D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Week 2)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 22, 2014

dead-in-thay-coverLast week’s session finished with a bang – literally. One of the PCs removed the broken blade from Baazka’s heart and the Pit Fiend rewarded the adventurers by destroying the Bloodgate. The PCs heard shrieking filling their minds as the Bloodgate was about to explode. The mental assault caused the PCs to lose consciousness, but those wearing the telepathic circlets heard a woman’s voice. “The nexus is collapsing in a cascade, but we can control it! Hold on!” The heroes were teleported to safety and blacked out.

This week we had a great turnout at Hairy T North in Toronto. We ran three tables: table 1 (DM: Craig) had five players, table 2 (DM: Hillel) had seven players including one player new to our store but not new to D&D, and table 3 (DM: Tim) had seven players including me. I also acted as the coordinator.

The table I joined played all of last season together under this DM. They have a shared history and their characters really know each other well. Although one of the other tables only had five players, I really wanted a chance to play with this group. The party consisted of the following PCs: Tiefling Wizard, Elf Ranger, Human Cleric, Human Wizard, Warforged Monk, and Halfling (Kender) Rogue. I played a Dwarf Barbarian, a character I’d brought from level 1-6 during the first three parts of Ghost of Dragonspear Castle.

The Gatehouse

dit-npc-syrannaWhen the characters awoke they found themselves in a shadowy room with a teleportation circle etched on the floor around them. The illusionary image of a female Red Wizard appeared in the room. She introduced herself as Syranna and explained it was she who teleported the PCs away from the Bloodgate as it was about to explode.

She is part of a resistance movement against the lich-lord Szass Tam. She brought the PCs to Thay to help her strike a powerful blow against him. The heroes are in a magical gatehouse from which they can enter the Doomvault, a secret dungeon laboratory. Hidden within the Doomvault are the phylacteries of Szass Tam’s elite liches. If they are found and destroyed it will be a devastating blow against Szass Tam.

She asks the PCs to help in exchange for saving their lives. With Thaymount now on high alert teleportation in and out is impossible so the PCs have little choice. The adventurers were happy to agree.

Before sending the PCs into danger, Syranna conveyed some important information about their task and the Doomvault itself. The dungeon is divided into sectors dedicated to the creation and control of specific types of monsters. Each sector is subdivided into protected zones. Magical white gates block corridors, preventing physical access between zones. Magical black gates are teleportation circles that connect different parts of the dungeon.

Syranna gave each party with a glyph key, a magic crystal pendant on a bronze chain. When attuned to a zone, it allows access to that zone’s gates. By touching two glyph keys together, they can be attuned to the other key’s zone making them more versatile.

The PCs should try to 1) destroy any monsters or experiments already in progress, 2) gain access to the Phylactery Vault, 3) destroy any phylacteries they find.

Although the Phylactery Vault is part of the Doomvault it can only be reached by using a black teleportation circle. The PCs need to find a glyph key attuned to the Phylactery Vault in order to gain access.

With that, Syranna stresses the need to act quickly, wished the parties good luck, and disappeared. In turn each of the three parties gathered in the gatehouse stepped into the teleportation circle, actived it using their glyph key, and entered different points in the Doomvault.

Forests of Slaughter

Forest of Recovery

forest-of-slaughterOur party arrived in the area called the Forests of Slaughter. The entry point is in the Forest of Recovery zone.

Note: Our DM decided to switch up a few of the rooms in this zone so although we actually began in area #46 we encountered the creatures from area #49. Since none of the players have a copy of the adventure (except me) they’ll never realize the switch.

Hook Horror Nest (#46) – located in area #49

When the PCs arrived they were surprised to find themselves in a forest. There was grass and earth beneath their feet, trees and plants all around, and sunny skies above. It wasn’t until the Mage’s familiar tried to fly into the sky and hit the ceiling that the party realized they were actually still in the dungeon.

