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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Players: Eldest, 10 yo girl, elven Druid Evelynda. Sister, 7 yo girl, elven druid Amy. Brother, 7 yo boy dwarven fighter Johann.
    Evelynda has a companion bobcat (homebrewed, mostly based on wolf stats with leopard attack routine, scaled down a size category.)
    Amy has a wolf companion named Spot.
    Johann has a pet Eagle named Hawk. Feats: Two-weapon fighting and cleave. (He has an animal companion because it's just not wise for 2 siblings to have something the 3rd doesn't have.)
    Johann fights with light mace and light hammer.

    I gave them elite array stats, none of them arranged them super-well, beyond putting their best stat in their Prime Requisite. (Is that even still a thing in 3X?)

    (I just realized I forgot to have the girls pick feats. Ehh, they get to cast spells, they can deal.)

    The PCs all hear of problems in the nearby human town of Sylvandale, monster problems preying on local livestock and wildlife (druids). Monster problems mean rewards for bold warriors, so to Sylvandale they go. In the tavern of Sylvandale, they meet Cormac, who is recruiting for an expedition to explore and ransack the old lair of the wizard (I didn't write down a name, and I know the kids don't remember. Googling and searching, the wizard's name was now Menkoth. Thank you Sean K REynolds, even if I didn't copy Menoth correctly.) Their patron feeds them and puts them up in the tavern for the night (he's getting a double share of the treasure, so...) and after a dawn breakfast they set off.

    On the trail, they encounter a bunch of spiders. 7 or 8 Tiny, 1 Small. With pets, the spiders don't even have a numerical advantage, and the party has a fairly easy time. The eagle gets caught in a web, the dwarf loses a hit point and makes a Fort save vs strength-sapping poison, but the spiders are massacred without incident and the pets feast upon the spider meat. Amy uses a Shillelagh spell.

    This was an "Easy" encounter, so half experience. 50 XP for everyone.

    (Houserules/cheats: the druids get 3 spells per day, out of 4 spells known. Summon NAture's Ally is limited to two options. I don't want the girls to feel like they're playing the same druid.
    Oh, and light off hand weapons get full strength bonus instead of one-half, and light hammers do d6 damage just because.)

    They come to the cave complex where Menkoth made his lair, decades ago. (Map is the solo adventure from the REd Box set, available as a PDF from DriveThruRPG). The first room is a 50' square with a statue of Menkoth and three corridors running north, east and west. One player listens at each corridor, hearing the squeaking of rats, guttural voices, and soft but somehow very large snoring. A spot check by Evylinda reveals the word "Monster" in chalk at the west corridor. They decide to fight the rats, as that seems easiest. They go down the corridor to the east, and find a 20 x 30 room full of a dozen or so rats--and five skeletons, who turn and start slowly moving towards the party. They run away, and the skeletons do not follow.

    But when they return to the statue room, they find--a black bear! Combat begins, and the bear does bad things to the faster pets--dropping the bobcat to 0 hp, dropping the eagle to -6, dropping the wolf to 2 hp.

    Evelynda casts Burning Hands (fire domain spell, what the heck. I might try to convince Eldest to swap it out for Produce Flame, but whatever.) Amy casts Shillelagh, planning to whomp on the bear next round. ("No, this round you cast the spell. You can attack next round.")

    The wolf takes a 5' step back (today, children, we learn the concept of "Five Foot STep"!) The dwarf manages to close with the bear, and gets dropped to 1 hp.

    Evelynda hits the eagle with a Cure Light Wounds for...3 hp, bringing it to -3. Sigh. Cormac the DMPC closes to pour a healing potion over the eagle, and takes an attack of opportunity from the bear--who rolls a nat 20. I rule that Cormac loses his action.

    Amy casts Summon NAture's Ally to summon another wolf.

