Monday, December 29, 2014

The Lords and Lady of Steel Keep!

I don't have a lot of time, so this is going to be a short and sweet write-up of last Saturday's session.  8 players!  Unfortunately, I only remembered to take a picture after half the party had skedaddled.

There was plenty of fresh blood.  One new to tabletop RPGs, another new to 5e, and the other two seemed pretty familiar with it all and I remembered them playing in a game I ran a few months back.  Here are the new PCs...

  • Anders - human ranger taking time out from his family to do some adventuring.
  • Alton - halfling cleric who worships The Devourer - but only because he thought his deity really liked to eat tasty baked goods and other halfling treats.  
  • Miliken - a gnome druid who has a strange, arcane past.
  • Kildrak - a dwarf fighter: tough, muscle-bound, and really good with a great sword.

The previous adventurers made level 2 while the new characters started at level 1.

Alison bought a Player's Handbook and some pretty dice before the session (gaming at a game store has its advantages), along with pizza and soda for the group.  Kudos to her!

The new king, Jeremiah, gave the old party titles of lord and lady before proffering a castle on the northern border of Steel Haven.  Castle Steel Keep was empty (except for goblin-kind) and waiting for them to occupy it and keep that area of the kingdom safe from invaders.

As DM, I prompted the veterans with the idea of seeking adventurers to compliment their dwindling party.  They opted to put up a flyer near a city tavern.  Each new PC came and introduced themselves to the group, in one form or another.

I pulled my "mauvelous" gag.  Incidentally, I didn't want to look up a random gnome name for this trickster in the PHB, so I just told them it was a strange gnomish name they forgot as soon as they heard it.  Since Miliken was there, the party introduced them so they could find out his name.  About to crack open the PHB, someone suggested an enchantment - as soon as he speaks his name, everyone forgets it right away.  Laziness and ingenuity happily coincide!

Instead of taking things one step too far, the purple-infatuated trickster refused to reveal important information about the fiery blade Akmenos wielded.  Because of Akmenos' stinginess, he left the city without a wand of healing or secret knowledge about his flame sword.

The PCs didn't get too far before noticing a caravan that had gone off the road.  Investigation met with hobgoblins and the session's first combat.  Keeping all the details in our head was a little difficult.  Miniatures would have been handy.  I might go that route soon, but my reluctance is born of not wanting the game to descend into the drawn-out miniature battles of 3rd and 4th edition.

The castle was pretty much a straight-up borrowing of the Starter Set's cragmaw castle.  The party came up with a variety of plans to infiltrate Steel Keep.  I probably should have beefed up security and the challenges within but also wanted to reward the adventurers for good tactics.  They took the castle without more than a minor injury or two.  Though, afterwards, Akmenos fell unconscious after a grick pummeled him with its tentacle and then gouged him with its beak.  

Beneath Steel Keep was a pool of fire that recharged "Penelope" Flame Tongue.  That goes back to the nameless gnome.  However, there's more to the sword than that.  Such things (including another visit by the mauvelous gnome) will be revealed this Saturday.


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