SPOILER ALERT. If you are at all likely to play any 5th edition D&D as a PC please stop reading and click away now!
We have decided to play through the new D&D starter set at the club, a return for the classic RPG after a two decade absence, and possibly the new adventures as they are released too. I'll put the outline of the ongoing adventure up here after each session, mainly as a reminder for myself and the players but also because anyone interested can read it too. We started last night.
The story so far...
The PCs meet in a queue for work outside the ruins of Neverwinter having travelled to the fallen city in hope of employment by the newly arrived Lord Neverember. All is not well inside however and access to the newly reclaimed city is tightly controlled, the PCs have been turned away at the gate and find themselves in a sprawling refugee camp full of folk desperate to escape the crippling poverty of the northern marches.
Undeterred, the PCs have sought out a caravan going south in the hope that the rumours of a developing town with plenty of opportunities down that way proves to be true. They gather and meet for the first time, engaging in small talk while they wait for their turn to sign up.
Human Cleric played by T.
Elven Cleric played by W.
Dwarven Fighter played by I.
Human Barbarian played by M.
Human Fighter played by D.
Elven Wizard starting as an NPC but later taken on as a henchman by I.
Halfling Rogue NPC.
Lord Corlynn (human fighter) and his faithful manservant, Mopsy (human commoner) NPCs.
Muleskinner (human commoner) NPC.
The job is for a 'Gundren Rockseeker', a dwarf mining boss who has a new claim down south somewhere. I's dwarf (himself a Rockseeker) recognises the name of his cousin and is pleased. The caravan will head to Barthen's general store in Phandalin and the party will provide security.
After taking advantage of the services of a couple of artisans in the refugee camp for things like quivers and rations the newly formed caravan heads south seeking the Triboar Trail and Phandalin. Two days of travel on the High Road are uneventful and they meet nobody except the occasional patrol of Mintarn mercenaries on Neverember's payroll. Both I's Dwarf and the NPC Lord Corlynn have some history working alongside Waterdeep's hirelings and they exchange pleasantries and news. They reach the left turn for the Triboar Trail late on the second day and make camp.
After breaking camp on the morning of the third day the caravan heads east, inland, along the trail. Not long into the morning they happen across a disturbing scene, a tree has been felled across the road and two dead horses lie on the ground just ahead of the rudimentary roadblock. They are peppered with black-fletched arrows.
I's dwarf immediately calls a halt and the caravan stops. W's Elven Cleric has a bit of history fighting the forces of evil and recognises the arrows as goblin-made. Four unfortunate goblins are then immediately spotted, despite their best efforts at hiding, and their ambush is rather spoiled. In the ensuing battle the goblins manage to wound D's human fighter and I's dwarf but D rolls at the very top end of the spectrum to swiftly kill two goblins with his longbow in return. M's barbarian reaches a goblin and kills him easily which breaks the morale of the final ambusher. After a bit of cat and mouse movement the PCs find a hidden trail, guess the goblin's intentions and trap him. The panicked goblin surrenders and is subsequently 'convinced' to talk despite some protestations from the squeamish clerics. A bit of investigation uncovers that the horses belonged to Gundren Rockseeker, their employer, and a human companion who have both been taken alive by the goblins. I's dwarf is deeply concerned for his cousin and the party decides to leave the caravan in the charge of Lord Corlynn, Mopsy and the muleskinner while they follow the goblin trail back to their hideout.
Along the goblin trail the party demonstrate wise caution and after narrowly avoiding a goblin snare trap the barbarian further 'convinces' their prisoner to give forth details about any more possible traps. They reach their destination safely and the goblin prisoner's reward is a cut throat from the barbarian, the two clerics are shocked but T's restrains W's from protesting. The hideout is a cave, which initially gives the barbarian the creeps, but despite this in their excitement the party forget themselves and rush in. A fight is triggered with two hidden goblin sentries and though they are easily dealt with a couple of people are nursing injuries. To add to the party's problems, T's human cleric finished off a fleeing sentry with a rather obvious fireworks display and upon moving inside the cave the PCs disturb a pack of chained wolves who begin going crazy, making lots more noise. With the element of surprise largely gone the party are lucky to kill off the wolves and stumble across a fissure in the rock at the back of the wolves cave. Using this rock 'chimney' gives them a slight advantage back and they are able to deal some damage to an isolated group of defenders. The leader, Klarg flees the upper chamber and rallies his remaining goblins, though not before T's human cleric wanders off to stumble into two goblins waiting to collapse a dam. T's cleric survives but the unfortunate Halfling NPC was washed away. Much hilarity at T's failure to get his cleric up the fissure turned into stunned disbelief as he failed five attempts at a 4+ on a D20.
The fighting degenerates into a bloody brawl as Klarg reenters the fray with his entire force. W's elf goes down, M's barbarian is badly injured and almost everyone else has a cut or two bar the wily elf wizard (now under I's control) who is performing very well and keeping the party in the fray.
Finally, the cowardly Klarg is reduced to his last hit point and surrenders with his goblins following suit. Restraining the prisoners (Klarg, his lieutenant Yeemik and a second goblin), the party joyfully loot the hideout at their leisure and rescue one 'Sildar Hallwinter' who informs them that I's cousin has been moved to Cragmaw Castle. M's barbarian patches up W's unconscious cleric and a bedraggled halfling stomps angrily back into the cave network.
To be continued...
The entire party leveled up to level 2 as a result of their efforts and though they were reckless in the Cragmaw hideout they rode their luck and came out on top. It won't be a good idea to rely on luck for too much longer though!
Watch out for a photo of T's D20 which after putting him on his backside by rolling 3 or less five times in a row will be appearing in the dice-shaming section of the Oldhammer G+ page very soon.
Thanks for stopping by!