On the ground ahead of the party they noticed tracks and gouge marks in the dirt. The Ranger believed they were made by large bipedal creatures that had large claws on their arms. As the party began to look around for any signs of what might have made the marks they spotted four Hook Horrors hanging from the nearby cliffside. Fortunately the monsters seemed to be sleeping or just not paying attention.

hook-horrorThe party realized that there wasn’t likely to be a glyph key in this area of the dungeon so they opted to move quickly and quietly out of this area and into another area to the North West. What the party didn’t know was that they actually had to pass through the Hook Horror’s nesting area to leave.

Everyone in the party made a Stealth check except for the clumsy Tiefling Mage. His fumble happened when he was in the nest. One of the Hook Horrors immediately looked over. When it saw seven adventurers near its nest and possibly threatening its young, the Hook Horror charged into combat.

The Cleric ran back to stand beside the Tiefling Mage and protected him. The Ranger fired covering shots from a safe distance past the nest. The Hook Horror focused his rage on the Tiefling Mage and hit him hard. The Barbarian ran towards the Mage, picked him up, threw him over his shoulder, and ran off. The Hook Horror took an opportunity attack on the Barbarian but did minimal damage. The rest of the party fled to the North West.

The Ranger continued to provide cover fire while the Human Mage stopped running for a second to blast the Hook Horror with an Icy Ray, damaging and slowing the monster. This allowed the Cleric to move away safely and catch up to the Barbarian and Tiefling Mage. The monster did not pursue.

Barghest Range (#50)

barghestThe Rogue was leading the party’s retreat and as he was running he spotted two adult Barghests and a few of their young in the tall grass near a pool to the West. He wisely avoided them and continued running North. He signaled the party to follow him and avoid the area where he spotted the monsters. The rest of the fleeing PCs took his advice and avoided that particular danger.

Pool of Recovery (#51)

The Rogue stopped running when he reached a pool of water that glowed with a pale blue light. He stopped, looked around for monsters both in and out of the water, and seeing none took a deep drink of the water. A wave of magical restoration flowed through him granting him the benefits of a short rest. He pulled out two empty flasks and filled them with the magical liquid.

As the rest of the party caught up he told them what he’d discovered. The injured Tiefling Mage drank the water. The Human Mage decided he’s swim in the water and dove right in.

Between areas #50 and #51 the party passed a white rune circle. The Barbarian, who was wearing the glyph key, stepped into it without resistance or incident. When he told the rest of the party the Kender Rogue decided to see if he could step into it without a glyph key. He could not. As he tried to cross over the threshold he was flung back by magical force and took minimal damage for his trouble. When the party linked hands they could pass through together. Good to know, but they decided to continue north rather than pass through at this time.

Looking North into area #52 the PCs spotted a very large pile of bones. They were not eager to meet wherever had picked the bones clean so they opted to go back to the white gate and pass through.

During the fighting and the running the party received messages from the other two parties elsewhere in the dungeon. Party #1 (Craig’s group) was in the Abyssal Prisons where they were facing a lot of undead monsters. Party # 2 (Hillel’s group) was in the Master’s Domain where they were facing Orcs and Gnolls.

Forest of Illusion

Gorgon Lair (#48)

The area on the other side of the gate was still forest-like as the previous areas had been. Ahead the party spotted a statue near a pool. The Rogue ran ahead to investigate while the rest of the party stayed together. The statue looked like a Hook Horror, one of the creatures the PCs saw earlier. The Rogue was convinced that this statue was not carved, rather it was a Hook Horror was the magically petrified. However, this warning came too late.

gorgonTwo large Gorgons approached the party from either side. The Monk ran up to the closest one and tried to punch and kick it. The Ranger fired a couple of arrows into the other but did superficial damage.

The Gorgons moved forward and used its petrifying breath on the five PCs grouped together. The Barbarian made his Con save, the rest of the PCs failed. The other Gorgon gored the Human Mage and scored a crit, badly wounding the PC.

