Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop RPG thread! Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other nerdy table-top RPGs that you might be into. Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.
General discussion topic for the week: D&D Live Streams. There are apparently quite a few different groups streaming their D&D campaigns over the internet. Do you watch any? Do you think there’s any value to them, as far as increasing the popularity of the game, or making it more accessible to new people? Or are they purely entertainment for those who are already into it? Do you think shows like Critical Role push your private games into more theatrical territory than you’re really used to? (Full disclosure, I’m greatly enjoying Critical Role myself–I started from the beginning on YouTube not long after we began playing, and I’m nowhere near caught up yet.)
Our AvocaD&D group is currently running the Curse of Strahd adventure module. Our version takes place in a pseudo-historical 19th century Earth, and the group is playing as representatives of a railroad company sent to the tiny Eastern European nation of Barovia (ruled by Count Strahd von Zerovich) to negotiate the expansion of the railway through the country.
Our Dungeon Master is The Hayes Code, and the party consists of:
- Txan Einreique, a Half-Elf Stone Sorcerer; the Company Representative and nominal party leader (Josephus Brown)
- Kissi Farwood, a Human Fighter; a former solider hired as a bodyguard by Txan (forget_it_jake)
- Edwin Potts, a Human Cleric of Torm; a government agent sent to oversee the deal and make sure the company isn’t doing anything shady (Nope)
- ENGR-23, a Warforged Artificer; a living machine employed as a railway engineer (our only non-Avocado party member)
- Peter Peregrine, a Human Barbarian; a Professor of Antiquities with a rage-filled alter ego called Kragen Tempest (Doctor Nick)
- Wickerwelt Tanglewood, a Halfling Ranger; a Barovian native brought along as a guide (TheCleverGuy)
We left off last week escorting the body of the recently deceased burgomaster to the burying ground. As we arrived at the church, a number of corpses rose from the ground and attacked us! Wick shot an Ensnaring arrow and tangled up one of the zombies (apparently a soldier, still riddled with someone else’s arrows), while ENGR-23, Edwin, and Peter combined to take out a second (a fat chef). A third (dressed as a manservant) got a few good hits in on the Professor, and another (a teenage girl, who’d apparently been hanged) took a swipe at Wick while the soldier-zombie struggled against the vines holding it down. Txan ended the restrained zombie with a Thunderous Smite, exploding the creature. We had some help from Ismark, the burgomaster’s son and de facto leader of the town–he managed to remove the arms from the old manservant, then Kissi struck a glancing blow off its head. Meanwhile, Wick shot another arrow point blank into the teenage zombie’s gut. Edwin roasted the old man, and Peter’s reckless attack knocked the thing’s head clear out of the park. The final zombie took a bite out of Peter’s arm, but then took hits from both Txan and Ismark before Kissi landed the final blow, caving in the creature’s skull with her morningstar.
After all the zombies were disposed of, the priest came out of the church, and we were able to properly bury the old burgomaster. With that attended to, we talked with Ismark some more, trying to find out what exactly Strahd wants with his sister, Ireena. Ismark didn’t really know anything, but pointed us toward the Vistani, a group of traveling people (like the Romani) who might have some hidden knowledge. We decided to purchase some supplies and provisions before heading out on our new mission to see Ireena safely out of town, including some holy water from the priest, Father Donavich. As we following him into the church, we heard an inhuman scream, which the priest informed us came from his “very ill” son. Txan managed to talk the priest into revealing the truth–his son, Doru, had paid a visit to Strahd’s castle with the intent of driving him out and had come back “different.” The priest managed to trap him in the basement of the church, but couldn’t bring himself to kill his own son.
While the others were arguing over what to do about this potentially dangerous situation, Wick snuck away to get a good look at the imprisoned man. Which was not a smart move. Doru was locked behind a trap door, but not chained or anything. Wick, thinking he could get some inside information on Strahd, tried to talk to him. And that’s when Doru sprang out of the trap door and lunged at Wick–biting his neck and knocking him out with one blow.1 The others, hearing the commotion and realizing Wick was missing, came rushing in. Txan created a hand of stone from the ground that grabbed the vampire, while Kissi and ENGR-23 managed to pull Wick’s limp form from the creature’s grasp. Edwin revived the halfling, and thankfully the vampire retreated to the dark of the cellar so Txan could close the trapdoor and contain the beast again.
We were no longer welcome in the church after that, and as Wick’s injuries needed some time to heal, it appears we’ll be spending another night in town after all. Next week, we’ll see if we can survive a night in the burgomaster’s mansion before striking out across the country-side.