Monday, September 10, 2018

Play Report: 5e

  I got to play, which is nice. We had done a single session once before, this time we did a two-day-in-real-life game.

Party
Me - Human Cleric (Tempest domain)
Jen - Halfling Rogue
Alex - Half-elf Warlock
Sam - Human Fighter
Nick - Human Mage

  Set up was pretty quick with making a character taking about 20 minutes. With experience this would be much faster. I am a big fan of clerics, so that was easy.
  The party assembled though a combination of shared backgrounds and mentors and off we went to rescue 30 kidnapped villagers. The adventure was a nice combo of overland travel, outdoor attack on bandits, dungeon crawl, investigation of magitech, and scouting a haunted house.

First Act On the frontier a village had had about 30 people kidnapped by a mixed bandit/kobold group. The party tracked them to a haunted mansion and found a bandit camp at the base of the tor the mansion sits atop. A quick assault on the few left behind resulted in dead bandits and a few rescued village girls. a captured kobold spilled that the bandits and kobolds took the villagers to help dig into the tunnels under the mansion since the mansion is too dangerous. Their leader was a tiefling.

Second Act Entering the tunnels we encountered a few mephits (part of a trap) that we killed shockingly easily - lots of luck. We also ran into some bandit stragglers. I killed one with a Wrath of the Storm retribution after he struck my august body. We learned a direct route to the leaders after capturing another bandit and pressed on deeper underground to a subterranean lake, arriving after the bandits had left, seeing them vanish down an underground river. We ascended a stair around a massive set of vertical pipes and ended up in a control room where we ultimately dropped a water weird into the lake. There was a fight with a grey ooze that knocked me to negative (potions to the rescue) before we slew it. Finding a route back to where we came in we took the captured bandit to the camp with the rescued girls and took a long rest.

Third Act Returning we explored more of the tunnels finding a fair amount of loot in the form of equipment, killed some rats, and found a way into the mansion. In the mansion I used Thunderwave to wipe out a slew of skeletons, we dispatched more, but fled at the obvious approach of Something Bad. Nick left his crab familiar behind and sensed a full-bore ghost entered the room before the signal was lost. We went back to the lake (no water weird to be seen) and summoned a new crab familiar for Nick. Exploring we slew a giant frog and rescued a kidnapped village goodwife who led us to the rest of the villagers, most of whom had fled into side tunnels when the leaders left down the river (the three young men and an elderly villager who was a former soldier perished buying the women, children, and elderly time to escape).

Wrap Up We got the civilians to their home then went to a gnomish village to sell of the various loot, making a bit of cash. We picked up some potions of healing and diminution as loot and prepped for next session.
Everyone leveled.

Impressions
In one sentence - a weird combination of (AD&D 2e + Palladium) written at fifth grade level for people who are used to playing board games. Or, as Nick put it,
"Everyone's third favorite edition of D&D".

In more detail - Character creation wasn't as fiddly as 3e or Pathfinder, much more akin to 2e with kits. Non-combat (overland travel, scouting, searching for traps, etc.) was almost exactly like 3e/PF. Combat was smoother than 3e but the 'I move, you move' nature remains the same, really playing havoc with anything resembling realistic tactics. Oddly the spell casting felt a lot more like my rules for Clerics from Far Realms than I expected which was a welcome surprise.

Overall, it'll probably stay "in rotation" as a game we are all willing to play.