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Share Your Stories, post 2

Here are some of the great stories you’ve shared. For each day a finalist will be chosen, after all the stories have been shared and voted on we’ll vote on the finalists from each day to win a copy of Lost Tales of Myth Drannor! Didn’t share yours? There’s still time, you have until November 3rd! Check out details at the Share Your Stories page.

11.  “The “Faerûn Fyrehawkes”” are standing outside Durlag’s Tower. This high-level party had previously righted the ordning, as well as rid the Sword Coast of the ‘Doom of the Desert’. They had come to fix one more stray Cloud Giant’s evil plans.

As they scoured the mountainside for the keys to open the gate—a rotting milky multi-eyed ball rose up from the dust, flesh falling away.

I, as the DM, say back and chuckled, having long waited to play any sort of Beholder in an AL game. ‘This should be fun’ I whispered to myself and we rolled initiative. Our 15th level Wizard of Necromancy rolled high enough to go before the Undead ex-Aberration. Everyone at the table looked his way, as he opened his Player’s Handbook to page 119, consulted some text and asked me calmly “Could you please make a DC 17 Charisma save?”

That’s how the party turned MY first undead tyrant of death, into THEIR own pet, using Command Undead in the most legendary way. They even named him Gary.

12. “I was DMing Curse of Strahd at my FLGS. It had come down to the final fight. The party was under-equipped, since the Assassin with the Sunsword was missing that week.

The final fight was in Strahd’s tomb, but the vampire had passed through the walls of the castle, leading the party (who didn’t know about the teleport alcoves) into the teleport traps outside his crypt.

The Paladin, equipped with the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind was teleported into the darkness of that trap’s destination, but not before Strahd had offered a challenge of single combat. Should the Paladin fall, Strahd would let the party leave Ravenloft and Barovia.

After the trap was triggered, the party’s Bard flew over the trap and accepted the challenge.

Strahd mopped the floor with him, and fought the rest of the party (a rogue and a wizard) while dragging their 0hp compatriot around in the other hand.

The rogue and wizard spent many turns in the crypts running from Strahd while arguing if they should just leave (and Barexit) or stay and fight.

Eventually the Paladin climbed out of the hole he found himself in, tallied his allies, and they fought Strahd into a corner.

The vampire lord found himself kiting (to use MMORPG terms) around his own crypt, slinking through walls when he had to, firing off spells at his pursuers before running out of spell slots and having to engage hand-to-hand.

The Paladin, committed to his word, also fought unarmed, but laid in a few good smites and finally felled the DarkLordof Barovia.

Final tally? All four players hit 0hp at some point in the fight, one nearly failing his third death save. None finished with more than single digit hit points. ”

13. “During an AL session of Curse of Strahd my players decided to visit the Old Bonegrinder on their way to Vallaki. Having found the deed to the windmill during their visit to the Death House the party was excited to visit as soon as it came into view. They had encountered Morgantha in the village of Barovia and they had been left suspicious of her after she took leave of the party. Rumors being that the windmill was where she resided gave the players even more incentive to check it out.
The paladin used his Divine Sense to discover the true nature of the residents of the windmill and the barbarian needed little more incentive to roll for initiative. The session consisted of mostly combat after this, in which the party was hard pressed by the hags. They did eventually make their way to the top room and with limited space faced off with the final hag. Once in the top room the players became aware of the children trapped in cages for Morgantha’s diabolical recipes. However they remained focused on defeating their foe in order to save the children.
While recklessly trying to take down the hag, three of the party members conveniently positioned themselves in a straight line (we were playing using a printed map of Old Bonegrinder with miniatures to track everyone’s position). I then had a wonderfully horrible idea to use lightning bolt on the perfectly aligned characters. It was only while rolling damage for the lightning that I realized the captives were also in line of the attack. I then proceeded to keep this realization to myself as the players could see the map just as I could.
Once the battle was over and the players rejoiced in their victory one of them goes to let the children out of the cage. It was at this time I explained that they did not survive. This struck me as an incredible moment in the game because it fully impressed on the players that not all victories are won simply by defeating an enemy. Their elation at winning the fight was now mixed with sadness from not saving the those they were fighting for. Even with such a solemn ending to the nights session my players let me know they thought it had been the best story element we had as yet experienced in Barovia. ”

