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  • Jay 2K Winger
    D&D Adventurers League--

    One of the players was playing as a Minotaur Barbarian ("Tiny Tunk") and he was having fun making jokes IC with it. Like mistaking a 19-year-old villager for "middle-aged" (in his defense, he claimed minotaurs live about 45-50) and similar. Claiming his name is because he (about 8 feet tall) is actually 'tiny' for his race. etc.

    As the adventure was based in a small village (less than 50 people), we started cracking some jokes about "small town casting" for like TV shows, and he dropped in a comment about like the "Toronto film industry," and I could not let the opportunity for a pun go past.

    Him: (semi-IC) "Small talent pool. Is like Toronto film industry."
    Me: "That's where you're from, isn't it? Taur-onto."
    (table reacts)
    Me: "Or-- or would it be Mino-Toronto?"
    (more reaction)

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  • Nunavut Pants
    Another game day with the lightweights yesterday. I wound up in a three-player game of Rummikub. Played six rounds; the host won three, her husband won two, and I won the last game finally.

    Still haven't gotten Dominion to the table.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    D&D Adventurers League--

    First time playing with DM Minmaxer in several months. Most of his games had been during the AL Waterdeep campaign I was a part of, so I couldn't participate. I was torn on which of my Tier 2 (Levels 5-10) characters to bring-- I only had two available, since the others had leveled out of Tier 2, and decided to use my High Elf Bladesinger Wizard, since the adventure was set in Wildspace, and my Bladesinger's been to Wildspace. We only had three players (including me) since some people had dropped out and there were major traffic issues preventing some others from making it. Cameron, notoriously unlucky dice-roller and infamously fond of dropping a pun at any opportunity, was one of them.

    So the Wildspace-flying magic train we're on (long story) stops at this flat-topped asteroid with a derelict ruined theatre on it. There are ghosts inhabiting it, apparently the remnants of the audience waiting to be let in to see the show. After fighting our way past the ushers ("Tickets, please? ...No ticket--!!") we go in through a hole in the wall to find the ghost of the writer/director/producer/musician/composer/etc for the theatre/show sitting on the stage, muttering to himself and constantly re-writing the script and score, tossing pages all over the stage.

    Me: (IC) "I think I see what's going on."
    Third Player: "What?"
    Me: "He's decomposing."

    The adventure centered around helping the producer finish the show so it could be performed at last (after all, "the show must go on"), with some other notable NPCs from some of Minmaxer's past AL adventures turning up to help provide musical backing and stage experience. Including filling in for some roles in the show, and then fighting off an angry Phantom of the Theatre and other angry specters. The specters had a particular ability that could stun-lock people, which was a "recharge" ability-- after using it, every round on their turn, the specter (i.e. the DM) could roll a d6, and if it landed on a 6, the ability recharged and could be used again.

    Well, Cameron helpfully reminded Minmaxer about the recharge...

    Me: Why would you remind him?!
    Cameron: I like to play fair!
    Me: He doesn't need your help killing us!

    The next round, Minmaxer looked at Cameron and then said he needed to roll the recharge, prompting another glare from me. Fortunately, the recharge didn't go off for several rounds.

    ...until it did. The specter got its maddening howl off and everyone failed the WIS save. Including the Phantom of the Theatre.

    Me: This is your fault!
    Cameron: I didn't make him--
    Me: YOUR fault!
    Cameron: It got the big bad too!

    In the end, we did manage to defeat the Phantom (albeit with a little help from master thief Camille Santiago, who is effectively like a DMPC at this point) and finish the show, the ghosts were all allowed to pass on finally, and we got the macguffin our train needed to keep going.
    Mysteries of Albia--

    This was effectively the penultimate session for this campaign. Mike the DM said there may be two more sessions left before we wrap, depending on how things go. Then we'll have our campaign wrap-up meeting, before we move on to at least two session zeroes for Bob's Dragonlance campaign.

    In the aftermath of our storming the castle of a villainous militant church splinter faction and killing its leadership, we had to deal with repercussions. One of the leaders of the splinter faction was a prominent politician for the upcoming election (basically fantasy Nigel Farage), and while we recovered evidence of his treasonous plot (conspiring with foreign entities and planning violent insurrection/revolution post-election), there were concerns over the optics of the PM more or less sanctioning what amounted to the assassination of her major opposition. We ended up working with her and our allies to prepare for violence on election night-- not from the splinter faction anymore, but from the Cult of the Dragon which had been orchestrating a lot of this. The Cult of the Dragon, in this case, being represented in the infamous Lightning Guild, which Vash had been raised in, currently headed by her biological father, titled "the Thunderlord."

