Jan 12 2020

We Came, We Saw, We Kicked Its Tail

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Shady Runs From a Big Sneeze
I’ve been playing D&D for a long time and had some great moments on either side of the DM screen, but last night was probably the single most satisfying thing yet. Shade-Of-the-Candle and the rest of our party of scallywags faced down a dragon way above our pay grade and not only lived to talk about it, but came home conquering heroes weighed down with loot. I’m still riding the high this morning and probably will be for days, and here’s some of the reasons why…

  • A tough challenge, risen to! This dragon already one-punched the whole party in a previous battle, and could have done it again if we let it. Shady set up a battle plan that the rest of the team executed brilliantly, many of them adding their own flourishes, using their abilities to set each other up for success. From the monk helping the warlock leap across the 20′ deep pit, to the warlock gimping the dragon’s Strength checks and saves so that everyone else could lock it down, we operated in ways that highlighted and improved each others’ efforts, instead of just being a bunch of stumblebums swanning off in every direction.
  • Perfect expression of Shade-Of-the-Candle. She really did get to do a little of everything she’s built to do, in every pillar of play. Exploration: stealthily scouting, finding traps and then turning them against the monsters, assassinating enemy guards to infiltrate, check-check-check. Social: bringing the team together, being a giant misdirection at the badguy so the other members of the party could get into position, and then of course singing sea shanties all the way home, check-check-check. And combat: doing crazy stunts in the form of riding a dragon like a bucking bronco, laying down the occasional massive sneak attack, and annoyance-tanking, check-check-check. I am particularly pleased at how well Shady pulled off the “tell the truth in the most unbelievable way” trick when parleying with the dragon. Although she would have accepted the dragon’s surrender if the dragon had offered it, Shady’s real goal was to get in close to start the battle without being blasted at range. and provide cover for the rest of the team—both of which she accomplished! It was a classic “misdirection, not deception” moment.
  • A perfect storm of “character I have always wanted to play, doing awesome things.” I’ve mentioned before that I’ve specifically wanted to play a swashbuckler since high school; 1E/2E didn’t really have any way to support the archetype, and while I did get to participate in a very fun four-session “Three Musketeers” one-shot in college, that was over all too quickly. Obsidian occasionally flirted with swashbuckling when I could get away with it, but it was always working against the grain of that particular game. This campaign is built around a party of no-hopers, jokers, and rogues (as the song says) in a seaport full of skullduggery, and the 5E swashbuckler archetype is an amazing character kit. Add into that mix that Shady is a tabaxi and a red oni to boot and… well… I am in RP heaven.

So… yeah. I have no real point to make here, I’m just super-jazzed about last night’s game and wanted to seal the memory. Big thanks to Inkblitz for DMing, and to the rest of the players for going along with my harebrained scheme! :D

-The Gneech

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