    The bear decides that being surrounded and wounded several times is not a great plan, and takes a five foot step back, partially retreating into the corridor. With its attacks, he shreds the summoned wolf. ("Do you know what a MEATSHIELD is, kids? Well, you do now.") Evylinda uses her last spell to cast Cure Light Wounds on the eagle, bringing it to positive hit points.

    The dwarf Johann full attacks with mace and hammer, finishing the bear.

    That, kids, was an average encounter. 100 xp each.

    "I don't want to fight any hard encounters!" Yes, that's why they're hard.

    (I know the black bear is a CR 2 encounter, but given that the party all have pets plus a DMPC with a bow, I'd say CR 2 encounters are pretty fair.)

    Will the party figure out a way to get 1,200 pounds of bear back to town for skinnnin' and feastin'? Or will the goblins to the north be the ones to gorge themselves on bear meat?
    Last edited by johnbragg; 2016-01-24 at 08:22 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    Johann has a pet Eagle named Hawk.
    Is there a story behind this?
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    (He has an animal companion because it's just not wise for 2 siblings to have something the 3rd doesn't have.)
    This reminds me: there is actually one feat which allows anyone to get an animal cohort.
    However it is a bit weaker than the one the druid class gives.
    It is called Wild Cohort.
    Last edited by Graypairofsocks; 2016-01-26 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Typo.
    Bane of disrudisplorkians, and loremaster.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    ("Do you know what a MEATSHIELD is, kids? Well, you do now.")
    I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation, sir.
    ...For contributing to the next generation of quirky gamers. As long as we have parents, mentors and visionaries like yourself, our craft will truly live forever.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Keep it up dad. :)
    Reading the OOC commentary should be pretty fun lol
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Graypairofsocks View Post
    Is there a story behind this?
    In game, no. Out of character, we all know the game balance issues between Tier 1 Druids and Tier 5 Fighters. Within the family, having 2 kids get something the 3rd doesn't get would cause problems.

    This reminds me: there is actually one feat which allows anyone to get an animal cohort.
    However it is a bit weaker than the one the druid class gives.
    It is called Wild Cohort.
    I'm handwaving a lot of rules. I could count Brother's pet as a 3rd feat on top of TWF and Cleave (skipped Power Attack because Cleave is more impressive sounding to a 7 year old) or I could just keep calling Rule 0.

    (The druids are spontaneous-casting 3/day from a list of 4 spells, just because I didn't want decision paralysis or copycat characters, and, er, didn't take any feats. We'll deal with that when they hit 2nd level.)

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    In game, no. Out of character, we all know the game balance issues between Tier 1 Druids and Tier 5 Fighters. Within the family, having 2 kids get something the 3rd doesn't get would cause problems.
    I meant is there a story behind why the eagle is named Hawk?
    Last edited by Graypairofsocks; 2016-01-26 at 09:53 PM.
    Bane of disrudisplorkians, and loremaster.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Graypairofsocks View Post
    I meant is there a story behind why the hawk is named eagle?
    No. He originally wanted a chickadee who gave him good advice, I convinced him that a hawk or an eagle would be more helpful in combat (like the wolf and the bobcat the druids have) and after being indecisive on whether he wanted a hawk or an eagle, decided to split the difference by naming his hawk "eagle", possibly confusing opponents in some vague way.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    No. He originally wanted a chickadee who gave him good advice, I convinced him that a hawk or an eagle would be more helpful in combat (like the wolf and the bobcat the druids have) and after being indecisive on whether he wanted a hawk or an eagle, decided to split the difference by naming his hawk "eagle", possibly confusing opponents in some vague way.
    Well the confusion tactic seems to be working already:
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    Johann has a pet Eagle named Hawk.
    Bane of disrudisplorkians, and loremaster.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Session 2, in which the players Split the Party.

    Last session ended with the players triumphant over a bear in the dungeon, but at great cost--the dwarf and the pets are all pretty well beaten up, and the druids are out of spells. (Even the DMPC is at 11/20 hp.)

