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Share your Stories Post 5

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! Entries for the contest are currently closed.

41 During the Elemental Evil season, I had a married couple at my weekly Encounters Table.  Dan was playing an Air Gensasi Monk, and regularly failed acrobatics checks to scale and clear things.  It was never anything too detrimental, but made for a little amusement here and there.  On the last night of the season, the players were infiltrating the monastary held by the Cult of the Black Earth.  After Amanda (Dan’s wife and party’s bard) couldn’t talk their way into the monastary, the party then decided they wanted in and started stealthily scouting the rest of the outside.  After finding fenced in zen garden in the rear, Dan decided to leap the four foot tall fence and sneak around.  Dan didn’t get to the sneaking around part.  He rolled a natural 1 on his acrobatics check to scale the fence.  As such, I ruled that instead of leaping the fence with ease, he caught his feet on the top of the fence, and fell face first into one of the rock beds in the garden with a kind of loud crash as the rest of the party heard the scattering of rocks across this garden and against the fence.  He wasn’t loud enough to garner the attention of the monks inside, however it did cap off a season of botched acrobatics checks with a grand finale.

42 I have a highly creative group of players who come up with some of the most unusual solutions in our regular meetups. Whether its leaping onto a beholder and killing it with an unarmed blow from a monk’s chin or roleplaying zuggtmoy’s cursed spores to the point the player would roll to see if his character made the smart or dumb decision they never cease to surprise me. Perhaps the moment that stands out the most is after the defeat of the pudding king in oota. The players wrote a marching song “who controls the pudding king?”. They marched into most major cities with a parade of npcs singing this song, and even reached the point where they convinced several powerful foes, via magical “coercion” to join in their song.

43 ”     I’ve been DMing for decades, and I recently started DMing at my local game store to get some DDAL experience before I volunteer at PAX Unplugged. I started with season 7 and the organizer gave me a copy of City on the Edge. All the regulars showed up, with a new edition: a 10 year old lad, named Miles. His Father was sitting with him, and I’m sad to say not very interested in the whole thing. 43 ”

I’ve been DMing for decades, and I recently started DMing at my local game store to get some DDAL experience before I volunteer at PAX Unplugged. I started with season 7 and the organizer gave me a copy of City on the Edge. All the regulars showed up, with a new edition: a 10 year old lad, named Miles. His Father was sitting with him, and I’m sad to say not very interested in the whole thing.

The party immediately started to separate and wanted to go their own ways; checking in with their faction contacts. Miles just kept quiet. Eventually with some DM magic I nudged them to stick together and they chose (unknowingly) to start with the Dino Races.

It has an interesting mechanic to it, with the normal action economy being thrown out the window and a limit on what you can actually do to the opposing dino riders. The veteran players were cutthroat, trying to bait, trip, and intimidate the competition. Vilictorian, Miles’ wizard, stayed focused on the task at hand. Every round he inched closer to the finish line, and made some mediocre rolls on the hazard table. It wasn’t until he was ready to cross that the rest of the party realized he was the only one on their team with any chance of beating the green team.

I want to say it was a natural 20 animal handling roll that pushed him across the finish line, but it wasn’t. Still, the table erupted with cheers when the new kid, easily 15-20 years younger than anyone else at the table, won the race with his fledgling wizard. Even as he had to leave early, I could see it was memorable to Miles, and I was positively exuberant myself.   Miles has returned every session, thus far, with his Mom in tow, and we’re all proud to call him part of the team.”

44 My Dwarf Life Cleric rezzed a dragon mid-fight, the rest of the party had to “cover him” for the 600 rounds of combat as the city was being attacked, but we managed to bring the dragon back whilst fending off wave after wave of attackers (none of which got to the cleric to disrupt the spell).

