Hello one and all! As discussed in my last post, here is the first in my new series of recaps for games I’m running or playing in. Lets begin!
D&D Adventurers League
I have been fortunate to be involved in the Adventurers League games over at Myth Weavers, and as my first foray into this style of structured gaming, I’ve been extremely happy with the experience. The organizers and other DM’s have all been tremendous in keeping up more than a couple of dozen separate digital tables, and it is a robust community. If you’re looking to play some D&D 5th Edition by play-by-post, I highly recommend it.
Shadows of the Moonsea
I’ve been running this module since December, and we’re in the home stretch now. Two to three months to complete an adventure or sizable junk of story is actually very good for play-by-post in my experience, and I am extremely happy that it is running its course.
Let’s get you all up to speed before moving on to where we are in February.
The Story So Far
Shadow of the Moonsea begins in Phlan, a city in the Moonsea Region of northern Faerûn. The adventurers are tasked by Doomguide Yovir Glandon, the high preist of Kelemvor, to investigate rumors of a ‘ghost ship’ attacking coastal settlements in Phlan’s vicinity. Accepting the job, the adventurers spend some time in the city investigating leads before taking to the road.
DM’s Note: The lineup for this table has changed a couple of times. The current party members are: Balaboo Quietseeker (laconic halfling ranger), Eryn Siannodel of Clan Etherdyl (wood elf cleric of Silvanus), Hargrev (human paladin with a penchant for falling down), Hild Isdendottir (human rogue), Lovely Tune (kenku cleric), and Nirab Cotts (half-elf sorcerer). Each character began the adventure at Level 1.
While travelling, they aid a helpful merchant who informs them that the last settlement before reaching Phlan itself is an isolated fishing village in the Stormy Bay. After a brief scrap with a she-wolf protecting her cubs, the party arrive at the landing that will take them across the bay to the village. There they encounter a strange, gruff ferryman who is only happy when the adventurers gold is clinking into his hands.
A short journey through turbulent waters brought the party to the village, a gray and desolate place. Their they are approached by Elisande, a pockmarked young human girl desperate to leave the island, who offers to act as their guide (securing a promise from Eryn in the promise to take her off the island). Without much to see in such a drab place, the group speak to the only other living souls they’ve: a trio of crones. A short, strange conversation later has them returning to the docks, and that is where our story picks up.
They Came from the Sea
The party, knowing from their investigation in Phlan that the attacks they’re investigating have a pattern of every couple of nights, decide to lay in wait at the landing. They presume this would be the most logical place for an attack by ship to occur, being the only navigable inlet to the island (that they were aware of). Hild, travelling prepared, planted a hunters trap on the main ‘road’ up to the village, at the cusp between the water-battered planks of the dock and the muddy footpath. The others hid, weapons readied, as night descended.
DM’s Note: The module had divided the players time in the village into blocks up until nightfall in which they could accomplish a single noteworthy task. Only two of these ‘blocks’ were utilized: the meeting with the crones, and the laying the ambush.
The darkness came and with it, a mysterious fog. The sound of rowing, then of voices came from the water. The sound of boots stepping onto the deck, and ghastly figures approaching. Then, cries of pain as Hild’s trap was triggered.
Surprised, the ghostly figures had little time to react. The battle was bloody, but brief, as the party launched their ambush. After mere moments, there were four dead bodies on the floor, a pair of very alive kobold captives. The attackers, as it turned out, had been very much alive upon entering the dock and were not among the undead as originally thought.
The adventurers interrogated the kobolds, who were all to eager to answer questions. The kobolds reveal that they serve the Cult of the Dragon, under the command of a man called Ixas. They had been pillaging the coast for any books and magical items they could find. Prisoners are brought back to Ixas for interrogation before a terrible statue in the shape of a dracolich. Their main vessel awaited them in the Bay.
Having gleaned all the information they could from the captives, most of the party decided the prisoners were better off dead than alive. Eryn, having a somewhat antagonist past with the species, bludgeoned the two kobolds to death. A wave of mixed feelings filled the group at these brutal murders, but they would not have time contemplate the blood on their hands for long.
Arriving as if out of thin air, the three crones declared that the party was to leave the island immediately, and to leave the dead behind. With enough information to find the raider vessel, the party quickly leave the island, rowing into the bay for the final confrontation.
DM’s Note: That catches us up to now. I fully expect to finish the module in March, and I will have a final report for you all then.
Lost Mines of Phandelver
I am a huge fan of this module. I’ve ran it up to the beginning of the goblin caves before on PBP, and this is my first time playing it.
In this particular iteration of Lost Mines of Phandelver, I am playing as Cherlia Brightbringer, a female gnome and cleric of their god Garl Glittergold. Young, indealistic, and endlessly optimistic, Cherlia is spreading her god’s message one pranked ne’er-do-well or pummeled bandit at a time. She is adventuring with the party at the instigation of a friend and fellow adventurer, Oriando Happyflower. A halfling rogue and a scoundrel, Cherlia has made Oriando a bit of a project as she hopes to guide him a more righteous path.
Having accepted the task from Master Rockseeker to escort his cargo wagon to Phandalin, Cherlia and her companions are ambushed not far from the town. They acquitted themselves well, but Cherlia had to call upon her god-given powers more than once to save one of her fellows. The battle ends quickly with one prisoner taken.
After some rest, and a successful interrogation of the prisoner, Cherlia pitches taking the wagon and their would be murderer to town. Thorn, the party’s half-elf bard, disagreed and favored an immediate assault on the goblin warren. After some debate and the druid Anduin Greyleaf convincing the beasts pulling the wagon to come off the road and hide, Cherlia relented. Securing the goblin Squee to a tree and binding his limbs, she joiend the party as they set off down the trail to the goblin’s den in search of their benefactor and his bodyguard…
Tales of the Planeship Cytherian Star
Tales of the Planeship Cytherian Star, a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition adventure, was such an interesting premise that I had to apply: as a player character, I would become a crew member of the Cytherian Star and aide its captain Artemis Vitra in his hunt across the Planes for emotions to sell. Planescape is my favorite D&D setting, so I was all over this.
