First, lets update my various distractions from posting new content. My health continues to improve. Things are becoming routine. I’ve completed my round of tests and doctor visits for my three month checkups. Overall the doctors are pleased with my progress. I still have a clot in my leg, but it is opening and letting some blood flow.
I have gone thru all of my old Magic: The Gathering cards and found a nice stack that was worth a bit of money. I had sent off a pile of about 100 cards and used them for store credit to get a few battle decks, some deck boxes, and box of about 500 more cards. Nothing valuable, just some fun stuff to dig thru to add to some of my decks. A couple ideas for new decks in all of those, but nothing that I need to work on right away. I’m more interested in tweaking my existing decks. This was my first major influx of cards (besides a few random boosters recently) since probably 2002.
I continue to share my favorite posts from blogs I read over at Google+, and my 5eGrognard Facebook page is beginning to gain some followers. Either one provides the same great content of things my favorite blog writers are up to.
I’ve got things set up to run a solo play by post game on Tavern Keeper. To learn the site, I’ve joined a group as a player, and I really like what I’ve seen from Tavern Keeper to run games there.
This is the last play report from my backlog of tabletop play, though it will be broken up into three parts I’ve been dying to run the iconic White Plume Mountain, though the start of these sessions pre-dated the announcement to Tales From the Yawning Portal.
To help flesh out the surface area surrounding the mountain, I’ll be pulling from Return to White Plume Mountain, all except for the Dead Gnoll’s Eyesocket, where I will be using the version from Dungeon Magazine #212 in the adventure “Never Say Die” .
I did purchase and read thru the Classic Modules Today conversion. I found it somewhat useful. Most of the conversions are what I would have come up with on my own. I’ve looked over it before each session, and it’s helped me. I have had it open during play, but have not really found the need to reference it at the table.
This report does cover a few sessions of play.
Our heroes did make it safely back to Orod’tal after exploring the ruins of the Shattered Tower.
Speaking of our group, they are all now 7th level and consist of:
Ash. She’s a fire genasi valor bard with the entertainer background.
Tulgasora. Originally a half orc bull totem barbarian with the bounty hunter background. Since there are no orcs on Eska, but my son liked the half orc mechanics, we reskinned him as a “savage hobgoblin”, and not from one of the organized troops.
Pyro. Aasimar celestial sorcerer with the tinkerer background.
After a short amount of Downtime, the players found that the party’s adventures have gained them a certain amount of renown. They were invited to dinner with a prominent gray elf, Paxidor. As they had not yet earned admittance to the inner domed portion of the city, Paxidor did host them at a large house just outside of the dome.
After a sumptuous feast, Paxidor presented the party with a job offer. Paxidor was merely an agent representing a trio of powerful collectors from inside of the dome. It seems that each of the collectors had a powerful magical weapon stolen from them, with only a mysterious note left behind.
With promises of “nearly anything you want” as a reward for the recovery of Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor, the group readily agreed. They were provided with supplies for their expedition, including a full company of hobgoblin infantry to escort them as far as the small human town of Tralen, the closest settlement within sight of the fabled mountain.
Traveling with such a large armed force made for a quiet journey. The hobgoblin troops had been given orders to fortify Tralen to keep them occupied while the group went on to their expedition. The hobgoblins began digging a trench and an earthen wall around the already existing wooden palisade.
Leaving their escort behind, our group crossed the Yellow Flow River and headed towards the Dead Gnoll’s Eyesocket, with the idea of setting up a forward base in the caves there. This turned out to be a bad idea, as the group was soon surrounded by a gnoll war band (generated using the rules in Volo’s Guide to Monsters). Vastly outnumbered, the group only managed to escape by a timely fly spell cast by Pyro. A single gnoll did grapple with Tulgasora, holding his leg as they rose into the sky. Tulgasora did manage to kick him off, with the gnoll falling to his death in the Twisted Thicket.
Having to abandon their camping gear in their escape, they decided to make their way straight to White Plume Mountain. They entered the cave and descended into the partially flooded tunnels. Five minutes in, their boots were soggy and caked with muck. “One of the things I’m asking for is a new pair of boots”, complained Ash.
