Well, it's finally game time again after a long summer off. New group and a new edition. I am stoked to go and today is Session 1. I will be starting the group off with Lost Mine of Phandelver. If you follow my game prep thread you have seen the stuff I have been working on. Tonight we reintroduce several old school gamers back to the game after a couple decades off and they get to learn 5E. Tomorrow once the session is complete I will post back with the campaign journal. For now the game room is all set and waiting for my gamers in about 4 hours. I have 7 new bags of dice also as gifts for the new players. The dice tray there I forgot to show but it's a simple unfinished jewelry tray from AC Moore for $4. I bought a $1 piece of adhesive felt that I put in the bottom of it and a quick rub of a dark cherry stain.
As you can see I have the unlabeled "Players" maps on the table along with my DM Versions behind the screen. As a last minute change I am going to cut up my Cragmaw Hideout map so I can lay it out as they explore. It's been driving me nuts for days.
So week 1 we had 5 players. They are all old school players and as such all chose to roll their characters. 4d6, drop the lowest, six times. No rerolls, they took what they got. It definitely made for some interesting characters. We had 3 PHBs to share between 5 players and everyone was new to the edition so it took us about 2 hours for everyone to make characters. A lot of time was just spent reading about the difference class archetypes. Eventually the figured it out and came up with a nice mix.
Gronk the Human Barbarian Derik Youngblood the Human Ranger Damakos the Tiefling Rogue Badger Hammerstrike the Dwarven Cleric Branson the Human Wizard
First off, I am sorry for the pics. The lighting in that room is great for playing but horrible for cell phone pics. I think in the future I might start using my SLR and taking many more pics.
So the group began their campaign hired by Gundren Rockseeker to transport a wagon of supplies from Neverwinter to old mining village of Phandelver. Gundren and his escort Sildar rode ahead by a day. Branson (Wizard) and Badger (Cleric) were in charge of driving the wagon. Once off the High Road and on the Triboar trail the party came upon 2 dead horses laying in the road, feathered with black arrows. As Damakos (Rogue) and Derik (Ranger) approached the horses to investigate they spotted an ambush in the trees off the road. 4 Goblins moved in to attack and quickly scored a couple crippling hits on Derik. Much to my surprise, and some good rolls, the party was able to easily dispatch 3 of the Goblins as Badger moved in to heal the Ranger. The 4th Goblin fled into the trees, narrowly avoiding an Attack of Opportunity from Gronk (Barbarian).
I didn't have any trees so I pulled out my snow covered trees from Frostgrave. I had leftover pieces I had printed for my son's Minecraft Steve costume so I cut up some head pieces to make a road
After dispatching the Goblins the party searched the are and found the Goblin trail that they had been using for their ambush point. The Ranger and Barbarian decided to follow the trail and investigate. The ranger was able to spot both the snare trap and pit trap along the trail and safely navigate them to the Cragmaw Hideout. They decided to head back to the party and tell them about what they had found. The party decided to find a safe area off the road to secure the wagon and oxen, rest up, and then head to investigate the cave at first light.
After the encounter a couple slacking watchmen outside the caves the party moved inside. They moved in to investigate the Kennels and saw the Wolves loosely chained up to a stalagmite. They saw there was no way to sneak past them so they decided they were easy prey for an arrow and a javelin. The Ranger and Barbarian moved up to dispatch the wolves and proceeded to piss them off. The wolves went into a frenzy, breaking the chains and attacked the party. The closest 3 were the Barbarian, Rogue, and Ranger. Fighting as a pack they all had advantage on their attacks. All 3 wolves hit, all 3 players failed their STR saves and were knocked prone. I rolled a natural 20 on one of the wolf attacks scoring a critical strike, dropping the Barbarian in a single round. Things were looking rough with the barbarian out of service, the ranger and thief critical, and only the cleric and wizard left. The Cleric stepped up and decided to attack one of the injured Wolves and killed it. The Wizard saved the day though, casting sleep and putting the two remaining wolves to sleep. That whole encounter could have gone really bad.