    Addendum: (Eldest): Daddy, you called my character the wrong name the whole game. It's not Evylinda, its Elvelyn.
    Noted.

    The corpse of the bear is heavy, about 1200 lbs. With everyone rolling a Strength check, 3 15s are good enough to pull the bear out of the hallway it had backed into, into the main chamber. The party decides that the thing to do is go back to town, hire up a wagon and some horses, and return.

    The party decides to leave the wounded animals, with one of the druids (Elvelyn, played by Eldest) guarding them.

    Monsters don't sit around waiting for the party to come around and kill them. They move around, they do things when they're offstage. So Elvelyn has an encounter with a goblin sentry. She makes a Spot check and sees him trying to hide in the corridor while spying on her.

    Elvelyn decides to draw her sickle, keeping an eye on the sentry, while acting like she's worried about a threat from the dungeon entrance. Rolling a natural 20 on that Bluff check, the goblin sentry flees in panic.

    ("Remember last time, Amy listened at that corridor and heard *voices*. Where do you think he went?"
    "To get his friends."
    "Very likely. Let's say that 4 or 6 or 8 goblins show up. What would happen, given that you're out of spells and the animals are all beat up?"
    "We would die."
    "So what would be a good move right now?"
    "We leave, and go outside the dungeon, and keep watch on the entrance.")
    Elvelyn has defeated an Easy encounter for 50 xp. 200 xp total

    I don't want the party to have different XP totals, so the rest of the party (Johann the dwarven fighter, Amy the elven druid, and Cormac the DMPC) runs across a goblin hunting party on the trail. AMy, Johann, Cormac and the 3 goblins (who I quickly dub Bud, Weis and Ur) roll spot checks, and Amy makes hers, so the party gets a surprise round. Cormac and Johann miss with arrows. Initiative. Bud and Ur take to the woods, leaving the slower-witted Weis alone on the road.

    Bud rolls a pretty good HIde check, and shoots Amy with an arrow for 2 hp. Weis stays in the middle of the road and ends up fighting Amy hand to hand, while Ur doesn't hide particularly well in the woods, firing arrows and missing. Cormac and Johann also miss with some arrows.

    Amy hits Weis with her club, rolling well enough to drop him with one shot. (d6+2 vs 5 hp). Amy charges at the woods where Bud shot her from, giving Bud an attack of opportunity, which he misses anyway, but giving away his position. Ur runs off into the woods. Johann and Cormac fire a few arrows at him, to no effect. Johann charges up to Bud's position, and they trade misses. As Cormac closes to surround Bud, Johann connects with his hammer (missing with the mace), and d6+2 is enough to drop the goblin.

    AMy, Johann and Cormac have defeated an Easy encounter for 200 xp.

    Our heroes collect 6 dead rabbits from the goblins' packs.

    Elvelyn misses a Spot check. (Ur makes his Spot check and sees her before she sees him. What the players don't know is that he took the long way around, to the secret entrance to the dungeon.)

    Our heroes rent a wagon and 2 horses from a local farmer, to be paid in bear meat, and arrange for the skinning and butchering of the bear. They can practically taste that 25 gp for the pelt, split 5 ways (2 shares for the party leader/financier) is enough to live on for a month! The wagon pulls up in front of the dungeon, the party is reunited, and--end session because baths and pajamas have to happen.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Thank you for the story please continue I enjoyed reading this no problems to solve just fun no complicated builds and most of all you are teaching critical thinking and cause & effect
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Thank you for the story please continue I enjoyed reading this no problems to solve just fun no complicated builds and most of all you are teaching critical thinking and cause & effect
    I agree with this. It's a breath of fresh air, honestly.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    Evelynda has a companion bobcat (homebrewed, mostly based on wolf stats with leopard attack routine, scaled down a size category.)
    Just an FYI, Bobcats are just one species of Lynx (there are 4), and there are stats for Lynx in the back of Races of Faerun. I'm sure what you came up with is fine; I just thought I'd point you toward some official stats.