The heroes spread out and divided their attacks against both Gorgons. Those affected by the breath weapon had to make follow-up saves at the end of their turns. The Tiefling mage made his save, the rest of the PCs did not. Those who failed felt their lower half turning to stone and were unable to move. The Gorgons gored the nearest PCs missing the Barbarian and again hitting the Human Mage dropping him below 0 hit points. Fortunately the Cleric managed to Spare the Dying before the Mage’s next turn.

During the fight party #2 informed us that they’d found a Master glyph key that was attuned to all portals in the dungeon except the Phylactery Vault. We told them to come and help us as we could see a black teleportation circle just off in the distance.

The Ranger managed to score another couple of hits on the Gorgon before she failed her save and completely turned to stone. The Human Wizard used his most powerful spell, a Lightning Bolt, to blast the Gorgon on top of him just as he failed his next save and also turned to stone. The Cleric managed to save and shrug of the adverse affects of the petrifaction.

The Monk, Barbarian and Tiefling Wizard managed to finally drop the other Gorgon just as party #2 arrived on the scene. They managed to attune our Glyph key to theirs giving us a Master glyph key too. They decided that the other party should have a Master glyph key and left us to meet up with them.

We took our two stoned allies back to the Gatehouse for safekeeping and easy access if we ever find magic powerful enough to reverse their petrifaction.

Thoughts

This week’s adventure was a lot of fun. We could have split into four groups, but we’re concerned that we’ll have regular absentees during the coming summer months so we decided bigger parties were better.

The Doomvault is deadly as we discovered this week. Although the two petrified PCs aren’t technically dead, there isn’t much chance they’ll come back this season so those players will need to bring in new PCs next week. I think the DMs should tell the players next session that this dungeon is unforgiving. Many PCs will die this season. It will give the players a heads up that they can’t expect to cake walk through everything and live. It should also encourage smarter tactics and the wisdom of fleeing where possible.

One thing that I foresee being a really big problem this season is resource management, especially with the spellcasters. There will be no opportunities for the PCs to take time off and rest (short rest or long rest). However, there are areas in the dungeon that will provide the benefits of a rest as we discovered this week. But I imagine these will be rare so players shouldn’t expect to find these everywhere.

Our group was fortunate that one of the parties found a Master glyph key so early. This will make exploration a lot easier and present options that wouldn’t normally be available. Let’s see if we can put this boon to good use in the upcoming weeks.

Despite this very real possibility of character death, how was your first week in the Doomvault? Where did you start off this week? How many PCs have die in your party? How about at your FLGS?

Additional Resources

Recounting Encounters Podcast

Listen to Derek Myers, Craig Sutherland, and Marc Talbot (from 20ft Radius) recount our weekly experience at D&D Encounters. We share the highlights from our respective tables and we talk about what worked, what didn’t and what we might have done differently. Find all episodes of Recounting Encounters on iTunes.

Note: New episodes of Recounting Encounters will be available in our D&D Encounters Archive and on iTunes on Wednesdays moving forward. Now DMs can listen before they play.

Actual Play Podcasts

We continue to record our D&D Encounters sessions and make them available to you for download every week. These recordings are made in a loud, crowded game store so at times it may be difficult to hear everyone. Some language may be inappropriate for all ages, although we try to keep it as family-friendly as possible.

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as other great D&D Encounters articles and resources.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dan May 22, 2014 at 9:36 am