The party decided to retreat outside the cave to a safe area and take a long rest. The next morning the headed back into the cave and proceeded onward. The ranger asked for light to be cast on his sword and then proceeded to lead the party with his sword held high, lighting the way Of course with his sword held high he was highly visible to the lookout goblin on the rickety bridge 20 foot overhead. As they got close the goblin sounded the alarm and signaled for the goblins above to release the first dam and flood the tunnel. Everyone tried to dive for cover with only the ranger succeeding. The rest of the party was washed down the stream and out of the cave sustaining minor damage. The ranger in all his cockiness decided to step out after the flood and loose an arrow at the Goblin. Much to his dismay he hit for paltry damage and the goblin screamed for the 2nd dam to be released, at which point the ranger quickly joined his friends downstream in the cave.
The party charged up the tunnel and into the upper dam area to confront the goblins who were waiting for them. The battle went well for the players against the injured goblin and one other. The 3rd goblin immediately ran into the southern chamber shouting for Klarg! After dispatching the 2 goblins we decided to call it for the night. The players are assuming that Klarg must be the leader. Nobody came running so they are expecting that they are waiting for them in the southern chamber. I am looking forward to see how they handle this encounter next week.
This first week was pretty brutal. I explained to them all some of the major differences with 5E over 1E/2E especially bounded accuracy and how multiple low level creatures are much more deadly than a single higher level creature. I think they learned a hard lesson with 3 wolves fighting as a pack. We discussed it before we started and they agreed the gloves should be off. We are playing it as an old school game where death is a real possibility. While I don't like to kill players on a random dice roll, if they get in over their heads it's their own damn fault.
When we finished the players couldn't wait until next week. 2 guys were already planning to get their PHBs this week and one thanked us for inviting him to our group. Said it was the most fun he had in a long time. Looks like we are off to a good start.
Week 2 was a testament to how dedicated my new (old) group of players are. As you know, the Northeast is getting crushed by a Winter storm that started Sunday. Saturday it was almost 70 degrees and I spent the day mowing the lawn one last time, putting away any outdoor stuff for the winter, and firing up the snowblower to make sure all was working. The next morning it had dropped to 30 degrees and the storm him. We have gotten 15" of snow in my area since yesterday afternoon, had a no travel state of emergency, and downright just miserable weather. Like the post office though, no winter storm was going to stop my band of adventurers! =)
Here is a little preview of what we got, keep in mind it was almost 70 degrees the day before!
While our game started about an hour late due to the weather, everyone showed up except for the Ranger, who was in the middle of a move this weekend. Our Rogue happens to be his son so he played the Ranger also this session. My buddy Tim (Branson the Wizard) knew I liked a Scotch Ale that he gets from a micro brewery near his work in Rochester NY so be brought a couple growlers, and much consumption was had by Tim and I
When we left off the party had just killed the goblins in the cave with the waterfall and dams with one goblin racing up the stairs yelling for Klarg. The party decided to go after the goblin. They raced into the upper cave to spot 2 goblins hiding behind the crates along the southern wall. The Barbarian and Rogue moved in to engage and as the reached the crates, Klarg and his Wolf came out from behind the stalagmites to flank the players. Badger the Cleric took a devastating blow knocking him unconscious. The party was able to defeat Klarg but not without Badger failing 2 death saves before Branson the Wizard was able to stabalize him. The party found some Potions of Healing in Klargs stash which the immediately used one of on the Cleric.
After this fight the party was beat and sorely in need of a rest. They opted to take a short rest and heal up a little before moving across the bridge. When they advanced across the bridge they had their final confrontation with Yeemik the Goblin Leader and his 5 cronies. Yeemik was in an upper part of the cave with his captive Sildar Hallwinter. Sildar was one of the two that hired the party to transport their goods to Phandelver. Seeing Sildar captive, the party rushed in to attack. As soon as Gronk the Barbarian tried to rush up the stairs at Yeemik, the goblin yelled for a truce and threatened to kill Sildar otherwise. Gronk rushed to attack and Yeemik hurled Sildar off the ledge, knocking him unconscious. A few bad rolls ensued and things were looking down for the party until Branson the Wizard stepped up and cast sleep, putting all 5 goblins to sleep. At that point Gronk and Damakos killed Yeemik and the party dispatched the sleeping goblins.
Having cleared the Cragmaw hideout, the players decided to take the time to lug the stolen provisions they found there back to their wagon and push on to Phandalin to deliver Barthen's goods as well as track down the Lionshield Coster and return their good that had been stolen. Given the weather we wrapped things up a little early and the party just had enough time to speak with Barthen and Linene from the Lionshield Coster. Next week we will pick up with them in Phandalen and most likely move on to the Redbrand Hideout unless they choose to go elsewhere. Hopefully next week the weather will be a bit more cooperative!