    If you took the Core leopard stats, reduced its size to Small, reduced its HD to 1, and let it keep Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, you'd be pretty close to the stats in Races of Faerun.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by ksbsnowowl View Post
    Just an FYI, Bobcats are just one species of Lynx (there are 4), and there are stats for Lynx in the back of Races of Faerun. I'm sure what you came up with is fine; I just thought I'd point you toward some official stats.

    If you took the Core leopard stats, reduced its size to Small, reduced its HD to 1, and let it keep Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, you'd be pretty close to the stats in Races of Faerun.
    Actually, using the wolf as the measuring stick, I reduced it to Small and gave it 2 HD. I just checked, and Eldest is going to be sad when I tell her that she's going to have to get to 4th level before it grows into a full-size Leopard. Weapon Finesse: Bite is a nice feat to have when your DEX is 19, adjusted to 21.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Playing tag at the bus stop this morning.

    Hey Brother, remember when we were talking about D&D stats?

    Yeah, dad.
    What stat would it be when you're chasing me, and I get away because I turn really fast?
    What were the stats again?
    Well, would it be STrength, Dexterity or Constitution?
    What was constitution again?
    How tough you are. For tag, that would probably be how long you can run before you get tired.
    Which one would be dodging and changing direction?
    Well, it's not STrength.
    That would probably be who could run faster.
    What's the other one?
    Dexterity. That's how quick you are, how agile, how well you can turn and get away.
    Last edited by johnbragg; 2016-01-29 at 06:47 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Very good for seven
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    tadkins's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Enjoyable reading. I wish I had other D&Ders in my family. xD

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    At the end of last session, the party re-united just outside the entrance to the dungeon, with a wagon to carry the dead bear back to town for skinning and for a big old feast.

    The party, low on magic, low on fighter HP and animal HP, retreats to town to heal and rest for a day. The next morning, AMy uses 1 of her 3 spells and Elvylin uses 2 of her 3 spells on CLW's to get the party up to almost-full health. Healed up, they set off again.

    Eldest is the only PC to make a Spot check to notice that the goblin is asleep. Eldest announces that the goblin is asleep, which gives the Goblin a Listen check to wake up, which he makes.

    I let her retcon that one to a whisper. The party discusses whether to sneak past the goblin or to just kill him, and....let's kill him. DMPC walks up and coup-de-grace's the sleeping goblin guard with no trouble. What does give him trouble is a blown Spot check to see the second goblin further into the room, who hits him with a javelin for 2 hp and ducks behind a statue.

    (I had the goblins plan out a system of runners who would relay an alarm, and call up their reserve to set up a chokepoint. The goblins failed twice to move forward fast enough to make an effective chokepoint. AC 15 and 5 hp limits your ability to execute a plan)

    At a run, Elvelyn and Amy reach the retreating goblin and attack, cutting him down. (This does not go unnoticed by the goblin watching from the bend in the corridor, who alerts the 2 goblins in the guard room. One of those goblins goes to alert the main band of goblins, who will reach the guard room at a rate of one per round.)

    Elvylin asks "Cormac, what are you anyway? (Class, level etc)." "I'm the one paying the bills and getting a double share of the treasure." (Combat is not the time for this sort of discussion)

    The two goblins in the guard room position at either side of the entrance with attacks readied. (I'm using the map from the REd Book players' handbook PDF with 10 x 10 corridors, so they can't gang up very well.) The bobcat attacks one goblin, wounding him, and takes damage from his readied attack. Elvelyin uses her turn to rescue her pet and pull her back into the corridor.) Amy and her wolf charge forward at the other goblin, the wolf takes the readied attack, and Amy bashes the goblin who goes down. Johann advances into the room, sees the third goblin at the other end of the room, and fires an arrow at him, missing by a lot. Hawk the Eagle harries the goblin still by the door, flanking him.