Because I decided not to post any doom vault content until the blog got there, I will be posting the 2 weeks simultaneously.
On week 1, we entered the vault from 2 points (as we have 2 groups). My group (a tiefling bard, a tiefling cleric/barbarian/fighter, a half-elf ranger, an elf archer fighter, and my halfling barbarian/monk/rogue/cleric) assaulted the Far Realms Cysts in the southeast. The other party (made up of a group of warforged nobles) entered from the northeast. Our plan is to loop around and meet in the west, whence we will assault the Masters Domain.
When we arrived, we saw several zombies and a pair of hulking Orogs, which were unaware of our presence. We attacked all at once. The ranger, rogue, and archer attacked at range, and the barbarian – clerics of Ares charged, the halfling atop the shoulders of the teliefling. The first Orog fell before the archers before it could react, and it’s fellow was felled by the clerics, who were then set upon by zombies. A few attacks later, and all were dead (again).
From there, we entered the Lake of Madness, where we saw 4 red mages at 4 orbs of water, performing some ritual. The clerics took the lead, and snuck up behind 2 of the mages. I held a dagger to one, and he told me reinforcements were on the way. We pushed our marks toward the lake, where they disintegrated on a magical barrier above it. The other 2 decided that they would be better off fighting us than maintaining the barrier. They turned invisible and moved. Then, an aboleth emerged from the lake and attacked, cursing us and attacking. The mages attacked from a distance, and our archer responded, and the bard put one to sleep. The rest of us attacked the aboleth until it surrendered. We told it we would allow it to live and leave if it killed the red wizards and left us alone. It complied, and left the way we came.
End week 1.

For Week 2 we had the same party, except the tiefling bard was replaced with a warforged one. We decided to investigate the small room south of the lake before doubling back to the Cavern of Eyes. The small room had some sort of light coming from everywhere, and a group of undead. When I took a step into the light, it seared with a necrotic burn. I darted back into the shadows. Assuming that the undead were not worth the trouble, we proceeded. The Cavern of Eyes was aptly named; the walls were covered with eyestalks, which began shooting beams of light when they opened. We were safe from the entrance, but could not avoid being struck if we entered. The floor oozed with slime. Again, i was the only one willing to test the waters myself. I snuck into the room, hoping to determine the effects of the rays and the slime, and discern a way across. The first ray that hit me almost put me to sleep, but I resisted and immediately dropped below the surface, and was met with poison. There was no safe way across, so when I returned to the party, we decided to tie ourselves together and run for the far side exit. We made it about halfway, being knocked around, charmed, frightened, etc by the rays, when a beholder emerged from the direction of the ceiling. It attacked without warning, and we reacted. The ensuing combat was certainly interesting, as we were dodging his rays, resisting the ones from the walls, avoiding bites, and attacking him. He stopped after a brief time, and decided it was time to talk. The eyestalks on the wall stopped as well. He thought at first that we were with the wizards, but realized his mistake, and that we were actually potentially able to help him. The wizards had placed a curse on him, preventing him from using the gates to leave without help. He was also maimed, as 4 eyes were crippled. We tried to bargain, but he had nothing to offer, so we enlisted his service. With our new ally, we moved on to the Prison of Filth.
Here, I again approached first, scouting to see if there was anything to worry about. Some tentacles rose out of the filth, and I heard “food?” Having nothing to offer but soap and my own rations, I knew they would likely try to eat me. I told them I would call over the “meat wagon” (the name of our other cleric’s horse, and whistled. The party arrived, and the Otyughs (3 adult, 4 young) decided dinner was server. The clerics (and meatwagon) engaged one group of 3 while the bard and fighter were engaged by the others. The beholder just began to laugh and ascended out of reach of our foes, and the ranger had to leave early. After a long, arduous battle, we were severely injured and had expended all of our spells, ki, extra cleric attacks, and rages. Beaten but standing, we decided to retreat to our sanctum in time-space where we can rest and recover (before dealing with our useless companion)
So far, I am enjoying this dungeon. It is a tad light on role play, but in some cases it is just because we’d rather kill the foes than actually try to reason with them. The rooms have interesting features that compliment the creatures in them very well, and make the fights thrilling. I was very pleased with the challenge, as it was a nice change of pace from last season’s easy fights. The mechanics of the areas seem a little complicated, as there is a system of keys and gates and portals, and a safe place to rest where time flows differently. The rooms made us think tactically and make risky decisions, and make the choice of fight or escape a very real debate. The fact that most of us were low on health by the end of that Otyugh battle made us actually realize that death was a very real possibility, and every roll and attack was important. We may need to rethink the way we deal with these battles in the future.

