Episode 18: Now It’s the Adventures of Dave and Bart

Dave’s bardic inspiration lined up, ready to go

I use the term adventures rather loosely — farming ghouls for XP — ghouls are way nerfed in 5e — an empty room explored at length — Daniel refuses to draw a map — Tim annoyed at this — Pally tank game mad strong — dodging while restrained — nothing fancy, just doin werk.

I use the term adventures rather loosely
Because this episode honestly don’t have a lot going on. Tim and Jim just put in some work. A two man wrecking crew. Methodically hitting those rooms and hitting those faces.

farming ghouls for XP
Incentives matter. If you didn’t get XP for kills, we wouldn’t have bothered. So, if this part is boring, thank Mike Mearls.

ghouls are way nerfed in 5e
They really are. Only one attack per round, save vs paralysis at the end of each of your turns?!?!

Compare this to the 1981 Moldvay Basic set:

teach me how to moldvay

So of course Dave & Bart were like

okay 5e

an empty room explored at length
This was a badly written empty room. There are well written ones. Go read +Courtney Campbell talk about how to write good ones.

Daniel refuses to draw a map — Tim annoyed at this
I don’t know why I was so insistent about this. 

Pally tank game mad strong
Really, it’s not fair. Paladin with shield, plate, and defensive fighting style has 21 AC. It’s extremely tough to hit, especially when the bard uses cutting words to debuff an attack that actually does manage to get through. Or when the bard banes everyone. And pallies can self-heal.

dodging while restrained
Funny thing, as I was listening to this ep, I was also reading this post from +Justin Alexander about fiction-mechanics relations. We had a relevant moment pop up:

Dave is hit by the One-Eyed Shiver’s ice eye ray attack. He’s restrained until he makes a Strength check. I’m thinking this is because he’s frozen to the ground or encased in ice or whatever.

Then the guy casts thunderwave against Dave. You can Dex save for half damage vs thunderwave. But I ruled that Dave couldn’t make the save since he was held in place by ice.

Whoever you think was right (wink wink), the convo is exactly the sort of situation that Justin talks about in his article. Go read.

nothing fancy, just doin werk
That’s it. We’re going to be putting up some more info about the character roster in the near future. Expect a couple special episodes not too far off from now.

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Episode 17: Strong Arm, Sharp Sword

Dave & Bart assault the water cult church

Scouting Rivergard Keep — I’m Dave; I’ve got a strong arm and a sharp sword — infiltrating the water cult — potty breaks as leet strat — stealth action game — mercenaries are great; they will work for you for money — how to kill a boss without an attack roll — the way below opens.

After our TPK in the last episode, we rolled in with one new toon, one old toon, and only two players—not for the campaign, just for this session.

The Adventures of Dave & Bart begins.

Davkas (“Dave”), Bard 6 (Jim)
Bart, Paladin 4 / Fighter 2 (Tim)

This was a very different style of play than what we’ve done before. It was mostly stealth, infiltration, and in-character roleplaying in order to blend in and bluff, mostly on the part of Jim, via his old debuff/heal bard Davkas.

After scouting Rivergard Keep, which is the first tier water cult complex, the party went room to room, blasting mobs like the seasoned pros they are.

If you want to leave a social situation, say because you’re actually trying to infiltrate and dispatch the people you’re with, excusing yourself and saying that you have to take a dump is really a dope strat, as you will see no less than three times in this episode.

In the process, they convinced some of the mercs that the cult had hired to join up with them, which has proven so far and will prove in later episodes to be an excellent tactic and reliable laugh. 
By the end of the episode, the level is clear. Next time, we descend with a fuller party to tackle the water cult proper.

Episode 16: 80d6 Fire Damage, Save for Half

fateful annotations

Approaching the not ominously burning wicker man hippie druid festival — drug shenanigans — making the assault — 80d6 fire damage, save for half — the future.
A brutal, brutal episode.

The future direction of the show was in doubt after this one, but, fortunately, we decided to soldier on with Princes of the Apocalpyse, despite our reservations about it.

Also: if you have a wizard, get fireball at level 3.

Duh.

You can rain 16d6 of destruction on you enemies over two rounds. Who can say no to that?

As a direct result of this episode, Tim’s next character took the mage slayer feat.

That’s what I like to see.