So, today we picked up the game again. We meant to play last weekend but time got away from us, but the holiday gave us plenty of time to play.
The module continues to plague me to a certain extant. Travels times and maps don’t seem to have anything in common with one another, and the layout of the Phandalin section just seemed confusing to me (not to mention a frontier town with no water source, but that’s just standard goofy fantasy setting crap). I spent way more time flipping back-and-forth than I would have preferred. Those complaints aside, everyone enjoyed themselves a great deal and had the chance to shine in various ways.
We picked up with the party healing up Sildar a bit and getting the infodump on what had happened. After some quick discussion, they decided to escort him to Phandalin. Then they interrogated their two goblin captives, Fonkin disguised himself with magic to look like a goblin – which worked poorly until Rhys had Gwyneth drag Fonkin off and then threatened the remaining goblin with “talk or I’ll hand you over to the elf…” – cue resultant goblin infodump.
From there it merely remained to travel to Phandalin. As per the module this occurred with no incident, and they spent the evening after arrival at the Inn following their various wonts – Ilda the Bard played for room and board (and gathered many rumors), Fonkin gambled with the locals (and gathered some rumors), Rhys drank and flirted (and picked up a rumor or two), while Gwyneth enjoyed the local ambience for a short period before retreating her room. I made a command decision and said that like any typical mining town with a frontier economy the prices here are inflated, but that given the lack of comment in the module merely doubled the prices of things rather than some of the historically insane levels.
In any case, they certainly heard about the Redbrands – and given the speed at which they moving we had a two-part confrontation with the ruffians as the left Barthen’s Provisions. There was the initial bunch of four of them, one of whom fled in response to Ilda’s Dissonant Whispers – and then fled to get five more of his compadres. The remaining two wounded Fonkin and Gwyneth quite badly, Fonkin being dropped to 0HP, before being slain. As the first character to achieve this rather dubious honor his player then celebrated this by blowing two death Saves in a row. Ilda then used a Healing Word to bring him back from his near-death state before he blew a third.
Whereupon the reinforcements arrived, though due to Rhys’ companion Lockheed the Dragonet (pseudo-dragon) instead of managing any form of surprise were surprised in turn. My son pulled a Dragonlance when he used his character’s warlock “Beguiling Form” power to instil Fear in first two to arrive by invoking the dread and awful great wyrm “Caterpilius” – it was a really great bit of roleplaying! The other three were ambushed in turn as they failed to try and sneak around the building (finding that it’s hard to sneak up on people when they have an “eye in the sky” in the form of a dragonet).
We closed with the party standing around in the street, Sildar and the town druidess (rather than a priestess of Tymora) running up to provide some quick support and healing. Everyone agreed that combat moves quickly, plays fair, and is a great deal of fun. The power of 5e spells and having Advantage continues to be illustrated, and everyone is looking forward to 3rd level. Final lock on “class specialty” and the allure of 2nd level spells are mighty appealing.