2 Joe May 22, 2014 at 10:04 am

We ran my 4E conversion of the season at Modern Myths in Northampton, MA yesterday. Everyone is level 7, and some folks have continued characters from previous Sundering seasons. The party woke up on a dungeon floor, but soon heard an argument between some angry male voices and the female voice they’d heard just before passing out when the gate fell last session. Rushing in, they saw a bunch of red wizards and Thayan soldiers surrounding a woman in red. They chose to help her.

This being 4E, the fight took up most of the session. That was okay, though, because folks are acting much more tactically and with a greater awareness of resources (since I told them that we’re not giving them a schedule ahead of time to meta-game with, so they’ll be just like their characters… trapped in a dungeon, unsure when they’ll get their next extended rest).

The fight itself was exactly what I wanted it to be: a mid-level challenge that bloodied several folks, but didn’t get them near to death (yet). We’re implementing a variant of the Soulbound Undead rule in the for-sale product, at least until PCs hit level 8 and get access to Raise Dead and other resurrection abilities.

Afterwards, they were supposed to just have a long interaction with Syranna to learn the Doom Vault details and head on their way to the first zone next week (which will be the Abyssal Prisons). However, the party had specifically kept one of the Thayan Soldiers alive, so they interrogated him as well, causing me to have to create an NPC off the cuff. They learned that he couldn’t actively join them, because Szass Tam would eat their souls and make them undead. Some Arcana checks revealed that his mind bore the scars of multiple uses of fear magic, so they realized that whether or not Szass Tam actually had some way of knowing if this guy acted against Thay, he BELIEVED the Lich could, which was enough to make him less useful. They instead managed to convince the guard to protect Syranna in the portal room/hub area, which they said was okay, because she was a red wizard that he’d be protecting, so the Lich wouldn’t find out.

Next week they’re off to the Abyssal Prisons, which (like every zone) were heavily truncated for the 4E, Encounters-style version. I also streamlined the whole colored gate key thing, so that basically in each section, they’ll find a key to another zone, and eventually the key back to the hub will recharge so that Syranna can bring them back there to safely rest (which imposes the sort of short rest/extended rest math that 4E really needs).

Also, since there are SO MANY potential fights per zone (I counted 8-10 in most of them, with some involving multiple high-level monsters), we’ll also be using a hand-waved random encounter table… where each week there’ll be a random encounter (off a d6 roll, 6 = nothing) against some of the more common foes, which will inflict minor damage to the party (everyone takes 5 fire, or 1d4 characters lose a healing surge, etc) and potentially (another d6 roll, 1 = nothing) give them a small treasure (a potion, or some gold, etc). This random encounter will be in addition to whatever fighting & RP they do that week, though for purposes of Milestones and such, each week is 1 “encounter”.

Looking forward to seeing how this season goes. Should be fun. And looking at the post today on the Wizards site, it looks like decent effort is being put into organized play for NEXT, so that’s cool, too.
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/news/adventurersleague

3 shane jensen May 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Houston,Texas (League City) : Empire Central
Our heroes planned their first entry and exploration of THE DOOMVAULT! But being overly cautious, and hearing the rumors on how deadly this dungeon could be, they were reluctant to split up. So, working together, they proceeded with their first, tender, careful steps into the FOREST OF SLAUGHTER! It would not be long though, before they were frantically fighting to save the very souls of two of their companions.

Here’s what happened…

Players: Teifling Paladin, Forest Gnome Druid, Half-Orc Barbarian, High Elf Mage, Hill Dwarf Mage, Drow Fighter, Human Cleric

After receiving their glyph keys from Syranna and having them attuned to Forest of Recovery, the party of heroes stepped into the teleportation circle, and with a shifting of the world, appeared in a small lush underground cavern, with soft twilight illuminating thick trees.

They were immediately greeted by a guardian wight, who advanced on them, wanting to know their purpose here. Behind him hovered a large floating suit of armor.

Quickly the Teifling Paladin muttered under her breath, “We’re here to KILL you!”, to which the wight, responded, by commanding the armor to attack!

