D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Week 1)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 15, 2014

dead-in-thay-coverThis week we kicked off the start of D&D Encounters season 18 at Hairy T North in Toronto. Dead in Thay is the sequel to Scourge of the Sword coast and picks things up a few weeks after the events from last season finish. The PCs are at the Floshin Estate. Sir Isteval, Sir Darfin Floshin, and Jekk are all there too and they’re ready to strike back at the Red Wizards of Thay.

A renegade Red Wizard named Mennek who opposes the Thayan lich lord Szass Tam has agreed to help the PCs strike a powerful blow against him. Szass Tam plans to use the portal beneath Bloodgate Keep to move his army of undead troops across the realms and ravage the Sword Coast. The heroes were gathered together so that they could make a preemptive strike and close the Bloodgate permanently.

The first encounter of this adventure is designed to be run as the Launch Weekend event. Unfortunately we were unable to run it on the weekend so we ran it as the first session of the season for our regular group. Despite a lot of regular players being away for this first session, we still had 17 players divided between three tables, all of which are using D&D Next rules this season. I acted at the coordinator and DM. At my table we had the following PCs: Half-Orc Paladin, Half-Orc Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, Elf Ranger, Elf Mage, Human Bard.

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D&D Encounters: Scourge of the Sword Coast (Week 12)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 8, 2014

scourge-of-the-sword-coast-coverOrder was restored at Firehammer Hold as the Duergar were defeated and the fortress put back under the control of the Dwarven Clerics of Haela Brightaxe. The PCs agreed to escort the captives taken from Julkoun back to Daggerford. We picked things up this week as the party arrived in Daggerford.

This week at Hairy T North in Toronto we finished up the season with four tables. The 4e table and the other D&D Next table each had six players. Craig and I had our hands full this week as the grand finale drew in a full group of 10 players for our super table. The party consisted of the following members: Half-Orc Paladin, Half-Orc Cleric, Half-Orc Mage/Barbarian, Elf Cleric/Rogue, Elf Ranger, Human Monk/Barbarian, Dwarf Fighter, Drow Paladin, Drow Rogue, and Gnome Druid.

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The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2014: Round-Up

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 5, 2014

a-to-z-2014-survivorThroughout April Dungeon’s Master participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. This was our second year participating so you’d think we’d have known what to expect. We were wrong. The Blogging From A to Z Challenge was a lot of fun, but man, it was a lot of work. Certainly more than I remember from a year ago.

This time around we thought we’d pick a theme in order to make things easier for ourselves. Every article we ran in April was filled with brand new adventure hooks, something all DMs find useful. In retrospect focusing on just one theme tied my hands more that I thought it would, but we still managed to get through the full run of A to Z by month’s end.

I’d like to give a huge shout out to Joe Lastowski (The Average Joe). He volunteered to write a few adventure hooks articles for us and I don’t think I would have made it through the full month of 26 articles without his help. Thanks, Joe!

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D&D Encounters: Scourge of the Sword Coast (Week 11)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 1, 2014

scourge-of-the-sword-coast-coverAfter a tough battle with some nasty Duergar in the lower levels of Firehammer Hold, the PCs decided to take a short rest before facing more of the Deep Dwarves and pressing further indo the depths of the Dwarven stronghold.

As we near the end of another season of D&D Encounters we’re starting to see our numbers swell again. There were four tables at Hairy T North in Toronto, one using 4e and three using D&D Next. At the combined tables Craig and I ran we had nine players huddled around one massive wet-erase battle mat.

At the super table we had the following PCs: Drow Paladin, Drow Rogue, Half-Orc Paladin, Half-Orc Cleric, Half-Orc Mage/Barbarian, Elf Ranger, Elf Cleric/Rogue, Human Monk/Barbarian, and Dwarf Fighter.

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Adventure Hooks: This Place is a Zoo!

