin showing that he can “golf-club” a spider too and literally knocking it a complete 180 on its back
D’Waylon stabbing the head of a spider straight down and getting it pinned between his sword and the ground
Durin Smashing a spider’s face and smearing eye gunk everywhere
Babs…shooting his arrows?

Summary and Highlights from 8-21-13
Summary –
After drinking the tonic that the hermit concocted, Rolen begins hallucinating and eventually passes out. He has a fitful night. Ironically, so does everyone else after eating the grilled spider meat over Vegepygmy planks. Y’all wake to find the hermit rubbing a paste on Rolen, in an attempt to cover some skin defects. He bolts into the woods when questioned about it. Grunk steals some random items from the hut and you take off for the mountains. The mining gnomes have a hard time remembering which stone is the entrance to the tunnels, but eventually they find it. Several days in you stop a Trimmillac grotto. It has several large mushrooms that glow a faint orange and two clear pools of water. While bathing, Grunk is attacked by a giant centipede while many more begin descending from the heights of the cavern. You quickly dispatch them and continue your journey. A day or two later you come to an intersection of stalagmites where 2 ogres are being fed by 2 orcs. You defeat the orcs and the two ogres in a tough but crucial fight. Griddick is growing ever impressed by your abilities and seems more and more at ease with each encounter. Following that you make it to the gates of Blindingstone. While navigating an entrance maze you encounter the Keeper, a somewhat tamed Minotaur. Using wit, you elude him and finally make into Blindingstone. You first enter Phantasmal Glamour’s; a ruined mage shop ran by the elder Henkala Shadowsong. She was here during the sack and doesn’t think highly of Kargien Dissengulp. Next you went to The Ruby in the Rough, a central location and main temple to Segojan Earthcaller, the major god of gnomes. You were met by Burrow Warden Kargien Dissengulp who was a bit crude and standoffish, if not just a gruff leader. He informed you of all the issues that need attending and bid you help them. His chief concern was for you to liberate the House Center and to deliver to him the lost crown of the lord of Blindingstone. He noticeably wore a large green emerald round his neck. Following this exchange you went south to the Singings Stones and met Gurmadden Stonesinger. The area was clearly a large tavern and feasting hall but has since become a sort of housing location. Near the tavern is a large set of stone tubes, similar to a pipe organ. Gurmadden nervously begged you to brave the Foaming Mug and bring back many stones from the Wormwrithings. He thinks that should you do that, he can finally enchant and entertain the peoples with “stone-singing” and seriously raise morale in the city. After that you venture over to the Speaking Stones; a Stonehenge type location with 20+ stones jutting from the ground between 3-5 feet tall. In the center are 7 larger stones in a circle standing 15-20 feet high. Pingtu, a disheveled priest is here praying. He feels the gods have abandoned their call, hence why the stones won’t speak to them. He also informs you that the elementals are dangerous and are being controlled by some sort of elemental spirit known as Ogremach’s Bane. The Bane took control over the elementals as penance for the gnomes abusing them and treating like slaves. Pingtu informs you that elsewhere in the underdark is a location that Segojan Earthcaller blessed; giving power to gnomes to summon and control Earth Elementals.

Highlights –
Everyone’s ******* erupting from bad food
Rolen wondering why his face is always itching
Durin attempting to eat an entire Trimmillac shroom
Killing 11 centipedes in 2 rounds
Grunk sneaking into the ogre camp
Durin luring an orc over with a dead rat
Grunk scissor slicing the neck of an orc
D’Waylon falling over a pile of rock then, while on his back, shoving his sword into the face of an ogre…killing it
Rolen throwing a bar of soap at Grunk and him throwing it right back
Durin and Grunk tag teaming the knee caps of an ogre (and max die damage)
A well placed arrow from Rolen lighting up the entire room, and really pissing the ogre off
Rolen using farie fire on ogres.
Saren finishing off a 7ft ogre with a GODAMN MAGIC MISSILE

Notes: Very good role-playing from everyone in this session. Examples: Adam signing and bragging and making up dwarven stories is excellent; Babs throwing the soap away; Casey with the itching; Justin ignoring the threats of the Burrow Warden. Good interactions with NPC’s.

