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  #61  
Old May 1st, 2018, 10:13 AM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Excellent! I recently rolled up a halfling archer myself, for @capsocrates ' Pathfinder game. It sounds like yours is a rogue, though, and mine is a paladin. I look forward to hearing more stories of his/her derring-do, perhaps but not necessarily including the name of him/her/it.

Continuing the story of Del, Thraag, Sue, and Finn, from three (or so) posts above:

We've had a combat-heavy few weeks since I last posted.

Del & Co. followed a tunnel along an underground stream bed that led them to a few old prison cells, likely unused in a century or more. We probably found a few odds and ends; I don't remember, and that bit of exploring is shrouded in my memory, shrouded by the terror that followed.

We re-rolled stealth after checking the prison cells and rolled, as a group, very poorly. We disturbed the roper
Spoiler Alert!
concealed in the darkness on the other side of the stream.

With its long tentacles it slapped us around and dragged some of us toward its gaping mouth, leaving others helpless to watch from the other side of the stream. It was a very bad situation, maybe the most perilous we've been in. Thraag, our barbarian, tried to help by throwing his magic javelin at it, and the rest of us chipped in doing different ineffective things. It grabbed the Sue's pig - Curly - and we successfully pulled him free, only to see him drop into the rushing water. He was only saved by a lucky athletics roll, courtesy of I-don't-remember-whom.

I cast a powerful illusion spell to make the roper think it was being attacked by a scary goliath, and we did a couple other things to extract our party from the scene without anybody actually dying. It was very close, and we ended up leaving behind the magic javelin.

We brushed ourselves off, took a short rest, and made our way to a large door we hadn't opened yet. We followed a long passage to a small dead end with a few statues. By looking far longer than should have been necessary, we found a secret door, which led us down into one entrance into what would have been a massive throne room, in ancient times. Now, it was occupied by a half-dozen duergar (dark dwarves), who tried to scare us away and then attacked us.

Long story short: we fought six, then reinforcements came in from two sides, and it probably should have been a grueling, long fight. But they rolled poorly a couple of times, and they huddled together at the beginning of the fight which was a mistake because fireball, and later in the combat they had a couple casters hiding near each other in the back which a mistake also because fireball, and also I now have counterspell. So I'm often not the star of combat but I was this time, and then when two survivors tried to hide in a neighboring room we found them and killed them, plus we interrogated one about captured halflings (I refer you to Act III, Scene i, when we established that we are searching for Finn's family), and he gave us a clue or two and then behaved like an evil bad guy so we killed him.

We pushed on a bit further, finding a network of secret halls behind the throne itself, and it led us to a room with a couple of ghosts. That room was pretty tough, but Finn eventually figured out that we could put the gathered skeletons on a small funeral pyre, and the ghost still occupying our friendly neighborhood NPC would go away. And it did.

Finally, we started exploring the surrounding rooms, and encountered some animated armor racks that we've now beaten into submission. My plan is that we will close the door on that room, with us inside, and take a much-needed long rest tonight.

Sorry this was so long. It's been awhile since I posted, and you have nobody but yourself to blame for reading it.

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  #62  
Old May 1st, 2018, 11:43 AM
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Re: Letters From the Front

My daughter and I are going to do another one on one campaign. Her characters are a young dragon and its rider. Any adventure ideas?
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  #63  
Old May 1st, 2018, 12:21 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Crafting a campaign from scratch is *hard*. There are resources online, and if you're a RPGer from the old days, like I am, you might have a pile of D&D modules from Back in the Day that can be adapted into your campaign. I've used both of those resources.

For a story arc, try starting the adventure shipwrecked on a deserted island. The dragon was dragged down with falling rigging and suffered some kind of a wing injury and cannot, for now, fly. Spend some time on the mysterious island, finding whatever caves/ traps/ monsters/ NPCs are hidden there, as our pair of heroes struggles to survive on this lonely island, far from anywhere. This will give you a chance to box them in with appropriate challenges as they begin to grow in power.

