The Guardians – Episode 19: Checkout time

This is my first ever game of D&D 5e. We’ve just migrated the existing characters of our Basic Fantasy RPG campaign to D&D 5e. I like it. I hope my players like the system too.

It’s relatively easy to run. Although I have all three core rule books, I intentionally narrowed down the scope of the game down to only what’s in the free Basic Rules plus whatever is in the free SRD. This way, my players can easily access any of that information even if they didn’t buy any of the books.

Creating level 3 characters from scratch is a bit more time consuming in 5e over classic D&D but it does a better job at finishing character creation with a PC that has background and personality all sorted. It definitely encourages new players to think of their PCs as actual living breathing characters and not just a bunch of stats.

The other good thing about it is that there are now more player options and these options are not necessarily that complex. The description for each feature tends to be described in one or two short paragraphs. It’s so easy to just have the player read out loud the description so that we both know what it does during play.

Switching to a more modern version of D&D, I was worried combats would be slower. It turned out that it’s pretty much the same speed, but with more stuff to do. I think this translates to more fun at the table. I’ll have to watch this more closely over a few more sessions though. My worry is that too many options could overwhelm the players.

Anyway, I actually feel happy with 5e. I think it’s what I wanted D&D to be but now I don’t have to use Classic D&D and home brew it to the nth degree. 5e already does what I want out of the box.

Plus the community/fan support for the game is pretty awesome. I now have access to awesome online and app tools that can help me prepare and run games that I never had before.

I think I might convert my other campaign to 5e too.

Anyway, here is the actual recap of our session…

This session’s PCs:

  • Diana – human paladin, level 3
  • Elfred – high elf ranger, level 3
  • Fredo – stout halfling rogue, level 3
  • Hermione – human wizard, level 3
  • Lavandes – high elf druid, level 3
  • Oracle – human fighter, level 3

The heroes have spent a couple of days at the underground goblin settlement where the weaker goblins managed to escape to before the Lich Kranis Volan has destroyed their main lair and killed their goblin king. They were waiting for the shaman to return so that they could enquire about the phylactery.

Looking around town, they dropped by the smith’s forge to see if there were weapons or arms worth buying. There was nothing of interest so they went to another shop that sells potions.

The old balding goblin was a collector of interesting items and went by the name of Yobak. He tried to sell them a few things including a folding boat, a wand of the war mage and an immobilesed rod. In the end Hermione purchased the wand whilst Elfred got a magical Dagger (+1).

As they stepped back outside of Yobak’s place, they heard a commotion. The shaman had returned and he was gravely injured. The goblins brought him into his own hut in a stretcher and laid him in bed.

The heroes came into the hut with Charuk, the goblin boss of the settlement. The shaman weakly opened his eyes and saw the tall people and nodded at them.

They had lots of questions for the shaman. His party was ambushed by the undead and he was the only survivor. The shaman handed them the phylactery. It was a shiny box made of black stone. He told them that they needed to bring the box to the Hellmouth and throw it into the fiery lake within it. He told them that the Hellmouth is a gateway to Hell and the closest one lies sealed under the Town of Landseal, their hometown.

Charuk wanted them to leave the caves and go straight back to Landseal as soon as they could and destroy the phylactery. For all of their sakes.

Outside, the guards yelled that the undead had found them. One of the goblins in the hut murmured that the old fool had led the undead straight to them.

The heroes went back up the narrow passage that they used to get to the goblin lair days ago while the goblins prepared themselves to defend the settlement from the onslaught of undead.

As the heroes climbed up the passage, they could hear the sounds of screaming, clanking metal and burning behind them. Yobak, fearful for his life, followed the group. All he had was a sack of his belongings and he gave the group a healing potion each so that he could join them in their escape.

Once they were back in the main tunnel above, they could hear the faint screeching and moaning sound of the undead echoing along the walls. They were faced with a decision: go left back to the surface in the direction from where they had come from originally or go right into unknown territory.

They chose to go right. Immediately, they saw three skeletons brandishing short swords coming right at them. Everybody braced for a fight. Hermione cast a protection spell, Lavandes changed into a wolf, Fredo leapt forward, Elfred, Oracle and Diana readied themselves.

They engaged the skeletons. Hermione cast a thunderwave spell that pushed back one skeleton. Lavandes bit on one of the skeletons and pulled it to the ground. Elfred shot fire bolts at the skeletons. Fredo struck with his dagger and shortsword. Diana shot with her longbow. Oracle swung with his magical longsword.

Soon, all three skeletons were defeated.

Unfortunately, a second wave of undead was approaching with a wight at the lead. The heroes engaged the undead force again. As they came closer to the undead to attack them, they realised that there are a lot more of them coming toward them. If they do not move soon, the undead will overrun them.

Would the heroes press with the attack? Would they turn around and try to leave the caves?

To be continued…

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