Fantastic, i love reading accounts of adventures, especially when I am running them too. Here's my daughter's write up if anyone is interested; atime.obsidianportal.com/posts/scouring-the-goblin-cave She covers the first few sessions, and is very much told from her character's point of view.
Well it looks like we ended up with 24.7 inches Monday. Not bad for such a fast storm. Fortunately the driveway cleaned up, just need to get the turn around finished and then we are ready for game night later this week. I think I need a damn snow fence. The drifts into my driveway were over 4 feet by the time I got home Monday night.
I am liking Lost Mine of Phandelver as a whole so far. Still not sure what direction I plan to take the party once they finish at around level 5, if they survive it.
thats the problem with their adventures... they are made to start at level 1. and end at their respective levels. normally you'd go for tyranny of dragons in that storyline, but again tyranny starts at level 1. for my part i simply took the map of the place and found a new city to which to send them into. designed my own stuff from that point on.
druid:"Do you need healing ?"
knight:"i still have half of my health, so im fine."
DM:"the boss, crits, max damage which does 20 damage !"
I might go with Storm Kings Thunder. That is designed to start at level 5. They have a very fast mini intro adventure that is meant to bring new characters from 1-5 and most people say it feels out of place and rushed. Instead I might just lead them from LMOP into that. If not then I will probably just go on with my own stuff which is my normal comfort zone.
I have been pretty bad about keeping up with my game journal. Its been a few weeks so you guys get the condensed version, since I can't remember all the details.
The party decided to go around town looking for information about Gundren. They ended up gathering information from the Miners exchange, the Shrine of Luck, the Stonehill Inn, Eldermath Orchard, and then decided to get brave and scope out the Sleeping Giant Tavern after hearing stories about the Redbrand thugs that had been harassing the town. The Thief and Ranger scoped it out and then reported back to the party at the Stonehill Inn for the night. The next morning as the left the inn they found themselves being confronted on the street by 4 Redbrands who told them it was time to move on. Not ones to take orders, a fight ensued and ended with the Redbrands dead.
Much of the town was grateful except for Harbin the Town Master who wanted the party to move on before bringing more trouble on the town. They started asking more about the Redbrands and one of the towns folk told them of a story they had heard about a local kid spotting a secret entrance to the Redbrand hideout at the Manor. They decided to investigate and convinced the farmer with a little gold to let her son show the party the location.
At this point the party decided to scope the back entrance for a day and after spotting no activity, they moved in to explore. They moved in through the secret entrance which brought them into a large room with a crevasse in the middle. As they began to explore something began speaking to the Ranger through his mind. On the other side of the crevasse was a Nothic who used his Weird Insight ability to probe the Ranger and find out details about his flaws. The ranger didn't take too kindly to this and decided to try and shoot the Nothic with his bow. The party eventually flanked the Nothic while the ranger luckily saved vs his Rotting Gaze twice. While the Nothic didn't do a single point of damage to the party, they breathed a sigh of relief when it died. While they were fighting him I had the following picture up on the 50" TV behind them showing them what they were fighting. That eye and saving vs it's gaze scared the piss out of them. It was great from my perspective. I love creatures that terrify the party.
The Thief fell into the crevasse trying to cross the southern bridge so he decided to search the southern area a little. Finding the half eaten corpse of a local farmer down there he decided to climb out and leave the area. The Ranger spotted a secret door in the northern area where he was fighting the Nothic so the party moved on that way.
The found the armory and grabbed a few extra weapons as well as some Redbrand cloaks. They moved into the crypts where 4 Skeletons stood guard. Since they were wearing the cloaks the skeletons should have left them alone but I screwed up and forgot that detail, so as the party tried to pass though into the jail the skeletons attacked. They defeated the skeletons but the skirmish alerted the 2 thugs in the jail who ambushed the party as they entered.
The thief was able to pick one lock but not the other. The party failed their strength checks so the Mother and Daughter who were locked up refused to leave without the Son who was in the other cell. The party vowed to find the jail key and help get them to freedom.
They moved into the main cellar area, killed the 3 thugs that were camped out there and found the cellar entrance leading outside. At this point the party decided to move outside and take a rest, which is where we ended the session for the week.
