Thursday, May 11, 2017

5E at the Citadel: Your Name Is Mud

Once upon a time, the person playing our noble Firbolg, Gilroy, had a job that changed his hours so he couldn't come play D&D with his friends on a Friday night.  His noble DM did what he could to not write his character out of the game despite him not being present and the party being on a wilderness adventure.  This is that tale.

Our nobl...these guys had decided at the end of last session to camp out in the house of the magical Firbolg that had died on the shitter and thus left them with the contents of his house.  Said contents included three talking, taxidermized Chimera heads named Barry, some low grade spellbooks, a magic teapot, and some potions and herbs.  Also a little bit of gold.  They had decided to set a watch, and by DM fiat, Gilroy had decided to take the last watch.

Everyone woke up well after when Gilroy should have woken them all up, which was worrysome.  Even more worrysome was that he was not in the house.  When they finally found him (on the front porch in a Firbolg sized rocking chair), he was petrified.

Not like this

After poking him to figure out what was going on, a clucking from around the corner of the house alerted them to a Cockatrice that was pecking around.  A few Arcana and Nature checks verified that Gilroy should actually be not petrified any more, which was cause for consternation among the exceedingly paranoid group.  A Medicine check cleared up some of the cause for alarm, however, when it was noticed that this was in like with an allergic reaction to Cockatrice venom, They decided they needed to kill the Cockatrice and they could just chuck Gilroy in the curtain extradimensional space room with the Chimera heads and move on.

They also noticed that there was a cart with a suspiciously open and Cockatrice sized cage in the nearby woods, and they noticed Goblin sounding sniggering from behind the house.  Valen, Fechedette, and Charmagnus opted to take on the Cockatrice, while a medium sized giant crab charged at Keeri Lo and Julius from the side of the house they heard goblin laughter from.  Putting two and two together, they remembered that the goblin wizards from the first session had crab familiars, they figured the goblins just liked crabs, and engaged in combat.

Now, poor rolls were had by all in the Valen/Fechedette/Charmagnus vs. Cockatrice battle.  The two casters singed it with firebolts while Valen and the Cockatrice both wiffed at each other until chip damage from cantrips finally took their toll on the turkey sized lizard bird critter.  Keeri Lo, ever the wily Druid, turned into a giant crab with his Wildshape (and everyone promptly had their mind blown when I produced a second Giant Crab Pathfinder Pawn for the battle mat, because I totes prepared for this).  The goblins ran away, and some crab on crab violence ensued.

The size of a turkey.

Keeri Lo won, of course, and quickly clambered on top of the fallen crab and waved his crab hands in victory.  The party repurposed the goblin cart so that Keeri Lo (in crab form) could pull it and took the delicious meat out of the enemy crab.  After graciously and unscientifically letting Valen go into the curtain extradimensional space to check and see if there was air in there (there was, plus there was no roof, only a view of stars), they chucked their petrified Firbolg bud into the room, packed up, and moved on out before more goblins decided to find them and try to enact revenge with more petrifying poultry.

They hiked through more mud, and as the day went on, it started to rain.  The mating calls of alligators rang out in the background, and the party decided they needed to find some cover.  They found a way shrine to the god, Pok, the deity of mud, lightning, and fire caused by lightning striking dead trees (because I am a firm believer in making weird-ass things to worship in D&D).  Said way shrine was a mud cave in the side of a ravine, and the party settled in to avoid the storm that was starting to rage outside.

You probably just watched a Youtube video of alligators having sex.

As the party slept, a landslide caved in the front of the cave/shrine, trapping them inside, because I wanted a mud dungeon, and I decided to exercise my DM right to force them to go into the mud dungeon.  There was a tunnel that had opened in the back of the cave.  They cast light and went in.  Actually, specifically, Keeri Lo wildshaped into a small crab and scouted ahead.  He found a big mud room that had a thigh deep pool of stagnant muddy water at one end.  There was also another tunnel that rose out from the muddy water that he decided not to traverse, because the rest of the party had gotten bored and decided to follow him.  

Valen waded into the water and felt something brush against his boot.  Then he felt his boot get corroded away and his foot started to burn due to acid damage.  Everyone started looking around to see what was there, pretty much nobody made the perception check, but those that eventually did noticed a pair of Grey Oozes in the water.  

A note to DMs.  Grey Oozes in 5th Edition D&D are disgusting party killing monsters.  I didn't read the stat block before using them.  I just wanted oozes, saw the grey ones were within a good challenge rating range for the party, and added the page number to my notes (this was about a CR1 challenge for a party of five level 2 characters at full strength).  No, these little shits can KO a full HP Fighter in one hit.  They almost did that to Valen, I used my DM screen to change my roll not to, because I realized how insane that was for a throwaway encounter, and scaled several DICE off of the damage for these little fuckers.

Party. Killer.

Moving on, the party killed them, healed a bit, because the Grey Oozes were still really insanely good and did a lot of damage, and then decided to head off down the other tunnel.  What they don't know is that I cut about 5 rooms and 3 traps out of the dungeon because of how bad that challenge went and the fact that we were running out of night and I wanted the boss fight and treasure room at the end, because I spent a lot of time on it.  Let this be a message to all you DMs who make their own dungeons and material: gauge the night, gauge the party, and make changes on the fly to keep the game awesome.

You. Don't. Have. To. Run. Things. As. Written.


The final room was a huge chamber with pillars of mud and a mud altar at the far end.  On said altar was a crown made of dried mud.  Clearly someone had to pick it up and put it on.  That someone was Fechedette, and putting it on summoned a gigantic Mud Elemental.  It was a huge fight, Valen got knocked unconscious, and finally the creature fell to spell and sword.  We had fun, laughed, rolled dice, and it was a great night.

I like to think that afterwards the Mud Elemental went to a nice bathouse somewhere and had a soak.

The crown Fechedette had grabbed ended up granting her control over mud beings, the ability to throw balls of mud, conjure mud, and shape mud (albeit not quickly).  She is also now the Queen of Mud and is always slightly grimy.  The player is beyond pleased.  They ended the session with her heading back up to the entrance to dig them out with her newfound magic.  

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