For this game, I am playing a shadow elf of Shavela (my own creations) living in decadent exile in Arborea named Miradithas. A former knight turned criminal, Mirdithas is a sensation-seeking lothario looking for the next big adventure. He gets thats, and then some, when he joins the crew of the Cytherian Star.
The Story So Far
After meeting the good captain at his home in Arborea, Miradithas and the prospective crew took their last night of shore leave before disembarking. Over dinner, they encountered a strange man inquiring over the workings of the Cytherian Star. Miradithas payed him no mind, as he was busy moving through the early motions of seduction with fellow crew member Mirya, an attractive female tiefling and bard. The mood somewhat spoiled by the interruption of the odd man and the local eladrin authorities, Miradithas ate in somewhat sullen silence.
Leaving his fellows, Miradithas spent the rest of the evening at a hall called Elyisum, where he drank and caroused with several attractive elves and dryads. In the morning, he awoke naked among his fellow revelers in a house-tree. Realizing the hour was late, he rushed off to the Star and his first day as an emotion-peddler.
The ship departed, delayed from the Astral Plane only by a brief encounter with a local river god. They entered that great silver expanse and began searching for a world that would be ripe for harvesting. They quickly found one, an elfin world with a bit of a dark streak. Miradithas was immediately reminded of home, but kept nostalgia at bay as he focused on his duties as the ships navigator.
As they moved toward their destination, the Cytherian Star encountered an asteroid-sized piece of a Prime Material world floating in endless Astral sea…
Welcome to the Rock
The crew, Miradithas included, decided to investigate the Prime Material remnant. The rock itself was still habitable and was a hot, stifling jungle. The only sign the found of any inhabitants was an abandoned camp site.
Miradithas and the others had only begun to investigate the camp site, finding a letter of some kind on the ground, when they were attacked by monstrous fungal creatures. His training as a knight taking hold, Miradithas threw himself between the attackers and his companions. Despite his skill, there were too many fungal creatures with many tentacles, and he was quickly overwhelmed.
But in the darkness came light, and thanks to Mirya’s intervention Miradithas rose again. He aided his fellow in dispatching the remaining monsters, who fell quickly to sword, arrow, and spell. As he wiped his blade clean of their ichor, tossing a soiled silk kerchief on their broken corpses, the others had already decided to investigate a cavern, whose entrance the camp site sat by.
Shaken from his near death experience, but not deterred, Miradithas was the first into the hole. Oppo, their halfing compatriot, was next, and as the water was deeper than he stood, Miradithas agreed to carry the rogue on his back to the ledge that led deeper into the cavern. The others quickly joined them, and not far into the nearby passage they encountered another hideous creature: a beholderkin.
Having failed to learn his lesson from earlier, Mirdathias once again interposed himself between his companions and the monster. Mirya and the wizard Sikhandyn unleashed magics on the creature almost immediately, and it exploded in a poisonous cloud, which Miradithas was on the edge of.
Coughing, his lungs filled with poison, Miradithas once again felt the embrace of darkness. But, once again, Mirya used her own powers to bring him back to the brink. Annoyed now, and with more shrieks coming from the cavern, Miradithas decided discretion was the better part of valor and made to exit the cavern.
But Mirya, unleashing more magic on the creatures (and with everyone a safe distance away), burst the approaching beholderkin. The cavern went eerily silent, and despite some reservations, Miradithas agreed they should continue exploring…
Shadows of Chicago
Shadows of Chicago, using Urban Shadows (a Powered by Apocalypse game), is an urban fantasy drama I am also running over on the ‘weave. Since last year I’ve been wanting to try out Urban Shadows and get into Powered by Apocalypse systems, as they are similar in style to Fate Core/Accelerated (which I still prefer more at the moment).
This game is following the trials and tribulations of Bianca Williams (an Oracle with mob ties), Helen Kryiazis (an Revenant out for blood against crooked cops), Kaspar Lorenz (a Tainted enforcer for a powerful demoness), and Rhyland Black (a wizard new to the life) on the wintry streets of Chicago. Their tale begins at The Scilliano, the restaurant Bianca owns and manages. They have all come to commiserate over morning coffee before seeing to their own business.
Coffee is interrupted by Genoveffa Provenzano, a mob captain and Bianca’s cousin. Over a cafe, the cousins discuss the future of the restaurant and how Genoveffa’s brother, Vito, has taken an interest in the place. Bianca is curt with her cousin, assuming the worst of her estranged relative. Shrugging this off, Genoveffa leaves with her warning delivered and with Bianca in her debt.
MC’s Note: This encounter allowed us to immediately engage with the game systems. Almost all the players were able to mark off Faction (a key aspect of the advancement system), and debts were traded: Bianca absolutely owes her cousin Gigi, and Gigi will owe Bianca if Bianca tips her off should Vito snoop around the restaurant. Mechanics aside, it was also a great piece of roleplaying that deepened the plot for Bianca and Helen specifically.
Bianca rejoined her friends, and they were about to discuss the visitation when all four of them are seized by a powerful vision. The vision shows them a frozen, destroyed Chicago, and a giant red-tailed hawk triumphantly singing from atop the Willis Tower. When the vision leaves them, they are left to ponder it and the mysterious numbers ’15:02:20′ drawn in salt on their table, shifting in a countdown…
That was the month of February for me and my games. Check-in next month to find out what happens next, and to see what else I might have cooking!