The party moved back into the Redbrand hideout through the cellar and decided to move back past the crevasse and explore the two stair cases that lead down. This week I took only a few crap pictures which came out really blurry so instead I will just show some pics from the setup to give an idea of what they faced.
Before any of that though I had one issue arise which has bothered me all week. The one NEW player in our group...the only one that none of us has ever played with before did something that has me really thinking and will now be watching him like a hawk. When we began playing he is the player that ran out and bought the Players Handbook and the Sword Coast Adventurers guide. When he came to the first session he also showed me the Starter set which he had just bought. I told him that since I was running the adventure from the set, I didn't want him reading it. Fast forward to this week. The party decided to move past the crevasse and head downstairs. They had previously searched part of the crevasse and decided it wasn't worth the effort but out of the blue, this player states that he wants to go back and thoroughly search the northern end of the crevasse. Of course the northern end happens to be where the largest treasure in the dungeon is, a chest containing money, gems, a scroll, 2 potions of healing, and a +1 sword.
The way it all went down was suspect and even the other players started making jokes about how he suddenly wanted to check that area. I am not saying he read the adventure and knew, but it definitely looked that way. I am not sure how I will handle it if I find him doing it in the future.
So on to the adventure. The party moved down the northern stairs and listened on the door to the south. They heard what sounded like a group of thugs gambling. They decided to walk right in with their red cloaks on and try and bluff their way through it. They entered the room and found 4 Redbrands gambling and saw a human that was beaten and tied up over in the corner. They claimed that they had been sent by Glastaff (the Wizard they were looking for) to retrieve the prisoner. The Redbrands had actually taken possession of the prisoner from a group of Cragmaw goblins and were going to present him to Glasstaff themselves. The Redbrands didn't believe the group and refused to give up the prisoner, so the party attacked.
The fight was pretty tough and the party was a little hurt but ultimately won. They healed and revived the prisoner and met the newest member to the party, Xavier the Human Fighter. They scouted out the southern stairs and found another room. They opened to door to see a goblin and 3 bugbears. The bugbears were sleeping. As the door opened, the goblin screeched and fainted, waking the bugbears. The party pulled the door closed and decided to use a rope to tie the handle of the door to the door across the hall. For whatever reason they believed that it was going to hold 3 bugbears so they decided to leave, go back to the northern stairs looking for Glasstaff.
They decided to bust straight into the Wizards workshop. They immediately saw a rat run under the table against the wall. The rat was actually Glasstaff's familiar which immediately alerted Glasstaff in the next room. He quickly made his escape out the secret staircase. On the table was all kinds of alchemical equipment and the potential makings of a potion of invisibility. When the rat ran under the table the Barbarian in haste launched a spear at it and rolled a 1! The spear struck the table shattering the equipment. At that instant they heard 3 loud bangs and then a crash as the bugbears broke through the door in the other room.
2 bugbears ran through the middle room while the 3rd ran up the stairs to flank from the other. The Fighter and Ranger charged in and the Barbarian ran up the stairs to try and flank the Bugbears. This fight was pretty intense with the party split up. Eventually the party won and realized that Glasstaff had escaped. The party searched the bugbear room and ended up interrogating the Goblin (named Droop) and decided he was harmless. The Cleric at first wanted to kill him but the rest of the party disagreed. Then the Cleric decided to "adopt" him and take him under his wing. I am curious to see where this goes.
The party went back to Phandalin to follow up on some leads. Halia Thornton at the Miner's Exchange had asked our Thief to take out the Redbrands and offered a substantial reward. When he returned she waited until they were alone and extended an invitation to join the Zhentarim which he accepted. I am planning to use the factions to great lengths to push future story lines which could eventually put some players objectives at odds with each other.
Next week the party has a few different leads they can explore. They are still looking for Iarno who have no identified as Glasstaff. Sildar would like the party to locate Cragmaw castle and bring Iarno to justice. Sister Garaele at the Shrine of Luck would like the parties help bargaining with Agatha the Banshee which could prove to be fatal if the party takes their fight first attitude. They have also been asked to help with undead at the Old Owl Well. Lastly they have also learned about the Ruins of Thundertree which will lead to the most information about the possible location of Cragmaw castle.