Summary and Highlights from 9-11-13
Summary –
After finishing with Pingtu at the Speaking Stones you’re informed of an orc attack taking place at the Trader’s Grotto, a large chamber with petrified trimmillac mushrooms that acts as a trading hub for the city. Upon arrival, you learn that this area has been turned into an infirmary of sorts with wounded gnomes sprawled throughout the cave. A young female gnome named Jalless is attempting to drag gnomes to safety while several large orcs run around stabbing the wounded. Griddick and two other gnomes are in a ranged battle with two orcs behind the barricade. You kill them all in a rough fight and speak with Griddick and Jalless about the horrible location for an infirmary and they tell you that Kargian won’t let them move the wounded elsewhere. You also learn that the guild of armor smiths is known to have a few Pechs, small creatures of earth that scatter when anyone comes near. Following that you return to the Ruby in the Rough and have a few words with Kargian and tell him to move the wounded. He reluctantly agrees to move them to the temple. Several gnomes’ citizens seem to appreciate your valor and the wise gesture. After that you begin the assault on the Foaming Mug, a large brewery and feast hall that has been overrun with Kobolds from the Wormwrithings. You navigate a falling pit trap, a dart/flamethrower trap, and an explosive statue trap before finally making it to the large room. It’s filled with frolicking kobolds that seem to not have a care in the world. There are flying kobolds, suicidal kobolds, warrior kobolds and soldier kobolds. A lengthy battle ensues but you eventually dispatch them all. Following that you find 3 tunnels that lead into the Wormwrithings. After setting up traps, you camp there for the night. After hearing sound of movement, you awake to find the traps have been deactivated and the dead gone. While navigating the tunnels you come upon a falling rock trap. After many futile efforts at diverting it, it collapses on Durin. It takes hours to clear him out. You emerge from the tunnel with a band of kobolds waiting. They attempt to take you alive, but Rolen distracts them with god magic and you all take the opportunity to attack. It’s a quick and brutal fight that ends with Rolen invoking the power of his god to destroy them all. You then came upon a small alcove with a swarm of rats eating a dead kobold….

Highlights –
Good fighting against the orcs. That was a hard one.
6 gnomes stabbing the ever loving crap out one orc.
Very good role-playing with Kargian concening the relocation of the infirmary.
Saren using Burning Hands with his allies in the AoE. Awesome.
The suicide bomber Kobolds and the rage chemical kobolds.
Setting up a butt load of traps. Very good gaming there.
D’Waylon actually getting hurt because 3 kobolds are stabbing him all at once.
“Grease” spell for the win!
Durin getting crushed under 2d10 worth of stones, then ****ting himself.
Durin realizing that Jalless is the gnome of his dreams.
Rolen attempting to convince kobolds that he’s an avatar of their god and them totally not falling for it.
Rolen using his real god to fry them all in divine light (Blade vampire style)
Summary and Highlights from 10-9 through 11-13
Rapid Fire Summary –
• You find all the “stone singing” stones and all the white citrine you need in the Wormwrithings. The white citrine was for Jalless to make healing salves. You fight lots of crazy creatures and eventually collapse a cave so the kobolds can’t come back.
• Gurmadden Stonesinger uses the stones to begin a slow, monotone chant from the stone pipes and everyone in the city loves you now. The gnomes and dwarves love it, the rest of you hate it. Kargien Dissengulp is actually happy for the first time.
• Durin humps Henkala Rottencroch. It’s horrid.
• You find Pingtu, the priest, asleep at the Speaking Stones and covered in dust. It appears he’s been asleep for quite a while. You find that a piece of trimillac shroom he was eating is remnants of divine magic.
• You meet the Pechs, led by Gallus, and begin negotiations between him and Kargien. Rolen oversees them. It’s agreed that if the Pechs help you destroy the elementals, they can have this cave back. You discover that the elementals are under the control of an evil earth spirit named Ogremach’s Bane, whom is only here because the gnomes have mistreated the elementals granted to them by Entemoch’s Boon. You convince the Bane to travel with you to the location of the Boon, where you will destroy it. The elementals and Pechs accompany you. You instead use the power of the Boon to weaken the Bane, and with the Pechs help, destroy it. The elementals attack and the Pechs sacrifice themselves to save you. Gallus appears afterward as an earth spirit and thanks you for what you’ve done.
• You travel back to the city, but without the elementals creating passages for you, you end up in a latrine pond at the edge of the massive orc encampment. Grunk uses his orc armor to convince the orcs in the cave that a fight has broken out and the rest of you slip to safety. Tense moment.
• Everyone is happy to have the elementals gone and their smith shops back again. You find Pingtu floating (jesus on a cross style) in the center of the speaking stones with a large group of gnomes watching. He is repeating a riddle in gnomish. After he awakens, he and Kargien begin to decipher the riddle. It appears to have specific instructions on how to re-awaken the speaking stones. You need the 7 precious gemstones, and the seven “arms” of the seven drow that his former priest killed while defending the stones.
• You begin recapping where to find the stones you need, when it becomes evident that it’s time to finally brave the House Center. You are heading there now.

