Monday, February 13, 2017

Rod of Seven Parts... In SPAAAAACE!

My 5E campaign is about 18 months old, and we just recently had our 12th session. We get together far too infrequently, but the campaign itself has really started to hit its stride in my opinion. Here are some highlights thus far:

  • Campaign began with the classic adventure T1: The Village of Hommlet. They left the moathouse mid-delve to go rest and come back, giving Lareth the Beautiful a chance to move his operation elsewhere. He has since come back to harass them once or twice. I need to work him in more. They got their first piece of the rod, which to them was just a wand with some healing powers.
  • One session had half the party absent, so we did the DCC RPG adventure Tower of the Black Pearl. The result was that all lawful heroes of the land of level 5 or higher had their lives extinguished. Oops!
  • A small homemade dungeon netted the party their second rod fragment. I was aggravated at how little a basilisk challenged the group. They all just averted their gaze and roflstomped him, even with disadvantage.
  • We did the classic Ravenloft adventure. I didn't use Curse of Strahd, I used the original adventure with some conversion notes I found on Reddit. First session was spent traveling to Barovia and farting around in town. The next session they went to the castle proper, and it was very interesting how it played out. Due to some random bat swarms in the courtyard, they ran around back and broke into the chapel window. Boom, holy symbol. Then they proceeded to go downstairs and spend lots of time demolishing a bricked up staircase that was in their way. They handled all the associated encounters this triggered (it was quite a few!) so I let them proceed. While in the crypts, they dealt with some monsters and got harassed by Strahd a few times, but it wasn't long before they had the Sunsword in hand. It was sheer luck that they got the items the way they did, because they literally had explored maybe 5% of the castle before having the two major items and also having found Strahd's resting place, giving them the opportunity to smash it up, pee on it, and pour holy water all over it. When they next encountered him upstairs, he was poised to start laying them out, when all of a sudden the fighter landed a solid blow, followed by an action surge and a critical hit, which reduced Strahd to a cloud of fog. They quickly ran down to his coffin to put in the final nail. I just gave them all the treasure in the castle and the castle itself as a reward. On the plus side, I'll be able to use the adventure again in the future since they explored so little of the castle. They also got the 3rd part of the rod here.
  • At this point, we had a bit of an interlude, and I had a wind duke come talk to the party and ask to take over the rod segments. Of course they refused, setting them on the path to complete the rod. He pointed them in the direction of a mind flayer lair (the one from Volo's Guide to Monsters) where they could steal a spelljamming ship, since the remaining four segments are on other planets/planes. They did surprisingly well infiltrating the lair and dispatching some mind flayers on their way to getting the ship, thanks to the party's assassin. Unfortunately this ship only has a lifejammer helm, and they weren't too keen on sacrificing lives to power the ship.
  • Next they had to travel to an island to plunder a long lost wizard tower (C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness) in order to raid his library to learn stuff about the rod and its history, traveling through space, etc. They got lots of cool information and books, an astrolabe and star charts which will help them navigate the local solar system, as well as lots of alchemical items and a few magic items. They are starting to feel how restrictive it is to only be allowed to benefit from 3 attuned magic items at a time.
  • Looking forward, they will need to complete some tasks in order to continue assembling the rod, but I intend to disrupt their designs by staging an attack on Castle Ravenloft by BROODMOTHER SKYFORTRESS! The giants will be space demons sent by the Queen of Chaos to harass the party. This will also be an opportunity for them to get a traditional spelljamming helm to replace the lifejammer they currently have. You know, so they can sleep better at night.
So the quest to complete the Rod of Seven Parts will be headed into space before long. I'm much looking forward to it. I got the two main books from the Spelljammer boxed set from half price books a few years back, and I've been poring over those. I have some ideas for how to adapt a few of these things to 5E, although most of it doesn't require any changes. I'm using our real-life solar system as the framework for all of it, and they are currently on earth. It's going to be awesome! More posts soon!

Here is the ship they stole from the mind flayers. Boy were they pissed!

Deck plans for the ship

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