45 “This just happened last week – while we were running the season 7 epic. The party was tasked to infiltrate Capt Smoke’s ship. They fibbed their way into and out of the ship – but that was not what was amazing. When Capt Smoke decided to visit the table for bomb drop – they let loose as much bullsh*t as they could.. – saying “”Capt Smoke! it is us – that party that was late just now!”” “”we are under cover for YOU! We are here to help you”” “”You should not fight us…. [enter more bullsh*t convincing here]””.  Honestly I could not remember the exact words – because i was laughing my head off at the whole exchange!45 “This just happened last week – while we were running the season 7 epic. The party was tasked to infiltrate Capt Smoke’s ship. They fibbed their way into and out of the ship – but that was not what was amazing. When Capt Smoke decided to visit the table for bomb drop – they let loose as much bullsh*t as they could.. – saying “”Capt Smoke! it is us – that party that was late just now!”” “”we are under cover for YOU! We are here to help you”” “”You should not fight us…. [enter more bullsh*t convincing here]””.  Honestly I could not remember the exact words – because i was laughing my head off at the whole exchange!
Deception checks were in the normal range, but… Capt Smoke ended up rolling a 1 on the Insight check. She dropped a bomb anyway .. but forgot to light the bomb…  It was kinda fun to see the players play hot potato with the bomb without realising that the fuse was not lit…
They managed to finish their fair share of missions for the epic – without any combat! Bullsh*t and decent CHA rolls #FTW!”

46 “I have a regular group that I play with. I was running Storm Kings Thunder. Right off the bat the characters fell in love with Gum Gum (the goblin stealing food to feed the abused and starving female and children goblins). They started a holy crusade to free all the children and females. 46 “I have a regular group that I play with. I was running Storm Kings Thunder. Right off the bat the characters fell in love with Gum Gum (the goblin stealing food to feed the abused and starving female and children goblins). They started a holy crusade to free all the children and females. This is where things started going off the rails…they they go back to Nightstone and purchase up all available property in it. They set Gum Gum up as queen of the Goblin tribe and visit her regularly (since they owned property nearby). When they reached Goldenfields they collective sent the goblins an utterly ridiculous amount of food and livestock (I think it was around 2000gp worth split into 4 shipments with someone sent to teach proper farming and livestock techniques). Throughout the entire campaign they would send food, supplies, jewelry, weapons, etc back to Gum Gum to help her grow her Queendom. If they came across refugees or other goblins they would try to convince them to go and join her. One player retired his 6th level Paladin to go back and watch over her (thus bringing in his barbarian which died in many ridiculous and epic ways). Another character wrote out an entire contract between Gum Gum’s Queendom and Nightstone/the Lords Alliance for fair trade and mutual protection. They used their letters of recommendation to convince leaders of cities to send envoys to Gum Gum. This included having the Storm Giant King send his wife as an envoy to discuss trade and possibly form an alliance (since they did resurrect the Queen and save the King from death). At the end of the campaign they were trying to plan out a way to either teleport or move one of their “”extra”” Keeps (they had acquired several) so that Gum Gum could have the start of her own castle. They then planned to use a variety of high level summoning spells and paid dwarven/giant labour to build the rest of her castle. I ended the campaign before it could come fully to fruition as we had to start the next season but there are still many references back to Gum Gum and her empire. I even incorporate some of her “”royal”” servants into other games as NPC’s.”

47 “So my crew made it through curse of strahd after meeting mordenkainen, whom reffered them to 10 foot poles and their usefulness. They eacaped without a strahd showdown, but a wetewolf fight.47 “So my crew made it through curse of strahd after meeting mordenkainen, whom reffered them to 10 foot poles and their usefulness. They eacaped without a strahd showdown, but a wetewolf fight.
One character had 20 dream pastries, now anyone who joins the group to play randomly must tote the 10 foot pole and eat a pastry (everyone had passed the con check so no one gets it.)
Now, the fun part. Last storm king’s thunder session the initiate went along at night into grudd haug. The used the pole and made this halfling rogue squeeze under guh.
Few high rolls later and my description of rotted food and sweaty creases with squelching noises, and the party then burned the place down.
No one speaks of those atrocities again. If I as the dm say “”well they had to…”” I’m cut off with “”shhhhh, we don’t talk about it.”” I agreed to keep all their secrets…… until now.”

