In our last session the PCs arrived in Gracklstugh, met the Red Dragon Wyrmsmith named Themberchaud, took a mission at the behest of the Keepers of the Flame, and battled a two-headed Stone Giant who was running mad through the streets in Darklake District. If you thought things couldn’t get any more exciting then read on and find out what this party did for an encore.
This week at Face to Face Games in Toronto we ran four full tables with six players in each group. My party of six had five regulars and one new addition, here’s how it broke down. Human Rogue, Elf Wizard, Dragonborn Fighter, Human Monk, and Half-Orc Barbarian (my returning players); Drow Rogue (new player).
After battling an Umber Hulk and a few mad Dwarven Barbarians, the party was really looking forward to the normalcy and predictability that comes with city adventuring. So it was onward to Gracklstugh. The NPCs Buppido (a Derro Dwarf) and Hemeth (a Duergar) were both from Gracklstugh so they gave the PCs a bit of a primer on the way so they’d know what to expect when they arrived.
This week at Face to Face Games in Toronto we ran four full tables. My table was back down to five as open of my regulars had to cancel. The rest of the party included a Human Rogue, Elf Wizard, Dragonborn Fighter, Half-Orc Barbarian, and Human Monk. Important to note was that the Wizard was the only character to speak Dwarven which would make things a lot more interesting in a Duergar city.
On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From June 10, 2013, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: When PCs Kill the Final Boss Too Soon.
As a player nothing bugs me more than a villain that is protected by the power of plot. No matter what happens, no matter how creative or lucky the PCs get during a direct confrontation early in the adventure, this one particular villain cannot be killed, captured or defeated because the DM needs him during the final showdown. It’s the biggest tease in gaming and it needs to stop.
Escaping the Ooze Temple was an ordeal that the party was happy to put behind them. They continued their journey towards Gracklstugh through the winding passages of the Underdark. For days they traveled, consuming all of their food and water stores and finding precious little to replenish it. Exhaustion was beginning to set in as some PCs began to go without food and water.
This week at Face to Face Games in Toronto I finally had my full group back together. The party of consisted of the following six characters: Human Rogue, Elf Wizard #1, new Elf Wizard #2, Dragonborn Fighter, Half-Orc Barbarian, and Human Monk. The player running Wizard #2 has now rebuilt his character three times. Hopefully he’ll be comfortable with this build and stick with it.
In the upcoming Lair Assault public play adventure series Wizards is introducing “Glory,” a new achievement system where players earn points for accomplishing different goals. However, not all Glory is earned for defeating the monsters. In order to encourage repeat play they’re awarding Glory for trying things you might not normally consider trying – one such scenario is playing a party where everyone is the same race.
Have you ever played in a party where everyone was the same race? Normally, when you’re creating a character you can choose from any race or class that interests you; the sky’s the limit. What this usually means is that the party ends up with five PCs each representing different races and classes, and that’s ok. In fact it’s practically expected. A party where everyone’s the same race is an anomaly in D&D. But after hearing that Wizards would reward players with special Glory for trying this unusual party make-up I started considering just what such a party might look like. The more I thought about it the more excited I got about where this might lead.
The party was still recovering after seeing the Demon Lord, Demogorgon, with their own eyes. Somehow Demogorgon was lose in the Underdark. A truly terrifying predicament. With Sloobludop destroyed behind them, the party needed to decide where to go next as they sought safe haven and a means to get back to the surface.
We ran four full tables of six at Face to Face Games in Toronto this week. My group had the following characters: Human Monk (3), Human Rogue (4), Drow Paladin (4), Elf Wizard (3), Dragonborn Fighter (3), and Human Druid (3). The party also had a few of the NPCs who escaped from the Drow prison with them including Buppido, Jimjar, Eldeth, and Stool. They’d also picked up a new companion, a Duergar named Hemeth who was to be sacrificed with them to the Deep Father in Sloobludop.
The Underdark is the vast subterranean network of interconnected caverns that run beneath the surface world. The Underdark is filled with creatures living and thriving underground, uniquely adapted for life without sunlight. It’s the perfect place for adventures to explore when seeking fame, fortune and forbidden knowledge.
The most popular of the Underdark’s denizens are the Dark (Drow) Elves. Wizard has published plenty of books and articles on Drow if you want to know more about them. However, a lot of the hazards and dangers that Drow face are equally problematic for other races and PCs wandering aimlessly through the Underdark. So even if you don’t want your campaign to get bogged down in Drow details, you can still leverage some of the other stuff from those materials.
Besides Drow there are plenty of other monsters that you can use to thwart and challenge your party while they traverse the Underdark. Remember that PCs will likely need light to see, whereas many of the monsters they’ll face will not. If the PCs aren’t careful, target their light source and force them to fight or flee in pitch black.
Loud voices arguing and accusing one and other alerted the Kuo-toa patrol that interlopers were nearby. Undetected, the Kuo-toa surrounded the party and sprang forth to ambush them.
This week at Face to Face Games in Toronto we had a noticeable dip in our numbers. We had to merge two groups together just to get my party up to four players. Only one of my regulars was present. Overall we had about 20 players at four tables. My party consisted of a Human Rogue, Aasimar Cleric, Drow Paladin, and Human Monk (new player to the store).
Unfortunately the dangling mystery of who killed the NPC Halfling they’d met last session and the fate of the false Dawnbringer sword had to be put on hold as the key players involved weren’t present this session.
Oil. In the real world it is one of the most precious resources on the plant. Those who have it are rich for possessing it. Those who don’t have it are willing to buy it and kill for it. In an industrial world run on oil there’s nothing more valuable. But in D&D oil isn’t important. After all, very few game worlds are mechanized and those with any industry use a more abundant resource: magic.
In fantasy role-playing is there an equivalent to oil? Something so precious and integral to society’s prosperity and advancement as oil is in the real world? Again the most likely answer is magic. But magic isn’t a limited resource. After all, magic is, well, magic. It doesn’t have any real tangibility and certainly doesn’t have to follow any rules or logic. It can be whatever the game needs it to be. But that’s not to say that a campaign world couldn’t be made more interesting if magic was a finite resource.
The PCs began the adventure in the custody of Drow slavers. They managed to gain the trust and support of the other prisoners, and together they all escaped. But surviving in the Underdark isn’t easy. They spent days wandering aimlessly in search of food and water, all the while trying to avoid dangerous cre3aturs of any pursuers. During last week’s session the PCs decided to ambush whoever or whatever was following them. With a carefully laid trap and coordinated attacks, the party got the jump on four Drow scouts. With the immediate threat of pursuit eliminated (for now) they followed Shuushar’s lead as he led the party towards his village of Sloobludop.
Our numbers continue to hold stead in the low 20s at Face to Face Games in Toronto. We managed to run five tables again this week. My group had four PCs including a Human Druid, Dragonborn Fighter, Elf Wizard, and Human Rogue.