Welcome to another recap! This time, it is for my first taste of Dungeon Mastering for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Based in Faerun, my Adventures in the Sword Coast is currently working its way through The Lost Mines of Phandelvar. So not only am I running a system new to me, I’ve also gone one further for me and am using an established module. Trust in me though, the sky isn’t falling, we’re trying new things.
Our adventure begins, with a bit of a twist on the modules opening hooks, in the city of Neverwinter. Five would-be-adventurers have responded to a request by the eccentric merchant Gundren Rockseeker: Averia Farron (human fighter, formerly of the Neverwinter City Watch), Azhur Findley (tiefling bard, con artist and false prophet), Dieron Mattashi (human sorcerer that longs for the sea), Emmyth Gloradim (elf rogue, minor noble from Evermeet), and Theldus (dwarf cleric with prayer and hammer always at the ready). Each with their own reasons, they arrived in a western trade district of the City to meet with Rockseeker at a warehouse the dwarven merchant owns.
Arriving, they gathered in a small anteroom. The walls were made form thing sheet metal, and the warehouse had a distinctly thrown together feel. Trading quips and banter, the party endured Azhur’s penchant for exaggerated speechifying while waiting to be received. After waiting for a few moments, a young and beardless dwarf dressed as a clerk appeared from within.
The clerk seemed very…nervous. He apologized, declaring in a loud voice that Gundren Rockseeker wasn’t here, and that they should return tomorrow. Averia, experienced with this sort of people and capable of speaking the dwarfs native tongue, asked if there was a problem. The clerk explained, in low quick Dwarvish, that the warehouse was being ransacked by bandits, one of which was lurking behind the door with a crossbow!
This was a great moment for me, as it showed how this group could use their heads and all their skills at the gate. Something as simple as Averia’s player using Dwarvish to suss out what was happening completely altered how the scene went and opened up everything that followed. Kudos!
Nodding at the clerk, Averia made a clumsy attempt to convey this information to the others surreptitiously. Picking up on this, Azhur stepped outside: he communicated with the clerk via message and returned inside with a ‘package’, attempting to give himself a reason to stay. Averia also remained, hiding the side of the door leading into the warehouse. The rest exited, looping around to the back of the warehouse.
The bulk of the party arrive at the rear, poking their head around the corner of the warehouse. They saw a lone figure: human, scraggly dressed, and armed with a sword. Emmyth, the resident sneak, scouted a head to the dock of the warehouse while Dieron and Theldus took cover. Emmyth, using the shadows cast by the fading son along the building, made it to under the dock.
Two things happened at once: Azhur, using his biting tongue, drew the ire of the bandit behind the door, getting shot. Emmyth launched an arrow at the bandit lookout in the rear, taking him out. Averia, leaping to action, fired her own crossbow at the offending bandit in the front. That bandit attempted to find his footing as Averia ordered him to stand down. He got off a warning to the rest of his crew before his brain was melted by Azhur’s vicious mockery.
Inside, the bandits dropped what they were doing and attempted to flee. At this point, Dieron and Theldus had joined Emmyth. Dieron had already decided to charge in, thinking Averia and Azhur were in trouble. Instead, he ran smack into the the fleeing bandits. A short fight ensues, Dieron incinerates a bandit with a fire bolt. Averia and Azhur joined the fray, and with the bandits surrounded the party called for them to surrender.
Another moment where the players thought with their heads instead of their swords. They saved themselves a longer, and potentially deadly, combat by appealing to the bandits sense of self-preservation. The roll was good, and the bandits gave it up. Loved it.
The party held the bandits at bay while Averia left to summon the City Watch. They attempted to interrogate the boss of the bandits, gleaning that a new and powerful gang of raiders had come to the Sword Coast. They were left with the ominous threat that the party had drawn the attention of some shadowy, powerful organization. Rockseeker and his bodyguard arrived at this point, the Watch and Averia not far behind.
The introduction wrapped up with the party, after a rousing speech from Rockseeker, agreeing to accompany the dwarf on a quest for the Lost Mine of Phandelvar. Two days later, after gathering equipment, they departed Neverwinter with a carriage full of supplies for the operation…
Gundren Rockseeker rewarded the players with 5 gold pieces each for their trouble in the warehouse. They also gained 60 experience points.
The players are currently on their way to Phandelvar. Wait and see, as I will recap at the next milestone!