Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Madness at Dovesong Part I

"This is madness!" - C-3PO

Note: This was the first time my "original" group of DnD friends got back together to play.  My one buddy decided that he missed the game and wanted to give it a try (which was great by me, since I consider my DMing skills to have vastly improved from when we started two years ago).  So, we updated our characters (we were almost at level 6, so everybody got to start at 6, giving them gold and weapons based on what the Dungeon Master's Guide says about starting at a higher level). 

The adventure?  Madness at Gardmore Abbey.  I had purchased it a couple of months ago and decided that it the perfect opportunity to play it.  I had already created a fallen abbey in my home campaign, Dovesong, and so, with a little tweaking, Dovesong would finally come to life.

Here are all the characters playing:

Bastin - Male Dragonborn Paladin (Cavalier) of Bahamut.  The group knows little about him, as he just recently joined as an escort back to the village of Daemonwe.  Much of his personality and past is revealed as the adventure continues.

Krenlor - Male Eladrin Wizard (Arcanist).  Krenlor is a mercenary of sorts who specializes in fire magic (aka, he's a pyromancer).  He seems to have some sort of discord with his fey brethren.

Poglitten (Pog) - Male Bullywug Barbarian.  A giant frog warrior, Pog speaks little and cares even less for treasure.  A former slave, he seeks his new freedom as the opportunity to form his own tribe.  He respects those he journeys with, as they were the ones that freed him.

Zaktis - Male Minotaur Sorcerer (Wild Magic) - Zaktis is the purest form of the struggle of his race: to follow the noble path, or his own animalistic desires?  Only time will tell.

So, here we go.

I was originally going to write two sessions worth of notes, but I soon realized that nobody would want to read everything that happened, especially since anybody running the adventure themselves would encounter most of the things I would write (the adventure is unique that drawing cards from the deck determines enemies and certain points of the adventure).  Instead, I would like to write about some of the hi-lights and cool unscripted things that have taken place and restored Bastin's (or at least my friend playing him's) faith in DnD.  We've played two sessions so far, and I am stoked for the third.

First Session:  This session started with a lot of roleplaying.  People had to get back into their characters again, and I gave them a lot of good NPC's and plot points to jump off of.  They explored the village of Daemonwe (Winterhaven in the adventure), and met a few interesting people.  Eventually, they journeyed to Dovesong (Gardmore) Abbey and sought to reach the temple first.  They were also escorting a knight of Bahamut, Sir Oakley.  Zaktis was able to locate the secret stairs, and the group reached the highest point of the Abbey and defeated the harpies and corrupted angels inside the temple to secure it.  Sir Oakley revealed that he could only purify the temple if three relics of Bahamut were obtained.  He believed them to be somewhere on the temple grounds still.  This was the end of session one.

Pog fights an angel.  The magic wielders stand in the back of the room and Bastin battles another angel.

Second Session:  One of the treasures found in the harpies lair is a rare magic item.  I scoured the books for what I could use, and found a magic weapon that was basically a bane to dragons, dealing them extra damage and giving a better chance against slaying them to whoever wielded the sword.  I knew the party would be encountering a red dragon at some point in this adventure, so I decided to use this weapon as the treasure.  It also seemed something that would be fitting to find lying around an Abbey where paladins of Bahamut, the dragon god of law and order dwelt.

The weapon could have any kind of resistance, based on what the DM (me) chose for it.  I didn't know what to do, so I simply rolled a 6-sided die for a random effect.  Believe it or not, the roll came up to make the blade powerful against red dragons.  I'm pretty sure Bahamut's favor was resting on the party.  Bastin took this weapon to wield.

As the group continued to explore, they did choose to venture into the room of the sleeping red dragon.  Zaktis peeked into the room first and saw only kobolds, so Bastin decided he would go in and attempt to persuade the kobolds that he was powerful and that they should serve him.  Bastin was shocked when he walked into the room, only to see a sleeping dragon in the corner atop a pile of treasure!  Even more shocking was seeing cards from the deck and a object needed to purify the temple amidst the pile!

Trying his best to play his part, Bastin put gold and extra magic items onto the treasure pile, while he spoke with a wyrmpriest of the dragon Mekkalath.  The kobolds thought Bastin was the son of Mekkalath, their god, and so were eager to hear his words.  They informed him of the minotaurs and the gnolls that were dwelling within their god's kingdom.  Bastin promised he would sort it out, and exited the room.  The dragon remained asleep the whole time.

Bastin enters Mekkalath's den, while his companions look on.

Outside, Bastin discussed with the party what he had seen and discovered.  The plan for the next session is for Zaktis to glean some information from the minotaurs, and perhaps find a way to get the items from the Mekkalath's hoard.....

My players are stoked to continue, as the adventure has given them more than enough surprises.  I'm putting everything together to make sure the next session runs just as well.  Hopefully Bastin's player finds his Dragonborn min, as he now has a little more incentive to.

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