    The flanked goblin takes a 5 foot step back, aiming to use the corner as a defensive stand. The starts fighting defensively, boosting his AC to 19. That still isn't enough to save him from the eagle, who rolls an 18+3=21, and a d4 for 4 drops the goblin.

    (I'm missing some blow-by-blow, but it's nothing terribly earthshaking. Johann hits a goblin with an arrow for 2 points. One of the goblins hits Spot the wolf for 7 points. Hawk the EAgle gets dropped by a goblin with a longspear. Cormac the DMPC tends to his wounds.)

    Cormac checks on the third corridor. Kids, you always want to check on a corridor where something could be coming at you. (This lesson will be better remembered when they don't check it, and I DO send something at them.

    Three newly arrived goblins are at the north entrance. The two in front try to form a shield wall, fighting defensively, while the one behind uses a two-handed spear (d8 damage). (The plan is that the goblins will form a primitive phalanx.) Amy casts summon nature's ally for another wolf, who will appear next turn.

    EDIT: I point out to Eldest that the remaining goblins are grouped together, which means she can get all of them with her burning hands spell.

    Evlylin uses a burning hands spell on the three grouped goblins. They roll pretty well on their saving throws, and only the wounded one falls.

    Johann attacks the shield goblin with hammer-and-mace, dropping him in one hit. That lets him cleave into the spear-goblin, who also drops with one hit.

    When the second shield-wall goblin gets cut down, the last two spearmen are exposed, and quickly dispatched. The goblin's strategy is effective, in that the party cannot concentrate their attacks, but the attrition is still too much for the goblins.

    The party searches the goblin's lair, finding a chest with 3000 silver. They do not open the door at the back of the goblin's lair, instead going back to town with the money and the bear.

    Elvylin explores how much money the party could make if by selling the bear meat. This runs up against the lack of refrigeration and lack of freely circulating cash in a fantasy-medieval town like Sylvandale. 1000 pounds of bear meat, valued at 1 cp each, comes to about 10 gold.

    Cormac the DMPC raises the question "Would we rather have 10 gold, or the goodwill of this town? Yesterday when we were healing up, we could have asked the temple to heal us. But, for outsiders like us, they'd have likely asked for a donation of 25 gold each. I'm not paying those kinds of bills. We donate the bear meat for a town feast, pretty soon we're getting extra healing for free."

    So the bear is skinned, the townspeople feast on roast bear, and the party is the toast of the town.

    (1 average encounter, 100 xp each. PArty members are at 300 xp each.)
    Last edited by johnbragg; 2016-01-31 at 07:41 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    tadkins's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post

    Three newly arrived goblins are at the north entrance. The two in front try to form a shield wall, fighting defensively, while the one behind uses a two-handed spear (d8 damage). (The plan is that the goblins will form a primitive phalanx.) Amy casts summon nature's ally for another wolf, who will appear next turn. Evlylin uses a burning hands spell on the three grouped goblins.
    Your kids already play better than some people I know. xD

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by tadkins View Post
    Your kids already play better than some people I know. xD
    Actually I practically told her that this was a good spot to use the burning hands spell, as they were in a tight group. (I forgot that burning hands had a save, and for a moment she had a real Moment of Awesome--until I rolled the goblin's REflex saves).

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    tadkins's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    Actually I practically told her that this was a good spot to use the burning hands spell, as they were in a tight group. (I forgot that burning hands had a save, and for a moment she had a real Moment of Awesome--until I rolled the goblin's REflex saves).
    It's been a while but I always thought Reflex was one of the few things a goblin really has going for it.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Albions_Angel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Goblins are actually fairly good low level enemies if you know what to do with them. Recently ran and my party of (very experienced) players got surprised when they didnt spot the forestkith goblin hunters, consisting of 2 level 1 barbs, 2 level 1 rangers and 2 level 1 warriors. Nets took out 2 party members, rage dealt a hefty blow to 3 more and arrows kept them pinned down.