    We also had recovered an arcane artifact which gave Vash another memory-vision, revealing a huge amount of lore. It had been established previously that magic in the setting came from two sources-- the Fey and the Dragons, who had been at war in antiquity, until a Contract was signed which made both sides retreat from the mortal realm. The vision that Vash received showed her the initial signing of the Fey-Dragon Contract, overseen by Queen Medb (our setting's version of Asmodeus, Ruler of the Nine Hells). One of the terms of the Contract provided for a way through which the Contract could be re-drawn, re-negotiated. It required representatives from all four signatories-- Albia (England), Romeus (Roman Empire), the Fey, and the Dragons-- to meet at the appropriate place. The Contract was effectively kept guaranteed by conjoining it with the soul of the Contract's enforcer. This soul remained on the mortal plane even after its original body's death, and is now incarnate in Vash.

    We realized that the Lighting Guild and the splinter group's plan had been to force the re-signing of the Contract, through which they would represent all four signatories. The Lightning Guild effectively claimed the Romean, Dragon, and Fey factions, and the splinter group would represent Albia post-election. But we also knew they probably had contingencies for the splinter group's failure, and so through the meeting with our allies, we made plans of our own. In order for the Guild to pull off its scheme, it needed access to arcane conjunctions called Pools of Radiance, and it needed at least one in close proximity to fantasy!London. But they couldn't use these pools if someone else attuned to them, or if the pools were somehow de-powered.

    So our plan-- not perfect, but the best option we had in the timeframe available-- was to force a confrontation with the Guild by putting their three main goals in one location: the Albian Premier, Vash, and the only Pool of Radiance we left un-attuned. None of us liked putting the premier or Vash in jeopardy, but again, we were short on time.

    Also in the downtime, our church-raised fighter, Beckett-- having been reunited with his estranged sister, and becoming increasingly unsatisfied with revelations about the church-- resigned from the holy order he'd joined, and asked our team that he be called by his birth name from now on, Joshua Freeman. (Beckett was a name given to him by his order.) We jokingly said he'd gone from being 'Saint Beckett, Slayer of Monsters' to 'Joshua Freeman, Brewer of Coffee.'

    Well... as the session came to an end on election night, the Archbishop, the head of the church, was found stabbed (not dead), and he gave Beckett/Joshua a copy of the speech he'd been planning to deliver. Said speech was going to reveal that the church had been tracking several illegitimate bloodlines of the royal family, for surveillance and to try to bring them into the church for controlling purposes. The archbishop was planning to put an end to this practice, and furthermore reveal one of those illegitimate descendants of the royal family was none other than Beckett.

    The speech also had a note written on it in another hand-- "The Thunderlord requests your presence."

    Then the Royal Palace exploded.


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  • Jay 2K Winger
    D&D Adventurers' League--

    I was back to playing in a 'tier 1' game with a brand-new level 1 character, a shadar-kai hexblade warlock. A bunch of the characters at the table were fresh level 1's, even from veteran players, though we had a few experienced characters (level 3-4) so we weren't all squishy.

    One of the players was doing a goliath barbarian, and he leaned into what little roleplay he had by portraying him as dumb. But he also at one point failed a save and didn't realize until a few turns later that he'd accidentally rolled a d12 instead of a d20.

    One player was playing a yuan-ti paladin. Yuan-ti are humans that have been partially turned into snake-hybrids after rituals to some serpent god or other. But Orzo the Lesser insisted he was a "normal human," and the player leaned into it by implying that Orzo genuinely didn't know that some of the things about him weren't "normal," like his ability to spit poison, or that 60F temperatures weren't "freezing."

    The dice weren't kind to a few of the players. Cameron, whom I've been at several tables with, has abysmally bad luck with dice, to the point he's bought new dice mid-session, and even went to buy a new dice tray once. At one point, I jokingly suggested he roll a d12 instead, maybe he'd roll better-- which got a lot of laughs after the barbarian's mix-up earlier. But Orzo's player had a lot of bad rolls as well, at one point rolling nothing but 3's. I told him "go get new dice," and he insisted it wasn't the dice. I let him roll one of mine-- and he promptly rolled another 3.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    D&D AL: Waterdeep Dragon Heist--

    This was it. The finale of our campaign, when we would confront the titular leader of the Xanathar Guild, the crazed beholder itself. Pell was brought back from the dead despite having had his brain slurped out by a mind flayer (I sort of jokingly said that Pell involuntarily burned his daily use of Divine Intervention, as he turned up in the afterlife and his god basically just yeeted him back to life), and our missing sixth player was back this week.