I really have no idea which they plan to pursue so this Sunday should be interesting. To be continued....
so, glassstaff escaped in yours too. i truly wonder how many people actualy found the secret passage that allows him to be surprised during his studies. i liked the idea of a familiar watching the next room. the crevasse of the nothic, i decided to change that a bit. because the whole it rots faster didn't really made sense unless a character would stay there a whole year or more. so when a character came down there, seeking the treasure. after a while he felt some strange energies and then when he was out, some of his hairs had turned white. not much of them, but some. they immediately got that the thing was magical. but didn't really wanna know why. so mission accomplished.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2016 11:43:24 GMT by DnDPaladin
druid:"Do you need healing ?"
knight:"i still have half of my health, so im fine."
DM:"the boss, crits, max damage which does 20 damage !"
Awesome! I love the hideout stuff. It is really exciting to see TrueTiles in action. But I am even happier that you are back in the saddle throwing some dice. I always get a kick out of reading your gaming campaigns. Keep up the amazing work!
It didn't work, but it gave us ideas, took us in new directions. Things we would've never thought of. -Miles Dyson
erho: I will once again rise above Lurker status if I ever get back to painting, Real life work transitions... Adulting
Jan 31, 2020 16:23:29 GMT
factoriatabletop: sgtslag...oh man! you are right about it...
Mar 3, 2020 10:13:15 GMT
Draklith: Hey everyone just a quick stop by to see if anyone is still here, hope everyone is doing ok
May 26, 2020 18:27:20 GMT
sgtslag: This forum seems to be slowing down. I hope everyone is still crafting, safely! I will be here until they turn off the power... Cheers!
May 27, 2020 13:46:43 GMT
factoriatabletop: maybe we should try to make a contest here, between us
Jun 2, 2020 8:40:08 GMT
factoriatabletop: no prizes, just proud....dont know, anyone else?
Jun 2, 2020 8:40:40 GMT
sgtslag: Still unpacking after moving in October... Too much stuff, crafting materials are mostly still in boxes. Weekends are busy with life, so little progress made. Getting the urge to push through, though, soon. I have several projects waiting...
Jun 2, 2020 20:14:39 GMT
erho: Yeah I'm down for a painting contect
Jun 8, 2020 14:28:59 GMT
sgtslag: Started working on making hills, which match my Tee-Time carpet I use for my "grass mat," on my gaming table, for big battles. Got two long chunks of open-cell foam, from a friend. Used my Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter to make terrain hills out of them.
Jul 26, 2020 20:12:40 GMT
sgtslag: Came up with around 80 hills. Covering them with the same carpet, from scraps. They will match the tabletop, perfectly. Contact Cement, is my friend. Will post on it, when I get the pictures uploaded. Some prototypes done, as proof-of-concept...
Jul 26, 2020 20:14:06 GMT
randywest: does anyone know more manufacturers for 1/72 fantasy minis besides Dark Alliance, Caesar and Elhiem?
Sept 14, 2020 14:16:19 GMT
sgtslag: 50 Hills completed, 24 left to cover the sides on. Hoping to finish this project within the week. Then I'll post a build description. For war gaming, but it can cross over to RPG sessions... They match the ground 'cloth', perfectly.
Sept 19, 2020 19:03:09 GMT
sgtslag: Sorry, randywest, the listed makers are the only ones I know.
Sept 19, 2020 19:03:34 GMT
sgtslag: Ran out of Hot Glue, with only five hills left to add a skirt to the sides of. Wal-Mart closes at 8:00 PM, thanks to COVID. GRRRrrr! Another 30 minutes of work, and I would have been done: ~77 hills, modular, perfectly matching my table's ground cloth!
Sept 23, 2020 2:50:39 GMT
sgtslag: Will post a write-up soon, or after next week's vacation. Cheers!
Sept 23, 2020 2:51:57 GMT
sgtslag: Hoping to acquire a Chop Saw within the next two weeks. Then I will cut up MDF into triangles, to form the skeleton of my d20 fantasy world globe... Posting will follow, with how-to guide. Cheers!
May 11, 2021 22:57:40 GMT
erho: I have a confession: I havnt painted a thing in months because I got a new guitar(#8!) but now that May "Megadeth month" is over I have a repaired airbrush and a early 90's Ral Partha Amethyst dragon on the table... pics to come soon!
Jun 11, 2021 17:49:58 GMT
margaret: too bad you can't post your music here =). Hadn't seen that dragon - looks like it came out when all my cash was going to raising kids. Looking forward to seeing your paint choices!
Jun 12, 2021 2:41:42 GMT