Perhaps on the ship with them was a messenger with something terribly important to deliver. Somehow they are in control of the message now, or maybe the messenger survived, and they understand its importance. When they ultimately get off the island, courtesy of a fishing (or other) vessel that comes along at the appropriate time, they discover that something terrible has happened because the message was not delivered. Perhaps they are discovered and summoned to a royal court to explain the circumstances of the shipwreck, even.

Does that help a little? I do recommend using professional (or quasi-professional) source material when you can for adventures. I can labor over a map of an orc war camp for two hours, but when I'm done it still won't be as good as the one I could have downloaded for $3, and that one came loaded with interesting NPCs, treasures, traps, and doodads.

edit: I love this exercise, Q. If you want to talk through the campaign plotting with me, please send me a PM and I'd be glad to workshop a universe that's perfect for you & her & her dragon+rider.

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  #64  
Old May 1st, 2018, 12:42 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by quozl View Post
My daughter and I are going to do another one on one campaign. Her characters are a young dragon and its rider. Any adventure ideas?
I wonder if this could help

http://www.imagininggames.com/#home

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  #65  
Old May 1st, 2018, 01:02 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Treasure hunt!

Location: Island chain off the mainland, rumored to be the home of pirate's buried treasure. A recent freak storm has wiped out all large naval vessels in the region.

Make a map of the chain and maybe mark a couple locations for possible treasure and then she can find and purchase more maps and information on the location of bigger and better treasure.

You can beef up the island creatures as she levels with the better treasures being guarded by stronger creatures, maybe eventually a sleeping dragon.

I would certainly try to let her take advantage of the scouting power of the dragon.

Actually acting as a courier could be really fun as well if you really want to explore the realm.
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  #66  
Old May 1st, 2018, 01:38 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
Actually acting as a courier could be really fun as well if you really want to explore the realm.
This is a great idea for a dragon rider + dragon. The reason I suggested starting on an island was to keep them in a box as they develop their powers. But eventually messengers, then maybe diplomats, that would be great.

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  #67  
Old May 1st, 2018, 05:40 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Totally agree. Island setting is awesome to start. Having a character that move about so freely can be challenging in a fantasy RPG. It puts a lot on the GM to be able to be ready to run the game from any location in the realm, at any time.

Consequently, my RPG has no flying available to PCs via spells and not through purchase of a magic item. Some NPCs have flying craft. Dragons are rare but rule their skies like a King Bird. If they see anything man size or larger flying through their area, they are likely to ground you.

The courier angle is nice because you have a set job that can be easily continued with additional missions, maybe with a stop or two on the way back.
You could set up a couple scenarios and then have a "Want Ads/ Help Wanted" list.
A listing of the various letters/packages and where they must be taken.
Then she could decide where to go among the options.

I am totally adding that to my world. A postal system. That will open some nice job opportunities for low level PCs. Cannot believe I never though of that before.
The post office will wield great power.
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  #68  
Old May 25th, 2018, 09:09 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

A friend and I decided to make a go of DM-ing for the first time; we cobbled together a low-fantasy Caribbean campaign, set at the dawn of the Golden Age of Piracy, running on 5e. We started short two players, so for the first session the party consisted of Hidalgo, a Spanish Half-elf Bladesinger, Iris, a Taino Firbolg Druid, and Mateo, a Spanish Half-elf Bard. Check out the spoiler for a (lengthy) recounting of the action.

Spoiler Alert!

Bleed Cubbie Blue!
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  #69  
Old May 26th, 2018, 12:33 AM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Beautifully told, SoA. I'm looking forward to the next installment!

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  #70  
Old May 26th, 2018, 09:17 AM
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Re: Letters From the Front

Very cool.

Two GMs? My friend and I started doing that years ago and have been really happy with it.
The party can split up and no one has to wait, though they have learned that bad things can happen when apart.