    After a combat encounter, we came across what was effectively the Xanathar's "family crypt," which contained urns full of beholder ash, and three glass tubes containing dead beholders. We found a trap, as well, in the form of two buttons. Pressing one caused an eye beam to shoot out of a statue at the person who touched it. We thought that maybe it was just trapped so that both buttons needed to be pressed at the same time, so our Monk decided to test that theory, and failed the DEX save to avoid the beams. And he vanishes in a puff of ash. Uh oh.

    As a cleric, Pell can cast Revivify, which can bring someone back from the dead if they just died, but that depends on there being a body to cast it on, and ash doesn't count.

    We had to move along, and came to the Guild dining hall, as well as the kitchen, both of which were full of Guild members. (The latter had kobold chefs and two gazers.) We were debating our course of action, unable to make a decision, so the DM turned to Monk's player and described him finding himself in a wooden coffin, which he was unable to punch his way out of. But he did eventually spot a sigil of an eye on the side, which he pressed, and was sort of teleported back to where the eye beam had hit him. So we roleplayed a bit of humor when he casually walks back up to the party right as Pell is saying something like, "If Carnak were here, then we could [yadda yadda]."

    Well, our fairy Bard (called Ned Zeppelin) decided to stealth into the dining hall to get the lay of the land, and they did it by using Disguise Self to appear as one of the kobold chefs. But when they tried to cut back through the kitchen, one of the other chefs spotted them. Which led to some bad rolls, and the Guild members all started to aggro. Seven kobold chefs and several thugs rushed Ned, but fortunately our Rogue, Mouse, got to the doors so he and Ned could hold them open to provide targets for Pell, who rounded the corner, saw them and threw a Fireball into the kitchen. Killing every hostile except one of the gazers, which survived with one hit point.

    The fight against Xanathar and several of his goons was the fight which almost led to a TPK. The chamber we teleported into was more of an antechamber, and we discovered there was a lair action that happened every round-- Xanathar would cause spectral hands to emerge from the walls and grab at anyone within ten feet of them. This led to a few people getting caught, and Xanathar (who could turn invisible) would also focus its central eye from which it emits an anti-magic field in a cone. A lot of us were stuck in that antechamber for a round or two, caught by the hands or paralyzed by one of its eye-beams. And then Pell got caught by Xanathar's petrification eye-beam and I failed the save to avoid turning to stone.

    This was bad. The only thing we had to hand that could turn him back is a 5th-level spell called Greater Restoration, and the only other person who had that spell was Ned. At Level 10, both Ned and Pell only had two 5th-level spell slots, and Ned's player had been hoping to save them for a big damage spell. Ned used their next turn to try to use Greater Restoration on Pell-- but they were still in Xanathar's anti-magic cone, so the spell slot was used up without taking effect. When the DM told us the spell failed, both Ned's player and I were furious. I was on the verge of packing up and leaving, as there was literally nothing I could do while Pell was petrified.

    Fortunately, in a later round, Ned was allowed to get the Greater Restoration off, and then came one of the first great plays of the session.

    I was worried that Pell would get grappled by the lair action again, but before the lair action came around in initiative, Burnie Cinders-- a Dragonborn Warlock played by our sixth player-- decided to throw a Hail Mary and asked the DM to have Xanathar make a CHA save. I had warned Burnie's player that beholders have a +8 bonus to these kind of saves, but he decided it was either this or a TPK. And he asked the DM for fair play and to roll the save in front of the screen, where we could see it. The DM told us that for whatever spell Burnie was casting to work, Xanathar needed to roll an 8 or lower. She rolled... and it came up 8.

    And Xanathar got Polymorphed into a chicken.

    We were cheering, but the fight wasn't over. I used my turn to use a shadar-kai racial ability to teleport out of the antechamber and within range of two downed party members, casting Mass Cure Wounds to bring them back up. We couldn't attack the chicken-- once the Polymorph's HP are depleted, the creature returns to its normal form-- so our plan was to try to grab the chicken and stuff it into a Bag of Holding we'd found. But when the goons' turn came around, every single one of them targeted Burnie with arrows. Burnie had to succeed on a string of concentration checks, or the Polymorph would break, and while he succeeded on several, he then rolled a Nat-1 and so Xanathar was restored to normal, albeit now grounded and not flying.