    Also, your kids are learning fast. Again, my experienced group forgot things like speaking quietly and taking their time when they entered their goblin cave, rushing straight for the throne room, triggering 10 goblins and a goblin king (level 3 barb) AND setting off the 3 shriekers... which attracted the 2 violet mushrooms... and the phantom fungus. I tried everything I could to save them without Deus Ex Machina, but there is only so much you can do when a violet fungus is within 5 feet, has split the party beguiler from the heavy hitters, is sat on the rogue, and has poisoned the fighter...

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    WeaselGuy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    • First of all, this has been the first Campaign Log that I've actually enjoyed reading. By all means, please keep it up!
    • Secondly, I'm expecting my first son in June, and can't wait to start playing D&D with him in a few years. Thanks for the inspiration!
    • And lastly, major kudos to you and your kids for playing some nerdy game that involves paper, pencils, books, actual human interaction, and above all else a healthy dose of imagination, all in a world practically dominated by big screen TV's and ultra-resolution game consoles.

    (Not to imply I don't enjoy playing my XB1 or PS4, because I do, but I look forward to D&D night way more than I do playing D3 with my army buddies.)
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    So, the party is the toast of the village of Sylvandale. The priest of the local temple promises them free healing when they're in town and recovering from adventures.

    The party discusses what their next adventure shall be. DMPC Cormac suggests finishing cleaning out the Dungeon of Melkoth, or following up on the townspeople's complaints about wolfpack attacks on their sheep, or just patrolling the woods and see what the Druid pets smell.

    Eldest interrupts, and asks the mysterious Cormac flat out what his talents are, a warrior or a wizard or what. He admits to being a Rogue from the city of Hallanville. The mysterious DMPC is now a little bit less mysterious.

    Eldest's druid Elvylin suggests investigating the wolf attacks. Cormac points out that there's not much gold there. Elvylin responds that there's probably not much gold left in the dungeon of Melkoth. Cormac responds that the wolf pelts probably are worth some gold each.

    (I break the game to let the Druid players know that they should object to this.) Elyvlin bristles and says that they are going to talk to the wolves and not kill them if they don't have to.

    They talk to Young Steven the shepherd boy, who tells the tale of a wolfpack attack that morning. Two wolves drove off Young Steven, while two wolves picked off a sheep. The next morning, Young Steven leads the part out to the scene of the attack, where they find about 1/3 of a sheep remaining after the wolves ate their fill. Sister's pet Spot the Wolf rolls a 19 on her Survival roll, for a 24 to Track. They follow the wolves back to a lair in the woods.

    The party sees 4 wolves. "Should we roll initiative?" (I thought the plan was to talk, not fight, but sure.) Eldest (Elvylin) casts Speak With Animals. Amy (Sister) casts Shillelagh. Johann (Brother) fires an arrow at a wolf.

    Eldest says "Well, I thought we were going to talk to the wolves." I said I thought so too, but apparently Sister and Brother disagree, and you guys asked to roll initiative, which means combat.

    Today, kids we learn that initiative means combat.
    It is agreed that we misunderstood each other. The party wanted to talk to the wolves and persuade them to not eat so many sheep. So Amy's Shillelagh spell and Johann's arrow are cancelled. Amy casts Speak with animals. Johann has his bow ready. Hawk the Eagle takes a position up in the trees nearby.

    The wolves are saying "alarm outsiders outsiders. Leader, outsiders."

    Eldest talks to one of the wolves, explaining that if the wolves eat too many sheep, the humans will be hungry, giving a sort of Lion King circle of life argument.
    Wolf is very unpersuaded, and responds "Pack bellies full. Sheep tasty." The party says they don't want to fight, and the wolf boasts that "leader will show YOU." Sister (AMy) asks to speak to your leader.

    One of the wolves transforms, into a man-sized, upright creature covered in fur, with the claws and teeth of a wolf. The players correctly guess that this is a werewolf.

    Now we roll initiative. The werewolf howls a cause fear spell. Everyone saves (DC 11) except for Hawk the Eagle, who flies out of combat.