14 The weekend before AL season 1 began, we concluded the year long AD&D campaign with the finale to the Dragonlance Saga (DL1-16, prefaced by B2).  On the one side: John the world’s prettiest Paladin, Knight of the Crown, Sword, and Rose, wielder of +5 Holy Avenger and close personal friend of Fizban (he once gave his god a piggyback ride) joined by Matt the Krynotaur Fighter.  On the other side: Adam the LE monk, Nathan the cleric of Gruumish and an NPC retired from a 10 year old campaign Grand Master of Flowers Surest of the Swiftest (and close personal friend of Toast/Takhisis).  On the third side: Jed the druid, his pet rat Fluffy, and Lord Brogan, the Half-Orc fighter armed with the True Dragonlance.  Now the NPC monk had convinced the PC monk and cleric to turn on the party and help Takhisis take over.  The other Half Or was torn as to which side to go with, as a half orc he wanted to side with his cleric and help stop Gruumish’s opponent Paladine (aka Corellon according to some Elves), but he also didn’t want Takhisis to take over either.  So as the giant brawl begins, eventually both Takhisis and Paladine are in combat with the group.  So Brogan attacks Takhisis with his first attack- N20 00 critical to knock her back through the portal, second attack-N20 00 critical to also knock Paladine into to portal too!  So basically a year + long campaign ended with a single round of combat with Brogan dropping 2 Greater God’s at once.  This lead to Tiamat then attempting to conquer Faerun for AL Season 1.

15 I’m a relatively new DM, and VERY new at DMing Adventurers League (only 2 nights). I’m running “City on the Edge”, and my players just got in the Gladiator Arena to fight Slicer and his velociraptors. With the tournament stating that “elemental/spell damage” was not allowed, the wizard and bard were very limited with what they could. The rogue couldn’t get in to a position to sneak attack, and the monk just wasn’t rolling well. Of course, it came to the barbarian to save to day. He successfully grappled one of the raptors, and proceeded to beat the rest of the herd in to submission with it. I believe the quote of the night was. “Ok, roll a d20 and add to your strength to the attack roll. Don’t add your proficiency because your not proficient in….velociraptor.”

16 As anyone who has ever played D&D for any length of time knows, it isn’t uncommon for humor and hilarity to show up at a table. This particular story occurred when I was running DDEX01-02 Secrets of Sokol Keep. Well, the party is going along, having fun, and we get to a particular part of the module. Someone finds some money, and picks it up. Well, the live-in ghost doesn’t like it when people steal from the keep, and I did my best to convey that. Books start flying off the shelf at the player. At first the party just takes it in stride, weird stuff in a creepy lighthouse keep out in the bay. Right up until someone decides to start playing around with it, and continuously puts the books back on the shelf, throwing a dagger at the bookshelf, etc (which the ghost throws towards the thief). It doesn’t take long for the whole table to be cracking up about the whole situation. Finally, after even the candlesticks in the room have started to get launched at the offending party member, one of the other players decides it’s time to move on, and tells the attempted thief to just put the money back, and the party starts ‘communicating’ with the ghost via taps/knocks.

17 While running HoTDQ, one of the players had decided his character, who is a dwarven barbarian, would eat everything they killed. Everyone is there to have fun so instead of saying no, I went with ok, you just have to roll a constitution save for anything not cooked. I found myself describing how kobolds would taste and over a few sessions I started to feel too much table time was being consumed over consumption. By the time the group was heading to next city in that campaign I had thought it important to break this feasting trend. A troll (added random encounter) took down a horse as it ambushed the group and after the group dispatched the troll, the barbarian removed the charred parts and rolled to save to see if he could keep uncooked troll down. Keeping down his newest meal I said, “you seem to be getting more full and it is getting uncomfortable.” The player realized it was regenerating in his stomach and growing. Saving throws to part with the new meal, the group was moving on. Needless to say the next encounter was undead who had signs of dying from a plague. The barbarian did not chance that meal and I think he also new his diet was delaying the game because he said, “ok, I am not going to eat everything anymore,” and yes he thoroughly enjoyed the thought of troll growing in his stomach and the threat that constituted.