DM Note: I introduced the group to ‘Readiness’ which is a D&D Next mechanic I like very much. Rather than having an arbitrary assumption that groups are always on edge looking out for every single threat, and thus never surprised, and constantly ready for action, using readiness makes encounter beginnings, easy and fun.

How it works: a Party declares their Travel Pace. Which will dictate how cautiously their moving, and checking for enemies, traps, and other dangers. The monsters have an ‘Alertness’ level, determined by how actively their looking for intruders.

Each player and monster (or one die roll for each) rolls a d20, and if the score is equal or over their readiness, they get to act on the first round of combat…otherwise, they’re surprised, and must wait for the 2nd.

The heroes and the monsters were all successful on their readiness checks, and combat began…and ended very quickly.

Before swords could be swung, the Drow, having reacted the fastest, actually attempted to convince the wight, and his construct, that they meant no harm, and were only here to “Destroy Szass Tam!”. The Wight, actually paused in his advance for a moment, but at the mention of ‘Destroying Szass Tam’ quickly continued his threatening advance, telling the construct in a language the group could not understand, some garbled guttural archaic sounding command (he was speaking Thayan).

The Construct was an Armored Helmed Horror, designed to be virtually unbeatable…however, the heroes were HOT TONIGHT! and withing a few rounds, and FAR too many crits, the wight and the horror lay in pieces at their feet. Quite dead, and destroyed.

They discovered another glyph key on the wight, attuned identically to theirs, and continued on their expedition into the DOOMVAULT!

DM Note: I never mention the Doomvault, without playing it up a little..just to instill in the players that this dungeon is a little different from what they may be used to.

They advanced into the Barghest Range, another lush underground forested cavern, however this one had high grass growing throughout it.

With a party of mostly elves, they quickly realized that things were ‘moving’ within the grass, but couldn’t tell what. They advanced, as always, cautiously.

In the distance, two little goblins were seen jumping up in the tree limbs, and taunting the heroes. The Drow pulled out his longbow, and shot both, injuring, but killing them. The laughter stopped, but the ‘things’ moving in the grass, closed in quickly! Each goblin waved once at the Drow, and then disappeared.

In moments the heroes were surround with snarling wolf like beasts, known as Barghests.

The Heroes didn’t know what these were, but I’m sure they’ll remember them for a long time now ;)

The beasts clawed at and bit, at most of the heroes, except for the Human Cleric, whom they swarmed, and nearly killed!

The Dwarf Mage cast Web, using her evoking powers to only trap the beasts, while others quickly helped protect the cleric so he could heal himself away from being nearly dead.

With an Abyssal Growl, one of the larger beast commanded the others to ‘Run Away’, at which point each best transformed into little goblin, and cast dimension door to escape the web.

Knowing the beasts were still out there, they party setup a defensive position and continued to ensure everyone was healed.

There were a few exchanges of ranged attacks against goblins hiding and taunting the heroes in the distance, but none of the attacks proved worthwhile.

Once the goblin/beasts had the group surrounded again though, they once again charged in for the slaughter!

The Druid however, having transformed into a Cave Bear, decided to take the fight to them this time, and charged out into the middle of half the oncoming beasts.

She trapped half of them in melee combat with her, in a chaotic wrestling match of tooth and claw.

The Dwarf Mage seeing an opportunity, cast Web yet again on the raging animal melee, trapping all but the bear and a few of the bests, within.

The rest of the beasts reached the group, and soon everyone was fighting snarling hungry beasts up close and personal.

The Druid (in Cave Bear form) decided the melee was too much for her, and attempted to break away, but being surrounded by the beasts, she was frantically pulled back into the carnage of fury, and torn from limb to limb.

DM Note: even with disadvantage for some of the beasts restrained by the web, they managed to all hit with an opportunity attack and take the bear down.

The party stared on in horror, as they saw one of the larger beasts rip ghostly threads out of the druid, and swallow them whole!

“My soul?”, pleaded the druid, to which I sympathetically nodded, yes.


