Session 2 of D&D 5e is done and dusted. Our dysfunctional band of dubious heroes had a bump in the night, took a road trip and found out everything is quite what it seems.
SPOILER ALERT: We are playing Dragons of Icespire Peak. If you ever intend to play it this contains huge spoilers.
A wizard, a warrior and a rogue walk into an inn
So the manticore was slain and our party had learnt the hard way what level of creature they should fight—even a starving manticore almost killed us all. Our heroes headed back to Phandalin and collected their reward; a smatter of gold coins. It was time to grab some food and rest up for the evening and Stonehill Inn is the only show in town.
Our plucky crew paid for their lodgings and bid one another good night. Now, we should have known better to go straight to sleep without taking any precautions, but I suppose almost getting killed by a manticore is quite tiring. Naturally, our rogue—Tallinn—is on the run from a number of unsavoury individuals she may—or may not—have double crossed. She was woken in the middle of the night by a would-be assassin climbing in her window. A scuffle ensued and Dorn—warrior—, closely followed by Cameron—wizard—sprinted from their rooms and burst in on the action. A quick incantation later and the assailant was sound asleep on the ground, our 2nd level wizard Cameron with a satisfied grin on his face.
Tallinn sweet-talked the innkeeper and the assailant was taken off our hands.
Gnome Sweet Gnome
So the word on the street is there is a dragon nearby and it may not be all that friendly. So we were tasked with visiting an enclave of gnomes nearby to see if they have any magic items that may assist in the protection of Phandalin. So off we went—on foot because we are not very wealthy—in search of Gnomengarde.
We wandered around their cave system trying to find anyone who knew what was going on. Apparently there was a shapeshifter amongst them and their terrified Kings had locked themselves in their chambers. We circumvented some of their defences—Dorn knocked one poor gnome out cold—with relative ease and Tallinn managed to pocket a magical amulet from right under their trusting little noses.
Eventually Cameron detected a magical aura from a barrel of mushroom wine, so our trio of heroes set upon it with all of their might. Turns out it was a mimic! A classic D&D monster that has a truckload of hit points it turns out. We each took turns stabbing, smashing, burning and attempting to put the damn thing to sleep, until it succumbed to our erratic and tactic-free attack.
The two gnome kings were ecstatic and gave us a bunch of mildly useful magical items—although they couldn’t find one of their prized amulets—and after a quick sleepover we were on our way back to the bustling metropolis of Phandalin.
That brought our second session to an end.
So far, so good
The party are still getting to grips with one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Cameron—my wizard—was outrageously underpowered at first, but is finding his feet as his spell book grows. Tallinn has yet to have a chance to really flex her rogue muscles, but her character is solidifying and the attack in the night was a nice nod to her dubious past. Dorn was invaluable in the destruction of the manticore and was pretty handy at dispatching petrified gnomes.
I’m looking forward to getting into a situation that feels perilous—the manticore was just pure stupidity on our part—,where we are presented with a band of goblins to dispatch or the like. My wizard is growing power, which pleases me greatly and I’m enjoying watching his character unfold as we move forward in the campaign.
To me, to you
I think my only real gripe so far would be with combat. As can happen with any system that requires—even minor—calculation, combat can become a bit formulaic; each party taking their turn carving off a chunk of HP—or not—until somebody has no HP left and then they are dead. There is no nuance or ballet to proceedings, no use of terrain or objects in the environment. I would like to think if you take 18HP off something that it may consider retreating due to the massive wound you just caused it, or something similar. These are of course things I can play back to my DM and will in due course.
For now, our party is growing stronger, coming into focus a bit more and I’m looking forward to see what session 3 brings.
07 Feb 2020