Summary and Highlights from 12 -5 and 12-11
Summary –
You arrive at the massive cave that houses the House Center, a squat building that acts as the house of the ruling family. An ornate stone bridge spans from the opening to a massive earth platform in the center of the cave. Off to the right is a family crypt built into the wall. While crossing the bridge, two decrepit gargoyles come to life. You destroy them, one in glorious fashion. After wounding it, y’all tie it to a massive stone statue and shove the statue off the ledge. All while Grunk is on the back of it stabbing it repeatedly in its neck. Grunk jumps off the gargoyle and onto back onto the ledge just as it falls to its doom. After this, a pale green light erupts from the house and crypt while a voice commands its minion to awaken and destroy you all.
After this you enter the mausoleum. Here you find a small horde of ghouls feasting on bones. You destroy them and find some old scrolls and also cover up two holes leading down into the depths of the cave.
Next you enter the house center. In the entrance chamber is a statue of long dead gnomish king. You enter the kitchen or mead hall and fight 5 zombies, some gnome and some drow.
Following that you find the lords office, after witnessing a magic mouth spell of a king telling his son to “stop trying to break in” you break in and find the ghostly silhouette of a dead gnome king. He charges you screaming to avenge him. Also, half the roof is missing and a manticore beast sleeps in the corner. You use superior tactics and kill it. You find several magic items as well as some family heirlooms and keep sakes.
Next you enter a storage or armory. All the weapons here are of 100 year old design and look beautifully made and non aged. There are two suits of armor that come to life when something is touched. After destroying them, all the weapons turn to rust and rubble, save for a few.
Following this you enter what was once a master bedroom, but now divided into several small bunks. Here you fight a small army of undead. Drow, gnome and orcish zombies and skeletons attack endlessly. After slaying them all you find a small hidden alcove with a dead gnome. You decide to hold up here for several hours to recoup. After about 2 hours you begin hearing a banging on the door. (End session)
You open the door to find yet another small army of undead and something larger beating on the wall an adjacent wall. Eventually, a giant undead ogre slams through. You defeat them and head to the main chamber.
Here you find an audience chamber and throne room of sorts. Sitting on the throne is a drow wraith who claims to the one who led the attack on Blindingstone. Off to the side is a decrepit skeleton with purple-ish worms crawling through his bones. A gnome skeleton with a small two-handed hammer and a crown is on his knees. The wraith introduces himself as Pharran, the conqueror of Blingdingstone. He demands you bow before him. You stall him with some mindless banter before attacking. The gnome skeleton king seems to be resisting the fight and eventually begins moving towards a door on the side of the hall. It’s a gruesome fight where Grunk and Saren lose their lives. Two black and purple orbs seem to float out of the carcass of the wight and demon. Afterward, you place the crown on the statue in the lobby and white light fills the room and heals all your ailments. The ghost of the skeleton king appears above it and floats to the small room adjacent to the throne room. As you enter the small side room there is two ghostly specters, a gnome boy and an elegant gnome queen. The king is at long last reunited with his wife and son in death. However, eventually both the queen and the son offer their spirits up to resurrect your fallen comrades. Durin insists that they do this and while both seem happy to oblige, the king seems slightly upset. Afterward, the king dissolves himself into a ghostly mist and coalesces into the head of the small war-hammer (maul), which now has the Stoneheart and Blindingstone crests on each side that sometimes glows a faint blue.
Upon leaving you hear a prayer to Lolth, the spider queen and goddess of the drow, to “breathe life into this monstrosity”. Out on the stone bridge is now a giant drake made of skeletons bones and a zombified abomination of the manticore you slayed earlier. After another tough fight, you destroy them both and they erupt in pale green light indicating that they are both properly vanquished.