DM Note: again, one of those moments I love as a DM, when a player begins to feel a little attachment to their hero

The Elf Mage, realizing there were in serious danger and not knowing if he could save the druid, cast Fireball into the swarm of fur devouring her. The Fireball killed some of the beasts, but not all. one of whom appeared to have been healed by consuming the druids very soul.

The rest of the heroes had a better time of it, and were able to take care of the group that had attacked the main party, allowing some to break free and engage the beasts feeding upon the druid.

The Elf Mage and Drow both rushed into the fray, while the Cleric desperately tried to think of something he could do to heal someone who had lost their soul.

One of the larger beasts, tried to attack the Elf Mage, but his enchanters Auro of Antipathy, redirected the attack to the Drow Fighter. The redirected attack hit it’s mark, as the Drow Fighter went down, dying!

Another beast leaped upon the Drow’s throat and ripped his feathery soul from the Drow’s body. The soul of the Drow could be seen pleading helplessly to the Elf Mage, as he was swallowed. The beast looked up at the Elf Mage, satisfied with his meal, as the burns left by the Fireball began to heal.

With a yell filled with vengeance and rage, the Barbarian burst into the feeding frenzy and with a might cleave, slew the beast who had just fed upon the Drow’s soul. An elation filled ghostly Drow soul escaped from the dead beast, and quickly fled back into the dying body of the Drow.

Now the heroes knew they had a chance!

Refocusing their attacks they quickly avoided another soul feeding, and finished off the last of the beasts.

Then everyone took a well deserved and needed rest.

The Drow drank from the pool of water in this chamber, and found it refreshing and clean. The rest of the party, were reluctant to give it a go.

Having decided to return to the Gatehouse, they first wanted to see what the Rest area was like, and how to access it by using the Blackgate they had teleported in through.

As Syranna had said, they found peace and rest within the zone, and once fully recovered, returned to the dungeon without any time having passed.

Except that each of them felt a little older.


DM Note: heh, good times!

4 Dan May 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Well, I’m glad we started where we did…nothing with a save-or-die effect in the first 2 sessions…Barghests and gorgons sound unpleasant…though I look forward to the challenge…

5 Vobekhan May 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm

This was our first session in the Doomvault itself (having used the Launch and following session to complete the Nodes and Bloodgate parts).

With a reasonably easy fight with gnolls they ran through the obviously trapped chamber and then managed to talk their way past the next room (however this leaves a large number of potential enemies behind them).

A misreading of the Coup de gras rule led to them facing some very irate Red Wizards who were quite happy to blast them with powerful magic. The party still won through but it has certainly cost them a fair bit of their resources already.

We havent mentioned resting as yet other than the information as imparted by Syranna but I’m guessing it will be coming up in the next session.
Vobekhan´s last blog post ..D&DEnc 18 – Dead in Thay – Session 3

6 Merric Blackman May 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Resting was an issue for one of our groups as well! With amusing results.

We actually had one group talk their way past about every monster in the zone, and because we’ll have spare zones, they continued their merry way – avoiding most of the combats in the next zone as well. The other groups weren’t so lucky!
Merric Blackman´s last blog post ..D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay – Session 2

7 Kashiro May 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

In the Ooze caverns and ended in a TPK. Party of 4 and I had cut all encountered pitfalls and creature numbers in half. A series of one bad decision after another doomed them such as not resting or healing up before rooms, just charging into rooms with swords swinging, mage not using spells while attacking with bow or not at all, not listening to suggestions from other party members or from me as the DM, and all around poor resource management.

I tried to stop it to the point of almost ending the session short but sometimes you just need to let that TPK train run.

8 Justin Yanta May 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Our location had a messup with Wizards and we have not received the adventure. So instead I dusted off my old 2nd Edition adventures and I am running the Temple of Elemental Evil as a campaign for the group.

One thing I have to say about D&DNext is that you can easily convert AD&D to D&DNext without too many issues. So far in the 2 weeks we have 5/6 players almost die and they have only faced bandits and a giant spider. This is going to be tough for them.

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