    Elvlyin hits a wolf with her sickle. Amy casts Shillelagh, while Spot runs up to attack a wolf. Bad-guy wolf lands an attack of opportunity on Spot for 7, who misses her attack.

    Johann plugs the werewolf with an arrow from his shortbow, rolls 6 damage. The werewolf pulls out the arrow, reacting as if he were barely hurt. (I dropped the werewolf DR from 10/silver to 5/silver, and swapped the warrior level for a level of Sorcerer with cause fear and enlarge person.) Cormac misses with an arrow, badly.

    To Johann and Cormac, the werewolf is just growling and howling. Amy and Elvylin hear him tell the pack "Run!" Two wolves disappear into the forest. The third wolf turns to run, and Spot misses his attack of opportunity. Elvylin and Leonya (the bobcat's new name) close to within 10 (but not 5!) feet of the werewolf. Johann and Cormac miss the werewolf with arrows, and the werewolf runs into the woods. Johann fires a final arrow, which hits the fleeing werewolf. Damage roll is 6, but he is too far away for the PCs to know if he was hurt or not.

    Encountering a werewolf and surviving rates this as an Easy encounter, 50 xp each.

    (The werewolf sees 2 spellcasters, 2 archers/warriors and 3 pets. His cause fear spell had no effect (that he knows of) He doesn't have surprise, and could very well lose a pack member here. The pack will regroup, and we'll see next session if the party makes it back to town unscathed.)

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Albions_Angel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Very nice, and nicely handled on the initiative thing. Its important for a party to know what each person intends.

    How long are your sessions? About an hour?

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    Very nice, and nicely handled on the initiative thing. Its important for a party to know what each person intends.

    How long are your sessions? About an hour?
    This was a short-ish session, about an hour and a half. Weekend session are usually 2, 2.5 hours. When we can play on Wednesdays, it's a short session. ( <2 hours.)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Last session, the werewolf growled "RUN!" and his pack obeyed.

    Cormac the DMPC clues the party in on some of the details of werewolves. Damage reduction, silver weapons. The cause fear spell he cast was definitely not standard werewolf, although everyone in the party made their save except for Hawk the Eagle. Silver weapons are not going to be available in the village of Sylvandale, which is limited to a tavern-inn, a temple and a general store plus houses; so the party is heading for Hallanville.

    But that plan does not take into account that the werewolf can plan as well.

    The party spots wolves to the left, to the right, and behind the party. They don't spot the werewolf in the woods ahead of the party. Johann (Brother's fighter) and Cormac (ineffective DMPC) prepare arrows, Elvylin (Eldest's elven druid) casts Entangle on the wolf to the left and Amy (Sister's elven druid) casts Shillelagh. Roll initiative.

    (I guided Eldest to cast the Entangle spell, because this is the ideal terrain and situation for it. Would have been better if it were on the werewolf/pack leader, but they didn't see him yet.)

    Elvylin and Johann hold actions, prepared to attack wolves who emerge from the undergrowth on to the path. The werewolf runs out in front of the party (in hybrid form), and roars his Cause Fear spell. This combat, the saving throws don't go as well for the PCs. Johann, Cormac and Hawk all roll below 10, and must flee for d4--> 3 rounds. Silver, the entangled wolf to the left fails his Reflex save to move and his morale check. Johann, Cormac and Hawk all flee their full movement before Brownie closes from the left and Smurfette closes from behind. (I had named Brownie and Silver, and asked Eldest to quickly name a wolf. She said "Wolfette", but we kept slipping and saying Smurfette. IT stuck. ) Brownie eats attacks of opportunity from Amy and Spot, and bites Spot, dropping Spot to 2 hp. (I should have had Brownie try to trip Spot.)

