Dragons, and how not to approach them

Chapter 3 - Winners and losers

Ok, so I have been slack and this update is now well overdue. In fact it’s so overdue that it will be going out a matter of days before chapter 4 (which happened last week). I’m putting it all down to it being Christmas and me having a weeks holiday off in Bali (not that any of you care about that).

The group consists of:

Me - the DM.

Gary - playing as Quaite, a 2nd level human paladin. .

Dave - playing as Talwin (the Tof), a 2nd level halfling rogue.

Adam - playing as Flint Dankil, a 2nd level dwarf fighter.

Joshua - playing as Gerome “The Trippy Gnome”, a 2nd level gnome rogue.

The office is looking good. The pizza’s have been ordered and the snacks are scattered around - a perfect setting for a D&D session! So the guys settle down, taking the accustomed places at the table. Dice are found, books and notes appear from shelves and with the customary derogatory comments we begin.

Well the team’s memory is intact and they are all talking about how to tackle the bugbears - and here I was thinking they would have forgotten them! So it is straight into the action. A quick listen at the bugbear’s door reveals that there are a number of them - three they believe - along with something else. So they spring into action. The first sneaky action - by our natural sneak, leads to the discovery of three bugbears in the room along with a very scrawny looking goblin. Although they struggled against the first bugbear they ever encountered, this time despite there being three of them, the resistance is limited and brief. The goblin succumbs to a fainting fit leaving the team to quickly clean up the bugbears. With the last one down, they turn their attention to the goblin, bring him around, and proceed to question the poor creature.

Gerome has come up with a plan and binds the goblin’s hands and basically bullies the thing into being his servant. It gets named by the party as “Rat-Boy”. The goblin is meek, very subservient and highly intimidated.

I am going to have to have words with the lawful-good Paladin about this - I really think his shine is starting to tarnish.

So with Rat-Boy carrying the goodies, the party heads out of the dungeon and back to town to see what else needs doing.

Well the first surprise is that they haven't actually forgotten about the side-quest they were given. So after disposing of some of their loot, they head of to try and get some information out of “Agatha”. This turns out to be a major non-event. Agatha’s hut is decrepit and appears to have nothing of interest in it - even Gerome can’t find anything worth taking. Agatha appears on queue and answers the teams question in return for a pretty bauble. All very mundane and boring.

Back to town again, now Gerome raises his voice and insists that they go get the treasure that he has been given a map to. Ah this could be interesting. Lets see how it goes.

So off they trek again into the wildness. Lots of nothing later they appear at the edge of the ruined village - a distinctive sign saying “Danger! Plant Monsters and Zombies!” fails to dissuade them. My rolls are failing spectacularly and they experience nothing at all whilst they blissfully make their way through this incredibly dangerous terrain to where they find the small hidden treasure. At least Gerome is happy.

With everything so quiet, the party decide to investigate a ruined tower in town. The sight of dead giant spiders near the base of it hardly causes them to break step. They are all finding it extremely boring.

Entering the base of the tower shows an empty room with a staircase - the shuffling above indicates there is something large above.

Not to be outdone, Talwin decides he is going to climb the outside of the tower and take a peek - after all - he thinks it’s only giant spiders - and they won't expect him coming from that way. So with him climbing up, the rest of the party remain at the base.

Venomfang
Venomfang from Lost Mines of Phandelver. Wizards of the Coast LLC, ©2014

Now a halfling can be very sneaky - but this is no Bilbo Baggins, and what is at the top isn’t Smaug - although it is a dragon. A young green dragon. That fixes a baleful eye on the halfling as he pops his head over the top of the tower.

With a certain amount of impolite mutterings the halfling begins a rapid descent of the tower’s wall - which turns into a very rapid descent when he fumbles his climbing roll - which turns the descent into a plummet! He is lucky though in that whilst he is injured in the fall, he is not stunned or killed and quickly scurries into the base of the tower to inform the rest of the team what is above them.

There is no dissension (baring one silly Gnome), and the team beat a hasty retreat - tails tucked between their legs - moving as quickly as their legs can carry them. I decide to encourage the Gnome to join them and send a blast of the dragons breath down into the bottom of the tower which causes the Gerome to finally flee and join the party.

Well that has turned into a fiasco. The party abandon the ruined village and decide to head back to base. Somewhat miffed and a little nervous about what is ahead. However, by the time they are back in camp they are feeling brave once more, and quickly picking up the next lead they head off to the goblin castle which they feel is more suitable to their skill level.

Reaching the castle they take their time observing - as usual - before deciding on a plan of approach. “Rat-Boy” is tied up outside and the rest of the team concoct a plan. A couple decide to sneak into the south west tower over the ruined walls. Doing this they quickly dispatch the sleeping guards, before Gerome decides to wander off and do his own thing. I think I am going to have to rename this “The Adventures of Gerome”. He is becoming a one-Gnome wrecking machine.

Anyway, Gerome decides to disguise himself as a Goblin (thanks to his increase to 3rd level and his limited spell casting ability). He then wanders into the next room (which is the kitchen/canteen for the castle and plonks himself at a bench in the corner. Having observed what is going on, he casts sleep right into the middle of the group of goblins in the room. Without even waiting to see the results, he slumps back himself and slides to the floor feigning the impact of the sleep spell on himself.

Needless to say chaos erupts in the room. Half the goblins fall, whilst the others spin and frantically search for the intruders. Gerome chuckles to himself and enjoys the chaos. The team members that are close and aware of what is happening spin into action charging in and tackling the remaining goblins, whilst those further away are still oblivious to what is happening.

The team find goblins easy now, and even the head cook bites the dust quickly. With the battle subiding, the rest of the team enter the kitchen area and they try to work out what to do next. There is some discussion about whether the cook is actually the goblin king - which, whilst taking place, gives Gerome chance to wander off again and enter another room. Again he has picked up his goblin disguise, so to all intents and purposes fits right in with the rest of the inhabitants of the castle.

The team see his do this and scurry off after him, trying to keep up. Gerome however seems to be on a mission of his own. He enters what used to be the library - and for some reason decides to climb the walls - maybe he wants to perch himself up high and watch what happens if the rest of the team get attacked.

Interestingly this room has a monster in it. Already perched high up on the walls. However this monster has been taught not to attack goblins - so it gets highly confused when what appears to look like a goblin (but not smell like a goblin) climbs up and suddenly finds itself next to it.

I’m not sure who is more surprised - the monster or Gerome.

The surprise doesn't last long though, as the rest of the party pile into the room and the monster slithers down to attack. It's a tough monster as well. Nasty, tough, strong. In two rounds its dead. I’m gutted. It didn't even make a dent in the party!

However the noise made the goblins in the next room aware of what was happening and let them get the drop on the party - not that that made any difference. Again it's all over in a couple of rounds and the party plows on - straight into a party of hobgoblins. Tougher than goblins, these beasts give a good account of themselves before falling.

Deciding that this is a good place to rest and heal that party call it a night. Gerome heads outside to recover “Rat -Boy” - however I have managed to get him out of the party’s hands (by having been eaten by some mysterious monster in the woods).

So that’s it for another session. The next session has now already taken place, so I had better hurry up and write that one up now!

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