49 “A few months back, I was running a tier 1 AL scenario for a group of close friends. It was at one of our club’s weekly events, but we just so happened to end up on a table together, and didn’t mind too much if the scenario ran (very) late. We made our way through the opening parts of the adventure quickly enough, and got to the large sandbox at the end – instead of only doing a small amount of it like the scenario intended, everyone at the table wanted to spend a lot of time messing around with the sandbox. A group of kobolds – lead by a dragonborn sorcerer – and a group of bandits – led by a powerful warrior – were present for a meeting; a truce was to be formed between the two sides, and the PCs were sent to stop this and put down the two groups if possible. Seems a simple mission – get to the spot, kill their leaders and cripple their gangs.49 “A few months back, I was running a tier 1 AL scenario for a group of close friends. It was at one of our club’s weekly events, but we just so happened to end up on a table together, and didn’t mind too much if the scenario ran (very) late. We made our way through the opening parts of the adventure quickly enough, and got to the large sandbox at the end – instead of only doing a small amount of it like the scenario intended, everyone at the table wanted to spend a lot of time messing around with the sandbox. A group of kobolds – lead by a dragonborn sorcerer – and a group of bandits – led by a powerful warrior – were present for a meeting; a truce was to be formed between the two sides, and the PCs were sent to stop this and put down the two groups if possible. Seems a simple mission – get to the spot, kill their leaders and cripple their gangs.

Now, the scenario presumes a lot of ways for your PCs to go about this – but they decided to go all-out. They thought that enemy reinforcements were coming in a few hours, and so quickly started their work. The party was good at stealth to begin with, and Pass Without Trace allowed them to essentially move throughout the area with impunity provided they were smart about it. In addition to this, they had a character capable of telepathic speech, who could speak Draconic. First, they made their way to the meeting occurring between the leaders of the two groups, and listened in. They spotted the guards watching the meeting, and explored the surrounding area. They found hostages in a cave nearby, and had to decide on a plan of action, and so they made their way to the kobold encampment, observing the group dynamics and decided a two-headed kobold with wings was the 2nd in command, and the leader of the remaining kobolds. Speaking telepathically to this creature, they managed to convince it they were Tiamat speaking directly to it, and giving it orders. Not too long after, the kobolds were rebelling against their Dragonborn boss, and prepared the encampment defensively – especially against the direction their ‘reinforcements’ were coming from, who they were now convinced were enemies of Tiamat.

They crossed to the other side of the area, where the bandits were camped, and explored. Sneaking through the area, they continued to use telepathy, sneaking, and some good rolls on Deception and Persuasion checks to wreak havoc among the bandits. Cutting off the options for retreat for the bandits, they looted as much as they could, and caused as much aggression without violence in the bandits as possible. They then climbed to the spot where the lookout for the meeting between the two leaders – the dragonborn not knowing her backup had revolted against her – was found. Through the use of the Assassinate ability and some good rolling, the individual was dispatched quickly, without anyone noticing – the downfall of a good hiding spot! As the meeting drew to a close, the PCs saw the incoming reinforcements, and triggered their plan – an arrow shot at the dragonborn sorcerer from the now deceased bandit’s lookout caused a fight to break out. The bandits overwhelmed the sorcerer, and as they moved to attack the kobolds, the horde of orcs the PCs knew were coming descended down the hill to attack. The timing worked, and the bandits arrived at the fortified kobold encampment as the orcs did, and a huge fight between the three groups broke out. Using this as a diversion, the PCs – one of which had a climb speed, due to being tabaxi – climbed to the top of the cliff above the hostages, and lowered rope. The hostages were quickly extracted up the rope as the fighting occurred not more than 300ft from the PCs! When everyone was safe at the top of the cliff, they observed their work – three different groups of enemies, all of which they were supposed to fight in some way killing each other. Those PCs with the capability to do so picked off enemies they could, and when all was said and done their enemies had destroyed each other, with a small amount of Orcs and their leader left, badly injured. The party quickly finished them off, returned the hostages, and then returned to the site of the massacre to give everyone involved a proper burial. And that’s the story of how my PCs avoided every major fight in the scenario, and yet all their enemies died anyway!”