At Gen Con we bumped it up to three GMs when we had a multiple plots, many NPCs adventure.
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Old June 12th, 2018, 04:48 PM
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Re: Letters From the Front

The level 6 dramatis personae, again, in our D&D 5E campaign:
Del ~ My character, a scoundrel half-elf wild mage sorcerer
Thraag ~ Gnome barbarian
Finn ~ Halfling monk
Sue ~ Human ranger
Keylee ~ Halfling rogue, cousin to Finn, and a DMPC

Our heroes have gone deep, deep into an underground fortress / cave system, looking for Finn's & Keylee's clan, which supposedly was enslaved by something or someone down in the darkness. It's been a long, long, long time that the party has been underground, and we're nearing what surely is the bottom.

Last time, in DS's journals:
Spoiler Alert!


We missed three weeks in the month and a half (or so) since I posted that, but we've had a couple very eventful sessions that I haven't written about yet.

So, overnight while we rested in the room with the weapon racks, we were attacked by some kind of vampire ghosts. Luckily whoever was on watch (I don't remember anymore) saw them enter the room in their mist form, and we woke in time for a proper battle. We beat them back, and went back to sleep.

We encountered a number of empty rooms the following day, but one room appeared to be untouched in the many years that had passed since this was an operational fortress. We were highly suspicious, and prodded at the room from a few feet away, ultimately provoking an attack from a huge Rug of Smothering. Even though we were ready for it, it still managed to snare Keylee, and we nearly killed her in our effort to extract her from the nasty thing.

We had a second big combat that day, in the burial tomb of the king who had built the fortress. There was some undead nasty spellcaster, and two undead giants defending the tomb. It was much easier to kill them than it had been to kill the rug.

We moved on to the one room we hadn't yet explored on that level. In it was what appeared to be a pretty young maiden who claimed to be a prisoner, but we were not fresh off the pickle boat, and were immediately suspicious. The ranger can detect humanoids, and he did a quick check and quickly determined that she was not, in fact, what she appeared to be. Combat ensued.

It turned out she was a succubus. She charmed and very nearly one-shot Finn with a single kiss, but we managed to put her down. We found some valuable journals in that room, and some other minor goodies between the three rooms, but we had to call it a day. Finn's maximum hit points had been reduced to near zero in the last encounter, and we needed a rest.

It was a quiet night. I studied one of the journals we'd discovered, which explained that there were occasional "froghemoths" in the lake at the bottom of the underground waterfall.

The following day, we descended the rope ladder by the waterfall. Some voice in our heads, in the watery underground caverns below, promised us the release of Finn's & Keylee's family, if only we would dispose of the monster in the lake. Not getting any better offers, we approached the underground lake, where we were attacked by a froghemoth.

Despite all the warnings, we were still caught off guard, and we might have been killed, but the session ended there and we had a couple of weeks to plot the best course of action. When we picked up again last night, consistent with our plan, the ranger dropped a Fog on the froghemoth, and I cast Enlarge on the barbarian, and we arrayed ourselves so that we we could flank it when it attacked.

Sue (The ranger, of course. What do you mean you don't remember who's who?) lifted the fog and we braced ourselves for the attack, which ultimately came. It was a long and bruising fight. Del used Bend Luck, an ability allowing slight manipulations of die rolls, repeatedly and effectively, but it was draining all his resources. The thing had resistance to fire, so my heavy fire attack didn't do much damage. It had a multi-attack and whipped most of us repeatedly about the head and shoulders, ultimately - just as it was beginning to show signs of weakness - swallowing Finn whole.

Del, in desperation, ran over and cast Misty Step to teleport to right on top of the thing's massive body, so he could try to use Shocking Grasp - as an electrical spell, very effective against this creature - to try to rescue his friend. Unfortunately Del couldn't get the Shocking Grasp to land. Keylee, also mounted on the back of the froghemoth, slashing it with daggers, could not kill it.

Thraag managed to finish it off, though. Raging barbarians put out a *lot* of damage. Finn was still trapped inside.

"Hold my feet," said Del to Keylee, "and get ready to pull." Del dived right down the gullet of the froghemoth, and successfully grabbed ahold of his friend, the dying and unconscious Finn. Keylee successfully pulled Del and Finn back out of the monster's gullet, and we all live to fight another day.

Huzzah!

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