    The werewolf roars "Fear the wrath of Fenris", partially because I kept referring to him by name, and I hadn't told the party his name. He closes and attacks Amy and Elvylin, who are now flanked. Silver makes a reflex save and moves halfway out of the Entangled area, trying to run away. Elvylin and Smurfette trade misses, Leonya takes a bite out of Brownie, who fails a morale check and is looking for a way out. AMy drops Brownie with her Shillelagh. Silver makes a reflex save, escapes the Entangled area, and starts running. Smurfette fails a morale check, and takes a 5 foot step back in preparation for a withdrawal. Fenris takes two claw swipes at Elvylin, missing once but dropping her with the other (max damage on d4+4).

    Amy attacks the werewolf and misses, Sister wants to have Spot make a trip attack. I explain that the wolf has to bite first, and if she hits with the bite then she rolls for a trip attempt. Spot hits Fenris for less than 5 damage, but that lets him make a trip attack. Spot rolls a natural 17, + 2 BAB + 2 Str (using the Pathfinder rules for CMB because I can remember them) = 21, Fenris rolls 11 + 2 BAB + 2 str + 2 Dex = 17. The werewolf is prone, dropping his AC by 4.

    Johann and Cormac are free of the fear spell by now, and are making their way back to the battle. Cormac plugs Smurfette with an arrow, Johann shoots at the werewolf and misses. (No Precise Shot , so -4 to avoid hitting friends) Amy whacks the downed Fenris with the Shillelagh for damage, Spot takes a bite for damage, Leonya takes a bite for no damage (d4+1 vs DR 5 is a bad matchup). Fenris gets up, too angry to be sensible and run away. Smurfette runs away. Johann closes with Fenris, who is now flanked, misses with the hammer but rolls a 20 with the mace. 20 means max damage, d6+1 - 5 is enough to finish off the werewolf.

    This was a Hard encounter, worth double xp. PCs are now at 550 xp, more than halfway to second level!

    Brownie is down but not dead. I prompt the girls to remember what druids are all about. I clue them in that they should probably help the dying animal in front of them. Amy heals Elevylin, and makes an Animal Handling roll on Brownie, and Elvelyn heals Brownie.

    Brownie is intrigued by the offer of help from the Twolegs pack, but says he must consult his pack. After waiting for him to return for 5-10 minutes, the party heads back to the lair where they found the wolfpack earlier today. The party promises to bring the pack food from time to time, and the pack accepts. The pack also tells the party why Fenris didn't use his bite attack--he did not want to create a threat to his pack leadership. The party notices a backpack mostly concealed in the roots of a tree, and ask the pack about it.

    "Pack not touch master's backpack. Master punish." "But no master." "Pack not touch master's backpack." The wolves argue amongst themselves, clearly torn and confused, until Elvylin asks directly if *she* can touch the backpack. "PAck not touch. You not pack."

    The backpack contains Fenris' collection of potions, 4 cure light wounds, 1 bulls' strength, 1 expeditious retreat and 1 barkskin. (Yes, I really should have rolled this before the encounter. But Fenris thought he had a really good plan to surround the party and use the wolves' superior speed to pick them off one by one.)

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Eldest suggests using one of the healing potions on the still-wounded wolves. I let her know that potions are to be saved for emergencies, and the party can easily come back the next day and finish healing up the wolfpack.

    The party now has another local ally, and the DM has an easy way to introduce plot points! Anything that I want the party to go after, the wolves can smell in the woods and tell the party about. (At least as far as wolves will understand it.)

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    I am super-duper enjoying this journal. Just sayin'.
    Iron Chef!
    Score Archive (by OMG PONIES) Iron Chef Deep Freeze (with fixed tables!)
    Homebrew:
    Bewildering Bladesman

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Awesome read.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hiro Quester's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: Dad is the DM

    Indeed. This is inspiring me to try to run an adventure for my son and his friends.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    Hello Gishes! Look at your sword. Now look at Thunderlance. Now back at your sword. Now back to Thunderlance. Sadly, your sword isn't a Thunderlance.
    Forest Gnome Druid avatar by Linklele. A detailed version is here.

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