    Our Monk ran up and tried to grapple Xanathar, to keep it from flying away, causing him to have to tank several attacks from Xanathar on its turn, but ended up getting downed by them. Our party's DPS mains-- Mouse the Rogue and our ranger/rogue/fighter Kyros-- unloaded as many attacks as they could on Xanathar before it could fly or turn invisible, but we had no idea how damaged Xanathar was, and there were still several thugs in play as well. By this point, we were running short on time, as well, since the store where we play was getting ready to close.

    So then I threw my own Hail Mary. I didn't have a lot of damaging spells that I was confident would land, so I cast a 4th-level spell.

    Me: Okay, I would like Xanathar to make a WIS save, please. DC 16.
    DM: He fails.
    Me: He is banished.

    Banishment sends the target to another plane of existence for 1 minute. There's no way to break the banishment early, they're just stuck there.

    The DM declared that we then won the boss battle. The thugs stood no chance against a party of Level 10 adventurers-- even after several of us had taken some bad hits-- and the DM revealed that when I landed that Banishment on Xanathar, it only had 20 HP left. So when it returned, the party would be able to get all the hits needed in to kill it.

    It came down to the wire, and we were genuinely worried about a TPK, but we managed to succeed. And once again saved the city of Waterdeep.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    Mysteries of Albia--

    Oh man. This session.

    The majority of it was Annie's infiltration of the enemy stronghold, posing as a new recruit, successfully bluffing her way through introductory questioning, holding her own in a tournament to figure out who among the recruits would be among those chosen to join the elite guard and thus passing, and then finding a place inside the castle to place her half of the portal that would let the rest of us join her.

    Except while she was in there, she spotted two servants that were familiar to her-- her wife and daughter, who were under some kind of enchantment and didn't recognize her. Annie still fulfilled the mission, we were able to get inside and stealthily get to a magic workshop, where we ganked a bunch of their magical supplies and found the evidence we needed connecting this group to the Lightning Guild-- evidence which would let the authorities come down on the fortress and castle. We bailed soon after to avoid being caught-- but Annie stayed behind, stashing the portal-half and stealthing back to her quarters inside.

    She made contact shortly thereafter, explaining there were non-combatants that needed to be evacuated. So she went back to said wife and daughter, managed to get them to a private enough place where she could Dispel Magic on them to restore their memories, then got them to the portal to evac. While our druid flew them back to safety in giant eagle form, Annie then spilled the beans about herself. She had been working for an organization that had taken her family hostage, and had only just found out that organization was the Lightning Guild. Moreover, she had been the mole/leak within the detective agency-- the leak she had been assigned to find!-- and she had also obtained a strand of Vash's hair and turned it over to the Guild. Needless to say, trust issues were an immediate thing.

    The DM revealed that Annie's subversion, status as the mole, and everything had been her player's idea, and that he'd been impressed at how smoothly she'd tricked Vash into letting her braid her hair, with no one being any the wiser.

    Anyway, Vash's hair being obtained was a Bad Thing, since at the very least, it would allow the hag working with the Guild to scry on her, making Vash a potential security risk. But the authorities turned up, we prepared a plan to storm the castle, when a voice from the castle told us that they had their hands on Charlie's old scouting partner from his army days-- the same partner he thought had died during the war-- as well as on Beckett's sister.

    On top of this, we as players found out that the Guild/militant group counted among their numbers at least three members of Charlie's old unit-- again, people he thought had died in the war.

    Next week is gonna be ... hoo, boy.

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  • Nunavut Pants
    Hosted a game day recently at the clubhouse for our condo complex.

    We played Codenames, 3 vs. 3, boys against girls. I think the guys won two rounds and the girls one.

    We then moved on to "Mexican Train Dominoes". The newest player to the group won that one. He started off well--on your first turn only, you are allowed to play as many tiles as you can, and he ran through most of his hand. I didn't have a "12" to match the seed tile, so I had to draw instead--and was not able to use that first-turn play-all-the-tiles as a result. I never recovered from that, and lost quite handily.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    Mysteries of Albia--

    Forgot to mention last week's Albia session. In the aftermath of defeating the hags, Vash did indeed touch the Hand of Franklin and got a vision/memory from ages past, basically witnessing the trials as various pre-Albian knights and warriors tried to pull the sword from the stone, overseen by the four mortals-turned-gods that comprise the pantheon which Albia generally worships. Yes, there was a King Arthur-analogue that drew the sword, and we saw his first PM and first Archbishop step forward to become his chief advisors. (The PM is the Franklin-- Edward Franklin-- whose hand became the Hand of Franklin artifact.) There were prophecies and lore to be had, and when Vash related what she'd seen and what she'd learned the Hand could do, she attuned to it, so its magic could be useful to us later.

