Last night was our first official time playing the new Dungeons and Dragons as a group!
Last night we played, what felt like to me, the classic DND that I played when I was a teenager. It was complex enough that I felt a connection to who my character was and what he was capable of, but simple enough to not let the mechanics get in the way of the flow of the game.
Jaime is our GM and she did a great job starting us out in a world that feels lived in. I’m not going to post all of the visual aides she showed us, because I want to respect her creative efforts, but here is part of the map of the world we’re starting in, of her own creation:
My buddy Jack and I decided to make characters who knew each other before we started. Both Rogues, we’re travelling on business to the town of Antum where we meet the other PCs and join a party that is trying to exterminate a monster threat in the forest near the town. Our party consists of two rogues, a cleric, a sorceror, and two fighters. Something has been driving wolves, stirges, and giant spiders out of the forest and our task was to eliminate the threat.
We got a guide named Cobb, to help us on the way. He was super useful because clearly he was higher level than us and there to help us deal with what we encountered. Delving into the forest, we encountered a group of wolves that we took down pretty easily. They did give us some wounds. Next, as we slept, stirges attacked us in the middle of the night. I wielded a flaming branch to try to scare them off and hurt them. Our other party members took out quite a few, but not before quite a few of us got hit with a blood drain strike. I’m surprised Cobb didn’t die in the fight, but he held on and we continued into the forest.
My character acted a little paranoid about the giant spiders, as I spun a yarn about a “guy I knew” getting real bloated from a bite, but luckily we never encountered any. Instead, as we approached a cave, we encountered an Owl Bear sleeping. This beast was clearly what was driving the other animals and monsters towards the village and threatening the area. So, we sprung into action. Jack, our other Rogue, threw a flask of oil at it and Jon, our sorceror, ignited it with his Firebolt. Those of us with ranged weapons (Scott’s throwing axe, my bow, and Cobb’s bow) peppered it with fire as it fled the cave. We all had advantage as it was on fire and had just woken up, so my sneak attack damage did some extra damage. It attacked, but we were able to quickly dispatch it with a deftly placed Guiding Bolt from DJ.
Magic has clearly gained a big boost in this version, which I like, because it really gives magic users a real “striker” feel and allows them to complement fighters nicely. The advantage/disadvantage system is a really fun addition too, as Scott’s Protection feature stopped what could very well have been fatal strikes from our DM.
We finished up by checking its lair (nothing but bones) and dividing up the carcass for sale to people who find ground Owl Bear beak to be an aphrodisiac. We also claimed our party reward for killing individual beasts and accomplishing the missions. All told, the party made off with about 58 gold a piece, a nice haul for a day of adventuring, especially at first level. I’ll have to check out the buy list, as that brings me up to about 160 or so total combined with my starting gold. I’m thinking an upgrade to Studded Leather and maybe a Potion of Healing for emergencies. Caltrops seem like an appropriately-flavored combat item for a rogue and I may even splurge for a vial of acid or two. 😉
The game felt very classic. Jamie did a great job picking monsters from the new starter set that had a very old school feel. I had not ever fought an Owl Bear, although they are a traditional DND monster, and I got scary feelings thinking about what it might do. We have to let ourselves become slightly immersed in these worlds to make the story feel interesting, and I got that feeling last night. I’m interested to see what will happen next. Our next session may very well be at Tacticon in Denver. Even though many of us are pretty heavily scheduled, I think we should try to make it happen, maybe Sunday night after the Con is officially “over”.