So this session saw the addition of a couple we’ve known for a few years now as players. DGP created Jarvic, a human Dorje (cleric) of the En Khoda Theos Kirk, serving Great Dragon of the Air. He was fine in understanding that once Princes of the Apocalypse came out I might tweak the nature of the “Air Domain” I was creating on the fly here for him, but overall seemed pretty happy with his character and how it turned out (even if the stats were mostly very average). KS created Dagri, a Khazan (Half-Goblin) Barbarian after rolling two 18’s in her stats – ending up with a Strength of 20 and a Constitution of 19 for her 1st level character!
As an aside, names for the henchmen were also determined – Wrenn Tosscobble for Fonkin’s cousin the rogue, and Aneirin for the High Elf paladin that was now determined to protect and take care of Gwyneth.
So the party gathered themselves together to get ready to ravel to Cragmaw Castle and rescue their former employer Gundren Rockseer, discussed various rumors that they had come across while in Diamond Lake – the most troubling of which was that the mayor might very well be planning on attacking and wiping out a nearby “Twilight Monastery” with the help of his brother (a local mage), the sheriff, and some hired mercenaries. Devin was greatly troubled with this possibility and only agreed to leave without investigating further when the party agreed to return, post-rescue, and find out what was going on. He also sent a letter off via Navigator to his brother, informing of his fears and suspicions.
With that, the party set off, now nine-strong, travelling back across the hills, to assault Cragmaw Castle and rescue Gundren!
The first two days of travel went by without any trouble. But as they were relaxing at the end of the second day after dinner a group of four hill trolls stumbled across them and decided to attack. Now, neither side achieved surprise, and it was, for all intents, a stand up battle. Now, in my 1e game, hill trolls are somewhat nasty pieces of work – basically an Hill Giants with some bonuses. So, I treated these hill trolls the same – Hill Giants with the same bonuses. In three rounds they were all dead (the last being slain in a flurry of opportunity attacks when trying to flee) after some admittedly excellent rolls by the party. I can’t say that they trolls even rolled that badly, but the party was able to layer them with Disadvantage, plus give themselves Advantage, and over all the trolls only hit twice, and never even managed to drop anyone – even the 1st level characters.
It was really pretty amazing – Dagri critted one of the trolls at a crucial moment and killed it, and then also struck the killing blow on the last one as it fled. Rhys killed one that the melee fighters had been pounding on, while Gwyneth blasted one and slew it. I’m actually going to have to rethink trolls a bit in 5e I think, they are not nearly as scary as they should have been. They did have a nice flavor of having to be beaten upon greatly and I liked that, but they still went down a bit too easily for a group of this level. I also have to say that the party synergized roles and abilities very well, that is clearly what their success was due to, not “wimpy trolls”. I just have to rebalance them for a new edition and new mechanics.
Now, all that said, I still gave the group XP for five CR5 creatures – and this came out to 900 XP for everyone (half that for the henchmen). Jarvic and Dagri jumped to 3rd level in one fight, the henchmen both made it to 2nd level, and Gwyneth, Ilda, and Devin each made it to 4th level!
Dagri continued with amazing rolls, and rolled up maximum HP for both levels!
Everyone had fun, the new players enjoyed themselves immensely, and we’re all looking forward to the next game session – though MS (Devin) and MR (Fonkin & Wren) are going to miss. MS flies back in from Minsk the day before and will be dead-on-arrival, while MR has a prior engagement he can’t get out of.