    Charlie also got to talk to Vash about his own past, specifically mentioning that he never knew who his father was. His mother, Eliza Tyburn, had been a scullery maid that occasionally earned some extra coin "by arrangement," and one time she wasn't careful enough and got pregnant with Charlie. She never told him who his father might be. This is also part of the reason for his name; in the neighborhood he grew up in, children from unwed mothers sometimes did not use her surname and instead just went by a letter, so he was just Charlie T growing up, which only became Charlie Tango when he joined the army. He admitted that he had wondered a great deal about who his father might be, but eventually stopped caring-- he was too busy trying to survive-- and specifically told Vash, "If my father were to turn up tomorrow and have expectations of me, I'd tell him to fuck off." As he put it, his father had never been a part of his life prior to now, so he, Charlie, felt no obligations toward him at all, trying to tell Vash she shouldn't feel obligated to her father for the same reasons.

    When she pointed out that he was the leader of the Lightning Guild, to which she had previously belonged and still felt some loyalty to, he replied by saying, "The same guild that's been trying to kill you?"

    We also had to prep for a major operation that our detective agency (which was founded by analogues of Holmes & Watson) was going to undertake against the Guild (which is either working with or has suborned the Salvation Army analogue) and its stronghold in Albia. The first issue was that the agency (the Maculatum Society) could not take action without a vote from the full five-member inner council, and they were down a member since one had passed away a few months prior. The society wanted us to approach the Mycroft Holmes analogue to offer her membership on the council-- something she'd turned down previously-- and asked us how we would do so.

    We threw the DM off when we pointed out that we had no plan for that, as this was the first we'd learned of it and of her, we had nothing to go on. Besides the fact that she didn't want the job, Charlie also pointed out a bad precedent it might set (and the resentment it may cause) to have someone be invited into the society and skip straight from rookie to the very top. Instead, we suggested promoting the Ambassador we'd worked with in a prior case (who had just popped up again), as he was already one step below the council in rank, he already had governmental connections, and he was willing to do the job.

    What followed from there was a bunch of reconnaissance and surveillance on the enemy stronghold, trying to see what we could learn about its layout, its operations, etc. We confirmed that they were working with this uber-hag we'd heard of previously-- more or less described as Caradoc's "opposite number"-- and that the Guild/Army were planning on marching on London in the aftermath of an upcoming election, win or lose. (Also incidentally learned that Charlie's old bully/nemesis Macheath has been not only recruited by them, but that he's running their indoctrination classes.)

    Looks like we're moving into the endgame, so the next couple of months should be interesting!

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  • Nunavut Pants
    Went to a Bunco afternoon yesterday. Bunco is a simple dice game that goes in groups of six rounds, numbered one through six. Each player rolls three dice and scores however many dice roll the number of the round. If any dice score, you keep rolling. There are special rules for rolling triples. Players at each four-person table are teamed up in pairs, but the pairs must change every round. Anyway, I wound up with the "Biggest Loser" title (the second time I've gotten that, out of five times playing!). I won five and lost thirteen rounds. It was good for a prize, though.

    My BGA game of Splendor finally ended. I won! This game, there were three of the four "nobles" (bonus cards) that required diamonds to get. Of course, diamonds were not showing up with much frequency on the tableau, and they were generally snapped up quickly when they did show. I was able to buy some mid-level gem cards that came with VPs on them, in part by not going too far out of my way to save up for diamond cards. That put me up to six VPs. I then grabbed the only noble that did not require diamond cards by buying a card with 2 VPs on it. With the 4 VPs for the noble, that put me at 12 total. One opponent was at 10, I think the other at 11. I then reserved a 5-point card (getting a gold coin "wildcard" by doing so) which I was able to buy the next turn, giving me 17 points. Since 15 is required to win the game, that meant we were on the last round. But I was first player, so each other player did get a turn. The second player had a three-point diamond card reserved, which also gave them a noble. That put them at 17 as well. The third didn't have as many points available to them; I think their total was 15 or 16. I had fewer gem cards that I had bought, which is the tiebreaker, so I won!

