I got invited to join +Ken H and his crew for their regular Monday night Monteport game, now running in D&D5e. I got to play with some great folks: +Tim Shorts and +Rob Conley, whom I’ve interacted with before. Plus +Chris C., Daniel McEntee, and +Joshua Macy. It was a good time, and my character, Nosphryc, got dropped right into it . . .
We started out making a marching order, and then lots of banter. This is a good thing. We started out to go talk to Daria (?), and had to get across a fairly wide chasm. We tie a safety rope on to Adzeer and then levitate him across. We joke about falling into the mile-deep chasm and taking 528d6 damage.
I step away for some food, and when I return, +Tim Shorts is apparently starting to plummet to his death. He’s saved by a last-minute Levitation spell. And a rope. So briefly Tim becomes a kite, and we bounce him across the top of the cave. Ouch. Stalactites suck.
The brief errand at that side of the cave taken care of, we form up and decide to go through the iron, dwarven-forged door. Luven Lightfinger carefully examines the door, which is neither locked nor trapped.
(We also, FINALLY, thanks to +Rob Conley , fix my longstanding sound problems. Go Rob!)
It’s all about the boom- so we toss a fireball into the room, and back off and slam the door. The spell goes off, and Dante ( +Chris Cosk3 announces that that was his last spell slot. He hits for 38 points of damage, so the poor guys all die save for two of them.
The spiders get to go, and one moves, and the big blue one does something that makes a huge “gong” sound, and everyone saves vs CON. Well, except for Tim, who of course rolls a natural one. In some other universe, Tim rolled a 20. But not this universe.
It’s the Gong Show! Adzeer and Nosphryc (and someone else, it turns out) both fail their saves, taking 13 HP and are stunned for a round. The giant wall of metal up front is stunned. Awesome.
We go through the initiative order, and Luven cracks open the door, and flings a dagger at one of the “pink” spiders. He kills it! A pink pepto-bismol looking blood comes out.
Dante’s turn, and he shoots a firebolt at the big-ol’ blue spider. Nailing it for 2d10+8 = 18 points of damage.
Doug: Easy game, eh?Everyone else: Don’t. Say. That. Ever.
Just as I say, that, turns out we just got our butt flanked by another seven more. Breena shoves her bear out of the way (!) and hurls a . . . huh. There are gnomes in the way. Disadvantage. He rolls 18 and 26 anyway, and hits for 7 slashing damage. Her second attack misses.
Nosphryc gets his first real action in the fight, and on a roll with disadvantage, I roll a natural 20 . . . and a natural 1. Oops. Crit fail. I hit a gnome. For 10 damage. Oops. A gnome goes down. Nosphryc’s mission to prove himself worthy of leading fellow men has just excluded gnomes.
Tim: Easy game, eh?
Duncan webs the spiders. And two gnomes. The gnomes are not happy with us.
Adzeer notes that he has a Ring of Spider something or other that allows him to talk to spiders.
We note that before we started flinging fireballs and webs and axes and stuff. He doesn’t get a lot out of them. And Luven stealths so he can gank some more spiders.
The spiders keep noting that they’d really like to not die.
Adzeer hits, thanks to advantage. But rolls a 1, of course, on damage. We all mock Tim for a while.
Nosphryc redeems himself by killing a spider with two longbow hits. for 11 damage. We keep making spider jokes: “Poor Charlottte. I knew her well!”
Duncan heals the gnome I skewered, as a firebolt is cast and burns up a spider pretty good. “Which sonovabitch shot me in the back?!”
Nosphryc Azurecoat (Doug): Those blue arrows with blue feathers make it really hard to point to the other guy and say “Bobnan did it!”Ken H. (GM): Plus a whole group of gnomes pointingNosphryc Azurecoat (Doug): Fair point. I was kinda hoping they were ALL looking the other way
Adzeer nail another one with a crossbow. Slight damage, but enough to bring him down.
Loven does what Luven does best . . . and rolls a 1 for surprising the spider. The spider is not surprised. Nosphryc hits twice more for 17 HP, thanks a bit to advantaged in the web, and he’s veyr hurt but not dead.
A bunch of spiders break free of the web, and flee towards the big blue guy Luven revealed in the hallway.
Luven tries the same technique he started the combat with – he opens the door (unspiking it with a DEX roll) and flings two daggers, hitting for 9 piercing damage with one of the daggers.
Breena moves in, and chops up the last spider in the first room. That still leaves five of them and a big blue dude. Nosphyrc comes up with a move and hacks at one of them twice with his glaive, for 16 total damage. We note that with Pole(arm) mastery that it would have allowed a butt attack.
