Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Into the Wave Echo Cave - Part I

Current Adventure - The Lost Mines of Phandelver

Rolen Moonshadow (Remy) - wood elf ranger of the Emerald Enclave
Mojo ar Meisce (David) - human monk
Saarkson (Paul) - tiefling warlock and new Zhent agent
Rogar Lighttalon (Adam) - dwarf cleric and member of the Order of the Gauntlet

Warning Adventure Spoilers (especially if you're in my group)

After a night of celebration the party gathered in the morning and set forth to the mines.

The party entered the cave and quickly discovered one of the Gundren's brothers, dead near a pile of supplies. They wrapped the body and Rogar said a short prayer for his fallen cousin. The party then tied off some rope, and descended into the pit. Rogar and Mojo both fell despite the lowered DC for climbing with a rope. Mojo used his monk reflexes to land safely, while Rogar fell on his heavily armored arse. I jokingly declared that falling was how I'd have to kill him.

The party decided to take the western path and hug wall. They encountered the ocher jelly and quickly dispatched it. The path they traveled actually took them to what should be the final encounter of the mine. They faced entered the temple and faced off against the Black Spider, his two bugbear bodyguards, and four giant spiders. The party was at full strength, but I knew this was going to be a hard encounter. The Black Spider ultimately paid for his foolishness. Instead of going invisible the first round (which I should have had him do), he hit Mojo with magic missile (which is the magical equivalent of flipping the bird in my mind). Before he could go invisible on his second turn, Rogar hit him with a 2nd level spell slot guiding bolt that killed him in one hit. The party then had a hard fight against the bugbears and four giant spiders. In the end the fight turned into a one on one fight between Rogar and an uninjured giant spider. The rest of his companions ko'd, poisoned, and paralyzed, he found the strength to slay the final spider.

I fudged this encounter. While I didn't fudge any of the roles, I kept this to a near TPK instead of an almost TPK. As written the monsters in area 18 (two bugbears and a doppleganger) would have joined the combat in the third round. I knew the party was going to have to exhaust all of its resources for this fight, so I chose not to stack encounters. I stand by my decision, because if I hadn't the game would have been over. I'm going to plan a devious encounter with those creatures.

After recovering and looting, the party found Gundren's youngest brother still alive. The healed him and led him to the mines entrance. He armed himself and they sent him back to the town. I've not decided if he makes it back unharmed or not. Perhaps, they doppleganger and bugbears get to him.

The party rested and decided to take the other path through the pit. They encountered the skeletons in near the assayer's office and took some heavy damage. I added a few skeletons and ghouls to the mix (feeling slightly guilty that I cheated on their behalf). I witnessed the threat even low level monsters can have on parties. The ghouls did a bit of damage, but the skeleton archers dropped Rogar to single digits. Now I did crit twice in a row and then roll max damage for the two hits after that....

Rolan noticed many of the mushrooms were poison in the fungus room and Saarkson used mage hand to pop them.

In the wizard's barracks they fought Mormesk the wraith. I like the way 5E handles level drain. It's
dangerous at the time, but easily fixed (with a long rest). Had he not be dispatched as quickly as he was, Mormesk probably would have ended Mojo's life. The party rested again after defeating the wraith.

The final encounter of the night took place in the forge with the spectator. The party quickly realized it was unhinged and tried to convince it that the mine was no longer in operation. He didn't believe them. After talking for a bit, he asked the party if his services were still needed.

Rogar said, "Yes."

The rest of the party (and me) thought Rogar needed slapped. He then explained that Gundren is rightfully going to reclaim the mind and that having a magical guardian would be helpful. The party convinced the creature that they were allies.  They ended the session by claiming Lightbringer and the magical breastplate.
Areas explored by the party.

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