    I am still not a fan of the very very long turns, though. I would like it better if the game was played in real-time or near-real-time.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    D&D AL: Waterdeep Dragon Heist--

    So our party already finished the main "campaign," we found the missing hoard of gold and have been hailed as heroes of the city, enjoyed some celebrity, etc. But our DM is running a "bonus dungeon" for us, now all up at Level 10, as we are tasked by the city's leader with going into the Xanathar Guild's headquarters and taking out the Xanathar itself. (For those unaware, Xanathar is a beholder, a challenging enemy for even a group of Level 10 adventurers.)

    We were still cracking jokes and similar throughout the session, as is our wont. I continued to maintain my character, Pell, and his reputation as "the meanest cleric in Waterdeep" with his lack of patience for people...

    DM: "Your tavern has been seeing a lot of business, word's gotten around that you've got money, and there are all these people and relatives turning up asking for money..."
    Me: "Yeah, Pell is like, 'What are you doing here? I specifically left the Shadowfell to get away from you!'"

    Some time later, two of the party had been hit with gas spores and felt sick, not with any kind of mechanical detriment, but...

    DM: "Yeah, if anyone with proficiency in Medicine wants to give me a roll, you could figure out what's going on..."
    Them: (look expectantly at me)
    Me: "I don't have proficiency in Medicine."
    Them: "What?! You're a cleric!"
    Me: "I'm also the meanest cleric in the city!"
    Them: "...that's fair. 'Oh, you're sick? Sounds like a YOU problem.'"
    Me: "Yup."

    There was the gnomish jester we found, too, who Pell immediately took a dislike to (he doesn't like clowns), even as the others were waffling between finding him amusing or annoying. Eventually, we released him from our capture, and he promptly pulled off a Ninja Vanish (literally threw down a small smoke bomb and disappeared), which had Pell glaring at the others. "You know what's worse than a clown? A clown you can't SEE!!"

    But things got a bit more serious toward the end of the session. We hadn't even reached the end of the dungeon yet, but we found ourselves facing off against a pack of fish-people, but as we were getting into position to drop some Fireball spells in their midst, a complication arrived-- a mind flayer. A mind flayer and four of its pet intellect devourers, which are basically little brains with legs. The fish-people had been taken out already, apart from one caster, but when the flayer and devourers showed up, things went wrong badly, and they went badly fast.

    First, the flayer hit the party with its mind blast ability, which applies a stunned condition, and caught all but one of the party. Then one of the devourers ran up to Pell and attacked him, and then used its Devour Intellect ability. I failed the INT save, and lost 7 points to my INT score, dropping it from 10 to 3. I wasn't completely mindless, but it imposed a -4 on my INT rolls, such a to escape the stunned condition. So when the flayer's turn came back up, it attacked me to try to extract Pell's brain.

    The DM rolled a Nat-20, critical success. Dealing enough damage to completely knock out the rest of my HP, and straight up killing Pell. Not knocked unconscious, no death saves, just full on D-E-D dead.

    DM: "So... what are Pell's thoughts in these final moments?"
    Me: "I think... even in his mentally reduced state, Pell is aware of what's about to happen, and he thinks, 'Raven Queen, I'm coming home.'"

    The rest of the party were still stun-locked, but our monk/rogue was able to land a blow on the flayer, causing it to retreat out of melee range, and then our ranger/fighter/rogue broke out of stun and was able to get in position to kill the flayer in return before it could teleport away. The devourers were all taken out, as was the last fish-person... and that's where the session ended.

    Per Adventurers League rules, Pell will be revived/resurrected between sessions, I just don't get any material rewards that came following the point Pell died. But since he died in the last encounter of the session, it means he'll get all of the gold etc. that we found, and will get the benefits of a long rest, which the DM specifically said the rest of the party won't.

    So Pell, the Meanest Cleric in Waterdeep, will live again. But it was still quite the shock to all of us that one of us actually died.

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  • Ghel
    In the latest session, I was playing my goblin warlock, Ninny, again. The main part of the adventure was pretty standard - go to a place, fight a yeti, travel back, get paid. But at the end of the session, we did some shopping, which was far more memorable. I’m playing my character as fairly naive. She doesn’t really understand what money is, and she didn’t even consider bartering to get a better deal on the sparkly magic hat she wanted. So the rest of the party was giving her advice on how not to get taken advantage of or stolen from. Then I described Ninny’s ratty armor and cloak with the sparkly hat, and everybody decided Ninny needed better armor and a new cloak. I felt so welcome. 😁

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    Mysteries of Albia--

    This week was largely a series of combat encounters in a cave I nicknamed the "Mouth of Evil" since it had a pervasive evil aura about it, and the DM specifically described stalactites and stalagmites as resembling teeth in the mouth of the cave as we were entering it. We still put big DPS up in spite of a lack of our Fighter-Barbarian (who I've dubbed both IC and OOC as "Saint Beckett, Slayer of Monsters") (Jesse has been out of the country the last few weeks, and joined when he could via Discord, but wasn't able to connect this week) thanks to a few NPC allies on side.