A vast, vast silence occurs. No one walks into that opening, as it were.
The spiders get a turn to do something not running away, and miss both Breena and Nosphryc. And then there’s another blue gong sound. Another 5 or 11 HP to various people, and those that fail the save are stunned for a round.
Dante’s up, and he gives himself some temp HP, while Adzeer nails a spider with Sacred Flame for a couple of d8 damage, for 15 HP of fire damage to the thorax. Like a spider boss.
Luven comes up behind the Bleu Gong Spider and backstabs him with a nasty, sentient magic sword for 17 HP of damage. Nosphryic continues to glaive the guy in front of him, hitting twice for 14 HP, yelling “Flank the blue guy!” in fear that the gong can be done over and over.
Breena gets tagged by a spider, as does Nosphryc, bringing him down to 25 of 52 HP. Dante moves to flank the blue guy, as requested, and misses with a firebolt, while Duncan chuks a dagger at the guy for 25HP. Tim unloads with Sacred Flame again, hitting for 9HP – between the two attacks, he dies. Luven’s up, he moves around the spider, sheathing Marcus Aurelias, and unsheaths the Sword of Karn; he uses the blade of Ung to hit for 16HP. Kills the blue guy.
This obviates the flanking strategy.
Breena beheads the last one, hitting for 12 slashing, killing his foe, as does Nosphryc.
We’re all down some HP, so Tim casts a 4th level healing spell and gets us all up by 20HP, and Nosphryc tops himself off back to his full 52 with Second Wind.
We search the room, and find pieces of the two blue spiders; the body still shimmers, and a Nature roll by Nosphryc shows that the critter actually excretes silver from the body. We burn the bodies and extract a bit of silver. The main room has a dwarven altar and shrine –
We look around, and find a secret door. Specifically, Duncan (8th Level Arcane Trickster – Rogue subclass) finds it,does a look-see, and doesn’t find anything bad. He opens it with a mage hand – he sees a needle snickt out and poke the mage hand, which does nothing. We proceed. There’s lots of bones, pieces of armor, weapons, remnants of crates, boxes, and barrels on the west wall. Looking closely at the bones, they’re dwarven as well. The armor is a bit rusted and beat up; looking around with the Lens of Molnar (the ultimate detect magic/hidding things item). We do find 10 gold bars and 200 silver bars. Nice. A bar is worth 50 coin, so 500gp and 10,000 sp equivalent.
We explore some more, finding tons of spider debris and residue, including fallen humanoids and skeletons. We do see a fairly freshly killed goblin, with a backpack. There are five golden bars, 8 silver bars, two vials, and a metal box with four blue gems inset into it. Each gem is about the size of a small coin. The Lens reveals a Gaseous Form potion, and one Animal Friendship potion. The box is a controller for a vehicle or some sort of transport device.
The goblins are fey; they’re known to travel around in a big-ass wagon thing. So we figure that this guy was grabbed from the wagon, which is stalled out somewhere. Odds are they didn’t come with it.
And that wraps it up. We all get 1,365 XP.
Fifth Edition is recognizably D&D. Since I also play in +Erik Tenkar‘s S&W game, it was very similar to that . . .
. . . but with some exceptions. The 18 skills provide a nice overview of adventuring tasks, and I’m sure the Basic and PHB rules tell you what skills to use to identify a magic item, or value an item. Nosphyric did use a Nature roll to figure out the silver spider thing, after all.
The Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic is a thing of sublime beauty. It absolved, in many cases, the GM and players from any sort of specific calculation in terms of penalties for “bad stuff” or “good stuff.” Just declare advantage or disadvantage, and have done with it. I “caught” +Ken H a few times thinking about a penalty, after which he would just say “you’ve got disadvantage on this roll.”
And that was enough.
I really like the feel of the game. It’s more in depth than OSR, and invites a broader array of tactics. Are your friends hotly engaged with a foe? Then you can chuck or shoot ranged weapons at him and get a “sneak attack” since he can’t see you. Makes sense! It was phrased in mechanical terms that obscure what was going on a bit – but that was the crux of it, and it works.
The short/long rest thing allows some pretty impressive combats, and some nice reccovery and replay value. Some powerful healing magic can get you back to fresh HP pretty fast, but by and large, you”l play through a fun combat and some exploration, and when your group gets together again, you’ll start out being able to do something, and not just “Hit him with my mace.”
It did not hurt anything that the group has a ton of fun, and it was an easy integration into their gaming group.
All in all, I look forward to next Monday’s game.