Wow, with that last post I looked and realized that I’d been keeping up with page that tracked the characters, I hadn’t posted anything to the blog in quite a while. It’s been busy gaming wise and personally (setting up my own office, people switching jobs, some stupid drama with former friends, etc.) so here are the Cliff Notes:
Despite the difficulty of doing so in 5E, we have now managed to lose two characters. The first was Dhagri Trollslayer, the Khazann Barbarian. Through there was lots of political drama involved, ultimately he ate a Kyuss worm, was transformed and had to be put down. KS, the player, replaced him a human Barbarian, a Bear Totem Ancestral Path, and for giggles I also made the character a werebear as a way to give it a power boost (since I brought it in at 3rd level).
The other character that was lost was Lord Devin, one of the most important characters in the group due to his political pull and influence, not to mention his battle prowess. He just died recently, slain by a Dragonborn sorcerer named Ilthane after it transformed into a winged drake that ripped him limb-from-limb. Unfortunately the party simply doesn’t have the resources to bring him back. They can Raise Dead, but due to the damage and the circumstances they’d need a Resurrection. MS has replaced Devin with another human, but this time went with a Gunslinger with a shady background- and seems to be having fun with the new role-playing challenge.
The party has now progressed through the Age of Worms Adventure Path to A Gathering of Winds – which means that they are currently exploring the tomb of Icosiel, one of the Wandering Dukes of Aquaa, and the creator/wielder of the Staff of Law that subsequently exploded during the Battle of Pesh and became the Rod of Seven Parts. They are concerned that Cult of the Ebon Triad is searching for a superweapon of some sort that dates back to the War of Chaos. I am still shaking my head at some of the “it’s a module” moments I have reading the scenarios, and looking at the maps. It’s a great story, but some of the design elements are pretty stupid.
The party is now creeping into Tier 3 play and they can tell, things are getting dangerous, spells can drop people quickly, monsters are tougher, and it’s increasingly clear that they are outstripping the ability of anyone else to help them. I honestly think it is kind of race now to get to 13th/14th level so that they get access to 7th level spells and manage to bump their respective power accordingly. They are also about half-way through the Adventure Path, and things will only ramp up from here. It’s going to be interesting to adapt the various elements of the Path into my campaign world, and I’m looking forward to it.
I switched to story advancement instead of XP quite a while back and I wish I had done it sooner, the whole process is significantly easier and seems much more fluid and reasonable. It also means that the desire to be murder-hobos is greatly lessened because advancement isn’t tied to killing things anymore.