Highlights – (where to begin)
****ing babs climbing up the gargoyle!
Tying the gargoyle to the statue and dumping it over.
Excellent dialogue and fight scene with the Pharran.
Very good role-playing with the royal families’ ghosts.
Don’t forget to check your inventory. Y’all got lots of goodies.

Summary and Highlights from 1-3-14
Summary –
As you exit the House Center, you are stopped by several orcs bearing a white flag. They tell you they have taken Griddick and will keep him as a hostage until you negotiate with them. They give you Skagz, a female orc as a hostage and you all agree to meet back the next day. You question her…thoroughly. D’Waylon goes to Blindingstone to round up several key members of the town including Kargien, Fendrick and Henkala. You tries to find Jalless but can’t. They return and you all meet with the orcs. After Bashkuuga, the Orog, thoroughly insults Kargien he insists that you must come with him into the orc encampment to treat with the patriarch. After freeing Griddick, he informs you that they have taken Jalless. As you walk through the encampment you see the majority of the orc army as well as several other thing of concern, namely a small army of spiders and scorpions as well as several elite warriors. These include their champion, Raakhuga; an elite warrior named Uthfak; Ugluk, their ogre patriarch; and Snaga, the orc matriarch whom rides Flaguz, a monstrous scorpion.
Conversing with Ugluk yields nothing really, but when he retires Raakhuga takes over and gives you the terms. He is well aware of your battle prowess and you abilities and does not want it to come to open war, but they insist that they will fight and they will win if comes to it. He informs you that Skagz, currently a good faith hostage, will die under your care and his men will rally behind her martyrdom and will fight to the death. He gives you two days to clear out of Blindingstone before they attack. He admits that your group arriving has forced his hand. He gives you two minutes to discuss it amongst yourselves.
You decide instead to challenge him. He laughs at such a bold move and in fact is impressed. He refuses to allow wizards or clerics or spellcasters of any kind to participate. And he is disgusted at the mere presence of Grunk the half-orc. He insists it must be D’Waylon the Dragonborn. Before leaving you beg him for a token of assurance and he gives you a holy symbol of Grumsh and two red rubies.
Back at the house center you inform Kargien of the events and he takes the crown. Durin is not happy about it. He’s also not extremely happy about the duel, but he goes with it. He seems much more interested in obtaining the crown. You decide that before the duel, it might be best to attempt waking the speaking stones.
After a rousing speech by Kargien, acting as an impromptu king, the citizens of Blindingstone rally behind him and leave the area. Pingtu, Henkala, Griddick and Fendrick stay behind and assist you in waking the stones. After the prayers, you all enter into a strange spiritual state and witness the following:
• A group of drow sneaking in and slaughtering the armor smith’s hall, sparking the assault on Blindingstone 100 years ago.
• An epic battle with gods and men across a giant plain. There’s a black portal with all manner of demons, devils and evil deities pouring out as well as a blue portal with all manner of divine, celestial and good gods emerging.
• You see the five of you in present time floating amongst the speaking stones, then it melts away to form…
• A powerful gnome priest in the center of the stones controlling what appears to be small and stocky earth creatures named Galeb Duhrs.
• Tiamat coming out of the black portal and Asmodeus riding her.
• The 5 of you standing on a plateau overlooking the carnage. Bahamut walks among you and wishes you the best saying “long have I called you my friends, but today, we will die as brothers”. You all leap off the plateau and ride into battle on flying beasts.
• A gnome woman giving birth. You see Lady Stoneheart swaddling the babe and the king comes in and calls his new nephew a strong lad. The new mom holds the babe and says she will call him Griddick.
• The gnome priest eventually falling to the drow attackers in the center of the speaking stones.
• You are all die one by one and awaken from your dream state dreary, achy and covered in dust.
A battle rages all round you. A ring of elementals have locked arms and are protecting you, but outside their ring a massive fight all around as the orcs have invaded. Pingtu looks up from his prayer and says to you “finally, we are saved” and falls over, seemingly dead. A very small and skinny creature morphs from the
stone amongst the fighting, it’s Gallus the pech. He looks at you and screams “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!”