My group is into riddles, so they easily answered the one the sphinx presented them. After they were given passage, they chose the tunnel to the left…towards Blackrazor.
The heat metal hallway barely phased them, as none are wearing metal armor, while the ghouls beyond were easily dispatched. The Frictionless Room was navigated by some great Acrobatics rolls by Ash, who was able to secure a rope across the room. Tulgasora was ale to navigate using the ropes, but a series of bad rolls saw Pyro fall into both pits.
With the sorcerer badly hurt, they took a short rest before finding the stream.
Climbing into kayaks, they took a ride. On they other side they were ambushed by Sir Bluto and his men. All three were caught in nets, with Ash and Pyro pulled to one side of the river, and Tulgasora to the other. To make things more interesting, Tulgasora, being a bounty hunter, recognized Sir Bluto from his collection of wanted posters.
Escaping the nets, a fun battle was joined. The party’s magic and Tulgasora’s rage giving them the edge, even though they were outnumbered. Tulgasora picked up a net and started pulling thugs into the river, a couple of whom were swept away. Pyro threw some Aganazzar’s Scorchers around, and Ash with burning hands. Our heroes quickly gained the lead, and one bandit made his escape downriver, Sir Bluto, cornered, attempted to use his boots of striding and springing to leap into the floating river to escape, but Tulgasora knocked him unconscious, wanting him alive to collect the bounty. They cuffed him, tied him up, and wrapped him up in a net.
Moving forward, they left the bound Bluto in the secret passage that led to the “Inverted Ziggurat”.
Pyro fireballed and acid splashed the manticores at the bottom, killing one, and badly wounding the other. The group took incoming fire from the manticore’s tail spikes. Wanting to skip over all the tiers, Ash dimension doors herself and Tulgasora down to the bottom, while Pyro uses fly. Ash and Pyro make for the door, while Tulgasora takes on the remaining manticore solo. The manticore claws at Tulgasora, but he drops the weakened creature with a couple mighty axe strokes.
While Ash and Pyro sheltered behind the door, Tulgasora noticed the safe in the wall. Curiosity getting the better of him, he attempts to open it, setting off the trap. A shatter spell goes off. Water, broken glass, and crazed beasts start pouring down. Ash, hearing the noise, opens the door, only to see a terrified Tulgasora running towards her! He barely makes it thru, as Ash slams the door. Thinking they were trapped, our trio proceeds down the hall.
They find themselves in a richly appointed bedroom. A gray elf, Quesnef, greets them. When questioned, he says that he was guard from a noble house, kidnapped when Blackrazor was stolen. At first they were friendly with Quesnef, but as usually does in WPM, they ended up fighting and killing him after he revealed his true self. After a thorough search, they find Blackrazor! Ash attuned with the sword.
After a long rest in Quesnef’s quarter, our heroes decide to see if the exit thru the ziggurat is clear. They cautiously open the door and see a scene of chaos and destruction. Shards of broken glass litter the damp floor, a majority clustered around a partially clogged drain in the center of the floor. The giant scorpions drowned in the initial rush, and the giant crayfish have since died due to the lack of water. A couple bleeding and battered sea lions have feasted on the remains and sit satiated in the rubble. The group quickly moves past, back to the secret corridor where Sir Bluto is still manacled and gagged.
Approaching their prisoner, a starving Blackrazor senses the sentient soul. Taking over Ash, Blackrazor leaps from its scabbard and buries itself into Bluto’s heart. As the life is drained from him, another star is seen twinkling on the blade. Pyro and Tulgasora stand in horror at seeing their bounty reduced in value.
The end of this session has started a debate among the players of what to do now, which has lasted for quite some time. Ash likes Blackrazor. Pyro sees the potential power of having all three weapons. While these two are chaotic neutral, the lawful neutral Tulgasora wants to honor their agreement and return the weapons. Neither side has yet to budge on their positions, even after all three weapons have been recovered. I’m interested in seeing how this all plays out, and how it will shape the future of this campaign.