So, we picked up the party at Phandalin as they “relaxed” in town for a couple of days, waiting for Gundren Rockseer’s brothers to arrive back in town. While waiting they also debated what the party also debated what to do next – as well as divvyed up treasure. After some discussion, the party decided to, as fairly as possible, simply allocate the treasure to the party member who would do best with it. So Gwyneth got the Glasstaff and the D’lanni Stone of Fireball, Fonkin the D’lanni Stone of Charm Person, Rhys the +1 Longsword “Talon”, Devin the Monstrance of the Perehelion (1xL2) and a Potion of Healing, and Ilda received the other Potion of Healing.
The party had settled for the most part on hunting out the goblins near Wyvern Tor under the assumption that they would know where Cragmaw Castle was, in order to rescue Gundren Rockseer. Devin was quite perplexed because he wasn’t aware of any “Cragmaw Castle” on his family’s lands and was quite concerned about what this might portend. The group also began to understand why Devin’s brother had sent him off to “wrangle” the family’s country lands – he is earnest, noble, and equally idealistic.
At the last moment though, the group decided to seek out a Druid in Thundertree who it had been mentioned to them as likely knowing where both Cragmaw Castle and Wave Echo Cave were. They were possibly aided in this by Mirna, the woman they had rescued from the Redbrands with her daughter, let them know that there was a hidden necklace in her family’s old shop that they were welcome to – if they could avoid the “ash zombies” that had destroyed the town.
The party quickly decided that “Ash zombies” was about as helpful as “Eye Monster” when it came to figuring out what the heck non-adventurers were talking about.
So after a short period making sure they were properly equipped, and deciding that they were tired of waiting for the two other Rockseer brothers, the party headed north, following the old road to Thundertree.
About half-way though the first day of travel (it is planned three days to get to the ruins of Thundertree) the party encountered an Ogre – who was lucky enough to see Fonkin and exclaimed “I luvs me some Gnome pudding!” and added “With crunchies!” after Fonkin tried to Charm him with his pearly whites. Unluckily for the Ogre, this party very quickly outmatched it and it never even managed a hit on any of the characters. I made the on-the-spot decision that an Ogre carried most of it’s DMG style treasure hoard on it’s person (no great bunches of coins, just magic and gems) and the party ended up with a pile of fine amber nuggets, a Truesteel Rapier, a Armlet of the Adder (aka Staff of the Adder), and a +1 Rod of the Pact Keeper. Devin ended up with the Rapier, and Fonkin with the Rod and Armlet.
They travelled the rest of the day before setting up camp at an old merchant waysite, and then tucked it in for the night – realizing that they might need to get more members of the party who didn’t need a long rest to “be at full” (aka Fighters and Rogues). As a result, first watch was Gwyneth and Devin, while second watch was Rhys (and Lockheed) and Clint of the East Woods, Fonkin’s “associate” (aka familiar).
The party was woken a couple of hours before dawn by the sight and sound of Rhys being mobbed by five charnel-smelling , snarling, yipping, and baying,dog-faced humanoids. Against all odds, the party managed to slay all five ghouls without anyone dying. Fonkin used his Fae Presence to inspire Fear in the ghouls, and while Lockheed and Devin were both Paralyzed by the ghoul’s claws, both survived the attack without dropping to zero HP. Taking a series of deep breaths, they burned the bodies, and did their best to rest up and keep alert until dawn.
The next morning the party tracked the ghouls back to the to the barrow that they had come from. This sparked a pretty lively discussion around the propriety of grave-robbing after they entered and found some significant treasure and grave goods. Ilda (the dwarf) was horrified/disgusted by the concept, Devin was just generally uncomfortable with the notion, while Fonkin was fine with the idea – and Gwyneth was just plain confused as to what made this different from looting bodies?
Rhys was the one who finally made the most compelling argument – that I while it was certainly just for the party to be rewarded for slaying the ghouls by taking the magic items and small objects d’art found within, they would be wise to avoid “dragon sickness” and scatter the coins that had lain under such a shadow of evil above ground for the sun to cleanse and allow any who passed to take what they desired. This would show the gods that the act wasn’t done out of greed for coin and plunder, but for the greater good.
While Ilda still refused any of the treasure, the party did allocate out the three magical items they found in the barrow. Devin received a Truesteel Chainmail Hauberk, Gwyneth a Circlet of Blasting, and Rhys a Periapt of Wound Closure. They have resolved that Ilda certainly deserves the next couple of magic items if she can use them. The party also decided to rest for an additional day before continuing.
And that is where we called it!
- What amazingly “bad” luck when it came to random encounters!
- Who cares? The ogre was a pushover, and the ghouls were initially scary but a DC10 Con check is very underwhelming to avoid to Paralysis.
- Random treasure generation was as good of luck as the wandering monsters should have been bad – which is fine, it will make up for the generally crummy treasure of the module as written.
- Everyone remains very positive on 5E.
- OMG! The spellcasters continue to prove their worth in combat. It really makes me question the “bounded accuracy” need for the reduced Dexterity AC bonus for Medium and Heavy Armor. I’ve dropped it for Devin, we’ll see how it goes.