18 “While DM’ing an AL group at TotalCon 2017, we were playing DDAL05-15 Reclamation. At one point, the party travels through a portal into a hidden temple. Now, per the module, they, at this point, encounter a trapped group of enemies on the other side, and a fight occurs. 18 “While DM’ing an AL group at TotalCon 2017, we were playing DDAL05-15 Reclamation. At one point, the party travels through a portal into a hidden temple. Now, per the module, they, at this point, encounter a trapped group of enemies on the other side, and a fight occurs.
The quick thinking swashbuckler, however, used his Panache ability to try and convince the enemies that they were reinforcements sent to help. He rolled well, and, instead of a protracted battle, he wound up getting useful intelligence from them that helped make a following section much easier.
I awarded him inspiration for that, and its great roleplaying moments like that which make DM’ing so rewarding, even for a group of strangers.”

19 I was GMing a table for Arc of the Mountain, tier 1.  The party was flying through missions, and feeling a little cocky.  So the admins decided that it was time to give them a bit more of a challenge.  It was time to assault the enemy vessel and take the fight to the Thunderbound.  They were told that it most likely was going to be a one way trip, but our heroes said ‘No Problem!’ and sallied forth.  On arrival, they faced two hulking Berserkers, and a Hill Giant with a nasty disposition.  Our party stood defiant on the enemy vessel, and proceeded to arm themselves for combat.  The barbarian and her zombie (brought forth from a lovely little whistle) surged towards the nearest foe, one of the berserkers.  Taking it on alone, she was handling herself very well, dropping the foe with help from the goblin paladin.  The dwarf cleric and half-elf warlock proceeded to pin the other berserker into a corner of the deck and finish him off.  Meanwhile the tabaxi rogue chose to run up to the hill giant.  Then using his swashbuckler skills, he stuck it with his shortsword, before he dashed up the center mast to hide.  His fellow party members believed he was out of the fight, fearing himself too weak.  That was when the cat learned to fly.  He dove off the mast at full height, 65 feet above the main deck, and 45 above the giant’s head.  In mid air, he drew his second sword and proceeded to perform a two weapon strike on landing atop the giant.  With fall damage and sneak attack damage, in two strikes the rogue had done the unthinkable, reduced the hill giant to less than half his hitpoints.  In doing so the fall damage left the tabaxi with only 2 hit points, but he had all but 5 feet of his movement left over and his tabaxi quickness, and no attacks of opportunity could be made.  So that speedly little devil got out of there .  Stayed at least 60 feet away from the thing for the rest of the fight pelting it with arrows from a shortbow.  In short, in one move, a rogue turned a deadly threat into a pincushion.

20 “I was running a game of Lost Mines of Phandelver and it wasn’t going well for the party. They couldn’t seem to roll above a 5 to hit and the goblins just kept scoring critical hits. Two characters were already down and things were looking bleak for the other three. These were new players and I was frantically trying to think of a way to avoid a massacre. When out of the blue one of the players said “I throw down my sword and say I surrender to your superior force! The house of beth-ithil will pay my ransom. Here is my signet ring send it to my father.” Then he asked, “Can I make a persuasion check?” The other players stared at him in disbelief. They knew their was no house of beth-ithil. “”Don’t worry,” he said, “I have a cunning plan.”” I could have kissed him. I gave him inspiration on the spot and told him to roll a persuasion check. I had already decided the goblins were so greedy that the difficulty for his check would be 5. He rolled a 20. The entire table cheered. He went on to tell the goblins how fabulously wealthy his father was and how they would be richly rewarded as long as they treated their prisoners well. They escaped that night with the clever use of a mage hand spell and a minor illusion cantrip. They came back the following night and routed the goblins. Fortune (and the dice) favors the bold.”

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Robert Adducci
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Author: Robert Adducci

Robert Adducci is an RPG community organizer and helps out games stores and conventions in the Denver area with social media and community management. He is a die-hard Dark Sun fan and the founder of the Burnt World of Athas website ( Robert was born in the deserts of Athas, aka Phoenix, AZ, but now lives in the cool climate of Colorado with his wife, two little adventurers, and two animal companions.

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