Highlights –
Without a doubt an exceptional night of role-playing from all of you. An entire night of gaming, nearly 4 hours, with no combat has never gone by so quickly. Good job all around.
“It’s not his crown!”
Rolen keeping a tough control on Kargiens pride.
Grunk walking upside down on a stone bridge 100’s of feet in the air. Sexy.
The challenge scene between D’Waylon and Uthfak was pretty sweet (Dwaylon: “oh ****”)
“You’re not the king!”

and the best line of the night:
Raakhuga: …if you do not, Skagz will die in your camp. And her death with rally and bolster our clan and they will sweep over your city. Her martyrdom will be your undoing.
Party: How would she die? She’s safe at the house center. No one will kill her.
Raakhuga: (evil smile)
Party: (all realizing she’ll kill herself for the tribe)
Rolen: Well ****. Checkmate.

Summary and Highlights from 1-8-14
Summary –
You get a quick report form a gnome fighter named Kernick, informing you of all that has transpired. Apparently, since you didn’t show for the challenge, the orcs attacked in force. They’ve successfully claimed most of the northern regions of Blindingstone and have taken the House Center. Apparently, the Ruby is being defended by Fendrick and a small army of gnomes while the bulk of the army is still here fighting. Following this, Pingtu starts writhing in pain and begs for “release”. After some debate, Rolen kills him. His blood mixes with the dirt and stone of the earth and disperses in all directions leading to the small stone statues surrounding the Speaking Stones. Eventually, they all animate and come to life. Several gnomes witness this and fight with renewed vigor as you realize the Galeb Duhr are coming to your aid. After the report, you all spring into action. Immediately after you join the fray, Gurmadden Stonesinger leaps to the singing stones and rallies the gnome troops. Several leaders in the orcish army are not happy and begin charging toward him. Many gnomes die protecting him while you all make your way through the crowd to get to him.
Once there you battle a formidable break away force consisting of several female orc shamans on monstrous beasts, several battle commanders, and squad of archers. It’s a very tough fight with several of you going down repeatedly, but eventually you win out. You end the fight with the orc forces retreating back to the Ruby and no one in your party dead, although many gnomes died in the assault. You decide to take the quick break in the action to bandage your wounds and catch your breath.

Summary and Highlights from 2-29-14
Summary –
After a quick regroup you begin discussing how best to re-claim the northern caves. You summon several Pechs to scout ahead while you gather your thoughts. One returns from Phantasmal Glamours informing you that Henkala and several gnomes are webbed while spiders roam the cavern. Two orcs are also salvaging the place. Another Pech reveals that the Grotto seems to be a staging ground for the monstrous beasts. You’re informed that a force of about 50 orcs, 2 ogres, and some beasts are attacking the Ruby. Lastly, they reveal that the House Center is the forward command and that the leaders of the orc tribe have Kargien and someone else there, tied to the bridge. You decided to free Henkala first. Saren uses ghost sound to scare many of them and you easily dispatch the remainders. Henkala is grateful and gives Durin a kiss. You, along with Gallus and Kernick, begin discussing how to save the Ruby.
You decide that Kernick, Gallus, Henkala and Gurmadden will lead all the gnomes in battle against the main force of the orc army laying siege to the Ruby, while you all attack what stay behind in an attempt to get Fendrick to come out and play. Several gnomes play decoy and the bulk of the force gives chase. You enter and begin the fight against the remaining force, which includes Bashkuga, the Orog champion. Eventually Fendrick sees the ruse and his men begin climbing down the Ruby and attack the force from behind. In a long and tough battle, you again, win the day.
Fendrick is extremely grateful for the relief, but is very worried about the House Center and the massive force of monstrous creatures standing in your way. He tell you all to rest and regain your strength while they re-group and see to the wounded. After you wake, he and the other elders tell you their idea. They will divide into two forces and bait the beasts. One will lead them back to the Ruby and defend it, one will lead them into the maze and attempt to battle them there. This leaves the Grotto open for you to attack the House Center. It works and you make your way there.
Upon arrival, you find Kargiena and Jalless tied to two stone statues hanging over the abyss. Raakhuga, Uthfak and Snaga are all there, along with several powerful orcs. Snaga is riding Flaguz, the dread scorpion.
You attack…