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 30, 2014

a-to-z-2014-zZoology is the scientific study of all things related to animals including their classification, physical characteristics and behaviour. In a fantasy gaming world this would naturally extend to monsters and other fantastic beasts. Those interested in zoological studies will often collect animals in a zoo, sometimes for the protection and wellbeing of these creatures, sometimes just to make them easier to observe and study by bringing them all together.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “Z” is for zoo, and you’d better believe that a zoo in a fantasy game setting will be more wild and exotic than anything in the real world.

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Adventure Hooks: Yuan-Ti

by The Average Joe (Joe Lastowski) on April 29, 2014

a-to-z-2014-ySome of my favorite cult-related foes in the D&D world are the Yuan-Ti. Servants of a snake god, they often kidnap regular folks so that they can infect them with snakey parts. The more pious the servants, the more snake-like they become. This can create an interesting dichotomy between the Yuan-Ti who became so by choice, and those who were kidnapped into the cult and now have no other option.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “Y” is for Yuan-Ti, the serpentine race of snake folk. Thanks to Joe Lastowski for another great contribution.

Growing up watching Conan the Barbarian, where James Earl Jones portrays the snake-like foe Thulsa Doom, the Yuan-Ti are exactly what I wanted to fight in my younger gaming days. And somehow, that desire has never changed. Ever since their debut in the 1981 AD&D adventure “Dwellers of the Forbidden City”, something about the Yuan-Ti just cried out to me. Also, there are a wide variety of D&D, Pathfinder, and generic RPG minis out there of snake people, so chances are you can populate a map fairly easily, too. Here, for your perusal, are some snakey plot hooks related to the Yuan-Ti.

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Adventure Hooks: The Xanathar – Crime Lord of Waterdeep

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 28, 2014

a-to-z-2014-xWaterdeep is to the Forgotten Realms what New York City is to the real world. If you can buy it, sell it, eat it, or experience it then you can find it in Waterdeep. It’s the centre of commerce, which naturally attracts thieves and villains. Between the City Watch and the Secret Lords of Waterdeep crime is kept to a minimum, or at least that’s what those in charge want visitors and residents of Waterdeep to believe. In truth there is a criminal master mind that secretly runs all of the criminal activities in Waterdeep, a man known only as The Xanathar.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “X” is for Xanathar, the infamous Crime Lord of Waterdeep.

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Adventure Hooks: If Only Wishing Made It So

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 26, 2014

a-to-z-2014-w

Wishes will change your game. A wish is the most powerful magic in D&D, so powerful and so broken that it doesn’t even exist in the mechanics for 4e. But as the DM you have the power and the choice to introduce wishes into your campaign as you see fit. It’s not something that you should consider lightly, but it is something you should be willing to consider.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “W” is for wish as we look at some epic level adventure hooks for truly powerful characters.

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Adventure Hooks: Volcanos

by The Average Joe (Joe Lastowski) on April 25, 2014

a-to-z-2014-vThe intense power of a volcano is something that, I feel, is often underutilized in fantasy settings. That’s not to say it’s been ignored, though. Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series (which is awesome, by the way) uses volcanic eruptions to great (and horrible) effect a few books into the series. A volcano was the only power strong enough to destroy the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings series. Before the release of their Neverwinter Campaign setting, Wizards of the Coast even held an open submission contest for writers to send them adventures related to the eruption of Mt. Hotenow, which had a drastic effect on the Neverwinter region. Sure, a Red Dragon can breathe fire, but a volcano can turn the land for miles around into a mass of fire and smoke and ash and melted rock while blotting out the sun and turning the oceans black with ash. That’s something you can definitely use in your games.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will be provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “V” is for volcano, one of the most awesome and powerful forces in the natural world.

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Adventure Hooks: The Dangers of the Underdark

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 24, 2014

a-to-z-2014-uThe 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.

Throughout April Dungeon’s Master is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. The challenge is to write a new article ever day in April, excluding Sundays. That’s 26 articles over the course of the month. To make things even more interesting the title of each article will begin with a different letter of the alphabet. This year we’ve decided that every article will provide our readers with new adventure hooks. Today “U” is for Underdark as we look at hooks suitable for campaigns that take place underground.

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