50 “We were finishing up Curse of Strahd.  The campaign had spanned the length of Barovia and finally the adventurers had found Strahd, held up in the Catacombs of his castle.  Strahd was ready for them though.  Our sessions were usually 2 hours every Wednesday night, a remnant of the old Encounters system.  The fight with Strahd was ready to begin about half way through a session.  The players, 8 in total, who had all been together throughout the adventure, were very smart.  Their tactics were sharp and hard to defeat but Strahd knew that, he had been watching, and Strahd was ready.  Especially one player who everyone looked to for guidance and strategy, Strahd had seen him lead, noted him.  The players approached and the already invisible Strahd, always a gracious host, greeted them warmly.  Everyone knew the time for talk had ended.  This was to be the end, for someone.  50 “We were finishing up Curse of Strahd.  The campaign had spanned the length of Barovia and finally the adventurers had found Strahd, held up in the Catacombs of his castle.  Strahd was ready for them though.  Our sessions were usually 2 hours every Wednesday night, a remnant of the old Encounters system.  The fight with Strahd was ready to begin about half way through a session.  The players, 8 in total, who had all been together throughout the adventure, were very smart.  Their tactics were sharp and hard to defeat but Strahd knew that, he had been watching, and Strahd was ready.  Especially one player who everyone looked to for guidance and strategy, Strahd had seen him lead, noted him.  The players approached and the already invisible Strahd, always a gracious host, greeted them warmly.  Everyone knew the time for talk had ended.  This was to be the end, for someone.

The fighting began and the players quickly realized they would have to be clever to locate their foe as Strahd used every trick he knew to stay invisible and undetectable.  Soon the ranger had out 4 Pixies from Conjure Woodland Beings, they had set up a rotating perimeter of see invisibility around the group while each room of the catacombs was being searched for the vampire.  The time of the session was coming to a close and their leader, he had cast see invisibility on himself as well, took to one flank to help with the search.  He chose the correct direction. As Strahd phased out of his hiding place to find another, the leader saw him clear as day.  The session ended.  Until next week.

Gathering together again for what everyone knew to be the final session there was an energy in the room.  Strahd had been seen, he could be killed.  But there was something they overlooked.  The leader could indeed see Strahd, he stared right at him, but Strahd could also see him.  The line had been stretched too thin, there was no back up for the leader, who was staring face to face with a millennia old vampire.  Strahd raised him hand and cast Blight.  The leader fell to the ground dead.  This was no worry, the party had healing on its way!  Until… Strahd struck the leader after another players turn.  Two death ticks.  Everyone looked around in horror, knowing the next player could do nothing to heal the fallen leader.  They needed just one more turn.  But Strahd had no intention of playing with his food, in 3 turns to start the new session the vaulted, beloved leader of the group was dead and nothing beyond divine resurrection was going to bring him back.  Strahd would give no quarter.  The tone was set, the fight was real.

As I said the usual session was 2 hours.  Well, two hours passed and half the party was dead.  One by fireball, one by blight, others by getting transported to Crypt 14 and being devoured by wights.  Strahd’s laugh echo’d throughout the labyrinth.  The party had landed some blows but Strahd used every corner, every wall, almost always using his lair action to be able to pass through walls to get to where the players couldn’t.  Things looked grim.  But there was a dwarf…

The dwarf picked up the Sunsword left by the fallen leader.  He held tight to the Icon of Ravenloft he had picked up in the Chapal above.  He looked around and found himself alone.  The last alive against the devil in the roost.  But that dwarf did not plan to die.  Back and forth, the vampire and dwarf landed blow after blow.  Each taking chunks of flesh from the other with each successful attack.  It came down to each clinging on to the last crumbles of life they had left.  Who would land the next hit? Not the dwarf, not the vampire, not the dwarf, but the vampire.  The mighty dwarf had fallen.  We were two hours passed when we were supposed to stop.  Five of the eight players had already gone home.  It appeared a few more souls might be trapped in Barovia for time eternal.

And then I asked the player to roll a death save.  And the player did.  And he rolled a natural 20.  The Sunsword lit back up in his awakened hands and Strahd started his turn in sunlight.  Burning him to a crisp.

The dwarf paladin returned home to Daggerford; alone but a hero for all of time.”

 

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Robert Adducci
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Robert Adducci

Adventurers League Community Manager at Wizards of the Coast
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 (Athas.org). 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 adventurer, and two animal companions.
Robert Adducci
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Latest posts by Robert Adducci (see all)

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 (Athas.org). 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 adventurer, and two animal companions.

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