The last one we did, which was last weekend. A fellow gamer's cousin was in from Dallas and had never played, so I ran this little "Frozen" one shot for him.
Summary of the DnD 5th Edition Play test and One-Shot on 6-21-14.

D’Waylon – Dragonborn greatsword fighter played by Justin
Beleg – Elf archer ranged played by Adam
Elegost – Dwarf maul wielding paladin played by Joey
Elrin – Gnome spell-caster druid played by Jon Chaumont
Billock – Gnome mage played by Babs
Shale – Warforged battle priest played by Josh
Dum (pronounced Doom) – Half-Orc dual hand-axe ranger played by Jon Landy

You were hired by a local magistrate to track down a former employee of his named Darrick who stole a priceless family heirloom. You tracked Darrick north into a snowy, mountainous region. Anyone coming from or going into the wild stops at the Snowfort, a massive stone outpost that has been converted into a trading facility, inn and tavern. After asking around and spending lots of coin, you eventually get referred to a wench that Darrick is known to frequent. She agrees to meet you on the balcony to give you the information you wish, for a price.

On the balcony, which is a large platform protruding off a mountain cliff, you wait while she suspiciously speaks with a little gnome grill master. She eventually sits at a table with two kobolds and begins negotiating with Elegost. She has now changed her story and is clearly trying to stall you. Several of you notice the grill master go to a piss ledge and signal something, then come back to the fire and pour dust on it making it flare up, signaling an ambush from several men back inside the keep. A lengthy fight ensues with the humans, which includes several thugs, two assassins, and a mage; and the two kobolds that were at the table with Elegost and the wench. About halfway through the fight, a small band of kobolds climb over the balcony and join the skirmish. The band includes 3 more fighters, two rock throwers, and two of the dreaded alchemists. After the fight you question the wench and she tells you to follow the north road to the bridge and take the snowy game trail after that.

At the bridge Dum, Beleg, and Elrin immediately announce the scent of both fresh and dried blood. There’s also dried blood spatters under the bridge. Elrin converses with a squirrel and he tells you that there’s a “many teeth river monster” who comes here, but not to worry, he’s not hear right now. As the conversation continues you begin to hear the howls of wolves; at which point the squirrel runs away screaming “he comes”. You notice a wolf emerging from the tree line ahead and two from the tree line behind you. While several of you approach and begin crossing the bridge, Elrin uses his abilities to try and calm the two wolves down. When he feels he’s about to make progress, a giant Winter Wolf appears and howls at them, and then they all attack. On the bridge, several large snaky maws burst from the water and begin attacking; eventually a hydra erupts from the water. DM Note: fantastic strategy from Babs and Jon C. using two Thunderwave spells in a row to knock the Winter Wolf into the river. It definitely changed the dynamic of the fight. Elrin the druid left after this fight.

After that you take the game trail and wander into a Fey encampment. You talk with a Centaur and a Satyr and they inform you that the Grindigo Tribe of kobolds has begun encroaching on all the tribes in the mountain range, both monstrous and civilized. Something has happened that must have renewed their vigor. In an effort to maintain the balance in nature, they will guide you to the marshes between the mountain ranges if you can end the kobold advancements. They guide you down into the boggy marsh that extends before the mountains and leaves you looking at a Troglodyte camp.

The trog camp is small and only consists of about ten creatures. After the fight starts, a shaman runs to a mound of wet grass and branches and begins a rain dance of sorts. When he finishes, the mound animates and begins moving and attacking. You have a hard time keeping up with some of the trogs, as they like to dig into the mud and camouflage themselves. It’s also hard to go toe-to-toe with them due to the putrid smell they put out. Eventually you defeat them all and begin the trek up and into the mountains. DM Note: Good job by Babs lighting up the battle field with little orbs, otherwise it would’ve been a very different fight. Elegost the Paladin left after this fight.

