Monday, May 6, 2019

DnD: Back to the Dungeon

This week's game seemed a little short, in part because we were a little slow to get started (a lot of crosstalk among the kids about their characters and weapon selections and possible purchases and...) and in part because one of the kids was getting picked up early so I called it a few minutes earlier than I would have normally. All in all though, it was a good game.

Having taken a day off after the assassination attempt (and not having heard anything back from Sheriff Mourn about the assassin), the group woke up and early and marched back to the keep and down to the entry chamber for the dungeon. Lord Aldenmier planted their standard, and saw them into the dungeon.

They went through the first room and into the four-way intersection, where they again paused to disable the trap on the far door. This time, the small space on the other side of the door held three spears, which they promptly collected and distributed around the party. They considered going back and attacking either the hobgoblins or the ghouls again, but decided against it. Instead, they went the other way (west) and tried the first door they came to there. Despite their attempts at stealth, the door opened noisily - and slowly. It was essentially webbed shut. Through the half-open door, Barrith could see the glowing figure of a small, glowing animal off in the far corner somewhere, but the thickness of the webs made it hard to see clearly. So they eased the door closed, stepped back, and told the rest of the party what they were looking at.

Various plans were proposed, involving trying to sneak into the room, putting different characters in the front row, trying things to ascertain what sort of spiders they were likely to be attacked by... until finally the dragonborn sorcerer said, "I know how to solve this." He then walked past everybody, went up to the door, wrenched it halfway open, and set the webs on fire with a firebolt. After a moment to make sure they were burning, he pulled the door shut again and stepped back.

It was about five minutes later that the smoke stopped curling over the top edge of the door. They gave it a couple of minutes longer, checked the door to make sure it wasn't hot, and then cautiously opened it again.

The room was no longer covered in webs. Now the floor was covered in ashes, and the ceiling was stained black by smoke. The counted the bodies of four giant spiders at various points around the room. The glowing animal-shape that Barrith had spotted earlier turned out to be a small statuette of a cat, which the dragonborn sorcerer immediately claimed (amid much cooing and admiration, and over the mild objections of the Mousefolk Cleric). Their knowledge of history and arcana didn't yield much of anything about it, but they're pretty sure that it's magical, and that its magic is somehow tied to the magic of the dungeon. Beside the statue was a bronze-bladed short sword with no magic whatsoever; the monk immediately claimed that.

They proceeded to the next room, scouting carefully (a new strategy for the group, but it seems to be paying off) and noted that something was moving around in there, and that the air around the door held a musky, reptilian scent. So they opened the door with the cleric and the sorcerer in front, both ready to parley in draconic, and found a bunch of kobolds waiting to attack them.

So much for parley. The halfling thief attacked immediately, throwing both his daggers and missing with both. (And yeah, I really need to look up the rules for Dual Wielding in 5e.) The monk attacked next, and took out two of the kobolds. The cleric used a cantrip to kill a third one. Of the remaining two, one rushed the party and struck down by a prepared action from the cleric. She had the impression that it wasn't exactly trying to attack her; it seemed to be lunging for the lamp on the ground beside her. Shadow finished the last kobold with his hand crossbow, and the group immediately moved to the post-combat looting stage.

The kobolds had been armed with javelins and daggers - six of each. Barrith, the halfling thief, took four of the javelins. He likes ranged attacks, but here in the dungeon the range is too close for him to effectively use his longbow. So... javelins. They also found a chest with 38 gp in it. Half of that will go to Lord Aldenmier, but it will still bring the party total up by 19 GP (to a total of 161)

They also now have 6 daggers (1 gp each) and two more javelins (5 sp together) that they can sell later. They also have the three spears that they took from the spear-launching trap, but they don't seem inclined to sell those.

By that time we'd reached the point where one of our players was due to be picked up, so I called a stop there. We're still moving at about the same pace - an encounter or two per two-hour session (with pizza, tacos, or sandwiches in the middle). These encounters went a lot more easily, though -- partly because everybody had leveled up, making them a bit tougher, but also because they didn't try to fight the giant spiders directly, and the kobolds are simply much weaker than the ghouls or hobgoblins were. In addition to that, the party is getting better at working together: I keep hearing words like "flanking" and "helping" and "I have a plan."

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