    Among the encounters was a young white dragon and its undead kobold minions ("zombolds" I immediately dubbed them), but Caradoc the Druid cast a Wall of Fire around the dragon, scorching it every round and preventing it from getting involved-- it tried climbing the walls and looking over the wall, but we were all staying out of range of its breath weapon. In the last round, I landed with a critical hit from a flaming bullet, and the wall of fire burned it to death on its turn. I asked, for flavor, if it could be my shot that was the killing blow, and everyone seemed to agree.

    Then we came to the source of all the evil permeating the landscape in fantasy!Nunavut-- a coven of hags, which had been kept sealed in the Mouth of Evil courtesy of the macguffin we were looking for. (Turns out the macguffin, a reliquary of a historical figure in-setting, isn't akin to the Hand of Vecna, but is in fact a Good-aligned artifact.) Only, the hags had just broken the seal courtesy of a willing sacrifice-- another Lightning Guild/Dragon Cult member, and the accomplice of the changeling we'd captured the previous session-- and taunted the party. Even offered out forecasts of the future for three of the party, but failed to charm them.

    We got swarmed by zombies the hags summoned up, but that was okay, because Caradoc the Druid fell back on old reliable-- using his Summon Creature spell to summon a herd of elks to stampede all over them. He nicknamed the herd "the Elkridge Boys," but this week flavored it (since we were in fantasy!Canada) that they were caribou instead. ("Caribou Crew" I dubbed them) Between our NPC allies holding the line against the zombies, and Caradoc going ham with his Wildshape to turn into a big bristled saber-toothed panther (a moorbounder), we held our own. My gunslinger got the kill on the last hag standing with his flaming bullet again.

    And now the Hand of Franklin artifact is speaking in Vash the Rogue's head, telling her to "touch, and remember" -- and that's where we'll pick up next time.


    Jay's Home Game--

    Given how trying to prep has been tricky for me with our Waterdeep campaign, I told my roommates that we'd be instead switching to one-shot adventures, so we can keep things moving along, and get a mix of RP and combat and so on. I also sweetened the pot by telling them I'd bump them to Level 4, give them a magic item (either a +1 weapon or a +1 shield, or a class-specific item), and some gold for good measure. (Our cleric and paladin both were disappointed they didn't have enough gold to buy plate armor yet.)

    I wanted it to be a fun, possibly silly, little game, so I chose one of the adventures I'd done with D&D Adventurers League, "The Peculiar Case of the Selptan Felines." I admit I wasn't expecting the cleric to suddenly be more bloodthirsty than the rogue, though I managed to dissuade them from just smashing any and all cats on sight.

    It was a good call to run the adventure. They all had fun, and they agreed that the vaguely-interconnected one-shots idea is probably better. I'll have to provide a little advice to a few of them about spell choices, or how to properly use some of their class features. The druid didn't use her Wildshape ability very much, and the rogue completely forgot about Sneak Attack-- though using that would have required being able to land an actual attack. (The dice were not kind to him.)

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    Forgot to add a bit from Mysteries of Albia last week--

    The changeling (when he was still disguised, but captured) was set up to be a little too freaky for Vash to intimidate with threats of violence, sounding more excited than anything when she threatened to break his feet. I remarked on this above the table--

    Me: "He's too much of a freak for threats."
    DM: (smiles, nodding) "Yup."
    Bob: "He's into that kind of thing."
    Eric: "Oh no."
    Me: "He 100% is on the list with Ashley Madison."
    (table breaks down laughing)
    Bob: "And he likes foot stuff."
    Me: "Oh definitely."

    Even Mike the DM had to laugh at that one.

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  • Nunavut Pants
    Just picked up a copy of Dominion (the Big Box set). Hoping I can find someone who will play it with me.

    Still doing the play-by-mail-ish Splendor on BGA. It's kind of tedious; each player gets up to 2 days to make their move...

    Still playing real-time Six Nimmt. Still doing poorly at it.