You find the kobold camp on a mountain Cliffside. It consists of about 10 tents, several campfires and a large platform on the edge of the cliff, over-looking the ocean beyond. On the platform is a large apparatus covered by a tarp. There are only about seven kobolds wandering the area, but regrettably there are also three large yetis. A human woman is also traversing the grounds. You sneak into the camp and eliminate several kobolds before they’re ever aware of your presence. Eventually, two kobolds spot Dum (after he’s assassinated about four of them) and they alert the camp to your presence. The fight is pretty straight forward, but you have a hard time overpowering them. The woman, an ice witch, begins hurling darts and spears made of ice and rock and she begins wearing you down. One kobold runs to the platform and removes the tarp, revealing a massive ten foot bronze horn made in the shape of a dragon. He spends the majority of the fight slowly blowing into. Eventually you hear the scream and low rhythmic beat of a dragons wings off in the distance. After a harrowing fight, you eventually dispatch and kill all the kobolds, yetis, and the ice witch just as the silhouette of the dragon tops the mountains above you.

You have about three minutes before the dragon arrives. You take the time to quickly ransack the tents, finding several potions of healing and kobold alchemy bombs. After that you pile some dead kobolds on the platform for the dragon to eat while you all hide in different tents, preparing to rush the dragon once it’s distracted by the feast. Unbeknownst to you, the dragon has a Verbeeg rider; a massive and intelligent cousin to the frost giant family. As you all peer outside your tents to get a look at the dragon, Dum and Shale become overwhelmed with fear and make a run for it. The dragon notices this and also smells D’Waylon. The dragon immediately unleashes a sixty foot wide cone of freezing cold into the tent that D’Waylon is in, while the giant charges him. After that, the dragon takes to flight and you all focus your efforts on the giant. Billock hits the giant with two Ray of Enfeeblement spells, which effectively makes his giant strength null for three rounds while you all stab, slice, shoot, hammer, and blast the giant into the seven hells. Regrettably, while you are focusing your efforts on him, the dragon constantly unleashes its biting cold breath weapon on you all, slowly wearing you down. With the giant defeated, you focus your efforts on how to ground the dragon. You decide the only option is to tie grappling hook ropes to the massive bronze horn and try to land the hooks on him as he flies by. Unfortunately, you all suck ass at throwing grappling hooks and all the while you were trying, the dragon was bathing you all in freezing blasts. The first to fall to the dragons might is Shale, but not before jumping on the dragons wing in an attempt to restrain it. Following that Billock falls, but he is swiftly revived by Dum, whom then dives into some hidden tunnels beneath the horn platform. Billock and D’Waylon decide to attempt the grappling hook attack one more time, but it ends up being the death of them both. The dragon swoops down and devours D’Waylon then uses its tail to knock Billock off the platform to the icy mountain ledges thirty feet below. Billock survives the fall, but lays there barely clinging to life. Dum and Beleg decide to cowardly hide in the tunnels until the opportune moment to strike and the dragon uses this cowardice to his advantage. The dragon lands, pokes his head into the tunnel entrance, and unleashed a massive blast of icy cold air into the corridors that seriously cripples the last two adventurers. Satisfied, the dragon moves to the side of the platform and begins feasting on D’Waylons’ corpse. Eventually the two rangers exit the tunnels, freezing and clinging to life and make one last stand against the dragon as it takes to flight again. The dragon begins preparing for one final sweep with its breath weapon and they both attack in desperation and slay the beast. DM Notes: Where to begin. An excellent boss fight! Two characters are dead, one unconscious, and two barely breathing; HELLUVA FIGHT!!! Let me first point out that the dice were completely against y’all at the start of throughout dragon and kobold fights. I’ve never seen a dragons breath weapon recharge five rounds in a row. Kudos to Jon L. for grabbing the kobold alchemical bombs and throwing the fire bombs on the dragon. The grappling hook idea was spot on; you guys just couldn’t roll for ****. I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

2014-07-01, 07:50 PM
Thanks for the post! These are great! :)