s2e1: Maggot Mama




Starting Out of the Abyss proper — we’re all going crazy — sure hope you like maggots. 

This season, we’re splitting our session into chunks so that we can have a more regular release schedule and also edit the episodes a little more thoroughly, which is to say, edit them at all.

So this episode ends right as we are about to begin coming up with our escape plan.

Here’s the video that I took my awful sound clip from:


CAST

Jim: Dungeon Master

Daniel: Gaul (human druid 1)

For my free human feat at level 1, I chose sentinel, which makes me pretty tanky.

My plan is to class up to druid 2 in order to get wild shape, and then hit up monk for some levels.

This is to make a kung fu panda build, in which I turn into a panda (or whatever) and use kung fu.

Tim: Igneum (human sorcerer 1)

Tim was going for a full on fire fire fire all the time fire draconic sorcerer build.

The action algorithm was something like this: if (fire) or not (fire) then fire.

Apparently, this build gets a bonus to fire bolt. So, yeah. It’s a thing you can do if you like burninating the countryside and/or the peasants.

Asa: Thub-nub (halfling bard 1)

Asa was going for the standard (for our group) heal+debuff bard, I think. But, as you will find out in the next few episodes, this build took a turn for the weiiiiirrrrd.

“Crunk Knight” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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s2e0: Out of the Abyss Intro

Time for season 2. 

This season, we have a DM switch. Jim is taking over the holy seat, and I’m playing a character.

I’m scared.

We talk about the upcoming campaign, optional / house rules, what to expect, and go over the starting PCs.

LINKS

CAST

  • Jim (DM)
  • Asa
  • Daniel
  • Tim

Episode 24: Review of Princes of the Apocalypse

“RECRAP more like it” — 4E-ver — good start, not so great follow through — average damage for monsters is good — fan cuts of the Hobbit movies and the SW prequels — is only low level play good? — the Shackled City adventure path good at higher levels? — game companies need a user experience editor — destroy your PC’s mini upon death, great idea — need better hooks, no “you are caravan guards” business — stop having rituals interrupted at climactic moment — changes for season 2 — there can be only one listener.

Cast:

  • Daniel (GM)
  • Jim
  • Tim
  • Asa
“RECRAP more like it”
We ended up not liking it.
4E-ver
Because it seemed like a 4E module once you get into the dungeons. The dungeons tend to be physical spaces for fights to happen in.
good start, not so great follow through
Early levels were fun and had some variety. But once the structure of the adventure becomes apparent, interest wanes. 
average damage for monsters is good
I love using it. When you run a lot of fights (as you must here), it really speeds things along.
is only low level play good?
I think so. Higher level play doesn’t seem like real D&D to me, more like a supers game.
game companies need a user experience editor
Absolutely this is true. Someone needs to go through the book, and, at each moment, ask, “Would this be a hassle to do if I were actually running this?” You know all the supplemental material DMs have to make? They shouldn’t have to for big time publications like this. 
need better hooks, no “you are caravan guards” business
Seriously. Stop it. Any start to an adventure is better. Lost Mines of Phandelver starts exactly in this way. Hoard of the Dragon Queen is basically the same as well. 
stop having rituals interrupted at climactic moment
Lazy. 

Episode 22: Macroaggression

(from the 5e Monster Manual)

The cult strikes back, and then the party re-strikes back. We have Asa and Alex in the same room this time. Lots of quality banter this time. They really are OP for this content, which leads to some amusing moments. Less karaoke this episode.

CAST

  • Daniel (DM)
  • Jim (Dave the bard)
  • Tim (Bart the pally)
  • Moose (Keith the TWBB)
  • Alex (Jep the necromancer)
  • Asa (Phirrip the beastmaster ranger)

ALTERNATE TITLES

  1. I Disbelieve the Helmet-Inn
  2. Bone-tent
  3. Lumbermancer
  4. It Bursts from the Ground and Immediately Dies
  5. Welcome to the Surface
  6. Welcome Topside, Varmint
  7. I Live in a Home of Bones
  8. Like a Thick Gary Oldman
  9. Loincloths & Laurels

Episode 21: Our Favorite Albums

fighting in the fire cult tower

Alex joins us — vengeance on the fire cult — we talk about our favorite albums.

Musical shownotes after the break:
We took a detour @ 1:42:12 to talk about our favorite albums ever, no matter how embarrassing. A lot of them were from when we were in high school; so please do excuse us.

We also mentioned Mallory Ortberg from the Toast, the best humor writer today. 

Episode 20: Slaying Dragon Turtles for XP and Profit

snapping turtle image from Wikimedia Commons

This session was not recorded.

We played at a FLGS with an abnormal player configuration. 
The plan to kill the Hezrou went off well. 
Then some cultists ran to the lower level with our characters in pursuit. They overheard the passwords and recited them to the mezzoloth who guarded the stairs. 
They did not go down the stairs. The mezzoloth was cool with them. He was just doing his job. They hung out. 
Then they decided to kill the dragon turtle in the lake. 
One zombie used as bait. Skeleton archers with water walking shot at the thing when it surfaced but soon were destroyed by its steam breath.
The party retreated and reconsidered. 
Where can we buy poison?
3 days north, city called Yartar. It’s mobbed up.
They go, meet Davkas’s contact Side Job (Job as in Job Psalms Proverbs). They give a +1 dagger and 850gp for two barrels of mixed poison. And 50g for 3 fresh corpses to raise. 
They tripped on mushrooms. The necromancer saw a roiling black ocean of flesh. When he went to walk on it, hands emerges from it to form a bridge. He crossed. Davkas saw himself back in prison, but it was a very very small prison. 
Back in the dungeon, the poison is injected into bladders. The bladders tied to zombies. Remaining poison injected into zombie bodies and sewn up mouths.
The corpses kicked into the lake. 
The dragon turtle consumes them and dies within the minute. 

It was good poison. 

They plunder its hoard and end up with a slim profit and a bunch of XP. 

Episode 19: Dungeon Oysters

a wild ettin has appeared

The audio quality on this episode is really bad.

We did a double-hangouts, and something was wrong
Cast: 
  • Daniel (DM)
  • Tim (Bart the pally)
  • Jim (Dave the bard)
  • Asa, via hangouts (Phirrip the beastmaster ranger + Pookers)
  • Josh, via hangouts (Winston the clizzard [cleric/wizard multiclass])
If you brave the audio quality, you will encounter the following mildly amusing highlights:
  • Two large heaps of dank memes
  • Welcome to Maths & Maths
  • #saveTheSlots
  • #notAllHags
  • WHERE’S THE QUAY?!?
  • “The time is now.”
We cleared out most of the level 2 water dungeon and allied with a sea hag.

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.