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  • Jay 2K Winger
    Mysteries of Albia--

    The current case our band of investigators are handling is less a mystery and more "you guys get things done" and "you prevented a major assassination attempt," so we've been sent to accompany this ironclad out to determine what happened to the HMS Terror, which had returned to fantasy!England a year prior, with all hands missing but for the captain, Sir Francis Crozier. In our setting, Crozier had family ties that went all the way back to the founding of fantasy!England, and there was this sort of reliquary that had belonged to the family forebearer, but which turns out to be more or less our equivalent to the infamous Hand of Vecna, a D&D artifact of massive evil power, severed from the archlich and minor divinity Vecna himself.

    The past few sessions, we've been traversing rivers and lakes and such in fantasy!Canada. There's been some big roleplay moments. One of the more significant ones came when our psychic rogue/warlock Vash tried to offer some comforting words to the frustrated and angry church-raised fighter Beckett. Vash had previously gone dream-walking through the party's dreamscapes, including Beckett's, seeing some dream-memory of a younger Beckett and a young girl, and tried to assure Beckett that he'd see "her" again. Only for Beckett to reveal to her (the rest of the party isn't aware yet) that while he does love "her," he must sever all connection to her for her sake. I think "she" is supposed to be his sister, because Beckett told Vash that his deadbeat parents had sold him to the church, and he willingly gave up major memories of his childhood to forget about them. It was a huge lore drop that none of us saw coming. It also explained the anger Beckett seemed to be feeling, as his faith in the church (though not the gods it worships) has wavered some, and he weaponized it when he revealed that he'd multiclassed into barbarian, allowing him to use the Rage ability to further increase his damage output.

    This week's session saw no combat, but a mystery to solve as someone had sabotaged the ship's engine with a bomb and we needed to work out who was responsible. Fortunately, my gunslinger has access to a spell called Clue which highlights footprints and fingerprints, and colorizes each to a different individual, allowing us to rule out most of the crew. Only, we still got conflicting information, as several clues (including the spell) pointed to the ship's craftsman (carpenter), but who had an alibi. And after clearing him, other evidence pointed at a different crewman. We finally narrowed it down to specific crewmate, but when Vash/Knives confronted him in a one-on-one interrogation, that crewmate suddenly turned out to be a changeling, a member of the Lightning Guild (a thieves'/assassins' guild behind several of our cases), and a cultist of an evil dragon god. And then the changeling bit down on a cyanide capsule in his tooth to kill himself.

    Good plan, except our Irish fey druid has the Revivify spell that can bring someone back from the dead. Which we did, and then the druid had the changeling hauled off to the Feywild for "extraordinary rendition" in some prison run by the Unseelie Court, where they would eventually break him. Except one of the things the changeling revealed before being dragged off was the new head of the Guild (called the Thunderlord) is Vash's biological father, much to her shock. She admitted to being adopted, but had always believed her bio-father was dead.

    Toward the end of the session, Vash admitted to feeling conflicted about her father, implying some kind of obligation to him. Charlie (me) and Caradoc (the druid) both put the kibosh on that, saying that he hadn't raised her or been involved in her life. "He might be your father, but he wasn't your Dad." (Mike the DM, after this line got dropped, just nodded and said, "There it is." He knew someone would go for it.)

    But then the topic got on to our satyr Caradoc, who was exiled from the Feywild some 3000+ years ago, and has been serving as the Seelie Court's deniable quasi-diplomatic asset in the material plane. We knew he's been cursed so he can't get drunk-- he doesn't get to experience the fun side of drinking, as he would put it-- so we assumed that he had drank the wrong person's expensive/valuable liquor or something...

    Caradoc: "I got exiled for doin' what a satyr does."
    Charlie: "Ah, you fucked up and drank the wrong person's booze?"
    Caradoc: "No, you had the first part right."
    Charlie: "You.. fucked... up?"
    Vash: "Wait--"
    Charlie & Vash: "You fucked Titania?"
    Caradoc: "Yeah. I cucked Oberon."
    Charlie: "Oh."
    Caradoc: "The King of the Unseelie Court."
    Vash: "Oh."
    Charlie & Vash: "Oh no."

    So Caradoc's exile was less because he'd pissed off his queen, and more a political move, because if Oberon were to find out, and Caradoc had still been around in the Seelie Court, Titania would have had to make an example of him.

    Still, finding out your party's druid once cucked Oberon was both hilarious ("So that's why he's always depicted with the antlers!") and terrifying.

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